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Edited By: Sebas Tian
Mana was the root of a demon family's life.
Almost every living being that existed within the the demon world had mana and s.n.a.t.c.hing that was called Spirit Absorption.
Ordinary demons had the ability to absorb spirits as well. However, when they absorb a spirit, the effects weren't all that great.
Demon kings were the only ones that could climb up to a higher place by absorbing spirits.
If there's a big difference in mana between the king and the spirit, then they won't be able to properly absorb it, but if the spirit is stronger than them, then the king will be able to increase their power by absorbing it.
That's why they were the Demon king.
Since the Law of the Jungle applied in the demon world, they had no choice but to aim for the top.
The number of kings weren't small. When there were many, over 100 kings existed.
Just because they're a king, it didn't mean all of them were strong. Out of all of them, there were those that were weaker than ordinary demons.
But kings had potential. The reason why they're called kings is possibly because they had the potential to ascend to the throne.
Yong-Ho opened his hand. He was out of mana, but it didn't matter.
He focused on the blue mana that was on the Queen Ant's forehead. It was as big as a fist and it looked like a marble as it shined beautifully. That spirit was sucked into the palm of Yong-Ho's hand.
This was the third.
It was different from the first two. The exhilarating pleasure that he felt was the same, but he felt something else.
It was strong. It was a spirit that contained a much stronger power than the first two. When seeing just the quant.i.ty of the mana, it was almost the same as Yong-Ho's.
There was no such thing as a perfect absorption. Because of that, even after he finished absorbing it, there was no way that his mana would increase by two folds. He was sure that it was stronger than the last two that he absorbed, but the mana was rough and thick. Saying that it was similar to impurities was the best way to describe it.
Yong-Ho closed his eyes and released a groan and exclamation at the same time. As the Queen Ant's spirit was mixed into his mana, he felt something different again. He was able to detect what that was.
The quality of the spirit.
It was so different from his that the primary had to be thrown away in order to obtain a reasonable strength.
But Greed didn't allow that. It forced Yong-Ho to push to the limits. He forcefully swallowed the power of the spirit.
He felt severe pain after feeling pleasure. Yong-Ho released a painful groan and twisted his body.
But Greed didn't stop. And Yong-Ho wasn't planning on stopping either. He gritted his teeth and absorbed the spirit.
He wasn't going to miss any.
He wasn't going to throw away any.
He was going to put it all in his hand no matter what!
He breathed out and took a step back. He opened his eyes wide and looked forward.
He heard Catalina's voice beside him. The reason why he didn't fall was because she hugged Yong-Ho's body.
Instead of answering, he leaned against Catalina. He collected his breath while relying on her shoulder and chest and after a couple of minutes, he was able to hold himself up.
"I'm okay. I'm okay, Catalina."
Yong-Ho collapsed on the ground after answering her. He was so exhausted that he wanted to pa.s.s out, there was a stronger desire. Because of that, Yong-Ho gathered the small amount of mana that was recovered thanks to the spirit. He activated the Power of Evolution and looked at his stats.
[Demon of Evolution]
[Name : Chun Yong-Ho (M)]
[Race : Half Human/Half Demon]
[Cla.s.s : Demon]
[Fire Level 2 / Darkness Level 0 / Ice Level 1]
[Development Rate : 78/100]
Thanks to him absorbing the Queen Ant's spirit, his fire level increased and the mana's potential power became a bit stronger than before. However, there was a more important change than those two.
A new attribute that wasn't there before appeared. The important thing was that it was coldness.
The original attribute that Yong-Ho had was fire. It might be a gaming element, but fire and ice were opposites. But within Yong-Ho, those two elements were residing within him.
It was the ice element that it wanted to absorb so badly.
Yong-Ho's shoulders dropped and smiled. Since he barely had any mana left, the Power of Evolution naturally deactivated.
"The dungeon's daily mana production volume increased from 120 to 140."
"Because you've gotten stronger, Catalina (F), Eligor (M), and Skull's (-) various stats have increased a little bit."
"Your horn has become bigger and more beautiful!"
The Spirit of the Dungeon spoke quickly as if they were waiting for the right moment to say it.
After thanking them, he looked over at the Queen Ant's corpse and the Crazy Ant's eggs that were scattered around the room.
"It'll probably be better to destroy all the eggs. Since they're no longer under the queen's control…honestly, they're now harmful dungeon monsters."
In case the queen doesn't submit to him, there was a guideline that Eligor prepared beforehand.
Yong-Ho agreed, so he nodded without saying anything. But it was something that was briefly mentioned.
"Then, what should we do with that?"
With his eyes, Yong-Ho pointed at the Queen Ant's corpse, or more like the back of the giant ant.
Being a spirit that belonged to the dungeon, Catalina immediately understood what Yong-Ho meant. What Yong-Ho saw was the Princess Ant that was on top of the corpse.
Their bodies were bound with some sort of semi-transparent liquid.
And they weren't just unconscious. They had a blank expression, like someone that was drugged.
The reason why they remained quiet while the other princess was being eaten wasn't because they agreed to it, but it's because their body was paralyzed.
Yong-Ho looked at the Princess Ant closely.
From a distance, they looked like a little girl, but upon closer inspection, they were far from it. They were beautiful, just like the Queen Ant's main body, but the antennas on their head looked like horns and there was a sh.e.l.l-like covering on their arms, legs and skin.
If he had to compare her to a human, their external features looked like a 10 year old girl.
Seeing as how their outer appearance was different from the Crazy Ants, he was sure that the Princess Ant would become the Queen Ant.
During combat, the Queen Ant ate the Princess Ant in order to recover their mana. If the combat lasted longer, then the queen would've eaten that princess as well.
Yong-Ho didn't think too complicatedly. He thought maybe it was normal in the demon world for parents to eat their children or maybe it was their way of showing their love as the mother.
He decided to leave it as being a practical judgement.
"Is it possible to register the Princess Ant as the spirit even though they're a dungeon monster?"
The plan to get revenge on the Queen Ant was now off.
But how would the Princess Ant feel? And if the Princess Ant one day created a group of Crazy Ants under Yong-Ho's command, then wouldn't it help him in operating the dungeon?
Yong-Ho didn't know, but controlling Crazy Ants was an extremely hard task.
The Queen Ants that controlled the colony were extremely independent. They would rather die than obey someone else.
In this large demon world, there weren't that many demons that controlled Crazy Ants or dungeon monsters that were of a similar race.
However, since the Princess Ant wasn't fully grown and they don't have experience in controlling a colony, it was possible.
The Spirit of the Dungeon answered.
"The process is a lot more complicated than the salamander, but it's possible to try it."
"But you're very exhausted. You don't have enough mana to proceed with the process."
"I also don't have any mana left, even though I'm a dungeon in the House of Mammon. First, it'll be better to capture the Princess Ant and try registering it later on."
The important thing was attempting it, not the success rate.
Yong-Ho was satisfied and turned his head. He looked at Catalina, who was standing despite feeling exhausted.
Catalina answered immediately. He wasn't sure if it was because they won or because they acquired the mine, but she looked really touched. Her tail was wagging excitedly.
That was so cute to Yong-Ho that he ended up laughing and he tried to think of the right words in his head. But he couldn't think of anything. He didn't have enough energy to think of something decent. That's why, he decided to be straightforward.
'Thanks. You did well today. You're definitely the warrior of the dungeon."
"I was just doing my job."
Catalina tried to reply calmly. Besides her ears fluttering and her tail wagging, she couldn't contain the smile that was on her face.
Yong-Ho closed his eyes. He was at his limits.
"I'll leave the rest to you."
Before hearing her answer, Yong-Ho ended up lying on the ground. And just like that, he became unconscious.
Catalina briefly looked at him and looked around. She was in the room by herself, so she wasn't sure what to do and carefully approached Yong-Ho.
She was extremely close. But Yong-Ho wasn't moving.
She looked at him a little while longer and smiled. She was exhausted as well, but she gathered her remaining energy and carried Yong-Ho on her back. He was pretty heavy, but she felt good for some reason.
She heard Skull's voice at the entrance. They must've caught on to what happened after seeing the ants run away from the entrance.
Catalina instinctively placed her energy on the hands that were carrying Yong-Ho. She didn't want anyone else to take him and waited for Skull and the salamander to come down. If they wanted to take the Princess Ant and burn the eggs, then she required their help. They also needed to take back Aamon, which was pierced into the Queen Ant's body.
'The Red Lotus Demon Lance, Aamon'
It was the weapon that was also known as Mammon's right arm.
Out of the 12 spirits that belonged to Mammon, they were ranked the highest.
With one swing, it can burn the heavens and earth and evaporate the ocean.
It wasn't exactly like the legends stated, but it was still amazing. If it wasn't for Aamon, then Yong-Ho wouldn't have been able to come this far.
'No, but still.'
Yong-Ho was Aamon's owner. Yong-Ho found Aamon, and Aamon acknowledged Yong-Ho as their owner.
So there was no need to think about them separately.
The King of Greed returned just in time.
The Demon of Evolution that will help the House of Mammon rise up again.
Yong-Ho's breathing was close. His hot breath tickled her neck.
Catalina slightly pursed her lips while waiting for Skull. She tried to contain her smile again.