Chapter 309 - Tartarus (9)

Luciel’s Soulstone. 

‘Didn’t Vieira Dune take that?’

A long time ago, Luciel, who hadn’t been able to become a god or a demon, had fallen to the lower world with his wings torn apart by both kinds. 

The Soulstone was created from his fall. 

It had entered his brother’s possession by coincidence, but after Vieira Dune took it, it disappeared from the lower world. 

Or so it was thought. 

But the Soulstone was right there. 

‘Is it the same one?’

Time-wise, it wasn’t weird for the three Cyclops brothers to have failed in their tasks 200 years ago and for the stone to end up with his brother. 

‘But….. something’s off.’

Yeon-woo narrowed his eyes. 

The shape or feeling of the stone that he saw in the diary was different from what Brontes had. 

While the stone in the diary was more square and had a dull energy, the Soulstone Brontes had was round and shined light. It truly fit the expression “fire.” The stone looked like it was blazing. 

『Soulstone. Yes. The previous owner called it that. But we call this “fire” or “light.”.』

Light? 

Now that he thought about it, Yeon-woo realized Luciel’s other name was Lucifer, which meant “Bringer of Light.”

『We also call it the “Fire of the Beginning.” Luciel was like the lighthouse of fire….. anyways. All those legends aside, it was something that Lord Hades needed desperately.』

Brontes tried to speak of Hades and the Fire of the Beginning. However, Yeon-woo had something he wanted to know more. 

“No. Please tell me about the Fire of the Beginning first.”

Brontes frowned. He couldn’t stay in his vestige body for long. There were too many things he had to relay to Yeon-woo, such as what to watch out for or how to carry things out. 

But the light shining in Yeon-woo’s eyes was threatening him. Like he was going to quit the quest if Brontes didn’t answer his questions. 

Yeon-woo was that desperate for information about the Soulstone. There was definitely something he was missing. 

Eventually, Brontes sighed and heeded Yeon-woo’s wishes. 

『Alright. But I don’t have much time, so I can’t go into much detail. The Fire of the Beginning is now history even among godly societies, and all things related to Luciel can’t be spoken of because of a pledge we’re bound by.』

Yeon-woo nodded with expectant eyes. 

『In the beginning, there was fire, and Luciel was the one who watched over it. Then, he became a superior entity by swallowing the Fire of the Beginning. This is Lucifer.』

The lowly lighthouse keeper, Luciel, had become Lucifer, with his hundreds of wings. 

『However, this power wasn’t bestowed upon him. The Fire of the Beginning was something that all gods and demons treasured. It was the spark that legends and myths came from, and they couldn’t allow Luciel to keep it to himself, so everyone worked together to tear off his wings.』

Brontes went on, speaking quickly.

『And Luciel? Lucifer didn’t die easily. He didn’t want to return the fire to the gods and demons, so he split his soul into several pieces as he fell to the lower world. These are the Soulstones. Pieces of the soul that have the Fire of the Beginning within them.』

Yeon-woo’s eyes widened. 

『The gods and demons frantically tried to retrieve them, but apart from a few, the rest completely vanished.』

“…….”

『Of those, the only one kept intact was Castitas.』

Many things were going through Yeon-woo’s mind. 

‘It wasn’t just one Soulstone?’

That was a significant piece of knowledge. 

“Then how many stones fell in total?”

『A total of 14. Seven virtues and seven sins. It was a result of Luciel having affinities for both light and darkness. The upper world has nine of them. Five of them are roaming around the lower world. And this was one of the five.』

‘Then what Vieira Dune had was one of the remaining four…..’

Yeon-woo felt some things click into place. Why had he only thought there was only one stone? It was possible for there to be several of them. 

At the same time, he felt surprised. 

‘With that one Soulstone, Vieira Dune was able to swallow Mother Earth and ascend to the heavenly world. Then if I can gather the rest of them…..?’

Yeon-woo could gain all the power he needed. 

『But it’s strange that you’re curious about this.』

Yeon-woo came to attention at what Brontes said. 

“What do you mean?”

『I mean what I said. You and I both have Soulstones, but you don’t know anything about them.』

Yeon-woo was shocked. He never imagined that he would hear something like this. 

His eyes became bigger. 

“What are you…..”

『Isn’t that a Soulstone near your heart?』

“……!”

Yeon-woo pulled out the pocket watch from his left breast pocket. The hands of the watch were trembling. 

Brontes nodded. 

『Yes. That. It’s an item that refined the Soulstone very well. Even I wouldn’t be able to make something like that. Was there a blacksmith who was that talented in the lower world? It’s a shame I can’t observe their talent.』

Yeon-woo’s hands shook. For a moment, he was blank. He was just confused. 

『Although its functions seem to be paused for some reason I cannot discern. Still, that will be a great help to Lord Hades, so it’s a relief.』

It seemed like Brontes thought that he had brought the pocket watch for Hades. 

“I…..!”

Yeon-woo tried to ask a few more questions since Brontes was thinking that way, but Brontes raised his hand and cut Yeon-woo off. 

『No. Enough with the small questions. I must say what I have to. I don’t have much time. But if you insist on asking them, I’ll just disappear.』

His single eye had a fierce look, as if he wouldn’t budge.

Yeon-woo bit his lower lip. Brontes was as desperate as he was.

In the end, Yeon-woo nodded and took a step back. First, he needed to listen to what Brontes had to say , and he could ask his questions later.

『Anyways.』

Brontes began to speak with a nod.

『I was moving to Tartarus with my brothers on Lord Hades’s orders with the ‘Stone of Castitas.’ According to Lord Hades, a force of darkness is invading Tartarus.』

“What is the darkness?”

『I don’t know. I just followed his orders. But I know one thing for sure. The Titan and Giants locked inside Tartarus have somehow regained their strength and are trying to escape. Lord Hades was trying to prevent that.』

The Titans and Giants, criminals who were locked in Tartarus after fighting with the gods of Olympus. 

The fact that they were resisting was big news. 

It sounded like the strange occurrences Hades felt from Tartarus were the plans of the convicts to escape. 

『So while Lord Hades needed the Stone of Castitas, he also needed our brethren’s abilities.』

Yeon-woo nodded. The three Cyclops brothers would definitely be able to create more outstanding weapons to keep the Titans and Giants under control. 

『But at some point, everything went sideways. I don’t know how they found out after we moved so carefully, but people were chasing after us.』

Someone was clearly connected to Tartarus from the outside. That was what Brontes thought. 

“And they must’ve been the ghost monsters.”

『Yes. We were tied down at the sixth gate. I stayed behind to stall for some time.』

Brontes narrowed his single eye. 

『I thought someone would come to help someday. They would need a guide to lead the way. And thankfully….. it was worth staying here…..  although I lost my level.』

Bronte’s image began to fade away. 

Since he stayed here all that time, he had lost a considerable amount of his holiness. 

He would become a normal soul and fall into the cycle of reincarnation instead of being locked in this gate. 

Being mortal was what gods feared the most, but Brontes didn’t seem to be scared of it at all.

『Anyways. It’s a long way, so I entrust the final steps to you. It seems like the darkness hasn’t been pushed back despite all this time….. my brothers will need help too. The only regret I have…..』

Hwaaa—

His image cracked with static. 

『Is that I cannot help them as the eldest.』

[The sudden quest (Persephone’s Long-time Wish) has been updated.]

[Please check the quest window.]

Brontes’s soul faded faster. 

‘No!’

Yeon-woo felt frantic looking at Brontes. He still hadn’t heard anything about the pocket watch yet.

Also, he had to ask about the Black King’s weapons. The reason why they swallowed Astrape and Triaina.

Just then, Yeon-woo was suddenly reminded of something. 

Death. 

Souls. 

The power he had. 

He had already bound Brahma to him. 

If it was a god who had a low-level and deeply regretful…..

“Brontes!”

Yeon-woo looked at Brontes, who only had his head left now. 

『Why? Do you want to say farewell to me?』

“You said you wanted to help your brothers, right? Do you still want to defeat the Titans and the Giants?”

『Of course……. they’re my enemies.』

Back when Titans had ruled over Olympus, they locked the three Cyclops brothers up, saying they didn’t want to see them. It was Zeus who saved them then. The three Cyclops brothers thought this was their chance of repaying him and created great weapons for Zeus. 

They were Astrape, Triaine, and Kynee. 

However, the Titans and Giants were trying to escape from Tartarus now. The reason why the three Cyclops brothers had helped Hades was because of their grudge against them. 

“If so, please become bound to me.” 

『What?』

“I’ll help you resolve your regrets.”

Yeon-woo tried to hold onto Brontes. 

It was impossible to forcefully bind souls of that size like he had with the ghost monsters. He had to logically entice and make Brontes want to be bound to him. 

『What……!』

Brontes crinkled his eyes, unable to understand what Yeon-woo was saying. Telling a god to be bound to a human? It was disrespectful. He didn’t know what would change if he did that. 

However, the moment Yeon-woo stretched his hand towards him, 

『That’s……?』

His eyes widened. The black bracelet and fetter that he thought were normal artifacts were shaking. Along with them, Bronte’s eyelashes shook too. 

He now realized who Yeon-woo was the descendant of. The one who they could only call “Him” because of the pledge on the Styx River…..!

“Become bound.”

The fading world around Brontes paused.

* * *

『……No way.』

Brontes had a disbelieving expression after seeing his visible arm. 

Creutz looked shocked too. 

“…..No way.”

He thought the same thing when Yeon-woo took control of tens of thousands of souls, but he hadn’t imagined that Yeon-woo would bind a god’s soul. 

He never heard of a mortal doing anything like this. Creutz’s eyes were filled with disbelief. 

Especially because he knew more about holiness than most players, having trained with his holy sword, he was extremely shocked right now. 

No matter how much damage had been done to the being’s level, it didn’t make sense that a supernatural soul could be taken in like that.

『No. I suppose it’s to be expected.』

Brontes observed Yeon-woo with dark eyes. He hated Titans more than anything in the world, and he was flabbergasted by the situation. 

However, Yeon-woo was now his master, and “His” descendant. There was no escape for him. He realized that he had fallen for the mortal’s smooth talking. 

‘Still, if he can help me meet my brothers and stop those guys….. what wouldn’t I do? This might be fate.’

Had he seen the look in Brontes’s eyes?

“I’ll ask something I didn’t get a chance to ask earlier.”

Yeon-woo nodded and held out the pocket watch.

『Speak, Master.』

“Can you fix this watch?”

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