Chapter 39 - Akasha’s Snake (7)

The whole forest was thrown into chaos in no time. Flames devoured the woods and monsters poured out like a swarm of bees. 

"Fuck! What the hell is this?" 

"I’ve never even heard of anything like this. Isn’t Arangdan supposed to keep things like this from happening?”

Most of the players still in Section E were wiped out within minutes of their search for Tokens and hidden pieces. Neither sword nor shield could do anything. Nothing seemed to work against the monster outbreak. At times, the monsters appeared in groups only to split up. The players had to deal with attacks on all sides at the same time. Even those who organized themselves in battle formations with other players found themselves helpless when facing the swarm of monsters. They were all inevitably swept away. 

Wherever you looked, there were Goblins chopping off players’ heads or Trolls biting players into pieces. It was as though hell had appeared. 

A few players managed to run away, but they wouldn’t be able to outrun the swarming monsters forever. It was unbelievable how so many monsters had been hidden in Section E, and the flames made matters even worse. Regardless where they ran, the players were met with a sea of fire, and they were caught between the flames and the monsters. 

“Somebody tell me what’s going on!" 

"Fuuuck!" 

Players who had believed it was only a simple event in the Tutorial were now screaming from their desperate situation, only now understanding the disaster that had struck Section E. They had been tasked to collect ninety-nine Tokens to ascertain their qualifications, and it turned out to be a task that endangered them, just like any other section. 

As they fought through the waves of monsters, the players racked their brains to find a way to survive. Those who were part of a team banded together, and solo players united with other solo players. 

In the meantime, a shadowy figure darted among the trees with muffled sounds: Yeon-woo. 

[You have acquired 12 Tokens.] 

[You have acquired 4 Tokens.] 

[You have…] 

··· 

Thanks to Shunpo, Yeon-woo was undetected as he read the movements of the monsters with his strengthened senses. He killed monsters that were already on their last breaths and managed to accumulate Tokens at a rapid pace. ‘Is this what they call reaping what others have sown?’ Yeon-woo laughed coldly. It was a phrase that his comrades in the military had used. 

Yeon-woo quickly headed back to the snake’s den. It was time to take out Akasha's Snake. 

*    *    * 

The Orc village was turned upside down. "Chwik! The Lizardmen have started a war! The Lizardmen have crossed the northern border!" The Orc chief of the thirty-second tribe that guarded the north reported to the Orc King. 

The Orc King frowned angrily. "Why have they started a war all of a sudden?" 

"I don't know! They said we killed their king! King! Help us!" 

"Chwik! Those crazy reptiles!" The Orc King was furious. Of all times, the Lizardmen had to cause trouble in the middle of the resurrection ceremony. He was already angry that he hadn’t intercepted the humans who killed their god, and now this was happening. 

Still, the Orc King tried to remain calm. He couldn’t let this ruin the ceremony, and instead, he would think of it as a chance to give their god more food. "Chwik! You, go tell the shaman! We’re going to have a lot of food ready for our god! And we'll be coming back with it soon!" 

"Roger, chwik!" 

The Orc King took down a sword hanging on the wall and headed outside. It was the sword that made him the greatest warrior of their race. As long as he had it in his hands, victory would always be his. 

However, as soon as he stepped onto the battlefield, his excitement was replaced with shock. It was filled with not only the Lizardmen but also other monsters. He could see them all rushing forward, and it was only then that the Orc King realized that something was wrong. It was a trap that plunged all the monsters into chaos. 

But the Orc King wasn’t intelligent enough to think of a strategy to counter it, and he could only face the monster outbreak directly. "Build a wall, chwik!" 

"Chwik! Bring the handcarts, anything! We have to stop them, chwik!" 

The Orcs did their best to stop the monsters, but their hopes were dashed when the monsters broke through the makeshift walls; they could only watch helplessly as their village was destroyed. But still, the Orcs fought the monster outbreak relentlessly. Corpses began to pile up on the desert, and blood flowed on the ground, dying it red.

On the bloody battlefield, the Goblin King and the Orc King faced each other. 

"Farak!" 

"Kranum!" 

They clashed with each other as they called out the other’s name. Boom! The ground caved in as their auras swept through the area. 

*    *    * 

'Those two must be fighting right now.’ On his way to Akasha’s Snake Tunnel, Yeon-woo turned towards the sound of the collision. He didn’t have to check to know who had made it, certain that it was the Goblin King, Kranum, and the Orc King, Farak. Those two boss monsters were each as strong as Hargan. 

Kranum, the ruler of the west and Farak, the ruler of the east hated and scorned each other. It is said that Kranum dislikes Farak for his ignorance, while Farak thinks Goblins are an inferior race. Both think that being compared to each other is a humiliation, and each of them is strong enough to easily crush players. Quite a few players have died trying to kill them to gather karma. 

Since it was a fight between two monsters of such caliber, it wouldn’t end quickly, and neither would the war. As long as the leaders remained alive, the war and madness would continue, which was what Yeon-woo was hoping for. He needed to lure Akasha's Snake as soon as possible to this place full of food. 

[You have entered Akasha's Snake Tunnel]. 

Yeon-woo once again traveled into the tunnel and was greeted by the same message. Inside, he found just as much confusion as there was outside. 

“Kahh!” 

"Chwik! Oh god! Please...urk!" 

"Chwiiik! Our god is angry! God is mad!" 

"God is punishing us, chwik!" 

"R-run away, chwik!" 

Akasha's Snake had gone out of control. Now five meters in size, the snake was devouring all the Orcs it could find, and the altar was completely destroyed. The Orc shaman who was supposed to be leading the ceremony was nowhere to be seen. 

The Orcs, who were faithful believers, tried to calm Akasha's Snake down, but nothing worked. Eventually, some tried to run away, but Akasha's Snake never missed as it spat out its venom and melted them on the spot. However, if they stayed too close, they were eaten up. Regardless of what they did, they only met their deaths. 

‘I knew it.’ Yeon-woo looked at the eyes of Akasha’s Snake, now red with madness. 'It’s intoxicated with blood.’

Akasha’s Snake was not some sort of great being. It was only a big, strong snake driven by hunger and thirst, and now that it had just resurrected, it was very hungry. Yeon-woo wondered what would happen if it smelled the bloodshed outside the tunnel. 'There’s no way it will stay calm.' 

His plan had always been to trigger the snake’s bloodlust and drive it mad, and it worked better than he’d expected. Thankfully, he had set up everything his plan needed, so now, he only had to watch the situation unfold. 

“Kahh!” After devouring the last Orc, Akasha's Snake shrieked at the ceiling. It had swollen to about ten meters, and blood and pieces of flesh dripped from its mouth. But it was still hungry, and the cry lingered for a long time. Then, it suddenly rammed its head into the wall a couple of times and made a hole, digging with incredible speed. 

'It’s moving.' Yeon-woo continued to conceal his presence in case Akasha's Snake noticed him as he tracked the snake with his senses. It was swimming through the earth, heading southwest—the location of the battlefield.   

Yeon-woo sprang to his feet. Akasha’s Snake had left its den, and the moment he’d been waiting for finally arrived. 'It will take quite a while for Akasha's Snake to eat up all the monsters on the battlefield. But still, I can't waste time.’ 

A hidden piece wasn’t called a hidden piece for nothing. There had to be something valuable hidden inside the tunnel, and even his brother had speculated about it. 

There is always a reason for a hidden piece to be in its location. It’s extremely difficult for players in the Tutorial to face Akasha’s Snake, but there is probably a reason why it’s there. Unfortunately, neither I nor Galliard, who has been chasing the snake for a long time, have discovered the reason. 

However, the only things for sure are that this reason is going to be something important and that no one has ever found it in the Tower’s entire history.    

A place that no one had ever found—but what if he did? Yeon-woo landed in the middle of the cavern as he calmed his pounding heart. He cast Draconic Eyes and scanned the whole tunnel looking for Akasha's Snake’s nest. ‘There must be a place where it can relax that’s secure from any possible threats.’ 

At that moment, his Draconic Eyes detected a narrow passageway along a way—narrow being relative to the size of Akasha’s Snake. For Yeon-woo, it was plenty wide, and he quickly used Shunpo to walk through it, entering the deepest part of the snake's den. 

Whoosh! Suddenly, a chilly wind blew through the passage, and believing that he was getting closer, Yeon-woo turned to follow the source of the wind. Soon, he reached a cavern that was completely different from the barren wilderness outside. 'So, this is it.' 

A piercing wind whistled through the cavern, and the ground was covered with soft snow and slippery ice. Icicles hung from the ceiling instead of stalactites. It was a scene that would instantly inspire admiration in anyone. 

In the center of the cavern was a little boy that looked around five years old. 'I think I found the reason.’

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