Chapter 157: Chapter 156: First? Part III
“Howl of the Wolf!”
“The battle is over. Stop wasting your energy and bow down to your new masters!”
“Screw you! Razor Fang!”
The Werewolves continued on, even as their comrades fell around them. It was all they could do and they had to do, for Lee Jiwon!
However, they weren’t fools to not realize that they were losing. The Duke was still standing in the middle of the battlefield and his Curse was still in play. One by one, the Werewolves were dying. No amount of willpower could ever deny the reality in front of them. Of course, that only applied to the Werewolves.
“Gahahaha! Rapid Absorption!” The Duke didn’t care about the battle going on around him. He remained focused on his prey.
==[Rapid Absorption in progress:
The progression rate for Rapid Absorption was slow, really slow. That just made the Duke smile even wider, however. It just meant that Lee Jiwon had that much more in store. It had always been like that: the weaker ones were absorbed quickly while the stronger ones took longer. Lee Jiwon was the slowest by far, slower than even other deities he had consumed.
“Kekeke. Good, good. I can wait that much.”
==[Rapid Absorption in progress:
The Duke wanted to take all of Lee Jiwon’s abilities if he could, but that was an impossible task. Not only was there a time limit, taking them all would bring the entire world’s attention upon him. He had to be careful as there were quite a few that had caught his eye.
Soon, Lee Jiwon’s abilities were put up on screen, and the Duke’s expression stiffened as he read through them. He had never seen anything like them before. He knew Lee Jiwon was extremely powerful after fighting him, but this was far from what he had expected.
==[Currently one fully absorbed target: (Time remaining: 00:59:59)
STR: 15,324 + 1,235 AGI: 11,001 VIT: 11,001
WIL: 1,348 INT: 1,348
Shaman Ko’s Selfish Prick
Warrior’s Brave Spirit
Status effect immunity
Fragment of the Destruction God]
“What is this?” The Duke thought a bug had occurred as he stared at the message screen. It didn’t make sense for an Abilities Menu like this to exist.
“Just who or what in the world is he? Is he actually a deva? He’s the overpowered one here! His base Stats are just insane!” As the Duke’s Predation skill couldn’t consume the effects of items or buffs, the Abilities Menu he was looking at excluded all Stats bonuses from equips and skill buffs. There were some abilities that he couldn’t absorb as well, like the Unrivaled skill and its status effect immunity.
“A…anyway, this is good enough! I just have to eat now. Extract Fragment of the Destruction God!” This was what he wanted the most.
==[Extracting Fragment of the Destruction God:
“Kekeke.” The Duke laughed as he imagined how much stronger he could become after extracting Fragment of the Destruction God, but stopped abruptly as he looked over Lee Jiwon’s Stats.
“These Stats are…just unbelievable. Is this even possible for anyone?” The surest way to gain more Stat points was by leveling up, but that had to mean Lee Jiwon’s level was unbelievably high, possibly a hundred times higher than his own.
“There’s a good chance he has Dungeon Seeker and has been the first to find a few dungeons. There are quest rewards to take into account…but that’s still not enough. And what is this +1,235 next to his STR Stat?”
The Duke truly had never seen an Abilities Menu like Lee Jiwon’s before. There were skills he had never heard about, like Shaman Ko’s Selfish Prick and Judge’s Gavel.
And so, as the Duke stared curiously at Lee Jiwon’s Abilities Menu, the Duke had no idea that something that had never happened before had occurred.
Predation worked the exact same way as the natural world. The victims that the Duke consumed were digested, had their essences absorbed by the Duke, and whatever was left over was expelled as waste. No victim had ever survived once Predation began, and thanks to Absolute Predation, Lee Jiwon was consumed despite his struggling.
When Lee Jiwon’s HP hit 0, it meant that he was now ready to be absorbed. However, something unprecedented occurred. The Duke’s Predation skill did not register item and equip effects, as it could not absorb their effects. One of those items was the item given to Lee Jiwon by the Myth Guild; the Rank 8 Bracelet of Eternal Fire.
==[Bracelet of Eternal Fire (Rank 8)
A bracelet holding the wick of an ever-burning candle. All that remains is the wick, but the flame never goes out.
Increase all Stats by 100 points
Increase VIT by 500 points
When HP reaches 0, HP is restored back to 35%. (Eternal Fire’s Last Breath): Once activated, user must wait 30 days before being able to use effect again.]==
The flame that burned strongly inside the Bracelet had gone out, indicating that the Eternal Fire’s Last Breath had just activated.
“Huh? What’s going on? Why did it disappear?” the Duke shouted in confusion. The Abilities Menu the Duke was poring over suddenly disappeared. This had never happened to him before! Then, at that moment, another message appeared.
==[Digestion is now in progress.]==
“What? What’s going on? Digestion should have ended already, and I should be absorbing the abilities by now!”
Once the Duke began Predation, Digestion was a stage that began automatically. Rapid Absorption was used to quicken Digestion’s pace. The fact that Lee Jiwon’s Abilities Menu disappeared meant that Digestion should have ended.
Digestion shouldn’t be starting again! “Open Abilities Menu.” Nothing happened. Only the Digestion progression bar was still there.
“Fuck! What the hell is this guy?”
I came back to my senses in an instant. “What’s going on? Where am I? All I remember is getting dragged into the Duke’s mouth, and nothing else after that!” I couldn’t see or feel anything around me. It was as if my five senses were taken away from me. There was only one thing I could sense around me.
It was the sound of something eating. I couldn’t see, feel or hear it; it was just a feeling I had. It was hard to explain. And that ‘sound’ was starting to get on my nerves. It was as if that thing was eating my food without my permission!
The ‘sound’ continued.
“Stop stuffing your face!”
The ‘sound’ continued.
“Son of a bitch! Stop it!” I doubted my voice could be heard in the outside world. The Duke was probably munching on my body against my will. That ‘sound’ was probably my body being eaten, digested, and then absorbed. I could scream as much as I wanted, but nothing would change.
Munch. Munch. Munch. Munch. He kept eating and eating and I felt like I was going to go insane from the sound. Just then, a message appeared before me.
==[Shaman Ko’s Will has awakened.]==
I had forgotten about Shaman Ko in my anger. Shaman Ko was back to help me once more.
The Duke was in his domain, feeding on Lee Jiwon’s Fragment of the Destruction God. The Duke couldn’t take another ability when the Abilities Menu disappeared, but he managed to snag that ability. And here, the Duke could happily munch on the Fragment, for he was the king of this domain. He fed on the Fragment as if it was a fly caught in a spider web, and he was the spider.
However, something tugged on his web. When he looked up, he saw a thing with snarling face. That thing rushed over to him and for an instant, the Duke was afraid. Only the Duke was ever allowed in his domain; it was created so that he could feast peacefully. He didn’t know what to do about the appearance of this strange thing. He tried to stop it from getting closer, but the thing had a greedy expression and outright ignored him. It began to eat the Duke’s meal instead.
The Duke was taken aback. It was his meal! The Duke pushed in and began eating as well.
The two wolfed down the Fragment, as if to eat more than the other and soon, the Fragment was gone. The Duke was annoyed. He couldn’t finish his meal!
The Duke was confused. Why was he hearing the sounds of something eating when there was nothing else to be eaten?
The sound didn’t stop. The Duke looked below. The sound was coming from the thing as it ate him. The Duke scrambled to get away, but the thing held tight.
The Duke decided to eat the thing as well. It was all he could do. The two ate each other at a faster pace than when they ate the Fragment!
Only the sound of eating could be heard for a while, until the domain fell silent. The Duke was completely eaten, save for a part of his mouth, while the thing only lost its arm.
The Duke was frustrated. This was his domain and yet, this thing had invaded and stolen away his prey and eaten him! The Duke couldn’t do anything else, as the thing soon ate the leftover mouth as well!
Satisfied, the thing left the way it came, leaving the domain empty of sound and life.