Chapter 102 – Followers of Calamity (2)
“What’s your business with me?”
Sungchul spoke out abruptly while continuing to slurp down his noodles .
“I just came to see what you looked like . I was curious how the most infamous person in the world looked like . ”
Kha’nes walked up casually and sat down across from him . Sungchul did not mind her at all . He didn’t feel any hostility from her, and she would need to transform before she could do any meaningful harm to him .
Kha’nes continued to observe him from close by .
‘He looks like an average human on the outside . Even his clothes are pretty ragged . I thought the thing in his pocket was a person, but I guess her outer form is a book . His stats also… I guess he’s wearing the Deceiver’s Veil?’
She couldn’t know his exact strength, but it was clear that Sungchul was not someone to take lightly .
‘I might have to fight against the Avian King, so it might not be a good idea to waste my strength on someone of this caliber . ’
Kha’nes decided not to engage Sungchul in her mind . Sungchul continued to eat as Kha’nes watched .
Her voice could be heard in the midst of his meal .
“You don’t have to eat so fast . I didn’t come here to fight . ”
Kha’nes’ attention shifted away from Sungchul to his food .
“What kind of recipe is this? This aroma is foreign to me . ”
“It’s just normal food . ”
Sungchul gulped down the rest of his noodles and began relishing the soup with a spoon .
“Mm . ”
He judged that the taste was decent, and began to slurp down the soup from the helmet . Kha’nes who was watching this felt drool unwittingly gather in her mouth .
“Hey,” She called out to Sungchul .
When Sungchul responded curtly, Kha’nes didn’t hesitate and asked her question in a lively voice .
“Can I have a taste?”
Sungchul silently downed the rest of the soup .
“That’s going too far!”
Kha’nes pouted out of annoyance, but as she did, Sungchul held something out toward her . On closer inspection, it was some fried noodles and a glass bottle filled with an unknown powder .
“If you want some, cook it yourself . It’s not my hobby to cook ramen for women I don’t know . ”
He said as such before quietly opening up his coat . A golden gleam hidden within the coat blinded Kha’nes’ eyes . Her jaw dropped .
‘No way… that’s the Insignia of a High-class Chef?! And isn’t that a Gold Class as well?!’
It had been 300 years since she had last met a High-class Chef that managed to reach the Gold class . It was already hard enough in this world to meet a High-class Chef, not to mention one of Gold class, so to meet a chef of this caliber was something of a miracle . Kha’nes could feel her apathetic heart of a dragon beginning to pound with excitement as she looked back and forth between the instant fried noodles and the soup powder .
‘This looks like a type of military rations . But I haven’t seen this preservation method before . Taking noodles, an ingredient not usually found in preserved food, and frying it in oil to make it last longer is very innovative . ’
She broke off an end of the instant fried noodles and placed it in her mouth . She could taste the crunchiness and the flavor of oil combined with the savory flour-based noodles in her mouth .
“This is fried with bean oil?”
Kha’nes directed her comment toward Sungchul .
“That’s correct . ”
‘Impressive . ’ Sungchul thought, as he paid close attention to Kha’nes’s behavior . Kha’nes was investigating the soup powder inside the glass bottle at this moment . She dabbed an end of a finger onto the powder and made complicated expressions as she fell into deep thought while tasting it .
“Hmm, this is stock made from ground chicken bones with red pepper, garlic, ginger, among other things and made into a powder . ”
It was incredibly accurate if not for a few missing ingredients . Sungchul acknowledged that the half-dragon in front of him possessed an incredibly sensitive palate .
“Wait . ”
When Kha’nes was about to begin cooking, he added the proper amount of water into the helmet himself .
“I’ll do it . It’s not hard . ”
Everything changed as he realized the person in front of him knew proper food . It also appeared that Kha’nes knew the implications of the broach that Sungchul wore on him . Even though it was a simple dish, Sungchul did not want others to judge poorly the taste of his food .
“Oh my, how friendly . ”
Kha’nes smiled lightly with her eyes as she observed him cooking . Ramen cooking couldn’t really be improved upon, and there wasn’t much work involved . He waited for the water to boil, dropped in the noodle and soup powder, and gave it a few swirls in between . Sungchul held out the finished dish to Kha’nes after 4 minutes .
“Try it . ”
Kha’nes revealed a huge smile as she pulled out the fork from within her clothes before digging in . Firm noodles that had been properly boiled were slurped through her lips . A flash of interest passed through her lizard-like eyes .
“It’s tasty . This dish . ”
“Of course . ”
Sungchul turned his back toward her with his arms crossed . Kha’nes gulped down the entire bowl of ramen in a frenzy while carefully blowing on it .
“That was a great meal, Enemy of the World!”
Kha’nes patted her belly while expressing her gratitude . Sungchul peeked at her through the corner of his eyes, and he could see that she was extremely satisfied . He could feel his pride soaking into his heart as he turned back toward her .
“If you have no further business, I would appreciate it if you left this place . ”
“I got it . I was about to leave anyways . ”
“Aren’t you curious about my business?” Kha’nes spoke subtly while looking at his back .
‘What a talkative dragon . ’
Some dragons would not open their mouth once in a thousand years, but there are those who would blather on throughout the same thousand years . Kha’nes appeared to be of the latter type .
“In truth, I was planning on heading north . There is a root of Calamity that isn’t well known yet . ”
“A root of Calamity?”
Sungchul showed interest .
“That’s right . A new Calamity was recorded within the Scroll of Calamity before it disappeared . ”
“Is that even possible?”
“Not normally, but if humans keep trying to forcefully stop the progression of Calamity like now, there is bound to be background noise from time to time . The calamity that had appeared momentarily might have been a consequence of that”
“May I know which Calamity that was?”
Kha’nes briefly considered Sungchul’s request before she opened her mouth to speak in a serious manner that was unlike her .
“The Final King . It is a Calamity regarding the Avian King with black wings . ”
“Ah, that one . ”
Her revelation took the winds out of his sails as the Calamity had already been resolved by his own hands . Sungchul’s disappointment was soon revealed on his face . Kha’nes felt perplexed at his reaction and hastily threw out a retort .
“Eh? Why are you making that face? Aren’t you interested? It’s the Calamity of the Avian King!”
“Sorry, but it wasn’t something I wanted to hear about . It seems like I’ve taken away too much of your time, so shouldn’t get going already?”
Sungchul coldly chased her away . Kha’nes revealed several more information with a hurt expression on her face, but none of them could evoke Sungchul’s interest .
The half-dragon Kha’nes had to climb down from the hill after being treated to a bowl of ramen .
“Visit the Tower of Recluse some time . I’ll give you a good surprise if you cook some good food for me . ”
“I’ll keep that in mind . ”
He had been planning on visiting the Tower of Recluse in a day or two regardless . He wanted to see the change on the Scroll of Calamity himself after eliminating the Devil King Hesthnius .
After the noisy Kha’nes had departed, silence returned to the peak of Harupaya Ridge . Sungchul let the time pass while sitting by the fire .
It had been the fourth day since Sungchul situated himself on Harupaya Ridge . He could sense an unusual amount of Observer’s Eyes on him since very late last night . As morning approached, a group of magicians had moved to someplace not far away through Teleportation . Sungchul watched the approach of these unfamiliar magicians with an indifferent gaze in his seat .
The magicians were wary of Sungchul and approached him carefully . When they finally reached him, they showed him proper respect by speaking in a lower register .
“Lord of Heracles, I greet the Demolisher . ”
Sungchul could immediately sense that the magician had approached him with ill intentions .
“What do you want?”
He urged the magician with a voice mixed with revulsion .
“It might be more appropriate to introduce ourselves before we get down to business . We are a part of the Followers of Calamity that you detest so much . ”
The Demonic Weapon Cassandra appeared in Sungchul’s hand .
“Get lost . ”
The magicians trembled slightly at the sight of the fiery whip in Sungchul’s grip, but they pressed on despite their fears .
“We have only come here to deliver a message from a certain person . ”
“What? A certain person? Speak plainly . ”
Cassandra moved about like an angry snake and struck a nearby boulder . The entire boulder shattered at the moment of impact and rolled off the hill in pieces .
One of the magicians visibly wavered as though the tension had overwhelmed him . Among them a person who appeared to be the eldest broke the silence with his head still bowed .
“Our master, The One who Guides the Calamity, wishes to meet you personally . ”
The One who Guides the Calamity . It was a title Sungchul had never heard before, but he had heard from Elijah earlier that the Followers of Calamity now had a leader .
‘Is the person mentioned by Elijah and this guy the one and the same?’
The face of a single woman passed by Sungchul’s memories . It was the face of a blonde woman with a pale skin as white as snow and dreamlike eyes that appeared and faded like smoke .
‘Vestiare . ’
Sungchul glared at the magicians with eyes filled with hostility . The magicians didn’t dare to meet his gaze .
“Why is that woman looking to meet me?”
“W-we cannot dare to pretend that we understand that one’s intentions . We only wish to say that that one wishes to help you . We only hope that you don’t attack her on sight…”
The magician didn’t even manage to finish his thoughts when the Demonic Weapon Cassandra had split them all in half .
‘Srrrkt . ’
The halves of every corpse rolled off the hill . He felt the metallic stench of blood brush past his nose as he turned around .
“Why don’t you start revealing yourself?”
The One that Guides the Calamity was already here . A blonde woman in a white robe appeared from behind a boulder like a mirage . The Seventh Hero Vestiare .
The Calamity-to-come revealed a cruel smile as she stepped toward Sungchul .
“As expected, you have good senses . ”
Verstiare spoke with a soft smile on her face .
“Looking for an early grave?”
“You could see it that way . ”
A magical formation appeared at the tip of her finger, and a single scroll appeared . This unusual scroll had a mixture of crimson and dark coloration . The scroll lifted itself into the air and floated toward Sungchul .
“I’ve heard you have been having much difficulty getting rid of the Devil King . You will be able to rid yourself of that problem much more quickly with this . ”
Sungchul grabbed the scroll Vestiare had handed over, and when he did, information about the scroll appeared in his eyes .[Scroll of Harmegedon]
Effect: Casts the Destructive Magic ‘Harmegedon’
Note: It immediately unleashes the most powerful destructive magic, ‘Harmegedon’ .
Sungchul’s eyes twitched .
‘Harmegedon? Isn’t that an 8th-grade magic? I’ve heard of its name, but I never got to see it in person . ’
It was unprecedented territory unexplored by any School of Magic . This kind of fortune was so simply handed to Sungchul .
“One receives greater harm from magical attacks in ethereal form . This means that it’s not strictly necessary to use Harmegedon, but isn’t there nothing better to make sure the job is done right?”
Vestiare spoke in a dream-like voice . Sungchul’s hand that held the scroll trembled slightly .
“Why are you giving me this?”
Vestiare held a faint smile at Sungchul’s question .
“Because we can only step up when the Devil King falls . ”