Why was I born? Why am I okay with killing? Why do I want to be strong?
Everything starts with "why?"
Not following direct orders. Growing dissatisfaction with the environment, even though he finished 12th. Being judged as "inappropriate". A wanderer with no affiliation becomes the head.
It all starts with "why?"
The answer was unknown.
According to the rules of the Demonic Sect, people obey and fear the strong. That question could have broken the Sect's brainwashing and created abnormalities.
Right. Maybe that was why he received the wrath of Sama Gwi.
Dark walls and gloomy skies.
This humid space was his room—that was expected, but he didn't expect to come back to this time.
"My arm…" His right arm, still attached, flexed and bent according to his will. A sense of relief washed the anxiety from his face.
"Now I have two lives left." Seol-Hwi reflected on his previous life. There were a number of cases where he could change the future.
Seol-Hwi looked to his right—the text and symbols had become his driving force to live.
Hmm? My ability? Seol-Hwi noticed some things had changed.
Seol-Hwi [Leader of the Flying Faction]
Internal Energy: 250/250
Attack Skills: Wind Sword
Health was slightly higher, presumably because he had a functional right arm.
"The White Light Martial Arts…" The most noticeable change was the disappearance of the White Light Martial Arts. "That's strange. I remember the movements."
Seol-Hwi stood and drew his sword, focusing on the White Light Martial Arts.
[You have obtained White Light Martial Arts.]
"Huh?" Even though the technique wasn't properly demonstrated, the contents were obtained.
Possessed Weapons: Heavenly Demon Sword, Seven Black Demon Sword, White Light Demonic Arts
This is a sign. Seol-Hwi nodded his head.
In a way, it was normal. He clearly remembered past events, so remembering martial arts should be natural.
Seol-Hwi's eyes then moved to the other side, towards a newly generated title.
Medicinal Herbs: 1
Confectionery Bar1: 1
Map: 1 (new)
There was something new there. Seol-Hwi fiddled with the window. Since it was a tool, he had to be able to use it somehow.
When he blinked at the word "map":
[Do you want to open Map? Accept/Reject]
Blink. As soon as he agreed, Seol-Hwi's hand held the map—a secret book that documented the actions of the Lord of the Supreme Pavilion. Seol-Hwi calmly unfolded it and turned a few pages.
"Haha…" Seol-Hwi's face turned pale. The place where he met Goo Jong-Myung and all the other happenings on Mount Hwang were recorded thereon.
Seol-Hwi tucked the map into his sleeve and turned back to the Status Window. He examined the herb, requesting a detailed explanation.
Description: A common herb; grows everywhere.
Effect: Increases stamina by 2.
The window asked him if he would use it, but he rejected it and kept reading.
Description: Boiled red beans, filtered through a sieve then kneaded together with wheat and honey and steamed.
Effect: Increases stamina by 3.
When he decided to use it this time, something dropped into his hand. It was flat and long like a nameplate but narrow enough to hold in one hand and covered in a soft material like wrapping paper.
"Do I tear this apart and eat it?"
Seol-Hwi tore it up and found that the inside looked like a thick, soft rice cake. He took an experimental bite and rolled it over his tongue to savor the taste.
"This—!" His eyes popped open, and he stared at the bar with a bewildered expression. "So… tasty!"
It wasn't spectacular, but it was sweet and savory.
[Health restored by 1]
"Haha…" How bizarre. Did such things really exist?
Seol-Hwi took another bite and saw his health tick up.
"Should I put this back in?" It would be a pity to use it all now.
He looked at the bar and blinked twice. Nothing. He tried raising the bar up to the toolbox.
[Do you want to put it in the toolbox?]
"Haha. So this is how it's done."
[Placed securely in the toolbox.]
Seol-Hwi clenched his fists happily.
Suddenly, a voice interrupted him.
"This was where you were?" A long-haired man strode down the hallway towards him.
It was Jeok Myung, who he'd just killed.
"Feels good on my fist."
"I just hit it. I mean, look at that cheeky stare."
"What? Is getting hit unfair? Do you want me to treat you nice just because you have a couple of subordinates?"
Seol-Hwi rubbed his cheek as he walked towards the library. Naturally, Jeok Myung had acted according to his memory—swinging fists, tossing out warnings, and even calling him names.
There was one thing that changed, however.
He lost two lives. Perhaps because Seol-Hwi had killed him, the numbers over his head were gone. Apparently, the marks over their heads could only be seen once.
Seol-Hwi stood on the 12th floor of the Heavenly Library.
"Well, when I have nothing to do, I stay at the top floor of the Heavenly Library. Does that answer your question?"
He'd avoided the Supreme Pavilion and came straight here to meet the Earth Demon.
"What?" Du Hong eyed him, his legs propped up on the table. His dull expression seemed to resent working.
"I was called by the Earth Demon."
"What?" Du Hong straightened up in a hurry.
This jerk knew it all.
"For what purpose?"
"It's important… do I have to tell you that?"
"Hmm. Go up from there." Du Hong gestured behind him.
"Thank you." Seol-Hwi bowed and went on his way.
"Sir Earth Demon. The leader of the Flying Faction, Seol-Hwi, wishes to see you."
Seol-Hwi worried that the Earth Demon's escorts would throw him out. Fortunately, he saw nothing.
"Who is it?"
Seol-Hwi raised his voice a little.
"A lower captain of the Supreme Pavilion. Not a special unit, but known as the Flying Faction."
"Is that so?" After a little hesitation, the Earth Demon continued speaking. "But why are you here to meet me?"
"I brought information which will be of great help in building a great nation in the future."
The Earth Demon didn't answer for a long time. Seol-Hwi had no way of knowing if he would trust him or not.
"Come in." Fortunately, Seol-Hwi was granted permission to press onwards.
So wide. The scene revealed by the opening door was like a beautiful canvas—floor-to-ceiling windows lined the walls at 3-meter intervals, illuminating the rows of bookshelves.
"You're an interesting person." The Earth Demon smiled at him. The gentle light reaching through the windows made him look angelic.
"Fine. What kind of information do you have?"
Seol-Hwi took a bracing breath and drew the book from his sleeves.
"What is that?"
"You'll know once you read it."
The Earth Demon took the book from his hands and slowly browsed through it.
"This…!" His eyes widened with disbelief, and his voice turned terse. "Are you sure?"
"I risked my life for it."
"Who are you?"
His voice belied displeasure, but Seol-Hwi stared boldly into his enigmatic eyes.
"A captain trying to put the Earth Demon on the stage."
"And what good does that do you?"
"I want to be strong." Seol-Hwi didn't hesitate—it was only natural for him to ask such a question. "Just like everyone else…"
The Earth Demon didn't answer for a long moment while he pondered, leaving Seol-Hwi to stew nervously.
"If this is really true—" He snapped the book shut and approached Seol-Hwi to whisper in his ear. "—I'll give you what you want."
Three hours passed. Seol-Hwi hovered around the Earth Demon's room, waiting for him.
"It should be fine…" Seol-Hwi occasionally glanced at the door—he had an anxious feeling that he couldn't shake.
The hierarchy of the Demonic Sect went Palace, institute, pavilion, group, and faction in descending order. Everyone knew that the Supreme Pavilion followed the Blood Demon, the first disciple of the Heavenly Demon, not the Earth Demon, the fourth disciple.
Seol-Hwi started at the sound of footsteps.
He's here. How did things go? Thoughts of failure flashed frantically through his mind.
"Did you say you were Seol-Hwi?" The Earth Demon stood in the door with a firm expression.
Seol-Hwi nervously weighed his options.
[Do you want to save?]
Huh? Why all of a sudden…? This was the first time he'd seen the save option—finally, its usage was being revealed.
[Where do you want to save?]
⏹ Year 95 of the Heavenly Calendar, Chapter 2. Three options from the Earth Demon.
[Empty Save Slot]
[Empty Save Slot]
"You have three choices."
"Huh…?" Abruptly, his voice flowed again—no, to be precise, it was the windows, not the voice.
▶ Become a core warrior.
▷ Become a bodyguard.
▷ Become a secret warrior.
For the first time, all the options would let him live! There was new text as well: he was given the difficulty of each choice.
▶ Become a core warrior.
-Return as a vassal after entering the military.
✯ Difficulty (★★)
▷ Become a bodyguard.
-After personal guidance from Nok Jeong-Gwan, become the Earth Demon's personal bodyguard.
✯ Difficulty (★★★)
▷ Become a secret warrior.
-Assassinate a person of importance.
✯ Difficulty (★★★★★)
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