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Poseidon belatedly realized what Yeon-woo was aiming for and frowned.
Yeon-woo was trying to steal the rest of the Divine Blessings he had sent to the lower world.
Since he had already taken some of his information with Benteke’s right arm, it was easier to steal it.
This was a body that was created purely of holy power.
It had an advantage in that it made descending easier, but it was horribly weak to energy draining.
And with the activation of Bathory’s Vampiric Sword, the greatest of all energy draining skills, of course Poseidon ended up suffering the humiliation of losing his Divine Blessings.
Poseidon gripped Yeon-woo’s neck with his strong hand. He tried to stop Yeon-woo from breathing. Poseidon’s descent was still continuing smoothly, and he could speak clearly now.
However, it meant that he would be losing that many Divine Blessings. It wasn’t easy to shake Yeon-woo off. No, rather, Yeon-woo pushed Vigrid in even deeper and forced in Bathory’s Vampiric Sword.
『I said to let go!』
[Current awakening progress: 12, 13…… 15%…….]
The more Poseidon resisted, the tighter Yeon-woo held on.
‘I can’t lose him here.’
Yeon-woo expected that Poseidon would interfere directly the moment he decided to storm Triton’s base. Considering Poseidon’s personality, he would never let go of his prey easily.
Yeon-woo had planned to end the fight with Benteke before Poseidon interfered and take the Divine Blessing with Bathory’s Vampiric Sword.
Like he had done to Urd before, the damage to a god once their apostle died was great. He thought Poseidon would be greatly affected too.
But Poseidon was trying to do something crazier than Yeon-woo had expected.
Descending into an apostle’s body was a form of a god coming down themself. Of course, there would be limitations to an apostle’s body because it was channeling the power of a god directly. That was why gods didn’t try to descend unless it was of utmost importance. The vessel they had created could easily be broken.
But if Martyrdom was added to this, the story changed.
Martyrdom was a type of offering. It traded the blood of followers for the power of gods in the lower world through the principles of causality.
Poseidon attempted to descend after sacrificing his followers and even his apostle. Benteke’s soul was probably gone because of Poseidon or absorbed into him.
The way that each god and demon dealt with their apostles was different, but it was rare to see them act as extremely as Poseidon was doing. He was treating them like they were only for one-time use.
No, Poseidon had actually cherished Benteke, enough to let him go even with all the harsh words that Benteke said about him. The fact that he was throwing him away like this confirmed what Yeon-woo had been thinking.
Poseidon didn’t want Yeon-woo to have the power of the Black King.
‘Then I need to have it even more.’
Yeon-woo’s Draconic Eyes lit up.
Poseidon was repeating the same thing from earlier. He was furious at Yeon-woo, who was sticking to him like a leech, not budging in the slightest.
The problem was that as time went on, Yeon-woo’s awakening continued, and it was becoming harder to force him off.
The formation of the cells took on a change. His bones also changed according to the newly written information.
[Current awakening progress: 25, 26…… 30%…….]
Was it because of Poseidon’s fury? The stage began to shake violently. The ground cracked, and the sea area along the cliff flipped over, a tornado high above them.
Yeon-woo’s expression hardened. The descent was happening faster than he was absorbing the Divine Blessings. At this rate, the descent would be faster and kick him away.
That couldn’t happen.
The moment Poseidon’s descent was complete, he would be in danger. Of course, it wouldn’t be as bad as Agares on the 23rd floor, but it was still dangerous to normal players.
‘Then there’s nothing I can do but slow it down.’
He wasn’t going to depend on Bathory’s Vampiric Sword to take care of things for him.
[The holy power has been opened.]
The Divine Blessings that had been coated with Draconic and Demonic Blessings were released in bunches, and they could now show their power.
Holy power symbolized the strength of gods, but the holy power Yeon-woo used didn’t specifically have a name.
Like everything else, it was just moving according to Yeon-woo’s will. Yeon-woo focused his holy power on one spot—at the gazes that always followed him annoyingly.
[The Channeling is being strengthened.]
Yeon-woo didn’t know about how to use holy power properly yet. He had never been an apostle, and he didn’t have any plans to become one. His brother had also focused on growing his power as a Dragon Human and didn’t take too much of an interest in holy power.
If Yeon-woo wanted to use it well, he needed to practice more. However, there was no way he could do that now.
Thankfully, there was a field that Yeon-woo was familiar with.
No, to be exact, it was the strengthening of the connection with gods and demons through Authorities.
[The Channeling with ‘Athena’ has been strengthened.]
[Athena nods warmly. Her will becomes one with yours.]
[The Authority ‘Stigmata of the Goddess’ is being amplified to her Grace.]
[The Channeling with ‘Hermes’ has been strengthened.]
[Hermes’ will becomes one with yours. His favor is furthered.]
[The Channeling with ‘Azrael’ has been strengthened.]
[Azrael’s will becomes one with yours.]
[The Channeling with ‘Hondon’ has been strengthened.]
[Hondon’s will becomes one with yours.]
As the connection with the gods and demons who had given Yeon-woo Authorities became clearer, Yeon-woo could feel their presence right next to him.
The limits of the Authorities that came from him not being an apostle all disappeared.
Each connected god used their Channeling to approach. They had accepted Yeon-woo’s wishes.
Their wills became one. That meant that their will would descend to the lower floors according to what Yeon-woo wanted.
It was a kind of descent.
『You’re a mortal, but you experience things that other players would never experience quite frequently. It’s interesting.』
One man appeared in the smoke to the right of Yeon-woo. The mischievous smile on his lips showed that he was greatly amused by the situation.
Poseidon frowned, recognizing the man first.
『You dare interfere with my action!』
『Gosh. Uncle, we need to set things straight. It’s not me but you who’s interfering with my business, isn’t it? You know that I’m watching this child with great attention, and yet you’re doing this?』
Hermes looked back at Poseidon and smiled faintly. He looked kind, but it was hard to tell what he was thinking because his eyes seemed emotionless.
Poseidon became even more furious seeing Hermes like that.
『Are you being serious right now?! You should know the best out of all of us what he is trying to touch!』
The power that Yeon-woo was trying to touch—death. It was a power that the gods and demons couldn’t speak about lightly. Even those whose duties revolved around it. It was something that a mortal should never have.
Hermes was one who could freely move from the heavenly world and the lower world. He would know well about the line between life and death. He should’ve known the best about the dangers, but…..
『I don’t know.』
Hermes spoke coldy, his eyes still crinkled warmly.
『Don’t shout, Uncle. I’m no longer the child who burst into tears when you got angry.』
『Even you don’t have the qualification to tell me to do this or that. You just go your way, and I’ll go mine. Isn’t that the duty of a god?』
『Do you think it will go your way? I’m Poseidon.』
『I know. Like you said, it probably won’t end well.』
He smiled brightly again. It was a mocking smile.
『For you, Uncle.』
As soon as Hermes finished, smoke gathered behind Yeon-woo and took the form of a woman.
She was wearing a helm and shining silver armor. Half of her face was covered in shadows, but it was clear that she had a beautiful appearance.
The goddess of war, Athena. She was famed for being merciless to her enemies, so she always caused fear and respect in players, but she was stroking Yeon-woo’s palm with a sad face.
She looked like she wanted to say something, but she didn’t speak.
And with intense eyes, she turned to Poseidon. A fighting spirit that didn’t fall short of Poseidon’s began to spread around them.
『It won’t go your way, Uncle.』
Poseidon clenched his teeth. Athena was someone who he was uncomfortable around even back at Olympus. She was his niece, but nothing good ever came of clashing with her.
When she had taken over a city, his holy territory in the past, he completely turned his back on her.
However, Athena had gotten in his way again. She knew all too well what kind of existence that payer was, but she was being moved by old affections.
Poseidon’s eyes that had been blazing with fury settled down. It was heavy, like the still water in the deep sea.
『You siblings dare try to play me. What would Zeus say if he saw?』
『Nothing will change by speaking about the father we don’t have.』
『Fine. If this is your response to my action, let’s see who is in the right!』
〈Storm Rain〉. The Authority that symbolized Poseidon activated. The ground shook violently, incomparable to what Benteke had formed before. Storm clouds spewed out lighting, and the sea combined with the winds. The stage growled fiercely like it was going to be flipped over.
Still, Yeon-woo didn’t move away from Poseidon.
『Endure it a bit more. I want to help you myself, but I cannot. However, this will be another trial that will lead you on your way. Like Heracles grew in the past, I believe you will too.』
『Have strength, my child.』
Hermes put his hand on Yeon-woo’s right shoulder. His holy power instantly multiplied, and Bathory’s Vampiric Sword was revitalized.
This was all he could do because it was an incomplete descent unlike Poseidon’s complete one.
However, this was still a great help to Yeon-woo.
Athena stretched her hand out and pulled Yeon-woo’s head closer to her.
The Stigmata of the Goddess was strengthened, and the awakening rate increased.
[Current awakening progress: 46, 47, 48…… 51%…….]
Yeon-woo’s body changed noticeably when the awakening went beyond the halfway point. His sparkling black scales became even clearer and started to shine like jewels. The wings of fire on his back grew larger.
There were still gods and demons that hadn’t arrived.
An ashy smoke wrapped around Yeon-woo. It didn’t take a fixed form, but it exuded the power that Hermes and Athena were letting off. It was the demon who always watched Yeon-woo silently, Hondon.
『I still haven’t received him as an apostle, so I can’t let him be taken from a god stuck in the past. 』
The storm clouds above divided and an angel slowly came down.
He had a long scythe. There were three pairs of wings on his back, but they looked more cruel than holy.
Azrael. The seraph who led deceased souls using his scythe revealed himself and blessed Yeon-woo.
After Azrael, more Blessings came. The gazes around Yeon-woo became clearer and more intense.
[All gods having ‘Death’ are one with you.]
[All demons having ‘Death’ are one with you.]
There was no way Poseidon could stand against all those gods and demons despite his complete descent.
『You damned beings!』
Poseidon’s influence, which had been about to fill the stage, was bound up instantly, and he shouted at the pain of his holy power being restrained. The more he resisted, the tighter he was bound.
Bathory’s Vampiric Sword growled louder.
[Current awakening progress: 69, 70…… 84%……]
Just when Poseidon’s spirit body was about to be stolen completely, a new demon arrived and announced his participation.
[A message has arrived from Agares.]
[Message: What about me?! Why aren’t you calling for me?!]
[A message has arrived from Agares.]
[Message: Me too! Call for me!]
[TN: The term “channeling” will be capitalized to show that it’s being used irregularly. We chose to continue with Channeling instead of changing it to channel since the author seems to have created a new term for this novel.]
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