Sungchul retorted coldly. The humanoid creature was suppressed by Sungchul’s oppressive aura and backed off without another word. It seemed like the brief meeting with the creature might come to a close without any further development, but this was not the end of it.
Elijah had stopped eating his meal as he couldn’t take his eyes off the creature. Sungchul had noticed this, but he didn’t mention it.
The next day, Sungchul prepared to attack the final four towers. However, just as he was about to depart, Elijah claimed to be suffering from intense pain. Sungchul had expected something like this, but he didn’t quite expect Elijah Breggas, the son of a famous figure, to go as far as to forsake his own dignity. Unfortunately, he made the wrong choice. Sungchul already knew what becoming a Devil truly meant and had seen the end result of such a transformation with his own two eyes, but he also knew that nothing would change even if he said something.
He could physically restrain him, but he wasn’t obligated to go that far for the boy. Sungchul chose to take the most indirect method for those reasons.
“I need an attendant to hold the book. I don’t want to flip through the pages tediously. If you need medication to numb the pain, I can give you some.”
When Sungchul said as such, Elijah turned towards Sophia without hesitation.
“Sophia. I’m sorry, but you’ll have to go in my stead.”
Sophia was shaken, but she also understood the resolve in Elijah’s eyes and nodded weakly.
“Hand over all of the Tomes of the High Devils to the girl.”
Sungchul silently moved forward. Elijah obediently handed over every tome that he held to Sophia.
“Don’t be concerned for me.”
Elijah reassured her as he handed the books over.
He said as such, but there was no way that she wouldn’t be worried about him. This may be the territory of the devil worshippers, but it was still within the Demon Realm where demons roamed freely. Sophia looked towards Elijah with eyes full of concern as she thought about what to say, but she was unable to come up with anything at this moment. Soon, Sungchul’s stern voice could be heard from the front.
“What’s taking so long?”
In the end, Sophia simply lowered her head and moved to follow Sungchul. She turned back as she walked behind Sungchul. However, Elijah was not looking at her.
He was looking towards a nameless tower far in the distance where the humanoid creature worked as a laborer. Sophia continued to look towards Elijah until his figure disappeared from her sight, but Elijah did not look in her direction even once.
Her heart quivered, but she didn’t show weakness. Instead, she bit down on her lower lip and turned to look towards Sungchul’s back who had flung open the doors of a new tower.
‘You knew that it would be like this.’
It was a recent change that led to Sophia holding the Breggas name. Elijah and Sophia were from different mothers. In contrast to Elijah’s mother who was the esteemed daughter of an influential family, Sophia’s mother was a country bumpkin that lived on a farm scooping cow manure. To Sophia who had lived with the scar of illegitimacy since birth, her childhood was pitiful. It was none other than Elijah who had brought the light of salvation to this little girl. To Sophia, Elijah was more than family. She was prepared to give up anything for her brother, even her meager life.
“…Becoming a Devil…”
The man who was leading her down an unfamiliar hallway finally opened his mouth. Sophia, who had been temporarily preoccupied with her thoughts, snapped to attention and gazed towards the back of the man with the fluttering ragged coat.
“Is essentially the same as throwing oneself away.”
Sophia’s eyes grew wide.
‘Why is this person saying such things?’
Sungchul continued to speak.
“The physique of a Devil is different than the physique of a man. If the human body is like the surface of a lake lightly stirring with the wind, then the body of a Devil is like a sea forever burning in the endless flames of compulsion.”
“I’m sorry, but I don’t understand what you’re talking about.”
Sophia sincerely asked for clarification, but Sungchul did not stop talking.
“Inside the body of the Devils, the mind of a human won’t last even a year before turning to ash.”
She already knew that the man was never one to speak empty words; she finally figured out what he was trying to get through to her and quickly regained her cool before turning to Sungchul with frosty words.
“If we don’t get stronger, we’ll die. Martin Breggas. You have no idea how cruel and twisted the man really is.”
“You probably won’t die. If you give up everything, that is.”
Sungchul abruptly stopped walking and turned around. He pointed a finger towards himself.
“Aren’t I still alive?”
“But you’re strong.”
Sophia spoke in protest, but Sungchul only let out a bitter laugh.
“I wasn’t strong from the start. When I first became the Enemy of the World, there were 10 people in the continent who were more powerful than me… no, over 30 including those that are not so well known.”
Sophia shut her mouth and didn’t speak any further. She knew the kind of manpower that was deployed to deal with Sungchul.
Fighting him required at minimum an Armada. Or perhaps the highest class of Assassins from the Assassin’s guild. It was completely on a different scale from the Breggas siblings who could be taken care of by a few second rate Assassins..
“If you throw away the Breggas name and live in seclusion, Martin Breggas will not pursue you any further.”
Sungchul said it. He had spoken what they all knew. The reason why Martin was seeking to murder his own son and daughter was to allow for the child of the woman he loved to inherit everything.
“…It’s better to die than to live without a name like savages.”
Sophia finally changed her words. Elijah likely felt the same as well.
Sungchul closed his mouth once again and proceeded to follow the tower’s stairs to the top. He did not utter another word while they climbed the stairs, but when he arrived before the High Devil on the top floor, he spoke.
“Here are the final days of the humans that became Devils. You must have seen it several times already, but this should be adequate evidence.”
What awaited Sungchul’s party at the top floor of the green tower was the figure of a giant Devil with iron nails embedded all over his body causing blood and pus to pour from the innumerous wounds. Sophia almost fainted because of the Devil’s ghoulish appearance and its even more disgusting stench while Sungchul stood before it confidently and attempted another bargain. He appeared to be unfazed by anything.
As they descended the tower, Sophia recalled the words Sungchul had spoken to her over and over again in her mind.
‘Brother is going to become a monster like that? That can’t happen. It can’t.’
However, when she saw another High Devil residing on another tower, the doubt that had taken place in her mind grew as her thoughts became befuddled. She searched for Elijah as soon as they exited the sixth tower after finishing all of its quests, but she could no longer see him hunched over beneath the blue tower. The creature that had been working below the tower was also nowhere to be found.
‘Could it be? Did brother already begin to act?’
Sophia felt her mind growing restless and looked visibly anxious. Sungchul continued to press forward in that uncomfortable silence.
“We’re moving to the next tower.”
Sophia mustered up some courage. Sungchul turned toward her.
“I cannot see Elijah anymore.”
Sungchul pointed towards a location veiled by thick fog upon her words. Surprisingly, there was a shape of a human at the spot Sungchul had pointed to. It was Elijah.
Sophia felt a single tear welling in her eye as she attempted to run towards that location.
“Where are you going?”
Sungchul callously stopped her.
“I’m sorry, but I just want to check up on him.”
She immediately ran towards Elijah while Sungchul continued to look indifferently towards that place.
“Hm. Do I smell the familiar scent of tragedy?”
Bertelgia crawled out of his pocket and spoke some rather cold words.
“Is it perhaps your hobby to enjoy these kinds of situations?”
“Why do you think that?”
“If it was me, I might have stopped them physically or something. But, you always seem to just leave people to make their bad choices.”
“Choices have to be made on their own. The consequences of those choices are also on them as well. I do not have a reason, the right, or the obligation to convince them otherwise.”
Sophia ran over to Elijah in a sprint. Elijah was digging the ground, and she could see several piles of dirt all around.
Sophia called out to him.
“Oh, Sophia. You’ve come.”
Elijah put down the shovel to warmly greet his sister. There were tiny beads of sweat on his brow, but he looked quite elated.
“Listen, Sophia. That monster from before. He brought up quite a reasonable offer.”
He revealed a dark marble that he had dug from the ground to her.
“What is this?”
It looked like a plain marble.
“It is a sealing orb capable of binding the power of a High Devil. This one is black since it’s already been used, but I was told that an unused one would be colorless. If I find that, then getting rid of a High Devil would be as easy as twisting the arms of a child.”
Elijah peeked over at Sungchul who stood tall on a plateau beyond the fog and spoke in a low voice.
“What do you think about the Enemy of the World?”
“Well, he’s no different than before.”
She tried to speak normally to the best of her abilities, but her eyes were trembling. Sungchul’s words and the image of the hideous High Devils were swirling in her mind. Fortunately, Elijah didn’t seem to notice in all of his excitement. He continued to speak to her in a hushed voice.
“Do you have any of the tomes?”
“I’m talking about the Tomes of the High Devils.”
“Yes. We managed to gather about 6 volumes. That man is probably looking to gather the final 2.”
“That’s good. Can you lend me just one? That… red one. The red one looks good.”
“But if the Enemy of the World notices…”
Sophia let her words trail as she lowered her head, but there was not a single hint of fear on Elijah’s face. He was making a once-in-a-lifetime gamble. It was full of flaws, but the blood of Martin Breggas who remained aloof in the face of death flowed in his veins.
“It’s fine. Aren’t you going to leave it all in the Soul Storage anyways? It’s enough with just one volume, so don’t worry about it. It won’t take long. I’ll finish it before that guy notices.”
Sophia felt conflicted, but she eventually relented. She covertly handed him the red Tome of the High Devils, but the moment she handed the book over, Sungchul’s words and the image of the hideous High Devils reappeared in her mind.
Before Elijah managed to take the book from her, Sophia’s hand gripped the tome tightly.
“What’s the problem now, Sophia?”
Elijah asked in confusion.
“Do we really need to become a High Devil?”
“What are you talking about? Isn’t that the whole reason why we came here? Even at the cost of our friends’ lives?”
“But… becoming a High Devil. It doesn’t seem like a good idea.”
“I think so too… But Sophia, we have no other options.”
It was the expected response.
Sophia’s breathing grew tight as she finally managed to convey the words that had been buried deep in her heart.
“Let’s just run away. To where no one knows us. To where no one can find us.”
It was something that she had wanted to say many times but didn’t have the courage to. Unfortunately, her precious words were met with ridicule.
“What are you saying, Sophia?”
Elijah wore a mocking smile on his lips as though she was speaking nonsense. Sophia’s eyes shook, but she managed to respond with a similar smile in kind.
“It was a joke. I must have lost my mind or something.”
She finally released the grip on the tome. The Tome of the High Devils fell into Elijah’s hands.
“I’ll meet you later.”
Elijah who managed to get his hands on the tome placed it into his Soul Storage and began to dig the ground once again.
“Hurry back. That guy might notice.”
Sophia weakly nodded her head and returned to Sungchul
Sungchul asked her nothing as she returned. Instead, he moved to the next tower. He managed to conquer the last 2 towers before even half of the day had passed. 48 quests from the High Devils were resolved within 2 days in his hands.
Sungchul opened his status window as he finished all of the ordinary quests.
Strength 999+ Dexterity 853
Vitality 801 Magic Power 429
Intuition 422 Magic Resist 622
Resolve 502 Charisma 18
Magic Power and Intuition had both broken through 400. All that was left were the missions. There were 8 missions that requested the extermination of each High Devil. Sungchul felt that it was possible to complete 4 of them at maximum at this point. It was because there was a high chance for the mission to disappear due to the death of the High Devil that created it.
Each of the rewards for the missions were different. Sungchul decided to prioritize the missions that gave Magic Power and Intuition.
‘I didn’t check the fine details of the missions, but I might be able to break through the 500s for both Magic Power and Intuition if I’m lucky.’
If he were to surpass his initial goal and reach a level where he could learn Primordial light, Sungchul would immediately head over to the Deep Sea Demon to test its power, and then seek the Demon King.
‘Finally, the resolution to the First Calamity is in sight.’
It wasn’t that long ago when he had known no magic at all. But in under a year, he had managed to earn enough Magic Power to rightfully call himself a Grand Mage. Sungchul could feel an excitement in his heart that hadn’t been felt for a long time as he turned to Sophia with an order.
“Bring out all 8 Tomes of the High Devils.”
When she heard his command, her eyes shook like an earthquake.
No1Oppa: Really liked the scene of Sophia trying to stop her brother but being unable to. Her hesitation especially.
An important announcement
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