Chapter 307 - Tartarus (7)

“Huk, huk huk…..”

Creutz felt like he was going to die from exhaustion. He was suffering from following Yeon-woo in his heavy armor. 

His original plan was to ride above his wyvern in all his glory, but strangely, it couldn’t be summoned. He was barely catching up to Yeon-woo by running. 

He wanted to give up and wait for Yeon-woo outside of the hidden stage, but he ended up following because he was curious about what the Hoarder was trying to do here. 

Fortunately, he seemed to be resting for a moment, working on something with the Lich he always moved with. 

‘Anyhow….. I still can’t get used to this place.’

Creutz frowned as he looked around. 

The land was made up of pieces of flesh. The ruined corpses of the bodies exuded toxic smells and poisons, and there were maggots everywhere. 

How many people had died? While he walked, he couldn’t pause because his feet would start sinking into the swamp of corpses. 

It was a place where you would feel nauseous and stressed just from looking at it. For Creutz, this gate was the most horrible of all. 

Creutz had been reciting prayers so he could push away the deadly energy and not become poisoned. 

But now, it seemed like it wasn’t enough. And Yeon-woo probably wasn’t going to be done with whatever he was doing any time soon. 

‘I should make a barrier.’

Urrrng, urng—

Zulfikar kept on crying out, expressing its dislike. 

“I’m sorry.”

With an apology, Creutz planted Zulfikar into the ground and kneeled. 

Urrrng—

The holy sword trembled as it emanated holy power in a hemisphere around it. Poisons and acids were swept away as a barrier was constructed. 

* * *

Kiaaa—

Kra! Kraaa!

Kak kak kak!

All kinds of ghoulish screams rang out in the air.

‘It’s so hectic.’

Yeon-woo frowned at the headache he was getting. Too much information flooded into his head at once. 

Because they were vestiges of players who died painfully, the vestiges hurt as he felt them all flood into his head. 

However, for Yeon-woo, who had a Demonic Dragon Body and Time Difference, it made him dizzy for only a second. Yeon-woo wasn’t a someone mere ghosts could harm anymore. 

‘But it’s still so loud.’

He clicked his tongue, looking at the crying vestiges. 

They had definitely only gathered the souls of those who had died in the past 200 years, but there were too many. At the very least, there were ten thousands of them. It wouldn’t be easy to look for information related to the three Cyclops brothers out of all of them. 

However, there was no other way. 

[Time Difference]

He slowed down the time around him and began to check each of the vestiges. 

It was a dreary, repetitive act, but all he had to do was pick out the strong souls, so he didn’t worry too much. 

‘Because if they’re related to the three Cyclops brothers, their level will be that much higher.’

Still, it wasn’t exactly easy either. The fact that one had arrived at the sixth gate meant that they had reached a high level when they were alive. Also, it seemed that the souls had a lot to say since it had been a while since they met someone. 

After a long time. 

‘I found it.’

Yeon-woo saw a vestige that was shining more intensely than the others. He could feel Hermes and Athena’s gazes become stronger. That meant it was a soul related to Olympus. 

He poured out Consciousness into the vestige. Then, a few scenes flashed by his eyes like a trailer. 

Hwaak!

-Run! We can never….. never let them see this!

‘Hm? Are they being chased by something?’

In the vestige, three people were running frantically. 

Seeing the heat and monstrous aura around them, Yeon-woo realized they were the three Cyclops brothers who were heading into Tartarus at Hades’s orders. 

They kept on looking behind them, holding something in their arms with care. 

A shadow-like being was chasing after them furiously. 

The anxiety they had felt from the second gate became reality in the fourth gate, and now, it was chasing after them explicitly. At the sixth gate, the being completely showed itself and seemed to be about to swallow the three of them. 

-This won’t do. At this rate, the item will be taken from us. They’ll be in danger. Hades, Tartarus, and the stages above….. Second brother, youngest. I’ll try to delay it for as long as I can, so you guys take this to Sir Hades. 

The oldest took off the robe he was wearing and handed it to the second brother. The faces of the second brother and the youngest became desperate. 

-But, brother…..!

-Brother!

-No more! Are you trying to mess everything up?

-Heuk!

-Remember. No matter what happens, this item must not be stolen. Do whatever you can to get it to Lord Hades. Relay the details of this incident as well. Only then can we live…..!

The second and the youngest quickly ran away into the next gate with tears in their eyes. The oldest looked at them with sad eyes for a moment and turned to the shadow with a vicious smile. 

-Titans and Giants….. we can’t be played by those damned beings again…..!

‘Titans? Giants?’

Yeon-woo’s eyes widened. The Titans and Giants were all beings who were trapped in Tartarus after having fought with the current gods of Olympus for power. 

But why was the oldest brother bringing them up now?

And one more thing. 

‘What’s the object that the other two brothers ran away to protect?’

Putting his questions behind—

Pat!

The oldest brother gathered his hands together and began to recite a spell. Fancy Effects popped from under him, and a column of brilliant white light descended. 

A Giant stood behind him. 

The Cyclops he served, Brontes, had descended. The king of blacksmiths who gifted Astrape to Zeus. He let out a roar.

Kooooo—!

Thunder and lighting crashed down on the shadow. Yeon-woo borrowed the oldest brother’s vision to see the identity of the monster that was chasing them. 

Just then.

Crack, clang clang clang—

The vestige around Yeon-woo cracked. He was about to turn around to ask Boo what happened. 

[You have seen a side of the truth.]

[The hidden conditions have been satisfied. A surprise event is activating.]

‘Event?’

Kookookookoo!

The sixth gate shook up and down. It was different from the earthquake that occurred when Boo woke up the ghosts. 

‘Something’s coming up.’

Yeon-woo looked down at the ground he was stepping on. The flesh-pieced land was boiling. 

An even more horrendous stench began to rise from the ground. 

The pieces of flesh were swept away, and poisons and acids poured down on him like rain. It wasn’t something Yeon-woo could block with the detox bead in his mouth. 

It was like the difficulty of the gate had suddenly increased exponentially. 

[You are in abnormal conditions!]

[You have been poisoned.]

[You have been poisoned.]

……

[You have been heavily poisoned.]

[You have retained your rationale due to the ‘Cold-blooded’ trait.]

[You are no longer stunned. You have greater resistance to poison.]

Something was trying to come from underground, beneath the poison created from thousands of years of being buried. 

His Extrasensory Perception could see that it was about 7 meters long. The level it exuded was as striking as its size. 

‘It’s coming!’

Yeon-woo spread his wings of fire apart and flew up into the sky.

Just then, with a boom, something exploded from below. Like a volcano had erupted, flesh pieces were blown away, and a large hand reached out. 

A giant monster larger than what Yeon-woo had sensed earlier revealed itself. 

It looked so gruesome that anyone who looked at it would detest it at once. 

The monster looked like thousands of ghosts had been clumped into the form of a giant. People’s faces on its flesh screamed painfully and tried to escape. 

-Kill…… me…..!

-Save me…..!

-Why, why am I…..!

-Come with me…..! With me…..!

The ghosts couldn’t escape from the body of the monster and screamed curses. Poisonous energy scattered around them. 

‘It’s the monster that I saw in the vestige.’

Yeon-woo instinctively knew  it was the same repulsive monster that had been chasing after the Cyclopes’ apostles. 

The problem was the aura it exuded. 

‘It doesn’t fall short of mine.’

Was it because it was a monster related to Tartarus? Its aura wasn’t normal. In fact, in a way, it was more dangerous than Yeon-woo. 

Not only was it more dangerous, the poison and grudges it had could make the conditions of those who approached it turn for the worse.

However, the bigger problem was that…..

‘It’s not the only one.’

More ghost monsters squirmed to the surface. 

Yeon-woo realized this fight wasn’t going to be easy. 

Were the strange occurrences in Tartarus Hades had spoken of related to this?

Just then. 

Swek—

The ghost monster extended its rough hand towards Yeon-woo. Yeon-woo quickly pulled out Vigrid from the subspace and swung it up.

Kwang!

“Keuk!”

Unable to withstand the impact, Yeon-woo landed on the ground. The ghost monster was stronger than he thought. 

He felt a horrible pain, like his body was going to crack. The toxic stench and the poison he landed on when he crashed into the ground made it worse. Pieces of flesh splattered as he dug into the ground. 

“Domain Declaration.”

He barely raised himself and released his power. Dragon scales grew on his body, and he projected his consciousness onto the surrounding land. 

At the same time, he released the Stigmata of the Goddess, Wicked Devil, and the Sea King Stone. His fiendishness was unleashed.

Kwaaang!

Once again, the fist of the ghost giant came flying at him. Yeon-woo lifted Vigrid. 

This time, their strengths were equal, and he wasn’t flicked away. Instead, black Aura exploded, and the fist of the ghost monster cracked and scattered 

Kooo—

The ghost monster roared angrily and tried to bring its left fist down on Yeon-woo’s head. 

「You. Dare!」

Before it collided with Yeon-woo, the space around him split, and Boo appeared. His Inferno Sight was blazing with fury. He had been busy controlling the vestiges of the ghosts, but he manifested because he couldn’t accept the fact that a mere ghost was trying to attack his master. 

「Die!」

Kwakwakwang!

Boo stretched his arms out. When his skeletal hands were spread apart, something exploded next to the ghost monster’s head, and half of its head was blown away. 

Kwoooooo—

The ghost monster stepped back, shaking, and Boo kicked off from the ground and cast magic continually. Magic circles appeared and created fancy Effects in the air. It was as powerful as Doctor Doom’s signature Random Magic Circles. 

Kwakwakwang!

The ghost monster was pushed back by the repetitive explosions. The level of the monster may have been high, but Boo had the upper hand. 

Then, Yeon-woo’s shadow stretched out, and Shanon and Hanryeong dashed forward. Other ghost monsters had broken through the surface. 

「Ahahaha! It’s a fight! Woohoo!」

「Let’s finish this quickly.」

The two Death Nobles seemed excited by the fact that they could fight without holding back. Rebecca had also returned to her human form and was already fighting. 

In the sky above,

『Dreams……  dusk.』

Nemesis appeared and locked everyone in a deep darkness. As the black emptiness settled down, Yeon-woo’s domain was strengthened. The ghosts monsters below paused as they climbed to the surface. 

『Me too! I wanna do it too!』

Between them, Nike spread his wings apart with grace. 

Swoosh—

Nike transformed into blue fire and began to run along the ground. 

The ghost monsters screamed as they were covered by fire. 

The two Legendary Beasts turned the gate into their stage as if to show how much stronger they had become after being asleep in the Philosopher’s Stone all that time. 

Kwakwakwak—

* * *

『What is……?』

The soul began to blink. The apostle of Cyclops Brontes couldn’t understand what happened. 

He had definitely died, so how was his consciousness still alive?

Just then. 

“Are you awake?”

A black mask appeared in front of Aldin. 

Aldin stepped back subconsciously. The black eyes in which he could see his reflection looked like chains binding him. 

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