This was the unfathomably distant past. There was a time when humans had been massively summoned into the Other World. The irresponsible gods left the fate of the Other World in the hands of the insignificant humans. The humans were immature and primitive, but they were able to overcome the Other World’s tribulations after many sacrifices. There were seven heroes at the center of this. The Seven Heroes, as they had been called by the people, suddenly disappeared, with nothing but 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 existences, who disappeared after trampling over the Devil’s demonic forces, will one day return for the sake of their promise. Along with them, blood and death, war and pestilence will follow.]
The forgotten saviors of the past were now rewritten, as a calamity prophesying extinction within the minds of the people. However, no one could answer as to what kind of people these seven heroes actually were. It was one of the most heavily guarded secrets in this world, held 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 built a special penitentiary called Meari.’
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 Devil with disgust. If it hadn’t been for his promise, he would have given up a long time ago. He might even have decided to give up all his strength and return back into the old world. It was the first and final promise he had made, back when he had still been an ordinary person.
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 it 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 indifferently. The incubus began the sweet dreams through the suction cups 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 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?”
Sungchul’s hand lightly brushed across his head. Five dream demons were gripped by their suction cups.
Sungchul wildly swung them 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’s 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 dreams, while others even tried injecting paralyzing nightmares. All resistance was meaningless.
Another batch of dream demons were pitifully killed after being mercilessly smashed into the wall. After several more repetition, all of the dream demons were decimated. Sungchul grabbed the last remaining dream demon and brought it to his eyes. His emotionless eyes stared at the glowing eyes of the succubus.
“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 deformed all the 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. Indomitable, the blessing that was able to overcome all forms of mental attack. The creatures who had died by his hands would not realize this truth even 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 that was flowing like moonlight, its sparkling eyes like fallen stars, pointy ears, it was a high elf woman.
“You have killed all of my demonic underlings.”
The familiar woman spoke as though in a dream. Sungchul could surmise her identity from her appearance and her manner of speaking.
“You are Vestiare?”
The woman only faintly smiled. Sungchul realized then 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 magical power. Enough to make him feel some admiration towards Vestiare herself.
“I don’t think you can finish the trial at this rate? Only those that can overcome 33 euphoric dreams and 27 painful nightmares would be able to obtain the prepared rewards. And now you have removed 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 decide.”
“Ah, you have 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 hammer rumored to have been forged within the skies by the Dwarven gods. The divine 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 removing you?”
Vestiare’s remnant looked shocked but then smiled approvingly at Sungchul’s blunt demand.
“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 continuing to blink away just enough to keep a distance 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 result was the same, but the reason 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 through the geysers of blue flames and her flaming spear that she had conjured.
Vestiare’s remnant was splayed upon the floor, and the flaming spear it had conjured above its 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 icily 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 destruction approaches. Even without anyone seeking us.”
Fal Garaz rose into the sky. Its shadow drew onto the remnant’s face. The remnant was laughing.
“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 much more disappointment and rage that is suppressed inside 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-dyed the surroundings, which eventually returned to its original colors. Sungchul quietly waited in silence, for his deserved reward.
[You have destroyed Vestiare’s Dream.]
[You have achieved the mission ‘Destroyer of Dreams (Hidden – Epic)’]
Reward – 30x Palace Token
+10 Magic Power / Intuition / Magic Resistance
The Magical Staff ‘Moonlight’ (Rare)
Disappointment passed across his eyes. The rewards were pitifully lacking. ‘Missions’ were rated higher than quests. They were interchangeable with quests, but they were one-offs and unique to each mission. They were also much more difficult compared to quests, 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-rank magician. 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 invaluable to him. Sungchul quickly opened his status window.
Strength 999+ Dexterity 853
Vitality 801 Magic Power 13
Intuition 1 Magic Resist 621
Resilience 501 Charisma 18
Intuition finally escaped the negative values. This meant that he would be able to accomplish his magician 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 accomplished his goal. He just had to take it easy for the rest of the trials in the Palace. He 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 achievements in the mission.]
[Seventh Hero Vestiare granted you an additional reward for overcoming the mission.]
Reward: Echo Mage’s Tome
Sungchul recognized the class. Echo Mage. This was the Seventh Hero Lightning Echo Vestiare’s unique class. Regular mages could only cast magic once with each cast, but echo mage could copy unique echoes of each spell to repeatedly cast out their spell. This ability had allowed Vestiare to raise the firepower of a simple fireball to hellfire grade strength. This legendary ability was now within his grasp.
Sungchul silently touched the Echo Mage’s Tome, and its information revealed itself.
[Echo Mage’s Tome]
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.
Restrction: 20 Magic Power / 20 Intuition / 20+ Magic Resist
Required: x50 Palace Token
It was still too early for him to take it easy.