The Novel's Villain - Chapter 102
29. The Diabolic Swamp (1)
Heaven was in a state of emergency. The highest level alert was issued after the most sacred and holy being, Goddess Luna, descended into the Middle World to stop the evil Emperor. Luna’s spirit of sacrifice had touched many angels. Ariel, the angel who worshiped the Goddess Luna the most, was very worried as an archangel and the head of the Dimensional Surveillance Center.
The Dimensional Surveillance Center in Heaven was always busy. There was no time to rest after the Emperor of Maze had penetrated all dimensions, to the point many angels were spitting up blood because of overwork.
Ariel led her weary body into the Dimensional Surveillance Center. She saw angels wearing crumpled clothes after not going home for several days. They were trying to grasp the situation in the Middle World by analyzing the dimensional information being printed from long square artifacts. Most angels were workaholics, but now they worked nonstop.
They were using all the capabilities of the Dimensional Surveillance Center to find out Luna’s location and condition. They barely found Luna’s position, but it was blurry as if something were intervening. Thanks to this, Ariel and the angels couldn’t rest. Printed paper not only filled the warehouse but was also piled up around the Surveillance Center. A researcher who was analyzing the information on those papers jumped up in surprise.
“What’s going on?”
“P-Please look at this!”
Luna’s position disappeared! Ariel was shocked, the angel ring floating above her head clattering to the floor.
“Find her quickly!”
From that day on, they stayed up all night and started looking for Luna. All divine forces in Heaven were brought to the Surveillance Center. The sky, which was always bright, darkened sharply. However, the capacity of the Surveillance Center had increased significantly. They collected information from the dimensional flow.
As if defragmenting a computer, information was gathered bit by bit and put together. The details weren’t known, but they could know what had happened. It was akin to reading a novel or a diary.
“We found her!”
“Where is she now?”
The researcher’s eyes trembled. He felt extreme fear, and the same was true of the researchers around him. The Surveillance Center was where only elite angels could work, and now those elite angels were terrified. Ariel looked at the paper in the researcher’s hand.
The white paper was completely blackened. Ariel was able to interpret the information.
“The Emperor of Gold threw Lady Luna into a dark space. After waking up from fainting, Lady Luna screamed and ran away. A high-ranking demon…and the Emperor of Vanity were chasing her….”
The researchers gulped down at Ariel’s interpretation. Even the Chief of Archangels appeared to listen to Ariel’s interpretation.
“L-Lady Luna trembled in fear and walked through a door. And beyond the door… there was the Emperor of Maze…! Lady Luna passed out…gasp!”
Ariel’s words were cut off as she stumbled. The Chief of Archangels caught her from the side. Her trembling hands analyzed the black paper.
“T-the Emperor of Vanity rubbed Lady Luna’s dirty body everywhere. W-when the Emperor rubbed her with foam, Lady Luna screamed…c-cough, then Lady Luna was thrown into a huge tank and rubbed to the depths without hesitation. As Vanity’s secret fingers wriggled, Lady Luna’s waist bent like a bow….”
“I can’t believe it!”
“Ugh…I-I think I’m going to be corrupted!”
Due to a lack of divine power, there were some holes in the readout, but the important information could be read.
“Failed to return to Heaven, she was imprisoned in the Maze by the Emperor of Gold. The Emperor of Maze was holding a pad? Something was vibrating with both hands; then it moved its fingers to attack Lady Luna…Lady Luna defended herself, b-but it broke her guard…soon after, she groaned. Lady Luna lost.
“Oh, my God! Such profanity…”
It was, at least to say, shocking.
“La-Lady Luna looked at the Maze with blank eyes. There was a vulgar smile hanging around her mouth.”
“Has she been brainwashed by the Maze?”
“T-this is serious.”
The Chief of Archangels immediately called a meeting of the angels. The meeting place was where Luna was asleep. Luna’s spirit was embedded in the avatar, so her body became a mass of light. The angels looked at Luna, who had turned into light, with serious expressions plastered on their faces.
“Lady Luna’s light is growing smaller and smaller.”
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“At this rate, Lady Luna will be completely assimilated with her avatar.”
That’s what the officials said. Ariel nodded.
“That is what the Emperor of Gold is aiming for. The h-humiliation towards Lady Luna is also a trick to tie Lady Luna’s spirit to her avatar. If Lady Luna wants to come back on her own, the assimilation with the avatar will not begin.”
All the angels nodded. The Emperor of Gold was so wicked and meticulous. He dug a trap, kidnapped Luna, and humiliated her to prevent her from escaping. The Chief Archangel wept.
“We will send a rescue team.”
They couldn’t stay as an avatar because they weren’t as powerful as Luna. Their main body had to go down directly at the expense of their power. They might never be able to ascend to Heaven again if they were contaminated by the strong mana of the Middle World.
Suddenly, the heavens shook. The archangels, Ariel, and the angels came out of the conference hall. They could feel the divine power disappearing rapidly. The divine power concentrated in the Surveillance Center flowed through the dimensional rift to the Middle World. As the divine power suddenly ran out, the Surveillance Center collapsed. All their artifacts dried up and shrunk.
Everyone was astonished. There was no way to know what was going on in the Middle World anymore. Fortunately, a researcher at the Surveillance Center escaped with the last piece of information before the center collapsed.
“The Emperor used Lady Luna to steal the divine power…he created a giant dragon…t-the Emperor of Disease fell in love with the golden emperor and began to serve him. T-the the Raskan Kingdom has been taken over by the forces of evil.”
Even the Emperor of Disease, who had lived for half a million years and only wished for the end of the world, came to be dominated by the Emperor of Gold. The Chief of Archangels looked at everyone.
“We must rescue Lady Luna right now and build a defensive line. We must stop the Emperor of Gold!”
Each angel nodded with a grim look. A rescue team of elite angels was formed, risking their lives to descend to the Middle World.
* * *
Jin-woo had become quite close to Chairman Lee Hee-jin after they spent the night together and talked about many things. Most of the stories proved to be miscellaneous, neither about Frontline Group nor G&P, but Lee Hee-jin even listened seriously.
Come to think of it; there was no one around the Chairman. No one had ever been able to talk to him like this. After all, his position was so high. Even Lee Min-woo, who was closest to him, was always nervous and treated him carefully. But that wasn’t the case with Jin-woo. It wasn’t quite the same, but since he was in a similar position, he could talk to Chairman Lee Hee-jin comfortably. Lee Hee-jin was also forced to stop being coy as he talked with Jin-woo.
Jin-woo returned home, feeling as if he had spent a day in the countryside.
Grandpa: Ella Limited Edition.
He now occasionally sent a text. It was hard to believe that Chairman Lee Hee-jin sent it. Jin-woo made sure not to ignore it and was constantly replying. Chairman Lee Hee-jin was already practicing for the engagement ceremony. To be honest, Jin-woo thought it would be very effective. Ella might recognize his sincerity, but it seemed impossible for Lee Min-woo in this lifetime.
‘Well, it seems that he likes Ella more than Lee Min-woo…’
As Jin-woo shook his head and sent a response, Yoo-na came to his side as if she was curious. It was because all he normally did with his cell phone was play games.
“You’ve been texting a lot lately.”
“It’s my grandfather. He’s asking me for Ella’s album, which will be released as a limited edition this time.”
“If it’s your grandfather…are you talking about Chairman Lee Hee-jin?”
When Jin-woo nodded, Yoo-na looked at him for a moment and then smirked. It had been a long time since Yoo-na smiled like that. She looked completely different when she smiled.
“It’s a funny joke.”
Yoo-na didn’t believe it. Jin-woo probably wouldn’t believe it himself.
“Lee Min-woo went to Elonti. He said it was time he took a vacation.”
“What is he going to do?”
“He plans on helping everything from farming to craftsmanship to gain the approval of the elves.”
Lee Min-woo put aside his schedule to stay at Elonti. He was living with the elves and trying to get to know them.
Lee Min-woo: Photo (With Ella.jpg)
Lee Min-woo sent Jin-woo a picture of Ella or the elves from time to time via chat. Looking at the picture, it appeared he was getting along with the elves. However, he still had a long way to go. Jin-woo sent all the photos to his grandfather. He checked the chat, but there was no reply.
‘He must like it very much.’
To exaggerate a little, he might be rolling around the floor because he liked it. He didn’t even think of them as a family, but sooner or later, they became quite close. Lee Min-woo was very good in business, so he seemed to be a great help. Wouldn’t Elonti become more prosperous?
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Jin-woo got up from his seat to go to the Middle World through the Sanctuary. When Jin-woo opened the portal to the Sanctuary, Yoo-na hesitated for a moment before opening her mouth.
Jin-woo turned to look at Yoo-na. The look in her eyes was very serious.
“I’m going on vacation from tomorrow. I’ve used up all the vacation time I’ve saved so far.”
Yoo-na was appealing to take a vacation like Lee Min-woo.
‘Come to think of it….’
Jin-woo remembered that he had said he would take her to the Sanctuary. She only saw Elonti and the Demon Realm, but she never came to the most important place, the Sanctuary of Gold.
“Would you like to take a look?”
“If you don’t mind, please.”
“Then let’s go right now.”
Yoo-na’s expression brightened.
Jin-woo brought Yoo-na to the Sanctuary. She was handling most of what Jin-woo had to do on behalf of him on Earth, so connecting her with the Sanctuary would make things easier. Arina greeted Jin-woo as usual when they came to the Sanctuary of Gold. However, somehow she gave off a completely different vibe from usual. She had been wearing pretty normal clothes for a demon, but now she was glamorous as she had dressed up.
It didn’t fit with the usual Arina at all.
“My Lord Emperor, are you here? Miss Yoo-na is coming, too?”
For some reason, she wasn’t as frivolous as usual either. Rather, she modestly greeted him. The image of Arina that Jin-woo normally thought of was rubbing her hands while looking at dimensional gold coins. She was always hyper, but now she seemed calm.
“…Did you eat something spoiled?”
“You’re joking too much. This is how I am.”
It was really serious. She wasn’t normal before, but now she was weird. Yoo-na also thought so. After all, she had talked to Arina before about Elonti’s affairs.
Let’s leave Arina for now.
Yoo-na looked around.
“It’s very spacious.”
“I know, right?”
Jin-woo showed her the Sanctuary in earnest. There were countless rooms, and it was kept very neat. It was a large space full of luxurious lighting and decorations, but it didn’t feel empty. He opened one of the warehouses to show off.
It was a warehouse full of sleek tentacles, a musty smell wafting past them. Jin-woo quickly closed the warehouse door. Yoo-na pretended not to see it and skipped past to the next.
“This is the training ground.”
Yoo-na admired the spacious training ground in which Heo-young was cleaning. Heo-young also felt somehow strange. She usually generated dark mana on her radical cleaning program, but now, she was wearing a neat maid outfit and was cleaning slowly. She exuded a fragile vibe.
“Master, you are here?”
She politely greeted him. Jin-woo was startled, feeling goosebumps begin to rise on the back of his arms. He looked at her for a moment longer and then quietly closed the door to the training ground. Then he opened it again.
“Do you have anything you need?”
She was looking at Jin-woo with a soft smile. He felt the goosebumps again. He immediately closed the door again and seriously considered whether to seal the training ground with Heo-young inside.
“Her image seems to have changed a lot.”
“Has she finally gone crazy because of the stress?”
Heo-young seemed to have finally lost her mind. Jin-woo could feel the harshness of the Korean entertainment industry. After filming her most recent drama, she came to the Sanctuary to clean and help Arina with the chores. Recently, she even took care of the Maze and Luna. He did seem to have neglected her too much because she was an Emperor.
Since the Sanctuary was so large, it took quite a while to look around, but Yoo-na seemed very satisfied. A gentle smile appeared on her lips.
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“Where does that door lead to?”
It was where the Maze and Luna were. Jin-woo opened the door and went inside. It was still dark, but Luna, rolling around while eating potato chips, noticed Jin-woo, and she quickly stood up and fixed her posture. She liked to wear a sweatshirt because it was comfortable, but now she was wearing a white dress.
She was supposed to look sacred because she was a Goddess, but in Jin-woo’s eyes, she looked very awkward. She quietly put down the pad in her hand and wiped the potato chips from her mouth. Fortunately, the Maze remained the same as always. It was tying its hair up, though. Jin-woo didn’t know who tied it up, but it was very clumsy. The Maze was also wearing a hairpin that looked like something from Earth.
“Who is it?”
Yoo-na looked at Luna and the Maze. She knew their faces because she had made their identities for Earth. It was the first time she had actually met them, though, and of course, she didn’t even know who they were. The two looked at Yoo-na with curious eyes. Jin-woo introduced them.
Yoo-na had no choice but to be surprised. She didn’t think they were ordinary people, but she hadn’t expected they were the Maze and a Goddess.
‘After he tamed that great Maze….’
Jin-woo had even got his hand on the Goddess of Heaven. The young master was a man whom she couldn’t look away from. The Maze recognized her when it heard Yoo-na’s name, having heard it through Ariana and Heo-young. It also roughly knew what position she was in.
“Yoo-na? The Middle Boss!”
“I-is that so? N-nice to meet you!”
Luna was startled and greeted her. Jin-woo gave Yoo-na permission to enter the Sanctuary at any time. A key-shaped pattern was engraved on her palm, and a soft smile tugged at her lips as she looked at the pattern. Jin-woo decided to return to the Middle World while Yoo-na was talking with Arina and Heo-young.
His house was immaculately cleaned, and a meal was prepared. There were also huge statues placed from where Jin-woo was to the front of the door. The bathroom was also enlarged, and there was hot water in a huge bathtub. Towels were also nicely laid out. There was a nice scent surrounding him. As he looked around the corner, he could see sparkling golden eyes.
Arcana took a deep breath and crept out to the side, standing far away from Jin-woo. She looked at Jin-woo with trembling eyes.
The glass on the table was shattered by the loud voice, and the whole house shook. Arcana was trying too hard. Her body staggered as her pupils shook violently.
After saying that, she ran away with tremendous speed. The problem was that she broke through the door with her body, smashing it to splinters. The dragon’s power was great, even in human form.
What’s wrong with all the people today?
It seemed like something was going on. He tried to think about the reason, but he couldn’t even guess. Jin-woo shook his head.
* * *
Choi Hee-yeon swung her sword to shake off her thoughts. The temperature was very low as the Choi Family’s Sword School was deep and high in the mountains. She was resistant to the cold, however, so it bothered her little. She swung her sword once more and paused for a moment.
The cat, which has been at the Choi Family’s Sword School since some time ago, appeared in the training ground. It was a black cat that looked lonely, and somehow it felt similar to her. Choi Hee-yeon put down her sword for a moment and approached the black cat.
She squatted down and made a gesture, but it only looked at Choi Hee-yeon for a moment before turning away.
Choi Hee-yeon, who was watching the cat, sniffed once. It was then she saw a white cat from the side running to the black cat.
They hugged and licked each other, rolling around. Choi Hee-yeon stared blankly at the scene. The two cats stayed like that for a long time, and at the same time, they turned their heads and looked at Choi Hee-yeon, who was crouching down. They let out a cry as if they were laughing at her.
The two of them went for a walk together, rubbing each other’s bodies, and then disappeared in the distance. Choi Hee-yeon shivered.
She was protecting her body with her inner power, but for some reason, it felt cold. Even the sword she wielded was unusually cold.
A beep sounded on her cell phone. She quickly put down her sword and looked at the screen. It was an text. Choi Hee-yeon sniffed and let out a small sigh.
She raised her sword again. This winter was unusually cold.
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