『Do you think you can get away with this?!』The rage was evident in Poseidon’s voice at being forced to manifest once more after Benteke. He was furious that a little bug would now take his Factor twice. 『Soon, the stairs between Olympus and Tartarus will be opened. Do you think you can survive facing me?!』
Yeon-woo clearly didn’t care what Poseidon said.
['Bathory’s Vampiric Sword' skill proficiency has dramatically increased.]
After the jaws ravenously swallowed Poseidon’s Factors, they continued on to gobble up Hestia’s, Hera’s, and Demeter’s Factors. The components of each god’s holy power were different. Poseidon’s was like a turbulent wave, Hestia’s a warm hearth, Hera’s sharp, and Demeter’s soft. Yeon-woo could only sense these differences because he had some level of Divine Factors. The pressure of the Factors was so intense so most players would be overwhelmed from being next to them.
『I now understand why Poseidon is so wary of you after seeing it for myself.』 Unlike Hestia and Hera, who were absorbed without too many words, Demeter spoke up. However, Yeon-woo couldn’t sense any anger from her as he had with Poseidon.
『And I understand why Hermes and Athena protect you so much. The entire heavenly world is in an uproar with rumors about you. I can see why.』 Her voice was full of mixed feelings. 『But you should be careful』, Demeter spoke in a whisper, 『the turbulence is just beginning. Even the successor of the Black King cannot avoid…』 Her voice was cut off because her Factor had been completely absorbed.
Swoosh! Yeon-woo felt the Divine Factors taking their places inside him. The potential of the Demonic Divine Dragon Body added a tier. However, Yeon-woo was frowning at Demeter’s words. Turbulence? What did that mean? Demeter was the mother of Persephone, Hades’ wife. It was possible that she wasn’t entirely on Poseidon’s side, and there was clearly some significance to her words. Yeon-woo was lost in thought when he suddenly felt a gaze on him. Jeong-woo had left the pocket watch and was watching him.
『It’s just that I think it’s ridiculous.』
Yeon-woo waited for him to continue.
『You’re probably the only person in the world who has ever exploited gods.』
Yeon-woo avoided Jeong-woo’s eyes and turned away.
『That temper…』 He heard Jeong-woo mutter to himself, but he pretended not to hear.
Just then, Shanon’s face popped out of the shadows, nodding in agreement. His and Jeong-woo’s eyes met in deep understanding.
* * *
After that, time passed quickly. Dis Pluto’s next attacks cut through Tartarus like a fire roaring through a dry forest. They suffered losses just as they had in the battle with Iapetos, and the entire corps was nearly annihilated. However, Dis Pluto was accustomed to this kind of damage, and after retreating for the last hundred years, they were fired up by the victory that seemed within their grasp.
In the center of them all—Boom! Swoosh!—stood Yeon-woo.
[Ares shouts at your performance.]
[Sekhmet rubs her lips greedily. She is pleased with the slaughter.]
[Cernunnos blesses the spirit Rebecca in order to help you. He contemplates taking a new Apostle.]
For Yeon-woo, Tartarus was the greatest stage. The Sky Wings were still incomplete, and he needed to take part in more dangerous battles to finish them. However, there weren’t many places on the ordinary floors that were risky enough for Yeon-woo. Perhaps the ones above the sixtieth floor might pose some danger and make Yeon-woo more cautious, but even still, the focus was on completing trials, and he wouldn’t get the same number of battle experiences.
It was a different story in Tartarus. This was a battlefield where divine beings clashed with each other. Even the foot soldiers were stronger than the players on the higher floors. Tartarus was the perfect place for Yeon-woo, and the longer he stayed, the more complete the Sky Wings became.
[The left wing (Keyword: Death) of Sky Wings has activated.]
[Death has settled on the vast battlefield.]
[6,712 Titan subordinates have died.]
[591 Titan subordinates have died.]
[A new power has been added to the right wing (Keyword: Fight) of Sky Wings.]
[Added power(s): Erlang Shen’s Dragon Kill, Adad’s E-Karkara]
[Vimalacitra nods because you are using his power properly.]
[Agares thrashes around saying not to touch what belongs to him.]
[All gods ignore him.]
[All demons ignore him.]
[Agares grips the back of his neck, grinding his teeth.]
[A message from Agares has arrived.]
[Message: Get rid of those idiots! What’s so fun about showing off your talents in front of them?!]
[A message from Agares has arrived.]
[Message: Take more of my powers and Factors…!]
[Agares’ messages have been temporarily blocked with your authorization.]
[Multiple gods watch you.]
[Multiple demons drool after you.]
[A few gods envy you. They begin to spread malicious rumors about you.]
[A few demons are anxious their positions might be jeopardized.]
[The discussion about your level is still ongoing. There hasn’t been a consensus, so it continues to be extended.]
[Please wait a moment.]
He could now maintain Sky Wings for about forty seconds, and the Spirit Guai were improving at a quick pace as they took in more fine souls.
[Collected souls: 312,456]
The size of his collection had increased three times. Souls followed the path Yeon-woo took, creating an unapproachable territory. Needless to say, the Titans and Giants wouldn’t leave him be.
『Kill him through any means possible…!』
『For the mighty…Kronos!』
Giant gods, including the twelve original Titans, set up their defenses and fought close battles. However, now that Hades’ holy power was taking an active part in the battles, Dis Pluto had the upper hand as the intense clashes went back and forth.
[The sixth holy territory, Buwangji, has been successfully raided.]
With the sixth light column descending, they were finally able to complete the connection with Olympus.
* * *
“You’ve done well so far.” On the day they raided the sixth holy territory, Hades summoned the exhausted Yeon-woo for a private meeting. Yeon-woo was covered in blood and unidentifiable pieces of flesh after his long battle. His aura was still so violent that it was hard to imagine that he was here to show respect to a god.
However, Hades didn’t mind since this was all in the service of Dis Pluto, and in fact, Hades actually liked such appearances. As someone who had lived on the battlefield and defeated the Titans and Giants in his youth to become their gatekeeper when he grew older, he preferred warlike appearances over the clean ones of those who rested in the back rooms. He felt like he was looking at his younger self.
Yeon-woo instinctively knew that the day he’d been waiting for had finally arrived.
[Sudden quest (Persephone’s Long-Held Wish) completed.]
[Hidden quest (Temple Restoration) completed.]
[Hidden quest (Hero Who Stood Against an Ancient God) completed.]
He had completed quests that he hadn’t even known about.
[You have gained…]
He scrolled down the list of mediocre items and found the reward he’d been searching for at the bottom.
[You have gained Hades’ great holy artifact ‘Kynee’ as a reward.]
“As I promised you at the start, I will give this to you.” Hades slowly descended from his throne and gave Yeon-woo a black helm. It looked like a common bronze helm, but Yeon-woo had seen what Hades appeared like when he wore it.
The battle to raid Buwangji, the sixth holy territory, had been a rough one that Dis Pluto had bet the entire house on. Seven of the twelve Titans had shown up, and so many of their subordinates rained down that it seemed they would swallow up the world. It would end up being one of the most memorable battles Dis Pluto had fought in a hundred years. In the middle of the pandemonium, Hades stepped into the battlefield wearing Kynee for the first time.
‘Everything died.’ Since he’d regained his holy power and reclaimed his artifact, Hades finally exercised his strength as a god. Giant gods died with every swing of his sword. Tartarus shook to the point of collapse. There was no way that any of the minor subordinates would survive the attack.
It was a show of power that demonstrated Hades’ status as the oldest of the Olympus and explained how he managed to take Tartarus by himself, and with Kynee on, Hades grew even more frightening. It was no exaggeration to say he was responsible for eighty percent of the success at Buwangji.
‘It is a bit strange that Typhon and the other Giants didn’t appear, though.’ Since they had yet to show their faces, Hades probably needed Kynee more than ever, but he gave it to Yeon-woo without any hesitation.
As Yeon-woo watched him approach, it suddenly occurred to him that although Hades was a godly being with a terrifying might on the battlefield, he wasn’t that much taller than himself. “Don’t you need this, sir?”
Hades grinned. Even though the situation had improved, the cynical smile hadn’t left his face. “Is a player concerned for a god? How funny.”
“I only needed the symbolism of the holy artifact, and the legends that come from it. I have everything I need, so you can take it.”
Yeon-woo didn’t understand everything, but since Hades seemed not to have any use for Kynee anymore, he accepted. “Thank you.”
“I should be the one thanking you. Our soldiers are in high spirits thanks to your efforts. If not for your assistance, Tartarus would’ve crumbled long ago.” It was still a cold voice, but Yeon-woo could hear Hades’ gratitude.
Yeon-woo was rubbing Kynee when Kynee and the Despair of the Black King suddenly started to shake. Hades looked at the two items with rueful eyes for a brief moment and silently returned to his throne. “Since you have what you want, you will be returning to the stage, correct?”
Tartarus would change to the battlefield of legends once it was successfully connected to Olympus. Hades and the others would probably search for the hidden Titans and Giants.
Yeon-woo’s party didn’t have any further roles to play since they were little more than shrimp in a battle among whales. Moreover, Olympus wasn’t entirely friendly to Yeon-woo.
“Anyway, that bastard Poseidon, is probably furiously searching for you. He’s just a sore loser.” Hades judged his little brother with disapproval and waved his hand at Yeon-woo, allowing him to leave. Yeon-woo bowed and stepped back. Suddenly, for some reason, it felt like he was saying his last goodbyes to Hades.
* * *
“Cain, is this…?”
“Yes. It’s Kynee.” Yeon-woo returned to the temple square where his party was resting. They had been celebrating their grand victory with drinks, and their faces were all red.
Kahn saw Kynee in Yeon-woo’s hand and his eyes widened. He was surprised to see Yeon-woo finally get hold of the item he had been longing for all this time. This meant they were done with this dreary war and could return to the stage.
“It looks quite different like that.” Creutz looked at Kynee with a curious expression. Now that he’d been through several life-or-death situations with the party, he was now regarded as a comrade. The master blacksmiths Victoria and Brahm sat down, and Doyle and Galliard returned from socializing with the other soldiers.
The pocket watch inside Yeon-woo’s breast pocket shook like it was excited. Yeon-woo was a bit uncomfortable at the attention he was receiving, but he took a deep breath and looked at Kynee. The Despair and Grief of the Black King trembled as one.
Then, Kynee scattered into fine particles and whirled around to gather at Yeon-woo’s neck.Previous Chapter Next Chapter