Chapter 216. The Queen’s Second Lesson (1)
The only fiend left on the top of Dragon Rock, Fuze, frowned. It was difficult for him to install two Quarantine (B) at once, which was his skill.
'Maybe it's because it has been a while, but it's not easy.’
He could only maintain this state for about an hour. But Fuze thought that the second quarantine space would end sooner or later. He was currently maintaining two quarantine spaces. One was the wide-area quarantine that isolated the entire Port Lane from the outside world while the other was a small area to help in Pride’s fight.
‘Leader has never let his guard down against an enemy.’
That was the scary thing about Pride, the leader of the Pride Squadron. Every little thing was calculated. He had always been like that. Betraying his dull-like appearance, he was a man with good brains as well as power.
‘Even looking at it now, it’s the same. He could rip him apart to death without my skill, but he’s going the safe route.’
Pride had no qualms about using everything he could use.
‘The opponent may be an elemental skill user, but he wouldn’t lose to a Player in his second year of debut.’
Fuze didn’t sympathize with his opponent. He blamed him instead.
"What did you come butting in for? If you have that much power, you should have just calmly become a fiend.”
Giving up this life of freedom where you could live as you wanted instead of protecting human rights, it was a foolish and cowardly way of living that he couldn’t understand.
‘If he wasn't an ice elemental user, he would have already blown up to death by Leader's explosive pinballs by now.’
The balls were named pinballs due to the fact that they kept bouncing around. They were Pride’s favorite weapon. The maximum number of balls he could handle at once was astonishingly 1,000 balls.
'Looking at the current situation, it'll be over soon.’
As he looked at the two men's duel, Fuze’s expression quickly stiffened.
Seo Jun-Ho's body moved like lightning. His body was constantly moving, and his eyes were moving even faster. He had even raised the output of Overclocking to 50%.
‘At this level, it’s the same state as when I was playing around with Cheetey’s speed in Forever Land...’
But it was no match for these hundreds of pinballs…
'There are too many balls.’
Every pinball was a weapon of murder and avoiding a ball once didn’t mean it was the end of it.
This was because the balls would bounce off the transparent walls and would come to him again from the other side. Unlike the busily moving Seo Jun-Ho, Pride was watching Seo Jun-Ho’s resistance with his arms crossed.
"Hmm, you're working hard.”
Pride looked very relaxed, but in fact he was also fighting hard. This was because he was calculating in his head how to put the hundreds of bouncing balls into a certain orbit.
‘If I leave him alone, he’ll die on his own. That'd be troublesome.’
Pride's goal was to take only one or two of Seo Jun-Ho’s arms or legs. That level of injury could easily be cured with the potion he always carried around. In addition, there were excellent healers in the Fiend Association.
'My pinballs will wrap around your neck like a noose.’
Pride thought Seo Jun-Ho's resistance would only be for a short time, since a human’s stamina wasn’t infinite. No matter how good a Player or a fiend was, they couldn’t fight forever.
‘Someone of my level could fight nonstop for about four days.’
But it was impossible for a Player in his second year to have such stamina and mental power.
"Well, unless he's the reincarnation of Specter," Pride smirked, thinking how ridiculous of a joke that was.
How could a man who was still alive, reincarnate?
'Well, the most important thing is that I don't intend to continue this hunt that long.’
Pride's demonic energy fluctuated and at the same time…
The pinballs passing by Seo Jun-Ho ignored the rules of motion and stopped, then their paths twisted.
Of course, Seo Jun-Ho was in the place where the balls were going. Short of breath, he moved like a flying squirrel while continuously using Frost.
He froze the pinballs flying toward him, but freezing dozens at a time was his limit.
‘Damn it, the balls are too fast.’
Of course, there was a way to freeze hundreds of balls without having to put up with this hassle. It was to freeze the whole space. Naturally, that would take a tremendous amount of magic.
‘If I fail to manage my magic properly while dealing with a leader-level fiend… There will be nothing but death for me.’
Even today's fight wouldn’t end with this. Seo Jun-Ho also had to deal with the fiends who were currently hunting the monster in the sea. Unlike Pride, Seo Jun-Ho had a lot of reasons to manage his stamina and magic properly.
"That is not how you use that technique...”
Seo Jun-Ho was busy and was having a headache, but the Frost Queen next to him suddenly muttered.
Annoyed, Seo Jun-Ho snapped back. "What do you want me to do better here? This is my best, so don't disturb me!"
"Hmm… Back in my days, I could freeze not hundreds, but thousands of them." The Frost Queen let out a light sigh and shook her head. "It cannot be helped. It will be troublesome if you die… I will help you just this once."
"Huuu, I am worried. If I keep helping you out like this, you might develop a bad habit...” The Frost Queen murmured seriously like a zealous school parent.
Seo Jun-Ho wanted to shout something emotionally, but he was in a bad situation.
"No, if you're going to help me, do it quick."
"Contractor? You have to speak politely when you ask someone to do something."
"Plese hep me…"
When Seo Jun-Ho clenched his teeth and spoke, the Frost Queen grinned and slowly took off her blindfold. All of a sudden, hundreds of pinballs in the area froze and fell to the ground. Witnessing this, Seo Jun-Ho was shocked.
‘It's not just the whole space being frozen.’
She froze each of Pride’s hundreds of pinballs flying around like crazy after ‘looking’ at them. Seo Jun-Ho was surprised by the Frost Queen’s monstrous skill.
At the same time, his briefly dazed mind quickly returned to normal. Although the Frost Queen's technique would consume his mental strength, the biggest advantage that it had was that it wouldn’t consume his magic.
‘Fortunately, my mental strength has long surpassed that of a human being.’
Not to mention the S-grade passive skill, 'Hero’s Mind,’ he had also consumed a mental strength potion made from a Cinder Fox’s Core created by the alchemist Shasha Alkheni, who was living in seclusion in Gilleon. He was confident that his current mental strength wouldn’t be inferior even if it was compared to the Nine Heavens.
"Huuu, this is how you use this technique. Do you understand?"
But why? Why was he getting heated by that small Spirit’s words even though he had such a tremendous amount of mental strength?
"Hey, if you show me once and ask me if I understand, what do you want me to do?” Seo Jun-Ho wanted to complain more, but he suddenly shut his lips tight.
‘That's not how you use a spear.’
‘Players these days are problematic. Everyone could do this much during my days.’
‘What? You can't do this? Why?’
Those were all the things he had always said.
‘It didn’t matter when I did it, but hearing it from others, it makes me mad.’
Seo Jun-Ho slightly massaged the back of his neck and said, "Anyway, thanks."
"Do not mention it. If I do not save my weak Contractor, who will?"
It had been a long time since the Frost Queen had taken an active role. However, shortly afterward, Pride picked up a fallen pinball without saying a word.
It was completely frozen through to the point that there was no room for any excuses. Normally, Pride would have, of course, thought that his opponent had overdone it.
"But it's different…"
The moment the hundreds of pinballs were frozen, Seo Jun-Ho’s face distorted as if he had a headache. But Pride didn't feel a huge flow of magic. There was one conclusion that Pride came to from those little clues.
"Is it a Spirit?"
Seo Jun-Ho hid his surprise and instead of showing any fluster, he frowned. "A Spirit? What are you talking about?"
"Hmph, that's cute."
But Pride was already convinced. He got only one more clue from Seo Jun-Ho's excellent acting.
"What a deceiving performance. You have the makings of a great actor,” Pride spoke in a convoluted manner and once again opened his Inventory. "With this level of ability... Is it a Common-grade Spirit?"
"W-What are you talking about? I am a Grade 2 Arch Spirit." The Frost Queen shook her head violently and denied it.
"Hmm, but it's strange.” Pride tilted his head. "When you used the ice elemental skill earlier, you definitely used magic, but you didn’t use magic just a moment ago."
With that, Pride could make two assumptions.
"One is that you deceived me by releasing magic for no reason, and the other is...” Pride grinned. It was a sweet-looking smile like when Holmes’s succeeded in his deduction. "You have an ice elemental skill, and you also have an ice elemental Spirit.”
Seo Jun-Ho's eyes turned cold.
‘I can’t let him leave alive.’
Pride knew too many things that he shouldn’t know. At the same time, Seo Jun-Ho’s vigilance against the Fiend Association increased.
'He's pretty smart and he's quite powerful. But if he's only 37th...’
What kind of monsters were there above him?
Noticing Seo Jun-Ho’s stiff expression, the Frost Queen spoke, "Contractor, do you remember when I taught you before?"
"The training that kept me from sleeping to embody the same look as Fragarach?"
Seo Jun-Ho's expression stiffened once more, but it was due to a different reason. He really thought that he was going to go crazy back then.
‘Of course, the effect of the teaching itself was great.’
Since then, using Frost itself had become much smoother, its power had improved, and his control over it had become even more precise.
"So you still remember it. Then, let's start the second lesson right now."
"Now? Here—in the middle of battle?"
"It's a training that’s only possible because we are in combat right now." The Frost Queen turned her head and looked at Pride. Once again, hundreds of pinballs popped out of his Inventory. "This time, do not use my strength. Instead, try it yourself."
"I don't have time for that now...”
"We may never come across a better environment."
Seo Jun-Ho certainly agreed with that opinion. They would be hard-pressed to find someone else with similar skills as Pride who could control hundreds of incessantly bouncing balls.
"What do I need to do?"
"First, look at the big picture," said the Frost Queen, spreading her arms.
Her figure from behind was still small, but at that moment, she looked like a Queen encompassing the world.
"You only look at the trees, not the forest. It is a habit you have probably made when you were still using a destructive power like the Watchguard of Darkness. It is a bad habit that does not go well with Frost.”
Frost could freeze everything. It could literally freeze everything. Therefore, the user had to look at the world with a bigger-than-usual view.
"See clearly what you need to freeze. Measure how much you want to freeze it."
"I understand it in my head, but it's not easy."
There was no problem perceiving each pinball one at a time. In fact, by perceiving them, he could freeze dozens of them.
"But it's impossible to perceive hundreds of pinballs as targets at once."
"Make it happen, even if it is difficult. Do it right now."
"What kind of ridiculous request is that?"
"Why do you think it is ridiculous? You are already fully equipped with the ability. You have dynamic visual acuity, computational power, and you’re decent at controlling Frost."
Just as she said, Seo Jun-Ho was in a state where he had met all the basic conditions to implement exactly what Frost Queen had done. The Frost Queen pointed her slender finger forward and commanded, "From now on, Contractor, look at the forest, not just the trees."
Look at the forest, not just the trees?
‘Honestly, I don't have a clue what you're talking about...’
But if he kept learning from this old-fashioned Spirit queen, he would probably be able to do it eventually. Seo Jun-Ho relaxed his mind a bit. As he stabilized his mind, his vision expanded and his view expanded.