Villain Hides His True Colors
[Translator – Yasi ]
[Proofreader – Karane ]
About 30 minutes ago.
The peaceful school festival was thrown into chaos with the sudden appearance of the monsters.
"Euhahah! Is that all you got for an S-Rank?!"
"...That carelessness will eventually be your death."
"Huu? Then try a little harder to entertain this one!"
A monster resembling a Yaksha hurling red lightning bolts and opposing him was Shin Cheonho who was wrapped in blue lightning.
Was this what a fight between mythical beings was like?
Along with the constant explosions, the surrounding buildings were destroyed as if they were nothing.
Taking advantage of the chaos, the faculties and students evacuated everyone to the gym.
"We're almost there!"
"Everyone! Please hurry a little more!"
In a situation where no one could leave due to the barrier, the best choice now was to hide in a safe place and wait for help.
As such, the gym at the institute could be said to be the best place for everyone to hide.
Considering it was built for hero training purposes, it boasted a strong durability that could withstand most shocks.
There were the mana-absorbing walls and even shock mitigation magic to respond to various attacks.
On top of that, there was even a special barrier for emergencies...
"All right! Activate it now!"
Dokgo Hakju shouted as soon as everyone entered the gym.
In response to his urgent shout, one of the professors hurriedly manipulated a console attached to the wall.
Immediately after, mana spread in all directions and the protective system covering the gym was activated.
Thick metal structures rose from the floor and surrounded the gym as the magic circles that were engraved on it glowed, adding more durability to the walls.
Soon, inside the gym where the lights were completely cut off, the yellowish ceiling lights came on.
"Is it done...?"
To confirm that it was working, Dokgo Hakju operated his mana and cast a spell at the walls to see if there was anything wrong with the system.
The walls where the blade of mana met was absorbed like a sponge sucking in water.
Fortunately, the barrier was working as expected.
After checking it over and over again, he breathed out a long sigh of relief.
"Huu...this relieves a lot of anxiety."
A little later, maybe it was because he wasn't nervous anymore, but he could hear crying everywhere as voices calling the names of the scattered families resonated throughout the gym.
He watched the sight with mixed emotions.
Damn it...if there's trouble...
What he wanted was just to finish his term without any accidents.
For some reason, he felt like he was constantly involved in one accident after another this year.
Along with such a feeling, a boy's face came to mind.
This is all because of Choi Noah!
Didn't the monsters shout a little while ago? Give them Noah.
He didn't know what kind of mess he had caused outside, but somehow big problems always followed each time.
As expected...All the discomfort I had felt this morning was all because of him!
Once this matter was safely over, he planned to send him out of here by any means.
Just as he had calmed his anger inside, someone's voice was heard from the side.
"Hello, Director. I'm Kim Taehi from Gyeonggi-do's Hero Association. Do you have a moment?"
When he turned his head, there stood a large woman and a man with a shaggy face.
Who are they?
Did Noah cause another accident?
Considering that he had suffered terribly by the Gyeonggi-do branch because of Noah recently, he asked politely even though he was annoyed.
"What can I do for you?"
"Can you tell me more about the current situation? I'm afraid the durability of the system will determine our future measures."
"Don't worry about that part."
"What do you mean?"
Dokgo Hakju explained to Kim Taehi about the barrier surrounding the place.
The metal structures surrounding the gym were made of materials that absorbed mana like those used on the training ground.
In other words, most magic and abilities that use mana won't work.
Therefore, it was virtually impossible to invade this place unless large-scale heavy equipment such as cranes were used to destroy it or attacks beyond the mana limit of the barrier.
"...So we're safe, at least for the time being."
"Huu...I see. That's a relief."
Kim Taehi nodded and sighed briefly after hearing the explanation from Dokgo Hakju.
After a while, she spoke to him with a cautious expression.
"Then, can I ask for your help with field control instead? It seems managing the chain-of-command is more important than anything else for now, so rather than us, I think it would be best for the faculties to lead."
"Hmm...That certainly makes sense. Well, I see. I'll do that. But later, the Hero Association's report..."
"Ah...yes, that's something to think about later, but don't worry."
"Ahem. Thank you."
When Dokgo Hakju thought about it again, he realized perhaps the current situation could be an opportunity for him.
Stuck at this institute, how many chances were there to make a contribution?
Okay. I'd rather take this opportunity to regain my place.
While Dokgo Hakju was lost in thought, suddenly someone shouted at him.
"I have an objection!"
The eyes in the gym turned to one person in unison.
Standing there was a well-kempt man.
The man spoke sharply.
"I'm sure everyone heard it clearly a while ago! The monsters are looking for a trainee named Choi Noah. That means the institute had failed to manage the trainees properly and is responsible for this disaster!"
His sudden remark put a perplexed expression on Dokgo Hakju's face.
Th-this damn guy...!
Dokgo Hakju forced his mouth open to defend Noah.
"Ugh! It's not like that! Choi Noah is also a victim, so let's all be a little more rational..."
But before he could finish his words, more spoke up.
"C-cut the crap! He's the only one responsible for this! H-how are you going to take responsibility?!"
"My daughter is dead! My daughter is dead!!"
The uproar that quickly started began to spread.
Everyone seemed to be trying to shake off their anxiety and fear as they angrily shouted at the faculties.
"I can't trust such an institute to lead this place! Doesn't everyone think so?!"
"Bring Choi Noah here right now!"
Angered voices echoed from all sides.
As a result, forgetting the situation they were in, chaos ensued inside the gym.
Meanwhile, Shirahui, who was watching everything, felt a sense of oddity that was difficult to explain in words.
This...Is it okay to be so calm?
Her father had always reminded her to never let her guard down under any circumstances in front of a villain.
Furthermore, the monsters that had appeared this time felt different from the villains she had seen so far.
She had felt a terrible chill the moment she confronted them earlier.
And, her foreboding told her that it wouldn't end so easily.
No matter how great the facilities here are...they can't come in just because of a barrier?
No, on second thought, that could never be the case.
I should tell the professors right now...
Just as she thought to do so,
"Punish Choi Noah right now...Kkueeook!"
A man who was complaining to the faculties, suddenly vomited blood and fell down.
His face immediately began to warp, and not before long, it split in half.
"H-huh? Wh-what's this?!"
Through the skin of the man's face, tiny things covered in mucus popped out.
They were a small group of beetles with colorful shells.
"Wh-what the hell is that..."
"Everyone, back off! It's dangerous..."
Dokgo Hakju shouted, having quickly judged the situation.
"N-no, I-I want to live...Keuhok!"
As if a step late, dozens of people nearby the man collapsed to the floor in pain.
In an instant, people's heads were torn apart and countless beetles began to crawl out.
Soon, the beetles that had hatched and gathered in one place slowly formed a human-like figure.
In its place at some point, a naked man could be seen stretching leisurely in the middle of the gym.
He had antennas on his head and insect wings on his back.
"Th-that's the guy from earlier..."
"D-damn it! You said the barrier was absolutely safe! What the hell is going on here?"
Those who saw it couldn't help but to panic. How was that monster here?
Meanwhile, the monster looked around before pointing at a man.
"I like that outfit."
"Euaaak! D-don't come!"
A beam of light as bright as the sun extended from the monster's fingertip to where he was pointing.
The man, who was directly hit by the beam, disappeared with his whole body burning.
Afterwards, the monster slowly approached and picked up the man's clothes that had fallen and wore them.
"Mhm~ It fits my body better than I thought."
Dokgo Hakju shouted at the monster.
"Villain! Identify yourself!"
Befitting of an A-Rank hero, terrifying mana was swirling from his body.
In response, the monster combed back his hair and gracefully introduced himself.
"Huhu~ Nice to meet you all~ My name is Henri. An Apostle who was bestowed the nickname Scarab."
"Apostle...What the hell is that?"
"Heum~ Let's not talk about such a boring thing."
"Villain! Enough talk!"
Mana blades fired from the hands of Dokgo Hakju poured into Henri in an instant.
Henri had used the man next to him as a shield and simply fended off the flying blades.
* * *
[ Translator - Yasi ]
[ Proofreader - Karane ]
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* * *
"I never thought there would be so many toys here, hehe...this is very good!"
Seeing what had happened, Dokgo Hakju trembled with a stunned expression.
Meanwhile, Henri looked around leisurely. At the end of his gaze was the gym blocked by thick walls.
"You're all insects in a box, hehe~"
It was impossible to release the barrier that would have protected the people for a certain period of time.
And rather, it had become a prison that was restraining them.
"Now, shall we start the game?"
Henri's mouth tore open into a bright smile.
* * * * * * * * * *
Fabre Jean-Henri. Also known as Scarab.
Originally a perfectly ordinary man born on a farm in rural France.
If there was something different about him from other people, it was just that he had been obsessed with collecting insect specimens since he was a kid.
Unlike the other executives of Eighth Layer Hell, he lived a peaceful life in his own way, so why he had became one of the Apostles of an Evil God, even the other Apostles who were close to him didn't know properly.
But if there was one thing for certain, of the eight Apostles, it was Henri who had the purest 'evil'.
"Huhuhu~ Who would be good?"
Henri twirled his finger and pointed at the people as if he was playing a game.
And whenever that happens, people in the direction would busily shove one another to get away from his finger.
"G-get out of my way you bastard! Get lost!"
"Fuck! You're blocking the way, ajumma!"
People in panic didn't care about their surroundings as they struggled to save their own lives.
A little boy who had missed his parents' hands fell down while dozens and hundreds of people brutally trampled over him.
"Aahh! N-no! My baby is under there!!!"
Henri, who was watching everything with a bright smile, stopped his finger.
At that moment, a beam from his fingertip penetrated in a straight line between the fleeing people.
Like a mosquito against a fire, the bodies of those who were touched by the beam instantly turned to ashes.
"Huhu, good, good~ Very good! I'm glad I followed you!"
An empty line was created in the thick crowd.
Henri smiled contentedly and began to twirl his finger again.
"Okay~ Who should go next~"
As soon as his words fell, people began to flee in all directions.
"O-open the barrier! Please open the barrier!"
"Release the barrier right now! We're all going to die like this!"
People crowded the gym's barrier, knocking frantically on the walls...
"No one can get out of this insect container~"
This was a perfectly enclosed space. There was nowhere they could escape.
"Those who try to escape should be punished, right?"
Another surge of light emanated from Henri's fingertip.
Immediately after, the people who were in front of the barrier were turned into burnt ashes in the wind.
"How dare you!"
Dokgo Hakju, who had been panicking and watching everything blankly, came to his senses belatedly and cried out.
His body was exuding an overwhelming amount of mana that couldn't be compared to before.
Soon, the mana turned into hundreds of blades and began to float around his body by one.
"How dare you kill in Dokgo Hakju's presence? You messed with the wrong person today!"
"Huh? Aren't you also a murderer? Don't you think so?"
Henri pointed to the body that had been dismembered by Dokgo Hakju's attack earlier. Seeing it, Dokgo Hakju shouted with a distorted expression.
"Enough talk! I'll kill you today to make justice right!"
"We'll help you, Director!"
Dokgo Hakju, the other professors, and some of the heroes who attended the festival stepped forward in unison as they released their abilities.
On the other hand, Henri gave a strange smile when he saw such a sight.
"What? Did you want to play with me so badly? Everyone's in a hurry."
From his body, gray powder similar to coal burst out like an explosion.
"Avoid it, everyone!"
"Wh-what's this?! Is it poison?!"
It would have been better if it was outdoors, but the gray powder diffused relentlessly in the enclosed space.
The result was that everyone inside the gym, with nowhere to escape, became covered in the gray powder.
"I'm fine...It's okay, right?"
After the thick dust subsided, everyone had no choice but to show a puzzled expression.
They were obviously attacked, but nothing had changed.
After a brief moment of silence, the people who had come to their senses one by one were able to regain their confidence soon after.
"Hahaha! It wasn't a big deal!"
"This is our chance! Let's all work together and get rid of him!"
As everyone thought as such, someone's shrill scream rang out inside the gym.
Everyone's eyes turned in unison. Where they looked, there was the sight of a professor wielding a knife at the students around him.
"W-wait a minute! Professor! What is this...Kuaaak!"
An unexpected murder. However, the tragedy didn't stop there.
A woman with a very distorted expression stretched out her hands towards her husband.
"A-ah? Wh-what's w-wrong with me? M-my body isn't listening to me!"
"H-honey, what's wrong with you?"
The telekinesis that stretched out from her fingertips lifted her husband's body into the air.
And soon, the man's joints were twisted as his arms and legs began to slowly tear.
"N-no! Please! Please stop!"
At the end of her bitter cry, her husband's limbs were eventually separated, scattering blood in all directions.
A difficult sight to watch. In any case, people had no time to watch.
That was because others in the gym were also experiencing a similar situation.
The nun who had sworn to give her life to God went up to the podium and began to undress. The father who loved his family more than anything else was beating his own family with tears of blood.
As Henri watched everything unfold, he burst into laughter with a shiver.
"Aye~ It's such a beautiful sound! It's really the best!"
What was more disastrous than anything else in this situation was that the same was happening to other high-ranking heroes.
"N-no! Get out of the way!"
A mana sword extending from Dokgo Hakju's hand swept across the surrounding area like a windmill.
Where the blade had passed was a bloodbath, as pieces of flesh rose and fell like rain.
Thud, thud, thud–!
Dogko Hakju shouted. However, it was buried among the other screams that were already filling the gym.
It was a horrible landscape where everyone was attacking one another.
And because of the constant flow of blood, a blood mist was even seen rising to the ceiling.
"Oh, right. Sophia had told me to spare some, but...How can I hold it in when I see this, huhu~"
Henri walked leisurely in the middle of such a hellish landscape.
"How should we play? A fight between brothers? No, that's too lame. Ah! Yes, that would be good. Brothers and sisters will stand on the stage..."
Just as he slowly approached a man and woman pair after having thought of something,
At that moment, a bright yellow flash came down his face.
Stunned by the sudden blow, he turned his head reflexively. However, he couldn't completely avoid it and one end of his antennae was blackened.
What was going on here? Why was there an attack coming in that direction?
Did the parasites make a mistake?
Rather, it was an attack with a clear intention to kill.
Then what's the situation...?
While he was perplexed, a girl slowly walked out through the hellish landscape.
As her bright yellow hair fluttered in all directions, golden sparks flashed around her body.
Impossible...my ability didn't work?
There had never been a case where his parasites didn't work.
Once it penetrated the host's body, no matter who the target was, they must obey his orders.
The only exception was a beast or familiar already controlled by a summoner.
However, the girl in front of him seemed far from that no matter how much he observed.
In his confused state, people began to walk out next to the girl one by one.
A man with tonfas in both hands. A woman with colorful hair. A giant with a lot of hair on his face. A woman as big as a bear.
Nearly 100 people were rallying outside the control of his parasite.
What the hell is going on here?
It was a phenomenon beyond his comprehension.
The power of parasites was an absolute power bestowed directly from the great Angra Mainyu.
There are so many people who can go against that kind of power...?
At the end of Henri's flustered gaze, he suddenly saw one thing they all had in common.
On one side of their chest was an unidentified badge.
What was ARK? What does the word mean?
Perhaps it was a secret association to stop the resurrection of Angra Mainyu.
Right, otherwise it doesn't make sense.
Henri, who had come to such a conclusion, unlike before, asked them with a tense expression.
"Tell me who you are. What the hell does ARK mean?"
The girl who had attacked him a moment ago slowly pointed the tip of her sword at him.
Covered in bright lightning, she charged at Henri and shouted.
"Choi Noah's official fan club, you dung beetle!"
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