Chapter 458 - Great War (8)
“Captain, because of you my sister…!”
“Jang Wei, don’t call me that. You don’t deserve to mourn Seina.”
“It’s because of you that Seina ended up like that. Are you saying it’s not?”
The rain had been pouring heavily that day. It was Christmas in 2017, a day when everyone should have been happy, but Yeon-woo was going through the worst nightmare. A greater h.e.l.l had faced him when he arrived at the base after he thought he’d finally left the jaws of danger.
Jang Wei—it was a name Yeon-woo couldn’t forget. He pitied the man but also despised him. He was the little brother of the woman he loved and a comrade. He was also the one who had tossed him in the middle of a battlefield under the pretext of carrying out orders. The betrayal he’d felt back then was too painful, and when Yeon-woo returned, he immediately pointed a gun at Jang Wei. All he had to do was pull the trigger, but many thoughts swarmed in his mind, leaving him with nothing but darkness.
In the end, he put the gun down, but everything began to go wrong from that point because his resentment was still there. He wanted to revenge himself and make them go through h.e.l.l like he had—no, he’d make them go through an even worse nightmare.
It went without saying that Yeon-woo was as persistent in his revenge in the past as he was now. It was the beginning of a catastrophe, and none of the people involved could live the same way again if they hadn’t died violently.
‘But… he’s alive? In the Tower?’ He was sure Jang Wei had died since he’d left him in a remote desert, the same way he’d been abandoned. Jang Wei had no choice but to wander without any food or water and be swept away by the wind.
He’d tossed the cartridge to the pleading Jang Wei so neither of them would forget the Christmas of 2017. But it had unexpectedly shown up again in Phante’s hand. ‘Jang Wei’s the Bow G.o.d?’
Phante said he was one of the Cheonghwado’s Martial G.o.ds, the prey that the One-horned tribe had been chasing in order to avenge their fallen tribe member.
The Bow G.o.d had suddenly disappeared without a trace, making it impossible to track him, and Phante said he was surprised to see him in the Elohim’s Outer s.p.a.ce. He was still hiding his ident.i.ty, but Phante could not forget his aura, so they immediately clashed. After many rounds of attacks, Phante lost his right arm, and Jang Wei lost his left eye.
However, although Phante ended up being trapped in the emptiness, he said Jang Wei most likely escaped. It was a shame he couldn’t catch the fast b.a.s.t.a.r.d.
“It looks like he has a strong grudge against you. He’ll probably continue to linger around you and become more secretive and persistent. You should be careful when you’re sleeping…aack!” Phante was giggling and enjoying the situation despite being injured when Yeon-woo smacked the back of his head and stood up. He was about to toss the cartridge necklace to the ground, but he changed his mind and stuffed it into his coat instead. It was a bother that Jang Wei was the Bow G.o.d, but things had been dangerous the moment he entered the Tower. Even if one more danger was added, nothing would change.
“Haa.”He let out a cold breath. It was freezing, just like that day.
* * *
Kahn and Doyle returned a few days later. Yeon-woo, who was already at the One-horned tribe’s village, looked them over. They were covered in dust from head to toe. He sighed. “All you guys getting beat up…”
Phante had been heavily injured, and these two didn’t seem to be in the best condition. The supposedly elite members he had chosen were in pathetic states; he wasn’t exactly in a happy condition himself. However, his sigh was partly of relief, too. Fortunately, the two only looked tired, and they didn’t seem to be too badly injured.
“Are you talking ‘bout me?” Phante sulked as he lay in his sickbed. His right arm was bandaged with a splint. Yeon-woo and Brahm had put a lot of effort into regenerating Phante’s right arm.
“If you only had your severed arm, I would have used surgery and healing magic to heal it, but since your arm is completely gone and you’re infected with emptiness, it won’t be easy.”
“Then what should he do?”
“We have to make a new one and stick it on.”
“Can you do it?”
“What do you take me for? I made a body for my soul and your Philosopher’s Stone. You think I wouldn’t be able to make an artificial limb?” Brahm patted his body as he explained. “But an artificially made limb can never replace a real one. It won’t be the same.”
“There’s still another way though.”
“Eh? Why do you think that?”
“I can tell from the way you’re speaking. You brought it up since you have some solution.”
“Darn. You’re no fun. Conversations about things like these should be lengthened, but you had to ruin my party.”
“So it’s Bayluk.”
“You completely disregarded the intro and the buildup!”
Yeon-woo quickly understood Brahm’s intent. Bayluk had succeeded in recreating not only the ancient species of the Elohim but also his brother’s homunculus with the Emerald Tablet that the Crawling Chaos had given him. It meant that his knowledge of homunculi exceeded Brahm’s.
Making an arm would be easy for him, and so Yeon-woo immediately activated Purgatory Furnace, one of the powers of the Throne of Death, and began to squeeze Bayluk’s soul. At first, Bayluk had just scoffed, as if nothing Yeon-woo did could get to him, but he broke down not too long after.
“Please! Please! Spare me! Aaack! Aaaack!” The pain of his soul twisting and burning in fire drove him mad. Also, Yeon-woo’s resentment of him was too great, so he had no plans to leave the guy alone. His mission was to make Bayluk regret even his own death.
Bayluk was driven half-mad from the relentless torture and forced to give up the information he remembered and even things he had forgotten a long time ago. Thanks to this, Yeon-woo managed to create a new Emerald Tablet, and he learned that there was no overlap between this one and the one he’d taken from Walpurgisnacht.
From then, Yeon-woo and Brahm racked their heads. After collecting Phante’s DNA and other genetic information, they created a new arm, and they st.i.tched the nerves and veins of the arm and the shoulder together.
They’d been busy with all of this up until the day before, and Phante, who thought he would no longer have a right arm and was thinking of learning a new Mugong, was surprised. Fortunately, everything matched and he was becoming stable. However, Yeon-woo continued to scold him from his bedside, so he was feeling petulant.
Meanwhile, Kahn didn’t know how to feel as he watched Phante. ‘The son of the Cheongram family has a side like this?’ When he first partic.i.p.ated in the Tutorial with Doyle, the two suffered from an inferiority complex from watching Phante and Edora race far ahead.
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Unlike him and Doyle, who had been abandoned by their fathers and started from the bottom, the siblings had grown up drinking elixirs like water, bathed in the great expectations of the most powerful tribe in the Tower. They seemed like species from another world.
The Tower was shocked by this discovery, and no one could move forward with their plans. Yeon-woo felt that this had to be investigated further.
“Still, we managed to learn what they were trying to get from the Elohim.”
Kahn’s eyes flashed. “A treasure map.”
“A treasure map? Why?” Yeon-woo’s eyes widened. There was only one treasure map they could be talking about if the Elohim were involved: the Taijitu.
As the descendants of G.o.ds, the Elohim had many holy artifacts, and one of the top-ranking ones is a treasure map that is the jewel of their collection: the Taijitu. It’s an artifact belonging to the higher G.o.d Taishang Laojun, one of the G.o.dly society Chan Sect’s three leaders who are known as the Three Pure Ones.
Although it’s just a rumor, it’s said to be the main pillar that holds up the Outer s.p.a.ce Peals of the Great.
The Chan Sect was a large society that equaled Olympus, Asgard, and Deva. The great artifact of the leader of such a society, Taishang Laojun, had the folklore of transforming the face of the person who unrolled the painting into the face of the character in the painting. However, there were questions whether it worked like the rumors said, since the Elohim had never used it.
And now, the Devil Army had the artifact? If it was worth breaking their alliance with the Elohim, it had to be important.
Doyle shook his head. “We don’t know. But since it’s an artifact everyone knew that the Elohim cherished…”
“It must be something that the Devil Army believes will get them closer to their goal. All right. I’ll have to look closer into this. Good work.” Yeon-woo patted the two and nodded. However, he’d have to deal with the Taijutsu later. After this war, there weren’t many forces left who could stand against Arthia. It was probably just the Sea of Time, the Daud Brethren, and White Dragon, who were still reorganizing themselves.
The Sea of Time was so powerful that they’d blocked Allforone from descending once, but they didn’t show themselves often, and the Daud Brethren wasn’t large enough to fight Arthia. White Dragon was stuck on the seventy-sixth floor without any intention of leaving.
The Devil Army was in a similar situation. They’d received a fair amount of damage as well, so it would most likely be difficult for them to do anything. Unless the Head Bishop appeared, they wouldn’t be able to defeat Arthia.
With that in mind, Yeon-woo planned on taking a rest and then proceed without clas.h.i.+ng with them at first. He would take charge of the territory the Blood Land, the Elohim, and the Devil Army once possessed to expand Arthia’s influence. Then, he would organize the forces under Arthia to prepare for the next war.
He wasn’t going to raise Arthia simply into a large clan. He was going to sharpen it until it was a sword that could break the Tower. And while he sharpened the sword, he planned on chasing after the clue he’d gained from fighting the Crawling Chaos: Akasha’s Snake. ‘I have to go to the Tutorial.’
However, the Tutorial was a gate intended to test those who hoped to enter the Tower, and only ordinary players could approach it. The higher your rank, the more stringent the limits would be.
To get into the Tutorial, he had to ask permission first. ‘The Bureau.’ He thought of the place that everyone in the Tower despised, whether they were players or natives. His eyes flashed. He already had a back-up plan if they refused.
「Tsk-tsk! You made those Guardians suffer so much already. Looks like they’re all gonna be shredded. Shredded here and shredded there….」 Reading Yeon-woo’s thoughts, Shanon muttered to himself as he shook his head. However, despite his words, he seemed to be holding in laughter.
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