Chapter 80. Under the Two Moons (3)
Right now, there was only one question in my mind: What was the identity of the 35th Floor Master?
"Giant Living Armor?"
After saying it, I was 100 percent sure that wasn't it. Then what? Ghost Knight? No matter what, I couldn't be sure.
The best solution was to experience it for myself. Although I was more careful in the past, after realizing how strong I was lately, I began to act more boldly.
"Mm, self-control, self-control. Otherwise, I'll regret it later."
Hubris was the greatest enemy to growth! I was only on the dungeon's 35th floor. There were many monsters, humans and other races that were stronger than me.
I had to get stronger. I wanted to become the world's strongest. If I was satisfied by my current strength and became arrogant, I could stop dreaming about growing stronger.
"Mm, good. Let's snap out of it, and get going."
Although I couldn't be arrogant, being able to objectively understand my strength was also important. Between my stats strengthened by elixirs and titles, and my two partner elementals, I was confident that I had enough strength to deal with the 35th Floor Master alone. After exhaling, I opened the door in front of me.
A deep voice rang out. I looked around the room. It was neither a wilderness nor a graveyard. I was inside a slightly dark cavern. Unlike my expectations, there were no living armors or flying weapons scattered everywhere. Inside the cavern, there was only one opponent.
He was riding a black horse and his every breath expelled a blue gas. His black horse had a body that seemed big enough to swallow an ordinary horse whole, while he himself had a build large enough to suit his horse's size. A large axe leaned against his shoulder, while he carried a helmet in one hand.
His black steel armor had sharp spikes coming out of its joints, looking extremely intimidating. More importantly, he did not have a head. It was then that I realized that the helmet he was carrying was his head.
He was the headless undead knight, Dullahan.
[You are a warrior. That posture, aura. You are not lacking to be my opponent.]
I held my Black Earthen Spear in hand and aimed it at him. As Ruyue was smaller than his horse, my spear was naturally angled up, but it wasn't to the point that it would be a disadvantage when fighting him. I was once again glad that I contracted Ruyue.
"What a coincidence. I'm happy that for the first time since I came into the dungeon, I met a proper opponent."
[Kukuku, there won't be anyone that would be unsatisfied with a warrior like yourself.]
Dullahan also gripped his large axe. Just from his posture, I could tell he was different than anyone I had faced thus far. Although he seemed lacking in the arts, I could not underestimate the strength I sensed from his size and spirit.
In regard to Floor Masters, I once wondered, 'If someone born with such physical ability honed his techniques, how strong would he be?' I would finally have my answer today. Of course, I was confident that my physical ability and techniques had also grown a lot since then.
[Luckily, we're in a wide-open space. Let's enjoy this battle to our heart's content!]
"Right, let's go!"
Dullahan and I both charged at each other. His black horse was faster! The large axe in Dullahan's hand chopped down at my head like lightning. However, I ignored the axe and thrust my spear out at his head, which his hand was carefully holding. Dullahan quickly changed the trajectory of his axe and blocked my attack. Good, so he defended when his head was attacked.
[Don't be conceited with just this much!]
"When did I act conceited!?"
I pulled my spear back quickly and attacked his wrist. With an incredible speed unfit for someone with such large build and weapon, Dullahan pulled back his axe and defended my attack once again. The resistance I felt from his defense was like an iron wall. I realized that ordinary attacks wouldn't be able to injure him.
[Weak, weak! Show me your strength!]
He wasn't someone I could fight while cracking jokes. I focused on the enemy in front of me, and the axe he was holding. If I received it directly, my strength unfortunately fell short.
I parried his attack before his strength reached its peak. When I quickened my parrying timing, his stance was ruined. Before he even noticed, his stance was slowly broken and I delivered a blow. It was the technique I used against opponents that vastly surpassed me in raw strength.
When the time was just right, I sent three consecutive stabs forward, making Dullahan fall back. At that moment, Ruyue bit the neck of Dullahan's black horse.
Even though the black horse was a Floor Master's mount, it was no match for the materialized Ruyue! When Ruyue let out her ice breath while the black horse's neck was in her mouth, the black horse screamed and jumped. Dullahan, whose stance was already ruined to a certain extent, became flustered at his black horse's wild movements. Even so, he struck down at Ruyue's neck with his axe. In that instant, my eyes flashed.
As my attack reached him in the perfect moment, Dullahan fell off his black horse. After realizing that its master had fallen off, the black horse's movements became even wilder. I shot my spear, clad with ample amount of Spirit Aura, at the black horse's half-frozen neck. I had extended my spear's reach with mana.
Kuk, as I thought, it was impossible to kill a Floor Master's beloved mount with a single hit. Although half of the black horse's neck blew up and disappeared into black smoke, the black horse seemed fine, even with what seemed like a fatal injury.
While I made Ruyue fall back for a moment, Dullahan, who had fallen off his horse, also got back up and remounted. He seemed to be enraged as he swung his axe toward me. From the bottom to top, his large axe slashed up with a threatening appearance.
Ruyue poured out freezing energy towards the axe as she threw herself to the side quickly. My cutie Ruyue was an all-purpose wolf that could go forward, backwards, and sideways! At Dullahan's normal speed, Ruyue would not be able to dodge his attack, but the ice breath she had breathed out had formed frost on his axe and slowed it down drastically.
"You noticed too late! Tempest!"
Making Ruyue charge towards him once more, I shot out a harsh spiral of mana with my spear. I didn't think a single Tempest could make him falter. As such, I shot out 5 consecutive Tempests. Rather than Dullahan, his black horse staggered and stepped back.
[Kuk, then how about this!?]
In an instant, something incredibly startling happened. Dullahan had thrown his axe! It wasn't just the axe that flew towards me. A black aura was imbued in the axe's double-edged blades. Just looking at it gave me chills.
Although I fell back on Ruyue, the axe even had a homing function. When Ruyue created an ice wall with her elemental magic, the axe easily shattered the wall and continued forward. Behind it, Dullahan rushed forward, following his axe! I gritted my teeth and glared at the axe. I had to smack it down. Both of them!
[It's the second time today!]
[It's true! You can ride amusement park rides if you follow Crown Prince!]
A five-colored whirlpool raged around the spear I held up. In the trajectory Elemental Tempest drew, I included both Dullahan and his axe, and shot it out.
The axe directly clashed with Elemental Tempest, but soon lost its black aura and bounced up. Dullahan coming from behind then faced the storm head on.
"Alright, it's time for counterattack!"
I hurriedly took out a Mana Potion and stuck it in my mouth. My goal was to deliver a blow before Dullahan recovered his axe. Ruyue kicked off the ground with vigor. However, before I could thrust my spear into his head...
In an instant, I ducked on Ruyue's back at the sense of unease I felt. As if to prove my decision was correct, Dullahan's axe flew past where my head was with a bone-chilling whoosh. I thought it had lost its energy, but Dullahan was controlling it the entire time!
Although I then picked myself up and thrust out my spear, Dullahan easily blocked the attack with his axe. However, his black horse was bitten Ruyue again. While the master couldn't do his job, the elemental was racking up contribution.
[You horse! Endure the pain!]
"Ku, I'll make it so that it doesn't have to!"
In an instant, my spear severed the black horse's head. Would it continue running without its head like Dullahan? Although I tensed up and put more strength into my grip, what I was worried about thankfully did not happen. After losing its head, the black horse disappeared into black smoke without a sound and Dullahan fell to the ground.
When I shouted while thrusting my spear forward, Peika created a spear of lightning in mid-air and shot it in Dullahan's head. Paralyzed by the shock from Peika's lightning spear, Dullahan could not get up. Ruyue then freely stepped on his body.
"Good job, Ruyue!"
I didn't stay still either. I stabbed my spear at the bracelet on his wrist, which was protecting his head. After a moment, the bracelet exploded and his rotting bare arm revealed its appearance.
My mana was now dangerously low! Not even half the cooldown time of the last potion I drank passed, but my mana had fallen below 30%. As a result, I was feeling slightly dizzy. However, because the Heroic Strike went in successfully, the left arm protecting his head broke completely. At the same time, his head fell and rolled away from his body. With this, I thought I had ascertained my victory.
What followed immediately after instantly changed my mind.
At his roar that stung my ears, I instantly fell back on Ruyue's back. The place I was standing was then struck by his axe, creating a fissure in the ground. Without even thinking about recovering his head, Dullahan staggered as he got up.
I could not understand why. With his head away from his body, I thought it would have a negative effect on him, but the aura he was emitting seemed to be getting stronger.
Holding the large axe with one hand, he held it up high. Because I felt uneasy, I immediately ordered Ruyue.
The moment Ruyue canceled her materialization, I shot a Heroic Strike at his right arm. Surprisingly, he was in a super-armored state! After taking my spear, which contained all of my mana, without batting an eye, Dullahan stuck his axe into ground. Once again, I instinctively yelled out.
Immediately afterwards, the ground tremored and countless shards of rocks stormed towards me!