The Author's POV
Chapter 594: Taking a glimpse of 'his' hell [4]

Coming out from beneath, the black threads gently wrapped around the white orb.

Opening his eyes, Kevin felt his mouth open.

"How should I start?"

Ren's voice echoed throughout the dark void.

After looking at the orb and seeing the reflection, Kevin felt his brow furrow as Ren fell into contemplation. He seemed to be thinking about the current circumstances.

"...Let's see if it's possible for me to completely replace my memories with his."

After uttering those words, Kevin watched as the black threads flung around like wild snakes and attempted to wrap around the orb as quickly as possible.

"Khh..."

Kevin let out a short groan as his hand pulled away from the orb.

Tsss.

What followed after was a sizzling sound. Lowering his head, Kevin caught sight of Ren staring at his hand which had become transparent.

Taking a moment to raise his head again, he gazed at the orb's reflection.

"Looks like I can't do that. Whatever Kevin put on me sealed some of my powers..."

Silence ensued after he uttered those words. After which, Kevin watched as Ren kept his gaze on the orb, and the same scenario from before replayed.

Time seemed to have passed by in the blink of an eye as the memories shifted, and it was now the fourth time that Kevin was staring at the same image of Ren standing up from his bed, in what seemed to be the Lock's dormitory.

"Hm?"

This time, a change to the scenario happened.

Ding Dong.

The door suddenly rang.

'What? Why did the bell suddenly ring?'

Taking aback by the sudden events, Kevin was unsure of how to react. Having watched the scenario well over four times, he had never seen this happen in teh past.

Kevin's attention was soon taken away by a subtle pull of his lips.

Opening his mouth, Kevin spoke through Ren's mouth.

"...As expected, you can't let this happen, can you? Without me, all hopes of defeating the demon king are null."

What followed after his words was the sudden appearance of a man in a blue jacket. He was holding onto a small box which Ren took and brought with him inside of the room.

After which, he looked through the contents and eventually pulled out an unfamiliar red book.

'That...'

Kevin instantly recognized the book in Ren's hands.

How could he not? It was the same book he had used back when Ren was in danger in the past.

"Oh? What an interesting book."

Focusing his attention back on the reflection, Kevin was able to see what was written in the book. It was his life.

'As expected, it's the same.'

...and it was from there that Kevin was able to confirm his suspicions.

Time moved forward, and now, with the aid of the book, Ren no longer died during the Hollberg incident as he did in the past. He managed to survive.

Kevin felt interest arise from within his body.

"Can this be enough to stop the loop?"

Kevin mumbled out loud through Ren's body.

But...

"Doesn't look like it."

Time passed, and Ren once again died. This time, he died during the inter-academy tournament. He made it a bit further, but he still died.

"...This won't do."

The same scene repeated itself once again. This time, the red book appeared in each scene.

Clank. Clank.

Reaching out for the orb once more, Kevin felt his mouth open as he muttered.

"I think I've got an idea of what I should do..."

Black threads once again started to form around the white orb upon reaching out for it.

This time, they were a lot less than before. Nevertheless, they were still many.

"A red book, huh? Is this the only thing, or have you left more?"

Kevin mumbled through Ren's mouth.

Locking his eyes onto the red book, the black threads gently wrapped around the white orb.

"...This might work."

Thinking of something, Kevin felt Ren's brows relax. After that, he stared at the reflection on the orb.

"Since you've received a book that outlines exactly what Kevin is doing, it stands to reason that his altered memories have to do with a book. How about an author entering his own book? This would reduce the possibility of you discovering that your memories have been tampered with, and I won't have trouble giving him the power of foresight..."

Trying to wrap around the orb, more black threads emerged from beneath it with each passing second. Soon, a black cacoon formed in front of Kevin's vision.

"Since I have only a limited amount of power, I can't add too many details to his memory. Nevertheless, it shouldn't be a problem. Right now, my priority is making sure that he does what I want, and that is...have Kevin kill the Demon King."

Removing his hand from the orb, Kevin felt his body take several steps back.

Carefully observing the orb, Kevin once again felt his mouth open.

"Trial one. Begin."

Following his words, the black threads revolving around the orb started to scatter and Kevin was once again able to see what was reflected inside of the orb.

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'It's different.'

It was from this point that Kevin noticed that compared to the previous versions of the loops, Ren's actions were different.

Rather, they were far too different from that of the Ren he knew.

'...What is he doing?'

Going around places collecting all sorts of items, and interfering with certain events in the past such as the Hollberg incident, the inter academy tournament...Kevin watched as Ren slowly started to get more and more powerful.

Soon, his name became known by everyone in the world, and he was hailed as humanity's savior.

...Only for everything to go dark and the loop to restart out of nowhere.

'What happened?'

Kevin wondered to himself as he continued to gaze at the orb.

'Why did the loop suddenly restart? Ren was definitely extremely powerful.'

"Another failure."

Halting his thoughts, Kevin felt the top ends of his brows furrowed tightly.

While he opened his mouth, Ren's voice echoed throughout the dark space.

"...He got greedy, and his meddling resulted in Kevin becoming weak and eventually dying. A short oversight on my end."

'What?'

He placed his hand on the orb once again.

"Trial one, failure. Subject meddled too much resulting in Kevin and the others becoming too weak and inevitably leading to his death and their death."

Black threads once again rose from beneath the orb, wrapping around it.

"Trial two. I need to make a change in the subject's personality. If he is too smart or ambitious, he will derail from the plotline I have set up for him like the last trial. For that to happen, I decided to make some adjustments to his previous life personality."

"He will come from a world where magic does not exist, and is a total loser that is rejected by society. His only ambition will be to live a happy life and in order to do that, he must make sure that he thoroughly follows the plotline. Having him adopt this mindset, I will be able to better control his actions."

The more Kevin felt his mouth speak, the more the black threads that emerged from the ground.

Clank. Clank.

The rattling sound coming from the chains became more intense as time passed.

"But that's not enough. His actions for growth will inevitably lead to a change in the plotline. A pawn is necessary. One that would force him into the specific route that I want him to go..."

Clank! Clank!

The rattling sound coming from the chains became more and more powerful with each passing second. It was clear to Kevin that Ren was nearing his limit.

"Lastly, I need to ensure that he stays alive. Coming from a world without magic, he will be inexperienced and will have a high chance of dying. When the time comes, I need something to make him more decisive. The only thing that comes to m—!"

CLANK! CLANK!

Out of nowhere, the chains that were rattling shook with a wild force and Kevin felt his body get flung all the way back.

Letting go of the orb, the black threads that were wrapping around it, dissipated till only a few remained.

After which, the familiar scene began to replay on the white orb.

'It's once again different.'

Paying close attention, Kevin was once again shocked to see the scene change. However, if there was one thing that particularly caught his interest, it was that...

'He's much closer to the Ren that I know.'

The way he talked and moved.

He resembled a lot like the Ren that he knew well.

Slowly, Kevin watched as Ren left the academy and headed out for what seemed to be the black market. After that, he came into contact with what seemed to be a broker. Talking with him for a bit, he proceeded to head to a dungeon facility.

Clank. Clank.

And it was then that Kevin felt his body move once again.

Clank. Clank.

Followed by the rattling sound, Kevin felt his hand press against the orb.

"Red desolation."

He only said two words, but it was enough for Kevin to understand what they meant.

'That's the name of one of the <F> ranked dungeons on the list.'

Most shockingly, Kevin watched as Ren chose that exact dungeon.

There were sand dunes everywhere, and the land was cracked. Marching through the dungeon, Kevin watched as Ren fought against monsters and trained himself. It was only after a while that he spotted several people lying down on the ground in the desert.

They seemed to be a mercenary group.

In an attempt to help them, Kevin watched their bodies eventually start to convulse and they ended up dying.

'Mindbreaker curse.'

Familiar with the symptoms the mercenary group experienced, Kevin was able to tell with a glance how they died, and it was then that he came to the conclusion that there was a demon inside the dungeon.

Ren also came to the same conclusion, but before he could do anything about it, a sandstorm engulfed him. The only thing Kevin saw in the orb was an endless amount of sand.

Kevin was once again able to see what was happening only after Ren entered the eye of the storm. A massive castle appeared in the distance at that point.

'What is he doing?'

Shockingly, Kevin watched as Ren approached the castle and entered.

'Why did he enter the ca—"

"Good."

Cutting Kevin, he felt his mouth open as Ren's voice echoed.

'What good?'

His words caused Kevin to be even more confused.

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Before he could even make out what was going on, Kevin spotted a black humanoid figure sitting on a throne. Staring at Ren with an amused look on his face, he began to toy with him. Ren did try to put on a struggle, but it only ended in enraging the demon more.

'This...make it stop.'

Unable to stand the scene, Kevin wanted to take his eyes away, but he physically couldn't. This wasn't his body.

In the end, Kevin could only watch as the demon toyed with Ren till he died and the loop restarted.

After that, the loop repeated once more, and Kevin watched the same thing happen again. Training in the dungeon and dying right after, repeat.

This was repeated five more times. Fortunately for Kevin, as this was a memory, he only saw short glimpses of them.

'Why aren't you doing anything?'

Regardless, he still couldn't stand seeing the same scene of Ren getting tortured over and over again.

'Do something!'

Just as Ren was once again about to die, Kevin finally felt his mouth open.

"...It took a total of five loops in order for me to recuperate some of the energy I lost, and memorize all of the demon's movements."

Placing his hand over the orb, more black threads shot into the air and wrapped around the orb.

Finally, Kevin saw something change.

"Target likes to play with his subjects. The key is to pretend you don't work anymore and attack his core right when he loses interest in you."

Exactly as he uttered those words, Kevin watched as the same scene unfolded. This time, however, he was shocked to see a change.

Halfway through the torture, Ren pretended to no longer move, and exactly as the demon lost interest, he put up a last-ditch effort and cracked the core.

'It's exactly as he said...'

The astonishment in Kevin's voice did not last for long as he once again felt his hand press against the orb.

CLANK. CLANK. CLANK. CLANK.

Right at that moment, Kevin was stunned to see the chains that were binding him shake even more fiercely than ever before.

It was right there, more sprang from beneath the ground, and clung onto his leg and arms.

Wrapping around his body, Ren was pulled away from the orb.

In any case, what was even more stunning to Kevin was the fact that he felt his lips curl a bit.

"I've succeeded."

Then, feeling his eyelids close, darkness enveloped his body.

"Aaahhhhhh!"

Kevin heard a bloodcurdling scream.

'What's going on?'

Opening them up again, Kevin found himself inside a dark room.

'...What is he doing here?'

Lying down on the ground before him was the same demon from before.

"Ahhhhh!"

He screamed in agony throughout the room as he desperately clung to each part of his body.

"Quiet."

Kevin felt his mouth open. In the instant that his words rang out, the demon that was lying down on the floor stopped speaking.

Raising his head, Kevin felt his eyes meet with the demon.

'This demon...he feels familiar.'

Upon getting a closer look at the demon, Kevin realized that he looked somewhat familiar. He knew that he was the same demon from the orb, but the familiarity actually came from somewhere else. He just couldn't exactly remember why.

In any case, he didn't have much time to dwell on this anymore as the demon's voice rang.

"It's you!"

Kevin watched the demon slash towards him with a bloodthirsty gaze. Sadly for the demon, his attack went right through Kevin and before he could react, Kevin felt his hand rise and he pressed his finger against his forehead.

The demon froze mid-air.

"I don't have much time to waste. I've already used most of the energy I had trying to get a small fraction of my soul to enter your body through your broken core."

Kevin watched as a white glow suddenly enveloped the finger that pressed against the demon.

"Count yourself lucky that I chose you."

"Ahhhhh!"

Right as his words faded, the demon let out another scream and his body arched backward.

'What did he do?'

Kevin wondered to himself as he watched the demon scream for the next minute.

For him to react like this...Ren was definitely doing something to him. Unfortunately, the only thing Kevin could do was watch. The memories didn't allow him to understand what Ren was thinking or doing. He had to figure everything out himself.

"Haaa...haaa..."

Once the screaming finally stopped, the demon dropped to the ground and heavily gasped for air. Throughout the entire time, Kevin's gaze never left the demon.

"Have you come to your senses?"

Kevin asked as his mouth opened.

Supporting his body with his arm, the demon raised his head to look up. It wasn't long before he began to smile.

"...Is what you showed me true?"

'Show? Did Ren show him something?'

Kevin wondered while he felt his head nod.

"It is."

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"Ku,ku,ku,ku..."

Hunching his body over, the demon began to chuckle to himself. Helping his body up, he began to spread his wings.

Once again, his eyes met Kevin's.

"...This is fun. This is very fun."

"I knew you would say that."

Upon uttering those words, Kevin realized that his body was starting to become transparent.

Taking note of this sudden change, the demon asked.

"Is there anything you would like me to do?"

"Yes."

Kevin felt his head nod.

Once again pressing his hand against the demon's head, he slowly opened his mouth and began to speak.

"I want to test something. Go to the Lock, and kill me."

"Eh?"

'What?'

Both Kevin and the demon sounded stunned by Ren's sudden words.

Before the demon could say anything, Ren continued.

"I've left the last remnants of my power inside of your body. You should have no trouble infiltrating the Lock and getting to me."

The more he spoke, the fainter his voice became.

"...Remember. Go there with the intent to kill me. If someone shows up, don't be surprised."

Those were the last words Ren was able to utter before the world once again turned dark and Kevin found himself back in the dark void.

In front of him was the same white orb.

'Eh?'

Taking a look at what was displayed on the orb Kevin was instantly taken aback.

'...This scene.'

Once again, he felt a weird sense of Deja Vu.

Inside the same room from the past, lying on the cold floor with terror-stricken eyes was Ren. Standing on top of him was the same black humanoid figure from a couple of seconds ago.

With his hand raised, he prepared to kill Ren.

But...

Clank.

The door burst open right as the demon was about to kill Ren.

Coming from the other side of the room was a black haired youth with crimson red eyes.

'!!'

His sudden appearance startled Kevin as everything started to connect inside of his mind. But before he could think of anything else, his mouth opened.

"As expected. You weren't happy with what Kevin did, were you? You can't let me die anymore, can you?"

It was Ren.

His words sounded strange to Kevin, but at the same time, he had an inkling of what those words implied.

Feeling his hand extend one more time, Kevin touched the orb and Ren opened his mouth.

"...Took you long enough."

'Took you long enough.'

The demon inside of the orb mimicked Ren's words.

Raising its long skinny arm and pointing it towards Kevin, the black humanoid's figure smile widened.

"This is on you."

'Ku, ku, ku, this is on you.'

"Ukk!"

Grabbing Ren's figure on the floor by the neck, the sadistic smile on the black humanoid figure widened. Staring at Kevin who was on the opposite side, the grip of Ren's neck tightened.

"For your repeated failures in defeating the Demon King and making me go through these endless cycles...I am the sin you created."

'I am the sin you created.'

Licking his lips, the humanoid figure turned its attention back towards Ren and tightened the grip on his neck.

"Uek!"

"...I am the consequence of your actions."

'...I am the consequence of your actions.'

Glaring at the black humanoid figure, Kevin snapped out of it and screamed at the top of his lungs.

"Don't you d—!"

Spurt—!

But it was too late. Before Kevin could do anything, Ren's head exploded into millions of pieces.

"Nooooo!"

Kevin's blood-curling scream rang out.

Not long after, the world started crumbling down.

However, right before the world could completely crumble, the same raspy voice traveled through Kevin's ears.

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"...Never forget. I am the one sin you will never get rid of unless you manage to do what you were created to do."

'…never forget…I am the one sin...you will never get rid of....'

The Author's POV Chapter 594: Taking a glimpse of 'his' hell [4]
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