Chapter 245: The Secret of the Balrog (3)
Magical beasts were organisms that didn't fundamentally have what was called 'reasoning power'.
Although they had spirits, as they were filled with Devil Energy, in the end, they were just organisms that just had instinct left.
However, even these magical beasts, if the rank of their spirit went up, their ego, which had been eaten away by the Devil Energy, awakened little by little.
Therefore, starting from 'High-rank' magical beasts, they gradually developed hints of emotions, while Highest-rank (Heroic-rank) magical beasts were able to 'think', and starting from Legendary-rank magical beasts, at the least, they had intellect that was equal to or more advanced than a young child's.
And the 'Balrog', which was one of the Legendary-rank magical beasts, was known to have the most exceptional intellect even amongst the magical beasts of the same rank.
"The Balrog has an ability that allows it to handle the spirit of magical beasts that are weaker than it."
At Ricardo's explanation, Ian asked back.
"An ability… that allows it to handle spirits?"
"That's right. They don't just call the Balrog 'The King of Magical Beasts' for no reason. The only being that can control magical beasts besides Devil Summoners are Balrogs."
The reason Balrogs were also called by another name, the 'King of the Magical Beasts'.
Ricardo was talking about that.
"Is that related to the reason why the Balrogs are more powerful than other Legendary-rank magical beasts?"
Ricardo nodded his head.
After pausing for a moment to take a breath, he continued his words.
"The reason that the Balrog can handle the spirit of other magical beasts is because it has an inherent ability called 'Devil Energy Sharing'."
Ian was quietly listening to Ricardo's words, and before he realized it, Kaka, who flew over to his shoulder and sat on it, was also focusing on Ricardo's story.
"Kaka, it seems like this is knowledge that you don't even know either, huh?"
Kaka nodded his head.
"That's right, owner. Since even if it's me, it's not like I know everything there is to know about the world."
Ricardo, who heard the two's brief conversation, smirked as he continued his words.
"Anyhow, continuing with the explanation, this ability called Devil Energy Sharing is an ability that allows a Balrog to inject their own Devil Energy into a target, as well as borrow the Devil Energy of their targets. And if the target that they've shared Devil Energy with or received Devil Energy from is weaker than them, they are able to control it."
And shortly after, the Devil Spirit Orb that was in Ricardo's hand floated up in the air.
As it did so, surprisingly, the Balrog began to be controlled according to Ricardo's will.
"Exactly like this, that is."
Ian spoke with a puzzled expression.
"Weren't you just explaining that ability as the Balrog's ability? How is it that you are able to use that ability?"
This time, Kaka suddenly jumped in out of nowhere and responded to Ian's question.
"That's because of that Devil Spirit Orb over there, owner."
"That Devil Spirit Orb is an item that allows you to put one inherent ability into it, and it looks like the inherent ability of the Balrog, 'Devil Energy Sharing', is contained inside of that item."
At Kaka's explanation, the corners of Ricardo's mouth slightly curled upwards.
"Indeed… I see that you're a 'Karga Phantom', a species from the legends. I didn't think there would be someone who knew about Devil Spirit Orbs."
However, Ian didn't resolve all of his questions yet.
"So, how exactly does that inherent ability called Devil Energy Sharing make a Balrog strong?"
Ricardo's explanation continued.
"It's because the more magical beasts a Balrog takes care of, the greater the amount of Devil Energy that it can borrow, and it can temporarily use that enormous strength in battle."
It was only then that Ian began to understand.
'So, he's saying that this creature pulled in the strength of the magical beasts that were nearby and used it, right? Hmm… so that's why it was that strong.'
However, Ricardo's words did not end there.
"On top of that, the reason why my Balrog is especially strong is because I lent my Devil Energy to it through the ability of the Devil Energy Sharing."
Even after that, Ian asked about a couple more things he was curious of to Ricardo, and Ricardo responded with quite a lot of detail to his questions.
"Thank you, Ricardo. Thanks to you, I received a large amount of help."
"Not at all. It's only fair that I respond this much when you've significantly helped me in guarding my castle."
Ian, who was finished with the conversation, slightly glanced at the Balrog that stood while boasting an imposing appearance next to Ricardo.
'Ah… I want one.'
Ian's gaze turned towards Ricardo again.
"Ricardo, would it be alright if I asked you just one more last thing?"
"What is it?"
Ian slightly glanced at the Balrog as he replied.
"What must you do in order to obtain a Balrog?"
Ricardo, whose eyes slightly grew as soon as he heard those words, soon let out a loud laugh.
"Keu-hhat, are you saying that you want a Balrog?"
Ian replied with a slightly stiff voice.
"That, that's right."
Ricardo laughed uncontrollably as he slowly responded.
"What a truly entertaining character you are. Sure, the Balrog… it's certainly the dream of Devil Summoners to handle a Balrog as a magical beast familiar."
He shook his head as he continued his words.
"However, the Balrog is not a stage that you can dream of yet. You are a rookie that was recently introduced to the path of the Devil Summoner, no?"
Ian, who was at a loss for words, scratched the back of his head.
"Even if you were to go to 'that place' in order to capture a Balrog, you would instead just be eaten up."
Ricardo grinned as he replied.
"I'm saying that your spirit would be eaten away by the Balrog."
Fundamentally, to have your spirit eaten away meant the same as becoming a Balrog's puppet.
Of course, there was no way of knowing what would happen to Ian's spirit if it was eaten away, but he didn't really want to find out.
Ian licked his lips out what seemed to be disappointment.
"Do you think you could at least tell me where 'that place' is?"
Ricardo responded frankly as if there was no problem in answering that.
"If you go to the 'Grave of the Forgotten Spirit' in Zone 15 of the Devildom, you will be able to meet them without much difficulty."
The Lord's office of the Pyro Domain.
The three women sat in a circle around the round table in the middle of the office, and a tension, which the reason for was unclear, was hanging around that round table.
Harin asked Levya in a cold tone.
"So… you're saying that you've come here in order to meet with Ian, right?"
Levya honestly nodded her head.
"Yes, I'm currently in the middle of an important quest, but I need him in order to continue with this quest."
Harin looked up and down at Levya.
'Hmm, why is he getting entangled with such a pretty girl like this again, this Jinsung punk!'
Harin was currently in a foul mood.
As a woman, whom she was seeing for the first time, was looking for Ian with the excuse(?) of a quest, there was no way that she would be in a good mood.
However, she was not really anxious about the fact that she was pretty.
This was because the criteria that Ian was looking for from a girl was different from normal guys.
'Now that I think about it, the fact that she's pretty doesn't really matter, but if it is a user that's ranked 1st place in the Priest rankings, doesn't that mean that she's incomparably better at gaming than I am?'
Harin was troubled about the fact that a woman, who was so good at gaming to the point that she was even able to obtain the title of being 1st place in a class's rankings, was looking for Ian.
With a slightly trembling(?) voice, Harin opened her mouth again.
"Would it be alright if I knew what kind of quest it was as well?"
At Harin's question, rather, Fiolan, who was next to her, was startled.
'Hmm… this could be a sensitive question for rankers.'
Fiolan was having completely different thoughts from Harin.
'The fact that the first place user of the Priest rankings, who was covered in a veil of mystery until now, came looking for our guild on her own two feet, if it's possible to scout her, she would become an incredible addition to our fighting power, but it's not like Harin is putting her in a foul mood, right?'
However, contradictory to Fiolan's concerns, Levya openly nodded her head as she replied.
"Yes, well, there's nothing difficult about that."
And in the next moment, in front of the eyes of Hari and Fiolan, an unexpected system message popped up.
Ring-.You have been shared 'The Calling of Sandyena, God of the Earth (Hidden) (Connected)' quest through User 'Levya'. Will you accept the quest sharing? (Y/N)
After Ian obtained information about Devil King Ricardo and the Balrog, he immediately proceeded with the quest.
He had delivered the letter that he received from Seraphim to Ricardo.
And Ricardo, who read that letter, wore an incredibly grave expression.
"Hmm, so such incidents had occurred. That's why the destructive devils are suddenly being strong-minded."
Ricardo began to briefly explain the situation of the Devildom to Ian.
"Largely, there are two forces that exist within this Devildom."
If his explanation was roughly summarized, it was like this.Largely, the devils that made up the Devildom were divided into the moderates and the hardliners. The common devils that made up 50% of the devil population were moderates, while about 10% of the population were neutral, and the destructive devils that made up the remaining 40% of the population were affiliated with the hardliners. The destructive devils wish to go against the reason of the dimension and plunder the other dimensions by invading them, and the common devils opposed that. Meanwhile, a couple of the Devil Kings, who were affiliated with the destructive devils, recently succeeded in getting it promoted to a higher grade, and due to those devils, an indication of a dimensional war was beginning to become plausible again.
Ian asked about the parts that he was curious about.
"Then why is it that the destructive devils are trying to proceed with a dimensional war?"
"The reason for that is simple. It is because whenever devils can make a group of spirits go extinct, they are able to obtain a portion of the strength that the spirits had as Devil Energy. They want to raid other dimensions that are weaker in comparison to the Devildom to become stronger a little more easily and quickly."
Ian, who understood Ricardo's words, nodded his head.
However, as this was the case, another question formed.
"Hmm… then what's the reason for the moderates to oppose that?"
Ricardo responded simply.
"That's because that is an act that goes against the providence of the God."
"In the end, if the Devildom attacks other dimensions and takes them in as their colony, they can't help but become enemies of the public towards the tons of other dimensions out there. If that is the case, then the existence of the Devildom will become dangerous instead, that is."
Ian rubbed his chin as he spoke.
"Hmm… then the destructive devils must have taken a stance where they believe that they are confident enough to defeat the other dimensions even if they were to form an alliance against them."
"That's exactly it."
Through this conversation, Ian was able to obtain a decent understanding about the outlook of the world of the Devildom.
'As expected, it's just like the devils to regard power as the greatest value.'
Ian, who managed to organize his thoughts, slowly opened his mouth again.
It was now time for him to accept the next connected quest.
"Then what must I do now in order to stop them from invading the human world now?"
At Ian's question, Ricardo, who momentarily paused, wore a bitter smile as he responded.
"Hmm… unfortunately, the way to stop them has now disappeared."
"That's because the Evil Dragon Khalifa, whom I had sealed up deep inside of the dark abyss a thousand years ago, has awoken."
Ian, who didn't quite understand what he meant, stared at Ricardo without a word, and he finished his explanation.
"Originally, in order to open the dimensional door to invade the human world, at least five Devil Kings, who are powerful enough to be ranked within the top 10 of the grading system, must combine their strength."
After pausing for a moment, he continued his words.
"However, currently, amongst the Devil Kings that rank within the top 10 of the grading system, there is only a total of 4 destructive devils."
Ricardo was also ranked 7th in the grading system, and he was one of the devils that had enough power to qualify.
"That's why they were unable to open the dimensional door as they liked up until this point. However, now, a being that can fill up the last remaining spot has been released from the seal."
At those words, Ian couldn't help but be greatly surprised.
'Evil Dragon Khalifa was that powerful of a being?'
Ian had received the quest related to Devil King Khalifa before he had even reached lv 100.
Because of that, naturally, he had slightly looked down on Khalifa.
'Euh… what do I do then if the quest that Iriel gave me is to kill Khalifa or something?'
Towards Ian, whose mind had become a mess, Ricardo continued his words.
"Anyhow, now, the method in order to stop the destructive devils from invading the human world has even disappeared for us as well."
And as Ricardo's words ended, a system message popped up.
Ring-.As you have not been able to satisfy a specific requirement, the activation of the 'Beginnings of the Devil III (Hidden)(Connected)' Quest has been cancelled. You have completed the 'Beginnings of the Devil III (Hidden) (Connected)' Quest. Clear Rank: A You have received 250 thousand Fame.
Ian wore a bitter expression.
'Damn it, why did that Khalifan or whatever punk suddenly awaken? I need to clear all of the connected quests in order for the final reward to be enormous…'
However, in front of the eyes of Ian, who was licking his lips, a new message additionally popped up.As a specific requirement has been satisfied, a new hidden quest has been activated.