Chapter 77 – The King’s Request (2)
Sungchul expounded on his reply a bit more .
“Specifically, by beings now referred to as the Seven Heroes . ”
“What? Mere humans managed to overcome God’s Trial? Unbelievable . ”
“You’re free to believe as you will, but let me just say one thing . I am stronger than all of the Seven Heroes combined, and haven’t you peered into me already? You should be more than aware of what kind of commitment I have made into this . ”
“… . ”
Marakia didn’t admit nor deny anything . Instead, he simply waited for the aimless rage boiling inside of him to dissipate .
Time, as it had always done, calmed down the anger .
When the flames of rage inside of him pacified, Marakia spoke once again in a tired voice .
“How do you plan on overcoming the Calamity? You will not be enough to stop it on your own . ”
“There are five Calamities in total . I should be able to overcome three of them on my own at the very least . “
Sungchul spoke in a calm voice as he described the Calamities looming over the world currently . The First will arrive from the Demon World . According to the Scripture of Calamity, it is prophesied that the Demon King will lead a massive army of devils never before seen in history, burning everything as they make their way south .
The Second Calamity will come from the past . The return of the Seven Heroes that overcame a Calamity of the past . The Scripture of Calamity prophesied that they will return as the enemy of mortals and spread anguish, distrust, and death across the world .
The Third Calamity will come from suspicion . The survivors of the two Calamities that have swept through the continent and turned it into a wasteland will be filled with suspicion for one another and start a war which will only conclude at everyone’s demise .
The fourth Calamity and beyond are not known . Some have spoken of the advent of the Lesser Gods or the stirring of the Dragonfolk as the Calamities to follow, but nothing had been confirmed as of yet . It was because everything after the third Calamity was blank when he saw the Scripture of Calamity last . The Scripture would update itself with new information when a Calamity progresses past a certain threshold .
“Half of the Calamities on your own? What great confidence . ”
Marakia responded coldly . Sungchul continued to try to persuade him .
“It isn’t all that difficult for me . As long as the Demon King is taken care of, the rest of the Calamities will be resolved soon as well . ”
However, Sungchul’s words were woefully lacking in trying to turn Marakia’s mind . Marakia snorted in laughter as he threw out a series of questions to shoot down Sungchul’s request .
“But what about the Fourth Calamity? And what if the Fifth Calamity turns out to be something that fundamentally cannot be resolved by your strength?”
Sungchul didn’t respond further . He knew that anything he would say will come off as being desperate . Marakia simply smirked and rose from his place .
“If you have nothing more to say, I’m going to go rest . I shall turn the Human Kingdoms to dust after I recover . This insult toward the Nahak will not be put to rest otherwise . ”
Marakia spoke in a clear and bright voice as he leisurely walked deep into the dungeon . He would most likely keep his promise . He had already given up on his own life and had nothing more to lose .
Sungchul’s eyes were filled with concern .
‘Things that can’t be dealt with strength are such a hassle . ’
In his eyes, there was only one option . He had to eliminate the suicidal Marakia by his own hands before Marakia left the dungeon . It was the worst possible outcome which nullified all the effort he had put in .
As Sungchul contemplated his soon-to-be failure, someone unexpectedly stepped up .
“Hey, you birdbrain! I have something to say!”
It was Bertelgia .
Sungchul had considered restraining Bertelgia, but vague hopes kept him taking a step back from the situation .
“Can’t you hear me? Birdbrain! I said I have something to say!”
Bertelgia continued to scream, and soon Marakia stopped his steps and turned his head slightly .
“Book . Your words are too crude . Even if you have that human guarding you by your side, it might be better to know your own place . ”
Before his words were finished, a magic arrow accompanying a fearfully black feather shot toward Bertelgia . Bertelgia froze in this immediate change in circumstance, and could only watch as the magic arrow flew at her . As the arrow was about to be embedded into her body, a rough hand appeared to protect her .
Sungchul’s steely arm had protected her . The Magic Arrow managed to pierce his clothing, but when faced with his oppressive battle aura and his magic resistance, it dissipated without a trace .
“Keep talking . ”
Sungchul whispered to her in a low voice . Bertelgia shook her body once toward Sungchul and continued in a clear voice without a trace of fear .
“You say that you were insulted as a Nahak?”
Marakia turned around and nodded with his arms crossed .
“How can someone who places such importance on the pride of the species not look after his own kin?”
“What? My kin?”
“That’s right . Do you even know what kind of situation that the Nahaks like you are in right now?”
“What? What nonsense are you saying now?”
When Marakia let out a hollow laughter, Bertelgia broke free from Sungchul’s protective arm and spoke boldly .
“Then follow me, Proud King of Nahaks!”
She moved away from Sungchul and led the way down the dungeon .
‘This kid… she’s quite something . ’
Sungchul was looking at Bertelgia’s back in a new light . He quickly followed after and escorted her down the path . Marakia didn’t look convinced, but he trotted behind as though Bertelgia’s words bothered him .
Bertelgia led Marakia to none other than the city of the Cave Elves . Looking at the dirty and damp city, Marakia frowned .
“Truly a lowly dwelling for a lowly race . I shall burn down all of these insects before I part from the Underground Kingdom . ”
He said as such before letting loose a high-pitched bird cry . The clear and high-pitched cry of the Nahak rang out within the entire area causing all of the Cave Elves to tremble in terror . Some of the Cave Elves began to collapse foaming at the mouth while others started to shit themselves from where they stood .
Marakia amused himself by lifting some of the Cave Elves with psychokinesis and making them fall to their death . Bertelgia didn’t say anything as she led him to their destination .
They stood before the poultry farm . The area reeked with some unknown foul stench intermingling with the smell of rotten flesh, and Marakia tilted his head in confusion as he stood before this massive tent .
“Are you saying there is something here?”
Something entered his line of sight . It was the white feathers decorating the tent . They were smaller and much duller than his, but they were similar to the feathers he knew very well about . Marakia extended his hand and examined one of the feathers .
‘This… a Nahak’s feather…?!’
An ominous feeling crossed his mind . Marakia suddenly had a terrible thought, an unsettling premonition, as a chill crept up his spine when he looked towards the interior of the tent . Sounds of low-pitched bird cries, sounds of beaks repeatedly striking metal, and sounds of feathers ruffling could be heard . Marakia entered the tent as Sungchul and Bertelgia watched, and he finally saw it with his own eyes .
He witnessed the fallen state of the ‘proud and noble’ people of Nahak who were now being raised as livestock by what he considered an insignificant and enslaved race .
Something holding him together inside had crumbled . A horrible shriek filled with a mixture of shock and anger reverberated within the tent for quite a while before the sound of everything within the tent being torn to shreds could be heard . Soon, a different Marakia came out of the tent .
Bertelgia let out a groan .
“The spots… grew darker . ”
Was it due to the shock? Marakia’s spots grew much darker . Sungchul could smell the stench of death from his body .
“How did this happen?”, asked Marakia with a shaky voice .
“Your race fell after performing the ritual held for you, and those that remained were captured by the Cave Elves and raised as animals . ”
“Domesticated animals… I can’t believe it . ”
At that moment, a single young Nahak crawled out of the tent . He was one of the rare blue Nahaks among the countless white feathered ones . Marakia believed it to be a sort of divine revelation . He spoke as he held the young Nahak .
“As long as I live, the Nahak will rise again and reclaim the skies . ”
Marakia created an Orb of Knowledge . It was the physical manifestation of the language and the secret of the Nahaks . The orb was soon absorbed into the blue feathered chick .
The blue Nahak that had been making cries of an unintelligent animal shivered once and then looked at his surroundings with a different set of eyes . Different than before as though he had regained a bit of his intellect, but when the chick recovered its intelligence, black spots like those of poisonous mushrooms quickly spread across its body .
Sungchul muttered in a low voice .
“The moment he was freed from being a livestock and regained its intellect, the Calamity of Extinction returned without fail . ”
The young Nahak whose entire body was covered in spots let out a shrill scream before it became limp in its king’s grasp . Marakia stood dumbly as he looked at the young Nahak’s corpse with eyes filled with disbelief .
“This is too cruel . Simply too…”
He couldn’t manage to finish his words . He fell to his knees with the young Nahak’s corpse in his grip .
In this moment of silence, Bertelgia spoke in a soft voice .
“They can only preserve their race as cattle…”
Sungchul moved toward the kneeling Marakia . Marakia who felt his presence looked up . His violet eyes held a single tear .
“Is this what a Calamity is?”
Marakia asked .
“This is also a Calamity . ”
“That’s right . This is the true nature of a Calamity which exists to crush all hopes and leave behind only a cruel reality . ”
Sungchul responded .
“This is why I wish to destroy the Calamity . ”
Fal Garaz appeared in Sungchul’s hand . When he swung Fal Garaz, the cloth covering the poultry farm blew away and tens of thousands of Nahaks within were revealed . When the cloth that was obstructing their vision disappeared, the young and curious beasts began to flee from the poultry farm and spread out everywhere . The white feathered Nahaks looked towards Marakia with curiosity . These Nahaks flapped their underdeveloped wings and drew closer towards him .
Marakia did not reject their touch . Instead, he rose from where he sat and extended his hand towards Sungchul .
“I will put my faith in you, human . ”
Sungchul wordlessly extended his own hand and met Marakia’s . There was warmth no different than one between two humans in this grip .
“What is your name?”
Marakia finally asked .
“Sungchul Kim . ”
“Sungchul Kim, eh? What a strange name . However, I don’t think I’ll be able to forget it . ”
Marakia looked back toward the Nahak chicks once again before looking at Sungchul .
“I leave my people to you . ”
Sungchul nodded .
Marakia closed his eyes . His one remaining wing covered his upper body, and soon he began to glow in a bright light . He was burning the last bit of life energy that remained in him to transform the vast power contained in his body into a single object . Marakia, who was covered in blinding light, disappeared and all that remained in his place was a large egg and a marble about the size of a fist emitting black and white energies .
Sungchul first lifted the large egg . It was a black egg . When he held it, a faint smile formed on his lips .[Marakia’s Egg]
“I have heard a legend that some Nahaks can return to the form of an egg at the time of their death… like a phoenix . ”
Bertelgia spoke beside him . Sungchul carefully placed the egg inside his Soul Storage, and lifted the orb that had been beside it .[Soul Inheritance]
It was an object that held Marakia’s will . Sungchul showed his respects towards Marakia by lowering his head then gripped the hand that held the Soul Inheritance tighter . When he did, the marble shattered and the power within it was absorbed into Sungchul . Messages flooded his sight in a bright light .[Your strength is higher than the inheritance; therefore your strength did not increase . ] [Your dexterity is higher than the inheritance, therefore your dexterity did not increase . ] [Your vitality is higher than the inheritance; therefore your vitality did not increase . ]
After all the messages that he had expected had flowed past, the words Sungchul was waiting for appeared .[You will inherit the magic power within the inheritance . ] [You will inherit the intuition within the inheritance . ]
When the inheritance ceremony was complete, Sungchul opened his status window . It was a status window which excluded bonus stats originating from external sources; a status screen showing only his base stats .[Status]
Strength 999+ Dexterity 853
Vitality 801 Magic Power 323
Intuition 334 Magic Resist 621
Resolve 502 Charisma 18
Magic Power and Intuition now exceeded 300 . He had broken through what was commonly called the threshold of Superhuman in a single blow . Immediately a long list of things that had suddenly become possible came to mind, but Sungchul had something he had to do first .
“Look after these Nahaks . If I can’t hear the cry of Nahaks when I return to here, it will be the day that your entire race will meet extinction . ”
Sungchul made his ultimatum in front of the Cave Elf elders . The Cave Elves had already experienced his godlike strength and were simply bowing their heads in agreement . Sungchul visited the poultry farm once again before he left the Underground Kingdom . In front of the poultry farm lay the remains of Marakia left behind after his death . An unwelcome guest waited for him there .
It was the Desolate Abyss, but its actions were strange . The oozy creature stood before Marakia’s remains and simply stared at it . Sungchul observed it for a while and saw no change . The creature simply stared at the ground where Marakia had disappeared like a statue . Sungchul and Bertelgia left the scene .
“Just what was that?”
When they were at the lift heading towards the surface, Bertelgia asked the obvious question in their minds .
The salty winds of the surface were blowing with force . Hair and clothes were fluttering wildly, and Bertelgia let out a short scream before hiding her body behind Sungchul .
A ray of light pierced through the darkness and fell across Sungchul’s eyes .
“Well . ”
Sungchul brushed aside his fallen hair and spoke in a calm voice .
“It might be someone like me . ”
He could hear the familiar cries of demons off in the distance .