What happened to my young sisters, the others? The young scholar, who could well predict their tragic end, asked in a self-mocking tone.
[Your third sister once went in search of monsters to slay, hoping that her family’s name would shine again.
But, she, unfortunately for her, was ripped apart and killed by a demon from the previous generation.
After such a tragic loss, her twin, your fourth sister, went insane, roamed the streets, and eventually ended up freezing to death on the streets during a heavy rainstorm.]
Is it really……
It ought to have been that way.
The clan had dispersed and eventually died out after being split up into several branches.
Those who were a part of it had no chance of survival.
[But luckily, your youngest sister is still living.]
The young scholar was pleased and a little shocked. Really?! What, Nani is still alive? Now, where is she?
[The youngest is a drug addict.
She was probably trying to avoid facing the harsh realities of her life.
In order to earn the money she needs, she lives as a prostitute in Giru, Luoyang.]
The voice comforted him softly.
[Good thing you’re still alive.
I am happy to finally be able to deliver the news.]
“Kuhuhhahah……” coughing up blood, the young scholar burst into laughter.
Or rather, sobbing as if he were laughing.
Every time his body stirred, the chain tightly bound to his shoulder blades let out a grim shriek.
The chain, thick enough to be as thick as a man’s forearm, was a dark ink color.
It was undoubtedly the incomparable hard metal called ink iron.
The young scholar, who had been shedding bloody tears for a while, made excuses to the voice. I, … … I couldn’t help it.
This was the end result of the path they took.
I decided to cut all ties with the world early on.
[I’m already aware.
And the process that led to that decision.]
The young scholar lost himself in thought for a moment.
He remembered some memories that had been buried in the depths of darkness.
Even though it had been a long time, he still remembered every detail as if it had been yesterday.
[The human world is undeniably filthy and ugly.
It is undoubtedly the human beings themselves who have created such a world.
It was the great fall of humans that ended the era of legends, established civilization, and opened the era of history.]
I aspired to be like Lao Tzu.
[You must have wanted to be a passing figure like him.
He created the great idea of Taoism, but he did not really leave any traces of himself before eventually vanishing into pure nothingness, attaining immortality.
I simply wanted to live without any desire.
I didn’t want to get involved in this earthly life.
[That’s why you weren’t a swordsman.
Despite being the eldest son of a sword family, you never touched a blade and spent your days secluded in your room, reading books.
Didn’t your wife understand that.]
Now that I think about it, what about my wife? ‘What became of Mo Yongun?
His wife, Mo Yongun-jeong, and he did not truly share their feelings.
But it didn’t mean she’d treated him carelessly.
Even though her reputation had suffered damage from the worthless Daryl son-in-law, she had taken great pains to make him feel comfortable.
Despite the fact that they were only a nominal couple who never slept together, she was one of the few people for whom he was greatly appreciated.
[She was eventually defeated in a political battle.
Her whole authority and influence have been expelled.]
Did she lose her life?
[It happened not too long ago.
While taking care of Grand Duke’s bed, she bit off his penis and tore it to shreds.
Even in the face of execution, she laughed heartily.
She was truly a great woman.
Had she been born in a chaotic Era, she would surely have become a great monarch.]
The voice chuckled.
She lived under heaven without a single guilt, yet heaven didn’t help her in the end.
The voice sneered.
What she needed was not heaven; she needed you.
It was you who abandoned her.]
I once foretold my own destiny.
The young scholar glanced up at heaven, his eyes seemingly empty.
I was born with the destiny of being ruled by the Heavenly Killer Star.
If I got involved in world affairs like that, a lot of people would have lost their lives because of me.
Then the voice answered.
[You don’t understand, do you? Your destiny has already been fulfilled.]
The young scholar instantly realized.
Everyone he cared about had all suffered.
He didn’t want to do anything for them to avoid the destiny he had predicted, but because of that, they all went downhill, and destiny ultimately prevailed.
In the end, am I, a mere mortal being, unable to escape the strict fetters of fate?
If there was any difference at all, it was just that he didn’t have any blood on his hands.
[Do you get it now?]
The young scholar lowered his head.
Then, from now on, I guess I’ll just have to submit to the will of heaven.
This time the voice was even more ominous than before; it rumbled and was almost deafening.
[You still don’t get it, do you, Dumbass?]
Unlike the atmosphere so far, the voice was clearly exasperated and angry.
[Heaven and Earth are heartless and inhuman; they don’t give two shits about the weak!]
The voice rebuked the young scholar without hesitation.
[Are you for real! If that’s the case, then why do sages spend their time helping the helpless? Do you not see how ridiculous your words are?]
The young scholar confronted the voice. But also, Heaven’s net is sparse, so nothing is lost.
Even if I do not intervene, those who have committed evil deeds shall be judged according to the law of cause and effect (Karma).
The voice, repeating the word Karma, burst into madness.
Hearing the head-splitting laughter, the young scholar unconsciously forgot all the pain and covered his ears with his arms, which had lost their fingers and wrists.
Even his bones could feel the inked iron chains shaking at the sound of sinister laughing.
[You say Karma, so let me open your eyes; let me show you an old story.]
The young scholar’s face brightened.
Before him, an unfamiliar scene spread out.
Though blind, he was able to make out every detail the voice revealed.
In ancient times, in the era of legends, there were those who lost everything to humans.
Even in those days, humans were cruel and selfish.
Eventually, the few who turned their eyes away from the terrible world of humans devoted themselves to practicing again and over again.
They had long believed that there was a cause and effect that transcended space-time and that one day a great order would be established to make evildoers pay for their deeds.
But one day, after gaining enlightenment, they became immortals.
And they realized the truth of the world.
The absolute order they had believed in,
It was just an illusion.
The souls and bodies of those that died, simply returned to nature.
There was no afterlife, no hell, no inevitable judgment.
The wicked committed evil, lived well, and ultimately perished.
Sometimes they died because of their misdeeds.
That, however, was not the whole truth.
The cruel part was that the vast majority of good people lived in unimaginable suffering and died without enjoying their natural lives.
And those who sucked their blood and caused them pain lived and died enjoying their share of happiness.
It was terribly unreasonable.
There was no Heaven to straighten the tipped scales.
There was no great Karma.
* * *
[Do you get it now?]
The voice asked again.
[Have you seen the truth?]
The young scholar remained silent.
The truth he had seen was so cold and cruel.
Heavenly Punishment and Judgment Day were merely ‘fiction’ made up by those who had lived without hope.
There was no Salvation for them.
It had never been.
It did not come to pass that all the wicked, each and every one of them, would pay for what they had done.
After all, if only people could save people,
Only people could punish people.
If so, if so……!
The voice asked.
[Want to have power? Want to wield the strength to judge them? Want to make them pay the actual price?]
[Want to get a second chance? A chance to change everything again? Want to save everyone?]
[Even if it means your soul will suffer eternally without a place to go?]
A roar came out of the young scholar’s throat along with blood.
‘I will have power! I’ll get that chance!’
As he struggled wildly, the inked iron chains creaked and screamed.
A growl erupted from his throat.
I will make the wicked tyrants who sway others by mere desire pay for it! I shall bring an iron rod to those who take pleasure in the suffering of others!
The cries of the young scholar did not know how to stop and only grew louder.
Using all the abilities that you will bestow on me, I will control their destiny!
And in proportion to the young scholar’s zeal, the presence of the voice grew even more.
[At long last, you’ve come to your senses! Now you can truly see yourself face-to-face! And now look at me!
The young scholar’s soul was rocked by the intensity of the voice.
He felt his soul sway like a leaf in a hurricane, yet he stared straight into the darkness, with eyes that contained nothing but holes.
[I can give you strength.
I can give you a chance.]
He was in the deepest darkness.
He was watching him from the far bottom of the deepest darkness that could only be described as the bottomless pit.
He was a book.
He was a book of Scriptures.
His cover was made of the skin of those who held a grudge against humans.
His words were written with the blood of those who held a grudge against Heaven.
His weave was created from the sinews of those who held a grudge against Earth.
[You and I have different goals, but our path is the same, so if you sign a contract with me, I will grant you a second chance!]
I’ll make the contract!
[You’ll never again be able to walk proudly in the light, nor will you be able to lift that face of yours up to heaven again.
Still willing to make a contract with me?]
The young scholar did not think of any other answer in the first place.
You got that.
Trust me — I will entrust my soul to you.
The scripture [Voice] burst into laughter as though satisfied with his response.
[Listen up, Chosen One.
The name of this scripture is The Ruler of Darkness.
A scripture opposed to Heaven.
A scripture who will devour all the darkness of the World on behalf of the uncaring and indolent Heaven!]
Darkness rose from the scripture.
And it swiftly engulfed and eroded the soul of the young scholar.
As his consciousness faded away, the mad voice of The Ruler of Darkness shook his ears.
[From now on, you will breathe in the darkness, strike down the sword of condemnation in the darkness, and become the reverend of darkness who punishes all the evil of the world!]
This is not a Naruto-style plot in which the MC sets out to save the world.
Trust me, it’s not
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