◈ Episode 458. Dawn, the Darkest Hour (2)

It’s not a conversation.

Nor is it telepathic magic.

A different kind of space.

The Ten Thrones exchanged thoughts in their ‘consciousness’.

A thick fog of consciousness hid their true selves.

“Weak, but not weak.”

“What does that mean?”

“They are an inferior race who are swayed like reeds.”

Watching through Evil Eyes, the assessment fell.

“Surely pride is a dangerous emotion.”

“Yes. The ‘pride’ that man drives is dangerous. However, as a result of observing his world, there were not many people who harbored such pride. The vessel is so narrow that one can only have one emotion.”

“That is true.”

Bael, Gamigin, Buer, and Hoyeol.

With the exception of the names mentioned, the Demon Kings of the Ten Thrones explored Earth through Evil Eye. Though Hoyeol’s arrival destroyed all the Evil Eyes they’d worked so hard to spread, so no further information can be gained.

“Thanks to you, I have learned. Their mental strength is weaker than that of the creatures on the Arcana Continent. It wasn’t for nothing that the Demon World’s scoundrels set foot in their world.”

Demon World’s scoundrels.

Not the Ten Thrones.

Now he was referring to the Demon Kings swallowed up by the bad omen..

As if to prove that their knowledge was far above them.

The Ten Thrones were able to recognize countless cause and effect relationships simply by looking at them.

Thus, they did not overlook.

“Then I suppose it’s time for a grand confrontation.”

“It should be.”

“The new Tenth Throne Demon King, who is very angry.”

At the same time, he recalls Evil Eyes exploding.

Under the fog.

Someone cried first.

“I can’t guess what kind of truth he was using. It can’t be just magic. I’d like to greet him personally, if only to answer this overwhelming curiosity……?”

It was then.

An extremely refined voice.

A voice rang out.

“Don’t cross the line.”

“Oho, Venerable Paimon.”

“Wasn’t the troublesome task of greeting the last guest always my responsibility?”

Demon King of the Ninth Throne.

Venerable Paimon.

He spoke in a condescending manner.

But no one took him seriously.

“Paimon, I smell ambition in you, an emotion I have never witnessed in you in all my eons. I wonder, is it curiosity?”

Paimon neither denied nor affirmed.

“Curious, I’m already convinced.”

Paimon lazily stretched out his hand.


Fingers, wrists, forearms, the gold and jewels that adorned his body clinked against each other. His robes were thin enough to show his skin, but even so, they glistened with a brilliant sheen.


What Paimon was holding was the Holy Grail.

Thirsty for blood, Paimon drank from the Holy Grail, takes on the new tenth throne as the Demon King.


Grandfell Claudi Arpheus Romeo, he thought.

“He is already on the same level as me in terms of his dignity.”

Why is Paimon ‘Venerable’?

The Ten knew the reason better than anyone.

“Already in your league, isn’t that a generous assessment?”

Even if they are said to be the same ten seats.

Their innate abilities and the territories they controlled were different.

Paimon presided over the West, a fertile region in the Demon World.

“I don’t think anyone would be pleased to see your forces in this place. We know, Buer, that it is only by your mercy that he has been able to hold his seat for so long.”

The Demon King of the 9th Throne.

But his strength is not the 9th.

That was the Thrones’ assessment of Paimon.

As they had just said.

Paimon, who commanded an army, was extremely threatening even to them.



Paimon shook the Holy Grail lightly.

A small swirl of the finest blood swirled.

Paimon gazed at the ripples and spoke softly.

“I don’t think that’s an emotion you’re allowed to mention.”


Because it’s great. It’s quicker to count what you don’t have than what you have. The longing for what you don’t have is also great. Paimon touched upon the deficiencies of the Ten Thrones.

A sinister voice rings out.

“Do not forget, Paimon.”

“The proof of the Ten Thrones is valid for anyone.”

“I will not tolerate any less.”

Paimon replied, gripping the Holy Grail.

“You may act as you please, but what good will it do you? Surely you would be better off with me and the new Tenth Throne Demon King.”

There was no answer.

Paimon’s power was too great to be overlooked by any of the Ten Thrones. Wouldn’t it be great if Baal were here without a throne……. Thankfully, negotiations were not difficult.

Paimon was the first to step away from the gathering, saying.

“I will travel immediately to the Behemoth’s Maw.”

“For what purpose?”

“Not the Arcana continent, nor the world of adventurers.”

I have only one purpose.


Paimon’s mouth formed a parabolic smile.

“Maybe I’ll make a friend for the first time.”


Paimon’s force.

Gunner’s reaction to the entity was enough to paint a picture before his eyes. It was Gunner, the Iron Castle’s best pilot and greatest scout.

He had seen it all before.

-“…… This is nonsense.”

That was all Gunner said.

Chainwalker turned his ear away from the machinery at that point.

At the same time, Walshwale lowered his hammer.

“Basic repairs complete!”

“How much time do we have before the spatial leap?”

“One minute is enough!”

Chainwalker said into the other mechanism.

“Did you hear that, boys? We’ll be at Behemoth’s Maw in one minute. After using the first spatial leap, we will have approximately one hour before the next.”

Chainwalker said in a steady voice.

“That means we only have an hour at most to hold off Paimon’s forces, and what do you think we can accomplish in that hour?”

The adventurers from the Holy War Alliance had already taken a heavy toll against the two evil dragons. They had been separated for a long time, and they felt impatient.

‘Now that the commander-in-chief is away.’

I must be more sober in my judgment.

Chainwalker bit his lip hard as he asked the question.

The answer came quickly.


Hisagi opened his mouth.

“We returned to Antonium a little while ago, and we’re preparing to leave. I would like to show you this sight, Chainwalker-sama.”

What do you mean, a sight you’d like to show me?

Chainwalker asked, dumbfounded.

Hisagi had neither the words nor the energy to describe it.

Antonium, the capital of the Empire.

The armies of the Empire filled the plain before the gates.

At the forefront were the Knights of the Lionheart.

Harkon, the Knight Commander, spoke.

“Listen, the demons we face today are unlike any we’ve faced before. Their armor rivals the armor of dwarves, and their cruelty will surpass that of the named demons!”

Harkon proclaimed to the empire’s troops, making no secret of the despairing news Gunner had brought him. Nam Taemin smirked at the sight of his master.

“You’re the same as not hiding anything. So, are you close?”

It was a declaration that wouldn’t have been out of place in a morale-sapping army.

But it was ironic.

The morale of the Imperials did not waver.

“Yes, sir. The Empire is on the brink of extinction, but is such a crisis new to us? No, we’ve overcome many such trials before!”

Rebels, demons, and the Warlord’s library.

The Empire had indeed faced and overcome many trials.

Harkon turned the reins.

His mechanical legs bared before his soldiers.

At the same time, he pointed his finger at the grave.

“The evidence is still there for us to see!”


The roar that erupted at Harkon’s declaration reached the ears of Frostnax, the little chick guarding the World Tree in northern Antonium. Frostnax rattled his beak.

“Time to take flight.”


“You stay here and guard this place, little dragon knight.”

“Ah, yes.”

The little dragon knight.

Skal stiffened, then bowed his head.

Frostnax looked at him and added a word.

“That place is not a battlefield that is soft enough to carry you.”


That means.

Does that mean that if the battlefield was favorable, you might let me ride?

Skal’s sagging shoulders lifted.

“Well, then, what can I expect next?”

But Frostnax didn’t seem inclined to answer.

Frostnax was already looking elsewhere.

The sparkling chick’s eyes.

That’s kind of interesting.

“Oho, are you coming too?”

The players Frostnax was referring to were adventurers.

Even if the Arcana continent is destroyed.

Anyway, thought it was someone else’s story.

You’re all joining the Empire of your own accord, aren’t you?

Judging by the results, Frostnax wasn’t wrong.

“I mean, it’s a hundred percent!”

“Well, the world message is out.”

“That’s not a normal world message either! A message was sent out to the entire Arcana continent? That means Paimon is a monster that will shake the Arcana continent!”

Whatever the motivation.

The players were ready and prepared, adding to the ranks of the Antonium’s Holy War Alliance in droves. They nodded at Harkon’s call.

“We’re going to have to fight for our lives, and with all the buffs we’ve got going on, we’re going to have to fight to the death. You don’t want to die and become a bunch of smug ghosts, do you?”

Reality and the Arcana continent are now connected.

It was safe to say that the threat from the Arcana continent was a threat to reality.

Even more so now that the demons of the Ten Thrones had risen in reality.

In that sense, the players’ judgment was justified.

What does that mean?

It means that it’s not strange for all the players to converge on Antonium.

“Miss, won’t you get out of the way?”

“Ugh, Sis, How can I get you a ride on a thirsty horse?”

“Shut up, just do it.”

Leonie pushed through the crowd, scanning their faces.

From The Shining, filled with sadness due to Dmitry’s death.

Bohemian, Warlord, Olympus, ACDC…….

“Everyone who is hard to see each other has gathered here, sis?”

“Well, I suppose they’ve been looking forward to it.”



Hisagi and Nam Taemin joined the group at the same time, without anyone saying who came first. A sharp, not-so-polite gaze turned in their direction.

“Our priorities may be different, but our goals are the same.”

As fellow rankers.

I could tell what they were thinking.

They’re hoping for the [War Quest].

“At this scale, it’s not strange to be reminded of the ‘Great War Quest’ from when Arcana was just a game. Considering the buffs that are being triggered, even a moderate amount of merit will be enough…….”

“It must have been calculated that a considerable amount of loot could be obtained.”

“I’m sure that if the Commander-in-Chief saw this, he would have said something…….”

He is the one with the most integrity.

He could blame others because he is what he is.

Because they didn’t deserve it.

So Nam Taemin just hoped.

“Whatever it is, I hope they don’t back down from the demon.”

Soon, a Holy War Alliance army marched out of Antonium.

Not surprisingly.

Antonium had forces left to defend.

Four Houses, Red-Eyed Dune, Diamond Top…….

These were the great forces that Hoyeol had called in.

Their master, Hoyeol, had given no orders.

They were waiting in Antonium.

“Then I will open the portal!”

Nash William, imperial mage.


He manifested a portal using Antonium’s magic stone as collateral. The coordinates were the now-ruined Canary Road, the closest town to Behemoth’s Maw.


However, entering the portal.

Until they breathed in the strange air.

The players’ eyes went blank.

No message came to them.

“I should be able to leave at this point, but a war quest?!”

The reason was simple.

The Venerable Paimon was already at war.

In the midst of a long procession of great armies.


Paimon emerged from Behemoth’s Maw.

The Demon King of the Ninth Throne opened his mouth.

“It is good to see you like this.”

Up in the sky.


He turned to Grandfell and bowed politely.

“You who might become my close friend.”

The words were met with a gaze that was beyond heartlessness, and fixed on Paimon.