“Kiekkiekkiek!” The laughter, which leisurely mocked everyone’s misfortune, echoed amidst the snow storm . No one could hear it aside from the voice owner since they were all trapped inside the domain made of Ancient Magic .
Mamon was floating with his legs crossed fifty meters above the tallest tree . His eyes were sparkling as if he was a child seeing a new toy .
“And here I wondered how great the Ancient Magic was . It turns out to be an outdated trick . How many hundred years ago was the era when it was hailed as an inescapable domain? My technology surpassed this kind of old magic a long time ago . ”
Back when Mamon was still living in the Monster Realm, aside from his unique ability to exploit Hidden Gifts, he was also proficient in item utilization .
For the record, raw materials in the Monster Realm were of exceedingly higher quality than those found in the New World . Just an ordinary medicinal herb possessed more healing power than a high-grade healing potion . Even Orichalcum, which was the legendary mineral in the New World, only amounted to a relatively rare mineral in the Monster Realm .
It was natural though . The level of living beings in the Monster Realm was unfathomable . Thus, the environment, including but not limited to the background items such as pebbles and trees, was far sturdier and of a higher quality than usual .
Nevertheless, the level of technology in the Monster Realm was lacking compared to the New World . Most monsters in the Monster Realm were oblivious to the concept of item modification and refining raw materials . Indeed, the main reason was that the quality of the items was insanely high to begin with, so no one cared . In any case, Mamon, who relied on the art of alchemy, could climb from a lesser devil position to become the Devil Prince despite the fact that his combat ability was relatively low .
By having the opportunity to visit the Lost Android Kingdom, it was a real eye-opening experience for Mamon . His horizons were broadened and his scientific knowledge was sublimated . Mamon believed that if he returned to the Monster Realm as he was now, he would be able to make all of his enemies submit with his newfound knowledge .
There would be nothing that he couldn’t achieve .
For example, what was currently in Mamon’s hand right now was a pile of seemingly ordinary rocks . They were Soul-Entrapping Rock, one of the rarest items in the Monster Realm . However, they could be easily collected in the Fairy Kingdom . This contradiction made Mamon realize something .
Monster Realm’s Orichalcum and New World’s Soul Crystal, these two items possessed almighty strength if they were together . However, they were separated from each other as if someone deliberately arranged it like that .
Mamon used a steel thread to bind the Soul-Entrapping Rocks and link them into a line . Then, he activated Envious Shadow and emerged behind a certain snow fairy who stood the furthest away from the rest . He tapped the rock against her, and the snow fairy was absorbed into it . The rock glowed as there was a soul inside it . Apparently, it became a Soul Crystal .
“Kiekkiekkiek . The Soul-Entrapping Rock can be found right next to where the snow fairies live . This is indeed a land of treasures . Let me test my hypothesis . . . ”
Mamon carefully selected the most beautiful Soul-Entrapping Rock out of the rest . He trimmed it with his laser blade, making it look like an energy cell . He then raised his knitted clothing, revealing a terminal with a previously ordinary-looking energy cell placed where his heart should be .
Mamon replaced the previous energy cell with the trimmed rock . He quickly activated one of his skills to alter the utilization of the Soul-Entrapping Rock . Soon, the rock emitted a purple glow . Seeing the result, Mamon grinned delightfully .
He successfully combined alchemy and the Lost Android Kingdom’s technology . It was the first time this had ever happened in Monster Soul .
Prior to this moment, he was merely a spirit haunting the Mechanical Evil God’s Protection . His status was even lower than a pet as he didn’t have his own life .
In the previous battles, although he said he didn’t need to utilize psychic power to win against his foes, it could be said that it was a half-lie . The fact was that he created his vessel using the materials in Sila’s treasure room . Mamon controlled his vessel as if it were his own body . However, as it wasn’t his real body, he couldn’t exert much of his psychic power . Thus, he needed to rely on items and Hidden Gifts rather than his psychic power in order to acquire victory over his enemies .
However, now that he had sealed his own soul inside the Soul-Entrapping Rock and placed it inside his vessel, his original psychic power would gradually regenerate over time . Once he regained all of his lost power, his life would no longer be attached to the Mechanical Evil God’s Protection . He would become a full-fledged individual monster .
. . . Regaining genuine freedom .
Once that time came, he only needed to return to the Monster Realm to reclaim his glory . His army of devils would reach their usual height by regaining the shared Hidden Gifts with the help of his skill—Moon Alterer . Moreover, he would arm all of his troops with Lord-Rank weapons made of Orichalcum .
The day when both the Monster Realm and the New World came under his feet was closer than ever .
He only lacked the Hell Jade . If he just obtained it, Sila would no longer be useful to him .
Planning to this point, Mamon couldn’t help but let out a loud evil laugh .
Sila and the rest were facing a major crisis . The snow fairies were scarier than they had anticipated . Sila didn’t know whether it was due to the Ancient Magic or the accumulated anguish . In any case, he needed to put his all on the line without showing any openings . Each of the snow fairies in the magic domain was emitting terrifying magic power from their body . Their magic power was so cold that Sila’s bones were numb and his soul was freezing .
Sila combined the fire elements from Five-Attributed Cloud Qi and Orbiting Cosmos . Flames ignited throughout his body, enhancing both his attack power and his defense . He learned from his experience in the Fairy Kingdom that fairies were weak against wide areof-effect attacks . Sila shifted the attribute of his power to water which specialized in flexibility .
Attribute of Water — Sealing Chain .
His qi extended from his hand and materialized into a long chain . Sila flipped his hand and the qi chain moved like a snake . It curved and struck the snow fairies in succession . Pulling the chain back, Sila attacked the other fairies in a line . With this method, he could deal with the snow fairies without directly touching them .
Sebastian brandished his pale, new scythe to get rid of the snow fairies as if plucking weeds . Asura moved a short sword in his hand, and five more ruby short swords flew according to his movements like he was a conductor . A single wave of his attack could damage five fairies simultaneously . With his Crown Ruby gone, Asura’s overall strength fell sharply . Despite that, Asura relied on the Blood Stone Sebastian had given to him to exert his strength . As for Franz, she focused on defending by circulating qi throughout her body and lazily tossed Flame Liquid to attack the fairies from time to time .
Bluebird relied on his speed to evade the fairies’ attacks . His lightning spells didn’t work against them at all . In addition, he couldn’t make use of his ultimate skill since the fairies emitted extreme coldness that could freeze his hand before he could manage to touch them . In any case, seeing that the others were fighting diligently, he knew the number of fairies would decrease without him having to do anything . With that in his mind, he only focused on taking evasive actions .
Lomyok stood smilingly . Fairies were beautiful creatures so he thought they deserved to die in an elegant manner . He didn’t transform his weapon into a Chinese sword . Personally, he preferred the foldable fan over the Chinese sword . He sent his power through the Gorgeous Female Fan using Ray Assemble, Flame of Torturing, Freezing Soul, Worlds Crossing Bridge, and Cruise Breeze . The power sent out from the fan shot forward as a thin line, directly penetrating the core of each snow fairy in its path . Once the power struck their cores, it would scatter and freeze the fairies from within, immobilizing them . Then, the power would ignite and let the fairies disintegrate as beautiful ice particles .
“How beautiful~ There will be no other names more suitable than Sparkling Snow Jade that can describe the beauty of this move . Let's call it as such, then . ”
Out of nowhere, Lomyok stopped to give a name to his move . Regardless, excluding Sila, Lomyok was the person who killed the highest number of snow fairies . In addition, his killing method was the cleanest compared to the rest .
Lomyok unfolded his fan, changing his attacking method from pointing to waving . The snow fairies were blown away by a hot cyclone made of Flame of Torturing combined with Cruise Breeze .
The one who had the hardest time against the snow fairies turned out to be Burapha . He wasn’t as fast as Bluebird, so he struggled to evade all of the fairies’ attacks . The prominent point of his family lance art was the continuous waves . Burapha emitted several layers of psychic power through his lance . However, against the snow fairies, his waves of psychic power only amounted to small waves rather than a tsunami . Even if they received the attack head-on, they would only flinch for a brief moment . It was still fortunate that his lance possessed mighty defensive power . Otherwise, the glacial breezes from the snow fairies would have already frozen him to death .
Burapha was anxious . He injected more power into his lance, which made the energy explode into several layers once it came into contact with one of the snow fairies . There was a moment of chaos as his comrades needed to hurriedly avoid the explosion . Bluebird couldn’t avoid it in time as he was hit by it and fell down .
“Oi, Burapha, be careful! Don’t attack the people on your side . ”
“It’s my lance art’s fault! I suspect it may not be suitable for group battles . ”
Burapha was restless . His attack yielded no results if he reduced the power, and became uncontrollable when he tried to make it powerful enough to damage the fairies . His father invented this lance art on his own, so it was possible that it really had such a downside .
Excluding Bluebird, nobody blamed Burapha . They knew it was normal for crossfire to occur in a group battle . Even Asura and Franz sometimes deliberately yet sneakily aimed their attacks at Sebastian, who would calmly dodge then pretend to be surprised while counterattacking, which Asura and Franz would also dodge .
The number of snow fairies started to decline . Witnessing this, Sebastian wondered what the reason was . Generally, these fairies were supposed to instantly respawn upon death as long as they were bound by the Ancient Magic . Even he himself had been stressing about what method he could use to break the domain from the inside . He didn’t understand why the number of them could diminish . Unbeknownst to him, Mamon, who was outside, was constantly absorbing the snow fairies into the stones .
“My teacher once told me this: when doubting your ability, rather than blaming other factors, you should be doubting yourself first . ” Sila sent a sound transmission to Burapha .
When Lomyok’s indiscernible strength was excluded, Burapha was the weakest member of the group . It wasn’t like his strength was lacking . Rather, what he lacked was experience . Take Bluebird for example, his strength wasn’t exceptional but he could survive various situations . Honestly speaking, if a death match between Burapha and Bluebird were to occur, Burapha would have a higher chance of winning . However, with Bluebird’s personality, he would run away the moment he realized his odds were low .
As far as Sila saw it, Burapha’s lance art was quite interesting . It was a defensive profound art with complexity, likely to be an art with dual attributes of wood and water . It was more of a martial art rather than a qi art . With this kind of art, even if the opponent was stronger, the user would still have a shot at winning as long as they properly utilized the art .
Sila had never seen the Eastern Sea Sailing Lance Art’s original inventor, so he naturally couldn’t tell the right way to utilize the art . However, as he saw Burapha using it, Sila could at least tell that Burapha must have been using it in an incorrect manner . He guessed it might be the methodology of the art’s owner to let Burapha discover the correct way to wield the art himself through trial and error .
“As far as I see it, I think you swing your lance too fast, Burapha . To utilize psychic power, you have to clear your mind first . The more a battle heats up, the calmer you must become . Don’t mind what others say about you . Don’t mind the enemy . Don’t mind the result of the battle . ”
Sila refined his experiences and put them into his own words . Burapha’s lance art was more inclined to the wood attribute rather than water, so it obviously focused on control and slowness . As for clearing one’s mind to utilize psychic power, it came from Divine’s guidance .
‘The more a battle heats up, the calmer you must become . ’
Only this line gave Burapha a spark of thought . He couldn’t properly understand the rest of Sila’s words . For example, how was swinging the lance too fast a problem? In his opinion, the one who was quicker would become more advantageous in battles as the enemy wouldn’t be able to keep up with their speed . Also, what does it mean to not mind the enemy? If we don’t mind the enemy, who will we be fighting against?
“Ah… We are fighting ourselves,” exclaimed Burapha .
In fact, He had been so close to realizing this fact . He had been missing just a single step to push his Eastern Sea Sailing Lance Art to another level . With Sila’s words, they finally pushed Burapha from a gamer to become a true martial artist .
“So this is the true meaning of the eyepatch,” Burapha muttered to himself . At first, he relied on it to train his Psychic Eyes . Once he mastered it, the eyepatch was no longer important to him . Yet, his father still insisted that he wear it . His father told him he would understand the reason when the time came .
In the beginning, Burapha thought his father just wanted to act cool . Wearing an eyepatch to match his title: the One-Eyed Evil God .
Finally, he understood the reason why he had to wear it .
One eye was there to look at the enemy when the other was needed to look into yourself . He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster . And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you . Thus, we must closely and constantly observe ourselves so as to not fall into depravity .
Burapha decided not to remove his eyepatch, similar to how his father always wore it to remind himself of this exact moment . His power flowed according to his body’s movement . His series of movements were consistent, balanced, and continuous . His lance art emphasized gentleness rather than raw power . The short lance in his hand precisely connected with the snow fairy’s attack .
His psychic power sent out five ripples, going from his hand through his lance to inside the snow fairy . Each of the ripples supported the previous one . Soon, the snow fairy screamed and disintegrated .
This didn’t mean Burapha increased his power output . He merely changed his way of utilizing it . His father was famous for being able to defeat any enemies in a single blow, so he had mistakenly thought the Eastern Sea Sailing Lance Art was an offensive art . It turned out that the art was rather defensive . However, its defensive power would accumulate in the opponent’s body every time the user blocked attacks with the lance . The invading power appeared in a form of small ripples which were difficult to detect . Then, when the user attacked, the waves of power would explode from within the opponent’s body, fierce like a stormy sea .
This was the Eastern Sea Sailing Lance Art's hidden application, the trick that made it the art which could defeat any opponent in a single move .
Burapha’s psychic power emitted in the form of several layers rather than a protective aura like others did . It was a unique trait of his family lance art . The layers would gently come into contact with his opponent and echo back to inform the user of how much power was needed to invade the opponent’s body without letting them realize it .
Burapha went purely defensive . He didn’t dare to call himself an expert yet, but it was the fact that his current strength was sufficient against the snow fairies . The number of the fairies which he killed was slowly catching up to what Sebastian and Asura had achieved, though they weren’t trying their hardest . Up to now, Bluebird was the sole person who ended up unable to kill even a single fairy .
An explosion rang out, followed closely by the snow fairies’ screams . All of them collapsed on the ground, twitching while showing pained expressions . The number of trees returned to normal . It seemed the domain was out of power .
Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked in the direction of the sound, where a cloud of smoke was rising . Soon, Mamon walked to them from that way .
“What happened?” asked Bluebird .
Mamon revealed a blue crystal in his hand . It was tied with a rope and there was a talisman with ancient characters placed on it . It had originally been buried under the snow, protected by various spells . However, Mamon discovered its location thanks to one of his Hidden Gifts . He apparently used a bomb to dig it up .
Witnessing the crystal in Mamon’s hand, Sebastian exclaimed, “Ah, that must be the artifact which converts the fairies’ magic power into the domain . ”
Mamon tossed it into the sky before slashing it into tiny pieces using his Spider Blades . The snow fairies screamed painfully . Their transparent tears slid down their cheeks as their bodies shivered pitifully before completely vanishing .
“With this, there will be no more of that stupid labyrinth . Let’s go,” Mamon said indifferently .
“Did you really need to kill them? Asking them to free us should have been enough,” said Asura .
“It would waste my time . ” Mamon shrugged before leading the way . Even though his action seemed to be excessive, no one objected to it . Being too kind to the enemy could be welcoming future misfortune . Maybe what Mamon did was the right call .
Sila and the rest could comfortably walk past the Winter Forest as there were no more obstacles blocking their path .
Not a single snow fairy could be seen in the Winter Forest . In fact, there would be no more of them even in the future . Mamon intentionally set it up that way to prevent someone else from obtaining Soul Crystals the way he did .
There had to be no mistake in his great plan, no matter how small it was .