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Book 2: Chapter 434
It was different.
Every being he met and fought in this place was different.
It wasn’t just their appearances and habits. Their fighting styles were things that Kasajin had never experienced before.
The powerful beings known as the Twelve Void Lords were no exception.
The Corpse Ghost, G.o.d’s Envoy, and Golden Eye.
And the [4th Beast] and [Deathworm] that he’d fought in the frozen lands.
The fighting styles of those guys completely exceeded the frame of battle that Kasajin was used to. That was part of the reason why he was so helpless against them. Of course, Kasajin’s pride didn’t allow him to use that fact as an excuse.
No matter how strange his opponents were, if he was stronger, he would win.
Kasajin had not experienced a single victory since coming to this world.
The same was true for this time.
His voice couldn’t come out. This was because of the screaming he’d done while being devoured by flames. Because of that, the fire went into his mouth and burned his throat. Every time he swallowed, he felt pain so severe it felt like he would lose consciousness.
Unlike his burning throat, his limbs felt cold. This was because they were encased in ice.
…Had it been about 10 seconds?
The time it took for him to become like this.
Kasajin looked at the man who had made him this way. In fact, he didn’t even know if it was a man or not. This was because their entire body was covered in a robe, and there was a mask on their face. The mask had a hideous visage of a silky old man.
In his right hand was a staff. That was the only part of his body that was exposed, but his flesh was still not visible since he was wearing black gloves.
Did this guy want to hide himself so badly?
After a while, he managed to get his voice out.
“What was that…?”
Although it was said in a hoa.r.s.e voice like a zombie, his p.r.o.nunciation was not bad.
His opponent admired in a dry voice. The voice that came out sounded like that of an old man.
“You must have suffered severe burns to your throat, but you can already speak. You didn’t regenerate by eating something… is it because of your martial arts internal force?”
It wasn’t the Warrior King Fist’s internal force.
To put it simply, it was Kasajin’s internal force.
It was his innate resilience, and it was probably not something that would be pa.s.sed down to others who learned the Warrior King fist.
Of course, it wasn’t so amazing that it could regenerate a severed limb or completely repair shattered organs. At best, the limit was set at his ability to speak after his throat was burned.
“You… are you someone I know?”
Kasajin asked another question.
“Why do you ask?”
“Because your fighting style is familiar.”
The Twelve Void Lords that were mentioned before were not like that. They all displayed fighting styles that were completely beyond the scope of Kasajin’s comprehension or expectation.
But this man didn’t.
The Beginning Wizard used ‘magic’.
Of course, that didn’t mean he was able to respond to it.
Instead, Kasajin had experienced his most devastating defeat in this fight.
“The magic you used. That’s what I know.”
At those words, the old man, the Beginning Wizard, let out a strange laugh.
“That’s just what you think. Young man.”
“Magic isn’t something that anyone should be able to understand. That is an iron rule that I follow very closely. Saying that is more ridiculous than figuring out a clown’s tricks.”
“You also use your mana to fight, but you chose a different direction. It is different, but you could be called a follower of magicology.”
He got the feeling that the Beginning Wizard is smiling behind his mask.
“So what? Are you saying you want to be friends?”
“No. But I’ll spare you.”
“…you talk as if you can kill me.”
He said this while being conscious of Pale.
The Beginning Wizard seemed to pick up on this, because he laughed and said,
“You shouldn’t rely on her too much. She certainly is strong, but this is my planet. Doesn’t that make it clear who is in charge here?”
It felt as if he could see a pair of blue eyes behind the mask.
“It hasn’t been long since you gained that position. Blue Knight. You can’t get replaced already, right? Even that man doesn’t look down on a Wizard.”
“…um. While I agree with that, that doesn’t mean it’s entirely impossible. If it wasn’t for work, I wouldn’t have even wanted to come to this place.”
Pale’s voice was as cheerful as ever, but Kasajin noticed that she was a bit reluctant to act up in front of the Beginning Wizard.
For a moment, he didn’t know what to say.
No way, was this old man stronger than Pale?
“In any case, we’ve already seen the result, so we’re leaving.”
“You don’t need to go that far. Ah, you might think of it as me poking my nose.”
The Beginning Wizard turned to Kasajin.
“But I think the thing this young man is looking for is in the west.”
* * *
Kasajin realised that this referred to the desert that he’d first arrived in.
He fought again there.
And for the first time since he entered this world, he had a fight that he felt was fun.
His fists rang as they clashed.
His entire body felt like it was on fire, and his heart pounded happily.
Kasajin didn’t hide his bright smile as he said.
“Hey, you. What’s your name?”
The elderly man in a cheongsam held his sword with a cool aura as he spoke.
“Hmm. Can I call you Great Warrior Ka?”
“What kind of bulls.h.i.t is that?”
Kasajin’s expression became absurd for a moment before he smiled again and said.
“It was fun to fight you.”
“Is that so?”
“Right, Maybe it’s because you’re holding back on me.”
“Don’t try to deny it. You could have killed me in less than ten sword swings, but you didn’t.”
Namkoong Ok didn’t deny it and instead nodded his head gently.
“It is called a guiding battle.”
“Indeed, so you were teaching me.”
Kasajin let out a cheerful laugh.
“Are you a human?”
“Do I look like something else?”
“No, sorry. I was just hoping that you were human. I’m just… happy.”
Namkoong Ok’s expression became dark.
“I didn’t know humans could become so strong. I happen to know a guy who uses the sword, and our relationship ended badly, but…”
Kasajin mumbled to end of his sentence.
“…I think one day that guy will be as strong as you are. Because you’re human.”
“We talked for a long time. I like the guiding battle, but I would also like to see your true strength.”
Namkoong Ok responded calmly.
“You might die.”
“Do I look like I’m scared?”
“…then prepare yourself.”
Plum blossoms began to bloom around Namkoong Ok.
Kasajin smiled brightly.
* * *
“Your life cord is pretty tenacious.”
“…no, if that was the case then I wouldn’t have died.”
Pale tilted her head and looked at Kasajin.
“Isn’t this the afterlife? I came here because I died.”
Pale beckoned as if telling him to continue.
“And those Twelve Void Lords are the Kings of the Underworld or something, no, um…”
The King was a different being.
He hadn’t met them personally, but he’d seen the castle from afar.
“Are they like an administrative position right below him?”
“That’s an interesting take on it.”
That was probably wrong.
Even though his guess was wrong, Kasajin still smiled.
“Then you’re saying this place isn’t the afterlife? Thanks for the information.”
“…Wow~ What was that? Did you just use a leading question?”
“Huh? Leading question? What’s that?”
“Huh. I got tricked by an idiot.”
Pale seemed to shake her head in disappointment for a while before continuing.
“We’re done here. There should only be one more Void Lord in this region, right? Personally, I don’t think uncle will be able to take that position.”
“Before that, there’s something I’d like to ask.”
“What is it?”
“Is there a way for me to return to where I was?”
Kasajin’s voice was the most serious it had ever been. While following along beside Pale, the thought of the DemiG.o.ds had always remained in a corner of his mind.
Lukas had disappeared, and he himself had died.
By his judgement, there were less than five people left on the entire continent who could threaten the DemiG.o.ds.
In the months that he’d spent chasing after Pale, he had grown radically stronger. Although most of the fights ended in a beating, his gains were tremendous. Each of those fights had a higher nutritional value than the fight with the DemiG.o.d.
If he could go back now, he felt like he could deal with two DemiG.o.ds at the same time. It went without saying how powerful he was now.
Of course, he still wasn’t sure whether he could defeat Lord or not.
“It’s not impossible.”
“There is a way?’
“It’s simple. All you need to do is be my secret friend.”
“But, you don’t deserve it.”
* * *
The last place they went to was a place in the desert called the ‘Pit’.
It was an incredibly deep and dark abyss. There, seemingly irrational demons with primitive forms roamed around, and although there were some strong ones, they weren’t much of a threat.
The Void Lord was at the very bottom of the pit.
It’s appearance was different from any being he had encountered so far.
“What is that?”
When they first encountered it, it had the appearance of a statue.
A statue that was about five metres tall.
The statue had six horns on its head, two pairs of wings on its back, and a tail of burning flames.
“The 0th Demon.”
“Didn’t your world have a concept of demons?”
He’d seen the demons that worked with Iris. Among them, the Rulers of h.e.l.l were very strong.
In that place known as the Demon World, they were the absolutes who had as much power and authority as the DemiG.o.ds.
“To put it simply, this is the source of all demons, the concept of demons itself was born here.”
“…I don’t understand what you’re saying. Is it because I’m stupid?”
Pale let out a slow laugh.
“Now. Go and put your hand on that statue and ask it. Come and fight me.”
He didn’t want to do it at first, but he obeyed.
As he was walking, a thought suddenly occurred to him. Why was he so obedient to Pale’s words?
…Up close, the demon statue looked even bigger than it really was. And when he placed his hand on it, it was cool to the touch. He hadn’t been able to tell because of how dark it was, but the statue was made of metal. Of course, he didn’t know what metal it was.
“Hey. Wake up and fight me.”
As soon as Kasajin said those rude words, the statue reacted.
The entire statue seemed to vibrate. Then, like an egg, the surface of the statue began to crack.
Tuk, tuk tuk. The shards fell, revealing the eyes.
Kasajin crossed his arms.
And the demon hit his hands just like that.
Even so, Kasajin’s body, as well as the ground beneath him, caved.
The force was unbelievable. He could feel blood rushing up his throat. It wasn’t just internal injuries.
His trained muscles, his hard bones, and the mana that he roused at that instant were all useless. That single blow was enough to break his right wrist.
He also felt pain as if his stomach had been flipped. As he flew away, he realised he’d been kicked.
Nevertheless, he still fought back. He punched and kicked the leg that kicked him.
The problem was that he couldn’t tell if his attacks had any effect.
Raising his head, he spat out a mouthful of b.l.o.o.d.y saliva.
The demon didn’t move from that place.
Instead, it simply stared at Kasajin with b.l.o.o.d.y red eyes.
He didn’t avoid its gaze.
“So you also like hand to hand combat, huh? It doesn’t seem like you have any weapons.
“Good. Then let’s have a hard fight. You b.a.s.t.a.r.d.”
Kasajin laughed violently.
* * *
The fight went on for a long time. That fact surprised him.
Until now, a fight against one of the Twelve Void Lords had never lasted this long.
‘What’s going on?’
The demon was strong. That much was clear.
It possessed a similar level of strength to the other Twelve Void that he’d found before who were like monsters.
Unlike with the other Void Lords, the fight was still going.
It was strange.
Was it going easy on him like Namkoong Ok? …He wasn’t sure. But he didn’t think so.
This was because the demon statue didn’t seem to have reason or emotion.
The fight lasted an unusually long time, but the outcome didn’t change.
He felt a jolt in his head.
That b.a.s.t.a.r.d, he couldn’t speak for anything else, but its durability didn’t make sense. He had attacked its body hundreds of times, but they never seemed to have much of an impact. It was like its entire body was made out of some kind of fantasy metal.
With that thought, Kasajin lost consciousness.
…When he opened his eyes again, he was once again greeted by Pale’s face.
“I lost again.”
Pale smiled slyly. At that moment, Kasajin wished for nothing more than to bury his fist in that face. While thinking that, he said.
“Then who’s next?”
Pale kept smilling.
“There will be no other opponent, Kasajin.”
It felt like that was the first time Pale had called his name.
“Did you feel it? It’s a perfect fit. I didn’t expect this. The [0th Demon]… has never changed before.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You came here to become the 0th Demon.”
He, would become that demon?
“Fight now. Keep fighting. Fight until you win.”
“But the qualifications to fight the demon aren’t obtained so easily. For every defeat, you will lose something. So you better defeat him as soon as possible.”
With a giggle, Pale took a few steps back.
Kasajin looked at her with a subdued gaze for a while before turning his head around.
He would lose something every time he lost a fight? There was nothing in this world that Kasajin had to protect. What more did he have to lose now?
‘I have to keep fighting?’
That was also what Kasajin wanted.
He had become even stronger in the fight just now.
And he’s also noticed his opponent’s patterns.
If he were to fight more strategically this time, he should get better results than the first battle.
Kasajin let out a breath as he looked at the demon.
The demon, who had been standing there the whole time, started running. The way it only moved as it approached him reminded him of a combat golem.
Of course, its momentum was much greater when compared to a golem.
With every step it took, the ground shook. Was it planning to go on the offensive from the start? He couldn’t win a straight up battle. So firstly, he would need to focus on defence and aim for any openings.
Then, he took a defensive stance which was rare in the Warrior King Fist-
At that moment, his head went blank.
What was that-
He felt a shock before he could even think. He had been kicked in the ribs. He had been kicked by a foot that was as big as his torso, so he had no choice but to be sent flying like a piece of paper.
He felt confused for a moment.
The Warrior King Fist’s defensive stance… He was sure he’d made something like that. Him personally. It was a skill that was definitely appropriate in this moment.
‘This isn’t the time. You moron.’
No matter how stupid he was, how could he forget something like that in this situation?
He clenched his teeth.
He didn’t have time to think about it. The 0th Demon was approaching again.
Then, he needed to attack first.
Mana condensed on his fist.
Warrior King Fist, Secret Skill, Beast Fang.
The extremely condensed mana took the shape of a fang.
In this state, it would be possible to damage or even destroy his opponent’s body with just the swing of a fist. The physical burden of this attack was great, but he couldn’t back down now.
Kasajin ran towards the demon. But as he did so, he noticed something strange.
It took a stance just before his fist hit it.
Kasajin’s expression hardened.
The ground shook heavily at the collision. Pale, who was a short distance away, smiled even wider.
Kasajin’s face was stiff.
The stance the demon had just taken.
Without a doubt.
It was the one Kasajin had been trying to use.
[Warrior King Fist.]
The demon opened its mouth for the first time.
And a smirk stretched across its face as it looked at Kasajin.
(TL: What a long chapter.)