Although there was no change in expression, shock manifests partially through behavior.
McRaed glared at the silent Sungchul with narrowed eyes as she spoke in a cold voice.
“That woman sent you there knowing that. To make you into a tool of her revenge.”
“That woman has already died. And I have obtained power. I do not think this conversation needs to go on any further.”
Sungchul was subtly displeased. McRaed smirked and turned away.
“I saw the curse from the Witch of the Forest on my dear. That was probably what you wanted to show me.”
“And the conclusion?”
“I also do not want to live with a man who can’t fulfill the role of a man.”
Sungchul may have answered calmly, but he was feeling uneasy. McRaed continued to speak.
“But I’m going to ask for something else.”
“I will comply if it’s reasonable.”
McRaed made a wide grin as she excitedly spoke.
“How about going on a trip with me once you’re finished here? Starting from the deserted beaches of the Eastern Regions, traveling through the great jungles of the south, and to the desert beyond that would be nice. Anyway, let’s go make a round trip around the whole continent.”
“But I do not have time for that.”
Things being as they were, it was not time to leisurely go on a holiday. McRaed looked disappointed as she spoke quietly as if to beg.
“Then just one day at the beach.”
“…If that is all, then I accept.”
McRaed jumped up in joy and made a brilliant smile. Seeing this, Sungchul thought to himself,
‘Is this the so-called Bi Polar Disorder?’
“You only need to bring yourself. I’ll make all the travel preparations. From clothing to food, I’ll bring everything. Since you can’t cook, I suppose you can do the dishes.”
“I will be the one to cook.”
Sungchul asserted stubbornly. Although it was a very important issue to him, it was not important to McRaed as to who would be cooking.
She sat behind her now-broken desk and rested her hand on her chin as she began to speak in a different voice.
“As promised, I’ll tell you, my dear, what you’ve brought.”
Sungchul headed over to the empty sofa and sat down before gazing in McRaed’s direction.
“That substance has several names. The most common name attributed to it is probably Fragment of Calamity.”
“You mean it has other names?”
McRaed nodded to Sungchul’s question as she continued her explanation.
“It’s also called the ‘Soil of God’.”
“Soil of God?”
“That black substance contains an unbelievable amount of essence of power. It can do anything and become anything. That’s why one of its nicknames is Soil of God. But, in the past, it appeared to have been called ‘All Things’.”
“All Things you say…”
Sungchul carefully examined the Fragment of Calamity sitting atop his palm. The flat stone had a deep green color that gave it an aura of coldness. It was rough to the touch and cold as ice. He had already suspected that it was no ordinary object when his Eyes of Truth was unable to discern its identity, but it didn’t seem like it hid such boundless potential like McRaed was saying.
“Long ago, there was an alchemist named Eckheart.”
McRaed said. Sungchul’s gaze automatically moved back to her when he recognized the name.
“He was the very first alchemist who successfully produced All Things. And using All Things, he was able to become an alchemist capable of performing miracles. But he was unlucky. Because the Seven Heroes lived in his era as well.”
McRaed stood up to open the windows wide. Beyond the windows, Sungchul was able to see the giant Colossus standing at the center of the city.
“Let me show you something fun.”
McRaed hopped out of the window. Although it was fairly high up, by the power of magic, she flew like a bird. Sungchul simply jumped out with brute forth like a cannon.
He had magic but he did not want to reveal it. McRaed headed straight towards the Colossus.
Sungchul followed her and arrived below the Colossus. By the lower body of the Colossus was a neat arrangement of supplies including meat, fruits, vegetables, haystacks all placed on top of a board made of silver. McRaed and her servants were standing around that.
“Bring that over.”
McRaed looked around and spoke commandingly. One Mage approached McRaed and placed a dark crystal on top of her open hand.
It was the same Fragment of Calamity he had witnessed them collect from the Statue of Sidmia at one of the Settlements. McRaed flew up towards the Colossus once she had the crystal. When she snapped her fingers, the bottom of the Colossus opened up and revealed complex machinery. Sungchul’s eyes grew wide in surprise.
‘That’s… It’s the same as the one I found inside of Dragoman’s Colossus.’
McRaed opened the same metal plating and inserted the black crystal before closing it back up. And then she spoke to the Colossus as if to give an order.
“Silent servant of God, Keeper of ancient knowledge, Bertelgia Unit 4, I command you. Grant us our small wish with this offering.”
As soon as McRaed was finished speaking, the Colossus let out a peculiar sound as if to answer her call. And soon, a miracle happened.
From the machine parts located on the lower body of the Colossus, uncountable number of magic formations not even Sungchul could decipher appeared all overlapping each other for a moment before firing something like a laser downward.
Sungchul saw unbelievable things from within the gathering of lights. The various supplies that were stacked up high below the Colossus began to multiply. One sausage became ten, then a hundred.
The board made of silver also underwent the multiplication and appeared one atop another until it resembled a building.
Bertelgia trembled as she witnessed something unbelievable. But at that moment, something even stranger was happening in Sungchul’s perspective. There was a change that was occurring from within himself.
Before his eyes, words brighter than even the lights emitted by the Colossus formed and took place as if ordained by fate.
[Only those who have crafted the stone are able to see this message.]
[What you are witnessing is one of the powers of the Creationist.]
Sungchul held his breath as he waited for the next words to appear. And soon, another word appeared before him.
“Was it too emotional?”
The lights dissipated and the multiplication of the supplies ended.
McRaed approached Sungchul who was staring up at the Colossus with his mouth slightly ajar.
“I feel like it’s been quite a while since I saw you make that face. Ever since that time I set fire to the Palace I mean.”
“… It is certainly an impressive sight.”
Sungchul answered as he shook his head.
The shock of seeing those words earlier still affected him slightly.
‘That’s one of the powers of the Creationist? Then it all makes sense. How Ga Xi Ong was able to create such a vast Golem army.’
The Colossi possessed a device that could duplicate objects. It was probably created by Eckheart himself, but it appeared as though the Seven Heroes had the knowledge of how to use it. Sungchul turned to McRaed to speak.
“Did Vestiare teach you how to use that black fragment?”
“Yeah. Vestiare nim did teach me. So that we may have the means to operate a city she created for ourselves.”
Everything became clear. There was nothing else to ask.
People who are gathered into Settlements are sacrificed as offerings to create the Fragments of Calamity called All Things. That black crystal brings new Ixion great abundance. Those who witness such prosperity are tricked into believing in false hope and flock to the Settlements.
Ixion devours the innocent people gathering at the Settlements.
Sungchul felt a chill crawl up his spine.
‘This is literally a farm of death.’
It was a concept that no human could have thought of. But for those who despite humanity like the Seven Heroes, it was more than possible for them to have devised a design.
‘Vestiare. Forget an ordinary monster, you created a truly terrible and twisted monstrosity in the form of a society.’
He continued to look at McRaed and spoke calmly, yet his voice was laced with subtle wrath.
“Did you sacrifice the people of the Settlements to do something like this?”
“What else could we do?”
McRaed seemed surprised by Sungchul’s questioning, but she motioned for people to go away as she made a sour expression. Once there were only the two of them remaining under the Colossus did she open her mouth again.
“There was nothing we could do but to sacrifice some so that we can survive.”
“But to gather thousands of people into something like a chicken coop to massacre…”
“We’re simply paying back what we got. From the decisions made by your Continental Champions and the World Parliament.”
There was unconcealable fury in her red eyes.
“Those are organizations you made, right darling? The Thirteen Continental Champions, as well as the World Parliament.”
McRaed said with a sing song voice.
Sungchul fell silent. Although he left the Thirteen Continental Champions and became the Enemy of the World, he had been a key actor in the formation of both the Continental Champions and the World Parliament.
“If you’ve only put a single person in there who could represent and protect the interests of the Eastern Regions then our Kingdom wouldn’t have had to be destroyed. An Emperor who is a mere Summoned controlling our fate would have never have happened otherwise.”
Action taken in good faith sometimes produces negative consequences.
The organizations Sungchul created to face the Calamity exceeded national and race boundaries but grew too powerful. And those organizations were exploited by the selfish few to serve their purpose.
Sungchul understood very well. The fact that his sins will not disappear simply because he left his position. He could not claim that the mass killings going on at Ixion was not a result of his actions.
‘What kind of karma is this…?!’
“Either way, they were people who were cursing and mocking you. You can’t possibly be wanting to play savior after everything, are you?”
McRaed gave an accusational glare at Sungchul.
“What are you talking about?”
“Order of Extinction. Is it not something you created?”
McRaed scoffed after she spoke. Sungchul felt a scraping discomfort within as he replied calmly.
“… Order of Extinction has no connections to me. They are a group of fanatics who decided to use my name without my permission.”
“Then it’s all fine. Since you’re not the savior the Order of Extinction says you are, you’ll be fine even if you close your eyes and pretend you didn’t see anything, right my dear?”
“With the Fragment that you have, no, even with half of that… I can show you a miracle you desperately want fulfilled.”
McRaed deviously changed the subject…
“I will show you the miracle of removing the Curse of Extinction.”
…to something Sungchul could not ignore.
Hello all! We just released Demon Realm in paperback and it is beautiful! Some pics from the proof copy we received from Amazon-
It honestly feels amazing to me seeing the work come out so beautifully on paper. Efforts rewarded! I hope you all liked it too:) (PS: I am not a great photo clicker! Also, your version wont come with the not for resale mark like mine as mine was a proof copy to check production result and yours will be the same minus the not for resale).
You can order yours here https://amzn.to/2B20l1J