“Whoa…look at their auras. They’re truly warlike.”
“The Titans were one thing, but Olympus is another. I suppose gods are gods.”
Only when the gods of Olympus stepped away did Kahn and the others manage to catch their breaths. Kahn was slightly exaggerating, but the others still nodded.
“Olympus is a pantheon of many…so they’re one of the largest societies along with Deva, Chan Sect, and Asgard. Since they’re the heads of a society like that, it’s natural for their auras to be so impressive.” Brahm grinned, reminiscing about his time in the heavenly world.
Olympus was considered one of the most troublesome places in the heavenly world. They interfered in the lower world the most frequently and saw the most incidents. It was also the place where the biggest shift in generations had occurred.
It seemed like their tradition was still being passed down. It had only been a short while, but the gods of Olympus clearly moved in two rival groups: the old gods with Poseidon and Hera versus the young gods centered around Hermes.
A few of them wandered around trying not to take sides, but most gods associated with one group were hesitant to approach those in the other group. Even more telling, the gods who were more powerful didn’t even glance at the other group. It clearly meant that the conflict between the generations had gone past the point of no return.
‘I heard it became more extreme after Zeus fell into a slumber. I guess the rumors were true.’ Brahm was sick of the heavenly world, but he sometimes took an interest in noisy Olympus. One thing hadn’t changed throughout the years: their arrogance.
They had some interest in Yeon-woo, who had caused an uproar in the heavenly world, but they didn’t even look at the other players. Some openly frowned as though they found it distressing to even breathe the same air. ‘To this day, the ones at the top haven’t changed.’ Brahm snorted at the gods of Olympus and glanced at Yeon-woo.
Most people hadn’t noticed it, but Brahm knew through his connection with Yeon-woo that he and Athena had conversed about something. Although he didn’t eavesdrop because it was a private conversation, something kept nagging at him. ‘It’s a bit weird.’
Numerous gods and demons had lavished attention on Yeon-woo, but he’d had the most contact with Olympus—from the Black King, who likely had a connection to Olympus, the blessings of Hermes and Athena, and his bad blood with Poseidon to the two Legendary beasts named after gods in Olympus and the battle in Tartarus.
Since a player’s worth was determined by the accomplishments registered in the system, it wasn’t wise to keep such a close connection with one place like this unless you were an Apostle. Brahm was concerned that Yeon-woo would be swept up in the disorder of Olympus.
Yeon-woo had told everyone to get ready to leave because they would depart Tartarus after his business with Athena was finished, but the laws of causality couldn’t be brushed away that easily.
Smack! Brahm shut the book he had been reading and pulled out a bamboo container from within his breast pocket. He hadn’t wanted to use it unless as a last resort, but he was feeling too frustrated.
At the noise, Galliard, who was next to him, tilted his head. “What’s that? I’ve never seen it before.”
“Tools of divination.”
“Divination? You don’t believe in that stuff?”
“I don’t discount it either.”
“What do you want to see?”
“Events in the future.”
With that reply, Brahm silently pulled out a bamboo stick. There was a mysterious letter at the end of it that only Brahm could read. ‘Inauspicious.’ In fact, it wasn’t just inauspicious; it was greatly inauspicious.
“What does it say?”
“Nothing, nothing.” Brahm put the bamboo stick back, controlling his facial expression to the best of his abilities. However, he felt like his heart had dropped to the soles of his feet. It was a rarely seen ill omen. What happened? Were Yeon-woo and Olympus not suited to each other?
He shook the container several times and pulled out more sticks, but the same results appeared: great inauspiciousness. Nothing good would come from associating with Olympus. ‘I should tell Yeon-woo that we need to leave quickly.’ Staying here would only bring misfortune.
Just then, Yeon-woo appeared, on his way back to them. Brahm started to move forward, then he suddenly paused. Although Yeon-woo’s expression was hidden behind his mask, Brahm had a feeling that Yeon-woo’s face was tense. Their connection shook from Yeon-woo’s intense emotions.
“What’s wrong? Did something happen?”
“Brahm.” Yeon-woo said hesitantly, “How likely do the visions of gods become reality?”
The question was completely unexpected, and Brahm realized that something must have happened during Yeon-woo’s conversation with Athena, probably the revelation of premonitions or prophecies. Those didn’t always bring good results for gods and demons.
“If it’s not someone who has precognition as their domain, they can sometimes be inaccurate. Precognition doesn’t come from one solid outcome, it’s a result of multiple processes. It’s not unusual for people to force different bits together to make sense of it all.”
Precognition and prophecies were thorny matters. There had been times when those in Olympus or Deva had tried to struggle against their prophesied fates and make other decisions, only to end up with the same results. Precognition could be considered a superficial view of the likeliest possible future according to the laws of causality. Brahm believed in them since he had once been a higher god.
“Then…if there’s a picture or drawing of you, Galliard, Sesha, and Ananta sitting together…”
Suddenly, Brahm recalled a vision he’d had before he lost his holiness. He had seen five people smiling together—but why did he suddenly remember it now?
“That last person was…never mind. I think I said something I shouldn’t have.” Yeon-woo shook his head. However, Athena’s rueful voice was still ringing in his head: “But I wasn’t able to see who that last person was, even though I saw it with the eyes of a god.”
* * *
‘I ended up telling him. But I don’t know if this will bring fortune, misfortune, or something completely different.’ Athena slowly walked in silence to the temple where the gods of Olympus waited.
Had it been seven or eight years ago? She never expected that a split-second image she’d seen would bring someone like her, who’d already lived thousands of years, so much agony. At the time, she had been looking for pieces of the Black King in the lower world. The Black King was a necessary beginning for her, Hermes, and their brothers who dreamed of the same thing. The only thing they had going for them was a prophecy that they would someday appear in the lower world.
Fortunately, Poseidon and the others didn’t trust the prophecy, and Athena could find them before they did. At that moment, she had been hit with an intense feeling that something was appearing in the Tutorial.
The Tutorial wasn’t of any interest to the gods of Olympus, but when she turned around, she saw Jeong-woo, a novice who’d received an invitation to participate in the Tower. He had talent, but his body and abilities were a mess, and he wasn’t even among the most basic of players.
She thought he would die in Section A or retire from fear, but she found herself watching him again and again. The player she thought would die early steadily progressed. He saved his friends and sometimes made deals, and sometimes, he pulled at Athena’s heartstrings. In the end, when he graduated with a high ranking, she screamed in joy.
She had always blessed heroes, and Jeong-woo was a child who could become one. Then, she realized that this child was a key related to the Black King and that he would face a tragic end.
Three different visions had flashed past her eyes. She’d wanted to change each one of them, but two had already come to pass: Jeong-woo’s death and Yeon-woo’s awakening. And now, there was one final vision left.
Athena didn’t know what would happen after telling them. Precognition only showed a specific result, not the events that led up to it, how it could be avoided. Even though she was a goddess, she couldn’t even say for sure if it was a certainty.
The person smiling in the final vision looked like it could be either Yeon-woo or Jeong-woo. Perhaps it was just a snapshot of a moment where one of the brothers happened to be occupied somewhere else. Perhaps she was just making a big deal out of nothing, but Athena knew she couldn’t be complacent.
When she reached the center of the temple, she found Hermes leaning on a column with his arms crossed instead of waiting for her inside, as she’d expected. “What are you doing here?”
“Obviously, I’m waiting for my sister.”
“Me?” Athena’s forehead wrinkled. “What are you planning this time?”
“You make it sound like I live to annoy you. That makes me upset, hm?”
“Well, guess I can’t deny it.” Hermes snickered.
Athena immediately moved her hand to her sword, annoyed with her brother’s behavior ever since they arrived in Tartarus. Using his holy artifact, Hermes prudently created some distance between them, pretending to be scared. “Hey. Let’s use words, OK? Do you know what peace means?”
“Peace, my ass. Did you already forget what I rule over?”
“Geez, you know when Father thinks words are pointless and reaches for his sword…”
“…good thing you’re totally different. Whew! How could I compare our simple-minded and irresponsible dad to you? Hm? Right?”
Clank! Athena pushed her sword back into its sheath. “With ###…”
“From your expression, it looks like things went well. Need I ask?”
“Because of that.” Hermes pointed at the temple. Its door and windows were wide open, revealing what was going on inside. Although there was the possibility that important information might be leaked as the gods spoke, no one had the courage to approach the gods of Olympus.
However, thanks to the view, Athena could observe the loud arguments inside the temple.
“Are you going to give the power of the Black King to a mortal? You know better than anyone else what kind of power it is! It can’t be done!” Poseidon shouted as he burst up from his seat, his face as red as a tomato.
Hades merely smiled coldly, still seated. “I already gave him Kynee. I believe that’s enough of an answer.”
“Hades!” Boom! Poseidon punched the table, losing his temper. His beard trembled, and his eyes filled with shock and disbelief.
The other gods of Olympus listening were just as stunned, from Hestia, Hera, and Demeter to Nereus, Doris, Limos, Dike, and Eunomia, who had come in support of Poseidon. Even gods like Apollo, Artemis, and Dionysus, who were on Athena’s side, seemed shocked.
Zeus’ Astrape and Poseidon’s Triana had been forcefully absorbed because they lacked holy power, but Kynee was a different matter entirely. Giving a great holy artifact like Kynee meant that Hades had betrayed the pledge of the past and sided with the player Yeon-woo.
From a certain perspective, it meant that Yeon-woo was closer to him than Lam was. The issue was complicated further by the fact that it was an item that had been recreated with much difficulty after already being destroyed once. A holy artifact was the symbol of the legend of a divine being. Hades had given his future to Yeon-woo.
“You mean you’re already surprised by something like this?” Hades crossed his legs, resting his chin in his palm. A corner of his mouth lifted in a cynical manner. “If I say I plan on giving that child the cumbersome title of ‘King of the Underworld’ once he attains a divine level, that will completely appall you then.”
The others froze at Hades’ sudden bombshell.Previous Chapter Next Chapter