'Why don't we end it in a draw?'
Recalling what she had said in her moment of crisis, the Clown laughed.
It was because Ignet Crescentia, who tried to avoid the unfavorable situation she was put in because of them, said something that was similar to everyone else in such a situation.
But he could understand this.
And it wasn't like he wasn't interested in her words.
Unlike human conflict, which usually ended with death, the devils wanted more.
They wanted to feed off the negative emotions such as frustration, emptiness, and fear. They especially liked the darker emotions that blossomed from trouble and anguish.
That was the driving force that kept the inhabitants of Devildom alive.
He was like that two thousand years ago. Despite the fact that it was an ordinary rural estate that he could destroy by himself, he made an offer to the lord there and made him suffer greatly.
He did it because that suffering was more valuable than just reckless slaughter.
'I don't know what it will be about, but if we win the bet the paladin suggests, we will get a lot out of it.'
But the Clown shook his head.
He told the Heart Demon,
"There is no need to accept it."
A deal with the devil.
A Contract with the devil.
A bet with the devil.
It was known throughout the world that only destruction awaited at the end of it and that humans could never defeat the devil at his own game, but that wasn't entirely true. It was just close to the truth.
There was no way that people who wanted to be carried on the back of the devil because they didn't have the confidence to live their lives independently were righteous.
Taking advantage of them was easier than sitting down to eat food.
But in Ignet's case, it was different.
The Clown looked at Ignet.
Her aura was quickly running out, and her muscles and joints were screaming in exhaustion. Even if Ignet screamed out loud and had her will broken, it would be understandable, but her spirit was still shining bright.
Her eyes were a testament to this. Her eyes, which were staring right at the Heart Demon with the dignity of a King, were different from the trashy humans they normally dealt with.
All of this indicated that they should proceed cautiously.
"I don't see the need for this. This human is the hope for the future of the continent. Kill her and be done with this. Rip her head and limbs off and throw her into the Capital of the Holy Kingdom and the world will be filled with chaos…"
The Clown snapped his head and looked at the person who talked to him.
He saw Ignet looking at him with a sullen face and frowned as he opened his mouth.
"Hehe. I all praise you for being able to stand against a devil. But doesn't it look too easy? A Devil. A devil is a being that throws the world into chaos and plays with the hearts of the people to their whims and fancies. There is no way you can be confident that you can win by betting with such being. You are only struggling to live longer…"
"You are such a funny one. Did I offer the bet to you?"
"With that mask on, you went and hid yourself before, so why are you showing that filthy form to someone higher than you now?"
"Hid? Who? Me? Ha! What nonsense…."
"It makes no sense."
Ignet smiled and continued to speak as she looked at the Clown.
"I heard it from Airn Pareira. It is no wonder that you are scared. Since you haven't defeated a human in millennia. I fully understand."
The Clown had nothing to say.
What she said wasn't wrong.
A thousand years ago, a human swordsman called Karen Winker, who he was playing with, made the Clown run away after cracking his mask. It was a time of shame and hardships for the Clown Devil.
Nothing fun had happened after that.
He was defeated by the subjugation squad that comprised of Ignet, Arin, and Ilya after that.
Despite the curse, he was chased away by the Holy Knights, and he couldn't do much damage either. It was the same when he appeared in front of Airn and made a bet which he eventually lost.
The Clown, who realized his secrets were out, trembled.
"Heart Demon. I don't know why you are listening to this trash, but it seems like nothing good will come from you listening to it. This Clown in incompetent when fighting, and only shows talent when running away with his tail between his legs… Seriously! You call yourself a devil. Don't take him seriously, as he will be the one who will throw you away sooner than anyone else if his safety gets compromised."
"But it doesn't matter. There will be no risks for me, and the Clown will live under my feet forever. In return, I will let him watch the destruction of the continent by my side."
"Why, don't you like it?"
"… I like it."
The Heart Demon, who was silent till now, opened his mouth and the Clown was shocked. It was because he didn't know how he could just meekly admit it.
Of course, there was nothing else he could do. He just nodded with a sullen look.
Seeing this, the Heart Demon turned his head to Ignet.
"What is the content of the bet?"
This was the most important thing.
Although he was ready to listen to it, the Heart Demon had no intention of accepting the bet unconditionally.
The bet had to be appealing to him.
It had to be a bet which gave him a satisfactory profit.
If he didn't like it, then he wouldn't accept. The future of the continent would then lose her life, and the human world would fall into greater chaos than ever.
Ignet's voice then entered his ears.
"Can you corrupt my heart?"
"In other words, the bet is on my existence."
The Clown groaned.
This was a bet that any devil would want to make. Because corrupting humans was their most favorite entertainment.
'Moreover, it would be even more appealing for the Heart Demon since he was born from a human heart.'
But this was an unfavorable bet. The Clown shook his head.
Ordinary people didn't know it.
No, even if they had a clear and hard mind, there was a lot of potential for corruption as long as a devil aimed for the gaps. It would be like what had happened a few years ago.
Wasn't even Yprene Slick, the great magician of Runtel, made into a demon?
'… Carl Lindsay is shaking like this now, but he wasn't like this at first.'
Perhaps, the most stable corruption was from the Heart Demon.
But that didn't mean Ignet wasn't strong.
She had the spirit of a paladin.
The heart of a hero.
And a King's majesty.
She had all the elements which made it difficult for a devil to attack.
Even during the moment, she was staring at the face of death, her heart was shining brightly like a diamond. This meant that not accepting the bet would be better. It wasn't something one could easily jump into.
Of course, the bet wasn't made yet. And he didn't want to say something which would embarrass him like before.
It was because the Heart Demon was also dissatisfied with the content of the bet, and a change had occurred in Ignet at that time.
She hadn't manifested the aura, nor had she done anything physically. At least, on the outside, she was no different than before.
But the Clown and the Heart Demon knew.
The walls that protected the heart of this human were strong.
When they were confronted with the unknown.
When they were confronted with something unpleasant.
Other than that, she had her vigilant spirit protected her from the things that tried to shake her heart.
Ignet was breaking past all of her doubts.
It was a provocation.
It was an act of ridicule and condescension at the devil, who still hesitated to accept it. And then she opened her lips.
"'Heart Demon.' It is a name which indicates that you are very confident in dealings with the human heart."
"I am also a person who has a knack for taking control of my heart. So, how does it sound?"
She proposed to compete against each other in what they were most confident about.
… this time, no one could refuse.
The devil made a twisted smile on Khun's face and nodded.
"Let's do that."
'It is something which benefits us unconditionally.'
Looking at the Heart Demon and Ignet Crescentia, the Clown Devil thought.
Ignet was clearly just a woman who was too tired. It didn't matter if the heart of the paladin who was firmly defending would win over the devil. If her walls were broken, then that meant that the devil won.
Although there would be a slight difference considering which moment the attack happened, the fall of humans was something set in stone. And it could be said that the world would end in unconditional darkness.
'Even though he took Khun before, he was still a corpse. But it is different now. Now he can fully digest the heart, mind and the body of the paladins who are noble enough to be compared to the heroes of the past…'
And with that, the fate of the nation would be decided, leading to the triumph of the devils.
"Crazy brat. That pride of yours is as high as the sky… Hehehe."
The Clown Devil insulted Ignet and laughed.
However, she didn't respond. Despite the constant ridicule which was directed at her, she didn't waver.
Slowly and surely, she watched the attacks that the Heart Demon made in an effort to grab her heart. And she did her best to not lose herself.
The place they were heading to now had to be the den, and when they arrived, she would be filled with anguish that would be incomparable to what she was feeling now.
She couldn't show any weakness.
She nodded and thought of what the Clown said.
'Am I prideful?'
She might look like that in the eyes of other people, but Ignet didn't think of herself like that.
Because she was no longer overconfident in her abilities. Because she didn't intend to fight the Demon King alone.
Today's bet wasn't a one-on-one match…
'…. It is a battle between the Heart Demon and all that I trust.'
At that moment, six beams of light shot out from the field not far away.
Embracing the faint energy of sorcery, she moved quickly, avoiding the darkness which was trying to take her down.
She thought of Anya Marta and Georg Phoebe, who were by her side till the end.
Bratt Lloyd, Judith, and Ilya Lindsay who gave her the best realizations.
And… Airn Pareira.
'With the power the continent has right now, it will not be easy to defeat this guy.'
There was a reason why Ignet chose to never use her sorcery attack on the strongest people, including Julius Hul and Ian. It wasn't like they were lacking, but because she thought that she needed to gain more power than them.
And it was possible with the four people.
She was going to believe in the future that the four people could bring and endure this as long as she could.
If only she could survive the darkness this devil brings…
Then there will be even greater hope.
Even the Heart Demon wouldn't be able to do anything if he was preoccupied with winning her over.
And from a devil's point of view, she was indeed a nice and attractive target…
"Oh? Hahah, hahahaha? How is that? Do you regret it already? It must be difficult. It has to be difficult. Betting with the devil is always difficult. You need to think before you speak. Did you even think before you speak?"
Ignet didn't answer. She was just going to do her best.
And after a while, her heart split into six and floated to the sky.
The news was delivered to six people.
Unfortunately, the information wasn't complete since she didn't have enough energy. Which was why Ilya Lindsay and the others couldn't track her down right away.
Of course, Ignet didn't want them to rush to her either. She wanted them to build more power.
But there was someone else. Someone who had a bitter relationship with the Clown, which had been around 1,000 years ago.
And even more dangerous than that, someone who sensed the appearance of the demon king who would lead this world to ruin.
The tip of the great sword in which Karen Winker's beliefs were melted in, pointed to the direction he was supposed to go.
And because of that, unlike his three friends who went to the Holy Kingdom, Airn Pareira moved to the eastern part of the continent.
We're looking for editors, and Korean and Chinese translators, you will be PAID per chapter.
You can use these forms to apply:
This translation is made by fans and while the chapters on our website are free, they cost money to produce. Thus, any form of support would be much appreciated. Also, join us on discord to get release notifications and chat about our series.
Enjoying the series? Rate or review it on Novel Updates