Chapter 345. Refinement (4)
It continued to destroy and regenerate his body amidst the pillar of flame.
The Immortal Soul squeezed out every drop of power in the body to save its owner.
It frenziedly regenerated new tissue and burnt up pieces of bone.
As he grabbed the hammer again, Hansoo felt that the Immortal Soul’s mastery had risen by quite a bit.
He didn’t have the time to slowly raise its mastery.
The war had begun, and he needed to stop it before it blew up completely.
It would be nice if Melchizedek was on the first floor, but he had to prepare for the worst case scenario.
A scenario where he’d have to go up against Clementine and Melchizedek’s underlings and forcibly take over the control center.
‘It’s… not quite enough.’
Hansoo mumbled as he felt the Immortal Soul’s mastery level rising.
This was a good method, but it wasn’t enough.
He needed a stronger opponent.
Something that could push him beyond burning his flesh.
Something that could push him to his limits.
‘Well, they never died easily… There’s a chance they can do that to me.’
Hansoo tightened his grip on the hammer, mumbling to himself as he watched the three silhouettes walking out from the now-dispersing pillar of flames.
‘What the hell are those things…?’
Kiriel mumbled as she looked at the three figures that were slowly walking towards Hansoo.
‘Are they transcendents as well?’
If Hansoo, a transcendent, could withstand having flames melt down his skin, then the only reasonable explanation that his opponents could do the same must be because they were also transcendents.
Maybe they were even stronger.
They didn’t seem the least bit injured from the flames, the same flames that had even burned Hansoo.
At that moment, a thought flashed past Kiriel’s head.
‘Shit… This isn’t good.’
There were three of them as well.
‘I must help.’
But as Kiriel was about to dash towards Hansoo…
… Te sound of something clashing with another rang throughout the air.
Something flew out at lightning speed and smashed onto the debris near Kiriel.
Kiriel dashed towards the pile of debris in dismay.
But then her expression changed.
‘It’s not Hansoo?’
Kiriel mumbled as she looked at the strange thing crawling out with broken limbs.
She’d thought that it would be much stronger than Hansoo since it had been able to withstand those flames.
So she’d expected Hansoo to be flung away.
But in the end, the one sent flying had been one of the three beings that had walked towards him.
The thing crawled out from the debris and stood up, looking at its right arm expressionlessly.
It snapped it off with its left arm, and then threw it to the ground.
‘Machine? No, a cyborg?’
There was indeed flesh, muscle, and bones within the wound.
But there were also strange machine parts in between the bits of organic matter.
As though a human and a machine had been merged together.
The mysterious being, who had just broken off his arm, looked around its surroundings.
Then it flew towards Kiriel at a speed faster than when it had been flung away.
Kiriel quickly reinforced the space around her body, and cut across the air with the Ark-Roa’s Fang in her hand.
As soon as the cyborg saw the fang, it raised its left arm as if it were trying to protect itself.
Instantly, a translucent, hexagonal shield appeared in front of the cyborg.
Inside the cyborg, strange nanobots vibrated as they supplied the shield with energy.
The fang and the shield collided.
‘They can even use skills…? And what is that?’
Kiriel looked at the strange machine parts that were emitting light from the cyborg’s hands.
She had been envious of the strange tools that Jack had used in the past.
But now it seemed like those were mere toys compared to this cyborg’s contraptions.
She looked at the cyborg’s left arm which had been split apart by the fang… and then smiled.
Kiriel’s expression lit up.
It was not weak.
It was stronger than normal transcendents because of its strange skills and advanced technology.
It was at least several times stronger than those on the brink of being a 1-Star.
But that was it.
They may be a threat to normal adventurers, but they were still a level below her.
‘But seriously… it’s well-designed.’
The strange machine parts and nanobots seemed to have been there since the cyborg’s creation; they had strengthened its every movement and skill.
Kiriel decided to slowly split it apart so she could analyze as much as she possible.
The normal adventurers accompanying Jack had been watching the scene in a daze, when suddenly they started to scream and run away.
Kiriel had been slowly walking away as well, but now she clenched her teeth.
She realized why they were acting this way.
She could feel the heat of the flaming pillar as it descended.
Power that could even melt down Hansoo, who was countless times stronger than herself.
If the pillar were to hit her, she would most likely end up half-dead.
‘Damn it! I might die!’
While Kiriel tried to run away from that location…
… The cyborg she’d been fighting with had flung itself at her to hold her down.
She tried to smash away the cyborg with the fang in her hands, but its spine seemed to hold some strange mechanism that activated a form of gravitational pull on Kiriel.
Kiriel frowned as she penetrated the cyborg with the fang.
Due to the differences in their strength, she’d been able to puncture a huge hole straight through its chest to its spine. But the cyborg ignored the blow as if it were unaffected by the pain, smashing its legs into the ground.
The Nelkipa’s skin was resistant to the flaming attacks, yet it could also be burrowed through with ease.
The cyborg planted its feet deeply into the skin, effectively immobilizing its own body as well as Kiriel’s movements.
Dodging the descending attack was now out of the question.
Kiriel sank down to her knees as she looked at the flaming pillar; it was nearly above her head.
Something appeared by her side and smacked away the cyborg from holding her down, then pulled on her arm.
Kiriel flew backwards the moment the cyborg lost its grip.
A huge pillar of flame slammed onto the spot where she’d been just moments ago.
‘Did he push me away?’
Kiriel found her balance and then stared at the flaming spot.
Hansoo had flung her away and received the attack instead.
She heard the sound of something breaking again, and an figure flew out from the flames.
In a daze, Jack and the other adventurers stared at the figure coming out of the flames.
Hansoo walked out from the flames with the hammer in his hand, his muscles and skin were constantly being healed.
The head of the cyborg, despite having received such damage, was constantly looking back and forth between Hansoo and the surrounding people.
Hansoo stomped over the cyborg’s head as he spoke,
“Melchizedek prepared quite well. It even applied a repulsion coating.”
Kiriel then realized what was going on.
As to how this thing, which was weaker then herself, had managed to withstand the heat that could even melt down Hansoo.
‘…Yeah. It must’ve prepared.’
Melchizedek was a being that had been made from the main planet Angkara and then sent here.
It would have data about that place’s weapons.
Of course, it would’ve long prepared its forces for the war against Angkara.
But Kiriel couldn’t relax.
That planet belonged to a race that could fire these powerful attacks without stopping.
For Melchizedek to prepare a war against such a race?
She could vaguely guess the strength of Melchizedek’s forces currently running around Nelkipa.
As well as the forces of the race Melchizedek had prepared this much for.
‘This is just the beginning…’
The flaming pillars and the cyborgs that withstood them were just the beginning.
Kiriel then looked to Hansoo and asked,
“Are you okay?”
“I’m feeling great.”
Hansoo smiled contentedly as he looked at his body that was regenerating at a much faster rate than before.
The best environment to train.
Of course, he wanted to just sit around here and continue training.
‘Can’t forget my goals.’
Becoming strong was just part of the process.
What mattered was the victory itself.
And what he needed for a victory was not training, but real battles.
It was better for the Immortal Soul when one received many different types of external stimuli as well.
Of course, he wasn’t worried that he wouldn’t receive such stimuli.
‘For it to be capable of making transcendent level creatures… I guess I won’t be bored on the journey to the research center.’
Hansoo mumbled as he looked at the crushed head beneath his feet.
‘All three died…’
The giant train continued to dash forward, despite having received countless strikes thanks to the repulsion coating.
The humanoid standing in the center of the research center frowned as three signals disappeared from its head.
It thought that three of its artificial transcendents would be enough to win when fighting amidst the flames.
One of the beings was much stronger than it had expected.
‘I’ll need to hurry a little more.’
“Kang Hansoo… He is called Hansoo.”
The humanoid continued to stare at the test tubes in front of it, mumbling the name of the man its three underlings had been compiling data for.
In one of the test tubes, an artificial transcendent jolted as Melchizedek mumbled Hansoo’s name.