<Chapter 42. Sun God's Hero - 3>
'It's not over.'
Lee Shin Woo narrowed his eyes. Although the Garuda's corpse had disappeared, it hadn't dropped any loot yet. He had a hunch as to why. Since a snow-white light rose from within the Garuda's body as it disappeared and was sticking to the Titan's body.
When the greatsword melted away, Zenon immediately left the blade and entered the Titan. This peculiar phenomenon probably had something to do with Zenon... His assumption was completely correct. Zenon was busy speaking with the Garuda's final remaining will.
[Young spirit. Could you inherit my will?]
[L-Lord Garuda. I'm just a regular spirit following this human...]
Zenon was conversing with a part of the Garuda's consciousness. When it had realized that its body and soul were being eroded by the undead curse, the Garuda had torn a piece of its soul off and stored it away; its soul was incredibly pure.
Of course, not everyone could do this just because they were a high level. It was only possible for the Garuda because it had developed its innate element, the Shining Flame, and the light element to near perfection.
[The fact that I was able to meet you, one who wields the same fire energy as me, before I died in vain must be due to God. And if you've chosen that human as your contractor, then I will respect your decision.]
[Is that so...]
The Garuda spoke amicably, but it just made Zenon feel a sense of awe and break into a cold sweat.
It probably didn't understand Zenon and Lee Shin Woo's relationship in the least. If that's not it, then it wouldn't be so calm! Zenon thought about it faintly, but he didn't say it out loud.
[If you have something you want from me, then... Please say so.]
His short interaction with Lee Shin Woo was drawing attention to him. Right now, the right move was to just listen to what the Garuda had to say!
[This human, who you've entrusted your soul to, is incredibly strong. Moreover, he's realized part of the truth of this world at such a young age, so if he doesn't tread down the wrong path, then he should be able to correct the chaos of this world.]
[You should already know. That curse, which was able to corrupt even I, who had transcended death, came about due to mankind's unending greed... If left unchecked, the world is doomed. So long as your contractor... a hero doesn't correct it.]
That's right. The Garuda possessed some divinity, albeit weak, so it knew that Lee Shin Woo was one of God's heroes! Hearing that, Zenon slightly tilted his head.
[Then why aren't you telling him this yourself?]
[It's related to what I'm about to tell you. I will give you the power to erase anything, so... if that hero treads the wrong path, then I'd like you to destroy him with your own two hands.]
Zenon could tell how earnest the Garuda was being and just laughed inside. He doesn't think that that's actually possible, does he? However, the Garuda maintained its serious tone and continued.
[Your contractor's ability is exceptional. At such a young age, he not only reached level 8 but also possesses the ability to distort the truth. In my long life, I've never seen someone like him. He should be able to correct the chaos that plagues the surface and the underground. However, if he were to go astray, then it will result in unspeakable disaster...]
[Yes, that's true.]
Now that Lee Shin Woo was level 8, he considered life and death the same. And with his Wild Card skill, he could distort reality in a limited space. The Garuda probably didn't know this, but Lee Shin Woo's innate element, Dark Shadow, was incredibly dangerous (The Garuda thought that Lee Shin Woo's innate element was something like the Fiery Sand's Dark Flame Ghosts' Dark Flame).
And if he were to advance even further? What if he were to use that power for evil? The world would become even worse than it is now. He was right of course. He's right, but...
'But I don't think this human will do something so troublesome. Moreover, contrary to the Garuda, he hasn't been affected by the curse, and can actually use the curse for himself...'
Zenon couldn't imagine Lee Shin Woo straying from his path. If he had to be wary of anyone who had a dangerous ability and was talented, then there were so many more that he'd have to be worried about. After all, even the Garuda, who had obtained divinity, had caused a lot of trouble!
Yet, he had the gall to say something like 'exterminate the hero', so Zenon was speechless. Regardless of the why, Zenon thought it just wanted vengeance against the one who'd killed it...
'What would Lee Shin Woo... The contractor of the Spirits' Spring, say at a time like this...'
Lee Shin Woo would keep his mouth shut and get what he could first. If he retorted, then the Garuda might leave, which would be such a waste! Zenon nodded his head and the Garuda continued in satisfaction.
[Of course, you do not possess the power to oppose your contractor. So I'll give you what you need. I will instill my power into this golem that you currently reside in, so if the time comes when you must put him down, you just need to come into this golem. It will cause the giant to ignite the accumulating shining flames inside itself, and even your contractor won't be able to avoid death.]
[And I'll give you my power as well. You will become my successor who wields both light and flame, so if you continue to train both, then you will one day be able to use my innate element... Shining Flame! I grant you this authority for the sake of all spirits, so if you're in a situation where your own power is insufficient, then you should borrow their power to overcome it!]
So the Garuda did have an underlying motive for bestowing his power. He was giving him one of the Garuda's abilities, the power of light which could sever all! It thought that if he was given this power, which could sever all connections if need be, then he wouldn't be controlled by Lee Shin Woo.
[Then, young spirit. I hope you make the right decision. I hope that you use this power that I leave behind for the betterment of this world...!]
The Garuda's remaining consciousness emitted a bright light and split into two. One went into Zenon, and the other was absorbed by the Titan. It forcefully raised Zenon's 'level' and raised his body and soul to new heights. To be more specific, Zenon's karma exploded and he leveled up!
[Lv8 Shining Salamander Zenon]
That wasn't all. Zenon realized that he could now use the high rank level 1 light element. To think he, who was born a fire spirit, would be able to use another element as well! The Garuda wasn't wrong when it said that he would be its successor!
But what he gained wasn't purely positive either. The Garuda's will, which possessed divinity, had a huge effect on Zenon and planted a sense of distrust in Lee Shin Woo. But it was the exact opposite of Zenon's original feelings, so he felt quite uncomfortable.
[Is this the price of thoughtlessly accepting a god's power?]
[Yeah. That's not something you accept without thinking.]
He had forged an improper contract with God and become a magical girl... No wait, he was forced into becoming a hero. Lee Shin Woo genuinely gave him some advice and Zenon found himself nodding automatically... But then asked in shock.
[Did you hear everything!?]
[Not everything, but most of it. If it knew that I was the one who made the Titan and it was made of bone, then it wouldn't have done something as stupid as talking within it. Even at the very end, that asshole looked down on me.]
[...I think he did. He thought he'd lost to you because of his corruption.]
Of course, it was true that the Garuda had weakened, so much so that it was incomparable to its original strength, but had made a basic miscalculation.
It hadn't realized that Lee Shin Woo had used his ability to 'create a stage in which he could win against the Garuda'! In other words, Lee Shin Woo was way too talented!
[I'll take care of it, so stay still.]
Lee Shin Woo looked squarely at Zenon with his Soul Seeing Eye. Immediately after, he used his Dark Flame and Shining Flame to cut out a piece of Zenon's body. Then, the unpleasant feeling disappeared. He was a little weaker, but it wasn't enough to lower his level.
Lee Shin Woo erased the Garuda's foolish will with his shining flames and absorbed only the essence within.
[The Beginner Shining Flame skill has become Lv3. Magic has increased by 20.]
With this, the negative effects of the Garuda's power disappeared from Zenon. He was going to erase the traces of the Garuda's will from the golem as well but decided to leave it be, as he found that he could use it for himself.
But Lee Shin Woo found his experiences and abilities a bit lacking to properly study it. Moreover, he couldn't maintain the Titan Bone Golem any longer.
[Beginning to recharge heat. Time before fully charged: 45 days]
'It's gotten a lot stronger, and the recharge time went down too. It's more efficient at absorbing heat now, which may be attributed to the reinforced Dark Flame's power of absorption. ...The next time I call the Titan, I hope I can combine all the flames together.'
Lee Shin Woo gripped the Titan Bone Core, which released the Titan form and returned to its original size, and then sighed.
The Garuda had engraved the Shining Flame deep within the golem. If he got more used to the Shining Flame and advanced enough that he was able to combine the Shining Flame and the Dark Flame together, then he should be able to develop the golem even further. To be more specific, he would be able to raise the Titan to level 9.
[After unearthing the dungeon's secrets, you managed to defeat the dungeon's master, who had managed to acquire divinity. You have acquired the title, 'He Who Challenges God'. All stats are increased by 10% when battling against the divine. All stats have increased by 50. The Rebellion skill has become Lv6 and all stats have increased by 10.]
By the time Lee Shin Woo had eliminated all traces of the Garuda, a message indicating that the battle was over finally appeared! He had just acquired an innate element, yet there was another headache inducing word (god) that he'd have to look into... But more importantly, he had to collect all the loot!
[Lucky Strike! You have acquired 681,993,040 Perium! The Lucky Strike skill has become Lv5!]
[You have acquired the Lv9 Garuda's Wing Bone and Sphenoid Bone!]
[You have acquired the Lv9 Phoenix's Feather. The Bone Reinforcement skill is not at a high enough level, so a change does not occur.]
[You have acquired the Lv8 God Sword of Light. Through the Bone Reinforcement skill, it changes into the Lv8 Death God's Shining Bone Sword (+3).]
[You have acquired a Lv7 Sunstone. Through the Bone Reinforcement skill, it changes into the Lv8 Sun Fossil.]
No way. To think Lucky Strike would activate here. He gaped from gaining 700 million Perium all at once.
That wasn't all. Befitting a divine bird trapped underground for hundreds of years, it dropped such amazing loot! But Lee Shin Woo couldn't keep his eyes off of one of the two bones... the Garuda's Wing Bone.
"Shin Woo, are you ok... H-Huh!?"
Once he'd confirmed that the battle was over, Jin had flown over to Lee Shin Woo, but for some reason, he felt a chill and started shaking. As if he felt the pain that was to come!Previous Chapter Next Chapter