『You!』 Poseidon belatedly realized what Yeon-woo was planning to do and frowned. Yeon-woo was trying to steal the rest of the Divine Factors he had sent to the lower world.
Since Yeon-woo had already taken some of Poseidon’s information along with Benteke’s right arm, it was easier for him to steal the Divine Factors. Benteke’s body was now made up of pure holy power, and while it made descending easier for Poseidon, it was extremely vulnerable to energy drain. Since Bathory’s Vampiric Sword was the greatest of all energy draining skills, Poseidon ended up suffering the humiliation of losing his Divine Factors.
『Let go!』 Poseidon gripped Yeon-woo’s neck with his hand, trying to strangle him. His descent was still in progress, and he could speak more clearly now. However, at the same time, it also meant that he was at risk of losing even more Divine Factors. It was difficult to shake Yeon-woo off. In fact, Yeon-woo stabbed Vigrid in even deeper, along with Bathory’s Vampiric Sword.
『I said to let go!』
[Current awakening progress: 12%, 13%…15%...]
The more Poseidon resisted, the more tightly Yeon-woo held on. ‘I can’t lose him here.’ Yeon-woo had expected Poseidon to interfere directly when he made the decision to storm Triton’s base. Poseidon’s personality meant that he would never let go of his prey easily.
Yeon-woo had planned to end the fight with Benteke before Poseidon showed up and take his Divine Factors with Bathory’s Vampiric Sword. The damage to a god when an Apostile died was great, as he had seen with Urd. He believed that Poseidon would also suffer a massive blow, but Poseidon was doing something even crazier than Yeon-woo expected.
Descending into an Apostle’s body was a way for a god to manifest on the lower floor. The limitations to an Apostle’s body meant that gods didn’t try to descend unless it was of utmost importance because the vessel they created might be broken.
But if Martyrdom was in the mix, the situation was different. Martyrdom was a sacrificial offering that exchanged the blood of followers for the power of gods in the lower world, appeasing the laws of causality.
Poseidon attempted to descend after sacrificing his followers and even his Apostle. Benteke’s soul was gone, likely because Poseidon had absorbed it into him. The way that each god and demon dealt with an Apostle was different, but it was rare to see them behave in a manner as extreme as Poseidon’s. He treated them as though they were completely disposable.
But then, Poseidon had actually cherished Benteke, enough to turn a blind eye even though Benteke cursed him and said many harsh things. The fact that Poseidon was willing to throw Benteke away like this meant that Yeon-woo’s suspicions were true: Poseidon didn’t want Yeon-woo to have the power of the Black King.
‘That means I need to have it even more.’ Yeon-woo’s Draconic Eyes lit up.
『Let go!』 Poseidon repeated. He was furious at Yeon-woo, who was sticking to him like a leech. As time passed and Yeon-woo’s awakening continued, it was becoming harder to force him off.
Crunch, crunch! His cells and bones began to change from the information.
[Current awakening progress: 25%, 26%...30%...]
The stage was beginning to shake violently. Was it because of Poseidon’s fury? The ground cracked, and sea churned as a hurricane appeared. Yeon-woo’s expression turned grim. The descent was proceeding more quickly than he could absorb the Divine Factors. At this rate, it would be completed before he was done, and he’d be kicked aside. He couldn’t let that happen.
As soon as Poseidon’s descent was complete, he would be in danger. It wouldn’t be as bad as Agares on the twenty-third floor, but it was still dangerous to normal players. ‘There’s nothing else I can do but slow it down.’ He wasn’t going to depend on Bathory’s Vampiric Sword to take care of things for him.
[The holy power has been opened.]
The Divine Factors that had been coated with Draconic and Demonic Factors released in bunches, and they could now show their power. Holy power represented the strength of gods, but the holy power Yeon-woo used didn’t have a name. Like everything else, it simplyk moving according to Yeon-woo’s will. Yeon-woo focused his holy power on one spot—at the annoying gazes that always followed him.
[The Channel is being strengthened.]
Yeon-woo didn’t know how to use holy power properly yet. He had never been an Apostle, and he didn’t have any plans to become one. His brother had also focused on growing his power as a Dragon Human and hadn’t taken too much of an interest in holy power. If Yeon-woo wanted to use it well, he needed to practice more, but there was no time to practice at the moment. Fortunately, Yeon-woo was familiar with something that would help: powers. He could strengthen his connection with the gods and demons through his powers.
[The Channel with Athena has been strengthened.]
[Athena nods warmly. Her will becomes one with yours.]
[The power ‘Goddess’ Stigmata’ is being amplified.]
[The Channel with Hermes has been strengthened.]
[Hermes’ will becomes one with yours. His favor has increased.]
[The Channel with Azrael has been strengthened.]
[Azrael’s will becomes one with yours.]
[The Channel with Hundun has been strengthened.]
[Hundun's will becomes one with yours.]
As the connection with the gods and demons who had given Yeon-woo powers grew clearer, Yeon-woo could feel their presence beside him. The limits placed on the powers because he wasn’t an Apostle disappeared. Each connected god used their Channel to approach as they accepted Yeon-woo’s request.
Their wills became one. That meant that their will would enter the lower floors according to Yeon-woo’s desire. It was a type of descent.
『You’re a mortal, but you frequently experience things that other players would never experience even once in their lives. It’s interesting.』 A man appeared in the fog at Yeon-woo’s right. The mischievous smile on his lips showed that he was greatly amused by the situation.
『Hermes!』 Poseidon frowned, recognizing him. 『You dare interfere with me?』
『Gosh. Uncle, we need to set things straight. It’s not me but you who’s interfering with my business. You know that I’m watching this child with great interest, and yet you’re doing this?』 Hermes looked at Poseidon and smiled faintly. He looked kind, but it was hard to tell what he was thinking because his eyes seemed expressionless.
Poseidon became even more furious. 『Are you being serious right now?! Out of all of us, you should know best what he is trying to do!』
The power that Yeon-woo was trying to gain was death, a power that even gods and demons couldn’t treat lightly, even those whose duties revolved around it. It was something that a mortal wasn’t supposed to have.
Hermes could freely move from the heavenly world and the lower world, and he knew the line between life and death well. He was the one who was most aware of its dangers, but he said coldly, 『I don’t know.』 even though he still exuded a kindly air.
『Don’t shout, Uncle. I’m no longer the child who bursts into tears whenever you got angry.』
『You don’t have the right to order me around. You can just go your way, and I’ll go mine. Isn’t that the duty of a god?』
『Do you think it will go your way? I’m Poseidon.』
『I know. As you said, it probably won’t end well.』 He smiled brightly again, clearly mocking him. 『For you, Uncle.』
As soon as Hermes finished, smoke billowed behind Yeon-woo and took the form of a woman wearing a helm and silver armor. Although half of her face was covered in shadow, but it was clear that she was beautiful. It was the goddess of war, Athena.
She was famed for being merciless to her enemies, so she always caused fear and respect in players. However, at the moment, she stroked Yeon-woo’s palm with a sad face. She looked like she wanted to say something, but she didn’t speak.
She turned to Poseidon, her eyes blazing as a fighting spirit that was on a par with Poseidon’s began to spread around them. 『It won’t go your way, Uncle.』
Poseidon clenched his teeth. Athena was someone who made him uncomfortable even in Olympus. Although she was his niece, nothing good ever came from clashing with her. In the past she had taken over a city that was his holy territory, and all he’d done was turn away.
This time, Athena was getting in his way again. She knew what the player was up to, but she was moved by old affections. Poseidon’s blazing eyes began to calm until they seemed like the still waters of a deep sea. 『You siblings dare test me? What would Zeus say if he saw this?』
『Nothing will change by speaking about the father we don’t have.』
『Fine. If this is your response, let’s see who is in the right!』
The power that symbolized Poseidon activated. The ground shook even more violently than it had with Benteke. Storm clouds spewed out lighting, and the sea seemed to merge with the winds. The stage growled fiercely as though it were about to be flipped upside down. Still, Yeon-woo didn’t move away from Poseidon.
『Endure it a bit more. I want to help you myself, but I cannot. However, this will be a trial that will open up a new path for you. Just as Heracles grew in the past, I believe you will too.』
『Have strength, my child.』 Hermes put his hand on Yeon-woo’s right shoulder. His holy power instantly multiplied, and Bathory’s Vampiric Sword was revitalized. This was all he could do because his descent wasn’t complete like Poseidon’s.
However, this was still a great help to Yeon-woo. Athena stretched her hand out and pulled Yeon-woo’s head closer to her, strengthening the Goddess’ Stigmata and increasing the speed of the awakening.
[Current awakening progress: 46%, 47%, 48%...51%...]
Yeon-woo’s body changed noticeably as soon as the awakening went past the halfway point. His sparkling black scales grew even clearer and started to glitter like jewels. The Fire Wings on his back grew larger.
Some gods and demons hadn’t arrived yet. An ashy smoke wrapped around Yeon-woo. Although it didn’t take a solid form, it exuded the same power as Hermes and Athena did. It was the demon who always watched Yeon-woo silently, Hundun. 『I still haven’t taken him as an Apostle, so I can’t let a god stuck in the past snatch him from me. 』
The storm clouds in the sky divided and an angel slowly descended, carrying a long scythe. He had three pairs of wings on his back that looked more cruel than holy. It was Azrael, the seraph who guided deceased souls with his scythe. He blessed Yeon-woo.
After Azrael, more Factors followed, and the gazes around Yeon-woo grew clearer and more intense.
[All gods related to death are one with you.]
[All demons related to death are one with you.]
There was no way Poseidon could stand against all those gods and demons despite his complete descent. 『You damned beings!』 Poseidon’s influence, which had been about to fill the stage, was tied up instantly. He cried out at the pain as his holy power was restrained. The more he resisted, the tighter he was bound.
Bathory’s Vampiric Sword growled more loudly.
[Current awakening progress: 69%, 70%...84%…]
『Aaagh!』 Just as Poseidon’s spirit body was about to be stolen completely, a new demon arrived and announced his desire to participate.
[A message has arrived from Agares.]
[Message: What about me?! Why aren’t you calling for me?!]
[A message has arrived from Agares.]
[Message: Me too! Call for me!]Previous Chapter Next Chapter