‘Huh?’ Yeon-woo’s eyes shot open. He was still healing, but the feeling that something was missing was so strong that he had to open his eyes. He saw that one of his Channels was gone. It was the one with Azrael.
When he opened the status window, he saw that the Third Spirit was also gone. ‘What happened?’ The Third Spirit was the power that Yeon-woo used the most because it made it easy to handle souls and helped strengthen his Guai. With Azrael’s Factors, he was using it quite efficiently, but now it was gone. He couldn’t feel Azrael’s gaze either.
“Shanon! Hanryeong!” Yeon-woo frantically called the Spirit Familiars guarding the cave. He didn’t have any time to check on the progress of his Demonic Divine Draconic Body. Shanon and Hanryeong appeared from the shadow on the floor.
「What’s wrong, Master? Is something the matter?」
“Did something happen to me while I was sleeping?”
“Did anyone show up or did something happen to my body?”
「Of course not. We’ve been protecting this place. We even checked on you occasionally in case something happened.」
Hanryeong nodded in agreement. However, Yeon-woo’s face grew even stiffer as he listened to them. He lifted his head to look up at Rebecca, who had been protecting him as well. Rebecca shook her head; she was in her human form for the first time in a while.
‘What happened?’ Azrael had put a lot of effort into convincing him to be his Apostle. Considering his yearning for the Black King, he definitely wasn’t someone who would give up on Yeon-woo so easily. The reactions of the other gods and demons were strange, too.
[Hermes comforts you, saying not to worry.]
[Athena silently nods.]
[Hundun is quiet.]
[Agares snorts, saying he knew it would happen. He chuckles, feeling refreshed.]
It was clear they knew something. The gods and demons related to death were also acting strangely.
[Thanatos is silent.]
[The King of Seven Hells is silent.]
[Ksitigarbha is silent.]
[Aesma-daeva shakes his head.]
[Halphas is silent.]
‘Something’s definitely up.’ Yeon-woo’s eyes darkened. Thinking he might be able to spot something, he scrolled through the messages to see what would come up. A message that had popped up when he was sleeping stood out.
[You have fulfilled the conditions.]
[The ‘Grief of the Black King’ has been unsealed.]
‘Fulfilled the conditions?’ What did that mean? Why was the secret of the fetter suddenly released? Yeon-woo quickly checked the Grief of the Black King around his left ankle.
[The ‘Despair of the Black King’ and ‘Grief of the Black King’ have been combined, and the ‘Cast of the Black King (2 of 3) is being opened.]
[Cast of the Black King]
[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. The manacle represents the soul, the fetter represents death, and the pillory represents darkness.]
[Fixed chance of reaping the soul of the killed target and adding it to the collection. The collected souls lose their memory and become corrupted, left only with deep resentment. The capacity of the collection will increase in proportion to the user’s proficiency.]
[The enhanced form of black energy. Consumes the souls in the collection and converts them into dark property energy. The power increases in proportion to the number of consumed souls. Once created, the user can wield the energy at will. Magic power will buff the user and debuff opponents. Random curses may cause critical damage to opponents.]
[The souls bound inside the Soul Collection hate their master, but the user has total control over them. The souls can steal the vitality of every single living thing. According to the user’s wishes, the soul can transform into a Guai or even a more evolved being. Once the soul has transformed, it will become a faithful servant of the user and gladly carry out any given orders.]
[*Summon of the Dead
Using some of the collected souls, the user can forcefully summon souls from the Beyond. The number of souls summoned and the length of time they can stay depend on the soul’s level. Caution is advised. The summoned souls have free will and there are restrictions on binding them.]
[Ability locked. (Sealed)]
[** 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 of the abilities are sealed. You must meet the qualifications or conditions in order to lift the seals.
** Some information cannot be accessed. You must meet the qualifications or conditions in order to view the information.
**Currently collected: 2 of 3
-Despair: You can collect souls that are in despair.
-Grief: You can defy deaths filled with grief.]
Although their appearances hadn’t changed, a lot of things were new. The Soul Collector seemed to be the same, but when Yeon-woo looked closely at it, his eyes widened. Its capacity had multiplied. ‘20,000…’ He had increased the capacity before by raising his proficiency, but 5,000 had been his limit. The capacity had more than doubled now. Could he even fill it up? ‘If I can, a lot of things will be possible.’
He’d realized recently that the more souls he had, the better, since they could be used in so many ways: transforming into black energy, creating barriers, buffs, and even just condensing them into a weapon. He realized this after earning the Third Spirit, but now, he could do more than that.
‘Black Evil is the updated version of Black Energy.’ It was perfect to mix with black Aura, as though it had been created just for Yeon-woo. If Black Evil was added to the fire property and activated random curses? It would be destructive beyond words. ‘I’ll be carrying around a great weapon.’
But what stood out to him was the next option: ‘The Second Spirit.’ It was obviously a more powerful version of the Third Spirit. In legends, the heavens were split into six levels. The third level was for humans, and the second level was where gods punished sinners. The Second Spirit allowed him to do everything the Third Spirit did and more. It even allowed him to increase levels and created beings that surpassed the Guai. ‘With this, I can evolve Guai to a greater level.’
Yeon-woo had fed them the Disabling Poison Blood was because they’d reached the limits of their growth, and he was attempting to give them another weapon. However, now he could simply make them more powerful. The Guai could already defeat most players, what kind of power would they have if their levels were increased? He could also probably have more than thirty.
‘Azrael suddenly disappeared, and now the seal has been unlocked, and I received a more powerful power.’ He was suspicious. ‘There’s no way Azrael would suddenly release the seal out of goodwill and disappear.’
The immortal gods and demons that Yeon-woo had observed so far were all selfish. He could see they were trying to build their reputations and become even more renowned. Azrael was no different, and it didn’t make sense that he would step back. It was more logical that he’d taken away his power while Yeon-woo had been asleep.
‘Did this item swallow Azrael?’ However, Yeon-woo continued to theorize. ‘No way.’ He laughed at himself. An artifact that swallowed gods? There was no way something like that could exist. ‘If it did, the Tower would be flipped upside down.’
The gods and demons would never leave it alone since they took pride in the fact that they were invincible. Also, the Bureau wouldn’t let it go either. In fact, the system wouldn’t allow it in the first place.
[Hermes is silent.]
[Hel is silent.]
[Nergal is silent.]
However, the reactions of the gods and demons of death were a bit strange. Their continued silence and lack of reaction made it clear that they didn’t want to respond, and a few of them temporarily took their gazes away.
‘What happened?’ He looked at the manacle and fetter with wide eyes, but they just trembled. No one answered Yeon-woo. Urrrng!
* * *
In the temple of the sea god on the ninety-eighth floor, part of Olympus’ holy territory, a furious shout exploded out. None of Poseidon’s servants dared step inside Poseidon’s holy land. They knew that their king needed a lot of time before he would calm down.
“No. No!” Poseidon seemed exhausted. His mane of hair had bald patches, and his wide body had diminished. The black circles under his eyes showed how much holy power he lost from confronting Hermes, Athena, Hundun, Agares, Azrael, and the gods and demons of death.
He had failed to descend because of them and his Apostle had been stolen. Because his holy power had been forced from him, even a mighty being like Poseidon was greatly injured. “Stupid fools. They’re letting that go? How, how can they do that as immortals?!”
Poseidon couldn’t understand their decision. He could explain Hermes and Athena since they were the children of the foolish Zeus. They were still young and it was possible they had poor judgement. Hundun was always an evil demon whom he couldn’t read, and Agares was a crazy bastard. But what about the gods and demons of death?
They knew where their powers came from. Technically, the player named Cha Yeon-woo was a threat, so why were they taking his side and supporting him? It didn’t make any sense.
‘Are they aiming for what will come next?’ Whatever it was, Poseidon couldn’t accept it. It was a mistake that they had committed in the past, and his legacy was a reminder of their greed and desire. With Zeus in a deep slumber and Hades missing, he was the only one who could step up to stop the player named Cha Yeon-woo.
“I must go look for my siblings.” He clenched his teeth. He had to speak to Hera, Demeter, and Hestia, the sisters who remained in Olympus. His eyes flashed with a dark light. It was proof that his holy power was slowly being polluted.Previous Chapter Next Chapter