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Chapter 196

Hard Carry Support

Chapter 196 - The Ranking Ceremony That Changed (2)

 

"Wh-what are you talking about?! That isn't true!"

Although she seemed bothered, she guided Hyun as he wanted, and finally, he finished looking at the leaders of each species.

"So… choose!"

"Wait. We haven't gone there."

Hyun pointed to a passageway within the castle.

"I also saw guys that look like named wandering around. We still haven't looked at them."

"Where are you talking ab… Ah."

Rublen glanced where Hyun pointed and replied as if it annoyed her.

"We don't need to go over there. It's a resting place."

"Resting place?"

"They're beings that got broken or lost magical power... It's a vault where we guard those that cannot fight anymore."

"So they aren't leaders?"

"They used to be leaders, but they aren't anymore."

Rublen used the word 'vault,' but it was more like a nursing home.

"Let's go."

"Haa. It's just going to be a waste of time."

"You never know."

"Do as you wish..."

Hyun felt a sudden change of air while he was walking through the nursing home because the cries of the devils had disappeared all at once.

While they were walking, someone suddenly talked to them.

As he turned around, he saw a tortoise devil with a broken shell.

"Hahaha... Mr. Rublen, what brings you here?"

"Haa. I know, right?"

"Oh. As cold as ever. Huh?"

Hyun could see that he had a deep wound on his back.

It was probably left like that because it couldn't even be healed with magic.

'They really seem lifeless.'

There wasn't anyone with an eternal soul. Even undead stopped moving after a long time.

Except for Transcendents, everyone was equal in the sense that they would eventually die.

Although they lived longer than humans, devils were also mortals.

'Was it really a waste of time?'

Hyun started to check each one’s specs.

Compared to the devils outside, they were missing one or two screws, but some only had the screws left.

'Hmm?'

Hyun found a unique door while he was looking around.

A door closed as if it were a vault... and the doorknob was caked in dust as if nobody had entered for a long time, but it was decorated too luxuriously for it to be simply a vault.

"What's in there?"

"That's... Really a vault."

"A vault?"

"It's a place where we guard things without souls."

It seemed like Rublen had already given up; he opened the door before Hyun could say anything.

Creak. The moment the magic circle shone, the door opened. The dust rose and sank.

The room was dark.

If it weren't for the light that entered through the ceiling, he wouldn't have been able to see anything.

"Are you going to enter as well?"

"Hmm... Yes."

Hyun looked at the sculptures that were on both sides of the hall.

There were sculptures of humans and animals, obviously, but there were also sculptures of devils or demons.

Rublen said that they were broken golems.

Hyun tried to use «Assimilation» on a sculpture that looked okay, but...

'So this is what it means by broken.'

The golem didn't show any reaction.

It wasn't that only parts of them were broken, but it seemed like the magic circles inside them were broken, too.

"Hmm? That...?"

At that moment, two sculptures that were at the end of the hall grabbed his attention.

They were sculptures of two twin warriors.

A light shone on them through the spider web that descended from the roof.

"What's that?"

They were faces Hyun was familiar with.

They were Darkness's underlings. Those golems, for the Darkness of when she was weak, were like her two arms.

They should have been protecting Louise, so why were they in Bahmir's castle?

"Ah, you're talking about those dolls. Mr. Scothanatos gave them to Mr. Bahmir five years ago."

"He gave him?"

"Yes. They're remnants of the battle."

Rublen told him why the twins were there.

After the ceremony was over, a battle happened in the land that connected the Underground and the surface.

It was a battle between those that wanted to get rid of Darkness before she could get stronger and those that wanted to protect her.

"Many souls disappeared in that battle; when the battle was over, there were many remnants left."

Rather than the Underground, the battle on the surface was more critical to the forces of the Abyss.

It was obvious. The surface was a land that belonged to the Heavens’ forces, so countless souls of the Abyss were broken or destroyed.

As for the remnants of the battle, Scothanatos took the undead devils, but the rest was left to Bahmir.

The twin golems were also part of the broken remnants.

They were completely broken, so that's why they were guarded there.

"Disposing of them would be a waste, and reusing them as ingredients is too troublesome, so we just left them here. I guess someone will dispose of them eventually?"

"Are there more like this?"

"This is all. I've shown you everything, so it's about time you make a choice."

"Thank you. I'm going to decide after thinking about it a bit more."

Hyun thanked Rublen and told her he didn't need to be guided anymore.

After hearing that Hyun would remain there alone for a while, Rublen closed the door and disappeared, and Hyun was left alone among countless broken golems.

After walking around the vault, Hyun faced the twin sculptures again.

As he removed the spiderweb and dust that covered the faces of the sculptures, he saw their broken armor and faces.

'Did they become like this while trying to protect Louise?'

They had their mouths open how they had been frozen five years prior.

They said that a master sculptor empathized with the feelings of a sculpture while making the face.

Hyun wasn't a master sculptor, but he felt they could still breathe.

'Maybe I can make them move again.'

Most of the golems used mana to move, but those two were different.

They were like Darkness's arms and protected her from her side, and they used Demonic Energy to move.

Hyun took a Sacred Stone from his inventory.

[Will you use a Sacred Stone on this golem?]

'It works!'

He gulped.

'It seems like the core isn't completely broken yet!'

Just like a human couldn't live without a heart, a golem couldn't live without its core.

Even if the core were okay, he would be wasting a Sacred Stone if the magic circles inside them were destroyed.

Although he would most likely fail, Hyun used a Sacred Stone without hesitation.

The moment the transparent crystal entered one of the bodies…

FWOOSH! Demonic Energy suddenly rose and moved among the two sculptures, and it was as if they were receiving each other's power.

The two sculptures resonated with each other and suddenly stopped.

'Are they going to react...?'

Hyun used one more Sacred Stone.

Was it because he'd used a bigger Sacred Stone?

[You can't put more divine power in them!]

Pang!

Demonic Energy exploded from the two sculptures.

The two souls that had fallen asleep while protecting Darkness in a battle had woken up after five years.

The muscles that had been resting for many years began to move again.

The moment they saw Hyun, they took out their weapons.

Their last memories were of fighting, so it was understandable that they thought that the human in front of them was an enemy.

«Blessing of Darkness»!

After realizing that, Hyun turned on the blessing.

'Haa. That was close.'

The golems stopped moving.

They'd felt a familiar energy from the human in front of them and put away their weapons and knelt.

"Ah... I stand in front of Darkness."

"Darkness..."

The lower part of one of them broke while it was trying to kneel.

Was it because they'd remained still for too many years or was it because of a past wound? The golems were in a bad state.

"..."

He looked at the wreckage in silence and slowly began to repair it.

"I'm not Darkness," Hyun said with an awkward smile.

It seemed like he would have to talk with them.

 

* * *

 

Shatin and Shatina were the names of the golem twins that protected Darkness.

The first thing they asked was how Darkness was doing.

While trying to make them understand he wasn't Darkness, Hyun explained to them what had happened during those past five years.

In most cases, Hyun talked, and they listened.

They tried to say something from time to time, but it seemed like there was something wrong with the magic circles that were in charge of the voice, so a distorted voice came out of their mouths.

"So you aren't Darkness...? But this energy I can feel from you..."

It sounded like an old robot... but it didn't sound unpleasant.

"There's a reason. The energy is similar, but I'm not Darkness."

"I see."

The Blessing of Darkness allowed Darkness's underlings to feel close to you.

It seemed like he was able to obtain absolute trust from Shatin and Shatina, not just simple friendliness. It didn't matter what he said—they didn't seem suspicious of him at all.

After getting permission from them both, Hyun looked at their status windows.

Shatin (Lv. 391)

Job: Darkness's Maid

<This Darkness's servant fought to protect the young Darkness until the end. Let's hope her wish has become real...>

Durability: 203/8930

(The magic circle is distorted! To recover the durability, you need 13.7 times more Divine Power!)

Stat and Skills - <Expand+>

Shatina (Lv.390)

Job: Darkness's Maid

<She received numerous wounds in a fierce battle. She managed to protect Darkness but couldn't protect her own body.>

Durability: 103/103

(Can't repair!)

(※ Warning: The core of the magic circle has been destroyed! As time passes, her maximum durability will decrease!)

...

'One is doing much worse than the other.'

Hyun sighed in disappointment after checking their statuses.

He had managed to revive the core but wasn't able to recover what was destroyed.

Golems were kind of an object. If you kept using them, they would eventually reach the ends of their lives.

There was a way to repair one, but the other one was about to die.

Hyun began talking with Shatin, who was the one in a better state among the twins.

"Do you also serve Darkness like us?"

"Well, yes."

"Is Darkness alive...?"

"Yes. That's something I'm sure about."

Shatin was able to calm down after hearing that answer.

After a while, Shatina opened her mouth for the first time.

Hyun knew they were twins thanks to Asra.

The voice of the little sister trembled quite a lot.

"But... I... Cannot... Feel... Darkness."

Hyun knew what she wanted to say, even if she didn't finish the sentence.

All of Darkness's underlings were able to feel her 'Empathy,' but they couldn't feel it at the moment.

"There's probably a reason behind that, so don't worry too much."

Hyun told Shatina that Louise had probably sealed her Empathy.

He said that to calm them down, but that just made them feel more anxious.

"Then we... were thrown away."

"The reason... why Darkness hasn't come back... is because she... doesn't need us... anymore?"

"No. That probably isn't the reason."

Hyun could read Louise's 'feelings' through «Pray», and thanks to that, he knew she was in a situation she couldn't avoid.

He changed that a bit and told them that, once she became free, Darkness would come for them.

"Weren't we... thrown away... because we don't... have... souls?" the little sister, Shatin asked.

They were obsessing about souls. It seemed like they thought Darkness had thrown them away because they didn't have souls.

"Hmm..."

Do golems have souls?

It was a question Hyun couldn't easily answer. He wasn't exactly sure what a soul was in Asrian.

Since he was a user that was forcibly logged out when he died, he hadn't taken time to think about that.

"Ah, could I use this to figure out?"

At that moment, Hyun realized something and used a skill.

It was a way he could check whether they had souls.

The moment he used «Assimilation», a system message appeared in front of Shatina that she had never seen before..

[Player 'Hyun' wants to control your body.]

[Will you entrust your soul to him? Y/N]

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