The hallway leading to the place where Uranus waited was quite long.
‘Is this what Olympus looks like?’ The marble columns were intricate and elegant, but Yeon-woo didn’t care too much about them. For a while now, something beyond the hallway had been making his skin tingle. He knew who was responsible: Uranus, the first supreme god who established Olympus and ruled the heavens before Kronos had pulled him down from the throne, according to the legends. ‘Is he…more powerful than the Crawling Chaos? It’s said he even fought Mother Earth.’
Yeon-woo only now understood the strength of progenitor and conceptual gods. Unlike other progenitor gods who had incomplete egos and couldn’t maintain their existences, the fact that Uranus had a strong hold on his existence meant that he could express his thoughts. Yeon-woo was curious about his appearance, but there was also another, more compelling reason he wanted to see Uranus. ‘There must be something significant about this moment since it’s the one I’ve awakened in. It’s possible that Uranus is at the core of the matter.’
Yeon-woo still didn’t know what the springs were, but he was certain it was something important to Kronos’ existence. His eyes darkened. He had already settled his mind. He still didn’t know if Kronos was his father, and if that were the case, he had many questions to ask. However, at the moment, he ignored this issue to focus on figuring out what the springs were and taking them for himself.
Then, the power that had once dominated the societies of the heavenly world would be his. In addition, he’d be able to gain the power of the Black King that Kronos had possessed. ‘I don’t care what kind of backstory Kronos has, but I might as well take his strength while I’m already here.’
Yeon-woo focused on his main goal. ‘To do that, I need to know what kind of being Uranus is.’ As he organized his thoughts, he soon reached a gigantic, marble door that was so huge that he had to crane his neck to look at its entire length. The murals on the wall seemed to be depicting Uranus’ legends: his heavenly rule over the ignorant mortals and their worship of him.
Did he like glorifying himself that much? It was true being worshipped and venerated was important for divine beings, but Yeon-woo couldn’t help smirking at how petty it seemed. He stretched his hand to the door. Thump! Creak.
Before he could even touch it, the marble door opened on its own, revealing a blue sky instead of a room. Countless stars shone in the dark blue sky. There were constellations Yeon-woo had never seen before. It was truly beautiful.
Below was a middle-aged man with a white beard who seemed to be indifferent to the beauty of the constellations as he moved his hands unsympathetically. Some stars detached from the constellations and turned into nebulae while others turned into large and magnificent planets.
As Yeon-woo watched, his body shuddered instinctively. He realized that the middle-aged man’s casual gestures were responsible for the beginnings of a universe. Yeon-woo had only ever broken things and had never really thought of creating anything; he was dumbfounded by the majesty and beauty of it. It was too magnificent.
However, he also felt a little out of place, perhaps because creation was too different from the darkness that he’d grown accustomed to. Creation meant order, which was anathema to darkness.
“What’s taken you so long to get here?” The middle-aged man, Uranus, didn’t even turn away from what he was doing.
Yeon-woo contemplated for a while. ‘What should I say?’ This was the world of Kronos’ legends, which meant this was a world created by Kronos’ unconscious. Yeon-woo wondered what would happen if he behaved in a way that was unlike Kronos. If he did something different, would the outcome change and lead to a path that hadn’t existed in the past? Would this fake world simply collapse or would it lead to another story?
If this world were destroyed, would the springs disappear as well? What would happen to him? Would he disappear? Or would the legend simply restart? If it resulted in another story, would it help him find the springs? Was Kronos expecting him to tie up loose ends or find another solution? What did the springs have to do with this? There were too many things to think about since the possibilities were infinite.
‘Since I don’t know anything, I should act in a way that doesn’t affect the story too much.’ But that brought up another problem: Yeon-woo didn’t know much about this era. The events around Uranus were already ancient history even for someone like Zeus. And since it was an embarrassing part of history that no one wanted to highlight, the stories about it were often inaccurate. Yeon-woo couldn’t rely on them.
Although he’d received part of Kronos’ memories, they were so incomplete that he was probably better off without them. He only remembered peoples’ names or things like how to get around Olympus. ‘I don’t even know what Kronos’ personality was like.’
Yeon-woo’s eyes narrowed. Although he knew he needed to act like Uranus was his father, he didn’t even know how Kronos usually behaved around Uranus. He needed to have at least a few memories about their relationship to pull the act off.
“Why aren’t you saying anything?”
The amount of time that Yeon-woo used to think clearly bothered Uranus because he turned around with a frown. The holy power filling the temple tightened around Yeon-woo’s neck. Gods were sensitive to hierarchy, and it was common for them to release their strength to display their power and demonstrate the differences in abilities.
Uranus was only trying to intimidate Kronos by releasing his strength. He probably thought he was showing off his authority, but Yeon-woo found it an annoyance. He grew defiant. His desire to defeat an opponent usually grew the more an opponent tried to show off their strength. Although this was usually hidden behind his cold personality, it sometimes seeped through. “Since you’re the one that summoned me, shouldn’t you be the one to speak first, Father?”
It was awkward calling Uranus “Father”, but Yeon-woo shrugged off those feelings and waved his hand to disperse Kronos’ holy power. Yeon-woo didn’t miss the light that flashed in Uranus’ eyes. However, as if that expression had never appeared, Uranus quickly put on a furious expression and shouted, “You scoundrel! You never back down, do you?”
‘I guess my answer sounded authentic.’ Yeon-woo felt relieved, knowing that he had made the right choice. Uranus’ holy power no longer tightened around him. He knew how to behave around Uranus now, and in fact, it wouldn’t need a lot of acting. Of course, there was a chance that Uranus might be able to tell something was amiss if Yeon-woo suddenly grew talkative, so Yeon-woo stayed taciturn.
Yeon-woo stared at Uranus, who misinterpreted him again. Uranus frowned in displeasure and shouted, “No matter how drunk you were, how can you beat up your siblings? They shared the same embryo as you, and yet you treated them so harshly. Are you aware of how furious the elders are? They say they want to discipline you.”
‘Oh. Was Kronos just a scumbag?’ Yeon-woo realized that he needed to be more of a degenerate. How could Kronos hit his own siblings? From Uranus’ anger, it seemed like Kronos was a real dirtbag. ‘But wasn’t Kronos the youngest of Uranus’ children?’ Yeon-woo wanted to see how pathetic Kronos’ siblings were to be beaten up by the youngest.
Uranus’ shouting grew louder. “You know better than anyone the situation we’re in. Gaia, that brazen Mother Earth who birthed you, is sending monstrous creatures to take over our positions. And that isn’t the end of it! Those suspicious demons are trying to play all sides to defeat us, and the dirty dragons are just looking on even though we gave them so many things.”
Uranus clenched his fists. The constellations he’d created all dropped powerlessly to the ground. “Now that the Heavenly Demon is done using us, he’s acting like a rabid dog. He’s threatening to lock us up…! We only have each other to trust and rely on, but how can you just create more enmity and even get your siblings to turn their backs on you!”
Yeon-woo thought it better to stay quiet as he pieced together what had happened from the information that Uranus had revealed. The gods of Olympus had freely roamed the universes and dimensions during Uranus’ era. They hadn’t been bound to the heavenly world, but it had also been an age of conflict and uncertainty—it seemed that this had reached a boiling point.
‘Did the Heavenly Demon act during this time?’ Olympus was already trapped in the heavenly world during Zeus’ era, so it seemed the Heavenly Demon had been around before then.
Uranus shouted more loudly, thinking Yeon-woo was being defiant. Haaaa. Uranus sighed. Wrinkles filled his face as if their conversation suddenly aged him. “Son.” His words had no more strength. “As you already know, I don’t have much time left. I’m already overwhelmed by living like this. Please, don’t argue needlessly among yourselves. My only wish is that you all get through this situation together.”
Yeon-woo continued to stay silent, and Uranus looked at him in concern. “You don’t…have anything to say?”
“Fine. I suppose it won’t matter what I say to you now.” Uranus didn’t pursue the matter any longer, thinking that his words were falling on deaf ears. Instead, he switched to a different topic, his face weary. “What about the swamp of darkness? What’s your progress on that?”
‘Swamp of darkness?’ Yeon-woo had never heard of it before, but he could tell it was an important key to solving this quest, especially since it referred to darkness. It was definitely something he couldn’t ignore. “You know what kind of place it is, don’t you, Father?” Yeon-woo kept his answer ambiguous in order to tease more information about the swamp of darkness. However, Uranus simply assumed that his degenerate youngest child hadn’t performed the task he was responsible for.
“You damned bastard! Are you saying you didn’t do anything because you were too busy drinking with your subordinates?” Enraged, Uranus threw some nearby furniture at Yeon-woo.
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