Chapter 205 - Grand Demon Duke Agares (5)

Even before Yeon-woo confronted Agares, he had already considered what he could do to fight him. Agares definitely wanted Sesha and himself, and Yeon-woo had to get the upper hand. However, compared to Agares, Yeon-woo didn’t have any power. How could he defeat an entity who was strong enough to crush the god Brahma?

Yeon-woo decided to change tack. ‘If I can’t stop him, I have to call in someone who can.’

Fortunately, he still had an alternative. Agares had broken the summoning circle that he’d passed through, but something made with Brahm’s holiness couldn’t be destroyed so easily. There was still a bit of it left, and so Yeon-woo concentrated his Consciousness on it and made contact.

Information flooded out of the circle like a waterfall: formulas that Brahm had put down in the Book of Mercury. They were so complex that they were impossible to understand. 

[Time Difference]

However, Yeon-woo quickly fixed the areas that were broken. His brain felt like it was on fire, but he persisted until the ability of the summoning circle to function had somewhat recovered. The magic power in his Magic Circuit evaporated. He felt empty, but he didn’t lose his grip and lifted his head. 

The red sky began to split to reveal a blue sky that shot out a column of light to push the darkness away. Even Agares couldn’t do anything about it. When the large iron door had pierced through the clouds, a deafening voice had rung out. Who calls?

Yeon-woo replied to the entity behind the door, a god that could fight Agares. 

And the sacrifice?

‘Aegis.’ It was a godly artifact that had been a huge help to him, but he had to give up something that valuable to defeat Agares.

Accepted.

Creak! The iron door started to open, and a colossal, five-headed boa constrictor descended, stretching its necks out and hissing. It was so large that it could destroy an entire mountain rage. Above it was a familiar face.

Agares’ face twisted. Hermes!

The blue sky from where Hermes descended sent a gust of refreshing air towards the darkness on the ground. As light and darkness clashed, they seemed to draw a boundary.

Hermes smiled pleasantly above the boa constrictor’s head. “Long time no see, Agares. Has it been 800 or 900 years? This is the first time we’ve seen each other since the sealing of Luciel, right?”

Why is someone who should just be up there watching…?

“What do you think?” Hermes shrugged as though the answer were obvious. “I received an offer, and I’m here to fulfill my end of the bargain.” His smile deepened. “Unlike someone like you who conned his way through his deal, I’m planning on giving more than what I owe.” A god could choose to give a blessing according to their preferences, including miracles. This was why priests had to continue worshipping them.

In contrast, demons made deals in return for sacrifices. They had to fulfill their part, but they often played tricks and found loopholes. They would never let anyone get the upper hand, like gods sometimes did.

Hermes was implying that he was willing to risk a lot more than his deal with Yeon-woo suggested. It meant that he would match whatever Agares did to block him. Hermes giggled, as though the situation were too amusing. Obviously, gods and demons definitely didn’t quite get along with each other. 

Agares ground his teeth. He was stronger than most gods, but Hermes was different, and even demons with some level of power avoided him. The other issue was that Hermes wasn’t alone. There was another god looking in their direction whose godly level Hermes himself couldn’t match. It was a being even more annoying than Hermes, and Agares would find it difficult to deal with two gods at the same time.

“All right. Make your decision now.” Hermes smiled even more widely at Agares’s expression. “Are you going to fight with me or step back?” The boa constrictor slithered around Agares, ready to attack as soon as it received the command. 

Agares thought it over briefly. 『It might be fun for a god and a demon to play on the lower floors. Agares smiled ferociously, and dozens of black wings spread out. As Agares disappeared in the darkness, thousands of tentacles soared up into the air. At the same time, five more boa constrictors descended. 

The stage began to reverberate. 

***

In myths, the battles between gods and demons were often described as events that caused the heavens and earth to shake. The seas would dry up, and lightning would slash down from the sky. Perhaps the myths were wrong, or the way Hermes and Agares fought was just too different.

Their battle was surprisingly simple: light and darkness simply mixed together. Like black ink spreading in water, the darkness at the ground tried to taint the light. At the same time, the light tried to purify the darkness. The two elements struggled with each other, each one trying to gain the upper hand.

Yeon-woo’s Draconic Eyes could see something so gigantic that it was impossible to distinguish from the earth slowly moving. It was so big that it made the boa constrictors look tiny, and so it was impossible to fully comprehend what it looked like. It was likely Agares’ actual body, and each time he moved, ice, wind, fire, and light blinked in and out of existence. 

Hermes summoned more boa constrictors, and ice, wind, fire, and light caused explosions to boom out. The cycle of recovery and destruction of the stage were affected by the actions of the two. The Demons’ Forest would sustain heavy damage once more, the ground full of fissures so deep that it was impossible to see bottom, and then trees would suddenly sprout to create a lush forest once more.

They were shaking the laws of nature, and it was impossible for anyone to interrupt their fight. ‘That is what it means to be a good or a demon.’ Yeon-woo clenched his fists, his mouth dry as he watched, and Vigrid trembling in his hand. Although his Cold-blooded trait had activated, he was panting just from the sight of the battle. He felt like his lungs would explode. 

It was only now that Yeon-woo realized that Hermes had been hiding his presence out of generosity when they’d met at Olympus’ Treasury. The goddess Urd had already seemed weak compared to the exuviae in the Monkey King’s Palace, and she seemed even more inferior compared to them.  

The battle was greater than Yeon-woo could ever imagine, and even the function of the stage was interrupted. He couldn’t even imagine what it was like outside and what happened to the players trying to clear the floor. How it was on the outside, and what had happened to the players clearing through the stage.

Perhaps, when the warm column of light had appeared, they believed that something had arrived to protect them. The energy was warm and familiar, and when Yeon-woo looked at its source, he somehow sensed a pair of eyes looking at him warmly. ‘Athena.’

This was how he’d felt when he received Athena’s blessing with Aegis. He had definitely called for Hermes with Aegis as the sacrifice, but it made sense that Athena would make her presence felt as well.

She couldn’t descend because the sacrifice hadn’t been huge enough, but it seemed like she was still protecting him through the portal that Hermes had left open. He didn’t know what her reasons were, but he was sure that both she and Hermes looked kindly on him, and he was sure that she was helping Phante, Edora, and Brahm, who were probably still somewhere on the stage. 

Yeon-woo accepted her gaze to mean that she was cheering him on, and although she didn’t say it explicitly, she was trying to help Yeon-woo withstand Agares’ pressure. 

“Haa…!” With Athena’s blessing, Yeon-woo managed to catch his breath, and his nervousness faded away. His dulled senses were enervated, and his fighting spirit returned. ‘I have to get a demon to help Sesha.’

Helping his sick niece was even more important than the Philosopher’s Stone, but Agares was too powerful to be considered a material for her. However, there was no demon that could replace him, and it would take Brahm a long time to reconstruct the illusory world. He might not be of much help, but he still needed to do something. 

[Athena looks at you with calm eyes. She is satisfied with your firm resolve.]

[Athena sends you her blessing.]

An intense strength expanded from his soul, and he felt as though he would float to the sky. He pushed down the sensation of passing out and pushed the power that Athena had sent him into his cells. The power activated his cells and the Demonic Factors. 

Although holy power wasn’t a good match for the Draconic Factors, if he adjusted it a bit, it could help the Demonic Factors grow. This was what Yeon-woo was aiming for, and so he amplified the Demonic Factors he’d absorbed with Bathory’s Vampiric Sword. 

However, that wasn’t enough, so he opened Intrenian and absorbed the Ceratopsian Dinosaur’s hearts, the Kraken’s heart, and the purple Devil Flowers through Bathory’s Vampiric Sword. Usually, he would have adjusted their amounts and refined them, but there was no time now. He felt severe pain as it crushed his bones and shook his body, but Yeon-woo didn’t even blink.

He even forced the energy of the Monkey King that he had synchronized and tried to combine them all into one thing. Bang! His body expanded with an explosion before shrinking back. His blue scales were now tinted with black, and they sparkled in the light beautifully. It was a sign that the second step of the awakening was almost complete, thanks to the Demonic Factors.  

[The Demonic Factors are being awakened.]

[The Demonic Factors are being awakened.]

…..

[The Demonic Factors have settled.]

[Demon’s Blood has been added to your Dragon’s Blood.]

[The demonic nature is being carved into your bones.]

…..

[The combination of the Demonic Factors and the Draconic Factors has been successful.]

[Your foundation has successfully changed. The trait ‘Dragon Body’ has been changed to ‘Demonic Dragon Body.’]

[You have accomplished an outstanding feat. Additional karma will be provided.]

[You have received 10,000 karma.]

[You have received an additional 15,000 karma.]

…..

With the Demonic Dragon Body, Yeon-woo gained the power that his brother had only theorized about. Yeon-woo gripped Vigrid. Kashing! An enormous amount of magic power entered the sword, and the black blade shone with so much light, it seemed as though it would break.

[Sword Purification]

[Life of a Fighter]

With Draconic Eyes, Yeon-woo targeted the looming presence beyond the wall of darkness. As he did, a power that was almost too much for Yeon-woo to handle poured out. The Sword Purification was an option that grew stronger according to its target’s strength, and since the target was Agares, the energy was unbelievable. With the addition of Yeon-woo’s fighting spirit, his attack power multiplied.

His body was damaged once more, and his veins bulged. Although his body was stronger than his new trait, a strength that surpassed his limits would destroy his body. However, if he overcame those same limits, he would grow even stronger.

[You have reached the limits of the Draconic Factors. A change is occurring.]

[You have reached the limits of the Demonic Factors. A change is occurring. Looking for new possibilities.]

[The 3rd step of the awakening has been activated.]

[Power: Elemental Contact]

It was the third step of the awakening, and gigantic dragon wings sprouted from Yeon-woo’s back, combining with his Fire Wings. They expanded, and his dragon scales grew up to his eyes, and fangs appeared between his lips.

 Yeon-woo focused his boiling power on Vigrid, bolstering it with the holy power from Athena. ‘Nike. Nemesis.’ He woke up the two Mythical Beasts that were waiting in the Philosopher’s Stone.

Master, let’s fight!

Dreams…fade away.

The fire property was added to the sword, and it expanded multiple times. Yeon-woo made a powerful swing with Vigrid.  

[Holy Fire]

[Wave of Fire – Hwarye]

[72 Bian – Jeol, Pok, Dan]

Bang! Vigrid’s fire extended all the way up to the edges of the stage, splitting right through the darkness to pierce the monster at the center.

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