◈ Episode 457. Dawn, the Darkest Hour (1)

It’s past midnight.

The rift has collapsed across the country, across the world. Ordinary daily life has collapsed.

The only good thing was that she didn’t have to go to work on Monday. Thankfully, Lee Yerim was curled up in bed.

She looks at her brother’s image on her smartphone screen.

“It’s expensive for a child to behave.” tl/n: This is a metaphor for acting arrogantly and not easily complying with other people’s requests.

Lee Yerim had only three or four pictures of him, at most, because of how busy he was, so she could only stare at the same picture from earlier and agonize.

“……Something about this one looks different?”

Is it because of the awkward hairstyle?

Definitely not.

I didn’t even think of making fun of him, because his long, flowing hair actually looked really good on him, and I honestly didn’t even think of making fun of him.

-“Hoyeol, while you’re worrying about your hair, what should you do with your hair? Always frizzy. Rather, did you wash your hair today?”

The one and only nephew.

I must also mention Arang’s enthusiastic response.

Arang’s enthusiastic response.

When she saw Hoyeol on the TV, she didn’t want to leave.

As a result, she listened to the announcer’s voice.

Luckily, the news wasn’t awkward.

It was business as usual.

-Lee Hoyeol defeats a mixed-blood demon in Mapo-gu. Dozens of citizens held hostage by the demon were rescued safely!

-The AAU suspects that player Lee Hoyeol is the reason for the disappearance of the Evil Eyes surrounding the Earth, as he destroyed over 600 of them when he appeared.

-For more detailed information, please visit the site …….

As usual, Hoyeol appeared, and the hopeless situation was resolved.


Lee Yerim’s gaze turned to the comment section.

-I told you, Lee Hoyeol will clean it up anyway.

-What’s with the long hair? I didn’t expect it.

-Didn’t you see a bit of it last time?

-No, it’s not that long, right?


The older sisters were so proud of Hoyeol, but Lee Yerim realized that she still felt immature.

The way her cheeks burned at the thought of her sister’s reaction…….

“What kind of homen is homen? He’s the Heavenly Demon.”

It’s okay to mumble for no reason.


A comment caught Lee Yerim’s attention.

-An acquaintance of mine was one of the people in the demon’s stomach in the article. He said this time Lee Hoyeol was really serious. It was definitely different than usual.ㅇㅇ


Lee Yerim, who had the same reaction.

Fortunately, the comments continued.

-He doesn’t say a word, just hunts demons and disappears……. The situation seemed very serious, and so did the reactions of the Arcanians I was with.

In particular, he was very enthusiastic about having many Arcanians co-workers.

If they also noticed something different.

It was definitely something different than usual.

“Ac. I don’t know.”

I’m not even a player.

Lee Yerim scratched her head in thought.

It shouldn’t be itchy at all.

She couldn’t sleep, her throat was dry, and she thought she should get some water.

She went out to the living room and saw…….

What is this?

“……What is it, you too?”

“Sister too?”

“What are you both doing not sleeping?”

The three sisters met in the living room at the same time. No words were spoken, no shyness was shown. Just by looking at each other, they could guess what was keeping them awake.


The three of them put down their water cups at the same time.

No. 2, Lee Jiyoon, was the first to speak.

“Sister, have you seen this before?”


“Hoyeol, that kind of face.”

“What? Have you seen that face before? Where?!”

Lee Yerim interrupted, and Lee Eunhye replied.

“If it’s a face like that……. You mean the look of someone who has all the worries in the world on his shoulders? If that’s the case, I’ve seen it before. Wait, that was a few years ago……? I don’t remember.”

As expected, there was something different about my eldest sister.

I could tell from those few pictures that she had taken all the cares of the world with her.

I never thought she’d recognize it.

While Yerim was admiring, Lee Jiyoon spoke up.

“Hoyeol and Yerim were in middle school.”

“That’s right! That’s when.”

“……In middle school? Why don’t I know?”

“Why don’t you know, you cause accidents every day…….”

“Sister, why are you suddenly talking nonsense?!”

And so it went on and on and on.

And then it was dawn.

The darkest hour before dawn.

Looking out the window, Lee Yerim opened her mouth.

“So if Hoyeol is wearing a similar expression to that time…….”

There was no joking around.

Even though they were only a year apart.

It was the attitude of an elder.

“……You’re saying that Hoyeol is having a hard time now just as much as he was then?”

It was then and now.

Why didn’t I know that?

Lee Yerim looked at the darkened city center.

She whispered.

“You, how is it that you haven’t changed, that you never show your pain?”


The Crystal Hall of the Magic Tower.

It was a long way to the regular meeting.

The audience had more or less filled up.

“Thank you for coming.”

Marcelo, the Tower Master, bowed lightly and scanned the faces.

Except for the senior mages who were out of the tower.

All the senior mages of the tower, and the AAU’s branch leaders.

High ranking officials of the Kingdom of Yusra and even saints of the Goddess Church.

Status Abnormality, Corruption.

Only to counter the unknown threat.

The unlikely have come together.

Various factions gathered.

Opinions were exchanged vigorously.

But everyone, including Marcelo, was waiting.

The Chief Mage of the Magic Tower.

The savior of Yusra and Muon.

The General Manager of the Yusra Branch.


It was a kind of faith.

If this was the Hoyeol they had seen, he would surely return to the Magic Tower. They trusted him to tell them anything about the Corruption.

Park Minjae, the head of the Korean branch.

He checked the time on his wristwatch.

But it was past midnight and dawn.

Hoyeol hadn’t shown up at the Magic Tower.

Suddenly, he heard a question.

“Have you heard the news?”

“……What news are you talking about?”

“Reports have come in from Another Space that the Evil Eyes that floated to Earth has been completely destroyed. Considering the degree of collapse of the rift that has now been created, we should be safe from the threat of Evil Eyes and the Corruption for the time being…….”

Tokyo Branch Manager, Japan.

Okazaki continued to speak.

The rest of the story fell on deaf ears.

Yes, because Park Minjae had only one thought on his mind.

‘The threat has been resolved. however.’

Why did the general manager disappear again?

His head was spinning.

But at this moment, Park Minjae was hoping.


He hoped that something so big had been foreseen that even the great General Manager couldn’t spare the time. Of course, he couldn’t say it out loud.

‘Maybe I’m not worthy.’

It seemed strange that an AAU branch leader who was supposed to put the safety of humanity first would wish for a threat, but that didn’t change Park’s mind.

‘…… But I am more afraid than any threat.’

No one else has changed, but the General Manager.

And I’m not just talking about the length of his hair.

Park Minjae never lost sight of the reason why humanity has survived so far.

It was all because Hoyeol was Hoyeol.

Literally a superman riding a white horse.

He played that role perfectly.

Park Minjae thought to himself.

‘What if the other powers are used differently than before.’

If that direction deviates even a little bit……. What kind of situation will humanity find itself in? Wouldn’t we end up like a shrimp whose back is exploding in the holy war between the Commander-in-Chief and the high-ranking demon kings?

“Are you okay, Mr. Park?”

“Yes, I’m fine.”

“You’re white as a sheet.”

The concern was showing on Park Minjae’s unflappable face. It was then. News about Hoyeol came from the Arcana Continent.


Parchment with handwriting.

Belonging to the Holy War Alliance.

News from the Great Alliance.

Marcelo’s eyebrows twitched as he read it first.

“It says that Commander-in-Chief Lee Hoyeol has hunted down two evil dragons, yes, definitely a hunt. They say it was an overwhelming slaughter, not a purification.”

Evil Dragons.

Two dragons.

Overwhelmingly slaughtered.

“……Ominous predictions never fail.”

Park Minjae grabbed his head.

“This is one damn long day.”


Dwarven fighter.

Gunner looked at the magic stone decorating the steering wheel.

Its glow was fading.

His lips dried up.

“Holy shit.”

Kiko Armin, Senior Mage of the Enchantment Department.

With her help, the magic stone’s power had been greatly enhanced. Even so, it hadn’t been able to sustain dozens of days of flight.

Gunner calculated the remaining flight time by the glow of the magic stone.

“An hour or two.”

The Iron Castle had just made contact with them.

They’d encountered a problem with an evil dragon, but it had been resolved, and they’d headed here after repairing the Iron Castle.

I don’t know the details of what happened, but I realized the gravity of the situation when I heard that the Iron Castle needed to be repaired. Even if it couldn’t be worse than mine.


Gunner swallowed dryly.

It seemed so imminent.

The regurgitation of the Behemoth’s maw.

Hands shaking with effort.

Gunner gripped the controls and readied himself.

Then he sent a message to the Iron Castle.

“……I will keep you informed until the end.”

From now on, he would tell his people what he was about to witness.


It might help the Holy War Alliance.

It was the moment when Gunner ended his speech solemnly.


The Behemoth’s tightly closed maw slowly began to open. Slowly, the gaping maw opened, revealing the demons between its vicious teeth.


Gunner had flown all over the Arcana continent and seen all kinds of demons. These ones were different.

Though not particularly dexterous for a dwarf, the instincts etched in his blood were unmistakable.

Gunner’s gaze traveled to the demons’ equipment.

“What is it, all that advanced equipment?”

Beyond smelting, it’s the realm of craftsmanship and crafting.

The entire army, all the demons, were wearing equipment that, at first glance, would seem to be comparable to dwarven equipment……!

“This is ridiculous.”

A good weapon could make an ordinary man stand up to a highly trained knight.

But if demons were wielding such weapons……?

Thousands, tens of thousands of them.

No, an army of untold numbers.

If all of them were armed with such equipment……?

“This is ridiculous……!”

Gunner was stunned.

The Iron Castle.

Players with the vision of an adventurer.

They had come to Gunner with news.

The message was simple.

-“Mr. Gunner, his name is Paimon.”

Paimon, 9th in the Demon King Hierarchy.

The message of Paimon’s appearance had been loudly printed throughout the Arcana continent. The following information about Paimon was then delivered to Gunner’s eardrums.

-“According to our world’s knowledge, Paimon appears at the head of a great army, but to lead such a large army, it is said that Paimon must be present to accompany it…….”

“Bah, what did you just say?”


“Must be accompanied?”

-“Yes, that’s right. According to what we know!”

“I can’t believe it.”

The reason for Gunner’s despondency was simple.

Tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands.

Elite demons were pouring out of Behemoth’s maw.

Not even a shadow of their leader could be seen yet, so how far could this procession of demons go?

Terror filled Gunner’s pupils.

“You mean to tell me that monster is only the 9th Demon King?”




[The Ninth Throne of Demon King, the Venerable Paimon, appears on the Arcana continent].


[??? : Battle for the Demon King – Proof of the Ten Thrones]

You, the King of the Ten Thrones.

Countless challengers yearn for your place. Bend the knee at their hands, or topple another king who looks on from above. The challenge, the proof, the choice is yours alone.

-Defend the Tenth Throne. (Ongoing)

-Challenge the Ninth Throne. (Ongoing)

[The Battle for the Demon King, Proof of the Ten Thrones begins].

[The Demon King of the Ninth Throne, the Venerable Paimon, participates in the battle.]

[The Tenth Throne Demon, ‘Grandfell Claudi Arpheus Romeo’, participates in the battle.]