Chapter 211 - Philosopher's Stone (4)

“Ohyohyohyo! Ohyo! Wow. You’re probably only the second person to play with the ninety-eighth floor like this, ohyohyo!” Yvlke burst out laughing. As he did, messages of the dissatisfaction from the gods and demons popped up, but he didn’t care at all. 

[A god of <Asgard>, Heimdall, suggests the power, ‘Tone of the End’, and the godly item, ‘Gjallarhorn’.]

[A demon of <Jie Sect>, Galaganta, suggests the power ‘Great Hail’, and the godly item, ‘Flood Sword’.]

…..

The outcome of Yeon-woo’s words made Yvlke’s laughter grow even louder. He found the gods and demon’s desperation to give Yeon-woo presents hilarious. They weren’t even asking for a contract. It would be fine if they were simply offering out of generosity and to show their benevolence, but it had quickly descended into a rivalry over who had the best power. They were all alike in the end.

Yeon-woo carefully contemplated the offers that he had received. Although he’d pushed the gods and demons into presenting them, he didn’t plan on accepting them all. The gods and demons might be blinded out of pride right now, and there was a chance that they might regret their decision and come to loathe Yeon-woo.

Even if they were bound to the ninety-eighth floor, it would be a pain in the side for Yeon-woo if they decided to get revenge. Like Agares, they could grab the chance to appear. Besides, he wasn’t confident that he’d be able to use all the powers effectively. 

Yeon-woo carefully examined them and picked four that he needed at the moment: Goddess’ Stigmata, The Third Spirit, Wicked Devil, and the Faceless Lawbook. 

[Goddess’ Stigmata]
[Rank: Power]
[Proficiency: 0.0%]
[Description: A power that a goddess of Olympus, Athena, has presented to you. Athena was moved by the way you passionately fought for your niece and has given you a power to replace Aegis.]
[*Goddess’ Spearsword
The goddess’ grace will protect your body from arrows and spearswords. The spirit of your opponent will be broken. Your allies will receive the grace as well, and all defenses will grow stronger.] 
[*Goddess’ Shield
The resistance and defenses within a specific range increase dramatically. A temporary barrier can be set up.] 

[The 3rd Spirit]
[Rank: Power]
[Proficiency: 0.0%]
[Description: The power that a god of Malak, Azrael, has presented to you. As the god of death and souls, Azrael has been interested in the Despair of the Black King for a long time. He is full of frustration due to your incomplete control over souls and has presented a new power that he believes you need.]
[*Demons and Monsters
You can plant thoughts into the souls you own to control them. Sometimes, the souls will be able to enter items and beings and allow you to control them like marionettes.] 
[*Hyakki Yagyo
The souls move as a single horde. Souls have a natural instinct to reclaim their lives, and so they will absorb any life they come across and leave an area lifeless after they pass. This can be used in many ways.] 

[Wicked Devil]
[Rank: Power]
[Proficiency: 0.0%]
[Description: The power that a demon of <L’Infernal>, Agares, has presented to you. Although badly injured, Agares hasn’t been able to overcome his severe obsession for you. He has presented a strong power to appeal to you. However, this power risks driving the user crazier the more it is activated, so special attention is required.] 
[*Wicked
The anger and resentment building up in your body will be turned into insanity. Your attack power increases according to your insanity, but your defenses will decrease by an equivalent level.]
[*Devil
Insanity is inflicted on your opponents and attacks their rationality. Their rationality turns into your stamina and magic power.] 

[Faceless Lawbook]
[Rank: Power]
[Proficiency: 0.0%]
[Description: The power that a demon of <Jie Sect>, Confusion, has presented to you. Confusion has eyes that cannot see and ears that cannot hear. He doesn’t have internal organs, and he cannot eat. However, his senses and thinking abilities are beyond comparison. His magic is so deep that it has gone beyond being a grimoire to being a power.]

The Goddess’ Stigmata was the perfect replacement for Aegis. The Goddess’ Spearsword had grown stronger, and the Goddess’ Shield could even make a barrier. It might even have the same level of buff Effects as Aegis. ‘Athena gave me something really special. And so did Azrael.’

The Third Spirit allowed him to finally use souls in his collection properly. ‘If I just think it over a little, I can find more ways to use it.’ So far, he’d already come up with three.

One of them was possession. He could plant a soul into a nearby monster or player and drive them into a confused state. The other way was to send the souls inside objects and use them as barriers. He could also use the Hyakki Yagyo to reduce the devastation on the battlefield. 

‘If the souls are all given Devil Poison…’ Wouldn’t that kill everyone around him? Unless someone had a trait of immunity to poison, everyone would melt. ‘Technically, this is the most effective power. Is Azrael really interested in the Despair of the Black King as the description says?’

The Wicked Devil was also outstanding. It was dangerous since you risked going mad, but its power was stupendous. Also, the fact that it turned an opponent’s rationality into the user’s health and magic power was appealing. 

‘Depending on the opponent, I can fight without becoming tired at all. This would be the best in an actual battle.’ He had contemplated rejecting it since it was Agares’ power, but he couldn’t think of a good reason. He didn’t want to run away, and he believed that he could walk in Jeong-woo’s footsteps and take what he needed without falling into temptation.

As for the Faceless Lawbook, Yeon-woo wasn’t planning on using it for himself. ‘It’ll be Boo’s wings. I can just carve the words onto my bones.’ It was better to leave things like this for Boo, and also, Boo would be able to set up his own magic while he was at it. 

Yeon-woo linked the Faceless Lawbook to Boo and connected the Third Soul to his collection to strengthen his souls and Guai. 

[Your control of souls has dramatically increased. The souls’ understanding is becoming more profound.]

[The Guai Chan has received Azrael’s grace and been given strong teeth.]

The Guai Ka has received Azrael’s grace and earned a violent personality.]

…..

After Yeon-woo was finished organizing, the Channel quickly became noisy. 

[A god of <Olympus>, Athena, looks at you proudly.]

[A demon of <L’Infernal>, Agares, laughs at the other demons.]

…..

[A god of <Olympus>, Ares, is furious at your choice.]

[A demon of <Jie Sect>, Galaganta, is looking at your choice with calm eyes.]

The gods and demons were split into two different camps--those who had been chosen and those who hadn’t. Their reactions were very different. Some were pleased, others were full of resentment. And then, there was Agares, who was jumping up and down because Yeon-woo hadn’t rejected him. It wasn’t like Yeon-woo had agreed to a contract either, but Agares left a message that he could take the power whenever he wanted.

‘If they think it’s unnecessary or feel dissatisfied, they’ll probably just take it back. And there will be those who just leave it.’ The gods and demons were prideful, so it was unlikely that they would take their presents back. After all, this was the only way they could stay connected to him, and they needed to observe him.

It wasn’t a bad choice for Yeon-woo either. He might need other powers as he climbed the floors, and he could choose them as he saw fit.

Yvlke saw Yeon-woo’s sly decision and couldn’t help but laugh “ohyohyohyo” as he closed the Channel. Yeon-woo never failed to amuse him each time they met. After all Channels were closed, Yvlke fixed his monocle and straightened his back. “Also, Hermes has left a message behind.”

“What is it?” Yeon-woo’s eyes sparkled. Hermes hadn’t offered anything, which surprised him, since he was probably the god he was closest to. Besides, Hermes was always watching over him.

“He said not to be distracted and flung around. You must continue trusting the path you’ve taken. He’ll always be watching over you.”

Yeon-woo’s eyes took on a strange expression. 

“I suppose that is your path." This was what Hermes had told him a long time ago. It was no coincidence that he’d bring up Yeon-woo’s path again. Thanks to this, Yeon-woo was beginning to feel more confident.

Hermes hadn’t offered him a power because he trusted him. It was a sign of respect.

“Well, that’s all. I hope you do well on the other floors, as well.” Yvlke bowed politely then clapped. Yeon-woo’s surroundings faded away and he returned to the spot where he’d entered the portal.

From that moment on, Yeon-woo couldn’t shake off the feeling that something was following his every move from the sky. It started to seem that as many gifts he’d received, they were equal to the discomfort he’d been given as well.  

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