"Why are you swearing all of a sudden?"
Hearing the other man on the same floor swearing, the man sighed. It wasn't because the work was hard or because the bloody smell on his clothes was disgusting.
In the slums of Godara, this was the norm. If the day passed and they had their stomachs full, then they should be thankful.
However, there was something unpleasant about even such a positive thing. It was a huge building that stood tall in the center of the slum.
It was a tower built by an unknown rich man, and it was more splendid than a royal palace.
The absolute wealth that was required in creating this building… the man wouldn't be able to achieve it, even if he worked for 10,000 years!
Every time he looked up at it, all kinds of negative emotions would rush into him.
Seeing his expression, he was given another pint. However, even the man who gave him the pint couldn't help but feel envy.
Why were they here?
Well, there was no reason to be here.
Why would a man wealthy enough to even have a magical garden, swimming pool, and all sorts of things in his building live in this land filled with beggars?
"It is on purpose. That bastard is doing it on purpose. Is he trying to look down on us?"
"… be careful. What if the Guard hears us?"
The other man with a disability said it. No good would come from talking about this.
And the man nodded as he started to work. He had a gloomy face that looked like he had been buried in the ground.
And his thoughts continued.
'I want to kill him.'
He felt endless hatred and jealousy.
Such feelings flowed outside his body without his knowledge and moved to the sky and mixed with the malice of the other people in the place, and then all of it concentrated on the top floor of the tower.
To be precise, it gathered inside a beautiful glass.
"It is fine."
The individual who was using a human woman as a chair, nodded, savoring the malice that was gathering in his glass.
Another being who was watching it spoke in a displeased tone.
"Do you really think this would work?"
The presence, which was overflowing with malice, turned its gaze onto the devil.
It had eyes that couldn't be felt… because there was nothing but darkness inside the empty armor it was wearing.
It was such terrible magic that any ordinary person would lose their mind by just seeing it once, but the man still looked inside the helmet without being swayed.
The devil, which felt the displeasure oozing out from the man in front of him, also released his energy. But it wasn't always like this.
The magician who had completely directed the hatred at him, muttered.
"What do you mean?"
"Just two years ago… I thought that the devils were a different being. As a human being, no matter how much I tried to understand the devils, it was a race I couldn't comprehend."
"But looking at you I don't think that is the case. Maybe it was just a fantasy created by the 160 years of severance from evil."
The glass plate moved with a creaking sound from the devil.
And the flowing energy from the top floor spread around, and the humans who were acting like the chairs, quickly rotted and crumbled.
The magician also fell to the ground since his chair had crumbled to dust, but he didn't stop smiling.
This was fun.
The appearance of the devils that clung to power, coveted positions, and induced envy and resentment in people, very much resembled the ugly side of humans.
'Is he the only one? Or is it that humans and demons aren't that different?'
He wanted to know. Even though he was now an old man, and even though he had been stained by the devil, he was inquisitive.
It was difficult for him to restrain himself from his curiosity since it was the root of all magicians. But he wouldn't do that as he stayed here under the orders of the Demon King.
He smiled and sat.
"You're maybe right. If it was the Airn I knew, he wouldn't be able to move, but people change even in the shortest amount of time. Like me."
"Such irresponsible words…"
"It isn't that. Isn't it all dependent on us and our decisions? I took the most probable method, but it might fail too. And that is why we are waiting here."
"Huhu… stupid helmet, if you don't like it, go after him once he leaves. Neither the King nor the Clown would want to lose their power due to an accidental collision."
With those words, the magician closed his eyes and lay flat on his back.
He could still feel the energy of the devil from before, but he didn't care. Examining the face of the enemy through his minions, the demon Yprene Slick smiled faintly.
'He doesn't look that good.'
And he liked that expression very much.
It had been 2 long years, and all his interest was on Airn Pareira.
He wished pain and suffering onto him. And for Yprene Slick, the struggle of the Hero trying to choose between his personal goal and the greater cause was amazing.
'Enjoy the finest delicacies 24 hours from now.'
Joy flashed on the old magician's face. Uncontrollable anticipation and excitement built up as he thought about it. It was an unfamiliar pleasure he was feeling after almost 30 years.
An unexpected situation occurred.
The young man broke through the ground after taking down the Master of Godara with one hit.
Feeling the deep flames in Airn's eyes, Yprene Slick went stiff.
"They could only stop him for 2 minutes."
The devil said with a sneer.
He didn't like this plan from the start. Although he was of human origin, he was sitting on the top floor of this tower and receiving orders directly from the Demon King and winning the favor of the Clown. This was one of the reasons why he stayed still.
And, of course, the plan of the great one shouldn't be disrupted. That was another reason.
Crushing the human with force was enough. Feeling the fast-approaching Hero's energy, the devil pulled out his dark sword.
It was then.
"Hu, huhu, huhahahahaha!"
"Haha, huha, ha, hahahaha… kuahaha…."
"Have you lost it?"
Seeing the demon laugh, the devil mumbled.
He couldn't understand. This half-baked bastard was being trusted more than the demons by the Demon King, and that was why he would bear more responsibility for this failure.
Then why was this man laughing so happily?
… this was the limit of the Dark Knight.
He didn't know what it was like to have malice towards humans.
However, at least the terms of hatred and anger towards Airn that Yprene felt could be understood by him.
This was also why the Demon King and the Clown put Yprene on this case.
'The best results have come out!'
The demon thought as he laughed.
He wanted to harass Airn.
He wanted to put him into despair.
And the best way for that?
It was to break the will which had supported him until now. To negate the beliefs that had guided him.
And that wouldn't be easy. From one perspective, it was honestly impossible too. It was by what Airn did… i.e., letting go of him who had done disgusting things resembling the devils which gave Yprene his answer.
His goodwill towards the world.
Because it is impossible to break that… Yprene went for the next best thing.
Yprene tried to avenge himself and kept observing Airn as he crumbled under the pressure of not being able to change the world with his goodwill. He watched how it had affected the growth of the Hero who had once defeated him.
"You stand before me in a way that betrays the sword which makes you shine."
"This is a sight that the King and Clown have been waiting for. The fall of Hero… there is nothing sweeter than this to a devil. Right?"
Yprene Slick asked.
There was no need to explain further. Even he knew it.
Because of his unbelievable sensitivity to malice, he had already understood every single thought this demon had.
It was shocking. Even a being chasing after evil for thousands of years wouldn't have such emotions.
But that wasn't important.
Corrupting Hero was an even greater achievement than blocking the path of a hero.
In order to fully carry out the orders he had received, Yprene constantly released curses filled with malice.
'In this place, is the one who kills and they one who dies are all of the same nature? Of course, they are. For the people that live in Godara, whether it is deep or shallow, they are all immersed in evil.'
'But are they all bad ones which cannot be controlled? Are they all so dark as the demons that they shouldn't be given a chance?'
'I know. You know too. That it isn't right. Because you were the one who gave me a chance to live for the sake of your father. And even when the half elf was selling his own people to increase his name and influence you didn't kill him… it was all because you are the one closest to a true hero.'
Yprene's smile grew stronger.
He was sure. Airn Pareira hadn't started killing the people in the cellar because the acts of the people who were being held hostages were unforgivable. The judgment he had enacted on them didn't stem from the Hero's cause.
'You took the lives of others lightly in order to save those dear to you. You didn't act the same way as you usually do. Relying on your impatient selfishness to compromise, you backed off.'
'The beliefs you have built up.'
'They have all come down.'
The laughter of the demon resounded on the top floor in a gloomy way.
He was now so close to being a demon… to the extent that even the devil who was standing there looking at him and trembled.
Yprene was close to being truly evil.
The curse continued.
The darkness that came from his heart made the Hero suffer. It hurt even more because Airn was able to come this far holding the hands of good people.
The bad ties he had with Yprene, and the repercussions of the evil deeds that he had seen while traveling across the eastern continent accumulated, and created a link.
It made a circle that was completely different from the shape shown in the Warrior's Festival.
The devil focused on it.
The demon was pleased with this.
But the current situation was so fun that Yprene Slick overlooked something he shouldn't have.
The result of that carelessness was revealed in the next second.
A groan escaped the devil's mouth.
It couldn't be felt. Nor could it be avoided.
Its body split in half as a crescent-shaped aura and flew for him.
Seeing that, Yprene Slick thought with a sad face.
'Right! I shouldn't have given him enough time to prepare!'
The sword of that man grows stronger as time goes!
Realizing this late, Yprene took his stance. The devil also increased the magi around it and pieced back its previously cut body, and raised its sword to prepare for a counterattack.
And suddenly, Airn was right in front of the devil.
It was the moment when the dark knight opened his mouth and was looking at the shadow of the Hero covering his vision.
The devil's head was slammed down with the side of his sword as if he was using a blunt weapon. And its head shattered completely. It was now erased… unable to attach itself any longer.
Only a few fragments rolled on the ground.
And when Yprene Slick saw the eyes of Airn Pareira, which looked at him, it made him gulp.
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