Chapter 395 - Thunder (2)

Allforone was a wall that had stood over players like a mountain. He was considered to be the strongest player ever since the foundation of the Tower, and even the greatest king of the One-horned tribe, the Martial King, couldn’t defeat him. The pressure that radiated from him was extraordinary, and it was a wonder that he wasn’t a god.

[Ksitigarbha roars.]

[Hel raises his wings, firmly on guard.]

[Halphas glares at the being with a grim gaze.]

[Vimalacitra shuts his mouth.]

[Cernunnos stands with rough movements.]

[Many gods look at the sight with enraged gazes.]

[Many demons watch the situation cautiously.]

The responses of the gods and demons connected to Yeon-woo were diverse, but they all had one thing in common: fury. Their intense feeling of hostility towards Allforone was evidence of how much he’d frustrated them for so long.

No one knows Allforone’s goal. He’s blocked the seventy-seventh floor for a long time, dividing the sky and the earth, preventing players from heading up and gods and demons from reaching below.

Hades had said in passing that the gods and demons called Allforone the divider of the heavens and the earth. He also said that Allforone wanted the line between transcendents and mortals to be distinct.

If a transcendent tried to interfere in a stage, he would immediately restrict them, and when a mortal entered a transcendent’s territory, he would chase them out. Tartarus was a bit of an in-between place, so he mostly observed, but if Dis Pluto interfered in a stage, he would immediately step up.

From the perspective of the gods and demons, Allforone’s actions were closer to a Guardian’s than a player’s. He was like the will of the system. If the system were a living being, it would probably do what Allforone was doing, which was why the gods and demons hated him. They called him the Tower’s Apostle.  

The entity began to speak. The energy in the heavens was messed up, and I was wondering what happened. So, you’re the new king of the Underworld. I don’t know if I should be wary or congratulate you. This is the first time something like this happened so I’m in a strange position.

Yeon-woo didn’t feel an oppressive power from Allforone. It felt like something else. ‘It’s too amplified, as though he’s more than one person.’ If thousands of people gathered in the same place and spoke in one voice, this was probably what it would sound like. There were so many voices mixed into one, so many energies expressed in a single form. It made Yeon-woo wonder whether Allforone was really an individual.

The great entity that filled the stage radiated his will as he continued to speak. And the soldiers of the Underworld have not only appeared on the stage, but have also caused this mess. This is a clear infringement of the pledge. Are you aware of that?

Although the huge fog that was presumably Allforone remained in the sky, the members of Dis Pluto all straightened their backs, immediately on guard. It was as though an immeasurable gaze were trained on them, like a massive beast was wondering what to do about a bunch of puppies in its territory.

They were elite soldiers that had protected Tartarus, and despite being lower-level divine beings, they still possessed divinity. But all of this seemed futile in front of Allforone. They swallowed.

Of course they were aware of the pledge. They didn’t know the details, but Hades had told them that it had been made between the heavenly world and Allforone. They wouldn’t interfere in each other’s territories, and if they did, they wouldn’t resist any physical action taken against them.

If Allforone wanted to follow the pledge to the letter, it meant that Dis Pluto was clearly in the wrong. Even if they resisted, Allforone would decimate them easily, especially since their bodies were already stressed from the unfamiliar environment of the stage.

Yeon-woo was also aware of their predicament. Hades had passed down a great deal of his knowledge along with the throne, and that included the pledge. ‘Dammit.’

He thought he could finally take a breather after evading Mother Earth, the Titans, and Giants, but it was just mountain after mountain. In fact, this wasn’t even a mountain, it was a volcano. ‘I have to persuade him somehow.’

Still, it was a relief that unlike Mother Earth, who was simply a being full of greed, Allforone seemed more rational and likely to compromise. Yeon-woo had to get Allforone to cut him a break when it came to the pledge. Otherwise, he definitely wasn’t someone to take on.

What could he say that would convince Allforone to leave Dis Pluto alone? His quick mind wasn’t at its best right now due to the tension and fatigue from the battles he’d just endured.

Just then, Jeong-woo looked up at the sky and slowly stepped forward. Allforone, do you remember me?

Surprised, Yeon-woo tried to stop him, but Jeong-woo waved his hand, indicating that it was okay. Allforone chuckled good-naturedly. Even with your misaligned luck and short fate, you roamed around and around in the skies. I see you’ve cobbled together a likeness in the end.

For some reason, Yeon-woo felt like the words weren’t directed to Jeong-woo but to him. A likeness? What did Allforone see? However, Allforone turned back to Jeong-woo as though he didn’t want to speak further about it. Yes, long time no see, child from the past.

Jeong-woo nodded solemnly. Thanks to what you said back then, I’m able to be here like this.

I didn’t do anything. Your desire was just so desperate that your life took that shape.

It was only then that Yeon-woo learned that Jeong-woo had been inspired by Allforone to create the diary in Superbia.

I still want to thank you.

I’m glad to hear you say that. You look healthy, so it’s a relief.

As they reminisced, the atmosphere seemed to grow lighter and more amiable. Jeong-woo continued with a bright face, Then…

Impossible. The reply was cold. You want to say they’re people who’ve helped you and that nothing else could be done. And that they’ll be so quiet that they won’t disturb the lower world.

Jeong-woo closed his mouth since Allforone had anticipated all of his words. Allforone’s tone was still affectionate, but his words were strict. There are no exceptions.

Yeon-woo and Jeong-woo felt their hearts contract.

If I turn a blind eye now, then I’ll have to turn a blind eye to other situations.

At those words, Dis Pluto raised their weapons as one. Clang! They thrust their shields forward and lifted their spears high. A dense fighting spirit filled the battlefield as though it were trying to push away Allforone’s pressure.

Geez, nothing’s ever easy. Is this all the result of our master’s charming temper? Shanon clucked his tongue as he pulled out Sword Breaker and kicked off from the ground. Boom! Swish. He turned into a ray of light in the sky and immediately blasted his signature skill, Volcano. As the red flames spread around him, Hanryeong and Rebecca supported him from the back, shooting projectiles.  

Gigantic eyes opened in mid-air as Boo set up innumerable magic circles that attacked Allforone at the same time. Kahn and Galliard struck, sending small explosions erupting in the fog. Shanon was already a high ranker, and everyone helping him was skilled too. They thought that even if they couldn’t stop Allforone, they could injure him at the very least.

Rumble. The heavy Aura in the fog suddenly shook, and something limp fell to the ground.

Shanon! Hanryeong realized who it was and frantically ran. What had happened? Shanon, who had been fine just a moment ago, was now critically injured. His body was about to crack and had grown fainter, meaning his existence was at risk of being destroyed.

The members of Dis Pluto stiffened. They knew how strong Shanon was after seeing him in battle, but he had been defeated so easily without even a chance to fight back. It was a perilous situation. 

Shanon’s attacks also didn’t seem to have affected Allforone at all, but Kahn and the others thought that Allforone might crush them right away if they didn’t make a move. They began to activate their signature skills.

“Cut!”

“Full capacity…!”

Kahn swung his Blood Sword, dividing space and sending red projectiles shooting to the sky, pulling up his Bian to its fullest. With Brahm’s help, Galliard shot arrows without rest, and Creutz brought up Zulfikar’s holy power to its maximum to buff them to an extraordinary degree.

Dis Pluto soldiers also released their levels at once. Their fighting intent whirled around the stage, endangering it. The stage that was still being restored after Mother Earth’s interference was once again in bedlam.

“Aaack! How am I supposed to do this all over again?” The High Guardians rubbed their heads, screaming at the sudden doubling of their tasks.

Guardians like Lupi tried to transport the players to the floor below so they wouldn’t become involved, but it didn’t work, and the system kept on repeating the same message.

[Error]

[Error]

“What in the world…!”

“Ohyohyo! It’s like when the Martial King was causing a ruckus. What a mess. Ohyo! Ohyo!”

“Do you think this is the right time to be laughing, you damned goblin?! Do something!”

As Yvlke laughed, and shock spread among the Guardians, the Aura shook once more. Flash!

A huge ray of light blinded everyone. When their sight returned, they discovered that everyone who had challenged Allforone had collapsed on the ground, vomiting blood. The fierce fighting intent from just a minute ago was nowhere to be found.

“Damn…it. What the…!” Clutching his chest, Kahn glared at Allforone. He had no idea what had just happened. When the light flashed, he felt his magic power stop and his skill fail, and the backlash had damaged his body severely.

The mana stream flowing in the atmosphere had been stopped too, just like the system messages. Everything was turned upside down. It was as if…the system were behaving according to Allforone’s wishes.

He continued to hang in the sky as though he’d anticipated everything, and he protected his will on the seventy-seventh floor, not even showing himself. And technically, the throne of the Underworld shouldn’t be here either. I can stay silent about the pieces of the Black King, but no more than that. Allforone’s gaze shifted to Yeon-woo.

Yeon-woo gritted his teeth. He wanted to fight next to everyone else, but his body simply wouldn’t allow it. He’d used up all of his strength in the battle with Mother Earth. He tried to force his powers out.

[The fifth step of the awakening has failed.]

 [The fifth step of the awakening has failed.]

That wasn’t all.

[Your connection with Erleng Shen is unstable. The power Dragon Kill has been paused.]

[Your connection with Agares is unstable. The power Wicked Devil has been paused.]

[A message from Agares has arrived.]

[Message: Allforone, you bastard, what…!]

[The message has failed to send due to unspecified reasons.]

[A message from Agares has arrived.]

[Message: Don’t cut me…!]

[The message has failed to send due to unspecified reasons.]

The channels that always surrounded him had grown faint or were completely disconnected. Since the Sky Wings were tied to the powers of the gods and demons, they had become useless.

I must correct it. After determining that the throne of the Underworld that Yeon-woo had received was a threat to the ecosystem of the Tower, Allforone stepped up to take it from him.

A light flashed once more. Yeon-woo felt like a huge hand was crushing him, and he was powerless to resist. No matter how much he wanted to struggle, his body didn’t move, and only his consciousness seemed to be awake in a world that had slowed down. Just as he was wondering whether he would be destroyed in such a powerless state, Jeong-woo appeared in front of him in his shining silver armor and with his bright Sky Wings unfurled. 

You can’t do anything without me. He smiled at Yeon-woo. Yeon-woo’s eyes widened. He wanted to shout at Jeong-woo to stop. It was too dangerous. He wanted to tell Jeong-woo not to go forward in his unstable state, but he couldn't speak.

Let’s go, Mirne. Right now, that name seems to be a better fit than Nemesis. Kicking off from the ground, Jeong-woo flew towards Allforone. Nemesis followed with his fangs bared.

It was the return of Heaven Wing, the player who had shaken up the Tower a long time ago.

 

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