「Hahaha! Die, die!」
「Sure, but where else will you find a place like this?」
Shanon and Hanryeong dashed around, brandishing their swords. Yeon-woo wasn’t the only one who’d become stronger on the battlefields of Tartarus—so had they.
Since it was the territory of the Underworld, there wasn’t a better location for Shanon and Hanryeong to regain their abilities. What was more, they managed to collect souls that were of finer quality than the ones from the floors of the Tower. They could feel their levels increasing every day.
From some time, Shanon had been forging a path to a new peak that he hadn’t experienced when he was still alive. It was a mystery to him. He was close to overcoming the wall that blocked his way to becoming a ranker, and each day felt new to him. More than once, he wondered whether he was only having a final hallucination before death. However, he really was here, and this overflowing strength belonged to him.
Shanon wasn’t satisfied with that and put in more effort to truly master his skills so he could catch up with Yeon-woo, who continued advancing rapidly.
He’d been quiet recently because he was busy analyzing Heaven Bracket from different angles. He focused on two areas as he trained: Shinmokryeong and Flame Wheel.
The One-horned tribe referred to Shinmokryeong as Shinbup—the way of moving of body. Just as a pine tree didn’t lose its green leaves even in a tough environment and bamboo bent instead of breaking, Shinmokryeong was perfect for Shanon, who had walked the path of the sword all his life.
The symbol of Shinmokryong was mok, or tree, and it enhanced Flame Wheel, which he used to strengthen his skill Volcano. After all, fire burned fiercer with wood as its fuel.
Now, the results of his cultivation were apparent. The flames that burst out with every stroke of his sword swept away monsters, their souls then becoming nourishment that added to his power.
「Our master said something about this. What was it again? Oh, right. That.」 Shanon burst out laughing. He was having so much fun that he almost seemed crazy.
「This is speed leveling, ha!」 Hanryeong was feeling the same exhilaration.
[You have absorbed souls. A part of your sealed level has been released.]
[You have absorbed souls. A part of your sealed level has been released.]
[You have absorbed an immeasurable amount of souls.]
[Along with the acquisition of great knowledge, your sealed level has been completely released.]
[Continue your achievements from your previous life as Hanryeong. All the paths you walk will increase the Saber God’s accomplishments.]
Whoosh. A bright light wrapped around Hanryeong. It wasn’t easy to see what was going on because of the explosions on the battlefield, but he was experiencing a profound change. He felt as though he were being freed from chains, and when he realized that his level was being released, he smiled widely for the first time in a long while. 「Finally. Finally!」
It was the moment he’d been waiting for—regaining his power as the Saber God and recovering his past. Hanryeong didn’t brush over the moment and savored it to the fullest. He pulled his nine swords out, swung them around as he danced, practicing moves with them. His movements were smoother and sharper than when he’d been alive.
Like Shanon, it was a change gained from studying Heaven Bracket. The areas he’d been interested in were Flowing Water and Geumkangpo. Flowing Water was a type of footwork. Because he used nine swords planted in the ground, footwork took priority over all else for him, and Flowing Water was the most ideal method to develop it.
Rivers that curved over mountains were smooth but sometimes caused floods. When they flowed into the ocean, they created hurricanes and storms that swallowed the world—it was the flawless adjustment of intensity.
Geumkangpo had the edge and sturdiness of steel, so Hanryeong’s blade became equally strong.
Crash. Rumble. As they followed the path that the two Death Nobles opened, the Spirit Guai stretched out their shadows and took in the souls. The fog of the ghosts screeched more loudly above them. The darkness Nemesis propagated bound their enemies, and Nike hid in the fire scorching the ground, devouring everything in its vicinity like hellfire.
「All…death…to…Master.」 At Boo’s command, a new wave of death crashed into a land already rampant with death. Keekeekeek. Kyaa!
* * *
The exodus of Dis Pluto drew the attention of different parties for different reasons. The isolated members went to great lengths to jump over hurdles and run towards Yeon-woo. The cheers for Yeon-woo grew louder, and the group began to grow bigger even as more attempts to thwart them arrived.
『Black King…I apologize, but you cannot leave…』 Typhon’s eyes in the sky focused on Yeon-woo and a bolt of lightning thundered his way.
Yeon-woo instinctively raised Vigrid, but he abruptly stopped even as he was unfurling Fire Wings. There was something abnormal about the power of the lightning.
『Careful!』 At Yeon-woo’s shout, the Dis Pluto members stopped running and went into defensive postures. Shanon and Hanryeong, who had been destroying the monsters in their path, looked ahead with grim faces. Everyone was tense. Sweat gathered in the hand that held Vigrid as pieces of the Ruyi Bang floated around Yeon-woo, waiting for his command.
Where the lightning struck, the thick dust settled down and a man appeared with heavy bangs that covered his eyes. Although he didn’t exude any exceptional energy, Yeon-woo felt his heart contract. He couldn’t see any imperfections through his Draconic Divine Eyes. The man was a flawless, outstanding being.
When the hair covering the man’s eyes shifted and revealed his eyes, Yeon-woo immediately realized who he was. “Typhon.”
Everyone grew even more uneasy at those words. No one expected that the king of the Giants who was busy dealing with the gods of Olympus would appear.
“Successor to the Black King, I apologize, but your cute tricks must come to an end.” Typhon brushed his hair back with a cold smile. “We need you.”
Kashing. Clang! Shanon and Hanryeong raised their swords to protect Yeon-woo.
「Our master is pretty charming, but…Haha! I think he’s been quite particular with men these days, am I right?」
「Do you feel the need to joke right now?」
Brahm, Kahn, Galliard, and Creutz all tightened their grip on their weapons. The Dis Pluto members looked serious and ready to move against the leader of their enemies who had put them in their current predicament. They were also filled with determination to guard their new king.
However, Typhon just smirked as if he found them amusing and took a step forward. Strong winds whirled around them, making it difficult for people to remain standing. Yeon-woo gritted his teeth and formed the Ruyi Bang pieces into a spear, connecting Vigrid on one end. Clack.
In fact, he’d been expecting Typhon’s arrival. The Black King was an outstanding being who made an Apostle out of the king of Titans, Kronos. Although Yeon-woo wasn’t sure, he suspected that the Black King was a conceptual god who had existed from the beginning of time and was at least as powerful as Gaia.
Because Typhon said he was Kronos’ successor and possessed his power, there was no way he would want to let the new successor to the Black King, Yeon-woo, leave. He probably hoped to force Yeon-woo to be his subordinate or do all kinds of experiments on him.
‘Is there a way out of this?’ Yeon-woo racked his brain as he looked at Typhon standing in front of him. Many calculations went through his head with Time Difference, but…Crash.
“What are you trying to see? You have no viable options.” Typhon followed the speed of Yeon-woo’s thoughts and easily destroyed his skill so Yeon-woo couldn’t try anything.
Yeon-woo stepped back, vomiting blood. His hold on the Ruyi Bang tightened. He would have liked to properly display the power of the throne that Hades had passed down, but his level wouldn’t allow him this benefit yet. Were they at a dead end? This was the only thought running through his mind.
Just as he rolled out the wing of death and the wing of fight, thinking that he would at least go down with a fight, something powerful shot down in front of him.
Boom! For a moment, Yeon-woo thought a Giant that arrived to help Typhon, but the arrival’s hostility was directed at Typhon instead. He was over two meters tall, with massive muscles and a fierce expression that reminded Yeon-woo of Phante.
Most importantly, Yeon-woo could feel one of the channels around him grow clearer.
[Ares grins at you.]
[Ares hopes you give some of your attention to him.]
The man smiled crookedly as he glanced at Yeon-woo before roaring at Typhon, thrusting Typhon’s aura away as though it had never been there.
Typhon’s expression hardened. “What is this child’s play, Ares?”
Ares was Zeus’ son and one of the twelve Olympians. Like Athena, he was also a war god. He laughed boisterously. “Hahaha! This is just a little something to appeal to my Apostle! I was thinking I ought to make an awesome appearance since I’m a god, no?”
Apostle? Everyone’s gazes turned to Yeon-woo at Ares’ ridiculous words. They seemed to be asking when he’d become Ares’ Apostle. However, it was Yeon-woo’s first time hearing about it as well, so he just narrowed his eyes at Ares, wondering what he was talking about. For a moment, he thought Ares was planning something, but it didn’t appear that way.
Typhon frowned. “Apostle? Are you saying the successor to the Black King is your Apostle?”
“Nope! But he will be soon.” Ares pounded his fists together with a smirk. “I’m planning on showing him a bunch of cool stuff to entice him. Here’s a stunning war god with a broad back protecting him and his friends from danger! Damn! Doesn’t that sound cool? Any man would fall in love, why wouldn’t he, too?”
[Agares snorts, asking what kind of bullshit Ares is talking.]
“Also, I’m the god of fighting and war, which means I’m a guardian of the path our pretty little Apostle here wants to walk on.”
[Agares is shocked.]
[Agares looks at you as though he just remembered your goal.]
“And we’re both part of Olympus, so I can help him as a sunbae. Hahaha! So Typhon, you should clear a path for my Apostle here.”
[Agares is anxious.]
[A message from Agares has arrived.]
[Message: What about me? Accept me! I’m a greater being than that idiot! I can help you guys!]
[A message from Agares has arrived.]
[Message: Quick! Hurry before…!]
[Agares’ messages have temporarily been blocked with the user’s authorization.]
Yeon-woo sighed as he blocked Agares’ panicked messages. He was grateful help had arrived, but the help seemed a bit weird. From what he knew, Ares was famous for his arrogant attitude, and he was considered a troublemaker in Olympus. Yeon-woo felt like laughing because a guy like that was acting so passionately just to have him as an Apostle.
He could guess why. Ares had been quite interested in him for a while, but with his sister Athena protecting Yeon-woo, he could only twiddle his thumbs and watch. Now that she was busy with Krios, he had a chance to make a strong impression, just as he said. He was a simple character who thought that he could convince Yeon-woo this way, and it suited his personality perfectly. However, Yeon-woo was becoming exasperated at how hysterical the situation was making Agares.
[Many gods cringe at Agares and Ares.]
[Many demons shake their heads at Agares and Ares.]
However, since Ares was one of the strongest in Olympus when it came to battle skills, with his help, Yeon-woo would easily avoid Typhon.
“You imbecile, you want to fight me on your own? Me, someone even Hades couldn’t defeat?” Typhon released his level, dissatisfied at Ares’ confidence. Rumble. Dark clouds filled the skies and thunder began to boom, ready to a holy punishment.
But Ares clenched his fists and smiled ferociously, like a lion ready to attack a huge elephant. “What makes you think I’m alone?”
“What?” Typhon frowned. At that moment, he suddenly realized something that had been hidden from him was now appearing.
Far away beyond the grass, a beautiful man with golden hair was raising a bow in his direction. It was the god of the sun, Apollo. Next to him was Artemis, descending to the ground with her twin swords raised and Legendary Beasts by her side.
A pleasant scent began to waft around them. It was Dionysus’ Toast, a buff famous even in Tartarus. It increased the speed of recovery of holy power and could even resurrect people. The second-generation gods were targeting Typhon together.
“I see. It’s a trap.” Typhon clucked his tongue. It was clear they’d planned this as soon as he left the battlefield, certain that he’d chase after the successor to the Black King. Even he would have a difficult time dealing with so many greater gods at the same time.
“Hahah! Typhon, I know that you recovered your original strength when your divinity was released, but I don’t think you’ll be able to deal with all of us here, hm?” Ares gloated as he pulled out his sword.
Typhon clucked his tongue again as he looked at the superior beings around him with dissatisfaction. “Yes. It’ll be difficult for me. But…” His eyes flashed under his heavy hair. “It’ll be difficult for you as well.”
Swoosh. All of a sudden, Typhon disappeared and a raging storm whirled in his place, ripping the atmosphere apart. As if they had been waiting for this, Ares and the other greater gods moved as one to protect Yeon-woo. Boom! Swish.
In the middle of a ferocious battle that shook the world, Yeon-woo realized it was an opportunity. He used Open Speaking with Dis Pluto, telling them to run to Myeongbujeon.
『Where do you think you’re going…!』 Typhon sent a rushing gust of wind between the greater gods in order to catch Yeon-woo.
Ares quickly moved, but the sharp wind was faster. Slash. A new superior being popped up and swung his spear, cleanly cutting off Typhon’s wind. “Right now, I’ll treat you as Hades’ next king, but that won’t happen the next time we meet.” With those words, the blue-haired greater god dashed past Yeon-woo towards Typhon. Rumble.
‘Poseidon…’ Yeon-woo muttered the name of the god who had been his enemy for so long but saved his life this time. Then, he began running again.Previous Chapter Next Chapter