Time gradually passed until night turned to dawn. Even those who were drunk from the happiness of their victory began to fall asleep one by one. But there was one person who was lost in thought. He didn’t seem tired from the march that had gone on all day or the drinking party that followed afterward. His eyes were wide awake as he placed his crossed fingers near his lips and stared at the candle in front of him. This person was no one other than Glen Zenard.
“…Zich.” He muttered Zich’s name once and closed his mouth. He had a splitting headache, and he felt as if he was lost in a maze without an exit.
‘What is he?’ Glen recalled Zich’s face again—this wasn’t difficult. Even though it was their first meeting in person, Zich’s face was very familiar to Glen. But only his face was familiar; everything else, including Zich’s behavior and personality, was unfamiliar.
‘He is neither Steelwall nor Moore.’
The two sides of Zich he knew didn’t match the current Zich at all. He suddenly felt a chill crawl up his back. Inside many layers within layers of memories, he remembered one name from long ago.
‘…Brave.’ Just thinking of this name suffocated him, but Glen shook his head. ‘He’s not Brave.’
It wasn’t escapism. The Brave he knew and the current Zich were clearly different.
‘Yeah, it’s not.’
Like a child who didn’t want to reflect on their past mistakes, he pushed those memories to the deepest corner of his mind. But that meant Zich was not Steelwall, Moore, or Brave. This meant only one thing.
‘An unexpected variable.’
That was what Glen hated the most out of anything. Although he had faced it more times than he could count, it still enraged him every time this happened.
‘It must be a very big variable.’
There was nothing that matched what he knew: Zich’s personality, behavior, the location of his activity, or the time period. From what he heard, Zich seemed to have a much higher level of skill than the Zich he knew from this period.
‘…There must be no surveillance.’
He covered his face with his hands from the overcoming gloom. He didn’t even need to check since he was the one who sent the command to not send out spies around Zich Steelwall. He thought this was unnecessary.
‘Why after all this time? He never changed even once before!’
Besides his importance and strength, Zich Steelwall was a very convenient existence, unlike those who often moved out of his expectations and interrupted his ‘perfect plan,’ thereby, increasing his blood pressure. Zich had always progressed according to his plans—especially during this period when he should be stuck with the Steelwall family.
Thus, Glen had gotten rid of surveillance around Zich since he always needed more help in other matters anyways. He thought it was better to make his subordinates do something else and dispatch them to Zich around the time he left his family. And now, Glen was paying for the price of his decision.
‘Damn it!’ He hit the floor in annoyance, and a hole formed in the ground while dirt scattered into the air. ‘If he moves however he likes …’
Glen’s body trembled. He recalled Zich’s dormant power; even Glen, who had lived ‘hundreds or thousands’ of times more than other people and received as many opportunities as possible, sighed at the thought of Zich’s overwhelming power. Even when things went according to his plans, Zich’s power was always a huge obstacle that bothered him. Because of Zich’s overwhelming strength, there were many cases when things failed even when he did the calculations perfectly, saw through Zich’s strength and skill, and gathered strong allies. So, if Zich changed because of some unknown cause…?
‘It’s a nightmare.’ Even if Zich changed according to the situation, nothing could change his overwhelming talent and explosive mana. At the least, he would become one of the strongest in the world. ‘…Should I kill him?’
Glen knew that Zich’s talent shouldn’t have fully bloomed yet. If he killed Zich now, there was a low chance that more changes would be made. But in the end, he erased that thought from his mind.
‘What will I do after killing him? It’s better if I watch how he will change for now.’
Then, Glen could plan for the future and make an even more perfect plan than now.
‘I should also find out why he changed.’ There was a hint. Zich told him that there was ‘a person’ who made him change. ‘Who is that fucking bastard?’
Glen wondered who was the bastard that made Zich into Karuwiman’s Honorary Holy Knight. Around this time, Zich should be running away from his family with resentment and endure intense turmoil and suffering to the point that he will walk a path that only sought after strength.
‘I must find that bastard no matter what!’
Glen planned to dig up all kinds of information from that guy and make him die a painful death. It was ironic, because ‘the person’ whom Zich mentioned was Glen Zenard before Zich’s regression. In other words, Glen was enraged with his past self.
However, his rage lasted for a moment, and Glen became lost in thought again. ‘…Who should I send to spy on Zich?’
Everyone under his forces had their own mission to complete. Even when they were finished with their current job, there was another mission in their schedule. And these missions would not lessen until the world entered the Era of the Demon People.
‘…I should cancel a couple of missions.’ But how many destinies would change from that decision alone? Glen clutched his head. ‘…Now that I think about it, I should also find out about the Saint’s change.’
The Saint didn’t change as clearly as Zich, and her change was subtle. But the direction of the change wasn’t what Glen liked. It seemed like Zich had influenced her after undergoing his own change, and there was a need to dive deeper into the matter.
‘Aine has to be pure. I can’t believe they don’t even know that—those damn old fools are no help!’
While calling Lubella’s first name, he gritted his teeth at the thought of Weig and Twen. He no longer looked at all like an Honorary Knight who maintained perfect etiquette.
‘I also have to come up with some measures in response to Bellid’s losing strength.’
Everything had changed: Porti should have been sacrificed to make an undead army, the Bellid’s northern base should still exist, and the Pyramid of Vengeful Souls should have been made there.
This was a massive damage to his plans. He couldn’t even imagine what the future would be like since so much had changed. His eyes suddenly became stiff. Even though Glen possessed high physical prowess, he grew mentally tired when complicated events he had never imagined happened one after another.
‘…I should sleep for now.’ He lay on the bed. ‘After this ridiculous celebration party is over, I should make some plans.’
Since it was not an easy problem to solve, Glen decided to push it off for now. He closed his eyes and pulled the blanket over his body. Then he suddenly thought of the question that Zich asked out of the blue. Zich said he had gotten those lines from a novel.
‘Was it something like, if you are reborn, try to live a kind life?’
After thinking this line over in his head a few times, he moved his body several times and shifted to a more comfortable position.
‘I really don’t know this line. Was he really just saying nonsense?’
Glen began to sleep. Because of stress, he moved around a few times but eventually fell deep asleep.
* * *
The Karuwimans quickly spread the news that they were able to completely exterminate the Bellid’s northern branch. This not only increased their reputation and let people know that the Bellids were weakened, it also sent a warning against the Bellids. Of course, the Karuwiman followers were overjoyed. They felt prideful, and smiles were on everyone’s faces. An optimistic aura hovered everywhere around the temple and seemed to ooze out of everyone.
However, Zich, who played the most critical role in this battle, didn’t linger on these sentiments and prepared to leave with his two servants. The splendid ceremony to celebrate their victory was already finished. Zich didn’t participate in the ceremony, but he received an enormous sum as monetary compensation.
Weig came to see him go and said, “Mr. Zich, you really come and go like the wind.”
“Why don’t you go after resting here for a bit?” Lubella also came to see them go and offered this option to them. Hans and Snoc glanced sideways at Zich. It would be very nice to stay in the temple for a little longer, but they didn’t expect Zich to accept the offer.
“We’ve already rested long enough.” At Zich’s words, Hans and Snoc shifted their eyes back to the front. They weren’t even disappointed anymore. Lubella and Weig also expected such an answer, so they just nodded.
“Since you earned the title of Honorary Holy Knight, please stop by Karuwiman temples while traveling. Our temples will do their utmost to support you.”
“Moreover, some orders will be passed to you through the temples sometimes.”
“It’s not really a command but a request for help. And Mr. Zich, you knew this but still accepted the title of Honorary Holy Knight, right?”
“Fufu, yes,” Zich agreed while laughing.
“However, we won’t request your help right away. Since we already received a lot of help from you, it won’t be right for us to ask for your support so soon.”
“Don’t worry. Even if I get requests from the temple, I won’t accept them easily. Lady Lubella would know my shamelessness the best.”
Lubella chuckled, “Of course. I know Mr. Zich’s shamelessness very well. If I exclude Mr. Hans and Mr. Snoc, I’m sure I know about it the best.”
Hans and Snoc were about to nod their heads, but they quickly stopped. Sweat began to pour down their faces. They couldn’t believe that a Karuwiman saint would lay such a surprise trap for them. After seeing their serious and troubled eyes, Lubella made an awkward smile. She also had no desire to make them fall into a trap of accidentally insulting Zich.
Lubella added, “…It was a joke.”
However, Zich’s bright laughter indicated that Lubella’s words had no impact at the end.
“Okay, let’s just say that’s true. But regardless, it doesn’t change the fact that those two will be going through hell for a while.”
Seeing them despair in silence, Lubella looked at the two of them with pity. Watching this quick skit in front of him, Weig smiled and shifted his attention back to Zich.
“Can I ask where you are going?”
“Well, I don’t know. If I move wherever my feet lead me, won’t I end up somewhere?”
“Sometimes, I’m jealous of your freedom.”
“If you want to become a traveler, call me anytime. I will give you all my tips without restraint.”
“If I get fired from Karuwiman, I will contact you right away.”
Zich and Weig shook hands. After also shaking his hand with Lubella, Zich turned around. Hans and Snoc said their farewells and followed behind Zich. Like he did last time, Zich did not turn around even once. As the sun went down, the shadow from the white temple moved as if it was making a path for Zich with the bright sun beaming down on him. Contrary to what he told Weig, Zich already had a destination in mind.
‘I have to go find that.’
From this battle, Zich realized his power was clearly lacking. If more time passed, this problem would be solved. However, even if this was a peaceful time before the Era of Demon People, various events were happening around the world, and Zich’s rough personality and nature made it easy for him to get involved in conflicts. For that reason, Zich felt that he could no longer wait for more time to pass.
Then, at last, Zich thought of a sword. Unlike ordinary swords that had a silver glint, it was a sword that was completely black.
Demon Sword Tornium. Before he regressed, his four subordinates and this sword were most closely identified with the Demon Lord of Strength, Zich Moore.
‘If I find that, I will be able to cover the gap in power somewhat.’
While thinking of Tornium’s strength, Zich placed more force into his legs and moved forward.Previous Chapter Next Chapter