Hesthnius said in an audibly pleasing tone while being wary of Sungchul’s mood. As far as he could see, Sungchul didn’t seem to have any intention to fight immediately. There was room for negotiation. The tactful Demon King continued to wag his silver tongue.
“However, it’s a fool’s errand to trust those Seven Heroes. An errand for true fools indeed. Do you know what their true objective is?”
What Sungchul had said wasn’t far from the few records that remained of those times long past. According to legend, the Seven Heroes sought out compensation after they saved the world from the Calamity, but the world that they saved did not grant them the prize they demanded. The Seven Heroes bitterly removed themselves from history. They vowed to get what they were owed.
The Demon King shook his head.
“Wrong. They only want one thing.”
And smirked as he continued.
“Death of all mankind, and the subsequent end of an era.”
“That’s right. It is drastic. Especially compared to the good-natured Devils.”
The Demon King’s hands waved rhythmically in the air like the baton of an orchestral conductor, and when he did so, an illusion of a man appeared between Sungchul and him.
It was a man veiled in a bandana who radiated a mystical aura while he carried a two-handed sword the size of a small boy. The Demon King spoke again.
“You might not know as it must have been about 20 years ago. There was another who challenged me by his lonesome. He was very powerful.”
Sungchul looked at the illusion created by the Demon King once again.
“At that time, I told him the same story that I’m telling you now. I told him what would happen once I died, and what kind of pitiful end would befall the fragile mortals.”
“And in the end?”
The Demon King’s story caught Sungchul’s interest, and the Devil King smirked as he continued his story.
“He simply returned right then and there. Why? Because I was speaking the truth.”
“Who is this man that you’re speaking of?”
As Sungchul continued to show interest, the Demon King smiled a smug smile in his heart as he hatched his scheme.
“I could reveal his identity if you want, but nothing comes for free. Hand over the scroll.”
Sungchul shook the Harmegeddon scroll in front of him.
“That’s right. Hand that over, and in one year’s time I shall reveal his identity to you.”
It was complete nonsense. Laughter exploded out of Sungchul’s mouth.
‘All these devils are the same.’
Sungchul pretended to fall into thought and turned around.
The scroll fell to the floor, and the Demon King’s eyes shined bright.
‘Kekeke…. Got him.’
He cried out in triumph in his mind as he thought
‘Once a year passes, my new strengthened form will be born. Once that’s complete, I won’t suffer so easily to this monster as I have in the past at the very least.
He confirmed in his mind that Sungchul had fallen for his scheme, but the one who had been truly fooled was him.
Sungchul was muttering something with his back turned. Not something he had memorized, but a chant that had been accepted into his very being. Sungchul’s consciousness was getting a crystal clear visitation of the ever-blinding Primordial light’s memories that he had had a glimpse of once upon a time. The only source of light in the endless vastness of space, it alone shined and bathed the universe with luminescence; giving birth to or bringing an end to life with its light. Sungchul’s aria began in earnest.
“Hey. Destroyer. M-mind if I ask what you’re doing over there?”
Hesthnius Max detected the terrifying magical aura rising from Sungchul’s body much too late. A complex magical formation bloomed around Sungchul, whose back was still turned, like a flower. The Demon King quickly caught on that the magic in question was one from the school of Cosmomancy.
‘I-is he planning on using Meteor?! When did that bastard learn that?’
Sungchul turned around and scattered whatever he held in his hand toward the Devil King. It was some powder radiating in black. It was a black crystal formed from Alchemy. It wasn’t of the highest quality, but the area covered by the black crystal would greatly enhance the potency of Sungchul’s spells.
“L-let’s not do this!”
The Demon King waved his hands frantically as he backed off. But inspite of what he said, he began to scan the sky.
‘Something like a meteor only needs to be dodged.’
Unfortunately, Sungchul wasn’t preparing Meteor. He was about to complete his aria while staring directly at the Demon King. Sungchul could feel the endless energy of a star within his body.
An old staff appeared from his Soul Storage. The moment Sungchul gripped the staff, he had a brief moment of nostalgia, and then the aria was complete. He then pointed the staff toward the Demon King while holding Fal Garaz in the other hand.
The moment the activation word was spoken in his mind, a large beam of light was fired from the end of his staff.
The beam of light enveloped the ethereal Demon King whole. His ethereal body began to burn. No, disintegrate would be the more apt term. Star Light destroyed over half of the Demon King’s form, but the target was the Devil of Devils that reigned over all Demons.
He endured the single cast of Star Light in the end.
“I can’t die… Do you know how I rose to this spot?!”
A powerful will to live flashed in his eyes as he performed recovery magic in the midst of being disintegrated to reconstruct his flesh as it was being torn apart. However, his opponent was not an ordinary magician.
As the first beam of light was beginning to fade, another beam of light poured out from the staff and overwhelmed the Demon King that was already in the middle of being torn apart. Taking two hits of Starlight was a bit much, even for the Demon King.
The rate of his recovery could no longer keep up with the rate of destruction, and the Demon King was eventually eradicated by the light. He was erased without even a chance to make an explicative.
Sungchul was overcome with extreme lethargy and dizziness after the light faded. All of the mana within him had been sucked away as he cast Star Light, a 7th circle magic, and its echo. Sungchul pulled Bertelgia from his Soul Storage.
“You said it’d be quick!”
Bertelgia who had been stabbing herself into Sungchul with the corner of her covers stopped to take a look at her surroundings and asked in a daze.
“Huh? Where’s this?”
Sungchul pointed toward the corpse of the Demon King seated on the massive throne and answered her question.
“It’s the Demon King’s Palace.”
“H-hiiii…! Really? And the Demon King? Is… is he dead?”
Sungchul nodded in reply. In the next moment, the Devil King’s corpse began to turn to dust. As the ethereal form had been destroyed, the physical form that was bound to it was being erased as well.
‘Finally, the First Calamity is resolved.’
There was a rare hint of sentiment lingering in Sunghcul’s eyes. However, he was struck by a powerful force that caught his breath in his throat. Something was beginning to unfold. Bright letters soon filled Sungchul’s sight.
[You have resolved the First Calamity.]
[You have obtained the Blessing “One who stands against Calamity”.]
[The gazes of gods have turned toward you.]
1. Blessing “One who stands against Calamity”
2. Fragment of Calamity
Something fell in front of Sungchul. It was a flat piece of rock that reflected a deep green light and gave off a cold feeling. It looked like something of no value at first glance, but Sungchul could not take his eyes off of the piece of rock. His hand reached toward the rock unconsciously. The fragment felt rough to the touch and was cold as ice. It was no ordinary object.
Sungchul tried to inspect the object, but his Eye of Truth did not work on the object.
‘Does that mean it exceeds Legend grade? That might mean this fragment’s grade is Mythic.’
Putting it into his Storage appeared to be the right move for now, but his Soul Storage could not accept the fragment. As the fragment wasn’t able to enter the Storage, it fell to the ground. Surprise crossed Sungchul’s eyes.
‘I seem to have gotten my hands on something unbelievable.’
However, the surprise didn’t end there. Something like a black smoke began to rise from the Demon King’s corpse. It was no simple smoke. Each individual particle that formed the smoke was filled with an evil aura composed of malice and futility.
Sungchul had seen nothing like it before. He had seen something similar when he killed Minamoto and Aquiroa, but it couldn’t be compared with the gigantic smoke interspersed with pure malice that appeared before him now. Sungchul did not know what it was, but he could make a guess.
‘I-is that… the power that drives the Calamity?’
The moment he had internalized that truth, black words obstructed his sight.
[Witness of Calamity]
[You have seen the true essence of Calamity.]
[You who has seen the authority of god has taken a step into the secret of the World.]
[Rewards for being a witness corresponds to Intuition.]
Reward: Magic Power +88, Intuition +88, Magic Resistance +88
He had gained an incredible boon in stats simply by witnessing the flow of Calamity. Sungchul felt like he could understand why the Followers of Calamity wanted the progression of Calamity so desperately.
“What… in the world. These stats… why are they giving so much?”
Bertelgia must have seen a similar message. Watching the progression of Calamity was such an event. Simply witnessing it meant receiving a portion of god’s authority. Magicians didn’t simply become Followers of Calamity out of madness.
The black smoke reconstructed itself to a spherical form near the ceiling and then appeared to move about freely for a while. Soon, the black sphere left the Demon King’s Palace as though it had its own will.
Sungchul hurried after the black sphere. However, a look of shock spread across his eyes the moment he stepped out of the Palace.
Every last one of the tens of thousands of demonic forces that had been assembled in the vicinity of the Devil King’s Palace had perished.
‘How did this happen?’
Sungchul had killed some of them with his own hands, but the vast majority of them had been still alive. However, every single last one of them was now dead. The black sphere was draining the corpses of each devil of the dark and evil aura. Every each one of them to the last drop.
Sungchul could only stand and watch this scene unfold. The moment he thought to do something against the sphere, the thought evaporated like ethanol. The inexplicable exhaustion and lethargy were restraining him. A single thought lingered in his mind instead.
As he was restrained by the chains of exhaustion, the black sphere had drained the dark aura from the countless devils to expanded to a massive size. It had been the size of an adult’s head originally, but now it was the size of a castle. The sphere that had now drained the essence of every devil to its heart’s content rose high into the sky before splitting into seven pieces and flying southerly at high speeds. Sungchul could determine what that had meant.
‘The Seven Heroes. Is this the start of their Calamity?’
As to support that theory, whispers that seemed to come from right beside him dug into his ears.
“Don’t get cocky cause you took care of that Demon King.”
“Let’s face off fair and square! Delightful warrior!”
“Such a liar. To not use that scroll. But it doesn’t change anything.”
“… Don’t like.”
“Kekeke… I wonder how your soul tastes?”
“Just you wait, you dimwit.”
They were the voices of the Seven Heroes. Their voices grew distant until it faded away completely leaving behind their dry laughter.
Sungchul looked toward the direction that the black fragments had flown with indifferent eyes as he tightened his grip on Fal Garaz
Tower of Recluse.
There was an incident at the holiest fortification in charge of the storage and protection of the Scripture of Calamity. The caretakers observed that the first prophecy written on the scroll, the prophecy pertaining to the Demon King, disappeared as if it had went up in flames, and alerted this news to the one in charge of the Tower, Porphyrius. Porphyrius’s eyes were in shock as he looked at the Scripture of Calamity.
“Something unthinkable occurred. The First Calamity… has come to an end!”
The next prophecy after the now-burnt Demon King prophecy was reported to have absorbed a dark and ominous smoke-like aura the following day.
The prophecy that had now been set in motion by the power of Calamity read as follows:
[The betrayed, the false heroes of the past who then left a prophecy, shall return to the land. They shall demand what they were denied, what was rightfully theirs. The world shall know when seven ominous stars shine in the skies.]
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