Chapter 305 - Tartarus (5)

Second Life Ranker

“Jeong-woo?” Yeon-woo raised his head and glanced around.

“What’s the matter?” Bodi looked at Yeon-woo in surprise. Yeon-woo had suddenly stopped in the middle of the path. However, he didn’t seem to care what Bodi thought, his eyes wavering. The voice had made his heart pound, and blood quickly circulated through his body.

Yeon-woo seemed to be looking for something, and even the two Death Nobles noticed his intense concentration. 

What are you talking about, Master? Why are you looking for Heaven Wing here?

What is the matter?

He hadn’t expected their responses. Behind the mask, Yeon-woo’s expression hardened. 

‘You guys didn’t hear that?’

What? Shanon and Hanryeong seemed confused. Their expressions made it clear that they really didn’t know.

Yeon-woo looked up and above him, Rebecca appeared as though air were bunching together. She shook her head. Yeon-woo quickly pulled the watch out of his breast pocket. It had been shaking but it was calm now. Its hands were paused at midnight. It seemed like it had only been a hallucination. ‘Just…’

* * *

“Then, I’ll leave it to you. The future of our tribe is in your hands, Paneth.”

“I’ll return as a god.”

“Yes. We feel stronger because you’re with us. Ione must’ve passed without any regrets.”

A wrinkled hand patted Paneth’s shoulder. Paneth’s eyes glowed brighter than ever at the encouragement she received from the elders.

A divine message had arrived at the temple that was almost useless although a few people still took care of it. “Go down to the depths of the darkness. The path for your return is there.”

The Protogenoi species had originally been gods that had existed since the beginning of time. However, as time passed, their powers faded, and they were replaced by the gods of Olympus. 

After losing their powers, they continued to pass down the names and traditions of their species to their descendants, hoping that they could return to the heavenly world someday.

For the first time in thousands of years, they had received a response. The gods of Olympus, who only looked for the Protogenoi species when looking for Apostles, had finally reached out. 

It had begun with Poseidon. Then, Hera, Demeter, and Hestia reached out. These four gods were the ones who’d sent the message, resulting in causing great commotion among the Protogenoi species. They interpreted the “depths of the darkness” as Tartarus. 

The tribe invested all their resources into forming a team. The Elohim used a lot of their manpower. If they failed, not only would their tribe fall, but their entire clan might collapse. However, none of them worried about such things. The Factors of the four higher gods went with them, and Panet was the leader of the team. She was the head of two families and was graced with divine blood. She never failed. 

During the departure ceremony, the elders looked at Paneth with trust.  

‘Fuck. Those old geezers don’t know anything.’ Aether stared at Paneth with envious eyes. In the past, he had dreamed of such an opportunity too. Every time his great warrior father left for war, he had been blessed by the elders in the tribe, the Senate had kissed his feet, and he had received the absolute support of the Consul. 

He used to watch his father leave through the arch, holding his little sister Hemera’s hand tightly. To Aether, his father had been the world and someone whom he respected and wanted to catch up to. Whenever people asked Aether what he wanted to be when he grew up, he would say that he wanted to be someone like his father. 

However, his father had crushed his young son’s dreams. He didn’t know what happened exactly, but it was known that his father had suffered a huge loss and betrayed the trust of the tribe and the clan. 

Their family collapsed overnight. Everyone close to them turned their backs, and they were kicked out of the tribe. Hemera could dream of a comeback since she’d distanced herself from the family, but Aether was held responsible for all of his father’s sins. His dreams of becoming the hero of his tribe were completely destroyed.  

With the stigma of a traitor’s son, he wandered around the Tower without any home. Most people who once lived as nobles either became crazy or hardened their resolve after becoming beggars. Aether was one of the latter. He gripped his starving stomach and ground his teeth as he dug around in trash cans. 

He promised to pay the Elohim back for what they had done and return home in glory. However…‘Reality is a mess.’ Aether looked down at his regenerated arms and legs. He had managed to heal because of the outstanding regenerative abilities of divine blood, but he could never forget the pain of his limbs being torn off as Paneth pressed down on him. 

She had lived as royalty her entire life, what did she think as she looked down at him? Did she think he was just like his father? Or did she just feel disgusted, as though she were looking at trash?’ He didn’t know. 

Aether lifted his head to look at Paneth again. The ceremony was about to end. He wondered what it would feel like to be in Paneth’s place, but he couldn’t imagine properly because he’d never had the chance.

Although when he thought about it, there had been one time—when he was with Arthia. It was the clan that had given him a hand during the dark period where he was looking through trash for food.

‘I must be crazy to think of them again.’ He had no right to reminisce since he’d sold out his comrades for a chance to return to the Elohim. He was shameless for betraying the clan that saved him and then betraying his tribe anyway. ‘I didn’t want to live as a bat either.’

As Aether clenched his teeth, Paneth returned with an impassive face. She brushed her shoulders at the spots where the elders had touched her with their old, moldering hands as though they were dirty.

Aether looked at Paneth with a gloomy face. He knew that she was fastidious, but he never expected that she saw the elders of her own tribe in that light.  

“Is there a problem?”


Paneth turned around, and Aether stood up straighter and looked away. He couldn’t muster the courage to look into the crazy bitch’s eyes. 

“Then, let’s be off. Time is of the essence.” Paneth walked past Aether coldly. Her subordinates quickly moved, and the rest of the team followed. No one was interested in Aether, the dog.

Aether gritted his teeth from the embarrassment. ‘Somehow…’ He gripped the piece of the Ruyi Bang in his pocket, and the team left.

* * *


I don’t think it matters anymore.

Shanon and Hanryeong’s voice rang out in his head, telling him to stop. Yeon-woo nodded and plopped down on a nearby rock. The Guai he had left behind to conduct a search returned to his shadow weakly. They had been looking for traces of his brother, but none of them found anything.

Bodi and Creutz looked at Yeon-woo strangely. Because they didn’t know what he was doing, his actions seemed odd. However, Yeon-woo ignored their gazes and pulled out the pocket watch again. ‘I definitely wasn’t mistaken.’

The more time passed, despite Shanon and Hanryeong’s opinions, the more certain Yeon-woo was that the voice had been real. The hands of the pocket watch were proof of it. 

The hands always trembled faintly, but after his brother’s voice had appeared, they began shaking more intensely. Although there was a subtle difference, it was still visible through Draconic Eyes. All kinds of emotions swept through his heart. ‘I couldn’t summon him no matter how much I tried.’ Yeon-woo’s eyes flashed. ‘But what if the skill hadn’t failed?’

All the options of the Cast of the Black King were powerful enough to be called powers. They were things that bent the law of nature, and it was almost impossible for them to fail because they were like miracles in the lower world.

Summon of the Dead, which brought souls from the Beyond, was also a power. Unless something extremely big had interfered, it was impossible for it to fail.

Even if the Summon of the Dead had failed, his brother’s soul might have still been affected by the power. That was why Jeong-woo’s desperate voice had appeared. Of course, these were all theories, but Yeon-woo was certain that he was right. His insight, the abilities he’d gained from the Summer Queen, and the assessment of the Demonic Dragon Body told him so. 

Most importantly, his senses were sure. ‘I can feel it…’ It was an inexplicable feeling that only twins understood. They had grown together in their mother’s womb, and his senses as a twin were telling him that his brother was somewhere. ‘The answer is to get the Black King’s powers.’ Yeon-woo slowly stood, his mind clear. 

* * *

[Sudden Quest / Persephone’s Long-Held Wish]
[Description: Hundreds of years ago, the god of the Underworld, Hades, realized that something strange was happening in Tartarus. With the help of the Hecatonchires, he opened the bronze door. However, after it was closed behind him, it never opened again.
Persephone waited along for her husband’s return for hundreds of years, but she only received one piece of news about him: that he summoned the three Cyclops brothers after entering Tartarus.
Finally, she reached the end of her patience and decided to take it upon herself to find her husband. Because she is taking care of the responsibilities of the Beyond and cannot enter Tartarus, she is choosing a representative to go in her stead. 
Become her representative and chase after Hades instead of Persephone.]
[Qualifications of participation:
Those who can approach Death.
Those acknowledged by a god of Olympus.
Those who have cleared the thirtieth floor’s hidden stage and the ten gates.]
[Time Limit: - ]
1. Persephone’s holy artifact
2. Persephone’s Factors
3. Persephone’s power]

Yeon-woo closed the quest window and left Persephone’s temple. A new message popped up. 

[You have entered the hidden stage, the ‘10 Gates’.]

[Description: You have passed through the Beyond’s river and land. This is the court of judgement and punishment that only the dead can enter. Living people are not allowed here. If you have taken a wrong turn, head back.

However, if you have come to this place willingly, you will have to pass 10 difficult trials.

The punishments are harsh even to the dead. They will be even more horrifying, cruel, and painful to the living. If you die, you will be trapped here forever to repeat the pain over and over. 

However, if you pass the 10 trials, great honor and blessings will follow. You will have the firm will to get through any future danger and trials, and you will be respected by the dead.]

An intense heat that felt like it was going to melt his skin off whirled in the air. The heat felt even more extreme because he had just enjoyed the fresh environment that Persephone had created. 

Creutz frowned. It was his second time here, so he thought he was already used to the heat, but it still felt unpleasant. 

The sky was black, befitting the court that judged sinners, and red lava flowed on the ground like a river. The damp energy of the dead was chipping away at his vitality. Messages that said he was in an extreme condition continued popping up. It was an extremely unpleasant location to be in. 

Creutz thought that Yeon-woo would be suffering since the Regiment Leader had struggled quite a bit when he first entered the hidden stage, too. 

However, Nike was flapping his wings joyfully in the sky, and Nemesis had already slid into the hellfire, grunting like an old man.

Woohoo! This is great! Heeheehee!

We can finally enjoy hot springs. Whew. This feels relaxing.

Creutz gaped in surprise.

“How comforting.” Yeon-woo had a happy smile on his face. 

[The energy of fire warmly embraces you. Your stats have temporarily increased by 20 points.]

[The energy of darkness brings you peace. Your stats have temporarily increased by 25 points.]

[The energy of poison revitalizes you. Your stats have temporarily increased by 10 points.]


[You have earned the title ‘King of Fire’.]

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