After the message had appeared, Sungchul was moved to another space. It was a land without any features like trees, hills, valleys, or buildings. This perfectly flat land extended all the way to the horizon, which was the only means to distinguish the boundary of the land. Another message appeared before him.
[You have arrived at the Forgotten Path of Sajators.]
Sajators. He, along with Vestiare, was one of the two Mages that were a part of the Seven Heroes, but his style was vastly different to hers. Vestiare used echoes to cast her Magic repeatedly, but Sajators was versatile enough with his ability to use several different types of Magic simultaneously. Because of that, he had earned the nickname ’Mage of Multicast.’
He would simultaneously prepare a multitude of spells, either dodging the enemy attacks or having already sealed off their movement with Magic, before simultaneously unleashing the prepared array of destructive spells to destroy all of his enemies in one go. His Multicast was even able to stack several different high-level spells with enough power to blow away the mountains; even obtaining just a single one of these spells would greatly help Sungchul.
‘I got lucky. I managed to find the path of Sajators after the path of Vestiare.’
He had hoped to also find traces of the other members of the Seven Heroes around the Summoning Palace. Since they always acted together ever since their conception until their final journey.
“Uuu…I can’t breathe…so painful…”
Bertelgia, who was in his front pocket, began to struggle.
“What’s wrong, book?”
“I can’t breathe…this space…it feels like I am fish out of water. Hurry…into the storage…put me into your storage.”
It appeared that this space wasn’t suitable for familiars. He put the familiar into his storage. Not long after, a light that was about the size of a firefly appeared.
It was a primitive spirit called Will o’ Wisp. The Will o’ Wisp which had arrived quietly began to form words.
[Which path of the Seven Heroes do you wish to walk?]
[The difficulty of the trials will vary based on the dream.]
There were five different dreams listed in ascending order of difficulty.
[Gentle Downward Slope]
[Gentle Upward Slope]
[Steep Upward and Downward Slopes]
Sungchul chose the most difficult path, and countless clouds appeared from the horizon. The clouds quickly covered the sky, and dried up and twisted dead grass appeared on the wasteland
He watched the changing environment with cold eyes until he saw something that was familiar to him.
‘Ah, this place. Isn’t this the Path of Lamentation?’
There was no doubt. This was the path leading to the entrance of the Demon realm. As if to prove that demons hated and despised all life, grass would not grow where a demon’s hooves had trampled on the Path of Lamentation. Only the cold, emotionless rain wet this dead land.
Sungchul watched the flowing clouds before picking a direction. He was heading northwest, walking wordlessly across the desolate landscape. Until suddenly and without warning, the ground beneath his feet gave out and pulled him into a vortex of earth and sand. It was a Sand Hell, one of the monsters of the Demon realm. Sajators’s message popped up before him.
[Due to this monster that swallowed the ground, we lost a large number of support units and beasts of burden that were carrying our rations.]
Sungchul didn’t panic and immediately jumped into action, he followed the contour of the sand as he ran towards the center of the vortex where a large pair of jaws awaited him.
He could hear the soulless laughter of a woman coming from the center. He grabbed the saw-like horns from its gaping maw to withstand the flowing sand.
The Sand Hell suddenly began struggling more violently and loosened the ground even further. Several tons of sand flew up and then came showering down from the sky. It pushed with an astounding amount of strength. However, Sungchul didn’t budge.
He grabbed the Sand Hell’s horn and held on solidly until its movements became dull. He twisted off the horn and stuck it deep into the maw of the Sand Hell after it had stopped shaking the earth.
The Sand Hell spat out violet blood as it convulsed before it flipped over. Sungchul lightly leaped out of the sand pit and hurried on.
A human skeleton blocked his path next. The skeleton wore a brilliant crown and a shining set of armor. As if to prove his former regality, the skeleton warrior had donned equipment that was fit for a king. His body made clacking sounds as he drew his blade. A message appeared before Sungchul.
[A foolish king joined hands with the Demon King in exchange for eternal life. He got his wish, but he didn’t retain his past form. We lost many friends due to this foolish king that stood in our way.]
Sungchul finally understood. The scenery before him was composed of Sajators’s memories. He was perfectly reliving Sajators’s journey through the Demon Realm that was sealed inside this place.
Several thousand skeleton warriors rose up around the Skeleton King. It was the very definition of a skeleton army. The crowned skeleton swung his blade, and the thousands of skeleton warriors mindlessly rushed towards Sungchul.
Sungchul cut down one or two skeleton warriors with his beginner’s blade, but he ended up pulling out Fal Garaz from his storage.
One hammer blow crushed dozens of skeleton warriors and left them sprawled on the floor.
Several holes formed within the skeletal army. The army had the ability to replenish their numbers, but the rate of their replenishment couldn’t keep up with the rate at which Sungchul destroyed them. Eventually, Sungchul reached the crowned skeleton and finished the battle with a single swing. The crown fell to the floor, and the army cursed with immortality disappeared, sucked into the ground through a mysterious force.
Several more obstacles blocked his path towards the Demon realm, but he overcame them with little difficulty. Balroq, a high-tier demon, finally appeared before him.
[How much blood had to be spilled beneath the hooves of the Demon General Ugripos, the King of all Balroqs? Our forces numbered 103 when we encountered him, yet the only ones to survive in the end were the Seven Heroes and a nameless youth.]
Sungchul focused all of his senses on the demon in front of him. It was different than the average Balroq. It was larger and exuded a stronger aura.
Ugripos let loose a thunderous laughter and swung his massive axe like a windmill. Strong gusts of winds caused the flames of hell to erupt from the ground, dyeing the scene an infernal red. Within the flames and the wind, Sungchul gripped Fal Garaz and stood unshaken against the King of Balroqs.
Sungchul’s hammer soon landed a critical hit upon Ugripos, but the moment they made contact, Ugripos evaded the blow by leaving behind an illusion made of flames, just like a cicada shedding its shell.
“Your attacks will never reach me.”
The demon spoke, but Sungchul didn’t stop. He blindly swung his hammer towards Ugripos again. It wasn’t just once, but it was a continuous blow which appeared as though several dozen hammers were attacking simultaneously.
Ugripos tried to use his evasive technique again, but after using the skill for the third time, Sungchul’s hammer finally found its mark.
“N-no! Save me! No!!!”
The King of Balroqs, while in the air, clenched his fists as the merciless barrage of blows pounded his body. It was not long until he perished.
Sungchul loosened his grip on the bloody hammer and calmed his breathing as he stood over the demon’s corpse. There was a burning land beyond the dark clouds. Demon Realm; the land of Devils. This was the end of the path of Sajators. The scene of the Demon Realm suddenly vanished. The featureless and barren land surrounded him once more.
“Amazing! I can’t believe there was a human capable of brute-forcing his way through the path like this.”
He heard a voice from behind. It was a voice full of youth and vigor. Sungchul turned around to respond to the owner of the voice. It was a Mage wearing a pure white robe; he wielded a staff that was taller than himself. Sungchul didn’t feel a presence from him, which meant that it was simply an apparition made of Magic. However, Sungchul was still surprised.
‘So this is Sajators.’
He looked younger than Sungchul had anticipated. No, ’Childish’ would have been more accurate. Unlike the typical elderly Mages who had diligently trained for their entire lives to obtain power, he seemed more like a gifted prodigy who did not have control over his overwhelming strength and was likely to act out on a whim.
“So you’re the human that Vestiare was talking about. Your strength is a most thrilling thing to behold, and so unwavering to boot. Really, I think you have the greatest potential I have yet to see!”
Sungchul only quietly responded.
“Stop yacking away like a bitch. Hand over the rewards and fuck off.”
Sajators grinned so widely that he showed his teeth*.
“The rewards will come. A promise is a promise! I just want to ask one thing: for what do you fight?”
He coiled his legs in the air and crossed his arms as he looked down upon Sungchul.
“To bash your head in.”
Sungchul fidgeted with his hammer while speaking.
“Haha! Truly an interesting friend. Okay. You sound a bit impatient, so I’ll reward you first.”
Sajators smirked while putting his hands together. Magical letters blossomed like flowers, appearing and disappearing around his hands, and after a while, several items appeared in his palms. Sajators grabbed one of the items and pushed it towards Sungchul.
“How about this? Friend?”
Sajators formed an evil smile at Sungchul’s question and answered.
Sungchul’s eyes visibly shook.
‘He said Final Elixir…? Is this really the Elixir…?!’
It is the king of all medicine said to even be able to resurrect the deceased, but the true value of the Final Elixir lay elsewhere. The Final Elixir was one of the only two known methods that could undo the Curse of Extinction.
“If you don’t like it, I have other items here. Feel free to choose carefully.”
Sajators laid down several items that also included legendary artefacts, Magical scrolls filled with mystery, and other items that were difficult to look away from. However, Sungchul’s eyes only held the Final Elixir within.
With his eyes filled with longing, Sungchul reached out for the Elixir. Sajators’s cruel smile deepened when his hands finally came in contact with the Final Elixir.
“Dear me. It’s a miss.”
When Sungchul’s fingers touched the Final Elixir, the legendary medicine turned to dust and scattered on the floor. Sajators’s heartless words followed after a cold laughter.
“Now I know what you fight for. Fatherly love…Such a painful word for you, isn’t it?”
“Why so quiet? Don’t tell me you’re angry? Hm?”
At that moment, Sajators’s apparition could feel an indescribable pressure bearing down upon him.
A fierce combat aura made from pure wrath billowed out of the poorly dressed young man. The hammer slowly rose.
Sajators’s apparition tried to escape, but he discovered that the intangible murderous intent had bound him in place.
The apparition was struck down by the hammer, and it shattered into pieces. However, it never lost its composure, as if still mocking Sungchul until the very end.
“Let’s meet again next time, friend. It won’t turn out like this that time!”
The cold voice weakly echoed as it broke apart, and bright letters appeared before Sungchul.
[You have completed Sajators’ path.]
[You have completed the Objective ’Completionist of the Unknown Path (Hidden – Epic).’]
- Magic Power +25
- Magic Blade – Infernal Heart (Rare)
Note: *Showing teeth is considered rude in Korea