Team: HH, Yahiko, thursdays (1/10)
What are gods and demons?
Why are they tied to the 98th floor when they’ve surpassed mortal limits?
Countless people asked that question and tried to find that answer, but never could.
However, one thing was for certain. There were more gods and demons than those who sent messages to the lower world from the 98th floor.
Sometimes, gods from other worlds came knocking at our door.
There was nothing revealed about the secret of gods and demons on the 98th floor.
All that was known was that Allforone, who was cutting off the heavenly world and the lower world on the 77th floor, knew something.
Because of the situation, there was nothing about outer gods from other worlds, either.
‘No. There is something.’
Yeon-woo felt his connection with Boo clear up.
The great mage who created the Philosopher’s Stone with the Emerald Tablet based on what information the outer god, Mephistopheles, gave him.
That meant he was a player who contacted an outer god for the first time.
But though Boo knew who he was now, he hadn’t recovered all of his memories.
He didn’t know how he made a deal with an outer god. All Yeon-woo could hope for was that he’d remember something soon because his memories were returning at a quick pace.
But an outer god had approached him?
‘There was definitely something about it in the messages. It was faint, but it felt familiar.’
Then had an outer god approached him through Boo? Why?
Anastasia was looking at Yeon-woo with squinted eyes. Fox Fire floated threateningly around her.
Yeon-woo didn’t have any choice but to tell the truth.
“I don’t know.”
* * *
News of Yeon-woo waking up quickly spread among his companions.
“Hey! You woke up?”
“Are you feeling better?”
Kahn and Victoria burst through the door in the middle of the night. Creutz quietly followed behind them.
“Thanks. Really. And sorry.”
Kahn kneeled and apologized. Victoria, surprised, tried to lift him up, but Kahn shook his head and stayed down.
“If it wasn’t for you, we’d…..”
“What about Doyle?”
“Huh? Doyle just woke up. He can recognize us.”
“Then that’s good. Get up.”
“Or you can stay like that. Victoria, did the Ice King leave?”
Yeon-woo spoke in a taciturn manner and turned to Victoria. Kahn, who had been trying to apologize and thank Yeon-woo for everything, was left awkwardly on the ground.
Victoria was slightly taken aback and replied with a smile when she realized what Yeon-woo was trying to do.
“Yeah. He left first. He said he doesn’t have anything left to do here. He said to tell you to take care of your body when you woke up.”
Yeon-woo nodded. It was understandable since he forced the Ice King to come along.
However, he was still grateful that the Ice King had done his best until the end. He almost wanted to invite him into the clan he would soon make.
‘We’ll meet again if fate allows.’
The Tower was a vast world, but it was also small.
Kahn stood up awkwardly when the subject of their conversation didn’t return to him.
His face was red from embarrassment.
“I happened to hear about your situation.”
“I want to help you this time. Is there anything I can do?”
Kahn looked at Yeon-woo with a solemn face.
Yeon-woo looked at Nike, who was atop Kahn’s shoulders. Nike twitched and turned his head away, whistling awkwardly. Sweat beaded on his feathers.
It was obvious where the information was leaked from.
Yeon-woo nodded at Kahn.
“You don’t have to say that. I was planning on making the best of you even if you didn’t want to anyway.”
Kahn had a speechless face. From what he knew, friends usually confirmed their friendship by patting each others’ backs, bonding together, and drinking some wine together. But….. he felt like something was off as he continued to speak with Yeon-woo.
It occurred to him that Yeon-woo might’ve been doing it on purpose.
He was acting like that in case he became embarrassed.
Kahn approached Yeon-woo with a grin.
“…..Stay away from me.”
“Don’t be shy.”
“That’s not it.”
“The great Hoarder has his moments, too? Kek.”
“That’s not it!”
“You can tell this Hyung of yours. Your face is red right now, huh? Take that mask off.”
Yeon-woo stepped back as Kahn approached him with a mischievous smile. The room became noisy as Kahn began to chase after Yeon-woo.
Victoria shook her head as she looked on.
Boys would be boys.
A faint smile spread across her face.
It was the peaceful scene she wanted to see.
* * *
The tussle between Yeon-woo and Kahn ended with Yeon-woo’s victory.
“…..Son of a b****. You actually used your fists?”
Kahn muttered as he rubbed his black eye with an egg. He tried to block it, but he didn’t have the ability to avoid the fist of someone who had reached the high ranker level.
Yeon-woo fixed his crooked mask. This mask was his trademark.
Kahn wondered how Yeon-woo’s face would look inside of the mask. Was the reason why Yeon-woo wore a mask because he had a facial deformation, like he said, or was there something else behind it? It might’ve been related to him finding his little brother.
Actually, while Yeon-woo was being treated for his fever, Kahn was the one who stopped Anastasia and Victoria from taking his mask off.
It was because he believed there was a reason why Yeon-woo didn’t take his mask off.
Yeon-woo heard what happened from Nike and felt grateful.
Although he seemed careless on the outside, Kahn was a thoughtful guy. He was a good person to keep close.
‘But the inferiority complex he had towards Phante and Edora concerns me a bit….. I wonder if it’s disappeared with time?’
Kahn and Doyle had been most wary of Phante and Edora in the Tutorial. Yeon-woo became curious about what would happen if they were all gathered in one place.
‘Kahn’s stronger now, too.’
The 72 Bian that Kahn used were too advanced for even Yeon-woo to follow.
After he swallowed the Monkey King’s shedding, his understanding of the shedding deepened, but it was specialized for battle. There were various types of Bian, so the path he took was different from Kahn’s.
Kahn replied in an irked voice. He was still rubbing his eye.
“You heard about where I’m going, right?”
“I don’t know when I’ll return after I go. It’s dangerous too. It’s a battle where you have to fight with divine beings. It’s different from the Tower.”
Kahn realized that Yeon-woo was speaking in a serious tone and put down the egg, narrowing his eyes.
“What are you trying to say?”
“How are you going to nurse Doyle? Don’t you have to be here to block the Bian of the Devil Army?”
Even though Doyle had regained consciousness, he had been weakened from demonic energy from being the head bishop’s vessel for a long time. Kahn’s Bian were needed to keep it at bay.
“Oh, Victoria said she would help with…..”
Just then, the door burst open.
Yeon-woo turned his gaze to the door and widened his eyes.
Doyle was standing there. He looked a bit tired, but he had clear eyes.
“Please allow me to participate, Hyung.”
“You woke up.”
“Yes, all thanks to you. Thank you so much.”
“Tell that to Kahn.”
“Hyung just did something that was expected. Shouldn’t he be scolded instead for being a nuisance to the people around him?”
Doyle was the same as ever, just like Kahn. Yeon-woo laughed.
“Anyways, like I said…..”
“Please take me to Tartarus.”
“Hey! Where are you trying to go with that body of yours…..”
Kahn shot up to persuade Doyle, but…..
He backed up without being able to get too far. Black demonic energy rose like sparks around Doyle.
Not only that, but Doyle opened his right palm. The sparking demonic energy fanned around it and was sucked in, taking a small form. It was a dexterous show of demonic energy.
Kahn looked at Doyle with surprised eyes. Yeon-woo realized what happened when he saw the form with his Draconic Eyes and clicked his tongue.
“Remains of the head bishop.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
There was demonic energy left throughout Doyle’s body. The demonic energy that stacked up while the head bishop was in his body remained even after he left.
“And I have quite a bit of the head bishop’s knowledge.”
To be exact, it was probably the vestige of the head bishop. It seemed that his thinking and knowledge were left in pieces.
It was an irony of fate, but to Doyle, it could be a way to turn misfortune into a stroke of luck.
The head bishop’s mind would help him grow in the future. Moreover, he had the pure demonic energy the head bishop had stacked up. He had enough strength.
“Actually, this was all possible because of Lady Persephone.”
It was a completely unexpected response.
“She tied me to the living world and kept me from being swept away into the Beyond. She said that I’d wake up soon, so I should relax…..”
He had been wondering how Doyle was able to live for so long and avoid the head bishop’s senses. It was possible if he had Persephone’s help.
“It should’ve been difficult for a god to interfere directly like that since you’re not an apostle.”
“Um…… it’s actually been some time since I became Lady Persephone’s apostle.”
Kahn and Victoria’s eyes widened. It was something Yeon-woo hadn’t expected either. Didn’t Persephone already have an apostle? Bodi of Green Yin.
“I don’t know too well about that either. Just that he became a heroic spirit according to Lady Persephone.”
Thoughts spun in Yeon-woo’s head. Persephone had gotten rid of the apostle she had and appointed Doyle into the position. Considering how hard the task was, it was a sign that she would actively be involved in their business.
Was that an indication of how quickly she wanted to reunite with her husband and end the rebellion in Tartarus?
Yeon-woo remembered the bitter smile that Hades had when he delivered Persephone’s letter to him.
The first emotion he showed from the cold and exhausted face.
Yeon-woo shook his head. He couldn’t make rash judgements. What went on with the gods would only be a nuisance to him.
Things were too complicated.
‘So was I played by the gods and demons?’
He closed his eyes. From Athena to Persephone, all the gods and demons had known how this would end.
Athena looked at him sadly during the entire incident, and Persephone had stepped up herself to take Doyle as her apostle. It would’ve been dangerous if the head bishop’s ceremony was successful, but her gamble had paid off. An apostle who used the power of the Heavenly Demon. It was an accomplishment that no god had been capable of.
Yeon-woo felt like he was a piece on a chessboard that the gods and demons were playing on.
He had felt this before, but the lower world was only like a stage for the heavenly world to play with.
[Athena shakes her head saying that’s not the case.]
[Persephone is silent.]
“And Lady Persephone told me to deliver a message to you.”
“‘As soon as possible’ is what she said.”
She wanted him to hurry.
“If you give me a few days, I’ll recover. And organize my thoughts. More than anything, the power of Lady Persephone will be a great help in Tartarus. Won’t I be a help to you with this much?”
Yeon-woo couldn’t help but nod.
Like that, the party for a new journey was created.
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