Possessing Nothing - Chapter 130
Editors: Ytho, LaidBackGuy
Heoju let out a baffled cry. He wasn’t sure how Crazy Heavenly Demon was able to use his power, but it was true that he could. Lee Sungmin breathed heavily as all of his muscles strained to maintain the momentum of the attack.
He pushed the hand holding the spear harder.
Crazy Heavenly Demon’s eyebrows shot up. He admired that Lee Sungmin was quite profound, unlike his outer appearance. Not just that.
‘What is this?’
He felt something unusual whenever they clashed. He had thought it was his Inner Force Shield at first, but it wasn’t. Although Crazy Heavenly Demon had encountered various types of martial arts, none of the warriors who fought with him had such strange and impressive martial arts.
“Feels so refreshing!”
Crazy Heavenly Demon didn’t hesitate but rather burst into laughter and strengthened his defense aura. Lee Sungmin was startled and forced to step back at its intensity as it flared up.
Crazy Heavenly Demon roared. He ran forward first with a loud battle cry. A strong Defense Aura permeating his body while moving at a terrifying speed turned the Crazy Heavenly Demon into a vivid painting of violence. Lee Sungmin unhesitatingly immediately performed Lightning Annihilation, the Nine Heavenly Spear’s techniques’ fifth move.
The attack pierced through Crazy Heavenly Demon’s chest. No, it only seemed to go through. Crazy Heavenly Demon burst out into a big smile and extended his right hand up to his chest.
They clashed with a ringing echo. Lee Sungmin realized somewhat belatedly that the Crazy Heavenly Demon was a true Transcendent warrior. He had the confidence to beat Aine by a considerable margin during their fight, but he had no confidence in coming out victorious over the Crazy Heavenly Demon.
When he encountered Juwon in that snowy field, When he met Geniella in Travia, And when he met Wijihoyeon’s Doppelganger in the dungeon. The tension he felt when standing in front of the enemy and the foreboding feeling of death sharpened Lee Sungmin’s senses.
Heoju shouted inside Lee Sungmin’s mind.
[Some dog bastard that rolled out of nowhere dares to touch my powers!]
(T/N: the original line is a proverb that’s something along the lines of being a dog that only knows to play with bones aka unreasonable or nonsense)
Heoju was truly angered. The enormous power he had had before being subdued and sealed with his body destroyed. Heoju had thought that his powers were extinguished along with his body, but the power used by Crazy Heavenly Demon was exactly the same as the powers that he had back then. There was no way that Heoju himself couldn’t recognize his own powers.
[Don’t kill him! We have to catch him and question him!]
‘Shut up! Don’t say such irresponsible things!’
Lee Sungmin clenched his teeth and shouted in his mind. Don’t kill? It was a difficult fight to begin with, and the Crazy Heavenly Demon’s dense Defense Aura was threatening enough to kill Lee Sungmin already. There was no way he could kill him.
Lee Sungmin ignored Heoju’s cries and shot out his spear. Spearheads were delivered by the dozen, making a dizzying scene and piercing the air toward the Crazy Heavenly Demon.
“What a good trick!”
(T/N: 雜技 aka jabgi are miscellaneous types of martial arts. Usually used for small-time trickery)
Crazy Heavenly Demon hollered. He belittled Lee Sungmin’s brilliant Nine Heavenly Spears technique as a mere simple trick and smashed the spear intent in a blast. Lee Sungmin stepped back quickly, then jumped out again. He performed a fusion of Two-step Calamitous and Shadowless. Lee Sungmin charged forward to stab at Crazy Heavenly Demon’s side, leaving an afterimage behind him as dozens of afterimages inundated Crazy Heavenly Demon’s field of view.
“What a performance!”
The Crazy Heavenly Demon commented carelessly as he looked at Lee Sungmin’s martial arts. He was extremely pleased. How long had it been since he had been able to fight while conscious since qi deviating? How nice it was to fight with his own will without losing his reason. Crazy Heavenly Demon lifted his arms with a crazed laugh.
Lee Sungmin, who was about to stab Crazy Heavenly Demon, sensed danger. His judgment was correct. An intensely red Defense Aura exploded around Crazy Heavenly Demon. It was only an aura that was protecting him, but it created a strong storm that could wipe out anyone nearby.
“You have good insight!”
Crazy Heavenly Demon chuckled and stretched his right hand towards Lee Sungmin. Lee Sungmin twisted the spear in his hands fiercely.
The spearhead shot out, tearing through the air, and pushed the Crazy Heavenly Demon’s right hand back.
Lee Sungmin twisted his waist to pull back the spear that he had thrown out. A blunt spearhead aimed at Crazy Heavenly Demon’s face.
Crazy Heavenly Demon evaded with a backflip and landed on the ground with both hands, before turning and kicking at Lee Sungmin. Lee Sungmin stepped back in alarm, avoiding Crazy Heavenly Demon’s kick. He thought he was only good at playing around, but he would not have had the title Heavenly Demon if he wasn’t so strong.
‘Are all the Heavenly Demons such monsters?!’
The Minor Heavenly Demon Wijihoyeon, and the Crazy Heavenly Demon Byuk Wonpae. He hadn’t met the Bloody Heavenly Demon yet, but the other two were so strong that he couldn’t imagine how strong the Bloody Heavenly Demon would be.
[What are you doing! Use my powers!]
Lee Sungmin snapped in response to Heoju’s cry. His powers were unusual. The recoil during use was also large, so he didn’t want to use it. Lee Sungmin parried Crazy Heavenly Demon’s twin heads with the Ran and Na techniques. It wasn’t a direct hit, but his hands still shook. Lee Sungmin invested more of his inner force into the fight. Thanks to the Greater and Lesser Restoration pills and the Jewel Mana pill from the dungeon, the amount of inner force that Lee Sungmin could use was sufficient even for a fight against the Crazy Heavenly Demon.
‘Wow, just look at this guy!’
Was it a confrontation of inner force? Crazy Heavenly Demon took the lead with a Seven Star attack and watched Lee Sungmin’s response. He performed Nine Dragon Spirit. Crazy Heavenly Demon pushed both arms forward, feeling a sense of resistance. He poured in more inner force without hesitation.
A huge explosion occurred between the two. Lee Sungmin stepped back from the impact of the explosion, while the Crazy Heavenly Demon raised his arms to guard against it.
“Are you that Minor Heavenly Demon?”
Crazy Heavenly Demon spat out.
“Are you that famous Minor Heavenly Demon? This is a fun fight, but I don’t understand. You don’t look very old, but you have this level of strength and martial arts… Or are you a halfling?”
“I am not the Minor Heavenly Demon. I’m not a Halfling either.”
It was only then that Crazy Heavenly Demon spoke to him. To be honest, Lee Sungmin no longer wanted to fight Crazy Heavenly Demon. Unlike Lee Sungmin, who was running out of inner force, Crazy Heavenly Demon seemed to be attacking carefreely. He would have to take advantage of Heoju’s powers to continue fighting, but Lee Sungmin didn’t want to.
“I don’t want to fight anymore. I don’t even see a reason to fight. So at this poin-”
The Crazy Heavenly Demon screamed to interrupt Lee Sungmin as if he didn’t want to hear anymore. Shouting wasn’t the only thing he did. The Crazy Heavenly Demon stomped heavily down on the ground, crumbling the space he was standing to dust. He took a step forward and cracked the ground, causing splinters to shoot up out of it before using both hands to hit the air. The floating debris gathered into a fierce storm and shot like a shell towards Lee Sungmin.
You could use strength like this too? Lee Sungmin could not help but admire the ferocity of the Crazy Heavenly Demon’s technique. But the problem was that it was also tricky to deal with.
How should he respond?
It was a pleasant and frightening worry. Heoju shouted inside his head, but Lee Sungmin had stopped listening already. He also stopped trying to convince Crazy Heavenly Demon. The martial arts he had practiced for 2100 years in his subconscious realm, that hell-like bullshit. Just like a machine, he would perform, correct, and suffer.
Why did he keep going? He could’ve stopped at any time. Still, the reason he was holding on remained. He didn’t want to give up. He didn’t want to remain weak.
He liked martial arts.
The tip of the spear accelerated ahead like a bullet and shot down the debris. Lee Sungmin stepped forward, jumping toward the Crazy Heavenly Demon in a way that would have dizzied any casual observer. The Crazy Heavenly Demon was delighted to see Lee Sungmin flying at him and greeted Lee Sungmin with his arms wide open as if embracing him.
He was out of breath. He would meet certain death if he made the slightest mistake while attacking. Shooting, defending, pushing, moving away, digging. Crazy Heavenly Demon was busy moving both hands and getting attacked by Lee Sungmin. Lee Sungmin’s spear aimed for a gap in Crazy Heavenly Demon’s movements by turning in straight lines and curves freely, but Crazy Heavenly Demon’s Defense Aura, fast feet, and large hands blocked Lee Sungmin at every turn.
‘Where are you looking?’
Crazy Heavenly Demon looked into Lee Sungmin’s eyes. They were fighting in reality. However, Lee Sungmin’s eyes seemed to be looking beyond Crazy Heavenly Demon. Crazy Heavenly Demon even enjoyed that.
‘Are your eyes watching something far away even in a moment that could decide life and death? Haha! What a great opponent!’
Lee Sungmin himself wasn’t entirely sure. Was it Wijihoyeon that he was looking toward? Or was it more than that? Perhaps it was the vampire queen, Geniella, or Freskan. In fact, it could’ve been any of them. Lee Sungmin wanted to go beyond them all.
Heoju was silent. In fact, if he ate his heart, Heoju could add power to Lee Sungmin. Lee Sungmin’s body was running out of inner force, just like the fight against Wijihoyeon’s Doppelganger in the dungeon. Heoju was more than willing to swallow it up, but Lee Sungmin would never let that happen.
Heoju remained silent. His inner force was diminishing, which was only advantageous for Crazy Heavenly Demon. Lee Sungmin was doing his best, but Crazy Heavenly Demon was still relaxed. The Crazy Heavenly Demon Byuk Wonpae had reigned in Eria for thousands of years. Before the Minor Heavenly Demon came to Eria, and even before the Bloody Heavenly Demon came to Eria. The Crazy Heavenly Demon had lived in Eria for thousands of years, and had been the only individual in Eria worthy of the Heavenly Demon title before the other two appeared.
‘He’s strong. I don’t know by how much, but he’s definitely stronger than that bitch’s doppelganger.’
Lee Sungmin had had a hard time facing Wijihoyeon’s doppelganger just six months ago. He would have died in that dungeon if not for Heoju’s help. But what about now? Lee Sungmin, as of ‘now’, could face the Crazy Heavenly Demon, who was stronger than Wijihoyeon’s Doppelganger, even if he wasn’t fighting seriously.
‘My growth rate is tremendous. No, this isn’t my growth rate. It’s what I’ve already experienced. I’m just quickly travelling over a familiar path.’
It was amazing. Heoju had heard all of it from Lee Sungmin. He knew that Lee Sungmin had undertaken Denir’s trial for 2100 years. Honestly, when he heard the story, Heoju could not help but laugh. Even after a period of 2100 years, he was only at that level! If he was a genius with true talent, it would only have taken 100 years for Lee Sungmin to reach the level that he had reached in 2100 years. No, just 50 years would be enough.
Even so, those 2100 years weren’t meaningless. Even if it were in his subconscious, the time of 2100 years was not shallow. His tenacity that came from who knows where was astounding.
Was it enlightenment back then? Is this enlightenment too? No. Rather, his consciousness was clear. He was sure. He was aware of what he was doing. But it was more uncomfortable than usual. To make a comparison… After a single step, he felt like he could see how he was moving.
(T/N: 無我 Buddhist concept of ‘no-self’. It’s not quite selflessness. Closer to a sort of divine enlightenment)
‘Not quite like that.’
Lee Sungmin pointed out to himself. The moments between attack and defense split into fragments that he could observe. He could control all of his movements, including attack, defense, and evasion, on both conscious and unconscious levels.
His mind seemed to burn. Maybe it was actually happening.
‘Don’t defend there. A little further back… ’
His body was moving while a part of his mind was stepping back and looking at it. His mind interrupted with more advice. However, it was too late for that. His body was already defending.
It was frustrating. He could do better. More naturally. No, no, no. Lee Sungmin continued to rebuke himself. Soon, his lips opened, and he unconsciously started murmuring the word ‘no’ repeatedly.
‘What does he mean, ‘no’?’
A question rose to the Crazy Heavenly Demon’s lips. But he didn’t ask it. He felt like he couldn’t, even with an Eight Star move.
‘What an amazing guy. Progressing even in the middle of a fight with me… No. Could this even be called progress?’
He had seen a lot of people who had achieved sudden enlightenment at the end of their lives. But a single, sudden enlightenment wouldn’t make him stand out. Enlightenment was a vague and fleeting thing. Unless you could cut through your opponent using the momentary enlightenment, it would break through the harmony of your mind, body, and spirit. If that happened, then what? You would face imminent death. It was a double-edged sword of an opportunity that came during a life-and-death moment.
But what about him?
‘This… I don’t get it. You’re just getting stronger. How on earth?’
Crazy Heavenly Demon didn’t know of the time that Lee Sungmin had spent in his subconscious or the level that Lee Sungmin reached there. His body was still too weak to reach the level he had achieved there. He couldn’t have known of the painstaking practice Lee Sungmin had gone through in his subconscious with such a distorted mind, body, and heart.
‘This won’t do. A little more power.’
If he had had more inner force in the beginning, he would not be in this situation. Crazy Heavenly Demon boosted his attack power. If you were an expert like Crazy Heavenly Demon, it would not be a problem to burn more inner force to attack or defend. It would not create a ‘gap’.
However, Lee Sungmin found the Crazy Heavenly Demon’s ‘gap’.
The cry from his mind caused his body to move. Lee Sungmin’s feet stretched forward. It immediately led him to perform Shadowless’ Two-step Calamitous End. Aura flared up and threatened the Crazy Heavenly Demon. Though surprised, the Crazy Heavenly Demon responded appropriately to the strange movements. His hand casually took over the flow of the attack. He spread it gently, aiming to scatter it.
The spear rotated in Lee Sungmin’s hands and cut out a path. Nine Heavenly Spears techniques’ sixth move, Void Rendering. The strength that Crazy Heavenly Demon exerted was swept away by the rotation of the void. Lee Sungmin’s spear shot forward in a straight line.
Crazy Heavenly Demon sounded astonished. He couldn’t play around anymore. Crazy Heavenly Demon placed his hands in front of his chest at the point where the attack had pierced through. A huge tornado centered around Crazy Heavenly Demon as he pulled out his inner force from his Dantian.
It was a super move (奧義) from the Blood Ring of the Heavenly Demon (血環神魔攻): Blood Gale Nova(血環狂風). They were the techniques that gave the Crazy Heavenly Demon his title.
(E/N: This is our best guess at the technique names. I’ve left the hanja so that you can suggest better ones if you can think of them! Please suggest something holy crap hanja why)
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