Sophia laid down seven Tomes of the High Devils in order. However, the red tome couldn’t be found.
“Why is a book missing?”
Sungchul asked her bluntly.
“Tell me truthfully. Where is the book?”
Sophia did not answer. Bertelgia dug herself deeper into Sungchul’s pocket. It was because she guessed what was going to happen next.
‘Corpses of pretty girls are more unpleasant for some reason… I don’t wanna see it.’
However, Sungchul did nothing to Sophia. He moved past her trembling form towards the tomes on the floor and looked over them one by one.
‘I think the red Tome of the High Devils rewarded with Strength and Dexterity which I don’t require.’
He remembered the contents well as it was the first tome he had received. He turned toward the pale-faced Sophia and said,
“Open the book and show me the mission.”
Sophia uncharacteristically jumped up and scrambled to do as he ordered.
Sungchul arranged the books so that he could see them all lined up and compared their rewards. Intuition was the priority. He could make do with less Magic Power, but without sufficient Intuition, it wasn’t possible to learn the final spell of Cosmomancy. So he gave Intuition first priority followed by Magic Power. Then he made sure the target of the tomes and the benefactors did not conflict with each other. Through this method, he narrowed it down to the three missions that he had to complete first.
Tome of the High Devil: Volume 1 – Intuition 30, Magic Power 15, Charisma 15
Tome of the High Devil: Volume 5 – Intuition 20, Magic Power 10, Charisma 20
Tome of the High Devil: Volume 8 – Intuition 10, Magic Power 10, Luck 30
There were various items offered besides the stats, but Sungchul wasn’t concerned with that part. He remained fixated on the stats.
‘That’s 60 points for just Intuition. If I can complete all of them, I’ll be able to get close to my goal of 500 for Intuition.’
Sungchul’s pace quickened.
“Grab the books and follow me.”
Fal Garaz appeared in his hand, and he first entered the green tower. Sungchul gave Sophia an order before the entrance to the High Devil’s room.
“Hand over the book and wait here.”
Sophia handed over the book. It was then given to Bertelgia who carried the opened tome on top of her opened pages.
Sungchul entered the room of the High Devil with Bertelgia while Sophia stayed behind praying for his demise.
‘Please. Dear God, please kill that man. Only with his death can my brother and I survive.’
It was her first time praying, so she didn’t know the proper method to pray, but her sincerity was more than enough to reach the heavens and beyond.
Meanwhile, the High Devil had disassembled himself into a troupe of forty two wooden marionettes; one was forty two and all forty two were one. The devil then spoke through the mouths of the dolls in chorus.
“I plainly ordered you to exterminate the scum, so why are you defying my command?”
“We should make the defiant child into a puppet!”
“Puppets listen to orders very well!”
“Are you stupid? Aren’t puppets created to follow commands?”
“Those are wise words!”
As the strings attached to each of the 42 clapping marionettes moved in tandem, Sungchul gripped Fal Garaz and leaped towards the ceiling where the strings tying each puppet were gathered. There he could see a massive squirming brain. Sungchul rose up into the air with the hammer.
“Is it a fight?
“If it’s a fight, we gotta get in on it!”
The marionettes chased after Sungchul and impeded his path. But from the beginning, the High Devil had not been a match for him.
Wham! Blam! Smash!
With a single blow, the marionettes, each holding a piece of the High Devil’s flesh, were smashed to pieces. The marionettes continued to charge in fearlessly as if to prove that they were existences that followed commands, but all of it was meaningless. Every marionette of the High Devil’s troupe was destroyed. The High Devil finally realized that his meager existence could not compare to the human before him when only his brain remained.
“Y-you are? Just what are you?”
“I’ve always liked rag-dolls more than wooden puppets.
Fal Garaz dealt the final blow. Sungchul read the shining message that appeared before him in the midst of a shower of brain viscera.
[You have dealt an execution befitting the mission.]
[Very Impressive! You have carried out the punishment of the serial killer obsessed with puppets, Herik Mas, in place of god.]
[High Devil Kadenburr is overjoyed.]
Magic Power 10
The Tome of the High Devils that had been held by Bertelgia overflowed with a sinister light as an unknown power held within was liberated, and this contained power along with an item was given to Sungchul. Unfortunately, he was unable to receive everything.
[Due to an unknown curse, one of your stats, Charisma, is blocked from increasing.]
However, this was not important. Sungchul confirmed that the two stats he was concerned about had increased and then looked at the item.
Type: Inheritance of Power
Effect: Upon usage, one’s soul and flesh are used as a sacrifice to receive the power of the High Devil.
Note: Even the corpse of a great Devil contains great power.
It was as expected. It was an item that granted the power of a High Devil simply upon its use. For now, Sungchul put away the Worn-out Bone into his Soul Storage before leaving the room of the High Devil. Outside, Sophia was kneeling in prayer.
“What are you praying so hard for?”
Sungchul asked as he gazed at her with indifference. Sophia looked at him with frantic eyes.
‘He came out so quickly without a single injury? No way. Even if the man is the Enemy of the World, his opponent was a High Devil…’
She knew that Sungchul was powerful, but she didn’t know how powerful. It was because the man named Sungchul was not someone she was capable of gauging the strength of. He spoke bluntly to the blankly staring Sophia.
“Why are you spacing out for?”
He began to descend the stairs first. As he was walking down, Bertelgia fluttered behind him and asked a question.
“Why haven’t you killed her? With your personality, I thought you’d have killed her a long time ago.”
“Could it be… she’s your type?”
“Don’t joke around. I only let her live because I don’t have any reason to kill her.”
And that fate would soon come for her without him doing a thing to her. Sungchul did not have the ability to look into the future, but he had a strong premonition with regards to Sophia. Those that treasured another’s life before their own never lived for long.
When they left the green tower, an unfamiliar scene appeared before them. The bases of the towers that had been completely desolate were filled with devil worshippers looking towards the green tower.
“The High Devil Troupe was killed. Who do you think is the new High Devil?”
“I hope someone REALLY insane appears this time.”
“The Troupe’s hobby was childish. He was needlessly cruel too.”
When Sungchul exited the tower, the devil worshippers gathered like flies.
“Could that human be the one who took care of the High Devil?”
“Couldn’t be. If he’d killed the High Devil, he’d be the new High Devil.”
Sungchul lightly swung his hammer to scatter the devil worshippers.
Most of them retreated, but one of them was filled with bravado and continued to approach Sungchul. He appeared to be daring Sungchul to strike him. When their eyes met, the devil worshipper allowed himself a smirk.
Sungchul pulled out a rope he liked from his Soul Storage. He grabbed the smirking devil worshipper’s neck and quickly wrapped the rope around it, then hung him on a dried out tree nearby. The foolhardy devil worshipper reverted to a maggot and struggled violently, but he soon fell limp.
The crowd of devil worshippers now parted to form a path wherever Sungchul walked.
Sungchul looked toward the gray tower which was his next target. The gray tower was quite different from the green. Half-human and half-demon monsters who looked like guards blocked his path on the first floor.
“Reveal your identity! Human!”
They hadn’t been there on Sungchul’s previous visit and looked to be numbered in the hundreds. It looked as though all the High Devils were raising their defenses in response to the death of their kin.
Sophia’s face grew stiff as she drew her blade. She had come to the conclusion that the number of enemies would prove difficult, even for Sungchul. However, Fal Garaz moved quickly and
Wham! Bam! Wham!
the monsters standing before them became blood stains. There was no forgiveness or mercy in Sungchul’s blows. Whenever the hammer moved, it would force a conclusion to any matter. The monsters tried to escape in a panic as they lost half their numbers. Sungchul did give chase and Sophia stood awkwardly with her sword half-drawn before sheathing it once again.
‘Crazy. This is complete madness!’
She had felt that she had grown since she had arrived in this place, but Sophia realized now that she was less than a speck of dirt in relation to the man standing before her.
Sungchul continued to move forward again. He destroyed everything blocking his path until he found himself on the top floor of the gray tower where he took care of the High Devil.
Contrary to the last battle, Sungchul did not even give him a chance to speak this time. He entered the High Devil’s room as though it was his own living room, beat the devil down with a single blow, then took the rewards before heading to the next tower.
The same process was utilized again. The only difference was that the High Devil of this tower was wiser than the previous two and with a cowardly appearance, he tried to negotiate for his life.
“Shall we make a bargain?”
Sungchul’s response was a single blow of the hammer.
Bertelgia who looked at the High Devil’s corpse that had been crushed with a single blow spoke as though she had been waiting for it all along.
“Bzzz! You aren’t good enough for a trade!”
Sungchul again felt the ominous light spilling out of the Tome of the High Devil seeping into him, but an unexpected obstacle appeared.
[Warning! Your intuition is too high, only a portion of the Intuition will be transferred.]
Sungchul immediately checked his status screen.
Strength 999+ Dexterity 853
Vitality 801 Magic Power 474
Intuition 477 Magic Resist 622
Resolve 502 Charisma 18
Sungchul who noticed the number confirmed something to himself.
‘It looks like the High Devil that gave this quest had 477 intuition.’
The High Devil that had given him the quest was the giant whose body was filled with large nails carrying a disgusting stench. His appearance did not give off the impression that he was all that intelligent, but he must have been. Not to mention that having over 500 points for any stat was also known as the realm of transcendence. As Sungchul saw it, the High Devils were merely at the cusp of transcendence. One that specialized in magic might have reached transcendence, but those that weren’t would not be able to reach that level with their Magic Power or Intuition alone.
As Sungchul saw it, the High Devils were merely at the cusp of transcendence. The ones who specialized in magic might have reached transcendence in Magic Power and Intuition, but those that didn’t were unable to cross the threshold.
In any case, Sungchul had completed all 3 missions that he had set as his goal.
‘I managed to do everything I wanted.’
The other missions were unnecessary to him. He had never considered becoming one of these pathetic High Devils from the beginning. Sungchul left the tower without regret.
Outside the tower, there were more devil worshippers than before. Sungchul saw a man kneeling before him. The man had an emaciated appearance akin to that of a skeleton and looked similar to the people that could commonly be seen in the tower known as the Tower of Enlightenment.
“I-I have something to say to you. Hero of the Living!”
“What is it?”
Sungchul quietly pulled out his favorite rope from his Soul Storage as he asked.
The man bowed his head low before speaking in a courteous tone.
“I promise you that we are not your enemy. We may be called devil worshippers, but this was a choice that was forced upon us. We had abandoned our humanity and chosen servitude under the Devils to escape the Curse of Extinction as there were no other options.”
“Why are you telling me this? I don’t recall asking about your situation.”
“Please do not harm the High Devils, Hero of the Living!”
The emaciated man smashed his head onto the ground as he shouted with sincerity.
“They might be evil existences deserving extermination in your eyes, but they are necessary evils in our lives who protect us from the other Devils. Without them, we will become enslaved or eaten by the other Devils.”
“That isn’t my concern.”
Sungchul callously spoke as he turned around. However, the man didn’t relent. Even after having the rope tied around his neck his response remained the same. He was different from the others. That was what Sungchul thought as he released the man.
“I didn’t have any intention of killing the other High Devils anyways.”
A familiar form appeared in Sungchul’s eyes. The black mask and clothes of an undertaker. A monstrous man with a twisted body was mixed in with the crowd.
‘That guy is?’
It was the tempter who had promised to tell them of a method to kill the High Devils. Sungchul turned and stepped toward the monstrous man.
Sungchul stood before him. The man tried to retreat, but Sungchul’s hammer blocked his path.
“Where is Elijah Breggas?” Sungchul asked.
The man already knew of Sungchul’s strength and so he spoke quickly while trembling.
“Te-eh-eh-eh… blue tower… He’s challenging the master of the blue tower!”
Sophia was the first to act upon hearing the news.
Sungchul’s arm stopped her as she tried to hurry forward.
“Follow behind me.”
Announcement: Hello, everybody. We ran into some problems with Amazon regarding the ebook release as their tech team messed up with our preorder delay request and so we had to take it down. But, it’s back up for preorder. The date of release which was supposed to be 25th July is now 3rd August. Sorry about the delay. You can read all about it here.
Moving on we will try and get back on schedule this week. Honestly, once ebook releases we will pretty much have a ton of pressure off our shoulders regarding work and can focus on translating and pushing out chapters. Bear with us we are trying to do our best with the ebook. Thank you