Arthur laid on the ground, while Quinn stood above him. He was still in his Shadow overload from standing strong, while the Punisher was bleeding from the open wounds, further exhausted by the multiple explosions from his sword.
“Why won’t you get up?” Quinn asked Arthur in a growling tone.
“Why don’t you just finish me?” Arthur questioned back, continuing to just lay there.
“Because you haven’t gone through the same pain as I did back then!” Quinn answered immediately. “Do you think I don’t know? I know what your blood armour can do! That damned Richard Eno had it on file, so Logan told me about it.”
“Every set of blood armour has a different skill. Eno’s allowed him to block any attack head on no matter how strong, the King’s can destroy anything it touches and then there’s yours, the power of the armour itself acts like blood.”
“You can use it to power your weapon whenever you wish but that’s not all. It also acts like blood for the user, meaning you can consume it to heal your wounds, but it looks like you haven’t done that even once during your fight with Bryce or me.”
“You might be unable to use your shadow because of that crystal, but if you used that armour you would have been able to continuously fight me at your full strength no matter how hurt you got! Alternatively, you could have used your blood powers to the max without getting hurt if he wasn’t there.”
It was true, Arthur’s friendly smile after Quinn pointed out those facts, said it all. If Bryce hadn’t had the crystal he could have used his shadow, if the other didn’t have the Absolute Blood Control he could have used his Blood powers, but that didn’t stop him from using the armour’s power to heal.
As Quinn and Arthur were in the middle of conversing it looked like Bryce had gotten up again, ready to use his Blood powers on the two of them, but something strange had happened at that moment. He fell to one knee and blood started to pour out of his mouth.
Quinn turned his head, because it had become apparent that for some reason, Arthur had no intention of harming him anymore. Feeling something similar about the tenth leader, the Punisher lifted his head to look up.
“You’ve used the Absolute Blood Control for too long.” Arthur explained with a light chuckle. You were already an old vampire in the first place. If you keep it up, you will die… but I bet you knew that already. Is that really what you want? The kid is already too strong for the both of us.”
“Shut up!” Bryce shouted, summoning a singular large Blood blade, throwing it out towards Quinn. At that moment, Quinn lifted his hand creating a Shadow portal. As the sword went into the shadow it appeared through another pointing at the King.
Seeing this, Bryce tried to control the sword but he could feel the strain of his body. Instead of using his Absolute Blood Control, he moved out of the way, just in time before the sword pierced the floor. Moments later it lost its solid state, turning into blood.
“How?!” Bryce shouted as he punched the floor out of anger. “How can you still use the shadow? Why can’t I get rid of you?”
It was at that moment, they all could feel the strong energy from the vampire settlement again. In the first place, the battle was happening in the pooling area and they were in the fourteenth castle inner castle area.
It wasn’t too far away from where they were, and it was starting to concern Quinn as well.
“I’ve lost, Quinn.” Arthur admitted. “It turns out I bet on the wrong horse. When attacking this place, I was sure that there was no one but them could stop me, that’s why I agreed to work with them. I won’t stoop so low to use excuses like I wasn’t able to fight at my fullest, since in a fight to the death only the outcome matters.”
“You want to save them, right? That’s why you trained so hard to get this strong. Then it looks like there is something that you need to stop over there.”
A strange power could be felt rising, that they all could feel but none of them were familiar with it.
“Bryce!” Arthur called out. “The one, we’re feeling… Don’t tell me you released the Original King?”
Hearing this, Quinn was surprised, he had learned from Arthur’s memory about the Original King, that person was who Arthur had gotten his shadow powers from in the first place. Bryce himself looked to be still in the middle of recovering from using all of his Blood powers. If he pushed himself further there was a good chance that he would go beyond the point of return.
“That damned Tempus must have gone behind my back to wake him up!” Bryce cursed. “He doomed the whole settlement!”
“Here I thought you didn’t care about any of them.” Arthur teased the other as he got up from the ground. Quinn looked at him, afraid that either the two of them were going to fight again, or he would have to possibly fight himself.
It was the reason why he still hadn’t gotten rid of the shadow overload, despite him using it for longer giving him a larger drawback.
“Quinn, I’m sorry about what I did, but at that moment it seemed that to save vampires and humans, there needed to be someone beyond me. I was wrong about that person not existing. After I found out that I wasn’t strong enough to beat the Dalki, I gave up hope.”
“Before you ask, no, I didn’t beat you expecting you to get this strong. I admit that I beat you mostly out of frustration, seeing in you a younger me who wouldn’t have given up… yet somehow that has created the current you. For all my sins, I’m proud to have played a part in that and I have a feeling that you can grow even stronger..”
“As your reward for showing me another light, I will help you face whatever is there, and after that…I will continue my business with him. That’s what we both want, right old man?” Arthur shouted.
Bryce didn’t want to agree with what Arthur was saying, but in the end the King actually did care for the vampires, at the very least his own family. It was just that revenge had been the major reason for his continued existence, yet he knew that with the Original King, things were more dire than even under his misguided rule.
Unlike him, the Original didn’t have a need to hold back. The Original King especially might choose to eradicate them all, if he deemed them to be unworthy subjects, because at any point and time, he could create an infinite number of vampires under him, something not even the vampire leaders could do.
Bryce decided to hold off on his revenge. He knew that Arthur was a man of his word. If he promised a fight after this mess, then it would happen, provided both of them would actually survive of course.
“Will it be possible?” Quinn asked. “From what I’ve heard, he’s supposed to be the strongest vampire in existence and it took all the other Originals to merely seal him.
“I’m afraid even with the three of us, we might not be able to take him on.” Arthur stated. “But with my help we have a chance.”
Quinn was worried about what to do, because the truth was his armour was on cool down. Meaning his armour was useless and he no longer had the speed that he had used to overcome Arthur and Bryce.
He had never expected there to be a fight with one that was even stronger than them.
‘Wait… the Quest! If those two leave, won’t I complete the Quest and get a reward? The system usually gives me exactly what I need, so could it have something that might help me with the fight?’
“You two…if he is really that strong, then there is something I need to do before that. Both of you leave and just wait for me.” Quinn said.
Arthur looked at Quinn and nodded, then looked towards Bryce.
“Try not to get too hurt. I don’t want to use it as your excuse for losing to me afterward” Arthur taunted the other before escaping in the shadow. At the same time, Bryce got up from the ground, and ran forward stopping right by Quinn. He looked at him, and said nothing as he went off again.
[Cancel Shadow overload]
[Total MC points are now being calculated]
[ – 1120 Mc points]
‘HUH?! Why has it taken so many points? Is it because of Bryce’s crystal? This doesn’t feel like the normal payback from the system.’
[Total MC 240/1520]
‘I was able to use the Shadow overload skill for a long time thanks to all of the MC cells I gained on Blade Island. I still have plenty but I will need all my shadow and the cooldown if I want to fight at my strongest.’
The problem was, the cooldown for the armour set was one hour. The two vampires buying him minutes of time would already be great, but an hour was too much to ask for.
[Congratulations Quest has now been completed]
[You have successfully defended the fourteenth castle]
[You deserve to keep your title]
[The castle wishes to reward you]
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