The Main Characters That Only I Know (Novel) Chapter 177


Chapter 177

“The war with the Martial Alliance was in our favor. Of course, they were not easy opponents. They resisted fiercely, and the situation became more chaotic when the imperial army intervened.”

Seo Sumin still remembered that time.

It was supposed to be a quick and decisive battle, but it dragged on endlessly. 

She decided to take matters into her own hands and joined the front lines, wielding her sword against the enemies.

Her power, which had almost reached the level of a Transcendent, was unmatched by any of the Martial Alliance’s warriors. 

The experts that the Martial Alliance boasted of fell one after another.

The Martial Alliance realized that they could not win against Heavenly Demon in a head-on confrontation. 

They avoided direct clashes as much as possible and tried to prolong the war.

War was not something that could be won by simply being strong. 

There were many other factors involved.

And the Martial Alliance had a special card up their sleeve.

They had warriors who were willing to sacrifice their lives to slow down Heavenly Demon’s advance.

Whenever Seo Sumin showed herself, they threw their lives away to hinder her movements. 

Meanwhile, the rest retreated and reorganized their ranks, preparing for the next battle.

The war dragged on.

In the midst of this stalemate, Seo Sumin gradually fell into despair.

“I had stained my hands with blood many times before I became the leader of the Heavenly Demon Sect, but this time was different. The war dyed my heart with misery.”

Seo Sumin’s painful expression showed her emotions at that time.

She was born with an extraordinary talent. 

Thanks to that, her martial arts reached a high level, but her mind did not.

Enlightenment and weakness of heart were two different things.

She had an outstanding body and martial arts, but on the other hand, her heart (心) was too fragile and tender.

She became Heavenly Demon because her grandfather wanted it. 

She tried to raise the status of Heavenly Demon because her grandfather wanted it. But when she faced the reality of war, she realized that it was not so easy.

When she entered the battlefield, some of the enemies sacrificed themselves to stop her.

They each had their own beliefs and clashed with her. 

The courage of the Martial Alliance’s warriors who gave up their lives even though they knew they would die.

At first, she did not feel anything.

But like clothes getting wet from drizzle, as time passed, she felt her heart wavering at some point.

Why did they fight so fiercely?

What did they want to protect by giving up their lives?

How could they smile while bleeding and dying?

Her heart began to shake slowly.

She wondered what was right and wrong, what she had been doing until now. 

She doubted herself.

Doubt created a crack in her heart, and the crack soon became a fissure.

Her heart, which seemed unbreakable and stubborn, started to break for the first time.

“That’s how I gained regret and hesitation.”

From some point on, she did not fight with passion anymore. 

The followers who followed her naturally noticed that.

Something was wrong with Heavenly Demon.

Rumors spread silently. 

Those who had harbored resentment against her fanned the flames.

“Tsk. She became Heavenly Demon as a woman, but this is what happens.”

“She didn’t wipe out the enemy faction even after becoming Heavenly Demon. How careless is that?”

“Heavenly Demon needs an absolute and unchanging power. We don’t need a power that is swayed by trivial things!”

Seo Sumin did not argue back. 

She was too exhausted mentally to respond to each of them.

She was like a ticking time bomb on the verge of exploding.

And then one day, as the war was slowly reaching a deadlock,

Her grandfather came to see her.

“He said something to me. And I said something back.”

“What did you talk about?”

“I don’t remember. It seemed like we exchanged something important, but I can’t remember.”

Seo Sumin was in such a poor mental state that she did not even have a proper conversation with her grandfather.

The only thing she remembered was his clear eyes that showed his determination and her agony over having to fight again tomorrow.

And then, time passed.

Hwang An-jun, the current leader of Hyol-yeong Faction and the one who brought Seo Sumin to Heavenly Demon and raised her,

He plotted a rebellion with his entire faction to harm Heavenly Demon.

***

“Something is strange.”

“You felt it too? Me too.”

Kwon Ji-ah and Kang Hye-rim’s expressions hardened. They knew that there was information about Hyol-yeong Faction’s leader preparing for a rebellion. But something was off about the atmosphere around them.

“Heavenly Demon is the highest position in Heavenly Demon Sect, right? They are trying to assassinate him, but why are the others so quiet?”

“It’s like they want it to happen.”

“And this is also weird. It says that Hyol-yeong Faction’s leader Hwang An-jun made a great contribution to the ascension of the current Heavenly Demon. He was the one who brought him, who was not from Heavenly Demon Sect, and gave him teachings and opportunities. He was Heavenly Demon’s benefactor, and he should have a position in Heavenly Demon Sect that was second to none.”

“Plus, the previous owner of this Hyol-yeong Faction was the current Heavenly Demon. What is their relationship?”

“Maybe. No, it must be.”

Kang Hyerim and Kwon Jia learned many things as they checked the information department.

There was a rebellion trying to harm the Heavenly Demon, and the main force behind it was the closest ones who had helped the current Heavenly Demon ascend to the throne.

The opposing faction knew that, but they deliberately did not inform anyone.

They had dissatisfaction with the current Heavenly Demon, and they felt glad that the pro-Heavenly Demon faction was causing a rebellion.

“So that’s why. I wondered why this place was so flimsy, but they took out the necessary people from the opposite faction on purpose?”

To prevent the information about the rebellion from going up, they had to exert their influence on this information department.

The reason why there were few combatants here, and why they deliberately placed people so loosely.

It was all a result of internal factional strife.

‘It’s ridiculous. Is this the Heavenly Demon Religion that has a bad reputation?’

No, it was amazing that they did not lose to the Martial Alliance and the Royal Army in this situation of internal division.

However, the problem was not only that.

It was not easy to overlook the internal division, but there was a trace of collusion between the opposing faction and the Martial Alliance.

Kwon Jia realized. This worldview was not a simple story of a war of magic.

It was a more complex story that contained something darker, something she still did not know.

“I think we might have been caught up in a troublesome incident.”

“Jia. When exactly is that rebellion happening?”

“According to the document, it’s tomorrow at noon.”

“…That’s a big deal, isn’t it? It’s soon.”

“Yeah. It’s a big deal.”

Kang Hyerim and Kwon Jia thought the same thing at this moment.

They had to tell Yoo Hyun about this as soon as possible.

“It was when the sun rose high. It must have been noon. The old man called me. I was so busy that I went out without thinking.”

Seo Sumin went to the place where the old man called her.

Until then, she had no thoughts. She just thought that he would listen to her complaints a little bit as he always did, and give her an answer to this complicated emotion.

Until an assassination attempt flew at her life.

The assassinations that flew from beyond the forest filled the sky.

She easily repelled thousands of assassinations with her excellent martial skills.

At first she thought. It was either an ambush by the righteous faction, or an act of an internal hostile force.

But as soon as she confirmed the faces of those who showed up one by one.

Her face had no choice but to distort mercilessly.

Blood Shadow Sect.

Her comrades who had been close like family and shared joys and sorrows with her.

They were the ones who were after her life.

‘…What are you guys doing? Do you know what you’re doing? Blood Shadow Sect! Where is your leader! I’ll ask him for responsibility!’

‘You don’t need to ask. Heavenly Demon.’

‘…Blood Shadow Leader!’

The one who showed up among the Blood Shadow Sect members was the old man she had been looking for desperately.

When Seo Sumin saw him, she had to stop.

The old man who always smiled kindly at her was looking at her coldly like a beast at this moment.

Seo Sumin moved her trembling lips.

‘Why are you looking at me like that?’

‘It was something I had to do someday.’

The old man raised his hand.

‘Please die. Heavenly Demon.’

At the same time, the Blood Shadow Sect members flew their bodies.

She was caught off guard by an assassination that grazed her cheek and passed by.

Blood flowed and pain was felt. It was an attack that would have hit her forehead if she hadn’t reflexively avoided it. They really tried to kill her.

‘Why.’

Seo Sumin could not understand.

‘Why?’

Why did they betray me? Why did he try to kill me?

‘Why!?’

The only one she thought was on her side betrayed her.

Her mind, which had been exhausted by war, reached its limit there.

Crack.

Something broke in her head.

Was it reason? Was it patience that she had barely endured?

No, maybe.

It was precious memories that she held on to until the end.

It was gone.

It had shattered into pieces.

‘…It’s over.’

I didn’t care what happened anymore.

I just.

I just wished everything would disappear.

She let go of everything and became a monster.

“I don’t remember much of what happened after that. When I came to my senses, I had killed everyone I cared about with my own hands. The surroundings were completely ruined, and there were no survivors. I wandered aimlessly like a soulless person. To a place where no human touch could reach, deep in the mountains.”

“…”

“I don’t know how much time passed. But my talent was much more powerful than I thought, and I achieved tremendous growth just by stabilizing my mind and body.”

She entered the realm of the transcendent and surpassed even him.

She attained the highest level that a human could reach.

As a result, she got the opportunity to transform into a different being.

The opportunity to ascend to the place of the stars, which only the chosen ones could reach.

In the world she lived in, they called it Demonic Transcendence, or Ascension.

“But why now…”

“Why do you think?”

Yu-hyun realized it at Seo Sumin’s bitter voice.

Were there only humans who feared her talent?

Would those who watched her from the sky leave her alone, a human with an absurd power?

Paradise. They intervened.

The moment she transcended her level and transformed into a new being was paradoxically the weakest moment.

As a result of Daesung-gun’s interference, Seo Sumin fell back to the lower realm again.

That’s how her soul flowed into the dimension called Earth, and she got another life.

That was the story so far, and it was the life that Seo Sumin had gone through.

“This place is a world where my nightmares and pains crystallized. And surely, tomorrow… The same thing will happen again.”

“Can’t you stop it?”

“How?”

“…”

“I’m scared.”

Seo Sumin said honestly. There was nothing left to hide now that she had come this far.

“Just seeing their faces again, or killing them again with my rampage. Everything. I’m too afraid to move.”

She was betrayed by those she cherished, and eventually took their lives with her own hands.

There was still blood on Seo Sumin’s hands.

It was invisible to others, but she could see it.

The blood that wouldn’t wash off no matter how much she washed it made her two hands heavy like shackles.

Drip.

A tear rolled down her cheek.

“What should I do…?”

“…”

Yu-hyun couldn’t answer anything.

***

When Seo Sumin, exhausted by sorrow, fell asleep, Yu-hyun quietly went outside.

The night of the Central Plains martial arts world was starkly different from Seoul. Everything in the world was dyed in deep darkness. It was like filling a giant plate with ink.

But unlike the night view of Seoul, the stars that filled the night sky shone brilliantly.

The dazzling spectacle of starlight that dazzled his eyes and the sound of crickets crying tickled his ears. The sound of crickets breaking like fragments seemed to be engraved in the sky as those landmarks.

This is a truly beautiful world.

At the same time, it is a cruel world.

‘To think that this scenery shown by a world created to kill a girl is beautiful. It’s so contradictory that it’s horrifying.’

Yu-hyun was troubled after hearing Seo Sumin’s story.

If he had cigarettes, he might have smoked them for the first time at this moment.

[I don’t understand.]

It was then that the brooch-shaped white lotus opened its mouth.

[She’s a Heavenly Demon. She was the greatest warrior of her time. Maybe my memory is vague and I don’t know well, but isn’t it usually true that transcendentals have made a lot of effort to get there, and because of that they have some resistance to ordinary things? Just because someone betrayed her, she reacted like that.]

The white lotus’s point was somewhat valid.

She wasn’t just an ordinary person. 

Seo Sumin was a Heavenly Demon.

The power she possessed. 

The level of a transcendent that even spirits feared was not something that could be obtained easily.

There were many heroes in human history, but Seo Sumin was among them at a very outstanding level.

He couldn’t believe that such a person’s heart was so weak.

“Maybe we’re just hoping for that.”

[What?]

“They say a Heavenly Demon must be perfect.”

Yu-hyun recalled the conversation he had with Choi Jungmo before.

People only see what they want to see, and hear what they want to hear.

They project their ideal image onto others.

The image that they could not achieve themselves.

“A transcendent must be strong. A Heavenly Demon must be strong. They do not know how to bend or break. Their hearts are always firm, and they are not shaken by anything. They must not be shaken.”

The eyes of the people who look up to the heroes.

The perception that has been passed down for a long time.

And, the desire that they have for the heroes.

“Not only the Heavenly Demons. The protagonists of the stories. The heroes of the myths. The witnesses of history. We all think that way. They must be perfect.”

The protagonist must be perfect. 

They must not lose.

Because, they are the ‘protagonist’.

The hero.

But, is that true?

Do the heroes really have no anguish? Can they easily shake off all their pain?

“There is no such person in the world. No matter how strong someone is, they cannot help but have a broken heart. Baekryeon, maybe we are asking too much of her, just like you felt when you saw her.”

Not everyone can be strong. 

There is no perfect being in the world.

The reason why he could not understand Seosumin’s pain and asked why she was suffering was because he had imposed his ideal perfection on her.

If he peeled off the shell that others had put on her, what he would see was nothing but a girl who shed tears.

They were just hiding their weakness and pretending to be strong.

The people did not know that.

“And, they did not want to know either.”

[…I’m sorry. I was short-sighted.]

Baekryeon reflected on his attitude. 

He felt more than sympathy for Yu-hyun’s words, because his voice sounded somehow sad.

[Then… what will you do now?]

“That’s a good question.”

Yu-hyun turned his head slightly.

He could not leave the two girls sleeping in the shabby house alone.

As soon as he heard Seosumin’s past, his mind became more determined.

“I’ll fight.”

Yu-hyun looked up at the stars in the sky and said so.

“As I have done so far.”

And as I will do from now on.

 ---

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