The Novel's Villain - Chapter 82
22. What Is an Emperor? (1)
The situation of Japan Gate was better than the China Gate crisis. This was because the experiment wasn’t conducted in front of the Gate like in China, but near the Gate. Although the warehouse with many artifacts and relics disappeared, the way to the Gate was still secured. However, many Knights and competent people were sacrificed in the process of rectification. Though the situation was better than in China, it was difficult to expect good results in the international competition.
Even though it was a national disaster, they took care to hide it. Japan had artifacts that could reverse its situation. It was a black book written in a strange language, an artifact that was excavated when Japan Gate was built long ago. It was Japan’s greatest treasure and a secret that allowed for the mass production of competent people.
Japan had exceptional senior officials and high-ranking young knights, their abilities similar to that of Blacksnake. Other countries had separate governments and Associations of Competent People, but not Japan. The government took the initiative and created competent people from those who fit their tastes. However, there were side effects such as deformation. This wasn’t disclosed to the international community because of the need for sacrifices to mass-produce competent people.
Yet, it was thanks to this artifact that Japan surpassed China in the last international competition.
[For Advanced Black Magic Experts (Beginners Are Not Allowed!)]
It was the name of the artifact. Recently, a competent Japanese person, a shaman lady who was one of Japan’s most powerful, had deciphered everything through her abilities. It took a lot of sacrifices, but she managed to translate it. The appearance of the shaman was now bizarre, not even a trace of her original face to be found, which was once that of stunning beauty. It was a side effect of excessive artifact detoxification.
What kind of power could it produce now that it was completely deciphered?
The shaman and senior Japanese officers gathered at the temple in front of the Gate. The temple was built to honor the souls of Japanese ancestors and to nurture competent people. Japanese politicians used to visit regularly.
“In exchange for many lives, we can make a contract with the Demon King. As a result of examining it with the Magic Eye, it is a technique that exists. The Gate allows us to go beyond dimensions and call on great things.”
The shaman also had clairvoyance. She could sense that the dimensional flow led to the hell where the Demon King lived.
“Prepare for sacrifice.”
“It can’t be helped if it’s for the national interest.”
“Let’s proceed. The work has already been done.”
A senior Japanese officer recalled the existence of the Demon Lord. Frankly, they wouldn’t have tried if it weren’t for the situation in China. The real Demon King had descended in China.
“The sacrifices…will be working as subordinates to the Demon King for eternity…”
“It doesn’t matter. The international competition is just around the corner, and Japan’s power is very weak. If we could borrow the power of the Demon King…the international competition won’t be a problem. Wouldn’t it be possible to take all the Gates?”
A senior officer said so at the shaman’s words. In the meantime, they had made more competent people with the artifact. But what if they could borrow the power of the Demon King itself?
The senior officer nodded. It would take sacrifice, but if they could borrow the power of the Demon King, it would be worth it. Besides, it might be able to calm down this terrible Gate situation.
They learned of the phenomenon when the Seven Dragons Association sold their souls to the Demon King. The subsequent investigation found that to be true. China pretended to join hands with Japan and stabbed them from behind. The Federation took the initiative to resolve the situation in China, but Japan continued to question the case and refused the Federation’s help.
‘But we are not like them.’
Those created based on the power of artifacts were able to endure for a while within the Black Land. That meant there was a way to trade on an equal footing with the Demon King. According to the artifact deciphered by the shaman, Japan would build a good relationship with the Demon King with its power.
The senior officer turned his head and looked towards the center of the temple. Many people were tied up there, all of them young and healthy students. They were the cleanest offerings selected through inspection. The students went on a field trip, and when they opened their eyes again, they were tied to a temple-like this, paralyzed and unable to even scream. All of them had already been reported as dead due to an accident.
The shaman spread the artifact in front of the altar. She slit her wrist with her fingernails and activated the technique with the blood that flowed down. The senior officers stood back and watched her. All the hard-earned Magic Crystal and artifacts were melted down.
“O, Great being!”
The shaman opened her arms wide and shouted, her blood splattering around the temple. The senior officers turned their gaze slightly. After all, it was a terrifying sight.
“O, King of Hell! I offer the great you a sacrifice. Please answer me!”
The mana emanating from the temple passed through the Japan Gate. The red blood blackened.
“It worked! As expected…”
Demon energy was different from that of mana. The senior officers stepped back as it grew harder to breathe. Only the shaman remained still as she unfolded the technique, spraying blood. It seemed impossible to summon a great being, but the shaman wouldn’t give up.
Could it be through the sincerity of the shaman? The Demon King appeared. It was fuzzy as it was shaped by mana, but the summoning was a definite success.
“Oh, ooh! King of Hell!”
The Demon King, engulfed in demon energy, was a woman with a smaller body than expected. She did, however, wear a shining crown, and she was full of majesty. Just looking at her made them bow their heads down. She possessed great charisma.
[Huh? W-what is it?]
“King of Hell! Thank you for responding!”
[Uh, huh? Oh…right! I am Sarah Vriac! I am the evil left hand of the great Emperor and the Emperor of the Demon Realm!]
“I offer you sacrifices! Give us your strength!”
[Contract? Ah…well…wait a minute!]
Everyone blinked and looked at the Demon King. The Demon King took a book out of her arms and looked through it quickly. Then she nodded.
[Right! I will give you my great power! Well, according to the contract…mhm…ah! Instead, I will take your ability!]
“I’ll make sacrifices, too!”
The shaman pointed to the sacrifices. The Demon King looked at the people who were tied up. Each one of them was trembling with fear. The Demon King turned her gaze.
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[Huh, hmm, I don’t need such a trivial thing. Rather…you are bleeding…]
“Do you need more blood?”
The shaman slit her wrist further, causing more blood to spurt out. The Demon King flinched and turned her eyes. It wasn’t visible, but her face seemed to have turned blue.
[Oh! The contract is complete! Then I-I’ll just leave!]
The contract was made. The abilities of the shaman and senior officers were gone, and that sudden vacancy was filled with the power of the Great Demon King.
“Is this the power of the Demon King?”
The senior officers were moved by the pure demon energy that they felt surge through them. One senior officer, a Rank A competent person, stood up and used the power coursing in his veins. He was also a participant in the international competition.
What manifested was evil transformation magic. It was clear that he would turn into a mythical creature. However, contrary to his expectations, his body became smaller and smaller as he was enveloped in demon energy.
The senior officer became an earthworm. The Shaman looked at the wriggling earthworm.
The shaman was also perplexed.
The shaman tried to use her dark magic, and a tongue appeared on her palm.
Sarah Vriac, the great Demon Emperor of the Demon Realm. Her dark magic was Rank D. She hadn’t even learned it all but only picked out the easy ones. With that strange magic alone, she eventually managed to achieve Rank D.
The senior officer wanted to return to his original form, but he couldn’t. Earthworm transformation magic was unconditionally maintained for two days, so it was easy to learn. It was then…
There was an explosion. Just in time, they finally arrived in Japan after spending weeks adrift at sea. No. 21 and Second Generation cadets, who were chasing evil, appeared. They saw a lot of blood, sacrifices, and students tied up on the altar.
“…As expected, they were practicing evil magic.”
No. 21 spoke as he watched the horrific sight. It was such incredible timing. Senior officers were startled and used their abilities to defend themselves.
A man with a huge head. A man with an ability to change his gender. A man with the ability to turn all of his hair into nose hair. A man with the ability to change the position of his mouth and anus.
It was a crazy party.
* * *
There were once seven Demon Kings in the Demon Realm, but no longer. Digent’s expression distorted. He managed to restore his magic core, but he looked old. The youth he had maintained with mana had been shattered.
“Hallas, Sarah Vriac, Gallord…”
The three of them disappeared. Hallas became a slab of meat, and Gallord became a loyal dog of the Emperor. Sarah Vriac was the Emperor’s evil left hand from the beginning, so her strength was now understandable.
“Lord Digent, wouldn’t it be better if we took care of the remaining territories?”
“Maybe this is better.”
‘I-isn’t the Emperor also satisfied?”
“For now, we must maintain the status quo…no, if we pay tribute to the Emperor regularly…”
The Hall of Glory, where the great ancestors commanded the operation during the great war of angels and demons. It was an ancient site near the desert where the Emperor of Maze was said to be sleeping.
Digent hosted the meeting under the pretext of taking measures. He looked at each of the Demon Kings. They were deprived of a lot, but the thought of rebellion was far from each of their minds.
What could he do with such weak Demon Kings?
‘These fellows are called Demon Kings….’
He didn’t understand why such fellows became Demon Kings. Only Gallord, Sarah Vriac, and Hallas were the Demon Kings he recognized.
‘They…and I, are no longer Demon Kings.’
They lost half of their territory, and what was left was almost barren. Even the high-ranking nobles were divided as they shouted for independence. They couldn’t be called Demon Kings any longer. The end of the Demon Realm had already been decided. Their remaining territories would be slowly absorbed.
The outcome is set, so why didn’t they give it up before it happens?
Digent chuckled. The Demon Kings who drank the alcohol he gave dropped their glasses. Their bodies were suddenly struck with paralysis.
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The Demon Kings’ bodies weren’t normal, but the paralyzing poison worked well. Digent took the powers of the Demon Kings with a key-shaped artifact, one of Hallas’ treasures. It was an item that Digent had brought directly from Giganter, which had fallen deep underground.
He smiled with confidence as he regarded the artifact. As the balance in the Demon Realm was broken, there was no need to worry about the other Demon Kings. It would normally be taboo, but it didn’t matter in this situation.
‘This is enough…’
The power soared through him. He was convinced that he had surpassed even Sarah Vriac. Through that power, he could feel the force of the Dark Ego throughout his body. It had become possible to borrow power directly by connecting himself with the Dark Ego.
At this rate…
‘The Emperor will also use me in important places.’
He might also get a position like Sarah Vriac. He felt sorry for the other Demon Kings, but they were only united as things became like this. Originally, they were his enemies. Frankly, it was generous of him not to take their lives.
He left the Hall of Glory with a satisfied smile, walking across the desert. He took off his robe and tried to use the portal stone. By borrowing the power of the Dark Ego, he was able to travel a long distance at once without using the portal stone. Using the power of the Demon King, the Dark Ego responded to him.
It was that moment.
Something grabbed his foot. He looked down and saw black tentacles rising from the ground around his feet.
He tried to pull them off, but more tentacles soared and surged around him completely.
His body was sucked down as if in a swamp. After barely coming to his senses moments later, Digent saw a huge structure.
His powers and mana were absorbed into it.
The power of the Demon Kings couldn’t awaken the Emperor of the Maze. It was such an arrogant idea. The power of the Demon Kings was only bait to attract the Dark Ego.
The Maze devoured the Dark Ego and began to awaken.
* * *
Jin-woo sighed. Sarah Vriac accidentally became his subordinate. She was squeezing him with tears and a runny nose, so he couldn’t help but accept it. The Demon Realm would probably become more chaotic if he threw her away, now she was the Demon Emperor. She wailed even harder when he said that he would accept her.
When the news that Sarah Vriac had shed tears in front of the Emperor spread out, many demons were astonished and praised his wickedness. With painstaking effort, Gallord completed the Emperor System. He gave up his position as the Demon King and became the Prime Minister of the Demon Emperor. Even now, he was working all night because of the tribes that came from each region of the Demon Realm.
Although Gallord was there, could a demon-like Sarah Vriac rule the Demon Realm well?
‘It’s amazing that it’s going well…’
Sarah Vriac was simultaneously incompetent and competent. All the power she had was only Rank D Dark Magic, and even that was full of useless and bizarre things. However, she was recognized as the perfect Demon Emperor by the high-ranking demons and tribes. Since she became Jin-woo’s real subordinate, she would now say that she was the Emperor’s evil left hand as it was habit.
The Demon King of Despair. The Deep Darkness. The Goddess’ Enemy. The End of Light.
It was all referring to her.
Since many demons said it was much better to live than before, shouldn’t Jin-woo just move on? He was right to think so because it was also hard to fix. After all, the situation was good.
This incident had a great impact on Jin-woo as well. When Sarah Vriac became his subordinate, his Influence rank rose like crazy.
As the de facto ruler of Elonti, the center of the dimension, the orc tribe, the Demon Realm, and his position on Earth, his influence has greatly increased. However, he put all dimensions except Earth into great tension as the Incarnation of Evil.
It was slightly lower than the Emperor of Greed. The Ordeal of Greed was to raise both Honor and Influence to Rank A. Honor was Stage 1, and Influence was Stage 2, but the order didn’t seem to matter.
‘I think I will get something at each stage.’
Looking through the Magic Eye of Information, it took a huge influence to go from B+ to A. It seemed possible only by causing a huge event that could impact the entire planet or shake dimensions. As expected, the ordeal wasn’t something that could be easily broken. It wasn’t likely that something like what happened in the Demon Realm would often happen, so it would probably take a while.
‘It shouldn’t happen.’
It was best to just raise it slowly without further incident.
Jin-woo was currently in Arina’s estate. He looked at the Demon Realm that was changing with great momentum after arriving to escape a different misunderstanding. When Arina heard the news, she was half carried away.
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“What the hell happened?”
Jin-woo honestly didn’t fully understand either. Arina desperately rolled her brain and gave up as Jin-woo did. She just decided to accept the reality. She was just doing her job faithfully, but without realizing it, her master had swallowed 50% of the Demon Realm. Anyway, that was a good thing.
“C-Congratulations! A-anyway, you have become the ruler of the Demon Realm!”
Was it something to be congratulated on? Jin-woo shook his head.
“By the way, why can’t I see Hallas?”
“There is an artifact that I received as a gift from Callarice. Shall we take a look at it?”
Jin-woo nodded. Callarice had now declared that she would no longer make predictions or observations. She passed out from worrying, and she had just declared that she had come to her senses not long ago. It was said that she made the last prophecy in tears.
‘A great fear soars.’
After hearing Arina’s words, Jin-woo guessed that it was probably the Black Flame Dragon. After that, Callarice offered her treasure, the crystal ball, to Arina. Arina wasn’t as skilled in prediction as Callarice, but she could use it to some extent. It would be easy for her to find a Demon King with an abundance of mana.
Arina brought out the crystal ball and infused it with her mana. She searched for a long time, but she couldn’t find him. Arina tilted her head and blew almost all her mana into it. Then a screen appeared from the crystal ball. Jin-woo and Arina looked closely into the crystal ball.
It was a very dark space. They saw a demon trembling in the corner. As a dwarf passed by, he flinched and went deeper into the corner.
Jin-woo and Arina stared blankly at the scene.
Come to think of it; the dwarves did bring a demon. They thought that he was a slave trader, so he had placed him as a worker. Jin-woo didn’t feel any mana from that demon, so he thought he was low-ranking, but he didn’t expect it to be Hallas.
The two were at a loss.
“Uh, um, well, he was a bad guy after all. He violently killed slaves and also the demons…”
“Right! He deserves it.”
Jin-woo and Arina looked at each other. They nodded with serious expressions on their faces.
“Let’s keep it a secret.”
They decided to keep it to themselves in case there would be another misunderstanding. Arina completely changed Hallas’s face. It was now a complete crime. However, neither Jin-woo nor Arina knew that there was a bigger misunderstanding.
Now the truth was forever buried in that deep darkness.
‘Well, without Hallas, the Emperor of Maze will never wake up.’
Jin-woo thought so. Hallas was the final black screen in the Demon World season. Come to think of it. There was no need to intervene in the Demon Realm if Hallas was captured.
“The Emperor of Maze has been resolved.”
“Can we live in peace from now on?”
“After all, peace is the best! Everything went according to your plan, Master.”
Arina nodded. It didn’t go as planned, but anyway, it did work out.
In the legend of the Demon Realm, there was a saying that the power of the Demon Kings could awaken the Emperor of Maze. There was even a warning to never gather the power of the Demon Kings as one. It was a legend, but every Demon King knew about it.
Jin-woo and Arina shared a smile. Many things had happened, but it was a happy ending. The original story ended here. It was really unfortunate that so many pieces were blown away.
Callarice’s crystal ball trembled. A video of something collapsing appeared, and something like a giant pyramid soared through the ground.
There was also a small earthquake in Arina’s estate.
[Congratulations. You have a serious impact on all dimensions, and your influence became Rank A.]
[‘That crazy…!’ The Goddess is astonished.]
[A new power is unlocked by passing one ordeal.]
It couldn’t become Rank A at once unless Jin-woo caused a major incident. However, Jin-woo just reached Rank A.
The earthquake grew stronger, and the crystal ball fell to the floor.
Jin-woo could feel the presence of an Emperor from afar.
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[The Dark Ego asks for help.]
It was the Emperor of Maze.