Book 2: Chapter 114
“I never thought I’d be sent out to the outskirts.”
The Iron Duke, Ugkas, one of the Five Dukes, muttered softly to himself as he looked around.
A few days ago, he’d received orders directly from Demon King Kasajin to come to this place.
The orders were to capture Kran, one of the Top Three, and bring him back.
‘That guy is probably a hybrid.’
It was an experiment that Gullard had been secretly conducting some time ago to see if it was possible to create the perfect hybrids between Demons and humans.
In truth, Ugkas was surprised that Gullard had been able to create a being like Kran, but he was even more surprised to learn that it was Kran himself who’d kill him.
Of course, this didn’t mean that Kran had killed him on his own.
A man with the same surname as Azazel.
Ugkas’ expression became a bit strange.
He had also been given the name ‘Ugkas Strow’, but he didn’t know much about his surname. Azazel was the only one who knew the story behind their names.
Nevertheless, there was one thing that Ugkas did know.
And that was that Lukas Trowman was one of the Demon King’s old friends.
He couldn’t help but recall the Demon King’s other order.
‘Do not fight Lukas.’
This order heavily bruised Ugkas’ pride, but he had no choice but to accept it. If Lukas was even half as strong as the Demon King, then he had no chance of winning.
At that moment, Ugkas’ companion made their presence known with a strange, grotesque sound. His eyes turned to his right.
What he saw there was a monster with an appearance similar to that of a slug.
It was about 5 meters long, and the only opening on its body was an incredibly large mouth, which was filled with large, irregularly shaped teeth.
Hundreds of tentacle-like legs protruded from all over its body, and a strange slime seemed to ooze from its skin.
This being was Sipakna, also known as the Monster Duke.
Ugkas looked at this creature with a hint of appreciation mixed with disgust.
After all, despite its looks, Sipakna was highly intelligent and possessed the ability to speak. Moreover, its strength was only a bit below that of the Five Dukes.
Nevertheless, this guy never revealed his intelligence in front of anyone other than the Demon King. In truth, Ugkas had no idea why the Demon King had ordered it to accompany him.
Ugkas was confident that he could eliminate every living being on this peninsula on his own. Of course, this included the Top Three, Kran, who was somewhere in this land.
Although they had the appearances of an iron statue and a monstrous slug, they were, in the end, Dukes. Naturally, this meant that they had territories of their own, and things that they had to do.
To make matters worse, Gullard had died and Rose was running around on her own, disobeying the Demon King’s orders and doing as she pleased. This naturally meant that the amount of work the other Dukes had to do was proportionally larger.
That was why Ugkas felt that it was a waste of manpower to send two Dukes together on a mission like this.
“It is the King’s orders. There must certainly be reasons that I cannot understand.”
After thinking this, Ugkas lifted his head.
There was no need to search all over this large landmass for Kran. The most efficient way would be to get him to come to them instead. And to do this, Ugkas could think of a very effective method.
He could feel the presence of multiple beings nearby. It was probably a human city.
“That’s Busan, isn’t it? The place where the Hunter Association Branch is located.”
He knew from experience that there were always large numbers of humans living near the branches of the Hunter Association.
About a hundred kilometers from Busan, Ugkas had the idea to slowly walk to the city, killing any humans he happened to meet along the way.
As he walked forward in a leisurely manner, his mouth slowly warped, creating a hideous impression of a smile.
He was curious.
How many humans would he have to kill before Kran made his appearance?
* * *
“Mr. Soul is amazing.”
[What do you mean?]
“My power [Communication] grants me the ability to listen to the voice of God…”
After saying that, Arid realised that they were about to explain their abilities to the soul in front of them.
Now that they thought about it, that wasn’t the only strange thing.
At some point, the subject of their conversations had changed.
In general, it was Arid who was the listener whenever they encountered a soul. After all, it was their job to listen to the worries and troubles of the various souls in order to help them shake off their lingering regrets.
But this time was different.
Somehow, before they realised, Arid became the one talking about themself and the soul in front of them became the listener.
Why did it become like this?
The answer to that question came easily.
‘Because it’s so comfortable.’
It was strange.
They never thought that they could be so comfortable talking to a soul that they had only met a few days ago.
In fact, until yesterday, they hadn’t been entirely sure about this feeling, but now that they were face to face again, it was clearer.
“…in the past, I used to get tired every time I used my power. As I got used to it, that stopped happening. But after I used my power to help you, I felt really tired. I was so sleepy that I almost fainted.”
“The people Mr. Soul wants to see are far away.”
Lukas simply nodded, and Arid didn’t pry any further.
For some reason, they didn’t want to have any serious conversations with him. They just wanted to enjoy the comfortable feeling for as long as possible.
Suddenly, Arid’s expression became solemn. Slei’s words resounded in their mind.
[You seem to have a lot on your mind.]
Arid trembled slightly at those words.
“…ah. You could tell?”
Arid raised their hand to touch their face.
Of course, that alone wasn’t enough to tell them what their expression was at that moment.
It was a blunt but friendly voice. It had been a while since they had heard a voice like that.
Arid couldn’t find the words to speak and fell silent for a while.
Come to think of it, Mr. Soul had noticed their troubles from the very first day.
‘I want to tell him.’
They wanted to say it.
It felt like if they did, then the pressure that weighed on their chest would be relieved a bit.
But Arid simply raised their head and smiled brightly.
“No. It’s nothing.”
“Ah. It’s nothing bad. It’s just that I owe Mr. Soul an apology. So, sorry in advance.”
“Yeah. I don’t think I’ll be able to send Mr. Soul to paradise right now.”
Arid tried to make their voice as bright and carefree as possible.
“Because I think I’ll be busy from now on.”
The soul, Lukas, looked silently at Arid.