Chapter 127. < The Demon World. (3) >
Translator: thursdays Editor: Yahiko PR: LightBrin
The Constellation Killer nodded.
“I understand the logic behind your behavior. You see that it is impossible to defeat me with your own power, so you bring in outside forces. I judged that a beginner who had just arrived on the 50th floor could not mobilize others, but…”
Even as the Constellation Killer spoke, countless meteor showers split apart the gray sky. Shaaa—! Like fireworks shot from afar, thousands of attacks stacked with tremendous magic power rained down.
“I was mistaken.”
The meteor showers rushed toward us, growing faster and faster. However, the Constellation Killer was indifferent. With a nonchalant glance, he scribbled something in his diary with the fountain pen.
“In the future, I will keep strong outside intervention in mind even when dealing with novices.”
“Frick! Run for it!”
“Are the spider bastards all on drugs?!”
The Hunters around us reacted faster than the Constellation Killer. Pop! Poof! Everywhere, teleportation scrolls were being torn. It must have been a necessity for the Hunters living on the 50th floor. The bald bartender did so too, but just before he ran away, he screamed at us.
“Hey! Constellation Killer! You’ll be responsible for the remodeling fee again, so don’t forget to write it down! You have to pay for the scroll, too!”
“I’ve completed the entry.”
The Constellation Killer closed his notebook.
“As promised, I will protect you with all my might from now, stranger.”
Finally, the meteor shower was thundering down on our surroundings. Boom! Boom! The meteorites destroyed the streets like indiscriminate bombs. As the storm of destruction was about to hit the open-air tavern, a hand gripped my wrist tightly.
“Maximum vision and hearing. In exchange, I give up [1 hour] of my memories,” the Constellation Killer muttered.
Then, he moved in a shocking stunt.
The Constellation Killer avoided the barrage of meteors that filled the sky with only slight movements. One step. Two steps. Every time he pulled me and moved, a meteor struck down close by.
An indignant voice echoed from the sky.
-Hey, Constellation-crazy bastard! Why are you getting in the way? Fuck off! Our Magic Tower’s got a grudge against the guy you’re with! If you don’t want grievances with the great wand, be good and disappear!
“First, let’s try to resolve this through conversation.”
The Constellation Killer waved his right hand. As he did, the dust cloud from the meteor shower was cleared away at once. The Constellation Killer himself was fine, of course, and so was I.
-Conversation, my ass! Beat it, nutso!
“I must protect this stranger here no matter what happens. Protecting means ensuring that his body and mind remain whole. There is no room for compromise.”
The Constellation Killer took out his notebook with his left hand and read it.
“The Magic Tower is an extremely egoistic group. Being egoists, they can be negotiated with by either using their interests or harming them. I am one who can cause serious damage to you. So, negotiate.”
-That’s our sworn enemy and foe! We. Cannot. Live. Under. The. Same. Sky!
“All problems can be solved through rational dialogue.”
-Hey! Hey! Guys! Let me know if any of you know how much memory the Constellation Killer has?
In the sky, tens of thousands of wizards were riding on brooms. One of them replied.
-This is the public relations chair of the constant surveillance group, reporting in! Chief! The Constellation Killer currently has seven days of memories!
-Fuck, why does he have to have a full week?
There was the sound of teeth grinding.
-It doesn’t matter! Take them both out, including the Constellation maniac! As of now, the Magic Tower is entering a full mobilization situation! From the first finger to the fifth, all who belong to the Magic Tower must hunt the Sword Emperor and the Constellation Killer! I’ll say it again, bastards! I’m calling for a full mobilization!
“…The negotiations have fallen through,” muttered the Constellation Killer.
He flipped through the diary he held in his left hand.
“Search, Magic Tower. Additional search, battle. Detailed search, destruction method.”
The Constellation Killer scanned the diary. Then, he nodded. He took out a rubber band—a yellow rubber band that could be bought inexpensively in the outside world—and tied back his long, silver hair.
I watched the Constellation Killer slowly tie his hair right beside me. It probably only took two seconds in terms of time. However, I could tell that the action was a ritual, one of the few that he had left.
“From now on, we fight.”
Tens of thousands of wizards swarmed down from the sky.
-Ensigns, surround them!
Not all enemy troops charged forth.
-Songsters, chant from the rear!
The wizards got into battle formation in the gray sky. Their formation looked like a huge ring. Hundreds of wizards formed five rings and began to sing in unison.
A melody with six layers resounded.
Bae Hu-ryeong said.
-I haven’t seen this in a while. That’s the Others’ Heavenly Song.
‘Others’ Heavenly Song?’
-There are five spires over there. Each has a Constellation sealed in the basement. Well, I say sealed, but they’re really imprisoned. Anyway, the sealed Constellations’ power is borrowed through the song, and the effect…
[Warning. The area you are in has been designated as the target of a spell.]
[Warning. The power of your aura is halved!]
[Warning. The power of your magic is halved!]
[Warning. The power of your mental defenses is halved!]
[Warning. Any penalty you incur will be doubled.]
Bae Hu-ryeong nodded.
-Mm. The effect is pretty damn strong.
-That’s called the spider web. That’s why they’re nicknamed “spiders.”
Indeed, they were a monstrous group who had ruled the 50th floor for over a thousand years. They drastically reduced their opponents’ fighting power before the battle even began. And Bae Hu-ryeong, who had torn up this spider web 150 years ago… must have been a monster among monsters.
“—One strike. Strengthening.”
One human who could fight against that monster was in front of my eyes.
“In exchange, I give up my memories of the beauty of the sunset.”
At some point, the Constellation Killer had summoned a sword into his right hand.
The Constellation Killer lightly swung his sword like he was dancing.
The air split.
His move was more like a typhoon than the swing of a sword. A blue aura sliced the gray sky into two. One of the six rings in the sky was caught by the typhoon.
Hundreds of wizards screamed and fell. There were also wizards who lost control of their brooms and plunged to the ground. The wizards’ pointy hats fluttered like black flower petals.
[The increased penalty effect has been revoked.]
However, the Constellation Killer did not stop.
A curt voice flowed from his lips.
“Strengthening one blow. In return, I give up my memories of the sound of the rain falling from the sky.”
Once again, the sky was split asunder.
[The power of your halved aura has been recovered!]
-That madman! Nutjob! Constellation maniac!
-Break the thumb ring! Break the index finger ring! It’s hard to keep rank!
-Ch-chief! As expected, it’s too difficult to fight the Constellation Killer when he has a full week’s memories!
-That damned Constellation-maniac bastard! All right, so shut up and attack! Charge!
The wizards shot fireballs. They spat out ice. The ground on which the Constellation Killer and I stood sprouted tree roots and weeds instantaneously, grabbing hold of our ankles. The air was crawling. The jungle grew denser. Fog spread and hindered our vision. An unfathomable number of magic and wonders covered the two of us.
“Strengthening one blow.”
The Constellation Killer merely held a diary in one hand and his sword in the other.
“In exchange, I give up my memories of children’s smiles.”
All of the magic and wonders were torn down.
[The power of your halved magic has been restored!]
[The power of your halved mental defense has been restored!]
[The area-of-effect designation has been canceled.]
The fireballs were snuffed out. The ice blocks shattered. The tree roots were sliced through, the weeds rotted. A blue wind blew through the air, and the jungle disappeared. After the fog cleared, the wizards groaned.
-Break the middle finger ring! Break the ring finger ring! The pinky finger ring, too!
-All the songs have been destroyed, Chief!
-That guy’s perfectly attacking the weaknesses of each ring?!
-Fuck…! Which bitch sold all our secrets…?!
I stared blankly at the battle taking place right before my eyes.
The magicians attacked relentlessly. However, there was no use. The Constellation Killer fought by discarding his memories of the drink he just had, the streets he walked on yesterday, and other trivial memories.
A single Hunter stood against tens of thousands of wizards.
-What do you think? Isn’t his battle strategy the complete opposite of yours?
Bae Hu-ryeong snickered.
-The Constellation Killer also uses a kind of demonic art. Zombie, the Infernal Heavens Demonic Art that you used is based on your memories. The memory of hunger, the memory of solitude… The Constellation Killer is the reverse. He discards his memories.
His demonic art was the direct opposite of mine.
-Take a good look. You’ll have to fight on this level one day.
The Constellation Killer’s fighting style was composed but gruesome.
“I give up my memory of taking a walk under the gentle sky.”
One by one, he discarded his memories. The Constellation Killer’s tone was light, and his sword was simple. His fighting was calm, in that sense.
“I give up my memory of people’s screams when they are in pain.”
However, not a single memory he cast away was insignificant. The longer the fight continued, the more memories opened like boxes, one after the other. They were Pandora’s Boxes. A box with contents that evaporated after being opened.
-The Constellation Killer lives with a day to a week’s worth of memories.
Bae Hu-ryeong said.
-He rarely has memories for more than a week. It’s because that guy leaves to hunt a Constellation after a week. A week’s memories are enough for him to hunt a Constellation.
-Did he say he had amnesia? Technically, that’s wrong. That guy is fulfilling his duty at the expanse of his memories.
To be more precise, he was burning his own life.
[Shiny cannot watch her previous owner’s fight.]
My holy sword trembled.
[Shiny remembers that her former master did not fight that way in the past. She does not know when or why he became like this.]
Before I knew it, the Magic Tower’s army was utterly exhausted.
All of the circular rings had long been destroyed.
At first, they formed strict ranks, attacking and retreating from the Constellation Killer… but they seemed to have reached their limit. Their formation crumbled. Wizards attacked sporadically.
-Ch-chief. See, we can’t fight the Constellation Killer with one week’s worth of memories…
-We said that he was a shitty strong character…
-If you force more magic here, the damage will not be little!
-The surveillance team has been making noise since earlier. Chief. The Constellations have noticed the anomalies and are watching closely. There is a high probability that they’ll attack us when we are weakened.
The one who seemed to be the wizards’ chief ground her teeth. She took off her pointy hat and crumpled it in her left hand. With immense anger in her eyes, the wizard stared at me.
-Sword Emperor… Sword Emperor, Sword Emperor, Sword Emperor!!
-Ah, man. My popularity hasn’t faded even after death.
Bae Hu-ryeong shrugged his shoulders.
-Look, Zombie. This is why it’s a problem when someone’s just too awesome.
-I know well that you have made an alliance with the Constellation Killer! Expect our return! Our Magic Tower will do whatever it takes to hunt you down! This time, we end with a simple battle of power, but next time, for sure…!
The wizards looked aghast.
-Woah… Chief, that’s typically the line a loser says while fleeing…
-Shh. Don’t bother the chief now. You’ll be turned into a frog and eaten.
-I’ll definitely kick your ass!!
When the wizards scattered and their ensigns retreated, the Constellation Killer opened his mouth.
“Wait. Magic Tower Master.”
“I still have 23 hours of memory. If I use 22 hours to reinforce my strike, I can destroy one of your spires.”
-…Are you threatening us now?
“That’s right,” the Constellation Killer affirmed indifferently. “According to my records, you are someone who cares much for your dignity. Being unable to get rid of me after a total mobilization must be a painful loss. However, it is nothing compared to losing your spire. Carefully consider my threat.”
The Magic Tower Master’s face twisted like a goblin’s.
“For the next week, you are completely forbidden from attacking or scheming against me or this man. Attacking and scheming includes all acts and incidents that would cause us harm. Both indirect and direct methods are forbidden, and if a subjective judgment is required, the person who decides will be decided by us. Hence, your subjectivity is not allowed.”
-This shitty pair of swordsmen are…
“I’ll threaten you again. Accept this week-long ceasefire.”
The Constellation Killer grabbed his sword.
“If you don’t accept it, I’ll tear it down.”
The silence settled in the ruined wasteland.
-You… You two are on the Magic Tower’s hit list.
“Do you agree to the ceasefire?”
A tongue clicked. Simultaneously, a sheet of paper appeared before the Constellation Killer’s eyes. It was a glittering gold contract. The Constellation Killer read the contract with an artless eye and then pulled out his fountain pen and signed it.
“It’s been a satisfactory negotiation. Now, go back.”
-I’ll bury you along with the Sword Emperor, Constellation Killer.
“I will not forget to record your enmity.”
The wizards turned their brooms. Like a swarm of locusts in the fall, they populated the sky and slowly drove away.
Our surroundings became quiet.
Nobody was around except for the Constellation Killer and myself.
The Constellation Killer turned and looked at me.
“I have fulfilled my word to you, stranger.”
“However, by your observation, I am trapped. I won the battle, but as a result, my week-long memory has been reduced to that of a day. I’m currently weak. This weakening of my power would be your intended goal, of course.”
The Constellation Killer described his situation in a very matter-of-fact way.
It was like he was talking in third person.
Bae Hu-ryeong’s voice became much lower.
-Don’t overlook it. That guy is trying to stall for as much time as he can by talking to you. Don’t see him as a human. He’s nothing but a weapon who moves fully according to what he has written.
I gripped the Holy Sword.
Then, I stared at the Constellation Killer.
“You’re right. I will take you down.”
“Yet, I cannot attack you according to my promise. I can only defend or evade your attacks… It’s a dangerous situation. It will be particularly dangerous if you are the Sword Emperor or his reincarnation, as the Magic Tower Master said.”
“My name is Death King. I am the young master of the Demonic Sect and the spouse of the Duchess of Ivansia.”
The Constellation Killer opened his diary and wrote down some words. He must have written down my name. The Constellation Killer asked me a question while he moved his fountain pen.
“What is the Demonic Sect?”
“It is a blade that responds to all screams.”
“What is a young master?”
“It is the first sword to be swung.”
“What is Death King?”
I pulled forth my red aura.
“It is the name of the person who will kill you.”
This time, I asked a question.
“Constellation Killer. Do you have any memories of hunger?”
“It is written in the diary. However, as far as the memories in my head, I have none. I have no memory of hunger.”
“That will be your downfall.”
Then, I lunged forward.