In an unfathomably distant past, there was a time when an unbelievable number of humans were summoned en masse into Other World. The irresponsible gods left the fate of Other World in the hands of the insignificant humans. The humans were unaccustomed to the world and were quite primitive, but they had been able to overcome Other World’s tribulations after many sacrifices. The Seven Heroes were at the center of this.
The Seven Heroes, as they had been called by the people, suddenly disappeared one day, leaving behind a legend stating that they would return when they were once again needed. This legend was fulfilled in the most ironic form possible.
[…The seven forgotten beings, who disappeared after trampling over the Devil’s demonic forces, will one day return to fulfill their promise. And with them, blood, death, war and pestilence will come.]
The forgotten saviors of the past were now rewritten as a Calamity, becoming one of the symbols of extinction within the minds of the people. However, no one could answer as to what kind of individuals these Seven Heroes actually were. It was one of the most heavily guarded secrets in this world, known only by the highest levels of authority. Sungchul was also counted amongst them.
‘Vestiare. She was definitely one of the Mage heroes. A High Elf. She created a class of Magic called Echo.’
His blood had started boiling as soon he had heard the name Vestiare. Vestiare had reached the peak of all Mages. She must have created this cave in order to pass on her techniques and skills to a worthy student.
‘It must have been from before they fell. Back when they still cared about humanity…’
Faith in humanity. The thought brought a bitter taste to his mouth, but it was almost over. He had already witnessed so much betrayal, change of heart, and corruption. He had seen enough evil to fill even the Devils with disgust. If it hadn’t been for his promise, he would have given up a long time ago. It was the first and only promise he had made, back when he had still been an ordinary person. He might have even decided to give up all his strength and return to his world otherwise.
A sigh welling up from deep inside his chest spilled out. Sungchul’s eyes sharpened like the stars of the clear midnight sky, and he shook off the foggy memories of the past.
Another set of bright letters appeared before him.
[Be ready. The Eternal Nightmare is about to begin.]
His surroundings turned a bloody crimson, and the metallic stench of blood tickled his nose. Sungchul slowly moved forward. Within the blood mist, creatures that looked like a compressed brain came into view. They were cloaked in invisibility Magic, but couldn’t trick Sungchul’s eyes. They were Dream Demons, commonly known as succubus or incubus. These demonic creatures would use the suction cups beneath their brain-like bodies to drain their victim’s life force while injecting sweet dreams into their minds. It was similar to how mosquitoes also used anesthetics to drain blood.
A suction cup attached itself to Sungchul, but he continued, moving forward without giving it another thought. The incubus began to induce sweet dreams through the suction cups directly into Sungchul’s mind. Sungchul, however, did not react to it at all.
One by one, other Dream Demons began attaching themselves to him. The massive swarm of Dream Demons soon formed something similar to a grotesque helmet sitting on his head. These Dream Demons continued to inject the most euphoric dreams imaginable into his mind. The average person would never have wished to wake up from such sweet dreams, but Sungchul suddenly stopped moving.
“Let’s see…is that all of them?”
He lightly brushed his hand across his head. Five Dream Demons were caught by their suction cups.
Sungchul swung them wildly over his head using their suction cups.
They struck the walls of the cave and disappeared in a bloody mess. Sungchul brushed across his head again and grabbed some more.
The Dream Demons began emitting threatening noises, but these were meaningless acts of defiance. Sungchul gave them a full swing and a few more disappeared in a similar mess. The Dream Demons began detaching themselves from his head, finally feeling a sense of terror. Some of the Dream Demons doubled down with even more euphoric visions while others even tried injecting paralyzing nightmares. However, all forms of resistances were meaningless.
Another batch of Dream Demons was pitifully killed after being mercilessly smashed into the wall. After several more repetitions, almost all of the Dream Demons had been eradicated. Sungchul grabbed the last remaining Dream Demon and brought it to his eyes. His emotionless eyes stared at the glowing eyes of the incubus.
“Watch carefully, you bastards. I am your worst nightmare.”
Sungchul crushed the last Dream Demon in his hands.
The Dream Demon screamed in agony as it became deformed while leaking brain fluid, before finally exploding.
A mixture of blood and brain fluid was dripping from his hands. The reason he was able to overcome the Dream Demons was simple. Unshakable: a blessing that nullified all forms of mental attack. The creatures who had died by his hands did not realize this truth until the very end.
A ghostly doll lingered before Sungchul, who had handily cleaned up all of the Dream Demons. It emitted an unusual aura. He recognized it as a Mana Automaton.
The ghostly doll slowly approached Sungchul and revealed its form. Blond hair flowing like moonlight, sparkling eyes like fallen stars, long pointy ears. It was a High Elf woman.
“You have killed all of my demonic servants.”
The familiar woman spoke as though in a dream. Sungchul could surmise her identity from her appearance and her manner of speaking.
“Are you Vestiare?”
The woman only faintly smiled. Sungchul then realized that he couldn’t feel a presence from this woman.
‘This isn’t Vestiare’s physical body. It must just be some vestige of her memory.’
He might have called it a ‘vestige’, but it still contained a significant amount of Magic Power. Enough to make him feel admiration towards Vestiare.
“I don’t think we can continue the trial anymore. Only those that can overcome thirty-three euphoric dreams and twenty-seven painful nightmares would be eligible for obtaining the rewards. And you just destroyed all of the tools.”
“Didn’t I win, then? I’ve ‘overcome’ all those things that would inject the dreams.”
Vestiare’s remnant laughed at Sungchul’s words.
“You are interesting.”
“I suppose you have some level of consciousness, despite being just a remnant. Seeing as you have some ability to form judgement.”
“Ah, have you already noticed my identity?”
Sungchul feigned ignorance at Vestiare’s question by raising his shoulders. In one of his open hands, an oversized hammer appeared. Fal Garaz, the divine armament forged by the shards of the sky itself by the Dwarven God. The weapon that filled the arrogant Devils of the Demon World with terror had revealed its form inside this cave.
“Would I get a reward for destroying you?”
Vestiare’s remnant looked shocked at first but then smiled approvingly at Sungchul’s blunt question.
“If you can.”
As soon as the words left her lips, Sungchul instantly tore across the floor towards Vestiare’s remnant. The remnant once again looked shocked, but still managed to cast a Magical trap and blink away.
Sungchul’s body, snared by the Magical trap, was enveloped in blue flames and had his movement dulled. Vestiare’s remnant concentrated on continuously blinking away to maintain some distance away from him. A massive blue flame began to roar above her head as it took the shape of a spear. When Sungchul tried to leap forward once again, several traps all triggered at once.
The blue flame exploded. Sungchul had tripped the triggers. The effect was the same, but the cause was different. He was intentionally triggering the traps with the tip of his toe as he ran by them.
Dozens of traps began chaotically triggering at the same time. Vestiare’s remnant flew into the air with the explosions concealing her target. A large shadow loomed across her face due to the geysers of blue flames and the flaming spear that she had conjured.
Vestiare’s remnant was splayed upon the floor, and the flaming spear she had conjured above her head unraveled.
“…Stop exaggerating. I didn’t hurt you that badly.”
Sungchul stood before her without a scratch. The remnant’s lashes trembled slightly.
“You are strong. Very strong.”
Sungchul simply glared at the remnant coldly and asked,
“Where are the Seven Heroes?”
An update on the Seven Heroes. This was the sole reason he had kept the remnant alive. Vestiare’s remnant briefly closed its eyes and spoke with a soft voice that was filled with respect.
“We will appear before you when the time is right, when the Prophecy of the End draws closer, even without anyone seeking us out.”
Fal Garaz rose into the sky. Its shadow drew onto the remnant’s face, but the remnant laughed instead.
“You are the same as us.”
Sungchul’s hammer shook slightly.
“I could feel it through the Dream Demons. You have the same…no, maybe a lot more disappointment and rage against humanity contained inside of you.”
“I won’t become like you, Seven Heroes.”
“Will that be so? If the misplaced promise that sustains you ever goes awry…“
The hammer abruptly fell. Vestiare’s remnant shattered like glass and scattered across the floor. The blood fog weakened and the blood drained from the surroundings, which eventually returned to its original colors. Sungchul quietly waited in silence for his well-deserved reward.
[You have destroyed Vestiare’s Dream.]
[You have completed the Objective ‘Destroyer of Dreams (Hidden – Epic)’]
30x Palace Token
+10 Magic Power / Intuition / Magic Resistance
The Magical Staff ‘Moonlight’ (Rare)
Disappointment passed across his eyes. The rewards were pitifully lacking. An ‘Objective’ was rated higher than quests. They were interchangeable with quests, but they were one-offs, and unique to each Objective. They were also much more difficult compared to quests, but usually, the rewards were also comparably great. This time, however, proved to be the exception.
‘Did they compensate for the fact that this was inside the Summoning Palace? I suppose Vestiare’s remnant could only be compared to a mid-grade Mage. This staff also would be invaluable to a newbie.’
The rewards also held a unique value to Sungchul. He was able to obtain 10 Intuition, which was beyond precious to him. Sungchul quickly opened his status window.
Strength 999+ Dexterity 853
Vitality 801 Magic Power 13
Intuition1 Magic Resist 621
Resilience 501 Charisma 18
Intuition had finally escaped the negative values. This meant that he would be able to accomplish his Mage Class by simply completing the common quests obtained from the Homunculus. He also had more than enough Palace Tokens needed for the class change.
‘Should I slowly put an end to this act…?’
He had accomplished his goal. He just had to take it easy for the rest of the trials in the Palace. He had started to turn back with these carefree thoughts when more words appeared.
[Seventh Hero acknowledges your existence.]
[Seventh Hero has placed you in her sights.]
“I didn’t really need this…”
Sungchul felt annoyed, but words kept appearing.
[Seventh Hero Vestiare is overjoyed by your completion of her Objective.]
[Seventh Hero Vestiare grants you an additional reward for overcoming the mission.]
Reward: Tome of the Echo Mage
Sungchul recognized the class. Echo Mage. This was Vestiare’s unique class. Regular mages could only cast Magic once with each cast, but an Echo Mage could fire the same spell multiple times with just one cast. This ability had allowed Vestiare to raise the firepower of a simple fireball to that of Hellfire Flames. This legendary ability was now within his grasp.
Sungchul silently touched the Tome of the Echo Mage, and its information revealed itself.
[Tome of the Echo Mage]
Type: Class Transfer (Compact Form)
Effect: Legendary Class Echo Mage Acquisition
Note: On the final day of the Summoning Palace, open the tome. Vestiare’s vision will reveal itself to you.
Restriction: 20 Magic Power / 20 Intuition / 20 Magic Resist
Required: x50 Palace Token
It was still too early for him to take it easy.