Chapter 312 - The King of the Underworld (2)

Second Life Ranker

Yeon-woo instinctively spread his Fire Wings open and soared into the sky. A bunch of ghosts wrapped around Yeon-woo to protect him. “What is this?”

The Giant god didn’t take any action, and Yeon-woo realized belatedly that the eyes weren’t focused on him. He couldn’t sense any life in the Giant god—it was a long-dead corpse. ‘Its size is so…’

The corpse was lying on its side, but it was so enormous that he’d mistaken it for a mountain ridge. It seemed to stretch out for dozens of kilometers. The eyes beamed like the sun and the moon, and the hair on body looked like a forest. From what Yeon-woo knew, even Giants weren’t this large.

Giants were considered large if they reached twenty meters, and the last king of Giants had been thirty meters tall. ‘Is this the corpse of a Titan? Then is Tartarus filled with these beings?’

There wasn’t too much information on the Titans and Giants in the Tower. Not many players could clear the ten gates in the first place, much less pass through the bronze door. His brother had also delayed entering Tartarus.

It wouldn’t be unusual for Titans and Giants to have strange appearances since they were gods, after all, and couldn’t be measured according to mortal standards.

Yeon-woo flew higher to examine the corpse more carefully and to look for Creutz, whom he had lost sight of after entering the portal. ‘He’s extremely large. It’s weird up here, too.’ Yeon-woo clucked his tongue. The higher he went, the darker it grew. He could only see because of the Holy Fire and his sharp senses. When he thought he was high enough, he attempted to release his Consciousness.

Boom! Boom! The ground suddenly began to shake as he felt an intense pressure. Yeon-woo quickly recalled his Consciousness. His heart started to pound, and his instincts warned him that if he revealed his Consciousness here, he’d be in grave danger.

Instead, he hid his presence as much as possible and turned his body to the other direction. Once again, the world shook. Something was coming towards him in the darkness. As it drew closer, Yeon-woo felt shivers run down his back. It was a presence comparable to Agares.

[Athena looks at the being with still eyes.]

[Hermes looks at the being in silence.]

[Agares clucks his tongue.]

[Hundun is silent.]

The gazes of the gods and demons who used Yeon-woo as a chess piece became still, even Hundun, who didn’t show his messages often. That was how great the being’s pressure was.

Boom! Yeon-woo swallowed. The Giant god was almost next to him now. He was smaller than the corpse below, but he was still an imposing size. Yeon-woo looked like a fly next to him.

It should be somewhere around here. The being looked around as if he were searching for something. His movements were slow because of his size, and it seemed to take him a long time to turn his head. However, each movement made the atmosphere tremble, and the heat that rose from his skin made it difficult to breathe.

Yeon-woo knew the being was searching for him. His eyes had been one of the gazes that looked on him as he’d cleared the ten gates. He knew that Yeon-woo had entered, but he couldn’t find any trace of him because Yeon-woo was so tiny.

However, Yeon-woo was still wary. The being would discover him as soon as he made the slightest move. He couldn’t stay there. It was only a matter of time before more beings came looking for him. ‘What should I do? Should I attack first?’

Yeon-woo held and released Vigrid with hesitation. He knew his attack wouldn’t have any effect. Still, he thought he might be able to stall for time and it would be better to attack and run away instead of being a sitting duck.

Yeon-woo swallowed and activated his Draconic Eyes. He could see a few imperfections but they were almost nonexistent. The closer one was to perfection, the greater the level of one’s existence. However, after inputting magic power into his Draconic Eyes, he managed to discover a clump of imperfections around the being’s right breast.

Yeon-woo tightened his hold on Vigrid. He had one chance, and he needed to activate all his powers and attack the being in one go. If not, it would be the end for him. His eyes were red with anxiety. Just then, he could feel the being’s gaze turn to the other direction.

Yeon-woo’s eyes widened. ‘Now…!’

You foolish bastard! Open Speaking rang in Yeon-woo’s mind as his body was swept aside. That was when the Giant god turned to look in Yeon-woo’s direction. He looked around and muttered to himself.

Did I…make a mistake… The Giant god’s eyes narrowed and he began to walk again. Perhaps it’s the wrong location…unless…he already ran away?

Certain that Yeon-woo wasn’t there, the Giant god looked away again and started to move. Boom!

Yeon-woo stood up only after the footsteps faded away. The being was so large that it seemed to take forever.

“You attempted to attack a Titan? And Perses, at that. You foolhardy bastard.” The one who rescued Yeon-woo scowled after the danger was past. “Do you know how complicated things almost became because of you?”

Yeon-woo stayed silent. Ten people surrounded him wearing bronze armor and carrying weapons. They each had an outstanding aura. Their commander even had a divine air.

‘Dis Pluto.’ Dis Pluto was a group of warriors under Hades’ command who protected the Underworld and stopped the Titans and Giants from breaking through the bronze door. They looked like ordinary warriors but they were at the same level as a lower-level superior being.

Yeon-woo realized he had survived thanks to them. Perses was a Titan who symbolized destruction. If Yeon-woo had clashed with him, things would’ve gotten out of control.

“It’s a relief you’re safe. Are you injured anywhere?” Creutz jumped out from behind Dis Pluto and examined Yeon-woo before sighing in relief. It seemed like he had been rescued before Yeon-woo.

The commander confirmed that the Giant god Perses was gone and turned back to Yeon-woo. It was hard to tell what he looked like because of his helmet, but his eyes were intense. “I don’t know how you received the help of the spirit that His Majesty gave to the Cyclops Brontes, but you have a connection to Brontes, am I correct?”

“Yes, that’s right.” Yeon-woo nodded.

“His Majesty has ordered me to take you to him. However, this is the territory of the Titans. If they catch us, we’re done for, so follow me carefully.”

Yeon-woo’s eyes widened. “By His Majesty, are you talking about Hades?” It seemed like the missing Hades was still in Tartarus.

The commander frowned. “Don’t speak his name so casually, player. He has been away from the Tower for a while, but he’s not someone you can…”

“I’ve brought a message from Persephone. Please, take me to Hades.”

“From Lady Persephone?” The commander had been annoyed, but now he paused. If the player had come at the queen’s request, he had to treat them with courtesy. He was dissatisfied, but there was nothing he could do. The commander turned around stiffly. “Anyway, follow me.”  

Fortunately, it seemed like things would proceed smoothly from now on. Yeon-woo and Creutz began to follow Dis Pluto.

* * *

The commander was called Ray, and he led the nineteenth squad out of the twenty-four corps. Yeon-woo knew the names of most of the gods and demons, but it was a name he had never heard before. ‘I suppose that’s not unusual. The only things known about each godly society are the names of the higher gods that lead them.’

Societies like Olympus, Asgard, and L’Infernal had many members. There were subordinates to the higher gods and soldiers. The heavenly world was quite vast. However, most of the minor gods were unknown to the players of the lower world, like Ray. However, because he belonged to the heavenly world, he possessed a holiness, and Yeon-woo couldn’t even begin to imagine his strength. ‘Could he be stronger than Seseung-nim?’

People who had holiness were supernatural. It was a peak that all mortals wished to reach. Although no player had gotten that far other than Allforone, Yeon-woo didn’t think Ray was stronger than the Martial King.

Of course, it was possible that Ray wasn’t releasing his holiness, but Yeon-woo hadn’t seen the Martial King’s full strength either, even when he was fighting the Summer Queen. ‘What is the standard for holiness? Is it something you automatically gain because your level is higher?’ Yeon-woo’s eyes grew thoughtful. ‘Or does something prevent you from getting it?’ He continued to ponder as he walked.

“What are you looking at?” Ray felt Yeon-woo’s gaze on him and turned back to look at him.

“It’s nothing.” Yeon-woo shook his head.

Ray snorted and looked forward again. “I’ll say this now: I don’t like you players that much.”

Yeon-woo’s eyes widened. “May I know why?”

“Why? There are a lot of reasons. This battlefield where we fight for our beliefs is just a playground and training area for you guys.”

Yeon-woo shut his mouth. It seemed like he was talking about the players who crossed into Tartarus after clearing the ten gates to raise their skills. How did that look to those who considered this place the battleground of their lives?

“You guys are the only ones who don’t take this place seriously. Even Olympus in the heavenly world doesn’t dare think that. The players who come here die if they are weak or run away once they think they’ve learned something worthwhile. How can we like them?”

Yeon-woo couldn’t reply.

“Each soldier is important to us, but because of you, the ten of us had to come to this dangerous place. I won’t say more because you’re Lady Persephone’s messenger and you know where the Cyclops Brontes is.” It was a warning for him not to die pointlessly and to know his place and keep his head down. It sounded like he was being rude, but Yeon-woo could feel the bitterness and urgency behind his words.

‘Is that how bad the situation is?’ Yeon-woo’s eyes grew serious.

Stop! Ray suddenly paused, using Open Speaking with the party. Yeon-woo was wondering what was going on when the ground beneath their feet suddenly crumbled and a Giant god emerged. Boom!

I found you! It was the Titan Perses, who had been looking for Yeon-woo. He smiled evilly and stretched his hand to Yeon-woo.

“Run!” Ray shouted frantically and held up his shield, releasing holy power and making smoke whirl around.

However, the Titan Perses could even manage to hold his own with Hades, and Ray couldn’t hold him off for long. He turned into a bloody mess and disappeared.

Where are you…going…? The Giant god didn’t stop there and waved his arms to catch his target, Yeon-woo. Strong winds blew around them like a tornado. Dis Pluto stepped in front of Yeon-woo, ready to die in battle.

Yeon-woo clenched his teeth and released his powers—or at least, he tried to. The Channels were blocked, as though something were in the way.

[The Channel with Athena is weak. The ‘Goddess’ Stigmata’ is dissipating.]

[The Channel with Ceto is weaker. The ‘Sea King Stone’ has failed to activate.]

[The Channel with Agares is weak. ‘Wicked Devil’ is dissipating.]

[Agares is furious!]

The only power that still worked was awakening his Dragon Body. He hoped that the 72 Bian and Wave of Fire would work for a while, as the Giant god’s shadow loomed over him.  

At that moment, blue light gathered in the dark sky and turned into lightning, landing on Perses’ face. The Giant god screamed and stepped back, putting his hands to his face as blood spurted like a fountain from his injuries.

In front of him, a god in bronze armor and with an ashy aura swung his sword. The darkness simmered like fire, embracing him protectively before stretching out like a spiderweb. 

He was much smaller than the Titan, but his aura was more powerful than Perses’. Each time he swung his sword, a strength greater than Poseidon’s spread out. Yeon-woo realized who it was right away. It was a higher god who was the oldest of six brothers that included Zeus. However, he had given up the throne of Olympus for his younger brothers.

‘Hades!’ The King of the Underworld had come.

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