<Chapter 37. Heaven Door's Key - 2>
It was so surprising that Lee Shin Woo fell from Jin's back.
"Pleine, what happened?"
"That's my line, Mr. Shin Woo... Ah, uaaaah. All the permits are being sucked in!"
Pleine had already completed her spell, and the fusion between the Bone Gate and the magic circle dragged God's power, or the permits towards it.
The permits flowed from his body, to Pleine, to the magic circle, and then to then to the Bone Gate. That huge flow could no longer be interrupted.
The Bone Gate, which had fully fused with the magic circle, radiated white light, as though this was the original plan, and evolved in some unknown way.
"What do we do if we can't go to the surface?"
"...W-We don't cover already sold goods that are either damaged or fused."
"Don't lie! You just made that up!"
"You got me! But you won't get the permits back even if you kill me, so you have to take responsibility! I didn't do anything wrong, ok? I really didn't!"
It was really frustrating, but she was right. There was no point in blaming her, as this was the result of Lee Shin Woo's item, the Bone Gate.
But the Bone Gate should've been dormant within his inventory. The Bone Gate was an item that would remain on standby until he activated it, so why did this happen all of a sudden?
If he were to guess, then the Bone Gate and Pleine's magic circle must've had similar properties. It was concerning that the Bone Gate reacted to the secret shop permits, or rather, God’s power.
"I got this item from Steve... from a Treasure Eater. So if I find some more Treasure Eaters, would I be able to solve the puzzle?"
"Treasure Eaters are hard to see even once in your lifetime. How many did you kill!?"
There was nothing more Lee Shin Woo's party could do. He just stood beside Pleine, who was munching on popcorn, and watched the Bone Gate as it changed, no, evolved.
The Bone Gate calmed down only after it had absorbed all of his permits. It had fully absorbed the magic circle and began to float in the air.
[You have acquired the Lv9 ????. By absorbing weak divinity, the artifact has reached its completed form. This artifact will lead you where you want to go. The item will activate upon giving the karma you have created a name.]
"Then, how about the Anyway Door..." 
"Give it a rest!"
Jin retorted desperately, stopping him. Lee Shin Woo felt disappointed, but then he gave the artifact a proper name.
"Heaven Door's Key."
"...I feel like I've heard that from somewhere."
Heaven Door's Key. It was a term in the dead Elementalist's diary, but he didn't know what it meant. But for some reason, he recollected that word just now.
Lee Shin Woo instinctively spoke that word, and Pleine briefly looked at him in shock. She soon sported a bitter smile. He hesitated briefly, but then asked.
"Does it not fit?"
"No, it's perfect. ...Yes, nothing else would work."
Hearing that, Lee Shin Woo felt relaxed, but at that moment, the level 9 artifact had become complete.
[The Lv9 Heaven Door's Key has been born. This artifact, which is connected to your very soul, originally possessed the ability to ignore any obstacle and guide you to where you want to go. However, you are a much lower level than the item, so a part of that function is restricted. If you reach a suitable level, then the artifact's true power will be revealed. This artifact activates through the consumption of bones and mana.]
[New coordinates have been recorded. Enough energy has been acquired, so a door can be opened that takes you to the coordinates.]
At best, he thought the artifact would evolve and create a door to the surface. Fortunately, that didn't seem to be the case.
Lee Shin Woo turned to Pleine for confirmation, but she just gazed vacantly at the Heaven Door's Key. She acted like she'd baked cookies, but a cake came out of her oven.
"An Irregular... A true Irregular... Small singularities overlap, creating a miracle that goes beyond the curse and divinity."
He didn't understand at all. Pleine quietly and naturally embraced Lee Shin Woo. As a skeleton, he wasn't supposed to feel any emotions, but Pleine broke through his defenses and embarrassed him with the abundant feeling. Lee Shin Woo felt his emotions and urges return, things he thought were long forgotten.
It was truly shocking. He, who never felt any different from physical contact, felt 'excited'. Who exactly was Pleine? Actually, was she even human? But unfortunately, Pleine hadn't noticed his dilemma.
"You may be able to do it. What even God couldn't do."
"Uh... Pleine? I got it, so please calm down and explain."
"I'm sorry. I can't explain it to you."
"Seriously, you really just make up your own rules!"
Of course, based on the artifact's detailed abilities or Pleine's reaction, he had a rough idea what was going on. But it was so ridiculous that he couldn't be sure, so he was reluctant to even say it. If what he thought was true, then the situation was ridiculous. He wouldn't be able to ridicule Lee Man Bok anymore.
He suffered in various ways in Pleine's arms, but Jin, who was left out like a third wheel, was pissed and tore them away from each other, letting them calm down just barely. Both Lee Shin Woo and Pleine.
"So are you going to go or not?"
"...Ah, that's right. I'm sorry. I got too excited. That was unlike me. Ah, maybe that hug wasn't so bad."
"I really don't like this woman."
[She has a unique disposition. Master, be cautious from now on.]
Even after removing herself from Lee Shin Woo, she briefly thought to herself again, and soon said, 'ok' and nodded her head. She then spoke to Lee Shin Woo quietly.
"You shouldn't tell anyone about this artifact for the time being. Of course, that includes the people on the surface as well."
"And the Heaven Door's Key's current coordinates are set to the safest place in the Magic Empire. Unlike the Underground Empire, which is brimming with the undead, the surface still has dungeons that haven't been conquered yet. Plus, the coordinates of those dungeons are much more defined than the ones in the Empire, so as long as you don't reveal your identity, you should be able to level up much more easily on the surface."
"That's exactly what I was hoping for."
"But please don't approach the Emperor. The Emperor, who reigns over the Magic Empire, is more powerful than the Emperor underground."
Pleine nodded her head with a grave expression.
"They are afraid of the undead curse, not the undead born from the curse. You know the difference, right?"
"Good. Refer to this booklet for the rest... Then, please get going. You shouldn't have any problems no matter who you meet with your silver tongue."
"I thought you were coming with me?"
"I'd like to, but... Haha."
Lee Shin Woo asked seriously, but Pleine just looked at him with a sour expression and shrugged her shoulders. Last time, she'd left and returned from the surface with just three permits, but it seemed like there was still so much she couldn’t tell him.
"Alright. Then, see you later."
"You're probably already acquainted with some of the other heroes, but if something happens underground, then I'll tell you immediately. The artifact has enough energy to bring you back, so you should be able to return without much difficulty."
"Pleine, thanks for helping me."
"...I'm sorry. Thank you for understanding my circumstances."
Of course, there was a lot more he hadn't heard from her explanations, but Lee Shin Woo was well aware that she wasn't hiding the facts because she wanted to.
Moreover, the fact that she couldn't tell him anything was proof that he was ahead of schedule. He shouldn't feel bothered by it; instead, he should just do what he needed to do one by one. The opportunity to go to the surface was invaluable.
"Then... I'll get going."
After he'd said his goodbyes, Lee Shin Woo activated the Heaven Door's Key. At some point, the artifact had returned to its small ring form, but once Lee Shin Woo willed it to activate, it expanded once more into the form of a gate.
Lee Shin Woo got atop Jin's back again and caught his breath. He softly placed his hand above his neck. It was the best gesture that would relay both his will and his resolve without making Jin feel unpleasant.
"Are you ready, Jin?"
"I was ready a long time ago. ...You're good too, right?"
"Of course I am."
"Good. Let's go."
Jin wasn't an idiot. He knew just how amazing what he'd seen was, but he'd given up on understanding it a lot earlier than Lee Shin Woo. He wasn't abandoning Lee Shin Woo; he just clearly knew what he could do and what his role was.
[It's an honor to be able to take part in this opportunity with you, Master.]
"I'm counting on you, Rem."
The three entered the gate without hesitation. At that moment, the Heaven Door's Key vibrated immensely, accompanied by radiating light that devoured all three of them.
The gate remained for a while longer, but soon there were no traces of it ever existing. Pleine realized that Lee Shin Woo had arrived on the surface and had retrieved the Heaven Door's Key. She naturally said.
"Are you seeing this?"
[Yeah, I am.]
She could hear the Goddess's voice in her head. Lee Shin Woo had rudely said that she was possessed, but her communication with the Goddess  was much simpler than he imagined. Since the two were deeply connected... Like Lee Shin Woo and Jin's connection.
"You didn't call him here, knowing that this would happen, did you?"
[Yeah. Since even I don't have the ability to foresee so many repeated miracles. I felt really sorry for the heroes. Of course, it's not like I didn't have any expectations for him after turning him into an undead, but I didn't think he'd figure out a solution. A level 9 artifact... Even I can't make something like that that easily.]
"Still, you're not entirely blameless. Please beg the heroes for mercy, the ones you called over without even having a solution in place."
[Can't I just say that everything is going exactly as I planned? If I say that Lee Shin Woo is my new apostle, then...]
"There's no way he'd become your apostle. No one besides Lloyd H.K. would believe that stupid excuse."
Pleine sighed deeply and refuted her. Perhaps her firm reply caused the Goddess to sulk, as she remained silent for a moment. Then, she spoke again, as she felt it was pointless.
[Now all we need to do is kill them all.]
"That's the hardest part!"
[We have Lee Shin Woo. He should be able to do it somehow, right?]
"You plan on leaving everything to Mr. Shin Woo? Ah, you're the worst, you old hag!"
In her frustration, she momentarily cut her connection with God. She could, as she possessed her own 'divinity', although it was inferior to God's.
She soon questioned why she got worked up whenever it had something to do with Lee Shin Woo, but she forced herself to stop thinking about it, as she thought it'd get embarrassing.
"I guess I'll drink some coffee before I sleep. I'm just going to sleep it off."
She returned to the counter, as if nothing had happened, and boiled some water for her coffee. Pleine soon changed her mind and took out some tea leaves. They were the same tea leaves that Seira had used to brew Lee Shin Woo tea.
She boiled the water, let it cool a bit, let the tea leaves steep, and then poured it into a cup. A gentle fragrance wafted from the tea.
"If he does kill all of them... that is."
Pleine took a sip of her tea and muttered. She couldn't help but frown.
Ah, she would never get used to this bitterness.
As she thought, her family was the worst.
 T/N: Divinity can be translated as holy. Anyway Door is a reference to Doraemon.
 T/N: Toy Car doesn't use the term 'goddess' very often. I'm not sure why he makes the distinction here.Previous Chapter Next Chapter