Descent of the Demon Master
“This is your last warning.
That is not a place you fools can enter.
Go back to where you came from.
I shall spare your lives if you do!”
'What is he even talking about?'
Jo Gyu-Min grimaced slightly, unable to understand a single thing this crazed-looking man was saying.
Jo Gyu-Min's poor Chinese language skills meant he needed the other party to enunciate every word as clearly as possible, but he would still have a problem understanding it! No matter how good his crash course in the cram school was, the limitation of such learning would always be evident and impossible to overcome.
So, when the speaker mixed in the local dialect and talked nonstop like a machine gun, there was no way Jo Gyu-Min could understand what was being said.
Still, he could figure out one thing.
This crazed-looking man was threatening him and Kang Jin-Ho.
It wasn't all that hard to figure that part out from the body language, the intonation, and the goosebump-inducing glare of the crazed-looking man's eyes visible between the matted strands of his hair.
“M-Mister Jin-Ho, this man seems a bit insane?”
“Kekeke…” Kang Jin-Ho suddenly let out a low cackle.
While thinking that his own ally should also not be underestimated in the ‘mental health’ department, Jo Gyu-Min quietly scooted over to a safe-looking corner and squatted down.
'I better stay out of this.'
Even he could tell he wasn't necessary for the current situation.
“You want me to leave?” Kang Jin-Ho cackled quietly.
The crazed-looking man nodded.
“To be more specific, which place don't you want me to enter? This spot or that cave?”
The crazed-looking man slowly lowered his posture.
To Jo Gyu-Min, he resembled a ferocious predator getting ready to charge at its prey.
“Kekeke…” Kang Jin-Ho continued to cackle as if something pleased him greatly.
However, how could he not be pleased? He could sense 'it,’ after all!
The aura of demonic arts was leaking out from the crazed-looking man for some time now, endlessly pricking Kang Jin-Ho's skin.
With that much stimulation, how could he not be pleased?
He had finally found it.
The evidence that the demonic cult still existed in the modern era! As if the disappointment of a few minutes ago had been nothing but an illusion, Kang Jin-Ho's heart was pounding away madly from excitement.
“You shall now pay the price for setting foot in the forbidden area!” The crazed-looking man growled like a beast as he slowly approached Kang Jin-Ho.
His eyes began to glow crimson as well, and just looking at the silhouette of this man sent a chill down Jo Gyu-Min's scalp and spine.
“…Kuwaaah!” The crazed-looking man roared as he charged straight at Kang Jin-Ho.
At the same time, a faint bluish aura gushed out from his figure.
Kang Jin-Ho cocked an eyebrow.
The Azure Flame Qi? Although quite faint, the aura emitted by the crazed-looking old man's body contained the unmistakable trace of Azure Flame Art.
'Is he a descendant of Azure Demon, then?'
However, didn't Azure Demon die on that fateful day? Which should have led to the inheritance of the Azure Flame Art being lost forever.
'…That bloody foreigner bastard!'
If only it hadn't been for that bastard…!
Kang Jin-Ho wouldn't have ended up like this, rummaging through the overgrown wilderness to search for his past.
But now wasn't the time to muse about this.
That could come later.
Kang Jin-Ho's right fist became enveloped in a dark crimson hue.
Almost at the same time, the crazed-looking man's eyes widened at that sight.
The two men's attacks intermingled, setting off an absurdly loud explosion noise akin to a large bomb going off.
The ground rumbled like an earthquake while the mountain birds peacefully resting on tree branches flew off to the heavens in fright.
“Kuaaaaahk!” The crazed-looking man flew away like a pinwheel being blown and knocked around by storm winds.
He crashed and bounced around on the ground several times before finally coming to a stop far away.
He somehow pushed his head up while supporting his weight with both hands firmly pressed to the ground.
'Sheesh, that old man is also pretty sturdy, isn't he?'
Jo Gyu-Min couldn't hide his shock.
It should have been physically impossible for a person to throw another person that far.
Then again, almost every event that had taken place during this Chinese excursion so far could be classified as illogical, anyway.
One thing was for certain, however, and it was the fact that this crazed-looking man was far sturdier than the Chinese man from a few nights ago.
It was proven by how he managed to quickly raise himself back up, even though that impact looked several times worse!
That wasn't all, as even his reaction was markedly different, too.
The crazed-looking man blinked his eyes several times in disbelief before his figure began to tremble in an outpouring of emotions.
Jo Gyu-Min's jaw slowly dropped.
'W-wait a minute, is he…
Is that man crying?'
He wasn't mistaken.
That crazed-looking man had begun to shed thick teardrops for some reason.
“…I just can’t keep up with what's going on here anymore.” Jo Gyu-Min sighed deeply.
That old man charged first, only to get slapped away.
He was the loser of that exchange, yet he felt aggrieved by his loss? Or was the pain making him cry? Whatever it was, Jo Gyu-Min couldn't understand why that crazed-looking man was sobbing like that.
'Still, the atmosphere has gotten a bit weird, hasn't it?'
Watching that crazed-looking old man in a tattered get-up kneeling and bawling his eyes out made Jo Gyu-Min's heart ache as well.
The emotions contained in that old man's tears were that overwhelming.
The crazed-looking man, no, a sobbing old man, slowly crawled on his knees to approach Kang Jin-Ho.
He covered the distance of over twenty meters on his knees to get to his opponent before looking up at Kang Jin-Ho's face.
More tears flooded down the old man's cheeks before he suddenly planted his face in the dirt and loudly cried out.
“All hail the Demon Emperor! Millennium's glory be yours! We, the ten thousand demons, exalt your majesty!”
Jo Gyu-Min heard those incomprehensible words and slowly shifted his gaze to the distant skies above.
“…I wanna go home.”
Ju Yeong-Gi blinked.
Park Yu-Min nodded coolly.
“Where did he go, then?”
“He said he's going to China for a bit.”
“Chinaaaaa?” Ju Yeong-Gi cried out in dismay.
“What the heck?! I told that insane bastard to pick up his bloody phone, but he hopped over to China instead?!”
“I thought he put his phone on roaming? Didn't he answer your call?”
“I think he's somewhere out of range.
The call won’t even go through.”
Nothing we can do about that, then.” Park Yu-Min shrugged his shoulders.
“Hah…” Ju Yeong-Gi plopped down on a chair and groaned loudly.
He finally finished putting his old life in order before traveling back to Seoul, yet Kang Jin-Ho was nowhere to be found.
In that case, what was he supposed to do now?
“Hyung!” Ju Min-Gi quickly ran up to his older brother, Ju Yeong-Gi.
“Grandma is calling for you.”
Ju Yeong-Gi looked at his younger brother and tilted his head.
“I think she wants to organize the storage at the back of the orphanage.
And she wants you to help out.”
“Me?” Ju Yeong-Gi pointed at himself, his large eyes blinking in dumbfoundedness.
Ju Min-Gi nodded.
“What the heck?! Do I look like a porter to you?! Or a day laborer?! I only came here to hang out for a bit, you know! But she wants to take advantage of this situation already?!”
“Why are you getting angry at me for? Go complain to Grandma, Hyung.”
“Hah, gimme a break!” Ju Yeong-Gi shot up to his feet and shouted again, “Where is this damn storage?”
Ju Min-Gi pointed to the rear of the building.
“Eiii!” Ju Yeong-Gi loudly grumbled, but he still walked over to the storage in a hurry.
Park Yu-Min gently smiled while watching this spectacle.
'He's a funny dude…'
Ju Yeong-Gi had a potty mouth, but his hidden affection ran deep.
He could sometimes be a complaint machine, but that was one of his amusing points—he still did what was asked of him despite all the complaints.
From what Kang Jin-Ho said, Ju Yeong-Gi seemed to be a part of a criminal gang in the past.
To think such a man was now working in an orphanage.
What a funny turn of events…
Park Yu-Min rubbed his chin.
'Well, since Min-Gi is a good kid, Yeong-Gi shouldn't be a bad person either.'
Brothers could have differing personalities, but one brother being a noticeably bad person than his sibling rarely happened.
After arriving at Seongsim, Ju Min-Gi started looking after the orphanage's children, and he treated them kindly and gently.
He was also obedient and listened well to the advice of the kids older than him.
Ju Yeong-Gi was the older brother of such a good kid, so it should be safe to assume he was also secretly a kind person.
“Yu-Min?” Ju Yeong-Gi's grandmother emerged from one of the rooms and called out.
“Disposables for the girls are about to run out, Yu-Min.
Who should I talk to about getting the new supplies?”
The general manager is in charge of that, Grandma.
But she's gone home for the day, so I'll tell her tomorrow.”
Thank you.” Ju Yeong-Gi's grandmother smiled and nodded.
She was supposed to be staying in the hospital to recover, but she often slipped out unnoticed to check up on Min-Gi staying in the orphanage.
Initially, her visits were just that, a visit to see her grandson.
Once her visits became frequent enough, though, she seemed to be getting more and more interested in searching for things she could help out with within the orphanage.
'I'm grateful, of course…'
Seeing her look after the disabled children as her own grandchildren warmed Park Yu-Min's heart, and he felt really grateful for her presence.
However, there was one small problem…
“Yu-Min? There's this unhygienic sour smell coming from the boys' rooms.
That must be from boys not washing themselves frequently enough, Yu-Min.
The teachers here are women, so it must be awkward for them to talk to the boys of certain ages about this matter.”
“In that case, shouldn't you be paying more attention? These kids at least pretend to listen to you, after all.
From what I hear, you aren't doing anything important these days and just wasting the orphanage's food, so why can't you make yourself useful by looking after your younger siblings more? That is the very definition of good-for-nothing, Yu-Min! A good-for-nothing!”
Park Yu-Min flinched.
“Hurry and fill the bath with hot water.
And make sure to wash the kids afterward!”
“And also, tell the kids that anyone who doesn't wash up properly will get chased outside buck-naked! So they better scrub themselves real good, okay? You understand what I mean, don't you?”
The grandmother continued with her nagging, “Starting from between their toes…
If they don't wash up properly…
I'm not gonna let it slide, and…”
Park Yu-Min squeezed his eyes shut.
If he listened to any more of this nagging, his ears might start bleeding!
'How wonderful would it be if she nagged just a little less?'
He couldn't tell whether her age made her prone to worry or if this was her real personality.
One thing was for certain, though—Ju Yeong-Gi's grandmother was a living, breathing nag generator.
Such was the intensity of her nagging that not even Ju Yeong-Gi dared to raise the flag of rebellion against her.
Park Yu-Min headed to the boys' room to fetch the 'smelly' kids as he began thinking about Kang Jin-Ho again.
'He isn't answering his phone, is it?'
It shouldn't be anything bad.
After all, just who was Park Yu-Min's friend? It was none other than Kang Jin-Ho, wasn't it? That dude would no doubt walk away just fine even after a tank had run right over him.
'Stay safe and come back soon, Jin-Ho.'
The grandmother scolded him unhappily, “What are you doing, Yu-Min?! Hurry and wash the kids!”
“Y-yes, Grandma!” Park Yu-Min hurriedly rushed inside the boys' rooms.
The old man with his face still kissing the dirt remained prostrating as if the overwhelming emotions had gotten the better of him.
His body faintly trembled as a sign of how powerful the whirlpool of emotions wrapping him up was.
“Arise,” Kang Jin-Ho spoke in a low, weighty voice.
The old man slowly raised his head.
“I offer my greetings to the descendant of the Demon Emperor.”
Kang Jin-Ho chuckled hollowly at that.
'Descendant, is it…'
Then again, this crazy-looking old man would never guess that the so-called 'descendant' was actually the Demon Emperor himself.
“Tell me, what makes you say that?” Kang Jin-Ho threw out a vague-sounding question.
However, the old man still understood the crux of the question and quickly started explaining himself, “I, I was taught that the Demon Emperor's Asura Qi could suppress techniques of every orthodox sect, my liege! The moment when we exchanged moves, I sensed my stored energy scatter into the ether.
That is proof enough, my liege.
I've failed to recognize you, only to learn the noble truth after daring to raise my fists against you! I am deserving of your punishment, oh, my liege!”
“There's no need,” Kang Jin-Ho muttered while slowly shaking his head.
'It sounds like he's been waiting for a long time.'
Judging from the old man's attire, he seemed to have spent most of his life in this mountain's wilderness.
Just what was keeping this man tied to this place, Kang Jin-Ho quietly mused.
“Although I have many things to ask you, it'll have to wait for now.”
Kang Jin-Ho shifted his gaze away from the kneeling old man and stared at the cave's entrance.
Something was calling out to him from somewhere deep inside.
“I'll be back soon,” said Kang Jin-Ho as he stepped towards the cave.
The old man planted his forehead on the ground again in reverence.
Kang Jin-Ho's unhurried steps took him past the cave's mouth.
Unexplainable tension and excitement began to build up inside his heart.
'Calling out to me, is it?'
A faint smile crept up on Kang Jin-Ho's lips.
How long had it been since he last felt such anticipation after his return to the modern world?
He navigated his way past the dark and narrow cave's entrance to arrive at a wide-open space.
'…The Cave of the Heavenly Demon.'
In the past, this place was called the 'Cave of the Heavenly Demon,’ a forbidden area only the leader of the demon cult was allowed to enter.
To be more specific, others could enter as far as where Kang Jin-Ho was standing right now.
However, the interior further in was inaccessible unless one was the demon cult's leader possessing the Asura Qi.
'Mm? It wasn't far?'
It felt like the 'thing' calling out to him was not hidden deep inside the forbidden area but somewhere close by.
Kang Jin-Ho leisurely stepped forward and followed the voice beckoning him.
Eventually, he discovered a huge altar.
His eyes became withdrawn and contemplative at the articles resting on top of this altar – two swords.
A pair of identical swords, save for an antique-style red thread tied to the end of the hilt of one and a blue thread on the other to differentiate them…
“…Azuremourne and Crimson Destiny, huh.”
Kang Jin-Ho slowly reached out and gripped the hilts of the swords.
When he closed his eyes, the memories flitted in and out of his mind.
All those memories from back when he fought alongside this sword…
“…It's about to begin again.”
As it turned out, those days filled with life-or-death struggles weren't over just yet.
The days filled with seemingly endless combat were about to re-enter his life and continue.
A sense of foreboding regarding his fate settled in his heart and coursed throughout his being afterward.
You'll Also Like
I Am God!Chapter 8 10 hours ago
I will Bury the GodsChapter 12 10 hours ago
Duke Ashillean’s Contractual MarriageChapter 29 March 19, 2023
Mai Kitsune WaifuChapter 1104 March 19, 2023
Frontier Magic PharmacistChapter 18 March 18, 2023
Don’t Be a Kept ManChapter 156 March 18, 2023
I Became a Level -99 Vicious LordChapter 14 March 17, 2023
As Long As You Are HappyChapter 11 March 17, 2023
Don’t Remember MeChapter 44 March 19, 2023
“I… Don’t Want to Work Anymore” I Quit Being an Adventurer. Even if You Treat Me Better Now, I Won’t Do It. I Will Never Work Again.Chapter 4 March 17, 2023
Underworld PlayerChapter 49 March 16, 2023
Isekaid 40ish Man Returns, Regressed as a Peerless 17-Year-OldChapter 45 March 16, 2023