“What’s this all of a sudden…”
“I think it’s telling us to choose a door and enter?”
Two members of the party discussed as they examined the four doors.
‘You can only choose once.’
Only one person could enter a room and these kinds of trials could not be repeated.
Once someone enters a room, the door loses its effect.
It was also impossible for one to pass a trial and attempt another.
Until this time, no one has ever reached the shrine so the four trials were still intact.
Muyoung rubbed his chin.
‘The trials are chosen by the specific characteristics of each of the 72 Demons.’
There are always treasures to be found in places where the Star of David appears.
However, the methods of attaining these treasures were different.
The method would usually depend on the specific characteristics of the Demon.
The trial to obtain the Book of Amon was a conflict between human malice and selfishness.
In the end, there were more than 500 casualties as people ended up killing each other.
On the other hand…
What about Gremory?
‘Gremory never revealed herself, even until the very end.’
There were only rumors that she was the only female Demon, besides that, there was no other information.
Even after the Great Calamity, when the Demons were destroying mankind, she never showed herself.
There were a few Demons who never showed up either, but even among them, Gremory was especially hidden under a veil.
He would have no choice, but to make a decision depending on the commonly known characteristics of Gremory.
‘Fidelity, honesty, generosity and anguish.’
The first things that come to mind were those four.
There were a few characteristics included that didn’t match with the typical image of Demons, but since he had never seen Gremory, there was nothing he could do.
Anyhow, these were the characteristics used to describe Gremory in literature, he had to assume that the trials had something to do with them.
‘Will there be rewards in every trial or after the completion of all four trials or if not those, will the reward be hidden in just a single trial?”
There was no way to know right now.
“Somehow, I feel uneasy. I, I’m not going in.”
Eventually, a man raised a white flag.
The sounds and the aura emitted from the doors were without a doubt able to stimulate fear in humans.
Unless you were quite courageous, you wouldn’t even think about opening a door.
Since Muyoung was used to these situations, he wasn’t very affect, but to those whose lives were the most precious to them, it was an obvious choice.
“Mister, can I go in there?”
Suzy broke the brief silence.
Muyoung looked at her indifferently.
She was the youngest and was physically the weakest.
She was only able to survive because of her quick wits and decisiveness.
Since she was with her father, he didn’t expect her to take risks, but she was the first to affirm she would be challenging one of the doors.
The door she chose was
“No one knows what’s waiting for you inside the door. Is there a reason why you chose this door?”
“I don’t know. I just think that I should enter that door.”
She bowed her head deeply.
It looked like she didn’t know how to explain herself.
‘A feeling. Or a trap.’
It was hard to conclude the reason why only Suzy felt that way.
But it felt like it wasn’t just fluke.
‘It’s not a trap.’
If it was, there was no way they would target Suzy.
It is natural they would try to separate the most powerful one here, Muyoung.
Even if they targeted Suzy, it wasn’t like she would influence others.
He recalled Suzy’s past actions.
As he thought about it, he realized that, although she wouldn’t always be doing the best thing to survive, she would at least take the next best action.
Like the time she survived the attack of the Three-clawed Shrewmice.
The others would try their best to close their distance between Muyoung, but only she would keep her distance and secretly look for a place to avoid the fight.
She wasn’t taking actions consciously, her instincts and senses took over.
“Which door do you think I will have to enter?”
So he asked.
No matter how hard he thought, there was no definite answer.
On the other hand, Suzy acted with ‘confidence’.
The more surprising fact was her father’s reaction.
Normally parents would try to stop their children from getting in danger.
Yet, as if it was natural, he didn’t even try to stop her.
Most likely, he knew about her ‘feeling’.
As she looked back and forth between the four doors and Muyoung, she pointed at a door.
Muyoung followed her finger and looked towards the door.
‘The difficult and long path.’
He shook his head.
He then stood in front of the door with the phrase
“All of you enter the door Suzy chooses for you.”
Taehwan stared at him in surprise as if inquiring what he meant.
It was abnormal to let a child make a choice that could decide their fate.
However, Muyoung thought it was the right choice.
Although he could only explain it as a ‘feeling’, since he had experienced life in the Underworld, he able to accept it rather easily.
It wasn’t like there was no one with foresight in the Underworld.
“Suzy, who are the people who will attempt the remaining two doors?”
“Taehwan oppa and that person.”
She didn’t hesitate as she picked out those two people.
And so it was decided that Taehwan was to attempt the
“The-then are you telling me to stay out here with this person?”
The man, who was the first to say that he wouldn’t enter the trials, trembled.
It was because if he was to stay with the armless cripple, there was no doubt they would die if the monsters attacked.
“As long as you’re in the shrine, the shrewmice won’t attack.”
It wasn’t a place where beasts like shrewmice could enter whenever they wanted.
And there really were no traces of shrewmice around the shrine.
‘We have to finish as fast as possible.’
It will be midnight in nine hours.
They need at least one hour to return back to the temple.
If they aren’t able to get out of the trials by then, then the topography of the forest will change.
If that happens, it will be much harder to return to the temple.
“Then… let’s see each other on the other side.”
Muyoung was the first to open the door.
The inside of the room was pitch black like a black hole.
As soon as he stepped into the room, the door slammed shut behind him.
He looked around his surroundings.
An endlessly desolate desert.
There was absolutely nothing in this place.
‘My bag and magical items disappeared.’
On top of that, his food and water were gone as well.
Thin clothes and a scimitar were all he had.
It seemed like the items unnecessary for the trial were removed.
‘If I keep walking, I guess something will pop up.’
Didn’t the name already suggest it would be a ‘difficult and long path’?
There was no way that as soon as he stepped into the room, he would see his objective.
He pushed through the rough sand and walked forward.
How long had he been walking?
It felt like it had been at least a day.
If it was him in the past, he would have been fine after walking continuously without rest for a week. However, in his current state, he was slowly approaching his limit.
The lack of food and water was the problem.
It was incredibly taxing to walk without rest towards an unknown destination.
If it was any normal person, they would have already exhausted their mind and body.
However, Muyoung wasn’t normal.
‘I can still endure a bit longer.’
He dragged his feet.
After walking like that for a few hours, he came across an oasis.
But the water in the oasis gave off a purple hue.
He sniffed the water and dipped his tongue in the water.
He spat out the water immediately and turned his body away.
Poison was mixed in.
It wasn’t a strong poison, but if he was to drink it, it would only momentarily relieve his thirst.
It wasn’t wise to try to distill the water without the proper tools either.
The fourth day.
The next thing to appear was a rabbit.
He tried to hunt down the rabbit, but the rabbit was always slightly faster than him.
So close, yet so far.
The distance between the two wouldn’t shrink no matter what he tried.
‘So it’s like this.’
After walking for four days, a man who has lost all sense of reason will do whatever it takes to catch the rabbit.
But Muyoung realized that it was a trick.
He gave up on the rabbit and forced his feet to move.
He walked a few more hours like that.
Even the great Muyoung had eventually collapsed on floor.
‘I can’t fall here.’
The mind controls the body.
Muyoung was successful in getting his body back up with extreme concentration.
Compared to the beginning, his pace was very slow, but he didn’t give up and continued to walk.
To make up for his loss of energy, his body started to burn away his muscles.
This was the most optimal choice his body could make in this situation where there wasn’t even water to drink.
Not long after, his body was only skin and bones and his hair started falling out quite quickly.
It was because he was Muyoung, he was able to stay alive in that state and continue walking.
For 40 years, there was not a single moment when he lived his own life.
He wanted to live his own life.
A life of some significance.
However, that was impossible.
But then, he was given a chance.
There was no way he was going to waste this chance as soon as he got it.
Even though there were tens, even hundreds of times he could have given up, he didn’t.
Along the way, food and water did appear, but since he knew that the trial was simply tempting him, he didn’t even bother to look at them.
As his stamina and mentality reached their limits, someone blocked his path.
“Why did you destroy the Forest of Death? Didn’t we have a good relationship the past 40 years?”
Was it a mirage?
The man in front of him was the owner of the Forest of Death, the chief.
Muyoung waved his hands, however the chief didn’t disappear.
“It… wasn’t… my life.”
“Didn’t you kill all your companions that have been with you for years? The ones who you laughed and played with!”
“We… never… laughed.”
Muyoung took out the scimitar from his chest.
“Just wait. This time, I will certainly erase you.”
Once he returns to the Underworld, his first target will be the Forest of Death.
It would be difficult to do this right away, but he will strengthen himself and annihilate them as fast as possible.
As he slashed out with his scimitar, the chief’s blood sprayed out.
Muyoung drank the blood dripping off the chief.
He bit into the chief’s flesh.
And then, approximately 300 members of the Forest of Death appeared.
Their eyes were blank.
It looked as if they were asking why he killed them and to take responsibility for their deaths.
However, Muyoung looked at the sight and laughed brightly.
“I don’t regret my decision.”
He used the last of his strength and performed a deadly sword dance.