Chapter 286 - Island (3)

[Grief of the Black King]
[Category: Fetter]
Rank: ???]
[Description: ???]
[** This is a unique artifact. No other artifact like this exists in the Tower, and it will be bound to its owner. It cannot be transferred or traded between players.
** Some information cannot be accessed. You must meet the qualifications or conditions in order to view the information.]

When he’d first seen the message, he hadn’t been able to process the information because of his fight with Benteke. But now, he confirmed it and laughed in frustration. ‘Qualifications…’ He was annoyed that the important clue to the Black King’s identity could hardly be called that. There wasn’t even any information on the qualifications needed to unlock the information, which made the situation even more annoying. ‘Still, it doesn’t mean that there’s no clue at all.’

Yeon-woo opened the information window of the black bracelet. 

[Despair of the Black King]
[Category: Manacle]
[Rank: ???]
[Description: …But none of the ??? could stand against the power of the Black King, so they lived in dread for a long time. In the end, the ??? decided to betray the Black King, successfully overthrowing him from his throne and imprisoning him in the abyss.
After an eon spent in confinement, the Black King’s resentment corrupted the three frames that bound him in the abyss, turning them into his servants.
The frames tainted with the Black King’s resentment vigilantly await the opportunity to test its wearer.]

……

Yeon-woo focused on the description, ignoring the options and warnings. When he’d first attained the Despair of the Black King, he had no idea what it meant, but now that he had the Grief of the Black King, which had swallowed up Poseidon’s Triaina, he had a theory. ‘Do the question marks in the first sentence refer to the gods of Olympus?’

The Black King artifacts had swallowed the artifacts of Zeus and Poseidon. It meant that the Black King and Olympus were enemies. Yeon-woo focused on the word “betray”. He guessed that the Black King had once enjoyed good relations with Olympus before they fell out. ‘The Black King might be a holy being from Olympus.’

In the legends, Olympus had been full of wars until Zeus took charge. From the great wars of the Titanomachia and Gigantomachia to the end of Ouranos and the stories of heroes in the Trojan War. Countless gods had already been removed from Olympus.

The legends that Yeon-woo knew might not be accurate since stories like these had different sides. It was possible that some of them were hidden from the lower world, including the identities of the fallen gods.

However, he believed that he was on the right track, and if he continued investigating, he was sure that only a few gods could be the Black King. ‘It has to be someone related to death in Olympus or someone close to them.’ As he thought over the traits of the Despair of the Black King, the gazes on him grew more intense.

[Azrael looks at you quietly.]

[A god of <Olympus>, Thanatos, observes you.]

[A god of <the Chan Sect>, the King of Seven Hells, crosses his arms and observes you.]

[A god of <Ea>, Nergal, laughs crazily. He smirks at you, wondering if a mortal like you will be able to find out.]

[A god of <Deva>, Ksitigarbha looks at you with sad eyes.]

[Dis Pater smiles violently.]

[Izanami swallows.]

…..

[A demon of <Niflheim>, Hel, expresses his greed for you.]

[A demon of <L’Infernal>, Halphas, screams, flapping his wings and demonstrating his insanity.]

[Aesma Daeva looks at you strangely.]

…..

[All the gods of death are watching you.]

[All the demons of death are awaiting your judgement.]

[Agares shouts, telling others not to touch what belongs to him.]

[The gods and demons ignore him.]

After he acquired the Grief of the Black King, the gods and demons related to death or the Beyond grew more intense and blatant. It was clear that they coveted the items of the Black King. ‘I never heard of an artifact that deals with death and souls until this bracelet.’ In fact, this was something Yeon-woo had been wondering about. It wasn’t like there weren’t any necromancers or witch doctors in the Tower. Even Boo had been a witch doctor who dealt with corpses and souls.

However, there were limits to how players could handle souls. He’d never heard of anyone who would control a thousand souls. The diary didn’t mention anything like this either, nor did it say anything about powering up souls and turning them into subordinates.

Even the player who was the most intimate with death, the Vampiric Lord Bathory, hadn’t been this powerful. However, the Despair of the Black King made this possible, and Yeon-woo’s battle power increased due to its help. If he worked with his Spirit Familiars, he could defeat the Nine Dragon Sons.

Although Bathory had the trait of a Lord, she wasn’t Yeon-woo’s match. It was just that Yeon-woo hadn’t unlocked all his potential yet. There was still a lot of power within the Despair of the Black King. Two options hadn’t been unlocked yet, and his collection was already growing larger. It was a power that went beyond being a power.

It made sense that Azrael and the other gods and demons would watch him with fiery gazes. 

[A message from Azrael has arrived.]

[Message: Don’t be suspicious. You are the only human he has chosen. You have the qualifications to become a Divine Human.]

[A message from Azrael has arrived.]

[Message: Accept it. Trust and follow along. You’ll be rewarded for it in the future.]

[A message from Azrael has arrived.]

[Message: Furthermore, accept me. Become my Apostle, my shadow, my servant, and my spiritual body. I will lead you down the right path. I am a faithful servant of his.]

[A message from Azrael has arrived.]

[Message: The power that I share is also from him and…]

[A message from Agares has arrived.]

[Message: No! You can’t leave me for that…!]

Yeon-woo moved Agares’s message to the side and finished reading Azrael’s message. His eyes grew thoughtful. ‘Azrael is calling himself a subordinate?’ Yeon-woo raised his head. He couldn’t see Azrael, but he knew he was watching him from above. As far as he know, Azrael’s holiness was high—he was a being who oversaw life and death, he couldn’t have a low status.

Like Poseidon, Azrael had a lot of pride. If he had lowered himself to become the Black King’s subordinate, then it meant that the Black King had been truly incredible when he was still alive.

[Thanatos is silent.]

[Nergal is silent.]

[Ksitigarbha is silent.]

……

The gods and demons of death were silent, as if they were adding weight to Azrael’s words. Yeon-woo knew that the gods and demons on the ninety-eighth floor were extremely bored, and they were quickly attracted to novelty. The reason they were so quiet had to be because they knew or suspected who the Black King was.  

‘But then, Azrael is a god of Malak. He has no relationship to Olympus. Was I wrong to think that the Black King is related to Olympus?’ His questions didn’t end there. ‘And it’s strange that Hades hasn’t reacted to anything.’

The pillars of the current Olympus were Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades. They ruled over the sky, seas, and land, and Hades was also the ruler of the underworld. He was the god who should have had the biggest reaction to this situation, but there weren’t any messages from him. ‘Then is Hades the Black King? If Hades was betrayed by Zeus and Poseidon and has been locked up somewhere…’’

This made sense, but it was hard to say that Hades enjoyed a higher status than any of the other gods and demons of death. ‘Could it be Kronos, whom Zeus stabbed in the back? Or Ouranos, which happened even earlier?’ Yeon-woo’s eyes darkened. ‘And there’s a possibility that it’s Luciel…’

Luciel was the entity who had spread his wings to soar high, only to fall when many gods and demons banded together to rip his wings off. He had to be included among the list of candidates. ‘I need to unlock the seal on the information window first or find the last artifact.’ The information window said there were three artifacts belonging to the Black King. Edora had said that they might be a manacle, a fetter, and a pillory. It was obvious what the bracelet had to absorb in order for the pillory to appear. ‘Hades’s magical helm, Kynee.’

However, from what Yeon-woo knew, Hades hadn’t ever chosen an Apostle. Although it was possible he had a secret one, Yeon-woo didn’t know how to find this person. Still, if he couldn’t get Kynee now, it didn’t mean he wouldn’t ever get his hands on it. He also planned to research the manacle and fetter more.

‘Three Cyclopes brothers made holy artifacts for Zeus and the other gods. I have to find them.’ Brontes, Steropes, Arges were the children of Ouranos and Gaia, but they had been trapped in Tartarus because of their horrifying appearances. When Zeus saved them, they made Astrape, Triaina, and Kynee as presents. 

Yeon-woo had a few leads about their whereabouts, and he planned to look them up as soon as he cleared the thirtieth floor. It would be a good chance to find more information. Urrrng!

Yeon-woo silently rubbed the bracelet around his wrist. The gazes of the gods and demons of death were still intense and obsessive. He didn’t like it.

* * *

‘Still. Recovery first.’ Ignoring the gazes, he pulled something out of his shadow. It was Benteke’s severed right arm. While everyone had been preoccupied by the arrival of Duke Ardbad and Waltz, a Guai had collected it for him.

An Apostle was the incarnation of a god, and they were filled with Divine Factors. Benteke’s arm looked like a delicious and nutritious meal.

[A message from Poseidon has arrived.]

[Message: Stop! You dare! You…!]

Yeon-woo ignored the furious message and wrapped his left hand around Benteke’s arm. “Devour.” Clack, clack! Fangs began to emerge from the black bumps.

 

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