Chapter 278 - Triton (3)

After Yeon-woo took care of about forty percent of Triton, he sensed Benteke’s energy coming from a large ship that floated far from the rest of the fleet like a lone island. He immediately headed towards the ship, moving away from the one he’d been chasing.

The small fry didn’t matter unless their leader was caught. Before Poseidon tried anything else, Yeon-woo was going to get Benteke first. He rushed forward with Wind Path and Blink. Tornados spun around him as he moved, planning to break apart Benteke’s ship with just one hit from a Wave of Fire that was so fast and powerful that even Yeon-woo was afraid of it.

Just then, he saw Benteke on his feet, using a trident about three meters long as a support. The sapphires on the trident had a strange charm. Suddenly, Benteke released his magic and holy power. Yeon-woo realized that he was about to use the powers that Poseidon had bestowed on him. Also, the range of Benteke’s power was wider than he expected. The holy power spread over the River of Souls and reached the sky as it was carried by the wind.

‘You can release this much holy power?’ Yeon-woo looked up at the sky in surprise. The dark clouds began to shoot out lightning, and the storm crashed as waves dozens of meters high rose towards him.

It was no simple power but a Disaster, a great power that moved nature itself. The gods who were related to nature were among the highest beings, and their powers could grow into Disasters with the addition of a great holiness. It was clear that Poseidon was using Benteke to send Yeon-woo to his death in the River of Souls.

Yeon-woo clucked his tongue. He had been planning to blow away Benteke’s ship, but he had to redirect Wave of Fire now. Yeon-woo twisted his body and drew Vigrid. The Wave of Fire that was condensed in black Aura released at once, combined with more speed at the Seventy-Two Bian.

[Wave of Fire]

[Holy Fire]

[72 Bian – Pok, Ryul]

Boom! The unrestrained Wave of Fire was horrifyingly destructive. It not only swept away the waves that seemed to reach the sky, it also swallowed up the lightning as though they were nothing. A powerful light spread out, as if the sun had exploded, and the aftershocks continued to shake everything around it.

The waves evaporated, and the dense fog dried up. The River of Souls churned even more violently, tossing Benteke’s ship. The heat burned the players on the deck, who screamed as they inhaled the burning air into their lungs. However, their voices were overwhelmed by the sound of a great explosion.

Boom! Boom!

Yeon-woo struck Benteke’s ship with flaming lightning bolts, as though he’d created a wall of lightning using the Seventy-Two Bian. He swung Vigrid down to sink the ship. However, Jinrang and the crew were too skilled, and they protected the ship with their skills and artifacts.

They struggled since the attack was so powerful, feeling like they had been hit by a large hammer. The shockwaves that reverberated outside the barrier were difficult to handle, as well. The ship bobbed wildly, cracking in places. There was a burning smell in the hot air. It was almost impossible to believe that a human could have created the horrifying heat which scorched the entire ship.

“What the…!”

“What was that!”

The players who were managing the barrier trembled. They were sure that they had investigated Yeon-woo thoroughly, and examined his powers through the battles he’d had with the Nine Dragon Sons, Apophis’ exuviae on the twenty-sixth floor, the Cannibal Monster King on the twenty-seventh floor, and so on. They believed that they would be able to kill him even without Benteke’s help.

After all, Poseidon’s power was more easily used on the River of Souls, and they considered their resources superior to Yeon-woo’s. However, for some reason, Yeon-woo’s powers were greater than they had believed. In fact, he could even be compared to their leader, Benteke! 

Yeon-woo’s eyes under the mask were indifferent at their surprise as he automatically swung Vigrid, as though he were only focused on sinking their ship. The strong winds that the shockwaves had dispersed returned, and the simmering heat made a large tornado form. The River of Souls began to boil and steam began to rise.

Yeon-woo was planning on blasting out Wave of Fire again, this time with a larger amount of magic power. Since things had already reached this point, he thought it would be a good idea to test the strength of his Wave of Fire. Where else would he have a chance to do this?

The strong winds wrapped around Vigrid, which glowed with a blue light and shook as though it would break at any moment. Just as Yeon-woo was going to complete the swing, the space in front of him tore open and Benteke stepped out with a cruel expression—the same one Yeon-woo had seen in the diary and from Lana’s memories.

However, there was a crucial difference: his energy had evolved.

Benteke struck Yeon-woo’s head fiercely, holding blue beads in his hand. Yeon-woo wasn’t sure but it seemed like the condensed holy power of the River of Souls.

Crunch! Kerrang!

Fire and water clashed. A pair of whirlwinds tore through the atmosphere to create an even larger one that stretched out from the River of Souls to the sky. Explosions spilled out of the whirlwind, and drops of water scattered down before evaporating in the boiling atmosphere. The River of Souls began to bubble like lava. The waves tossed and crashed.

In the center of it all, Yeon-woo circulated his Magic Circuit and swung Vigrid down. Benteke gripped Triaina and swung it upward. 

Clang! Boom!

A column of water soared up once more. A blade made of water cut Yeon-woo’s chest while fire and lightning descended on Benteke’s head. Both of them suffered quite a bit of damage. As if they’d made a pact, they both retreated.

“Kahalhalhalhal! I never imagined a person like you would still be on the lower floors! How surprising! The world of the Tower is really fun!” Benteke stood over the water, touching the severe burn on his body. The wound still had red sparks that continued to destroy his flesh, but he only felt joy.

Previously, Benteke hadn’t planned on coming since he was busy with Triton now that all kinds of new clans were emerging. His hands were full with the other three clans that had risen along with Triton, especially the Fantasy Regiment. Even if Poseidon, the god he served, nagged him, he didn’t do things he didn’t want to.

He would only laugh if Poseidon threatened to strip him of his position as Apostle. He’d only become an Apostle because he thought he would receive a new power and strength. However, he was quite confident in his own powers, and he thought he could pick another god to serve at any time. After all, plenty of gods and demons would jump at the chance to have him serve as their Apostle.

Also, Poseidon was actually quite pleased by Benteke’s confidence, so he didn’t see the need to take action. However, this time, Poseidon had made it clear that Benteke had to do his duty and even made it a compulsory quest.

Poseidon had never urged Benteke this forcefully before, so Benteke had to follow his orders. Also, the reports that his subordinates had brought about the rookie making a commotion on the lower floors had amused him. Since Yeon-woo was setting new records on each floor and had tied with Allforone on the twenty-first floor, Benteke was intrigued.  

He grew curious about this rookie who had made Poseidon so aggravated. Poseidon was an arrogant being who didn’t even look at the lower floors—anyone who could infuriate him so much was worth a look. Things seemed like they would be even more fun than he’d hoped.  

He was feeling a pain that made his trident shiver, and not many people could make him feel that way. Benteke stared at Yeon-woo’s black mask and clothing, as well as the Fire Wings on his back. He thought that the Hoarder had quite a unique appearance.

“Hm?” Just then, Benteke saw the necklace on Yeon-woo’s neck. He hadn’t recognized it because of the black fire around it, but it was just like his own. “Where did you get that item? Did you go to the Quartz Palace?”

The item reminded him of the dead Heaven Wing. Lana had held onto it until her end, so it was an unpleasant memory. To Benteke, Heaven Wing was a ghost who had pushed Lana into a corner and caused the Blue Rose’s collapse. Although he might have had pleasant encounters with Jeong-woo while he was still alive, his feelings for Heaven Wing had soured after his death.  

However, Yeon-woo only touched the necklace with his left hand and didn’t say anything. Benteke could feel the gazes on him, but he ignored them, especially the ones filled with hostility. 

[Poseidon wants to punish you.]

[Poseidon is watching you.]

[Poseidon is revealing an intense murderous intent.]

[Hermes is cheering you on.]

[Athena gives you a Factor.]

[Athena hopes for your victory.]

[Athena is glaring at Poseidon.]

[The godly society <Olympus> is silent from the tension between Poseidon and Athena.]

[Many godly and demonic societies are watching <Olympus>.]

‘When I think about it, Poseidon and Athena have never had a good relationship, even though they’re family.’

Athena looked favorably upon Yeon-woo while Poseidon had only hostility for him. It was just like how they had stood against each other in the legends. Yeon-woo could feel the holy power being delivered through the channel of powers. 

There were a lot of beings interested in him, and he didn’t enjoy the feeling that he was just another plaything to the gods and demons. He said to Benteke, “I hope you’re nothing like Apophis’ exuviae and the Cannibal Monster King.”

“What?” Benteke frowned at Yeon-woo’s strange answer. However, his eyes widened as he sensed the air around Yeon-woo suddenly change. 

[Dragon Body Awakening]

[The 3rd Spirit]

[Wicked Devil]

[Goddess’ Stigmata]

Crunch! Dragon scales grew on Yeon-woo’s skin up to his eyes, and the Spirit Familiars that he had sent out returned to him. The Philosopher’s Stone began to emit magic power. Demonism slowly spread in his body as his Magic Circuit spun, and with the holy power from the goddess of war, Yeon-woo swung Vigrid with the combined powers of the Draconic species, gods, and demons—three Superior species. 

With a flash, the air cracked apart, and black Aura pierced Benteke. 

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