The Novel's Villain - Chapter 71
18. Death and Resurrection (2)
Angelica quietly cleaned.
[Please, please get some rest]
When she finished cleaning around the Gate, she went inside and kept cleaning without rest. It took quite a while, but everything was now nice and tidy. The Emperor of Vanity went crazy as she squeezed out even his dark mana. His whole body felt like it was on fire, and he was starving.
It was the most terrible collaboration of pain.
This crazy Death Knight didn’t even listen to his words. The Emperor of Vanity wanted to jump right in if there was a Sealing Stone in front of him. He felt like he could live with gratitude every day as it reflected under the World Tree.
Angelica left the Gate.
She looked around, but there was no one there. There were no worms. There were no orcs. She was left alone.
They must have all gone back. Angelica thought so.
“Me too…go back…”
Angelica started advancing straightforwardly. As the dark mana spewed out, monsters walked out of the dungeon around the temple. They were Skeletons, and with a rattle, they looked up at Angelica and started following her. Monsters such as skeletons couldn’t survive long if they went outside the Gate or the demonized area. However, with Angelica’s dark mana, they were able to act outside the demonized area freely.
[It’s a big deal.]
The Emperor of Vanity had a gut feeling that something big was about to happen. It seemed like it would be very painful.
Angelica made her way forward without hesitation. She only went straight.
* * *
Jin-woo was dead. The news began to spread when Jin-woo reverse-summoned the orcs and earthworms. Choi Hee-yeon and the Knights joined the main unit, so it was quickly known through the Korean Association of Competent People. News of the dead and injured were constantly updated, but the media went wild as soon as Lee Jin-woo’s name appeared on the missing list.
Jin-woo’s death became a foregone conclusion as the testimonies of the wounded Knights and Semi-Knights were added alongside it.
Knight A: ‘I was on the verge of death. I thought we were all dead. There were too many monsters. However, because Semi-Knight Lee Jin-woo lured the monsters away…’
Semi-Knight C: ‘He saved me from being eaten alive…’
Such voices were recorded by reporters dispatched to the scene. It went straight to the press, and it was coming out as breaking news. Reporters flocked to the Frontline Groups and G&P. It was reported that there was a gloomy atmosphere inside the Frontline Group, and the Vice President of G&P held a press conference. He said he would support everything necessary for the search operation.
The shocking news also brought the research institute to a halt. Even the researchers, who didn’t care about anything other than research, just sat blankly in their chairs. Kim Se-yeon and the doctors operated all their devices to search for Jin-woo, but they couldn’t find him. Kim Se-yeon was busy moving and operating the device, but her expression gradually turned to despair. Professor Kim Dae-jin shook his head and slumped into his chair.
“I heard they are praying at JW Gate?”
“Wishing for his safe return…”
Upon hearing the news, Kim Se-yeon, the professors, and the researchers left the laboratory and headed to the JW Gate. At the Gate, the General Manager, high-ranking judges, and maids all gathered and prayed.
The atmosphere was very solemn. Kim Se-yeon and the researchers joined in, and the British wizards also gathered one by one. It didn’t matter who the prayer was for.
However, everyone was hoping for Jin-woo’s safe return.
Jin-woo was resting at home for a while, eating the refreshments that Yoo-na brought. He tried to return quickly, but he missed the timing and was waiting for now.
“Oh, there are a lot of articles coming up.”
“It is said that Chairman Lee Hee-jin also began to move.”
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Even Chairman Lee Hee-jin, whose ass was heavy, moved. It was said that all the executives of the Frontline Group were gathering. Whether overseas or wherever, everyone was being convened.
Jin-woo gave Yoo-na a brief explanation. The more Yoo-na listened to his explanation, the more she was amazed and bewildered. Combining the information Jin-woo told her, China had been playing within Jin-woo’s hands so far. Now, he was browsing the internet while eating the sweets made by the elves with a smirk at the news of his death. He looked careless, but it didn’t seem that way in Yoo-na’s eyes.
‘Is this also…’
It was clear that he had a plan. Just looking at the atmosphere right now, most of Jin-woo’s bad light had been diluted. The heroic image of saving the Knights by blowing his body ate up everything else. It was such an unconventional image-making technique. The plans, thoughts, and concepts were on a completely different level.
After organizing her thoughts, Yoo-na returned to her usual self.
“When are you planning to go?”
“I have to go, but…”
He thought it would be suspicious if he showed up suddenly.
‘Still, I don’t think I will be caught…’
If he showed up at the right time and made an excuse, it seemed that he could somehow overcome it. He was receiving information because there were people inside the Association. Of course, the information was a little slow, but it was still worth a look.
“I heard they are returning because they failed to destroy the artifact.”
Merlin’s main unit reportedly returned after failing to destroy the artifact. There were no fatalities, but there must have been quite a few injuries. As it became Jin-woo’s territory, the durability of the artifact also increased. It was also connected to the Sanctuary of Gold, so it wasn’t an item that could be easily destroyed.
It was said that Angelica was never found. Since the operation failed, Jin-woo thought it would be a good idea to go to China to find Angelica and retrieve the artifact. He would also move the Gate at the same time.
‘I can say that I barely survived. I’ll dress up moderately.’
Jin-woo nodded, thinking so. After Yoo-na heard Jin-woo’s words, she tore apart the Relief Knight’s outfit appropriately. But the Emperor of Gold was always active. When Jin-woo put it on, it felt more like a deliberate style than a fierce fight. The neat Relief Knight’s outfit had been reborn in a vintage style.
Yoo-na also looked at Jin-woo for a moment and then nodded.
“…I think it will be fine.”
Jin-woo grabbed his sword and opened the portal. Yoo-na breathed out quietly as she watched Jin-woo disappear. There were several emotions interspersed in that breath. While looking at the traces that Jin-woo left, she smirked and started to clean up, receiving a call from the Association in the meanwhile.
Yoo-na received the call and immediately looked up the video.
The Giant Knight was leading the skeletons out of the black area. Yoo-na nodded and closed the laptop. As expected, Young Master always did great.
Jin-woo returned to the China Gate. He looked around cautiously, keeping low, but fortunately, there was no one. All there was around him was the temple and several empty dungeons around it. It was very neat, and the ground was paved with black stone. He felt a great deal of sincerity and effort in it.
First, Jin-woo put the artifact next to the Gate into the subspace. The Gate also belonged to the Sanctuary. It led to Elonti, so it was better to close it before anyone else could enter. The China Gate became smaller and smaller before completely disappearing beyond the dimension. Jin-woo went to the temple next.
There were many treasures in the temple, all dedicated to Jin-woo. He decided to set them aside for now.
[The Emperor of Gold has directly arrived at the Temple.]
[The demonized area is designated as the Sanctuary.]
[The dungeon becomes stronger by receiving the energy of the Temple.]
[You can receive news from the Demon Realm through the temple. Also available in the Sanctuary of Gold.]
Something came to his mind.
Jin-woo received the news from the Demon Realm.
[Special] The Emperor of Gold! Resurrected from the Dead!
The Emperor of Vanity has formed an army to take revenge on the Emperor of Gold! After that, something even more incredible and shocking happened! According to the prophet and dimension observer Callarice, an army of monsters like a giant tidal wave caused by the Emperor of Vanity has overtaken the Emperor of Gold.
But the Emperor of Gold is immortal! Callarice observed the Emperor of Gold resurrected in the Golden Temple…
“Emperor of Vanity?”
Jin-woo tilted his head. He wondered why the name came up. The Emperor of Vanity had been dealt with during the World Tree crisis. The news of the Demon Realm was like that before, but something didn’t seem quite right; something was severely distorted. The dimension observer, Callarice, also appeared in the original story, but she didn’t play an important role.
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‘First of all, let’s start with the Emperor of Vanity…’
Jin-woo could feel the energy of the Emperor. Although very faint, it was there if he concentrated on it.
“So it was still alive?”
It wasn’t a big threat because it was as small as a bug. However, he was going to take care of it first since it could still possess other beings. The Emperor of Vanity was outside his territory, so Jin-woo quickly pursued it.
Soon enough, a giant Knight appeared in the distance. Jin-woo climbed up the high black sandhill and observed the situation.
The giant Knight was Angelica. It had been a long time since he had seen her in person. She became so huge that she was nearly the size of a four-story building, and the pressure emanating from her was awe-inspiring. Numerous skeletons surrounded her, and the dark mana emanating from her was protecting them. It allowed them to leave the dungeon.
Why did Angelica have the same mana that only the Emperors possessed?
The Emperor of Vanity was inside Angelica’s body.
[S-stop! Eaaargh! Keargh! Uuugh!]
Even from a distance, he could hear the Emperor of Vanity’s screams too well. They were much louder than when he made the World Tree. The knights were fighting valiantly against Angelica and the skeleton army. But every time Angelica moved, the buildings around her were smashed. Although the civilians had been evacuated beforehand, there was considerable property damage.
It didn’t seem like the Emperor of Vanity was controlling Angelica. Jin-woo suddenly felt a headache forming.
‘Let’s fix it quickly.’
Jin-woo quickly moved towards Angelica.
Choi Hee-yeon wielded her sword against the giant as she cut through the skeletons with a murderous spirit that surprised those around her. The Ambassador and Knights, Merlin and the Wizards, and the other Relief Knights desperately held back the giant Knight’s advance. The giant Knight who appeared with an army of skeletons seemed to be like the Demon King. No, it was the Demon King.
The armor fell off under the numerous attacks. Mana leaked out from the Demon King, and her size began to decrease little by little, but she was still huge.
“Want to go…”
As the Demon King swung her sword, the windows of the surrounding buildings were shattered by the gale it kicked up. The surrounding Knights were pushed back, but Choi Hee-yeon endured it by slamming her sword into the ground.
Choi Hee-yeon clenched her teeth and swung her sword. As the Demon King swung her huge sword in response, she was barely able to block it. Choi Hee-yeon was thrown back by the shockwaves. It was the Ambassador’s group that caught her.
All the other Knights dealt with the skeletons while the Ambassador, Merlin, and a few other elites blocked the Demon King. There was a message that the support from the International Federation of Competent People had been dispatched, but it was still a long way from arriving.
The Ambassador stared at the Demon King.
“You attack when everyone is exhausted…was it all for this one move?”
“Although Jin-woo’s sacrifice prevented the worst from happening…”
Tang Xiao Zhen, who was next to the Ambassador, said so. If all the monsters had gathered, they would have taken over Tianjin and even Beijing instantly. Jin-woo’s sacrifice was invaluable. China, even the world, owed him a great debt. Choi Hee-yeon choked up and grabbed her sword when Jin-woo’s name came out.
Black sword energy began to fog up from the Demon King’s sword. The Ambassador was so badly wounded that he vomited blood from the pressure that suddenly descended, while the Knights barely endured by covering their mouths and noses.
“Here it comes!”
Merlin unfolded a huge shield. It was inevitable because the Knights dealing with the skeleton in the back would be swept away. He had to stop it.
The Demon King’s sword descended.
But the gigantic sword stopped just above the shield as a wave of golden sword energy hit the Demon King directly in the back. The Demon King, who hadn’t changed direction despite any previous attack it received, suddenly turned.
The same was true of the skeletons that were rushing in. Everyone’s gaze was focused on its source.
Choi Hee-yeon began to cry, as did Tang Xiao Zhen. The Ambassador grinned, and Merlin nodded with a smile. Jin-woo, wearing a tattered Relief Knight uniform, was standing there glaring at the Demon King. The blazing golden sword he held seemed to contain hope.
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Jin-woo stormed into the scene, worried the city would be ruined if it kept going like this. When Jin-woo threw out his sword energy and hit Angelica’s back, she recognized Jin-woo’s presence and turned around. Angelica’s eyes twinkled. Even though they were nothing but red glows, he could feel her affection.
“Just reduce the size a bit for now.”
When Jin-woo spoke very quietly, Angelica nodded and released the mana that she had accumulated. She seemed to spew out tentacles mixed with dark mana. Angelica’s armor tumbled off, and as the dark mana weakened, the skeletons began to break and disappear.
The Emperor of Vanity, who was inside Angelica’s body, screamed when he saw Jin-woo. He knew that the owner was an Emperor-class being, but he didn’t expect that it would be that vicious Emperor. The Emperor of Vanity’s eyes went dark.
All eyes were focused on Jin-woo.
Everyone recognized him. Choi Hee-yeon nearly dropped her sword, and Tang Xiao Zhen sat down on the ground. Those gazes were very burdensome for Jin-woo. Somehow, the timing of his appearance was exquisite.
“Well, do you even have a weakness?”
Only the Ambassador calmly grasped the situation.
‘He didn’t come back right away…he must have been doing something to get information about the Demon King.’
After Jin-woo’s blow, the Demon King’s body was rapidly falling apart. He must have been aiming for a gap in the Demon King’s armor while hiding. Lee Jin-woo, seen by the eyes of the Ambassador, wasn’t only a great competent person but a skilled strategist.
The Knights attacked Angelica.
Its size was still large, so there was no major damage, but it was still painful. Emitting a black aurora, Angelica approached Jin-woo. She could have been annihilated if she had been hit further.
‘That will be enough.’
Jin-woo rushed to Angelica and swung his sword. The black aurora began to disappear as it cracked open by the golden flames. To those watching, it was hope itself that repelled the great darkness and despair. Angelica approached Jin-woo while surrounded by golden flames. She reached out her hand to Jin-woo, and her finger stopped in front of Jin-woo’s nose.
Even in reverse-summoning, a very complicated technique was at work. It was enough to drain Jin-woo’s mana. The black aurora stretched out to Jin-woo and grazed through Jin-woo’s hair and hem of clothes, and it burned around Jin-woo just like that.
It was a fantastic light.
‘The move…it’s too cringy.’
Angelica roared with joy just before being reverse-summoned. Though mixed with the Death Knight’s signature voice, it sounded like a scream. The Knights looked at Angelica being reverse-summoned and then flinched at her roar.
“The Demon King…isn’t dead?”
The language was different, but the meaning was conveyed to everyone. The golden flame exploded once, creating a pillar of light. Perhaps because many people watched, the Emperor of Gold used Jin-woo’s mana generously to produce an even more wonderful performance. Jin-woo almost cried out, begging to stop it.
Contrary to his thoughts, Jin-woo’s expression was very serious. The haggardness, which was revealed only slightly, created a unique atmosphere. It was as if he was immersed in his agony.
The pillar of light exploded, kicking upwind around it. All the skeletons that were caught in the technique were smashed and disappeared. It was a pretty cool finale.
Silence descended as everyone was looking at Jin-woo. It was only natural that there was such a commotion after such a crazy performance. Everyone was waiting for Jin-woo to speak.
Jin-woo remained silent for a moment longer.
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Applause sounded out. It grew louder and louder until it filled the air. Choi Hee-yeon was looking at Jin-woo with tears in her eyes, and Tang Xiao Zhen was in a frantic state of mind. Not only those two, but the rest of the Knights were in a terrible state.
Jin-woo felt a prick at his conscience, but he kept his expression still.
After all, he was the Emperor of Gold.