Villain Hides His True Colors
[Translator – Yasi ]
[Proofreader – Karane ]
The gym quickly became filled with screams and panic after Henri's sudden transformation.
"N-no! Please let me out of here!!"
People pushed each other aside towards Henri by all means to survive.
The memory of being infected by parasites earlier also added an instinctive fear in their minds.
"Y-you...H-how dare you, my daughter...Y-you're worse than a beast!!!"
"W-wait a minute, I was being controlled...keuk!"
Meanwhile, Henri was watching everything with a wicked smile.
"Huhuhu, you all look more like insects now~ It's very pleasing to see~"
Slowly raising his index finger, a highly condensed light was emitted.
The beam of light penetrated through the crowd of people, causing those who were touched by it to burst into flames.
"Aaaak! Somebody put out the fire! P-please!"
An excruciating pain enough to make death feel more comfortable. However, not even a quick death was allowed to them.
Unlike the attacks from earlier, the flames burned particularly slowly this time.
Those who couldn't just stand and watch came closer to help, but...
As if the flames were alive, it clung to their bodies and persistently burned.
Like that, many were burned alive.
The smell of burnt flesh stung the tip of everyone's nose as they watched in a daze, unable to recklessly approach.
Just then, a roar like that of a lion erupted and echoed loudly.
"How dare you!!!"
The angered Dokgo Hakju released his mana resolutely.
Countless blades began to emerge and swirl around him.
< Sword Rain >
An Arcane magic unique to him that had made him an A-Rank hero.
Thousands of blades created from mana. It was no exaggeration to call him a one-man army.
"Whatever it takes today! I'll definitely kill you right here!!!"
Soon, the blades in the air converged towards Henri at supersonic speed.
Shockwaves erupted in the area as clouds of dust rose and obscured the view.
Dokgo Hakju shouted, pouring out every drop of mana into his attacks as if he was releasing all of his pent up anger.
The bombardment of blades that had fallen so indiscriminately continued for a minute before everything fell silent.
He breathed heavily, sweat dripping down his face.
With a mixture of anxiety and expectations, everyone looked to where Henri was.
How long was it?
When the cloud of dust finally settled, Henri was still standing and smiling nonchalantly like before.
"Ha~ Is it already over?"
He pretended to yawn in an exaggerated manner as if to ridicule everyone.
On his rainbow colored shell, other than a small scratch, there was no significant damage.
Dokgo Hakju shouted in disbelief.
He had a bewildered expression like that of a man who had all of his common sense shattered.
How durable was Henri's body to have withstood such attacks?
The others who were watching the scene together lowered their heads in despair.
If an attack by Dokgo Hakju, who was among the most powerful here, didn't work, then how were they supposed to defeat such a monster?
"Now...it's really over."
Someone unconsciously blurted out, but it could be said that everyone was thinking the same thing.
Just as despair was growing, a woman's resolute voice echoed loudly in the gym.
"Everyone, get a hold of yourself!"
Those who had their heads lowered turned their eyes to one place.
Standing there was a large woman. It was Kim Taehi.
With an imposing expression, she shouted.
"We'll just be playing into his hands if we give up here! Don't you think we should at least fight until the end?!"
Was it because they had felt the sincerity contained in her voice?
The eyes of those who were dull and gloomy, one by one, began to show signs of life again.
"Yeah...let's try again!"
"Right! We've already killed him once!"
"Fuuck! It's do or die!"
Those who had once again resolved themselves, as if trying to overcome their fear, shouted fiercely and rushed at Henri.
"You dung beetle!! Fuck you!"
At the forefront, Kim Taehi, whose entire body was covered by graphite, advanced like a rhinoceros.
"Huu? That armor seems pretty sturdy."
Another beam of light stretched out from Henri's fingertips as Kim Taehi paved the way by receiving the attack with her whole body.
Struck directly by the attack, she fell back like a cannonball and rolled across the floor.
In the midst of that, she squeezed out her voice and shouted.
"Keep...going, this is our last chance..."
Along the path she had opened, countless people at the back charged at Henri.
Trainees, faculties, heroes, and reporters who had come to see the school festival.
* * *
[ Translator - Yasi ]
[ Proofreader - Karane ]
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* * *
Having used up all his mana, Dokgo Hakju forced himself to throw another blade, and even Yeom Gangjun, who was on the floor with a serious injury, shot a flame as he vomited blood.
Everyone fiercely shouted as they bombarded Henri with their abilities.
Bang, bang, bang–!
Explosions reminiscent of a war, and everyone who was risking their lives in order to kill Henri.
The sight of such people with noble determination was like a scene from a movie.
However...The ending wasn't as beautiful as such.
"Hehe...No matter how desperate insects try, they're just insects after all."
An earnest attempt by everyone had ended in failure.
There were only a few scratches here and there on Henri's colorful shell.
"N-no way...Wh-what the hell is that monster..."
How could there be such a strong monster in the world?
After experiencing such a phenomenon that was completely incomprehensible to common sense firsthand, a darker shadow than before loomed over everyone's faces.
Henri who was watching it all showed a look of disappointment.
"Well, that seems to be all. It doesn't look like there's anything else to see, so let's get down to business."
His wings spread fully and between it, a sphere of light resembling the sun gradually emerged.
Sensing the sinister mana emanating from his body, everyone faltered back in a panic again.
However, it wasn't outdoors, so how could they avoid it in this enclosed space?
Eventually, the sphere of light that had risen like the sun, brightened up the inside and illuminated everyone.
As a result, the temperature rapidly rose and the gym quickly became filled with hot air.
Everyone felt as if they had entered the middle of the desert.
"M-my body...My body is burning...!"
Heat that seemed to burn their lungs every time they breathe.
The moisture in their bodies was quickly evaporating, and for some reason, even their mana was drying up and gradually depleting.
In such a situation, the first to collapse were the elderly and women with weak constitutions.
And then one by one, the heroes also fell.
A-ah...at this rate...
Kim Taehi tried to get back on her feet. However, there was no strength left in her body due to the artificial sun.
...Is he trying to kill everyone in one breath?
Collapsed on the floor, she felt despair.
Henri seemed to have read Kim Taehi's thoughts as he looked at everyone who had fallen.
"Don't worry too much~ I don't want to really kill you guys either~"
Was he saying he was going to be merciful now?
Even though everyone knew the evil Henri would never do that, just in case, people watched his mouth with hope in their minds.
Soon, Henri's mouth tore open on both sides, forming a smile.
"I told you a little while ago. I'll let you experience hell. So I'm afraid I can't let you die just like this~"
He moved leisurely and approached a man nearby.
It was a hero with a sturdy build who had desperately attacked him earlier.
"Wh-why are you coming this way...Stay away! Stay away!!"
With difficulty moving his immobile body, he slowly tried to crawl away.
"My pretty~ I choose you."
"G-get away! Wh-what the hell are you going to do to me?!"
The man looked up at Henri with a deeply terrified expression.
"Huhu~ You'll make a good mother."
"M-mother... Wh-what do you mean?! N-no! No! No! No! N-no!"
A long stinger protruding from Henri's tail penetrated the man's stomach.
And like flies laying eggs in other insects, the stinger wiggled and something was injected.
The man seemed to be in pain as he frantically screamed and struggled.
While his abdomen, like a pregnant woman, swelled up more and more.
After some time, the moment his abdomen had swelled to the point where it could hardly get any bigger,
Through the skin of the man's abdomen, two insects crawled out.
Colorful beetles resembling Henri.
On their backs were still remnants of the man's blood and guts.
Henri looked at them lovingly and spoke.
"Aiya~ My pretties must be really hungry. I knew you would be, so I had prepared food. Make sure to chew slowly and eat a lot~"
The insects quickly looked around. They crawled and sank their stingers into the abdomens of those nearest on the floor.
"N-no!!! Stay away! Please...Keuk!"
Soon, the victims' abdomen tore open and two insects hatched from each.
The four newly hatched insects dug into the bodies of those nearby.
Kim Taehi closed her eyes tightly when she saw the same terrible scene repeating itself.
A-ah...Everyone will really die at this rate...
The insects doubled each time.
Before long, the number would grow exponentially.
And if such prolific insects attacked a nearby city...
It's all over...
Now, it wasn't just the problem of the gym or institute.
If they didn't stop these insects from increasing here, there would be an unprecedented catastrophe.
But when everyone had collapsed, how could they stop such insects?
Meanwhile, Henri wasn't just sitting idly watching the insects.
"Oho~ You still have some energy left? Good, good. I was bored waiting, so play with me."
While wandering around the gym, he helped the insects reproduce by shooting light beams at those who could still move.
We have to deal with him and his insects...There's really no way!
Finally, an insect also started crawling towards Kim Taehi.
The face of her daughter who she couldn't protect a long time ago passed through her mind.
Just as she felt her own end,
Along with a deafening sound of thunder, the insect was killed.
She immediately turned her head. And there, it was Shirahui, who was barely struggling to stand.
Lightning struck the insects that were spreading in all directions and were killed one by one.
The sound of Shirahui's ragged breathing reverberated in the gym as Henri looked at her with interest.
"Oho~ This is interesting. I'm sure you've run out of stamina and mana...So how can you still move?
As Henri had said, Shirahui at first glance seemed to have already reached her limit.
So how was such a girl moving?
Kim Taehi and the others who had collapsed looked at her in disbelief.
"Noah entrusted me..."
Shirahui willed her trembling legs and stood up completely.
"So...I will protect everyone at all costs!"
Her hair that had returned to normal turned a bright yellow like lightning again.
Henri burst into laughter so loudly that his Adam's apple could be seen.
"Keuhahahah! You're going to protect everyone here? Okay~ Okay~ Well, that's going to be fun."
Henri said, lifting his finger slowly.
"Shall we see how long our pretty girl will last?"
At that moment, a beam of light from Henri 's fingers stretched out towards the people on the floor.
* * * * * * * * * *
I couldn't stop thinking about Shirahui as I headed to the gym.
Damn it...I had a bad feeling about this.
I wish she would just hide quietly and wait, but if it was her and her urge to step forward, there was a good chance she would attack the monster first.
And then what if my reward flew away?
No, I would never allow such a thing to happen!
This was why I hated these kinds of missions where I had to save or protect someone.
To earn this reward, how much effort had I put in until now...
And to fail it? Just thinking about it felt awful.
But since there was no failure message yet...I had to get there as soon as possible.
I stretched my body forward and speeded up by circulating mana in my legs.
After running at full speed, it wasn't long before I arrived at the gym.
When I arrived in front of the gym, there was a thick barrier I had never seen before surrounding the exterior.
What was the deal with this barrier when I was in a rush?
I immediately drew my sword and swung at it. However...
The walls, like the metal found on the ground of the training grounds, had absorbed the mana and my blade was repelled.
It was no different with my magic attack.
The barrier was somewhat chipped, but the thickness was too thick for me to dare pierce it when I was pressed for time.
"It's a protection system at the gym. As you can see, the barrier is made of metal that absorbs mana, so it's hard to break in with most attacks."
Samaria, who had caught up to me at some point, kindly explained.
"Oh? Does that mean the people inside are safe?"
If that was the case, from my point of view, it would be more beneficial to keep them together in a safe place.
However, at my words, she showed a somber expression.
"Well...I tried contacting the Director a little while ago, but I couldn't reach him. Looks like something has happened inside."
As expected, there was no way everything would work out so smoothly. I looked at Samaria and asked eagerly.
"So there's no way to get in there right now?"
"It's impossible unless you turn off the barrier from both the inside and outside at the same time. Otherwise, we have no choice but to use heavy equipment to demolish it layer by layer."
That was impossible. How long would I have to wait when I was already short on time?
Haa...Did I really have to give up here?
The efforts I had put in so far passed through my mind.
I couldn't believe I was going to have to give up a reward that was right in front of me...
Irritation rapidly surged from deep within my heart.
Just as I was getting increasingly depressed, Samaria added in an uncertain tone.
"Ah, actually...It's impossible, but there's another way...."
It wasn't time to be picky about leftover rice. Rather, for me, it was worth a try one way or the other.
"In fact, this metal isn't capable of absorbing mana indefinitely. So if you inject mana beyond the limits of a given volume, the barrier will instantly stop functioning."
"You mean...it'll open if it's injected with a lot of mana, right?"
"Yes...but it's practically impossible to exceed the limit of this massive structure..."
Samaria looked as if she had given up all hope.
"That's a relief."
"Huh? Relief...What do you mean..."
"If all I need is to put some mana into it..."
Leaving the puzzled Samaria behind, I approached the enormous barrier.
"...Then the problem is simple for me."
Placing my hand on the cold metal wall, I slowly drew mana from deep within my body.
In addition to my mana stat that had been steadily rising, there was also the dragon gene that was absorbed not too long ago.
With the belief in my own resilience, I began to pour mana into the barrier recklessly.
"No, this isn't something you can solve..."
Samaria who was next to me tried to stop me. However, I ignored her and continued to inject mana into the barrier.
After some time,
"Like I said, why don't you give up and we'll find another way..."
The moment Samaria had spoken again,
Thoom, thoom, thoom–
The walls that seemed impossible to waver, at last, began to vibrate little by little.
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