Novel Name : The Novel's Villain

The Novel's Villain - Chapter 65

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Chapter 65
16. Moving Forward (2)
The elves took quite a while to come to their senses. Everyone looked at the scene in astonishment as if their jaws were going to fall out. Jin-woo was also confused. After hearing Dellu’s story, he had a hunch, but he didn’t expect it to go quite this far. The interest and love of the people of Earth were greater than he expected.
‘It’s more intense than the elves.’
Elves were a calm lake, but Earthlings were like the stormy seas. Besides, there were too many of them.
Ella was about to faint. Her body shook as if something had broken.
“First…let’s go check it out.”
They headed to the scene to understand the situation. Together with Ella and the elves, they crossed the thick dust cloud and arrived at the meadow to find it in a miserable condition. The ground was cracked as if there had been a huge earthquake, and water was gushing out. It seemed that the ground collapsed down to the water veins that were deep inside.
They looked at the bottom of the World Tree. It was right to assume that there were no roots at all as if they had been gnawed off by sharp teeth.
Whoosh! Baang!
The World Tree was swinging its trunk and knocking the orcs into the air. Each time the trunk swung, dozens of orcs soared into the air, then hit the ground painfully. As most of the orcs disappeared, the tree began to slow down.
It fell to the ground helplessly.
Why were the orcs here? Their numbers were immense, including the orcs buried under the World Tree, those that had fallen into the cracks, or those trapped under rubble. The experience points leaking from them were detected by the Magic Eye of information.
Jin-woo decided to absorb the experience points first.
‘Why is it so much?’
It was an incredible amount. It wasn’t even like this during the drive-hunting at JW Gate, as his level went up by five at once.
‘How about the World Tree…?’
Jin-woo looked at the World Tree next. The trunks that supported it had already been cut off and the leaves were thickly spread out over the meadow. Its breath gradually faded. Looking through the Magic Eye of information, it was the limit to what it had endured until now. Although it was the World Tree, it was still a tree without roots.
Ella stroked the World Tree with her hand, the bark crumbling so easily.
“The World Tree has granted our wish.”
Ella could tell. It was because she was the one who conveyed the will of elves to the World Tree. The wish to protect the elves made the World Tree move. She didn’t even know if it was for this day that it had endured for such a long time. Yoo-na moved by Ella to comfort her as the elves put their hands on the World Tree and accepted its fate calmly.
A small tree trunk formed out from the World Tree. A black stone emanating evil energy was hanging from the end of it.
When he saw it, Jin-woo could tell right away that it was the Sealing Stone that sealed the Emperor of Vanity. Ella and the elves couldn’t bring themselves to look at the Sealing Stone. Even Yoo-na was overwhelmed by its presence and had a hard time breathing. On the other hand, Jin-woo felt the evil energy was quite refreshing. It felt a bit like eating a mint.
‘That’s quite significant.’
Although it was much lower than the Emperor of Greed, it was still clearly an Emperor.
Jin-woo approached the Sealing Stone. He looked at it for a moment and then held it in his hand. The tree trunk broke helplessly off of it. The Sealing Stone exuded evil energy that pressured Jin-woo.
The Emperor of Vanity was slowly awakening after being released from the seal of the World Tree. There was still time left before the seal was completely released, but he couldn’t prevent its consciousness from awakening. Black energy rushed around Jin-woo.
[Finally, the seal…!]
Jin-woo immediately put the Sealing Stone into his subspace. As long as the Sealing Stone wasn’t destroyed like in the original story, the Emperor of Vanity wouldn’t be released for the time being. For now, Jin-woo was thinking of finding a way to weaken the Sealing Stone in the Sanctuary of Gold.
‘The main character was carrying it around for no reason when he messed up.’
It wasn’t enough to handle it carefully.
Yoo-na approached Jin-woo.
“It looks very dangerous.”
“It’s okay for the time being.”
Yoo-na barely nodded. It was overwhelming energy that made her body tremble just by looking at it. Jin-woo, who casually dealt with such an existence, seemed a little more unfamiliar to her.
Jin-woo approached Ella; her eyes were filled with tears.
“The World Tree will now be able to rest in peace. I’ve put too much pressure on it during this time.”
The survival of the elves, the seal of the Emperor. It was the weight that the dying World Tree had to bear.
“If there is no World Tree…”
“We will gradually disappear.”
Ella replied quietly to Jin-woo’s words. That was how the elves disappeared in the original novel. The elves needed the World Tree to survive. It was like a kind of protective shield. They might hold on for a while, but they would eventually wander in pain and disappear.
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He couldn’t just let it go.
“Can’t we recreate the World Tree?”
“The World Tree is the soul and will of the elves. A guardian spirit was created by the great ancient elf Elbrath in the distant past by gathering the souls of the elves. The dwarf chief, Velon, also helped.”
The World Tree was closer to a spirit than a tree, which was why the elves living in the World Tree were called fairies.
Ella knew a way to create a new World Tree; the technique of ancient elves had been around for a long time. There were rumors that it appeared in the Dimensional Store, but it couldn’t be confirmed. Rather, even if it had been, she couldn’t afford it. She needed Elbras’ techniques and the enormous power of the soul, and she had to know Velon’s techniques.
It was a realistically implausible story. Who could learn techniques that even elves couldn’t learn, alongside the techniques of a dwarf craftsman? The elves were aware of it and accepted the end in a solemn atmosphere. The fate of the elves might have already been decided since the root of the World Tree disappeared.
“It must be the providence of nature that the elves disappear like this.”
Ella smiled weakly as she looked at Jin-woo.
‘Umm…Velon and Elbrath.’
Jin-woo was lost in thought for a moment. He had heard of Velon as well as Elbrath before when he first saw the Dimensional Store. He had a lot of fun shopping then.
Jin-woo immediately remembered. The technique book of Velon and Elbrath was one he had purchased at the Dimensional Store and learned. As soon as he mastered it, it turned into a technique called Golden Maker.
‘I just used it for enhancement, though…’
Until now, he didn’t pay much attention to it because he only used it for enhancement, though Golden Maker was Rank B+. Come to think of it, it was an unusual rank. The elves were comforting each other and embracing their sorrow. Yoo-na comforted Ella, who was clinging back to her. Yoo-na’s eyes were exceptionally red as she couldn’t stand the sorrow her new friend felt.
Only Jin-woo looked like nothing was wrong. Having been lost in thought, he soon nodded and opened his mouth.
“I know those techniques.”
All the elves stopped whatever they were doing at Jin-woo’s words and looked at him.
“It was in the Dimensional Store before, so I bought and learned it.”
It was a little expensive compared to other techniques. When Jin-woo spoke as if it was nothing, Ella and the elves held similar expressions to when the World Tree crossed over.
“Excuse me…my Lord Emperor?”
“Young Master···”
Ella and Yoo-na looked at Jin-woo as he just smiled slightly. When Jin-woo said that he learned the technique, the expressions of Ella and the elves came back to life. Everyone looked at him with sparkling eyes.
It was very burdensome.
“If it were my soul, it would be possible to sprout.”
Ella said so and looked at Jin-woo. Ella was prepared to die for the Queen’s duty and responsibility to protect the elves. Dellu, her long-serving companion, looked distressed beside her.
Ella seemed to have a lot of death flags in the original novel as well. She was a heroine who went through all kinds of hardships, but Jin-woo had no intention of letting Ella die. He was growing very attached to her, and she was a singer under Elonti anyway.
Jin-woo thought of Golden Maker. It certainly belonged to a high-level technique, and, as Ella said, it needed a soul.
‘The elves are just set to die.’
Jin-woo shook his head. Then, he suddenly thought of a way. It wasn’t the normal way, but it certainly seemed like it might work.
“Perhaps you don’t have to.”
Ella again looked surprised at Jin-woo’s words. Today was just a series of constant shocks.
* * *
The World Tree slowly broke down. From the moment the breath of the World Tree faded, the forest lost its vitality. The trees began to wither from the boundary between the forest and the meadow. It could not survive without the power of the World Tree because the land itself had already been devastated.
‘It ate too much.’
Jin-woo felt it every time he saw it, but it was amazing. The Emperor of Greed ate the whole thing. There seemed to be only a few resources left in the ground. It was fortunate that the JW Gate was intact.
The elves brought a gigantic seed from the body of the World Tree. It was about the size of a watermelon, but it didn’t look healthy. It was a seed made by squeezing the last power and will from the World Tree. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the people of Earth made it.
“My Lord Emperor, is it okay without my soul?”
“Maybe it will be fine.”
“I-I see. Just say it anytime. I am ready.”
Ella was ready to sacrifice herself. She was genuinely kind.
Jin-woo put the seed down on the ground as everyone, but Ella and Yoo-na watched from afar to avoid disturbing him.
‘Isn’t it quite difficult?’
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Perhaps Elbras and Velon also failed a lot. Melting the souls of the elves was very difficult and painful. The ancient elves probably felt the pain of their burning souls, a far greater agony than any that could be carved on one’s flesh.
Jin-woo took out the technique from the depths of his mind. His body knew what to do. Although there were some slight changes, it wasn’t a regression. It was rather a step forward, so there seemed to be no problem. Jin-woo wanted to create a better World Tree than the one made by Elbrath or Velon.
[C] Seeds of the World Tree
‘People of Earth! Lend me your strength!’
The seed that the World Tree squeezed out with its last will. The rank was down due to its lack of nutrition. The World Tree wasn’t an ordinary tree but a guardian spirit. It requires special techniques and strength to make it sprout.
Jin-woo took out all the advanced equipment, Enhancement Stones, Attribute Stones, and other pricey materials he had prepared. Even one piece of equipment was several times the amount he had provided for Ella.
The seed was smoothly enhanced to the limit as it devoured each Enhancement Stone he fed it. It kept going in even if he tried to put in more. As time passed, the dried appearance of the seed disappeared. The surface gradually turned golden, and it began to shine.
‘That’s pretty good.’
Jin-woo took a deep breath. It took a while, but it was a satisfactory result. The rank had also risen to A.
Ella put her hands together and looked at Jin-woo with earnest eyes. Some elves even offered prayers to him.
It could be roughly solved with the rest of his ingredients, but the main ingredient was a soul, as Ella said. It had to be refined and fairly stable.
Jin-woo acquired such a thing a while ago. It was the Emperor of Vanity, who had no substance but only a soul.
A black air broke out when he took out the Sealing Stone. The Sealing Stone had the same properties as the Root Stone, where the forces of dimensional energies were gathered. It couldn’t have been a better ingredient.
[Huh-ugh! Wugh! W-wait a minute…hey.]
The Emperor of Vanity came to its senses and spoke in an urgent tone.
[A-apparently, you’re also an Emperor like me…no, you seem to have a higher rank, but it’s a big deal if you do this to your colleague. Ooh, ooh, aren’t we on the same page?]
Jin-woo wasn’t listening to what it said. It was the Emperor of Vanity, which he had read about tirelessly throughout the three original volumes. He had a rough idea of what it would talk about, so now it did so in vain. Several races suffered because of the Emperor of Vanity and the protagonist’s battle, and the Earth even suffered a direct impact from it.
Jin-woo was pretending to listen to all its words. However, the others couldn’t. The Emperor of Vanity’s voice sounded like a ghostly wail to others. It was the voice of death that instinctively evoked fear and provided despair.
‘Well, would that be enough? It’s in good shape.’
Indeed, it was also one of the Twelve Emperors. The size of the soul was large, and its purity was high. He wouldn’t have attempted this if it had a body like the Emperor of Greed. Jin-woo placed the sealing stone on the seed, then made a powder from the attribute stone and applied it meticulously.
[What are you doing…what are you doing?]
“Well, that’s good.”
Jin-woo looked at the table where flames were rising like a gas stove. It was an alchemy table that blew away impure energies. He picked up the sealing stone with tongs and threw it into the flames.
[Uh, huh? Ugh, ahhh! Aww!]
The sealing stone heated up. Then, he placed it on the seed and lifted the hammer off the table. It was a hammer with a special ability to not destroy materials.
[Huh, heh heh! Now, wait…]
When it was struck with a hammer, the power of the soul in the sealing stone leaked little by little and settled in the seed.
[Uh-huh! Please tell me…gagh!]
It wasn’t the first time the protagonist was deceived by the Emperor of Vanity. His ability to possess the body was his clear advantage, but his acting and silvered-tongue were also a force to be reckoned with.
Jin-woo silently swung the hammer, listening to the blows and resulting screams.
Ting! Ting! Crack!
As the hammer shattered, the Emperor of Vanity breathed a sigh of relief. Jin-woo looked at the smashed hammer, then tossed it aside and brought out several more from his subspace.
[Uh, uh….]
It looked as if the sealing stone had somehow turned blue. Jin-woo released his hand for a moment and then struck again. The screams of the Emperor of Vanity continued for a while.
Ella staggered and sat down. Yoo-na couldn’t stand it either, so she took Ella and backed away from him. In their eyes, it was as if Jin-woo was fighting against the Emperor of Vanity. This was because the black airflow from the sealing stone reacted violently against the sacred golden hammer.
Almost all of the soul in the sealing stone was absorbed into the seed as the size of the sealing stone was growing noticeably smaller. What used to be the size of a fist was now only about the length of a finger.
‘If only there were a chance…!’
The Emperor of Vanity thought so and endured the pain. He was always strong and arrogant. He was certain that the human tormenting him was an Emperor, but even though he was, he was confident that he could take his body. Everyone had vanity. His soul became smaller and could now easily escape from the seal.
It was the moment Jin-woo put down his hammer to catch his breath. The Emperor of Vanity squeezed out all his strength and lunged towards Jin-woo. Black tentacles spewed out from the sealing stone to grab his body.
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‘Vanity, show your vanity!’
The Emperor of Vanity smiled with a sense of victory. It was his power to see vanity, just as the Emperor of Greed sees the source of the soul.
The tentacles couldn’t penetrate Jin-woo’s body.
[What is this?!]
The Emperor of Vanity felt like his soul was being ripped to pieces just by looking at it. It wasn’t at the level to be described as vanity. A desperate waste that knew no end. It was an area far beyond vanity, where there was neither greed nor selfishness. He was just wasting.
It was a new realm he couldn’t have imagined.
That huge wave of waste blew away the Emperor of vanity.
When he attacked, Jin-woo raised his magical power to defend himself, but an unexpected result appeared. The Emperor of Vanity just exploded.
This made it much easier for him to breathe his soul into the seed.
“It’s done.”
The seed was a mixture of black and gold.
[The Emperor of Gold has created the spirit of the World Tree.]
[Ownership is returned.]
[A+] World Tree of Gold and Darkness
A spirit created by the Emperor of Gold that grants new powers and life to the elves. Elves may evolve into new forms.
*Owner: Emperor of Gold
Such information came to mind.
Ella ran to him. As he tried to hand over the title, information flashed that it wasn’t yet eligible for Ella.
[You have conquered the forest and grassland dimensions.]
[Drawing forth the world tree, subduing the elves, and annihilating the orcs.]
[The demons admire the elaborate scheme of the incarnation of evil.]
[Influence increases.]
It wasn’t intentional, but it was an undeniable fact.
Jin-woo decided to plant the world tree first.
* * *
The Emperor of Vanity crawled weakly across the ground, moving its tiny tentacles. He managed to escape from the brink of extinction but losing most of his powers made him as weak as a worm. He saw a black bug crawling on the floor beside him. The Emperor of Vanity inched closer and burrowed into its body.
‘Wow! I, as a monarch, to experience such a disgrace…!’
The Emperor of Vanity barely moved and crossed the gate, seeking escape. Instinctively, he came to the source of dark energy he felt.
He didn’t know where he was. It didn’t look like the realm of the devil, but it was a similar environment.
‘I, that’s it!’
As he crawled on the floor, a giant Death Knight with overwhelming power appeared in front of him. She boasted a tremendous force. She had a weak ego, so even if it was impossible for him to eat her, coexistence seemed possible.
‘It has an owner, but…’
The Death Knight seemed to have an owner, but as long as they weren’t an Emperor, he could be freed from his current bondage. Although he lost his power, he, too, was an Emperor.
The Emperor of Vanity saw the opportunity and clung to the Death Knight’s armor. He escaped from the body of the worm and seeped into the armor.
‘Someday, I will take revenge.’
The Death Knight’s power alone wouldn’t be enough, but freedom was important. His power should be gathered slowly!
He smiled bitterly.
‘The name of this Death Knight is…’
Angelica. It was a name that was not suited for a Death Knight.
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