To Hell With Being a Hero!

로유진 - Ro Yu-jin

Chapter 76: Finally a Tutorial (18)

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Chapter 76: Finally a Tutorial (18)

—d.a.m.n it.

Looking down at the city’s center from afar, a mysterious figure sighed after Allen Leonard left.

—It’s ruined, completely ruined.

The figure clicked their tongue as they saw the cl.u.s.ters of chaos within the city. The only reason why the figure had come to this place was because of the news that one of the key leaders in the Abyss, ‘The Dreamer’, or otherwise known as the Abomination of Babyl, had appeared on the outskirts of the former Salem territory; and the lich who had managed the territory as an experiment ground had been extinguished.

—That stupid fool. But why did she…

The mysterious figure lamented the lich’s incompetence. Truthfully, there was nothing the lich could have done if the Abomination of Babyl had really gotten involved. However, the problem was that their plans were completely thwarted with the lich’s death. Not knowing what to do from now on, the mysterious figure rubbed at their temples in frustration.

After the dividing lines between different Worlds faded, gates that opened to other Worlds popped up all over this land. Demonic creatures poured out of these gates and together, they formed a coalition and established a giant empire for demons. Thus, the Demon Realm came to be in the Middle World. Although the demons were able to gain control of the area easily, their satisfaction was short-lasting.

They soon learned of the reality of the Middle World and were stunned to find out that there were three other formidable powers vying for control over the place. Of course, the demon empire didn’t back down even after learning of this fact, and with their characteristic belligerence, they ran wild to establish their authority over the lands; and the first thing they did was to try to take one of the three powers, the coalition of monsters native to this land, into their grasp. However, the coalition of indigenous monsters resisted fiercely, and they encountered a difficulty that they hadn’t foreseen. Those who had crawled out of a place lower than the underground, ‘the Abyss’—who were supposed to be in a war with an extraterrestrial force—had suddenly taken an offensive position against the demon empire. The demon empire was suddenly put in grave danger where they had to battle with two powerful forces at once.

Thus, the demon empire came up with a plan in this crisis for the lichs’ leader to build military reinforcements with his experiments, which involved turning the humans, who used to rule over the Middle World but had been reduced to the cursed ones, into demonic creatures to supplement their troops. The plan was half-successful. Although the cursed ones were too weak to use just as themselves, they evolved and grew at astonis.h.i.+ng speed with the slightest nudge. However, the plan didn’t succeed fully because they had failed to find a way to control them, especially when cursed ones grew far too strong.

The demons didn’t think humans were weak species. In the first place, it was unbelievable that humans would be so weak when they had ruled over the Middle World for so long. As they had protected their authority over the Middle World from countless dangers, the demons acknowledged humans’ adaptability and astounding potential. But these characteristics ended up coming back to bite them. The adaptability that had enabled humans to survive in any environment by changing themselves was beyond ridiculous, and a few among them displayed enormous potential that surpa.s.sed the preconceived limits of their species; and thus, these cursed beings who used to be humans evolved into terrifying monsters.

The cursed ones who were reborn again didn’t listen to any command, but simply sought to destroy and eat everything that was alive. It was to the point that they even fought with each other. An ally that didn’t discern enemy from foe was scarier than any enemy. And no matter how strong they were, they served no purpose if they didn’t listen to their commands. Thus, after much consideration, the lich had purposefully stopped the cursed ones from evolving fully. A cursed one that hadn’t evolved fully was much weaker than a fully evolved one, but they were at least still manageable. Thus, the demon empire adjusted their plan. The cursed ones’ evolution was stopped midway, and they gathered as many of these mutants as possible. Even if their enemies caught wind of their plan, the Abyss wouldn’t consider the mutant army as a threat since they appeared lacking in battling power. After they gathered a considerable number of mutants, they would release them to the Abyss and lift the restraint placed on them. Then the mutants would become fully evolved and run havoc, causing the Abyss to stop their advances. However, this whole plan had fallen into shambles right before the D-Day.

Thus, the mysterious figure who had come to this place in the aftermath of the lich’s annihilation had received two orders from the demon empire. First was to see if they could still continue the experiment somehow. And secondly, if that proved to be impossible, the mysterious figure was ordered to wrap up the situation in a way that would minimize the harm done to the demon empire. After researching and conducting some trials, the mysterious figure concluded that they, unfortunately, couldn’t revive the experiment. The mutants that had been released from their restraints after the lich’s annihilation began to evolve out of control and no longer listened to their orders. No matter how much they tried, the figure could only slow down their evolution.

—That d.a.m.n b.a.s.t.a.r.d…

The mysterious figure cursed the now gone lich and sighed. Among all their skills, they were confident in their ability to control life, but there seemed to be nothing that could be done about the fully evolved creatures. The two keys to the success of the experiment were the lich’s existence and the giant magic circle big enough to blanket a city. With one of these conditions broken, the experiment was as good as over, and they could no longer control the mutants and the rate of their evolution. Although the giant magic circle was still active, it could only manipulate the rate of the evolution, but couldn’t stop it entirely. It was ineffective to the mutants that were currently evolving. The mysterious figure concluded that it was a hopeless cause.

—It can’t be helped.

According to the lich’s last report, the Abyss was using the broken ones in response to their experiment with the cursed ones. The mysterious figure didn’t know what had happened after that, but seeing how the lich was extinguished, they had a theory; the Abyss might have been trying to set foot into this place and use the broken ones to attack the demon empire. It was very possible. The demon empire could receive a strong blow from the side.

—I can’t let that be.

Thus, the mysterious figure reached a decision; they would let the mutants evolve—no, they would speed up their evolution.

Bang! The figure had pondered for a long time before making up their mind, but their action was decisive. Immediately, the mysterious figure shot a shapeless ball of energy at the giant magic circle, striking its core to destroy it whole. Suddenly, the mutants that had run rampant in the city froze. Like a fish stuck on a harpoon, they started to scream a bizarre scream. There were no turning things back now. Some of these mutants could tread upon the demons’ territory, but that would be preferable than for the Abyss to occupy this place as their outpost. Just in case, the mysterious figure destroyed the giant magic circles in a couple of more places and quickly fled the area before the rapidly changing mutants completed their evolution. As the figure flew into the air hurriedly, they wished and prayed for at least the mutants in the border fortresses to go after the Abyss.

* * *

Although the unidentifiable monster had left, the search party remained still for a while. Everyone stood in their spots and didn’t move an inch as Ru Amuh continuously gestured at them to do so. Chi-Woo didn’t understand the point of this when the monster had already left, but he waited quietly. Some time later, Ru Amuh made the first move. He didn’t move from where he was standing but instead arched his back as slowly and quietly as possible to pick up a rather large stone. Then he surveyed the trees surrounding them and cast the stone-hard. Ru Amuh seemed to have used his powers; the stone drew a sharp curve across the air and struck the tree with precision.

Bang!

There was another explosion. In the blink of an eye, the tree that Ru Amuh had struck crumbled into pieces instantaneously. Between the crumbling tree remains, Chi-Woo saw the monster’s drill slide by. He gulped. The monster was still roaming this place. It had only pretended to leave. It was then Chi-Woo heard a notification in his mind.

[To compensate for its poor vision, it seems the monster has developed a remarkably keen sense of hearing.]

It was a message from Ru Amuh. Chi-Woo exclaimed inside his mind. They would get caught if they started speaking, but they could still talk to each other by sending messages. Even though this hadn’t been the main reason why he brought his device along, it was very fortunate that they could use it to communicate with each other.

[It seems it has heard us climbing at some point and came here.]

They had been quiet because they were tired, but it was extremely fortunate that they had also remained silent in case there were enemies nearby. What if they had exchanged a few words while resting? What if a bird hadn’t cried at the right moment? They would have ended up just like that bird.

[It even knows how to trick its prey. We can’t lower our guard.]

[Then what should we do? We can’t just stay still like this.]

The last message was from Ru Hiana.

Bemused, Ru Amuh typed in the air. [I’ll start throwing stones in a row from now on. When I throw the last stone, I’ll turn around and start running, so please follow me.]

Ru Hiana saw his message and tilted her head. [Run? Where to?]

[In the opposite direction.]

Ru Hiana s.h.i.+fted her eyes around, and Chi-Woo nodded. One fortunate part about this situation was that there were plenty of stones all around them. Ru Amuh picked up a rock near his feet and threw it with great force.

Swis.h.!.+

Propelled by the wind, the rock flew in a plane curve and landed far away. They didn’t hear any loud noises this time. Ru Amuh nodded and quickly threw another stone. It flew farther away than the last one, and when it hit a tree—

Bam!

They heard a loud explosion. Ru Amuh didn’t stop, but instead continued to pick up more stones and throw them farther and farther away. Hearing the explosion of trees getting more and more distant, Chi-Woo realized what Ru Amuh was trying to do.

The monster had a tendency to move towards sounds. However, they didn’t know the extent of its hearing ability. Thus, Ru Amuh had hit trees from the closest to farthest away to put as much distance between them and the monster. Finally, Ru Amuh used his divinity to throw the tenth stone as far as possible, and the stone disappeared from view. He gave it a short moment before whirling around and bolting.

At the same time, Chi-Woo grabbed the still stunned Eshnunna and ran after Ru Amuh. As soon as they began running, they heard the tenth explosion from far away. Ru Amuh had perfectly timed his throw. Chi-Woo marveled at Ru Amuh’s ability; if Ru Amuh was a pitcher on Earth, he would go down in history as a star player. Chi-Woo pushed aside the unnecessary thoughts and focused only on running.

“Is there a nearby place where we can look down with a clear view?” Since they were making noises anyway, Ru Amuh asked Hawa out loud.

“One place comes to mind.”

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“How long will it take for us to get there?”

While Ru Amuh tried to look for another rock, Hawa moved lightning fast.

Tap!

She made a sound.

Tap, tap! Thud, tap, thud…

The stone bounced against the ground and rolled down the cliff. The monster’s head swiveled towards that direction, and it jumped down the cliff like a wild boar on fire. Silence fell upon them again. Hawa, who had her arms stretched towards the cliff, quietly straightened her posture, and Chi-Woo slowly exhaled the breath he had been holding. After a while, they all looked down at the area the monster had jumped towards, and they flinched almost immediately.

They had foreseen it to some degree. As expected, there was more than one monster. Even though their appearances were different from the first monster, a good number of monstrous creatures were wandering all over Evalaya. The uphill path that Eshnunna had initially planned to use as an escape route was also crawling with monsters.

[What the h.e.l.l are they?]

Ru Hiana asked in surprise as she saw a worm-like monster that was digging a tunnel. Chi-Woo and Ru Amuh both shook their heads.

[I have no idea.]

In addition, there was a beast-like monster crawling on the ground on all fours and a furry monster disguising itself as bushes. Ru Amuh’s expression darkened. Even if they went in the opposite direction of the monster sensitive to sound, they would have to avoid the other monsters.

[What the heck are they doing?] Ru Hiana furiously typed. [Why are they acting like that?]

The monsters had suddenly stopped moving and were staying completely still. Time seemed to have come to a halt. However, this didn’t last long, and every single one of them began trembling and erupting into screams. After a while…

Splurt!

Bones protruded from the worm monster crawling on the ground, which then fluttered like wings and lifted the worm monster into the air.

–Beeeeeeeeeep!

It flew higher than where the exploration team was located and circled in the air. Ru Amuh, who had been observing it closely, realized his mistake.

[Everyone, lower your head.]

Ru Amuh tried to quickly send a message, but it was already too late. The worm monster discovered the exploration team and paused. While fluttering its wings, it opened its mouth wide.

—keeeeeeeahhhhh!

It let out a high frequency sound that was painful to hear, and mysterious screams responded to the monster’s call from all over the mountain. Soon after, they heard noises approaching that sounded like someone or something was rus.h.i.+ng toward them, followed by the rumble of the ground.

“Everyone, run!” Ru Amuh shouted with all his might, and everyone jumped off the peak.

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