I Became a Ruined Character in a Dark Fantasy-Chapter 42

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Chapter 42

With a clunk, the tavern door opened, and two pleasantly drunk men walked out arm in arm.

"I just wanted one more drink."

"Come on, if we do that, your wife is going to beat me to death. She already lights up like a torch whenever she sees me."

"She should be asleep with the kids by now. Come on, yeah?"

"Let's call it a night. There's the assembly tomorrow, we should rest up."

Two drunk men, Dawson and Tom moved on, their steps steady.

The citizens of Agel Lan were not particularly afraid of the night. Thanks to good public safety and regular purging of monsters, the nights were considered safe.

"Right. That's tomorrow? How could I forget?" Tom exclaimed at Dawson's reminder.

"That's what I'm saying, don't just think about drinking. Think constructively like me. Once the gates open, let's linger near the inner castle walls. Who knows, maybe they'll give us some jerky this time."

The often-held assemblies were meaningful not just for the nobles but also for the commoners, as important decisions were announced afterward. Usually, grains like wheat or barley, or even bread, were distributed afterward.

"It's sudden, though. Could it be about that family?"

"Probably. There's been rampant talk about the new head of the Riurel family being mad. A mad paladin, they say. I wonder what His Majesty is thinking."

"She killed her corrupted brother with her own hands. I'd be out of my mind too."

"Even so, a corrupted one in Agel Lan? That's just absurd... Huh?" Dawson suddenly cocked his head.

Releasing his arm from Tom's, he blinked, "Are my eyes playing tricks on me...? The moon...."

"The moon, what?" Tom, puzzled, looked up at the sky.

Between the parted ashen clouds hung a vivid crimson full moon. It was unusually large, making even the surrounding clouds take on a purplish hue. Tom's eyes gradually relaxed as he stared at the moon.

"I've never seen the moon so big before... Don't you think... Dawson...?” As Tom mumbled dazedly and turned his head, a sense of reality washed over him like cold water.


Dawson's body was arching backward in a bow-like shape. His mouth was unnaturally wide open, and his eyes swirled with purple.

"Da, Dawson. Ar.. are you okay? Your back is..." Tom's eyes widened in horror.

The sound of bones shifting echoed from Dawson's joints, and the skin on his cheeks began to tear under the strain of an unnaturally widening jaw. Teeth fell out, replaced by large, emerging fangs.

Crunch, crunch.

Dawson's back snapped completely backward. His hands touched the ground, joints bending in the wrong direction as his muscles bulged. At that moment, as black tentacles began to emerge from his abdomen, Tom's legs gave out, and he collapsed.

"What is this...?" Tom barely managed to mutter as his groin grew wet.

"Argh... Gurgle...."

A beast-like breathing sound emanated from Dawson's shadowy mouth. His purple eyes, swirling at a low position, finally rested on Tom. The pupils were slit horizontally.

"A...Ah!" Gulping down his breath, Tom started to flee, rolling on the ground. The moonlight cast an ominous glow on the streets.

Don't look at the moon. Don't look at the moon. The moon...! Tom endlessly repeated in his mind as he sprinted down the street. Behind him, the sound of four-legged running and breathing could be heard. The breath of a beast. A black tentacle brushed his cheek. Just as the breath nearly caught up with him.


Tom, catching the door handle, rolled inside a house. Pressing against the door with his back, he shut his eyes tightly.

Thump! Thump! Rrrr...

The door, trembling as if about to break, quieted down after a few attempts. The breathing sound slowly receded. Tom's strength finally drained away.

"What on earth is happening...." As he sighed, his gaze inadvertently drifted inside the house. He saw an open window and moonlight shone on the empty bed.

Rustle, rustle, crunch...

The faint sounds finally reached his ears. Tom's gaze slowly shifted. He looked at the shreds of torn clothes lying under the bed. And in one corner, a dark figure was crouched with its head down.

Crunch. Rustle, rustle...

With the eerie sounds, the stench of blood wafted into his nostrils.

"This... can't be happening..." Tom gasped as he muttered like he was losing his mind.

The monster was looking at him. A face that seemed a mix of human and dog, inverted. Its mouth, dripping with blood and flesh, slowly opened. Below it, twisted purple pupils locked onto Tom.

"Dar... ling...?" The dim light of that monster’s eyes shot toward him. The abyss filled with tightly packed fangs filled Tom's vision.



"...!" Ian snapped awake.

A piercing sense of dread and otherness filled him. The air was thick with a stale smell. After absorbing Regis's chaos energy, he could recognize the scent of its minions. Seeing the unnaturally large red moon outside the window, Ian sprang up. A quest window appeared before his eyes.

[The Night of Madness.]

In the game, it was the quest that capped off the first chapter. Though he had been somewhat prepared after talking to Lucia, the reality of it was disconcerting. Until now, quests had changed with the circumstances.

Are there events that happen no matter what? But even so, to do something this foolish...? Even as he thought this, Ian quickly donned his gear and opened the door.

Ding, ding.

An irritating bell sound echoed through the city. It was an evacuation signal indicating the city was under attack.

"Aaack... ugh..."

A faint scream from downstairs quickly subsided. The sound of a beast's breath and chilling butchery noises followed. Ian leaped over the railing down to the lower floor and kicked open a door. Lying sprawled with her neck gruesomely twisted was the body of a Riurel family woman.

Crunch, munch— munch–—Feasting on her was a monster, covered in black fur with long tentacles sprouting from its back. It looked like a hound.


Noticing Ian, the creature turned its head with a growl.

Whoosh— slash—!

Ian's sword, already closing in, sliced through the air sharply. The inverted head was cleanly severed. The hound's body crumpled, spilling dark blood everywhere. The severed head, somewhat recognizable as human, was a face Ian knew. A servant who had tended the gardens and stables.


That's when the commotion upstairs broke out.

Rushing out, Ian saw Mev in her nightgown, entangled with a hound in the corridor. She blocked the hound's jaws with her sword blade, her gaze finding Ian.

"No need for help," said Mev.

Kicking the hound in the eye and forcefully booting its torso, she rolled back and then sprang up again. She caught up with the leaping hound in a flash, her movements resembled a streak of light unlike when she wore armor.

Slash—Her sword skimmed through the hound's wide-open jaws. The hound with its jaws split apart, fell spraying blood.

Looking down at its corpse, Mev murmured, "...Strange. When Vernon became like that, I was so aggrieved."

She turned to look at Ian, who had leaped to the railing, and continued "Now, I don't feel that way. I just want to avenge. To do this to them."

Looking into her deadened eyes, Ian nodded, "...You will."

"Ahh, aaaahh—!" It was then Miguel burst from down the corridor.


Three Hounds were chasing him.

Seeing Lucia in Miguel's arms, Ian and Mev, without a moment's hesitation, lunged forward.

Crack— thump—!

As they tangled with the Hounds,

"What in the world... Miguel?!" Philip, armed and stepping outside, widened his eyes at the sight of Miguel running toward him.

Miguel collapsed at his feet, still clutching Lucia, and spoke, "I thought I was going to die... phew... damn it..."

Heaving, a long gash ran down his back to his shoulder, made by a hound's tentacle. Philip looked down the corridor, but by then, the situation had already been resolved.

Among the decapitated Hounds, Mev caught her breath and said, "It's a miracle Lucia is alive. There might be other survivors."

"I'll search for them," Ian cut in.

Mev, catching his drift, nodded, "First, get yourself armed."

Mev finally looked down at her own state. Her clothes were practically rags, leaving her almost bare, with scratched wounds on her exposed waist and shoulders bleeding. She could become a burden again.

"...Right. I'll leave it to you," said Mev.

As Mev turned away, she paused to look at Miguel, "Thank you, Miguel."

"...It was the right thing to do, my lord," Miguel replied.

As Mev moved off, Ian brushed past Philip, "Follow me. Miguel, take care of Lucia. And whatever you do, don't look at the moon."

"Ah, understood," said Miguel.

As Miguel nodded, cradling Lucia, Philip who followed behind asked, "What exactly is happening?"

"Agel Lan has become a demonic realm," said Ian.

"A demonic realm...!" Philip sighed, and Miguel interjected, "The whole of Agel Lan?"

"Yes," Ian replied.

"This is madness... I knew my sleep was disturbed for a reason," said Miguel.

"...So, that red moon is corrupting people." Philip's voice was heavy.

Ian's brows furrowed, "Did you look at it?"

"Yes. I felt dizzy and looked away."

"Good that you weren't possessed. The training was worth the effort. Don't keep looking at it," said Ian.

Descending the stairs, Ian glanced at the red moon, "That's not a real moon. It's just a mass of curses. If you keep staring at it, you'll be corrupted eventually."

To Ian, the demonic realm wasn't fully manifested yet. Not being completely cut off from the outside world was proof of that. The red moon was smaller and its curse weaker than in his memory, which had emitted light strong enough to ripple through space.

However, it was enough to corrupt those of low mental strength or unstable inner selves, like the people of the Riurel family, engulfed in sorrow and despair. Ian killed two more Hounds on the first floor and rescued a maid hiding in the storeroom. She was the only survivor.

Amidst the heavy atmosphere, the sound of chaos outside permeated the building. Soldiers shouting not to look at the moon, the desperate footsteps of people fleeing to the castle, and the breath of the hounds chasing, followed by screams and cries. If this was the state near the castle, the area beyond the gates was likely a living hell.

After concluding the search,

"...What is the duke thinking, causing such madness?" Philip suddenly spoke.

Ian replied calmly, "When cornered, smashing the board to start anew can be a good strategy."

"For such a reason? But this cannot simply be overlooked.”

"There's already someone to blame.”

"...You mean, our lord?" Philip asked.

"Probably. With rumors of her madness and her blood turned corrupt, this would be the perfect opportunity to eliminate her.”

"But wasn't she the one who exposed the existence of the corrupt?" "Truth isn't important. What people believe becomes the truth, or what they want to believe."

"That's..." Philip frowned but couldn't deny it. By now, he too had seen enough of the dark ages' true face.

"There's enough time to frame and sway the public. Knowing that the Apostle of Judgment can't ignore injustice.”

"Maybe they're hoping she'll die fighting these monsters,” Miguel chimed in.

Ian nodded, "Even if she survives, public opinion will be against her by then. By that time, there's nothing she can do. The Apostle of Judgement can't harm the innocent."

"They're exploiting the lady's constraints...," said Philip.

"Exactly. ...As long as she remains as the Apostle of Judgment, that is right." Ian's meaningful words narrowed Philip's eyes.

"Are you saying she's become the Apostle of Vengeance... without them knowing?" Philip asked.

"If not, there's no reason for them to make such a self-destructive move," said Ian.

"They haven't considered that I might come to behead them and their minions directly?" A voice came from the staircase. It was Mev, now in armor, who was descending.

"That's what I believe," said Ian.

"Then, let's prove that assumption wrong," said Mev.

"Moreover, adding an unexpected crisis would expose them, wouldn't it? So, I'd rather...." Ian faced her.

"Wish you truly appeared as a demon of vengeance, consumed by madness," said Ian.

Looking into Mev's eyes, he added, "Can you do it?"

Mev's pupils began to carry a chilling red hue, eventually curving into a determined gaze.


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