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Chapter 27: A Fair Fight (3)

It was a perfect victory.

Asher savored the joy to its fullest, smiling broadly.

‘But why?’

Like a miracle, Asher was unaffected by the curse of the magic sword.

In the end, that mysterious man couldn’t escape the curse and died, leaving Asher the sole survivor.

The reason remains unknown... but does it matter?

What mattered was that Asher had won.

‘You dared to underestimate me.’

Serves him right.

Asher kicked the man’s corpse, mocking, “How does it feel to be bested by someone you looked down upon?”

Could there be anything better?

Suddenly blessed with fortune, Asher’s smile almost reached his ears.

Yet, astonishingly, something even better happened.

“It’s been a long time, my son.”

Suddenly, his master walked in from behind.

A dead man, the very one he had personally slain, had come back to life.

But, was that the important thing?

No, the important thing was that his father had returned.

Thus, Asher embraced his father with a broad smile.

For some reason, his consciousness was hazy.

There was a strange feeling in his throat.

But Asher didn’t pay it any mind.

After all, what was the point of worrying about such trivialities when he was this happy?

It surely was nothing of consequence.

*****

‘…Why on earth is this bastard smiling?’

That thought was inevitable.

The scene before me was utterly illogical.

“I, I love you! Hehe… I love you so much!”

Asher said, with a stupid, blissful smile on his face.

…Is he having a nice dream?

His face was brimming with laughter.

In this moment,

my duty was crystal clear.

I approached the defenseless fool and swiftly twisted his neck.

For some reason, he hadn’t even bothered to surround himself with the most basic magical protection. His neck bones shattered instantly.

Well, when I think about it, this was my first kill. But I felt no shock, sorrow, or any inclination to wax poetic about my feelings.

It was to be expected.

After all, I knew the meaning of the number 1201 on the girl’s neck.

Feeling guilty for killing someone who sacrificed over a thousand people would have been the real oddity.

If anything, I was a bit dumbfounded.

‘What on earth was this bastard?’

He was screaming as if he was about to use some secret technique, prompting me to wonder if I should prepare the amulet right then and there.

But in the end, all he did was throw a tantrum by himself.

After struggling to reach the boss’ final phase, it was as if he had committed suicide.

It was enough to feel a sense of anticlimax.

‘Well, there was some gain, at least.’

If it was a formula from the previous work, and if I could lower the opponent’s concentration to reduce its completion rate,

I could dispel the magic cast by the opponent before it reached me.

In the right situation, this might be useful in actual combat.

Moreover… there was another unexpected gain.

‘Who knew the Healthy Body Trait could be used this way.’

I suffered a bit from side effects... But considering the current situation, it was a small price to pay.

It’s a no-brainer.

During combat, concentrating all my magical power at one point.

An ordinary person’s body would have exploded under the strain, but my fist was merely throbbing, perfectly intact.

This clearly indicated something.

Healthy body had far more insane versatility than I had imagined.

It was as if I could eat elixirs, which would be treasures in martial arts tales, like popcorn and still be fine.

Even if my arm was worked to the point of bursting, I remained unharmed.

The text on maintaining a Healthy body was even catching the recoil from self-destruct techniques.

This made it clear.

Whether it was ramping up magical power or recklessly concentrating it at a single point,

I could use such techniques at will.

Talking about spamming self-destruct techniques without worrying about the risk.

‘Well, if I use it too much, I won’t exactly be unscathed.’

Still, this is sufficiently overpowered.

It’s an obvious conclusion.

What others need to brace for death to use, I can get away with just a moderate fever.

There’s no legal cheat quite like it.

A smile naturally formed on my lips.

‘I debated till the last minute whether to spend an extra 50,000 won on the premium edition instead of ordering chicken twice....’

In hindsight, there couldn’t have been a better decision.

For the price of two chickens, I got the Healthy Body Trait and the Emperor Might Trait.

The more I think about it, the more insane the deal seems.

Especially considering I would’ve been dead long ago without it.

‘I definitely need to collect more traits.’

That was the inescapable conclusion.

Traits are abundant.

Even a trash trait that can’t block a simple Sleep spell is showing this much performance.

I’ve used up my choices, but that doesn’t mean there’s no way to acquire more traits.

As I gather allies, I’ll gradually increase my power.

As I was reorganizing my plan and looking at the corpse... I suddenly noticed it.

The sword that had been in his hand.

Only then did I understand the whole story.

I wondered why that bastard suddenly went crazy laughing by himself.

It was because of this.

After all, it’s not surprising I didn’t notice.

‘I’m really not affected at all.’

Considering Asher’s seizure or Miss Rubia’s reaction last time, it seems to emit a rather dangerous curse.

But from my perspective, it’s just a broken scrap sword.

I didn’t feel any curse at all.

Such things are treated as mental attacks.

There’s a reason I chose the Emperor Might Trait.

This developer sure loves its Lovecraftian themes.

Going mad just by encountering it, or getting one’s mind corrupted. How many times did I experience such things while playing the previous game?

Indeed, resistance to mental attacks was essential.

Satisfied with my previous judgment, I looked at the sword once again.

‘So what should I do with this?’

It was a natural question to ask.

The sword emitted an ominous black light. Though I couldn’t feel it myself, it’s likely spreading a curse or something similar around.

I hope the children managed to escape properly, but if they didn’t get far enough, they might be affected.

It would be best to deal with this as soon as possible.

And in my opinion, there was only one way to handle it.

‘I’ll have to purify it somehow.’

It’s the obvious conclusion.

Of course, it’s not like a holy sword in this state is completely useless.

‘Where do you even use a sword that gets stronger the more it curses the world?’

It’s a feature hardly anyone could properly utilize unless they’re particularly twisted.

Sure, it could be used for mental attacks by exploiting its curse-emitting nature...

But that’s inconvenient.

Naturally.

How do you even carry around a cursed sword that kills everyone nearby?

Siel might somehow manage to withstand it, but Miss Rubia would drop dead the moment she came close.

If I don’t plan on living my life away from society, I can’t carry around such a sword.

Conversely, the divine power originally held by the holy sword was exactly the kind of strength I needed now.

If the world is in danger, it’s likely due to demons or a Demon King.

To stand against them, having a functioning holy sword is necessary.

‘...But how on earth do I purify it?’

I felt like I was in the dark.

The previous works might have shown how to corrupt it, but not how to purify it.

Since the user becomes corrupted by cursing everything in the world, should I try the opposite approach?

Would holding the holy sword with a heart full of love for everything in the world change something?

But then again, I’m not exactly pathologically philanthropic, am I?

With these thoughts, my head started to spin.

However, lacking any other ideas, I sighed and grasped the holy sword.

And then…

“……?”

Suddenly, a black shimmer began to climb up my arm.

Before I could grasp what was happening, that dark energy had completely merged with me.

The sword’s blade glowed with a soft, bright light.

The holy sword was perfectly purified.

...My mind felt numb.

Why did this happen all of a sudden? More importantly, what just happened?

I was bewildered and deep in thought for a long while... but no matter how much I pondered, I couldn’t understand why this had occurred.

All that remained was the result that the holy sword was purified as soon as I touched it.

And I didn’t feel anything unusual in my body either.

Something continued to nag at me…

But I couldn’t cling to an unsolvable issue for the rest of my life.

In the end, I took the holy sword and went to find the children.

Why could this be?

Freeing slaves, dealing with villains, purifying a holy sword, as if walking the path of a true hero.

The feeling that I might have seriously taken the wrong turn somewhere.

That was something I just couldn’t understand.

******

The Emperor Might absorbs the corrupted energy of the holy sword.


...The Emperor Might hints at the possibility of transforming into ■■ of ■■.


Your spiritual stature is becoming closer to ■■.


A critical error has been detected.


The path of fate is being reset.


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