Chapter 551 - Kronos (1)

I feel terrified every time I look at that. Helios gulped as he looked at the vast mountain range that extended far into the horizon. The ridge looked like a natural boundary, but in fact, it was the great Kronos, the king of gods who had ushered in the Titans’ golden era.

Kronos had brought down Uranus, who had been the pinnacle god of the Protogenoi era, and after driving all the other gods away, Kronos became the supreme god feared by many beings in the heavenly world. Even the demonic societies of Malach and L’Infernal had been reluctant to clash with Kronos because, as the Apostle of the Black King, he represented the will of that great being.

However, eventually, Zeus and his brethren had brought Kronos down and banished his remains in a corner of Tartarus. At the time, the event shocked many gods and demons. It was impossible not to be surprised that the being who ruled over death would succumb to death, as well.  

Thus, many thought that the following era would be virtually untouchable. Just as the rules of Uranus and Kronos ended, so would that of Zeus. Like the higher gods and creator gods, Zeus suffered from the Heavenly Demon Disease that caused everyone to fall into slumber. Even if Zeus woke up now, there was nothing he could do to turn back the tide, especially with all his allies in Olympus gone.

‘Everyone might think it’s Typhon’s era now, but Typhon might just be a blip during a transitional period.’ Helios licked his dry lips. He slowly started walking towards Kronos’ head. ‘Typhon took Kronos’ power in order to make up for what he had lost after Zeus defeated him. Then, he gave the leftovers to the Titans as though it were some kind of generous gift.’

After absorbing Kronos’ power, Typhon had increased his power beyond his previous peak.

‘However, even with just the dregs, the rest of us managed to gain enough strength to turn the tide and drive Hades out. If we extract Kronos’ power properly, we will obtain an infinite amount of power.’ However, Typhon had never shared the method of extracting Kronos’ power with the Titans.

Using the power of Kronos was the same as using the power of the Black King, and no god dared even covet the Black King’s power without being recognized as a successor first. Otherwise, the Black King would devour them whole. This was why so many of those who chased after the Black King’s powers disappeared.

The Titans knew of the dangers, so they never attempted to do anything about Kronos. Instead, they had no choice but to allow Typhon to drag them around and force them to do his bidding. However, once they recaptured Olympus, the Titans had to figure out how to stay alive since they knew that they would be thrown away like old hunting dogs.

At this critical moment, Theia came up with a suggestion: “If we can’t have Kronos’ power, why don’t we just wake him up?”

Helios and the other Titans pondered this for a long time. Unlike ordinary mortals, who were part of a cycle of reincarnation, immortals had escaped from the cycle of reincarnation by achieving transcendence, which meant that death was permanent for them.  

‘Kronos’ situation is a bit different. His power collapsed and consumed itself after Zeus defeated him. He may have technically died, but he wasn’t annihilated, right?’ Kronos had been consumed by his own domain of death. In other words, he could not withstand his own domain and had succumbed to it fully. This was why his divine body did not decay or disappear even after death.

‘What if we activate his other domain?’ Kronos’ domains were death and time, and the folklore that defined his existence was “death through time”.

Theia and the other Titans thought of this carefully. A considerable amount of time had already passed since Kronos’ death. Crops were harvested in the fall, slumbered through winter, and resown in spring. Hadn’t Kronos also passed the winter season, which represented death? Couldn’t he enter spring, the season that symbolized resurrection? Perhaps the question was too philosophical. ‘However, the gods themselves are embodiments of philosophical ideas.’

Theia and the Titans hoped to awaken Kronos’ domain of time to overcome his other domain of death, and perhaps, Kronos might be resurrected. They knew it wouldn’t be easy to force something that had already stopped to begin moving again. However, Helios wasn’t too concerned. ‘We just have to reproduce Kronos’ legend.’

Helios recalled what Kronos had done to Zeus and his brethren. Kronos had heard a prophecy that his offspring would dislodge him from the throne in the same manner he had ousted his own father. In order to prevent this from coming to pass, Kronos devoured all of his children. However, his wife, Rhea, hid their youngest son, Zeus. In the end, all of Kronos’ precautions were in vain.

Helios intended to recreate that legend. ‘I will sacrifice myself to awaken the legend of Kronos.’ Kronos’ domain would activate, and his holy power would spring forth. With only this thought in mind, Helios slowly approached Kronos’ face. Fortunately, the cavern of Kronos’ mouth was wide and easy to enter.

Gulp. He swallowed hard. Even though he was determined to make the sacrifice for his people, Helios could not help trembling as he stood in front of Kronos. He steeled his heart. He had to pave the way for his mother, Theia, to stop the destruction of their people and create a world where his sisters Selene and Eos could live peacefully. He slowly entered Kronos’ mouth.

Whoosh! After some time, darkness surrounded Helios. He couldn’t sense anything at all, not even his own body. If he weren’t careful, his ego would disappear without a trace. This was clearly darkness.

‘What the hell did Typhon do in a place like this?’ Helios felt that needed to sense something first before making an attempt to extract any power. He had no idea how Typhon managed to pull it off. Also, since he couldn’t sense anything, he also couldn’t trigger Kronos’ domain. Helios had been expanding his holy power out ever since he entered, but the holy power didn’t react to anything.

‘Something’s wrong!’ If he could feel it, Helios thought that cold sweat would be running down his back, although in truth, he had no idea if it was happening at all. Everything had become a jumbled mess.

‘I-I-I have to go back…!’ What Helios feared most was pointless sacrifice, and the possibility of that was too great at the moment. He had been trying to ignore this fear, but it crept up bit by bit. He was also instinctively repulsed by the endless darkness, and he wanted to leave. All of his emotions blended together, his heart fluttering. In the end, he ran away towards the direction where he thought he’d come from.

He couldn’t even tell if he was really running, but he kept going, hoping to escape as quickly as possible and warn his people about this place. He had to tell them to make other plans. However, no matter how far he thought he was running, the darkness didn’t abate. His impatience began to grow alongside his fear.

Then suddenly, a thought occurred to him. Perhaps…others had also attempted to awaken Kronos. Was it possible that they’d all disappeared in this darkness? ‘Is this darkness the death that consumed Kronos?’ At this, he was only left with one thought: ‘S-save me!’ He lost out to fear and began to run aimlessly. ‘Aahh!’ He ran until the darkness completely consumed his existence, and he disappeared.

The darkness remained in place as if nothing had happened.

***

Clatter! Clatter! Squeeze! Yeon-woo never took his hands off the chains around Typhon. Neither did Typhon release the grip he had on Yeon-woo. They both felt such tremendous pain that they wondered if their arms would snap off, but they knew that as soon as they released their grips, at least one of them would die. The tense standoff continued.

‘I heard that the successor to that old geezer Hades is quite talented. Looks like it’s true.’ Hercules laughed as he watched. It was strange to see a blood-drenched, dirt-covered hero like him panting and chuckling, but Hercules didn’t care what others thought. He felt he’d been thrown a lifeline. ‘That freaking dad of mine! Even if you come back, I don’t think there’s any room at the top for you anymore. Hahaha!’

Hercules was a god of combat, and even though a high throne in Olympus had been made especially for him, he had refused the position and wandered freely throughout the Tower. He had blocked all the Channels with the heavenly world, so he had no idea what had happened to Olympus. However, as soon as he heard about the situation in Tartarus, he appeared right away.

Considering how many headaches Olympus had given him in the past, he didn’t care what happened to them. It was only because he found out that they were fighting the Gigantes, who had been his enemies as a youth, that Hercules couldn’t stay still.

Besides, Hades was one of the few gods of Olympus who left a good impression on Hercules, so he thought of avenging him. However, the situation in Tartarus was more serious than he’d anticipated. Tartarus’ protectors, Dis Pluto, were nowhere to be found, and the gods of Olympus hadn’t been able to withstand the Titans and Gigantes and retreated to Erebus.

There was no way he could turn the tides on his own. Fortunately, pockets of resistance had appeared in various areas, and a few Olympian gods had chosen to remain. Hercules gathered them one by one to form an army, at the same time keeping in contact with the Olympian gods who commanded forces in other areas. He constantly heard the same name crop up: Cain.

Although Cain’s real name was unknown, he was Hades’ successor and the next king of the Underworld. Even though they were scattered all over Tartarus with no way to communicate, the rebels all consistently said that Cain would come back to reclaim Tartarus and rebuild the old holy fortress. This made Hercules curious about Cain.

How did this person with an unknown identity gain so much trust? What the hell had he done to capture Hades’ heart, which was known for being tough and obtuse. Hercules wanted to see Cain with his own eyes.

“The king…the king is back!”

“He’s returned to defeat the Titans and Gigantes and to rebuild Tartarus!”

“Follow the king!”

“Help the king defeat the Titans and Gigantes!”

As he looked at the soldiers’ boosted morale upon seeing Yeon-woo, Hercules could feel his own fighting spirit rise. ‘I can’t stay still either.’ It was just like the time when he defeated the Nemean lions and hydras, a feat that no one believed would be possible. He recalled his youthful spirit, took a deep breath, and slowly began to loosen his muscles.

Crack! Pop! His muscles, which had grown tight from battle, relaxed. White steam rose from his skin, and his fatigue, which he didn’t even know he had, drained away. Then, his muscles tightened up again, and Hercules seemed to double in size. Even the light that burned in his eyes grew palatably hot, surprising the soldiers next to him and making them take a few steps back.

Hercules did not pay any attention to them. He extended his hand to the soldier next to him. “Spear.”

“Huh?”

“Spear!”

“Oh, yes, yes, sir! Here!”

The soldier hurriedly held out a spear. Hercules took it and weighed it in his hands. “Hmph! It's not at the level that I like, but it’s probably better than nothing,” Hercules murmured to himself quietly, took up a throwing stance, and hurled the spear at Typhon. His forearms, which were thicker than most tree trunks, had swollen so much that they looked as though they might burst at any moment. The spear was so fast that it could not be seen with the naked eye.

Boom!

Argh! Her…cules! You mongrel…how dare you! Typhon screamed in pain. The spear had pierced through several of his wings. However, that wasn’t the end. The spearhead rotated, exerting an enormous centrifugal force that tore everything within a wide range into pieces.

The soldiers’ mouths dropped open. Even though they had fought with Hercules for quite some time now, they were still unused to his awesome strength. How many people would believe he had done this due to innate strength alone, without special skills, magic, or external powers?

“Since your mouth still works, you can still fight, right?” Hercules was used to the glares of his opponents, and he laughed. Typhon’s scream had spurred on his competitive spirit, and he extended his hand to another soldier.

On the contrary, seeing how Typhon still had the strength to scream even after being hit with his spear, Hercules’ competitive spirit seemed to heat up, so he extended his hand to another soldier. “Spear!”

The soldiers rushed to bring him their spears. For a strange reason, the Titans’ attacks had stopped, allowing the soldiers to focus on his order.

Bang! Bang! Bang! Boom! Hercules continued to throw the spears handed to him. Each time he hurled one, it seemed as though his arm would fall off or his muscles would tear, but Hercules did not seem to notice or care. Boom! Boom! “By the way, isn’t this too convenient? Since he’s tied up in battle and such a large target, it’s so easy to hit him. Hahaha!”

As Hercules’ maddening laughter grew louder, large injuries started appearing all over Typhon’s body as the spears pierced him. Black holy power leaked out of his wounds, and as he grew more injured, Typhon’s grip on Yeon-woo began to weaken. As the chains tightened around him, Typhon felt his breathing grew restricted, as if he were suffocating. Typhon concentrated all his powers on Hercules

“Hmph!” Since Hercules used strength to deal with everything, the various curses laid on him had no effect. Even the gravity spell placed on him only slowed him slightly and didn’t do much damage. Boom! Bam! Boom! Bam!

No…! Not like this…! As his situation grew worse, Typhon began to feel that he risked death if things continued this way. It had been a miscalculation to face Yeon-woo and Hercules at the same time.

Furthermore, the Titans, who were supposed to occupy Hercules, had suddenly retreated. Typhon was alone in the middle of the battlefield. Typhon ground his teeth in anger at the Titans’ betrayal, but he had to focus on fleeing first. He could always pursue revenge later.

Rumble! In the end, Typhon activated the holy power in Tartarus, and a great divine punishment fell from the sky and exploded on Yeon-woo. The skill’s power could not be ignored, so Yeon-woo sighed and loosened this grip on the chain and raised Vigrid high.

Psst! Typhon transformed into his regular-sized incarnation body in order to escape Yeon-woo’s chains.

“Stupid dunce.”

Typhon heard Yeon-woo’s sneer as though Yeon-woo were speaking in his ear. Smack! “Argh!”

Vigrid pierced through his body, emerging out of his chest. Typhon turned his head with tremendous effort to see Yeon-woo smiling at him mischievously. It was only then that Typhon realized that Yeon-woo had planned this all along.

“Maybe Mother Earth always carried you on her back to victory. You’re terrible at dealing with a crisis, no?”

Typhon tried teleporting again despite his injury, but Yeon-woo’s chains rushed in from all directions and bound him at once as though they were a cocoon, snuffing out the holy power he was trying to activate.

Yeon-woo spread his hand wide and placed it on Typhon’s face. He had finally taken revenge on behalf of Hades.

No, no…! Typhon instinctively realized what Yeon-woo was going to do and screamed.

“Devour.” Yeon-woo activated Hades’ Spirit Eating Sword and laughed.

[Hades’ Spirit Eating Sword is consuming Typhon!]

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