Chapter 323. Ark-Roa (2)
Hermes looked back to where his territory had been as he wiped off his cold sweat.
If Demeter had noticed it before he did, then he would’ve become its food instead.
Since Demeter would’ve made the same choice he did.
‘Don’t hate me that much…’
Hermes sighed as he pondered.
As to what he would do.
But he didn’t need to think about it that long.
‘Why am I even thinking about all this? I just need to go up.’
This was good actually.
That crazy thing would be running around while hunting for beings like himself.
Rummaging through this entire world.
Once it devoured all the transcendents in this world, it would then turn to the normal adventurers.
‘This is going to become a land of the dead.’
Hermes decided to head towards the elevator right away.
Though it was a shame to throw away his painstakingly created territory, it was better than being killed.
He could always make a new land after going up anyway.
Hermes frowned as he felt something flying towards him.
‘… This Flier is for emergency contact only… Did the others notice it as well?’
Then it would become troublesome.
Since he would only be able to escape to the elevator if the others acted as bait for him.
If everyone headed towards the elevator, then it was obvious where that monster would go to.
After reading the message, Hermes sighed in relief.
It seems they hadn’t found out yet.
But the message was still shocking.
‘… Zeus? You’re asking for help?’
Hermes was actually surprised.
This guy would never ask for help even if he was tortured.
But Hermes shook his head.
‘Why should I?’
Of course they were on friendly terms.
But there was no reason for him to when he was about to go up.
That monster he’d encountered was too terrifying for him to stay any longer than necessary.
‘Fucking dumbass. Captured? What the hell happened to you? Just deal with it yourself.’
Nobody would respond to Zeus anyway.
Hermes chuckled after deeming none of his comrades to be useful, and he charged towards the elevator using his <God of the Skies>.
Hansoo checked the status of his body after moving about a hundred kilometers away from the War Fortress and into the tundra.
There were no signs of life nearby.
Well, there were non-humans.
A Dakrama charged towards the cave where Hansoo was standing.
But after sensing Hansoo’s horrifying aura, it immediately made a U-turn and ran away.
The dark red smoke slowly drifted out of his body.
And Hansoo chuckled at the sight.
It had made a wise decision.
There was a reason why he’d headed so far away from the War Fortress.
If he failed here, then everything in the nearby vicinity would be annihilated.
If he failed, then his body would become a humongous living weapon.
The Pandemic Blade’s soul spoke to Hansoo.
— You know you can die, right?
He was different from the other transcendents.
He had to plant the Skills of Annihilation in his body one-by-one.
Right from the beginning, that had been the aspect of his trait, the <Seven Stars>.
A trait which allowed one to absorb the experience and knowledge of the creator of the skill, and even allow oneself to take it a step further.
It only looked like a normal evolution on the surface.
Though it was impossible to rise up a step by devouring some random skill, but devouring a skill of annihilation would allow him to evolve a skill to the next level.
Like how he had crossed a wall when he evolved his Demonic Dragon’s Reinforcement two years ago.
The next skill to be evolved was already set.
Usually, this skill would evolve faster the more it was used to kill.
Like how the owner of the Pandemic Blade had done in the past.
The creator of this skill had melted an entire world, and from that incident, had trained the skill to its limits.
And it was the obvious path to take.
Though it would take longer, it was safer and more fun to do so.
But there was a way to shorten the time as well.
Like how the owner of the Nine Dragons Spear had done in the past.
— You really are insane. You know that this is how the owner of the nine dragons spear got killed, right? Why are you in such a rush… You can just let the others die and climb up slowly.
But Hansoo chuckled.
“Only those who need to die should die. Where’s the meaning in a world if everyone dies?”
The Pandemic Blade’s soul mumbled.
— … Whatever. You’re the one dying, not me. At least you stopped playing around like a clown.
The spores of the Pandemic Blade started to overflow inside Hansoo’s body.
The dark red aura that had been devouring his insides.
The quickest and most efficient way to raise the mastery level of Pandemic Blade.
[Forcefully make the number of spores go on a rampage and make your body get used to it.]
Gather the spores that are used to melt enemies and use them to melt your own body.
Turn your own body into a container for the Pandemic Blade.
This was the fastest and most efficient method indeed.
If one discarded the dangers.
The owner of the seed sighed.
This guy had been doing this ever since his egg form.
Though the Demonic Dragon’s Reinforcement had risen to another level, the Pandemic Blade continued to reproduce to melt his nerves and intestines.
Because of this, his muscles, bones, and tendons that had been enhanced by the Demonic Dragon’s Reinforcement could not stand the pressure, and prevented them from working properly.
He had to use a part of his mana to forcefully protect those parts of his body.
He couldn’t even use the Pandemic Blade as a weapon.
Since the spores were focused on burning up his body.
He’d even got injured by things that he could crush with a finger, like that Dark King or Zeus.
Someone who had fully mastered a skill and someone who’d merely bulked up using crystals; the difference was like that of the heavens and earth, even within the 1st-star transcendents.
Though both were made of iron, a baton and a sharp sword were vastly different.
‘Though the mastery level of the Pandemic Blade did go up fast…’
He had done so up til now since there had been no real dangers, but now everything had changed.
Hansoo had poured most of his mana into the Pandemic Blade instead of the Demonic Dragon’s Reinforcement.
Hansoo’s mana jade released a torrential amount of mana.
Not to protect his body but to increase the number of spores.
The dark red aura started to run rampant inside his body.
The spores continued to reproduce, greedily devouring Hansoo’s mana, melting his body down and seeping out from inside him.
Dark red smoke seeped out from his seven orifices, and his skin was soon covered by a red, toxic substance.
His entire body melted down as smoke rose up.
And caused the Demonic Dragon’s Reinforcement and Immortal Soul to retaliate furiously.
A battle of time.
Whether his body could withstand this and allow him to rise up to another level.
Or melt down under the pressure.
‘Ugh, why is he willing to go through all this…? He just needs to melt down about half the people in this world.’
Who cares if the others died? Hansoo just needed to ignore that Ark-Roa, climb up and slowly train.
And it would be even faster if he used the Pandemic Blade to train against those who would be dying anyway.
Why was the future ‘Demon King’ acting like this?
He was the owner of the being who had melted down an entire world to rise up as a transcendent, and he didn’t understand this situation.
‘Well… Some already view this guy as a Demon King now.’
The soul then thought of Zeus, who should be running towards a specific location.
— Can you really just stick around here? What if all of them escape and go up?
The soul had heard Hansoo ordering Zeus to tell the others to gather if they didn’t want to die.
But couldn’t they just go up?
Hansoo, who was now fully covered in a dark-red shade, spoke with difficulty:
“It… doesn’t… matter. Somebody… else will… act instead…”
— … Who? Karhal? Ekidu? Those guys?
Hansoo shook his head.
‘Good. Good. I’m almost there.’
Hermes, who had been ripping through space like a bolt of lightning, smiled as he neared the giant elevator.
That Zeus guy was pretty useless, but he did give him an important piece of information.
That the War Fortress was rebuilt and the adventurers were slowly gathering more Abyssal Crystals.
Which meant that he could just pick up the crystals on the way.
‘If there’s some pretty girls… seven will do.’
He would need at least that much if he was going up to a new world.
But as Hermes continued to fly with a smirk on his face, he suddenly stopped after seeing a familiar back.
‘… What the…? Did he notice it as well?’
The most silent one of them all.
Though he had no skills related to the underworld, he was called Hades because he acted like a grim reaper would.
And Hades was now standing on a hill, staring at the Elevator.
All while hiding his aura.
‘… I don’t feel good about this.’
It was always best to follow suit if he had no information about what was going on.
Hermes also hid his aura as he asked Hades.
“… What? Hades? Why are you standing here?”
Hades nodded in greeting and only pointed towards the elevator.
Towards a location near the giant elevator to be specific.
And Hermes’s expression turned stiff as he looked.
The one who’d made them.
The being who stood in the deepest corners of their hearts like a heavy stone.
That being had been slowly fading away from their memories because he had left without asking them for anything.
But for him to appear at this time.
And his objective seemed to be very clear.
And the person who was being crushed under his feet.
Hermes clenched his fists as he looked at this scene.
The Dark King, who couldn’t win over his fear of death and had tried to go up, had been caught and was now crying out loud.
And the man who had cut off the legs of the Dark King chuckled as he looked around at the elevator.
He didn’t ask anything of them.
Since no owner would ask the pigs they raised for anything.
But it would be annoying if they went up.
Because then the thing he had released would have less food.
‘Let’s see… One or two should have been eaten already. Kang Hansoo, where are you now?’
No one could go up.
The man who had released the Ark-Roa and had made the transcendents then laughed coldly next to the elevator.