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"D*mn it all to h.e.l.l!" (Beltreche)
Beltreche angrily roared out.
Now, it wouldn't have reacted to some pathetic little provocation.
Indeed, Beltreche was thinking of slowly torturing and killing Yi Ji-Hyuk, regardless of the level of provocation.
With a little bit more time, the beetles Beltreche had unleashed would've turned humans into undeads one by one, and eventually, the true undying army would've risen up in this world.
Beltreche was planning to drag the situation on until then, and make Yi Ji-Hyuk suffer all sorts of pain, before killing him for good.
"That's a Gate!!" (Beltreche)
What Yi Ji-Hyuk was opening up was definitely a Gate. However, not only was it not a regular transfer Gate you'd use to move from one place to another in the same dimension, but rather, that portal was actually used to travel from one dimension to another, instead!
It was a dimensional Gate!
It was quite obvious where Yi Ji-Hyuk would go if he made such a Gate: Berafe.
Indeed, Yi Ji-Hyuk was creating a Gate that led to Berafe right now.
No matter what, that had to be stopped.
Because, the current Yi Ji-Hyuk could be dealt with without a problem.
However, if he managed to return to Berafe and recovered his immortality, as well as his connection to the demon world's core, then just what would happen afterwards?
The Bringer of Apocalypse would be revived, that's what.
In other words, the Immortal Soul, the reviled and feared 99th demon king would descend upon the world once more. When that happened, Yi Ji-Hyuk would no doubt come looking for Beltreche next.
The only thing remaining after that would be…. suspended in a state of neither living or dead, Beltreche would suffer the h.e.l.lish torment over and over again.
"I can't allow that!!" (Beltreche)
This wasn't simply for his own well-being, either.
During the period of Yi Ji-Hyuk rampaging around in the demon world, just how much devastation did he cause there?
No, wait. Didn't he actually cause the balance of not just the demon world, but all of the worlds out there to nearly go out of whack??
If Beltreche wanted to prevent the situation of everything and everyone perishing together, it needed to stop Yi Ji-Hyuk from reverting back to the Bringer of Apocalypse at all costs.
"Where is that place??" (Beltreche)
Beltreche hurriedly questioned Alpha, who was quietly observing the situation from the back.
"Well, the Sonoran is a pretty big place, so…." (Alpha)
"Are you saying you don't know where he is, human?" (Beltreche)
Alpha shook his head.
"I've already told you it's in Sonoran. Wouldn't finding a group of people of that level in a desert with virtually no one living there, be a breeze to you and your abilities? Or, were the existences of demons so pathetic that I have to spoon feed you some soup having already prepared a feast for you, too?" (Alpha)
Beltreche's yellow eyes quietly glared at Alpha.
"Indeed, your words aren't wrong." (Beltreche)
"Looks like words can get through to you." (Alpha)
"Correct, human. Correct, indeed." (Beltreche)
It was then, Beltreche's fingers flicked momentarily.
Alpha writhed around in pain. The intolerable pain shooting up from his right arm shook his consciousness almost into a blackout.
He then heard the sound of something weighty fall to the floor.
Alpha gritted his teeth after seeing the strange sight of his own right arm falling to the ground after it was sliced off.
"I'm grateful for your counsel, so as a reward, I shall let you keep your life." (Beltreche)
"Doing whatever you please, aren't you?" (Alpha)
"Next time, I'll do something about that mouth of yours." (Beltreche)
Alpha shut his mouth.
"Fine, Argolas." (Beltreche)
"Yes, great demon king." (Argolas)
"Find him. Find where Yi Ji-Hyuk is right now. I shall personally go there." (Beltreche)
"But, great demon king, that is….." (Argolas)
"Do you wish to witness the advent of the Bringer of Apocalypse with your own two eyes again?!" (Beltreche)
Argolas's body still prostrating on the ground began trembling, hard. Indeed, even Argolas didn't want to see that scene, no matter what.
"Find him. I'll personally go there. It is regrettable that matters did not go according to my plan, but there's no helping it." (Beltreche)
"I understand." (Argolas)
Along with those words, Argolas walked backwards and left the chamber. After the smaller demon disappeared, Beltreche licked its face and glared at Alpha.
"The existence of humans can be rather interesting." (Beltreche)
"It's the same story for you demons, too." (Alpha)
"I enjoy dealing with those humans with a bit of determination. Whenever I get to look at their tenacity slowly erode in the face of eternal torture, I end up feeling that there is no better game than this in the entire universe." (Beltreche)
"My own tenacity won't be eroded by something like that." (Alpha)
"Sure, they all say the same thing as you. However…. Oh, human, none of those who have said that to me lasted for more than three hundred years." (Beltreche)
Alpha became speechless at the rather unimaginable time scale put forward by Beltreche.
Torturing someone for three hundred years? And this demon enjoyed that as a game? Alpha once more recognised the simple, undeniable truth that the word ‘cruelty' was synonymous with the t.i.tle of ‘demon'.
"It's pretty horrifying, indeed." (Alpha)
Beltreche chuckled joyously.
"Soon, you shall bear witness. You shall see how I rip Yi Ji-Hyuk into pieces and turn this world into mine." (Beltreche)
Alpha didn't reply to that and simply chose to quietly stare at Beltreche.
The pain from his torn arm tormented him to no end, but he was already well familiar with pain like this.
At least, to him, that was.
Yi Ji-Hyuk stared at the large Gate growing even larger in the air and spat out a groan.
Even though he was trying to lure out a demon king, to think, he'd actually open up a Gate that led to Berafe. With his own two hands, no less!
No ordinary tricks would fool a demon king's eyes, so he had no choice but to open up a real Gate.
"What a freaking waste." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
One needed to spend an inordinate amount of Mana if one wanted to open a Gate that crossed dimensions.
Sure, it wouldn't have been that much of an amount to the Bringer of Apocalypse in the past, but for the current Yi Ji-Hyuk, it was a price so hefty that it might even break his back at this rate.
Yi Ji-Hyuk looked at the shining Mana crystals below the Gate and continued to groan over and over again.
"They are just a handful of low quality Mana crystals, so why do you feel so rueful about using them?" (Affeldrichae)
"It's because you can't get them here, that's why!!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Even if you lived in a valley with water everywhere, you'd still find a drop of the early morning dew very precious when you suddenly find yourself stuck in a desert, you know?! (Yi Ji-Hyuk's inner monologue)
The artificial Mana crystals used to open up Gates recently all had been confiscated by Yi Ji-Hyuk. And the lowest quality crystals among them were being used today, but still, he felt as if his own chest was being ripped open by this.
How should he say this….
Was this similar to him taking a look at two lumps of gold, one large and one small, and then throwing the smaller one away in the rubbish bin?
Although the Gate's size was barely enough for Yi Ji-Hyuk alone to walk through, it was still a ma.s.sive undertaking to open one up like that.
"It's going to open up for real at this rate, you know?" (Affeldrichae)
Yi Ji-Hyuk's legs began shuddering in sheer nervousness.
The demon king must come.
There was no way that it wouldn't.
Demons knew better than anyone what would happen if Yi Ji-Hyuk was allowed to return to Berafe.
If the demon in question was on the level of a demon king, than that guy would be chomping at the bits, not knowing which end was up and all that.
That should be the case, but…
"Could it be that the b*stards don't know what's going on here?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
He even helpfully broadcast everything live on the airwaves, but what was he supposed to do if the idiots fail to see it?!
Yi Ji-Hyuk shifted his glare over to Christopher McLaren and got angry.
"Are you sure the broadcast is being shown live everywhere??" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"It's being shown on almost all the stations out there. The fate of this country is hanging in the balance, so you think I'd not do my job properly?!" (Christopher McLaren)
He wasn't wrong there, so….
How come those b*stards hadn't shown up yet??
It was then - Yi Ji-Hyuk's eyes caught the sight of a strange airborne creature flying closer in the far distance.
"Ho-oh?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Didn't that look suspiciously like a demon?
Yi Ji-Hyuk moistened his lips and formed a mysterious smile.
But, of course.
There was no way they wouldn't come.
If that demon king was such an idiot, I'd be the one getting disappointed here.
I've rated you lot as pretty dependable way back when, so it'd hurt my pride to admit that my evaluation was wrong, you see. (Yi Ji-Hyuk's inner monologue)
Argolas discovered Yi Ji-Hyuk and while still in the air, didn't hesitate to open up a Gate of his own. It was not impossible for the demon to confront Yi Ji-Hyuk directly, but something might go wrong during the process.
More importantly, the punishment due for Yi Ji-Hyuk could only be dished out by Beltreche, not Argolas.
Yi Ji-Hyuk didn't try to stop even though he could see the Gate opening up. It was rather obvious that he only cared about the demon king showing up here, and not some measly little punk like Argolas.
The airborne Gate trembled hard, and then, a pitch-black shadow jumped out from it to land hard on the ground.
The large creature that fell straight from the air slowly raised its head up and glared at Yi Ji-Hyuk.
He looked at the creature and waved his hand around as if he was happy to see it.
"Hey, man. Long time no see. Now lemme see, you were…." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Beltreche smirked at Yi Ji-Hyuk greeting him oh-so nonchalantly.
What an unchanging b*stard he was, indeed.
"I'm the eighty-second." (Beltreche)
"Oh, right. That's right, you were. And your name was….." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"My bad, my bad. My memories aren't that reliable, you see. But then again, you do have a pretty unique face, so I still do remember you, though. Cut me some slack on this one, okay?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Beltreche cackled ominous as it heard Yi Ji-Hyuk's joking tone.
Both the demon king's irritation and delight were roused greatly from the fact that Yi Ji-Hyuk's personality hadn't changed, even though he had lost all of his powers now.
It initially felt irritated because the now-weak being dared to display leisure in front of the mighty demon king, but that feeling soon turned into delight.
Of course, it should be so.
That man should never change.
After all, it wouldn't be all that amusing to see the so-called 99th demon king grovel on the ground with tears streaming down his face while begging for his life, now would it?
"So, how should I call this situation?" (Beltreche)
Beltreche licked its face.
"Euh, can't you like, not do that? Seriously man, you dang reptiles are all the same!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk spat out in disgust and slightly turned his head towards Affeldrichae.
She was triggered immediately and shouted out.
"I told you, I'm not a reptile! I'm a Dragon!" (Affeldrichae)
"Reptiles are a part of the Dragon family, probably. I mean, your ancestors are still all frogs, no?!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"Dragons' ancestors are Dragons!!" (Affeldrichae)
"I guess you need to study a bit more about evolution." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"That's only for this world, you know?!" (Affeldrichae)
Beltreche observed that exchange for a moment, before smirking softly.
"As I thought…. I wondered if you had something to rely on, but it was the Lord? It has been a while, oh Lord of all Dragons. Now, let's see. Has it been around three thousand years since our last encounter?" (Beltreche)
Affeldrichae primly replied.
"I'm not at all happy to see you, though." (Affeldrichae)
"Too bad, because I am pleased to see you." (Beltreche)
Beltreche's yellow vertical slits for eyes did a once over of Affeldrichae.
"However, you are no longer the Lord, it seems." (Beltreche)
"A powerless human form of a Dragon has no right to call itself the Lord. Right, you can simply refer to me as Affeldrichae."
"Affeldrichae, is it…." (Beltreche)
Beltreche continued to cackle.
"So, you felt confident by believing in something like her, dear ninety-ninth demon king?" (Beltreche)
"What was that?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk snorted derisively.
"How pitiful. Where did all your magnificent powers disappear to? Where did your radiance that sliced apart the skies of the demon world disappear to? Now that I get to crush you under my foot, rather than joy, I feel pity, instead. Indeed, even though I hate the Bringer of Apocalypse with all my being, it is still too pitiful to see that once-mighty being eke out a living as such a weakling! And to think, the being that managed to bring tears to a demon king is none other than another demon king - now isn't this certainly a tragic comedy?" (Beltreche)
Yi Ji-Hyuk dug his ear ca.n.a.ls and lightly blew away the resulting matter. And then, replied with a pout.
"Are you finished?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Beltreche guffawed grandly.
"You have not changed. Not one bit. However, you must be aware by now that you have nothing but useless bravado, don't you?" (Beltreche)
"Since when did demon kings become this chatty, I wonder? Huh, the so-called demon kings must be fighting for their territories by flapping their gums in the demon world nowadays, I guess. What a shame. If I was still stuck there, I'd probably have become the demon emperor by now!" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Beltreche stopped laughing and quietly glared at Yi Ji-Hyuk.
After a short bout of heavy, oppressive silence, Beltreche slowly opened its mouth.
"What could you be believing in so much that you're this confident, oh the sh.e.l.l of the 99th demon king?" (Beltreche)
"You asking me why I'm feeling so confident?" (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Yi Ji-Hyuk spat out a disbelieving huh and slowly took a step forward.
"You yap on and on as if you knew me well, but I guess you were clueless, after all." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
"Sure, me of now and me of the past aren't the same guy. But, here's the thing. If there's one thing that's the same, then….." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
There could only be one thing.
"Even after all this time, the only thing that I believe in is myself, you dumb lizard b*stard." (Yi Ji-Hyuk)
Jet-black Mana began oozing out of Yi Ji-Hyuk's body.
< 165.="" you're="" still="" not="" good="" with="" lying="" -5=""> Fin.