Team: HH, thursdays, Yahiko (10/12)
“I heard the Hoarder arrived right under our noses. What are you planning to do now? I don’t think our defense will work.”
Elaine smiled faintly and looked at Jinrang. Jinrang thought this as he looked at her.
Her little twin brother had died. And his enemy was coming. However, she just looked amused, not mad in the slightest. He had felt this before, but Elaine had a few screws loose.
She had been like this many times in the past.
Even when they were under Lana, he never knew what she was thinking. It wasn’t like she had deep thoughts or schemes. In any situation, she always chose the more amusing path. She was really crazed for excitement.
When they caused the coup in the past, she joined hands with Triton, thinking that it would be more fun than being with Lana. Her motive was more nonsensical than Ted’s plan to steal Benteke’s spot after he joined.
And it seemed like she still had the same crazy mindset.
It was a way of thinking that the logical Jinrang didn’t even want to try to understand or have close to him.
But what could he do?
He had expected Ted to attack Yeon-woo and run away, but Ted had been killed so futilely.
‘Was there something the Hoarder has been hiding all this time?’
But it was impossible.
He had hid some of his powers on the complex battlefield with Benteke, Waltz’s Primeval Body, Duke Ardbad, the Fantasy Regiment.
Even though the Hoarder was a mysterious monster, this was hard to understand with logic.
‘Or did he become stronger during that short time since the fight…..? No way.’
However, Jinrang thought that it was the former that made more sense than the latter.
And if the former was the truth,
‘We have to kill him using any means possible this time.’
The growth rate of the Hoarder was threatening enough to make the people looking at him shiver.
If he became that much stronger with just one fight, it meant that his talent was on a different level from the beginning. The longer such a dangerous variable was left alone, the more dangerous it was to the clan.
However, the problem was that…..
‘It’s not easy to stop him.’
Jinrang pressed his throbbing temples and took a look behind him.
The large iron door was shut tightly. The door was decorated with the image of a tornado-inducing trident and all kinds of monsters, and it demonstrated Poseidon’s might.
That iron door had been shut for several days.
“So. When’s Captain coming out?”
Jinrang shook his head.
“I don’t know.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Exactly what I said. I thought it would end in a few days….. but I think his recovery is slower than expected.”
“So you weren’t able to tell him about the outside situation either?”
Jinrang nodded his head silently.
Elaine had a disbelieving face and snorted.
“It’s hard to find such a person dedicated to Captain like you. Right? If you don’t want to bother him, I’ll tell him.”
Elaine swept past Jinrang and approached the iron door. Jinrang didn’t stop her. He knew that it was a futile attempt anyway.
And like he expected, Elaine wasn’t able to approach the iron door.
Beyond the iron door, something large was bundled up. It was a sticky but condensed power. Something incredible that dominated its surroundings and made you feel like you had to bow was squirming. It seemed like a monster but also like the god they served.
The closer she approached the iron door, the greater the unidentifiable power became, and Elaine had to pause and look at Jinrang.
She felt anxious, like she was going to have everything she had stolen from her.
Her face that always had a faint look was filled with shock for the first time.
So that crazy b**** could make that face too. Jinrang snorted.
“It’s clear Captain is preparing for something. He might be communicating with Poseidon right now.”
“Communicating? This is communicating…..?”
“Anyways, until Captain comes out of his own volition, it’s forbidden to approach the door. No, I suggest that you don’t. Unless you want to be drained of all your holy power.”
Elaine moved away a few steps from the door and caught her breath. Although her face was filled with shock, her eyes were filled with glee. Jinrang felt like crying seeing her.
“Hmm. Then? What about those trespassers? You want to stop them ourselves? I don’t think it’s just the Hoarder that’s the problem anymore.”
She was talking about the rat-like bastards who were following Yeon-woo. Creutz, Faceless, and Doctor Doom. They were all bastards she wanted to get rid of at once.
But if used right, this could be a chance to get rid of all the nuisances bothering Triton.
“You and I have to get rid of them. However we can.”
“Are you saying you need my hand?”
“Right now, I’ll take anyone’s help.”
“Sheesh, you can be honest at times like this. The hand that you’re trying to hold isn’t just anyone’s hand.”
Above Elaine’s eyes, tens of new eyes opened. The multiple eyes that caused anyone who looked at them to be disgusted reflected Jinrang’s face.
* * *
Yeon-woo lifted his head.
Far away, he could see a colossal castle built along the seashore.
The castle looked like many different things. It looked like ruins, a fortress, or even a temple.
However, Yeon-woo could feel it.
Benteke was there. With something huge.
‘What is he doing?’
For some time now, he couldn’t connect with the Monster Portents in his shadow.
It wasn’t that Benteke had found them and gotten rid of them. The connection was just naturally cut off. Like it was blocked by something in the middle. He couldn’t feel beyond it.
Yeon-woo felt like he knew what it was.
‘A god’s barrier.’
The land that gods and demons lived in to use their power properly was called holy land or holy territory. A god’s barrier was the fence around it.
It was similar to what he felt in the temple of the Three Norns on the 16th floor.
‘Especially when the goddess Urd descended. Did Poseidon come down?’
But Yeon-woo thought something was weird.
-Shut up! Is it my fault that this happened? It’s all your fault for not being able to predict this when you’re a god!
-Because of my dirty tempered god who can’t do anything. I showed a bad side of myself. Let’s start again.
Benteke was a human who even cursed the god he served if things didn’t go his way.
That was how confident he was of himself, so it was strange that he would have had Poseidon descend.
‘No. It’s not from Poseidon descending. It’s something similar yet different……’
Yeon-woo shook his head. If it was a simple descent, he would’ve felt Poseidon’s holy power strongly, but the storm inside that castle was similar yet different.
‘But I’m here, so there’s nothing I can do but face it.’
Yeon-woo organized his thoughts and slowly began to climb up the slope.
He could feel the presences following him start to move busily. It seemed like after Yeon-woo officially faced off against Triton, they would join in and take the leftovers.
However, it didn’t matter to him.
Finishing the fight with Benteke and taking Poseidon’s holy power as a result of that. As long as that wasn’t interrupted, he didn’t care about what the other people did. No, they could just cause confusion, so it might’ve been a good stroke of luck for him.
They could attack him, but he had shaken off Waltz’s Primeval Body, so why wouldn’t he be able to get away from them?
Also, like Creutz and the Illusion Knightage had promised, they were following him at some distance. Creutz was relatively closer, but as he promised, he wasn’t interfering.
Yeon-woo activated his Magic Circuit as he approached the castle. His 360 Cores circulated, and the Philosopher’s Stone supplied magic power to him continuously. His senses were worked up, and his muscles tensed up. Draconic Eyes and Extrasensory Perception opened, and he read the flow around the castle.
It was to begin the attack right away if something happened.
Triton’s attacks could have begun at any moment. They hadn’t shown themselves for some time, so he guessed that all their forces were inside the Tower.
Yeon-woo couldn’t feel anything while he approached the castle.
Nothing was there.
There was nothing in the center of the castle, where he had expected some surprise attacks. There weren’t any soldiers along the walls, who should have been ready to fight. No matter how much he looked around with his Draconic Eyes and Extrasensory Perception, he couldn’t feel anything.
It was the same when he reached the castle.
Was it really just ruins? An ominous feeling exuded from the ruins with the wide-open castle doors, as if it was ushering him in.
He had been expecting an intense fight, and he was flabbergasted. It was anticlimactic, but he didn’t let his guard down.
Not too long after he passed through the castle doors, he saw a man on a rock waiting for him.
It was a face that Yeon-woo had seen before. The player was the one who saved Benteke from Duke Ardbad.
He was Benteke’s subordinate from the time when they were under Lana. Orion’s apostle slowly stood up from the rock as soon as he saw Yeon-woo.
“So you came all the way here. I desperately hoped you would just pass us by.”
Jinrang had a tired face. After Benteke entered his room to recover, he had been busy taking care of Benteke’s work in addition to his own.
It wasn’t just Yeon-woo who put them in a difficult situation.
There were the three clans following Yeon-woo that slowly nibbled at Triton’s territory.
The Fantasy Regiment, Necropolis, and Faceless’s ‘Chest of Souls’.
All of them had targeted Triton officially and allied themselves, putting pressure on Triton, so there weren’t just one or two things Jinrang had to take care of.
That was also the reason why Yeon-woo hadn’t been attacked for some time.
If they kept on being attacked from all sides like this, even their base was in danger. So there was a need to focus all their forces on one spot.
“I’m requesting this favor from you. Do you have any inclination to stop the fight here?”
Jinrang was being genuine. He wanted to prevent any fighting from happening if he could. With Yeon-woo gone, there were so many things that Triton would be able to do. That was how much of a difficult opponent Yeon-woo was.
It was unbelievable for Yeon-woo.
“You’re the ones who started it.”
“I’ll apologize however many times you want me to for that. We’ll also compensate you. Just name the price.”
Jinrang’s eyes shined. Yeon-woo could read the desperation in them. He unintentionally laughed.
“And if I want Benteke’s head?”
Jinrang’s face hardened.
“So you don’t plan on backing off until the end.”
“I can’t do that. Even if I end it here, do you think Benteke will simply agree to that?”
Jinrang wasn’t able to say anything.
“Even if I accept that offer, he’ll be after me sometime in the future anyway. The one that’s aiming for me isn’t Benteke but Poseidon, to be exact. As his servants, I don’t think you’ll be able to ignore his orders.”
Jinrang glared at Yeon-woo and sighed.
“That’s correct. We are the ones chosen by Poseidon. Technically, we’re like his priests who listen to him. We’ll have to clash with you someday.”
“I don’t like to leave things unfinished like that.”
“Then I suppose it can’t be helped.”
Jinrang raised his hands behind his back and pulled out a pair of twin swords.
Kashing. The sharp sound of metal rang out, and his aura began to whirl. It was incomparable to Ted’s.
“We have to clench our teeth and fight, too.”
As soon as he finished, the ground shook, and it became noisy behind him.
“S***! It became annoying!”
Tens of monsters popped out from where the watching players were and began their sudden attack. Triton’s players were on the backs of the monsters. The hidden forces were all there.
〈Monster Chaos〉. The Authority of Charybdis, the god that Elaine served.
Charybdis was born from Poseidon and Gaia. She had the power of sea and land, and being born as a horrid monster, she naturally became the king of all monsters. Of course the power to rule all those monsters would come with it.
Necropolis and the Chest of Souls didn’t expect to be attacked because they just planned on watching, and they quickly got into formation.
However, those who couldn’t were instantly crushed by the monsters or became their prey.
At the same time, the air around Yeon-woo swirled and placed him in a completely different location.
And in front of him, instead of Jinrang, there was a monster snake that was tens of meters long-running at him with its mouth wide open.
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