Book 2: Chapter 132
Min Ha-rin looked up at the sky. It was already approaching noon, but the sun was nowhere in sight. However, by now, she no longer found this strange.
A flash of light seemed to streak across the pitch-black sky, but it disappeared even faster than it appeared.
At that moment, the sky and the ground were both shaking violently, as though it was the dimension itself that was shaking.
The dense mana reverberation that she could feel beyond the dark clouds definitely belonged to Lukas.
As for the identity of the being whom he was fiercely fighting, that was easy enough to guess.
‘The Demon who destroyed the Korea Headquarters.’
It was at least one of the five dukes or maybe even something stronger than that.
“Let go… of me…!”
Slei, who was in her arms, began to struggle.
His arms, which had been severed, and his body, which had not even been half of his torso, had already regenerated.
Min Ha-rin couldn’t help but recall the scene.
A human like Slei possessed super fast regeneration, an ability that was usually only found in high ranking Demon Nobles.
This fact caused her to feel slightly disgusted. It felt like this old man was not a human but instead some other being who was wearing human skin.
‘I knew he was going to wake up sooner or later.’
Nevertheless, he had regained consciousness much faster than Min Ha-rin expected.
The believers all shouted enthusiastically.
This fact seemed to disgust Min Ha-rin even more. Her eyes became cold.
After his regeneration, Slei might have appeared fine, but the deep sense of fatigue that filled his entire body was not alleviated. He was still in pretty bad condition.
Slei coughed up blood a few times before shouting angrily.
“Do you know what you’re doing?! I’m the leader of the Church of Eternal Life…!”
“More like a con artist.”
“How dare you…?!”
“Even if I let you go, what could you do? Do you have the power to change this situation?”
“Of course I do!”
Min Ha-rin’s lips twisted into a sneer.
“Open your eyes properly and look up at the sky.”
“Do you see them? Those beings fighting beyond the clouds. Could you stop their fight? Could you step in?”
Slei was speechless for a moment. He lowered his head in thought and began to mutter in a low voice.
“Arid… I need Arid. As long as I have that child’s power, I will have nothing to fear… My, my wounds and my pain will all disappear.”
This man had lost his mind. No. He was completely insane.
Min Ha-rin couldn’t help but stand to her feet, throwing Slei to the ground.
The image of an old man rolling helplessly on the ground would certainly have invoked some sense of sympathy in those who saw it, but Min Ha-rin didn’t feel even the slightest hint of it.
“If you dare move, your Bishop will lose his life right here in front of you.”
She wasn’t joking.
Feeling the sincerity in her voice, the believers couldn’t muster up the courage to approach Slei.
Contrary to her cold and unshakeable expression, Min Ha-rin’s insides were churning.
She was worried about the current status of her younger siblings.
…She couldn’t help but wonder if they were seriously injured or, even worse, dead.
Min Ha-rin would never forgive Slei.
“Tell your believers to stop trying to confront the Demons. Let them take the wounded and run away.”
“I can’t do that.”
“Do you really intend to sacrifice everyone here?”
“They will not suffer…! This is the death they all want…!”
“That’s because they were all instigated and fooled by you. They don’t understand what they’re doing.”
“Shut up! What do you know…”
Slei’s body began to shake.
“This… What the hell is this ominous power?”
“What are you playing at?”
“No. It’s not like that. Something is coming.”
Slei didn’t respond to the question, and instead, his eyes widened in dismay.
He was looking up at the sky.
Following his gaze, Min Ha-rin also looked up at the sky.
Just in time to see something huge falling down.
The ground immediately shattered, sending bits of stone flying in every direction. A dust cloud was immediately formed.
The force of the impact was so strong that it caused Min Ha-rin and the believers to lose their balance and stumble.
Something shot out from the dust cloud.
Without even taking the time to think about it, Min Ha-rin threw herself backwards, rolling a few times across the ground.
She had chosen to dodge instead of block whatever it was. In hindsight, this instinctive judgement had probably saved her life.
Those who hadn’t tried to dodge or those who hadn’t realised what was happening were slowly lifted into the sky with their hearts pierced. In fact, even the believers who had tried to block the attack had died.
What the hell happened…?
Min Ha-rin gulped slightly in fear of the unknown.
Finally, as the dust cloud slowly subsided, the appearance of the attacker was revealed.
It was a monster.
A huge, terrifying creature that was difficult to describe in words.
To put it bluntly, the giant monster appeared to be some kind of mixture between a slug and a centipede, with a mouth that seemed to take up almost half of its torso, and hundreds of wriggling tentacles that seemed to take the place for feet.
However, the thing that stood out the most was the monster’s skin. No, it would be more accurate to call it a carapace.
The carapace glistened like metal, but it looked even stronger than that.
Sipakna, the Monstrous Duke, said these words slowly as it pulled one of the dozen or so believers that had been pierced by its tentacles into its mouth. Its mouth, which was already grotesquely large, seemed to expand even further.
A disgusting sound came from its mouth as spurts of blood shot past its teeth.
“Believers…! This is one of the Five Dukes!”
Slei shouted out in a wicked voice.
“The path to paradise has opened! Show me your bravery!”
“The Bishop has shown us the way!”
The believers started rushing towards Sipakna as though they had been waiting for those words. They looked exactly like moths rushing towards a flame.
Slei then immediately turned and ran away without even the slightest hesitation.
This sight filled Min Ha-rin with rage.
This was so ridiculous that she couldn’t even laugh. The one who was urging their believers to kill themselves probably feared death more than anyone else in the world.
She didn’t even think about chasing after him. Min Ha-rin would never be able to turn her back on this tragedy.
“What should I do?”
Slei ran away, and the believers were all dying.
If she were to run away now, then she would be no better than Slei.
However, fighting this monster would be no different from suicide.
‘Because I’m too weak…’
If she was strong enough, then she would have been able to defeat this monster.
Just as Min Ha-rin clenched her fist helplessly.
A bright flash of light came from above.
* * *
He knew Lukas Trowman.
Kasajin’s fist swung towards Lukas again.
Once again, there was contact. In truth, when fighting against him, it wouldn’t be strange if his opponents were to explode into bits of flesh and blood after his attacks, but that wasn’t the case now.
Lukas turned to look at him.
Even from the moment the fight had begun, Kasajin had yet to receive any damage. No spell he used seemed to be able to pierce through his devilish energy. Because of this, the fight began to take a one-sided appearance, and it seemed that it would end at any moment.
His long-time friend would soon die by his hand.
Or, at least, that was how it seemed.
‘—how long had it been since I had that thought?’
It would only take one more step to kill Lukas, but he couldn’t do it.
That thought appeared in his head again.
He knew Lukas Trowman.
Lukas wasn’t the type to fight a battle that he had no chance of winning, and he was the type to find a way to reverse the positions even if he was so disadvantaged that he couldn’t even lift a finger.
At the very least, this guy was not someone he could defeat without using every ounce of his strength.
After all, it was only because he was such a man that Kasajin had been willing to risk his life for him in the past.
‘He is up to something.’
He was using his external force, but he was bearing the burden with his soul.
But it couldn’t be just that. Kasajin could tell just by looking at his eyes.
Lukas was hiding something. It was just that he couldn’t tell what exactly he was hiding.
However, the reason he was so concerned about it was because he knew Lukas’s personality well, and he knew…
‘’It might be able to threaten me.’
It wasn’t easy for a mortal to become an Absolute. In fact, it was easier to say that it was almost impossible. Especially for humans who were nothing more than worms in the eyes of most cosmic species.
It was a different matter for beings like him, who had completely abandoned their humanity by accepting other powers and twisting their beliefs.
‘You haven’t changed.’
Lukas, on the other hand, had become an Absolute without changing ‘himself’. And as an Absolute, Kasajin knew just how hard that was.
Of course, there were still some things that changed.
The Lukas of the past was not so taciturn. He had his fears, and he made mistakes.
In other words, he was human, imperfect.
‘The only Absolute who favours humans, Madman.’
Truly, that title fits him well.
Kasajin felt his heart thump loudly for the first time in tens of thousands of years. In fact, the feeling was so strange that it even took him by surprise. After all, he’d thought that he’d lost his emotions a very long time ago, but it seemed that there were still some left over.
In his heart, an emotion that shouldn’t have existed within Demon King Kasajin began to rear its head.
It was an eruption of fighting spirit.
‘I want to fight him.’
He didn’t want to one-sidedly hit a guy who was worrying about the universe as Lukas was now.
He wanted to fight against Lukas Trowman as he gave it his all.
Kasajin stopped attacking and stepped back. Instead of launching an attack of his own, Lukas, who had been focused on defense, also took a step back.
The first one to open his mouth was Kasajin.
[I want to make a proposal.]
Lukas raised an eyebrow.
“That’s unexpected. Isn’t it much simpler to try to kill me now?”
[No. It would be a much harder and uncertain path. After all, I don’t know how many poisonous daggers you are hiding away.]
Even in the past, he had been well known for his animal-like instincts.
That was why he had always been slightly wary of whatever trump cards Lukas was hiding.
He was certain of their presence.
After staying silent for a while, Lukas opened his mouth.
“Tell me about this proposal.”
[My reason for coming to this land was to retrieve one of the Top Three, Kran. He is a Hybrid, and he is the only one of the three who can be considered perfect.]
“Do you intend to use Kran to deceive the laws of this universe?”
[The laws of this universe are of no importance to me. I don’t care about this world’s balance or whether this dimension collapses or not.]
That was true.
Unlike Lukas, Kasajin had never tried to restrain his powers.
“Then why do you want to take Kran?”
[That man will be an important element in commencing the Great Game. He is also an indispensable component in order for me to achieve the orders I was given.]
“…what are you trying to say?”
[It won’t be a bad thing for you either. Give him to me. Then the amount of Absolute energy this universe can handle will increase to an absurd extent. In other words…]
For the first time, Kasajin’s lips twisted into a terrifying facsimile of a smile.
[You and I will be able to fight to our hearts’ content.]