Chapter 98: The War Begins

The roar shook the atmosphere.

My eardrums screamed as the shockwave acted like an invisible whip, lashing against my skin.

The noise was akin to a colossal bell tolling or lightning striking nearby; it was the sound of the Hydra’s poison colliding with my kei blast.

The winner was my kei blast.

Like a sharp spear piercing through a thick shield, my kei blast penetrated and scattered the rapidly approaching ball of poison.

Not only that, it also directly hit the head of the Hydra that had breathed out its poisonous breath.

At that instant, the dragon’s face twisted in agony, its red eyes glowing fiercely as it recoiled and retreated.

It was as if it had been punched by an invisible giant, its lengthy neck swaying like a willow branch.

For a moment, an indescribable roar—neither of agony nor surprise—echoed.

Hearing that roar, I landed on the ground with a loud noise, and immediately brandished my soul equipment.

As the soul equipment roared with power, the Hydra seemed to sense something, and another neck, besides the one that breathed out, turned towards me.

Now, two of its eight necks faced me. The other six were still looking forward. I was clearly not its main focus, but that didn’t matter.

All I had to do was strike and make them turn towards me.

I aimed for the head that was shaking after taking the direct hit of the kei blast. I would cut its neck muscles and reduce the eight necks to seven.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, the new neck that was turning towards me was still in the middle of its movement. It was a slow, sluggish movement. The Hydra seemed to have nothing to do with agile movements due to its enormous size.

Towards that Hydra, I swung down my soul equipment filled with power.

The invisible blade of power rapidly reduced the distance between the Hydra and me, and attacked the neck covered in scales.

The next moment…


I furrowed my brows. The attack I had just launched had easily penetrated into the Hydra’s neck.

I couldn’t feel the hardness or strength of the Hydra’s scales, which were said to be like dragon scales.

That wasn’t all. The Hydra’s thick neck was easily cut in two, just like a overripe fruit falling from a branch. The Hydra’s head fell, making a soft thud, and then disappeared into the sea of poison. It took no time for it to completely disappear from my sight.

Although it was a successful shot, the lack of resistance made me instinctively wary.

I could feel the flow of souls, so it was unlikely to be an illusion or disguise. However, the amount was only as much as a basilisk. It was not small, but it was far from a significant amount to be one-eighth of a mythical creature.

It won’t be as simple as shooting seven more times and cutting off all the heads to receive praise.

As evidence of this, the Hydra didn’t react at all to losing one of its necks.

Despite having its neck severed by a single blow, the Hydra appeared to be unfazed by the attack and showed no signs of pain or threat.

However, while I was thinking about this, the cross-section of the cut neck suddenly bulged. Blood didn’t spurt out. If anything, flesh juices spurt out.

The overflowing juices continue to expand as if they have a will of their own, making an eerie sound straight to the heavens, long and thick like a towering pillar.

Then, after ascending to a certain height, it started to pulsate violently and eventually transformed into a familiar lump of meat.


I sensed what was about to happen and aimed my next attack at the regenerating neck.

However, my attack was blocked by another head that had just appeared.

The Hydra’s skull was cut at an angle, causing the head that was facing me to burst with a sound. As a result, blood and brain matter scattered from the wounded Hydra’s skull.

And while all this was happening, the first neck had already finished regenerating. The second neck had also begun to regenerate, just like the first time.

In other words, this is probably the characteristics of the Hydra.

It’s easily cut, but it also easily regenerates. And every time it is attacked, it scatters its fierce poison that even rots its own scales and drives its enemies away.

It’s a troublesome defense method that can be said to have grasped its own characteristic of poison, which is far more effective than simply protecting itself with a tough scale.

In my case, I was able to avoid the effects of the poison because I attacked from a distance, but if I had actually stuck to the body of the Hydra and swung my sword, I wouldn’t have been safe, bathing in the scattered flesh and blood.

So, what to do?

Because the soul enters every time it is cut, it is not damage-free. There is also the option of continuously releasing kei blast. If I am in my current state of synchronization, I won’t run out of energy even if I fight for a whole day.

However, this option seems too impractical. Furthermore, if the Hydra’s recovery exceeds the damage I inflict, I could end up in an endless battle, even if I fight for a hundred days straight.

Above all, the six heads that haven’t faced me yet deny the effectiveness of this way of fighting. If this option becomes a threat to the Hydra, All eight heads should bare their fangs at me.

Currently, my danger level is two heads. That was the evaluation made by the Hydra.

“If that’s the case, I’ll force you to turn around.”

I never thought that I could defeat the mythical creature only with kei blast.

There are three ways to purify impurities from ancient times. To flow into water, to bury in soil, or to burn with fire.

Considering the Hydra’s characteristic of fierce poison, it is better to avoid water and soil. Then, the only option is fire.

Use Phantom blade style, Blaze.

Once again, I will swing the flaming sword that buried the Snake King, Basilisk.

The reason I haven’t used this technique until today is partly because kei blast was more convenient to use, but more simply because it was too difficult to execute properly.

In short, it’s too powerful. If used in the city, it will certainly cause a fire. This was also the case in the Forest Titty and the Mountain Skim.

You can burn down the area with the target of the attack – it’s a swordsmanship that can only be used in such a situation.

And, fortunately or unfortunately, that’s exactly the situation now. I can freely swing the flaming sword than when I faced the Basilisk.

I kicked the ground and approached the Hydra. Blaze doesn’t have the range of kei blast. To deliver an effective hit, I had to get as close to the Hydra as possible.

But that means you have to step on the ground, rotting and polluted by the deadly poison. Unfortunately, I don’t have the special skills to run over swamps. So, attacking with Blaze was impossible – until not long ago.

What I learned from the battle with Gozu is not only about Soul Equipment.

I also learned many things about handling kei. One of them is walking.

Until now, I had only focused on strengthening my leg muscles. However, Gozu had the idea to not only strengthen his legs but also control the soles of his feet. It’s like walking on a cobblestone path made of powerful kei?

Without a solid ground to step on, even the strongest legs can’t provide enough speed. To overcome this, the phantom blade style School built their own scaffolding.

If one is an expert user of kei, they can run across the surface of the sea from the continent to demon island.

Although I possess a large amount of powerful kei, my control over it is not yet refined enough to reach that level. However, I can still run on the poisonous swamp and step on it without harm.

The Hydra naturally reacted to my approach, but its movements were slow, perhaps due to its recent revival. Regardless, an opportunity is an opportunity.

I raised my sword high and brought it down in a powerful swing.

“Phantom Blade Style: Blaze”

At that moment, the torrent of flames that spurted from my powerful kei reminded me of a great river with a broken bank.

The blaze that consumed the two heads of the Hydra like a literal torrent also attacked its torso.

The blood that covered the surface of the Hydra’s body evaporated in an instant, and a roar echoed throughout the area.

The scales of the area where it received a direct hit were blown away by the impact, and the skin melted and fell off due to the intense heat.

The revealed flesh of the mythical species melted from the high heat and toxic fumes rose.

After observing the scene for a while, I moved the corners of my mouth into a smile.

“As I thought, wounds caused by fire don’t regenerate.”

Earlier, when I slashed with Kei blast, there was barely any time between being wounded and the start of regeneration. On the other hand, there was no sign of regeneration from the wounds caused by the blaze.

The same was true for the two heads that were swallowed by the current. The half-burned heads fell weakly and then sank into the sea of poison without a sound. There was no sign of getting up, nor any sign of regeneration.

—Before I knew it, the Hydra had stopped its advance.

The six heads that had not even looked at me before now all turned towards me.

And then, two of them moved while baring their fangs.

I tried to retreat while being cautious of their bite, but the Hydra’s target was not me but its own heads that had stopped moving after being burned.

It bit, tore, and devoured its heads from the root. The heads that were severed from the torso sank into the poison sea with a plop.

Whether it was called fratricide or self-harm, I raised my eyebrows at the Hydra’s unexpected actions, but the reason for this mysterious behavior was soon revealed.

Juice overflowed from the roots of the devoured heads, and the regeneration began immediately.

Wounds caused by fire don’t regenerate, but if you devour the wound itself, it seems that is no longer the case.

“Hahaha! Yes, that’s it! It wouldn’t be fun otherwise!!”

I involuntarily laughed out loud as I saw the Hydra, which had returned to eight heads in an instant.

If wounds caused by fire don’t regenerate, and if I was able to defeat the creature as it was, then was it truly a mythical creature? Was it even a dragon?

That would be very disappointing.

I don’t intend to enjoy a hard-fought battle. But I don’t hope for an easy victory either.

This is a battle with a mythical species, and I expected a thorough and intense fight in which I could rise one or two levels. I want to conquer the Hydra after winning that fight.

In that sense, the Hydra’s actions now were very good.

Thinking about that, I faced the Hydra once again.

It might seem like the situation had returned to the beginning since the Hydra had returned to eight heads, but that was not the case.

Now, the Hydra had stopped advancing and all eight heads were aimed at me. In other words, the Hydra had fully recognized me as an enemy.

It was not a return to the beginning.

Now, finally, my battle with the Hydra had begun.

The expression on my face as I prepared to release the next blaze was so clearly joyful that even I could tell.

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