Now that the difficult process of naming was finished, Yeon-woo left the bustling area for a quieter location. He used his Extrasensory Perception to check that no one was around before summoning Nemesis.
Nemesis slowly appeared, accompanied by a dark fog. He was already bigger than Chirpy, and although he had a body that looked like the Akasha’s Snake, he had the head of a Mythical Beast, for sure. He was close to seven meters long now, and it was hard to believe that he’d only hatched less than a year ago.
‘Well, he still has a long way to go compared to the dragon god.’ He thought of the dragon god he saw in the Monkey King’s Palace and met Nemesis’s eyes.
『You seem different from the last time I saw you, Master.』 Nemesis didn’t hesitate to call him “Master” now.
“I have to grow as much as you guys do.”
『Good. I don’t know about anything else, but I like your mindset.』
Yeon-woo grinned, but Nemesis narrowed his eyes. 『Why did you summon me?』
“You know why.”
“You haven’t told me why you were reborn and why the ancient dragon Kalatus is still alive.” Yeon-woo thought Nemesis needed to have some time to think, so he waited. He thought that Nemesis had already settled down and accepted being a Demonic Dragon. “I hope you can tell me now.”
After some silence, Nemesis slowly said, 『The reason why I was reborn? Actually, I don’t know if this is considered being reborn since I still have all my memories. But I did die, and now I’m alive again. Perhaps resurrection is a better term since it’s not too different from what happens to the Legendary Beasts.』 Nemesis’ eyes grew thoughtful. 『I roamed around nothingness the entire time, waiting for Jeong-woo to come back for me.』
Nothingness was the dimension that flowed between worlds. It was said that anything that went into nothingness disappeared without a trace, but Nemesis somehow managed to retain his consciousness.
“Why did you wait for him?”
『Because Kalatus told me to.』
“What?” It was an unexpected answer, and Yeon-woo’s eyes widened slightly.
『Isn’t that strange? After he gave everything to Jeong-woo, Kalatus closed his eyes forever. He even gave me his precious Dragon Heart. We kept our end of the promise, and we even saw him return to mana.』
Returning to mana was an expression referring to the death of one of the Draconic species. Since they were blessed with mana when they hatched, they returned to mana after death. The ancient dragon Kalatus was definitely dead.
『But when I was surrounded by the Cheonghwado, before I could avenge Jeon-woo, I heard Kalatus’ voice telling me to wait.』 Nemesis still remembered what Kalatus said that day: 『Wait for him. That child…will come back soon.』
‘Come back.’ Nemesis believed and waited, roaming around nothingness alone for a long time. Sometimes, he’d been overwhelmed with the desire to disappear because of the pain of waiting, but each time, he heard Kalatus’ voice, and he endured. Then he entered the world again thanks to the call from the same soul as Jeong-woo’s. He’d even believed he was seeing Jeong-woo again. Of course, he’d been mistaken.
“So that’s what happened.” Yeon-woo was deep in thought for a moment. The ancient dragon Kalatus had resurrected Nemesis. Yeon-woo had also heard his voice when his Dragon Body was being awakened, and he was sure he was still alive. He also thought of something else: ‘Is Kalatus the one who sent Jeong-woo back to Earth?’
Yeon-woo had returned to Korea after his brother’s body had been found with an ID card still in his wallet and pictures and the pocket watch in his pockets. Yeon-woo had always wondered: who sent his brother’s body to Earth? Jeong-woo had died in the clan house of Arthia, which meant someone had retrieved his body. However, he couldn’t figure out who would have done it--people like Henova and Galliard didn’t even know where the clan house was. But if the ancient dragon Kalatus had been responsible, then that answered all of his questions.
Most importantly, Kalatus had said he would wait for Yeon-woo to find him. “Where is Kalatus now?”
『Likely at his tomb.』
“Where is that?”
Nemesis answered in a low voice, 『The fiftieth floor, the Dragon Temple.』
“Of course.” The Dragon Temple on the fiftieth floor was the place that divided rankers from semi-rankers. It was the stage that everyone called a wall. However, it had another significance to Yeon-woo because it was where his brother had breathed his last. It was the location of the portal that transported people to Arthia’s clan house.
Yeon-woo was already planning to get to the fiftieth floor, no matter what, and learning that a trace of the ancient dragon Kalatus might be there only spurred him on. ‘It makes sense since Jeong-woo set up the location of the clan house on the fiftieth floor because he missed Kalatus.’
Everyone knew that when Arthia’s clan house was destroyed, it had been exiled into subspace. “I have to get there, but I’m not in a position to reach it just yet.” Even though Yeon-woo had the martial power of a ranker, he still had to give his all on each floor. You could only do a trial once, and, depending on how well you did, you received corresponding rewards, which was why Yeon-woo had gotten two numbered skills on the twentieth floor.
Although it was possible to redo a stage, like the Sadhu, it was just for personal training and there were no rewards attached. Yeon-woo needed an astronomical amount of karma and the rewards that came with it. ‘And I need to add my name to the Hall of Fame.’
He’d been taking his time, but if Kalatus was waiting for him, Yeon-woo didn’t want to act too slowly in case the ancient dragon’s last traces disappeared. However, Nemesis shook his big head. 『No, you don’t have to worry about that.』
『It doesn’t matter what you do, he’ll just sleep the entire time waiting. It’s like hibernation. He will wait until you arrive.』
“How do you know that?”
『Have you forgotten?』 Nemesis snorted. 『I am the avatar and the Apostle of Kalatus.』
Yeon-woo decided not to rush and continue clearing each floor as normal. If he made a mistake while hurrying, he might not be able to correct it. It was more important to grow stronger and increase the awakening of his Dragon Body to the eighth step.
Now that his questions about Kalatus had been answered, he went to see his teacher, the Martial King.
“Sword Energy? Huh. You seem like a real person now.” The Martial King hadn’t changed, and he could still tell Yeon-woo had changed with just one glance. Sword energy was what the One-hored tribe called Aura blade.
Behind him, Phante and Edora looked shocked. Grasping Aura meant that Yeon-woo was at the level of a master. They were only learning Aura just now even though they had trained in martial arts since they were young. Phante sighed as if he were asking “Again?” Edora’s eyes glowed.
“Also…hm.” The Martial King rubbed his chin and looked Yeon-woo up and down. Then, he grinned widely. “I guess you got something else too, huh?”
Yeon-woo was really speechless at this point.
「Gah! Can he read minds, too? I’ve only ever heard about the Martial King, I never expected he was like this. Damn.」
「So, this is the teacher who created the Sword God…」
Even Shanon and Hanryeong let out exclamations of respect. They seemed to see something Yeon-woo couldn’t.
‘Does he really have the ability to see everything?’ Yeon-woo couldn’t even dream of hiding anything. He sighed to himself, but he thought that this was actually for the best. He wanted to discuss what he’d experienced. Although he thought he knew why the Devil Army wanted to collect the Ruyi Bang, there were a few things that nagged at him.
Why hadn’t the Devil Army been there when he left the dungeon? If they were hoping to get his piece of the Ruyi Bang, shouldn’t they have sealed the exit and ambushed him? Perhaps the Martial King would know something, after all, Kindred appeared to know him.
Yeon-woo was about to ask, when the Martial King said, “Don’t.” He grinned. “You do your thing, and I’ll do mine. Trust is important, but you said you wanted to be independent and only approach me to learn something.”
The Martial King could definitely read minds. Yeon-woo nodded because he realized that his teacher was doing him a kindness. Also, he felt even more keenly how similar the Martial King was to the Monkey King.
However, he pushed his thoughts about the Monkey King aside. Since he was going to look for the pieces of the Ruyi Bang, he would eventually encounter the Devil Army anyway and find his answers.
The Martial King crossed his arms and changed the topic. “Anyway, so it’s the twenty-first floor now?”
Phante and Edora turned to look at Yeon-woo again. They had just finished the trial of the eleventh floor, and he was already so far ahead of them. Then, they suddenly remembered what the trial of the twenty-first floor was.
The Martial King grinned. “So, you’ll see me soon, huh?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter