I CAME BACK AND CONQUERED IT ALL Chapter 104 Fighting Fire with Fire

Fighting Fire with Fire

“What is it?”

Adam asked, noticing the sudden change in his facial expression.

The scholar couldn’t hide his surprise. He stroked the beard on his cheeks as he pondered.

“… I take it that perhaps you have heard of the species’ name through the system.”

It was an accurate conjecture.

“That’s right.”

An odd light lingered in the eyes of Adam as he answered his teacher.

The scholar had inferred that far by only hearing its name.

“So, it means that even simple information such as the name of the species can’t be identified unless it’s through the system?”

“That is right.”

The scholar continued to explain with a shaken gaze.

“Before I expound on the requested information, I wish to inquire on one thing. Did the system mention that the species was currently residing in our world, the dimension of Yuncans?”

“That does not seem to be the case.”

As if he was genuinely relieved, the scholar sighed deep.

Adam’s curiosity was inflating much bigger as he watched his reactions.

“It seems that I would need to require an explanation at this point, yes?”

The scholar spoke while bowing down as if it was much obliged.

“The reason why the information is not registered in our database is that there is no biological evidence that it exists. Blood sample, body hair, skin tissue, nor even a small division of a gene remains.”

Adam frowned.

“You mean to say it is considered a mythical species? But it must be an existing species.”

Although the system could hold back information, it didn’t lie.

“It’s as you said. The evidence that it isn’t an imaginary species is the system itself. As coincidences and chances overlapped, their existence was revealed. It was during the process of an Awakened from another world questioning the system. Only after the information about a species called ‘Mercadius’ in that world had been shared did we come to know their species.”

It was an explanation that exactly matched the process by which Adam learned of its name.

“But shouldn’t a witness exist?”

“A witness certainly exists, but there is no record of having confirmed its true form.”

“Hmm?”

“They are said to be able to transform into anything. They usually turn into the native species of a dimension and mix in with them. No Awakened can see through their camouflage, and all skills are futile. Only the system can discern its identity.”

“They hide among other world’s species?”

There was a being that came to Adam’s mind.

Although he had never faced them himself, he knew of a famous being that continued its existence in that manner.

“It is similar to a parasitic being. It’s like a leech that goes around tutorial dimensions and causes chaos. I heard that there is a being that toys around the weak and treats it as a game while it refuses to proceed to the main quest itself.”

Adam spoke of the immortal, Angelica.

She was a parasitic creature that avoided species that had started the main quest since they weren’t easy and only preyed on the weak tutorial species as they lacked knowledge.

But the scholar shook his head in disagreement.

“The first discovery of that parasitic being was only a few thousands of years ago. But it is said the record of a species called ‘Mercadius’ dates back to the ‘lost age.’”

Adam’s jaw dropped as if he couldn’t believe it.

“You mean to say that records were found even in the remains of the Sebrarian Empire?”

“That is correct.”

The rarely found traces of the old Empire in dungeons-

The study of interpreting the records had developed competitively at each dimension.

“In imperial records, Mercadius was described by the circle of eternity, a cursed wanderer, a being who breeds in spirit instead of flesh, the advocate of apocalypse…”

Adam frowned.

“Apocalypse?”

“That is right.”

The scholar carefully continued speaking, recalling memories.

“It is not clear whether the species is related to the fall of the Empire. However, after that event, there is a tale that circulated from the new-born civilization and species.”

“What is that?”

“The world where the species is found will soon face an inevitable fate of destruction. It means to say its presence is a sign of an approaching apocalypse.”

“… ?!”

Adam’s gaze deepened as he heard those words.

“Does it become a demon or something? You mean that it destroys everything and kills everyone?”

“There is no record of destruction or massacre by its own hands. However, the empirical knowledge that the world in which they were observed is destroyed has been passed down. It’s hard to tell whether Mercadius was involved in the process…”

“At least there were no exceptions, right? They don’t know exactly why or how, but once they are observed, they’ll soon face damnation?”

“That is correct.”

It was a ridiculous tale, but he couldn’t just let it pass.

Because that race, right at that moment, resided on Earth.

“The apocalypse must mean the annihilation of life instead of concepts such as the collapse of time and space, yes?”

“That is right.”

“Is this a story with legitimacy?”

“It is information that is taken much seriously from the Union. In fact, considering that there was a member dimension that suddenly collapsed in their long history…”

“Perhaps they might have secured something to prove the connection.”

After the scholar stepped down, Adam was lost in deep thought.

It was an ancient species that had been on the records since the time of the Sebrarian Empire.

Why was such a being staying on Earth?

‘Is apocalypse the goal of Mercadius? Or, even if that is not the purpose itself, the effect that followed the event of Mercadius’ appearance is… apocalypse?’

Looking at the Union’s attitude, it wasn’t a story that was vain.

In that age where the Empire had disappeared, the Union was the longest-lasting organization.

‘If that’s all true, it means that Earth is fated to be destroyed sooner or later.’

There was no way that the tutorial dimension could prevent the ‘entity’ that couldn’t be stopped even by the main quest dimensions.

‘Why would such a being show interest in Seo Jin-Wook?’

The moment he heard the abilities that Seo Jin-Wook described, he expected the fact that the opponent was a very dangerous being.

However, since he had also heard the scholar’s words, he realized that it was a threat that was much deadlier and more enormous than he imagined.

“Hmm.”

His worries deepened.

At that point, he could pull out of the dimension called Earth.

But there was a reason why he couldn’t do so that time.

‘Seo Jin-Wook was a promising candidate for a successor.’

That was the key to leading his long-cherished desire into action.

‘But the identity of the enemy is something too powerful and too dangerous for me to rush in.’

Adam was well aware that his life weighed more than only one of the Yuncan species’.

He soon reached a conclusion.

‘Yes, if it’s too dangerous for me to intervene on my own, I’ll borrow the other guys’ hands.’

He quickly ran the calculations.

‘It is said that the Union knows about Mercadius. Whatever the effect may be, the extinction of life from a dimension is the worst-case scenario for the Union as well.’

What the Union was trying to seek was the entry of more dimensions into the main quest.

Mercadius was a dangerous being that went head-on against their goals.

‘Mercadius is on Earth where six observers have been dispatched? If the Union had known, there’s no way that they’d let him be!’

Adam was sure.

‘That being on Earth is an illegal immigrant.’

Species in Main Quest that sneaked in, avoiding the eyes of the Union.

A plan began to take shape in his head.

‘There was a Ghenut among the observers.’

He thinks of the alien disguised in the form of a toy poodle.

The species that suffered from a chronic lack of experience points overfocused on the achievement of the arrest of illegal aliens and earning points. It even drove the innocent Seo Jin-Wook to the corner, assuming that he was an alien.

‘If they knew that such a being had snuck in on Earth, they will immediately start a raid operation. Yes, the Union is the only armed group at this point that can handle such an inter-dimensional threat!’

Adam displayed a satisfied smile on his mouth.

The next action to be taken was simple.

He got up from his seat and murmured.

“Then… Shall I leak some information to their side?”

He would get rid of Mercadius with the help of the Union.

*

“Ah, are we cleaning up here again today?”

I reserved a day and entered the gray-earthed dungeon together with Nate and Hibiki.

It’s the same dungeon where we transferred the seedlings together and regularly cleaned up the monsters that rushed in.

“Grrrr!”

“Kaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

As we crossed the gate, we saw many monsters clumped like black dots beyond the horizon.

The number had increased significantly compared to the last time I came there.

They had become very irritated, perhaps because of the overpopulation as opposed to the area of land. They were attacking and even eating each other.

Monster fragments and bones rolled around on the ground. In addition to the corpses I made last time, their bodily fluids had been absorbed and mummified.

Hibiki spoke while witnessing the chaotic scene.

“If a number of them rush here a bit more… It will be like the density of the population in the subway during rush hour.”

“Yeah, we need to reduce the number of creatures once in a while before that happens. We need to prevent them from damaging the trees.”

Nate, who received my signal, rolled up his sleeves as if he was preparing for work.

The Spirit that ran the security system was still asleep.

“Come on, let’s finish this as fast as we could today as well.”

Nate then clapped his hands twice in the air while saying those words.

Swoosh!

A heavy gust blew, and a humongous black dragon was summoned from the sky.

It cast a shadow that loomed over a group of monsters on the ground.

The moment they looked up to the sky…

Kwaaaaaa!

The river of fire breathed out by the dragon violently incinerated the ground.

In every place where the storm of flames passed, burnt monsters rolled around.

[Fire Buster!]

[Lightning Vortex!]

[Energy Storm!]

Hibiki conjured several spells at the same time.

Flames exploded at the points where she pointed, a python-like current twisted its body and slithered towards their opponents, and a storm of blue light swept through the lands.

The energy of different properties intertwined and led to larger explosions.

Boo-boo-boo-boom!

Amid the mass extermination, I spread [Stardust Wings] and flew up and scattered purple sword energy.

After a while, all of the monsters had been eradicated beyond the point of salvation.

“Huh? It’s blooming a flower?”

The seedlings planted in the center of the dungeon had grown more in the meantime.

Nate smiled brightly as he looked at the buds that covered the branches.

“If the flowers have bloomed…”

Hibiki continued as if she had remembered my explanation.

“That means there’s really not much time left.”

I agreed with her.

“The next time we come, I think we’ll have to stay here for some time.”

The moment when it would bear fruits was just right around the corner.

“Now, before that.”

I approached the pond where Igras-Sho’s statue was located.

The artificial pond hidden between the seedlings had changed its appearance.

The huge hole that could easily bury 2-3 large trolls was so dried up that the bottom used to be seen in the previous dungeon.

But at that very moment…

“Jin-Wook. Over there… Won’t the water overflow?”

Along the border of the pond, the gray land was consistent like mud.

“Oh, yes, it seems so.”

The holy water, beyond just filling up the pond to the brim, was overflowing.

That meant more than enough monster corpses had been offered.

I took out seven cards from my arms while looking at it.

“Now, with this, what we have to do here is done.”

Hibiki looked at it as if she didn’t understand.

It was seven SS-Class magic cards.

Mastery skill cards that I secured for that day but didn’t hand over to Hibiki.

Splash!

I threw seven cards into the pond all at once.

Flash!

The holy water that filled the pond turned dark, and soon, it was sucked into the card as if the black fog was lifted.

As the holy water turned transparent and clear…

Rumbleeee!

The water level began to lower.

‘I expected it, but the holy water consumption is higher than upgrading S-Class cards.’

After a while, I took out the seven cards submerged in the lowered water surface.

Hibiki’s eyes grew bigger when she saw its effect.

[Fire Mastery (Rank: SSS)]

[Ice Mastery (Rank: SSS)]

[Lightning Mastery (Rank: SSS)]

[Earth Mastery (Rank: SSS)]

[Summon Mastery (Rank: SSS)]

[Enchant Mastery (Rank: SSS)]

[Universal Mastery (Rank: SSS)]

Her jaw dropped.

“No way…”

I nodded my head.

“Yes, let’s upgrade all your skill slots today.”

I pondered around my thoughts while handing the card to her.

From that point on, it was an area that she had never experienced in the previous life.

There were only three types of SSS-Class magic mastery that Hibiki had mastered in her previous life: Fire, Ice, and Lightning.

Until the last minute, the remaining four masteries were only up to SS-Class and S-Class.

That was because the supply of magic cards was that rare.

‘Upgrading all seven masteries to SSS-Class is an order that even I don’t know will be created.’

And…

‘If I get an SSS-Class magic card one day.’

It could be evolved into an EX-Class card.

“Come on, now.”

When I urged her, Hibiki infused Mana into the card.

And.

Boosh!

The moment Mana sparkled in Hibiki’s hand-

“… ?!”

I thought even my senses were malfunctioning.

Everything stopped instantly.

‘… What?!’

The shadow of all things in the dungeon disappeared.

Nate’s eyes froze as he was looking at the card that turned to a skill with interest. He stopped like a mannequin with his lips open as if he was trying to say something.

The glow that lingered on top of Hibiki’s hand froze. She became fixed like a still image just before she exclaimed with a half nervous and half excited face.

‘How about the devil’s sword?!’

That day, I left the devil’s sword about 1km away from the pond.

Compared to before, the divine power that was flowing out of the pond was… To borrow his expression, it was spreading everywhere ‘like it was going to boil the atmosphere until it was fatal.’

It said it was impossible to approach any closer than that.

I looked into the air where I left my sword.

Then in that space-

Tssssss!

As if it were burning a living animal, black smoke was flowing out of the devil’s sword.

At that moment, when time seemed to have been paused, movements were happening around me and the devil’s sword, as it was originally a still object.

The moment I saw that…

– You don’t have to panic.

A whisper that heavily echoed my head seeped in.

The source where it was emitted from was in the direction of the sacred beast, which took a pond’s shape.

“… !”

I had never heard that the sacred beast had intellect.

Rather than a creature with free will, I believed it to be only a temple made of bodily fluids and flesh.

Telepathic messages continued to appear in my head while I was baffled.

– The great being was greatly pleased and satisfied with your offerings. Therefore, he has a deep interest in thee, but unfortunately, it is too much to convey his will to the place where you stay, so the blessing will be given upon thee by changing it into an acceptable form.

I could barely open his mouth.

I forced my body to move and for my lips to spill out words in the space where everything had frozen.

“… What do you mean?”

– You will see it soon.

Shortly after that, the world, where the shades disappeared, began to turn black entirely.

The scene of the holy water darkening was reenacted on the scale of the dungeon.

The sacred beast, which was fading out of my sight, leaked out telepathy into my mind again.

– A buoy that will be swept away by the waves of time, a mere mortal like you. A weak and vain man… Had attracted the interest of a great being…

Telepathy was accompanied by a mental curve similar to an exclamation.

– You, who gained his attention, is nothing but truly…

The next mental wave was mixed with a strange echo.

– … Foolish and naive.

At that moment, everything around me disappeared.


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