Chapter 208 - Philosopher's Stone (1)

Yeon-woo didn’t know how time passed before he detached himself from Edora’s arms. He’d been drunk with the atmosphere, but as soon as he regained his senses, the situation turned extremely awkward, and he couldn’t even meet her eyes.

Edora laughed, thinking that Yeon-woo looked adorable. She had only seen his gruff side, and it was refreshing to see him behaving this way. Not to mention, she was enjoying seeing his facial expressions instead of only his eyes. “So you get embarrassed too.”

”What kind of person did you think I was?”

“I’ll leave that to your imagination.” Edora teased lightly and held out the mask. Yeon-woo accepted it a little stiffly.

He still had a lot of thoughts running through his head. They weren’t as extreme, but he still didn’t know what to say or how to respond. However, as though she were telling him not to worry, Edora grabbed Yeon-woo’s hand, gazing at him with her jewel-like eyes. “Phante didn’t see your face.”

Yeon-woo looked at her with a questioning expression. 

“When he saw you on the ground, he said he didn’t think it was time for him to see yet. You didn’t mean to reveal your face, so he said that he would wait until you did it of your own accord. I was thinking the same thing but…I wanted to see what kind of burden you’re carrying. Am I wrong for wanting to share it?” Edora shut her mouth after that, as though she were leaving the rest for Yeon-woo to decide.

Yeon-woo realized that the time had come to decide whether or not he would tell her his secret. He’d known that this moment would be inevitable, and if he’d decided that if he couldn’t tell them at that point, he would have to split from them. However, he hadn’t expected the moment to arrive so soon, and he couldn’t say anything.

Finally he decided—wouldn’t it be all right to trust these guys? He could always leave if the consequences got too dangerous for them. He organized his thoughts and slowly put his mask on. “Someday, I’ll tell you everything.”

“All right.” Edora nodded and smiled. Her smile was brighter than ever.

***

Yeon-woo walked with Edora to the opposite room where Phante, Sesha, Galliard, and Brahm were. She didn’t know why, but they had a guest with them, too. Creak. She carefully opened the door. Galliard tilted his head when he saw Yeon-woo, surprised that he’d put the mask back on again. However, he could guess the reason why.

“You’re here.”

“Yes.”

“Brahm’s waiting for you.”

Yeon-woo nodded, and headed towards the bedroom. Phante looked at Yeon-woo with a complicated expression and moved to the side. Sesha, who had been sitting on the bed, ran towards Yeon-woo. “Uncle!”

Had Galliard already explained everything to her since she was calling him “Uncle” instead of “Dad”? But before Yeon-woo could express his happiness at meeting his niece now that everything had been revealed, Sesha began to sob. 

Brahm was in the bed, slowly dying. His skin had withered and his breath was faint. It was unbelievable to see that a great god who had been among the higher beings of the Tower was dying like that. It was only thanks to Yvlke’s help that he still managed to cling to life. 

For the first time, Yeon-woo saw a bitter smile on Yvlke’s face. He fixed his monocle and looked at Yeon-woo. “You probably have a lot to talk about. Since I’m an outsider, I’ll leave for a moment. Player ###, there’s a message from Lord Hermes, so please look for me afterwards.” As Yeon-woo nodded, Yvlke opened up a portal and hid himself. 

Yeon-woo slowly approached the bed. Brahm’s eyelids wavered, and he could barely open his eyes. His unfocused gaze slowly moved towards Yeon-woo. 

“You’re here?”

“Yes.”

“Can I see your face?”

Yeon-woo nodded and moved his hand to his mask. As he did, Phante, Edora, and Galliard all left the room. Click. Brahm stared at Yeon-woo’s face for a while: dark eyebrows, monolid eyes, a pointed chin. It was a handsome face. 

“It’s the same features but they give off a completely different impression.”

“I've heard that a lot.”

“Usually twins are similar.”

“And yet we grew up differently from each other.”

“Since you both have such opposite personalities, I’m assuming you must have fought a lot.”

“Don’t brothers usually grow up fighting with each other?”

“Haha. I suppose so.”

Brahm seemed a lot more gentle. Was it because he was at death’s door? His face had softened and it suited him. Perhaps his usual cold expression had only been a front, like Yeon-woo’s mask. Suddenly, Brahm smiled bitterly. “Do you know that I didn’t like that face?”

Yeon-woo’s eyes widened at the unexpected words. 

“It’s a face that brought a great deal of suffering to my daughter.”

Yeon-woo also had a bitter smile on his face. “He was a terrible bastard.”

“Yes, he was a terrible bastard. A really awful one.”

Ananta had liked his brother ever since the first time she met him. She had revealed her feelings to him, but he’d rejected her because he already had a lover at the time. When Yeon-woo thought about it, Jeong-woo really had been a fool. Ananta had only managed to discover he had a child because she’d been watching him so carefully. She risked everything to save the child, Sesha.

It was natural for Brahm to dislike Jeong-woo for putting Ananta through so much. Even after Jeong-woo’s death, Ananta continued fighting to protect Sesha. “I didn’t live a life that makes me proud to say that I’m a father. I wasn’t a kind one. But even still, I didn’t like how he hurt her for such a long time.” Brahm’s eyes weren’t focused on Yeon-woo anymore but towards the person who had his face. “But at the same time, I feel thankful. In the end, he was the one who connected me with my daughter.”

Yeon-woo thought of a section in the diary that explained that his brother had sought out Ananta because of Brahm. ‘Since Brahm didn’t want to teach him, he found out what Brahm wanted most, which was Ananta. And so, he went to convince her to see Brahm. Didn’t he get slapped that time?’

His brother had been tenacious when it came to persuading Ananta. At first, it was so that he could learn alchemy from Brahm, but later, it was because he genuinely hoped that Ananta and Brahm’s relationship would improve. Since he was alone without family too, he could empathize with them. 

“He was the one who gave me this child, and so in the end, even if I don’t like him, I’m thankful.” Brahm stroked Sesha’s head. Tears welled up in her eyes. “How can I leave this child behind?”

Brahm’s voice was full of regret that he hadn’t been able to capture a demon. Sesha’s illness would grow worse, and groups like the Elohim and the Blood Land were still pursuing her. His daughter was off fighting somewhere. There were just too many things that he was leaving unresolved. He was a fool who never got anything right from the day Ananta was born. He was the god of creation, a higher being, but what did that matter? He couldn’t even help the most precious people in his life. He stroked Sesha’s head.   

“Brahm, don’t go.” Sesha grabbed Brahm’s hand and shook her head. Her drooping tail expressed her sadness.

Yeon-woo turned to Brahm to ask him a question. “Don’t you want to live?” He knew that there was a solution. Brahm looked at Yeon-woo, the light in his eyes calming. “You’re talking about your skill.” As expected, he knew about Shanon and Hanryeong lurking in his shadow. 

“That’s correct.”

“Me? Live?” Brahm closed his eyes, then slowly opened them again. “Can I truly live again?” His voice shook. “I’ve committed a sin. I was only a nuisance to the world. Can I…live?’

“Yes, you can.” Yeon-woo’s voice was firm. “Live for Sesha. Live for Ananta. I’m also asking this of you. If you live, then...” Yeon-woo paused. “You’ll have someone who will laugh at that guy with you, right?”

Brahm’s eyes widened. He was unable to respond.

“Also, don’t you have to cure Sesha’s illness and meet your daughter?”

”Is there a way?”

Yeon-woo nodded.  “I can think of one. We can save both Sesha and Ananta, but I need your help.”

Brahm sighed faintly. “You’re just like him. Annoying.”

“That’s what happens with brothers.”

“But once...I was called a god. Haha. Now I’ll be bound to someone.” If anyone who knew about Brahm’s pride heard about this, they would be shocked. “But this probably…won’t be so bad.” With that, Brahm quietly closed his eyes. The rise and fall of his chest stilled. His life had ended.

Yeon-woo could see Brahm’s soul leaving his body with his Draconic Eyes. “Uncle!” Sesha pulled at Yeon-woo’s sleeve. Yeon-woo rubbed her head in reassurance and spread his left hand on Brahm’s body. 

[Bathory’s Vampiric Sword]

Clack, clack. Its teeth sunk into Brahm’s body as it began to absorb his energy. Brahm didn’t have that much power left, but since it was a former god’s soul, an enormous amount of energy flowed into Yeon-woo’s body. 

[You have gained the Divine Factors.]

[You have gained the Divine Factors.]

…..

It was information about the Divine Factors. It could be used to awaken his Demonic Dragon Body even further, but Yeon-woo only gathered the Divine Factors and combined it with energy. Since he couldn’t even use his Demonic Dragon Body properly, it would only be a burden. Besides, he only wanted to save Sesha’s grandfather using whatever means he could find. 

Just then, the Despair of the Black King made a ringing sound. Yeon-woo spread his right hand. In his palm was a large, white soul, a divine one. Soul Familiars and Guai couldn’t even match its power.

Yeon-woo wondered whether it would be able to become a Lich or a Death Knight since it was bigger than he had expected. A god was still a god. He was about to make an attempt when Sesha said, “Wait, Uncle! Here, here!”

She pounded the bracelet on her arm and opened the subspace. She stuck her hand inside for a moment and pulled something out. It was a small glass bottle. Yeon-woo’s eyes widened when he saw what it was

[Homunculus’ Spirit Liquid]
[Category: Elixir]
[Rank: ??? (Unable to be determined, incomplete)]
[Description: The material for an artificial living being that Brahm made with his knowledge of alchemy and magic. However, he wasn’t able to find out how to create a soul, so it is incomplete.] 

Brahm had been proud of two treasures. The first was the Book of Mercury, which contained all his knowledge of alchemy. The other was the Homunculus’ Spirit Liquid, which was the result of all this knowledge. 

“He said that he would use this if he couldn’t heal my illness. You can fix Brahm with this too!” Sesha gripped the bottle even more tightly, her eyes sparkling. She was sure that her uncle would do it for her. Yeon-woo couldn’t help smiling, filled with the desire to please his niece. ‘It’ll be bad if this doesn’t work.’

Still, he accepted the bottle and put Brahm’s soul inside. The bottle glowed, and as he looked at it, it occurred to him that, just like Brahm, he was a fool for Sesha, too.

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