『Lunatic… In the end…』 A deep anger transmitted through the Channel. Although he couldn’t see Mother Earth’s expression, he was sure that it was distorted with rage. It was only to be expected. Mother Earth thought that Persephone’s death would have cut off her connection to the lower world, but now Yeon-woo had taken over the connection and twisted it for his own needs.
Furthermore, Yeon-woo was now officially Mother Earth’s Apostle. His connection to her could not be broken easily. Although gods were known to look for their Apostles, Yeon-woo had turned the tables on her and chosen the god whose Apostle he would be!
In the past, Mother Earth would have been excited at the prospect of gaining an unexpected access point. However, she was extremely wary of Yeon-woo. Once he had swallowed Kronos, Yeon-woo had gone beyond being a plaything and was now an enemy.
Yeon-woo felt refreshed as if he could read Mother Earth’s mind. It felt as though something blocking his chest had disappeared. The angrier Mother Earth became, the greater Yeon-woo’s enjoyment grew.
Kronos was feeling the same thing. Although he had joked around with Yeon-woo, he was deadly serious. Vieira Dune, who had swallowed Mother Earth, was an enemy they had to defeat. How could a father be expected to let the person who stabbed his youngest son in the chest go?
『You lot…you lot have always been so troublesome!』 Perhaps due to Yeon-woo’s rise in power level, Mother Earth’s thoughts were crystal clear. 『Didn’t I say that I’d only wanted the Black King’s darkness? I’m not interested in you lower-world beings! Why have you always been a thorn in my side, why do you always get in the way?』
Mother Earth’s anger rose palpably. Yeon-woo wouldn’t have been surprised if she’d sent down divine punishment to kill him off. However, this only made him more certain of her limitations. ‘It’s confirmed. She can’t descend here.’
Mother Earth was nothing more than a cat bristling its fur to hide its fear. If she could truly kill him, she would have attacked right away instead of saying insults like a grumpy old man in the corner. Since she had not shown herself up… ‘The invasion of the World Tree is probably not going as well as she expected. Otherwise, she’s in the middle of a very crucial point in the process.’
It was great timing. There was nothing more fun than sabotaging and ruining the big Mother Earth had worked so hard to achieve!
『My son…what an ugly smile you have on your lips! Just looking at your evil expression makes my skin crawl. It’s making me tremble all over.』 Kronos laughed as he watched Yeon-woo.
‘What, you don’t like it?’
『How could I not like it?』 Kronos chuckled. 『I think this father of yours might die from overexcitement. Ah! It’s as refreshing as a cold beer after toiling under the summer sun.』
Yeon-woo could not help laughing with his father.
『However, you still have to be careful.』 When Kronos suddenly spoke in a serious voice, Yeon-woo’s eyes grew sharp. 『Mother Earth is a being that troubled me and your grandfather. You know why I was quickly taken in by the Demonism’s influence and why your grandfather was cursed, right?』
Yeon-woo quietly nodded. He’d seen the memories inside Kronos’ corpse. Uranus’ death was caused by Gaia’s curse. Kronos’ madness became serious once he used a great deal of power to subdue Gaia. Considering how Uranus had unified many heavenly societies and created Olympus and how Kronos had been strong enough to rule as the king of gods, it was obvious that Mother Earth possessed great power. Perhaps the power that Yeon-woo had seen so far was only a small fraction of her true power.
『And you mentioned that she’s changed from the time I met her, when she had no ego and only reacted instinctively. Knowing how to think means that she’s become more dangerous. It also means that she can make plans and decisions.』 Kronos was warning Yeon-woo of the danger.
‘Then.’ Yeon-woo nodded in agreement before asking, ‘What if we return her to her previous state so that she can no longer think or plan?’
『Wait, you’re…』 Kronos realized that Yeon-woo had something up his sleeve.
Clatter! Without answering, Yeon-woo smiled coldly as he pulled the black chains. Mother Earth was trying her hardest to break the link she had with Yeon-woo. She tried to force him out of his position as Apostle by closing the Channel and canceling the terminal.
[The spring of death has been activated.]
[Kronos’ holy power has strengthened the terminal.]
[Kronos’ holy power has strengthened the terminal.]
[‘Despair of the Black King’ has strengthened the Channel.]
[The Channel has expanded.]
[The Channel with Mother Earth has grown clearer!]
Yeon-woo used Kronos’ holy power to strengthen the terminal as he wrapped the Channel in his black chains so that the connection would not break. Mother Earth’s weak signal gradually grew clearer. After all, there was no reason for the system to weaken the Channel that connected a god and her Apostle.
At that moment, Yeon-woo felt as though he were standing in front of Mother Earth. It even seemed possible that he could restrain Mother Earth and contain her.
『Let go of me! Let go of me you leech-like bastard…!』 Of course, Mother Earth did not wish for this to happen, and she began to curse him. She was nothing like the aloof being she had once seemed.
Yeon-woo did not plan to miss this great opportunity. Clatter! Clatter! Eventually, more chains appeared from the emptiness and shot out. It became possible for Yeon-woo to accurately detect Mother Earth’s location, he could open space and send the black chains directly to her without going through the Channel. Space split like broomstick bristles as the chains pierced through it. An endlessly tall tree appeared in the pockets of emptiness: the World Tree.
It was disgusting to see Mother Earth clinging to the sacred World Tree in the form of murky light. The tree symbolized the origin of Idea, reincarnation, and the natural laws. The chains wrapped around Mother Earth’s wrists and neck.
[The Channel has expanded to its maximum.]
[The rate of synchronization between the god and her Apostle has reached its peak.]
『Let go of me…! Let go!』 Mother Earth struggled as she tried to shake off the black chains, but the more she struggled, the tighter the chains grew. It was impossible for her to cut the chains since divine iron couldn’t be overcome with physical methods.
『You’re probably the only one in the history of the universe to use a Channel in this manner.』 Kronos clucked his tongue. The Channels were meant for gods to direct their Apostles, and now Yeon-woo was using it to bind Mother Earth. As if they were responding to Kronos’ words, the heavenly societies began to react.
[Your allies <Niflheim> are astonished at your methods, which they had never imagined.]
[Your allies <Chan Sect> are discussing a re-examination of the Channel, which has thus far been neglected.]
[Your allies <East Demon Army> are discussing how the Channels could be used in various ways to have fun.]
[Your enemies <Asgard> are keeping silent.]
[Your enemies <Olympus> are keeping silent.]
[Neutral force <Deva> is collectively inhaling in exasperation.]
[Neutral force < Jie Sect> looks at you with fearful eyes.]
[All members of the godly society <Malach> look at you in amazement.]
[The demonic society <L’Infernal> is very happy to see that you’re inclined towards sadomasochism.]
[Vimalacitra looks at you and bursts into laughter.]
[Cernunnos clicks his tongue lightly, judging your actions as frivolous.]
『Those demons never change. They were so lewd even during my time. Nothing’s changed. Hmph!』 Kronos chuckled at L’Infernal’s reaction.
Bam! Suddenly there was a sound like something being ripped apart from beyond the emptiness.
Thud! Something huge passed through the emptiness and fell heavily in front of Yeon-woo. It was a branch so enormous that it seemed well over hundreds of meters in length. It was the part of the World Tree that Mother Earth had infected, and it had gone black.
[Part of the World Tree has been lost!]
Argh! Mother Earth was overcome with excruciating pain and screamed. 『Stop! I said stop! If you continue, the World Tree will be ruined! Even your natural laws…the divine providence of your physical world will be destroyed! Don’t you know this? And yet, you wish to continue?』
By forcing Mother Earth from the World Tree, it was inevitable that part of the World Tree would be torn off since she was in the process of assimilating with it. Yeon-woo wasn’t sure he could rip off only the infected parts, and if he continued, he might accidentally rip off the parts of the World Tree that weren’t infected. This meant that he might damage the Ideas. Since the natural laws were the basis for the existence of divine beings, they naturally had a strong attachment to the World Tree. Apart from this, damaging the World Tree would mean damaging the physical world, so it was something that even the gods avoided. No matter how crazy the gods were and no matter how severe their conflicts, they still avoided affecting the Ideas.
However, Mother Earth had not considered one thing.
“Why? Should I be concerned about this?”
Yeon-woo was not a divine being.
‘How many times has she said that today?’ Yeon-woo smirked. Although her level of consciousness had risen, her vocabulary had decreased. “Even if the World Tree is damaged, I will bear it all as long as you’re removed.”
Mother Earth could clearly see that Yeon-woo was not making an empty threat. She could read Yeon-woo’s thoughts through their Channel, and his thoughts were dark enough to be pure lunacy. After his brother disappeared with a final cry, Yeon-woo lived with only the thought that he would somehow get revenge. Yeon-woo had overcome many obstacles to get this chance. Most of the Eight Clans were destroyed beyond hope. The difference in power between them and Arthia was so great that the rest of the clans would probably collapse into a heap from just a gust of wind sent by Arthia. It was the same for the enemies who had hurt his brother. Most of them died by Yeon-woo’s hand, and now, only one remained, the one he hated the most: Vieira Dune.
The desire to kill her had never left Yeon-woo, nor would it. Even if the Tower collapsed or the laws of the universe were broken…even if these were the consequences of striking at Vieira Dune’s neck, Yeon-woo would not think twice.
『Son, that’s a bit…』 Even Kronos found it hard to talk to Yeon-woo at this moment. Kronos had been born as a god, and he therefore believed firmly that the World Tree could not be touched. However, his heart also yearned for vengeance against Mother Earth, who had taken away his youngest son’s life. Because his thoughts were too conflicted, it was impossible for him to hastily stop Yeon-woo.
Mother Earth had no choice but to cry out for compromise. 『I’ll give you…what you’re looking for…Vieira Dune!』
It was the answer Yeon-woo wanted to hear most, and the corners of his dry lips rose higher. In an instant, Yeon-woo could sense Mother Earth’s thoughts, which had been united as one through the Channel, split into dozens and hundreds in a matter of seconds.
『What are you talking about…you’re me!』
『I will hand over the witch of stars, so let go of me now…!』
『No! This is a lie! I’ll kill you, no matter what!』
『I am you, how can we be separated!』
『I’m just reverting back to the way things were. You were the one who consumed me.』
『It’s unpleasant for me, an entity that has existed since the beginning, to be compared to a mere mortal like you.』
Mother Earth’s consciousnesses argued with each other as if they were haggling in a dingy marketplace. One consciousness wanted to cut off the part with Vieira Dune, another consciousness thought it was ridiculous, and yet another consciousness was trying to seek a compromise. There was one that sought to postpone the assimilation of the World Tree and take immediate revenge on Yeon-woo.
There was even a consciousness that was indifferent and yet another that only expressed a primitive hunger. All of these various consciousnesses and thoughts cluttered Yeon-woo’s mind.
『Hmpph! What a shit show.』 Kronos was dumbfounded by the situation. Many gods and heavenly societies were opposed to Mother Earth, but this was the first time they’d seen her behave erratically. However, even in such a chaotic situation, it was inevitable that one thought would dominate.
『Hey, me! How can you treat me so ignorantly!』
『I even offered a Soulstone…!』
『When it’s no longer useful, throw it away. Isn’t that something that you said yourself?』 A cynical voice said among the others.
Crack! Mother Earth tore off her left arm.
『Oww! No! Not this! 』
Various screams rang out, but the true body did not care as she threw her left arm into the emptiness towards Yeon-woo. Thud! Her left arm wriggled and twitched. It was made up of countless tiny branches and leaves, and it was hard to tell whether it was an arm or a branch. It was full of murky colors and reeked.
Pssh! Divine power seeped out of the rotten arm, and it slowly shrank and took the shape of a human. “How…I…came so far…but…!” The corpse-like human was breathing heavily, her complexion pale as she trembled. It was Vieira Dune.