Chapter 204 – Preservation (4)
Translated by : betterdays
Proofread by : Hogu
Inside the elven village hidden deep within the forest, there was a considerable commotion.
The fight with Lee Sungmin and Guan Zun had caused the entire forest to shake and tremble violently. The elves who were able to connect to nature could figure out the outcome of the battle through the spirits and trees.
Guan Zuan had been slain
Qian Zun’s facial expression was shocked when he heard the news.
It was Qian Zun’s daughter, the hunting captain, who delivered the message to him.
She looked shocked and in denial as well, but she couldn’t afford to stay stubborn forever since Lee Sungmin was now heading towards them.
The purpose of Lee Sungmin entering the forest was common knowledge to the entire village at this point. He was coming to kill Qian Zun and would not stop or hesitate to destroy everything to achieve that goal.
What would they be able to even do against him? They didn’t even have 7 hunting group members left, and even if they had all 20, their resistance was futile at this point.
They had already confirmed now that they would be unable to stop the man known as Lee Sungmin even if Qian Zun removed his curse…
The elves living in the forest, not just the hunting group, were not powerless beings.
The elves, residing in the ancient forest, were stronger than grown men when they were children.
However, even if the hundreds of elves all attacked simultaneously, they would be unable to do anything to that man.
“That’s ridiculous.…Guan Zun….Guan… Zun….”
Qian Zun kept muttering. Qian Zun was well aware of the strength possessed by Guan Zun.
That’s why he couldn’t believe it. The hunting captain studied Qian Zun’s gloomy face.
Qian Zun was the father of the hunting captain. Since he was an elf, which was known to have incredible difficulties when it came to reproduction, his affection for his family was stronger than any other
The hunting captain opened her mouth.
“I think we should give up on the forest.”
Qian Zun was silent.
Qian Zun, who continued to maintain the curse, was vulnerable in this situation. But the thoughts passing through his mind were also valid. Would he even stand a chance without the curse being maintained?
Qian Zun cracked a bitter smile. Even if he fought under the protection of the forest, he was not confident in defeating Guan Zun. But the intruder had already killed Guan Zun in this very forest and had seemingly overwhelmed Guan Zun from start to finish.
“Even if we give up on the forest, where do you think he will go?”
Even if the elves sought to leave the forest with him, Lee Sungmin would just follow them. Not only that, but his movements would be restricted even if he lifted the curse right now, since it took a while even after lifting the curse for the effects to completely disappear.
He would need at least a couple hours to completely regain his strength if that happened.
“I can’t blame Guan Zuan or the Divine Maiden, who would have anticipated that the ‘Ghost Spear’ would defeat and kill Guan Zun?… Hahaha…”
Qian Zun laughed with his shoulders shaking. The hunting captain gazed at her weakened father with sombre eyes. Qian Zun, who had been laughing somewhat manically, suddenly stopped.
“There is no point in running away.”
Qian Zun murmured. No matter how swift his elven body was in the forest, he couldn’t imagine that he was faster than Lee Sungmin who had killed Guan Zun.
It would have to be the entire elven village too if they decided to flee. If Qian Zun left and retreated on his own, Lee Sungmin might simply slaughter the entire village in his wake.
However, the thought did pass Qian Zun’s mind if it was worth it to escape on his own. But he quickly shook his head.
Qian Zun did not want to live unless his kind would be able to survive as well.
No, he already knew the answer and route he should take. He merely didn’t have the courage to speak his mind and act on it.
“……Father, run away with me…….”
Qian Zun raised his eyes and stared at his daughter. It was his only descendent of his direct lineage still alive.
Qian Zun closed his eyes in silence.
Every person on the entire continent would be considering the same contradictory feelings that he had at that moment. Nobody, even the elves who could live for hundreds of years or undead, would want to accept their own death.
He wanted to live longer. He wanted to explore the depths of martial arts, sorcery and magic further.
But there were no longer any options left for him. It was time to act.
“Get me out of the village right now.”
Qian Zun opened his eyes and said, Thanks to his decision, he hoped that his sacrifice could preserve the elven lineage from Lee Sungmin’s rage. He also hoped for daughter to continue to live on.
Guan Zun was dead. If he continued to act stubbornly and selfishly, there would be nothing left of his race to preserve.
It was a simple matter. Either die alone, or die and let others die with you. Qian Zun did not want to make the decision to damn his own race.
“This is the best outcome possible. If I die alone, he won’t kill any more of our kind.”
“But…… father. From the moment he stepped into this forest, he only slaughtered the others without batting an eye……!”
“I cannot believe I have to repeat this to you. It is the basics of standing for a greater cause. That man kept his word that he would not kill any further with my sacrifice.”
“Don’t say anymore.”
Qian Zun looked into his daughter’s eyes saying so. He knew well. If she remained stubborn and attempted to take revenge, it would not end with just her death. He needed to keep her in check for the survival of their race.
The other elves in the village would be sensible to give up on any semblance of revenge. But his daughter was obviously sentimental. If she pursued a reckless revenge, it could affect the other’s lives.
“I want to be able to take my revenge if you go.”, she spoke
Qian Zun reached out his weak hand and held his daughter’s hand.
“Try and realize what is the best course of action here. Revenge right now with your current skills would be tantamount to suicide. Since I am going to die.… I want you to leave this forest and go to Mount Yuzhkia.”
“It’s going to be a long journey. Mount Yuzhkia is a far distance from here. When you arrive at the mountain, wait for the night of the full moon and climb the peak closest to the moon. Shout out my name and speak your intent , If you state what happened here and what you want, the Divine Maiden and the other Six Divinities will not reject you.”
“Keep my words in your mind. Remember, and never forget them. There will be no revenge if you die with me here and now. If you truly want my revenge, you must kill the man who killed me with your own hands and not screw it up and leave the other villagers as collateral.”
Qian Zun continued to speak, and his daughter’s shoulders trembled. She didn’t know what her father was talking about.
She didn’t want to accept it. In truth, she knew it as well. This was the ideal path that was necessary. Tears flowed down as her eyesight became blurry.
The hunting captain covered her face with both of her hands and started to sob.
It ate her conscience that her own father had to die for the survival of her own kind.
“There’s no time left.”
Qian Zun, who organized his thoughts, murmured.
* * *
When Lee Sungmin arrived at Elf’s village.
All the village elves were out in the open. They were observing Lee Sungmin with faces full of hostility, but within those same eyes, revealed an undeniable fear.
Lee Sungmin did not suffer much fatigue in his body or dantian even though he had just slain Guan Zun.
He had more than enough strength to act how he wished. There were fewer than three hundred elves making up the entire population of the village. If he truly wished to, he had enough strengtth to kill all the elves in this forest before the end of the day.
“You’re the one who killed Guan Zun.”
His voice was low. It sounded like a sick and dying patient, and at the end of his words, there was a dry and raspy cough. Lee Sungmin faced the direction of the voice.
As Lee Sungmin’s gaze fell on the direction of the voice, the elves standing there moved to the side, parting a path of sight for Lee Sungmin to finally see Qian Zun, who was lying there sitting in a wooden chair, deathly pale.
“You’re here to kill me, aren’t you?”
“So you’re Qian Zun…”
Lee Sungmin murmured in a low voice. Lee Sungmin’s bloodthirst and killing intent rose. The surrounding elves in the village, who had a keen sense, were surprised and stepped back.
Lee Sungmin slowly approached Qian Zun. Qian Zun spoke in a hurry.
“Just kill only me, please.”
“I’ve been banished from this forest. If you kill me, the Elves of this forest will not antagonize you any further.”
“I don’t know what that has to do with anything. I’ve already killed the other Elves in this forest, and I’ve killed a group of elves that aimed to hunt me down. I’m already an enemy of all the elves here.”
“Nothing will happen.”
Qian Zun continued with a raspy cough.
“You came into this forest, and you didn’t kill any elves without reason. I alone are responsible for the decisions and deaths of those elves. If you kill me here, neither the elves of this forest nor the Elves of other tribes will seek to make you their enemy.”
“It doesn’t matter if I am an enemy of the elves here or across Eria. The pursuit of the elves may be annoying, but it’s not something I can’t handle.”
“……Can we not avoid killing more innocent lives and prevent a mass slaughter?”
“That’s for me to decide.”
Lee Sungmin replied.
Qian Zun’s face turned pale at the words. It was because he didn’t believe Lee Sungmin would be so reckless and hell-bent on revenge and death.
No, it was not reckless actually…. Lee Sungmin had the power to back up his words. How was he being any different from him or the other 6 Divinites?
It was Heoju who stepped in, in an attempt to restrain him.
[I agree with the man known as Qian Zun, You don’t have to slaughter endless amounts of innocent lives. If you get too used to killing heartlessly, there will be nothing good for you out of this.]
‘Is it because I might further lose my humanity?’
[Yes, you may not be aware of it, but the past events have already started to affect you to some extent. If you go too far, you might get completely consumed by the monster inside of you from the inside.]
Lee Sungmin shut his mouth at the warning of Heoju.
Heoju’s warning was like a splash of cold water for Lee Sungmin
Heoju was correct. If it was something he didn’t have to do, it’s not like anyone was forcing Lee Sungmin to do it. Lee Sungmin also believed that if they were not hostile, he would not have to kill them all prior to entering the village. He nodded his head slowly.
“……okay, I’ll just kill one of you here. Instead, You will answer the questions I have.”
“Come this way.”
Lee Sungmin raised his hand to point to Qian Zun. QIan Zun’s body was propped up by the other elves. He slowly approached Lee Sungmin, determined to die.
Being determined to die did not mean his fear had disappeared and Qian Zun’s body trembled.
“Nothing will happen to us…?”
Lee Sungmin saw the elves muttering like that.
“I’ll take your word that the other elves will not attack me or any of the other tribes outside this forest. But I want you to remember this: if they attack me, I will kill them. It will not be that difficult to do so.”
The elves stopped their murmuring. Lee Sungmin left them to their own thoughts in silence and found the gaze of the hunting captain from earlier.
“I heard the hunting captain was your daughter.”
“……… You shouldn’t have said that.”, Qian Zun muttered to himself, thinking of Guan Zun.
“If I kill you, won’t your daughter try to come and kill me in revenge?”
“Maybe…… but it doesn’t matter. With your skills, you could easily knock down my daughter.”
“That’s true. But I also do not want to be bothered with the hassle of having to worry about it.”, Lee Sungmin spoke as tapped on his spear.
“Leave my daughter alone. Instead… I’ll swear to answer all your questions without holding any information from you or by lying.”
“Even if you don’t answer my questions in truth, I’m confident I’ll be able to get the answers I want. I’m sure you do not want to see your fellow elves die in front of you, isn’t that right?”
“If…… you do that. I will just kill myself.”
“You think I will just let you do that in front of me?”
“It wouldn’t hurt to try and see if I’ll tell you the truth first.”
Qian Zun replied with a bluff. Lee Sungmin smirked at the sight of Qian Zun.
He turned away without further ado. He left the village behind with Qian Zun.
The elves only stood there while Lee Sungmin disappeared from sight. And when Lee Sungmin and Qian Zun were no longer visible.
“Oh, my gosh!”
The elves shed tears.
Lee Sungmin and Qian Zun returned to the place where the body of Guan Zun was located.
Qian Zun’s body shook, and he flinched at the sight of Guan Zun’s body with a large hole in his chest.
The evidence of Guan Zun’s death, which he still was in denial about, was laying right in front of Qian Zun at that moment.
“I want to know everything you know about your organization ‘Beyond the Heavens’.”
Lee Sungmin helped set Qian Zun down, so he could rest his body. Qian Zun chewed on his lower lip.
“About you and the other 6 Divinities, including Guan Zun. Also, I need to know about this so-called ‘Divine Maiden’, why you needed to kidnap Wijihoyeon, what the purpose of this Divine Spirit is, and how great the power of the Divine Spirit is.”
“Be sure to tell the truth before you speak.”
Lee Sungmin cut Qian Zun off.
“You will swear an oath here and now on your mana and tell the truth. If you die of lying on the oath, I will not hesitate to go and kill all the elves in that village. That includes your daughter.”
“……You’re being cruel.”
“I’m just stating the price you will pay if you continue to cross me.”
Lee Sungmin sat on the floor and stared at Qian Zun. Qian Zun didn’t expect this to happen. Qian Zun grinned and swore an oath on his mana.
“The 6 Divinities is… …as the name suggests, it is made up of six people. We are the true force within the organization and are independent of one another, we’re able to act on our own as long as it is beneficial to our cause.”
“Who are the others that call themselves the ‘Divinities’?”
“……first of all, me. I, who was given a separate name as Qian Zun, stands as the last of the 6 Divinities. As you know, a fight between masters of transcendence is influenced by various factors, hence why our names are different. They are named after certain phrases and metaphors. There are four that have the surname ‘Zun’ in the Divinities. An Zun, Do Zun, myself Qian Zun and Guan Zun. Among them, the three of us, excluding Guan Zun, are practically equal in terms of strength.”
If it was An Zun, Lee Sungmin had already met him once, Do Zun seemed to be one of the ones he had not met. Lee Sungmin was currently talking to Qian Zun and had only recently killed Guan Zun.
“What about the other two divinities?”
“They are unfathomable that they cannot even be compared to the four of us. Even if we are all in the Realm of Transcendence, it’s an entirely different level of power between us. Even Guan Zun, who is more powerful than myself and the other two bearing the surname of Zun, is nothing but a child in front of them.”
“What are their names?”
“Wolhu and…. Kang Seok.”
“You have been hiding up till now here, in the Elven Forest, and Guan Zun died by my hand. Where and what are Do Zun and An Zun doing right now? Also, where are Wolhu and Kang Seok at this time?”
Qian Zun looked hesitant to answer when Lee Sungmin started to pry further. Although he swore an oath in order to save his daughter and the village’s elves, everything Lee Sungmin asked was incredibly secretive information within even their own organization.
“Are you not going to tell me?”
“No……no, I’ll tell you.”
Qian Zun’s face distorted with worry.
“I don’t know where Do Zun is. Because, as I said earlier, we are allowed to act independently if it is for our cause unless we are taking direct orders. Do Zun especially is one of the more independently moving Divinities among us.”
It seemed to be true since Qian Zun’s mana was not writhing around.
“We don’t even know where he is. But if you want to find out where he is, it will be easier than you think to find him.”
“What do you mean?”
“Do Zun is practically a celebrity. He is called the Mercenary King and has a reputation throughout all of Eria. Except for him, the other divinities don’t act as independently or in the public, but he’s different.”
The Mercenary King…
Lee Sungmin recalled memories of his days as a C- Class Mercenary in his previous life.
Chapter 204 – Fin
T/N : Quick question for you guys, I feel that the reader base is growing back up to what it used to be despite my silly attempts at trying to make a website and what not. Would you guys like me to create a novel discussion discord for the novels I’m translating?
Let me know your thoughts and thanks for all the support till now
Much love ~ B