[How is it, Warrior? I'm the best, right? Right? I'm the best, right?]
I lifted the chattering holy sword and briefly stood in confusion.
To think it could release this power irrespective of its wielder's will.
What's worse, the intellect behind its will seems to be sharp.
[As I thought, you'd prefer a woman's voice over my performance, Warrior? Please don't worry, Warrior. Until now, whenever I had a chance, I have been practicing. Ah, ah. Tee-hee.]
[TL Note: I omitted the “tee-hee” thing in a previous chapter. He only said it once in that chapter. At the time, I didn’t really find a good way to depict his attempt at cutesy speech.]
It didn't have the intelligence of a human, but rather was at the level of an orangutan whose head was hit by a rock.
It also talks.
Though it mostly spewed out mumbo-jumbo.
I can't use this weapon however I wish, so it wouldn't fit into the category of a normal weapon.
If I mishandle it, or if there's discord between us, I could hurt myself with it; but how would anyone be able to use this thing in the first place?
However, despite that…
The lofty rampart is collapsing.
The soldiers under the collapsing rampart were buried under a mound of rubble and wordlessly crushed to death.
After the primary damage caused by the falling rocks, the small hill of debris surged towards the surrounding soldiers like a landslide and likewise crushed them.
The warriors hurriedly moved from their positions, so that they wouldn't be buried as well.
I heard the screams and moans from the warrior whose hand I sliced off, as well as from the soldiers who had lost their comrades.
You're saying that this is a holy sword?
I feel like it's something that I have to throw into the pits of Mount Doom.
[PR Note: Mount Doom is a Lord of the Rings reference. It’s a big scary volcano with a lava pit at its peak.]
However, I still have a reason to not roughly throw this sword away.
I examined the sword that rang out with a sound similar to purring.
I regret that this sword had settled in and found its rightful place in my hands.
I'd like to immediately throw away the sword in my hand.
However, this sword would definitely split even the sky as a result.
The warrior who had lost his hand and was crying…
I now know why the warrior who had lost his hand and was crying had been so confident.
Also, I understood why he was so easily worked up and when he became agitated, why his hand went to the hilt of the sword.
If you were to suddenly acquire this strength overnight, you'd definitely be like that.
If I were to think about that Warrior's level, he must've felt like he had become a god overnight.
"It's definitely a demonic sword."
[I'm disappointed, Warrior. I really am a holy sword. In fact, I've received a blessing from the God of the Sky.]
I have no idea what the God of the Sky was thinking.
The god's blessing may have enhanced the sword's power, but this sword is definitely not a sacred sword.
It was a sword that drove its wielder to his death.
I felt that it was fortunate that this sword had been sealed in the basement of the capital.
If this sword had been dropped in the middle of the continent, there would be a countless number of deaths in that region.
The Empire might've summoned the warriors because they didn't want to give this sword to one of its knights.
It was an absent minded notion , but when I thought of it that way I really felt that it was truly how things were.
[I love you, Warrior. I'm not just saying this because I'm in your hand. When I was in that half-wit's hand, do you know how much I tried to reach you? Tut. That half-wit wouldn't listen to a word I said.]
"What did you do then?"
[Uh, Oh? Hahaha. It's a secret. I love you. Warrior.]
Looking at how this guy talks, it seems like he urged that Warrior to fight with me.
I really should throw it into a volcano; I feel like this sword is fit to be dropped into lava.
That's what I thought.
[Tutorial, Hell Difficulty 26h floor, perfect clear.]
[All status effects and injuries are healed.]
[You have received 5000 points for clearing the floor.]
[You have received 5000 points for being the first to clear the floor.]
[Many gods react positively to you. You have received 9000 points.]
[Many gods react negatively to you. 300 points have been deducted.]
[All of the Gods of the Temple of the Hundred Gods are watching you.]
[TL Note: Changed White Holy Temple to this. White Holy Temple was an incorrect translation, but I got lazy and copy-pasted the original translation. I’m really unsure when I should change terms that people are so used to, but this one REALLY bothered me. I try not to change the previous translators’ translations.]
[The God of the Sky would like to gift you a divine item instead of an additional reward. Would you like to accept?]
[Live Voting Results: 20 For. 19 Against.]
[The God of Light would like you to become his disciple.]
[Would you like to undergo the test to prove your worthiness to become a disciple?]
Messages started to appear tumultuously.
A perfect clear.
The Demon King had drawn out his true power, but I had defeated him alone.
In the process of getting the holy sword, not only did I not receive the trial of the holy sword, but it cornered the original owner into a deadly situation as well in order to be owned by me.
They were definitely conditions for a perfect clear.
The next thing I have to check is... the bonus rewards and the disciple offer.
First I'll check out the bonus rewards.
[The Holy Sword of the Sky, Ahoubuch has been acquired.]
The message appeared and at the same time, the holy sword in my hands disappeared.
I opened my inventory.
It was there.
The holy sword was in my inventory.
[The Holy Sword of the Sky, Ahoubuch]
Explanation: The God of the Sky, in order to punish arrogant humans, gifted this sword to the most arrogant of humans, the Empire's Emperor. The Emperor who had received the present, and the next representing Emperor, and the next representing Emperor, and the next representing Emperor were all swallowed up in a series of incidents caused by the holy sword and died.
As I thought, it's a holy sword in name only.
Its actual effect wasn't very different from the biblical story of God's flood that punished humans.
To have killed four generations of Emperors, what exactly did this sword do?
While that was happening, the Empire could neither discard the sword nor break it.
I don't know if it was due to the sword's overwhelming power or that they didn't want to anger the god, but this sword is definitely a demonic sword.
I should just shove this into my inventory and leave it.
Aside from the sword's heinousness, this sword has an excessively high degree of power.
If I use it immediately, tremendous results would be shown, but I won’t have the opportunity to grow for quite some time.
Of course, if it were a normal challenger, they'll just think of it as a tremendous reward.
I think that the gods fixed the balance so that twenty five people would proceed through the stage.
However, if I draw out the maximum strength of this sword, I won't be able to face any danger that’s actually dangerous for quite some time.
It's an excessive reward for me.
The next thing I had to check was the disciple offer.
The God of Light had offered me to become his disciple.
I pondered briefly and after I made my decision, I put it off.
I hadn't replied to the God of Death's offer to become a disciple yet.
I'll get some advice from Kiri Kiri and carefully make my decision.
Of course, in order to get advice about the gods, as well as information on them, I'll have to wait a long time though.
Rather than lacking in strength right now, I’m actually overflowing with power.
The stage had increased in difficulty and that's what I had wanted, but I didn't have a reason to obsess over possibly getting a new god skill.
I would first have to improve my own abilities.
Then, I can just receive the authorities after that.
[TL Note: The author uses the term “authority” to differentiate between his normal skills and the skills that gods give him; it also refers to their (gods’) power. Sometimes, the author refers to them as "authority skills" as well. I believe previous translators just translated them as "skills". As per my editors' recommendation, I've kept it as authorities. I had compromised and used "god skill" before. I let my editors change it to whatever they thought best, so long as the general meaning is conveyed.]
I finished sorting everything out and saw the portal.
Should I depart immediately?
Behind me, I heard a voice I hadn't been thinking about.
It was Seregia.
"Ah, Lady Seregia. You have worked hard all this time. Thank you for taking care of me."
"I think I'm going to head out now. It seems like this is where we part ways."
Seregia, who had been behind me, stood in front of me, and said, "Can't you take me with you?"
"Yes. That's a little…"
Seregia spoke with a serious expression.
It seemed that she had her usual expressionless face, but after seeing it several times, I could tell the differences between them.
"You said last time that so long as I don't die, you can't take me with you."
"Yes… I did say that but…"
That's a bad habit.
It might've been because I've spent so much time alone, but after all the tension is gone, my thoughts just spew out sometimes.
Talking to myself was bad in various ways.
Let's fix that soon.
"If that's really the case, I'll die and follow you."
"… Lady Seregia."
"Warrior, look at that."
The moment I was going to try to convince the insisting Seregia, Seregia pointed behind her.
The fortress had collapsed and the soldiers were dying.
Using the pretext of helping the soldiers, the warriors were running away from us.
Rather than saving the soldiers, it looked like they were running away from me no matter who saw it.
"You said that if I wanted to follow you, I had to die, Warrior, but even if I don't follow you, I'll die. Even if I somehow escape from here, I'll be chased."
That's probably the case.
If Seregia is left alone like this, she will be pursued by the Empire.
Also, she'll harbor the crime of destroying the fortress and stealing the holy sword all by herself.
She'll definitely die, 100%.
I was scratching my head and Seregia took out a dagger from her chest.
"As I said, I'll die and follow you."
And she forcefully stabbed her chest.
Blood spurted out from her chest.
I thought she would die because she was so bold.
Seregia didn't die.
Although it may look like it, the dagger hadn't pierced her heart.
I didn't need to use my elixir. If Seregia just uses the health potion that she has, she can sufficiently treat the wound.
Of course, if she just left it alone like that for a long time, she could die from excessive bleeding.
Seregia may have thought about it like this:
My path is too dangerous and that I couldn't bring her along.
So, if she didn't have the resolve to die, I couldn't bring her with me.
So she showed that she was prepared to die if need be.
However, that's not it.
I really can't take her with me unless she dies.
"Lady Seregia. Are you really prepared to die?" I asked abruptly.
Honestly, I didn't think it'd be much of a problem.
Personally, there was only a faint boundary between life and death.
Whether that line actually existed was the question.
That's why I was ready to take her with me if she wanted to.
That's why I could ask her so easily.
If she would really die.
"As I had said, even if I stay here, I'll die."
So that I could progress the conversation quicker, I gave her a clear explanation.
"Lady Seregia. If you go with me, it won't be that it'll be so dangerous that you'll die. For starters, if you want to go with me, you have to die."
"… Is it necromancy?"
"No. Rather than that, it's closer to the art of death."
[TL Note: Korean doesn’t really have a lot of proper “fantasy” words, so they borrow terms from other languages. In the previous sentence, the author uses the borrowed Korean term for necromancy while in Seregia’s dialogue, ‘necromancy’ is spelled out how it would be pronounced in English.]
Seregia briefly stood wordlessly, all the while the dagger was still lodged in her chest.
"Think about it slowly. I can at least give you enough time to think about it."
While Seregia was thinking about it, I also thought about it.
About what decision she'd make.
She'd probably stab herself.
If I were her, that's what I'd do.
With a soft squelch, the dagger lodged in her chest wedged all the way in until the hilt.
She pierced her heart.
I wanted to reduce her pain at least a little so I activated Soul Siphon.
After she had pierced her heart, Seregia was exposed to Soul Siphon and quickly died.
I verified that Seregia's soul had been collected and I tried summoning her soul.
Seregia's form appeared in midair.
Compared to the other small palm-sized souls, Seregia's soul was as big as a forearm.
If we exclude the fact that she looks slightly blurry, she looked exactly like she did when she was alive.
"How do you feel?"
[I feel great. If I had known it would be like this, I wouldn't have hesitated and I would've died sooner.]
Seregia moved her body here and there and started to drift around as if she were swimming.
She adapted really quickly.
I looked at Seregia, who was muttering some nonsense while flying around her surroundings, and stepped atop the portal.
I left the 26th floor stage and moved to Kiri Kiri's field.
As usual, it was a peaceful and beautiful field, but there a few things that caught my attention.
To be exact, two things.
The first was that Seregia, who had been floating in the air beside me, disappeared.
The second was that I didn't see Kiri Kiri.