The Novel's Villain - Chapter 94
25. The Encounter
The villagers were friendly, treating the visitors kindly. Alonso preached every morning, emphasizing kindness.
“We have to be kind to everyone. Be kind! If you let your guard down, you will reveal your weakness. When you reveal your weakness, you will be snatched away. Keep that in mind! It’s over in one way or another once you join the Order! Once you sign it, you can’t get out.”
Of course, there was a reason for the kindness. Guern Village, which was now called the Village of the Saint, was like a swamp. It had the mysterious power of making two stay when four people came. It was a bit forced, but in the end, those people were satisfied, so it was a happy ending.
“Let’s show despair and pain to the enemy…while we show mercy and love to our family, friends, and visitors!”
And when one was judged to be an enemy, they changed immediately. Alonso had always been a good talker, but he felt more leveled up now. Come to think of it, the village was quite similar to Jin-woo’s tendencies.
He denied it, though.
The nobilities settled in the village could be called a surplus group at first. Of course, they weren’t good at farming. However, strangely, they played a very large role in the influx of villagers. Even Almante, a great scholar of the Raskan Kingdom, settled in the village alongside the scholars who followed him. The aristocratic population was growing rapidly.
This was all thanks to Terius, the representative noble who was one of the Four Heavenly Kings…no, the people’s committee. The comic book ‘Wow! Our Goddess!’ in his hand had created a big topic of discussion. It consisted of 24 volumes, was rated R, and showed various goddesses. The pictures were full of vitality and felt sacred rather than vulgar.
“We have been specifying the appearance of the Goddess. What a foolish act!”
“You’re right. Existing statues of Goddess are beautiful, but many don’t feel that way.”
“After all, everyone has different tastes. It is the truth!”
Almante was a theologian and an artist. Most nobles had a hobby in the arts, and now derivatives were being created with ‘Wow! Our Goddess!’ as the starting point. As a result, the Goddess statues had become diverse.
Jin-woo looked at the various Goddess statues built on the street. Just as people had different accordingly. Jin-woo gave up thinking about it the moment he saw the Goddess statue with cat ears.
The Goddess statues contain all the utopias. The perfection has increased with the Sacred Ground’s power. Loyalty to the Emperor rises, and artistic desire explodes.
The paintings drawn by the nobles were already ravaging the art world of the Raskan Kingdom. Bold exposure, direct expression, simple but important things emphasized! They were being sold at high prices. However, it didn’t stop there as the nobles poured huge sums of money into the village to pursue art. They built factories and hired workers to improve the quality of the paper they used.
Something was evidently awakening.
Anyway, that was a good thing.
Jin-woo saw the innkeeper passing by. When she greeted the nobles, the nobles also responded politely. In the village, the nobles and the commoners got along well. They respected each other because they were members of the same Order.
An innkeeper. Asking for credit payment may result in her breaking your neck.
The level of the villagers had also risen sharply. The number of adults alone was over four hundred, so there was no problem with security in the village. The sight of a hunter beating a bear with a field shovel, which was granted as a bounty, struck Jin-woo speechless.
‘That’s not how you use it.’
Jin-woo wanted to say that, but he used it effectively against the bear. The soldiers and knights who came to the village became part of their numbers when they were attacked. No torture was necessary. When Jin-woo asked, they easily spilled all the information. Thanks to that, he knew everything about Count Ehorce’s plans.
‘Selena did a good job killing him in the original.’
After that, she became a villain, but he deserved to die. As the words of the soldiers spread, all the villagers were outraged. Selena officially protested with the nobles. Alonso preached that Count Ehorce had forsaken God and was cursed by demons. He said that the monsters led by the Demon King only destroyed him even though the surrounding villages were left untouched.
When the story of the saint defeating the high-ranking demon, the rumor that demons appeared along with the monsters, and Alonso’s words were combined, the ripple effect was terrifying. The Count tried to harm the saint because of his greed!
Not only the Count’s soldiers but the knights who took part in the incident spilled their confessions one after another until the Count was pushed into a corner. In addition, the nobles in the village helped to pressure him.
‘It wouldn’t be bad to send him to the Demon Realm.’
It seemed that the demons would be kind to Count Ehorce. All Jin-woo had to say was that he invaded his territory. When Jin-woo was thinking about how to deal with Ehorce, Selena brought news about the Count.
“The Count declared a holy war. He must have been in a hurry.”
The Count summoned all his knights and soldiers and declared that he would defeat the demons. It was accompanied by the saying that the saint was a fake and that Guern village was corrupted. The Count took direct command, and the Order faction who had taken a bribe from him declared it a holy war. The Count’s proud knights, thousands of soldiers, and even a swordmaster, the pride of the Ehorce estate, all sallied out.
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If they could get rid of the demons that appeared, it could reverse his unfavorable public opinion. Ehorce said that he even received the Goddess’ blessing to get rid of the demons. That way, he could blame everything on Selena again. It didn’t matter for the Count whether there were demons or not.
Jin-woo thoroughly cracked down on the Demon Realm, so it wouldn’t make sense if there were demons in the Middle World. However, the statements of the knights and the soldiers who witnessed the demons were so specifically consistent.
It was a woman wearing an ominous black robe. Her blood-red eyes. Snake-shaped head. A scaley face. She was said to have muttered something like a curse as she summoned the monsters. The current public opinion was that all the curses in the Altamia estate were because of that demon.
Alonso carefully speculated that the demon might be a Demon King that surpassed a high-ranking demon or even the legendary Emperor. The Count’s famous knights and soldiers had been wiped out so brutally.
Alonso grew serious.
“It is difficult to say that she’s the legendary Emperor, but what is certain is that she is something more than a high-ranking demon. The disappearance of the cliff was probably that demon’s scheme. It looks like she’s trying to destroy the village by causing a landslide.”
“Well, so that happened because she can’t come directly to the village since the saint is here.”
“The Count’s soldiers have no choice but to describe it as a curse…”
Alonso talked about it with Selena and the priest. Everyone looked at Jin-woo with respect. To them, Jin-woo was a saint protecting the village.
‘I’ll have to check it out. The possibility of an Emperor….’
He didn’t feel the Emperor’s energy around there, but there was a possibility that the Emperor noticed Jin-woo’s existence and hid as a result. He would have to check it out himself. It wouldn’t be dangerous if it weren’t an Emperor.
“Then we’ll join you.”
Alonso and the priests said so when Jin-woo said he would go to the scene. Some of the guards also followed. They knew the way to the swamp.
Selena had other plans in preparation. There was a huge swamp between the Ehorce and Altamia’s estates. In the middle of the way from the Ehorce’s estate to the Guern Village, one had to go through the cliff to get to Guern Village. However, the cliff collapsed, and they had to turn around. Fortunately, the guards knew of a quick way to reach the swamp other than the collapsed road.
“They say ogres live beyond the swamp.”
“It’s a really bad place.
The priest and the guards chatted like that to relax until they arrived in the swamp. Just in time, the sky was full of dark clouds. Thanks to that, it looked very gloomy. A loud noise filled the air.
“It looks like the battle has already begun.”
Alonso had a serious look on his face.
‘I don’t think it’s an Emperor.’
Even after arriving in the swamp, he couldn’t feel the Emperor’s energy at all. Entire cities would disappear when an Emperor appeared, so there was no reason to hide in a swamp.
They circled the swamp and headed towards the battlefield. Passing through the forest, they arrived upon an open space.
“I-it can’t be!”
Alonso and the priests were astonished. They had no choice but to be. It was a huge fish with arms and legs, grasping a wooden spear. The scales were too hard to be hurt with ordinary blades. When the soldiers’ spears and swords touched the scales, they bounced off.
The Count’s soldiers were in a panic. There were so many that it overwhelmed the number of soldiers. They packed the surroundings and kept coming up from the swamp. Jin-woo blinked as he looked at the monsters.
Jin-woo knew the moment he saw the monster.
A monster that evolved by the golden power. It has beautiful and powerful scales. You can’t even scratch them unless you use an Aura Sword. It is usually gentle and kind but becomes ferocious when angry. It has the intelligence of a normal human.
The Goddess Luna gave it a name so it could use divine power.
*[D] Golden Scales: Scales that glow with radiant yellow color and possess great strength.
*[D] Goddess’ Blessing: Goddess Luna named the race and told it many stories. It can use divine power.
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It had become a huge monster. A Fishman with a wand approached the Fishman who had been wounded by the knight’s Aura Sword. The fishman’s wound recovered as light poured from the wand. The light then imbued the spear that the Fishman was holding. It was mixed with Jin-woo’s energy, so it felt completely different from the ordinary divine power. However, to others, it just looked like a terrible monster using evil powers.
A fish with legs. It was clear that the Fishman legion was a race that was born because of him. But there was one piece of information he didn’t understand.
It was said that the Goddess Luna gave the Fishman the name herself. How come the Goddess was involved? Thanks to that, the Fishman even possessed divine power. It used the power of paladins called Holy Aura and even had healing magic.
“K-kill the Demon King!”
“They will all disappear if we kill the Demon King!”
The Count and the knight shouted so. A woman was seen surrounded by the fishmen. It was like looking at a snake given the solid mud covering parts of her head. She even wore a black robe, making her look just like a demon. But Jin-woo could tell.
The one who was called a demon was the Goddess Luna herself. She was panicking and shaking around.
A knight who appeared to be a swordmaster began to run with his teeth clenched towards her, an aura emanating from his sword. He slashed away the fishmen and ran towards Luna.
If left alone, the Goddess Luna would be torn apart. Jin-woo picked up a stone and threw it quickly. Because it was thrown with mana, it moved at a speed that lightly exceeded the swordmaster’s sight. No one noticed it because of its speed.
The stone hit the swordmaster’s helmet. The swordmaster was sent spinning around in the air and then fell to the ground.
‘I put too much power, huh?’
It was because he threw it in a hurry.
“Just by looking at him….”
The moral of the soldiers dropped sharply. The soldiers dropped their weapons and started running away. It was the moment when the Count’s reputation was finished.
“Do not run away! F-fight!”
Surrounded by the priests, the Count cried in bewilderment. The Count tried to stop them, but the terrified soldiers didn’t listen. Even the knights were just stood there trembling. The priests knelt and recited prayers, trying to borrow the Goddess’s power. Everyone was looking at Luna with frightened eyes. Luna flinched in confusion and turned to Jin-woo as if she felt something.
Luna found Jin-woo. When her eyes met with Jin-woo’s, she screamed right on the spot. It was a desperate scream full of terror.
* * *
Luna was having fun in the Middle World for the first time. The fishmen listened to her very well, so she stayed a little longer, teaching them about everything she knew. The fishmen built her a place to sleep, and they caught fish, fruits, and wild animals for them to eat. There were even times when it felt better than boring Heaven. It was a pity that she didn’t have a place to wash, but the Goddess’ avatar didn’t smell even if she didn’t wash up. She was just muddy.
She heard Elise screaming when she went off with a Fishman to collect fruit. Luna ran right into the swamp. She saw knights and priests, all with ranks of soldiers behind them. One such knight had captured Elise.
“She’s a priest who ran away!”
“Are you tempted by the demons?”
The knights and soldiers who said so looked at Luna. The moment Luna was about to say something, the fishmen soared through the soft ground and knocked away the knight.
“T-the demon is calling monsters!”
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“That monster! She must be a Demon King!”
It was fortunate that Elise was unharmed, but things started to take a strange turn. The knights and soldiers rushed in.
“Kill the Demon King!”
“I bless you in the name of Goddess Luna!”
The priests were calling out her name and telling them to kill her. Their divine power rapidly weakened.
“T-the divine power!?”
“I-it must be the Demon King’s evil magic…!”
Luna had become the Demon King before she knew it. Their divine power was gone to the extent that they couldn’t even use healing magic. It was a natural result because they denied the Goddess in front of them. The fishmen in the swamp rushed out and pushed the soldiers away.
A great battle broke out.
The knight with a gleaming blade rushed towards her, and Luna stared blankly at him.
He suddenly spun a few circles in the air and crashed headfirst to the ground. It looked very painful. Luna, who didn’t understand what was going on, barely regained her senses. After all, it felt so evil and powerful. She trembled with goosebumps all over her body.
‘W-what the hell…’
Luna’s eyes turned sideways. Someone was standing a little farther away. She frowned and looked closely. At that moment, their eyes met.
Luna’s jaw began to tremble. She could tell who that was at once. It was as if he was born in the dark or made from the darkness itself.
‘T-the Emperor of Gold?!’
He, who subdued even the Demon Realm, had descended to the Middle-World. The nightmare she had in Heaven flashed back and took over her mind.
A scream came out of nowhere. Her legs lost strength, and she fell to her knees. She was so frightened that she shivered.
“The Demon King screams…?”
“To make her fall on her knees like this…”
Like the knights, soldiers, and the Count looked at the trembling Luna; they turned their gaze to where she was looking at. A man was standing there. As the dark clouds cleared, the warm sun shone on his tremendous presence. He looked divine.
Alonso and his priests stood beside him.
“Look! The Demon King is in pain! The Saint has brought the Demon King to her knees!”
The fishmen also looked towards the saint. The fishmen flinched, put down their weapons, and knelt toward the saint. The sight of thousands of fishmen kneeling seemed like something out of legend.
The Count, knights, and soldiers stared blankly at the saint. Then, the soldiers also knelt as they looked around, and the knights joined a moment later. It was such an atmosphere.
As Alonso coughed, the priests around the Count also fell to their knees. In the end, the Count had no choice but to do so last. It was because a true saint had descended.
* * *
Jin-woo was stunned. How would he describe this scene?
Luna screamed and fell, and the fishmen recognized Jin-woo and immediately obeyed him. The soldiers and everyone knelt. Alonso, the priests, and the guards looked at Jin-woo with a proud expression, then they also knelt.
Luna’s head touched the ground. She had just fainted from fear. The fishmen looked at her, and then they all put their heads on the ground.
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This proved to be quite problematic for Jin-woo.