Chapter 311 - The King of the Underworld (1)

Second Life Ranker

[You have entered the 10th gate, ‘Hell of Black Darkness’.]

The path to the last gate was a dangerous one, especially near the ninth gate, where Minotaurs and Nemean lions almost decimated Yeon-woo. Shanon and Hanryeong, who were fighting at the frontline, had to recover their stamina in the shadows.

Haa…Haa…what a ridiculous master.

It’s been a while since I’ve fought so crazily like this.

Shanon and Hanryeong seemed mentally exhausted. Theoretically, they could fight forever without any rest as long as ghosts were supplied to them, but because they had once been human, they couldn’t ignore the mental stress of nonstop fighting.  

It was too difficult dealing with the monsters sent by the Titans and Giants, and they had to deal with the trial at the same time.

Still, Yeon-woo persevered even though Nemesis occasionally asked him to turn back. Yeon-woo’s other subordinates didn’t say anything and moved according to his wishes because they could sense his desperation to find clues about his little brother and to gain the Black King’s power. He was so desperate for those things that he pushed himself to the limit unceasingly.

His subordinates didn’t want to let him down, and in the end, Nemesis realized what they were thinking and didn’t try to stop Yeon-woo anymore. He also wanted the same things as much as Yeon-woo did. His longing for his previous master was so great that he even dreamed of Jeong-woo.

“Please bless us with your spirit and wash away the darkness with light…” Creutz planted Zulfikar in the ground and activated a barrier around them with a prayer.

Holy Light Barrier

It was a spell that prevented those with bad intentions from approaching and deflected spells. However, the barrier couldn’t be transported, so he had to continue to recite the prayer as they walked. Still, thanks to the barrier, they could rest for a little while.

Creutz was doing everything he could as he traveled with Yeon-woo. Although he must have been curious about many things, he didn’t ask Yeon-woo as he’d promised. Yeon-woo was starting to understand his sincerity, and his respect for Creutz was growing.

“Are they planning to keep us outside until the very end?” Yeon-woo looked at the heavy darkness beyond the Holy Light Barrier. Players had to walk through the foggy darkness of the tenth gate, Hell of Black Darkness, to reach the end. That wasn’t too difficult for Yeon-woo since he could use Consciousness to clear the trial.

However, he could sense a large number of monsters lurking in the darkness, including Hydras and Nemean lions. They were all ferocious and gigantic. It would be like walking to one’s death to try to pass them. Fortunately, the Tannin Fear and Boo’s Inferno Sight proved to be useful in dealing with them.

‘Anyway.’ Yeon-woo turned around. ‘Do these gazes have to follow me here, too?’ Yeon-woo was sick of the additional gazes that appeared since he entered the hidden stage. Previously, he could sense them from above, but the closer he got to Tartarus, he could feel the new gazes coming from below. Each gaze was unpleasant and fearsome, and they were definitely from the Titans and Giants. ‘I almost can’t feel the gazes from above like Hermes’ and Athena’s.’

The stronger the energy from Tartarus grew, the weaker the gazes from the heavenly world would be. Other than those he had Channels with, almost no gods or demons could see Yeon-woo properly.

[Agares laughs at the other gods and demons who are frustrated at being unable to see you.]

[Agares walks up to a group of gods and demons discussing Tartarus and mocks them.]

[The godly society <Olympus> ignores him.]

[The godly society <Asgard> is annoyed at Agares’ presence.]


Agares seemed to be up to his old tricks. Yeon-woo just swiped it away from the message window because it was annoying. He was spinning his Magic Circuit to recover when Boo lifted his head. Clack. His bones bumped against each other.

“Did you find something?”

After…examining…all the…ghosts…here... Yeon-woo had taken all the ghosts from each ghost monster with him. If not, his subordinates would have faded away already. It…appears…that the…other Apostles…have passed…this…way.

“I see.” Yeon-woo brushed himself off and got to his feet. Boo had been looking for traces of the other Apostles, and he confirmed that they had cleared through all the gates to cross into Tartarus. If so, they didn’t have any time to lose.

“Should we move again?” Creutz read Yeon-woo’s actions and stopped the prayer, sighing heavily. There were dark circles under his eyes.

* * *

As soon as they left the Holy Light Barrier, the gazes of the monsters started to focus on them. The other players who tried to pass through were already in their stomachs, but they were still unsatisfied. They looked desperately for more prey.

Yeon-woo had already taken back his subordinates because it was impossible to handle all of those monsters. He had to move quickly while avoiding the monsters to get to his destination. “Run.”

They all began to run as fast as they could. Above Yeon-woo’s head, Boo’s Inferno Sight burst open to protect them.

Boom! Boom!

* * *

[You have cleared the hidden stage ‘Ten Gates’.]

[You have made an achievement that is not easily accomplished. The title ‘One Who Has Endured Ten Trials’ has been created.]

[Additional karma will be provided.]

[You have acquired 20,000 karma.]

[You have acquired 30,000 additional karma.]

[Would you like to attempt the second hidden stage?]

Goodness, to come here as a player. The Cyclops Brontes spoke in a moved voice as he looked at the large bronze door in front of him. He had finally arrived at the entrance of Tartarus, the place he had wanted to reach no matter the cost.

Yeon-woo rubbed the bronze door. It had the same mural on it as the doors to the Olympus Treasury and Poseidon’s temple, but it had more details. He could see the Titans and Giants plunging into a dark abyss, falling from the white clouds after being hit by Zeus’ lightning. There was a being who didn’t take his eyes off Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades even as he fell.

‘Kronos.’ The expression of the god of time and death and the king of Titans was more vivid than the other expressions. He seemed furious and saddened by his sons’ betrayal.

After the two great wars against the Titanomachia and the Gigantomachia, the gods of Olympus locked up the Titans and Giants. Beings like Kronos were probably gathering beyond the heavy darkness. It was a prison filled with godly beings that mortals couldn’t even approach.

It was one of the few locations where gods and demons could move freely without their holy territory, so Yeon-woo couldn’t help feeling anxious. Creutz was just as worried. The tenth gate was a horrible place that was worse than all the other gates combined. He was even feeling proud of himself for having cleared it. A wry smile spread across his face as he suddenly remembered what the Regiment Leader once said: nothing was impossible if one worked hard enough.

Yeon-woo examined the door with his Draconic Eyes and turned to look at Brontes. “How do I get past this door?’

No matter how much he pushed it, the door wouldn’t budge. He thought it would open automatically because he had received the quest from Persephone, but it stayed firmly shut. It made sense that it wouldn’t open easily since it was meant to keep the criminals of Olympus inside. Otherwise, the Titans and Giants would’ve kicked it down already.

There’s a side entrance only Lord Hades knows about. Only he and those with his permission can enter.

“Can you tell me where it is?”

Wait. Brontes closed his eye and muttered a spell. Light flashed around them. When Brontes held his hand out, something resembling a dandelion seed floated on it with an ashy aura. Fortunately, it still works.

“What is it?”

It’s a spirit of the Underworld. It’s a guide that borrows Lord Hades’ strength to lead the way to his location. He gave it to us and it’s still possible to summon it. Did he believe that I would come some day? Brontes closed his tearful eye, a moved expression on his face. He began to speak again, opening his eye. Let’s not stay here. We need to leave quickly.

Yeon-woo and Creutz began to follow the spirit. The bronze door seemed infinitely tall in front of them, and Yeon-woo continued to examine the murals. Each one was different. Then, the spirit paused and disappeared. A small, red portal appeared on the door.

Yeon-woo and Creutz looked at each other without saying anything. Then, with a nod, they entered the portal. When the light settled, Yeon-woo found himself standing alone under a dark sky.

[You have entered the second hidden stage, ‘Tartarus’.]

[Warning! This is a prison where Olympus’ criminals, the Titans and Giants, have been locked up. It is under the special administration of the Bureau. This stage is difficult for players, so a speedy escape is advised.]

[An ominous gaze is looking at you.]

[An ominous curse is approaching.]

[The sudden quest (Persephone’s Long-Held Wish) has been updated.]

[Please check the quest window.]

Inexplicably, Yeon-woo felt creeped out. The gazes of the Titans and Giants that had been somewhat blocked by the bronze door were now directly on him. He could sense a bit of emotion within the gazes: curiosity, surprise, longing, envy. However all the gazes had one thing in common: distrust.

What had they seen to make them feel this towards Yeon-woo? ‘Is it possible?’ Yeon-woo realized that the gazes were focused on him but on the Despair and Grief of the Black King.

Why are you here?

Why are his traces here?

From far away, he could hear a voice that was faint, like an echo. Then, Yeon-woo realized he wasn’t standing on a mountain ridge but the head of an enormous Giant god.

Huge eyes dozens of meters long glared at him.

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