“The Protogenoi child caused some trouble, hm?” Hades chuckled mirthlessly as he rested his chin on his hand, a cynical smirk on his face.
Lam bowed after giving her report. “Are you planning to let them be?”
Hades chuckled again. This time, his laughter was full of amusement. “If I don’t?”
“They have been poking their noses not only in the holy territory but all over Tartarus as well. Isn’t it likely that Olympus has gotten a read on the situation here?”
Anyone who was a general or higher among Dis Pluto knew that Paneth’s party had the support of Poseidon and other gods. As the eyes and ears of Poseidon, Demeter, Hestia, and Hera, they were probably reporting a lot of information back.
Paneth’s party had a flimsy excuse about helping in the war, but it was wrong of Poseidon to break the agreement among the three brothers not to invade each other’s territories. Hades had thoroughly blocked any information about Tartarus reaching the outside for the least 100 years. He hadn’t even contacted Persephone. However, recently, it seemed that Hades no longer cared about concealing information. He had tried to keep his cynicism under control but as the war dragged on, it continued to deepen. As someone who had served him for a long time, Lam felt frustrated.
Hades seemed to have fallen into pessimism. His strong sense of responsibility would keep him fighting, but she saw his shoulders steadily drooping. When she thought about it, Hades had begun to change when Yeon-woo’s party brought Persephone’s message to him. For the first time, she saw Hades shaken. At first, she thought it was because it had been a long time since he’d last heard from his partner, but when she thought about it more, that didn’t seem to be the reason.
She remembered how much Hades had been avoiding Persephone. She’d believed that it was to prevent any information from leaking, but the truth of the matter was that Hades had been quite excessive in avoiding contact with Persephone. Everyone in Olympus and even the entire ninety-eighth floor knew how intense Hades’ love for Persephone was. It was so bad that Hera even said Hades was a more annoying lover than Zeus, who flirted with every woman he saw. If he was avoiding Persephone, there had to be a good reason.
Also, when he’d received Persephone’s message, he hadn’t been delighted. Instead, he’d sunk into depression, and Lam couldn’t help worrying about what happened between the two. Hades’ indifference to the conflict among the players made her grow even more concerned. Just a few months ago, he would have promptly punished them for disturbing the peace, but he didn’t seem to have the will to do it now.
“The war with Titans and Giants has been pushed as far as it can go. Stubbornly refusing external interference isn’t the right thing to do either. Don’t bother me about this anymore. Olympus will take action soon.”
Lam was speechless.
“However, it’s true that arguments among players aren’t good for morale. Just take care of it as you always have.”
Lam bit her lower lip. Hades was clearly expressing that he had no desire to interfere in the matter at all. The only upside was that he still trusted his subordinates and was comfortable delegating things to her. “Then may I request something of you as your Apostle and general?”
“I’d like the command of three corps.”
A corner of Hades’ mouth curved up, and a faint amusement appeared in his tired eyes. “Are you going to fight with them?”
“As you ordered, I spent the last few days observing the surroundings of Myeongbujeon and Jicheongjeon, and I discovered that their defenses are quite weak.”
Myeongbujeon and Jicheonjeon were Hades’ former holy territories that had been taken by Typhoon. Lam’s reconnaissance had shown her something important: ‘They can be taken back.’
No matter how violently the Titans and Giants attacked, their influence in Myeongbujeong and Jicheonjeong was weak because those places were too far from their base. Furthermore, the two still had a significant amount of Hades’ holy power. Now that most of the Titans and Giants were gathered near the Giant god in preparation for attacking the Temple of the King of the Underworld. Myeongbujeon and Jicheonjeon had practically been abandoned. With the enemies’ guard down, it was a good opportunity to take back the two holy territories.
“The Cyclops Arges reported that the Torch can be restored. This is the perfect time to recover our land.” The Torch was another word for the Sacred Fire, the flame created by a great explosion at the beginning of time when space was filled with nothing. The flame created light and combined with the emptiness to open different worlds and dimensions.
Gods were created from the remnants of the light, and so it was important to protect the Sacred Fire, the basis of their existence. The ones who possessed the Sacred Fire could earn the great power of ruling the universe, and all the battles, from Uranus to Kronos and then Zeus, were over the Sacred Fire. When Luciel tried to swallow the Sacred Fire, it was the anger of all the gods and demons that damned him.
However, with Zeus in a deep slumber, the flames of the Sacred Fire had grown weaker and Olympus was no longer as powerful as it used to be. The Sacred Fire that was supposed to dominate the Titans and Giants was slowly going out around them. It was the reason behind Typhon’s ability to absorb Kronos.
The youngest of the Cyclops had reported to Lam that it was possible to light it again. For the longest time, he hadn’t been able to do anything because he didn’t have a way of extracting the fire despite having the Soulstone. However, with his brothers’ return, a path had opened to them.
If the Torches in darkened holy territories taken by the Titans and Giants could be lit again, the holy territories would regain their purpose and Hades’ lost holy power would return. Then, with their master’s rejuvenation, Dis Pluto would return to full power.
“Please allow me to do this. I’ll lead a unit to reclaim the holy territories. The players need karma, and Poseidon and the others won’t be able to refuse because they say they’re here to help Tartarus.”
“Even though Kronos’ corpse is between the two territories?”
Thinking of Kronos’ gigantic body, Lam nodded heavily. “I can do it.”
Yeon-woo had already broken the ceasefire a long time ago. There was no problem in battling again. Hades wondered if it was alright to send a unit when the soldiers were still recovering, but he couldn’t deny Lam’s fiery eyes. ‘She’s different from me.’
Unlike their unmotivated master, his subordinates continued to keep their hopes alive. He couldn’t extinguish that spark. “Do as you wish.”
And like that, the order for the expedition was issued.
* * *
Hades’ orders were delivered discreetly because Lam’s plans required them to move in stealth. She planned on doing everything quickly and secretly. Their own allies wouldn’t even know.
The tenth, eleventh, and twelfth corps participating in the expedition were ordered to be on standby in their barracks. The thirteenth corps was also commanded to stop what they were doing and assemble in the barracks.
Since he hadn’t finished his Sky Wings yet, Yeon-woo wanted to stay in the underground prison. However, he had no choice but to participate since he needed to complete the Cast of the Black King. ‘There’s nothing else I can do to get Kynee.’ And that wasn’t the only reason. ‘Aether and the Elohim are bothering me.’ Yeon-woo clucked his tongue when he saw the barracks split into two opposing groups.
One group sided with Aether and the Elohim party members who had each lost a hand due to Lam. They glared at Yeon-woo’s party with blazing eyes, blaming them for the punishment even though it had been Lam’s doing.
Since they’d brought a professional healer, they’d managed to attach and heal their hands, but they weren’t appeased. It not for Lam’s observant eyes, they would’ve picked a fight again. On the other hand, Yeon-woo’s party laughed at them with disdain, unaffected by their anger. They spent the night explaining that Paneth’s party had tried to frame them, and a number of soldiers took their side.
Also, with Yeon-woo now out of prison, they didn’t need to hold back their hostility since Yeon-woo granted them permission to fight back. For better or worse, there wasn’t any enmity within the thirteenth corps. Soldiers took sides based on their friendships with the players, but in the end, their identities as Dis Pluto members took priority.
Paneth’s party knew this too, which was why they weren’t making an even bigger fuss, but Yeon-woo knew that wouldn’t last long. ‘They’re just waiting for their chance.’
Yeon-woo smirked at Aether and Paneth, who were looking over at them with grim expressions. They might’ve thought they were being inconspicuous, but with all the Channels he was connected to, Yeon-woo would be a fool not to know what was going on. ‘It’s so obvious that Poseidon’s gaze is with them.’
[Hermes explains that an unrevealed god (1, Olympus) is glaring at you.]
[Ares giggles saying that an unrevealed god (2, Olympus) is watching you.]
The gods and demons couldn’t reveal any names because of the system’s law of causality, but they could drop hints. Besides, even if they didn’t snitch, Yeon-woo had more Channels than any other player and was already in the process of creating a server cloud. It wasn’t hard to peek into the Channel of another player.
Poseidon had come to him with more gods, trying to pick a fight via Paneth’s party. How could he not know what that meant? Still, Yeon-woo thought it was for the best. He could complete the right wing as they moved, and he needed a place to test his completed left wing. Now he had the perfect stage.
It was as if good fortune had entered his house on its own. Aether was reserved for his brother, so he would take something else. ‘Thank you in advance for the meal.’ He snickered at Poseidon, who would soon feed with him Divine Factors.Previous Chapter Next Chapter