The building looked ordinary from the outside. It didn’t seem to have any kind of distinguishing feature nor magic formations.
Vestiare invited them in with a smile.
“If this is a trap, you better prepare yourself.”
Sungchul didn’t hesitate in opening the marble doors and entering the building. Within the building, Sungchul heard a sound that made him doubt his ears.
It was the sound of baby’s laughter. How many years has it been? Sungchul’s pace quickened and he could soon see them. The newborns in the arms of young mothers. Within this cramped dome was new lives that should have been impossible under the curse of Extinction.
“…How is this possible?” Sungchul asked as he trembled from deep within.
“It is exactly as you see.” Vestiare answered.
“The Curse of Extinction no longer works in this paradise.”
Sungchul turned to gaze with suspicion at the mothers and the babies. The children looked complete and whole at a glance. It did not appear to be a creation nor an illusion. But Sungchul felt deep in his bones that Vestiare was someone highly proficient in trickery. He did not reject what he could see, but that did not mean that he accepted everything as they seemed. Vestiare seemed to have predicted Sungchul’s reaction and flowed smoothly to the next topic.
“I completely understand that it would be difficult to believe in this small miracle of mine. That is why I prepared this room in the Verdure Greenhouse just for you. What do you think of staying a while and watching the children grow?”
She was suggesting that if he was suspicious of her, he should stick around and observe. There was no method better in buying time than this. Sungchul immediately saw through Vestiare’s intentions, but he found himself unable to flat out refuse. It was because the purpose of his difficult journey was to find a cure for the Curse of Extinction put on his adopted daughter.
There are not very many people who would leave behind a tangible solution right before their eyes and insist on a roundabout and perilous alternative.
“Wait. I need time to think.”
Sungchul requested Vestiare to give him time. It was exactly what Vestiare wanted to begin with. She gave a graceful smile as she ordered servants who looked like her to attend to Sungchul before leaving.
“You can take your time to think. I don’t mind if you want to consult me about how the Curse of Extinction was beaten. I’ll be at the Palace at any time.”
Once Vestiare was gone, Sungchul was led by the smaller Vestiares to a room assigned to him within this domed building named Verdure Greenhouse. It was a bedroom filled with elegant furniture and great works of art.
“Wow! It’s my first time sleeping in a place like this!”
Bertelgia excitedly threw herself onto the bed and dug under the blankets. Bertelgia started giving off weird noises as she took in the sensation of the highest quality goose feather blanket against her body.
“Uheh… This is the best.”
Unlike Bertelgia, Sungchul was unable to relax. Witnessing something he didn’t expect had shaken him deep into his core.
‘At the very least, what I have seen is not fake. Illusions are broken by my blessings and Soul Contract. Even if it was created, it cannot act freely in my sight unless it is significantly sophisticated and elaborate. Therefore those children in that room could be real.’
Leaving the next generation to posterity is the duty of every living being. Therefore, countless kings and lords have put in great effort to try and resolve the Curse of Extinction. Great scholars of the current age, clergy capable of bringing about miracles, hermit mage et al, countless great men and women worked together to figure it out together. But to the end, no one was able to come up with a solution.
At the point the child of the world’s most powerful man, the Emperor, was lost to the curse, just who would be capable of producing a descendent?
It has become ingrained in the minds of the people that the Curse of Extinction could not be stopped. Slowly but definitely, the people came to think only of living in the moment. But now, someone claimed that they found a way to overcome the Curse of Extinction.
Vestiare was one of the best mages of the previous era. She possesses ancient knowledge lost to the current generation, and even dabbled in the Calamities believed to be a domain of the gods. It might be possible that if it is her, she might have the ability to solve the Curse of Extinction. She might.
“What are you agonizing over?”
Bertelgia opened her mouth after popping out of the bed after playing around for a while when she saw that Sungchul was making a deeply troubled look.
“It just doesn’t feel real.”
He had already seen with his own eyes, but suspicion over Vestiare’s ability was live and well in one corner of his mind. Because he was one of the people who worked the hardest for the cure to the curse.
“Do you think that Vestiare simply put on a show?”
“That might be possible since her objective is unmistakably to buy time.”
Telling him to stay and watch children grow was nothing short of telling him outright to sacrifice a significant amount of his time here.
“I guess asking her straight out is the best course of action.”
Sungchul left the room and immediately went looking for Vestiare. Vestiare was drinking tea on a terrace with a gorgeous view overlooking the entirety of the city of Ixion. She knew the reason for Sungchul’s visit.
“You’ve come to ask how the Curse of Extinction was overcome, right?”
“Give a short answer.”
Sungchul spoke with a hint of venom. It was due to the issue touching a nerve in him. Vestiare turned her gaze back to her city. After a brief moment of silence, she answered him.
“This city is under the protection of a Lesser God.”
“Yes. A Lesser God from long ago that the people of the current era have forgotten about.”
Sungchul was about to say the word heresy but stopped himself. It was because he judged that it was improper to expect Vestiare to uphold modern rules and beliefs when she is both a Calamity as well as hero of the past. But Sungchul was fully aware of how dangerous what Vestiare was trying to do was.
‘Going as far as to summon a Lesser God. She’s completely lost her mind.’
Contacting Lesser God was vehemently prohibited in almost every religious cult and denominations. Lesser Gods are neither gods nor human. Therefore, they were extremely dangerous.
It was because although they had powers of a god, their minds had not shed remnants of their having been mortals. The sharp rise in the number of Regressors after the start of the Calamities were the work of these Lesser Gods. Appearing before failures and losers moments before their deaths, tempting them with the possibility of changing the future by regression, then watching them suffer as they experience the same outcome has long been a vile past time of a few Lesser Gods. It was impossible to contact the Lesser Gods without having a considerable amount of resolve. One could enjoy a small blessing of a Lesser God if lucky, but the risk was far too high. Even though Vestiare was one of the Seven Heroes, she was still merely a slightly different mortal in the eyes of the Lesser Gods.
Sungchul quietly stared at Vestiare.
Sly and cunning hero of the previous era was concealing her thoughts with a fog-like smile. It was impossible to read her thoughts through observations alone.
Sungchul recentered himself in silence and then carefully reflected on the present situation. Soon, Sungchul was able to discover a weak point in Vestiare’s claim.
“There is something strange.”
Sungchul pointed out the problem in a calm demeanor.
“Although the Lesser Gods are mighty, they are still just a Lesser God at the end of the day. They cannot overcome gods. And the Curse of Extinction is a curse directly from the gods. Overcoming the power of the gods with the power of the lesser gods doesn’t seem plausible.”
There is a debate technique often used by unscrupulous philosophers. It was the abuse of pedantry. A person of lesser knowledge would be intimidated by the weight of the vocabulary used and therefore be unable to find flaws in the false claims of a scammer. The term of Lesser God as used by Vestiare was similar in utility to this. But Sungchul was different from the common riffraff. He wasn’t manipulated by the terminology and instead realized the limitations of the word used and discovered a problem. Vestiare looked slightly surprised as if she did not expect Sungchul to be so sharp.
“I thought you were good at only fighting, but you are very observant. You are correct. Lesser God’s powers cannot overcome the powers of the gods.”
“Then how do you explain what is going on here?”
Vestiare turned her gaze back out of the terrace. The sky was still dyed in a blue color as if it was painted on there. Vestiare was thinking of something carefully. But instead of being silent in an attempt to come up with excuses, it seemed more like she was trying to figure out how to word her explanation. Vestiare soon let out a light sigh and looked at Sungchul. A look of determination, although brief, flashed across her blue eyes.
Vestiare opened her mouth as she looked straight at Sungchul.
“The Curse of Extinction is believed to be a curse from the gods. But once you come to understand its innerworkings, it turns out that it wasn’t such a great being that spread the curse after all.”
“The curse isn’t by the gods?”
“To be exact, it should be called an agent of the gods? Truth be told, there is very little practical difference between the gods and their agents from our perspective. But here, that distinction makes a difference. Especially in answering your question.”
“How did you obtain such information?”
Sungchul kept his piercing gaze on Vestiare as he asked. To this, Vestiare gave a faint smile as she answered.
“There are things you naturally come to learn as you live a long life.”
It didn’t seem like she was willing to share. He would have to find out on his own.
Sungchul bid farewell with Vestiare for now and returned to the Verdure Greenhouse. Sungchul looked at the children found all over its spacious halls as he headed to his room.
“It definitely looks as if the Curse of Extinction has no power here. But this is what Vestiare said. I cannot trust that woman.”
Sungchul sat on an armchair and muttered to himself.
“So you mean that it is possible the children outside are fakes, right?”
Bertelgia said as she popped out and said.
“Yes. Since that woman’s knowledge of magic is extraordinary.”
Sungchul recalled the small clones of Vestiare that she had made. Although they were all created by Vestiare, there was nothing outwardly awkward or strange about them. If she had the knowledge necessary to create those, then it was not outside the realm of possibility that she could create babies that could fool even Sungchul. To make matters worse, it wasn’t like it was okay for Sungchul to harm the babies to investigate if they were real.
‘Vestiare’s objective is clear. It is to buy time. But as a result, she was forced to use a hand that would compel me to stay here. If what she says is true, it is worth letting myself be manipulated. However, if she is not telling the truth…’
What Sungchul was the most worried about was taking unilateral loss. This is not what Sungchul wanted. He wanted to at least be able to verify if it was true that there really was a way to undo the Curse of Extinction.
“What are you so torn over? It’s not even that big a deal.”
Bertelgia said as she popped out of the blankets and stared at Sungchul who was lost in deep thought. She must have something in mind. Sungchul turned to look towards Bertelgia.
“Did you think of a way to earn your food?”
“What do you mean by food? I don’t even eat.”
“Did I not feed you the Warrior’s Stone and Assassin’s Stone?”
“Mmm. I don’t think that’s a fair comparison. Anyway, I’ve come up with a great solution!”
Bertelgia trembled inside of the blankets.
“Let’s make a baby together!”
Sungchul’s entire body momentarily froze in place. His iris were trembling like an earthquake.
“Why are you so shocked? You’re making me feel embarrassed.”
“Are you out of your mind Bertelgia?”
“You said you wanted to check if it is really possible that the Curse of Extinction could be overcome! Then making a baby is obviously the easiest solution!”
Bertelgia lifted up one side of the blanket and moved the pages as if she was beckoning Sungchul to come closer.
“What are you doing? Come in here right away!”
Sungchul immediately protested.
“Just what are you thinking Bertelgia? Did something go wrong with your mind?”
“What kind of stupid thoughts are you having now? Take THAT out now. Take it out.”
Sungchul doubted his ears as he remembered about his no-longer-standing object.
‘Did she finally go insane?’
It was just when Sungchul was about to shout. Bertelgia’s clear voice brought clarity to Sungchul’s confused mind.
“Omlette… I mean egg! Egg!”
Hearing that made Sungchul snap out of it.
“Yes, you idiot. Let’s try incubating that black winged birdbrain’s egg here!”
Sungchul desperately put on a poker face as he took a large egg out of the Soul Storage. Although it looked like a plain large egg, what it contained was definitely not anything plain.
The winged and beaked Avian race, Nahak.
The final king of that mighty race, Marakia, has returned to the world.
Book 2 of Main Character hides his Strength- Demon Realm is releasing on May 7th everyone. We are running a discounted promotion on preorders, read about it all here- https://www.oppatranslations.com/2020/04/30/main-character-hides-his-strength-book-2-demon-realm-releases-on-amazon-kindle-on-may-7th/
We promise a great reading experience similar to the first official book! Those of you who have read the kindle version know this that you wont be disappointed. Read the announcement for all the details. To visit directly to the book page on amazon you can visit here – https://geni.us/Book2DemonRealm
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