Team: HH, Yahiko, thursdays (10/10)
In the night filled with darkness.
“What are you doing here looking pathetic?”
Nocturn and Twice turned their heads from the campfire at the voice that came from behind them.
“You came? We were just warming up the alcohol. Haha! You came right on time.”
Twice smiled and extended his arms out for a hug. He had a bottle of alcohol in one hand.
The Ice King looked at Twice and the bottle and pressed Twice’s forehead away with his finger, avoiding his hug.
“Get your creepy face away from me first. How many times have I said that your voice will actually change if you speak like that?”
“Tsk. You’re talking like an old person.”
Twice pouted. It wasn’t an expression that fit an old man with a serious appearance.
His face and body twisted, transforming his height and size. The wrinkled skin disappeared and showed the smooth skin of a young woman.
She looked to be in her mid-twenties. The look that didn’t match the old man’s face now looked cute on her.
How many people would know that the famous S-rank mercenary known as a cold-blooded murderer was actually this talkative girl?
“You’re no fun.”
“I could say the same thing. Why are you going around with that creepy man’s face that doesn’t even fit you?”
“Mm. Because it’s dangerous for a pretty girl like me to go around alone?”
The Ice King shook his head looking at Twice. Still, the smile didn’t leave his face. Twice, who had a friendly and bright personality, sometimes felt like his granddaughter.
Nocturn bowed when the Ice King sat down.
The Ice King was about to nod when Twice babbled on, sitting right next to him.
“Punish Nocturn for me.”
It was a familiar scene.
The Ice King chuckled.
“Did he leave without you again?”
She said something about how he left without her when the battle began and she ended up having to move with strange men. She said that she suffered while helping them.
After the attack on Walpurgisnacht, Atran’s mercenaries all scattered, but these three moved together.
The three were all individual mercenaries who weren’t affiliated anywhere, and they didn’t have any work, so there wasn’t particularly a need to separate.
And strangely, they got along well.
The Ice King was an elder who knew how to work with others, and Nocturn was the type who quietly did what he needed to do. Twice’s personality was a bit light, but she never hurt anyone.
They were able to get along well without interfering with each others’ business.
Because they liked to travel and eat delicacies, it was even better.
Twice revealing her identity proved that they became close to each other.
The team moved throughout the Tower and eventually came down to the 20th floor because of the Ice King.
Then, the Ice King ended up working with Yeon-woo, and Nocturn split off and went solo because he wanted a challenge.
It was understandable that Twice whined, saying she felt wronged.
The Ice King didn’t say much because he wasn’t exactly innocent, either, and patted her back.
Dissatisfied, she shut her pouting mouth.
The Ice King found himself laughing.
Twice glanced at Nocturn occasionally while she was babbling. However, Nocturn didn’t react. Of course she would become annoyed.
“There’s nothing more annoying than a man who can’t catch on quickly,” the Ice King murmured as he chuckled.
Regardless, Nocturn waited for the two of them to finish speaking and spoke to the Ice King.
“Have you still not found your answer?”
Nocturn shook his head heavily.
“Hm. I see. That’s tough.”
After hearing from his teacher, the Martial King, that he was excommunicated from the village, he always lived with an emptiness in his heart.
That was the reason he looked for things to stimulate him.
Eating delicacies, traveling to famous places, and challenging the strong.
Still, he never felt satisfied.
“Right, you said you were an orphan, hm?”
“Yes. Although, I don’t remember.”
Nocturn had no memory of when he was younger than 10 years old. When he woke up, he found himself in front of the One-horned tribe’s village and became the Martial King’s disciple after sparking his curiosity.
“Then what about looking for your past? If you know where you were born and how you grew up, wouldn’t things be better? Your lost memory might be eating at your head.”
“I thought of that too…..”
“I guess you weren’t able to find it.”
“Since it’s this kind of world.”
“I suppose so.”
The Ice King was also an orphan. There were many people in the Tower with similar pasts.
“Tell us your story instead.”
“My story? Ah, you want me to tell you about your junior?”
He heard that his old teacher had a new disciple. And he had seen him once. At the time, he felt that the guy was different from the Sword God and himself.
The Sword God was chased away because of his greed, and he was thrown away because he didn’t have any direction. And the new disciple? He was burning. He had put himself into a fire and was flaring up himself.
Was he self-destructing or shining? Or was it both?
Whatever it was, Nocturn had a strong impression from his hoobae and looked into news of him even when they were apart.
Becoming the Six New Stars, fighting with Triton, and many others.
And because the Ice King had been with his junior, he was curious about what kind of person he was, how he thought, and how he lived.
His junior had something he didn’t have, so he thought it might help.
“Cain. He’s an amusing child.”
The Ice King grinned thinking of Yeon-woo. It was for a short while, but he was as impressive as his teacher. He almost wanted to continue with him.
Although he wasn’t able to see Yeon-woo wake up, he believed that Yeon-woo would get up soon.
The Ice King laughed, seeing Twice look at him with shining eyes like Nocturn was, and began to tell his tale.
* * *
[Nergal suggests you serve him. He advises that only he can control death properly.]
[Osiris holds out his hand.]
[Ares strongly suggests you become his servant.]
[Aamon gulps while looking at you.]
[Cernunnos is silent.]
[A god from an unknown world wants you.]
Yeon-woo couldn’t find himself in the flood of endless messages.
[A message has arrived from Agares.]
[Message: Don’t fall for anything. You are mine.]
[A message has arrived from Agares.]
[Message: Me, the Duke of the East! You’re fated to become Agares’s subordinate! Answer me!]
Things were whispering in his ear.
To accept them. To become their servant. Some screamed out loud, and some tried to hold him with their hands.
Too many voices rang at once. They all said what they wanted to, and it sounded like a buzzing beehive.
He couldn’t understand a thing.
It was hard to deal with the interference of the gods and demons from the Channelings.
If it wasn’t for his Cold-blooded trait, what was remaining of his mind probably would’ve been destroyed as well. There wasn’t much of it remaining in the first place. It was faint, like a firefly in front of the sun.
The holy fever that was burning up Yeon-woo was the result of it. The injuries that countless gods left in him were eating away at his body. No, they were messing up his mind.
『You said you were the brother of Heaven Wing when you only amounted to this much? And you swallowed me? Ha! How funny. You should just die if you’re going to be like this.』
Just then, there was a voice that pierced through all the buzzing.
It was a familiar voice.
But he couldn’t recall whose it was.
Who was it?
The….. Summer Queen?
『Hey. Get up. Are you gonna be lazy like this? I like playing, but you shouldn’t laze around. You need to keep your promise, hm?』
The next voice was definitely the voice of the Monkey King’s shedding.
They were beings that were gone from the world after he absorbed them. They shouldn’t have been able to speak.
Was it just a hallucination?
[A nameless someone begins to block off the rambling gods’ voices.]
[Most gods argue.]
[A nameless someone snorts.]
[A nameless someone raises their middle finger at the demons that are glaring at them.]
[Many demons threaten them.]
[A nameless someone taunts them, telling them to bring it on.]
[Most Channelings have been forced closed.]
[Currently connected Channelings: 4]
1.Hermes (God, Olympus)
2.Athena (God, Olympus)
3.Agares (Demon, L’Infernal)
4.Hundun (Demon, Jie Sect)
[Vimalacitra has reconnected. (Demon, unaffiliated)]
[Cernunnos has reconnected. (God, unaffiliated)]
[There are currently six connected Channelings.]
Yeon-woo felt like his headache subsided as if someone had splashed cold water on him.
The Blessings of the gods settled down, and his fever began to cool.
His mind became clearer.
‘Who is it?’
He knew that someone had helped him. It seemed there were two of them, based on the messages.
Who was able to forcefully disconnect the Channelings?
He thought of the voices he heard, but that was impossible, so he only became more curious.
‘Are the only additional beings….. Vimalacitra and Cernunnos?’
Vimalacitra was one of the top three demon kings within the Jie Sect. He was the king of kings of Asura.
There were legends that he fought against the most famous lightning god in Deva, Indra.
Recently, he seemed to be very interested in him, and he had appeared again after the Channelings were forcefully closed.
If he was separated from his original society, he would become prey for his enemies. Why had he suddenly left?
The same went for Cernunnos.
He hadn’t shown himself because of his resentment about reviving Rebecca, but had appeared again. With a direct connection at that. Was it related to why Rebecca had grown quiet?
With those thoughts, Yeon-woo began to open his eyes again.
Anastasia was standing in a disorderly attitude with one knee popped out, smoking her pipe.
There were nine will o’ the wisps behind her.
“Shh. Everyone’s sleeping, so don’t talk.”
Yeon-woo was about to greet her when he realized it was night and shut his mouth.
Anastasia narrowed her eyes.
“What are you?”
He wanted to ask what she meant, but Anastasia was first.
“How are you able to be with so many gods and demons? And even with gods from another world who cannot approach ours?”
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