Although half of the world had been handed off to the Calamity, and countless people were wandering aimlessly having lost their home and country, the people in power of this world continued to preach the same message. That everything was peaceful, and nothing was wrong. However, the build-up of karmic sins that they had been accruing over the ages was bound to burst.
“This kind of guy is one of the 13 Champions of the Continent?”
A young man was looking down on the pitiful corpse laid out before him and mocked it. He was actually more childlike than youthful, but the one lying dead before him was, surprisingly, no ordinary person. The 9th Continental Champion Dalphain the Paladin. One of the 13 Champions of the Continent, figures who could move the world, was lying dead with his eyes wide open and his hands clenching the dirt as though he himself couldn’t believe his own defeat.
This childish youth decapitated Dalphain with a single swing of his blade and raised the head for all to see. They watched the unbelievable scene with fear.
“For Dalphain the Paladin to have been defeated by an unknown swordsman.”
“No, this was a one-sided victory. It wasn’t hard to see why Dalphain lost, but that strength… Could that man be the infamous Enemy of the World from the rumors?”
“Could that be true? Is that the Enemy of the World?”
The whispering crowd began to utter the name of the forbidden person amongst each other. The young teenager who heard this made an expression as though it was ridiculous and muttered to himself after spitting on the ground.
“Blaming that Enemy of the World again. I’m tired of it. He’s the most notorious villain just because he messed around a bit earlier than me. How is this fair?”
The teenager said as such before turning back. A female mage with a large veil and a warrior holding a lengthy spear were sitting wordlessly over a fountain surrounded in darkness. When he didn’t get the retorts he expected, the teenager held a faint smile as he turned toward the crowd and shouted again in a sharp voice.
“The era of the cowardly and weak 13 Champions of the Continent have passed! The powerful, the wise, and most importantly, the youth of the Dark Registry will establish world order instead of the rotting garbage!”
The crack in the indomitable system of order that had been maintained for so long came from the east of the continent where power of the World Parliament did not reach.
Paladin Dalphain who was one of the 13 Champions had died due to a duel with a nameless swordsman, but strictly speaking, the man in question was not truly nameless but simply not yet known to the world. The one that killed Dalphain was Angelo Rooks who was a Half-Elf that had already been designated as a dangerous individual by the 13 Champions.
The reason he was considered dangerous was ridiculous. He was excluded from the 13 Champions of the Continent despite his outstanding strength due to political reasons, and he was placed upon a special list of dangerous individuals known as the Dark Registry for expressing his complaints about the situation.
It wasn’t just Angelo Rooks who was listed on the Dark Registry. A naive warrior who believed that one could advance with just effort and ability, and a mage who showcased innovative magic that was too powerful also found themselves on this registry.
The conditions for being put on the registry were simple: Be more powerful than the average Champion and hold some grudge toward the current order. Anyone that met these two conditions could be placed on the registry with no restrictions and be allowed to experience what true oppression is. In reality, those on the registry faced unjust oppression for a long time, but they didn’t just sit around taking it. As those in power continued to buy time by delaying the Calamity for over 10 years, the deadly poisonous mushrooms that would kill them continued to cultivate their strength within the shadows in silence, and once one half of the world had fallen, they wanted to break from their lengthy imprisonment and stretch their legs.
“Angelo. What’s our next objective?”
The young mage wearing a large veil and glasses yawned and moved toward him.
“I’m not sure. What sounds good?”
Angelo smirked and placed Paladin Dalphain’s head on the ground and took a few steps back before punting it like a soccer ball. The head without its body shot up toward the sky and scattered the still-warm blood unto the white stone pavement.
“Now that I think about it, that fake Emperor seemed to have done something major recently in La Grange. You’ve heard about it too, Prima?”
The pleasantly simple looking woman named Prima looked quietly toward the headless body of Dalphain and lightly lifted it with her hand. A faint aura of magic seemed to spill out from her fingertips causing the headless corpse of the former Champion to rise on its own. The corpse walked clumsily over to where its head had flown and attached the severed head to its neck. The masses that watched this trembled or prayed, but Angelo simply smiled as he spoke as though he found it amusing.
“Speaking of which, how about we go wild for once?”
“At La Grange? Do you think that’s possible? Even if the power of the empire has diminished recently, their fleets are still intact.”
“Yea, so let’s just go wild for once! We’ll just leave the exact details to the old man Dentures. You aren’t satisfied because you’ve just managed to kill one of the washed-up Champions of the Continent, right?”
“Well, that’s not it, but…”
As she said as such, the corpse of the deceased Dalphain shook its head from side to side causing it to fall on the ground. It picked the head back up and attached it back to its neck. Angelo who saw this scene beamed as he spoke.
“The world is doomed already, so what’s to be scared of? We should enjoy ourselves before our time comes. Anyways, I’m also tired of hearing the name Enemy of the World. Let’s just shake things up so that that bastard’s name doesn’t even pop into their heads.”
Seven Heroes, 13 Continental Champions, and Sungchul Kim.
While the giants of the era were taking a breather, a threat that no one could have imagined was born within the ruins of calamity.
The nickname of Section 8 was the Human Sewers. It got its name from the fact that all kinds of people fell down into this place from all parts of the world. Mages were no exception. A promising mage from a reputable Magic Academy was among them, although the truth of the matter was something to judge for oneself.
“He lost a competition and went through a series of self-abuse before he ended up falling to Section 8. He became unable to use magic now, but the magical knowledge in his head is the real deal. However, be careful.” Sungchul was advised.
The mage that had now become a street performer surviving through deception appeared fine on the outside. He was extremely tall and had the optimistic expression of an elderly man. He was called the Street Lamp of Section 8, and the reason Sungchul sought him was simple: to obtain a magic tome. As the third Soul Gem was freed up, the need for more variety of magic increased. When Sungchul stated that he was looking for a magic tome, the Street Lamp squinted his eyes and looked over Sungchul carefully before speaking.
“Now that I look at you, you appear to be a Summoned. You should at least know that you need to acquire a Mage class to learn magic right?”
“I am of a mage class.”
Sungchul replied briefly.
“Ah, I see. I only say this because some of the Summoned come to me to learn magic but do not have a mage class and make a fuss. They’re very tiresome people. They don’t seem to know that there are impossible things in this world, and I wouldn’t do this if they’re young. The older ones should act their age!”
“Let’s make a trade.”
Sungchul spoke seriously. Street Lamp perked up and looked over him again before making a moaning sound as though he was restraining himself before sighing. He pulled out a couple of magic tomes from his possession and laid them onto the table.
Sungchul looked over the books on the table thoroughly. Offensive spell from the School of Pyromancy, offensive support spell from the School of Cryomancy, and various other popular spells from the various schools of magic were laid out. However, there was nothing he wanted here. Sungchul spoke after looking over every book.
“I’m from the school of Cosmomancy though?”
After hearing this, Street Lamp smiled after scratching his head.
“Ah, you’ve learned magic before? I have wronged you. At first glance, I thought you’ve just barely managed to obtain just the mage class.”
He pulled out a few more books from his bag. There were a few that caught his eye this time. Sungchul picked out two of the tomes. Faerie Light and another mid grade incantation technique. Faerie light was a common spell that forms a sphere of light that follows the caster. It was a useful little guy that made it so a torch wasn’t required to explore the dark. On the other hand, mid grade incantation techniques would enhance the incantation techniques that he was already using to great effect.
When Sungchul purchased both books, Street Lamp spoke as he looked toward Sungchul with wide eyes.
“But do you have some runes? You’re going to need a decent amount of runes to use mid grade incantations properly.”
“Aren’t runes contained with the tomes? I remember that 4 runes came with the introductory tome.”
“You’re being too short sighted! Introductory, mid grade, and advanced books all contain the same runes. They are all for trap type incantations, but it’s hard to make money from trap incantations alone.”
Sungchul had thought the man might try to scam him, but it looked like he was quite knowledgeable.
“I’m not sure what you’re trying to use incantations for, but if you’re trying to make money from it, you might want to go to where they handle runes professionally to purchase some popular runes. There are a lot of requirements for something like a Vigilance barrier, so if you keep it memorized, you shouldn’t have trouble keeping food on your table. At the very least, you might be able to escape this damned Sewers and live a normal life.”
Street Lamp lit the roll of weed in his mouth and smiled bitterly as though he was reflecting his own inability to use magic.
“Where can I buy runes?”
“There should be someone called Airfruit in the catacombs. He claims to be an Airfruit alumni, as you can tell by the name, but he’s quite unsavory. As far as I can tell, I’m not sure if he’s even gone to a Magic Academy or if he’s even literate, but he operates the largest magic shop in Section 8. Although, he doesn’t deal with just anyone.”
It was good info, however, there was a small problem: The shop’s location. The catacomb was an underground grave filled to the brim with skeletons for dozens if not thousands of years. And this region was the territory of one of the Triumvirate of Serpents that ruled over Section 8 within the shadows, Roxanne. As a strong force who dominates the underground economy of section 8, she reputedly possessed a careful and meticulous personality. Accordingly, she didn’t permit just anyone into her territory, nor did she enter into dealings with unauthorized persons. No matter how much profit the other party could net her.
When Sungchul looked annoyed, Street Lamp added one more thing as he put away the books he had laid out into a bag.
“I’ve heard that Roxanne was hiring these days. It’s for day laborers, but if you want to buy some runes, why not try applying for it?”
Sungchul thought that it was good information and left. When he checked the notice board, there was a notice for laborers for work relating to the catacombs posted next to a flyer for a zookeeper by Anglo-Saxon Boy. However, the notice wasn’t posted in a good spot. The zookeeper position was a job that required a replacement once a week before Sungchul arrived. When Sungchul followed up with the information broker, he learned that there was not much else more dangerous than this job.
“No matter how strong you are mister, you’re better off not taking that job.”
The one-eyed informant went straight to the point.
“Roxanne’s men often smuggled contraband through the Great Sewers, but that suddenly became impossible. The unidentified creatures appeared one day in there all of a sudden. They were strange hybrid that weren’t slime nor human.”
Sungchul recalled the mob of Soldiers of Salvation that tore apart the corpses while making the strange cries. The information broker continued.
“Roxanne took huge losses because of those creatures blocking her smuggling route. It appears that she brought in some powerful warriors from the outside to no avail. However, she started to make a new route within the Great Sewers as a last resort as she was about to be dried up completely.”
“So you’d just die if you encounters the creatures during construction.” spoke Sungchul.
The broker nodded at Sungchul’s words.
“Imagine those powerful bastards who could even tear apart a Superhuman knight swarming towards you en masse. Do you get my draft?”
Sungchul was about to say that he could, but he suppressed the words back down his throat.
In any case, Sungchul now knew of the situation.
‘For now, I should unseal the Soul Gems while I’m under Anglo and visit Roxanna’s side at some point when the occasion arises.’
Sungchul finalized his plans as he returned to Anglo’s residence. The guard called Kimchi welcomed him as always.
“Ey, why have you returned empty-handed when you said you were going grocery shopping? What happened to the Black Leaf?”
Sungchul placed the Black Leaf that he had forgotten about into Kimchi’s hand as he gifted the guard with a bag containing a cookie.
“Oh, thanks for this.”
Kimchi smiled widely. He wasn’t sure since when, but Sungchul began to gift Kimchi a cookie whenever he stepped in the door.
It started by chance. As he had been chewing on some snacks he had bought from the market while he was returning to the residence when Kimchi looked in his direction pitifully. He was eating something he wasn’t quite fond of that he had bought on impulse, so he gave it all to Kimchi instead of eating it forcefully. Of course, Kimchi was extremely happy and naturally expressed fondness in Sungchul.
“Oh, today’s a butter ring. All of this expensive snacks… I guess the zookeeper gets good pay?”
“Well, it’s enough to get by.”
In reality, the monthly wage was 20 silvers and the cost of a butter ring was one and a half silvers. Considering the wage he received, it was quite a costly gift.
“My wife will like it very much.”
Kimchi had a happy expression while smelling the aroma of the butter ring. Sungchul who saw this reflected on his words.
‘Are they newlyweds?’
He had never been married personally, but he simply made a conjecture.
“Anyways, my wife said she wanted to see your face.”
“Well, she wanted to see the face of the person gifting us snacks every day without fail.”
It appeared like Kimchi was trying to invite Sungchul to his home. It had been quite a while since the last time he had been invited to someone’s home. Several years, in fact. It was a rare opportunity, for Sungchul had only a few friends and a disgusting amount of enemies.
It was unnecessary to think long. He happily accepted Kimchi’s invitation.
Back after a long while. We released some work in between, do have a look I have linked it in the next chapter button.