Chapter 619 - Martial King (13)

‘He’s accelerating the time of the world around him?’ Hou Yi exclaimed in astonishment. He had never seen anything like this before in his life. Even gods were hesitant to deal with the area of time because the winding spring of time corresponded with the fundamental principles of the universe. If one wanted to do something with time, one would have to find a large society willing to take on the huge number of laws of causality or find others who could share in the penalty that would come with breaking the natural laws.

How was Yeon-woo able to adjust time? Of course, Yeon-woo was not utilizing the larger spring of time that operated the universe. He was turning a smaller spring of time, one that affected him and his surroundings. However, that alone was absurd. Didn’t this mean that Yeon-woo possessed a greater amount of time than others? If Yeon-woo applied this to his attacks, no one would be able to withstand them. Hou Yi did not understand how Yeon-woo was doing this.

It did not appear to Hou Yi that Yeon-woo had acquired the divine domain corresponding to time or any special powers related to it. It also didn't seem like this was something that Yeon-woo had just discovered. 

Hou Yi could see Yeon-woo’s afterimages as he shot forward as a black-red beam of light. However, although the afterimages had Yeon-woo’s face, they had an entirely different aura. Although he had many questions, Hou Yi quickly moved his hands to stop Yeon-woo from escaping. It was impossible for him to catch up with Yeon-woo but not for his weapon.

The property of Hou Yi’s weapon, Justice, was light, specifically, moonlight. At night, there was no place the moonlight did not reach. There was also no place that Justice could not reach. ‘They say he’s the youngest son of the king of gods, Kronos, and heir to Kronos’ inheritance? Maybe he gained some abilities and skills from that.’

After collecting his thoughts, Hou Yi pulled his bowstring back before letting go. The arrows of light erupted into dozens of light beams that fell on Yeon-woo’s head.

[The winding speed of the spring of time has increased!]

[The current speed has increased 4 times.]

Bam! Whoosh! However, the only things that the light beams struck were the afterimages. The light beams pounded into the ground, forming craters everywhere. In a state of panic, Hou Yi pulled on his bow and let loose more attacks.

Pew! Pew! Whenever Hou Yi shot off new rounds, Yeon-woo sped up the spring of time and avoided the attacks. Even with the heightened sense and eyesight of a hunter, Hou Yi was starting to lose track of Yeon-woo. Then…

Rumble!

“Ugh!” Feeling motion sickness, Hou Yi suddenly inhaled. The entire Illusory World was shaking. It appeared as though the Illusory World would collapse at any moment as it swayed violently. Hou Yi looked up at the sky, where cracks were spreading at a fast rate. He hadn’t noticed them before.

[Enormous shocks from the outside are continuing!]

[The holy territory is collapsing at a faster rate!]

[The function of the holy territory has been weakened.]

[The function of the holy territory has been weakened.]

[The minimum conditions required for the holy territory’s functions have not been met. The holy territory cannot maintain itself.]

[The holy territory has been downgraded. The territory will revert to the Illusory World.]

[Illusory Change no longer applies. The law of causality has been reinstated. Those who have descended do not have the proper qualifications and commensurate level of the law of causality to maintain their status.]

[Those who have descended are being returned to their original locations! Their descent has been cancelled.]

Hou Yi felt the power draining from his body. It was as if a hole had appeared on the bottom of a water jug and water was leaking out. Hou Yi had been able to descend because of the earnest wish of his Apostle, Jang Wei, and the Illusory Change that the Sword God had established and maintained as the core. With the Sword God dead and Asgard’s holy territory collapsing, it was difficult for Hou Yi to maintain his presence in this place.

‘Well, to some extent, I achieved what I wanted, no?’ Hou Yi felt it was a pity that he could not continue fighting with Yeon-woo. However, from the start, he’d only wanted to hold Yeon-woo back for as long as possible to buy some time. Hou Yi felt that he had accomplished this.

The Sea of Time had joined these beings for their own purposes, and working with Faceless was nothing more than a means to an end. Hou Yi firmly believed that he would have another chance to meet Yeon-woo. He prepared to return to the heavenly world…

No! Don’t leave! Suddenly, Jang Wei, who was in the corner of Hou Yi’s mind and reading his thoughts, screamed out urgently. You’re a god! You’re the god I worship! I am your believer and Apostle, so you must grant my wish! Where are you going?

Jang Wei did not normally lose his composure, and he was behaving in a completely atypical manner. Jang Wei realized that his opportunity to get revenge on Yeon-woo would be slim to none if Hou Yi left right now. The initial plan to assassinate the Martial King had failed once the Sword God died and the Illusory World started collapsing.

Although Nocturne was still there, Hou Yi did not see how he could utilize Nocturne. Hou Yi had only planned to make Yeon-woo angry with the Martial King’s death, not because Hou Yi had any special grudges against Yeon-woo. If nothing happened to Yeon-woo even after the Martial King’s death, Hou Yi still wouldn’t benefit. Thus, Hou Yi no longer felt tied to the operation.

Even if Hou Yi were willing to join in a future operation, it seemed highly unlikely that there would be one. The Ghost Giants were routing the gods of Asgard. Faceless’ various spirits, which had become vessels for the descending gods, would eventually perish. The Chest of Souls and Daud Brethren would soon fall as well.

Even if they were somehow lucky enough to escape this place, there was a limit to avoiding the eyes of Arthia, who would soon rule the world of the Tower. Even if one hid successfully, one would have to live quietly in the darkness for a lifetime. Knowing this, Jang Wei understood that it would be impossible to seek revenge for his sister’s death in the future. Unwilling to accept this reality, Jang Wei desperately implored and prayed for Hou Yi to stay. Something had to be done now.

“Oh, that’s right. You’re here.” Hou Yi remembered Jang Wei’s wish and smiled bitterly. However, Hou Yi’s answer was not what Jang Wei hoped for. “The ‘time’ in the Sea of Time refers to a prophecy. Do you know what it is?”

Jang Wei did not care about some concept of time or prophecy. Although he was surprised to find that a clan operated by players was suddenly being utilized as an extension for a society of transcendent beings, he was an independent non-affiliated player and couldn’t care less.

“The prophecy was written at the very back of the revelations. It is the apocalyptic prophecy that the darkness that exists in the corner of the Tower will awaken again. Hence, I’m running around trying to kick up a shitstorm.”

What…!

“It means that, for the sake of such a prophecy, I took you on as an Apostle. You’re pretty much an atheist, and the prophecy was telling me that if I took you on as an Apostle, it would bring us all closer to the end. And the prophecy has come true…so, I no longer need you.”

Jang Wei was speechless.

“Still, a relationship is a relationship, so I want to tell you one thing before I leave. I am a wise elder as well as a warrior. I can’t stand underhanded people. If your true feelings for ### were rooted in a competitive spirit, I would have tried to help you somehow, even after this…” A wry smile appeared on Hou Yi’s face. “However, your heart is filled with pure jealousy. I don’t think there’s anything else I can do to help you.”

W-wait…! Trying to delay Hou Yi, Jang Wei screamed.

Poof! However, Hou Yi had already returned to the heavenly world. Jang Wei collapsed on the ground. His Channeling with Hou Yi, who had always provided Jang Wei with strength, was abruptly cut off. This meant that Hou Yi had cut ties with Jang Wei without hesitation. “What! What do you expect of me! What am I supposed to…!” Jang Wei screamed.

He had never meant to leave Yeon-woo behind in an isolated place back then. Jang Wei had wanted to stay with Yeon-woo until the end. Although Jang Wei tried to protect Yeon-woo, the conditions did not allow that to happen. The enemy’s encirclement was closing in and choking them by the minute, and Jang Wei’s comrades insisted that they could only survive if they abandoned Yeon-woo. Thus, Jang Wei had abandoned his superior, his sister’s lover, and the stepfather of his niece.

Even though Jang Wei explained all this, Yeon-woo did not listen. Since Jang Wei was in the wrong, he was fine with Yeon-woo considering his words as little more than an excuse. Jang Wei felt that it would have been acceptable if Yeon-woo had just told him to take his life. All Jang Wei wanted was for Yeon-woo to hear him out. If Yeon-woo had given him a chance to atone, he would not have gone this far. Thus, Jang Wei had struggled against Yeon-woo, and the situation only grew worse.

At the same time, Yeon-woo was responsible for what happened to his sister, who was trying to help them reconcile. Yeon-woo had never shown any regret for this, and to Jang Wei, Yeon-woo was the reason for everything bad that happened to him. However, Jang Wei’s inner, seething anger did not last long.

How interesting. A low voice rang out. A large shadow covered Jang Wei. Jang Wei hurriedly turned his head.

He saw a Ghost Giant, several meters tall, looking down at him with a horrible smile on his face.

***

Nocturne’s offensive attacks were fierce. Each time the golden beams of light that symbolized Allforone fell, they exploded everywhere.

The Martial King unleashed his Eight Extreme Fists and avoided some of the attacks, parried others, and counterattacked. However, the Martial King couldn’t reach Nocturne, whose entire body was covered in a halo of light.

In a way, attacking Nocturne was more difficult than attacking Allforone. Although the powers Nocturne exhibited weren’t at the same level as those of the real Allforone, Nocturne’s martial arts were all principles that he had learned and acquired from the Martial King. Moreover, Nocturne had gone past the stage of harmony with the Martial King’s martial art and had already turned it into his own unique martial arts form. Like a bird perched on a mountain peak looking down, Nocturne had already achieved an extremely high level of martial arts.

Boom! Boom! Boom! An additional problem for the Martial King was that each time Nocturne attacked, Gaia’s Curse would act up more and more frequently. If the Martial King solely focused on suppressing Gaia’s Curse, he would have likely succeeded. However, the Martial King had to focus on dealing with Nocturne.

Whoosh! Nocturne slapped the Martial King’s hand to the side violently. Using that brief opening, Nocturne spun around like a top towards the Martial King. Nocturne thrust the expanding golden light from his glowing hands into the Martial King’s chest.

<Great Hand Mark>

Boom! Boom! Boom!

The Martial King hurriedly raised the blade of his hand and deflected the Great Hand Mark attack. However, it was not possible to completely avoid the impact, which penetrated the Martial King’s body and disrupted the flow of his inner energy. The Martial King was injured internally, and blood began to trickle down the sides of his mouth. While Martial King was stunned for a moment, Nocturne swung a beam of condensed light in the form of a sword at the Martial King.

<Dividing the Heavens>

The strike was similar to the first principle of the Martial King’s Eight Extreme Fists.

Whoosh! The beam of light cut into the Martial King’s left side. The entry of the cut was small but it was deep. Blood gushed out and instantly soaked the Martial King’s top. It was the first time the Martial King had bled in the Illusory World. He had suffered many minor scratches, but this was the first time he had suffered such a deep wound.

However, as if he was just getting started, Nocturne launched a series of offensive attacks.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

Rumble!

The battle proceeded in a one-sided manner. Numerous wounds started appearing on the Martial King’s upper body. Blood splattered, and his inner energy seeped out from his injuries. The Martial King scowled. ‘This is fucked up. I’m being pushed back by an ex-disciple… I must look so old and useless.’

Gaia’s Curse was no longer just poisoning him; it had spread to the injuries all over his body. He felt like his spirit was being strangled. Nocturne wielded the powers of Allforone and used the martial arts of the Martial King. He was much stronger than the Martial King.

If only…if only the Martial King could also achieve exuviation and transcendence. Although the Martial King could still stand his ground, the situation was growing dangerous. He wondered if it was time to attempt exuviation and transcendence, something he had been putting off for a long time. Allforone hadn’t shown up, and it was becoming increasingly clear that he could not intervene. The Martial King came to his decision. There was no longer any need to wait. Unfortunately, Gaia’s Curse was ravaging his body.

‘If it’s just exuviation…it should be alright!’ After organizing his thoughts, the Martial King’s eyes widened. His pride would not accept his ex-disciple treating him like this. Besides, he could not lose out to his mortal enemy’s simulation!

Flash! A brilliant light rose from the Martial King. It was light dispersion. Nocturne knew this occurred when one attempted exuviate, so he quickly stepped back without continuing his attacks due to the lingering respect that he had for his ex-master.

Rumble! As evidence of the Martial King’s great achievements and lofty status, a tremendous amount of energy rippled through the Illusory World from his exuviation process. The Illusory World could not withstand the shockwave and collapsed.

“C-Chief!”

“What is this…!”

The One-horned tribe members who were waiting outside the Illusory World looked at their chief with astonished expressions. As the Martial King’s formidable aura expanded in all directions, it covered the entire village and threatened to envelop the entire area outside the Tower.

Boom! At that moment, Yeon-woo suddenly appeared behind Nocturne.

How! When! Nocturne turned around too late, bewildered. He hadn’t detected Yeon-woo’s movement because he had been too focused on trying to keep the Martial King in check.

Yeon-woo moved much faster than he expected. If not for his transcendent-level sense, Nocturne would not have sensed Yeon-woo’s arrival at all. Furthermore, the time of the area surrounding Yeon-woo was rapidly accelerating.

[The spring of time is operating at full speed. The current speed has increased 8 times.]

[The spring of death is winding at a fast speed!]

[The two springs are operating at the same time!]

[Your body is overloading!]

[Caution! If the two springs operate too quickly, the stress on the gears will be severe!]

[Caution! The speed of the two springs may inflict enormous damage on your divinity!]

[Caution! The two springs…]

Yeon-woo tried to unite with the pocket watch in his left hand and Vigrid in his right hand. It was not easy to wind two springs at the same time. Yeon-woo was searching for something to help him. Bam! Like the Martial King, Yeon-woo’s body was overwhelmed by a black-red light. It was Yeon-woo’s light dispersion. He was attempting exuviation.

Rumble! Vigrid, which had grown more intense from the accelerated speed, flashed out with a Sword Thunder strike.

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