The Novel's Villain - Chapter 143
41. That’s the Truth (2)
Nangong Xian ate the whole chicken right away, then chugged the cola and devoured the radish pickle frugally. He was almost engulfed by the Blood Demon Pill, but surprisingly, it had now disappeared neatly, and his mind returned. Nangong Xian, returning to his senses, expressed his gratitude to Jin-woo and soon held a tearful reunion with the Nangong siblings.
It was said that Nangong Xian was almost dead after falling ill, so it was natural to be moved by such a swift recovery. However…
‘What should I say?’
It might have been a pretty good picture if Nangong Xian had been recovered by taking an elixir or using some odd medicinal technique. Jin-woo could at least show off if he had helped him in a normal way. This was difficult to show off. Jin-woo shook his head and looked at the table. Empty boxes were lying around, full of chicken bones. There was even still sauce on Nangong Xian’s lips.
He didn’t feel at all touched because Nangong Xian recovered by gorging himself on chicken.
‘After all, people live and learn.’
As expected, the chicken was awesome. What would the author think of this scene? Anyway, things seem to have worked out, so let’s just move on. Nangong Xian recovered, and Jin-woo was treated very well. He didn’t rush and rested well while being treated by the Nangong Imperial Clan. It felt quite good to relax in the East World.
Nangong Xian checked Nangong Xiao-yan’s condition, and he was surprised at the warmth flowing through her frozen blood veins. Her body, which was full of only Yin, was no longer cold.
“The Nine Yin Severed Meridians… i-it’s disappearing…!”
“How on earth did this happen…?”
Nangong Xian found the necklace hanging around Nangong Xiao-yan’s neck, sensing the very pure Yang it softly emitted. Nangong Xian could tell that it was a treasure that could not be obtained even if the whole Nangong Imperial Clan was sold off. It was a treasure that cured the Nine Yin Severed Meridians, after all!
Nangong Xiao-yan’s eyes shook greatly upon hearing Nangong Xian’s words. She knew it was precious, but she didn’t know its true value.
“Did the Savior give it to you?”
“Yes. He said it was just a gift…”
Nangong Xian sat down. After hearing all about recent events from Nangong Xiao-yan, Nangong Xian realized that man had saved the entirety of the Nangong Imperial Clan. It was a debt that he could not repay, even if he said he would work it off for the rest of his life.
“A restaurant in Jin-hu…?”
“Yes, it is no exaggeration to say that all the restaurants and guesthouses in Jin-hu belong to Young Master Jin.”
Nangong Xian fell into thoughts at Xiao-yan’s revelations. It was certain that the Demon Sect was plotting something evil. Even him, the head of the Nangong Imperial Clan, had been harmed. He still couldn’t believe the betrayal of Xi-tian, who they trusted as closely as a member of their own family. Besides, there must be spies not only in the Nangong Imperial Clan but also in the Martial Arts League.
That was why Nangong Xian couldn’t move easily. After all, he didn’t know who was an ally and who was an enemy.
The antidote! If it spread in food, there was no justification for the Demon Sect spies to stop it. What’s more, the food was delicious. All the restaurants built in Jin-hu must be mere smokescreens. All of them had clear plans to eliminate the Demon Sect’s conspiracy.
There was speculation that he was the Grand Duke of a family from the outside world. Nangong Xian guessed that it was probably a family working against the Demon Sect for generations. He had heard a legend that there was such a family a hundred years ago.
Nangong Xiao-yan revealed his thoughts to the siblings.
“I-I see! Indeed… that’s why…!”
Nangong Hui and Nangong Xiao-yan couldn’t help but admire him more. They even felt goosebumps prickling up on their arms. It must be a lonely fight, one that no one recognized. Nangong Hui and Nangong Xiao-yan wanted to help him, as did Nangong Xian.
“There will be a way for our Clan to help.”
The Nangong Imperial Clan had a strong influence in Hefei and the entire Anhui Province. They spent a lot of money to heal the Nine Yin Severed Meridians, so they had several escorts even though there weren’t as many as before. All of the commercial areas conducted business through the Nangong Imperial Clan. If Jin-hu and Anhui Province were connected, it would greatly influence the world.
Nangong Xian intended to help spread the antidote, feeling his saliva already pooling up as he remembered its fantastic flavor. He was sure that the antidote would replace all three meals.
‘The Yellow Cross…so it means the Demon Sect.’
He thought so, as it was the issue that everyone had discussed at the Leader of the Martial Arts League’s call. Nangong Hui clenched his fists.
‘I have to be strong.’
He felt he understood why Young Lady Lilith was strong. To fight against the Demon Sect, he must do bloody training. She was dealing with such a villain with a woman’s body, but what was he doing?! Nangong Hui felt so pathetic at himself, who was living a favored life. Nangong Hui knelt in front of Nangong Xian.
“I want to learn the secrets of the King Swordsmanship.”
“Hmm… it will be so hard that you will want to die.”
Nangong Hui’s eyes were quite manly as Nangong Xian patted him on the shoulder. While that small misunderstanding was occurring, Jin-woo installed a portal in the Nangong Imperial Clan’s territory. He also installed one in Hefei, but he wanted one as close as possible to them.
“Master, the installation is complete.”
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“Okay? Oh, I got it.”
A Wi-Fi signal was sent through the portal stone. The signal was weak as it was quite far from the Sanctuary, but there was no problem in using it. Jin-woo took out his smartphone. In the East World, he was lying on the bed in the Nangong Imperial Clan’s guestroom and looking at his smartphone.
There were quite a few people who had tried to contact him. Jin-woo checked his texts first.
Grandpa: I heard you went to the East World. Bring me some medicine. I lack energy these days.
Lee Min-woo: Is there anything like lesser dragons there? I heard snake liquor is good.
As expected, they asked for similar things. It was no wonder they were family.
Luna: My Lord Emperor! Maze ran away from home! What should I do?
Arina: Maze seems to have run away. Did ‘she’ go into the East World?
Heo-young: …I think I said something too harsh to Maze.
It wasn’t that Maze’s main body had run away, but that the doll Maze used hadn’t returned to the Sanctuary in a while. Anyway, the main body was still in the Sanctuary, so it wasn’t a crisis.
“Did something happen?”‘
Choi Hee-yeon also contacted him, saying she had something to discuss about Maze. Choi Hee-yeon seemed to know where they were, as well. Jin-woo tilted his head. Choi Hee-yeon and Maze were hardly close. It was a little vague to even say that they knew each other. He wondered what was going on.
‘I should go to the Sanctuary.’
Jin-woo stood and opened the portal. He had nothing to do, so he thought it would be better for him to visit the Sanctuary for a while.
“Are you going to the Sanctuary?”
“I will be back soon.”
Lilith would remain with the Nangong Imperial Clan so that things would be stable here. Jin-woo entered the portal. Upon arriving, he saw an incredible sight, like the chicken that cured Nangong Xian’s illness.
* * *
Maze had not returned to the Sanctuary for some time now. As time went by, Maze knew less and less about what they should do. The pets had grown so fast that their original forms could hardly be seen anymore. It was fortunate that there were huge mountains and forests around Jin-hu to hide them.
Maze was living in the mountains with its pets. Choi Hee-yeon brought them groceries and took care of meals while Maze was living in a decently-built hut. When Choi Hee-yeon entered the hut, Maze peeked its head out of its sleeping bag. Maze looked like a caterpillar.
“How’s the situation?”
“Everyone is worried.”
As time went on, it grew more difficult to go back. Choi Hee-yeon was also in a hurry to escape when the talks about Maze started. They couldn’t stay like this anymore.
“I will contact Sir Jin-woo. If it’s him, I’m sure he will understand.”
“It’s just that the pets grew bigger, right? It’s not like the forest has been blown away or anything like that.”
Maze nodded helplessly, becoming sullen. It only wanted to brag about its new pets, but now it had nothing to say because of this accident.
“Please eat this and wait.”
Choi Hee-yeon handed it a warm hamburger before heading back to the Sanctuary. As Choi Hee-yeon said, Maze planned to wait as calmly as possible. It would be in trouble if it caused any more accidents. When Maze thought so and tried to get out of the sleeping bag to eat, it could feel a presence outside.
“It smells like food.”
“There seems to be someone in the hut.”
“He told us to get rid of Jin-hu. Kill everyone, not only humans but animals as well.”
Maze didn’t care, taking a bite of the hamburger. At that moment, men in black masks rushed into the hut. They were members of the Blood Wind Squad of the Demon Sect that came to annihilate Jin-hu. The Sword Demon led them directly.
The Blood Wind Squad was made up exclusively of Profound Masters who had mastered the special demon techniques. They had never been defeated in the history of the Demon Sect, and many stories remained of them annihilating entire temples a hundred years ago. Only a bloody wind remained where they passed.
Maze looked at them while chewing. The first member of the Blood Wind Squad pointed his sword at Maze, but there was no reaction. Maze just looked at them as if it were looking at a strange person.
“She seems crazy.”
“There is no need to report to the Lord.”
The Blood Wind Squad beheaded Maze, sending its head rolling to the floor. The Blood Wind Squad was heartless. They could brutally slaughter even a newborn baby without hesitation if it were their order. Pride, of course, also did not exist. There was no pride left in a master who reached the profound. Because of that, the masters of the White Path could not overcome them.
‘We are just swords.’
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As the Blood Wind Squad turned their backs, they thought that way.
The sound of chewing persisted. The member of Blood Wind Squad looked at Maze’s head in surprise. It was still eating despite being decapitated. Then it turned to look at the Blood Wind Squad.
“What is this?”
The Black Wind Squad members stepped back, feeling a surge of terror. No matter how heartless they were, they couldn’t help but be surprised. That girl was still alive even though her head was cut off. No, that head rolling on the floor was still talking!
It didn’t end there. Maze’s body rose from its seat and approached the head.
It reached out and grabbed the head, then placed it back on.
Smoke came out, and the head and neck were fused back to one piece.
“I-it’s placed wrong?”
It was stuck together with the wrong way, however. Maze tilted its head, then took it off again and attached it back properly. The first Black Wind Squad member split Maze into two with his sword. However, Maze’s bisected form returned to its original state in moments.
The members of the Black Wind Squad quickly ran out and set the hut on fire with their Samadhi Fire. They thought that if it was a ghost, they could at least burn it away.
“What’s going on? Didn’t I tell you to do it quietly!”
The Sword Demon was dumbfounded by their nonsense. He couldn’t believe that the Profound Masters were talking about a ghost. But as he frowned, Maze walked out from the burning hut. Maze’s appearance had changed. Its skin became smooth as if it were porcelain, faint trails of smoke wisping off its flesh.
The Sword Demon looked at Maze and grabbed his sword.
‘I heard that there are a lot of genius martial artists around here, but…’
The Sword Demon honestly looked down on them. He thought that he would be able to handle everything independently, without the need for the Heavenly Demon Supreme to step forward. But when he saw this, he had no choice but to change his mind.
‘It is clear that that person is a master that reverted to their youthful appearances. Did he learn a special physical technique?’
Even the masters who had reached the profound level claimed he was a ghost.
“What are you guys doing?”
Maze was a little angry because they burned down their hard-built hut. The Sword Demon raised his qi and carefully drew his sword. He never let down his vigilance, intending to use all his might from the start. But, as he tried to attack using the Heart Sword technique.
Air bubbles started to rise to the surface of the huge pond next to the hut. No, it was now a lake rather than a pond.
The air bubbles disappeared as something huge soared out of the lake. The water soared in an arc, extinguishing the burning hut.
The Sword Demon staggered. His concentration fully collapsed thanks to the huge monster that emerged behind Maze. It was a huge dragon, emitting a sacred aura that no human could dare look upon. The Black Wind Squad members stared blankly at the dragon as it opened its mouth.
It bit into the Sword Demon, who stood in front of Maze. Normally, he would have reacted and evaded, but his concentration was disturbed by the absurd sight. The Sword Demon, coming to his senses, activated his self-defense techniques, but it was useless.
It swallowed the Sword Demon whole.
“The Lord has been eaten!”
Maze blinked and looked at the dragon, astonished.
“Mimi, you shouldn’t eat humans. Spit him out!”
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The dragon was Mimi, the snake bought from an abandoned animal shelter. It had grown to the point where it now looked like a dragon, even possessing a long, waving beard. Because it saw Maze as its master, it followed its instructions well.
Mimi hacked as if it was collecting phlegm, then spat out the Sword Demon.
The Black Wind Squad members looked at what Mimi spat up.
What fell in front of them was something that used to be the Sword Demon. His skin, muscles, and organs had all melted away, leaving only a white skeleton. Even that was covered in thick gastric juice and smelled disgusting.
The Black Wind Squad members were astonished. The Sword Demon, whom no one but the Heavenly Demon Supreme could deal with, turned into a skeleton in an instant! Maze wore a troubled expression, however. Their pet killed a human. If Jin-woo found out, he would scold them hard.
“Sorry. I will save you.”
Maze focused its mind, putting two fingers to its temple. It hadn’t been long since he was eaten, so it seemed that it would work somehow if the body were reconstructed using its power. The Sword Demon’s skeleton floated into the air. The dirt on the ground stuck to the skeleton, changing to resemble what he looked like when he was alive. The only difference was that the skin was blue. The arms and legs couldn’t bend because all his joints had melted together.
“Come to life.”
Since Maze saved him with care, he became stronger than he was in life. However, he held no sense of reason, operating only on instinct. Maze was not delicate enough to fully revive his brain.
The Sword Demon began to run in place and looked toward the Blood Wind Squad.
He made a wild animalistic noise and rushed madly toward them.
The Blood Wind Squad members were destroyed easily. The martial arts he learned during his lifetime were embedded in his fingernails, even now. Besides that, he was covered in Mimi’s gastric juices, so the Blood Wind Squad member’s bodies melted just by coming into contact with him.
“Heavenly Demon Vampire!? W-wasn’t it only a legend?”
The Heavenly Demon Vampire was made using the body of a master who had reached the end of life and death. It was an evil technique that was practiced a long time ago, rarely used even in the Demon Sect. It was known that the Heavenly Demon Vampire could destroy an entire faction in a single day.
“W-we need to report this quickly t-to the headquarters…!”
When the Black Wind Squad retreated, the Sword Demon chased them. They ran in the direction of Jin-hu.
It was only then that Maze realized that it had made a mistake.
“We have to catch them!”
Mimi nodded, then raised its head and cried out. A sound like thunder rang over Jin-hu. Chirpie, who was building a nest on the mountain peak, Hefty, who resting under the ground, and Kitty, who was wandering around the mountain, appeared shortly after.
* * *
Jin-woo, returning to the Sanctuary, approached Choi Hee-yeon. She immediately explained what had happened.
“So that’s why.”
“I’m sorry. I should have told you sooner…”
“No need to.”
There was no problem. Wouldn’t they be about the same size as the chickens in Elonti? Still, he was quite proud that Maze felt responsible for the pets. Jin-woo and Choi Hee-yeon crossed the portal to meet with Maze.
Jin-woo and Choi Hee-yeon’s expressions went blank. They could see giant monsters running and smashing through the Jin-hu Forest.
“Well… t-these are the pets that we adopted.”
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They were giant monsters that had stepped right out of myth. Where the hell did Maze find something like that?