The Novel's Villain - Chapter 96
25. The Encounter (4)
Jin-woo returned to the Sanctuary as soon as he noticed that Luna had woken up. He should have gone to the Sanctuary before coming to the Demon Realm, but he had completely forgotten. When he returned to the Sanctuary, he could see muddy footprints on the luxurious carpet and dirt scattered everywhere. It must be Luna.
‘What a mess.’
The Sanctuary was normally kept clean. This was why it was obvious when even a smidge of filth tarred it. Heo-young was taking very good care of it. These days, she relieved stress by cleaning. The dirt continued to the Maze. As he approached, he saw Arina.
“Master, by any chance, are you looking for….”
It was a little difficult for Jin-woo to answer Arina’s question. It was complicated, so he decided to put it simply.
“A goddess, I brought her here for some reason.”
“I see. Eventually…”
“I will just keep her for a while…no, you don’t have to worry about her since I brought her here. Well, where is she now?”
Jin-woo wanted to clear up the accumulated misunderstandings and talk to her, mainly to learn why she was in Middle-World. The Goddess Luna in the original novel wasn’t like that at all. After all, the protagonist described her as holy and beautiful.
“Heo-yeong is washing her up.”
She said Luna and the Maze were being washed together. Although the Maze’s body was like a doll, it had to be washed. Jin-woo looked towards the bathroom. It was very spacious, and he had rarely used it.
He could see dark mana gushing out. It didn’t seem necessary to check now.
‘Umm…still, it’s more peaceful than I thought.’
Jin-woo nodded and waited for a while. Eventually, Heo-young brought Luna out. She had a similar figure to the Maze, so she borrowed the Maze’s clothes. They looked pretty good on her, and her shiny silver hair was impressive. Seeing her this way was more like how the protagonist described her.
Luna looked around, and when she found Jin-woo, she stiffened. It wasn’t their first encounter, but it was their first proper meeting. The Maze also came out of the room and glanced at Luna. Jin-woo smiled.
“Please, spare me!”
The Emperor of Vanity and the Emperor of Maze were Jin-woo’s subordinates, so Luna felt that he was so much more than just an Emperor. Jin-woo needed to calm Luna down for now. First, he prepared refreshments along with tea.
Luna looked at the refreshment and savored it carefully, her eyes wide open. She quickly devoured it; then, she drank the tea in one shot. All Luna had eaten for the past few weeks were grilled fish or fruit, and when she was a priest, all she ate were rice balls with weeds that had a strange taste. There were many times when there weren’t even rice balls because it was a bad year. Tears welled up in her eyes as she savored the sweet treat.
She was crying while she busied herself with eating the snacks. Jin-woo felt sorry to see her in that state.
“Would you like to eat some more?”
Jin-woo then took out a bunch of fancy snacks and gave them to her. Come to think of it; there was a description in the original novel that her cravings became great when she realized the taste of Earth food. After giving her warm milk, she slowly let down her guard. She felt a little simple-minded, but it was much better than being bad-hearted.
“I have no intention of harming you.”
“Well…about you conquering the d-dimension is…”
“It just somehow happens…”
Jin-woo decided to change the subject. The atmosphere relaxed a lot after a little chat. She was still cautious with Jin-woo, but a normal conversation was possible.
When Jin-woo asked, Luna began to talk about her own story. She told him that she came down to confirm if Jin-woo, the Emperor of Gold, had come to Middle-World, but for some reason, she couldn’t return to Heaven. As she did, she unraveled her hardships, her tears dripping down her cheeks as she spoke. Heo-young, who was listening while cleaning, nodded.
“Humans are the evilest. They are truly the pinnacle of wickedness. Really…”
It was a little strange to hear Heo-young say that. She seemed to have suffered under a lot of stress from her social life.
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‘So, she can’t return to Heaven…’
In the original story, she fell in love with the protagonist and didn’t want to return. The purpose of stopping the Emperor also played a major role. Jin-woo looked at Luna with the Magic Eye of Information.
[E+] Goddess Luna (Avatar)
Possessed Techniques: [D] Divinity, [C] Adaptivity, [C] Tenacity
[S]Totem of Divine Misfortune
The misfortune that the Incarnation of Evil disposed of was combined with her divine power and luck to become a special technique. Someone will benefit if she is unhappy. Just being around her will absorb misfortune and greatly increases the luck of others.
It is a noble sacrifice. She cannot return to Heaven because of the Emperor’s energy.
Avatar in a perfect human form. Rank and level have dropped significantly.
[B] Eye of Goddess
She can see the goodness of existence.
The misfortune thrown out of Serena dwelled in Luna, then transformed to suit her personality. She was now a living totem.
“It’s clean today.”
“Ah, the jewel I dropped last time….”
Heo-young and Arina got lucky. Jin-woo’s luck also soared up to the next level. It was a great buff. The range was wide too. It wasn’t the entire Sanctuary, but it was enough to cover the entire village. Jin-woo pondered for a moment.
‘I’ll have to take it back, though.’
It was right to retrieve it. He had no intention of benefiting from taking advantage of other people’s misfortunes. It didn’t fit his personality either.
Jin-woo told her about it honestly. He told Luna that he conquered Elonti and the Demon Realm in the process of stopping the other Emperors and that the purpose of coming to the Middle-World was because of that. He also explained why Luna couldn’t return to Heaven. Luna stared at Jin-woo, her eyes twinkling.
“There was a little accident.”
“I-is that so?”
Luna believed him easier than he expected. It was said that she could grasp the goodness of existence. She stared at Jin-woo.
She was almost blinded from the sight of Jin-woo’s darkness, but she could see that he wasn’t such a bad person anyway.
“I’ve learned a lot while in the Middle World. The world is…very complicated.”
[Goddess Luna has attained enlightenment.]
[Title will be changed.]
[B] Innocent Goddess -gt; [B+] Goddess who Learned Reality
She also seemed to have suffered a lot. Luna looked a little depressed, but she recovered quickly.
“If it is to prevent the destruction of the Middle World, Heaven will also cooperate!”
Things would be easier if the Heavens cooperated. Luna was full of motivation. Jin-woo decided to get rid of the misfortune since he had to return her to Heaven. They moved to a wide-open space to minimize any collateral damage.
Jin-woo stood in front of the portal that led to the Middle World, his golden power manifesting as mana was radiating abundantly around them. Jin-woo stretched out his hand to take out the misfortune from Luna’s body.
A gray bead came out of Luna’s body. Luna’s divine power was intertwined like a web, clinging tightly to it.
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As Jin-woo put some force on the bead, it cracked, and black smoke soared out. Arina, who was standing next to him, captured the smoke into a sealing tool. The moment the misfortune was removed, the bead was destroyed.
It split into thousands and spread throughout the Sanctuary. Although her divine power was linked with the shards, it seemed to have escaped safely. Luna looked much more comfortable now.
[Luna’s divine power has been linked to the Sanctuary of Gold.]
[You can borrow Luna’s divine power through the Sanctuary.]
It was an unexpected result as the gloomy Sanctuary brightened a little. Numerous shards stuck in every corner of the Sanctuary provided fantastic lighting. The divine power flowing from the Sanctuary began to dwell in Jin-woo’s body. It headed to his right hand, then wandered throughout his body. It barely settled in his left hand, flashing white. The divine power obediently followed Jin-woo’s words.
[B] Left Hand of Divinity
You can use divine power. However, thanks to the Incarnation of Evil, the divine power rank has decreased.
‘The divine power, huh…?’
Jin-woo checked Luna’s information.
[S] Totem of Divine Fortune
The misfortune rank has been removed so that it does not affect the Goddess Luna. The totem’s effect is still valid.
The misfortune was removed, but the technique remained. Anyway, it seemed like she could go back to Heaven now.
“Then I’ll be on my way. I will convey your will to Heaven.”
Luna put her hands together, and light radiated from her. She was indeed a goddess. As Luna’s body gradually floated into the air, a white portal appeared in the ceiling. It was the moment she was about to float through that she suddenly halted.
It looked as if she was caught in a net. Her divine powers, which were linked to the shards of the bead, bound her. Her body came back down to the ground. She tried several times, but it was the same.
[Goddess Luna has been imprisoned.]
[She is only allowed to move through the Sanctuary of Gold.]
Luna looked at Jin-woo.
“Probably…it looks like we’ll have to collect the shards.”
They had to collect the shards and craft the bead to recover her divine power. Jin-woo looked at her blank expression and turned away. Arina and Heo-young didn’t respond as if they had expected it. It looked as if it was normal.
A few days passed like that.
Luna quickly recovered, proving quite optimistic and well-adapted. Arina was a demon, and Heo-young and Maze were Emperors. Jin-woo thought they wouldn’t get along well, but they became very close within the day. She got along especially well with Maze, to the point it was like looking at sisters. The two were holding gamepads side by side in Maze’s space.
“Go! Holly Buster!”
“Cool. Get it!”
Luna had to collect the shards from now on to return to Heaven, but she didn’t seem to have any intention of doing so. She seemed more at ease because she didn’t have to worry about the Emperor of Gold. And above all, Luna had a lot of fun. The Maze seemed to like her since they drew 5-star heroes from the Gacha when Luna was by their side.
Indeed, she was like a totem.
[The Goddess has been bound by the Maze.]
[The Demon Realm is surprised.]
[Heaven is astonished.]
The information could be a bit misleading, but if you think about it, it was correct. While playing games with the Maze, she completely fell in love with it.
The only thing Luna did for fun in Heaven was count the clouds.
“Goddess Luna…she’s completely different from the rumors.”
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Arina said so as she looked at the Maze and Luna.
“Anyway, take good care of her.”
“Yes. I understood. A Goddess and an Emperor…well…”
Arina sighed slightly and shook her head. When Jin-woo checked her information, she got the technique ‘[D] Nanny.’ Jin-woo quietly raised her salary and her settlement ratio with Elonti Entertainment.
* * *
Jin-woo returned to Middle-World with the demons, who met him with admiration. Sarah Vriac announced in a grand speech that the Emperor had kidnapped and imprisoned the Goddess. Jin-woo didn’t know where she heard it, but it had reached her ears.
When the artifacts in the building were recovered, the demon energy disappeared quickly. Dopplo and the demons immersed themselves in their roles and began to act. There was no worry as the preliminary investigation was thoroughly completed.
‘A great famine is coming soon.’
Many people died in the great famine. That pain, despair, and the energy of death flowed into the Emperor and strengthened their power. If the starvation were to disappear, the Emperor’s power would be lessened.
‘If I simply give it…’
Jin-woo had to make a decision. There was a high probability that it would enter the nobles’ stomachs if he simply gave it to them. Not only the nobles but also the priests were corrupted. He had to change them first.
Jin-woo thought for a moment and then looked at Dopplo. It would be very convenient to remove all the nobles and fill the place with the demons.
However, some nobles didn’t cross the line.
Then something came to his mind. It was the keyword ‘rascal.’ In the original novel, there were rascal characters in every noble family. They were just the right people. The demons led by Dopplo were all talented people skilled in both the arts and martial skills. Being demons, they far surpassed most humans’ level.
What if those brought out of the family suddenly became smart? There would be divisions in the noble family, and if they did well, they could swallow the family. It was good to secretly dig in because there would be more gaps than with the head of the family. Of course, there was no problem if the heads of the aristocratic families were scumbags.
“Yes, my Emperor.”
Dopplo, who looked like the Count, knelt and answered Jin-woo’s summons.
“How many doppelgangers can come to the Middle World?”
That was enough. It seemed it would be good to collect information and set up a specific plan.
‘The Rascal Project.’
Jin-woo decided to call the operation that.
Jin-woo walked slowly out. The sun shone through the darkroom. In front of the building, Serena, Alonso, the priests, and the villagers gathered. Seeing that the demon energy constantly emanating from inside the building was gone, everyone came to check on him. The Count and others stood behind Jin-woo, their expressions calm.
Jin-woo smiled kindly and nodded at Alonso’s words. When Jin-woo came out of the building, the Count stood politely next to him. He looked at Serena and bowed his head. Everyone was taken aback. He was a person who exerted a powerful influence on the Raskan Aristocracy. He never bowed his head to anyone. Yet, such a Count bowed his head to Serena, who had a lower title than himself.
“In the meantime, I have committed many crimes under the curse. I apologize. I’ll compensate you for everything.”
Serena, who had been thinking about her estate after getting it back, was stunned. The knights and priests also quietly bowed their heads. The priests said they would quit the priesthood and return to being commoners.
No one was suspicious. Even Alonso, a high priest, didn’t notice the Count’s identity. Dopplo looked at Selena with affectionate eyes. Selena glared back. Dopplo wasn’t an ordinary demon. He and Selena talked for a moment, and her vigilance was lifted in an instant. The villagers and Alonso were listening to his story, but Jin-woo couldn’t help but admire him.
Everyone here knew that the Count was trying to destroy the village. Even so, the atmosphere had already shifted halfway by Dopplo.
‘Is it because he is a demon?’
He was a good talker. Perhaps because Selena was malignant, she was so absorbed in Dopplo’s words that she couldn’t get out of it.
‘It ended well.’
The estate of Count Ehorce fully became Jin-woo’s. It was close to Guern Village, so it was comfortable in many ways. A lot of things happened, but it was a good start. Now was the time to move forward step by step.
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