༺ Sebancia Duke (1) ༻
The Sebancia Duke I met at the Great Library was in an intangible astral form and had to possess Lark to gain a body.
Even back in the game, he only appeared as a black fog like a ghost so this was my first time seeing Sebancia Duke in his actual body.
“Are you Duke Sebancia Duke?”
What is your name?”
A very distant junior, you could say.”
“Hmm… Your body is not bad, but it is still within the spectrum of mediocrity.”
“That’s a better evaluation than the one I heard at the library at least.”
He told me I was too weak back then, but it seemed that I was somewhat able to become mediocre during that time.
“Have you met my soul?”
I have questions about that.
You separated your soul from your body, so how is your body still able to speak?”
“I am the one asking questions.”
Sebancia Duke said while slowly walking up to me.
Even though the spear was in my hands… I honestly wanted to avoid fighting against this man as an enemy.
The legendary historical figure.
Hero Sebancia Duke.
Although I wasn’t exactly sure how strong he was, he was the strongest in the contemporary times back in his days, so he would be a semi-Unique Grade at the very least.
Besides, he was also a good-natured hero so I would only be receiving the aid of one Precept out of three.
“The fact that you’re here must mean that my soul has gone away in satisfaction.
I am also very content.”
Are you going to go away in peace as well? You can’t!”
“…What do you mean?”
“Like, didn’t you send me here to give me something?”
“Did you not get a grimoire already?”
“Well, I did but…”
Wait a second.
This was not right.
Was he not going to give me something else?
“Hold up Mr.
You made me come all the way here and you have nothing to give me? This is not fair for me is it?”
“And what about it?”
Sebancia said with an annoyed look on his face.
“What do you even want? You came here as a messenger so I might as well give you some rewards.”
“Damn it! That old man used me as a messenger!”
Did I come all the way here just to let his body sealed inside the castle know that his soul was able to leave in peace?
“First off, let me ask a question.”
“I allow it.”
“Didn’t you separate your soul from your body? Why do you look so normal?”
I left 1% of my soul behind on this accursed body.”
“Is that even possible?”
“What you’re seeing right now is the proof.”
“…Seeing this Blood Realm, I guess you are the real Sebancia Duke but…”
After all, Blood Realm was a powerful ability that could only be used by high-class vampires.
“Hooh? Do you know about this ability?”
“What do you mean?”
“Everyone who sees this ability usually dies on the spot but… I see, that little girl…”
“Are you talking about Marie?”
A girl as young as this being this talented huh… And she’s not even going berserk…”
“Is Senior Marie in a totally different dimension or something?”
“Have you noticed what this place is?”
Realms were similar to barriers in a sense.
It would stop both entries and exits out of the Blood Realm while at the same time activating a unique ability inside.
It was an ability that was usually possessed by boss characters.
“Feels like an imaginary dimension.”
It felt slightly different from the dimensional spell of Lady Josephine.
Lady Josephine’s spell was like connecting the coordinates to that of another location, rather than creating a new dimension like this.
“You’re not wrong.
I guess… you could say this is inside my organs.”
“That is not a nice response.”
Sebancia clicked his tongue after seeing my reaction.
It was then.
He suddenly swung his cross-shaped sword.
I blocked it with the shaft of my spear on reflex but the huge force behind his attack made my body fly backward.
Looks like you do have the necessary skills to ask for guidance.”
It was a simple swing without any signs.
There was no technique behind the attack and was a straight-forward swing, but considering how that resulted in a constant ringing of the spear and my stiffened arm muscles proved just how insanely powerful he was.
“The fact that we are inside my organs is not a lie, because this entire castle itself became one with myself 800 years ago.
In a way… you could say my body is that of a Unique-Grade demonic beast.”
“…What are you trying to say?”
“You are inside the organs of a vampire.
With a body as weak as yours, I’m sure you wouldn’t even last 5 minutes before being digested.”
In other words—
“Try your best to defeat me.
Otherwise, 5 more minutes and your life will be over.”
“Hah… You are a shy old guy aren’t you?”
I raised my spear in response.
The opponent was the greatest hero from 800 years ago and there wasn’t enough time either.
Six Ways of the Spear
Sixth Style, Shura.
The only option was to go full-power from the start.
While gasping for breath, Marie barely kept her knees straight and stopped them from bending themselves.
Her body was arduously trying to remain standing as merciless blades of words dug into her ears.
“You are a mere beast.
By what right do you desire to live like a human?”
A beast that ends up killing people after being unable to hold back their impulse.
“Do you consider yourself a human instead of a beast? Are you confident in being strong-minded enough to withstand it by yourself? How truly arrogant.”
“That’s… not it!”
Tens of spears fell on Sebancia Duke.
A tidal wave of spears was coming at him but Sebancia uttered in response.
“Same move again.”
Marie’s face crumpled from disbelief.
Tens of Blood Spears were eradicated at once after Sebancia said that one sentence.
That was the pinnacle of magic where the sound traveling through the vocal cords turned into a spell.
What that implied was that Marie’s spell as a result of her calculation was not even as sophisticated as Sebancia’s words.
“But this time…!”
Reusing the scattered moisture in the air, Marie immediately combined them back into a high-grade spell.
The mana density of Crystal Lance far exceeded the likes of Blood Spears and Vocal Magic shouldn’t be strong enough to dispel it this time.
“A petty trick!”
Sebancia trampled on the ground.
His foot quaked the earth and destroyed the balance of the straight ground.
The ground popped up like a seesaw.
A tremendously heavy cluster of the ground rose up like the lid of a cauldron and acted against the law of gravity to block the Crystal Lance.
Doggo rose up from her shadow.
Marie continued firing spells from behind as Doggo jumped in and dashed at Sebancia.
Traveling as fast as a red cannonball, the blood dog was just about to bisect Sebancia into half but—
❰Art of Restriction – Coffer❱
Dozens of chains appeared all around Sebancia.
Thanks to his insane reaction speed, Doggo managed to stop himself before being entangled by the chains but the chains pounced back at Doggo in an attempt to seize him.
❰Combination Magic – Multi-Spell❱
A shield of mana rose from the ground.
Using that as a wall, Doggo escaped from the dozens of incoming blood chains.
As soon as the pursuing chains came to a halt, the blood dog kicked off the ground once again.
Doggo was able to ignore the self-protective instincts of an animal that every organism possessed.
Even though his own body was being ripped because of his speed and even though his body might get shredded in the following clash… Doggo pounced forward regardless.
Without any safety limits, he could even commit suicide by bombarding himself together with his opponent.
It was because his body being broken meant nothing.
A physical body was something he could gain any time.
His destructive and aggressive fighting method was only possible because Doggo was a monster who had an immortal body and infinite life.
The air erupted with a sonic boom.
The materialized form of mana transcended the physical limitations of an organism and charged forward at a supersonic speed.
In less than 0.7 seconds, he arrived before his enemy.
Doggo began swinging his nails and noticed after seeing the opponent stay still on the spot that his enemy wasn’t as fast or strong as him.
That body with not a sliver of blood was so weak that it wouldn’t be able to dodge his attack.
Thinking that, Doggo swung his nails and the ominous-looking claws of the blood dog were about to land on Sebancia but—
– Grit, grit…!
Doggo’s front paw was grabbed from the front.
Right when he was about to strike down with his claws… in less than 0.01 seconds, Sebancia reached his hand forward and locked his fingers with Doggo’s to hold those claws in place.
Was this even possible? At this point, it wasn’t even in the realms of speed or power and… this was in the realm of foresight.
Seeing that brought back a memory of the past.
Doggo was feeling the same thing as what he felt back inside the forest, in front of the man who was challenging them with a single spear in hand…
As expected of a beast.
Both the speed and power are well above mine.
Even faster than me back in my days.”
The blood dog’s hand was tightly grabbed by Sebancia as chains approached from behind and tied themselves around his hands and legs.
“However, that is all you have.
A foolish beast with nothing but strength.”
Doggo’s body was made to turn 180 degrees.
A little bit of strength and a slight gesture of Sebancia’s hand toppled the giant werewolf reaching 2 meters in height.
❰Sealing Sword of Romania❱
A large cross-shaped sword pierced through the blood dog all the way into the ground.
The blood dog wriggled and twisted its body but couldn’t move a single step as if he was sealed in a different dimension.
Marie quickly tried to call him back to her shadows but Doggo couldn’t come back.
Discarding the body, Marie tried to retrieve the astral body of Doggo but he was still stuck in place with the cross-shaped sword digging into his chest.
“This sealing sword is one that was made to seal the dimension for immortal beings.
Your immortality means nothing before this sword.”
Two cross-shaped swords also flew towards Marie.
She quickly created a barrier in response but the swords easily pierced through the barrier and landed on the ground next to her on each of her sides.
Just like that, the two large swords locked Marie in place.
Unable to endure the pressure coming out of the two swords, Marie couldn’t keep her trembling knees straight and kneeled on the ground.
‘A, am I going to lose just like this…?’
Sebancia… probably wasn’t that strong right now.
But these swords and his skills were specialized for combat against vampires.
Looking at his body, Marie could tell that Sebancia’s body was far inferior compared to her own in terms of both mana and physical strength.
Despite being a vampire, the opponent had been asleep for hundreds of years without taking a single sip of blood so that was natural.
Sebancia Duke’s body had been in a slumber until they visited him today.
That meant he was far weaker than how he was at the peak of his power and yet…
He was undefeatable.
Both the blood dog and the owner shared the same sentiment.
An overwhelming intuition for battle put him in an advantage despite being weaker and outnumbered.
His plans were on the level of foresight and had abnormal powers and talents that were hard to tell by normal standards.
Right, for example—-
Those with lofty minds who powered through every adversity, regardless of a difference in strength and a numbers disadvantage.
They were different from normal people, and Marie knew one person who was very similar to Sebancia Duke.
Combat prowess as a knight, as a mage, and as a vampire.
The vampire in front of her eyes was unprecedented in all three spectrums – that was what a hero from 800 years ago looked like.
You beast of damnation.
Are you confident in controlling your impulse forever? Do you think that man will stay and support you until the end of your life?”
Because he was also a vampire and a hero of a lofty mindset, he reproached Marie.
And Marie couldn’t refute his words.
It was because she had been holding a similar doubt in mind.
She was a demi-human, and was somehow maintaining her consciousness… but did that really make her a human? How could there be a human who couldn’t survive without drinking the blood of other humans?
End that pitiful life of yours.
Once a beast, you will forever remain a beast.”
‘Don’t cause harm to humanity and die a quiet death by yourself,’ he added.
It was painful.
It was all the more painful because Marie couldn’t find any words to refute him with.
That was something that had been harassing her the whole time ever since she became a vampire.
A beast that could rampage and crave human blood at any given moment.
Korin managed to stop her in time but what about next time? Who would stop her for her if that same thing was to happen again?
Her blood turned cold.
Her heart slowly stopped beating.
『You know what, Marie-sunbae? You’ve never changed until now』
That was when she suddenly remembered those nonchalant words of the boy.
His words that there was no need to deny a part of herself started making her heart beat once again.
She forced her knees back up.
Even though the cross-shaped swords added more weight to her body, Marie stood up by supporting herself with pure strength.
Despite being condemned as a blood-craving beast, and despite accepting that as a fact herself and going down on her knees, she managed to stand back up just by reminding herself of the words of that boy.
Ahh, I see.
Korin Lork already had such a big place inside her heart.
“I… I will not die.
“Korin said it’s okay.
So it’s all fine.”
“What are you…”
Her golden eyes slowly started to turn red.
Her refreshing water-colored hair turned deeper in color as an intense pulse of mana started resonating with intensity.
“If these… cross swords are there to seal vampires…!”
She tightened her fists and gathered a pure cluster of mana.
After gathering an explosive amount of mana, she swung her fist.
And her fist crushed through the cross-shaped swords.
“They’re probably not durable enough to stop physical attacks.”
A mage that swings fists around, huh.”
“I…! Am the daughter of a family of farmers, after all!”
Anyone that knew about the Dunareff family would have strongly disagreed with her words but the unique toughness of a countryside girl was one of the hidden attributes of Marie.
“So? Did you think you had a chance of winning after merely dealing with those two swords?”
Countless cross-shaped swords appeared behind Sebancia’s back.
It was an incredible number of swords.
“There’s no reason to dwell on chances.
I need to win.”
❰Grand Magic of Blood – Pure Crimson Spear❱
Gathering all the mana and blood in her arsenal, Marie created an ultimate spell.
It was the grand spell that she used to kill the King of Iron Mountain in the past.
“So move aside.
I need to go pick up Korin.”
Dozens of cross-shaped swords raced at her as Marie responded to the flood of swords with a single large spear.
The anti-vampire swords collided with the ultimate spell and tainted the world in red.
It was rare for Sebancia Duke to lament in awe as such.
“Indeed, her talent as a vampire is outstanding.”
An unstoppable flood of cross-shaped swords – that dimension-sealing attack which should have been unstoppable had its current shift to a different direction from the crimson spear.
The fact that she could create an outrageous spear that could scatter through dimensional spells was proof of her incredible talents.
A child whose wishes were realized by mana itself was a child blessed with mana.
A girl like that was now even able to focus an abnormal power of blood into a single cluster of energy, and that proved that she was born to be the greatest vampire.
“I admit it, Marie Dunareff.
You have talents.
And that makes you all the more dangerous.”
What kind of disaster would it lead to if a vampire of her level was to wreak havoc and go berserk?
That was why his initial goal was to seal her in this castle just like himself.
It meant nothing even if his body were to die in the process.
In fact, it would be a bargain if he could nullify a seed of catastrophe just by sacrificing his accursed body.
Sebancia Duke walked up to Marie who was in tatters after being defeated in the battle.
Despite her show of power, Sebancia Duke was still the victor and that proved just how powerful he was as the greatest hero of the past.
He gazed down at the young vampire before his eyes.
She was a baby vampire that was less than a year old, and yet she could control a familiar and could even use a Blood Realm.
She was already at the level of a Vampire Elder and… if she built up enough experience and strength, it might even be possible for her to aim to become a Vampire Lord.
She would become an absolute existence that could gather the greatest evil beings of all time, the vampires.
“I should be sealing you right now but…”
The burning red eyes of the girl displayed her unwillingness to accept defeat.
She was still planning to fight.
What was intriguing was that the reason for her unwillingness to lose was not based on herself.
Besides, according to the bits and pieces of memory that he had a look at during the fight as a vampire of a higher-status…
‘She stopped the initial blood sucking impulse and stopped herself.
Was that even possible?’
That was the reason why Sebancia was hesitant to seal her.
And in the end… he decided to trust that young spearman and let her go for the time being.
“You are very powerful and your talents are definitely at an exceptional level.
However, you are wasting your energy too much.
Your familiar is also sloppy, and is the typical outcome of having all brawn and no brain.”
“…Are you going to teach me things?”
You’re different from that spear-wielding brat, and you’re already heading to perfection.
All you need is time and you will perfect yourself after a while.”
It seemed that Sebancia Duke suddenly gave up on the idea of sealing her.
Even though Marie wasn’t able to understand the sudden shift in his ideas, she nonetheless stood up and requested once again.
“Then please send me to where Korin is…”
“If you’re talking about that man, his heart is already no longer beating.”
His next words sent her heart crashing down.
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