The Novel's Villain - Chapter 156
46. The Great Demon’s Business (1)
A Hero Story hit the jackpot. Just like the pen name, Life-or-Death Twist, his life was turned upside down in one shot. The image of his previous work had long since disappeared, and he was now a praised and well-regarded author. There was quite a lot of money in his bank account, but Young-hoon didn’t have time to spend it. This was because he was busy writing the next manuscript at the Moon Cannery.
Jin-woo installed various artifacts to maximize Young-hoon’s ability to the limit. He mixed potions into Young-hoon’s meals to maintain his stamina and concentration, and the training to further develop his writing skill was still well underway. It was not an exaggeration to say that the General Manager, Zhuge Mi-xian and Yoo-na, had concentrated all their abilities on him.
As a result, a miraculous thing was happening. Young-hoon published 12 episodes a day on the serial website, but the quality did not deteriorate but rather increased, so readers had no choice but to like it. It had been about a month since he started the serialization, and there were already over 300 episodes. Sometimes, Young-hoon posted 20 episodes on the days he awoke new abilities.
It was reaching the point where people were saying the author was being tortured by aliens, which was technically true.
‘Your results are good.’
Jin-woo nodded as he looked over the report. It wasn’t satisfactory, but it crossed the cut-off line to implement the first plan. Jin-woo created a different JW Books platform only writers belonging to JW Books could publish on. The name of the platform was ‘World Tree.’ A website and an app that could be used with one’s smartphone were under development and rapidly approaching completion.
Jin-woo installed the app for testing and opened it.
“Oh, isn’t this great?”
Although it had not yet been officially released, the novels had already been updated. A huge World Tree appeared on his screen, its branches swaying gently. It almost felt like the real thing. Various spirits flew around and colored the screen beautifully in a harmonious display. Rather than being too much, his mind felt at ease, and his desire to read rose.
[Hello? Reader, this is your first visit!]
[If you create an account, you will receive a Spirit Egg. Answer simple questions, and you will hatch a Spirit that suits you.]
[The Spirit is an assistant who helps your reading.]
Such a message came up with a beautiful voice. The voice could be turned off, but it was so comfortable that none of the testers wanted to. When Jin-woo signed up as a member and answered the questions, the Spirit Egg hatched. His Spirit was in the form of a cute girl.
It was an artificial intelligence-based on Arorong’s AI. The users could talk to her as comfortably as they spoke to friends, and, of course, a conversation through text was also possible. Even if it was an AI assistant, it was at the level it could listen to the user’s command and run the app. However, the Spirit Assistant was so natural that it was hard to tell whether it was human or not.
Jin-woo wondered if it was okay to release it like this, but… it was troublesome to worry about, so he decided to just do it.
[This is your first visit!]
“Is there anything new published?”
[Yes! Please click the Fantasy tab!]
Jin-woo clicked the Fantasy tab.
The screen quickly approached the World Tree to reveal a massive library inside. Upon entering, a life-like Elf Librarian greeted him. It was the same artificial intelligence as the Spirit, made based on original art drawn by an Elf artisan, and it was very cute. The Elf Librarian showed the book on a display stand.
[Master and Maid Volume 15 is currently out! It’s your first visit, so we’ll give you a 60% special discount!]
[Oh, you don’t look so happy. Then I’ll give you a 75% discount!]
The Librarian was also analyzing facial expressions through the camera. The Spirit Assistant would even converse with the Librarian, and it was fun to watch. The World Tree app overall was of supremely high quality. The platform itself was a work of art.
‘Se-yeon was going wild. It’ll be fine.’
It must always be linked to the Maze for the app to work, so nothing came out when analyzing the app. Jin-woo decided to release it as is. It felt like it crossed beyond the concept of a platform, but wouldn’t it be okay to have at least one of these on Earth?
Yoo-na looked at the app and nodded.
“That’s great. I think it would be okay to release it as it is.”
“Umm, I don’t want to just release it… shouldn’t we do an event or something like that?”
“I wish there were an event like pre-registration, but it seems it will take some time. We are just now hiring people from this Earth.”
They were hiring staff for the building in Seoul. The main work would be done at the moon base, but the rest would be left to the staff. After all, there was so much to be done.
“The operating system for the smartphone was made by Oggle, right?”
“Yes, most of them are from Oggle and Pineapple.”
In Jin-woo’s world, the operating system developed by G&P was unified. But smartphones with G&P technology were essential to use the G&P operating system, so it was unsuitable for this Earth.
‘Since it’s a U.S. company…’
There was someone helpful who came to mind. Jin-woo thought he could get help from Richard, the American senator. Jin-woo immediately contacted him. As soon as he heard the ring tone, Richard answered his phone right away. Yoo-na tilted her head, wondering whom he was calling.
“How have you been?”
[Yes! Thanks to your care, I’m doing very well and staying healthy!]
“That’s good. Are you busy right now?”
[I’m not busy. I-I have a lot of free time.]
Just in time, he said that he had free time. Jin-woo used his power to summon Richard. It was much more comfortable to talk face to face than over the phone.
“I’m sorry for calling you all of a sudden.”
“D-don’t mind it. Please call me anytime!”
Richard was startled, but he quickly regained his composure. He had adapted to what was called magic through the ring. After a glorious return, he was already taking over U.S. politics. His image was especially great after he showed an overwhelming performance in the recent discussion show.
Yoo-na recognized Richard. As she researched this Earth, she came to naturally know the major political players.
“Isn’t he a U.S. Senator?”
“Ah! It’s somehow like that.”
She wasn’t even surprised anymore. Yoo-na was now perfectly adapted to Jin-woo’s journey. If she thought about it, he was the Great Emperor who ruled several dimensions, so something of this level was ordinary.
Jin-woo introduced Yoo-na to Richard. When she introduced herself as Jin-woo’s secretary, Richard treated her with care. He thought that the secretary of the Great Demon would have a considerable rank. Richard suddenly looked out the window.
They were once more on the moon. He had one experience there already, so he wasn’t surprised. But the scenery outside the window terrified him. A demon with huge wings was flying around outside.
‘The moon has become hell.’
Richard thought so. Currently, the demons were working on construction outside the base. And just in time, Lilith was visiting the base. Lilith came in her true form, and although she was very beautiful, she was an image of horror itself to Richard.
“Ah! You were in a meeting. I’m sorry for disturbing you.”
“Well, I’ll call you separately later, so enjoy some rest.”
“Yes, I understand.”
Jin-woo knew Lilith’s purpose. He heard that she came to talk about Nangong Hui, but she seemed to have become closer with Nangong Hui than he thought. Jin-woo looked at Richard, noticing his fine suit was soaked with sweat.
“No, don’t worry about me.”
Jin-woo moved to a comfortable seat.
“I am running a small business in Korea, but I’m having some problems.”
“I-I’ll do anything I can to help! About that… excuse me, but what kind of business are you in?”
“A publishing company.”
“Yes? I-I see.”
Richard gulped. Wasn’t there a saying that the pen was stronger than the sword? Books held strong power. It was clear that the Great Demon would use it to turn the Earth into hell, but Richard had already sold his soul. He didn’t have to be afraid.
Jin-woo roughly explained it to Richard.
“I want to launch an app and hold a pre-registration event, but I don’t have the infrastructure, and I lack connections. That’s why I want to ask you a favor.”
“I-I am a little close with the owners of two companies, Oggle and Pineapple.”
“Oh, that’s great.”
Richard felt relieved when Jin-woo smiled. He was barely acquainted with them, but he thought it would work out somehow if he used his ability and position. The Chairman of Oggle wasn’t in good health. Even though he spent a lot of money, he couldn’t do anything about his health. Although he had been pouring money into developing a cure, it had reached its limits. The same was true of Pineapple.
The moment he saw Jin-woo’s smile, Richard’s head turned quickly.
‘They’re not in good health… that means…!’
It was the same as his situation. The Great Demon wanted to move on to a bigger business through a small business! Richard carefully talked about their health. Jin-woo nodded after thinking for a while. In any case, it would be better if Richard and his close businessmen were alive and healthy to proceed comfortably. Besides, he couldn’t ask for help without offering something in exchange.
‘One potion will be enough.’
Jin-woo took out a potion and handed it to Richard. Richard was a competent politician, so that he would do just fine. Richard accepted the potion carefully.
“I will never let you down!”
Jin-woo was the type to pay the quality price. Richard would work hard in the future, so he wanted to take care of him.
‘There are a lot of gun accidents in the United States…’
Jin-woo thought it would be okay to give him something to protect himself. Jin-woo took out a Spirit Stone that could summon the Dark Spirit born of the Dark Elves. It couldn’t be observed with modern devices, so it could safely protect the senator. Richard stared blankly at the Spirit Stone; it looked as if the universe were contained within.
“It’s not that urgent, so take your time.”
Richard bowed his head and stepped back. Jin-woo felt better because things seemed to be going well. It would be easy to grant Young-hoon’s wish if he knew someone he could use in the United States.
Yoo-na, who was watching, also nodded.
“It will be easier to operate in the future.”
“Isn’t it good to be more comfortable?”
“Yes, that’s right. After all, there is no Frontline Group or G&P here.”
Jin-woo stood, heading to the studio below the writers’ studios. It was the place where elves, Golden Angels, and demon artisans gathered. They were currently working on webtoons and animations that would be serialized in the World Tree. They were making popular novels by JW Books into webtoons and animations. Thanks to the products using G&P technology, their work continued at a breakneck pace.
In the case of animations, there was no need to focus on CGI as they had Arorong and Haruring. In the case of voice actors, Arorong and Haruring also took their places. Young-hoon’s novel was on the priority list.
“It’ll be done by the time it’s finished.”‘
Jin-woo liked it because everything was continuing lightly. He thought these cute little things were pretty good too.
* * *
Richard was sweating and struggling every time he stood in front of Jin-woo, but that wasn’t the case in the United States. As a giant political figure, no one could look down on him. After receiving the ring from the Great Demon, he continued to thrive. He was a servant of the Great Demon. Even if the Earth burned down, his place was preserved in the corner of hell.
In the evening, Richard left Congress. John was waiting for him.
“How was it?”
“It’s so easy because they’re all just lousy.”
“Haha! Who can stand up to the Senator who is protected by the Great Demon? Even the President…”
“Hey, watch your mouth.”
John smiled and opened the car door. Normally, the bodyguard would follow, but there was no bodyguard. John and Richard moved alone by car until they arrived at a dilapidated, abandoned building in a remote area.
Richard climbed out of the car and went inside. An old man sitting in a wheelchair and a middle-aged man barely standing with a pale complexion was waiting inside. Rick Mason and Tom Branson, the owners of Oggle and Pineapple.
Normally, they would have snorted and refused even if a senator had called them, but Richard was no ordinary senator. He had no chance of recovery, but it turned out that not only had he recovered, but he was also in better health than he had ever been. They had no choice but to come when he called them on the condition of confidentiality. Rick was in a situation where he could die any day, and Tom was struggling due to the worsening disease that had plagued him since he was a youth.
“Nice to meet you.”
Richard smiled, holding an unusual cane with black jewels.
“I hope you can let the bodyguards leave.”
Rick struggled to look at the bodyguards from his wheelchair, and they went outside. Tom motioned for his own to leave next. Then, he looked at Richard.
“Did you come here without any bodyguards? You must have many enemies in Congress.”
Richard grinned. As he looked at John, he pulled out a pistol with a silencer. Rick and Tom flinched, but John aimed at Richard, not them.
“W-what are you doing?”
He pulled the trigger without giving them time to be properly surprised. A more astonishing sight unfolded after that. A black blade unfolded out of Richard’s cane and cut through the bullet. John emptied the magazine, but Richard remained unscratched. A Grim Reaper appeared behind Richard.
“Do you think I need bodyguards?”
“Oh, my God!”
Tom was so startled that he fell to the floor. When Richard reached out, the Reaper cut apart the pistol in John’s hand with their gigantic scythe. After hitting the floor twice with his cane, the monster disappeared.
Rick and Tom couldn’t say anything. The only thing they could do was to doubt their own eyes.
“Are you ready to talk?”
The two nodded.
“I was on the verge of death. But when he came to Earth, he took me as his servant. Thanks to him, I was able to receive a new life. These are my medical records.”
John brought Richard’s medical records to the two. Rick looked closely at the medical records, his hands trembling and eyes widening.
“Your physical age…”
“Yes, that’s right. Not only did I recover, but I also became considerably younger. I am so young that I have to cover it up. Haha.”
Rick’s eyes became desperate. He had already lost his lower body, and most of his upper body was paralyzed, allowing him to move only one arm. He wanted to live. He wanted to enjoy life properly. It had been a life of regret for himself and his family. The same was true of Tom. He still had too much work to do. Life was too short of dying like this.
“W-what can I do?”
“I will do anything!”
As the two began to shout, Richard nodded.
“The one I am serving is the Great Demon. He is doing business on Earth. He probably… wants this Earth. If he rules, this Earth will soon become hell.”
Rick and Tom couldn’t believe what Richard said. However, both the Grim Reaper and medical records they had just seen pointed to the truth.
“Would you like to join me? If you give your souls to him… maybe you can gain a place in hell. An eternal life! What a wonderful phrase!”
Rick and Tom fell in love with Richard’s sweet words. They could do anything for their health, even if it meant selling their soul.
“I’ll do it.”
“So will I.”
Richard smiled softly. John brought out cups made of silver and embossed with images of demons. Rick and Tom grabbed the cups greedily. Next, Richard took a potion out of his black bag. It was sparkling red, like seeing the most beautiful blood in the world.
He poured it into the silver cups. Rick and Tom couldn’t hide their expectations even though they were engulfed by fear. It was a true devil’s temptation. Rick drank first. It was hard at first to bring it to his lips, but with every sip, his body began to change.
“Uh-huh!? I-I feel it! I feel it!”
He could feel his legs again. And soon, his whole body began to gain strength. Tom gulped the potion down when he saw it. His pale skin turned red, and his vitality seemed to explode.
[Rick Mason and Tom Branson gave their souls to the Incarnation of Evil.]
[Congratulations. Rick Mason and Tom Branson have become Slaves of Greed!]
Both became Slaves of Greed. Rick moved carefully and stood in his wheelchair.
“Ha, hahaha! I can walk! I’m walking!”
Richard looked at Rick and clapped. Then, he looked at Tom.
“What do you think?”
“Great. My body feels so refreshed!”
Tom was overjoyed.
“This will no longer be necessary.”
Richard hit Rick’s wheelchair with his cane, smashing it apart.
“I have a mission for you two. This is what the Great Demon has commanded.”
Rick and Tom stopped their exultations and looked at Richard. Gulping, they waited for their first command.
Pre-registration! That was it!
However, they thought that it contained a much deeper meaning that their lowly selves could not understand.