『Since the calculating tool is stable now, only the OS set-up is left.』
“That’s the hardest process.”
『It’s not just hard, it’s shit.』 Jeong-woo clucked his tongue. He knew all too well how proud transcendents like gods and demons were. They didn’t know how to submit to the will of others and sought only their individual paths. It was a wonder they could even function together in different societies, it was impossible to imagine how they would react to a mere mortal trying to control their power. It was clear that they couldn’t be expected to cooperate.
Jeong-woo thought that if he were one of them, he wouldn’t be displeased and instead, he’d be flabbergasted and amused. But since many were planning to take Yeon-woo as their Apostle, he had to admit that he and Yeon-woo had to be grateful that the transcendents weren’t trying to disrupt the process.
Jeong-woo shook his head at the difficulty of the task, however, he was curious to see how Yeon-woo would create a new pair of new Sky Wings, their biggest hurdle. 『Have you thought about it some more?』
『Nice. What is it?』
“It’s probably similar to what you’re thinking.”
Jeong-woo frowned. 『Stop giving such vague answers.』 Yeon-woo hadn’t changed, and he always took what he needed without giving anything away. He treated his own brother, who was even trying to help him, in this way.
Yeon-woo grinned. It felt like they had returned to the past, bickering with each other at the drop of a hat. However, he felt a bit of melancholy at the thought of their mother’s reactions if she saw them like this. “You go first. I’ll use your advice well.”
『Ha! Well, I think categorizing them is the first thing you have to do.』 Yeon-woo had accepted around 5,000 powers, and more kept appearing either because they’d heard about what he was attempting to do or their curiosity had been piqued by the Assassination of a God event. As a result, the powers were all mixed up like bees in a hive. Even though some transcendents were in the same societies or ruled over the same domains, their powers were independent of each other. This was why Jeong-woo believed creating large frameworks that could group powers with things in common together should take priority over all else.
“I agree. Then what’s the criteria for commonalities?” Yeon-woo asked with a nod.
『There’s a left wing and a right wing, right? Why not start with that? Gods on the left and demons on the right.』
Yeon-woo thought it was a good idea. “And you split them further from there?”
『Yeah. We’ll have to think more about how we can group them again, but the easiest is to divide them according to society. 』
Although gods and demons were individualists, they didn’t like moving on their own, and those who shared legends formed groups and maintained their powers together. Jeong-woo rationalized that it would be more manageable if Yeon-woo split them into separate societies, and it would also reduce the clashes between powers.
“No. It’s okay, but it’s a little, no, very dangerous.” Yeon-woo shook his head after considering the idea.
Jeong-woo was a bit offended that his idea had been shot down right away. He grumbled with a sulky expression, 『Why?』
“That’ll only lead to an imbalance of Factors.”
Jeong-woo was about to ask what that meant when he belatedly realized what Yeon-woo was talking about. 『Oh. I didn’t think of that.』
The ratio of gods and demons currently in the Channels was three to seven. The large number of demons was a result of Yeon-woo’s path, which was closer to a demon’s than a god’s. His inclination towards evil could be seen in his status window. Dividing the wings according to gods and demons would only make the imbalance more apparent, and the Demonic Factors would become the most active of all the three Factors Yeon-woo owned.
『Then what if you adjust the types of powers to a one-to-one ratio?』
[A few gods nod in agreement.]
[A few demons explode in rage, asking what that means.]
[The demons who joined the Channels relatively late feel anxious.]
[Lower-level demons glare at your brother.]
[Agares laughs at them, shaking his finger.]
Jeong-woo could feel the loathing in the gazes of the demons but ignored them. However, Yeon-woo rejected this suggestion as well. “No. The level of each transcendent is different so even with this kind of ratio, the weight won’t be the same on each side. Also, there’s a possibility that my body might be destroyed even if the balance is even.” If he listened to Jeong-woo, his body would be divided into two sections, with Divine Factors on the left and Demonic Factors on the right. The three-way balance that he had managed to get together would be ruined.
『Shit. This is too hard.』 Jeong-woo scratched his head. It was their first time dealing with a Demonic Divine Draconic Body and because there wasn’t anything to refer to, it was difficult to figure out the direction they had to take. 『What are you gonna do?』
“I was thinking about categorizing them according to keywords.”
“Yeah. I was thinking of dividing them according to their power. Death on the left, war on the right.” The gods and demons of death had been interested in Yeon-woo ever since he was considered the successor of the Black King. On the other hand, gods and demons related to war seemed to have appraised him based on his accomplishments. They had seen their legends in him.
He would put the powers of the Black King to the left, and those of his accomplishments to the right.
[All gods of death are satisfied with your decision.]
[All demons of death are deeply interested in your plan.]
[All gods of war are curious about your idea.]
[All demons of death laugh at the gods and demons with different powers.]
[Agares looks at you with flustered eyes.]
[Agares attempts to message you.]
[The message dissipates as his period of no messaging is still ongoing.]
[Agares becomes unruly from annoyance.]
[Agares’ contact has been limited.]
『You’re splitting the powers into two categories? What about the ones that don’t fit under war or death? You’re just gonna throw them all away?』 The demon Hundun had shown positive interest in Yeon-woo from the beginning, and he was known by the name Four Evils. However, he didn’t have any significant connection to either death or war, and it seemed like Yeon-woo would have to discard him.
“I still have to put them in a group, of course.”
“Do you know what the root of a legend is?”
『What are you talking about right now?』
“Fighting. It can be fighting yourself or fighting the world. Or it could be fighting destiny.”
『Well…if you put it that way, I guess nothing can truly avoid war or death.』 Jeong-woo understood what Yeon-woo was saying. 『So you’re just going to loosely group them like that?』
“Yes, but I’ll categorize them even further within the group.”
Jeong-woo clucked his tongue. Even though it seemed illogical, it was the only method that would ensure a balance between gods and demons, and even the mixed powers would have a category. 『I wonder if the owners of the powers will like it.』
“They don’t have a choice.” Yeon-woo quickly scanned through the messages that were blurring his vision.
[Hundun is silent.]
[Vimalacitra bursts out in laughter, saying it’s a fun idea.]
[Cernunnos wonders where he’ll be placed. He asks if there will be other keywords.]
[Nergal crosses his arms and decides to observe the situation.]
[Agni announces he will flip everything over if he doesn’t like it.]
The reactions were split. Gods and demons with death or war as their power seemed to be supportive, but the rest were displeased. A few tried to strengthen their Channels to pressure Yeon-woo. However, he had been expecting this reaction and decided to ignore them and proceed. He wasn’t going to negotiate those two keywords.
With the Cast of the Black King in his position, he couldn’t abandon death, and war was necessary for him to continue to stack up his accomplishments. ‘If I want to turn my accomplishments into legends, I can’t give it up.’
Yeon-woo had no intention of simply clearing the higher floors and stopping after his revenge. He needed to reach even higher. For that, he needed to make preparations now.
『Hyung, are you…?』 Jeong-woo realized what Yeon-woo was thinking and shock filled his eyes. Yeon-woo put a finger to his lips, and Jeong-woo nodded, shutting his mouth. However, he was screaming inside. He’d thought the new Sky Wings would simply function as an operating system, but it turned out to only be the first step in a grand scheme. Jeong-woo decided that he needed to work harder. 『Hyung is doing this all because of me.』 His shoulders felt heavier.
* * *
Because the keyword of each wing was vastly different, they were created separately. They started on the left-wing, which would contain the keyword “Death”. The process of creating it was easier than they’d initially expected. They simply used the process Jeong-woo had used when he made his Sky Wings, fitting it to Yeon-woo’s Atman System and adding the Black King’s power.
‘I don’t know who the Black King is yet, but the gods and demons of death are still following him.’ What if he centered the Black King’s power and bound the other powers to it? It would make control much easier. He selected his first command word as “Soul Collector”.
[The skill ‘Sky Wings (Left) is being created.]
[The option of the Cast of the Black King, ‘Soul Collector’ has been designated as the first command word.]
[The category ‘Death’ has successfully been connected to the first command word.]
[The powers included under the category ‘Death’ are influenced by the first command word.]
[The King of Seven Hells looks at you furiously.]
[Nergal shakes his head with a confounded face.]
[Ksitigarbha makes a tense face for the first time.]
[Izanami says he is someone who cannot be resisted.]
[Halphas sighs with a vexed face. He will cooperate with you because there is no other choice.]
[Aesma-daeva announces he will follow ‘Death’.]
[Hel has a flushed face.]
[All gods of death speak.]
[Message: You are being impertinent with your foolish greed, measuring out his power and collecting it into a single location.]
[All gods of death speak.]
[Message: If it’s possible to gather his lost power and reconstruct it, nothing would be impossible.]
[Message: But if his greatness is stained, beware that ‘Death’ will escape your control and swallow you.]
[Message: You should always keep this in mind.]
When all the messages stopped popping up, Yeon-woo could feel the 444 different Channels combining as one. It felt like twine twisting together to become a rope as the small Channels flowed together to become a greater unit. It occurred to him briefly that it was like a cloud or a server, but he quickly focused on the left-wing again. Soon enough, there were 444 black feathers in his hand.
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