Chapter 211 - Son

[What in the world... are you talking about?] Satan asked in confusion.

The darkness surrounding him writhed.

"...S-Someone is impersonating you, Lord Satan," Julia Vilkova answered.

[Impersonating... me?]

"Y-Yes!" Julia nodded with a pale face.

A breathtakingly strong pressure fell over the area.

[Who dares to impersonate me, Satan?] a voice filled with confusion and rage rang out.

He couldn't figure out what was going on.

"I-I do not know."

[What have you been doing for the cult to be in this state, Julia?]

"M-My apologies! Due to the battle against Lucifer's forces..."

[Lucifer's forces?]

What nonsense was that?

"Lucifer has appeared and is attacking the Demon Cult."

[What?]

"A-And this is just my guess, but... I believe the person impersonating you has orchestrated this battle."

[...]

Satan remained silent, and he felt his mind going blank. He wanted to laugh in disbelief but couldn't do so because he was still absorbing the Demonic Origin.

[Who could have...]

Impersonating a prince of Hell...? That wasn't possible unless the impersonator had power comparable to one.

The Demon Cultists were not dumb. If someone had tried to impersonate him with average demonic energy, they would've figured it out for sure.

[Could it be...]

A certain possibility crossed his mind.

The darkness covering Satan fluctuated.

[The demon king...?] he said in a fearful voice.

It was a possibility he didn't want to think of.

[No, he is dead.]

He would've shaken his head if he had one.

When Satan crossed over to Earth, he'd felt the presence of the demon king disappear because of the dimensional wall.

In reality, he hadn't felt the presence of the demon king for thousands of years. There was no way he could have been revived out of the blue.

[That is impossible.]

It seemed that Satan was trying to convince himself.

"Lord Satan...?"

Julia was bewildered.

She had served Satan for hundreds of years, but it was her first time seeing him so alarmed. No, it was the first time she'd seen Satan feel fear.

[What are the other Aspects doing?]

"Lord Belphegor and Lord Crimson Fiend are still absorbing the Demonic Origin, and as for Lord Kalgia..."

[Is he still investigating the Demon of Prophecy?]

"Yes."

The darkness flickered.

There wasn't anyone who could take action at the moment.

[Hmm.]

Whoever was impersonating Satan wasn't important at the moment. Rather than finding the culprit, dissuading Lucifer from attacking was a greater priority.

[...I have no choice.]

The darkness surrounding Satan writhed.

He had no other choice.

Part of the darkness surrounding Satan fell off as if he were cutting off his flesh.

* * *

"Master Kang-Woo."

"Hm?"

Lilith entered Oh Kang-Woo's room.

Kang-Woo, who was inspecting the Key of the Demonic Sea while sitting on the bed, nodded in greeting.

"The battle with the Demon Cult branch in Africa has begun."

"What's the status?"

Lilith smiled and said, "Lucifer's forces are overpowering them, but... they have also suffered great losses."

It was too bad that someone as powerful as Mammon hadn't appeared. Nevertheless, it seemed that the strength of a Demon Cult branch with thousands of members was pretty good. They would be able to damage Lucifer's forces to the extent that Kang-Woo was hoping.

"And Lucifer?" Kang-Woo asked with expectant eyes.

The most important thing was how much Lucifer had been weakened through this battle.

Lilith answered without hesitation, "He clearly seemed fatigued."

"Good."

Kang-Woo smiled while nodding.

Not even the princes of Hell had infinite stamina. The more they fought, the more their stamina decreased and psychological fatigue accumulated.

It would be a different story if Lucifer replenished his stamina by using a hit-and-run tactic. However, he was battling in a frenzied state; it was a given that he would be tired.

'That must be how precious his son is to him.'

It was hard to believe Lucifer was the same person whom Kang-Woo knew from before. Lucifer had changed after going to the continent of Aernor.

'I guess it doesn't matter.'

It didn't matter if he'd changed or not. Kang-Woo needed a prince's soul, and Lucifer had been ripened just right. That was the important thing.

"How's Lucis doing?" Kang-Woo asked Lilith while licking his lips.

Lilith answered with a mischievous smile, "He has already lost his mind. He will easily give up on his own life if I tell him to."

"That's not enough." Kang-Woo laughed. "He should be able to give up on something more important than his life."

"...Oh, my." Lilith's eyes shone. She caressed Kang-Woo's cheek while looking as if she were high on drugs. "He will most certainly be able to do what you are thinking of, my king."

"That's good."

Lilith never exaggerated. If she said so, it was fair to judge that Lucis had completely become her slave.

"What about the others?" Kang-Woo asked.

"Balrog and Vaal Zahak are in the middle of preparations. As for Echidna... I think you should leave her out of this operation."

"Why?"

As Kang-Woo asked her that, Lilith started to squirm. Her hair turned into tentacles and wriggled about.

"How could we make such a cute little girl fight?! I wish I could just use my tentacles to—"

"Please don't do anything to my Echidna."

"Fufufu. Haaa, I wonder if this is how it would feel if I bore your child in the future..."

Fortunately, it seemed like Echidna was popular with both Han Seol-Ah and Lilith.

'That's good.'

Echidna would likely become the bridge between his companions on Earth, Seol-Ah and Kim Si-Hun, and his companions from Hell, Balrog and Lilith. It might not be necessary for now, but it would be in the long term.

'All for the sake of living as a wealthy bum!'

He had to eliminate as many factors as possible that could cause conflict.

"In that case, don't tell Echidna for now."

Kang-Woo stood up.

In reality, he didn't want to show Echidna this 'plan.'

'The same goes for the others.'

That was why he hadn't made Seol-Ah, Si-Hun, Cha Yeon-Joo, and others participate in the plan. They still didn't know much about him, and they were likely unprepared to accept it.

"Let's go."

"Yes, Master Kang-Woo."

Click.

Kang-Woo opened the door.

"Ah."

He found Seol-Ah standing in front of the door while holding a tray with a cup of coffee on it.

She flinched in surprise.

"A-Are you heading out already?" Seol-Ah asked while taking a glimpse at Lilith.

He'd already told her about Lilith, but it seemed like Seol-Ah still felt awkward around her.

"Fufu. Yes. I happen to have some secret plans with Master Kang-W—"

"Don't be silly," Kang-Woo chided.nOve)Lb-1n

He softly hit Lilith's head, reached to grab the cup of coffee Seol-Ah had prepared, and drank it in one go. Hot coffee poured down his throat.

"I'll be back in a bit," he said.

"Ah... Okay," Seol-Ah replied while making a lonely expression.

Kang-Woo hummed for a moment and recalled what Echidna had said to him.

"How about we go on a picnic with Echidna and the others once this is over?" Kang-Woo asked.

"Ah, s-sure! I'd love to!" Seol-Ah agreed, nodding furiously.

Her reaction was similar to Echidna's.

Kang-Woo softly laughed and nodded.

"Hmm," Lilith murmured, looking at Seol-Ah with great interest.

[That human girl seems to have fallen for your charms as well, my king,] Lilith said for only Kang-Woo to hear.

[Be quiet,] he replied coldly so that Lilith wouldn't think of doing anything weird.

"Have a safe trip."

"Thanks."

"Umm... You take care as well, Ms. Kurosaki—I mean, Ms. Lilith.”

"Hoho. Let us talk again later, Seol-Ah."

Kang-Woo and Lilith walked out of the apartment.

Lilith stared vacantly at the closed door for a moment before saying, "You mentioned that a symbol of wings appeared on Seol-Ah's back, right?"

"Oh, yeah. There was just one pair in the beginning, but now there are two."

The angel wing symbols that were on Seol-Ah's back were becoming more and more vivid as time passed.

"Hm. I feel like I have heard something about this from Amon before..."

"From Amon?"

"Yes. He said something about it while talking about angels, but... I wasn't interested at all at the time, so I cannot quite remember."

Lilith wasn't interested in what people aside from Kang-Woo said.

"..."

Kang-Woo had been interested in talking about it since it was related to Seol-Ah, but he quickly started walking again.

This was not the time to think about Seol-Ah.

"Well, then..." Kang-Woo jumped into the air and flew. "Let's begin."

* * *

Slam—!!

The earth was torn apart, and a horrible scream rang out.

"S-Stop him!!"

"Arrgghh!!"

"M-Monster."

A vast grassland in Africa had been ripped apart in such a horrifying way that calling it Hell would be embarrassingly inadequate.

A demon with ten black wings on his back, goat horns on his forehead, and black skin was walking on top of the torn and distorted land.

He wasn't very tall, but he did not resemble a human at all. His face was contorted like a monster's.

The demon, whose horrid face resembled a goblin's, was walking along the ruined surface.

Then he raised his hand.

CRAAAAACK—!!

"AAAAHHHH!!"

With one swing of his hand, a black sphere appeared out of thin air.

Dozens of Demon Cultists were dragged in by its huge gravitational force, and the chilling sound of bones being crushed rang out.

"Fuuu."

A sigh emerged from the mouth of Lucifer, the demon who was massacring the Demon Cult.

[L-Lord Lucifer.]

[You should rest a little...]

The demons following him spoke up out of worry.

Lucifer shook his head and replied, "I will not rest."

His son, Lucis, had been kidnapped by Satan, so there was no way he could rest.

Lucifer looked down at his hands.

'It must be because I am on Earth.'

He was far weaker than back in Aernor, where he'd become the Evil God and surpassed his old self in the Nine Hells.

Ever since crossing over to Earth, he had been slowly regaining his power over time as if he was getting used to the Earth, but he did not have the time to wait lying around.

'I have no choice.'

Despite becoming weaker, he could still exercise as much power as when he had been in the Nine Hells. He wasn't sure how strong Satan had become after absorbing the Demonic Sea from the demon king, but he should at least be a match for Satan.

"Let us move on."

Lucifer was about to turn around when...

[L-Lord Lucifer!!]

A subordinate came running toward him.

Lucifer turned toward the subordinate and frowned.

[L-Lord Lucis was lying collapsed on the ground over there!]

"...What?" Lucifer uttered with wide eyes.

He quickly walked toward the subordinate and saw that he was definitely carrying Lucis on his back.

"Move!"

Lucifer had fought endlessly after hearing that his son had been kidnapped, so Lucifer's patience had reached its limit. His judgment was getting cloudy, and his sense of reason was fading.

With his son in front of him now, Lucifer couldn't think of anything else.

He hugged Lucis.

"Lucis! Wake up!"

"Fa...ther?"

Lucis's eyes widened.

Lucifer sighed in relief when he realized his son was unscathed.

"You stupid boy."

"I-I'm sorry, Father."

"Where's Sata—"

Stab.

Lucifer felt something sharp pierce his heart.

"Cough." He coughed up black blood.

Lucifer looked at Lucis in disbelief.

"Son, what... are you—"

The tips of Lucis's mouth went up.

He said with a voice full of madness, "I am taking over your throne, Father."

"Kurgh."

Lucifer collapsed with his eyes wide open and saw a black Rift in the distance. A red demon mask appeared from within the black Rift.

"Sa... tan," Lucifer murmured.

Then he heard a demon laughing in the distance, "Kekeke."