Chronicles of the Heavenly Demon
Chapter 61 – Young Leader (2)
Translated by : moonchildkhz
Early in the morning of the next day, the Divine Palace was full of people.
Unlike the usual meetings, most of the Great Demons, all thirty Demonic Kings, and the Ten Demonic Masters were in attendance today.
Meetings like this were not very frequent — the presence of the top brass meant that today’s meeting was about the future of the Cult of the Heavenly Demon.
Everyone who was present had a good idea about what the meeting was about.
“I heard that the future of the Cult will be decided in today’s meeting.”
“I thought that was fairly obvious.”
“You know, about the famous Captain of the Charred Dragon Unit…”
The Great Demons and Demonic Kings chatted amongst themselves.
Then, a new voice could be heard.
“Hmm, a Young Leader, or so they say… too bad I didn’t get to see him at the Banquet myself. I just had to be away at the time… I wonder what kind of man he is.”
The man who spoke looked to be seven feet tall. It was one of the Ten Demonic Masters, the ‘Fist Master of Demonic Wind’, ‘Wind Demon Fist King’ Koo Jong-byuk. He had left the Cult during the Banquet of the Heavenly Mountain and Divine Flame for some reason, so he had never actually seen Woon-seong. With his simple character of worshipping the strong, he naturally felt curious about this new Demonic King.
Once one of the Demonic Masters opened their mouth, the Great Demons and Demonic Kings could only awkwardly mutter.
In the end, it was the Senior Strategist who walked over and spoke.
“He is an exceptional martial artist for his age. He is one of the children the Leader has given special attention to. I expect he will only improve from this point forward.”
“Oh, Senior Strategist! Haha! It’s been a while! Would you mind telling me a bit more about the new Young Leader?”
“That shouldn’t be a problem.”
Unlike the previous day, the Senior Strategist used more respectful words in regards to Woon-seong. When they had first met, Woon-seong was just another demonic cultivator. However, now that the other was the Young Leader, there was no doubt that Woon-seong would become the Cult Leader in the future. Even if Sang Gwan-chuk was older and more powerful, Woon-seong’s rank was now objectively higher.
“Is there anything else you would like to know?”
“Thank you, Senior Strategist! It looks like the Leader has selected a brilliant heir!”
“I’m glad you think so.”
After he finished speaking, the Senior Strategist looked in another direction. His gaze fell upon a small group of people.
‘Soul Splitting Flame King’, Joo Moon-baek.
“Don’t you think so too, Vice Leader?”
“Hmm… Are you talking about the Young Leader?” Joo Moon-baek tapped his chin, eyes carefully blank. “I’ve heard the rumors, but the more I think about it… it just looks like I’ve grown too old to judge such things. I assume the Leader has made a sound decision anyways.”
Hmph… that cunning geezer… !
Not only does he spare his words, but it’s also hard to grasp what he’s thinking. On top of that, he never leaves traces of himself whenever he plans something.
I need to be careful of people like him. They are the type that can backstab you with a smiling face… exposing a weakness means an opportunity for them to take over. I’m sure that he is related to the wicked atmosphere within the Cult… I am confident of it. My instincts are telling me so, but I can’t act without any solid evidence. He’s one of the Ten Demonic Masters like me and is also the Vice Leader of the Cult, acting without evidence would only backfire.
The Senior Strategist lowered his gaze, keeping his thoughts to himself.
At that moment, someone entered the Divine Palace, making their presence known.
“We present ourselves to the Leader!”
The Heavenly Demon had appeared.
Silence swept the palace as the Cult Leader walked up to his throne and sat down, looking at the people gathered.
The Heavenly Demon’s low, but heavy voice seemed to crush the air in the room. Those who gathered instinctively lowered their heads.
Joo Moon-baek was no exception.
Hmm. It looks like he can still withstand the poison. Or maybe the poison isn’t affecting him yet. With his head still lowered, Joo Moon-baek glanced quickly at the Heavenly Demon. At this distance, his face still looks unaffected. It makes me want to jump up there right now and thoroughly inspect his face. No… it must be because he only just consumed the poison. No need to rush right now. Because of his power, we need to wait for at least six months for the poison to show effects. I must be patient.
“Raise your heads. The reason I summoned all of you today… I believe all of you are already aware of it.”
The people nodded to themselves. It was about the new Young Leader, of course.
There were some murmurs of dissent among the Great Demons. They had seen Woon-seong the other day. Of course, when they saw him he had only just become a Demonic King from a Great Demon.
Hmm. The Heavenly Demon watched the commotion in silence for a few moments.
“Enough.” The Heavenly Demon waved his hand, causing a crushing pressure to silence those talking. “There’s no need to start a fuss about it.”
When he finished speaking, he tapped the arm of his chair with his finger.
As the small sound echoed and spread, shadows could be seen falling from the ceiling and opening the palace doors.
“‘Flower of the Dark Night’…!”
The snow-covered outside was revealed. Bright sunlight shone in through the open door, illuminating a single figure.
It was a man, about six feet in height. There was no spear upon his back today, but he was dressed in his finest robes.
The moment he showed up, all eyes were upon Woon-seong.
The young man in question walked into the palace, escorted by the Flowers of the Dark Night, past the cultivators.
Woon-seong had been to the Divine Palace several times now. But today, it was different. He did not enter the palace for the same reasons as the last few times.
Woon-seong stopped in front of the stairs that lead up to the throne. On his left stood Joo Moon-baek, the Vice Leader, and on the right was Sang Gwan-chuk, the Senior Strategist.
He greeted with a formal bow, “Apprentice Hyuk Woon-seong, I present myself to the Leader.”
His voice echoed throughout the Palace.
In the end, the suggestion to become the Young Leader was very attractive to Woon-seong.
The Cult of the Heavenly Demon had long wanted to start war and invade Zhongyuan.
This feels terrible… but it’s also what I’ve been aiming for. Young Leader of the Cult! I need the power of the Cult of the Heavenly Demon for revenge. I just need to inherit the position of the Leader and the Cult will become mine! Then everything shall be ready…
At the same time, it was also true that Woon-seong had hesitated when he received such an offer.
I am an apprentice of the Spear Master Sect. But what if I become an apprentice of the Heavenly Demon? What happens if I learn the ‘Divine Art of the Heavenly Demon’?
No. That’s not a problem, just like all the other arts I learned until now. I just need to combine the Divine Arts of the Heavenly Demon with the arts of the Spear Master Sect. It won’t be easy, but I can eventually do it…
The problem… is my master.
It’s not about the martial arts.
Master, will you understand me if I served under a different master?
Woon-seong slowly closed his eyes. Could he convince himself of this part? After all, the dead could not answer these questions of his.
“Woon-seong.” The words of his master echoed in his mind as he thought. “Woon-seong… I’m sorry…”
Although he was troubled, Woon-seong soon came to a conclusion as he remembered his master’s final moments.
Master. I will become the Young Leader of the Divine Cult. I don’t care what you think…! I will avenge you, no matter what.
Master would never want me to take the bloody path of revenge. Because he was a chivalrous man…
But even without the demonic training, Woon-seong’s temperament differed from the righteous Nok Yu-on’s.
However! I have no intention of becoming chivalrous!
I can never forgive the hypocrites of the Orthodox Sects.
I don’t care if I have to drench my hands in blood forever. I will achieve my revenge.
That is my choice.
Therefore, I will become the apprentice of the Heavenly Demon.
Woon-seong shook himself from his thoughts and stood up from his bow. He could feel the gaze of the Heavenly Demon on him.
The voice of Cheon Hwi boomed throughout the room.
“I have already decided who shall become the Young Leader. If anyone disagrees, speak now.”
No one complained.
No, no one could complain.
As the youngest Demonic King and Captain of the Charred Dragon Unit, Woon-seong was the star of the younger generation.
Even those who did not look kindly upon Woon-seong could not object in this situation. Complaining when there was nothing to complain about? They weren’t so suicidal.
The Heavenly Demon slowly nodded, then turned his attention back towards Woon-seong.
“If there is none, I shall appoint Hyuk Woon-seong as the Young Leader. Conduct the Nine Bows.”
He signalled to Woon-seong.
This was part of the formal ceremony, honoring the founder, seniors, and new master.
“First, bow thrice to the First Heavenly Demon, who protects us all from above.”
Woon-seong bowed towards the First Heavenly Demon, whose image was hanging behind the throne.
“Next, bow thrice to the Heavenly Demons of past generations.”
Woon-seong bowed to the images hung upon the columns lining the palace.
That was six; only three left.
“And finally, now thrice to your new master.”
Once again, Woon-seong went down to his knees and bowed three times.
At the end of the bows, the Heavenly Demon stood up from his throne and turned his head towards the image of the First Heavenly Demon.
“I pledge to the First Heavenly Demon that I shall take Hyuk Woon-seong as the Young Leader and my apprentice, raising him to be a leading figure of our Cult.”
The First Heavenly Demon was the founder of the Cult, the Heavenly Demon worshipped by all. As a demonic cultivator, it would not be wise to break an oath under his name.
Woon-seong followed the other’s example, “I pledge to the First Heavenly Demon that I shall become the Young Leader of the Cult and an apprentice of the Leader to become a leading figure of the Cult.”
The oath was fulfilled under the First Heavenly Demon’s name, watched by the Great Demons, Demonic Kings, and Ten Demonic Masters.
Hyuk Woon-seong had just officially become the Young Leader of the Cult of the Heavenly Demon.
TN: I used ‘bow’ instead of ‘kowtow’, but Woon-seong performed what is known as the “full kowtow” that consists of three kneelings and nine knockings of his head against the ground.