Episode 35 : Encounter (5)
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Chapter 179 :

Episode 35 : Encounter (5)

White, all white in every nook and cranny, there was nothing different than the color white.

Except, there were two.

[I'm sorry..] 

A feminine voice that HwanGi heard within his head, was echoing within this area, illuminating her sorrow through her voice.

[..This is for your own good, Satan..]

[Michael! Stop!]

[...]

Caught in the act, the feminine voice, Michael opened her teary royal blue eyes to glimpse at the archangel behind her.

[Michael.. How many times do you have to do this?]

[I.. I only wish for my sins to be forgiven..]

[You're torturing yourself.]

[It's devastating.. that I caused Satan's pain.. So I must.. shoulder this torment myself..]

[..Then, why did you make 'him' as your apostle? Didn't you want him to have his freedom after being friends with Satan?]

[..I need him.. He's the only one who can put a stop to Satan..]

[Michael, that human is suffering from learning about Satan. Do you not feel any pity for him after he witnessed a devil?]

[..If he hates me, then I'll allow it and shoulder.. that hatred as well.. It makes no difference.. since I have the hatred of the devil on me..]

[..You're too depressing to look at.]

[I understand.. I'm sorry, but I must.. descend to help.. my apostle..]

A sigh leaves the other's lips as she speaks to Michael. [Alright, I'll cover for you. So go get your apostle while the other archangels aren't looking.]

[Thank you..]

[If it helps you stop being depressed, then I'll gladly do what I can.]

[..Even if it helps Satan?]

[Will it make you happy if you assist him, Michael? Then I see no need to be upset over that.]

[..Thank you so much, Gabriel..]

Shhaaa..

At that moment, royal blue light flashes from the body of Michael, shining beautifully as Michael disappears with a tearful gaze.

[Do your best, Michael.]

———

Rustling…

I should have put my foreshadowing dream into consideration, if I did, I would have slain HwanGi before he could discover the sword.

But I was foolish to believe that my dream wouldn't come true.

Yes, the dream which I had on the ship with resting crewmates, was the dream that predicted the future for me.

‘I should have known.. And yet..’ I gritted my teeth while I was aiming my sword at the puzzled HwanGi.

That aside, the time has come for me to slaughter Seong HwanGi, a man who has received the blessing of the archangel Michael, and has also encountered the sword.

That weapon is the legendary sword, Excalibur. A weapon in which wielded by the worthy ones, can wipe out any existing creatures in its path like butter.

Shaa..

Blinding light with the ability to sniff out demons in its long range even as they're in a human's disguise, can be the death of the demons around it.

Considering Excalibur isn't partly a divine sword, but has intense magical and purity properties to turn the wielders invisible, it is ranked below the weapons of the archangels and angels.

Which meant that Excalibur could easily kill me in my current state where my powers haven't fully grown and adapted yet.

..And I can't allow the person who can wield that sword to grab hold of it, not even the slightest touch. 

"Time to die, HwanGi-ssi."

[You have activated the Skill, ‘Discharge’ Lv. 3.]

BANG!!

With a ruinous clash, I dashed toward HwanGi at full speed, swinging my sword into HwanGi's scabbard.

"Tsk!" I grunted.

Before long, HwanGi exclaimed to me with a perplexed tone. "JoonChul-ssi! Stop it!" 

He must be mad that I could easily think about killing him despite all the time we spent together.

But not sorry to say, I am quite used to that field where I had ended someone close to me in my long past.

‘..Though, I'm not proud of it.’ I frowned.

CLINK!

In a blink of an eye, I made full use of my sword and sheathed it into HwanGi's scabbard, surprising him since he didn't expect me to do that.

After that, I flung my sword up to launch the scabbard out of the way, causing it to drop to the grass behind me.

For your information, that scabbard iS a special item with incredible effects given to their holder, so I couldn't have HwanGi wield it.

‘Lucifer.’ 

Once that's done, I dual-wielded the daggers that Lucifer morphed into, slashing extremely accurately toward HwanG's vital areas.

CLING!

"Seems like you don't want to die that quick, do you?" I spoke to HwanGi who had effortly taken out his sword and was parrying my attacks quite desperately.

HwanGi, biting his lip in frustration, reluctantly looked at me as he uttered the line. "If I die, who will protect my friends?"

..I'm shocked, to be honest.

To think HwanGi still thinks of his friends in this dire situation, truly leads my hatred of 'her' to be overlay on HwanGi's heroic and kind nature.

"Now you're making me want to kill you even more, HwanGi-ssi."

FWOOSH!

As my devil-like wings are fully exposed by the Excalibur's brilliant might, I used them to my advantage and flapped to gush the wind into HwanGi.

In which case, it prompted HwanGi to look away from the wind to avoid getting his eyes clouded with dirt and leaves.

‘Color me surprise, HwanGi-ssi. You can even think while in this dilemma.’ I thought.

In a matter of seconds when I wielded my javelin, I soared through the sky with all my might before shooting back down to the earth while HwanGi was preoccupied.

[Imitation of ‘Impending Doom’ Lv. 2 has been activated.]

"Ugh.. JoonChul-ssi!" 

And to make sure HwanGi stayed in place while I took some seconds to fly up, I used Asher's skill to help me accomplish that.

[Imitation of ‘Hellfire’ Lv. 4 has been activated.]

SWOOSH..!

Once I was fully locked on into a crash landing toward HwanGi, I sent my javelin flying into his direction after engulfing my weapon with ‘Hellfire’.

Since my javelin, which was Lucifer, was my main weapon that was now piercing through the air to target HwanGi, I pulled out a femur out of my inventory that I once wielded in the past.

BANG!!

At the moment of impact, I found my javelin penetrating hard at HwanGi's sword as he tried to block it. However, he couldn't hold on much longer judging by his trembling legs.

So to put him out of his misery, I slammed down the femur onto the back of my javelin, pushing it down further to hinder HwanGi's defend useless.

CRACKLE!!!

Because of that, I forced HwanGi's sword as well as my femur to shatter into bits and pieces. 

SWOOSH!

No sword to block the javelin's path, I could imagine how frightened HwanGi would look when he realized that my javelin would be the death of him. 

"No..!" HwanGi gasped with wide eyes.

SLASH!!

..It should have been where his heart was, but HwanGi managed to dodge my javelin by an inch as he got injured badly on his right arm.

My calculations were wrong.

In agony, HwanGi groaned. "Keuk!"

Even as the injury might not be critical, I made certainty that he would suffer dearly thanks to ‘Hellfire’ coated on the javelin.

Crackling!

The fire proceeded to burn fiery on HwanGi's arm before setting indispensable flame onto his clothes to further endanger his life.

I scowled when I thought. ‘How easy would it be if I could just end him right then and there.’

The reason why I haven't used any other skills, was because.. 

If I were to use other skills, the situation would have gotten out of hand to the point where it would notify the others and ‘Helpers’ to rush here, and I must not allow anyone to know my identity this early.

‘Bodyjack’ Skill would be useful, but going inside HwanGi's body now when he had become the wielder of Excalibur, that's a deadly and risky move.

[@&D~÷^#-}`O°#+&^N#+'&#(@T#*] 

..And also, there were system messages that seemed ominous when I first arrived in this place.

[£K×--#@I°@-$;-;L$_;(*;L{+#[email protected]°#I✓M] 

‘It's definitely Michael's doing to prevent me from hurting her apostle.’ I glared at the messages.

Rustling..!!!!

"Ho.."

The moment when I saw HwanGi retreating to the lake, I scoffed at how calm he still is despite the situation. 

But that won't do him any good..

In no time, I swiftly dragged my javelin off the ground and launched myself toward HwanGi, grasping the javelin with two hands as if I expected Lucifer to change into a battle axe.

And so he did.

"Don't take it to heart, HwanGi-ssi. I'll soon send you off painlessly." I lied to him.

At the same time, HwanGi seemed to be hurriedly looking around for somewhere to hide. 

As he speedily ran onto the lake, unexpectedly laying his hands into the water, I eventually learned why he did that by the following scene where he splashed a wall of water in front of him. 

[Player ‘1’ has activated the Hidden Skill, ‘Divine Flame’ Lv. 4.]

In the end, HwanGi even masked the water with his flame to increase the water wall defense.

Without a doubt, I was slightly baffled by him.

Fast and furious, I swayed my battle axe to erase the water defense off my point of view. "You think a wall of water can stop me?" 

..SPLASH!

All of a sudden, a rock was thrown to me after I cut down HwanGi's defense, scattering the rock into big chunks.

‘..It couldn't be..?’

There was something that was puzzling me, and it was the fact that the rock seemed to have a clean cut as if someone had sliced it.

‘HwanGi-ssi doesn't have a weapon right now, but that rock.. It's the same as..! No way.’ 

Right when the pieces of rock were crumbling into the lake and were blocking some of my point of view, I finally realized it too late.

CLINK!

Fortunately and unfortunately, Lucifer immediately moved himself to protect me from the attack, only to be deflected by the might of the sword in front of him.

As a result..

STAB!!!!

"JoonChul-ssi..!" 

‘Master!!’ 

Would you look at that? What a humiliating sight for my comrades to view if they were here.

"So I was right about you being the wielder of Excalibur.." I mumbled while I was losing strength from my body.

..Yes, the rock that was housing the Excalibur was cut down by HwanGi and was used to distract me.

"Urk..!"

SPLATTER!

In an instant, I coughed and coughed while blood splattered out from the sudden injury I sustained.

More so than that, I got pierced to the middle of my chest with the sword HwanGi pulled out.

"Urgh..!"

HwanGi, a man who is heroic and kind-hearted, has no reason to pierce a sword into my chest.

Even if he was infatuated over me being a devil, he wouldn't use that fact to justify his act of stabbing me.

How do I know that? It's because HwanGi didn't even use most of his skills on me, and instead, he only activated ‘Divine Flame’ to protect him, not to harm me.

HwanGi's stunned expression gave it away.

‘If he didn't intend to hurt me, then that leaves only Michael.’ I gritted my teeth in a rage.

Whoosh..

At that moment, the Excalibur was sliding straight through me with ease as the brilliant light leaked out from the blade.

"Oh no! JoonChul-ssi! I didn't mean for this to happen! Hang in there, JoonChul-ssi!"

As I could hear HwanGi's worried voice faintly fading from my ears which was replaced with a ringing sound, I was actually trying to fight off the properties of the Excalibur out of my body.

‘This is tough..’ I thought with a groan.

‘Master, stay conscious!’ Lucifer told me.

During this, I had some help from Lucifer who was combating the Excalibur's ability in dissipating me.

When suddenly..

HwanGi had taken the Excalibur out of my body, driving further damage by leaving an open stab wound unclosed as well as expelling most of my blood onto the ground and my clothes.

‘Is it another of Michael's ideas to keep me at bay?’ I groaned inwardly.

"Damnit.. HwanGi-ssi, why are you stupid now when you were calm and clever earlier!?" I said before staggering to hold a single battle axe.

Naturally, Lucifer switched into a lightweight dagger for me to succeed in murdering HwanGi.

[Imitation of ‘Miracle Web’ Lv. 4 has been activated.]

My right hand covering my wound from bleeding too much, masked my injury with Mirai's skill to enhance my recovery quickly.

Whereas my left hand gripped the dagger tightly to attack HwanGi as I watched him giving me a look that I didn't wish to see at all.

"You bastard.." I scowled with all my hatred clouding my voice. "If you hadn't listened to 'her' voice, you and I wouldn't be fighting like this."

HwanGi, startled by my statement, looked at me in bewilderment before talking back to me. "JoonChul-ssi!! If you hadn't thought about killing me, then maybe we would have talked it out one on one! Not to murder each other!"

"You're an apostle now. Everything that 'she' says, is an order to you now. Keeping you next to me is like a ticking time bomb."

"Even though you know too much about everything here, why don't you know that I won't bring myself to kill you?!"

"..."

"Do you think I would harm you?!"

"You might not, but didn't 'she' force you to stab me?"

"..?!"

"I'm tired." 

"..what?" 

Indeed, I was very exhausted to the point of not being able to lift a dagger. Because of the critical damages I received from the Excalibur, I was impelled to fall sooner or later.

Even potions can't save me from the Excalibur's might, since technically, Excalibur is too overpowered for potions to do anything against it.

If potions can help, I would have already used it.

..But HwanGi doesn't know that. 

I could see him immediately trying his best to toss every one of his HP potions out of his inventory, thinking they would aid me.

"No time to talk! Quick, JoonChul-ssi! Drink thi—" HwanGi got cut off.

RUSTLE!!!

"Nani.. SHITE NDA YO, BOKE!?!" 

* ( "Nani shite nda yo" Japanese → English "What are you doing" )

"Mimi..?" I shifted my glance to find Mirai standing with a fierce glare toward HwanGi while a concerned one for me.

[Player ‘16’ has activated her Skill, ‘Silk Threads’ Lv. ???.]

FWOOSH!

From what I could barely see, I witnessed Mirai sending out her threads to entrap HwanGi in his place, preventing him from doing anything or so I thought..

CRaShHHH!!!

"ACCKK!!"

..Instead, I felt the ground quaking from the crash a moment ago, leaving me to believe that Mirai may have slammed HwanGi into the ground after using her threads.

‘She's very angry.’ I thought after hearing the dreadful shrieks of HwanGi.

Of course, Mirai would be pissed when she just discovered me in a helpless condition, along with my true form while leaning on the sliced off rock where the Excalibur laid bare.

‘Ah.. The Excalibur is such a pain in the ass.’ I grumbled after my vision started to get blurred increasingly more in mere seconds.

Unfortunately, I couldn't afford to move much in this dilemma since I needed to stay focused on wiping out the Excalibur's leftovers in my body.

"Damn.."

In addition to that, my demon senses were getting out of control with warning bells reverberating in my head all the time..

..And I could tell that it was alerting me to eliminate every trace of purity, including HwanGi who was wielding the cause of my torment.

"Tch.. This is exhausting.." I mumbled before staring at my stab wound that was slowly but surely healing by the miracle web.

Out of the blue, I heard Mirai's desperate and anxious voice. "Captain, onegai! Stay with me!"

"Uhm.." I gave her a short answer.

It wasn't my intention, but I was too tired at that point. 

The purity was processing quicker than expected, so I couldn't help but feel the need to rest to recover from the injuries.

‘Damn.. That Excalibur.’ I cursed.

"Mimi.. I'll be taking a long rest now." I casually spoke to Mirai to reassure her I wouldn't die.

Filled with immense anxiety, Mirai called out to me. "Captain!! Captain!!!"

I gave her a smile.

In any case, I might as well leave the situation for Mirai to solve by herself, and rest. 

‘No..’

Mirai should be fine from the Excalibur since she's stronger than me. I fully believe in her and trust her strength.

‘I shouldn't.’

To be honest, I also can't just fall into a deep slumber while my absence hinders my future plans and everyone else.

‘Leaving Mirai alone, I can't do that.’

As a result, I must do something about that, I then mused as my consciousness was fading already. ‘I need to do it quickly..’ 

‘Darnit..’

[Imitation of ‘Cl——

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