The Novel's Villain - Chapter 98
27. Fall (1)
It all went smoothly. The rascals settled in smoothly, changing the perceptions of those around them. Some had already become their family’s successors by showing their outstanding abilities, and others were fighting political battles within the noble houses. Although there were some difficulties, it was only a matter of time before they took over.
Other than the rascals, most of the bad nobles had been replaced with doppelgangers without any hesitation. The noble society was almost under control, and preparations for the great famine went smoothly. The nobles were at peace, but not the royal palace. There was a long struggle between the first prince and the second prince. It could be put to an end by moving the noble society to support the suitable prince.
‘It’s growing very well.’
According to reports from each estate, there was no further need to worry. It would soon be autumn in the Middle World, the time when the great famine started as the Emperor of Disease awoke.
However, the real disaster began after the great famine when the disease spread through the dimension and reached Earth.
In the original story, it happened because the main character moved between the dimensions clumsily. However, given the current situation, there was a risk that it would pass through the Maze to Earth or another dimension. It was a more serious situation than the original.
‘I must get rid of the disease before it strikes.’
The battle between the protagonist and the Emperor of Disease had destroyed the Raskan kingdom. It was a bit out of the blue because of the sudden fighting development. Jin-woo was going to use all his powers. He seemed capable of stopping it somehow if he prepared well. Jin-woo stayed in Middle World because of the Rascal Project, then returned to the Sanctuary once matters appeared well in hand.
“Oh, is this new?”
“So much fun.”
After coming back from the village, the Maze was absorbed in the game like usual. Elise also arrived at the Sanctuary at Luna’s request. There wasn’t a problem since she had been together with her for a while. She learned to clean and cook from Heo-young, and Heo-young seemed to be very fond of her.
“Awesome! I got money from playing!”
Luna said so while holding dimensional gold coins. When Luna joined Maze’s live-streaming, the scale grew considerably. Jin-woo eventually created an identity for Luna. Elise also joined occasionally, and they were called the Big Three Sisters in their growing community.
The balance was just right. It was a fantastic combination of a Goddess, an Emperor, and a human. When Jin-woo checked the number of viewers, it was over 30,000. As Luna became known on Earth and began to gain popularity, some people also awakened their divine power.
What would the Angels think of this? Perhaps, their faith might be shaken and corrupted.
‘…I’m sure it’ll be fine.’
He warned her, so he thought there would be no big problem. The family kept growing. Jin-woo returned to his mansion on Earth. He liked the Middle World, but his house was still the best. The power of modern culture was great. Even Luna stayed in the Sanctuary all the time.
Jin-woo lay down on the sofa, holding a can of beer. It was now time to catch up on but Yoo-na approached him. She looked a little disappointed.
“…I’ll show you around when it’s settled.”
“Yes, I understand.”
Jin-woo said he would show her around the Sanctuary, yet ended up forgetting. Everything was roughly handled, but it seemed that there was something unofficial to report still.
“Lee Min-woo contacted me. He asked you to contact him personally.”
“Yes, I don’t know the details either.”
Jin-woo wondered why Lee Min-woo was looking for him. Frontline Group was at its peak these days, the Gate business booming after the international competition. Of course, G&P had been incredibly busy as a result. He asked Jin-woo to contact him personally during such a busy time, so it must be important.
‘Well, we’re family, but…’
He was more like a stranger than an older brother. This was because he was the older brother he got after becoming Lee Jin-woo, and he rarely visited. He also had only seen Chairman Lee Hee-jin once, a long time ago. They were family by blood but not by bond. Lee Min-woo’s number wasn’t even saved on his cell phone.
It wasn’t until Jin-woo took out his business card stored deep in a drawer that he could call Lee Min-woo.
As soon as Lee Min-woo answered the phone, he spoke.
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It sounded very serious. He seemed to be nervous for some reason. Lee Min-woo said he would come to the Cultural Center, so they made an appointment right away. He decided to meet him at a restaurant in the Cultural Center. Jin-woo came out a little earlier than the promised time to look around. He didn’t forget to cover his face.
The demons were much better at adapting than the elves. As the demons settled in, the Cultural Center grew richer and more diverse.
‘So that’s it.’
He saw a psychotherapy center. In such high demand, reservations were placed several months in advance to receive healing from the Succubae and Incubi. Thanks to them, modern people occupations visited the treatment center.
‘They made something like that, too.’
The Horror of the Demon King Castle. He saw such a sign. It was a house of horror that could be seen in an amusement park. It used up the entire floor of the large building, and the queue was spilling out into the walkways. The people who entered and left the horror house looked out of their minds, and they were all wearing the same sweatpants.
“I-I wet myself.”
“Ah…that’s so embarrassing.”
Ordinary humans had no choice but to wet themselves in terror when they entered the house of horror. There was a laundromat and a place to rent clothes right next door, operated by elves. There was a rumor that the house of horror was a couple crusher, and there was even a superstition that a couple would be married forever if they went there and didn’t break up in a week. It was a place where you could see all kinds of ugly things.
‘Well…it’s not the makeup.’
Jin-woo hadn’t been there, but he could tell it was real monsters summoned by demons. They were weak without demon energy, but it was enough to terrify the general public. Of course, competent people above a certain rank were prohibited from entering. A horror cafe with a similar concept was also growing popular. It was a bit pricey, but it was said that people couldn’t get in because there were no available seats.
As Jin-woo walked a little further, he saw a black tent perched on one side of the street. It seemed obvious that it was something done by the demons, but it also had a long line.
[C] Fortune Teller Callarice’s Magic Tent
A place where Callarice, the famous prophet and dimensional observer from the Demon Realm, and her clan tell fortunes. Although they use cheap crystal balls and cards, their predictions are quite accurate. They can look at all aspects of love, studies, wealth, health, compatibility, and interpretation of dreams.
*Basic consultation KRW 30,000
*In-depth consultation KRW 50,000 (no gambling inquiries)
*Creating an amulet KRW 100,000 (not a curse)
Jin-woo thought he saw it in the business plan. She was the best prophet in the Demon Realm, so she would probably show a great hit rate, explaining the popularity. The demons had now become an indispensable part of the Cultural Center.
‘Did I come too early?’
When Jin-woo thought that, he noticed familiar people lining up in front of Callarice’s tent. They were mostly covering their faces like Jin-woo, but they couldn’t hide their aura and energy. Jin-woo looked at them with the Magic Eye of Information.
It was Lee Min-woo and Ella.
‘Did they meet?’
Something seemed very disturbing, as they looked anxious. The two entered the tent side by side. As Jin-woo stood watching, someone approached him from behind.
The second-best U.S. Knight was standing alert behind him, wearing a guard uniform. Jin-woo looked at him with confusion in his eyes. A gentleman who should be in the United States was working as a security guard here, and as the lowest-ranking security guard at that.
‘Did he go crazy?’
He even used an alias, James Dean. He must have gone crazy.
“No, why are you here…?”
“This is the only place we need to be.”
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From the way he said ‘we,’ all the Knights seemed to be here. Jin-woo looked around, raising his senses. They were very secretly supporting Jin-woo. It was so subtle that even Jin-woo couldn’t easily notice it. The reporters who followed him were quietly knocked out or had their photos erased. When people focused on Jin-woo, they caused an incident and intentionally turned all the gazes away from him.
It was so natural he hadn’t noticed until now.
“I think you must be curious, so I have a spy team on standby.”
It was surprising that he recognized Jin-woo at once and knew his intentions.
“The years we’ve been together…this is getting long. I can tell just by the look on your face. Well, you had some coffee mix this morning; it darkens your complexion a little.”
Jin-woo was surprised. At this point, it was almost as if he had the Magic Eye of Information. James Dean’s eyes were so soft that it was hard to make a retort.
Meanwhile, Jin-woo was wondering what was going on in the tent. James Dean politely handed over the wireless earphones. When Jin-woo put them in, James Dean raised his hand and sent a signal.
James Dean was slightly teary-eyed as he did, remembering the days when they were fighting together. Of course, Jin-woo didn’t know.
The U.S. and British wizards looked at the tent and cast their high-level spells. They were all circle wizards with good skills among the Knights, now dressed as shopkeepers and cafe clerks. It was a huge waste of manpower.
[It’s a good match. There will be challenges, but you can overcome them. And….]
It sounded like relationship counseling. Jin-woo nodded and took out the earphones. James Dean picked up the earphones, and he disappeared quickly. He completely melted into the crowd.
What the hell were they doing here? Jin-woo wanted to tell them to go back, but it didn’t seem like they would even listen to him.
‘For Lee Min-woo to feel that nervous….’
Jin-woo smirked. He could roughly guess why Lee Min-woo asked him to meet. He arrived at the reserved restaurant a little early. The female employee, also a Knight, bowed her head deeply and guided him to their table.
“It’s a tightly secured room. No one will be able to eavesdrop.”
“You don’t need to do that…”
“There were some reporters. I handled them secretly.”
He could feel a very high level of loyalty radiating off her. At this point, Jin-woo gave up. While waiting in the room, Lee Min-woo eventually poked his head in.
“Long time no see.”
Unlike before, Jin-woo was relaxed. It wouldn’t happen, but even if Lee Min-woo tried his best, he couldn’t even touch his collar. On the other hand, Lee Min-woo seemed very nervous. He was even sweating, but it wasn’t because he was afraid of Jin-woo.
“I have something to tell you. Don’t be surprised.”
He went out for a while and then came in with Ella. Ella also looked very nervous.
“Nice to meet you…”
Ella hardened in place when she saw Jin-woo. To say she was shocked, put it mildly.
When she noticed that Jin-woo warned her not to say anything, Ella’s eyes widened, and her mouth closed shut. She stumbled slightly as if she was confused. Lee Min-woo was even more surprised.
“It’s not a big deal.”
Jin-woo said so and laughed. They talked over their meal. Lee Min-woo knew that Ella was a different race from humans, and he was ready to give up everything. He was even prepared to leave if the Chairman objected to it. He came here to get help from Jin-woo, saying he would risk his life to negotiate with the great being above Ella. He was as determined as if he were marching to his death.
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That great being was, of course, Jin-woo himself.
‘It will be a big deal if he disappears.’
Things would become troublesome if Lee Min-woo stepped down from the Frontline Group. Lee Min-woo’s expression relaxed when Jin-woo said that he would help. It changed greatly from the original story, but anyway, it was a good thing.
It was the day when Kim Se-young suddenly received 2000% of her salary as a consolation bonus. Kim Se-young hummed all day, thinking Jin-woo recognized her research.
* * *
Jin-woo returned to the Middle World after having a good rest on Earth. It was spring on Earth, but fall had just come in Middle-World. It was fully prepared before the famine began. It was a pity that he couldn’t raise livestock, but it became an environment where people could withstand anyway. Although they were emergency crops brought from Earth, they had grown too well.
It was a problem because it grew up so well. It would grow anywhere if you just threw it randomly. There were many cases where the corps invaded villages beyond the fields, so they had to be burned. In addition, they absorbed wild beasts and monsters that invaded the field. It was better to call them monsters than crops. Of course, it ignored pests easily.
If anything was interesting, it was probably because of the golden power, but it didn’t grow outside of the areas that Jin-woo recognized.
‘I’ll have to be careful when I come here.’
He didn’t even want to consider what would happen if insects such as mosquitoes or flies followed him here.
The biggest change since his last visit was that Dopplo and Selena were engaged. It was said that Selena recognized Dopplo’s wickedness, and Dopplo was also attracted to Selena’s evil nature. In such a situation, the estates belonging to the noble society were enduring the great famine well.
As soon as Jin-woo returned, there was a joint wedding in front of the church. Alonso served as the officiant, and Jin-woo gave a blessing to the couple. Luna stood next to him and also offered a blessing.
[C] Blessing of Easy Childbirth
A healthy child can be born without difficulty. The child starts at Lv.10 and will possess great potential. The little one will live a long and healthy life without minor illnesses.
*[C] Aptitude: The child born will have an excellent aptitude for dark magic or divine magic.
It was completely different from the scene of the great famine described in the novel.
“This fall is a special season when Heaven and Middle World are closest. It is a season full of love that has come for the first time in seven hundred years.”
Luna said so proudly. Perhaps because of the cold weather, she sniffed her nose. Behind her stood the statue of the Goddess Luna. It didn’t look like her at all.
‘Come to think of it…’
Luna was the goddess of love and mercy. In myth, the goddess who controlled love usually had a lot of dating experience. When Jin-woo asked her about it, Luna stiffened. She just smiled awkwardly. The look on her face answered for her.
Since it was fall in the Middle World, Jin-woo felt like he was missing a piece of the puzzle. There were many women around him, but not one of them was an ordinary character. It felt like a harem but not at the same time. Jin-woo decided to focus on stopping the Emperor first.
‘I’ll have to leave soon.’
Thanks to the awakening of the Emperor of Disease, Jin-woo was able to know where it was. The original story mentioned that it was near the Raskan Kingdom, but it was impossible to find it in advance because the Raskan Kingdom was so wide.
“I will go, too!”
Her sense of justice was outstanding, like a Goddess. Jin-woo thought for a moment when Luna said that she would follow him. She was unlikely to be of much help in the fight against the Emperor. She was also only in the supporting role in the original story. He could borrow divine power through her, so Jin-woo thought he could just think of her as a portable divine battery.
He made an excuse to the village that he was going for a brief training session with his disciple. Jin-woo set off towards the Lair, where the Emperor of Disease was sleeping. On the way to the Lair, the Maze appeared through the Sanctuary. The Maze knew the Emperor well as it was the oldest of all of them.
Jin-woo asked it about the Emperor of Disease.
“How about the Emperor of Disease?”
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“A little pitiful.”
He thought it would say it was evil or eccentric, but Jin-woo tilted his head at the completely unexpected answer.