Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint - Chapter 365
Chapter 365: Episode 69 – Archangel Hunting (1)
‘It’s no fun when no one is fighting back.’
Michael stared at the corpses strewn about the field while smoking a rolled tobacco. Ash-grey smoke mushroomed up in the air. This cigarette was manufactured by the second generation of craftsmen. The reason why Michael enjoyed hunting demons or going on a ‘business’ trip was because he got to smoke the cigarettes he liked so much, to his heart’s content.
In <Eden>, smoking was an ‘evil’, a sin.
Michael smoked through several cigarettes in a row and as he fell into a chain of thought, stubbed it out by rubbing it against the exposed flesh of a dead corpse.
‘Have I taken too long?’
「What do you mean, too long? It’s only just begun.」
Michael heard the voice reverberating within his head and frowned deeply.
「Hurry, wake me up. Unshackle me already.」
Michael pulled out a new cigarette.
He had been hearing this particular Fable’s voice for a long time. And whenever he did, Michael simply had to burn through more cigarettes, one after the other.
‘Now isn’t the time.’
Michael took another long drag of the rising smoke.
[Nebula <Eden> has issued a new revelation.]
[Archangel hunting, is it? It does sound rather interesting.]
Asmodeus grinned brightly to reveal two rows of pearly-white teeth after hearing my offer.
[It’s not just any other Archangel, but the ‘Saviour of the Corrupted’, too…. Are you being serious about this?]
[However, aren’t you in a friendly relationship with <Eden>? If you do something like this, won’t you end up as their enemy?]
“Doesn’t matter. I’m a Demon King, after all.”
Even if I didn’t mean it, I still had to say it out loud. Because… I’m trying to convince none other than Asmodeus here. And the Demon King itself seemed to be seriously agonising over my suggestion at the moment.
“Do give it careful consideration. You need the syllable [Gru], right? On top of that, you’ll be able to earn a Fable concerning an Archangel, too. 「The One who Hunted Down a Great Archangel」…. Doesn’t the thought alone excite you?”
Unfortunately, Asmodeus wasn’t to be swayed that easily. No, rather than that, it was shooting me a proving gaze as if to ascertain what my true intentions were.
I decided to throw an even bigger bait at this juncture. “Well, that’s disappointing. As a member of the ‘Gourmet Association’, I figured that you’d be different from other Constellations.”
Asmodeus’s long, slender brows quivered noticeably after hearing my words.
[Your understanding of the Demon King, ‘Asmodeus’, has increased by a great deal.]
[Your understanding of the applicable individual is quite high.]
[2nd Stage of ‘Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint’ has activated!]
Now that’s the first time I heard such a message.
Finally, the skill level of the [Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint] had risen up high enough to let me take a peek at the inside of selected Constellations. And right afterwards, I could hear Asmodeus’s inner thoughts.
「He’s utterly, hatefully arrogant, this ‘Demon King of Salvation’.」
Its inside was like a thick, sticky swamp. Listening to the private thoughts of a being looking back at me with a pair of quietly withdrawn eyes was making me feel rather uncomfortable.
Its thoughts continued on.
「A trap that I want to fall into this badly, is it….」
As expected, it wasn’t for nothing that Asmodeus had climbed up to the position of the ‘Candidate for the future Great Demon King’. It had already figured out that my offer was a trap.
「It’s likely that the target of the ‘Demon King of Salvation’ is the ‘Saviour of the Corrupted’.」
「And he wants to use me and other Constellations to hunt down Michael and steal the ‘Modifier Necklace’ afterwards.」
「It’s commendable that he’s using his brain so much, but well, it’s a bit irritating to pretend that I fell for his schemes, isn’t it.」
Asmodeus’s expression gradually changed into an icy one. Unsurprisingly, it seemed that this much convincing wasn’t going to be enough.
「Michael is a difficult angel to fight against, even when he’s being restrained by the Probability of the 2nd generation….」
Asmodeus’s conflicting thoughts were gradually finding their heading now. A faint killing intent seemed to ooze out from its long nails.
I could sense Anna Croft next to me tense up and get into her battle mode. Maybe, she used the [Precognition] and saw something that was about to happen.
However, I wasn’t worried in the slightest. Because, it was about time that a situation even her [Precognition] couldn’t have predicted began, that was why.
Like clockwork, Asmodeus’s expression became rather weird.
The demon’s briefly-hardened expression shifted into one filled with complicated emotions. Its eyes danced around as if it was reading something in the empty air.
And so, how much time passed by like this? Countless emotions flitted in and out of Asmodeus’s eyes before they finally landed back on me.
[Fufufu. Well, this is…. It’s so hard to figure out the will of the <Star Stream> sometimes, you know.]
“….What do you mean by that?”
[I was just talking to myself. Very well. I accept your offer. Let’s try out this Archangel hunting thing, then.]
Asmodeus’s announcement caused Anna Croft’s eyes to go completely round in shock. She then formed a puzzled expression next.
Completely disregarding her, the Demon King smacked its lips and concentrated on sending a message to someone somewhere. It was probably busy communicating with other ‘Seekers of the End’ right about now. And at the same time, a message from a certain someone entered my head.
「(Did I do well?)」
‘You did. Thank you, Sang-Ah-ssi.’
The reason why Asmodeus changed its mind? It probably read a certain ‘revelation’ just now. More specifically, the fake ‘revelation’ Yu Sang-Ah and I had cooked up and spread around, that was.
It said, 「The corrupted Archangel will die by the sword of a ‘Swordmaster’ on the island of the aged Forgotten People.」
“….Another revelation was made??”
The Bureau was also turned upside down by the news of a new revelation. The first place to be affected by this was the sales department.
“Sir, we have a sudden spike in the sale of the Swordmaster-related skills!”
“Replenish their stock immediately! Call the related subcontractors and tell them to speed up the output of the mass production-type Stigma!”
“B-but, even then, our stock is running low, sir!!”
“D*mn it…. Where did all the Fable manufacturers disappear to?! Ah?? Who was it again? Right, if we request the ‘Mass Production-type Maker’, then….”
In the meantime, Bihyung was quietly observing the developing situation from within this crucible of confusion and chaos. The Great Dokkaebi ‘Baram’ addressed him from the side.
[Bihyung, you should start a new scenario.]
“….I’ve already done so, sir.”
A new message was floating up on the scenario observation screen that flickered into life just then.
[Sub-scenario, ‘Archangel hunting’, has commenced!]
Soon, the sight of the Constellations hiding within the forest and the plains rushing somewhere en masse showed up on screen. They had all purchased Swordmaster-related Fables from the [Dokkaebi Bag] just now.
“Will it be fine to open a scenario like this one, sir? Surely, <Eden> would strongly oppose this.”
[We have already obtained the Scribe’s consent. He said that it doesn’t really matter. We’ve already compensated them, so there’s no need to hold back.]
“To think, he’d allow one of his angels to be used as the subject of a scenario…. That doesn’t sound like what the leader of the Absolute Good would do.”
[That’s how the ‘Absolute Good’ operates. For the sake of the Greater Good, they would trample on smaller Good every now and then.]
“I’m aware of that, sir. But lately, it’s becoming harder for me to understand them.”
“Just what are <Eden> and the Demon World thinking? Them agreeing to go ahead with the ‘Great War of Saints and Demons’ scenario, and…. Wouldn’t they all perish together if they do this?”
Baram stared at Bihyung with unreadable eyes before forming a smirk.
[There is a saying about how short life is, but ‘art’ would go on forever.]
“That’s a saying from Earth, isn’t it, sir?”
[Correct. Those are words that exalt the story’s eternal nature. But, you should be aware of this – such a notion is false. Even the greatest Fable will die sooner or later. It’s just that, compared to the length of a Fable’s lifespan, a human’s life is simply far too short, that is all.]
Baram’s voice seemed to contain the regrets of an innumerable length of time. Indeed, those words belonged to a Dokkaebi that had continuously told the tales of Constellations for a truly long time.
[Did you know? Once upon a time, stories with no distinction between good and evil didn’t exist within <Star Stream>.]
“Yes, I know.”
[But, what about now?]
Screams from the Constellations killed by Michael’s blade could be heard coming from the screen. And there were other Constellations silently peeping at this battle.
These Constellations were sponsoring someone else, they were busy swearing at others, or were fully enjoying the show. Coins exchanged hands, and cries of pleasure and despair continued to resound out.
And within this spectacle, not one person seemed to care about either good or evil.
As he spat out that short gasp, Bihyung finally understood the Great Dokkaebi’s wisdom. Baram addressed his junior once more.
[This is a war to stop them from disappearing.]
For the next two days, Anna Croft and I prepared for the hunt. Asmodeus didn’t act with us, though.
[Let us meet again on the hunting ground at midday, two days from now.]
It left those words behind and disappeared on us. I was pretty sure that the Demon King was getting ready to hunt down an angel in its own way.
There were around 30 minutes left until midday. The promised location for our Archangel hunting was the ‘Fertile Forest’ located on the north of the island.
Just before we reached our destination, Anna Croft threw me a question. “Do you really think we can pull this off?”
“You’re going to help me out, aren’t you?”
“Even if it’s me, I can’t predict the [Future] all the time. You already know this better than anyone.”
“It’s fine to read the nearest future for the time being.”
What I needed to avoid were the unseen variables that might happen in the near future. And Anna Croft’s [Precognition] was the most suitable skill for avoiding such things.
“….What will you do if I decide to betray you? If my target is you, then….”
“I know that’s not the case.”
From the get-go, I couldn’t have been her target. Why? Because she was inserted into the scenario way before me.
She narrowed her eyes to a slit and asked me again. “….By the way, since when did you stop using polite speech to address me?”
“Oh, now that I think about it, you’re right…. Should I address you with polite speech again, Ma’am?”
“You’re being a jerk right now, so please, just stop.”
“Ah, right. How many times can you use [Precognition] today, young miss?”
Anna Croft glared at me with a dumbfounded expression, before making her reply. “Three times.”
“Don’t use them unnecessarily, and activate them only after I give you the signal.”
“Why should I listen to….”
“You should listen, so we can finish this sh*tty scenario for good.”
From afar, we could hear the screams of the Constellations and Incarnations. The hunting had begun already. Along with the horrifying explosions, the oppressive voice of the aloof, proud Archangel rocked the entire forest.
[You dare to use me as the subject matter for a scenario??]
Anna Croft and I hid in the nearby bushes and observed the battleground.
We couldn’t spot Asmodeus anywhere yet. Instead of him, though, almost all the participants still remaining on ‘Middle Island No.3’ had gathered here in the ‘Fertile Forest’.
Most of them just so happened to be ‘Evil’ or ‘Neutral’-type Constellations. There were many ‘Historical Figure’ grade Constellations, and I even spotted a lower-ranked Demon King, too.
It was ‘Darkness of no Value’ Belial, from the 68th Demon World. He must’ve shown up here after heeding Asmodeus’s call. Not just him, but other Constellations were each carrying a longsword of the 2nd generation at the moment.
Michael watched the Constellations rushing towards him with Belial in the lead and fumed in pure rage.
[A measly little lower-ranked Demon King dares to…. You all must’ve gone mad as a group!]
The Archangel used a stupendously powerful wind pressure to blow Belial away, and activated his Status to generate a barrier of winds. However, there were some who managed to break past the barrier to still take shots at him.
[Constellation, ‘Hard-work Specialist’, has activated the skill, ‘Mass-produced Physical Sword Aura’!]
The exact same skill was activated simultaneously from the longswords held by the participants. Waves of yellow, or even blue, coloured sword auras physically manifesting themselves sliced past Michael’s Status and advanced forward. The Archangel formed a mocking grin.
[….Ether Blade? What a crazy bunch of fools.]
The revelation I leaked to the world through Yu Sang-Ah was fake. Without a doubt, no ‘Swordmaster’ out there would be capable of killing Archangel Michael. However, just because it was a ‘fake’ revelation, that didn’t mean it was complete rubbish with no odds of coming true, either.
[Probability of the 2nd generation has granted a powerful buff effect on the applicable skills!]
The [Physical Sword Aura] was currently being ridiculed as an exclusive skill of the Transcenders. However, there was a period of time in the past when the 2nd generation viewed it as the greatest skill ever.
[It’s working! Keep cutting him down!!]
Michael’s wind barrier began melting away gradually from the continual baptism of the sword auras. He got flustered and tried to activate a new Fable, but then, a jet-black light of Ether suddenly sliced down from the air.
Like magic, space separated, as if it had been sliced away in its entirety. Only the lengthy claw mark left behind by a Demon King was visible from the gaps of the crumbling barrier.
[I always wondered whether an Archangel without wings can fly or not.]
Michael’s torn wing moved with great difficulty in the air. Through the falling feathers, Asmodeus’s smiling mug revealed itself to the world.
[And I finally got my answer today. The wing’s existence is not related to the Archangel’s ability to fly.]
Taken over by his rage, Michael poured out his magical energy towards the Demon. Unfortunately, he couldn’t aim at his target properly after his balance was affected due to the damage to his Incarnation body. He began wasting his energy, instead.
On the other hand, Asmodeus used other Constellations to diligently pile on further injuries to Michael.
As expected of Asmodeus; I couldn’t help but marvel at this battle.
“We should get going. That Demon King might end up snatching away our Myth-grade Fable at this rate.”
“No, it’s not the time yet, ma’am.”
My relaxed voice caused a flustered expression to form on Anna Croft’s face. As long as she didn’t use up her [Precognition] allowance for today, she’d never have guessed what was about to transpire soon.
[Fable, ‘Evil that Destroys Evil’, has begun its storytelling.]
Pitch-black aura suddenly began gathering around Michael’s figure and enveloped him like some kind of a bud. It was hard to believe that such corrupted energy actually belonged to an Archangel.
「And the ‘Good’ has chosen to walk the path of ‘Evil’ in order to destroy other ‘Evil’.」
Constellations realised that something ominous was about to happen and they continued to pour out their barrage of powerful attacks, but too bad, they failed to scratch that black bud even once.
Instead, it seemed to suck in nutrients by absorbing the power of the surroundings, and slowly began blooming itself.
[Archangel Michael has become corrupted!]
While witnessing this overwhelming spectacle, I recalled a certain part of ‘Ways of Survival’ in my head.
「Not every Constellation of this world was divided into ‘Constellations’ and ‘Demon Kings’. There is just one creature, an existence that could use the powers of a Constellation as well as a Demon King at the same time.」
The sole being within the lengthy history of <Eden> who ate the [Star Relic Fruit]… (TL: First appeared in Ch 316, initially TLed as ‘star fruit’.)
「No demon shall survive upon witnessing his true appearance.」
“….Oh, my god,” whispered Anna Croft.
Something was waking up from within the pitch-black darkness.
First, a black pair of wings. And then, the horns signifying a Demon King.
[Demon King, ‘King of Corrupted Angels’, is scanning the battlefield.]
The so-called ‘King of Corrupted Angels’ – that was Archangel Michael’s Modifier after he transformed into a Demon King.
With a simple flick of its hand, all Constellations leaning towards ‘Evil’ were swept away clean. Even if they were seemingly on the same ‘Evil’ side now, the difference in their classes was simply on another realm altogether. This was the true power of Michael, an Archangel on the level of a Myth-grade.
Even Asmodeus was forming a hardened expression now.
[This… wasn’t in the revelation.]
Soon after, Michael’s Status rained down, and several Demon Kings were flung away helplessly. The body of Asmodeus’s Incarnation must’ve received a tremendous amount of damage, because it too, began faltering about.
That was when I stood up from my spot.
“You want to join the battle now?!”
“….Didn’t you see what happened just now? Even if your target is that Archangel, this is….”
“What made you think that my target is the ‘Archangel’?”
After hearing my question, Anna Croft could only blink her eyes in sheer dumbfoundedness. Her [Eye of the Great Demon] began burning up in a reddish hue.
“C-can it be….??”
We could see Asmodeus’s body being flung away like a puppet with its strings cut in the distance.Read latest Chapters at WuxiaWorld.Site Only
From the get-go, I wasn’t planning to face off against the Corrupted Archangel. And besides, he wasn’t the only one possessing a Myth-grade Fable.
[Your targetted Modifier is ‘Devil of Lust and Wrath’.] (TL: Devil of Lust and Fury → Devil of Lust and Wrath)
I unsheathed my sword as the message popped up in the air and spoke to her.
“Well, let’s go and get ourselves a Myth-grade Fable, shall we?”
< Episode 69: Archangel Hunting (1) > Fin.