Chronicles of the Heavenly Demon
Chapter 47 – Back to the Cult (2)
Translated by : moonchildkhz
Inside the Divine Cult, the command of the Heavenly Demon was absolute.
After the mission, no matter how tattered or miserable you were, you had to go when the Leader called upon you.
Fortunately, Woon-seong was not in a bad state. No, not terrible at all. He had been hurt everywhere, but he was basically healed. Except for the fact that his clothes were a bit shabby, no one could tell that he had just come from a mission.
At last, Woon-seong began to see the Divine Palace, where the Heavenly Demon dwelled.
The young man stopped walking at the entrance of the palace. Inside, he could feel the presence of many others. The energy these people had was not significantly different from his own. With that conclusion, he quickly realized who was inside.
The Great Demons.
The door opened for him as he approached.
Beyond that, the interior was revealed.
The first thing that caught his eye were the people standing on both sides. As he had predicted, the Great Demons were all gathered inside the palace.
Beyond them was also a familiar face.
The Senior Strategist motioned for him to come inside as their eyes met.
As he entered, he finally saw someone beyond the Strategist.
Chun Hwi, the supreme ruler of the Cult of the Heavenly Demon.
From the highest position, he was looking down at the young man.
As soon as Woon-seong recognized him, a terrifying pressure crushed the palace.
An existence that stood as high as the Heavenly Demon.
Woon-seong had experienced it once, but it was still amazing. His instincts warned him of danger and he felt as insignificant as an ant before an elephant.
Woon-seong bowed his head. “Captain of the Charred Dragon Unit Hyuk Woon-seong, I have just come back from a mission.”
The Heavenly Demon nodded. “Lift your head.”
As Woon-seong raised his head, the other spoke to him again.
“You have done a wonderful job.”
“I just got lucky.”
“You may have benefited from other incidents when you were escaping, but decimating the Martial Alliance’s branch is your achievement. And I heard you defeated the First Apprentice.”
“Again, I was simply lucky.”
I really was lucky. I only defeated him with my bracers thanks to the help from the Unrecorded.
Of course, he didn’t explain that out loud.
Whether he knew the mind of this young man or not, Chun Hwi was still smiling an unreadable smile.
“Luck you say… Even so, this is quite delightful. It has been a while since we had such young blood. I hope our Cult continues to have more young blood like you.”
The words coming from the Heavenly Demon’s mouth made the surrounding Great Demons uncomfortable. They couldn’t believe he was blatantly talking about the change in generations in front of them. They were expecting for it to happen, but they could not hide their bitterness.
At the same time, Woon-seong also realized the gravity of these words. Are you using me to keep the Great Demons in check?
The trainees of the Cave of Latent Demons had already come out into the world. There was only one that stood out right now. However, after some time, others would rise up too. It was obvious that the Great Demons would be the first to lose their place.
Just Woon-seong and his achievements alone were enough to make the Great Demons nervous.
‘If you do not want to be eliminated, make some effort.’
That was the message silently echoed.
The Heavenly Demon continued, “That isenough about the mission. I heard the rest from the reports.” He gazed at the young man. “As for a reward, let me know if there’s anything you want.”
Woon-seong closed his eyes. He had to be careful now. If he wanted something that was too much, he could upset the Heavenly Demon — he didn’t want to waste his reward or be blacklisted by the Leader in front of the upper echelon.
Taking time to think, Woon-seong was silent for a moment.
“I would like to enter the Valley of Thousand Spirits for half a year.”
A thousand vengeful demons dwelled in the Valley of Thousand Spirits. It was the place the members of the 2nd Latent Demon Squad, including Chun A-young, had entered as punishment. And now, Woon-seong chose it as a training ground.
Those who were punished entered the place like they were walking the road to Hell; Woon-seong saw it as a reward.
The Great Demons gathered roared to life.
However, when the Heavenly Demon raised his hand, the commotion quickly subsided.
The Heavenly Demon seemed slightly amused. “The Valley of Thousand Spirits… And why do you want that?”
“I heard that the Valley is now being used as a place to punish sinners, but it was originally one of the Cult’s designated training grounds.”
At this point, Chun Hwi and the Senior Strategist seemed to imperceptibly nod their heads. Although filled with malicious spirits, the Valley of Thousand Spirits had indeed been a training ground.
Woon-seong continued, “A martial artist becomes stronger by overcoming hardship. Since I decided to train, I thought it would be best to do it in the toughest place I could find.”
The Heavenly Demon was thoughtful. This was the reason why he pushed all the members of the 2nd Latent Demon Squad, including A-young, into the Valley of Thousand Spirits. Of course, it would only be beneficial if they could successfully withstand the spirits.
Whether he knew this reasoning or not, Woon-seong wished to enter the valley himself.
Does he understand?
If so, then Chun Hwi thought that was truly astonishing.
Maybe the young man had even noticed the relationship between himself and Chun A-young.
If so, Woon-seong likely knew that Chun Hwi would not have sent A-young somewhere to deliberately harm her.
No, it didn’t matter whether Woon-seong knew or not.
Either way, he was willing to throw himself into such a situation. This added to the favorable impression that Chun Hwi already held.
“What a prime decision.”
Woon-seong heard the approval in the voice of the Heavenly Demon and relaxed slightly. He thought it just might be possible to enter the Valley and train for half a year.
However, the words that came out next were completely different from what Woon-seong had predicted.
“I shall not approve.”
Woon-seong’s eyes shook as his whole body tensed. Was I mistaken just now?
As if answering the questions inside his mind, the Heavenly Demon continued on. “You may enter the Valley of Thousand Spirits for four months. Instead, I will reward two pills of ‘Demonic Medicine of Blood Kalpa’ to all members of the Charred Dragon Unit”
By the end, the young man had already guessed the meaning of everything.
It’s just like before.
A short moment ago, the Heavenly Demon had kept the Great Demons in check using Woon-seong. It was hard to deny that the glaring difference between Demonic Generals and Great Demons was time and experience.
If there were suddenly two Great Demons in the Charred Dragon Unit, this new blood would only continue to grow in strength and influence.
The shoulders of the Great Demons sagged even more.
The Heavenly Demon then added the last nail in the coffin.
“A month after the Captain of the Charred Dragon Unit returns from his closed training, we will open the ‘Banquet of the Heavenly Mountain and Divine Flame’.”
The Banquet of the Heavenly Mountain and Divine Flame.
The Heavenly Mountain was the peak where the Cult of the Heavenly Demon resided, the great Mount Heaven reaching to touch the skies.
What about the Divine Flame?
The Divine Flame carried the will of the First Heavenly Demon, so manifestation of the Divine Shaped Flame was seen as proof of being the Heavenly Demon.
In other words, this ‘Banquet of the Heavenly Demon and Divine Flame’ was a celebration that took place in front of the foundations for all demonic practitioners.
And a banquet for demonic people meant only one thing.
Separating the weak from the strong.
The strong climb to their rightful positions and the weak are left behind.
That was the Banquet of the Heavenly Mountain and Divine Flame.
There were many who complained about holding the Banquet.
“The Cult Leader shouldn’t be doing this to us!”
Numerous Great Demons had gathered at a table, in a little coalition.
The one who spoke was the Great Demon ranked at 100th, ‘Six Bladed Blood Monster’ Doe Pae-geuk. He had slammed his hand into the tabletop, leaving behind a clear palm print.
“It seems like our Leader is forgetting who has sustained the great Mount Heaven!”
Several other Great Demons shouted loudly, agreeing with each other.
Of course, these were all things they could not do before the Heavenly Demon.
In all the commotion, the highest ranked Great Demon calmed down the crowd. “Come, everybody, calm down. All the opinions made here can’t change the Leader’s mind.”
Those who were excited by their own words stopped what was pouring out while biting their lips.
However, Doe Pae-geuk turned to look at this eminent Great Demon.
“You seem to have an idea if you speak so calmly.”
The one who nodded at these words was the Great Demon ranked 10th, ‘Palm of Blood and Jade’ Kwak Soo-mil. As the 10th, he was a practical leader among these people.
“You should all be aware that there are some people within the Cult who are making some rebellious decisions.”
At that, some of the Demons coughed uncomfortably. There had been a movement like that for years, it just hadn’t surfaced yet. However, no one could not notice it.
“If we oppose the opinions of the Cult Leader here, we might be targeted as rebellious forces. Not to mention that the Leader is probably already thinking about us that way. What other reason would there be for him to stimulate us like this?”
Everyone nodded. Although it was time to speak of a generation replacement, the Cult Leader had provoked too many of them this time.
“Are you saying he’s trying to weed out the rebellious within the Cult?”
Replacing generations, stimulating and keeping the Great Demons in check, and also weeding out the deviants.
A truly terrifying heart.
The best option in this situation would be to lay low. There was nothing good about standing out and being viewed as rebellious.
“But we can’t afford this. Those bloody Charred Dragon bastards, they’ll be too strong if we move late.”
Doe Pae-geuk nodded. “With their reward, the Charred Dragon Unit will significantly improve their cultivation.”
“It seems like you’re missing something, ‘Six Bladed Blood Monster’.” Kwak Soo-mil chuckled. “We may not have ‘Demonic Medicine of Blood Kapla’, but our experience far surpasses theirs!”
Some of the surrounding Great Demons realized this and could not help but call out in their excitement.
“Besides, even if it’s not ‘Demonic Medicine of Blood Kalpa’, you all have some qi medicines you gathered personally, don’t you?”
Kwak Soo-mil turned his head to examine the others, many of whom turned to look away.
“Give me five pills and I’ll take responsibility and defeat that Captain of the Charred Dragon Unit.”
“I thought we needed to break the whole unit, not just their captain?”
“That isn’t necessary. I heard that the captain brat is the strongest out of the whole Cave. The rest of them are heaps behind him.”
The listeners nodded, “If we break him, I’m sure the rest will start laying low.”
At this point, many of them were tempted. But it still seemed a bit suspicious.
“What if there are those who still dare challenge us after we defeat the captain?”
Kwak Soo-mil laughed. “Have you forgotten the rules of the Banquet?”
During the ‘Banquet of the Heavenly Mountain and Divine Flame’, the winner could continuously choose their next opponent. Most of the time, of course, the winner would choose someone stronger than the last. Sometimes though, the winner would point at someone weaker. That sort of person was not confident in defeating the strong, so chose to exaggerate their skills by beating down the weak.
Proving yourself strong by defeating the underdog… What an embarrassment.
This was especially disgraceful for anyone part of the Divine Cult, who prided themselves for ruthless advancement.
“Are you saying that you will defeat not only the Captain of the Charred Dragon Unit, but several people in the unit?”
“That’s exactly what I’m saying.”
Kwak Soo-mil said that he would do the dirty work for them.
“I’ll break the few at the top of the Charred Dragon Unit, and then no one will dare challenge for the rank of a Great Demon.”
Seeing the others stay silent, he opened his mouth again. “Now, who is willing to give me their medicine? If you do, I’ll make sure to pay you back plenty.”
His eyes glinted darkly, but no one noticed his treacherous air.