The ‘Heart of the Devil’ was something left behind by the Demon of Envy. It was the source of a demon’s power. The demon’s inherent evil was thrown off, leaving behind only the pure, unadulterated essence of a demon.
At that time, although Xi Wei was not sure where it came from, he felt some type of call. It gave off a huge attractive force, and the closer he got, the clearer it was. The protagonist had to use all of his will to keep firm control over himself and stop from dashing straight towards it.
Finally, they came to the door at the end of the stone corridor. The door of that stone room was engraved with many grotesque and colourful monsters. They were nothing like the magical beasts they had learned about in Providence College. These were the magic beasts that roamed the continent in ancient times. Seeing how terrible it was from these images, it was clearly worthy of being called the devil’s lair. It was evident that ‘mysterious door’ would not take them on the usual path.
Xi Wei took a deep breath and pushed against the seemingly heavy stone door. Zeno felt that his heart could actually jump out of his throat. Here it comes!
When the stone door opened, the first thing that greeted their eyes was Nile, who had fainted in the doorway. Zeno did not know what happened to him. There was not even a speck of blood on his face, but his exquisite and refined clothes had become tattered like a beggar’s clothes. There were strips of fabric that were ragged and split, and the skin that was exposed to the outside was all scratched. It was a spectacle too horrible to endure.
When he looked back up again, Zeno could not help but be shocked by the sight before him. Inside the stone room it was like a completely different world, there was a hole that did not seem too large at first. There was a huge blood pool inside, along with an unceasing trickle of blood falling from the top of the stone room. There was no way to tell where the blood originated from or how it got there. The blood rain constantly fell, and suddenly a singing voice issued forth from the blood pool.
The song was so bleak and yet elegant, like quiet weeping. It told a tale of the pain and sorrow of losing one’s kin, but also contained a blessing for the dear ones that had gone. That song was very familiar to the people of the Hong Yue Continent. It was a requiem to departed souls, and even after several ages had passed, that requiem had never changed by even a note.
It was just that, with the current time and place, a person could not help having their hair stand on end.
Reading the description of that moment in the novel and seeing and hearing with his own eyes and ears was as different as heaven and earth. Even if he clearly understood within his mind that there was no threat from the person who was singing the requiem, Zeno still involuntarily swallowed down his saliva and moved in close beside Xi Wei. Here, the only unconditionally safe location was beside the protagonist.
Finally, the song came to an end with a sigh that belied hidden bitterness and a secret grudge.
The blood filling the pool began to fluctuate. In the very center, a stone platform emerged from the depths. Resting on top of the platform was a single, beautiful gemstone. It was in the center of the blood pool. It was brilliant, clear, and dazzling. Its beauty would inspire and bewitch all without discriminating.
That was the ‘Heart of the Devil’.
When everything had finished, the naked upper body of a woman appeared by the side of the stone platform. Half of the woman’s body was bared above the surface of the blood pool, and her lower body remained hidden beneath the surface.
Her skin was snowy white and her figure was dainty. She had not been stained by even a single drop of blood. Even though she was exposed in front of two strange men, she was completely natural and relaxed—not even the slightest bit embarrassed.
Contrary to what one might expect, Zeno lowered his head to avoid the impropriety before him.
Xi Wei did not avoid looking at all. When he was young, he had seen far more than that exposed scene. By now, he was basically unaffected by that sort of thing.
He just frowned slightly.
The woman who had been singing emerged from the blood pool and smiled, “After three millenia, finally this day has arrived. I truly did not expect that there would actually be a human being here.”
Xi Wei asked, “Who are you?”
“Who am I? I don’t know, the master used to call me Suji.”
After Suji said that, it seemed to have brought back memories and her gaze became somewhat blurred.
Although others did not know, Zeno was very clear on what type of person Suji was. “Curse” said that Suji was the guardian of the treasure house as well as the Heart of the Devil. Only Suji could touch and take hold of the things within. If others were to attempt the same, they would be wounded. If the one trying to forcibly acquire it was stronger than the Heart of the Devil, it would destroy itself.
Zeno suddenly regretted his choice a bit. He should not have let the protagonist come here. After the original protagonist left the treasure house, he took Suji out with him. Suji followed Xi Wei until the end, but her goal was to get the Stone of Destiny in order to resurrect her former master. Before she decided to betray him, she actually did not know that Xi Wei had the stone. Suji had always been loyal and devoted—she was the maid-type beauty that readers liked to see. Her sex appeal when she appeared was especially well received since it was directly in line with the preferences of the otaku readers.
Suji was a member of the now-extinct Merfolk race. She had been mortally wounded three thousand years ago, but was saved by the Demon of Envy. She was able to recover while she rested in the blood pool for a thousand years, but lost all of her memories in the process. Later, the Demon of Envy seemed to have died, leaving Suji behind alone in the treasure house to sing her requiem for two thousand years.
In the end, should he take the protagonist along for the various adventures he would originally have had, or give up these adventures in order to stay away from the characters that helped shape the original plot? Zeno was in a dilemma.
At that moment, the choice left Zeno’s control as Suji spoke, “The master said that the person who came with that ring would be Suji’s new master.” As she spoke she had taken up the gemstone and offered it to Xi Wei, “Master, please accept the Heart of the Devil.”
The way she changed her method of address was actually quite smooth.
Xi Wei looked as if he remained unmoved. In reality, his whole body’s blood was boiling, screaming at him to take it and swallow it.
However, Xi Wei was Xi Wei after all. If there was an abnormality, there had to be some sort of trick. Was there such an easy thing in the world?
Not only could he get a treasure house and its contents, but also a sexy maid. It was like a meat pie fell into his lap, but was that pie really so delicious?
Despite that, the huge attractive force quickly reduced Xi Wei’s brain into a bowl of paste. Eventually, he simply could not hold back his hand and reached out.
Zeno was stunned, and the words he had read on his computer screen all barged into his mind.
Xi Wei took the Heart of the Devil in somewhat of a daze. While the beautiful mermaid Suji seemed to suffer no effects from holding it, in the hands of Xi Wei, it seemed as if the very devil was demanding his life. The blood vessels in his body burst. His entire person began bleeding, blood splattered, and even more blood flowed down and formed a pool below that reflected the entire scene. After three hours, Xi Wei finally stopped twitching. Suji held the gemstone she gave to Xi Wei, who lost consciousness, helped him consume it, and guarded him gently. After a week, Xi Wei woke up from his coma. That was the cost of acquiring the Heart of the Devil!
Of course, the Heart of the Devil was not so easy to obtain. Although the benefits were immense, the price to be paid before gaining its power was enormous.
After Xi Wei awoke from his injuries in the novel, because he only possessed the body of a normal human, he had to lay down for a full month and could not move at all. Thanks to Suji’s care, he did not die in the Nightmare Forest.
Thinking of that, Zeno certainly could not look on helplessly as the protagonist repeated the same mistakes. He was not afraid of being labelled a fake, but since childhood Xi Wei had always been protecting him and taking care of him. He could not accept what was to happen next, nor could he act like he did not know it was coming.
Thus, Zeno clenched his teeth, shut his eyes and mind, and snatched away the Heart of the Devil.
Xi Wei was in a confused state of mind, and he did not manage to react at the moment, letting Zeno take it away.
At that moment, Zeno actually received the pain that the protagonist in the book had experienced, and felt blood over his entire body. The agony could not simply be described in a single word. He could only tightly grip the gemstone. The beautiful red gem’s brilliance was stained with blood, and it gave off a somewhat unusual, bewitching beauty.
Xi Wei was finally clear-headed. He looked at Zeno’s miserable appearance and his eyes were stained a light red. He grabbed hold of Zeno, who was standing unsteadily, with one hand, and with the other hand he reached out and grabbed hold of Suji’s neck, “You, what did you do to him?”
Suji was unable to breathe or speak. She looked at Xi Wei with fear because she honestly did not know anything.
At that time, Zeno drew up the last of his strength and pushed the hand that was holding the Heart of the Devil towards Xi Wei’s lips and whispered, “Eat…”
After that, he lost consciousness.
As for his last request, Xi Wei grabbed it without the slightest consideration and swallowed it down.
Then he once again turned his red eyes upon the naked, weak maiden. Suji grabbed her neck, coughing so hard it felt like she would split a lung. She started to explain once her hacking slowed down, “I don’t… don’t know, why…it was like this. When I was holding it…nothing…nothing happened.”
After saying that, Suji, ‘plop’, knelt down and bowed, trembling, in front of them.
Xi Wei began to make a move to kill her and he was just about to strike. At that time, a person who should not have appeared there blocked him.
“Well, that matter really did not concern her.”
Xi Wei’s pupils constricted, and his while his movements came to a stop, his entire body tensed up. That sense of crisis, the dangerous feeling, it was unlikely he would forget it for a lifetime.
Thus, Xi Wei turned and looked at the unexpected guest. He forced the other’s name out through his teeth, “Hill?”
Hill faintly smiled, “You remember me? I am honoured.”
How could Xi Wei forget the man who took his child? His own little burden was carried away by those very hands, so although he knew that the other was the best option for someone to take the little one, it was inevitable that he would feel hatred towards that formidable man. It was that person who made him feel small and powerless. On countless nights over the last three years, he was awakened from his dreams to the living nightmare that the child had been snatched away, out of his life, because of his weakness.
Owing to his incompetence, he could not protect that child and let Zeno fall into danger once again. Had that man come for that reason, to take his child away again?
Suji also noticed the terribly powerful guy and curled up in the corner, shivering.
Out of fear of the master, Suji did not dare to oppose Xi Wei. Out of fear of the strong, Suji did not even dare to look directly at the other man.
“Don’t be nervous,” Hill said, “Moreover, my name is not Hill. My name is Asil, Asil-Meinhili.”
“Don’t call me a princess!” Hill, no, it should be said that Asil was somewhat irritable. He slowly cleared his throat and calmed his emotions. “Don’t tell Zeno I came this time, he’ll be fine. I owe you an explanation, which he’ll tell you later. This time, I came because I wanted to tell you that I’ve returned your child to you safe and sound. In the future, I leave him in your care.”
After saying all that, Asil disappeared again.
He left behind Xi Wei, an ‘undamaged’ young man covered in blood, and a shivering Suji.
I would have liked to put this chapter out on Halloween, what with all the blood pool stuff, but I didn’t. Oh well.
Piper and I chatted a bit to figure out what extinct race Suji actually was, along with some help from friends. It isn’t exactly right, but in the end Mermaid made the most sense. So I guess she can transform her tail. Piper found this picture and we thought it was likely what the author was meaning, kind of?