Chapter 35. Demon Lord’s Castle (2)
Hansoo chuckled at the movements he felt behind him.
‘I wondered what he was preparing so hard for.’
It seemed like they were well prepared as they employed the method they learned from Hansoo fighting the Demons.
Artifacts that could slow down the movements of the Demons instead of ones that would damage them fatally.
And resistances and buffs to deal with the basic AOE attacks of the Demons.
They had a decent assortment.
Their movements and attacks couldn’t follow up to Hansoo’s.
But they were filling the gaps with various skills and traits.
‘If you do that then you can definitely hunt it safely.’
The opposite method of Hansoo’s.
If Hansoo was trying to catch it as fast as possible by taking on the hits while trusting his resistance and his dodges to suppress it down with an overwhelming attack then this method was a safe hunting method in order to receive no casualties whatsoever.
The fifteen special forces were rotating endlessly as they injured the demon.
This was possible because they could withstand the Demon’s skills to an extent.
They couldn’t reduce the damage like Hansoo but they were compensating it with healing skills.
While Hansoo was about to finish off his Demon, the special forces had also pulled out both the hearts from the Demons.
The people’s expressions turned grave.
They had thought that only Hansoo could kill the Demons but the Clan Lords were killing them well too.
And as they started killing the Demons, the other clan Lords pulled out their own special forces that they had hidden and basically crushed the mages apart.
The mages were very threatening to the non-clansmen who didn’t have my magic resistance but it wasn’t really hard for the special forces, who had magic resistances as well as heals and other skills, to deal with it.
And the most attractive thing was their number.
Hansoo was one person.
That fact did not change no matter how strong he was.
But the sum of the different Clan Lords’ special forces were over 100 and they were hunting that much more efficiently.
“…if this happens then isn’t it better to just join the side of the clans?”
Hansoo was strong but he only had one body.
And the non-clansmen were constantly getting injured from the mages.
On the other hand, the Clan unions were advancing while receiving the thorough protection of the special forces.
“Bitches… if they had such things then they should’ve protected us too.”
As one person gazed at the special forces in resentment, a friend next to him, whom he had gotten close to during the defense, shook his head.
“Those words don’t even make sense. You think they would protect you.”
Why would they protect them?
They weren’t even part of the clans.
The friend, who had been talking, looked at the Demon Lord’s Castle in the distance.
This was the first day.
There was a long way to go.
Disliked things were disliked things, so he had to decide rationally.
He started to ponder after laying down his possibilities of choices.
Either to stay in the non-clansmen union.
Or shamelessly go under the clan union.
‘…it’s not that bad?’
The reason why he was worried about being thrown off was because the number that could move through the crystal was limited to 500.
But on the other hand, that problem did not exist anymore.
No, the clan unions would actually welcome them instead.
Since the adventurers who received their symbols would become part of their powers and ascend together.
‘Well. Let’s at least talk about it. If not then I can just stay here.’
It wasn’t bad for them no matter what happened.
If they were denied then they could just follow Hansoo’s back.
And if they were welcomed then they just needed to fight under the clans.
And soon multiple people with similar thoughts started to head towards the clans and Guktae smiled inwardly as he saw this.
‘As I thought.’
What kind of loyalty would these guys have.
They were just grasshoppers looking around for safe areas.
The only reason they had gone under Hansoo was because he looked quite reliable and because it would be dangerous for them if they stayed behind.
As long as their motives for going under Hansoo were clear, the answer was already set.
‘Yes. Come. We will take you in.’
It won’t take long.
Until he will be left alone.
‘I’m curious. As to how far you can go alone.’
“…The people keep leaving. Is it alright like this?”
Hyunwoo mumbled as he looked at the 300 or so people left
‘They’re all so amazing.’
Hyunwoo mumbled quietly.
They had split up like this within a day of deciding to group up.
No, if you look at it another way then it might be something obvious.
There aren’t many people who have something more important than their own lives.
Especially in a world like this where family, love and faith was hard to maintain.
Hansoo chuckled at Hyunwoo’s words as he spoke.
“Well. It’s not that bad. If they fight that well.”
Hansoo actually thought that the clan unions were rather good.
Those guys, who had set up a way to fight against a difficult enemy with near perfection in 20 days, were actually worthy of praise.
And no matter what happened, it was easier to control them if there were more people in the clan union than in the non-clan union.
In conclusion, this would increase the number of people who would live and even the speed in which they would advance towards the Demon Lord’s Castle.
“…But doesn’t the fact that they’re taking the crystals piss you off or anything?”
Hansoo shook his head at Hyunwoo’s words.
The things he had been worrying about until now were two things.
People dying at the hands of demons because they tried too hard to get their hands on the crystals and the people who had gained the crystal ascending just like that.
But such things won’t happen anymore.
There was nothing bad about it because the special forces were hunting demons safely and it was only fair for the killer to take the crystal.
And Eres had saved 600 out of 1000 people.
If they advance like this then it meant that the Clan Lords and their core members won’t fall into danger.
But why would they leave their gathered powers here and ascend with the crystals?
Actually, if they fought better by buying artifacts with the crystal then it was even better for him.
Since he will be able to arrive at the Demon Lord’s Castle with the best bodily condition.
‘It’ll be so much better if they only did things up to this point.’
As soon as his words ended, Guktae walked towards him audaciously from afar.
“Since we caught it the ownership belonging to us is definite right?”
Hansoo nodded his head.
“Of course. The ownership of the items that dropped from the beast or demon that you killed belongs to you.”
Guktae shrugged his shoulders.
‘Well yeah. He won’t fall for simple things such as this.’
He had thoroughly guarded the crystals from being distributed.
And because of this, if he had said something about it then he was going to show some supremacy with that as the reason.
He was strong but of course they would win if they put their special forces, which numbered over a hundred, in front of them and pushed him back.
And currently the people under him were quickly dropping out.
He thought that once he suppressed him, the 300 people stuck to him will drop off in piles but to come out in such a calm manner.
‘Well. It’s not that bad.’
It wasn’t that bad as he saw the guy who hadn’t allowed for his intentions to bend act like this.
‘Well. We’ll be in more of an advantage as the time goes on.’
There was no need to hurry.
Since the gap will continue to grow.
Once he gathered the crystals and got equipped with artifacts like the Drum of Lempal, the gap will clearly get widen.
Hansoo chuckled at Hyunwoo, who was cursing as he looked at Guktae in the distance, and then started to count the number of crystals he had.
‘But if I collect crystals at this rate then I can even obtain <Justice of Dekrados>.’
<Judgement of Dekrados> was a set item.
If he were to obtain <Justice of Dekrados>, which he needed 55 crystals for, then he would be able to progress through the Demon Lord’s Castle with much more ease from the synergy of the two.
If they advance on friendly terms like this then he might even be able to save more than Eres.
‘Though it seems that it’ll be hard.’
Hansoo finished his thoughts and then jumped at the Demons just like that.
Hansoo swung his scythe widely towards the special forces that were slowly approaching the Demon which he was fighting
The ground dug up following the path of the scythe and because of this the special force members stopped their movements.
Hansoo smirked at those special forces.
“Don’t really need to help though.”
Sunghoon, one of the special forces, grinded his teeth and then spoke out.
“But no matter how I see it, it seems very unfair.”
Sunghoon pointed at the corpse of the demon which was on the ground.
“You are catching three at the same time. And with just a chain on you.”
Since they had gotten under the clans, they couldn’t prevent damage from the mages from reaching the clansmen anymore.
And because of this the Lords split up their special forces.
60 people were fighting the demons with around 12 people to 1 while the remaining 40 were to go up against mages.
But while the 60 were hunting five, Hansoo killed three by himself.
As if he had spat on them already, he tied them up one by one with the chains and then killed them off one by one.
There was a difference in speed due to the fact that they were fighting rather safely in order to prevent injuries from happening to every precious special force member whilst Hansoo was charging in like a maniac without caring for his body.
But even so, they were 60 people.
And not any 60, these were the elites who were created by combining psychic powers, skills and runes by using the resources of the whole clan.
Hansoo smirked as he spoke.
“That’s why I first moved to action when you came to kill them. Just like before.”
What had occurred was that he had split up two of the three demons, who were tied up by the chain, to approach another six of them at a time.
He had tied up three but only fought one at a time so they had split up a team to approach the other two which were tied up.
And then this guy just let loose the chains which tied the two up, which of course made the demons go on a rampage, and almost caused one of the special forces to die.
It seemed like there were many demons but once they started killing them, there weren’t as many of them.
The number of demons which had appeared to them within the past three days was about 50.
While they killed 30, Hansoo had eaten up 19 of them all alone.
And because of this the Lords couldn’t keep up their face.
Since they had killed 30 with 12 people.
And they couldn’t even get 10 when they fought for 10 days straight.
On whose nose did they want to stick this? (TL: Korean saying describing inadequate things)
‘This won’t do.’
Sunghoon quickly backed off with a cold expression and then hurriedly walked towards his Lord, Guktae.
‘A genius is really a genius.’
He had a gist of it but for their hunting speeds to have that much of a difference.
‘Well. The crystals aren’t the important things.’
The crystals were bonuses no matter what happened.
Guktae sighed after making a fed up expression then thought of his motives.
He had thought about the past when he read the Romance of Three Kingdoms.
— It’s already tiring even if three parties of similar strengths exist.
But here there were 12 clans.
It was likely that the stage would get smaller as they went higher and higher.
If they think about organizing things later then it’ll be too late.
‘Let’s see… if you say it takes 10 days then the remaining time is 7 days.’
If you discard the fact that they had to go up against undeads and demons without stopping as they advanced, it was a rather long time.
But it wasn’t that long in order to complete his plans.
‘I acknowledge the fact that you’re strong.’
He was really strong.
Even more so than the clan he created with all his might.
And he will think that from now on, there will be times where his individual strength would surpass the strength of a group.
‘I really want to take him.’
But he had already looked into this.
As he heard, he had already denied the proposals of other clans.
But everyone probably poked him once at least.
And to his knowledge, he denied all of them.
‘It seems like there’s a reason…’
He had many things that he kept hidden.
The fact that he didn’t ascend despite having crystals was suspicious too.
‘Well. Thanks to that there’s an opportunity for me’
If I cannot use it then others cannot either.
That was too dangerous.
Even if things were to get dangerous because of his disappearance, he could just escape using the crystals along with his core members and special forces.
Though they had a connection, the level in which the Sovereign and the ones below, the people with symbols, were very different.
A Sovereign wouldn’t tell a general to not go to war because he treasures the general.
‘There’s no need for me to do it personally.’
It’ll be over if he made somebody go get hit by the blade and die.
Even better if the blade got damaged.
‘Let’s see. Somebody who would be the easiest to make him fall into such a trap is… Taejin.’
— That guy called Hyunwoo is still sticking around right? Yeah. Tell that Hyunwoo guy beforehand.
Guktae ordered something to the clansmen below through the message as he got up and headed towards Taejin.
Taejin stared coldly at Hansoo, who was standing in front of the giant door made of bones.
Because he thought of the words of another Clan Lord, Guktae.
— Hansoo has already agreed to act together with our clan. So tell the special forces to avoid friction with him. I’m telling you this because I’m worried that you are having too many frictions between you and him these days despite you also being one of my secret allies.
And then he said that this fact needed to be remained a secret from others in order to avoid the eyes of the other clans.
‘…this bastard. You deny my offer but accept Guktae’s?’
Taejin grinded his teeth.
Of course he wasn’t dumb and didn’t believe right away.
So he had threatened that Hyunwoo guy who was always with Hansoo.
And he found out that there indeed were positive talks going between Hansoo and Guktae.
‘It cannot happen. It cannot.’
Guktae already had the most power out of the 12 clans.
It was comparing the height of acorns but a huge difference was created once that guy came in.
Though they were secret allies within the Clan union, how could he just watch things like this when he didn’t know what would happen after they went up.
‘This bitch…I had left him alone because he was in a neutral position.’
There was a huge difference even if they say that the power between him and the affiliated person were the same.
And it’ll be a huge burden once the crystals in his hands go into Guktae’s hands.
‘I need to make some preparations.’
He fought all the way in the very front.
So a chance will come by if he looks for one.
Especially if it’s near that dangerous looking and suspicious door.
‘Yeah. You’ve been quite comfortable up until now.’
Unfitting of this damnable world.
Taejin grinded his teeth after seeing Hansoo and the giant door made of bones in the distance as he proceeded to order something towards the clansmen below.