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Editor: Zeroth Deuce
Yong-Ho’s mana erupted like an explosion.
An unexpected rainstorm.
The horns above Yong-Ho’s ears had initially been hidden, but now they were growing. They grew straight out and created a sharp triangular shape above his head, comparable to the blade of a knife.
The concentrated mana didn’t disappear. Instead it started to violently spin around Yong-Ho and cover the entirety of the inside of the meeting room.
Oros gulped. Yong-Ho now had two horns on each side, meaning he now had a total of four. Oros knew that Yong-Ho was strong, but he never knew that Yong-Ho even had four horns.
The number of horns represented the user’s mana cla.s.s.
The owners in the empty region of the demon world usually had two to three horns. Where out of all the owners in the entire demon world, owners with four horns make up less than half.
‘Horns do not determine everything.’
Oros screamed it in his head. He controlled his mind so that he wouldn’t be swept away by the mana.
It was true.
The numbers of horns was a sign of how strong one’s mana was, but it didn’t determine everything.
There has been owners with just three horns that have had much more powerful mana than some owners with four.
Having the same number of horns didn’t mean that the strength of mana was the same. There was usually a definite difference in strength between users.
It only took Oros a short time to recover. While he was catching his breath, he felt relieved by that thought. He had managed to succeed in looking at Yong-Ho without panicking.
Horns didn’t determine everything.
Mana didn’t determine everything either.
The strength of mana wasn’t enough to determine one’s power. It’s true that the stronger one’s mana was, the greater the advantage they had during a fight, but there was no guarantee, for instance, that an opponent holding a sword was a skilled swordsman.
Furthermore an Ogre or a Troll could use their physical strength to overpower the strength of an opponent’s mana. Mana alone wasn’t enough to determine the result of the battle.
Oros still felt himself cower. Cold sweat was rolling down his back.
He still had a hard time breathing. It seemed like the mana that Yong-Ho released was pus.h.i.+ng Oros really violently.
Simply saying that his mana was strong wasn’t enough to describe it.
It was heavy. It couldn’t be compared to the mana of Foras or Jungceros.
Oros gritted his teeth. He activated his physical skill and tried to escape the suppression he was feeling from Yong-Ho’s mana.
‘It’s not strong!’
It was strong. It was definitely strong. But it wasn’t absolute. His mana was about 1.5 times stronger than the mana that Jungceros and Foras had. However he was sure that the mana that Agares possessed was a lot stronger!
He just couldn’t get rid of the oppression that he was feeling. It wasn’t just because of the size of the mana. There was something else. There was something within Yong-Ho’s mana and it was something that Oros wasn’t able to detect.
It had only been 10 seconds since Yong-Ho released his mana.
Oros had no choice but to acknowledge Yong-Ho’s power. He gave up on resisting it. That’s why during those past 10 seconds, he had completely forgotten about Dargon’s existence.
Oros felt like he was being blown away by the mana rainstorm. Whereas Dargon was face-to-face with the root of the rainstorm.
The oppression that he was feeling couldn’t be compared to what Oros was feeling.
Dargon used his mana to resist as well. As an Ogre Mage, he was able to control a larger amount of mana than Oros.
Dargon smiled. He put his mace down and spoke loudly.
“You’re strong. There’s no need to fight. You...no, I acknowledge you, owner of the House of Mammon.”
He didn’t sound good. It was obvious that he was forcing himself to say it.
Oros could imagine the expression that Dargon had as he looked at his back. It felt like he could see Dargon forcing a smile.
Yong-Ho looked straight at Dargon, and then burst out laughing.
“One who wields the sword must know that they can get hit by the sword as well.”
He raised his right arm. The mana that was flowing violently around him suddenly calmed down. But he couldn’t put his guard down yet. For this was just the calm before the storm.
Yong-Ho focused his mana in one place. Aamon’s fire then rose out of Yong-Ho’s right hand and transformed into a lance.
“Even though you started it, I’ll be the one ending it. I also need to test your strength.”
The flowing mana transformed into fire. The oppression they felt was now a lot stronger than before.
Mana wasn’t the only thing. There was something else within it. Oros didn’t know what, but he definitely felt something special.
It was the worst situation.
Dargon couldn’t avoid the fight anymore. Like Ophelia had stated, the owner of the House of Mammon wasn’t a fool. There was a good chance that it wasn’t going to end with a simple spar and that the result of this fight would end up breaking the equality between them.
Dargon breathed heavily. He started spitting out profanities and tightened his grip on his mace.
Oros contemplated. The moment felt like an eternity.
What was he supposed to do? Should he join Dargon? Should he fight together with Dargon so that they could prevent Yong-Ho from dominating over them?
But that was unreasonable. This may ruin their relations.h.i.+p with the House of Mammon’s owner. It was a fight Dargon shouldn’t have started.
What was he supposed to do? Was he going to acknowledge the fact that he couldn’t take responsibility for Dargon’s mistake? Was he going to let Yong-Ho take the lead? Should he try convincing Yong-Ho that fighting amongst themselves was useless and that they should focus on taking down Agares?
It was a close call.
Oros was focusing on Yong-Ho and Dargon when an unexpected thing happened.
“The owner of the great House of Mammon, I ask that you calm your anger. Please forgive Dargon’s mistake and blame me for not being able to talk him out of it.”
The calm voice belonged to Ophelia.
Oros widened his eyes when he saw who the voice belonged to. Ophelia was known for being full of pride, but currently she was kneeling on the ground.
Oros has known Ophelia for 10 years. No matter what kind of owner she saw, she spoke formally to them, but that’s all she did. He never imagined that she would do something like this.
Oros felt like his head was going to explode. Ophelia’s actions had completely caught him off guard, but the situation he was in was making him feel extremely confused.
He was on the same level as Ophelia and Dargon. But Ophelia kneeled on the ground and acknowledged that she was beneath the House of Mammon’s owner. That meant that the other leaders were under Yong-Ho as well. It might be better for Dargon because it would’ve been embarra.s.sing if he lost to Yong-Ho, but in actuality, this was a perfect win for Yong-Ho.
“I also ask for your forgiveness. No, please forgive me. Please forgive me for testing you.”
Dargon spoke. As the leader of the outlaws, he was the most sensitive out of all the other leaders when it came to superiority. The House of Mammon’s owner was stronger than himself. He had to no choice but to acknowledge and back away. Going up against a stronger opponent was foolish, not courageous, and this situation was the perfect example of that.
Dargon thought he was immature for even requesting the fight. Since Ophelia was acting that way, there was no need for him to push it. Bowing was his only viable solution.
Once Ophelia and Dargon acknowledged their defeat, Yong-Ho looked at Oros.
Oros closed his eyes shut. Just like Ophelia and Dargon, he showed respect towards Yong-Ho. He acknowledged defeat.
“I ask for your forgiveness.”
He didn’t say much, but it was enough.
Yong-ho slowly nodded his head while maintaining a sharp, cold expression. The fiery mana disappeared.
Ophelia looked at Yong-Ho and sent signals with her eyes.
‘That was too much. Didn’t it make you cringe? How could you say that you were going to end the fight?’
The level of communication was weaker than Catalina. But, Yong-Ho understood the basics and in order to hide the smile that appeared on his face, he purposely swung his right arm more violently. He spoke with his eyes.
‘And you’re okay with kneeling?’
‘It’s not my first time. You’re my owner anyway. It’s a relief that things worked out.’
This was what he had been expecting.
Ophelia knew Oros and Dargon’s personality and depending on the situation, she knew how they were going to react.
Ophelia was actually surprised by Yong-Ho’s strength. It had only been a month since she first saw Yong-Ho. But he had grown a lot since then. He grew at an extremely fast rate.
Yong-Ho played a big role in making today’s plan successful. If Yong-Ho’s mana hadn’t been this strong and if he wasn’t strong enough to contain Aamon’s power inside his own mana, then today’s plan would’ve definitely failed.
‘We’re going to get caught. Stop smiling.’
‘I can’t help it. This was the greatest investment of my life.’
It was a forced investment though.
While the owner and his spirit were talking happily, Dargon and Oros accepted their reality while displaying mixed emotions. The House of Mammon’s owner was far more than just an ordinary warrior.
Skull put the hammer down and Catalina looked at Yong-Ho with affection and respect. Even though her tail and ears were flapping violently, Dargon and Oros were so focused on Yong-Ho that they didn’t even realize the guard’s feelings.
Yong-Ho walked towards the table. The table no longer represented equality. The moment Yong-Ho took his seat, he was now at the head of the table.
“I will now provide an explanation about Agares.”
Ophelia was in charge of the meeting. She stood in front of a portable blackboard that held various data on it and pointed to the map of the southern empty region.
“Agares is currently located in the House of Ale’s dungeon, which is located to the east of the Free City. According to the scout team, it seems like Agares isn’t even trying to hide. The soldiers that Agares has gathered from the other dungeons are currently gathering there.”
Agares ate the owner of the House of Ale as well as the members of the dungeon.
Oros knew about Agares, but he couldn’t help but frown. It looked like he really wanted to smoke.
“Currently, we believe that Agares has about 700 to 1,000 soldiers.”
Foras and Jungceros had about 100-200 soldiers, so when comparing to that, Agares really had a lot of soldiers.
Ophelia then explained about the three powers in the Free City. The number was correct, so Dargon and Oros gulped once again. It couldn’t be helped, they felt like they were sitting there naked in front of Yong-Ho.
From the pub, about 70 of them were able to fight.
The worker’s guild and the outlaw group had about 100 soldiers each, so the pub had the least when looking at just the numbers, but the soldiers that Ophelia picked were just as strong as the other two groups.
“This is a life and death situation for the Free City, so I’m sure we’ll be able to gather more soldiers. Since we also have a fortress, we shouldn’t have that big of a disadvantage.”
The bigger the group was, the stronger it would become.
This was common sense during war and it also worked that way in the demon world. However it wasn’t completely identical to the human world.
Magic was also used in the demon world.
If one has extremely strong mana, they were able to replace 10s, maybe 100s of soldiers. In the demon world, one soldier had the ability to change the entire flow of war.
The result of this war depended on Agares’s existence.
The reason why the Free City’s leaders asked for Yong-Ho’s help was because they needed someone to fight Agares with them.
Ophelia continued her explanation.
It was regarding Agares’s army and his powers that were somewhat known in the demon world.
One week after the meeting.
Agares's army left the House of Ale's dungeon.