I'm Not a Regressor

REAPER SCANS

 

I’m Not a Regressor

 

Chapter 217: Snake's Head (10)

 

Thump, thump.

Cheon Sanggil's heart, savagely ripped out, as if by some form of witchcraft, pulsed like a freshly caught fish.

"I've preserved it so that the life force and star power doesn't leak out, that way you can eat it fresh!"

Kasia's tail wagged back and forth, similar to a dog yearning for praise, her face adorned with a broad grin.

"..."

Ohjin clenched his jaw, staring at the thumping, pulsating heart.

The sight was nauseating, but he couldn't refuse the offering.

'I have to eat it.'

To keep fooling the Queen of Snakes into believing he was the Heavenly Demon, he needed to demonstrate his use of Black Heaven in front of her.

"Good."

"Hehehe. I'm glad you approve."

Kasia flicked her long, tail-like tongue, which extended down to her chest, and twisted her body in a knot.

Ohjin grasped the heart he was handed in his hands.

He could feel the warmth of the grotesque, pulsating heart through his hand.

'Mr. Cheon.'

He hadn't been particularly close to Cheon Sanggil.

Yet, holding the heart of a man who had aided him in numerous ways stirred a whirlwind of emotions within him.

Ohjin cleared his mind and conjured Black Heaven.

Krrrrr.

Dark clouds billowed out, engulfing the pulsating heart.

"Ah."

Kasia let out a low gasp, watching the dark clouds envelop the heart.

With a reverent expression, she knelt and clasped her hands together as if praying to a deity.

"Oh, darkness of Black Heaven... Save us from the arrogant starlight."

Krrrrrrrr!

A distant force pulsed through the dark clouds. The power of the stigma that Cheon Sanggil had wielded in his lifetime was now absorbed into Black Heaven.

-Ding!

Much like with Damien, Cheon Sanggil's power didn't fully integrate into his body. Instead, it hid within the dark clouds. It was frustrating to absorb such power and yet be unable to harness it.

'Can't help it.'

What could he do about his current lack of skill? For the time being, he should be satisfied with possessing another stigma of the 12 Zodiacs.

'The Stigma of Capricorn... It was a stigma that allowed one to manipulate sound freely.'

Ohjin was itching to try out his new 'Vaporize' trait and the Stigma of Capricorn. However, he didn't have the luxury of time to experiment with his new abilities.

"Did you enjoy the meal?"

Kasia looked up at Ohjin, her tone unusually formal, as if she were a character in a historical drama.

Ohjin responded with a slight nod.

"Ha, ha! Th-thank you!"

He was on the receiving end, so why was she thanking him?

"Hehe. In the future... I'll offer more hearts to you, Heavenly Demon."

Kasia's smile turned sinister as she licked her lips.

Ohjin's eyes narrowed.

'She's a lost cause.'

She was beyond control or manipulation.

She was already deeply damaged.

'I can't do what I did with Isabella.'

His gaze turned icy.

Kasia's devotion to him bordered on fanaticism. It seemed so extreme that she wouldn't hesitate to offer her own heart.

"I'd rather eat your heart... rather than this shabby one."

He looked down at the kneeling Kasia and spoke.

If she was fanatical enough to offer her own heart...

'I can kill her right here.'

There was no need to precariously maintain the pretense of being the Heavenly Demon. He could simply order her to die right here and now.

"…Excuse me?"

"I said I want to eat your heart."

He moved towards Kasia, who was wide-eyed, looking startled by his unexpected statement.

"..."

Kasia clamped her mouth shut.

A tense silence ensued.

Kasia slowly rose and approached Ohjin.

She slowly reached towards her left chest, and then...

Sssssss!

A green snake sprang from her elongated shadow, quickly coiling around Ohjin's body.

"...!"

Shock widened Ohjin's eyes as he found himself bound by the snake, unable to put up a proper resistance.

'What, what is this?'

The unexpected turn of events took him aback, but he did his best to keep his composure.

"Hmm, that's strange..."

Kasia squinted at Ohjin, who was trapped by the green snake. She slithered closer to him, her hand reaching out to touch his chest.

"Didn't the Heavenly Demon mention something like this before?"

Her forked tongue flicked across Ohjin's chest.

"If you ever order me to give up my life, it means you're not yourself, but someone else."

Ohjin drew in a deep breath at her words.

'Damn it.'

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He had completely walked into a trap.

'So... that Heavenly Demon bastard foresaw all of this?'

That Kasia would mistake him for the 'Heavenly Demon.'

That he would exploit her loyalty and command her death.

Had all of this been foreseen from the very beginning, from the distant past?

'What the hell is he?'

Is he truly some kind of god?

Ohjin swallowed hard and spoke in as calm a voice as he could muster.

"You remembered."

"Hehe. Of course. I've never forgotten a single word that the Heavenly Demon said."

"I see."

Ohjin nodded, maintaining his composure.

If he panicked and made a fuss here, it would be like a thief tripping over his own feet.

"…Is that all you have to say?"

Kasia squinted slightly.

She carefully moved her hand, which was resting on Ohjin's chest, and stroked his stigma.

The Stigma of Lyra was engraved on his chest.

But she knew.

What lay dormant beneath this thin layer of skin was an infinitely vast black sky.

"If you're not really the Heavenly Demon… then who are you? Why do you have Black Heaven?"

She asked, changing her overly respectful tone to a more casual one.

"I am the Heavenly Demon."

"…But."

"However, a part of my memory is currently sealed."

"Hmm?"

Kasia's eyes widened.

"There was no other way to prevent the rampage of Black Heaven."

"…Are you asking me to believe that?"

"If you must."

Ohjin stared at her with deep-set eyes.

"Do you think there could be two Black Heavens?"

Kasia's expression hardened.

The claim that part of his memory was sealed to prevent the rampage of Black Heaven was hard to believe, but the idea that there were two Black Heavens was too absurd.

"So, the Heavenly Demon's weakness is due to the seal?"

Ohjin nodded.

Kasia murmured in a small voice, flicking her long tongue.

"Come to think of it, the Heavenly Demon once said that the Black Heaven he possessed was still incomplete."

…Incomplete?

Ohjin had no way of knowing, so he nodded quietly.

"I apologize for doubting you, my god."

The green snake that had bound Ohjin slithered back into her shadow.

Kasia bowed her head at Ohjin's feet.

Ohjin helped her up and spoke in a soothing tone.

"No, I'm grateful for your doubt. It means you haven't forgotten me."

"Heavenly Demon..."

Kasia looked at Ohjin with trembling eyes.

"Anyway. You don't need to bring me any more hearts now."

"But if it's to break the Heavenly Demon's seal, more hearts..."

"I said it's not necessary."

He spoke with a slightly irritated expression.

"I, I'm sorry!"

He stopped Kasia as she hurriedly tried to bow again.

"Right now, I'm disguising myself as an apostle of the Weaver Girl to hide my identity. If it's discovered that I possess Black Heaven, the arrogant Celestials won't sit still."

"Ah… I see."

She finally seemed to grasp why he had told her there was no need to bring him hearts.

"Hehe. Just as I'd expect from the Heavenly Demon."

Kasia looked at Ohjin, her face filled with reverence, and nodded.

"No matter how arrogant the Celestials may be, they could never imagine that the apostle of the North Star possesses Black Heaven."

Exactly. That was the very reason Ohjin had pursued the title of 'hero' in the first place.

"So, the most crucial task now is to complete the unfinished Black Heaven and restore the Heavenly Demon's memory."

Kasia's eyes gleamed as she spoke.

'The method to complete the unfinished Black Heaven.'

If the 'Heavenly Demon' was indeed in possession of an incomplete Black Heaven, as Kasia had suggested, then his goal must be to complete it.

'In that case...'

If Ohjin could prevent the completion of Black Heaven, then the Heavenly Demon would be stuck with an incomplete version.

'That's it!'

Ohjin's fist tightened. This was the crucial information he needed right now. If he could somehow prevent the Heavenly Demon from completing Black Heaven, there might be a chance to avoid the 'end' that Polaris had prophesied.

'I thought I was fucked at first, but who knew it would turn out like this.'

It was a blessing in disguise.

If he could turn this crisis into an opportunity to screw over the Heavenly Demon, it would be an unexpected harvest.

Ohjin's eyes lit up as he asked.

"What's the method to complete Black Heaven?"

"Hmm? …Ah, you mentioned your memory was sealed."

Kasia, who had been tilting her head, let out a short exclamation.

"Tell me."

"Yes, Heavenly Demon."

Kasia lowered her head respectfully, then continued.

"There is only one method to complete the incomplete Black Heaven."

Her emerald eyes shone with a cold intensity.

"The only way is to kill the Heaven-defying Star and absorb its power."

What?

"The Heaven-defying Star?"

"Yes."

Kasia confirmed, her gaze lifting to the night sky, her face filled with murderous intent.

"The Awakener, created by the arrogant Celestials, who holds the power to change fate. The only being that can oppose the Black Heaven that you, the Heavenly Demon, possess!"

She spread her arms wide, her voice echoing with madness.

"Only by devouring that disgusting star can the Heavenly Demon's… no, all of our wishes come true!"

Silence followed.

Kill the Heaven-defying Star to complete Black Heaven?

'But isn't that guy already dead?'

[You have successfully absorbed the Stigma of Capricorn.]

[A power that does not match your current level has been detected.]

[The power of the stigma will be sealed within Black Heaven.]

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