I Never Run Out of Mana - Chapter 203
Chapter 203. The Widened Gap
As Millions had said, and as Barub had expected, the new Festival of Blood caught the attention and enthralled a lot more people than expected.
As if to prove that, after 30 days had passed since Barub had arrived in Hell, they had obtained 1.5 times more power than they had started with.
This world that Karupedan created allowed for growth that was unimaginable in any other dimensions.
It was similar to how the transfer of power worked in the demonic realm that Min-Cheol experienced firsthand in, but if you compared it with Hell, it would be considered a very low ranking version of it.
To put it simply, all those who aspire to defeat the wild beast Demon and participate in the festival were all Protectors with strengths each beyond that of a demon king.
Barub hadn’t killed a single monster in Hell so far.
After all, the place they started at was the battleground of the festival to begin with, and ironically the opponent that increased their strength for the first time wasn’t a monster, but a human Protector.
One could consider them absorbing power by crushing the head of the guard as being very fortunate.
The strength of the weak lackey guard.
It was far greater than what they had expected, almost to the point of making them consider all the humans gathered there as prey.
After Millions announced the start of the new event, many other counts and marquis’ tried their hardest to raise a warrior like the wild beast.
However, how could that be possible in a single day?
The Festival of Blood was a fight between humans, not Protectors.
Composed of criminals and slaves. This meant that even if they possessed exceptional physical capabilities, they were weak without comparison to the Protectors.
That was why the first place the nobles looked towards were the knights who protected them.
The plan was to have them participate in the festival.
All of the spectating nobles at least had Protectors that served under them.
While the following wasn’t true for everyone, if the noble was someone who had the same amount of political power as Millions, they would easily be able to match Barub’s strength with the Protectors that served under them.
Despite that, there was a reason why they kept a knight escort.
It was because the faction of the nobles fought amongst each other for power and prestige amongst themselves.
After the monsters appeared, things changed here quickly and vastly.
Those who did not ride the turbulence were all rejected from the faction, losing their status as a noble and thrown out.
Only those with power could secure their statuses, and those who could not gradually lost their fortune and political power, eventually disappearing from all relevance.
The chaos after the appearance of the monsters was gone now, though.
No longer did monsters that the Protectors couldn’t handle try to get into the castle, and things became lax to the point where none really felt the need to explore beyond the ten tiers of the hunting grounds that had been summarized by the encyclopedia.
Maybe that wasn’t the case for the powerless civilians, but for those in the castle that lived in not only safety, but in complete decadence, why would they bother.
What else would they do but try to increase their own political power above the others to increase their holdings within the castle further, just like before the appearance of the monsters?
To them, the Festival of Blood was but a tool for those means.
Promising a title, they send the knight escorts to participate.
A Protector could not purchase the title of a noble no matter how strong they were, so obtaining a title was nearly impossible.
After all, those who held all the political powers were stronger than the Protectors.
Due to their promises, already more than 10 fell for the temptation and were sacrificed to the festival.
Every single one of them were torn apart alive by Barub, and all their strengths were completely transferred over.
At this rate, no one who could surpass Barub would appear in this festival.
How could anyone hope to dethrone a champion that grew stronger as the matches continued?
That was why, to keep things fresh and make sure the outcome wasn’t obvious, the rule had been changed.
It was as the man named Raol who had spoken with Min-Cheol in front of the castle before said.
After the change, the number of matches had shrunk to incomparable levels, but Barub did not say a word.
Was it because Barub had surrendered to Millions’ strength that quickly?
That wasn’t the case. It was just that Barub knew the nature of humans and how things were working here better than anyone else.
Not the main matches where Barub appeared, but matches to get the crowds excited.
Champions would be crowned in those matches, and strong opponents would appear.
However, humans would never be satisfied and remain still.
It was obvious that they would continue challenging to obtain a higher position.
However, this didn’t mean that their powers would go elsewhere.
It wasn’t as if you had to recharge the power that was used, like how magical energies had to be.
Barub had completely seen through that the power would continue circulating within the arena until it would be within their grasp.
Rather than dealing with the small fries, it would be a lot more convenient too.
“I’m sure all of you have been waiting for this bloodbath. The last fight for today. The wild beast of Marquis Millions, Demon, versus the hunting dog of Count Julius, Jurassic!”
“Demon! Demon! Demon!”
At the announcer’s introduction, the crowd went wild.
One man who was completely drunk flailed his body wildly before falling headfirst into the arena.
The nobles were most merry, and amidst them was Min-Cheol.
Min-Cheol did not look away for even a single moment from the one called Demon.
An elderly with white hair. A built physique that outdid even Commander Yoon Jong-sun and a tough looking face.
I did come all the way here with the suspicion that it was Barub, but now I was hoping that the suspicion I held wasn’t true.
While Min-Cheol held a serious face, the main match began.
The man introduced as Jurassic was the leader of the knight escorts for Count Julius, and was strong enough to be desired by many of the other nobles.
As a man who led nearly 20 knight escorts, he was talked about frequently as the opponent who would fight against the wild best in the festival.
Many recognized Jurassic’s face, but most kept hush hush.
The posters were put up to gather slaves, but it was very questionable to send a knight escort who already held the title of a noble after all.
None bothered to point that out, but everyone knew that this was something that did not fit the code of conduct they strove for.
The moment that Demon appeared, they strengthened their body.
The bare body that was covered by a shabby robe was coated in silver light, almost as if being plated.
That appearance alone was enough to excite the nobles.
After all, no Protector class used such spells.
This was a special ability that wasn’t covered in the encyclopedias or even heard of in rumors.
The crowd loved the way Demon fought, which consisted of them not using any weapons and instead strengthening their bodies to beat the enemy down.
Jurassic also checked his armor then held his sword.
His sword was roughly the size of an adult male’s torso, and even the thickness wasn’t anything to scoff at.
Unlike the impressive size, the sword wasn’t sharp but blunt instead, and it almost looked as if he was holding onto a giant mace.
It was a weapon that you could not even hope to hold unless you were a warrior class Protector.
It was too early to be surprised by his ability to wield that though.
Soon after, three men struggled to lift a shield and place it next to him.
Jurassic held up the shield with ease and prepared for battle.
Seeing his appearance made me think that instead of the man holding the sword and shield, it looked as if the man was hanging onto the sword and shield instead.
Lastly, at the same time his blonde hair that reflected the light coming in through an opening was covered by a helmet, the fight began.
Jurassic charged with everything he had and swung the weapon that was hard to be believed was a sword.
Looking at just the speed of the swing, it was as if he was swinging a small shortsword, and the shockwave kicked up a cloud of dust in the arena.
However, Demon easily blocked the single swing aimed at their neck dead center with their wrist.
A massive clang and sparks flew, and then Demon pulled their body back to dodge the sword this time.
“Hm… You’re different from the rest.”
Demon touched the wrist that had blocked the attack.
So far, no Protector in Hell had been able to penetrate their strengthened body.
However, that wasn’t the case with the man before them.
The wrist that was glowing silver spectacularly had lost its light, and instead let out a stream of red blood.
Rather than a cut by sword, it would be more accurate to say that the injury was a chunk of flesh had been blown off.
Seeing Demon’s blood added to the bloodied arena caused both the announcer and the crowd unable to hide their surprise.
After all, no one had been able to successfully attack Demon this entire month.
However, the wound healed almost immediately.
Almost as if painted over, the peeled skilled had completely healed, and the bleeding stopped as well.
There was no change in Jurassic’s expression.
After all, the enemy could close the gap if he gave the opening by being surprised and hesitating.
However, he was not even slightly fazed that his attack was somewhat effective, nor did he continue attacking rashly.
All he did was to continue watching Demon’s movements and calming his breathing under control.
“It is a strength that cannot even be compared to what I had absorbed so far.”
“Won’t be long before it becomes mine though. I shall praise your attack. However, I wonder how your defensive skills are! Kuha!”
Demon kicked off the ground and charged towards Jurassic.
This was only visible to the few Protectors who had obtained a great amount of power, such as Millions and Min-Cheol, and was at a speed that the nobles could see.
Only after Demon’s body collided with Jurassic did a massive shockwave of sound was heard, and most of the crowd weren’t able to close their mouths that had opened from being shell shocked.
Barub had sent their fist forwards, but it had been blocked by Jurassic’s shield.
The shield shook as if a giant bell had been rung, and the sound kept going on for quite some time.
While the shield had been crumbled, it seemed that Jurassic hadn’t taken any form of damage.
At this point, I was almost curious what the shield was made out of.
The crowd that had been yelling Demon’s name were even more enthralled as they began cheering for Jurassic.
They hoped that a new king would appear, and for Demon to reveal the other hidden powers they held.
In a split second, Jurassic spun his body with his sword and struck Demon’s side.
With that huge sword aura, Demon was sent flying just like that, and a thick spray of blood covered Jurassic’s vision.
He didn’t just stop there, but continued to stab away at Demon as they were flying away.
And then in the middle of the air, he swung down his sword and smashed Demon into the ground, and while Demon was partially in the ground, he kept on smashing them down with his sword and shield.
Enough to burn the dust that was kicked up, Jurassic’s entire form suddenly was covered in flames, and he was raining down merciless attacks.
Like how a predator bites into the neck of the prey and shakes violently, Jurassic gave everything he had to make sure not to lose this chance at victory.
In the face of something so unexpected, the crowd that chanted his name became silent, and the battleground became quiet.
Despite all of the crowd having vacant expressions, they were all focusing as hard as they could to make sure that they did not miss a single moment of this battle.
It was then.
“Kuhaha! Demon… You even had a talent like this?”
Millions had put his hand on his forehead and shook his head.
On his lips was a smile that didn’t fit this situation at all.
It was then.
“Woah! Demon! Demon!”