“First, since some of you don’t know each other, let’s introduce ourselves.” At Lam’s instructions, the players in the thirteenth corps exchanged casual greetings.
“Hello. Name’s Pam. A swordsman.”
“Sey. I’m an archer, and I double as a forward soldier.”
Technically, the thirteenth corps wasn’t large enough to be called a corps. Most of them had wandered in for training while they cleared the floors above. However, each player was strong and well-known above, and since they’d passed through the Ten Gates, their skills were clearly more than adequate. Not only that, they’d improved while fighting with divine beings. Yeon-woo observed their abilities with the Draconic Divine Eyes, revealing only as much of his magic power as he deemed necessary.
“Paneth.” The leader of the Elohim party didn’t say anything else besides her name. She seemed certain that everyone present had heard of her.
‘She’s the one who killed a god.’ Had it been Megaera? Killing a god not only required skill but also a special talent to transcend levels. ‘Did Poseidon and the others descend or give her something?’ Yeon-woo wondered what Paneth’s hidden card was. He was sure Poseidon and the others gave her something, but he couldn’t tell what it was. It was hard to believe Paneth had killed a god entirely on her own.
It was thanks to her that the rewards from killing Astraeus had been lessened, but Yeon-woo believed she wouldn’t be able to do it again. At that moment, Paneth looked at him after saying her name. She looked like she was glaring at him or perhaps indicating that it was his turn to speak.
Paneth narrowed her eyes. “Is that really your name?”
“Does it matter?”
“Of course, it does. We need to trust you to have our backs, which we can’t do if we don’t even know who you are.”
“Cain. I can’t say more than that. If you can’t trust me, then I’ll just drop out.”
The players were taken aback by his words. There wasn’t much time left but he was still threatening to go.
Boom! Lam banged her spear on the ground. She looked in vexation from Yeon-woo to Paneth. “I’m sure I told you that I’d kill anyone who started unnecessary fights. Do you really want to die?”
Yeon-woo shrugged, and Paneth took a step back, hanging her head. “I apologize.”
“Everyone, listen up. I don’t care if you guys love or hate each other, but don’t cause trouble in the middle of battle. Focus on the task at hand.” After Lam issued her last warning, she looked around to make sure that everyone was sufficiently embarrassed and began to explain their strategy. “The place we have to secure is called Myeongbujeon. Currently, there are two Titans there, Toae and Cymo.”
Toae and Cymo were Titans who couldn’t absorb Kronos’ power, which meant that they were on the lower rungs of the Titan hierarchy. Besides those two, there were only subordinates present in Myeongbujeon. Everyone else had been sent to Typhoon.
“We will raid Myeongbujeong with the eleventh and twelfth corps. Quick and quiet is the plan.”
“What about the tenth corps?”
“When we bind the ankles of the two Titans, they’ll move in from behind.” Lam didn’t explain the details of the tenth corps’ mission, but Yeon-woo understood her scheme immediately. ‘While the three corps are distracting the enemies, the tenth corps will take over the temple in the center. Is she planning on lighting the Torch to awaken Hades’ holy power?’ If so, it was a fine strategy. ‘That’s assuming Toae and Cymo are easy to deal with.’
In any case, it was a strategy worth attempting. ‘Since the ceasefire has already been broken, there’s no need to honor it. But taking along thirty percent of their forces and leaving Dis Pluto vulnerable to a sudden attack…ah, I see.’ Yeon-woo realized the battle wasn’t going to end here. ‘After they take over the temple, are they immediately heading to another holy territory? It’s a blitzkrieg. The question is how many Torches they’re going to light.’
Dis Pluto had already been pushed into a corner. Now that they had a way to counterattack, it made sense that they would go for broke. They’d be dead anyway if they didn’t find a way out of their current predicament.
“Then, let’s go.” Lam issued her command and the thirteenth corps quickly began to move.
* * *
Myeongbujeon was one of the holy territories closest to the Temple of the King of the Underworld. However, because Tartarus was so huge, it took a while to get there. Furthermore, they had to take a long route to avoid the subordinates of the Titans and Giants.
『Tartarus. I’ve always wanted come here.』 Jeong-woo clucked his tongue, looking through Yeon-woo’s eyes. Since he hadn’t cleared all Ten Gates yet, the place was fascinating to him. However, the red sky and dying land made him feel like those who stayed in this place too long would end up in a similar condition. 『But hyung.』
『What are you gonna do now?』 Jeong-woo’s voice was low. 『Your wings are still incomplete. To reveal your abilities so soon…』
‘No, I have to.’ Yeon-woo grinned. ‘That will force them to either back down or try to stab us in the back.’
『What are you planning?』 Jeong-woo had no idea what Yeon-woo was going to do.
‘This.’ Yeon-woo grinned and stepped forward. The soldiers who had been crouching to assess the right time to raid Myeongbujeon, looked up at him. “I’m taking the lead.”
Lam narrowed her eyes, a corner of her mouth curving up. “You think you’re invincible because you killed a god, hm? Enough with the nonsense, and stay on standby.”
“If you’re waiting for the tenth corps, they’re already here.”
“What are you talking about?” Lam was about to yell at him when blue fireworks exploded in the sky. Whoosh! Boom! It was the signal from the tenth corps that they had reached their destination and to alert the other corps to begin their attack. Once Lam lit the gold fireworks, it meant that the tenth corps could make their move.
Lam looked at Yeon-woo with surprise, wondering how he’d known the tenth corps had arrived. Her senses were more perceptive than those of ordinary players, but Yeon-woo’s senses were unbelievable if he’d managed to sense the tenth corps, which was still far away.
“Then I’ll be off.” As if he had no intention of satisfying her curiosity, Yeon-woo kicked off from the ground and advanced forward.
“Aahh!” Shouts rose in the north and the south. The eleventh and twelfth corps had begun their advance as well. Lam got herself together and raised her voice. “Everyone, charge!”
The players ran forward, roaring, including Paneth’s party, who had been taken aback by Yeon-woo’s unexpected actions. Yeon-woo’s party also charged, Creutz pulling out Zulfikar and summoning a turquoise, which symbolized victory, to buff his party members while Victoria drew large letters in the air with a glowing hand. Rune letters scattered as the curse Tartarus had placed upon the living was washed away, and the party’s movements grew smoother.
『Thank you.』 After he received the bursting effects, Galliard used Open Speaking to express his gratitude to Victoria. He began shooting arrows with Ataraxia, the bow that Henova had made for him in Tartarus when he'd been feeling bored. However, Ataraxia’s functions were far from boring. It was a one-of-a-kind bow made from branches of the World Tree and was superior to most holy artifacts. It was incredible enough to persuade Galliard that he’d been wrong to think good tools dulled a hunter’s senses.
Above all else, Galliard liked the feeling of the bow sticking to his hand. It was his first time using it in an actual battle, but it fit into his hand as though he’d had it forever. ‘I never imagined a Dwarf would help me like this.’
Elves and Dwarves didn’t get along ordinarily, but Galliard didn’t care about his race’s attitude to Dwarves. He’d never been one to follow beliefs like that anyway. Twang! Galliard jumped off the ground, thinking he should treat his drinking buddy to some good wine later.
〈Shunpo - Fighting Current〉
He shot up to the sky, dust trailing behind him. He could see for kilometers with his Elven eyes, and he focused on Myeongbujeon. It was so ruined that it was impossible to tell that it had once been one of Hades’ holy territories. The broken walls and the dead land were testament to the negligence of their enemies. Beyond it, he could see Titans pouring out of the temple walls. They had noticed their arrival. ‘Should I do it?’ Galliard grinned, thinking it wouldn’t hurt to try to kill a god like Yeon-woo had.
“Brahm!” He shouted the name of his close friend.
Brahm, who was below him, pulled out a book with a disgruntled face. “I was going to do it even if you didn’t ask.” After the Book of Mercury was destroyed, he’d created the Book of Jupiter and the Book of Mars, and Henova’s touch was evident on them.
〈The Book of Jupiter〉
Fwoosh! As he recited a spell, a magic circle appeared under his feet, and golden light glimmered in the air. Galliard felt a profound strength grow in his body. ‘Yes, this is it.’ He smiled with satisfaction and pulled back the string of his bow as far as possible, then let go.
〈War God’s Favor〉and 〈Black Crow’s Feather〉
This was a combined attack the two friends had created, and each arrow was immensely destructive. Boom! Boom! Boom!
The arrow destroyed everything it touched, and the temple walls collapsed on the panic-stricken Titan subordinates. Those who barely escaped being buried alive found that they weren’t out of danger yet. Galliard pulled the string of his bow without any rest, and they found it impossible to avoid his attacks.
The blasts turned up dirt everywhere, and Yeon-woo’s subordinates attacked as well, not wanting to be left out.
『Dreams…fade away.』 First, Nemesis appeared in midair to curse their enemies and bless their allies. Fierce cyclones blew around, preventing the Titan subordinates from moving. They were already trying to get outside in such a disorganized manner, and with more paths blocked, they swarmed together at the remaining exits, looking as though they were trying to get through a bottleneck.
Shanon and Hanryeong used this to their advantage, along with Rebecca, they swung their swords more precisely and destructively than ever.
In the air, space tilted and a pair of eyes opened.
「Die.」 As Boo regained more of Faust’s memories, his abilities improved day by day. With a simple word, magic circles opened one after the other, magic falling like a downpour to decimate the Titan subordinates. The explosions and leaping flames swallowed the enemies, and it was like an orgy of merciless killing.
The eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth corps, which had been running to Myeongbujeon, were practically frozen in disbelief. Their enemies were collapsing even though they weren’t doing much to help. In fact, if they joined in, they might only get in the way. However, the true disaster hadn’t even struck the Titan subordinates yet.
“Domain Declaration.” Everyone turned to the source of the deep voice, their eyes widening at the sight of the air around Myeongbujeon twisting as though it had been surrounded by some invisible barrier. The Titan subordinates ran around like confused ants, screaming pitifully when they discovered that they couldn’t leave the area.
Yeon-woo floated in the air over them, spreading out a wing covered in black light. The three-layered wing was so large that it seemed that its black flames could touch the sky. At the exact moment the wing obscured the sun and the 666 powers in the feathers were awakened, a heavy silence fell around Yeon-woo.
All the Titan subordinates had dropped dead without even a single cry.Previous Chapter Next Chapter