The Novel's Villain - Chapter 221
65. Covert Invaders (2)
The Valkyrie tried to answer Jin-woo’s question, but she couldn’t pronounce words or hear him properly, leaving him no choice but to fix her jaw with a potion. He listened to her intently afterward.
Earth’s humans possessed immense talent, a trait he was already well aware of. Even its animals were capable of evolving when imbued with mana.
That was true of Another Earth as well.
‘I understand the reason behind those so-called gods’ actions now.’
His captive claimed they forcibly awakened the humans’ talents, then turned them into their warriors.
They had been doing it consistently for 20 years now and had completely systematized it since 10 years ago. They apparently even introduced a method that used the power of gods to maximize their operations’ efficiency.
Odin allegedly ordered the number of abducted individuals to be increased recently.
“What would he need an army of awakened humans for?” He asked, but she didn’t seem to know either. Valkyries tasked to kidnap humans were among the lowest-ranked of their kind. Moreover, this was allegedly just the second time she had come to this planet after becoming a Valkyrie.
If he were to guess, it would be to prepare for war. But that begged the question of who they were at war with. Considering it had been going on for 20 years, their conflict didn’t seem like it was just a simple game.
“How do you transport the people?”
She took out a small coin made of an unknown material that didn’t seem to be metallic in nature. Odin’s face and a huge tree were engraved on it.
She later explained it was made of Yggdrasil’s bark.
With the World Tree’s power imbued in it, it became capable of transporting others between different dimensions.
Most of the capitals that appeared in fantasy settings were derived from Yggdrasil. According to Norse mythology’s vast worldview, it would be more appropriate to call it a cosmic tree.
When Jin-woo stopped asking questions, the Valkyrie looked into his eyes intently.
“Do you have anything to say?”
“May I go now? If I don’t go back soon, Odin will think something’s wrong.”
“… That’s true.”
Most of the gods he had met were far from normal, but the worst of them were the Olympians. Considering the stories revolving around Odin’s myth, it was highly possible he was no different from them.
If Jin-woo made a mistake here, the consequences could have a huge impact on Earth.
When he agreed, his detainee’s expression brightened. However, he had no intention of letting her return.
‘I’ll leave her to the Dopplo clan.’
The Dopplo clan’s transformation ability was so perfect even he had trouble distinguishing it. However, it required thorough extraction of information about their transformation target.
The process would be a little painful. Unfortunately, the Valkyrie dug her own grave.
Jin-Woo took out Triana and tapped the floor lightly with it, causing all the flames surrounding the gym building to disappear.
Perhaps because she felt immense power emanating from him, his captive’s eyes widened at the sight. She instantly recognized the identity of his weapon.
“Why do you have that godly item… No, are you the God of Evil…?”
“Has the rumors spread that far already?”
“I’m your fan!”
Jin-woo stared at her blankly. Her limbs and wings were still broken. Hence, it wouldn’t be odd for her to utter such pathetic lines to save herself in this situation. Strangely enough, however, she sounded sincere.
‘… I shouldn’t kill her.’
He felt a little relieved, knowing she was a devotee. Nevertheless, he sent her to the Demon Realm, then summoned his subordinates.
Se-yeon immediately analyzed the coin, taking no time at all to accomplish her task despite how complicated its structure seemed.
“It’s imbued with static coordinate values on one end, which probably leads back to their base. If so, then the other end’s meant for traveling outside their jurisdiction, which makes its entire system similar to the one we used before.”
“Isn’t that how we accessed the East World portal before?”
“That’s right! This one’s a bit more outdated, though. Its transfer period is only until tomorrow.”
The coins’ ability wasn’t permanent. Upon expiration, Yggdrasil’s power stored within it would disappear since it wasn’t omnipotent. It could allow spatial transference but only for a certain duration.
“Can we use it?”
“Yes. The power it contains is unusual, making it easy to detect and trace. Through it, we can prevent them from coming into our territory completely, or we can twist the coordinates a bit to make them arrive somewhere else.”
Se-yeon smiled brightly upon hearing his compliment.
“Should we build a defense system to prevent them from trespassing?”
“No, let’s not stop them. Not right now, at least.”
Jin-woo thought about it for a moment.
“Let’s direct them to the Demon Realm instead.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. Send them directly to the Dopplo clan estate.”
“Ah! That’s a great idea.”
Once the Dopplo clan had assumed the forms of Valkyries, he’d deploy them into enemy territory. After all, based on the intel he had obtained from the first Valkyrie he encountered, only they could come to Earth.
Se-yeon immediately built a defense system and applied it to all dimensions, preventing Yggdrasil’s power from reaching the realms registered in the Sanctuary, including Another Earth.
The Valkyries that attempted to enter his territory arrived at the Dopplo Clan’s land instead, allowing the demons to analyze them thoroughly. Ultimately, it also decreased the number of people missing.
Yoo-na looked at Jin-woo intently, knowing his intentions full well.
“You’re going there as well, aren’t you?”
“I have to see what we’re up against for myself. For some reason, I feel like this conflict will be a lot more interesting.”
He needed to figure out what was exactly going on. Only then could he decide what to do with the Northern World. The moment they began kidnapping his people, the outcome of this battle was already predetermined, though.
* * *
Jin-woo didn’t have to prepare anything since all he needed were already in his subspace. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say he had an entire planet stored in it.
He even had giant asteroids in it, which he found quite likable due to how shiny they were.
“I’ll be leaving now.”
“Please bring various samples on your way back! I’ve always been curious about Yggdrasil.”
Jin-woo accepted her request, almost as if he was just going for a walk.
According to Norse mythology, Yggdrasil was colossal. It shouldn’t be a problem if he cut off a small chunk of it. He decided to bring a weapon imbued with the power of the Devil for it.
He held the coin in his hand, the cosmic tree’s power spewing out of it to create a fluttering rainbow-colored portal. Glowing particles swirled within it, making it look like a galaxy.
Entering it immediately made him realize why Se-yeon labeled its system as outdated, however. It was narrow and uncomfortable, and it took quite a while for him to reach his destination. It felt more like a warp drive capable of interdimensional transportation.
If the portals Jin-woo often used were a high-class charter plane, the one he just entered was like a battered wagon running on an unpaved road.
‘I think they’re more advanced than Olympus, at least.’
They seemed to have progressed quite a bit more than the Olympians based on the system they had developed and now utilized. It took quite a while for his travel to end, but he finally saw the exit.
He immediately found gigantic trees around him upon passing through it, creating a dense forest so humongous it felt alienating. Nobody would ever mistake this place for Earth.
Looking around, he noticed the people lying on the ground.
‘There’s about a hundred of them.’
Most were in their 20s, some in their 10s, and only a few in their 30s. Regardless, all of them were ordinary human beings, though their outfits differed greatly, ranging from suits and ties to pajamas.
They appeared to have been abducted while attending to various circumstances. The only trait they had in common was that they were all healthy.
[You have arrived in Midgard of the Northern World (World of Gods).]
Jin-woo could now go here any time he wished. However, it appeared he landed on Midgard instead of Asgard, which was essentially the Norse gods’ Mt. Olympus.
“Where am I?”
The civilians began to wake up after a while and soon entered a state of panic. Jin-woo couldn’t blame them. They had been living mundanely until they woke up amid a forest of strangely gigantic trees. It was only natural for them to be confused.
“Hey, where are we?!”
“My phone’s not working!”
“This has got to be one of those pranks, right? There’s bound to be a hidden camera here somewhere. I-I have a schedule to keep! I’ll sue you all!”
Due to the differences in occupation, their responses varied. Jin-woo decided to mix in with them to observe the situation.
“Huh? Can you understand what I’m saying? I’m not even speaking English…”
“This is ridiculous.”
They had abducted people from various countries, including Korea and the United States. Even so, they could still communicate properly with each other. Jin-woo didn’t find it odd at all, but they did. That made them realize they were no longer on Earth.
“Gee, calm down! Let’s take a look at the situation first.”
A young man stopped the mass hysteria and attempted to assess the situation but soon met an impasse. All they knew was that they suddenly lost consciousness and woke up here.
‘I’m starting to get bored…’ He thought, but just as he began losing interest, a Valkyrie with white wings came down from the sky, emitting light.
“Is that an angel?”
“If so, then are we dead?”
Everyone looked at her. Landing on the ground, she stared right back at them with a deep smile beautiful enough to stun them.
[Nice to meet you, prospective warriors.]
The Valkyrie’s mouth didn’t move at all. Rather, her words rang directly in his head, allowing her to communicate with everyone clearly.
‘She’s stronger than the one that came to Earth.’
According to his Magic Eye of Information, she was a high-level Valkyrie whose power surpassed knights.
[Rejoice, for you have been deemed qualified to become the warriors of Odin, the greatest god to ever exist. From now on…]
“Stop making so much noise and take us home already!” The person standing up front shouted, and the people around him started to agree, their vigilance most likely loosened by the Valkyrie’s beauty.
Her cold gaze soon looked down on them as she smiled. Raising her hand, she pointed at him.
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Feathers flew from her wings, blew his head off, then struck the tree behind them like sharp daggers.
[Worms have no right to complain.]
The Valkyrie uttered, her smile still evident.
“S-she killed him!”
The people began to scream in fear, which Jin-woo thought was a typical development he had already seen before.
‘As expected, they’re transported to this place’s underworld, not mine.’
Jin-woo could see the soul of the dead falling down. Releasing his power, he grabbed it and moved it to his underworld.
[I come bearing gifts for you all. Please stretch your hands forward.]
Hesitantly, they did as she instructed.
“What’s going on?”
Jin-woo did as she desired, hoping to gain insight into their system.
Unfortunately, the window that appeared in front of him couldn’t display its message properly since it couldn’t access information about him. It seemed to work perfectly fine for the others, however.
He looked at someone else’s instead.
Name: Park Han-soo
Equipment: Low-cost Suit
Special Ability: Morale
‘It’s pretty decent.’
Considering it could assess a person’s stats, it was pretty powerful. Naturally, it was cruder than his Magic Eye of Information, but it could at least determine people’s conditions. Perhaps this was the system the Valkyrie he captured was talking about.
[Through that, you’ll be able to see your stats. Try your best to increase them while surviving, for the gods are watching you and wish you success. We sincerely hope you bring great results, otherwise…]
Feathers spewed out of her wings and slashed their surroundings.
Those her projectiles had slain sank to the ground.
[You’ll be mercilessly slaughtered.]
She provided no other explanation.
Spreading her wings, she soared into the sky and looked down at the people below her with contempt. She then smiled arrogantly, making her seem more like a demon than an angel.
[I’ll be back in seven days. May you turn into glorious warriors for Odin.]
Everyone panicked out of sheer fear, the only exception being the woman beside Jin-woo. Unlike the rest, she glared at the Valkyrie as if she were dealing with an old nemesis.
The Valkyrie soon flew and disappeared, allowing the people to finally sit down on the ground and relax. Most of them remained pale blue, however. Some even peed themselves.
Those injured by feathers began calling out for help. Unfortunately, just as the others tried to approach them, they heard howls echoing from the dark forest. Soon enough, red eyes appeared within the shadows.
The wolves stepped out into the clearing, baring their fangs at them as they salivated. They all seemed slightly larger than Earth’s wolves.
The canines moved closer towards the humans, who had started running away. Mercilessly, they left behind those who had been paralyzed by fear, the wounded, and the woman who remained exceptionally calm beside Jin-woo.
The wolf quickly surrounded them.
It wasn’t in-depth, but the wolves knew how to talk, which only made them all the more mythical.
“M-monster!” The man behind Jin-woo shouted, pushing an injured person towards the wolves.
The moment the wolves focused on the wounded, the man ran away from the scene.
“Sacrifice them! We need to escape!”
“They don’t have much longer anyway!”
“This way, we’ll at least be able to save ourselves.”
The uninjured reassured themselves as they used the wounded as bait.
“P-please… Save me…” A female student cried, tending to the deep cut on her leg.
The wolves stalked her slowly, but the people around her retreated away instead of stepping in to help her. As soon as they had carefully put enough distance between themselves and their hunters, they immediately rushed away from danger.
‘Well, that’s to be expected.’
Their reaction was understandable, considering how dire the situation was, but it was still a bit too inhumane. The only ones who didn’t run away were Jin-woo and the woman.
She tilted her head as she glanced at him, unable to comprehend why he was still here. She didn’t seem like she knew him.
Hearing their assailants growl, she picked up the Valkyrie’s feather that had fallen on the floor, holding the quill part of it as she stared at the incoming monster.
Jin-woo was amazed.
The Valkyrie’s feathers were extremely sharp. Its shape and size were inconvenient, but it could be used as a weapon.
The moment the wolf pounced at the wounded, the woman dashed forward and clashed against it, piercing its neck with the feather in her hand. She moved as if she had already done this more than once or twice.
Its skin was thick, but it couldn’t stop her weapon from penetrating.
“That should be enough.” She said, her tone brimming with delight.
Jin-woo looked at her information.
Name: Kim Ah-young
Title: Cronus’ Regressor (Saturn)
Equipment: [C] Valkyrie Feather
NEW: [D] The Power of Courage (Rare)
For 1 minute, the user’s strength is tripled, and her recovery speed increases.
*Ability acquisition condition: First wolf kill (reward)
She was a real regressor, not a fake one!
Jin-woo looked at her, his eyes filling up with interest. It made sense that she was calm and saw the Valkyrie as her foe.
He didn’t know how, but Cronus’ power seemed to have been involved with her.
According to the story he heard from Uranus, Cronus had a scythe that ruled time. That same weapon prevented important parts of him from recovering since it deleted their time itself.
He definitely seemed to be in the Northern World, but he didn’t expect him to be doing something interesting in more ways than one.
When Ah-young activated her skill, red energy enveloped her body. Under normal circumstances, she most likely could adeptly get rid of her opponents, but there were currently far too many of them.
“Watch out!” The injured female student cried out to her as a wolf rushed towards her from behind, its jaws wide open.
However, when Jin-woo loosened up a bit, it stopped moving. The others froze as well, peed themselves, then disappeared back into the forest. Rusty daggers and swords were left behind where their pack members died.
“Gasp, gasp… I did it… I finished the first step.”
She clenched her fists, her expression filled with joy.
‘For now…’ Jin-woo activated his power of domination. It radiated out into the forest and through the people transferred here, converting their allegiance back to him.
Unfortunately, A large barrier covered this entire region, preventing them from returning to Earth immediately. It wouldn’t be a problem for Jin-woo, but ordinary humans’ bodies wouldn’t be able to withstand the repulsive force breaking through it would generate.
‘It won’t matter that much if they die, though.’
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Once their souls had been freed from their mortal vessels, they’d be transported to Jin-woo’s underworld, thus hastening the entire procedure. After all, even if they died, they could easily be brought back to life on Earth. Naturally, it would cost him dimensional gold coins, but he planned to charge the Norse gods for the fees multiplied by ten thousand anyway.
‘On another note…’
It didn’t seem like a bad idea to get clues and information about this world from Ah-young by hanging out with her.
She interested him, anyway.