Allforone yanked Yeon-woo’s hand from his collar with so much force that he nearly ripped off Yeon-woo’s right arm. At the same time, he turned and lashed out with his other hand, which radiated a brilliant light like the sun splitting through darkness.
Flash! Allforone’s light contained an incredible amount of holy power that could chase ghosts and evil spirits away. The darkness of the creature that seemed like Yeon-woo was composed of death and chaos, which meant that it was at odds with Allforone’s light. Since it had the power to illuminate the entire world in the blink of an eye, it meant that it could easily incinerate the creature that seemed like Yeon-woo. It was why Yeon-woo didn’t dare face it directly.
Boom! He projected darkness to the ground. The earth moved according to his will, sending up dirt to create a wall separating him from Allforone. From far away, it looked as though a mountain were moving.
Allforone’s light was blocked by the wall and turned into a tornado. Yeon-woo backed away. Although a wall had risen between him and Allforone, it only managed to partially block the light, and half of Yeon-woo’s body had been blown off. He quickly recovered, the darkness flowing out of the Cast of the Black King and quickly restoring his body.
Just then, the space behind the retreating Yeon-woo opened and Allforone appeared. 『Where do you think you’re going?』 He had activated his signature skill, Shukuchi, which allowed him to use the veins along the ground to reach any spot he wanted. He reached out to Yeon-woo, and there was another explosion of light.
Yeon-woo flapped his wings and came to a quick stop. He turned with his left hand extended. Darkness shot out like a blade and penetrated the light. Boom! Boom! Rumble! Shockwaves rippled out one after the other as the darkness clashed with the light. The light tried to swallow up the darkness, while the darkness tried to extinguish the light.
The creature that seemed like Yeon-woo didn’t even seem to notice any injuries as he threw himself forward.
The Regeneration skill he learned to catch up to Allforone combined with the darkness, granting him an ability to recover that was close to his Immortal skill. Even as the light tore his body to shreds, the darkness splashed like ink to heal him. Soon, Yeon-woo had reached Allforone, and he stretched his hand out once more. Vigrid tore out of subspace into his hand, and he swung it with the power of the Eight Extreme Swords.
Crash! The eight trigrams from Qian to Xun activated in order, with Heaven Bracket amplifying its strength to completely sever Allforone’s arms and legs. He attempted to set a curtain of light around himself, but Vigrid just cut through it, digging in even deeper.
However, Allforone wasn’t about to take the attacks lying down. His Immortal meant that no matter how critically he was injured, he would recover. Thousand Li Eyes gave him the ability to penetrate through his surroundings, and he could grasp Yeon-woo’s movements right away.
To Allforone, a body was nothing more than a disposable item that could easily be replaced. Thwack! Allforone was decapitated, but his headless body continued to move closer to Yeon-woo. Boom! His body used Shukuchi to appear behind Yeon-woo, this time fully recovered. He brought his hand down on Yeon-woo. Thwack!
“Ugh!” Yeon-woo’s neck was almost sliced through. The light divided the darkness, creeping in like poison to stop his Regeneration skill from working. The creature that seemed like Yeon-woo gritted his teeth and twisted to the side, brandishing Vigrid at Allforone.
Allforone sacrificed his left arm and used Shukuchi to appear in Yeon-woo’s blindspot. Just as his open hand was about to reach Yeon-woo’s chest, the chains around his arm suddenly tightened and pulled him back.
Clatter! It didn’t matter how many times his limbs were sundered; the chains were tied to his soul, so it wasn’t easy to escape them. Emptiness opened, and Allforone found himself in front of Yeon-woo, whose face was twisted savagely.
“You rat!” Yeon-woo stabbed Vigrid into Allforone’s neck, but Allforone used Shukuchi to appear behind Yeon-woo again. He aimed for Yeon-woo’s waist, and Yeon-woo was forced to twist his body in the opposite direction. However, he managed to pull Allforone closer to him with the chains.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Space opened, closed, twisted, and broke. The creature that seemed like Yeon-woo and Allforone played their game of tag obsessively. Darkness and light confronted each other, scorching the stage over and over.
As if reminding everyone of her presence, the Bone Dragon stretched her head back and spewed Breath. 「Death…to a…deathless…one.」
Boo/Faust drew hundreds of magic squares in the sky and rained down attacks. Meteors of Hell Fire fell to the ground. Boom!
* * *
The players watched as the two beings, who were close to superior-level deities and had legendary accomplishments. battled in the sky.
“Is that possible?”
They were left speechless.
“May the blessing of the heavens be with…” Creutz was praying on one knee, shocked as his assumptions and views of the world were crushed. With Zulfikar stuck in the ground and a large barrier stretching around him, he prayed again and again for fortune to bless Yeon-woo.
Jeong-woo watched with a nonplussed expression, his eyes never straying from the battlefield. More often than not, they were fixed on the creature that seemed like Yeon-woo. As soon as he was rescued, Jeong-woo knew that this Yeon-woo was not the Yeon-woo he knew. It was like he had been possessed by something.
Jeong-woo was familiar with the appearances of possessed players. It was a symptom of divine sickness, which frequently struck Apostles. Constant contact with great beings often made the soul grow muddled, and in the end, they would be swallowed up by the god they served. Most Apostles lived with this risk in exchange for power, and even Vieira Dune had suffered it multiple times, growing nearly delusional with fear because of it.
It was happening to Yeon-woo, but as far as Jeong-woo knew, Yeon-woo didn’t serve anyone. Still, he was definitely possessed by a divine being—and not a minor one. It was something large, something on the same level as Mother Earth. However, he had no idea who or what it was, despite having repeated the special benefit countless times.
It was surely an extraordinary being if it could bring back two dead players and even go toe to toe with someone like Allforone, whom most divine beings couldn’t defeat. Yeon-woo was in a perilous situation, but even then, he was worried about Jeong-woo. Jeong-woo’s heart felt like it was being ripped apart, and he could only feel sorry for his brother, who was trying to protect him even though he wasn’t the real Jeong-woo.
Psssss. On top of that, his body was finding it difficult to maintain its form. Letters leaked out as his spirit scattered. His body was so frail that it might break with just a touch. The only reason he could resist was his anxiety over his brother and his longing to stay.
“Mr. Cha Jeong-woo?”
Jeong-woo’s thoughts were interrupted when someone called his name. He turned his head and swallowed. 『Yvlke.』
“Ohyo ohyo. Ohyohyo! It’s a completely different experience meeting you like this. It truly is nice to see you. It’s been so long. Ah, it hasn’t been that long for you though, I presume?” Yvlke adjusted his monocle and burst out laughing. He knew the exact details of the special benefit.
『Why is the system’s chief administrator…』
“Shh!” Yvlke raised a finger to his lips before Jeong-woo could finish. His ferocious goblin eyes curved in a smile. “That’s a secret between the two of us.”
Jeong-woo didn’t reply.
“Ohyohyo. I like that you’ve always understand what I’m saying. Listen, let me give you a gift.”
Jeong-woo’s eyes narrowed. The Yvlke he knew wasn’t the kind of person who would give something for nothing. As if he knew what Jeong-woo was thinking, Yvlke grinned and clapped gently. Suddenly, white steam burst out of Jeong-woo’s body. The stream of letters slowed, and his fading body grew clearer. 『This is…?』
“The person over there requested that you be fixed, no matter the cost.”
『What…?』 Jeong-woo’s eyes widened. At first, he didn’t know what Yvlke meant but he soon realized that Yeon-woo was investing his exceptional amount of karma in him.
Jeong-woo clenched his teeth. It was necessary to have karma as one climbed the Tower. The more you had, the greater the rewards you received. At times, you could even boost your abilities dramatically. Even though Yeon-woo’s level was advanced, considering how many floors he had yet to climb, he still needed karma.
In fact, he needed more karma precisely because he was so skilled. The price to climb higher was greater. Yeon-woo shouldn’t be using up his karma on Jeong-woo, but he had given it all up so that Jeong-woo could stay alive for a little while longer.
“You’re my brother. No matter what bullshit anyone says, you’re my brother, and that fact doesn’t change.”
Jeong-woo clenched his fists tightly. His brother was a fool. This wouldn’t accomplish more than simply slowing the speed of his body’s disintegration. Complete restoration was impossible, and they were only delaying the inevitable. He forced down his emotions and turned to Yvlke. 『Yvlke, I have something to ask..』
“Guardians cannot interfere or participate in players’ businesses, but…in consideration of our long friendship, I’ll answer any reasonable questions you may have. And there’s still a lot of karma left as well.”
Jeong-woo knew Yvlke was only replying out of his own amusement, but he pretended not to know.
“Ohyohyo! Well, what do you want to know?”
Looking into Yvlke’s eyes, Jeong-woo asked, 『Then…where’s the real Cha Jeong-woo?』
“He…” Yvlke’s gaze dropped slightly. “Doesn’t exist. Anywhere.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter