144. Give and Take
Jamon and Ladin were gathered at the Demon King’s castle.
Their expressions were filled with worry unlike anything before.
A few days ago, the two of them noticed that the human who had crossed over from Earth engaged in combat against Belkoseu.
The results should have been either the death of one of them or the two of them putting distance between one another due to either being evenly matched or one fleeing the other.
However, as if to mock his expectations, whenever Belkoseu and the human were outputting energy to take out monsters, the magical energies he sensed were at the same location.
This meant that Belkoseu and the human were moving together.
“Yes, Demon King.”
“Their movements are very concerning.”
“I can sense the magical energies of the human and Belkoseu in the same place!”
“To think it would come down to this….”
“When Belkoseu and the human fought, you must’ve also sensed that Belkoseu’s magical energy signature was snuffed out.”
“That meant that he would have lost his life. However, due to his Authority, he regained his life. This means that even with the power of that human, he still cannot be defeated.”
“It is as you say, Demon King.”
“Confirming that he cannot kill Belkoseu, he should’ve ran. But look at the current situation. The two of them have allied with one another!”
Unable to keep his anger in check, Jamon destroyed a corner of his castle.
When Min-Cheol and Jong Ho fought against Berdan, this was the same building material that wasn’t even scratched despite all the spells they fired.
The construction material used in the demonic realm boasted sturdiness, if anything else.
However, the Demon King easily turned it to dust.
It was obvious that his destructive capabilities were far beyond that of Min-Cheol’s.
Currently, Ladin was the second highest rank in the demonic realm.
He possessed a great amount of power, but right now, he was before the Demon King.
Misspeaking a single word and the Demon King could easily take his life away.
Trying his best to avoid upsetting him, he carefully spoke to the Demon King.
“When the human and Belkoseu first clashed with one another, I was hopeful for one thing.”
“I had hoped that Belkoseu would perish from the human’s attacks. However, unlike what I had hoped for, the human was unable to stop him from reviving.”
“What are you trying to say!”
“Belkoseu cannot be stopped. This means that the human who is helping him grow stronger must be taken out.”
“As you know, Belkoseu has a pathetic offensive capability. Without the help of that human, he wouldn’t be able to gather enough magical energy to be considered a threat even if hundreds of years passed. That’s why we need to strike them now. What we need now isn’t power or Authority. What we need is to know where they’re at and where they plan to move. So…. It’s probably best that you unseal it…..”
“Undo the seals….. Do you mean the Chimera?”
“Yes, Demon King.”
“It was a brief moment, but you did hold the title of Demon King before.”
“Have I touched upon a sensitive topic?”<
Ladin instantly became pale.
As if he had remembered a past he did not wish to remember, his eyes lost their focus, and his lips trembled in fear.
That’s right. As expected, Ladin once was the Demon King.
At least until Jamon was born.
The demonic realm was like this. The ranks would be organized under how powerful your Authority was.
After Jamon’s first appearance, it only took 10 years before Ladin had to step down from the seat of the Demon King.
In a world where the Demon King would be chosen based on having the most magical energy, this instance was common.
The unsealing of the Chimera was something that only the Demon King had the authority to do so.
While the Demon King continued to speak, Ladin wiped the cold sweat off himself.
“Don’t you know what it means to unseal the Chimera?”
“However, there is no other way at this moment. Monsters that can track magical energies are rare. The pathetic goblin that travels with the… the one that we ignored who goes by the name of Karin has that ability.”
“Is there really no other way?”
“Yes, Demon King. Right now, it is the only way.”
“The Chimera….. Might be more than I can handle. You are aware of this, right?”
“I am well aware. Their ferocity is something that even you cannot suppress… However, they are a much better alternative to Belkoseu’s growth.”
“I understand what you’re saying, but I will not summon the Chimera now.”
“It will be used as a last resort. That’s just how much destructive force the Chimera will bring to all sides, collateral damage or not.”
“That’s right. We move, starting now.”
“We don’t have a way of finding out their exact location…..”
“Even if we have to look under every nook and cranny of the demonic realm, we must find them!”
“I understand your will, Demon King.”
Finishing their talk, the Demon King and Ladin immediately stood up.
It was to begin their search in honest for Belkoseu and the human.
Their first target was the human named Min-Cheol.
Belkoseu was an opponent that, even if found, they could not kill.
This meant that they had to kill the human who is helping him grow stronger, putting a halt to his growth that not only threatened his claim to the throne, but to the rest of the demonic realm as well.
One could see the determination radiating from the two of them as they left the demon king’s castle.
Their resolute appearance showed that they would do whatever it took to take down the human, even if they would incur major losses.
The hunt with Belkoseu went rapidly enough to make the day feel short.
It was pointless to consider time in terms of human civilization in a world where the sun did not rise or set, but we could still tell the time thanks to Jong Ho’s wristwatch.
15 to 16 hours a day were spent on hunting, with 14 purely focused on hunting if one subtracted the time it took for meals and maintaining gear.
Most of the time was spent on getting Belkoseu stronger.
With Karin and Belkoseu in the lead, we searched for monsters with powerful magical energies as if we were checking for a pulse, and the two of us had the role of beating down the monsters to an inch of their lives.
It was Belkoseu’s role to be the executioner.
After all, the requirement for absorbing magical energy was to be the one to execute the monster.
We didn’t spend that much obtaining artifacts, the reason for the alliance in my part.
All that happened was that Belkoseu would call in monsters that stood out to me while we searched for the monsters Belkoseu wanted.
Since he had magical energy similar to that of the chiefs of the demonic realm, the monsters could not resist his commands and followed his will.
Before going to bed each night, I checked the jewels and artifacts obtained for that day, growing stronger in a way that the Demon King and Belkoseu could not understand.
Since they only knew how to read magical energies, there was no way they could tell if I was growing stronger.
Days had passed, but Karin still was still fearful of Belkoseu.
During the time Jong Ho and I slept, he had to spend time with Belkoseu by himself.
He had to make sure that Belkoseu wasn’t up to anything and keep checking if the Demon King and Ladin were nearby.
The sleepless monsters had to spend their time waiting.
His fear continued.
It was 4 am in Earth time.
Waking up from my slumber, I silently observed the two of them some distance away.
Karin did not allow Belkoseu to get any closer than a certain distance.
I heard the sound of them talking.
“You’re quite easily scared, goblin.”
“Keh… Kel. I’m not afraid…. Kel? Not afraid!”
“Kuhuhu. Yeah, sure. You said your name is Karin?”
“Kehel…. That’s right!”
“Let me ask you one thing. Why did a servant of Berdan switch sides to be with the humans?”
“Kuhm…….. I like these two humans. It’s not only because Berdan perished. Even if he didn’t perish, I still would’ve followed them.
“Oho. That’s rather amusing. You liked them enough to betray your master that you served for centuries?”
“Kehruruk! This is not a betrayal!”
“Not a betrayal….. Then what is it?”
“You wouldn’t understand the odd powers they carry.”
“Powers? Are you talking about their attacks from another dimension that does not require magical energies?”
“Keru. That’s part of it. However, you cannot judge them with that alone.”
“I cannot explain it with words. Even though I’m not of the same race, they still welcomed my monster self.”
“Kuhut. Isn’t it because you’re a weak foolish monster?”
“Kehek! Shut up! You know nothing!”
“Kuhat! You guys sure are amusing.”
That little guy was holding his own pretty well against that guy.
Mustering up what fierceness he could, he stood his ground.
With this, Karin’s trust in us was proven to be absolute.
I wasn’t satisfied from learning just this information, and wanted Karin to question Belkoseu.
I hoped that he would ask what Belkoseu really wanted.
Almost as if reading my mind, Karin opened his mouth to speak.
“Keruu. This time, I’ll ask the questions.”
“Jamon…. After you and the humans defeat the Demon King, what will you do?”
“Everyone wants to obtain great power. I am the same. Just as you do, I do not break promises. If the Demon King is defeated…. I will spend my life ruling over the demonic realm. I want nothing more and nothing less than that.”
“Kehheh. I asked a pointless question. I will keep reading your magical energy at all times.”
“Kuhu. You are quite doubtful.”
“If you’re up to anything, just go be a parasite to a monster instead, and not this human. You cannot fool the great Karin.”
“Kuha. I will keep that in mind.”
“One more thing! Your Authority!”
“Min-Cheol and Jong Ho knows about two of your Authorities. One is the Undying Authority. And then there is the limitless capacity to store magical energies. However, that’s not all there is, is there?”
“How many do you have? And what are the Authorities?”
“Kuhut. Let’s get to know each other as we go along.”
It seemed that Karin was doing his best.
As I listened in on the conversation, I realized what a mistake it was to think that he only had two Authorities.
I did not know how many Authorities he had nor did I know what they all did.
It seemed as though another reason to be cautious with him and keep track of his moves had popped up.
I prayed that I would be able to obtain the upper hand in this dangerous deal.
So far, the hunting hasn’t yielded anything significant.
The one positive outcome was that the Louver’s Ring obtained a 10% magical energy bonus.
There was a chance that the ring would have been destroyed by attempting to enhance it with the jewels.
On top of that, the success rate of jewels in the demonic realm was absolutely abysmal.
However, the set bonus effect from the Louver armaments, which gave a shield, was something that I didn’t need that badly right now.
I had more than enough shields, all very high level and with insane absorption numbers.
Without much care for the destruction of the ring, I had recklessly applied an enhancement jewel for the heck of it, succeeding in the process.
However, I wasn’t that happy.
To be honest, the real enemy wasn’t the Demon King, but Belkoseu.
The Demon King could be beaten at some point.
Even if it took a long time, it could be done.
However, it wasn’t the same case with Belkoseu.
His potential for growth was near limitless, so he needed to be taken down as soon as possible.
That’s why I wanted artifacts with special abilities or skill books.
I was searching for something that could get rid of his undying status.
“It’s a short alliance. Before it ends… please, drop already.”