Chapter 1: Demon King's Arrival
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All characters in this story are merely fictitious.
The sun rays peeked through the broken roof of the shack and reflected the golden coats worn by the disciples. The building was covered with moss, and it was heavily loaded by vines creeping with greedy hands as if to pull the whole thing down. The wind did nothing other than to make an eerie sound resounding as it dragged through the holes. Almost like the whole shack wouldn't survive the whip of a storm.
Disciples of Yang Sect marched their way in, having to patrol this abandoned ghost village, it was a miracle that this kind of place existed in the Royal Capital. It did not fit with the tall, grandiose, golden buildings they used.
"His Majesty ordered not to wander off and stay at your chosen places. We ought to patrol in a different area, stay attentive, and be ready. You all know if we haven't found anything suspicious but only sensing the alarm of danger, a powerful Demon is lurking here." The last words heighten the creepiness of the dark energy in the place, the disciples noticed it and immediately decided to group in four, afraid to patrol alone.
"Waiting for a chance to pound at us? Isn't this powerful Demon's attitude rather familiar?" One of the disciples chuckled, attempting to calm down his group of friends. But when he heard that no one responded, he looked back at them.
"Senior-Brother, Will he be safe patrolling alone?"
They turned their heads towards one disciple, who was busting off the door of the building.
"He's always like that, he hates Ghoul very deeply. Don't mind him."
Meanwhile, that lonely one was cursing someone out.
"That scum. It's good enough that Han Min never appears anymore. That blackened demon would just cause more chaos in this world." The disciple mumbled to himself while he entered the abandoned shack. While his mind was completely occupied, he didn't notice the menacing energy that surged out.
"And if I appear, what then?"
The disciple freezes in the doorway, as his slim figure flinches.
A deep sinister voice was heard within the desolated shack and that disciple felt his bones in his neck ached because of how fast he turned his head at that person who appeared. "You people like to act like the Heavenly Emperor, infecting the world with your vileness and pretending to do good deeds. I would prefer death over a ruler like him."
The disciple's face drains of all color.
The sword he was clutching slipped from his fingers, clanging loudly. It echoes. His heavy breathing carried through the small building to the lounging man.
The person he'd been bad-mouthing, it was the Demon King that was lurking in this place! But why him, out of all the disciples?
"-Y-You?!" The disciple immediately picked up his sword and unsheathed it, his trembling weapon points at the Demon King.
"You're right. As a scum like me, I would like to cause more chaos even if it means saving the world. It will be fun for me to start the chaos right here, right now." Han Min smiled menacingly, hitting the spirit bells on purpose that was standing untouched onto his right side.
The random servant of Yang Clan, whose Han Min only met accidentally entered his bait. His face turned into displeased horror when he recognized the man's face.
"You're H-Han Min! You're the Demon King who fought with the emperor, but you were supposed to be wiped out already..." The servant gasped in terror and immediately ran his way out of the shack.
Han Min watched in delight how the disciple of the notorious sect came in with a proper and highly respected demeanor but ended up crawling back desperately to where he first went, where that sect belongs.
Han Min took this time to wander around and watched outside, the other disciples' surprised and scared faces, watching their so-called "senior brother" in the clan, witness a certain Ghoul who is feared by servants of different sects and sect leaders.
And the Demon King whom they have been hunting down for 7 years now.
"Your Majesty, I am afraid to tell you about the accident that happened earlier." The servant kneeled in front of the Emperor, the leader of all clans.
"What? Tell me." Yang Shen, wearily commanded, didn't notice the servant's shaking figure.
"Our senior brother stumbled upon H-Han inside a shack..." The servant was fully worried and was afraid to say it out loud in front of the leader. Almost like saying his name is like sending his own life a death threat.
"What did you say?" He stopped twirling the spirit bells on his sword, and Yang Shen narrowed his eyebrows at that.
"Met Han M-Min, and even threatened senior brother to kill him only because of that. We finally found him, Your Majesty." The servant said it out loud, only for Yang Shen to lash out his resentment for a piece of unexpected news. The ferocious enemy they were chasing for years, was recently seen in a hut in their town. That is very much likely a trick waiting for them, but Yang Shen was blinded by his fury and hostility towards the man, that his wounded fist tightened, while holding his sword.
"Han Min?! After all these years of hiding, didn't he know that he was supposed to face the consequences of killing such people! How dare he shamelessly show his face after running from his sins? After he killed hundreds of people from different clans? Send a pile of servants there, siege, and confront him, don't let him escape this time!" Yang Shen disgustingly said, spit came out after another but the leader did not care for hearing the young man's name after a decade.
The servant who came in stuttering now held his chin up and suddenly gained the courage to call the servants to siege the shack where the Demon King happened to appear out of nowhere.
He patiently waited for the servants to come and siege him, Han Min sits languidly at the dark-oaken log and whistled a little harmony to wash out his boredom of waiting.
He twirled his braided side of the hair in his slender and slim fingers that are almost bothersome, because of the thought that his enemy could be in here at any time. But Han Min continued to put on his expressionless face and proceeded to hum a certain song.
"Wooden oak of rusting fences,
Behind appear around the mountain,
A strand of hairs still moving,
Little fingers holding on,
The light on your face,
Greeting me on..."
After a few moments of singing, the Demon King suddenly clutched on tightly to his braid and his eyebrows narrowed as something bothered him in between singing. He looked down and continued humming in a deep and sinister voice.
From then on, while he waited and hummed, he heard soft little footsteps came in his direction and he fiercely turned his head on them, only to find two children walking hand-in-hand and didn't even recognize his presence.
He acknowledges the first thing that was, these were just lost spirits wandering in this shack where he decided to play his plan.
However, as long as he looked, there suddenly came an ache in his heart that he never felt in such a long time, and realized that he finds this scene pretty familiar. Especially the other boy.
The little boys walked in delight, too busy to mind the world because they were busy watching each other's feet, carefully paying attention to the rocks that may stumble both of them over.
"Han Min, careful, okay? We wouldn't want your grandfather to scold me and you again, right?" Said the little boy who looks at the other, while their hands are still holding each other.
"I know, So Eun. But I'm more careful not to let you fall because of rocks." Han Min said, too busy to look at So Eun, but still, paying attention to the ground.
"It's fine, Han Min. If I fall and disappear this time. I would just tell everyone in my next life that I had a wonderful and the most precious friend back then who loved and cherished me." So Eun smiled at his friend, but this time, Han Min did not look at him.
"What are you saying? You will be with me even when we grow up. You already promised that you'll help me in finding my dearest wife, to be able to build my sect successfully!" Han Min finally looked up to the boy and didn't miss the chance to witness how So Eun's eyes swelled up in excitement.
"Yes, I will! But what if, you know, we couldn't see each other in days because my parents would probably protect me and lock me in my room. I mean, I don't know if I will ever get the chance to grow up with you or if someone would accidentally push me on a sharp thing or--" He suddenly stopped talking when Han Min halted and looked at him seriously.
"I would kill anyone who dares to lay a hand on you." The other boy's tone turned bitter and shook his hand. So Eun noticed it.
"Even hundreds from different sects,"
"Hey! I said stop saying such words! What if that came true? How will you be a successful sect leader if you were to kill hundreds of people? Would your wife be proud of that?" So Eun threw his hand and grumpily breathed through his nose that Han Min finds adorable about him. The corner of his lips lifted upwards slightly.
"She will even join me if she knows someone killed my dearest friend." Little Han Min reached out to hold his hand again and they resumed walking.
"You haven't even met her yet." So Eun teased and added.
"Shut up, when I met her, I will not tell you for months!" Little Han Min got 'upset' this time and stuck out his tongue at his friend before running away from him.
"You liar! You said I am the first one to know! Hey! Han Min!"
The two boys continued bickering but never let go of each other's hands and even ran together while giggling. Their sound echoes until the two small figures slowly faded in the dark-grey mist that roamed onto the empty streets.
Han Min stared at them only for it to disappear and reminded him once again of what happened.
The giggles of an innocent banter. The promise to protect one another. The limited moments they shared while desperately avoiding what they fear the most. It's been a decade.
For the first time in ten years, Han Min felt his whole being burst in demonic spiritual energy and he immediately composed himself.
He couldn't be weak. He couldn't be vulnerable if he wanted to see him sooner. It's only a matter of days left for him to finally seek the truth.
But no matter what strategy, he focuses on not to remember, he just couldn't hold on anymore.
The whistle stopped, a sorrowful wind whips through the dark alley where the two boys disappeared.
The young man stared into nothing but an old memory that was kept in his heart for so long that the pained feeling of losing a loved one came back, and then suddenly, the wounded hollow in his heart that hasn't been healed properly were opened harshly and a tear fell onto the soil ground.