I first looked for Loretta. I had no idea where to start, but Loretta was in her cabin. The way she was crouched down in the corner of her cabin holding onto an axe was cute, but also a bit scary.
“First, put that axe down.”
Loretta came running into my arms with teary eyes. I kindly removed the axe she was holding before I received her in my arms.
“I’m glad you’re safe.”
“I’m glad you’re safe too, Loretta. I knew the axe would help.”
I looked at the axe, which still contained the Death Lord.
[If you want to repay me, make me a cool new body!]
“I’ll consider it.”
When I was having a staring contest with the Death Lord, Loretta asked with her face still buried in my chest.
“What happened to Lord?”
Loretta let out a small sigh. She must have spent thousands of years with Sherafina. I’m sure she had many things on her mind.
“It hasn’t been long since I noticed Lord’s plan. Even Lin noticed earlier than me.”
“You found out after what happened with Kain, right?”
Loretta nodded with a bitter smile. Then, she shook her head.
“It’s over now so I won’t think about it anymore. I’m just happy that Shin-nim came back safe and sound. I’m happy to have been of help.”
“Without Loretta’s pocket watch, none of this would have been possible.”
“How did you obtain the pocket watch?”
“It’s an artifact that was created in my world. Lin really wanted it in the past, but I didn’t give it to him. Lin said he could beat Lord if he had it, but I didn’t think so. Plus…”
“… No, I’m keeping it a secret.”
Loretta looked away with a reddened face. As I knew what it implied, I simply made a small smile.
As we were in a hurry, the seat of the Dungeon Lord was given to Loretta. But she wouldn’t be chained to the seat for eternity. I planned to carry out what I planned to do from the beginning. With the power I had now, it was possible.
To disconnect all connected worlds and return worlds’ powers to their proper worlds. The number of worlds’ powers wasn’t decreasing at all. They were simply combining with another. Now that I could wield worlds’ powers as I pleased, separating them once more wasn’t a difficult task whatsoever.
It might be difficult if all worlds’ powers fused together into one… No, having taken a step further, I felt like I could divide them again even if that happened.
In any case, once this was done, the dungeon would disappear. There was no need for it to exist. Members of the administrative guilds who were chained to the dungeon would finally be set free. And of course, Loretta was included.
“Hurry up and free me, Shin-nim.”
“It won’t take long, so just wait a bit.”
I had the confidence in redividing worlds’ powers, but I had trouble giving Sherafina’s power to Loretta.
What resulted from the fusion of my original power, Sherafina’s power, and Lespina’s power was a shocking power no one could have imagined. Because of the origin of this power, it was hard to isolate Sherafina’s power.
But that didn’t mean I had to become the Dungeon Lord. I was Loretta’s Partner, so I could give her a blessing, and I could put in a portion of Sherafina’s power into it.
Once Loretta received my blessing, she could act as the Dungeon Lord for a month. I had to give her the highest grade blessing to have it last for a month, but Loretta had no qualms about it. In fact, she enjoyed it very much.
“Stop sticking to me and restart the dungeon. Earth is in trouble too.”
“Uuu, okay… But you have to come back after you’re done with Earth!”
After confirming that the dungeon had started operating again, I hurriedly returned to Earth. The moment I sent Kain the signal, he deactivated Kuneē
“Cool hair accessory.”
That was all Kain said, and that was enough. He saw that I had reached my goal, there was no need for me to explain anything to him.
“Uuk, Shin changed again.”
“You’re safe, Son!”
Revival’s members rushed towards me as they checked for my safety. I became a bit depressed as they reminded me of the ordinary people who came to worship me, but such thought flew away when they all charged into an embrace.
No, now’s not the time for this!
“Guys, I know you’re happy to see me but pick your weapons back up!”
I shouted, pointing at the monsters running around on the ground.
“We can talk after we kill all the monsters!”
Postponing the celebration for later, everyone scattered to all sides.
In the center of it all, I raised my spear and shouted.
“Fight me, you bastards!”
My strengthened Evil Eyes shone and the monsters on the ground all became petrified. At the same time, people’s gazes became focused on me.
“Shin-nim is back!”
“He came to save us!”
“… Whatever, you guys can call me what you want.”
I decided to give up.
Cleaning up Earth took four whole days. Sherafina’s final wave of monsters was truly wide-ranged and carefully planned. The fact that it took me four days with my Evil Eyes showed how dire the situation was. But of course, it didn’t matter too much as we ended up killing every monster without leaving even a single goblin behind.
Once the monsters were annihilated, the world continued to roll along even with the massive damage it suffered. I believed all of humanity was thinking the same thing. That the world continued no matter what happened.
There was also an unwelcome news.
“Oppa, it looks like an official church has been established.”
“That’s the last thing I wanted to hear.”
Yua reported with a happy face to which I retorted with a frown.
“Can we get rid of it somehow?”
Licorice, who knew my thoughts the best, burst into a laughter and poked my cheeks playfully.
“Huhu, humans need someone like Dear Husband to get through this dark time. Just bear with it. Dear Husband will leave Earth soon anyways, right?”
Ciara’s legacy ran too deep for me to erase. If I wanted to, I would have to raise my spear against the surviving humans. Since that was obviously out of the question, I reluctantly accepted the situation. At that moment, the light the halo was giving off became thicker.
Damn, I don’t know anymore.
I gave Daisy, Kain, and Ren their worlds’ powers back.
“I’m currently researching how to prevent Heroes from being burdened with worlds’ powers. Once I get results, I’ll tell you all.”
“Kang Shin, are you abandoning me in Sylon?”
“I’ll follow Kang Shin until I die. Even after death, we’ll be, together.”
“Hah, it’ll be a while before I die.”
“Un. So I’ll follow you, forever.”
She sure knew how to throw the right pitches at the right time. Looking at Daisy, who was staring at me intently and asserting her will, I stroked her head once and shrugged at Kain and Ren to hide my embarrassment. The two of them spoke one by one.
“Crown Prince is really amazing.”
“He’s the number one Casanova under heaven.”
“Want me to take your powers away?”
After taking care of urgent matters, I prepared to leave Earth. The amount of blood flowing across dimensions would diminish the faster I went, so I hurried as much as I could.
Hwaya, who noticed this quickly, cut in strongly.
“Leave after we get married.”
When I didn’t give a reply, Hwaya’s eyes narrowed.
“I’m going to hit you if you say you won’t get married until you’re done with all of the worlds.”
“Hwaya, I’ve always admired your sharp intellect.”
“Someone grab him, I’m going to hit him.”
Just when I was wondering who could hold me down, Ye-Eun, Ina, and Daisy activated their gods’ powers and grabbed ahold of me. There really was no one you could trust in the world.
In the end, my wedding was planned at the age of twenty-three. If possible, I wanted to marry Loretta first after freeing her from the dungeon, but that would only mean I was ignoring Hwaya and the rest.
After careful consideration, I decided to hold two weddings, one on Earth and one in Fairy Garden. That way, Loretta would also become a bride.
While the wedding at Fairy Garden only had Fairy Garden’s guild members to worry about, the wedding on Earth was God’s wedding, so it was difficult to hold it in peace. Because of it, the brides seemed to be looking forward to Fairy Garden’s wedding more.
“Loretta unni, can you make my mom an explorer! She wants to come!”
“Don’t make things more difficult. Also, I’m only seventeen, so don’t call me unni.”
Loretta rejected Hwaya’s request to make her family members dungeon explorers. Instead, she created a ‘one-time guest’ system, which only allowed guests into Fairy Garden. It was a power fitting of the Dungeon Lord. Thanks to her, the brides’ families could visit Fairy Garden too.
The wedding day arrived in the blink of an eye. For both weddings, we only needed to prepare the wedding hall, since we only needed to invite Revival’s members and the brides’ families.
As for me, I was hiding in the corner of Fairy Garden.
“Shin, why are you hiding?”
Ye-Eun, who was in her wedding dress, discovered me quickly. Seeing Ye-Eun in her pure white dress, I realized once again how beautiful Ye-Eun really was.
“Ye-Eun, you look really beautiful.”
“Eh. Ehehehe. Really? Hehe, you look cool too Shin! Like you always do!”
Ye-Eun smiled brightly. She was especially cute when she smiled.
“So, why are you hiding?”
But she didn’t let me off. Damn.
“… I’m too scared to see my mother-in-laws’ faces.”
Six brides. I knew what position I was in in the world, but that didn’t make the situation any better. I could only imagine what my mothers-in-law were thinking. For example, if Yua were to marry someone with several wives…
“You might be scared, but don’t destroy Fairy Garden because of it.”
“Sorry, I got worked up.”
That was from rage rather than fear, but thankfully, Ye-Eun didn’t know my inner thoughts.
“Even if you say mothers-in-law, only Hwaya unni’s mother and my parents are here.”
Ludia, Loretta, and Daisy had all lost their parents, and Licorice didn’t have one, to begin with. As a result, only Ye-Eun’s parents and Hwaya’s family were in the bride's’ guests. Not to mention, Ye-Eun had not stayed in touch with her parents for a long time and only called them because it was her wedding.
Ye-Eun’s parents were treating her like a monster since the day Ye-Eun awakened as an ability user, but once they saw Ye-Eun in her dress, I was sure they would change their mind. Though, it might be too late to mend their relationship.
“I just have a lot on my mind. I’ll be there in time, so don’t worry and go get ready.”
“Un! Uhuhu… Eit.”
After laughing innocently, Ye-Eun gave me a peck on the cheek before turning around and running. She was undoubtedly embarrassed.
The moment Ye-Eun disappeared, Ludia popped out from the ground like she was waiting.
“Shin, there’s a lipstick mark on your face.”
“Your ability to control the earth sure improved, huh.”
“I had to get stronger to be with Shin.”
Ludia said with a small smile, while I wiped the lipstick mark off my face.
“Did you guys do a baton pass?”
“No, I came a while ago, so I was waiting for you guys to finish talking. Didn’t you notice?”
“There’s too much power concentrated in Fairy Garden right now. If I start releasing my power, it’s sure to collapse, so I’m holding it in. So unless someone bears any hostility towards me, I can’t notice anyone hiding. …Loretta and Hwaya aren’t hiding nearby too, right?”
“They wanted to come with me, but I stopped them. It would have been troublesome if all brides disappeared.”
I laughed out loud at Ludia’s words. She then spoke firmly.
“Shin, thank you for killing the Demon Lord.”
“I only did what I needed to do.”
“Then I’ll think of it the way I want to. That you killed him for me. I’m happier that way and it makes my heart flutter more.”
For a moment, I became lost for words. Ludia slowly approached me and leaned against my arm.
“Thank you for accepting a spoiled girl like me as your bride.”
“But… Is that okay with you? After this, I’ll be traveling countless dimensions.”
“I’m fine as long as Shin’s there.”
Ludia’s voice carried no hesitation.
“I finally learned to be honest with myself. I’m going to do what my heart’s telling me to. I don’t want to regret anything.”
“… It feels like everyone is maturing except me.”
Ludia chuckled at my complaint and dug closer towards my shoulder. Seeing her beautifully arranged hair being messed up, I let out a sigh.
“You’re going to have to get your hair done again.”
“It’s no big deal. That’s my honest feeling right now.”
“… I’m going to start with Luka continent first. I have to transmit back the land that came to Earth.”
“Un. Huhu, thanks to my husband, I’ll be able to hold my head up in front of my people.”
Ludia spoke proudly. After staying still for a bit, she kissed my cheek and got off. Then, staring straight into my face, she asked.
“There’s something you need to do here, right?”
“Good, then I’ll take the others with me. Make sure you come back straight away once you’re done.”
“Ah, wait, Ludia! Dear Husband, me too, me tooooo!”
“I also, with Kang Shin… Ut, don’t grab me. W-With Kang Shin, with Kang Shin…!”
Ludia dragged away Licorice and Daisy, who were hiding gods knows where. Even if they weren’t resisting at full strength, to be able to drag them away… Just how strong did she get while I wasn’t watching!?
[They’ll make fine wives. They’re all so beautiful too.]
“I think so too, Peruta.”
Hearing the voice ringing in my ear, I answered without being surprised.
[This will be the last time I talk to you like this, huh.]
“I guess so.”
[Leaving worlds' powers in their original form, that was a good decision. Because of it, you'll be able take the next step.]
I shrugged and retorted.
“Take the next step… I don’t know if there’s even a foothold to take my step, but… that’s nice to know.”
[I’ll look forward to meeting you again someday. Things are interesting over on this side too.]
“More interesting than what I experienced in the dungeon?”
[You think something like the dungeon is even remotely comparable?]
“… Ha, there’s just no end to it, is there? Do I have to transcend the physical plane if I want to cross over?”
Hearing my complaint, Peruta laughed heartily.
[You’re most of the way there, so you don’t have to think of it as something so far-off. Well then, I’ll be going now. I’m sure we will meet again one day.]
“When the time comes, spar with me with your real body.”
[I’ll be looking forward to it.]
I felt something snap off. I could feel that the connection between Peruta and me vanished completely. It made sense. Now, my body wasn’t too different from Peruta’s. There was no way he could manifest in my body.
“Sherafina and Ciara, they both had a huge misunderstanding until the end…”
They had both tunnel-visioned badly. If they had widened their sights by just a bit, they would have been able to grasp what was on the other side. If they did, they would have been able to achieve what they sought isntead of having to resort to their destructive and wasteful plan.
I let out a small sigh.
“By the way, Peika.”
Peika immediately appeared. Because Fairy Garden empowered elementals, Peika manifested in her beautiful girl form. Today was a joyous day. Peika also looked extremely happy.
I asked her.
“Why didn’t you answer Ciara?”
[What are you talking about, Master?]
“Before she died, she was looking for you. Why didn’t you answer her?”
Peika tilted her head. She opened the parasol she was holding in her hand, covering the sunlight shining down. As she looked at me, she seemed a bit teary.
[I don’t know what you mean, Master.]
[… Suppose there’s a really really reaaaaaaally old elemental. Among the countless stars and countless worlds, she was born in an especially old world at the same time as the stars.]
[Even an existence like that would naturally perish. That’s because eternity isn’t allowed for an elemental without a master.]
“Is a master required?”
[Un. Elementals are incomplete by nature. They become complete by meeting their master and forming a contract. Just like I did, Ruyue did, Sharana did, and Dortu did.]
Peika increased the size of her parasol and covered me with it too.
[The elemental thought, ‘I want to continue living.’]
[The best way to achieve that was to make her master live forever, the master that she would be fated to meet one day!]
[So the elemental began to think about how to make her master live forever. Eventually, she realized the best way to achieve it.]
As I already knew what that method was, I gave the answer as I stared at Peika.
“To concentrate all worlds’ powers to that master?”
[Un. That was the safest, most risk-free way.]
“Safest, most risk-free…”
[That elemental was extremely powerful. In reality, she was no different than the star’s representative. It was the same for other stars’ powers. Right, it wasn’t particularly difficult.]
[The elemental set her plan into motion. She connected worlds together and waited for her rightful master to be born. She then picked a suitable person to bestow her power to and made that person connect her with her master.]
“Why didn’t that elemental give her power to her master? Why did she go through an intermediary step, Ciara?”
[The talent of the master the elemental was waiting for was too high. He couldn’t be controlled easily unlike that Ciara girl.]
[But that only made the elemental happier. Nothing brings more joy to an elemental than having an excellent owner. With all the plans she made, even if a slight miscalculation occurred, she believed she could bring about the result she wanted. So then the elemental formed a contract with her master.]
At that moment, Peika made a small smile before continuing.
[But that elemental made one mistake. She had never formed a contract before, so she didn’t know how deep the contractual bond was or how much influence it would have on her. Even if she did, she would surely underestimate it. After being alive for billions of years, she had come to look down on almost everything.]
“That was the problem, huh.”
[Her plan continued as planned, but the elemental began to grow weary. ‘At this rate, Master might become sad.’ ‘What if Master dies before the plan finishes?’ So she gave him the power of lightning that was only permitted for her and even helped him learn about a powerful mana. …She also bit women who tried to seduce her master. Stupid things like that.]
I ended up just laughing.
[The elemental was just a fool. She lived for billions of years, but she only really began to live after being connected to her master. Through him, she came to realize many things.]
“Quite a cute elemental, huh.”
[In short, the priority of the elemental changed. Between her unhappiness and her master’s unhappiness, she realized her master’s unhappiness pained her more.]
Peika finished as she reddened her cheeks.
[An elemental like that would have wanted to hide her true self because she wouldn’t want her master to hate her.]
“So that’s why she ignored Ciara’s dying call.”
[A psychopathic woman like her wasn’t worth her master’s smile.]
With that, Peika dropped her head. She looked like a kid who was waiting to get punished.
Looking at her, all sorts of thoughts crossed my mind. Even though I expected this to happen from the day I fought Lilith, hearing the truth from Peika’s words still shocked me greatly.
I let out a deep sigh.
“I’m going to need your help a lot from now. So let’s do our best together.”
Peika threw away her parasol and jumped into my embrace. All sorts of thoughts filled my mind, but this was the best outcome. Unlike Ciara, I couldn’t just push away Peika because I wanted to.
Elementals were like that. Just like how I became more important to Peika than herself.
When I was consoling her silently, Peika carefully lifted her head and asked.
[Then Master, can I be the seventh bride?]
It seemed my troubles wouldn’t end any time soon.