The Novel's Villain - Chapter 97
26. My Child Has Changed.
Jin-woo had a busy time going back and forth between the Earth and the Middle World, though his trips were made comfortable now that he had managed to establish a base. The village was already owned by Jin-woo, but now it was officially recognized.
This was because Selena, who had returned to Altamia’s estate, gave the land to Jin-woo. Moreover, the estate of Count Ehorce also belonged to Jin-woo. After all, Count Ehorce was Jin-woo’s servant.
Count Ehorce’s people believed that the Saint had lifted the curse on the Count and rebuked him for his sins now that the Count had been completely changed. Dopplo also didn’t stop praising the Saint. With Altamia and Ehorce under Jin-woo, it was much easier to proceed. Count Ehorce had quite a reliable source of information.
A large church was built in the village, which Jin-woo brought Luna to. She was engrossed in her vain and futile life, and she willingly agreed to follow Jin-woo’s wishes as he allowed her to go back and forth between the Sanctuary and the Middle World. Alonso didn’t recognize Luna.
“Hoho, I will accept you as my disciple.”
“N-No need to. I…”
“Since the Saint brought you himself, I will take responsibility and teach you.”
Luna tried to refuse, but she couldn’t. Eventually, Alonso taught Luna at the church. His teaching style was Spartan. A strange scene unfolded in which the doctrine of the church was taught to the Goddess. The Maze seemed to also be bored, so it would sometimes come to church and take classes with her.
“Oh, that’s great. It’s all correct. Laura, on the other hand, you….”
The Maze had Alonso’s words carved on the dungeon wall so that it could cheat at any time, but Luna had no such easy path. These were her revelations, all of which were interpreted in a complex and to be memorized. It was hard for Luna.
The moment Alonso scolded her like that…
Elise came into the church and ran to Luna, hugging her. After the two of them hugged like that for a bit, the Maze stared at them and got up and hugged them too. It was the birth of the group of legendary three-member besties. Alonso only smiled pleasantly and watched.
Jin-woo arrived at the experiment center, which was built a little farther from the village. When the famine began, the Raskan Kingdom and its neighboring kingdoms and empires were all devastated. Crops didn’t grow well and were diseased. Moreover, it didn’t rain, and millions died.
The Emperor of Disease was referring to the Ancient Dragon. It was the only dragon remaining in Middle-World, as the Emperor of Disease had wiped out all others. Its wickedness killed even its kind, and it possessed cruelty that caused a great famine, starving millions. It was a very good example of why all dimensions feared the Emperors.
The pest-resistant crops that enriched the village were already growing throughout Altamia. Jin-woo decided to raise livestock as well. Since the Middle World had more mana than Elonti, he proceeded with caution in the laboratory. He brought about ten domestic cows and observed them, with half of them growing incredibly big and beginning to walk on two feet. They were now about three meters tall, with a bulky physique.
The cow showed off its muscles.
“Um, that’s pretty cool, but….”
It was also quite intelligent, so it was difficult to use it for food. There were no monsters with cow heads in Middle World that appeared in the original novel. Jin-woo decided to call the cow a Minotaur. The Minotaur, which appeared in the Middle World, was originally Korean beef.
Jin-woo decided to use it as a security guard to protect the village and the fishmen that roamed the swamp and grasslands. The Minotaur took to the forest naturally.
‘The Golden Trees are also growing well.’
The Golden Tree planted on the outskirts of the village also grew incredibly well. The villagers enjoyed eating Golden Apples, and now it had become a specialty of the village. Selena managed it from the top, making the estate wealthy by selling the crops produced in the village. Of course, it wasn’t even a penny in Jin-woo’s eyes.
“My Emperor, everything is ready.”
Dopplo’s men appeared secretly and knelt. Jin-woo nodded and vanished from the spot. The whole scene reeked of conspiracy.
‘Well, it’s similar.’
A banquet was going to be held in the great mansion of Count Ehorce. Count Ehorce was an influential figure in the Raskan Kingdom’s noble society as a young and wealthy Count. He possessed high power in the noble society and even some royal authority, albeit relatively weak. He was also a close friend of Marquis Leont, head of the noble society.
Count Ehorce held a banquet. He sent out invitations and invited not only the primary members of noble society but also all the children of every noble family. The prologue of the Rascal Project, ‘Possessing the Rascal’, had begun.
After completing the preparations, Jin-woo climbed into the carriage prepared by Selena and headed to Count Ehorce’s estate. The atmosphere of the estate was quite good. This was because Dopplo borrowed the name of the Saint and distributed food to the residents. In addition, tax rates were greatly lowered, and corrupt middle-ranking officials were publicly executed.
There was no better way to win the hearts of the residents. Count Ehorce’s popularity was rising day by day.
‘So they like demons more, huh.’
It was ironic.
Count Ehorce’s mansion was huge. It had a very large garden and was as magnificent as a castle. However, it had been built with a lot of religious undertones, so it didn’t look frivolous.
Jin-woo was the last one to arrive. Dopplo had come out to meet him with the Knights Templar. Dopplo ran to Jin-woo’s carriage and opened the door for him, making a show of it to the nobles standing around. He politely greeted Jin-woo; his expression was much better than when he was in the Demon Realm.
“You look good.”
“Yes, it is fun in many ways. I think humans are very interesting beings.”
The banquet had been going on for a while. As they entered the mansion, Jin-woo looked around the massive hall. Luxurious food was being served, and bands played songs. All the nobles of the Raskan Nobility were gathered, and all their focus was on Jin-woo when he arrived with Dopplo.
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The band stopped playing as Dopplo beckoned at them.
“The Saint came to bless the nobility.”
The nobles admired Jin-woo. The Emperor of Gold was currently active, taking great care to make Jin-woo look holy and sacred by utilizing his weak divine power. A subtle halo emanated from Jin-woo, causing one religious nobleman to even offer a prayer on the spot. Although the church hadn’t yet officially recognized Jin-woo as a Saint, no one could doubt him.
Someone approached Jin-woo, and Dopplo introduced them.
“This is His Excellency Marquis Leont Vlon Ayman.”
“How do you do? It is an honor to meet you.”
It was the head of the noble society, Marquis Leont Vlon Ayman. After Selena became a hot topic in the noble society, Marquis Leont met a tragic death. This was because the Marquis’s son fell for her tricks and killed him. Anyway, the Marquis, though greedy, wasn’t a villain.
“Nice to meet you. Your Excellency, Marquis Leont.”
“Just call me by name. I am a believer in the Goddess before nobility.”
“All right. Sir Leont.”
Jin-woo looked at the Marquis. He was not well, sweating and struggling because he had been standing for a while. It was a description that appeared in the original novel.
“Marquis, you seem unwell.”
“Yes, a little bit.”
Although he was barely holding out with the priests’ divine magic, he was faltering. It was to the extent that he suffered such inconveniences in his daily life. The Order was demanding huge amounts of money in the name of treatment, so even the Marquis couldn’t afford it much longer. The priests were deliberately slowing down the treatment and maintaining his condition.
‘This is quite a good opportunity.’
It was a great opportunity to impress the nobles as a saint. Dopplo noticed Jin-woo’s thoughts and bowed his head deeply.
“Saint, please lend your strength to His Excellency, the pillar of the nobility.”
“N-No, don’t do that. It would make…”
The Marquis waved his hand, but Jin-woo smiled softly and nodded. He approached the empty glass on the table with Dopplo helping out from the side. Jin-woo secretly produced the finest potion and put it in the empty glass. Then he lifted the glass with his left hand, exuding divine power. The liquid shone beautifully.
“As expected from the Saint….”
A typical reaction came out. Jin-woo approached the Marquis and gave him the glass. The Marquis received it with trembling hands and drank it slowly.
The Marquis’s expression was dyed with ecstasy as his unwell body was quickly recovered. Not only that, the wrinkles on his face gradually disappeared, and he seemed to grow younger. The Marquis was surprised as he moved his body.
“T-this is a miracle! It’s a miracle!”
He shouted. It was because his body, which had been ill, was completely healed. As expected from the best potion in the Demon Realm.
“T-Thank you. Thank you. I will live my life for Goddess.”
The Marquis spoke with tears in his eyes. After he came out like that, the nobles were left unable to do anything reckless to Jin-woo. The Marquis called out to his son.
“Damian! Come here and greet the Saint…”
The Marquis found his son punching a servant who had just followed him from the estate. The son of the Marquis, the rascal Damian. He fell in love with Selena and was used as a chess pawn. He killed the Marquis and became the family head, then gave everything to Selena. He interfered with the main character in every way and caused a lot of trouble.
The Marquis was greatly perplexed.
“M-My apologies. He’s so immature.”
“That’s quite alright.”
“He’s such a person, but please take care of him. I hope you will bless him.”
Jin-woo smiled kindly, then looked around the wide hall.
‘All the bad guys are here.’
He could see people making a fuss all over the place. A guy who harassed the maids and a guy who sprinkled alcohol on the heads of the attendants who followed him. All the leading roles who darkened the original story and produced many frustrating scenes were gathered here. In every estate the protagonist went to, such guys came out to pick a fight or interfere with his business.
‘I’ll have to remove them quickly.’
It was best to root out cancer in the early stages. The blessing came as the banquet was nearing its climax. He was supposed to bless all the children of the nobility, but only the rascals were gathered and brought to another room. Jin-woo looked through the documents prepared by Dopplo.
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It was a document with information about the targets of the Rascal Project. It was the sum of the observations of the doppelgangers disguised as maids or workers and all the information circulating.
‘Murder is basic.’
As if it were a virtue of a rascal. The rascals entered the spacious room one by one. They talked quite well like they got along with each other, discussing harassing a servant or maid as if it were a medal. Again, it was a cliché that couldn’t be explained with a general concept.
Dopplo and the doppelgangers came in. The doppelgangers were disguised as the servants harassed by the rascals. As they entered, the rascals frowned. They didn’t like being in the same room as lowly servants.
“Lock the door.”
Dopplo bowed his head and locked the door. He didn’t forget to cast soundproofing magic. The rascals looked around with astonishment as the doppelgangers approached and grabbed them.
Some had their bones broken by their tight grips. The doppelgangers’ skin melted down and began to change to match the nobility in front of them. They screamed, as expected. The doppelgangers laughed in response.
“Young Master, thank you so much for the opportunity. Now it is my turn.”
“I’ve been holding up this whole time, but I guess I can pay you back now.”
“First, how about taking off the clothes?”
Those who looked just like them said that. The doppelgangers looked towards Jin-woo. When he nodded, they poured out the stress that had accumulated at once. The clothes must not be damaged, so they took them off and hit the rascals.
“D-do you think you can get away…kugh!”
“I-I am the M-Marquis’s…Ugh!”
Perhaps because they were demons, they beat them very calmly. The rascals fell to the floor and trembled. Many people even peed themselves.
Jin-woo sent all of them to the Demon Realm just like that. The torture expert bowed his head in greeting.
“My Emperor, what course would you like to take?”
“Let’s take the Empathy Course.”
“It’s an excellent choice. It is also my specialty.”
When the torture expert touched them, the rascals were transformed into what they most despised. Now, no one would think of them as nobles.
When Jin-woo returned to the room, the doppelgangers had completed their transformation and changed into their new clothes. The atmosphere was changed just by morphing their expression.
When the banquet was almost over, Jin-woo came out with the doppelgangers. The doppelgangers held their hands together and bowed their heads as if to reflect on what had happened. The Saint’s blessing ended very successfully.
* * *
Marquis Leont Vlon Ayman had one son and two daughters. His two daughters had already married off, leaving his son the only one left in his estate. His name was Damian, and he was the troublemaker of the Marquise house that everyone knew. He was lewd and ignorant. Moreover, his personality was eccentric, and he caused numerous incidents. Had it not been for the Marquis’ power, he would have been arrested earlier.
Emily, the maid, knocked nervously into Damian’s room. Many maids were humiliated while waking Damian up. She hesitated as she grabbed the doorknob.
“Come on in.”
Damian’s voice was heard in the room. Emily was surprised but tried to stay calm and went inside. Damian was up even though it was still morning. Not only that, but he was also well dressed. She couldn’t help but be surprised. After all, it was Damian who would never put on clothes without the help of the maid.
“G-G-Good morning, I-I will help you to prepare…”
Damian smiled softly and looked at Emily. The fact that he was born with noble blood was fine. But when he smiled like that, it felt like something was being pulled in.
“You’re always working hard.”
Not only Emily but also all the maids and butlers were astonished. Damian ate gracefully, following aristocratic etiquette. After the meal, Damian looked at the butler.
“What is today’s class?”
“A-Are you thinking of attending the class?”
“Yes, I’ve lived a very debauched life as the heir to the Marquis. I’m going to start improving myself now.”
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The butler cried. Emily, who was standing next to him, was also surprised. It was hard to believe that the words came from the ignorant Damian’s mouth. The butler usually taught Damian. It was because Damian wasn’t at a level that needed a teacher to move on in expertise.
The classes started faster than ever. The butler first began teaching him about the history of the kingdom. He discussed it without interruption. No, he even soundly argued against the butler’s points.
“Isn’t it more efficient to use waterways?”
“Haha, that’s right. But with the circumstances at the time….”
A quick question was asked that made even the butler embarrassed. The butler cried again.
‘He was originally a smart man. Given a chance, he can do this well!”
Damian showed a great performance to the point of being called a genius, and it was revealed that he had a natural talent for swordsmanship. The Marquis’s knight commander was a swordmaster, who at first laughed out loud when Damian asked him to teach swordsmanship.
He thought Damian wouldn’t last a day. He purposely prepared a hard training to endure, but Damian pulled through the training with his tenacity.
‘H-he’s a genius!’
He absorbed swordsmanship like a sponge. The knight commander was astonished, and so were the knights who were watching. The butler wiped his tears with a handkerchief. Emily brought a towel and handed it to Damian after his training was over.
“N-No. It’s my job.”
Damian’s personality changed 180 degrees, so he was very kind to the maids and servants. At this point, the knight commander had no choice but to visit the Marquis. The knight commander couldn’t calm his excitement as he entered the Marquis’s office.
“What’s going on?”
“Y-Young Master Damian is really…”
The Marquis smiled. He normally always had a worried face, but not now. With that serene smile, the Marquis showed him a question and answer sheet.
“The Young Master?”
It was a sample of questions from the Academy. It was such a perfect solution. The knight commander felt stuffy. How could a person change in an instant?
“What on earth is going on…”
“The Saint has blessed him.”
“Is that so?”
The Marquis kept a smile on his face.
“He was originally a good-natured and smart kid. Now he must have found his place.”
The knight commander couldn’t agree with the Marquis because he knew how crazy and vicious he had been. There was also a time when the Knights Templar cleaned up his messes. But he thought it was enough if the Marquis was satisfied.
“Maybe a swordmaster will be born soon.”
“Is Damian really that good?”
“Yes, he is indeed a great talent.”
“Hahahaha! Then he must’ve taken after me!”
The Marquise’s laughter spread through the office. He looked happier than ever. Late at night, Damian got up and looked in the mirror. The mirror grew dimmer and darker until he saw someone else in the mirror.
It was Dopplo.
“I have completed the first stage, Changed Master.”
[Well done. Anything special?]
“There is not.”
[The Emperor imprisoned the Goddess and prepared the table. He has given our clan a chance to accumulate achievements, so make sure to proceed without making any mistakes.]
“All right. I will do my best to contribute to the Emperor’s plan to conquer Middle-World.”
Things were progressing step by step.
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