Chapter 35 - If you want to live, think (1)

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Fortunately, Seol-Hwi didn’t have to worry about what would happen if there was no evidence.

“It’s on his body.”

“Hmm.” The Earth Demon was the first to read the paper, then handed it off to the Demon Lord. Both of their expressions darkened.

What’s on there? Seol-Hwi had handed it over too fast to read it. Evidently the Fang Spirit was also curious, because she snuck over to the Demon Lord to read it as well.

Then the End Demon spoke up for the first time.

“He’s weird. The way the spy revealed himself, the way this man thinks they wanted to prevent him from getting to the island. More importantly, a third-grade warrior went up against a disciple’s escort.” He shot Seol-Hwi a look. “Isn’t it funny that a spy got taken down by a guy who was going to take the martial arts test?”

Seol-Hwi’s heart froze under the End Demon’s killing intent. It was like nothing he’d ever felt before.

<Third Reward: Seol-Hwi’s health and internal energy are increased to 100,000.>

Ding! Seol-Hwi’s body was flooded with power.

[Status]
Seol-Hwi
[Flying Squad Leader]
Health: 100,000/100,000
Internal Energy: 100,000/100,000
Combat Power: 390,000(↑300,000)
[Martial Arts]
<White Light Demonic Martial Arts> Basic (↑Intermediate)
<Fiery Bare-Handed Demonic Martial Arts> Basic (↑Intermediate)
<Peak Flourishing Demonic Martial Arts> Basic (↑Intermediate)
[Mind-Reading]
<Passive Skill> Basic (↑Intermediate)
<Four Peaks Demonic Martial Arts can now be learned.>
[Martial Arts]
<White Light Demonic Martial Arts> Intermediate
<Fiery Bare-Handed Demonic Martial Arts> Intermediate
<Peak Flourishing Demonic Martial Arts> Intermediate
<Four Peaks Demonic Martial Arts (Wind)> (New)
◆ Four Peaks Demonic Martial Arts Skill Guide ◆
Wind God: → N(Neutral) ↓ ↘, A <4.5 Speed>

Woow! Seol-Hwi almost screamed out loud. His health and internal energy had soared like crazy, and his dantian was as wide as the sea.

That was fine, but…

[Warning! The End Demon discovered a weakness in Seol-Hwi. How would you like to respond?]
▶ Counterattack
▷ Defend
▷ Run Away

Seol-Hwi felt his blood run cold.

He’s insane! Why? Why did he suddenly decide to attack him? No matter how strong he was, he couldn’t possibly pose a threat to a disciple of the Heavenly Demon. Even with his upgraded passive skill, he still couldn’t read their abilities.

I can’t die like this.

▶ Run Away

Seol-Hwi hesitated, debating which of the White Light Demonic Martial Arts he should use to get away.

Please! Seol-Hwi twisted his body as fast as he could.

“Arrrgh!” His right shoulder burned as he fell back.

Did I dodge it? He saw the End Demon’s sword headed for his chest, but that wasn’t where he felt the pain.

No. Seol-Hwi touched the wound. The armor saved me. The Wisdom War Clothes, made from dense iron scales and tightly woven silver thread, had deflected the blade. Of course, increasing his internal energy to 100,000 and his combat power to close to 400,000 was a huge help.

“Seems like he can still move.” The End Demon hefted his sword and slowly approached.

I can’t move my limbs!

At the peak stage, the End Demon was able to use the chaotic energy in Seol-Hwi’s body to bind him with just a look.

However, the End Demon paused. The Demon Lord was offering him the paper. He gave it a short glance and then turned to look at the Earth Demon.

The Earth Demon did nothing, not even look at him.

“Tch, tch…” The End Demon frowned and turned back. Fortunately, he wasn’t coming closer to Seol-Hwi, though the fear of being sliced in half still hung over him. Instead, the Earth Demon’s sword was pointed at Goeun—he’d been planning to kill both from the start.

“You’ve got an interesting minion.” The Demon Lord patted the Earth Demon’s shoulder and walked away.

“Ahem.” The Fang Spirit stared at Seol-Hwi, then she, too, left with a grim smile.

All because of what’s written on that paper… Did it involve the End Demon? What could have possibly made the disciples react like that?

Surprisingly, the Earth Demon didn’t say anything except “Follow me.”

That was good in Seol-Hwi’s books. Not dying was good.


They walked between the buildings towards the first structure Seol-Hwi had seen as he entered the palace.

Is this the disciples’ residence?

Seeing as the Earth Demon was taking him there, it was clear that he liked this place.

That aside, the fourth disciple is strong. The upgraded mind-reading skill let him check the Earth Demon’s abilities. At first, he doubted his eyes—the fourth disciple’s abilities were just that much higher than anyone else’s.

[Status]
Earth Demon
[Fourth Disciple of the Heavenly Demon]
Health: 950,000/950,000
Internal Energy: 880,000/880,000
Combat Power: 1.05 Million (+∞)

It was higher than anything he’d seen before, but not as high as he expected.

But what is that symbol?

“Everyone is here.” The Earth Demon stopped.

Something was strange, however. He didn’t even look back.

“...What is this place?” he asked carefully.

Everything about this place was weird.

“What is it?” The Earth Demon turned and smiled at him. “It’s a place to interrogate you.”

[Warning! An unidentified enemy has discovered a weakness in Seol-Hwi. How would you like to respond?]
[Warning! An unidentified enemy has discovered a weakness in Seol-Hwi. How would you like to respond?]
[Warning! An unidentified enemy has discovered a weakness in Seol-Hwi. How would you like to respond?]
[Warning! An unidentified enemy has discovered a weakness in Seol-Hwi. How would you like to respond?]

These ones, unlike normal, demanded a quick answer.

3… 2…

Seol-Hwi made a snap decision.

<You have selected Counterattack.>
<You have selected Counterattack.>

“...”

Seol-Hwi got knocked out.


He could barely open his eyes. His hands and feet couldn’t move, as expected—and the pain was excruciating.

[Cannot move body because blood points are sealed.]
[Hearing is damaged on one side.]
[Suffered 6 cuts and 32 minor injuries.]
[Body is hurt and pain will persist.]
[Status]
Seol-Hwi
[Flying Squad Leader]
Health: 10,000/100,000
Internal Energy: 30,000/100,000
Combat Power: 320,000/390,000

Seol-Hwi grunted through the pain. His stats had dropped by a lot. Like a curse.

He wanted to find the one who had done this and give him what he deserved—a wallop on the back of his head.

“You opened your eyes?”

He couldn’t see, but he could hear the voice clearly. Still, he tried to pick out things in the dim light.

“Why… Why are you doing this?”

The Earth Demon sat there with five people in masks.

“You should know better than me.”

That was a strange answer. Should he know?

“I don’t know what you mean. What do you mean, I should know?”

The Earth Demon thrust something at his face.

- ΔΗΙθγγΩ.

Seol-Hwi peered at it. It looked like a code, which, of course, Seol-Hwi couldn’t decipher.

“You pretend not to know, so I’ll tell you. The disciples of the Heavenly Demon know all the codes used by the five pavilions and nine halls. This is the code of the Heavenly Night Pavilion, which follows me.” He held up the paper. “And this means ‘punish the traitor.’”

Traitor? From the Earth Demon’s subordinates? What did he do? Wasn’t this about the Crimson Demon Palace?

“You’re pretty good at acting.”

The Earth Demon got close to Seol-Hwi’s head.

“What’s your mission? Who’s behind you?!”

“No one sent me—agh!”

He felt his bones twist as the Earth Demon infused his energy into Seol-Hwi’s shoulder. He didn’t let up for a while.

When it was over, Seol-Hwi couldn’t think. All he could hear was his own pained groans—everything else was emptiness.

“I’ll be kind enough to help you speak. When the Lord of the Supreme Pavilion killed your men, you were sent to the library. Then you gave me a map. You told me I owed you a strong favor, so I sent you to the test. But now that I look at you, you’re skilled enough to surpass even an official.”

Seol-Hwi caught the traitor, but then he turned into one. He was trying to calm down.

“So, I guess you had no intention of going to the test from the very beginning. You wanted to gain my trust to spy on me. Right?”

There must be a way! Seol-Hwi tried to memorize everything the Earth Demon was saying. I need to find… He knew that the smallest details would produce the biggest results.

He assumed that the paper was genuine. Probably. The way the disciples reacted gave it credibility.

The Earth Demon had no power. The Heavenly Night Pavilion followed him. The Earth Demon must have sensed something strange when he saw the paper—no doubt all the disciples saw it as well.

Simply put, it looked like Seol-Hwi was the spy. From their point of view, Seol-Hwi saw Goeun being killed; to the Earth Demon, he looked like he’d approached him as a spy.

So they left it to the Earth Demon to dispose of him.

“I’ll tell you.” Seol-Hwi lifted his head.

The Earth Demon looked at him distastefully, but it didn’t matter. It wouldn’t matter.

“I just need to prove I’m not a spy from the Supreme Pavilion?”

“...What do you mean?”

“I just need to prove I’m not on their side?”

The Earth Demon’s expression twisted, but he didn’t refute him.

“Can you prove it?”

“Yes.”

Seol-Hwi nodded—and prayed that it would open.

[Do you want to open the Toolbox?]

As always, it gave him the chance to escape death.

Seol-Hwi was a spy—unless he could prove otherwise. He had the evidence, something he’d gain from repeating lives. It was perfect for this situation.

Good! He wasn’t in a battle, so he could open the Toolbox.

<Are you sure you want to take out the secret book of the Four Peaks Demonic Martial Arts? >

One last move.

This was a secret that the Earth Demon would never let anyone know—and here Seol-Hwi was, handing it to him.

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