Chapter 169

Change – Chapter 3

Bang!

A huge rock exploded with a loud bang. White dust was kicked up high into the sky, and then rainwater fell.

“Dumb assholes…”

The sharp voice of a woman filled with anger broke out like a shrill shriek throughout the mountainside.

Bang- Bang-

A cliff the size of a house collapsed all at once. Water splashed in all directions.

“You idiots with shit for brains…”

The beautiful trees were crushed and fragmented as if a bomb had gone off, and more than twenty trees were uprooted at once.

“Useless bastards!”

Psh-

In a valley deep inside the woods, a woman was breathing heavily. The woman was glaring up at a sheer cliff as her body was waist-high in icy water. A fifty-meter radius area from where she was standing was completely ruined.

She took a few breaths, turned slowly, and then walked out of the water. As she slowly walked out, white steam rose from her body. Every time she moved her leg to take a step forward, the surrounding water roiled and boiled. Steam whirled around like a miniature hurricane from her damp hair and wet clothes. When she came out of the water, everything was dry. She was barefoot. She stepped on sharp, blade-like stones as she made her way to land.

“Have you released some of your anger now?”

A handsome man in his thirties was sitting, perched on a broken shard of rock, and looking at the woman.

“Somewhat…”

The woman nodded her head and curtly replied. Her voice was so cold and refreshing that no one would have believed that she was the same crazed person from just a moment ago. The previously drenched white chiton she wore had already dried and fluttered peacefully with the breeze. As the chiton fabric wrapped around her figure, the curves of her body reflected could be seen, giving off a very sensuous and alluring image for the viewer.

“Can you now tell me why you called me?” the man, Pasoon, asked.

“Our plan has to be completely overhauled. You’ll have to stop what you were doing,” the woman, Satan, said as she tilted her head up to the sky.

“Ah- Is it because of the reform policies that are seemingly coming out daily and changing everything? You know that none of my Councilor members have been exposed, right? Aren’t you overreacting?”

“No. It’s not that simple. These reforms are airtight.”

“Well, I looked into Rain’s reforms and the countermeasures she’s eyeing… wasn’t it just about making maps, collecting census data, standardizing flooring, making everyone use paper money instead of gold coins, and changing the way the empire will manage their own money? The reform measures are a bit unusual, but isn’t everything just a method to increase the imperial court’s coffers? Is it that serious? We still have a long way to go… are you sure you’re not being shortsighted?”

Pasoon smiled and shook his head.

Satan looked intently at Pasoon. He was an Original Being who was relied more on his sensibilities rather than his intellect. He was a being that the Creator created to prevent the excessive Awakening of humans. In essence, he was very strong, but not very clever. However, Satan needed to cooperate with Pasoon if she wanted to accomplish what she wanted. To bring him to action, she had to sufficiently inform him of the situation, even if that meant she needed to drag and teach him.

“It just doesn’t look very special on the outside. It’s because people here can’t even guess what these reforms will lead to, which makes me even angrier! They’re pulling one over on ignorant children who are sucking their thumbs with open eyes!”

“Ignorant? Okay… so what’s the matter?”

Pasoon looked at Satan with displeased eyes. Although they were both Original Beings, the woman in front of him was special. Neither her abilities, nor the duties assigned to her by the Creator, nor the origins of her birth were known. No matter how arrogantly she acted, no one would dare treat Satan lightly. Thus, she was often difficult to deal with. Including Pasoon, many of the Original Beings usually tried to avoid meeting with Satan as much as possible, but when she called any one of them, they would inevitably come.

“Rain’s proposals were welcomed by both the emperor and the gathered high officials. Everything passed like magic. Don’t you think these reforms were passed too easily?”

“Yeah…”

“Perhaps Rain and the emperor had discussed and planned things beforehand. It seems like this arrangement was pre-made.”

Pasoon looked up at the sky with unfocused eyes.

“So, what’s the problem? Get to the point instead of circling around…”

“The point? Nothing much. Just that the children you planted in the imperial courts and the great families have nothing to do from now on.”

“What do you mean?”

Pasoon started focusing his eyes on Satan.

“Just stop all the work that you’ve been conducting within the imperial courts and in the great families. That is my request.”

Pasoon jumped up. A light flashed in his eyes. The air around him was freezing cold.

“Are you telling me to destroy the foundation that I’ve built up with my own hands?”

“No, no… not to that extent. From now on, however, you need to be very careful,” Satan calmly replied while gently waving her hand.

“Don’t you think I need, that I deserve, a more detailed explanation? Is it your will? Tell me ‘First Human’!”

“How can it be just my will! You know my situation, right?”

Pasoon and Satan’s eyes intertwined. Satan smiled bitterly. The Original Beings that the Creator had created were not differentiated by rank. They were all equals.

Furthermore, they weren’t beings who would submit to others anyway. They were just maintaining an alliance based on common goals. Their shared purpose was to resist the Creator in any way possible.

Pasoon. He’s the one who can control human Awakenings, and he’s well known to humans as the Demon King. He’s the closest among us Original Beings to humans, and he’s the only one amongst us that can move a large human organization in this world. His method is to liberate greed and achieve the Creator’s will through his given power. However, I’m sure he’s just doing it now because he wants to.’

After having these thoughts, Satan spoke calmly, “If you look at the reform policies one by one, it’s not a big deal. However, the picture is completely different when they are done at the same time. Unfortunately, they’re being implemented all at the same time.”

“They’re all happening at the same time… so what?”

“Now the imperial courts will be in possession of very sophisticated human and geographic information covering the military sizes, economic vibrancy, and structural weaknesses of each of its territories. On top of that, they’ll be able to grasp the macro flow of materials in near real time. What do you think all this means?”

“…”

“From now on, embezzlement of imperial assets will become impossible. The new system will make each family and organization vigilantly monitor each other so that no one benefits more than the other. Decisively…!”

“…”

“They’re introducing banknotes and a central bank system. With those two key pieces in place, the counterfeiting business you had fun with is essentially over. Therefore, if you don’t dispose of the counterfeit money now, it’ll be very difficult to do so in the near future. Do you have a lot?”

“Damn it…”

“Besides, all the accounting records of the imperial courts are now being compiled in a completely different way. Once settled, it’ll be very difficult to gain the upper hand in any deal. It’ll take some time to settle down, but since the books are already being newly created, you have to be really careful from now on. A woman named Biyeon knows how to interpret the books and see into the reality of what’s going on. Do you see the problems now?”

“Hmm…”

Pasoon stared at Satan. He didn’t feel good about losing his hard-earned position. He appreciated Satan’s advice, but his self-esteem had been greatly damaged.

However, more than his pride, he was more heartbroken that his painstaking work, which had been conducted over the last fifty years, would collapse in minutes.

“Who did this? Who drove us this far? Is it those two guys?”

Satan nodded her head.

“There’s no doubt that it’s them. They’re from Episode 285, the episode where humans banished gods and demons and became gods themselves. The ones who are leading these changes are those two humans summoned from the damn human god episode.”

“Do you think their summoning and actions are aimed at us?”

Satan shook her head.

“I don’t think so. I think it’s a coincidence. These are reform policies that benefit the imperial courts, but strangely, you and I, who have been able to largely control the imperial court and great families from behind the scenes, have been hit with a fatal blow. The coincidental nature makes me even angrier…”

“Can’t we just get rid of them right now? Rain and those two?”

“That’s not a good idea. The reform policies have already been disseminated to the entire empire, and its implementation has spread to other administrative organizations as well. We can’t stop it now. If we react clumsily, we will only create greater friction with the emperor. Furthermore, I think all of this is the emperor’s will. At least, it’s not a coincidence. We need to be careful not to fall into their hands.”

“Then…?”

“We need to come up with our own countermeasures. If we let things progress in this manner, the world that the Creator wanted may really come to be. That’s not what we want, right?”

Pasoon stared intently at Satan.

“Are you saying that we should advance our plan?”

“Yeah… it’s time to bring chaos.”

“How big?”

“First, start small.”

“Starting where?” 

“The south. From the city-state,” Satan said.

“So, that’s what you called me here for. What can I do? As you can see, I haven’t fully recovered my powers yet. There are many restrictions placed on my abilities.” Pasoon laughed bitterly.

“How much have you recovered?”

“About forty percent?”

“It’s still too early then.”

“Way too early… Loki has recovered the quickest. I think he’s around seventy percent?”

Satan let out a small sigh.

“We need to divide the empire. That’ll give us a chance. What we need are time and forces. You have to do your part.”

“Is the imperial court that strong? Even you, Satan, can’t contend against them? Is it because of the Han-Sung Clan?”

Satan shook her head.

“The Han-Sung Clan is strong, but besides them, the imperial courts have something else. Something I don’t know about. That might be the true strength that has kept the empire healthy for the past 500 years. We can’t make a move until we know what that something is.”

“Is it a dragon that we don’t know about…”

“That’s a possibility. What is certain is that it’s a very old arrangement. I don’t need to tell you whose arrangement it was, right?”

“This is such a drag. I heard that the place called Apian is also on the rise.”

“It is a drag… to always be in this type of situation.”

The conversation stopped for a moment. The wind blew softly.

They had been unexpectedly resurrected. They gained freedom from the Creator, but the price was too high. They were now unregistered persons in the Creator’s world. They were outsiders… strangers. So, they tried to make my own world within the Creator’s world.

They collectively had the skill and wisdom to do that. The Creator would descend in human form a hundred years later. What the Original Beings lacked the most were time and power. Time and power…

Pasoon asked in a more subdued voice, “Are you sure it’s fine leaving those two humans alone?”

“We need to observe them longer. They’re closely connected with our own destinies.”

“What do you mean?”

“Nakun said they might be able to cancel the termination deadline clause.”

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