Team: HH, thursdays, Yahiko (☆/12)
Yeon-woo debated whether he should accept Agares’s descent. He still didn’t hide his obsession for his brother, and he might be a bother to the rest of the beings here.
However, Yeon-woo decided that it was fine to summon him. Agares was extremely wary of having Yeon-woo stolen from him, so he would probably try to take care of Poseidon, too.
More than anything, Agares was already weak from being ripped apart by Hermes and Athena.
He was also probably challenged quite a bit in L’Infernal. There was no way to check, but his rank might’ve gone down as well.
So even if he tried to pull a fast one, Yeon-woo didn’t think it was possible for him to go against all these gods and demons.
Still, Agares was one of the greatest demons who ruled over a plot of land so vast that he was called a Duke.
If such a being stepped forward, he would get rid of Poseidon for him.
Yeon-woo opened a part of the Demonic Blessing so Agares could come down. Agares’s gigantic consciousness came through the wide-open Channeling.
Yeon-woo was dazed for a second, but he quickly got himself together again. Even though Agares was injured, he still had a high level.
『Don’t touch my stuff, you crazy old bastard!』
A black dot landed in the world of storms and began to spread like an inkblot, revealing a dark abyss.
From it, Agares appeared with his fangs bared, his tens of pairs of black wings extended from his back.
He didn’t look at the other gods or demons with his red eyes. He only held Poseidon in his gaze.
He didn’t seem to care about Athena or Hermes, who had humiliated him in a previous battle. He didn’t look like the demon who always paid his enemies back for what they did to him.
Poseidon’s face crumpled. He was already struggling from the beings that came now, but a Great Demon who was equal to him in terms of level had come!
『Agares, have you lost it?!』
Agares kicked off from the ground and ran at Poseidon. Unlike how the other gods and demons were supporting Yeon-woo, he was going to attack Poseidon directly.
Poseidon tried to step back in surprise, but Bathory’s Vampiric Sword, which was stuck in him, didn’t allow him to.
Agares gripped Poseidon’s neck instantly.
Poseidon’s vertebrae began to be crushed. Demonic energy dominated over holy power. Poseidon’s mouth opened wide to let out a silent scream. He wanted to push Agares away, but he couldn’t move.
『I’ve already repeated myself multiple times. That’s mine. But you dared to ignore my words?』
Agares growled with manic eyes, like he was going to pull Poseidon’s head from his neck. His fangs flashed.
『I don’t care about what kind of s***show Olympus performs. All of you fighting over family issues is none of my problem! But. But!』
Agares extended his left hand to point at Yeon-woo.
『That’s mine. Mine!』
Agares shouted, drooling lunacy. Poseidon said something for the last time.
Poseidon’s head couldn’t bear Agares’s brute strength, and his head popped off into the air.
The Channeling was forced apart, and the holy power that filled the stage disappeared in the blink of an eye, and the head returned to Benteke.
Bathory’s Vampiric Sword absorbed all of the spiritual body. The Divine Blessings were accepted into his body.
[Current awakening progress: 91%]
The Demonic Divine Dragon Body wasn’t completely finished, but this was enough to change his physique extensively.
Yeon-woo clenched his body as his soul was set up again. Draconic, Demonic, and Divine. The three Blessings circulated inside of him.
Agares let out a crazed laugh after seeing Benteke’s corpse. He whipped his head around with flashing eyes.
『Yeah. I’m crazy. Crazy! Do you guys know how hard I worked to make that mine?』
Befitting a Great Demon who ruled over destruction and lunacy, Agares didn’t hide his enmity. He glanced over all the gods and demons.
『Everyone here, listen well. That’s mine. So don’t even look at it.』
Agares’s glare paused on Hermes and Athena, who weren’t moving away from Yeon-woo, and high in the sky at Azrael, who was looking down at them.
It was a warning not to keep their hands off.
Of course, the receivers of the gaze just scoffed.
Then, Agares looked down into Yeon-woo’s eyes again.
Yeon-woo widened his eyes at the great pressure. He was already receiving a lot of pressure having summoned the gods and demons. If it wasn’t for his Cold-blooded trait, he would’ve crumbled from it already.
『You cannot die until I come back. You’re mine, so know that you can’t fall or lose until I come back. If you die, I’ll follow you to the depths of hell and bring your soul back to swallow it. Understood?』
Yeon-woo narrowed his eyes and spoke in an annoyed voice.
With those words, he forced the Channeling with Agares closed. He took back the Demonic Blessing that he used.
Agares tried to say something, but he scattered without being able to let out a peep.
Then, all the Channelings along the sky closed.
[The Channeling with Thanatos has ended.]
[The Channeling with King of the Seven Hells has ended.]
[The Channeling with Nergal has ended.]
As the presences of the gods and deaths of death became faint, they were left as mere gazes.
Yeon-woo turned around.
The Channeling with the gods and demons he had received Authorities from left later.
[The Channeling with Hondon has ended.]
Like always, Hondon just disappeared silently without saying anything.
『Dang, he’s always so quiet.』
Hermes grinned as he watched Hondon leave and stroked Yeon-woo’s head. Then, he smiled toothily.
『You’ve worked hard.』
Hermes disappeared in the smoke.
[The Channeling with Hermes has ended.]
Yeon-woo turned around to look at Athena again. Actually, he had received her help until now, but it was the first time he saw her himself. The goddess who always looked at him warmly and helped him.
He thought that the Aegis he received in the beginner’s section might’ve been a generous act from Athena.
He had been glad to receive an Epic Item at the time, but thinking about it now, it was a reward that was too extravagant for the lower floors.
Why was she taking care of him this much?
Athena looked different from her fierce image he saw in Olympus’s holy paintings and Poseidon’s temple.
Benevolence. That was the word that came to Yeon-woo’s mind.
『Devote yourself, and devote yourself even more.』
Athena spoke in a grave voice.
『Then you’ll be able to acquire everything you want. We’ll always be behind you.』
“What is the reason why you’re helping me?”
Athena didn’t say anything. There was only a faint smile on her face. It was a smile that looked sad for some reason.
“Is it because of the Black King?”
Athena didn’t reply this time either. But with that, Yeon-woo was able to be sure that the Black King was tied to Olympus somehow.
“Just who is…..”
『That’s all I can say.』
Athena cut off Yeon-woo’s words.
『Devote yourself, and devote yourself again to reach where I am. Then, I’ll tell you everything.』
As soon as she was done speaking, she vanished in the smoke.
[The Channeling with Athena has ended.]
‘Go to where she is?’
Yeon-woo thought of where Athena’s temple was. The 49th floor. It was where most of the temples of the gods of Olympus were. Did she mean that they could speak there?
He couldn’t tell if she was saying that she would tell him the Black King’s identity or the reason why she was protecting him.
A voice from above broke Yeon-woo’s train of thought.
Yeon-woo lifted his head.
Azrael came down to Yeon-woo from the sky with his wings spread wide apart. They extended beyond 2 meters long.
『He is not someone to say things fixedly like that. Olympus? Malak? Ea? Bulls***. They aren’t beings who can talk about his meaning in their disordered state. How could they speak about such a conceptual being in that way?』
Azrael’s eyes were blazing.
The closer his presence approached Yeon-woo, the more the Despair and Grief of the Black King began to tremble.
『Do not misinterpret his meaning. Do not waste your fate by thinking over his meaning. It is something deep that you cannot cross or avoid, nor is it something that a mortal like you can observe.』
Azrael stroked Yeon-woo’s chin. His lips were blood red.
『So accept it. He is Death, and as his messenger, all you have to do is be faithful to him.』
Azrael was saying that everything he had was from the Black King.
『Accept it. Messenger of the Black King. Become my apostle and follow his meaning. That is your fate, and your destiny.』
He was someone who had refused the positions of apostles for countless gods and demons. Even if he was curious about the Black King, he wouldn’t accept it naively.
Considering how much it annoyed him, it might’ve been even worse than Agares.
『That’s a shame…….』
Azrael grinned and disappeared.
[The Channeling with Azrael has ended.]
[All Channelings have ended.]
When all the gods and demons had returned, the stage settled down quietly again.
Yeon-woo’s body toppled over, powerless.
Just then, Shanon and Hanryeong came out from the shadows and carefully held Yeon-woo.
『Sheesh, he’s a tiring master.』
Shanon clicked his tongue. He was surprised watching the events unfold from within the shadow. He felt this every time, but there was probably no one who lived as interestingly as his master.
Hanryeong nodded heavily in agreement.
Yeon-woo’s body continued to change, and he closed his eyes.
* * *
Shanon and Hanryeong moved Yeon-woo somewhere quiet.
Fortunately, there were many locations on the 30th floor’s stage to hide themselves because the floor was wide.
Still, because someone would have followed them, Shanon and Hanryeong were wary of their surroundings. Boo appeared at some point to draw a barrier around the cave Yeon-woo was in.
While waiting for Yeon-woo to heal, the time on the stage paused. The clouds in the sky and the leaves waving in the wind all stopped like a lie. Only a dead silence descended upon them.
Above Yeon-woo’s head, who had been leaning on a wall, an ashy haze wavered and took Azrael’s form.
Azrael twisted his lips and looked down at Yeon-woo.
『A mortal who doesn’t know his worth.』
Unlike what Yeon-woo had confirmed, the Channeling with Azrael wasn’t completely cut off. He had pretended to disappear while hiding a part of his consciousness inside the bracelet.
It was something that Yeon-woo wouldn’t normally have missed, but he didn’t sense it because he was overwhelmed from the descents of all the gods and demons.
『I don’t know why you’re refusing your fate to be his messenger. I cannot understand. You’re too foolish. No, I suppose those are the limits of mortals.』
While he was speaking, all kinds of emotions swept past Azrael’s eyes. Envy, jealousy, joy, annoyance….. they were all emotions towards what he had wanted so desperately but couldn’t have.
『So as his servant, I will lead you down the right path.』
He was planning on forcing Yeon-woo to become his apostle. No matter how jealous he was, he had the duty as his servant to show Yeon-woo what it meant to be his messenger.
The wrathful gazes of the other gods and demons followed him, but he ignored them with a scoff and slowly extended his hand towards Yeon-woo’s head. His three pairs of wings flashed in their ashy color.
At that moment, Yeon-woo’s still head suddenly lifted.
Azrael was surprised. He had definitely paused time on the floor. He had already expected the protests of the Bureau and the aftereffects from the principle of causality. But how was a mortal lifting his head, going against the will of a god?
However, the moment he met Yeon-woo’s eyes, Azrael realized that he was wrong.
What he was looking at now wasn’t Yeon-woo. It was a being who was wearing Yeon-woo’s mask, not Yeon-woo. There was an ashy light in his eyes.
The Demonism had woken up.
“Are you going to interrupt my fun?”
It was a phlegmish voice. It sounded like a beast, no, a monster was growling. The voice was horrendous enough to make Azrael, a higher god, shiver.
『Y, Y, Y, You are……!』
Azrael shrieked, realizing what the monster wearing Yeon-woo’s mask was. He had realized his impertinence. However, it was too late.
The Demonism extended his hand and pushed Azrael. The Blessing that allowed Azrael to be there began to fall apart. It wasn’t just separating the holy power that allowed him to descend, but it was also taking apart his soul on the 98th floor. The angel of death, Azrael, met his sudden death.
Then, Azrael’s Blessings whirled around to be absorbed into the Grief of the Black King around Yeon-woo’s left ankle.
[You have satisfied the conditions.]
[The Grief of the Black King has been unsealed.]
The Demonism snorted, looking at the trembling sabatons.
“Hmph. I guess your end was useful to us.”
With those words, the Demonism fell back asleep, closing his eyes.
Time began to flow again.
Yeon-woo’s surroundings were silent like nothing had happened.
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