Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
While observing the champion examining the water tank, from afar, the young demon placed his long, thin, black fingers on its chest. Its heart thumped, and fear and apprehension clouded its mind. Never before had the demon felt anything like it. The word had been that the Black Slaughterer was dead. Yet, there he was, alive and well, roaming about the dungeon.
'If that really is the Black Slaughterer, I won't stand a chance fighting him head on,' the young demon thought. Should it choose to do so, the demon was bound to meet the same fate as Heckel, whose dungeon had disappeared recently.
'I have to leave a trace. I have to let others know that the Black Slaughterer is still alive.'
Flapping its wings, the young demon made its way to a portal, which was floating in midair like a black hole. After carving a short message on a stone tablet with its razor-sharp claw, the demon tossed the stone into the portal. Then, remembering that the slaughterer was with another human, the demon looked in the direction of the slaughterer. At which point, an idea sprouted in the young demon's mind.
'Of course! The human! I'll snatch him and torture him until he spills everything there is to know about the Black Slaughterer!'
If death was inevitable, the young demon wanted it to be a meaningful one that would bring glory to the Demonic Realm. Then, with its eyes gleaming bright red, the demon soared up to the sky at an incredible speed.
Standing in front of the giant water tank, Min Sung tapped on the glass surface with his Orichalcon Dagger. Despite having released a tremendous amount of energy through his dagger, there was not a single scratch on the tank. No matter how carefully and thoroughly he examined the tank, there was nothing notable about it. No switch, valve, or device of any kind. Then, while he was examining the tank, what sounded like a gust of wind came out of nowhere. At which point, sensing a presence, Min Sung started moving toward the sound. At that moment, with a loud explosion, the ground split open, scattering dirt and a cloud of dust in all directions. When the dust cloud finally dissipated some time later, Ho Sung was nowhere to be found.
Finding himself in the depths of a cave, Ho Sung opened his eyes slowly.
'Where am I? What happened?'
As far as he could remember, Ho Sung had been examining the giant water tank with the champion. Then, after feeling something snatching him away, he lost conscience. Now, in a cave where he could see rivers of molten lava, was the monster that Min Sung had referred to as a young demon.
'Was I kidnapped? Did that thing just snatch me off the ground in the blink of an eye?' Ho Sung thought, feeling as though his heart was freezing. Then, bone-chilling cold wrapped around him, and his body started to shake. The young demon was staring down at Ho Sung with red, glaring eyes, and its presence was significantly more menacing than that of any monster he had come across up to that point. It felt as though he was suffocating from the demon's presence alone. At that moment, a flash of blue light came from the amulet around the demon's neck. Squeezing his eyes shut, Ho Sung backed away, only to hit his back against the wall. Thankfully, the light disappeared shortly after. At which point, Ho Sung opened his eyes slowly and looked at the young demon, who came toward him unhurriedly, locking eyes with him.
"What's your name?" the demon asked.
Standing nose-to-nose with the pair of burning red eyes, Ho Sung felt as though his stomach was twisting.
"H-H-Ho Sung Lee," Ho Sung replied, fearing for his life. On the other hand, he was fascinated by the fact that the demon was speaking to him in Korean. Then, noticing that the voice sounded like it was resonating within his ears, he realized that the phenomenon could be the work of the amulet on the demon's neck.
"Tell me everything you know about the Black Slaughterer," the demon said. Swallowing nervously, Ho Sung asked, "The Black Slaughterer?"
"Yes. The man you were with."
Hearing that, Ho Sung realized why the demon had kidnapped and brought him into the depths of the cave.
"Should you try anything, I will skin you alive."
"Ah! Huff! Huff!" Ho Sung let out, breathing rapidly while shaking uncontrollably. Being over level 500 seemed to be of little help in the situation at hand, and following the champion around seemed to often mean having to act as live bait or hostage. Despite being seized with fear and feeling like he was floating in the air, Ho Sung was clear-minded.
"That's what I thought," the demon said, its quiet voice resonating through the cave. Raising its hand, out of which grew black claws as long and sharp as swords, in front of Ho Sung's face, the demon clawed across Ho Sung's chest. As the wounds opened up, blood poured out of the five claw marks.
"Huff!" Ho Sung let out, gasping for breath, his face blue.
"Aaaaaaaaaaagh!" he let out once again from the scorching pain as blood gushing out of the wounds soaked his lower belly and pants. Soon, after losing large amounts of blood, Ho Sung started to feel light-headed.
"Eugh!" he let out yet again, a look of shock washing over his face. Then, grasping his face with its hand, the demon said, "Talk. Otherwise, I'll skin your face little by little."
Clenching his teeth, Ho Sung glared fiercely at the demon, whose hand was gripping his face, and said, "I hate to break it to you, but I know jackshit. I have nothing to tell you, even if I wanted to. Tough luck, you ugly piece of shit."
Just like he had said, Ho Sung knew nearly nothing about the champion.
'If I did know something that would put Min Sung at a disadvantage, would I have said it to this demon thing?' Ho Sung asked himself, smiling bitterly.
'Who knows?' he thought. At that moment, the hand wrapped around Ho Sung's head started to crush him.
"Eughhhh!" Ho Sung let out from the excruciating pain. Grimacing, the demon said, "Don't think that I'll make this quick. Your death will be a slow and agonizing one. Who knows? I might even let you live if you tell me what you remember," its claws slowly grazing down from the top of Ho Sung's head to his face. Then, as the claws reached his forehead after leaving his scalp in a mangled, bloody mess, Ho Sung started to chuckle while trembling from the pain. Extreme stress often enabled one to overcome their fears, and at the end of fear, was hope. In this case, that hope was Min Sung Kang.
"I guess demons aren't exactly smarter than ordinary monsters."
"... What?" the demon asked, furrowing its brow.
"You all take your sweet time with your prey," Ho Sung said.
"Why do you think I screamed so loudly? Ah, there it is, the three-minute mark," Ho Sung said, his face covered by the blood flowing down from his scalp, his lips curling into a sneer.
Realizing its mistake, the demon grabbed Ho Sung by the neck in order to move to a different location. However, it was much too late. With what sounded like something cutting through the air echoing throughout the cave, the champion's dagger, which was glowing with aura, pierced through the demon's stomach and held it afloat in midair. Despite the demons' inherent healing ability, the wound started to eat away at the demon's body.
"Heugh!" the demon let out, trembling as if being electrocuted before eventually falling on its knees. In the cave lit by nothing but rivers of lava, echoed a series of even footsteps, and soon, the champion appeared behind the demon, glaring down at it with piercing, ice-cold eyes.
"I don't care to know anything else, but tell me this, why can't I break that fish tank of yours? Is that how I can clear this dungeon? By breaking it?"
Still on its knees, the demon turned its head in an unnatural and ghastly manner and looked up at the champion. Smiling painfully, it said, "I don't know how you're still alive, Black Slaughterer, but I know this: You will die here, in the land of your own kind, just as you died in the Demonic Realm."
Kneeling down to the demon's eye level unhurriedly, Min Sung smiled and said, "The fact that you're still smiling tells me that you never saw me while I was in the Demonic Realm."
At that, the demon's face hardened slightly. As the champion grabbed the demon by the neck, the demon's lips curled into a condescending smile.
"Do it. I'm not afraid of death"
At that moment, white energy started to flow out of the champion's fingertips and into the demon. Soon, the demon started to writhe in excruciating, agonizing pain. Its eyes rolled up as it foamed from its mouth. An unfathomable terror started to eat away at the demon's brain, and soon, the champion's power trapped the demon's mind into a circus of fantasy and delusion.
"Ahhh! Ahhhhhh! Ahhhhhhhh!" Choking from the tremendous pain, the young demon fell prey to the irresistible fear as it tore away at its mind. While the demon groaned in pain, its ash-colored skin started to peel away, and the muscles underneath started to burn.
"Not afraid of death, you say?" the champion said with a subtle smile on his face. The helpless demon was shedding tears like a human.
"Death means nothing," Min Sung said. At that moment, the energy flowing out of his fingertips intensified, and the demon started to writhe even more violently from the pain comparable to that of swimming in a pool of razor blades. Although demons naturally had a higher tolerance for physical pain, terror was not something that could be fought off with perseverance or something from which someone could gain immunity. What was occupying the demon's mind was hell itself, and it feeding the biggest fear existing in the creature's mind.
"S-s-s-stop. Slaughterer, I-I beg you!"
"How do I clear this dungeon?" Min Sung said, diminishing the amount of energy flowing into the demon. Looking at the champion with tear-filled eyes, the demon said, "I can't tell you that. That's my mother in that tank. Kill me. Kill me instead."
"I will break that tank sooner or later. Do you want your mother to experience the same pain that you've just experienced?" the champion said. At that point, the demon's face hardened.
"If you know who I am, death should seem like an easy way out."
Trembling, the demon vomited blood from its mouth and said, "Is that a promise?"
"If that means getting out of this place."
Then, with its eyes half-closed, the demon gave in, "There are four seals across the dungeon, one at each of the four directions. Release them, and the tank will open. Now, promise me"
"Good," Min Sung said. At that moment, an intense light emanated from the champion's hand and illuminated the cave, and the demon started to melt away in his hand.
"Aaaaaaaaaaagh!" the demon let out as it became reduced to a puddle of blood. In its place, an array of items fell to the ground, each and every one of them legendary. Flicking his dagger to get the blood off of it, the champion rose to his feet and said, "Let's go."