The race that first awakened their magical potential were the Demons. The Demons had an affinity towards magic that allowed them to understand it better and they possessed greater talent towards it. Obsession over magic had eventually caused them to fall, but magical knowledge and powerful spells had been the target of admiration and worship among the Demons. They had all but disappeared now, but there was a time when there were many Devil worshippers. The goal of these Devil worshippers was to shed their lowly and savage human forms to become a Devil themselves. The Tome of the High Devils recorded the secrets of such Devil worshippers.
“…There is a quest of the Devil recorded within.”
They could hide it no longer, and there was no point in doing so. Elijah revealed everything he knew before the Enemy of the World.
“The book acts as a guide to the city of the Devil worshippers hidden within the entrance of the Demon Realm, and when the book is opened on the Altar of Ten Thousand Demons, the person who was once human will receive a High Devil’s quest.”
“It is not a righteous quest. Do you really have to go through with it?”
Sungchul asked in a calm voice.
“I want my revenge even if I have to use the power of the Devils. That person drove mother to her death and tried to have us killed as well.”
A cold fire of vengeance burned in Elijah’s eyes. Sungchul could feel truth within it.
Sungchul led the way. He followed the footsteps of those that fled towards the south. The siblings who were confused by the unexpected actions of the Enemy of the World simply followed suit. They soon found a single human corpse torn to shreds. It was one of the Crusaders of Salvation. Those who had left Sungchul’s protection were immediately subjected to the ambush of Devils and had met pitiful ends as prey.
Sophia recognized the corpse and trembled lightly.
“Do you know him?”
Sungchul looked at the mass of bloody hair and flesh on the ground and asked.
“…He was a childhood friend. Even though he did betray us in the end.”
Sungchul continued forward. They soon found another corpse. Not just one, but two of them. These people had been found by an insidious Devil possessing a hundred teeth, and they had died as his chewtoy. Sungchul looked callously toward the demon who had cut up the corpses and was now trying to piece them together with different combinations.
The siblings grimaced at the sight.
These members were also long time friends of theirs. They had also betrayed the siblings, but their pitiful deaths had still left a great shock in the hearts of the Breggas siblings. The Devil with a hundred teeth discovered new humans to play with; he tossed aside the corpses that he had been toying with and bore his hideous teeth.
“Kiii! Kiii! Kiii!”
However, things did not go as the Devil had planned.
Sungchul’s fist met with the Devil’s face and all one hundred of its teeth shattered as they poured out of its mouth, carried out by a stream of blood. Sungchul grabbed one of the countless razor sharp teeth lying on the ground and stabbed it into the Devil’s massive eye.
He then pulled out the Devil’s arms in its entirety and threw the crying Devil off into a random direction. The Omens of Calamity began to gather above the head of the Devil who was now crawling across the ground.
Sungchul who had taken care of the Devil began to walk forward once again without any words. The Breggas siblings could only watch with wide eyes at the back of this man with god-like strength and followed along. As they walked, a sudden thought crossed by Elijah’s mind.
‘Could it be that we only managed to get this far… because this man was nearby?’
His guess was right on point. It was because of this reason that Sungchul didn’t chase after the deserters right away. To leave the veil of protection Sungchul provided in the Demon Realm which equated hell in this world, meant that these deserters would simply return to the bottom rung of the food chain.
Sungchul and the Breggas siblings continued to discover more corpses. They had all met pitiful and gruesome deaths. They had found a single survivor, but he was in a state worse than death
The man begged for death as he had been injected with the eggs of a giant insect, and the larvae of the insect were now eating him from inside out.
Sungchul’s hammer immediately shattered the man’s skull. A parasite about as large as a finger bared its fangs as it wriggled about within the skull.
Bertelgia who was within Sungchul’s pocket began to wriggle.
Sungchul left behind the corpse and pressed on.
‘There’s two left.’
It didn’t take long to find the final two. One male and one female. They were alive, but barely. A pale skinned Devil wearing a necklace made of limbs hovered near them as if he was a cloud. The Devil laughed mechanically as he descended creating thunder and lightning around him. A terrifying electric shock struck them. Sungchul immediately smashed the Devil’s skull with his hammer, but it was only after the pair had already been critically wounded.
One of them immediately died. The man with long sideburns let out a pained cry as he looked out towards nothing in particular with his rapidly fading vision. Elijah and Sophia hurriedly ran to his side.
Elijah supported and then embraced him. The man’s eyes had already lost its sight at this point.
“Elijah. Is that you?”
“Yes. It’s me.”
“I’m sorry. I’m… really sorry.”
The man died after leaving behind those words. A heavy silence soon followed. Sungchul recovered the Tome of the High Devils from the dead woman’s corpse within this silence. When he held the tome in his hand, a faint line appeared in his vision. It was a faint beam of light that would be easily missed without focus. The light extended towards the south.
Sungchul handed the tome to Elijah.
Elijah had a hesitant expression before receiving the tome.
‘This guy… what are his intentions?’
He could not understand Sungchul’s heart. The man’s motives and goals were all veiled in mystery.
Sungchul noticed the chaos disrupting Elijah’s eyes and spoke his command.
“Lead on. Towards the Devil’s quest.”
Elijah finally understood a bit of what Sungchul wanted. He nodded and led the man to the location where the Devil’s quest awaited them. Curiosity rose in Sungchul’s eyes.
‘There is something in this foggy region…’
The Sea of Fog was one of the places that Sungchul recalled from his days when he wandered the Demon Realm. The area had nothing special. There were pits of mud scattered about the ground, with monsters resembling drowned corpses waiting to drag victims into the pits. However, Sungchul had the Tome of the High Devils now. The beam of light extending from the Tome of the High Devils acted as a guide that led them through the Sea of Fog where vision was completely obstructed.
Around the time Sungchul crushed the tenth monster with the sole of his military boots, the annoying fog began to dissipate. Sungchul and the Breggas siblings could see towers that seemed to pierce the sky as they left the fog.
There were eight towers in total. The precarious walkways strung like spider webs between the eight towers were dizzying to the eye. Sungchul took another step forward as he looked at the towers.
‘So there were places like this in the Demon Realm.’
Sungchul discovered a figure lingering at the bottom of a tower. Surprisingly, it was a human. Its body had become twisted and disfigured from horrendous torture and body modifications, but Sungchul could easily recognize that the creature carrying a gunny sack was a human. He looked back toward Elijah.
“Where is this?”
Sungchul thought that Elijah, who held the Tome of the High Devils, would know of something. He was bound to have additional information from the person who had given him the book. Some information regarding this city in the Demon Realm that even Sungchul had never seen before, and he had guessed correctly.
“This place… is a city of humans.”
Elijah responded honestly, and curiosity rose in Sungchul’s eyes once again.
“There is a human city in the middle of the Demon Realm?”
“That’s right. It is a city of those that wished to escape their mortal destiny. A gathering place of those that desired to become Devils.”
“You’re saying that this is a city of Devil worshippers?”
Elijah’s eyes grew dark before he nodded to Sungchul’s question.
‘So a place like this existed.’
There weren’t many people among the humans that knew more than Sungchul regarding the Demon Realm. At the very least among the humans of the East. However, Elijah Breggas… no, the person that handed him the book knew of this city’s existence. This was no ordinary person. Sungchul turned towards Elijah.
“Who gave you that book?”
It was a question that had to be asked at one point. Sungchul felt that that moment had been drawing close, and it had finally arrived.
Elijah also knew that Sungchul would ask that question at some point. After organizing his thoughts in his head, he made a complete and calm reply.
“Let me first start by asking for your leniency. My sister and I know very little. It is because she appeared before us without warning. We also don’t know whether the identity this person revealed to us is true or not.”
It was not a satisfactory answer. Sungchul’s arm twitched slightly, but to Elijah, that movement felt unreasonably large. He gulped and continued to speak again.
“She gave the name of one of the Seven Heroes.”
Sungchul’s lips that had been tightly shut came loose. Elijah immediately followed up the question.
“Yes. The woman called herself Vestiare.”
Vestiare. One of the Seven Heroes, and the one who had handed Sungchul his Echo Mage class. Sungchul’s hand shot up. It was a signal for silence. He then turned to look at Sophia. Sophia’s figure trembled slightly, but her dignified eyes met Sungchul’s.
“Have you also seen this woman?”
Sophia combed through her memories at his question.
“It was a blonde High Elf.”
Sungchul’s eyes lit up.
“She had pale skin like a ghost. Enough to be able to see her veins. She also had a serene voice as though she was from a dream.”
Sophia’s recollection of Vestiare roughly matched up with his. It didn’t seem like a lie. Sungchul immediately fell into thought.
‘The Calamity of the Devil King hasn’t ended, but the Seven Heroes are already active?’
The words of the Breggas siblings couldn’t be trusted 100%, but most of what they said seemed to be truthful. Sungchul looked toward the towers of Devil worshippers with suspicion.
‘There is no denying that something is going on below the surface.’
He quickly concluded his thoughts.
Now, a firmly shut door stood before them. It was a massive steel door that didn’t look like it could be forced open with human strength. But it opened with a thunderous noise once Sungchul’s hand, instilled with godly strength, took action.
Sungchul stepped into the tower leaking with overflowing ominous light.
Sorry about the wait. We will be back on schedule from now!