Descent of the Demon Master - C.711. Squashing (1)

Descent of the Demon Master

C.711. Squashing (1)

“He said he's THE Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor, right?" One of the demonic cultivators cautiously asked.

His friend nodded. “Yup, he sure did.”

“Then... He's from the legend, right?”

“Yeah, it's that guy.”

The welcoming ceremony ended very quickly. Elder Chang Min seemed like he wanted to do something more, but the demon emperor lightly waved his hand dismissively to put an end to the old man's plans.

“That's enough of meaningless formalities.”

That one line was enough.

And this scene sent shockwaves to everyone watching. Just who was Chang Min? He could be seen as the demon cult's number one, and no one would try to dispute that. Everyone with the label 'demonic cultivator' slapped near their name respected Chang Min, even though they weren't tied by the boss-subordinate relationship.

So, the sight of Chang Min quietly backing away from Kang Jin-Ho casually waving his hand away left a strong impression. It symbolized so many things. Now everyone knew from this scene that the demon cult's power structure had completely shifted.

Besides, their demon emperor was the one-and-only Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor?

“You think he's telling the truth?”

“That has to be it. Otherwise, Elder Chang's actions make no sense. A regular demon emperor? Sure, that's amazing. Let's be real, though. That's just a legend, right? Our situation won't change much regardless of who shows up to help. However, if it's that Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor...”

The demonic cultivators gulped back in nervous excitement.

One of the stories they had been told countless times until they grew sick and tired happened to be... the demon cult's history. More specifically, back when the demon cult ruled over all of Zhongyuan!

The current-day demonic cultivators hated listening to this story. Who cared about how glorious the demon cult was in the past? When their current lives were so miserable?

Talking about past glories was not the proof of their superiority as some people believed. No, it only proved that they were incompetent, weak bastards who couldn't even hold on to their past glory and fame and allowed themselves to fall to the pits of hell.

Still, some people clung to those useless memories. The rest got annoyed and maybe even a little angry but couldn't openly express their unhappiness. People with no hope of improving their current reality were bound to talk about the good old days, after all—since that was the only way to forget about the hellish life.

That was how these demonic cultivators got to hear about various legends of the past so many times. Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor was always the protagonist in those tales.

Sometimes, he was simply called Crimson Demon. At other times, he went by the full title of Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor.

He was the legendary cult leader during the demon cult's most prosperous era. His martial prowess touched the heavens, and no one under the sun dared to raise their head in his presence. Even the emperors of the day feared him. All those high-and-mighty orthodox faction bastards had to plant their limbs to the ground and tremble in terror and dread!

The legend! Yes, he was a legend. And, as it turned out...

He wasn't merely a legend, after all.

“What? You think it's all a pack of lies?! That it's impossible? If that's what you think, explain to me why those orthodox faction bastards have been persecuting and suppressing us like madmen until now? Why would they do that if we're as worthless and pitiful as those Lower Five Gates bastards as you say?”

Whenever that argument was brought up, those who didn't believe in the legend were left with no rebuttal. That was because they could also sometimes sense something a bit off when the orthodox faction bastards were suppressing and persecuting them. What was that something a bit off, you ask? It was a hint of... terror.

'If all the stuff in the legend were true...!'

And if that demon emperor was indeed Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor from all those incredible-sounding legends...!

“Maybe things will really change for us...?”

A strange atmosphere descended among the demonic cultivators. It seemed that everyone was thinking roughly the same thing.

The demon emperor had stepped inside one of the chambers in this underground space. However, the permission to disperse hadn't been given yet. So, these demonic cultivators were on an endless standby.

If something like that happened under different, more 'normal' circumstances, these people would've already exploded in fits of indefinite dissatisfaction. However, no one even thought about asking the elders when they could go home.

And no one dared to voice it, but... This subtle anticipation had settled in the hearts of everyone waiting.

If that man was really their demon emperor...

If that man really was the legendary Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor...!

Maybe they would get to end this dreadful life crawling on the dirt. After all, wasn't he literally a legendary figure? The greatest, most powerful cult leader ever produced by the demon cult?

'Even if he's not all that keen to lead us...'

If someone of his caliber were to teach... No, the notion of a noble being like Heavenly Crimson Demon Emperor personally teaching the demonic cultivators was laughable. That situation would be as absurd as pulling out a cow-butchering knife to slaughter a measly little chicken.

'Right. We would ask for nothing more if he could toss us a proper demonic cultivation manual in our way...'

However, was it okay for the demonic cultivators to trust that man?

They all witnessed 'it' together, didn't they? 'It' being the utterly terrifying demonic qi gushing out from the demon emperor, of course.

However, these demonic cultivators had gone through too much crap in their lives to place their trust in a stranger, cross their fingers, and hope for a better future just because of the overwhelming demonic qi.

This was why they couldn't readily raise their hopes up.

As the demonic cultivators exchanged hushed whispers...

“Hey! They are back!”

A loud commotion quickly spread among the crowd. The demonic cultivators dispatched to assist the demon emperor had finally returned after taking care of the aftermath.

“Hey, man! What happened?”

“Tell us already! What went down there?”

The curious crowd quickly rushed in to surround their returning comrades. With such a big crowd congregating in one spot, things quickly descended into a bit of chaos.

“All of you, keep it down.”

Everyone's attention quickly shifted over to one man. And his name was Zhu Gang.

He stood at the head of the pack. While making the face of a man who had already foreseen this outcome, he coughed to clear his throat before addressing the others. “I'm not sure where I should start my explanation...”

He stopped there and pondered for a little bit before nodding away.

“You know what? I'm not a good storyteller, so giving you a riveting tale is out of the question for me. In that case, I'll just tell you what I saw. As for where I should begin... Right, let's start from when I first met the demon emperor in Sichuan...”

Everyone quickly got sucked into Zhu Gang's riveting storytelling.


Chang Min ardently cried out, “Ohhh, my liege!”

Kang Jin-Ho backed off slightly, his expression hinting at his subtle discomfort.

“My liege! Your majesty! Your authority! You must demonstrate them to everyone!”

“But, uh, haven't I done that already?”

“Those cultivators still don't respect and revere you enough, my liege! That's why you must engrave into their souls what kind of an existence you are!”

How uncomfortable. So very uncomfortable!

Kang Jin-Ho had never encountered a subordinate who offered such absolute, nay, visceral loyalty to him. The Demon Flames back in Zhongyaun were loyal enough to really kill themselves instead of pretending if Kang Jin-Ho told them to die. However, they never expressed their loyalty like Chang Min here.

In short, Kang Jin-Ho was used to subordinates silently obeying him, so someone as vocal as Chang Min was a rather uncomfortable presence to be with.

Not only that...

'I can't even be rude to him, either...'

In terms of generations, Chang Min wasn't even in the realm of 'grandson' to Kang Jin-Ho but waaaaay down the line of descendants. However, that didn't matter when he was clearly older than Kang Jin-Ho. Even if Kang Jin-Ho added all the years he lived during his three lives, the total would still fall short of Chang Min's age.

Hell, it'd be like Kang Jin-Ho was born when Chang Min was already entering his advanced years! If they counted by years, Kang Jin-Ho would be only around 'great-grandson' to Chang Min!

That was why he couldn't help but feel uncomfortable about this whole situation. If only Chang Min used his seniority to put on airs or something! Kang Jin-Ho could have fought back if that had been the case. However, who in their right mind would feel unmoved—or unperturbed in this case—when a hundred and eighty-plus years-old man deeply bowed at them like this?

“Tell me, Chang Min.”

“Yes, my liege?”

“Is respect earned by showing myself off and shouting at the others to notice me?”

Chang Min's eyes powerfully quaked. “My thoughts were immature, my liege. You are the rightful master of us, the demonic cultivators. If those cultivators fail to recognize you, their incompetency and ignorance should be blamed.”

“Insistence and coercion do not give birth to authority. Such a thing will be authority in the form of tyranny. And tyranny and oppression are bound to fall someday. Without fail!”

Chang Min hurriedly nodded away in agreement. Hadn't he already witnessed powerful factions that seemed invincible crumbling away to nothingness too many times to count? “My liege! This foolish servant deserves to be punished for failing to understand your keen insight and wisdom!”

“N-no, wait a sec...” Kang Jin-Ho groaned while facepalming. 'Give me a break. Seriously now!'

It wasn't as if Kang Jin-Ho was unfamiliar with this type of speech. People back in Zhongyuan spoke like this back then, after all! And Kang Jin-Ho himself also resorted to speaking this way to blend in. Maybe that was why his manner of speech sneakily reverted back to his past self whenever he roused up his demonic qi.

Kang Jin-Ho suddenly realized he had become quite a lot 'used' to the modern era. One proof was how difficult it was for him to deal with Chang Min's manner of speech. That didn't mean Kang Jin-Ho could ask the much older martial artist to speak like a... 'normal' person, though.

After all, Chang Min was one hundred and eighty years old. How could a youngster demand someone so much older than him to match his pace? If anything, it should be the other way around.

“Kuh-hmm!” Kang Jin-Ho cleared his throat before changing the topic. “I didn't come here to talk about useless things like this.”

“Indeed, my liege! It's time to start building toward the hopeful future full of light and glory!”

“That's enough.” Kang Jin-Ho groaned.

His stress level was steadily rising higher. Not even his subordinates in Zhongyuan were this... dedicated. Sure, they did fear and respect him, but this was on a whole different level.

Obviously, Kang Jin-Ho wasn't an idiot, so he could tell that Chang Min was in the center of a whirlpool of powerful emotions. He had been waiting for the demon emperor to descend for over a century, after all. And, after such a lengthy wait, Kang Jin-Ho had finally shown up. No words in existence would be adequate enough to describe Chang Min's overwhelming emotions.

Kang Jin-Ho understood all that. He definitely did. Even so...

'How long is he thinking of keeping this up?'

Everything with a beginning should have an end, no? However, Chang Min's overwhelming emotions didn't seem to want to end anytime soon!

Kang Jin-Ho was left with no choice but to inform Chang Min that all things, good or bad, must come to an end eventually. “Listen, Chang Min.”

“Yes, my liege!”

“That's enough of unnecessary flattery. Forget all that. Right now, I wish to know about the current situation.”

“When you say current situation... Could you be more specific, my liege? As I am slow-witted, it's rather difficult for me to interpret your intentions quickly enough, sire.”

“Hmm... Summarizing what I want isn't easy. Tell me things like the number of cult members or other pertinent matters.”

“Ah, I see. If that's what you wish to know, please do not worry, my liege! I've already made all the preparations,” said Chang Min before suddenly turning around.

'Mm? What is he doing?'

Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head and watched Chang Min head to a desk by the corner of the room and touch and press some things.


That was when a large screen whirred down from one of the walls.

“W-what's that?!” Kang Jin-Ho flinched a little.

They were currently underground. To the demonic cultivators, this underground area was like a shelter, but to other people... Well, there was no getting away from it, was there? It must've looked like a hidden HQ of a Bond-esque villain.

From the perspective of people from the past, wasn't this place like a damp, smelly cave where bandits and criminals gathered to plan their next big score? Or something similar to that?

So, what was up with that high-tech screen?

Chang Min smiled and generously provided an explanation. “I had this installed as we hold frequent meetings here, you see.”

“Oh. Okay.” Kang Jin-Ho forced his facial muscles to relax.

Hadn't he already tasted humiliation during that smartphone incident with Chang Min? That experience taught Kang Jin-Ho that this old man was deceptively adept at utilizing modern tech. In other words... He shouldn't get flustered by something innocuous like a screen appearing on a wall!

“First of all... Please take this, my liege,” said Chang Min while handing out a large tablet PC.

Kang Jin-Ho tilted his head again. “And what's this now?”

“It's a tablet, my liege. Of course, I'll display the information on the main screen, but I also have prepared more detailed reports, which are accessible through this device. Please refer to those during my briefing.”

“A tablet, huh... Mm? Isn't this an American brand? Why not use a Chinese brand?”

Chang Min was clearly dismayed by that question as he stared back at Kang Jin-Ho. “Why should we use local-brand items when this country has done nothing for us? We're in this state precisely because of them, anyway.”

'Oh. He's... right, I guess?'

Kang Jin-Ho awkwardly nodded away without saying anything.

“Besides, the local brands' tablets still fall behind this American company's. We as consumers should prioritize the performance of the devices. If we only buy local products out of some misguided patriotism, we'll get saddled with devices featuring poorer hardware and tardier firmware updates.”

“Ng, sure thing...” Kang Jin-Ho animatedly nodded away despite not understanding what Chang Min had said just then.

“Well, then... I'll start the briefing, my liege.”

“Before that...” Kang Jin-Ho stared with a stiff expression at Chang Min.

Chang Min immediately stood at attention after noticing the graveness in his liege's expression.

“How do I switch this thing on?” Kang Jin-Ho asked gravely while pointing at the dark-screened tablet.

A short bout of strange silence drifted in the room before Chang Min sighed, his expression unreadable. “My liege... It seems you still haven't acclimatized to modern technology.”

“N-no, it's not that, but... I've never used this before, so...”

Chang Min wordlessly approached Kang Jin-Ho, turned the tablet on by tapping the home button, then returned to his original spot.

“Then, I'll start with the briefing.”

Why did it feel like just a tiny bit of respect had been deducted from Chang Min's expression? Maybe Kang Jin-Ho was overthinking it...?

While thinking about Chang Min's 'rudeness', Kang Jin-Ho shifted his gaze to the large screen on the wall.

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