232. Who Is Your Mother?
Marquis Leon walked in front of the eight counts and stared down at Min-Cheol.
The reason why he, who was of a higher status and greater power, had stepped forward first was simple.
Excluding Audu, who had been thrown into the storage with ease, the counts were showering him with praise and flattery to the point where the atmosphere dictated that he must step forward.
Nine pages from the accounting book that Min-Cheol tossed forward laid in front of them.
As Min-Cheol had stated, those pages would become their ticket to board the express bound for the afterlife.
However, Leon and the counts only gave mocking laughter as a response despite seeing the pages with their names on it.
“Pfft. Are you this confident because you’ve defeated the puny Swesi of all things?”
“Good. You plan to fight all of us by yourself? No. Are you saying you can face me?”
“Wrong. That’s incorrect. Reliable reinforcements are going to arrive.”
“Bring them, whether a hundred or a thousand. I’ll turn them to dust with a single attack.”
“Even with how large this estate’s lobby is, how am I supposed to work with that many people? There needs to be at least enough room to move about.”
“All bark and no bite. The rest of you, stay back. I shall show him what true power is.”
“Ah. Sir marquis. I beg of you, please do not destroy my estate too much.”
“Pfft. Yes, yes.”
Eight counts retreated and headed for the corner of the lobby.
Afterwards, they stacked barriers to protect themselves.
It was to prepare themselves against the power that the marquis would be wielding.
Responding to that, Min-Cheol summoned the clones that he had claimed as his backups.
However, the nobles kept laughing.
It confirmed that they believed there was no way someone who was all bark and no bite had the capability to summon a total of 5 clones.
They must be thinking that they were reinforcements wearing similar looking artifacts that came out of nowhere.
“So these are the reinforcements you mentioned?”
“That’s right. I’m done preparing. Are you?”
“I don’t think you really understand what reliable means. They look lightweight enough to be taken out from a single punch.”
“Hey now. Why are you saying something like that? I even had them match me in clothes and style. You won’t be disappointed, so it’s okay to have high expectations.”
“Pff. I shall see.”
It was to be expected, since there was no Protector here in Hell that had mastered the cloning skill.
They didn’t even know how many clones could be summoned with full mastery, how much of the original’s power the clones could use, or even the fact that they obtain special traits.
After all, Min-Cheol had achieved in a hundred days what the Protectors of Hell couldn’t achieve in many years.
Just a bit ago, Marquis Leon had hit the floor in front of Min-Cheol’s feet with an Ice Spear.
However, there was no way to tell if he was a mage class Protector from just that.
As Morse and Mars had used skills regardless of what classes they were, it proved that counts and stronger could do just that.
Min-Cheol thought to himself that it wouldn’t be strange for the marquis to pull out all sorts of attacks.
Visually confirming Min-Cheol’s reinforcements, Leon prepared for battle.
Because he had just come back from the banquet, he wasn’t wearing any armor or carrying any weapons.
All he had on was a luxurious attire fitting a banquet.
Min-Cheol thought to himself that this would be an easier battle than he original thought it’d be.
Even though the marquis possessed a great amount of power, his power would be limited without the help of artifacts.
However, it wasn’t long before Leon showed me how wrong that was.
“Didn’t I tell you. I said that I’ll show you my true power.”
“It looks rather convenient.”
“Still all talk.”
Armor formed around Leon’s banquet attire within a blink of an eye.
This wasn’t made by an artisan or obtained artifacts from killing monsters.
The armor was made from either a skill or his special ability.
From his head to toe, armor with a color of dark clouds formed around him, leaving not a single gap like a diving suit.
It was easy to recognize how tough the armor was just from looking, and it looked like it didn’t restrict movement at the slightest.
That meant that he could protect his entire body without any weak spot while moving comfortably as if not wearing anything.
On top of that, there was a massive axe in his hand.
The handle was short, but the blade was as big as his body.
Like the smoke a nearly spent firewood gave off, dark smoke came off the axe.
It was obvious that this weapon was similar to the weapon that Min-Cheol summoned and enchanted.
This wasn’t the end of it though.
He opened his Mobile Storage.
At the same time the storage opened, the light that the cores, the most expensive form of currency in this world, filled the entire lobby.
Not even looking into the storage, anyone could tell that the size and amount would be far greater than what one could imagine.
Leon stared down at Min-Cheol and spoke.
“Bring forth my combat defensive equipment and shield.”
With a single sentence from him, an armor set, boots, gauntlets, and a shield tumbled out.
The items that fell out from the Mobile Storage automatically equipped themselves to Leon’s body, as if recognizing their own owner.
With this development, it was as if he was wearing two layers of armor.
His showy battle preparation was both to send a message that he would not allow any regular attack to hurt him, and also to show off his majesty in front of the counts.
Min-Cheol, who had only faced against counts so far, couldn’t help but be a little tense at his appearance.
After all, the power emanating from his body, along with the artifacts and even the skills he was using, were far greater than that of the counts.
Leon’s appearance really was threatening.
He looked like a future military weapon that belonged in SF movies.
Pitch black armor, shield, and weapon to boot.
Even though he wasn’t a reaper, to think that he was dressed in all black. His fashion sense was poor enough to make Jong Ho’s look good in comparison.
After finishing his preparations, Leon gave a sideways glance at the counts.
It was obvious that he was trying to show off his majesty to them.
Perhaps understanding what he wanted, the counts fought over one another to clap and cheer, responding to his expectations.
“I shall finish this in one minute. During that time, you will be frozen from horror and fear unlike anything you’ve felt before. Because you will be on the receiving end of my power, the power of Marquis Leon!”
“You’re really filled with fighting spirit. Do you know why I gave you all that dull time to transform?”
“I could’ve killed you while you were changing your clothes. But I waited in order to confirm how strong a marquis is.”
“Pfft! I wonder how long your false bravado can last.”
“You can keep your expectations high.”
Min-Cheol turned his head to look at the clones and spoke.
“So we just have to kill him?”
“Oho… Now even the second oldest can speak? You’re correct. The target is Marquis Leon. He’s definitely different from the ones we’ve fought so far.”
“That does not matter. We kill.”
“Good. Don’t forget the roles each of you have been given. This time, I will be fighting as well.”
“I’ve been looking forward to this.”
“Yes, let’s go.”
The clones and Min-Cheol casted buffs in a flashy manner upon themselves, then casted shields on top of that.
And before charging at the marquis, they used Silent to cover a large area to completely block out any noise from the mansion from going outside.
The counts had expressions of holding back a smile while preparing to observe the battle.
Since a marquis, who couldn’t be compared in terms of strength against the slaves partaking in the Festival of Blood, was entering the fray, how could it not be entertaining from their point of view?
While they all predicted that Marquis Leon would win, the chance to see a marquis in action was rare.
They were riled to the point where it would be fair to compare them to a crowd that was about to watch a movie with 10 million tickets sold.
As expected, the first one to charge at the enemy was the eldest.
Perhaps thinking himself as the leader of the clones, he always fought at the frontlines.
Min-Cheol only could sigh at him charging in, and the second oldest followed it up with a complaint of his own.
“Whew. From whom did he get that impatient nature from?”
“I think I liked it better when you kept quiet. Let’s go!”
The other clones and Min-Cheol followed the oldest clone in a charge against Leon.
Each of their eyes were filled with killing intent.
While Min-Cheol had a clear goal, the clones also seemed to carry that bloodthirsty intent to kill their enemies.
It was then.
The oldest clone at the forefront had the axe Leon threw sink into his shoulder.
If it was a regular attack, he would’ve been able to avoid it with ease.
If it was an attack that couldn’t be avoided, then he would’ve blocked it at least.
However, because there was no movement to indicate the marquis’ attack, he had been hit.
Min-Cheol was quite shaken.
However, what made Min-Cheol even more shocked was what the oldest and second oldest did next.
Was it because of the Indomitable Talisman that was given by the alchemist to be slotted into the armor?
While Leon’s armor was fine, the firstborn clone’s body started to bleed profusely.
A massive amount of blood was beginning to spill out from between the joints of the armor.
The firstborn had taken an injury severe enough to leave one of his arms flapping around.
However, he did not stop charging at Leon.
It was as if he would he would only be satisfied after stabbing the sword in his hand into Leon’s body somehow.
Despite letting out a pained cry, he did not look away from his target.
Having obtained the ability to speak, the second oldest clone now followed the oldest while swearing.
He was expressing his anger from the firstborn’s risky behavior.
Despite the complaints, he began to cast spells with massive amounts of healing potential on the firstborn.
With the healing focused on a single target, the amount of healing the second oldest managed to output was something else.
The firstborn’s injury was healing fast enough to be visible, and the amount of bleeding slowed as well.
Only then did the the firstborn, with his mischievous smile back, continued to approach Leon to swing his sword.
Within a fraction of a second, over 20 strikes landed on Leon.
The sword was swung around fiercely, accurately hitting the vitals of the opponent.
A deafening sound rang out through the lobby as the sword clashed with the defensive equipment.
While most of the attacks had been blocked by the shield and axe, it wasn’t for naught.
Leon pushed the firstborn off with his shield to make space.
His face was filled with shock and panic.
“Oh no! Sir marquis! Are you okay?”
“Your chest is b-bleeding…”
“Haha… This is nothing. I’ve just let down my guard. Don’t you think that there should be at least this much of a handicap?”
Leon had an awkward smile while trying to pretend as best he could that he was calm.
While he was able to put on such an expression as an act, his body was still bleeding.
After all, the force behind the firstborn’s attack was far beyond his expectations, since it was strong enough to break through the two layers of armor and the shield spell casted to absorb damage.
“Don’t be such a kid.”
As if finally somewhat sated, the firstborn smiled in satisfaction.
It seemed that the firstborn was deaf to the second oldest’s complaints as he chased after him.
While it was quite a nonsensical scene for Min-Cheol to see, he felt that they were as dependable as can be.
While the firstborn and the second oldest bickered amongst themselves, the remaining clones and Min-Cheol approached Leon.
Leon moved to make more distance, but he was a cornered rat at this point.
And with that, the five clones and Min-Cheol’s attack kicked off in earnest.