The Novel's Villain - Chapter 145 - 42
42. Return (1)
There was a body lying halfway down with its head smashed open. Oddly enough, its arms and legs were perfectly straight, and its skin was blue.
Its fingers twitched, then it jumped up. Clearly, it was no ordinary corpse.
What Used to be the Sword Demon. He was the second-ranked swordsman in the Demon Sect and the master of life and death, that Sword Demon. His twisted neck snapped back into place again. The area where the brain was supposed to be was filled with mud, turning him into a monster that acted out of instinct rather than reason.
The Sword Demon’s body was slowly recovering; he would need demon energy to speed it up. The Sword Demon desperately craved demon energy, hungered for it. That intense hunger eroded Sword Master’s instincts. All his senses turned to pursue demon energy.
His head snapped to the side in the direction of Jin-hu. But he hesitated and turned his head to the other direction. There were many people with demon energy in Jin-hu, but he desperately turned a blind eye to them. He began to move in the opposite direction, carefully shuffling away.
A great instinct told him this was the safe direction.
The Sword Demon’s body was much stronger thanks to Maze. His movement was incredible, driven by the instincts honed into his flesh by a lifetime of training. Rather, it felt more natural now that he used them without thinking. Unlike the human body, the body Maze made could not feel exhaustion either. He continued to run at a dead sprint until he arrived at the Henan Province.
Henan Province! Where the Shaolin Temple, the spiritual pillar of the White Path of Martial Arts, and the Martial Arts League in Kaifeng were located. The Sword Demon followed the scent of demonic energy, moving day and night to reach Mt. Song. On the way to Mt. Song, many people came in groups to visit the Shaolin Temple. His destructive instincts were wriggling, but the Sword Demon did not attack them.
“This is popular in the Martial Arts League these days…”
“That’s right, sir. It was introduced by the Blue Dragon Association a while ago… and it tastes so good. Hoho, not only the Èyun Imperial Clan, but even the Nangong Imperial Clan have made huge investments in it.”
“Is it that good?”
“Yes, didn’t the Zhuge Imperial Clan set up a franchise in the Martial Arts League? I heard even the disciples of Huashan often stop by.”
The Sword Demon watched them for a moment before stepping back in surprise. He could sense the extreme energy of nature exuding from them. Just getting close would be enough to melt away his body. They were being protected by the Elonti chicken.
The Sword Demon arrived at Mt. Song like that. He couldn’t feel the energy of nature there. Rather, the strong demonic energy exuding from it. Sadly, the Shaolin monks did not eat meat.
He could feel their precious demonic energy. The Sword Demon began to climb Mt. Song, drooling. The morning sun was just growing brighter as the disciples of the Temple, sweeping the entrance, found the Sword Demon sprinting madly toward them.
They couldn’t even respond. He ran at tremendous speed and crashed straight through the mountain entrance. The signboard fell to the ground in splinters. It had only bumped into his body, but it had exploded due to the enormous demon energy radiating from him. The Shaolin Temple’s disciples couldn’t even approach him as they were blown away by the powerful force radiating from him.
“Ugh, V-Vampire?! This aura is demon energy!”
“T-that can’t be… the Heavenly Demon Vampire?!”
The disciples of Shaolin Temple guessed the Sword Demon’s true identity. His appearance was engulfed in demon energy, and his violent movements were identical to the Heavenly Demon Vampire written off in the old tomes. The evil spirit used demon energy to surpass the strength of their bodies and destroyed everything they saw. That was the Heavenly Demon Vampire.
The Sword Demon followed the trail of energy and entered the Shaolin Temple. He advanced by destroying everything in his path. The Buddha statue and the stone pagoda collapsed.
“Heavenly Demon Vampire…! So the Demon Sect has done all of this!”
“Buddha’s disciples of Shaolin, unfold the Formation of 108 Buddha’s Disciples!”
The Buddha’s disciples spread around the Sword Demon and unfolded their combined technique. In the past, it was known as the ability that temporarily sealed the Heavenly Demon Supreme’s movement.
Some hid strong demon energy among the Shaolin’s disciples, those who infiltrated Shaolin Temple after being brainwashed by the Demon Sect when they were young. They couldn’t hide their embarrassment thinking of how they had not received any contact from their headquarters.
The Sword Demon’s body blurred and appeared behind the disciples. Even the Formation of 108 Buddha’s Disciples could not stop him.
“A Spatial Shifting Technique?”
One spy who was hiding their demon energy was grabbed by the throat. The Sword Demon bit into their neck before anyone could move to assist.
The Demon Sect spy called Yun-xian collapsed. As a Buddha’s disciple, he was also a promising talent with a great personality. He had been pretending to be nice to advance his duties as a spy and build good connections. Yun-xian dried up and fell to the floor. At that moment, the Formation of the 108 Buddha’s Disciples was broken.
“A-Absorbing Star Great Technique?”
“H-how come a vampire can use a cursed demonic technique…?!”
Maze’s energy that had permeated the Sword Demon’s body now seeped into Yun-xian’s body. His dried body was twisted with mud, assuming a similar shape to the Sword Demon.
“Yun-xian has become a vampire!”
“Ugh! It can’t be!”
The Chief Monk of Shaolin Temple pushed the disciples back; they weren’t enough to stop the evil Heavenly Demon Vampire. The Sword Demon moved quickly and absorbed the demon energy from the spies. Each one that fell transformed to match him. The Eight Great Guardians and the Four Great Golden Forces, which could be called the Shaolin’s best powers, appeared together with the Chief Monk.
“The Demon Sect has awakened a power that goes against the Heavens!”
The Chief Monk shouted. Great Monk Zhen-de, leading the Eight Great Guardians, tried hard to maintain his calm expression. He was the most trusted person by the Chief Monk, a disciple perfect to being called the living Buddha by their disciples. But it was just a thoroughly crafted mask.
His true purpose was to grow Blood Demon Pills at the Shaolin Temple. Everyone, including the Chief Monk, was infected.
Because of the demon energy the Sword Demon emitted, the Blood Demon Pills were activated. The Eight Great Guardians, the Four Great Golden Forces, and the Chief Monk stumbled and collapsed.
The Chief Monk’s eyes opened wide. The only one that was intact was the Great Monk Zhen-de. The interest of the Sword Demon and the vampires lay not with them, however, as demon energy was the only thing that could fill their extreme hunger. The Sword Demon and the vampires looked toward the Great Monk Zhen-de as one. To the Shaolin monks, it looked as if Great Monk Zhen-de was fending off the vampires alone.
The Sword Demon rushed toward Zhen-de. He tried to fend him off, but the Sword Demon didn’t give him a chance. The Sword Demons’ claws dug into Zhen-de’s flesh. Everyone in the Temple watched with astonishment as the Great Monk Zhen-de dried up and quickly became a vampire.
Even the Great Monk Zhen-de, who supported the Shaolin order with the Chief Monk, was defeated!
The Sword Demon and his vampires began to scour Shaolin Temple in search of all those who possessed demon energy.
“We must avoid it!”
“Ha-haaah… how can I leave the Temple as the Chief Monk? How could a Shaolin monk abandon the order!”
“Didn’t you say that Buddha is always in our hearts? Shaolin is where the monks are. Even Great Monk Zhen-de… I hope you remain safe, Chief Monk.”
“…You are right.”
Chief Monk nodded. The vampires were vicious, appearing to kill only the most respected monks in their order to turn them into vampires. It was a wicked trick.
‘The Yellow Cross…’
The Yellow Cross must have meant the Demon Sect and these vampires. He trembled at the wickedness of the Demon Sect, who planned all this. The Shaolin of the Nine Schools & One Sect faced a new crisis after 100 years.
The news of the attack quickly spread to the martial arts world.
The Chief Monk closed his eyes tightly as he looked at the vampires.
* * *
The Demon Sect could see through the martial art world with the spies they planted over the decades. It was definitely like that, so the Heavenly Demon Supreme could not hide his astonishment.
“…You said we lost contact with the Blood Wind Squad?”
“Yes, that’s right. And…”
His eyebrows twitched. A huge amount of demon energy swelled out and crushed his subordinate against the floor. He barely suppressed it a moment later.
“Continue your report.”
The subordinate started again, now coldly sweating.
“A v-vampire that looks like the B-Blood Wind Squad Leader… was said to be turning our spies planted in the Shaolin, Huashan, and Wudang regions into v-vampires.”
The Heavenly Demon Supreme doubted his ears. The Sword Demon became a vampire and was now targeting their spies? Did that make sense?
“Are you kidding me? The vampire is a taboo even in our sect!”
“How dare I tell a lie here?”
The Heavenly Demon Supreme felt a headache forming. The Blood Wind Squad’s disappearance and vampires. In this situation where their Blood Demon Pill was also being neutralized, more unbelievably bad luck was hitting them.
‘That Yellow Cross!’
The Heavenly Demon Supreme groaned.
At the same time, the Leader of the Martial Arts League was looking at the text he had written with a pleasing look.
‘A Word of Advice to Juniors after Leaving the Martial Arts League.’
He was writing what he was going to say at his retirement ceremony tomorrow. Finally, he was able to leave this dreadful League. Although he was worried about the Yellow Cross, he was leaving behind talented juniors he could trust. He honestly wanted to retire before anything else happened.
After finishing his official last job, the Leader of the Martial Arts League changed his clothes with a big smile. Then, he took out a book that was secretly hidden under his bed.
‘Hoo! It’s indeed a masterpiece. The author calmly writes provocative content with an emotion that transcends gender. It’s a bit exaggerated, but this is why it can be accepted naturally!’
It was a book called Secret Martial Art, illustrations included.
‘Would you like to eat ramen? This line is awesome. How many meanings are implied with that alone? Why is it ramen and not plain noodles?’
The Secret Martial Art was a popular book among martial artists, though none would admit it. It was enough to lightly press down on the popularity of the Gourmet Guide’s Tour. The author used the pen name Brown Rice Love by Dragon, but detailed personal information about them couldn’t be found. However, where they worked was revealed through an informant of the Martial Arts League.
‘Was it in Jin-hu?’
East Fantasy, published in Jin-hu, was also sensational. However, it could not keep up with the Secret Martial Art. The stark descriptions and provocative illustrations touched the heart of Martial Arts League Leader.
‘What great writing skill!’
The Leader of the Martial Arts League wanted to become a writer after his retirement. He would leave for Jin-hu as soon as his retirement ceremony tomorrow concluded.
‘Secret Martial Art Vol. 4, The Temptation of the Sisters.’
He was looking forward to it. It was when he lay down and was about to read.
“L-Leader! It’s a big deal!”
He quickly hid the book and raised his qi, even going so far as to use the Body Lightening and Position Shifting Technique to stow it away. He quickly crossed his legs on the bed so that anyone who saw him would think that he was meditating before going to bed.
“Hmm, General, what’s going on so late?”
“The Shaolin Temple was defeated.”
The Leader of the Martial Arts League blinked.
“I-it is said that they were attacked by vampires from the Demon Sect. Great Monk Zhen-de became a v-vampire, and their disciples also… they also attacked Huashan and Wudang…!”
“I-I see. But, if there is such an important matter like that, shouldn’t it be necessary to contact the next Martial Arts League Leader?”
“The next leader… was from the Wudang Sect… I heard he was also beaten by the vampires.”
Leader of the Martial Arts League was decided only if the Nine Schools & One Sect unanimously approved it, but it took as long as ten years for that to happen. And he couldn’t retire without someone next in line. His retirement was extended indefinitely the day before he was supposed to leave.
The Leader of the Martial Arts League threw up blood.
“Leader! You must be shocked, but you have to pull yourself together! We have to unite the White Path and fight! Heavenly Demon Great War! It’s the Heavenly Demon Great War.”
His eyes blurred.
“On my last day… vampires appear? …In my later years… there’s a Heavenly Demon Great War…?”
“Today of all days…”
The Yellow Cross appeared! It was a nightmare.
* * *
The Nangong Imperial Clan actively helped Jin-woo. Nangong Xian wanted the chicken to spread throughout the world to purge the Blood Demon Pill. The Èyun Imperial Clan worked hard alongside them.
A chicken specialty store opened in Hefei, and it spread to every corner of the Anhui Province. As the Èyun Imperial Clan of Shandong Province joined forces with them, it began to encompass Shandong as well. Since the Blue Dragon Association actively promoted it, it spread to Henan, where the Martial Arts League resided.
Zhuge Mi-xian understood the characteristics of the martial arts world very well. The people of their world had a strong sense of victory, and they fought whenever they had spare time. Even if they didn’t fight directly, indirect power struggles would occur. The Zhuge Imperial Clan, Èyun Imperial Clan, and Jin-hu worked together to invent something that stimulated the spirit of victory they held in such high regard.
The result was the Zhuge Hell’s Èyun Spicy Chicken. The Zhuge Imperial Clan were skilled with poisons, so they made a sauce with ingredients extracted from Èyun Qi’s tentacles. Currently, it is gaining popularity among martial artists of all ages.
‘Someone can only be a culinary master when he eats a whole Zhuge Hell’s Èyun Spicy Chicken.’
‘The Blue Dragon Association was having dinner, and they ate the whole chicken without taking a sip of water. The future of White Path is bright.’
‘There’s nothing like that to test one’s patience.’
‘The White Cloud Holy Dragon was said to challenge the five-star level of Zhuge Hell’s Èyun Spicy Chicken, and he succeeded. The Wudang Sect’s momentum seems to be skyrocketing.’
It was currently being exported back to each dimension. It was also being sold as a test in the Maze: New World to a thunderous response. Some who ate the five-starred spicy level even died, so their avatars were reset. It was gaining popularity, but Jin-woo didn’t want to look at it. The scene of them toying with the Blood Wind Squad could not be erased from his thoughts.
Jin-woo was enjoying a moment of peace in Elonti. There was no need to pay much attention to Jin-hu because the General Manager was directly overseeing operations there.
The first words Elon and Ellie spoke were neither father nor mother, but uncle. It took a while for Ella and Lee Min-woo to recover. Elon and Ellie were great troublemakers, and as they began to take control over themselves, Elonti had no time to sleep. The elves were always in a state of emergency to find Elon and Ellie wandering around.
Elonti’s only vacation was when Jin-woo visited. He picked the two up and glanced up to the sky.
He threw them with all his might, and they soared high upward. It was a terrifying scene, but they wouldn’t calm down if he didn’t play with them like this. Elon and Ellie were barely satisfied when he threw them at a speed that broke the sound barrier. But, after playing for a while, they fell asleep right away, so he had time to rest.
The Great Emperor also took good care of the children. The elves watched Jin-woo with respectful eyes.
“Young Master. Are you busy?”
Yoo-na approached Jin-woo.
“The Demon Sect has moved, and the Martial Arts League has declared an emergency. It was said that the Shaolin, Wudang, and Huashan Sects were attacked. Several other factions are also suffering.”
Jin-woo could not hide his doubts about Yoo-na’s report. The Blood Wind Squad was the best force in the Demon Sect. So, since they were destroyed, he expected that the Demon Sect would hardly be able to move. How could the Huashan Sect, Wudang Sect, and Shaolin be defeated so quickly?
“Does this have anything to do with an Emperor?”
“That’s probably the case, given the scale. I should get going.”
Jin-woo wanted to save the East World from tragedy.
When he arrived in Jin-hu, he heard that the M-Dragon Association and the Nangong siblings were headed to the Martial Arts League after receiving an emergency call. Since the portal stones were already installed throughout the East World, he caught up easily. Jin-woo moved to Zhengzhou in the Henan Province.
“It’s so crowded.”
Zhengzhou was crowded with martial artists from all over. But if there were one uniting factor between them, it was that everyone looked serious. Jin-woo headed straight to the Martial Arts League, where most of the crowds were gathered. Even Zhuge Mi-xian was there with the M-Dragon Association.
Then she noticed Jin-woo. When Zhuge Mi-xian approached and greeted him, everyone around them was surprised.
“Please go inside.”
For now, Jin-woo followed Zhuge Mi-xian inside. Nangong Hui and Nangong Xiao-yan were already there. They, too, belonged to the Blue Dragon Association, so of course, they had to comply with the summons.
“What’s going on?”
“It is said that a vampire from the Demon Sect has appeared.”
“As expected of the Demon Sect. They broke the spirit of the White Path from the very beginning by turning respected masters into vampires. Things have gone this far, but it’s my unexpected defeat. The raid in Jin-hu… it was probably a diversion.”
“Yes. I’m guessing it’s the Heavenly Demon Vampire. Hah-haah…”
When Jin-woo asked, Zhuge Mi-xian nodded and began to breathe roughly.
It was only then that Jin-woo remembered what he had forgotten. He forgot to tell Maze to retrieve the body afterward. What had followed with the M-Dragon association was too shocking for him to recall that minor detail.
‘It’s because of an Emperor.’
It was Maze that made the vampire. So, as Yoo-na said, it was because of an Emperor.