News of the fall of the First Calamity, the Demon King, and the inexplicable slaughter of the Devils of the Demon Realm spread through the continent at a rapid pace. Even the commoners who weren’t well familiar with the Calamity were celebrating the sudden extinction of the Demons who had been threatening the northern frontier, but the ones in power with the access to information were trembling in fear of the danger that could appear anytime and anywhere.
Two months passed quickly in equal celebration and fear. There was no sign of the ominous Seven Heroes, but sovereigns of each nation scattered spies within their sovereignty to be the eyes and ears in preparation for the new Calamity.
Meanwhile, in a certain place within the continent, there was a covert but meaningful movement gaining momentum.
“The one who saved us was not the Emperor within the Royal Palace, the 13 Champions of the Continent, nor the churches serving the gods. It was a sole lonesome outcast hero.”
Starting with the soldiers who survived the fierce battle at Harupaya ridge, a movement to commemorate one certain individual began.
It was difficult to make a rational and objective judgement during the battle due to being swept away by passion and group spirit. But after the once-muddy waters settled down, they were able to come to a refreshingly simple and clear conclusion. The Enemy of the World Sungchul Kim, in spite of what is said about him, had come to join the battle to rescue them, and that he killed the dreaded Demon King single-handedly.
It was a feat that the ruling elite neither wanted to nor could achieve.
No one had dared to start it but once an organization to reevaluate the Enemy of the world was created, the people who used to work as Sungchul’s subordinates especially soldiers from ‘Lion of Death’ brigade formerly led by Sungchul himself – most of whom were forcefully kicked out and became alcoholics – gathered en masse to break their long silence and join. The sudden appearance of a half beautiful half hideous undead girl and a mystical old man who claimed to have met Sungchul personally also caught some attention.
The Human Empire expressed that they would serve punishment to those involved in this rebellious movement taking place in their empire, but regardless, the organization that worshipped Sungchul grew incrementally wider within the darkness. On the other side of the world, Sungchul who was now the focus of all this attention had now left the Demon Realm located on the northernmost end and was instead wandering along the Screaming Sword’s Edge Mountain Range on the southernmost end.
It wasn’t a frequent occurrence for profanity to escape Sungchul’s lips. He was more inclined to become silent during difficult times, but the searing heat of the Screaming Sword’s Edge mountains and the endless torrent of insects, not to mention the labyrinthian jungle that seemed to have no end was enough to test Sungchul’s superhuman patience. A complicated dungeon could be resolved by forming his own path through the walls, but here the trees and roots would regrow overnight no matter how much he smashed them down.
“Uuuuh… I think I’m starting to get fungus on my body!”
Bertelgia was also suffering on her own terms. The jungle’s musty humidity and abundant bacteria was the worst environment to preserve a book. However, she must have preferred the outdoors compared to the Soul Storage as she stubbornly followed Sungchul’s back and endured. Unfortunately, she appeared to have been reaching her limits.
“Here’s a surprise proposition!”
Bertelgia stood in Sungchul’s path.
“A quick breather. How about it?”
Sungchul nodded and sought out a good resting spot. There was a benefit to the region known as Screaming Sword’s Edge mountains that even the forest-loving elves avoid venturing into: There were many high quality hot springs to rest at. Sungchul headed toward one of these springs that he had his eyes on. It bothered him that this region was littered with skeletons of creatures he didn’t recognize, but the hot spring itself was top quality.
Sungchul threw off his clothes and submerged himself into the warm water of the hot spring.
The Golden Duck that he carried in his pocket was a bonus. Sungchul gazed at the Golden Duck floating on the passive current as he washed away the fatigue built up during his exploration in the jungle. The reason he had traversed to the southernmost Screaming Sword’s Edge mountain range from the northernmost Demonic Realm Battlefront was to seek out a secret he had found out about long ago. It was Multicasting. The secret of one of the Seven Heroes, Sajators. However, Sajators was a nasty fellow from start to finish. The two items he had given relating to the Secret tome of Multicasting was completely useless.
The first item which was the map made of Goblin leather, perhaps due to the passage of time, completely didn’t match to the point where no landmarks on the map could be found. The second item, the ring with the blue gemstone could only be deciphered in fragmented words that could not be read in any logical form. The one and only real lead he had was the ancient text written on the bottom half of the map made of Goblin Leather, but unfortunately all Sungjin could manage to do with his level of comprehension was to translate bits and pieces here and there. The message below was what Sungchul could decipher.
[If… you ask… powerful… and strong… morning… It is cute… Small animal… ring… that enjoys… sunshine… shines… the earth… is resolved… together… aria… through… the secret…]
Bertelgia tried her hand at deciphering, just in case, but the results were not largely different. Actually, her knowledge was rather harmful causing her attempt to become more fragmented and chaotic than Sungchul’s attempt.
It had already been a month since he had been fumbling through the mountain range. His mind and body were growing exhausted by the fruitless exploration, but there was little else he could do. Sungchul who had achieved great heights as a warrior and as a mage didn’t have much opportunity to grow. Multicasting was also a necessary skill in preparing for the upcoming battle with the Seven Heroes. A single high value ability could be the critical difference against an equally matched opponent.
Sungchul submerged his body deep into waters and raised the status window.
- Indomitable Spirit
(Immunity to Mental Attacks)
- Blessing from the God of Chaos
(Strength, Dexterity, Vitality 10% increase)
- Heir of Heracles
- Bloodline of Berserkers
(Major Bonus to Regeneration when below 10% Vitality)
- Champion of Humanity
- Rapid Bow of the Kingdom of High Elves
- Heart of an Ancient Warrior
(+5 Strength, Resilience, Vitality / Resilience)
- One who Stands against the Calamity
(All stats +10, Qualification)
Strength 999+ Dexterity 864
Vitality 813 Magic Power 592
Intuition 598 Magic Resist 720
Resilience 513 Charisma 28
The Blessing he had earned when taking care of the Demon King had granted him some unknown qualification along with the great boon of raising all of his stats by 10. He wasn’t quite sure what it was, but it was definitely not a normal blessing. With a glance at his stats, Sungchul could guess that the one who had granted him the new blessing, The One Who Stands against the Calamity, was powerful enough to overshadow all of his other curses.
It was mainly due to the changes in both his Charisma and Luck. Sungchul’s Charisma and Luck had been stuck at 18 and hadn’t moved since due to a certain curse. It was an undeniable proof that the existence that had granted him the blessing outranked the one who had cursed him as the curse was undone; allowing the two stats to rise.
‘Gods were the main forces behind the Calamity as expected.’
Sungchul who had thought that far shook his head before allowing it to rest. He had come here to relax. All of these complicated thoughts were unnecessary. What he had to do was crystal clear.
When he looked up past the thick foliage, he could see white clouds floating lazily by in the blue sky. Sungchul closed his eyes and allowed himself to relax in the warm water that embraced his body and the lethargic flow of time.
He stood like that for a long time then suddenly out of nowhere, Sungchul felt a presence. It was the presence of someone extremely covert and experienced. Sungchul opened his eyes to seek out the source of that presence and smirked.
‘Is it a Hot Spring cat?’
It was a massive cat with a coat in the color of the clouds. It was one of the animals that the cruel aristocrats of the Holy Rutheginea Kingdom would keep as pets or as livestock. Its size was about as large as a tiger, but it was a docile creature that enjoyed lazing about the hot spring.
The large cat stood in front of the hot spring, and carefully dipped its front paw in to check its temperature before diving in with a splash. When Sungchul looked over, the bugger peeked back before yawning.
“Woah. Hot Spring cat? That one is adorable.”
Bertelgia who had been drying her body with sunlight on a rock beside the hot spring discovered the cat and flew up into the sky.
“It might be better if you don’t fly around haphazardly.”
As Sungchul was finishing his warning, the Hot Spring Cat popped out of the water and darted toward her.
Bertelgia immediately tried to retreat, but the cat was a step faster. The Hot Spring Cat pressed her down to the ground with its wet front paw.
Sungchul watched her pitiful form with a smile before speaking to the cat in a soft voice.
After a brief contest of wills, the cat let out a meow to express its discontent before returning to submerge its body at its previous spot.
“I thought I was dead. Why’s it acting like that? Such a bully! Papa said that they don’t hurt humans…”
“You’re a book now. You’re the perfect size for it to be curious about.”
“Uuu… is that the case?”
Sungchul leaned back and stared off into the sky before pulling out a ring from his Soul Storage and letting the sun reflect off its surface. It was a blue gemstone ring he had received from a quest.
The blue gemstone ring, now soaking in sunlight, radiated with brilliant, yet useless, light in every direction.
‘I don’t think I’ll be able to find an answer at this rate.’
Things were not going well. and that was even with him standing in the thick of it. He desperately wanted to find the clues to Multicasting, but at this rate, there would be no end to it. Sungchul decided to leave the jungle to explore the human territories. It was a bit dangerous, but he had no other ideas. Not only that, but he also had more than a small desire to leave this wretched jungle.
Panchuria, the City over the River. There was the Human Empire to the North, and the kingdom of Lizardmen to the south. This independent city that sat between the Screaming Sword’s Edge mountain range was reputed for its bustling commerce and abundance in local products, but it also had terrible climates and was infamous for being a cesspool for the human filth that filtered out from various parts of the continent.
This city was composed of many ships that were held together voluntarily, or not so willingly, on top of a large riverbed which gave it the essential ability to literally move the city effectively over water.
Sungchul sat alone on a sturdy boat made for five passengers. The original owner of the boat was a five-member group of bandits that plundered on the river, but their shout of joy upon discovering Sungchul became their final moment of celebration. Those corpses that would currently be fish food at the bottom of the river had provided Sungchul with the precious gift of an adequate boat and general information about the city. The information held great value to Sungchul who had never stepped foot into Panchuria before.
He leisurely rowed the boat before purchasing some fruit from river-faring fruit vendors that had their wares on display and shoved one into his mouth as he looked around. His eyes finally found the structure it was looking for. It was a massive structure composed of the bodies of 5 galleys held together by wooden boards. The name of this building from which stench of alcohol and the raucous noise of fighting could be heard in the middle of the day was the Emperor’s Outhouse.
There were no scholars here. It was a place of pandemonium teeming with nothing but thieves and scam artists that made up the general populace of Panchuria. Sunchul docked his boat onto the Emperor’s Outhouse and headed inside the establishment. There was a large wanted poster stuck on the notice board beside the entrance.
[Anyone that can provide information regarding the Enemy of the World will be given a considerable bounty – Governor of Panchuria, Loremei Chui]
Beneath the intense words was a vile illustration of the supposed Enemy of the World. Thankfully, there was no need for Sungchul to hide his face nor change his attire.
‘To think that there was someone worse than me at drawing.’
However, there was a flying book behind that hideous illustration of Sungchul.
“W-what is that? That thing… Is that supposed to be me?”
The book drawn behind Sungchul was shoddy and small with pitiful wings, but more than anything, the book appeared to be quite thin.
“Do they think that I am some sort of children’s picture book or something?!”
Bertelgia’s fury was directed toward her lack of pages.
Sungchul firmly pressed down on Bertelgia who was making a racket inside his pocket to calm her before taking a step into the bar cum meetinghouse known as the Emperor’s Outhouse.
I think last chapter was a good place to end Book 2 of this series and so we will be going with that checkpoint for Book 2 release. You can get the first book here Buy Now
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