Chapter 181 – The Final Break
"I'm very sorry."
Dana had come to us and apologized.
I heard the gist of the situation.
Before Dana escaped the underground palace, he had left a Marble of the Abyss. And up to now he had been monitoring them and witnessed Kajad Pun Aman's revival.
"I should have stopped it there. After confirming he had resurrected, I should have cut off the Marble of the Abyss' power."
It would have been an unstoppable curiosity.
Dana Ritalin was curious about the exam's final mission – Kajad Pun Aman.
Having infiltrated the Second Advent Life and Death a.s.sociation and playing as a high priest for 5 years. It took a man with guts to have done all that.
But eventually Kajad Pun Aman, through that marble, looked at Dana and spoke.
"He was an unspeakable monster. The second he saw the Marble of the Abyss he was able to reverse engineer the spell's technique and to find out my location. Do you realize how ridiculous that is?"
"I'm not sure but is it like solving an incredible science problem with a calculation?"
"Similar to that. Anyway, after the mention of Brown Mountain, Kajad's thoughts went mad with elves. Seeing how he desired the Trees of Life so much, he'll be coming here not too long from now."
"It's like Nietzsche's famous saying."
If you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you, or something like that. It just so happens the name of the magic was also named the Marble of the Abyss.
At that light joke, Dana sighed. He, who was always smiling, had a depressed expression for the first time.
"It is what's said in Nietzsche's 'Beyond Good and Evil.' I really did gaze into the monster's abyss. Anyway, I'm sorry for the inconvenience I have caused."
I shrugged my shoulders.
I'm not really a fatalist* but going through all these exams, I now think this situation too was an arrangement of the G.o.ds.
(TN: someone that believes in fate or destiny.)
Thus, I didn't really feel resentment towards Dana Litalin. It was bound to come to this anyhow.
"Don't worry about it so much. If Kajad was coveting the Trees of Life, even without you he would've eventually made this his target."
Brown Mountain was the most elf populous place in this world.
Well, it could be said it's thanks to me. Since I made it so that three Trees of Life could grow so well.
Then, Cha Ji-hye who had been quiet said.
"Whose mistake it was is not important. More importantly we have to know why Kajad Pun Aman wants the Trees of Life."
"That would be because he wants to gain more soul fragments and the Trees of Life have the most life force……"
As I spoke it became murky.
"The goal of gathering soul fragments to revive Kajad Pun Aman has already been done. So I don't know why he is coveting soul fragments now."
"That's true. Mr. Litalin is there anything you suspect? Any ideas?"
Dana thought it over and said.
"I can't say for sure but the Kajad Pun Aman I encountered through the Marble of the Abyss, in some way, didn't seem to be in his right mind."
At those words, I recalled Heising who had been revived using fake souls.
"You mean maybe like the undead who were revived with fake souls?"
"No. his reason and decision making were solid. But it wasn't the appearance of a complete ruler that the Second Advent alluded to.
"A complete ruler?"
"Does not age nor die, free from all of humanity's desires and greed, a ruler that reigns the world with pure reason and intellect. According to his will Kajad was to be revived so he could be such a ruler."
Shivers went down my spine. His scale of thought is huge.
"But the man I saw through the Marble of the Abyss was swept up by greed more than anything. His manner of speech and his gaze was not at all the person the second Adventists thought of."
"Do you think they had some problems with the resurrection?"
"Most probably so. The only people to leave the hexagon room were Sultan Saloc and Kajad. Something seems to have happened to the high priests. Kajad's hands were covered in blood. Judging from that alone we can surmise that there was a big problem."
Did he murder the high priests as soon as he resurrected? Like a devil released from a seal.
"Here is what I think happened. They did not fulfill the revival ceremony according to Kajad's will. Having done so with an amount of souls less than required, as a side effect of that, he now yearning for souls, that's what I'm guessing happened."
"Greedy for life power you mean to say……"
I got an uneasy feeling.
"I'm sure he'll l.u.s.t for all things living. How a starved beast feasts on another beast."
At those words, the atmosphere became chilled.
"That is exactly, as you said, a devil."
"That may be why these exams were created too. Anyhow, shouldn't we let this truth be known to all examinees as fast as possible?"
"We shall. I'll call Odin first."
From the virtual s.p.a.ce I took out the radio.
Seeing the radio for the first time, Dana's face looked surprised.
"Is that even possible?"
"Isn't that an electronic device?"
"Correct. Another skill of my virtual s.p.a.ce. Throughout the continent we've installed satellites so we can contact each other from wherever."
The exams were reaching their end.
What with the Kajad Pun Aman, who was basically the final boss, having resurrected there was no more reason to hide it.
"You were hiding such a skill. Then did you bring any other electronic devices?"
"I brought a laptop and smartphone too. Ah, I also brought the MSM-2. Isn't that car developed by the Maglun research center?"
"Haha, very impressive. America tried countless times and failed every single time as well."
Dana's surprised face aside, I gave Odin a call on the radio.
-Oh I was just about to contact you.
Replied Odin as soon as he picked up. He must have some new information as well.
But I delivered mine first.
"Kajad Pun Aman has returned."
-What?! Is that true?
"Huh? You didn't know?"
-What I was about to say was regarding the direction of Aman's national army. Having occupied the Seilan Kingdom, the entire Aman army has started marching south and everyone is feeling anxious.
"If they're headed south, they're coming for us aren't they?"
-Indeed. We are in a touch-and-go situation and on the verge of war. But to hear that Kajad Pun Aman has resurrected, what do you mean?
I summed up Dana's story to him.
-then the situation is dire. That means the end of the exams is not far.
"I think so."
-Why the Aman kingdom was doing strange things, I understand now. Moreover, Kajad, in order to get the Trees of Life, will start another unreasonable war.
"Our next exam could be our last one. If Kajad himself comes here."
If we eliminated the last boss, Kajad Pun Aman, I surmise that all the exams would end.
-That may be. Anyway, we'll think about that later. Since the current exam is going to be ending soon.
-Anyway, thanks for the good info. I'll let everyone in the Nordic exam Group know.
Like that the transmission ended.
I contacted the elves on Brown Mountain too to warn them.
This all happened when there was 20 days left in the exam time.
I received news that Yoo Ji-soo and Cha Jin-hyuk cleared the mission.
According to Odin's sources the Arend kingdoms political arena, Count Sendels who had guarded the northern border has been in cahoots with the Aman kingdom, this truth was divulged and the politicians were in chaos over it.
Broadscale investigations began and Count Sendels plus the King Alsefon the Third's youngest sibling from a different mother, the Duke of Cornwall, plots to treason were divulged and they were purged.
This was all the eventuality of Yoo Ji-soo's team clearing its mission.
As those events unfolded the weariness towards the Aman kingdom's invasion increased greatly.
Like that the time limit of 2 years all flowed by and we went through the door of exams.
The baby angel greeted us.
"How nice it would be if a cute looking thing could welcome us."
As I mumbled the baby angel giggled.
"Aww c'mon now, don't say stuff like that. There aren't that many days left for us to see each other."
The baby angel was definitely implying too that we were near the end of the exams.
'Even just roughly estimating there must only be two or three missions left.'
"But it's not two or three?"
Baby angel abruptly interrupted after reading my thoughts.
"What do you mean?"
"You think there are that many left?"
Then the baby angel spun in a circle and smiled.
What does he mean two or three is 'that many.' Then……!
"Mr. Hyun-ho, check your board."
"Yeah, summon board!"
The board appeared before my eyes.
-Name: Kim Hyun-ho
-Mission: have your final rest period.
-Time limit: 90 days
Short and strong wording.
I suspected my eyes.
But it for sure says 'final rest.'
"Yup, the last one."
"Everything ends in the next mission?"
"What if I can't clear it and I return?"
"I think I've told you before. That we'll give you what you want."
Then I remembered what the baby angel said before.
'Then the people chosen as examinees will regard finishing the missions pointless. They'll want to keep getting majeong and decide to not want sever ties with Arena. And……'
"To still be able to get majeong, and not be cut off from Arena, you'll let that continue?"
"With just those words I don't know what it would mean!"
I shouted angrily.
To me it was a very desperate problem and his non-clear explanation and behavior made me angry.
"It's exactly as I said."
The baby angel shrugged his shoulders.
"While in Arena, weren't there many things you were curious about?"
"How is it that the placement of the celestial bodies are the same as in your world? How is that gravity is the same as Earth?"
"Your world and Arena, if the two are combined into one, don't you think they'd fit perfectly over each other like a décalcomanie*?"
(TN: A decorative technique by which engravings and prints may be transferred to pottery or other materials. Today, the shortened version is “decal“.)
My heart sank.
Combine the two worlds into one?
"Of course, there are small differences. For example, creatures that don't exist on Earth, such as violent monsters, or people with completely different social systems and civilizations, or magic and dark magic……"
My heart thudded loudly and bounded.
"I'm sure there will be some chaos. But it'll be alright. Isn't that what you all want? That's what you chose so it'll just happen as you chose."
"The criterion of that decision……"
"Yes, examinee Kim Hyun-ho. It's you."
I just became blank and I couldn't think of anything.
To think that the monsters that live in Arena would appear on the earth my family lives on, I could only feel faint.
What's worse, b.a.s.t.a.r.ds like Kajad Pun Aman would appear in our world.
"This message will be delivered to all examinees."
And then the door appeared.