The Novel's Villain - Chapter 77
21. Subordinates (1)
Jin-woo let out a deep sigh. He became even busier after becoming a Knight.
He had no choice but to participate in major official events as a Knight. Now that he was a Korean Association of Competent People member, he couldn’t just refuse. Still, when he went to the Knights’ meeting, he liked the friendly atmosphere that greeted him. He didn’t know why, but the three high-ranking Knights, who had the most severe factional strife during his verification, were laughing and exchanging drinks with each other. It was said that they even became sworn brothers.
The Knights called it the Jin-woo Effect, but Jin-woo wondered what the hell he had affected. He had been quite busy for a while with the affairs of Knights and G&P overlapping. Most of the time, he just had to make approvals, but Jin-woo had to be very cautious about Elonti.
‘It’s all my fault, though.’
It was to solve the Emperors and other similar situations, but he had too much work. He was fortunate to have capable subordinates to assist him. He thought it would be nice to visit them.
Jin-woo visited the JW Gate jurisdiction. Since he didn’t have a bodyguard with him, his presence wasn’t that obvious if he covered his face properly. He registered Yoo-na as an attendant and a supporter, so there was no particular inconvenience.
‘I don’t know if the education went well.’
General Manager’s education was clear enough for Jin-woo to admit, but he was worried because the target was the elves. The race itself was so kind and naive. It felt similar to watching little children who were lost at sea. He visited the jurisdiction to see for himself how it was going. He felt sorry for Yoo-na, but he sneaked out. If he informed her, not only the jurisdiction but also the G&P would become very busy.
He was also afraid that professors and researchers would jump in.
‘It is this way, right?’
The Gate Cultural Street looked vastly different every time he came. There were a lot of new buildings, and more people filled the streets than before. It was a Wednesday morning, but the whole street was packed.
‘Is it this way?’
It was when he passed the shopping street and headed towards Elonti Entertainment.
“This is an eco-friendly elf bowl! It’s cheap! 10,000 won per piece!”
“Yes! Of course, you can use a card. Do you want me to put it in?
“This is a trendy elf traditional costume. Please take a look! We’ll get you the right size!”
Jin-woo stopped walking. When he turned his head, he saw that the elves were selling things very skillfully. They covered their ears with magic, but it couldn’t hide their elven beauty. Perhaps because of that, there were a lot of customers.
They even secretly used Wind Spirits to spread their voices further. The way they treated customers with bright smiles was the very image of a professional. Jin-woo looked at the scene for a moment.
He was speechless.
“Please give me a refund on this. There’s a scratch. Can you sell something like this?”
“Sir, if you lie, your heart will be too sharp to use. Then it will hurt both you and me.”
“Yes? I beg your pardon?”
“Well, come here. Let’s think about it together.”
One of the elves saw through the lie using the Fairy’s Eye. The elf took the customer’s hand and comforted him with a soft smile.
The customer shed tears when he felt as if he were in his mother’s arms. Instead of getting angry, the customer was greatly comforted by the energy of nature emitted from the elf.
“I’m sorry. Because of my greed…I…”
“Yes! Thank you! Come again!”
It was a clear boundary. She immediately released his hand and greeted the next customer with a smile. Was it because all elves were as pure as white paper? They seemed to grow dirty very quickly.
Come to think of it. The elves had great talent as salespeople. They could see through lies and warm even the hearts of evil customers with the energy of nature. And, although they were very beautiful, they felt like family, so they could quickly gain regulars.
He saw something great. Jin-woo headed for Elonti Entertainment at a quicker pace.
Another new scene unfolded. There was an open space in front of Elonti Entertainment, where people were swinging their wooden swords in line with each other. They were ordinary people, not competent people. He saw an elf teaching them postures on the podium.
It was the Dark Elf, Dellu. She was wearing sportswear that looked great on her. She was showing off her model poses. Jin-woo forgot what to say for a moment.
“Hey! Your posture is messed up!”
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“I will fix it!”
“You! Do not rest!”
The commoners worked very hard even though they were sweating profusely. Dellu conducted the commoners with her force of charisma. There were more women in the crowd than men, working hard as they swung their swords. Jin-woo looked closely with his Magic Eye of Information.
[E] Dark Elf Diet Swordsmanship
‘Let’s work out! My Queen!’
An exercise method devised by the Dark Elf Dellu. It was made for Ella, who lacked exercise, but now it is a swordsmanship diet method that has become a sensational trend on Earth. Not only is it effective in building a beautiful body, but it also consumes a lot of calories. It is said that Ella is running away from Dellu.
*[E] Elf’s Body: Creates moderate muscles and beautiful lines.
*[E] Calorie Consumption: A huge amount of energy is consumed. You must eat something greasy after exercising.
Jin-woo looked it up on his cell phone, and it seemed to be a new trend. It was said that someone had to pay a considerable amount to receive a lecture directly from Dellu, but the queue was already full. Many celebrities were taking the program.
‘The elves are…’
He thought they were fragile flowers, but they were grass that grew well everywhere. Dellu finished training and came down from the podium.
“My Lord Emperor?”
Although he covered his face, Dellu recognized Jin-woo at once. Dellu came running with a welcoming spirit. A lot of attention started to gather, and they had to quickly move to the reception room in Elonti Entertainment.
“My Lord, it’s been a long time.”
“Yeah, the elves…are doing well.”
“Yes, everyone is satisfied. Everyone wanted to come here. It is truly a paradise.”
She said that they didn’t want to go back once they came here. Yoo-na told him through the reports that they were adjusting well, but they were settling down, not adjusting.
“I heard that you had visited the Demon Realm.”
“I was visiting only for a little while.”
“I heard that an Emperor is sleeping in the Demon Realm, too. Although it is a legend…”
Jin-woo nodded. There was only one reason why Jin-woo wanted to be close with the Demon Kings: to stop the Emperor. Otherwise, there was no need to go to the Demon Realm and bother with something so troublesome.
‘It’s too mixed up.’
Jin-woo shook his head. The original novel was a mix of so many things, making it very difficult to respond because too many things appeared out of the blue.
‘The third Emperor.’
The Emperor of Maze haunted the Demon Realm. It didn’t have a distinct ego like Vanity or Greed. In particular, the giant maze was the Emperor itself. It was also the oldest Emperor, known as the Devil’s foot.
Legends mentioned that if you could awaken and control the Emperor of Maze, you could rise to the throne of the Emperor yourself. Because it needed enormous mana and power, Hallas absorbed the power of the Demon Kings to awaken the Emperor of Maze. The reason the Demon Kings tried to conquer the Demon Realm by fighting each other was to seize that power, all to unify the Demon Realm and lead the revival of the demons by becoming an Emperor.
It would be a great achievement if any of the Demon Kings could reach it. The main character also thought positively in his way and helped Hallas. He was stabbed in the back, though.
‘It wasn’t a legend.’
It turned out it was just a legend planted by the Emperor of Greed! The original author used the Emperor of Maze to add a twist. Was there any reason why the Emperor in the legend, a giant maze called the Devil’s foot, obeyed the Demon King’s words and gave him power?
‘The description wasn’t added, but…’
Hallas eventually woke up the Emperor of Maze before his death. It caused great damage to the Demon Realm, and for some reason, it appeared in Japan, the very place where the international competition was. Furthermore, a new dimension was opened because the maze moved by twisting the entire dimension.
And it was inside the maze itself…
The largest dimension was the Middle-World. Seven colors of dragons and an evil Empire! Kingdoms! Nobles! It was an attractive place that could be called a fantasy romance, but it was best not to be involved with it.
‘I don’t care about other dimensions as long as I can stop the Emperor of Maze.’
He couldn’t go even when the other Emperors woke up. How could he stop it? Jin-woo wasn’t a saint enough to take their sufferings on his own.
“It would be fine if I persuade them peacefully.”
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“Even though they are evil demons…it will be fine since you are doing it, My Lord Emperor.”
Jin-woo stood. The elves were doing well, so he didn’t have to worry. Ella was releasing new songs, and Heo-young’s activities seemed to be going well.
“Please send my regards to Ella.”
“Uh, um…she has been avoiding me these days…I think it’s puberty. It seems like she’s hiding something from me…”
She must be very upset. Although she was too old to call it puberty, Jin-woo just nodded. He had no choice but to sit back and listen to Dellu’s complaints for a while. Dellu became more open after becoming a Dark Elf.
Anyway, things were going very well on Earth.
* * *
Jin-woo headed to the Demon Realm. It required the powers and mana of several Demon Kings to awaken the Emperor. This was because the Dark Ego moved and instilled the power of the maze into them. It was right to view the Dark Ego as the Demon Realm itself. He didn’t know why but the Dark Ego seemed to look at him, but it kept trying to do something for him.
That thought came from the dark mana. To be honest, it was a nuisance.
‘Anyway, it would be fine without the main character.’
It had to be adjusted so that the Demon Kings could keep each other in balance. After Hallas, Gallord was the next in line for strongest.
‘Let’s pay attention to Gallord for now.’
Jin-woo wanted to be close to Gallord. He had a fairly normal way of thinking for a demon. Even though they only had one meeting, Gallord felt like a next-door junior.
“Master, as you said, I have made a graveyard in a place with a good view.”
Although it was something the Emperor of Greed did, Jin-woo wanted to honor the souls of the demons who were sacrificed. Jin-woo headed to the graveyard with Arina. The estate was still quiet. There were hardly any residents except the maids, servants, and the demons who managed the building. This was because it hadn’t been long since it was created, and it hadn’t received immigrants yet.
“Gallord helped me to build the graveyard. He could just send in his men, but he came and helped himself. He said he would help the Emperor.”
“That friend is nice. Be good to him.”
It was said that he looked exhausted because he had a lot of work on his plate. Even so, he still helped. Was he not a demon but an angel?
The graveyard was well maintained as a result. All the remains were buried, and square tombstones were placed to mark them. It was said that all of the things that might disturb them had been wiped out by Gallord with the Magic of Extinction.
‘I heard that Gallord’s estate was having a hard time…’
He was planning to visit Gallord’s estate today. It was right to help him, given all of Gallord’s assistance so far.
Jin-woo took out a bottle of good liquor from the subspace, sprinkling it over the graveyard.
“Goodbye, and be born in a better place in your next life.”
Jin-woo said so with sincerity. He didn’t know where the demons would go when they died, but he thought it would be nice to be born in a good place anyway.
[The souls of demons are moved by the Emperor of Gold.]
[The Dark Ego helps.]
The liquor sprayed on the graveyard began to catch black flames. He sprayed it randomly, but it looked like it had taken on a strange pattern when he saw the sparks rise.
The demon energy around him began to gather and was pulled into the graveyard. Arina blinked. Even she, who was learning dark magic, couldn’t understand this phenomenon.
“Maybe they were moved by Master’s words?”
She was just guessing. A forced laugh came out at Arina’s words.
The moment Jin-woo let out a laugh, the tombstone broke and collapsed. There was a wriggling vibration echoing from beneath the graveyard.
A hand made of black bones came up through the ground. Starting with that one hand, countless more popped up through the ground. It was a scene straight from a zombie movie.
The finely paved floor cracked, and black skeletons climbed out. Each was quite large, with a sleek and sharp shape. It was a much more creepy look than a normal skeleton.
They continued to rise.
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“T-they are born again. I-is this a good place, so maybe…ah, so they must be under Master’s command! As expected from Master!”
Arina’s face was full of confusion as she tried to somehow figure things out. The skeletons began to line up in front of Jin-woo. It felt as if he had become a Demon King.
Their red eyes that seemed to burn watched him closely.
[-C] Black Skeleton
A skeleton imbued with a demon soul.
A soul left in the dark for hundreds of years could only return to the Dark Ego through a burial. However, when the Emperor of Gold sincerely mourned for the soul and prayed for a rebirth in paradise, it was touched and returned to the Demon Realm. They were reborn in a good place.
*[-C] Loyal Worker: Continue to execute what is ordered.
*[E] Chattering: It can’t speak, but it tries to talk by rattling. It’s because it has been trapped in a space where it can’t hear, see or feel anything for hundreds of years.
They were skeletons with unfortunate circumstances. As the number of skeletons exceeded the hundreds, the graveyard with a beautiful view turned into a gloomy and terrifying place. Arina looked around at the skeletons.
“These skeletons are almost equivalent to the Death Knight.”
In the case of the undead, it was said that the deeper the resentment, the stronger they would be reborn. So, a grudged soul was an important ingredient. Looking at them, Jin-woo could understand how deep the resentment of the demons was.
Clack! Clack! Clack! Clack! Clack!
They kept rattling with the sound of bone grinding together. He wanted to return them quickly.
“You don’t need to be in the Demon Realm again, do you? Go back and rest.”
As if shocked by Jin-woo’s words, one Black Skeleton stumbled and fell to its knees. It was a gesture full of frustration. It couldn’t speak, so it was expressing it with its body. The other Black Skeletons followed.
“I don’t think they want to go back.”
“Since they are demons, how about accepting them as residents and having them work properly?”
All the skeletons nodded at Arina’s words, although a couple of their heads fell off in the process.
‘Right…it’s indeed empty, and there’s a lot of work to do…’
Arina must have needed labor, and the dwarves were out of the question because they couldn’t come out due to the demon’s energy.
“Yeah, that would be better.”
“Yes! Strangely enough, things are going well with your presence. You’re indeed the Emperor of Gold.”
Jin-woo wasn’t sure if it was going well or if it was twisting. In any case, it was a pleasure to have the grudge resolved. The Black Skeletons started working around the estate. The servants were surprised at first, but they handled them proficiently and dealt with the pushbacks. They quickly grew attached to the Black Skeletons. There was nothing they couldn’t do, from washing and building to pulling weeds.
The Black Skeleton’s visual was so horrendous that the estate was somewhat gloomy, but it still gained a sense of vitality. Wasn’t this within the acceptable range since it’s the Demon Realm? There could be vicious-looking skeletons because there were Demon Kings, demons, and monsters.
‘I must bring a lot.’
Jin-woo was a person who gave more than he received. He packed a lot of things from the Dimensional Store and warehouses for Gallord.
Then, Jin-woo looked at his right hand. He bought several items with powerful sealing techniques from the Dimensional Store and put them on. Thanks to this, his dark mana wasn’t visible unless viewed closely.
A sigh came out. Although the black glove looked cringy, he couldn’t help it.
‘Rather than an estate, Arina’s home is…’
It was more like a large set or studio. Jin-woo wondered what the estate where demons lived would be like, and he was planning to find it out while slowly touring Gallord’s estate. With that in mind, he made his way there.
Of course, he didn’t have to walk. Using the portal stone, he was able to go right to Gallord’s estate.
He could see the fortress wall. It wasn’t like the Giganter, but there was a well-built wall and a castle that looked a little blunt. Around the fortress wall was a wide field that looked desolate. Many magical devices were set up on the wall itself, so it didn’t look like the level of civilization had dropped. There were a lot of demons coming and going busily too.
‘They must be busy.’
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As expected, the men under the good lord were always busy. Jin-woo nodded and deliberately approached the other door to avoid the main gate. He also covered his appearance by wearing a hoodie.
Jin-woo was full of consideration.