『Haha! That’s what happened?』 Kronos’ laughter could be heard all the way to where Yeon-woo was. Considering how despondent Kronos had been not to reunite with Poseidon and his other children because of their fight with the Demonism and Mother Earth, it should have been nice to see him laughing so cheerily, but why was Yeon-woo feeling so annoyed…?
『And he stabbed him in the back, just like that! That poor Gluttony Emperor thought he was helping a cherished subordinate all along without knowing he’d be backstabbed and killed.』
『Yeah! But he deserved it!』
『Hm! Since Nike is saying that, he must have been a really bad guy.』
『Yeah yeah! Even Krrng knows!』
『In the past, he used to…』
Nike and Nemesis had emerged for the first time in a while, and they seemed full of joy as they spoke to Kronos. And obviously, most of their topics were the things Yeon-woo did.
『Shanon even composed a theme song!』
『Shanon did?』 Kronos’ eyes widened.
Shanon, who was standing next to them and occasionally adding his two cents, stood up straighter and replied loudly. 「Yes, sir! I sure did!」
『What is it?』
「It’s a bit embarrassing, but I will do it for you, Grandmaster! Stabbing in the back, stabbing in the back, what a fun song~♪」
『Ah. The beat and the rhythm are both brilliant!』
If some alcohol and food were added to the mix, they would look like men at a company dinner trying to impress their boss. Yeon-woo became filled with more and more disbelief. Why were they flattering Kronos and calling him Grandmaster? Because Kronos was his father? No. It was clear they were doing it with the intent to tease him, and his father was enjoying it as well.
Seeing both Hanryeong and the elusive Rebecca enjoying themselves with Kronos made Yeon-woo feel confused as to who was really their master. Just then, Yeon-woo felt a hand on his shoulder and turned around.
Boo nodded at him wordlessly. Clatter. Clatter.
‘There’s no one I can trust but this guy.’ Yeon-woo let out a deep sigh.
* * *
『All of them are quite nice.』 Kronos smiled in satisfaction, having enjoyed himself for the first time in a long while. Yeon-woo just stared at him.
『Hm? It looks like you want to tell me a lot of things.』
“No. It’s all right.” Yeon-woo knew better than anyone else that things would only get difficult for him if he complained. It was obvious that Kronos was waiting for him to protest and grumble.
『But about Nemesis and Nike.』 Kronos grinned as if he knew what Yeon-woo was thinking and changed the subject. 『They sleep quite frequently these days, don’t they?』
『Mythical Beasts are creatures that live and die because of dreams. But dreams are made up of desires, whether an individual is aware of them or not. The stronger you become, the thinner that line becomes, and in the end, the possibility of a beast becoming synchronized with their owner becomes higher.』
Yeon-woo nodded heavily. He had been thinking this as well. The trial of the eleventh was to awaken your own beast, which meant all players who cleared the eleventh floor possessed one. However, although Yeon-woo had met many players, he hadn’t been able to see most of their beasts.
This was because most players hatched their beasts too quickly since they wanted to move on from the eleventh floor, leaving them with a beast that couldn’t assist them later on, or else, they consumed the beasts to make up for the magic power they lacked.
Even if none of those two descriptions applied, most beasts were synchronized with their owners as their owners became stronger.
Currently, this was the situation with Nike and Nemesis. Yeon-woo had given them free will and a safe haven, the Philosopher’s Stone. But now that he was on the verge of exuviation, the two beasts were completely disconnected from the world of dreams. Yeon-woo didn’t even dream anymore, and so Nike lived in the fire that burned his enemies to ashes while Nemesis slept inside the shadow that crept over the ground.
These two properties were now Nike and Nemesis themselves. As time went on, the beasts would become completely synchronized to fire and shadow, but Yeon-woo didn’t want to lose them like this. Nike was another part of himself, and Nemesis still desperately yearned for Jeong-woo.
Kronos could sense Yeon-woo’s feelings. 『I think it would be nice for me to connect them to the real ones later on.』 He was referring to Nike, the goddess of victory, and Nemesis, the goddess of revenge.
“Then that means…?”
『Those grannies are probably treated as elders now and bored with all the time they have on their hands. We can say it’s a present from the new king. And if they don’t listen, we can just force them. An Apostle position should be enough, don’t you think?』
Yeon-woo’s eyes widened, but he soon grinned. Only his father could think of something like this. However, he could also see Kronos’ hidden purpose. The elders were the great divine beings who existed before Uranus had waged war in the heavenly world. They were so old that they were now like conceptual gods, and it was no exaggeration to say they were the root of Olympus.
They might be weak, but having their support would make it easier for Yeon-woo to rule Olympus. Kronos had come up with an idea that could directly connect Yeon-woo to the elders.
‘Essentially, I’ve forced Zeus and the others down to get to where I am.’ There wasn’t a lot of resistance since he’d come into the position after defeating the Titans and Gigantes, but the supporters of the three brothers could rise up against him at any time. Furthermore, Yeon-woo was in a strange situation where, despite being a supreme god, he wasn’t actually sitting on the throne.
Although Athena was ruling in his stead, there were limits to what she could do, and the elders could take over the things that she couldn’t do. Yeon-woo came to a sharp realization that Kronos was trying to help him.
『And you need to strengthen Vigrid now.』
Yeon-woo cocked his head, not understanding Kronos.
Kronos smirked. 『You’re confused?』
“Yes. Vigrid is already impeccable, isn’t it?”
After the spring of death was activated, Vigrid already showed the value of a great holy artifact. In fact, since Vigrid could be said to be Kronos himself, it was so much more than that. It could be called a great divine being in itself. Why would it need to be strengthened? If that were the case, there was only one way to do so. ‘It needs to be combined with the spring of time.’
If Yeon-woo combined Vigrid with the pocket watch he had left behind with Ananta, Kronos would stand again. However, Yeon-woo didn’t want to think about that right now. If he tried to force the time of spring out, Jeong-woo’s vestige body might be ruined. There was no way Kronos didn’t know about this either, so he was likely speaking about a different way of strengthening Vigrid.
『Although I created Vigrid, this isn’t the final form I planned. It’s only partially complete.』
“Ah.” Only then did Yeon-woo realize what Kronos was trying to say. After Kronos had fallen to Earth, he wanted to become transcendent again and restore his lost divinity to take back the throne of the king of gods.
However, he hadn’t been on Earth long enough to restore all the divinity he had once possessed, and he created Vigrid instead. That meant Vigrid was the product of only the legends he had collected on Earth.
『Technically…yes. Vigrid doesn’t contain legends, they’re closer to folklore or myths—heroic legends that are of a lower grade.』 Heroes needed to gather faith and raise the level of their souls to be called a god, so folktales couldn’t be compared to legends.
“You’re telling me to change the folktales inside of Vigrid to legends.”
『Correct.』 Kronos nodded heavily. 『You've absorbed my physical body, which means the legends that were inside it have now combined with your legends.』
“Then if I input all your legends into this…!”
『Vigrid will take on a new shape. And I’ll be quite different as well.』 It meant Kronos would be fully resurrected.
Yeon-woo shivered instinctively. If he combined with the strengthened Vigrid, how far would his strength reach?
『Do you see your father’s greatness now?』 Kronos saw that Yeon-woo understood what he’d been trying to say and smiled.
Although Yeon-woo had disapproved of his father’s past choices, he begrudgingly nodded and acknowledged this time.
『Vigrid isn't a real name. It was just a false name to hide its true names. But even among those, there is only one true name.』
“Scythe.” Yeon-woo remembered seeing this name among the many names of Vigrid. Scythe was the great holy artifact Kronos had cherished when he was still king of gods. It was said that Gaia had forged it from adamant when she gathered the first metals of the universe. It was a weapon that could slice through anything in the world, even your opponent’s time to make it pause and lead them to death. It was also the scythe that Kronos had used to slash the Demonism in the world of his conscious mind.
『I heard Zeus and the others destroyed it and scattered it throughout the universe because it was ominous, but there’s no reason why I won’t be able to recreate something I’ve already created.』
Yeon-woo could feel Kronos’ eyes glinting. Although Kronos had given up on satisfying his long-held grudge after Yeon-woo and Jeong-woo were born, he would be able to resume it now.
『And that will be enough to…』
“Deal with Allforone.” Yeon-woo felt a hole appear in the wall that seemed impossible to break, allowing light to shine through.
『I believe so. The only way to cut his light is with Scythe.』 Kronos clenched his fists.
* * *
Bam, bam, bam! Bam!
Henova diligently worked on the large statue that the Martial King had requested. As it was the request of the great king of the One-horned tribe, he had to fully concentrate on it, so he had temporarily closed down the smithy.
He didn’t even know how much time had passed as he focused solely on the statue.
“Huh! What an impressive guy. Do dwarves all have a one-track mind?”
“Should I ask him to make me one after that’s finished? How’s this pose?”
“My eyes! How about you suck in that stomach first?”
“Son of a bitch.”
“Ouch. Anyhow, I thought our leader was doing something unseemly at the beginning. But looking at it now…”
“It seems even more unseemly!”
“Hahaha! You’re right! And it’s ugly!”
“Yeah! Ugly…! Eek!”
“What is it? Eek! K-King?”
“K-King! We were only…!”
“Good, I happen to feel bored right now. I’ll make you even uglier. Come on!”
The tribe members giggled over the statue and made snide comments, but no one doubted Henova’s ability. As always, it was a peaceful yet noisy day, when the Martial King greeted a visitor.
“It’s been a while, master.” It was the skinny man wrapped in bandages, Faceless.
Then, Faceless suddenly twisted his head at an odd angle like a doll and spoke in a thick voice that was different from the dark voice he’d been speaking in. “Or should I call you ‘brother’?”
It was the voice of Flanc, the Spear God.Previous Chapter Next Chapter