Chronicles of the Heavenly Demon
Chapter 71 – Collapse
Translated by : moonchildkhz
Wind sliced through the air like a sharp blade. High above was a jagged stone ceiling, beneath was a powerful river. If one mistake was made, it would be hard to even salvage an intact corpse.
There were two men standing on a narrow stone bridge above the river.
A whirlwind blew the corners of his clothing. However, it was smacked to the side with a flick of a spear.
One of the people standing upon the bridge was Woon-seong, of course.
Both men were exhausted though, at this point.
Despite that, one of them would have to die today.
Either someone was given a quick death by the blade, or they accidentally committed suicide by falling.
The one with the spear knew this well; his opponent was no different.
Woon-seong grabbed his spear.
At the same time, the blades of wind ceased.
However, Woon-seong was forced back.
This was because an even sharper wind started to gush forth from the other man’s sword. It seemed the other had decided to stake everything on this one move.
Obviously, a dreadful move was coming. In order to not see his own blood, Woon-seong had to prepare the same.
‘Flow of the Divine Dragon’!
That was the strongest move the current Woon-seong had in his arsenal!
From his spear, a blue light seemed to form the image of a dragon. At the same time, there was an entire storm coming from the other man’s body.
The dragon met the cloud of blades in the middle of the bridge, causing the cliffs to quake like they were about to collapse.
The wind poured around the dragon, piercing the area around Woon-seong’s White Night Spear. Woon-seong did not hesitate anymore!
Another dragon left Woon-seong’s spear, harshly twisting through the windstorm.
Every time the new dragon twitched, the blades of wind shook.
As soon as the first dragon heard its new companion, it crashed through the wall of blades with renewed vigor, swallowing Woon-seong’s opponent alive.
The surroundings changed.
With a crackle, a round flame burned and lit the surroundings. Oil lamps could be seen as the smell of incense wafted over.
A man walked out.
It was the Heavenly Demon.
Unlike Woon-seong, who was now soaked in sweat, Cheon Hwi looked very leisurely.
“And that was the ‘Polymorphic Combat Illusion’ made by our Cult’s illusionists. What do you think?” he asked, using his qi to help Woon-seong stabilize.
“It was incredible. Seriously…”
The Polymorphic Combat Illusion.
It was an illusion designed by the Cult’s Senior Strategist, Sang Gwan-chuk, and completed by the illusionists. This illusion formation’s only purpose was to produce incredibly real illusions. But it had two quirks. One was that the illusions produced were terrifyingly realistic, and the other was that the illusions were all recreations of the Leader’s memories.
It was like facing an actual martial artist… I still remember the sensation of the ‘Dragon Fist Wind’ and the ‘Blade Winds’ from a moment ago.
Woon-seong sat there and could only shake his head.
Meanwhile, Cheon Hwi was lecturing him.
“A skilled martial artist must be aware of a hundred solutions for the hundreds of problems he will potentially face.” Cheon Hwi turned to look at the Third Gate, where the illusion had been installed.
“Even more so if you’re the head of the Cult of the Heavenly Demon.” Turning back towards Woon-seong, his lips quirked upwards in a small smile.
“That is why I made my past experiences into illusions and made you fight against them. In that sense, the Polymorphic Combat Illusion is excellent. Because I can make you experience a hundred problems, just like how I experienced them…don’t you agree?”
Woon-seong nodded at these words.
Just like the Leader said, the Polymorphic Combat Illusion is tough… but it gives me a lot of experience.
I was also a martial artist in my past life, but I hadn’t even reached the age of 30. Just based on years survived, my level of experience is nowhere close to that of the Heavenly Demon’s. But by using the Polymorphic Combat Illusion, I can experience the Heavenly Demon’s experiences as they were and become stronger.
Still, none of this is easy at all. I’ve already faced 3 martial artists from his past.
Oh… 3 a day… I filled my quota for today…
I should rest a little.
Woon-seong relaxed his body, letting himself lie down and stare at the ceiling.
Knowing that the other was tired, Cheon Hwi did not stop him from doing so. Instead of being upset, he was actually amazed.
He’s already at this level while wearing metal bracers, which are even heavier now that I injected them with my qi… He continues to impress me. Cheon Hwi could barely keep a smile off his face. But I can’t let him have it easy just yet. I still need to speed things up.
“How far are you with the Middle Connection of the Divine Art of the Heavenly Demon?”
At these words, Woon-seong opened his eyes and sat up.
“I’ve achieved around Level 2.”
The First Connection of the Divine Art of the Heavenly Demon, the Dark Flower Red Heart, was considered to be mastered once the user could form the Essence of the Flame. The next step to achieve was the Middle Connection, the Flame-Soul Passage.
Level 2 means that he is closer to learning the Flame-Soul Passage. Not bad, Cheon Hwi nodded to himself. His pace of learning is fast because he has a high understanding of the art itself.
However… Maybe it was because he knew something Woon-seong did not, but Cheon Hwi’s heart was impatient.
“You’re still not there yet. You have to achieve at least Level 5 to completely integrate the Flame-Soul Passage with the Dark Flower Red Heart.”
Woon-seong could only agree. “Yes, sir.”
The Flame-Soul Passage, like the name suggested, was about achieving a complete connection between the soul and the Essence of the Flame. After integrating it with the Dark Flower Red Heart, it would become known as the ‘Flame Passage of the Dark Flower Red Heart’. The user bloomed a dark flower in their core, brooded a red heart, and connected with the Divine Flame.
“Only after this process will you achieve the Divine Shaped Flame. Continue with your effort.”
At this pace, it will take about 6 months for him to achieve Level 5, Cheon Hwi concluded. Such exceptional talent, it’s a terrific pace of learning. I can’t help but feel very proud of his growth…
A student’s growth should naturally please the teacher.
However, Cheon Hwi’s expression held more worry than joy.
Turning away from Woon-seong he wiped the blood dripping from his mouth and clutched his chest.
The problem is whether my body can last until the child can achieve that level.
While Woon-seong was training to become the Heavenly Demon, something else was happening on the other side of the Cult.
It was the succession ceremony of the Young Divine Maiden, Cheon Ah-young, who was chosen not long ago.
Even though it was ceremonial, the Divine Maiden was known as the mother of all 100,000 demonic believers.
It was not a ceremony that could be performed sloppily.
The ceremony took place a month after Cheon Ah-young was chosen as the Young Divine Maiden.
While the Divine Maiden’s Palace was normally off limits for normal believers, the day of the succession ceremony was an exception.
Woon-seong stood with Cheon Hwi on a cliff, staring down at the people gathered below.
It’s such a grand crowd of people who came to see the succession ceremony. Even with so many demonic practitioners, there is one road that isn’t stepped on by any of them.
The Road of the Divine Maiden, the road connecting the Palace’s front gate to the inside. Only the Divine Maiden is allowed to tread that path
No one else was allowed to step foot there.
Even the Heavenly Demon, the head of the Cult of the Heavenly Demon, must enter the Divine Maiden’s Palace through a different entrance.
Soon, Cheon Ah-young was going to walk down that path.
Speaking of Ah-young, Woon-seong had some strange thoughts.
I shouldn’t have talked with her that day.
I wouldn’t feel this way if I hadn’t talked with you…
Focus, Hyuk Woon-seong… You will be alone, walking a path painted with blood. Since you have chosen the life of an avenger, that is an inevitable destiny.
Thinking about a woman when you have such burdens on your shoulders is nonsense.
Just like we talked about, it is best to think about everything else afterwards.
Woon-seong closed his eyes. It was only for a moment, but it was enough for all these thoughts to fly through his mind. When he opened them again, there was a great commotion.
“The Divine Maiden has entered!”
At the end of the road, Cheon Ah-young appeared.
She wore a splendid outfit, one that made her stand out to all those who gathered there. Unlike the usual, she wore makeup on her face. Along with her intricate outfit, her hair was styled, framing her features.
The cultivators gathered were dazzled by her presence. Silence settled as they stared in awe. It was an honor to have such a stunning Divine Maiden.
However, there was an exception.
Joo Moon-baek was basically drooling. He quickly schooled his expression though, but couldn’t hide his slightly flushed cheeks. Look at me… I accidentally leaked my vulgar inner thoughts.
But not one person was paying much attention to him.
Lucky for him, everyone’s attention was captured by another person’s appearance.
One more time, a commotion started.
Opposite to Ah-young, the current Divine Maiden walked slowly out of the Palace. She held a bronze brazier in her hands, where flames burned brightly.
That flame was a symbol of the Cult.
The old woman smiled at Ah-young and approached her.
The moment she took the brazier, she would begin her new life as the Divine Maiden.
Of course, she still lacked a lot, so she would continue to learn from the previous Divine Maiden.
But the fact remained that her position as the Divine Maiden would bring major changes in her life.
The Heavenly Demon looked down at his daughter with a complicated gaze.
It was then that he felt a spark of pain in his chest.
At the same time, there was warm liquid rising out of his throat.
No, not now.
Cheon Hwi barely suppressed the urge to cough. His daughter was about to receive the brazier.
The brazier was slowly being lifted into the air, a new set of hands reaching for it.
In fact, Cheon Hwi already knew that he had been poisoned.
When I achieved the realm of a semi-deity, I was confident that I also became ‘immune to a million poisons’. Yet it’s a poison that affects me… it must’ve been an abnormal poison. Understandably, I couldn’t find a cure. Sang Gwan-chuk did his best to find a solution, but it was impossible. As I thought, it was no ordinary poison.
So I bore with it. Even though I knew I couldn’t last long, I endured. That’s why, even when my apprentice… even when Woon-seong showed such an exceptional pace of learning, I wasn’t able to hide my impatience.
It’s my fault. I already knew I wasn’t capable of holding on for long.
The brazier was slowly passed into the hands of Cheon Ah-young. All she had to do now was place the brazier at the altar in front of the Divine Maiden’s Palace entrance.
Just then, once again, liquid rose in his throat. The pain in his chest became impossible to ignore
But not now.
Ah-young was climbing the steps to the altar.
Cheon Hwi pressed his lips tightly together, clenching his fists tightly.
No, not yet.
He willed his body to hold it together for just a few more moments.
Just a bit more…
Cheon Hwi’s body betrayed his will.
Coughing, black blood spilled out of his mouth and he collapsed onto his knees.
From the Heavenly Demon’s mouth, not anyone else’s…
Everyone’s gaze snapped towards the Heavenly Demon, confused and horrified.
Only Joo Moon-baek smiled.
Finally! Soon, the Cult will be mine!