Boom! Laplace arced through the air before hitting the ground. Though the Sword Thunder explosion did not rip Laplace apart like it had Diablo, Laplace was covered in blood and suffered quite a few wounds.
Sss! An emptiness opened in front of Laplace, and Yeon-woo appeared. Yeon-woo thrust Vigrid forward, its blade crackling with blackish-red thunderbolts. Rumble! Yeon-woo’s Eight Extremes of Sword Thunder had already reached the powerfully destructive Fifth Extreme.
Laplace’s face was filled with anger. The skinhead had always been full of smiles, but it seemed like he was finding it difficult to do so at the moment. “Since you’re my benefactor and all, I was going to go easy on you…”
Laplace was serious because three High Guardians had succumbed to Yeon-woo. This was quite a loss for his side. In particular, even though Laplace was protecting Diablo, Yeon-woo still managed to kill him. It was a tragedy caused by Laplace’s arrogance. “I’m so annoyed that it’s hard to keep going easy on you!”
Before the Sword Thunder strike reached him, Laplace swelled up like a balloon and exploded. The powerful energy and aura of the explosion swirled around and expanded to become a huge shadow—a heteromorphic monster with dozens of blinking eyes and thousands of tentacles swarming through a black mist so dense that it was impossible to see. Laplace finally revealed his true body, a creation of chaos and disorder which seemed to exist only in an otherworld. Yeon-woo had only seen it once before in the Demonic Sea.
Laplace slammed his tentacles on Yeon-woo. The impact that had struck and killed Lupi the Pig in one strike collided with Yeon-woo’s Fifth Extreme Sword Thunder strike. The resulting explosion spread out in all directions. Flickering lights appeared through the black mist like Christmas lights.
Y. Vl. Ke. Told.
Me. To. Go. Back.
Won’t. Go. Easy. On. You.
Laplace was trying to turn the stage into an environment similar to the Demonic Sea by spreading out a tremendous amount of his will and aura.
<Activation of Supreme Emergency Authority>
[At the request of the High Guardian, all environmental conditions of the sixty-sixth floor are changing!]
The Illusory Change of a king of the Demonic Sea already had a tremendous power, and coupled with the authority of a High Guardian, it made the entire stage quake violently. Although Yeon-woo had covered the entire stage with his shadow, the system still retained ultimate authority over the stage. Laplace used this to completely alter the stage’s environment. The new surroundings looked like the Demonic Sea—a place full of demons.
Roar! Roar! Each time the waves churned, a bizarre cry rang out. Bizarrely shaped monsters popped out of the sea one after another with only one thought: consume Yeon-woo. Each monster was already at a level where it could easily devour a divine being.
「Any. Being. With. Murderous Intent. To. Our. Lord. Deserves to. Die.」
The space behind Yeon-woo split as Inferno Sights appeared. Pockets of emptiness opened up in various places, and Yeon-woo’s familiars started pouring out. Shanon, Hanryeong, Rebecca, and all the beings who represented Yeon-woo. After Yeon-woo achieved his yin soul and took a step closer to his concept of death, his familiars took on a darker, more deathly aura. Yeon-woo’s familiars jumped into the Demonic Sea without any hesitation.
The sight of Yeon-woo’s troops of death battling the demonic monsters was like a painting depicting the end of the world. It was surreal, intense, and even beautiful.
[The spring of death is spinning faster!]
Determined to catch Laplace, Yeon-woo accelerated the speed of the spring of death. Crank! Crank! Yeon-woo could hear the metallic sound of cogwheels mashing together.
[The interlocking cogwheels are rotating at a higher speed!]
[More cogwheels are turning due to a chain reaction!]
[Current number of cogwheel teeth engaged: 666]
[All the gods of death are with you!]
[All the demons of death are with you!]
[The concept of ‘death’ is operating!]
“Come here,” Yeon-woo commanded. The cogwheel represented the gods and demons whose divinity came from death. Both the cogwheels and the spring formed a mechanism that represented a concept, and it was no exaggeration to say that Yeon-woo had become death itself.
All the gods of death and demons who worshipped the Black King now accepted Yeon-woo as the representative of the Black King and not merely a successor. They volunteered to be his subjects. The cogwheels and springs that united around Yeon-woo formed a concept, filling Yeon-woo with enormous power.
[6th-step Dragon Body awakening]
[Power fully unlocked]
Crack! Crack! As Yeon-woo’s skeleton twisted around, a pair of dragon wings combined with parts of his Sky Wings appeared on Yeon-woo’s back. Furthermore, Yeon-woo’s dragon scales, which reached up to his chin, glistened with darkness. As his eyes and scales glittered, Yeon-woo’s aura not only shook the stage but the entire space, creating distortion fields everywhere. Whoosh!
Have. You. Awakened.
The. Black. King.
Laplace observed Yeon-woo’s change with a twinkle in his eye. Dozens of his tentacles wrapped into bundles to form a giant hand, which swiped at Yeon-woo.
Whoosh! Yeon-woo had not only dismantled and reassembled his data and ego, everything that was closely connected with him had also undergone the same process, including the Casts of the Black King. The Casts of the Black King had taught Yeon-woo the concept of death, emptiness, and darkness, and they had given him the ability to gather numerous familiars.
Yeon-woo had reassembled this in his own way, learning a new attribute while attaching his yin soul to all the things associated with him. “I was originally going to bring this out against Allforone.” Sss. The darkness energy and aura that surrounded Yeon-woo vibrated ominously. “But I’ll let you have a taste of it first.”
[Death follows you!]
[A part of the darkness that resides deep in the emptiness is revealed!]
Yeon-woo swung the darkness-coated Vigrid. As the space tore apart, Laplace’s tentacle hand was slashed into innumerable pieces, as if a sickle had reaped reeds. However, Laplace’s attack did not stop there. Many more tentacles erupted from the cut section and rushed forward, and Laplace’s black mist pushed through the bottom of Yeon-woo’s shadow and raised a bunch of small and large eyeballs, hundreds of eyes opening up one by one.
There was no way Laplace would not understand the significance of awakening the darkness—even if it were a partial awakening. Laplace was the successor of an otherworld god who was once referred to as the Lord of the Pole, and he knew that it entailed the rise of another totalitarian force.
This. Can’t. Continue.
Laplace’s annoyance at Yeon-woo had turned into an interest in him. Laplace was curious. How much had Yeon-woo changed in the last two years?
I. Knew. It.
You. Really. Are.
Hahaha! Laplace’s eerie laughter shook the stage over and over again.
『Haven’t felt this in a while, right?』 It was around that time that Kronos’ voice rang in Yeon-woo’s ear.
Kronos hadn’t been able to converse with Yeon-woo during the closed training, so Kronos had no choice but to fall into a deep sleep. Now that he was stimulated by the power Yeon-woo brought into the unity, Kronos awakened, observing the battle between Yeon-woo and Laplace with great interest.
Rumble! Rumble! Rumble! When he first saw Laplace’s bizarre body, Kronos had been appalled and disgusted. However, Kronos soon became very pleased with the powerful energy that transmitted to him through the spring. The spring went beyond operating with divinity and was now operating on concept, giving him a sensation that was like a drug. This was what it felt like to move the laws of the world!
Rumble! That meant only one thing.
[The spring of death spins at an even fiercer speed!]
[The speed at which the spring of death can spin has reached its limit.]
[The spring of death has overloaded. The heat from the friction is wearing out the cogwheels’ teeth.]
[Caution! A critical point has been reached!]
[Caution! A critical point has been reached!]
[Maintenance work is being done to prevent damage to the spring of death.]
[The spring of death has been strengthened into a new form!]
[The spring of death is fully operational!]
[The presence of the spring is expanding.]
The spring of death which had once only supported Yeon-woo was now the engine that drove the concept of death. Kronos had been the king of gods on par with the old gods and conceptual gods, and now he would finally recover his long-lost powers!
[As the spring of death takes on a new form, ‘Vigrid’ transforms into a new true name, ‘Kronos’!]
Rumble! A Sixth Extreme Sword Thunder strike ripped away all the fog and tentacles that stood in front of Yeon-woo. Since the spring of time was not fully restored, Kronos had not yet reclaimed his true self. However, the power of death he now held meant that he had largely returned to his prime.
The general flow of the world, which some called the heavenly flow, was slightly distorted by Yeon-woo’s presence. This small distortion changed the heavenly flow’s direction, which also greatly affected the natural laws. By expanding one’s microcosmic inner world into the outer world, one could affect the flow of the world based on one’s will.
It was not simply implementing one’s ideas into the world but visibly affecting the existing world. Yeon-woo had taken a step forward in controlling his Consciousness.
‘He’s achieved the Yin Sword!’ If Kronos had knees, he would be slapping them silly right now. He had always believed that Shaohao Jintian, who developed an art that could alter the world without borrowing someone’s power or divine position, had been amazing. And the Martial King, who developed the art and delivered it to Yeon-woo…! 『How can I not be a happy and proud father with such an outstanding youngest son!』
As Kronos laughed out loud, Yeon-woo let Kronos’ words pass into one ear and out the other.
“Brother-in-law!” Ananta looked at Yeon-woo and threw something. Yeon-woo caught the object and connected it with the chains that were wrapped around his wrist.
[Connected with the spring of time.]
[The spring is very damaged. Many of the features are unavailable.]
[Imbued with divine power, some of the spring’s functions have been restored.]
Tick-tock! Tick-tock! The hands of the clock spun rapidly.
[The clockwork is operational!]
[Fast-forwarding at double speed. The speed of light has been achieved.]
Whoosh! Bam! Yeon-woo opened a space and passed through at once. He could see Laplace’s giant eyes trembling in the thick black mist. Boom! Vigrid stabbed above those eyes. Yeon-woo’s own eyes glittered fiercely through his bangs and the particles of darkness. “Devour.” With those simple words, the devouring process began. Sss!
[‘Hades’ Spirit Eating Sword’ is attempting to devour the player, ‘Laplace’!]
The darkness that spread from Vigrid to Laplace’s body greedily exposed its serrated teeth.