The Imperial Hunter Chapter 25 - Trembling Giant (4)

Author: Dawn


The startled two devil worshipers instinctively retaliated. Although they yanked the trigger like startled herbivores, the blind threat of stray bullets was high from a gun that fired 30 rounds in just 1.6 seconds. No matter how agile my subordinates were, they couldn’t move faster than a finger’s contraction. However.


The gun didn’t fire. None of the four rounds that the two were holding.


The one who was a little further out got his abdomen first. Almost simultaneously, the waist of the one who was one step closer behind him was bent at a right angle. Kyung-tae, who had hit the one in the back, stepped aside and thrust his elbow in. The satanic worshipper, who had been stabbed in the side, sat down with a suffocating expression. Kyung-tae and his subordinates pushed down the agonizing creatures, who couldn’t even make a sound, confiscated their weapons, bound their hands, and gagged them.

Kyung-tae, who treated the captured two like sacks, measured their weight and showed his subordinates three and four fingers in order. The two subordinates who received the signal swiftly exposed the throats of the helpless devil worshippers with syringes filled with truth serum. According to Kyung-tae’s judgment, three-quarters of the pre-filled amount was injected.

In the meantime, I picked up one of the devil worshipper’s guns.


When I pulled the bolt, an unexploded shell popped out of the breech. I quickly caught it. There were clear traces on the back of the bullet where it had hit. It hadn’t exploded even after being hit. This unexploded shell was the result of the magic I used. I had simply suppressed four tiny ignitions with the spell I had preloaded.


I relaxed my body with a long sigh. I had been tense even though I had expected this outcome. It was the first time I had used magic in close-quarters combat like this, not in a stable environment.

‘It’s a shame that I can’t use this trick for long.’

The first shot. When one shot was blocked, the automatic gun had to retract and advance the striker in an annoying manner. Repeating this process could turn all firearms into scrap metal. Therefore, the ignition suppression I used was a very good trick to block the opponent’s firepower at the lowest cost.

However, this trick was only possible when the opponent’s firearm was within the range of my field – the range of magic power control strength. It became impossible if the distance was far, or if the opponent holding the gun was an ability user with their own field.

I just picked up the unexploded shell that the devil worshippers had thrown away. It was enough to take it as a souvenir.


The two devil worshippers, who had risen to their feet, made a strange noise through their eyes. They drooled with unfocused eyes and were still breathing heavily. My subordinates grabbed the backs of the creatures, who were still too weak to move and held them tightly.

Unlike in Auckland, letting go of the truth serum was a precaution in case these guys were fanatics. They might get into trouble if they screamed without knowing their lives were at stake. I had to accept the possibility of information contamination.

I waited for a little less spittle from the mouths of the satanic worshippers before asking them a question.

“Satanic saints. Which cult are you affiliated with?”

“C-cult? Cult?”

The worshipper seemed to be rolling the word around in his mouth as if he didn’t understand it. His bound comrade responded with a dumb laugh.

“Oh, cult… We are the ‘Servants of Arcturus.'”

The name was unfamiliar to me. I couldn’t possibly know the names of all the arrogant creatures worldwide who belonged to the O7A’s overseas factions. I might not even know about regional task forces or subsidiary cults.

However, from the moment they included the name Arcturus, commonly known as the brightest star in the constellation Boötes, in their group name, it was confirmed that these guys were fanatics beyond doubt. Because this star was the seat of the dark deity for Satan worshippers and the subject of autumnal human sacrifices. Modern Satanic churches, unlike in the past, had long abandoned the traditional rituals dedicated to this sacred star.

“So, you are the ‘Servants of Arcturus.'”

“Yes, that’s right…”

“Are you the only cult in this forest?”


“No? Did other cults come with you? Personnel sent from the UK, perhaps?”

“No, they didn’t… Why don’t you know…? There’s no way…”

“What do you mean I don’t know?”

“Didn’t you see that mist a moment ago, you idiot? We’re not the only ones in this forest… Dark gods are manifesting their powers… Cthunai, Nemiku, Atazoth, Arcturus… Oh, Magick. Glory to Aeonic power, the Holy Virgin, the stars, and the Avengers.”


There were other people here, and as the direct descendant of a witch who had crossed the Atlantic, I had been tense, but I heaved a sigh at the unsatisfying answer.

“Maagickk, Maaaagick, Maaaaagick!!”

The guy kept shouting louder and more excitedly, drooling with wide-open eyes. Then the guy next to him, who had been mumbling, started shouting Magick too. It seemed like one of them had taken a bit too much of the drug. I crushed them both before they could answer or shout any further.


It seemed that these guys in this faction could invoke Magick as if it were the holy chant Om (ॐ). Just by memorizing it, they could enter some mystic realm. (+) [1]

“Clear this side. They’re useless.”

Upon receiving the order, Kyung-tae dragged the guy who had taken too much to the back and shot him in the back of the head. There was a small gunshot followed by a splatter of dark red blood. The lifeless body slumped forward.

I continued to interrogate the one I had kept alive.

“I’ll ask again. Who brought you here?”

“Of course… our leader’s orders, you bastard…”

“Did you come to this forest on your cult’s will, or someone else’s?”

“I don’t know…”

Another drawback of truth serum. The drugs used for truth serum lowered the subject’s cognitive abilities, making it difficult for them to understand complex questions. So, if they gave a ‘don’t know’ response, it was often accepted as it was.

I changed my question.

“Have you heard the name Grace before? I’m talking about the Grand Master of the Order of 7 Angles (O7A).”

“Oh, Grace the Lord Rounwytha… Our beautiful Savior, prophet, and saint… She promised us a thousand-year kingdom… Jealous, aren’t you? Huh? Aren’t you jealous?”

“Yeah, I’m really jealous. Anyway, did that woman tell you to come to this forest?”



Short and simple answers could carry a heavy weight.

“Tell me what she ordered you to do.”

The drugged fanatic started confessing about his religious activities, beginning with the doctrines he knew and moving on to regular gatherings, violence, murder, theft, rape, arson, and other acts that pleased dark gods.

This guy had interpreted Grace’s religious teachings as something she had “commanded.” He seemed to have completely forgotten the context of the questions I had asked earlier.

‘This is why truth serum isn’t used often.’

If the subject was dumb, the use of truth serum became challenging. Highly trained individuals sometimes managed to lie even when drugged. Cross-validation by changing the questions gradually could reveal the truth, but it was a laborious process.

I sighed and strengthened the specificity of my question.

“Tell me what ‘Grace’ told ‘you’ to do ‘in this forest.'”

The clear and emphatic question finally yielded a proper response.

“She told us to… lead the forest’s spirits… to the Acausal Realm where the dark gods reside…”

In the Satanic worship doctrine, the witch had reinterpreted the Acausal Realm as the source of all Magick. Therefore, leading the spirits of the forest to the Acausal Realm could be interpreted as having an impact on the forest’s magical growth.

“So, we… drew the sacred heptagonal star with sacrifices… and offered the lives of sacrifices… to create a path for the spirit of this forest… we made many paths… It was exhilarating…”

“Was it really necessary for the sacrifice to be human?”

As sustenance, humans were no different from other animals. Essentially, a forest that ate humans and one that ate animals have the same meaning. Did they really need to endure the practical risks of human sacrifice?

However, this was a foolish question.

“Did you need human sacrifices?”

The Satanic worshipper, intoxicated by the drug, looked at me with a dazed expression.

“Are there… beings other than humans… in the world?”


Yes, these were devil worshipers. People who had lost some sense of common sense.

Perhaps I should consider human sacrifice as the witch’s own karma for encouraging religious fanaticism. Even I was sometimes pulled by the organization’s momentum.

This was why organizational culture should be rational.

“That’s enough about that. Did Grace give you any other instructions?”

“Yeah. We will receive blessings… blessings, oh, blessings. My soul will be dyed with Aeonic power…”

That was not something she ordered.

But it was not an entirely irrelevant statement. From the flow of his thoughts, it was likely that he also heard the content when he received the instructions. In that case, I could roughly understand Grace’s hidden motives.

‘In the end, these are also sacrifices with a different meaning.’

Being blessed with Aeonic power meant, in terms of phenomena, one of two things. Contracting a unique cancer or awakening psychic abilities with an open soul circuit. It could be both, but if you got cancer, you were going to die anyway, so there was not much difference.

Let’s assume Kyung-tae’s hypothesis was true. If the circuit was opened, a gifted individual was born, and if cancer was contracted, there would be cancerous masses left behind.

Magic power cancer continued to proliferate even if the parent organism died. The nourishing masses, which constantly fatten themselves, were the ‘living’ nutrients suitable for the forest that perceives dead sacrifices as nourishment.

Taking it a step further, a real maze where people who have survived were captured would be completed. A gradual understanding of the prey. There was no guarantee it would work, but from Grace’s perspective, it was worth trying.

So, this could also explain why these guys didn’t have radios. The progression of cancer varies from person to person. When the guy whose symptoms had worsened started screaming into the radio, it might be difficult to control the other armed sacrifices.

But to prove all these hypotheses, one element was needed.

The ability to find a place suitable for contracting cancer.

“I don’t know. I don’t know…”

When asked if there was something sent from the UK, the Satanist shook his head as if a drunkard was swaying. Given the limitations of the truth serum, changing the format of the question repeatedly still resulted in the same answer.

“Oh, it’s itchy… Scratch it… I’ll scratch it… It’s hurt? Or is it itchy? I don’t know… I want to eat mint chocolate pizza…”

The image of the devil worshipper scratching his body against the ground in agony from the itch. It seemed like the effects of the truth serum and the root drug were gradually wearing off.

“Get him up.”

Kyung-tae held up the guy’s rear roughly. I kneeled down to meet the dazed eyes of the devil worshipper at eye level.

“Just endure a bit longer. If you answer a few more questions, I’ll scratch it for you.”

“Quickly, quickly…”


Even such a rascal would probably know the number and rank of their gang, their headquarters, and what kind of weapons each of them was armed with. Furthermore, whether there were emergency signals, what the contingency action plans were…

Having obtained all the information that could be expected, I placed my hand on his shoulder.

“I think that’s enough. Now, I’ll keep my promise.”

“Promise… What promise?”

“I said I’d scratch the itchy spot for you.”

“Oh, right… Do it quickly… It’s too itchy…”

“Step aside, Kyung-tae.”


I scratched the guy’s brain, which had been so diligently answering questions until now, with a gunshot. There was no better way to relieve the itch that had spread throughout his body. A faint echo brushed my nose, and the gunshot, filtered once through a silencer, created a peculiar resonance within the mist.

The devil worshipper turned into a corpse with his head twisted backward and collapsed in a limp pile. I looked at the brain fluid flowing unnaturally in one direction and said.

“It seems like your guess, Kyung-tae, is correct.”

“What guess are you talking about?”

“The one about feeding people to the forest.”

“Oh, that? But among the questions you asked him…”

Kyung-tae nudged the just-deceased Satanist with his toe.

“…was there anything related to that?”

“There were enough clues to make an educated guess. Symbolic expressions that only make sense in this context.”

I recounted the contents of my speculation. Kyung-tae burst into incredulous laughter.

“Wow, are these underlings just expendable to that witch? She’s quite the head of the devil worshipers.”

“Make a distinction between underlings and devotees. Besides, there’s no way that witch would like these lowlifes.”

In fact, she might even despise them. Because devil worshipers often dabble in neo-Nazi ideologies as a hobby. Would that crazy woman, who has no shortage of hatred for “The Round Table of Light and Truth,” find these offspring of imperialism appealing?

So, for her, the followers of devil worshipers led by O7A were nothing more than tools for revenge.

  • 1. TLN: Om is a symbol representing a sacred sound, syllable, mantra, and invocation in Hinduism.
Author's Thoughts

This novel is a work of fiction! While it may incorporate elements inspired by our "real" historical world, including historical events, settings, and cultures, it is important to note that the story and characters are entirely products of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to real persons, living or deceased, or actual events is purely coincidental. This work should be enjoyed and interpreted as a work of fiction and not as a representation of historical facts or reality.
Also, if you find some error in translation please do let me know by tagging me (@_dawn24) in our Discord server. Since this series is kinda hard to translate. But I'll try my best to make it at least readable :)
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