“Thanks.” Yeon-woo nodded at the Monkey King’s vestige. Although the vestige hadn’t really helped him, Yeon-woo did get an opportunity out of the encounter, and he’d learned that he still had a long way to go. He had to continue training to get to his goal.
“I know you don’t really mean it.” The Monkey King’s vestige smirked and waved. A red portal opened in the air. “Anyway, that’s enough talking. If you leave through there, you can go back to where you came from.”
Yeon-woo was about to step inside the portal, but he suddenly remembered something and turned his head, “Uh, actually, I have something…”
“Didn’t you hear me? The questions are…”
“You said only questions about the quest are limited, right?”
“Hm? You’re not going to ask me about the quest?” The Monkey King’s vestige cocked his head to one side.
Yeon-woo left the portal and extended his right arm to the vestige. “Do you know anything about this bracelet?”
“Bracelet?” The Monkey King’s vestige examined Yeon-woo’s bracelet, prepared to flick him hard if the bracelet turned out to be junk. The more he looked, however, the more he felt that the bracelet looked more like a manacle. The chain as black as the night sky that crept up Yeon-woo’s arm was also hard to ignore. The vestige’s interested expression hardened after he examined the manacle. “You…this…”
“I think it’s made of the same material as the Ruyi Bang. Am I right?”
“Where did you get this?”
Yeon-woo wondered whether or not to tell the vestige the truth, but since he’d been the one to bring it up in the first place, he decided to share some of the information, minus important details. However, he mentioned how the bracelet had eaten up Astrape while he was in the Olympus’ Treasury, and the vestige’s expression turned strange. “Do you know its function?”
“It has to do with souls.”
“It deals with the dead?”
“And how powerful is it?”
Yeon-woo lightly waved his hand and summoned the Guai. The shadows stretched out and the monstrous creatures stepped out. The vestige’s eyes narrowed his eyes, deep in thought. Yeon-woo felt awkward seeing him so serious after his previous demeanor, however, he hoped that the vestige would help him uncover the secret of the bracelet so that he could unlock the remaining options.
“Even dark magicians can’t do this. You have to be at least the level of…” Although there were countless types of players in the Tower, it was difficult to find anyone who controlled souls well. The line between life and death was too strict, and the limits on handling souls were restrictive.
However, as soon as he saw the Despair of the Black King, the vestige realized that he was looking at an artifact whose existence was beyond reason. He’d heard about Astrape’s legendary exploits before, and the fact that this artifact had swallowed it up meant that the bracelet probably could give the Ruyi Bang a run for its money. However, the fact that the bracelet was entirely made of divine iron just like the Ruyi Bang piqued his interest the most. “First, you’re right. It’s made of divine metal.”
“However, it doesn’t matter how much I examine it, I don’t know what it is. It reminds me of certain objects, but they’re completely different in appearance. It’s also of a very high level--it’s definitely a weapon of a god.”
Although Yeon-woo was disappointed that the Monkey King’s vestige couldn’t tell him more, his eyes gleamed to hear the bracelet described as a god’s weapon. He’d guessed it was that powerful when it swallowed Astrape, but it was good to get confirmation. The bracelet might be even more powerful than Aegis, which made him wonder once more: who was the Black King?
“You said there are two more artifacts like this?”
“Yes. I don’t know who made all of them, but I’m sure there’s a connected artifact for the neck and another for the foot.”
The Monkey King’s vestige crossed his arms. “Do you want to know something funny?”
“What is it?”
“Everyone says that divine iron is so precious that even gods and demons don’t use it, right?”
“But that’s not the truth.”
“What do you…?”
“It’s not that no one uses it because it’s hard to find, it’s because they’re all terrified of it.”
Yeon-woo’s eyes widened at the unexpected information. The Monkey King snickered and continued, “That metal is the only thing that can suppress gods and demons. Divine iron was used to imprison or drive away gods who committed crimes. The Ruyi Bang was used to seal away Devil Kings, too.”
Yeon-woo thought of the legends of the Monkey King’s travels with Tan Sanzang in the Journey to the West. They’d easily pushed away the Devil Kings who’d tried to get in their way, as well.
“That’s the same situation with your artifact.” The Monkey King’s vestige stroked his chin. “It looks like it’s been used to bind a criminal for such a long time that it’s absorbed the criminal’s elements through the vestige. I think that criminal has something to do with death, but I don’t know anything else for sure.”
Yeon-woo nodded. It was enough to confirm that the Black King had been powerful enough to terrify gods, and that he had something to do with death. This information would help him narrow down his search, and once he figured out who the Black King was, it would become extremely easy to find out more.
Yeon-woo expressed his gratitude again. The Monkey King waved his hand like it was nothing. “I got to see something interesting for the first time in a long while. I didn’t know there was another entity just like my true body. Ah, if you meet my true body, don’t show him that. His greed for treasures is extraordinary.”
“I’ll be careful.” Yeon-woo disappeared into the red portal, and the imaginary world closed behind him.
“Hehe. Interesting guy.” The vestige’s eyes sparkled. Ever since Yeon-woo had entered the imaginary world, he’d been peeking at Yeon-woo’s different aspects and appearances. “Looks like someone who has awakened the energy of a dragon. He reminds me of someone, don’t you think?”
The vestige raised his head to the sky. The dragon god looked down at him and nodded, remembering his old owner, who’d fought just like Yeon-woo. He felt a strange sense of déjà vu. Although he didn’t say anything about it, he’d given Yeon-woo a lot of gifts, like using the Cintamani stone to relieve his exhaustion and letting him relax in the breeze.
A bitter smile appeared on the vestige’s face as he looked at the dragon god lost in nostalgia. He had lied to Yeon-woo about not recognizing the bracelet. As a matter of fact, he’d identified it after looking it over for a little while. It had been used on only one being, and so he’d known right away. “I guess that Hermes bastard is busy.”
However, as he muttered to himself, the Monkey King’s vestige suddenly felt something sharp twist inside his head. Someone was trying to enter the space. At first, he thought it was Yeon-woo, who might have left something behind. But the wavelength was unfamiliar, and so his face grew hard.
The dragon god twisted his body and thrust the Cintamani stone forward. His face grew calm. The imaginary world of the Monkey King’s vestige was like his holy territory, and even though he was only an exuviae, he was still extremely strong. Even the greatest gods on the ninety-eighth floor would find it impossible to force their way in.
The fact that someone was entering the space so easily meant that either his true body was coming or it was a being related to him. After all, no one needed permission to enter their own home.Previous Chapter Next Chapter