Season 2 Chapter 9: (Season 2) – Chapter 9
“That fact that you managed to avoid detection from Sihard and the means that you didn’t cut across the city in the open.”
Rutan got up from his seat.
He looked in the direction the hunters came from before muttering in a soft voice.
“You couldn’t have left through the sky either. Because you don’t have the means.”
Then what other reason could it be?
Rutan enjoyed guessing like this.
He closed his mouth for a while and organised his thoughts, and his silence put great pressure on the hunters.
“…right. It should be underground. There is probably a long passage below Amado City that stretches to this mountain range. Am I wrong?”
He didn’t receive an answer, but Rutan knew his guess was correct. He burst into laughter once again.
“How… do you know the location of this hideout?”
Rutan had been waiting at the rock entrance. This would have been impossible if he didn’t have an idea of the hideout’s location.
“I also lent a hand when we were taking over this city in the past. I was lucky. At the time, there were some humans who managed to escape, and I tracked them to this hideout. But when I reached this place, I lost them.”
The sky seemed to turn yellow because of this unlucky situation.
“So you guys have already occupied this hideout.”
“Occupied? Why the hell would we do something so annoying? Do you think this shabby little bunker is of any value to us?”
Then did that mean they hadn’t touched the facilities inside?
‘Is he lying? Or is he telling the truth?’
She couldn’t tell.
It was impossible to read any intentions from Rutan’s smiling face.
She couldn’t hide her anxiety.
If the Warp Portal was already broken, then everything would have been in vain.
“This isn’t the time to worry about the future.”
Rutan spoke as if he’d read Allida’s mind. At the same time, demonic energy surged from within his body.
The hunters’ expression hardened. The same was true for Lee Jong-hak.
‘This Demon is strong.’
The restrictions on the collar had been temporarily paralysed, but they hadn’t properly trained for more than a month. The feed that the Demons gave them also slowly wore away at their physical strength.
Although these changes weren’t permanent, it would take at least two to three months before they could regain their strength.
The physical strength that Lee Jong-hak could unleash at that moment was not even half of when he was in his best condition.
‘And we don’t even have any equipment.’
The Demons were a race who were naturally more powerful than the humans. This meant that humans needed weapons and armor just to stand on even ground.
But they didn’t have any.
Lee Jong-hak and the other hunters were practically naked.
‘I don’t even need armor.’
If he’d had even a single sword.
Lee Jong-hak bit his lip at this thought.
It wouldn’t be enough to say that he was desperate.
On the other hand, Rutan was completely relaxed.
He’d already accomplished his goal the moment he found the hunters. Now, he was only observing them to appease his own curiosity.
He saw the frozen collars.
“You used Ice Magic to freeze the functions of the collar? You there, red-haired human bitch, this was your doing. I don’t know what kind of magic you used on the collar, but… Well. I’ll figure it out soon.”
Rutan smiled for a moment before continuing.
“I’ll make this short. Turn around, go back the way you came, and get back into your cages. With your own feet. Then, no one will get hurt and no one will die.”
‘No one would die.’
Some of them flinched at those words.
Rutan’s voice was soft, but it carried an intimidation that made them shudder.
Allida forced the corners of her lips to curl upwards.
“Stop bluffing. We know that we are your best products. You are a mere paper-pusher in the company at best. Would you dare to hurt us recklessly?”
“This is why humans are annoying. You always try to roll your heads around and negotiate when it won’t work. Hey, Wizard. How many human slaves do you think I’ve handled so far?”
As he said this, Rutan cracked his neck and loosened his joints, causing several hunters, including Lee Jong-hak, to take up battle positions.
“Do you intend to fight me with your bare bodies? Then go ahead. I can subdue all of you without leaving a scratch. But if you annoy me, then I will make you experience hell. I will give you a taste of pain that you have never experienced before I auction you off.”
Rutan’s voice was full of vigor.
Allida and several other hunters flinched.
“I-, if you do that and our minds break…”
“You value yourselves too highly.”
“We can capture any number of slaves we want. It would just take time. In truth, it wouldn’t matter if I killed every slave here apart from Lee Jong-hak.”
Every hunter gulped at those words.
In all honesty, Rutan’s words did contain a bit of a bluff. After all, these were all slaves who had been specially selected for the event and each of them could be considered high-class goods.
It just couldn’t be denied that Lee Jong-hak and Min Ha-rin were the most special.
“There aren’t any other Demons here.”
“You are the only Demon who came to retrieve us.”
When Lee Jong-hak spoke in a soft but firm tone, Rutan tilted his head and asked back.
“So if we kill you, we can leave this place.”
“Ah! I seemed to have missed that point.”
Rutan smiled and took off his coat.
“I’ll even give you some information. I didn’t get a title. Can you guess why?”
“You must be too weak!”
Rutan shrugged at Drisa’s rough shout.
“That is one of the reasons. However, it’s not the main one. It’s because I don’t have any Demon powers.” (TL: Think Demigod powers)
Lee Jong-hak’s expression became strange.
Every Demon Noble had their own individual power. This power varied greatly depending on the individual. From the simple ability to control ice, fire, or wind, the ability to transform into bloodsucking bats or wolves, or the ability to spew out poison to truly demonic abilities.
But Rutan had just admitted that he himself didn’t have any powers.
‘As expected of a Demon. He’s arrogant.’
The sound of joints being twisted could be heard from Drisa’s body.
In truth, Drisa’s body was so well-trained that even Lee Jong-hak couldn’t help but admire him. Although he might not have received systematic training, his muscles were still clearly outlined.
Just like a piece of art that had been carefully crafted, his body had a brilliant physical beauty.
His body changed. His back became hunched, and his hands and feet twisted and became deformed. His teeth and nails sharpened and grew longer, and his brown eyes turned yellow.
“Transformation. Right. You are a Shaman.”
Unlike other hunters, whose powers would drop by at least half when they didn’t have weapons or armor, Shamans were used to fighting without any equipment. This was because their bodies often went through violent physical changes.
Perhaps the strongest hunter in the group at that moment wasn’t Lee Jong-hak but Drisa.
Drisa kicked off from the ground and shot towards Rutan like a cannonball.
Demons weren’t immortal; they just had strong vitality. There were cases in which some had stronger vitality or had different vital points, but generally, if you cut off their head or destroyed their heart, they would be killable.
With a short shout, Lee Jong-hak charged after Drisa. He picked up a branch that had randomly fallen onto the road, intending to use it as his weapon.
The length of the branch wasn’t much, and its weight distribution was terrible, but it was still better than using his bare hands.
Meanwhile, Drisa bit into Rutan’s shoulder. And Allida, who was watching this scene from a distance, clenched her fist.
Then they heard Rutan let out a laugh.
Drisa couldn’t help but panic. His jaw felt numb like he was biting a piece of steel, not flesh.
Was he wearing a suit of inner armor or something?
Before he could even finish that thought, he felt a strong shock to the back of his head.
His jaw joint gave out with a snap.
Afterwards, Drisa was sent flying after feeling a sharp pain in his abdomen.
Then Lee Jong-hak stormed in as though he had been tagged. White light shined on the branch in his hand.
Rutan spoke in a cheerful voice.
“You are pouring your aura into a tree branch. Amazing. Should I say as expected of the Human Dragon?”
Lee Jong-hak didn’t answer, instead squeezing the branch tighter.
This Demon… was strange.
His manner of speaking, his attitude, and even his way of fighting…
‘He knows too much about humans.’
The Shaman’s transformation power,
The swordsmanship developed by humans,
Instead, it was surprising that he didn’t know about Allida’s Tattoo Magic considering how much he knew about humans.
Usually, Demons tended to disregard humans. Because of their arrogance and pride, they didn’t want to know more about humans because they considered them a lower race.
Naturally, this usually meant that they didn’t even know their way of fighting.
This wasn’t that strange.
After all, even if they didn’t know anything, it wasn’t hard for them to easily step on or kill humans.
If they did know anything, it could only be likened to memorising the breeds, tendencies, and habits of their pets.
With a curse, Drisa got back to his feet. He grumbled for a moment before spitting, and his smashed fangs flew out with his bloody phlegm.
“Be careful. His body is as hard as steel. I can’t hurt him with my teeth and claws.”
“Is it the power to increase your physical strength?”
Rutan spoke while calmly dodging Lee Jong-hak’s attacks.
“You are so stupid. I told you that I didn’t have a power. Well. I was born a bit stronger than normal Demons in return. However, I was only able to reach this level through hard work and training.”
The branch could not handle Lee Jong-hak’s aura and cracked.
He was forced to step back.
He was in worse shape than he thought. He had only been fighting for a few minutes, but he was already out of breath.
“…training? A Demon?”
“It is rare. We’ve been chatting for longer than I expected. Then…”
Rutan looked around.
The hunters had surrounded him before he realised.
“Don’t tell me you were trying to surround me from the start.”
Rutan mumbled softly before taking a deep breath.
Suddenly, demonic energy began surging in his eyes.
He took a deep breath.
Then, Rutan’s right foot shot up like it was going to touch the sky.
Lee Jong-hak’s expression became stiff when he saw this. He was the quickest to notice the danger.
Lee Jong-hak’s words were cut off before he could finish them. Because Rutan’s right foot hit the ground.
It was an earthquake.
Drisa couldn’t help but have this thought.
The instant Rutan’s foot hit the ground, spider web-like cracks spread out in every direction. The ground shattered like glass.
The shattered earth undulated on its own, creating a huge vortex.
“Sa-, save me!”
Some of the hunters reacted too slowly. Their bodies were sucked into the rock vortex, and their entire bodies were crushed.
The only ones who managed to escape were Drisa, Allida, and Lee Jong-hak, who happened to be further away than the rest. (TL: huhu how convenient)
“Do you really intend to kill us?”
“No. He adjusted the power. They might look severely wounded at first, but they’ll only suffer broken limbs and torn flesh at most.”
Lee Jong-hak spoke with a firm voice.
“I guess there’s only one thing we can do now.”
“Did you think of a way to kill this bastard?”
“Run away. I will buy you time.”
“…are you serious?”
Lee Jong-hak’s mouth twisted.
It took Drisa a moment to realise that it was a forced smile.
“I haven’t made a joke for a very long time.”
“You seem to have a reason to live. Am I wrong?”
Rutan simply looked at them with his arms crossed.
As Lee Jong-hak had said, he’d adjusted the strength of his attack, but it wasn’t by much. Humans were fragile, so maybe some of the hunters were already dead.
He checked again and found that they were all still alive. His control was perfect.
Rutan smirked as he admired his own skill.
With these kinds of injuries, they would be able to heal them up before it was time to present them.
So now, there were only two left.
…Or, at least, that was what he expected, but he found one more.
It was certainly strange. According to Rutan’s judgement, only Lee Jong-hak and Drisa would have been able to respond to his attack in time.
Did he get lucky? Or did he keep his distance like Allida had?
That was what he thought until he looked at this man’s face.
Rutan’s expression became strange. He even momentarily forgot about Drisa and Lee Jong-hak.
Was he dreaming?
Or was he just seeing things?
Rutan shook his head.
It wasn’t possible.
But the man’s appearance was so random that he couldn’t help but think so.
“Is it an escape play?”
The blonde man, Lukas, didn’t answer. Instead, it was Rutan who frowned.
It was unlikely. After all, the one who’d bought Lukas was none other than Duke Sandro and not some ordinary noble. He was a VIP of the Chester Company and a Demon who was personally given the title Duke by the Demon King.
Even Rutan didn’t have the confidence to trick his eyes and run away.
So… did he let him go because he was already tired of him?
Right. That made more sense.
‘But why is he here?’
Did this man know about the hideout as well?
Just as Rutan was about to ask a question.
“Sandro is dead.”
Lukas didn’t repeat himself.
He didn’t have time to waste. He had just dealt with a Duke.
He didn’t want to waste his time and energy on a small fry like Rutan.
He wanted to finish it quickly, and he did.
His eyes sank slightly.
“And you will soon follow suit.”