Soulmancer – Chapter 21: Insight

Demonic power.

Mana and demonic energy exhibit distinct characteristics. While they may appear similar initially, demonic energy possesses a more chaotic nature, distinguishing it from the structured essence of mana. This chaotic attribute is the intrinsic power of demons, akin to the [holy power] wielded by angels. Notably, this power experiences a significant surge, increasing by 20.


The ground was strewn with blood as Daniel unleashed his [Demonic power] and [Demonic Anti-magic], slaughtering more Titan Orcs. Jenna and Izel, standing at the forefront, shared a chilling thought. If it had happened just once, they might have dismissed it as a coincidence. However, the repetition of such events changed the situation.

Jenna’s eyes widened as she closely observed Daniel. “What the… Really?” she exclaimed, breaking the tense silence.


The unbridled dark energy surrounding Daniel swirled more intensely around his body. Although imperceptible to most with naked eyes, Jenna, a seasoned veteran familiar with ‘labyrinth battles,’ could unmistakably sense it. Additionally, through [Flawlation], Izel observed a black outline of tendrils of haze enveloping him, emanating ripples from within, while [Sound Reading] detected frictional frequencies conflicting with the natural order. In conclusion, there was a more abundant flow of concentrated demonic power from Daniel, a deviation from the norm.

“It doesn’t make sense, “Jenna pondered aloud.

“…Yet oddly, it does make common sense,” Izel unconsciously added, their thoughts mirroring each other, both Walkers sharing the same perplexity.

Two powers, demonic and anti-magic, familiar yet distinct, defied the very essence of nature. For a Walker to wield both seemed implausible. If he were an assertive royal demon, their heads would be at risk. No, it wasn’t just that. Even in such a scenario, both Walkers wouldn’t have been able to lift a finger, despite their utmost efforts. With powers, stats granted by the Fortress, and inherent abilities resistant to reset, victory remained an impossibility. This was the shared perspective of both Walkers as they observed the formidable combination of powers and the sly grin on the young demon’s face, seemingly deriving enjoyment from the unfolding battle.

‘Just because he is carefree, he is still a descendant of one of the ancient demon lords.’ Izel briefly nodded and flicked away blood from his sword, signaling the end of the Second Wave as the Titan Orcs ceased their attacks.

Jenna approached Daniel with concern, asking, “What happened to you?”

Daniel, understanding the underlying reason for her question, responded. While other Walkers might have overlooked it, it was apparent that Jenna and Izel were more attuned to the situation.

“I can’t say,” Daniel responded vaguely.

“You can’t say?” Jenna seemed confused.

“I became like this after receiving a new title.”

Hearing Daniel’s answer, Jenna was surprised. “Title? Mid-battle? Is it possible to obtain a ‘Title’ just from fighting Titan Orcs?”

“I’m curious about that as well,” Daniel admitted, equally amazed.

Even Izel, in the far front, listened to their chatter and was surprised. Acquiring a ‘Title’ mid-battle? The blind man had never expected that Daniel could achieve such a feat. No, rather, he was glad he had managed to struggle to gain something that geniuses and superior races could acquire with ease.

[Royal Demon

ᗌ Title.

ᗌ Status: Incomplete.

ᗌ Description: The once-lost and discarded demon has reclaimed his royal blood and his body, now capable of handling intense demonic energy.

ᗌ Note: To fulfill the title, acquire a job-related trait.

ᗌ Demerit: To effectively wield 100% authority and control, acquire a job-related trait. Without it, your mind may go berserk, leading to a loss of reasoning. You’ll be limited to utilizing only 50% of your demonic power.]

[Demonic Power: 86

ᗌ Properly synchronized with Demonic anti-magic.

ᗌ Demerit: Can’t be utilized until charged to 100%. Otherwise, it can’t be properly implemented.]

After reviewing the stats and the newly acquired title, Daniel couldn’t help but let out a despairing laugh. ‘What kind of ridiculous title is this?’ he mused, a mixture of disappointment and excitement filling him as he realized he had regained this reset ‘Title.’ Although its rank and effect had been upgraded, the demerit now seemed horribly unpleasant and was not present before.

As a gentle young demon, he nonchalantly shrugged his shoulders, finding relief in finally acquiring it.

[ᗌ Title: Royal demon.]

A demonic title, possessed exclusively by the ancient demon lord’s descendants, is earned through success in the demon lord’s test at a young age. This fact is known by the High-ranking Hunters, High-rankers, and Ascenders familiar with the system of Eliluam. This also includes Daniel Lan. Northwestern.

‘I need to acquire a demon job-related stat to properly utilize it; otherwise…?’ he thought, contemplating his next move. The plan involved obtaining a ‘runic stone’ post A+ rank dungeon and attempting to acquire the ‘Chains of Ash Bender’ before taking the ‘Job-related trait’ test.

‘Chains of Ash Bender? Where could it be in the first district…?’ he pondered hopelessly. Despite having recently regained this title, he was already strategizing his path to greatness. Recognizing it as a gratuitous gain, he found satisfaction in it.

Well, then…

“Let’s make more blood splashing. I’ve got more royal blood bubbling,” he declared with a grin, smashing both his fists.


“Huh? What?” Jenna remarked, confusion evident in her voice, concluding the monsters were on her end.

“What do you mean, ‘what’?” Daniel retorted.

Izel, returning from the far, bloody front, announced, “Let’s take a break, guys.”


“The wave has ended!”

“What? Really? But I just got a new title that I wanted to try out.” Daniel was instantly disappointed; his shoulder drooped.

“Don’t be too down; you’ll try it later against the Titan Orc Lord.”

At the blind man’s cheerful words and shoulder tap, Daniel’s expression brightened. “Really?”

Izel reassured with nonchalant nods, brushing the bridge of his upper lip.

However, Jenna seemed so weary that she didn’t concern herself with their chatter. She walked to a suitable spot among the run-down rubble. “Yeah, whatever, I’m so stressed. I’m going to meditate, ugh!” she grunted.


“Huh. Jenna, did you see how strong I became?” Daniel approached Jenna, proudly speaking.

Gloomy and physically exhausted from the mid-rank chants she deployed, Jenna didn’t bat an eye at his words. She responded plainly, “Yeah, yeah, I’m proud of you.”

Still brimming with energy, Daniel engaged in conversation with the drained mage, who sat in lotus form, attempting to concentrate and meditate. However, her efforts were interrupted.


“Quit it and rest; don’t add to my damned stress!” She lashed out as if snapping from the incessant ear-buzzing of the young demon’s words.

Rather than growing furious or annoyed, he nonchalantly remarked, “You’re so beautiful when you’re angry.”

“Die!!!!!!!!!” She couldn’t bear it. Nevertheless, a slight fluster crept in.

— &@%#%#%.


Izel smiled as he made his way to the resting spot. A peculiar sense of home welled up in his heart.

* * *

Soon, the demerits of [Demonic Anti-magic] began relentlessly plaguing Daniel. His once-energetic body grew weary and distressed, and he found himself yapping to himself, seemingly hearing the hollow voices of demons.

The blind man sensed Daniel’s struggle and spoke with genuine concern, “Daniel, take a rest and be vigilant for any potential ambush.”

On the ground, the young demon puffed and grunted, mumbling about how his legs refused to move. He reflected on the day’s accomplishments, proclaiming how a great superior being like him had done an exceptional job, gaining unexpected rewards.


The cool night breeze gently caressed his skin, bringing soothing relief to his fatigued body as he sleepily responded to Izel’s words. “Ah,”

Leaning against the rubble that pressed against the run-down clock tower wall, he gazed at the bonfire’s flickering flames in the center of the group. His eyes gradually fluttered closed, and he drifted off into sleep.


Is this the demon supposed to watch for an ambush? Flabbergasted, Izel shook his head with a faint smile. “Ha.” He exhaled sharply, shifting his focus to Jenna, who knelt elegantly a few inches away, checking her status window with an indifferent expression. Inwardly, she couldn’t believe her growth.

“Can we chat for a minute or two?” he requested, his breath forming frosty clouds in the cool night air.


As the wavering light and warmth of the bonfire emanated, the mage flinched to the cold, coating her body in a thin layer of mana. She figured the chill was probably due to the thrill of battle; she had once been exhausted.

“Now?” she remarked, opting to finish recovering her mana and restore her body to its pristine condition.

“Hm. I think now is the most appropriate time,” the blind man insisted.

“I don’t think I can now; I need to take a short nap,” she said, yawning lightly.

“I don’t have a choice either,” Izel tried to convince her, his head facing skyward.


Jenna sidelong glanced at the blind man, who continued to admire the twilight sky despite his inability to see. Her expression betrayed a sentiment suggesting he had no awareness of disrupting her coveted beauty nap. Sensing her bodily responses, Izel sighed, realizing he needed to address the matter at hand before Jenna’s mood soured.

This had been bothering him for a while, and even though he hesitated to ask, he knew this might be his only opportunity to gain insights from such a skilled mage. He contemplated seeking Jane Austen’s advice upon returning to Eliluam, but his curiosity persistently gnawed at him.

The mage wearily released a reluctant exhale. “Alright, but I’ll give you one minute,” she conceded.

“Thanks; the raid is still ongoing, after all,” he politely acknowledged, appreciating her consideration.

In the silent night, a terrible scent of gore and flesh lingered. Despite the ominous surroundings, the night sky remained adorned with vibrant auroras, casting a picturesque scene where every crater was visible. More than a million stars were sprinkled around, dominated by numerous little white pinpricks with occasional twinks that caught the attention of both Izel and Jenna.

Eventually, the blind man broke the silence. “I would love to understand how you exude mana outward, not [Mana-coating], but to feel and observe the surroundings.”

Jenna’s eyes widened at the sudden request. “Huh?”

“Well, it may sound unusual, but if I can learn this from you, it might prove useful in certain situations,” he explained.

“No, that’s not what I wanted to..,” she responded, her cherry-red lips moving again after a light cough. “I just didn’t anticipate someone like you requesting the basics of [Mana Inspection].”


“Really? Basis?”

“Yes, it served as the foundation for every Hunter on Eliluam, following [Mana Blasts] for mage-types and [Basic Swordsmanship] for Knight-types.”

Although she might have been irritated by having her nap interrupted, the mage couldn’t believe her ears. The idea that such a Walker wouldn’t have acquired such a ‘basic skill’ intrigued her. She was also curious about learning without acquiring the registered skills made by the system.

“Honestly, I’m a slow learner. When I was still picking up [Basic Swordsmanship] and [Mana-coating], others had already mastered them. Before I could even grasp [Mana Inspection], I found myself in the Fortress,” Izel explained. Though not entirely true, it was close enough. “So, when I saw you and Daniel wield something unimaginable for an ex-porter like me inside the ‘Barrier’ earlier, I resolved myself to ask.”

“Ah,” Jenna sighed, clearly bored with the lengthy speech. She couldn’t fathom why strong individuals tended to be such blabbermouths when seeking a mage’s insight. What happened to his authoritative voice?

“Quit the long speech already, urghh!” she exclaimed, turning her face away. “I’ll teach you the basics; after all, one minute is almost up.”

“Haah,” Izel scratched the back of his head. “Hehehe.”

‘… He is too humble.’ After the mage finished her thoughts, she took a deep breath and began to explain the process of [Mana inspection].

“There are four stages to accomplish even the basics: [Mentifery], [Flux Control], [Efficacy Equilibrium], and [Highlight].”

As she spoke, she slowly demonstrated each of the four stages to the blind man, starting with [Mentifery].

“Izel, achieving [Mentifery] requires unwavering focus, where you must imagine the actions you want your mana to fulfill,” she instructed, closing her eyes and taking a deep, calm breath.

“…similar to the quick vision when I channel my mana to coat my cloak and body?” he inquired, recalling past experiences with the mystical energy known as ‘mana.’

“Ahem. You could put it like that.” With her magic staff resting on her lap, she opened her mouth again, ensuring he was focused in his seated position.

“After [Mentifery], [Flux Control] comes into play. It involves guiding mana to flow through your mana veins, steadily streaming to every nook and cranny, then traversing through all the layers of your skin.”


Following the latter’s instructions, his mana flowed steadily from his core throughout every nook and cranny. Unconsciously, he sensed that his breathing had become as serene as the sea after a storm, and his heart felt strangely relaxed; even his brain was inundated with Alpha waves. When had he ever felt this soothed before?

“Lastly, [Efficacy Equilibrium]: Equally thin out your mana at the last layer of your skin and slowly expand it through the skin pores.”

As Jenna demonstrated her teachings, her thinned-out mana gently bubbled out from her skin follicles, then expanded in accordance with her [Mentifery] and the quality of her mana. Izel, who observed through [Flawlation] and [Sound Reading], was certain. ‘She’s a prodigy.’ Just which district did she originate from?


‘No, let’s concentrate,’ his thoughts trailed off.


Having grasped [Mentifery] immediately and comprehended [Flux Control], perhaps due to subconscious utilization linked to his ‘Title,’ the bluish-green mana gathered at the final layer of the blind man’s skin. About to flow through his hair pores, it struggled to smoothly thin out and stretch, morphing irregularly between thin and dense. This irregularity was proof that Izel hadn’t mastered the art of properly thinning out his mana.

Nevertheless, he didn’t give up. ‘Almost there,’ he inwardly persisted.

Sweat formed on his cheek as he concentrated intensely. Eventually, he felt his mana passing through his hair pores, but it couldn’t maintain a proper form. Yet, it was definitely [Efficacy Equilibrium]. Despite the imbalance, Izel managed to attempt a ‘Mana Inspection.’ Part of it was the blind man’s concentration, and the other was the acquired ‘Title.’ Still, it would have been impossible without the insights of the female mage.


The irregular mana dissipated, its power detached, lightly tickling his skin and dispersing the air around him. “Huu!” he exclaimed, clenching his fist with a broadened smile. “I guess I need more practice to master it.” His expression wasn’t despondent; instead, resolve and determination emanated from him.

Jenna’s eyes widened in astonishment. She couldn’t believe a human with such apparent incompetence had survived the [Extreme] difficulty. Normally, without witnessing his fight, she would have expected his demise in either his Fortress or Eliluam’s cruel ecosystems. The mage doubted he would die so easily. No, she faintly smiled. ‘He would become a catastrophe that could shake Eliluam when he returned.’

“Come to think of it…” The blind man, as if struck by a sudden epiphany, continued, “What about [Highlight]?” he asked.

“Well, that allows the Hunter, who has perfectly learned the Three Stages of [Mana Inspection], to highlight any presence, locate, identify, and track the target(s) based on one’s mana quality and limit,” Jenna explained, retracting her mana back to her core.

Before the given one minute ended, Izel asked a few more questions, one of which was about [Mana Blasts] and its principles. Jenna did her best to answer. After one minute—or rather, five minutes—the mage sighed deeply, thinking, ‘I overly answered all his damned questions.’ It wasn’t her fault; all his questions were so basic. Despite that, as she explained each answer, she strangely gained insights to improve them. Surprisingly, it was a pretty productive conversation.

“… Thanks for sparing a bit of your nap time. For real, I’m glad; I was about to learn from you,” Izel said, implying he had a conscience.

Seemingly annoyed about the delay in her nap, Jenna stroked her side emerald hair over her right ear and said, “That’s enough; just rest up; we will depart soon.”


As the brisk breeze danced through the crackling bonfire, Daniel abruptly awoke, as though a war had erupted. “ACCCCK!” he exclaimed, bewildered by the warm glow of the fire. It seemed he had been dreaming of a war zone.



He swiftly regained composure upon noticing both Walkers shaking their heads, implying they were no longer surprised. The young demon interjected, “Haven’t you guys finished chatting?”

“Yes, the business took longer than expected,” the mage responded, settling into a meditation for a quick nap.

Addressing the blind man, he questioned, “Why didn’t you wake me up to discuss it together?”

Still feeling drowsy, he murmured self-blame for feeling excessively tired on a raid, speculating whether it was due to the demerit of [Demonic Anti-magic].

“Aren’t you still feeling sleepy? Go back to sleep,” Izel faintly smiled as he positioned himself atop a stack of rubble. Indeed, they seemed to have coincidentally fallen on each other. Settling down, he hoped to take a nap, aiming to alleviate stress and the throbbing in his head, perhaps induced by the prolonged standby of the ‘[Flawlation] Special Blindfold.’

Daniel, without asking further, turned the other way, letting out a quiet “Hmph” as he slowly regained his composure from the clutches of other demerits.

After he quieted down, Izel suggested, “Let’s rest for ten more minutes.”

Although they all knew it wasn’t rational to take such a break during a dire raid, considering the other party’s 80% likelihood of resting to recover from the intense first and second waves and the imminent demerits, it made sense. The Fortress had purposefully allowed 24 hours, indirectly implying the importance of rest during this disgustingly difficult raid. A few minutes weren’t too bad.

“Yeah!” Both of them agreed.

Around the sparkling bonfire, heat slowly spread, and each of them hoped to defeat the ‘Titan Orc Lord’ before the other party and survive.

* * *

Time left: 5 hours, 33 minutes.

As the forest landscape abruptly transitioned into the inner city of Nanzahemir, it became evident that the party had successfully navigated the challenging journey. Observing the awe-inspiring scene of towering clock towers beneath a dark, lustrous sky, each member of the party shared their thoughts.

“Wow, a new landscape? Nice,” remarked a dark-haired female with glasses, dressed in an assassin’s cloak. She took a moment to catch her breath, reflecting on the trials endured within the terrorizing, isolated barrier.

Specifically, it was the barrier distorting the distance to the seamless gate, with multiple routes challenging to uncover without a mage. Luckily, their group included a skilled one.

The blue-haired female mage, holding a magical staff, confidently stated, “I guess that route was the correct one.”

With a sigh of relief, an average-looking young man, slim and athletically built, thought aloud, “We survived…” Before, the seemingly teenager could savor the captivating night scenery

The inner Nanzahemir monsters have started mobilizing.

Please kill the dungeon’s target quickly.

an ominous announcement demanding urgency flashed before their eyes, the former C-rank Hunter, Killy Donahue, a figure resembling an assassin, scowled at the teenager’s hesitant response.

“Hey, boy.”

The teenager flinched. “Y-yes?”

“Y-yes?!” The mage, Tessa Kendall, grimaced at the slow reply. “Fucking ingrate. Responding slowly is unfitting for a D-rank ex-hunter. By now, you should have figured out what she meant.”

“I’m sorry, big sis,” cowered Randell Kinsey, the dealer. “I’ll be ready for battle.”

Mercifully, they clicked their tongues. “Good!”


From the raid’s onset to the present moment, the party exuded confidence. As the second wave of colossal Titan Orcs loomed disgustingly overhead, the ground rumbled.



Blood and flesh splattered all around as the party fought back.

“Hmm. Perhaps the other party presumed to meet might have died in the Barrier, even with a mage.”

“Our dear mage is so smart, even after utilizing [Mana-tracking skill] for the multiple routes and the lucky guess on the last single route. Even luck is a skill, huhuhu.” The Assassins chuckled as she vanished into the wind, simultaneously appearing at each Titan Orc’s sturdy throat with her dragon-tooth-like dagger. Heads fell skyward with the splatter of blood.

As the battle raged on, the number of Titan Orcs had already increased to about a hundred. Although it was a bit harder compared to the First Wave, with the stealthy movement and dagger technique of the ‘Assassin,’ the overwhelming magic of the ‘Mage,’ and the unpredictable fighting style of the ‘Dealer,’ it wasn’t that hard to endure.

“Titan Orcs were just big and tall—they weren’t monsters that were hard to defeat…” Killy Donahue soon trailed off, seeming to swallow back her words as the underestimated monsters’ ‘Adaptability’ traits kicked in.

“Darn it, I jinxed it. I guess that damned admin wouldn’t make a raid too easy.” She said as cold sweat started to form on her forehead.

“You did.” The mage’s eyes narrowed. “I never expected these monsters to be utilizing that right now.”

“Well, it doesn’t matter. Huhu.” The assassin’s chuckle echoed faintly as her hands wielded dual daggers coated in mana, dealing with newly adapted Titan Orcs.

Meanwhile, Tessa Kendall, the leader of the party, racked her brains to come up with an idea to deal with the swarming fully-adapted Titan Orcs.


Recalling the article she had read on the Hunter forum about ‘why no Hunters raided the Titan Orcs labyrinth’, an epiphany struck her. Swiftly, she called out, “Killy!” The assassin materialized, signaling the beginning of a strategy meeting.

Before the meeting unfolded, the assassin issued a directive to Randell Kinsey, instructing him to keep the aggressive Titan Orcs at bay at any cost.

“Randell, your role in this party is to be a decoy. Fight with all your gusto against these giant pigs. Got it?”

“But…?” The teen, momentarily startled, hesitated. Who were they to dictate his role, treating him like a nobody? He had been invited to the fortress just like them.

“You don’t want to,” the psychopathic yet enchanting voice whispered to him.

“Just like I’m whispering to you right now, without any contact, I can end your life swiftly without struggle or pain.”

The ominous voice resonated in Randell’s soul, making him feel the invisible dual daggers that could slash his throat if he disagreed. Bitterly biting his lower lip, ‘Damnit, when did it all go wrong?’ Randell Kinsey swung his longsword, hands tightly clenched around the hilt as he activated his Gear skill

[Activating the Gear skill. ‘Foresense’(D).]

[‘Foresense’ (D) synchronized with Special item ‘Airpod’.]

alongside a special white airpod that shimmers faintly.

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