Descent of the Demon Master - C.715. Squashing (5)

Descent of the Demon Master

C.715. Squashing (5)

“Do you have any questions?” Kang Jin-Ho calmly asked while scanning the crowd below him.

It was easy to see that they were being crushed by the weight of confusion. Their dazed eyes staring back at Kang Jin-Ho were filled with unmistakable bewilderment and uncertainty.

'That's not that surprising.'

People wishing for salvation finally met their supposed savior... Only for said savior to proclaim that he was not. And that the legend had been false. No wonder they would react this way.

Kang Jin-Ho chuckled in dismay.

'Salvation, is it...'

What a stupid notion that was. One shouldn't expect others to come and rescue them. Salvation was something one should strive to achieve on their own!

'It's all rotten.'

The demonic cultivation techniques weren't the only things the demon cult had lost. The cult believers in the past were also persecuted. One could even say the persecution was far worse back then. The current-day believers were treated as low-class weakling martial artists who had foolishly mastered demonic arts. However, in the past? Cult believers were denigrated as uncouth foreigners who dared to practice heretical beliefs.

Considering how Zhongyuan treated foreigners and immigrants as sub-humans back then, the treatment the current-day demonic cultivators received was so much more humane.

Despite the harsh treatment, however, the demon cult believers in those years never gave up. The harshest persecution and exclusion from society itself had forced them to move to some of the most inhospitable areas to survive. Even then, they didn't give in to despair. They cultivated the land, built houses, and eventually created villages.

None of those people waited for salvation. They knew no one would help them if they didn't want to help themselves first.

In that case... What about the current-day demonic cultivators? These people earnestly believed the stupid idea of the demon emperor swooping in to save them.

Sister Yi asked Kang Jin-Ho to become someone who could extend a helping hand first. However, he saw no need to do that with these people.

He thought Azure Demon coming here instead of him would've been better, but his mind changed after learning more about the state of affairs. Forget helping, Azure Demon would've personally ripped these elders apart with his own two hands after witnessing the demon cult's sorry state!

Losing all those demonic cultivation methods could be forgiven. However, Azure Demon would have never forgiven these people for losing the very heart and soul of the demon cult!

Kang Jin-Ho didn't hold much affection toward the demon cult, but Azure Demon was a hardcore cult believer. Such was his fanaticism that in his final moments, Azure Demon worried about the demon cult's wellbeing rather than asking for forgiveness regarding his disloyalty.

So, what would happen when Azure Demon, who held such beliefs, saw this wretched sight?

'I'm sure he'll go batsh*t insane with anger...'

Indeed, it would've been enough to bring about a bloodbath. Killing enemies might have been Kang Jin-Ho's forte, but punishing and keeping cult believers in line was Azure Demon's job. So, he was no slouch in making people suffer.

“Do you not have any questions?” Kang Jin-Ho asked one more time. Of course, that didn't mean this crowd would stop being hesitant and say something. “In that case, let's wrap this up and...”

“P-please wait, my liege! Wait!” An urgent voice suddenly came from the crowd. “Why South Korea, my liege? Why there?”

“Because it's safer,” said Kang Jin-Ho, his expression still. As if he was stating the obvious. “I shall grant demonic arts to those who swear to follow me even at the risk of death. In other words, I will open a path to acquiring greater strength. However, that will be impossible in this country. People trying to kill you will show up even before you have the chance to master the demonic arts. To give yourselves even a little bit of extra time... You must head to South Korea.”

“B-but is it safe in Korea, sir?”

“There can be no absolutes in this world. However, it should be better than staying here. At the very least... I can create an environment where you can focus on demonic cultivation and not worry about anything else. Isn't that enough?”

The demonic cultivator who asked the questions nodded in acceptance. Because he understood the intentions behind Kang Jin-Ho's words.

“Any other questions?” Kang Jin-Ho scanned the crowd again.

“Sir! What will happen if we don't follow you to Korea?”

“What will happen, you ask...?” Kang Jin-Ho smirked. “Not much will happen. You'll simply carry on with the life you've been living until now. That's all. I'll take the people following me to Korea. The remaining ones will stay and continue on with this lifestyle.”

“T-then... What about the title of the demon cult, sir?”

“You can have it.”

Another round of commotion rose up at that declaration.

Kang Jin-Ho narrowed his eyes. “If you want that name, you can have it. An empty shell like that doesn't mean anything to me. It's up to you if you wish to keep holding on to that name. I won't force you either way.”

“B-but, my liege? We've been living on this land for generations.”

“So what? Didn't I already say you don't have to follow me if you don't want to?”


Kang Jin-Ho frowned slightly. “Again, I'm not forcing you. All I'm doing is giving you options. I'll make it as simple as possible, then. Those who choose to follow me will travel to Korea and cultivate in demonic arts. Those who don't will stay in China.”

He paused there for a brief moment or two to let his words sink in.

“As for those who want to stay behind, I'll give you a different choice. I won't stop anyone who wishes to stay as a demonic cultivator. However, if you wish to give up on that life... I will eliminate your demonic cultivation.”

“S-sir? Doesn't that mean you'll destroy our dantians?”

Kang Jin-Ho shook his head. “No. I said I will eliminate your demonic cultivation. That might sound impossible to you, but I can do it. In other words... I can turn you into a 'regular' cultivator.”

The silence that descended just then was caused by everyone holding their breath.

What a shocking revelation this was! Obviously, a lot more than a handful of these people wished to live on as a non-demonic martial artist. However, one could not escape the path of demonic cultivation once one started treading it unless their dantian was destroyed. That was why they had no choice but to keep walking this path.

However, here was Kang Jin-Ho, boldly declaring that he had the power to turn these people into regular martial artists!

How could anyone not get tempted by that offer? Even so, no one dared to raise their voice.

“I see. Let me say this to help you decide,” Kang Jin-Ho declared again while nodding to indicate he understood their trepidation. “I won't retaliate against anyone wishing to leave the path of the demonic arts. And we will remove your name and history from the demon cult's register, too. I will ensure that our side can never reveal your past as a demonic cultivator.”

That finally pushed some people to raise their hands and say something.

“I-in that case...!”

“However...!” Kang Jin-Ho interrupted them with a cold-sounding voice. “Those who choose this option will be forbidden from mentioning anything related to demonic ever again. That is the only condition.”

So cold! That was what everyone felt as they listened. The coldness in Kang Jin-Ho's voice made everyone shudder!

Their demon emperor said he'd open a new path for them. When he said that, though... He didn't bother hiding his pride at being a demonic cultivator. And it was easy to sense his unshakable will to never let anyone not sharing his sentiment join him on his martial journey.

“Choose between these three options. It shouldn't be hard to make your mind up,” said Kang Jin-Ho in no uncertain terms.

Another demonic cultivator raised his hand. “My liege!”

Kang Jin-Ho nodded in this person's direction. “You may speak.”

“If we follow you to South Korea... Can we become stronger, sir?”

“Hmm...” Kang Jin-Ho rubbed his chin.

Before he could reply, though, the demonic cultivator spoke first. “It's not like we're doubting you, sir. The one I'm not sure of is myself. I know I'm weak. And I'm not a youngster anymore. Even then, can I really become stronger by following you?”

“Of course,” Kang Jin-Ho nodded. He thought that these people needed more explanation. “This is what is unique about demonic arts. It doesn't matter how old you are or if your bones have stopped developing. Remember that you've been cultivating in demonic arts all your life. Yes, what you learned was utter garbage not even worthy of being called demonic arts, but it doesn't change the fact that you've been utilizing demonic qi. That is why it can be done. I will make sure it happens.”

Kang Jin-Ho's loud voice rumbled and reverberated within the underground space. The atmosphere rapidly grew heavy and crushed down on the crowd, forcing them to hold their breath again.

“I'm not going to sugar-coat anything, and I won't make empty promises with you. And I'm certainly not going to help you achieve fame and fortune. Even if you gain strength, you might still die in a battle against your enemies. Despite that, if you still desire strength and knowledge toward true demonic arts... Only those with that mindset are qualified to follow me. That is all!”

“But, why!” Someone's aged, somewhat enraged voice echoed in the underground space. “Why are you not saving us, my liege!”

Kang Jin-Ho shifted his gaze and stared at the man shouting at him. As it turned out, it was someone familiar to him—Li Xiaoyu.

Indeed, it was the elder of the demon cult who showed up with many demonic cultivators in tow to assist Kang Jin-Ho on that nameless mountain road. And that old man was crying out desperately, his entire body trembling powerfully. “My liege! Our honored demon emperor! We have been waiting for your descent for so long! We've waited years, decades, and centuries for our salvation through your hands! Yet, why do you forsake us this way? How could you demand such a cruel choice from us! What was the point of our lengthy wait in that case? My liege!”

Kang Jin-Ho's withdrawn eyes locked on Li Xiaoyu. He could sense the old man's desperate emotions. Was this how the faithful believer responded after the deity they believed in betrayed them? Maybe Li Xiaoyu felt like his entire world was collapsing now. What a pitiful and sad story this was.

Unfortunately for the old man, though... Kang Jin-Ho's answer to such an outpouring of emotions was...!

“You foolish bastard...!”

Demonic qi gushed out from Kang Jin-Ho's entire figure. He didn't do that to threaten, though. It was simply the case of demonic qi reacting to his anger. This black smoke-like demonic qi quickly enveloped Kang Jin-Ho and circulated all around him.

“There is no such thing as salvation,” Kang Jin-Ho quietly muttered. His voice could never be described as loud, yet it still dug sharply into everyone's hearing like a razor blade. “No salvation will come to those who sit on their butts and do nothing but wait. So, you were waiting for a savior? Isn't that the same thing as doing nothing and wasting your precious time?”


“I am not your savior. Even if I am, I will reject that role. What I'm looking for aren't some idiots who wish for salvation. No, I want people who are willing to grab on to any lifeline they can see and pull themselves up even if that line is a rotting rope.”

Kang Jin-Ho's cold, eerie glare swept across the crowd below. Those who met his glare hurriedly lowered their heads and dared not look up.

“Those who want to crawl up the lifeline while risking their lives? Follow me. I will open the path for you. However, it is still up to you to walk that path. I will not walk it in your stead. Let me say this ahead of time, okay? Those who choose to follow me will see Hell. Only those who are prepared to jump into that Hell with a smile on their face should follow me. Otherwise... You will regret it!”

“My liege...”

“Let me say this one more time...!” Kang Jin-Ho growled, his demonic qi violently swirling around like a storm. “You better stop with your fantasy. You will never accomplish anything without the determination to go the extra mile.”


Kang Jin-Ho snorted derisively at the gloomy atmosphere of the underground space.

'Revival of the demon cult, you say?'

What a stupid notion that was. Why would Kang Jin-Ho care about such a thing, anyway? He wasn't sentimental enough to get swayed by the melancholic longing from the distant, fading memories.

“It's your turn to choose. I will give you time to think it over. This... is my salvation to you,” Kang Jin-Ho coldly muttered, then turned around to leave.

That was when someone called out to him. “M-my liege! I have another question...!”

Kang Jin-Ho glanced back. “Didn't I say it's time to choose?”

“T-there's something we must know, no matter what, sir!”

“And what would that be?” Kang Jin-Ho narrowed his eyes and growled in irritation.

The demonic cultivator hurriedly cried out, “O-our families! What should we do about them? Can they come to Korea as well?”

Everyone in the underground space scowled deeply. How could this man ask that question when they were facing a choice that could determine the rest of their lives? Was 'family' that important right now...?

However, Kang Jin-Ho's response was somewhat different from their anticipation.

“Eh...? I haven't thought about that.”


“Can I discuss that with someone first? That, uh, has real-world implications, you see.”

“...Oh, uh, sure thing, sir.”

Do whatever you feel like, oh dear demon emperor...

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