Solo Max Level Newbie Chapter 190

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Chapter 190: How a Veteran Climber Does a Dual Class Change (2)

Time seemed to stand still, and space itself appeared cut off from cause and effect.

The monochrome world of the vision.

In that place, Makedros, with his laughter entirely faded, gazed at Jinhyuk.

“You’re definitely not…. an ordinary human.”

“That’s what I’ve been saying. Listen and decide.”

Jinhyuk shrugged his shoulders.

“Let me ask first. How do you know my name?”

“‘Rotting Heart’ is the name of the Demon King I serve. This should answer all of your prospective questions at once.”

As the familiar nickname popped up, Makedros’s brow twitched.

It couldn’t be unknown.

How could it be possible not to know one of the ten Demon Kings in the demon world?

‘The offer made to me in the 5th stratum is coming in handy now.’

He had been coerced, rather than invited, to become an apostle of that demon on the 5th floor.

Back then, it was nothing but a nuisance that just irked him, but now it turned out to be quite handy.

“……So you have a direct connection with the Demon King…….”

“That’s right. I am the ‘Black Apostle’ who serves him. I came here originally to gather more information on the relic.”

Jinhyuk nodded slightly towards one of the stiff people.

Melena, associated with the Mage Association.

Makedros, being a demon himself, couldn’t miss the unique magical energy emanating within her.

Moreover, a special class ‘Black Apostle’ under the guardianship of a Demon King acts as the Demon King’s limbs, climbing the tower and accessing various information about the demon world faster than anyone else.

“Indeed…….”

Makedros nodded his head as though convincing himself.

If the subject were a Black Apostle, then knowing his real name through ‘Rotting Heart,’ as well as the location of the sacred relic that could unseal the sealed Demon King.

All of these points made sense.

However.

“Why would the apostle of Rotting Heart tell me the location of the sacred relic? There’s no benefit to your kind if you unseal the one I serve?”

The political landscape of the demon realm was quite complex, and the Demon King Makedros served was not allied with the ‘Rotting Heart’.

Of course, Jinhyuk was well aware of that fact too.

“That’s why I’m telling you.”

Jinhyuk put on a calm expression, with a hint of a sly smile as a bonus.

“As you know, our side’s Demon King has no interest in rankings or competitions. So much so that even the Mages wouldn’t work for our Demon King, right?”

A Demon King who would rather indulge in amusement with a player made a Black Apostle out of a seemingly decent one.

The Demon King ‘Berial’ with the nickname ‘Rotting Heart’ had such a disposition.

All the pieces fitting together perfectly, Makedros finally cast aside his doubts.

Such information could truly only be known by an insider, unless the other party was a Black Apostle.

“This is interesting. So you want to switch sides?”

“It seems like the Demon King you serve is very active. I like a master with ambition. I will give you the location of the relic; in return, promise me a future.”

“Promise you a future… Are you asking to become our side’s Black Apostle?”

“That’s right. It won’t be easy with the contract, but there is a way.”

“I’m listening.”

“If you can get into ‘the Distorted Rift’… then you can break the contract with the Demon King, so just give me the key to enter it.”

[Distorted Rift].

Yes, that was the key.

Locked in a rift where the concept of space-time is completely different, one would be trapped for at least a year.

An apostle who has not received direct magical energy for more than three months will inevitably be forcibly disconnected from the Demon King.

‘…I’ll use this fact to get a ticket into the rift.’

Jinhyuk barely calmed his trembling heart.

A rift rich in magical energy in itself was an amazing opportunity.

It was a place to improve skill proficiency and also home to experience-rich monsters and extreme survival conditions that would serve as a foundation for growth.

‘Go on, take the bait.’

It’s not a bad deal, right?

One side gets the long-awaited location of the relic.

The other side gets the reward for sharing that information.

To top it off, it also avoids the fighting and strife in this place—it’s killing three birds with one stone.

Of course, for me, it’s three birds with one stone.

“…….”

After a moment of thought, Makedros asked again.

“You want to enter the rift willingly? It’s a place even demons are reluctant to visit.”

“To swim in deeper waters, one must endure hardship.”

“Hahaha! Such an attitude pleases me. Granted, you were chosen for being so shameless and wicked.”

Makedros let out a belly laugh at Jinhyuk’s cheeky response; the frank and direct tone seemed to hit the spot.

“Thanks for the compliment. I’ll take it you’ve accepted.”

Jinhyuk grinned.

But.

“No.”

Makedros shook his head.

It was not a gesture of refusal but rather….

An expression full of expectation and curiosity, wanting something else.

“Even if you know a lot, I can’t accept it until I see your abilities directly.”

An opportunity to become the direct subordinate of a Demon King.

Such an opportunity couldn’t be given just on the basis of eloquence alone.

Without a demonstration of matching valor, nothing could be promised.

“I’ve been using my body for too long; can’t we do this another time?”

“Unfortunately, there’s no next time. If you fail to impress, you’ll pay the price for ruining my plans.”

Failure, then, means death.

It’s a similar logic to the damned companies and their self-righteousness. Comical from the outside, but spine-chilling when faced with it.

“Can I ask you one thing before we start?”

“Of course.”

“First, how secure is this barrier-like thing you have up now?”

“No one, including the administrators, can pry into here. Not a sliver of magic can leak out. So you don’t need to worry about that part.”

Makedros shrugged.

“But why ask?”

“It’s nothing big.”

Just.

“I just don’t fancy my abilities being caught by annoying folks.”

Normally… considering the scrutiny of those Egyptians, I would not have planned to use this ability.

But, given the situation, it’s different.

“It sounds as if you’d be bowing down if it weren’t for such restrictions.”

He looks unconvinced.

I mean, without any proof, it has to look that way.

In that case.

A little demonstration will suffice.

To show how foolish he was for threatening and testing one with arrogance.

Suddenly.

Colors overlay the monochrome world.

‘This is…?’

Shock rushed through Makedros’s pupils.

It was faint but clear.

A sense of dissonance was felt within the juxtaposition of black and white.

This shouldn’t be possible.

A power capable of influencing a perfectly controlled barrier.

“You… exactly.”

Makedros’s words trailed off unfinished.

[Activating Unique Ability ‘Sanctuary of the Sun.’]

[Activating Unique Ability ‘Heaven’s Demon Imperial Technique.’]

Both abilities manifested.

[‘Black Sanctuary’ is established.]

Kukukukukuku!

The realm of perception was transformed.

***

Black Sanctuary.

It refers to a sacred place that remains untainted by any external factor.

And.

This place, constituted of a black sun and deserts…

Was more than capable of weighing down the enemy like the depths of the sea.

“Do you still need proof of my qualification?”

Jinhyuk asked.

His question carried the weight of Mount Tai.

“……”

Makedros maintained a rigid silence, his face hardened.

Before the sanctuary was established, it felt like indulging in a human charade.

After it was established, he was reevaluating his entire concept of Jinhyuk.

‘Such a human being exists…’

Just one step.

One step further into this world and he might be swallowed by the black sand, never to escape.

This world was so beyond normal comprehension that it incited such thoughts.

‘If I went all out, I could probably kill him….’

But that’s not a test.

It’s a life-and-death struggle.

Besides, the mere thought of expending full effort against a human for a chance of victory was preposterous to Makedros.

“Your qualifications are sufficient. Actually, at this point, it would be proper for me to ask you to join us. I’ve seen several Black Apostles, but among them, you are truly exceptional.”

His words were sincere.

Such was his desire for the human before him.

If such a powerhouse became their ‘Black Apostle,’ they could collect the relics in one fell swoop, revive the Demon King, and….

Once again.

Yes, once again, attempt to reach the summit of the tower.

Makedros dissipated the magical power he had amassed in an instant.

Simultaneously, Jinhyuk also dismantled the ‘Black Sanctuary.’

‘Foolish apostles who changed classes… Damn. This is going to be troublesome….’

A brief concern crossed his mind, and…

Woowooong!

The world, dyed black, returned to its original state, and the halted time began to flow once again.

With that…

The deal was concluded.

Makedros stretched out his hand toward Jinhyuk.

Suddenly, a black key had appeared in his hand.

“Here’s the key you wanted.”

[Key of the Rift]

Difficulty of Acquisition: Inestimable

Description: A key that allows you to enter the rift, possessed only by a very select few from the upper echelons of the tower. Not only is it extremely difficult to come by, but even if one obtains the key, locating where the rift is, is another challenge entirely.

He finally had the key in his hands.

All because he said the right words.

There’s no feeling quite like everything clicking together perfectly, like cogs in a machine.

‘I was slightly worried he’d insist on fighting.’

If he had not been able to copy an ability almost divine, Makedros would have undoubtedly launched his attack.

By his standards, Jinhyuk ‘had use,’ far surpassing any decent boss.

With all affairs concluded, Jinhyuk looked around.

Having left behind only the black key, Makedros had vanished.

All that was left was to tend to the exhausted players from the Rockhead Guild and to leave this place.

Just then.

“Master, are you alright? That beast earlier…”

“Did a human really defeat that monstrous creature?”

Wooyeong and Karakal rushed over in a single leap.

Considering the overwhelming presence of Makedros, it was impressive that neither had lost consciousness in the midst of it.

‘Well, they are my chosen subordinates; they ought to be this skilled.’

Grinning, Jinhyuk lightly patted the shoulders of Wooyeong and Karakal.

“I’ll tell you later. For now, take care of the players first and head to the entrance of the maze. Then, come back without drawing attention.”

It was essential to step into the spotlight after leaving. He had been operating in a mask to boost the brand value of Unknown, after all.

However…

There was still one matter immediate concern.

Shortly after everyone had left, Jinhyuk murmured into the void.

“I know you’re watching. Is there something you want to say to me?”

Suddenly.

Pzzt!

Sparks sizzled in the void, as if they had been waiting for the cue.

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