Chapter 558 - Kronos (8)

“What the hell is this guy going on about? Have your muscles taken over your brain and squeezed up your internal organs? This guy is already mine, all right?”

“Nuh-uh! How can you trust someone who was too lazy to stay on his throne? I’ve had my eye on that kid for a long time, and once I become the supreme god of Olympus, I’m taking him under my wing!”

“Argh! You’re barely even a divine being, what can you do for him?”

“Nuh-uh! Such reckless words! Did your father tell you that?”

“Hey, we have the same father! What are you going on about?”

Hercules and Ares growled at each other as they bumped heads, looking like opponents with long-standing vendettas against each other even though just moments ago, they had behaved like fellow body-building maniacs, hugging each other and wriggling their copper-colored muscles together while saying things like “So good to see you, brother!” The others had turned their heads at the embarrassing sight. Athena had already left the area.

Only Shanon continued watching, turning to look at Yeon-woo with a smirk on his face. Master, aren’t you getting too popular?

“Shanon.”

Yes?

“Shut up.”

Hahaha!

In the past, Shanon would keep his mouth shut and try to read Yeon-woo’s mood whenever Yeon-woo told him off. However, by now, Shanon didn't care about hiding his thoughts. He stood with a bright smile, completely unconcerned. Yeon-woo felt annoyance and anger rising inside him.

He grew even more irritated watching Hercules and Ares point and yell at each other as they debated which of them was more handsome or uglier or some such nonsense. ‘Should I just blow them all away?’

For a moment, Yeon-woo considered using Vigrid to get rid of them. However, he only sighed heavily, and like Athena, decided to just ignore them.

Yeon-woo had taken Athena and Ares to Hercules’ resistance army base. The resistance forces and Dis Pluto hadn’t seen each other in a long time, and they’d hugged each other and wept as they shared a happy moment.   

It was against this background that Ares and Hercules, who had just confirmed their close friendship by agreeing to defeat the Titans and Gigantes together, fell into a disagreement over a very trivial(?) matter. To them, the matter was simple. They wanted to determine which of them would obtain(?) Yeon-woo. Hercules yelled that he’d chosen to make Yeon-woo his successor. Ares jumped up and down animatedly as he declared his plans to make Yeon-woo his Apostle.

Despite being the cause of the dispute, Yeon-woo was not interested in either one of the gods. However, this didn’t matter to the two, who were at each other’s throats. If the gods and demons of the other societies had not been present, the two would have started fighting in earnest.

However, the matter didn’t stop there.

I tried to let things go as long as I could, but this is my limit! Ever since we were still in the heavenly world, I’ve always stated that he’s mine! I chose him a long time ago, so don’t even think about getting close to him! Are you all hoping to get punished?

Woof! Woof! Woof! Agares and Fenrir injected themselves into Hercules and Ares’ shouting match, forcefully staking their claims over Yeon-woo. It did not seem like the argument would end any time soon.

“He seems to be getting more and more popular with the guys by the minute! Hahaha! Should I participate as well?” Prince Nezha laughed as he watched the commotion.

The longer the argument went on, the deeper the wrinkles in Yeon-woo’s forehead grew.

***

In the end, Yeon-woo decided there was no point in intervening, and ignored the four gods to devise a new plan with the others. Athena was not just the goddess of war but also a divine being who possessed vast wisdom and experience in building civilizations. Also, since she’d recently fought the Titans and Gigantes, she knew their internal situation the best. Yeon-woo asked for her advice on how to proceed.

“I’m against the idea of immediately opening a road to Erebus.” As soon as Athena was presented with an opportunity to speak, she immediately uttered these words. The eyes of the meeting participants widened in surprise. Since Athena had just told them that many of the supreme and great gods of Olympus had fled to Erebus, her suggestion seemed odd to them.

Yeon-woo’s eyes narrowed. “May I ask why?” He didn’t look at Athena but stared at Aegis, which she held in her arms like a precious item. Yeon-woo had asked the three Cyclops brothers to repair Aegis, but Athena didn’t put it away even though it was almost fully repaired. Instead, she held it in her arms, and each time her fingertips brushed Aegis’ surface, Yeon-woo felt his gaze automatically drawn to the shield.

Shanon started giggling and teasing Yeon-woo about openly lusting over someone else just because Edora was not around. In fact, Yeon-woo’s feelings for Athena weren’t the same as those he felt for Edora. Yeon-woo didn’t really see Athena as someone of the opposite sex, and instead, he felt a sense of concern for Athena’s well-being, as though they were comrades.

She had sympathized the most with his younger brother, and ever since Yeon-woo entered the Tower, she had taken care of him like a mother. Yeon-woo couldn’t help feeling close to her. Athena looked at Yeon-woo with caring eyes and smiled warmly. However, as she thought of the situation in Erebus, her warm smile turned into a bitter one. “We can't open the way to Erebus right now. Even if we find a way, without the appropriate preparation, we’ll put the gods on the other side in danger.”

“What does that mean…?”

“Hermes opened the way to Erebus. He attempted it knowing that he might fall from the heavens and lose his divinity, and…he contracted a deadly divine sickness and is on the brink of death.”

Everyone’s expression became serious, including Yeon-woo’s. Hermes’ fall from grace, the loss of his divinity, and a divine sickness weren’t things they could just gloss over. Yeon-woo was particularly shocked since Hermes was the first god who had established a relationship with him. When the Olympian gods of Poseidon’s generation were causing problems for Yeon-woo, Hermes was the one who stood up to protect and defend him.

Since Hermes possessed the divine domain of travel and communication, this meant that he was relatively free from the suppression of the law of causality. That was probably why he managed to open a path to Erebus. However, since he used his divine domain even though he didn’t have his divine throne, Hermes must have lost a tremendous amount of divine power.

“I returned to Tartarus because I wanted to fight the Titans and Gigantes…but more importantly, I must find a way to heal Hermes’ divine sickness.”

In an instant, Yeon-woo’s eyes lit up. “Is there a way?”

Athena solemnly nodded. “Yes, there is. For sure.”

“What is it?”

“You know what it is.”

Yeon-woo was puzzled.

“Kronos’ corpse.”

Yeon-woo recalled how the Titans gained the ability to expand their sizes and how a significant portion of Typhon’s divine power originated from Kronos.

“If we can obtain Kronos’ divine power, we can cure the divine sickness. We can also replenish the divine power we lost after being deprived of our divine thrones.”

The former gods of Olympus could restore their power in the same way that the Titans and Gigantes had gained their own power to overthrow them.

“However, we haven’t figured out how to tap into Kronos’ power.” As Athena spoke in a worried voice, Yeon-woo quickly opened a power.

[Your power ‘Purgatory Furnace’ has been opened!]

Whoosh! As the flames erupted in front of Yeon-woo, two souls appeared among themThey were the spirits of Typhon and Syceus.

Argh! Stop! Please stop! Anything… I’ll tell you anything, please…!

Don’t think that it’s over…! Once Mother comes back, she’ll consume you like food…argh!

Typhon had been imprisoned in the Purgatory Furnace for quite some time, and he begged Yeon-woo to release him from the constant agony. Syceus had only been recently imprisoned, and he showered Yeon-woo with curses, showing no signs of exhaustion.

Yeon-woo had promised the Demonism their egos, not their souls, so he was still torturing them in order to force their egos to collapse. Syceus had yet to show signs of surrender, but Yeon-woo did not really care. Yeon-woo knew that Syceus would soon weaken and crumble. Even Typhon, who was the equivalent of a supreme god, could not stand the torture. How long could a small fry like Syceus hold out? If Yeon-woo increased the intensity of the flames just a little bit more, it would become unbearable for Syceus. It would probably be enough to add just a little more firepower to Purgatory than what they had been through already.

“Hey, is this...?” Athena realized what Yeon-woo had taken out. Her eyes widened in astonishment. Although she’d expected Syceus to be there, she had never imagined that Typhon would appear in the Purgatory Furnace as well. She was once again reminded of how quickly Yeon-woo was developing. “Can’t we just ask them?”

Yeon-woo lifted one corner of his mouth and flicked his finger lightly. The flames of the Purgatory Furnace burned more fiercely.

Argh!

Ugh…! Damn it… Argh!

“Tell me how to extract Kronos’ divine power from his corpse. I’ll turn the flames off for the one who tells me.”

Syceus’ spirit shouted at Yeon-woo with a twisted face. Do you think we’ll give in if you threaten…

Kronos isn’t dead! It’s only that time has stopped!  Before Syceus could even finish speaking, Typhon had already stepped forward, shouting his reply as he begged for the torture to stop.

Yeon-woo sneered at Syceus. “What were you saying?”

Typhon! What are you doing…

Shut up! Do you…! Do you understand how much pain I’m in! No matter what, I must be freed from this pain! If you want me to betray Mother Earth, then just say the word! Just release me from this pain!  Typhon was so anxious that if he were asked to wag his tail or lick something, he would quickly do it.  

As if he’d received a great shock, Syceus did not say anything further.

Yeon-woo flashed a smile at them. The more he observed these two, the more he thought the situation ridiculous. These beings, who had thought the world of themselves, were now thoroughly ruined. They possessed little of their previous confidence, and Typhon was even willing to betray his allies. Was all their allegiance to Mother Earth so flimsy and futile?

“Explain. What do you mean by ‘time’?” Yeon-woo put out the flames that were causing Typhon pain. Typhon’s words shot out as though they had been fired out of a cannon, as though he were afraid that Yeon-woo might reignite the fire again.

B-before that, promise me! If I tell you the answer, that…that this will be the end…!  Whoosh!Argh! Wait! Fine, fine! I’ll tell you, so please…!

The flames of the Purgatory Furnace under Typhon were extinguished once more. Typhon’s spirit felt disgusted and humiliated at being treated like a low-level being, but he had no other choice at the moment. I’ll explain Kronos’ clockwork!

“Clockwork?”

Yes! In addition to death, Kronos also wielded the divine domain of time. Time is a realm that is almost omnipotent, so he had a great power during his lifetime! It was for this reason that other heavenly societies were wary of Olympus!  Typhon’s words continued to pour out. But in the end, even he couldn’t handle the overbearing divine domain of time, so he succumbed to its nature and paused! In other words, the spring that kept the clockwork moving stopped! It’s similar to dying.”

“Did that clockwork have anything to do with your sudden awakening?”

Yes! My great mother…Mother Earth knew how to rewind the spring to operate the clockwork! I managed to collect Kronos’ divine power when she rewound it!

Yeon-woo’s eyes glittered. If he could rewind the clockwork, Yeon-woo just might be able to cure Hermes’ divine sickness and help Athena and the other gods regain divine thrones. Athena’s gaze was still fixed on Typhon.

 “What is the method?”

Th-that’s… Typhon’s words trailed away.

Whoosh! Yeon-woo thought Typhon was thinking of proposing another deal, so he reignited the Purgatory Furnace.

Typhon screamed out urgently. N-no! I’m not trying to hide anything! Only Mother Earth and Persephone know how to rewind Kronos’ clockwork! The Purgatory Furnace’s fire flickered and grew hot again. It’s true! Trust me! Why would I hide something after telling you so much? Since Kronos is in a paused state, everything related to him has also fallen into a similar state. This is why anyone who tries to enter Kronos’ area is paused and exterminated. Trying to find the clockwork is a fool’s errand… Whoosh! I-I’m telling the truth…! Argh! Aahh! Please! Please believe me…!

Typhon’s spirit wriggled in the flames as he appealed to Yeon-woo repeatedly. However, as if it weren’t any of his concern, Yeon-woo put the Purgatory Furnace back inside his storage space. Typhon’s pain-filled screams and curses disappeared.

Athena and others looked at Yeon-woo with their mouths open. It was surprising that Typhon, who had been synonymous with the concept of fear itself, could have fallen so much, but they were even more surprised that Yeon-woo could torment and crush Typhon so casually. As divine beings, they’d never even imagined this would be possible.

However, Yeon-woo got up, lightly brushing his behind as if nothing unusual had happened. “First off, we need to go to Kronos and find out more about this clockwork. We need to understand what it is.”

“A-all right. Yeah!” Athena quickly regained her color and nodded. Dis Pluto and the resistance forces also began preparing to move out. The location of Kronos’ corpse was known to everyone, and there wasn’t any need to explain.

As he looked at everyone moving around busily, Yeon-woo had a sudden thought about the clockwork that Typhon spoke about. Was it just a coincidence that Yeon-woo had immediately thought of the pocket watch that his younger brother had left behind?

Or was there something relevant there?

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