Chapter 574 - Qualification Test (15)

  Athena and the others stiffened. The rebellion was over? Already? The fact that the battle ended with the Gigantes victory meant they had been expecting this.

  Even though the Titans had the element of surprise on their side, it wasn’t easy to defeat the Gigantes, who had Mother Earth. They had probably prepared countermeasures for her, whether it meant waking Kronos or using other skilled beings like him.

  The battle between the Titans and Gigantes was bound to be long and rough, so Athena and the others had planned on using that time on things like learning how to take holy power from Kronos’ corpse or searching for the path to Erebus.

  Things were different if the rebellion was already over. Athena and the others would have thought that Persephone was bluffing if she had arrived alone, but since she had Theia’s head, they had no choice but to believe her.

  However, unlike the others, Athena smirked. “You’re lying.”

  Everyone looked at her. Persephone asked with a dazzling smile, “What do you mean?”

  “The rebellion is over? That’s a lie.”


  “I don’t know how you did it, but you captured Theia through sheer luck. You haven’t caught the other Titans yet. In fact, they’re probably stronger than you expected, and now that strange phenomena are occurring around Kronos, you’re starting to feel anxious.”

  Persephone was still smiling at Athena so it was impossible to know what she was thinking. However, Athena knew that Persephone made this face whenever she was caught and wanted to hide the truth.

  “Your original plan was to look for us after crushing the rebellion, but you’ve had to rush in advance, right?”

  “What if I came here first and left the others to clean up?”

  “You?” Athena scoffed. “You always put your safety first. You never move until all the pieces are arranged the way you like. You just slowly move your pawns from behind. You never put yourself forward, just like you took over Tartarus using Mother Earth’s strength. That’s how you brought down Olympus as well. You’ve been like this for a long time.” Athena added, “Your habit of moving until victory is guaranteed hasn’t changed.”

  “You’re contradicting yourself. If I always put safety first, there’s no reason why I’d come here alone…!”

  “Mother Earth must have forced you since she’s been obsessed with Kronos forever.”

  Persephone was silent.

  “Dogs have to listen to commands, don’t they?” Athena’s words were sharp as knives. Tension sparked between the two goddesses.

  There was an old saying that men should never get in between a catfight between women. Agares and Fenrir realized that this wasn’t the time to do anything, so they tightly closed their mouths. Prince Nezha and Erlang Shen also stepped back with awkward laughter. Hercules and Ares watched wordlessly, then glanced at each other. They quickly exchanged messages.

  『Has Athena always been so…harsh? She’s pretty much clutching Persephone by the hair.』

  『There’s nothing more foolish than trying to defeat Athena in a fight of words. She’s a genius at infuriating people and hurting them with what she says.』 Ares snorted. 『And that’s not all. She’s ridiculously strong. If she loses an argument, she’ll beat you up after getting on your nerves. Ugh!』 Ares shivered, as if he didn’t even want to think about it.

  Hercules grinned. 『You’re speaking from experience?』

  『I’m not the only one.』

  『Well, I guess Uncle Poseidon is also a victim.』

  『It’s probably easier to count those in Olympus who haven’t suffered at her hands. Hermes is amazing. Beats me how he’s managed to get along with her for so long.』

  Back in Olympus, Athena and Ares were the ones who clashed the most often, and it was natural that Ares would know his sister best. Eloquence, wisdom, martial arts skills—she had them all.  Because she was intelligent, good at arguing, and strong, there was no way to win against her.

  In fact, Ares always picked a fight with her partly because of his inferiority complex around her. Athena would ignore his frustration, only to beat him up whenever he exploded. But now, it was Persephone who was in Athena’s grip.

  Athena was already mad at Persephone because of all the suffering she’d caused. Now, with Persephone’s provocations, Athena had exploded. She was already feeling anxious over Yeon-woo, and although she usually tried to keep her temper under control, Athena didn’t have the patience to do so now.

  The smile on Persephone’s face completely vanished. “I’m an idiot for trying to argue with you. I forgot what you were like for a moment.” Persephone gave up speaking in a polite manner and smiled coldly. “You’re right. I caught Theia, but her daughters are still free, so it’s not over. All the Hectonchires have escaped, too. Ugh! To be honest, this is all just annoying.”

  Chhhh. A mighty aura began to spin around Persephone. The ground around her feet turned black with a dark shadow, and hundreds of eyes opened within it. “But if you’re smart, you must realize that if I’m here on my own…”Persephone lifted a corner of her mouth. “It means that I can take care of all of you. Isn’t that so?” Her words were like a lit match to fuel.

  Crash, crash. A gigantic, formless blob suddenly rose from Persephone’s shadow and instantly lashed out at Athena and the others with hundreds of thorns.  

  Boom! Boom!Ares quickly brandished his sword. The shadow thorns soared past him. Hercules swung his fists and broke the thorns with his strength alone, while Prince Nezha and Erlang Shen released their powers to sever the thorns.

  However, someone grew especially furious. 『You dare!』 Agares was enraged that Persephone had said she could defeat them on her own, even him, the Grand Duke of the demons. His pride was already hurt from being just another member of a group helping Yeon-woo, and he couldn’t contain his anger now that he was being treated like a nobody.

  With a roar, Agares jumped down from Fenrir and returned to his true body. Dozens of wings stretched out to the sky, and a storm of demonic energy swirled around him. Agares not only used the demonic energy to cut down the thorns, but he combined them into one giant thorn and sent it crashing down on Persephone’s head.

  Boom, boom! Mother Earth’s energy whipped around Persephone and created a protective barrier. The demonic energy broke through seven layers of the barrier, but it eventually scattered before it could fully pierce through it.

  In the meantime, Fenrir also manifested into his true body and bared his sharp teeth. Boom! While Agares held Persephone’s attention, Fenrir attacked her from behind. It was a strategy the two demons had decided on with a single shared look.

  By the time Persephone sensed Fenrir, it was too late. Crash! With the sound of cracking glass, Fenrir broke through the barrier and his fangs tore Persephone’s left arm mercilessly. Although it was clearly painful, Persephone didn’t seem shaken as she turned to Fenrir. “Hup!”

  Then, white eyes opened on the falling pieces of the barrier, and the pieces splashed into each other like water, causing a massive tornado.

  Swish! It was a tornado with hundreds of razor-sharp blades. Fenrir had no choice but to face the tornado directly. By the time it swept by, he was riddled with bloody injuries, as if he’d been hacked repeatedly with knives.

  Grr, rrr…! Fenrir panted for breath. He’d lost too much blood and demonic energy. Swish! Thwack! Before anyone could move, Fenrir was impaled on new shadow thorns. It was an unbelievable, one-sided victory for Persephone.

  『Dog!』  Agares called out in disbelief as he ran towards Fenrir, but he was stopped in his tracks.

  Chhhhh. The powerless Fenrir scattered into pieces that were sucked into Persephone’s shadow. It was a technique only those who had pieces of the Ruyi Bang could use. Persephone was using a skill that the Heavenly Demon and his many faces had developed to infuriate countless gods and demons: god sealing.

  * * *

  Crash! Yeon-woo released magic power to push away the Demonism’s mouth and used the Eight Extremes of Sword Thunder to bring bolts down onto the creature’s head.

  Boom! Boom! Boom! Kraaaa! Although he couldn’t muster up as much force as when they were combined, Yeon-woo had already collected a significant amount of magic power inside the Philosopher’s Stone. Especially considering the fact that he had recently swallowed the Crawling Chaos and Typhon, it was no exaggeration to say Yeon-woo was unparalleled in the heavenly world when it came to magic power.

  Fortunately, the Eight Extremes of Sword Thunder was a skill that depended on the amount of magic power you possessed, and the Fifth Extreme, which was thirty-two times stronger than the original Sword Thunder, was a violent weapon. Boom!

  『Ack! You bastard! I will eat you no matter what…!』 The Demonism was forced to withdraw his head from the attacks of the Sword Thunder’s Fifth Extreme. After realizing that his large size was only getting in the way, he quickly shrank down into the size of a human. At the same time, wings extended from his back as he dashed towards Yeon-woo. Soon, he was holding the same exact sword Yeon-woo possessed.

  Sky Wings and Vigrid. Yeon-woo clashed against the two things that represented him the most.


  “You damned fake…!”

  『You’re the one who taught me the most important thing is victory.』The darkness of the Demonism’s face pulled back to show Yeon-woo’s face. The Demonism was familiar with Yeon-woo’s attack style after combining with him. He could even copy Yeon-woo’s way of thinking, and he used the egos of the divine beings to make up for what he lacked.

  The Demonism was trying to become Yeon-woo and the real successor of the Black King that had swallowed Yeon-woo and Kronos.

  Krrrrr. Yeon-woo pushed the Demonism back with the vibrating Vigrid. Sword Thunder sparked around them and ripped the world of Kronos’ conscious mind into shreds.

  [Time Difference]

  Yeon-woo tried to search for a way to defeat the Demonism in his slowed world. The quest told him to eliminate the impurity, which meant he needed to end the Demonism. ‘But as long as the Demonism is invading Father’s conscious mind, there’s no way I can defeat him completely. I’ll be at a disadvantage if this fight goes on much longer.’

  The fact that the Demonism was coming for him meant he was confident. He was stronger than anything Yeon-woo had fought before, and he’d digested all the legends to grow even stronger. However, the fact that he knew Yeon-woo’s weaknesses and could predict his moves was more worrisome.  

  Swoosh! Even though Yeon-woo had slowed time down, the Demonism moved.

  『Did you think these tricks would work on me?』 The Demonism used Time Difference to match Yeon-woo’s speed and attacked him, not giving him a chance of coming up with a way to fight back.

  Rumble! As the two clashed intensely, the world of Kronos’ conscious mind shook turbulently.

  ‘What’s something he can’t imitate?’ Yeon-woo was quickly running through ideas while deflecting the Demonism’s attacks. He quickly focused his eyes on the Demonism and made a few comparisons. It didn’t take too long for him to come up with an answer: ‘The Cast of the Black King.’

  Clatter. Black chains unraveled rapidly past the Demonism’s lower body. However, the Demonism just scoffed and flew into the air as if he had been expecting them. However, Yeon-woo had guessed he would do this. Unless the Demonism was a fool, he would have prepared countermeasures against the Black King’s Cast, since he had been trapped for so long in the Black King. He probably knew more about the Cast than Yeon-woo did. However, there was something he didn’t know.

  Even if he did know, he would have never expected Yeon-woo to try it.  

  “Release the true name.”

  Tremble! Vigrid fastened onto the end of the chain with a flash of white light. Click! The Demonism smirked from above. Yeon-woo wasn’t doing anything new.

  『Ha! All you can think of is using Vigrid? Keekeekeek! How foolish…!』

  “It’s not foolish. It’ll be quite fun. You’ll see something familiar.” If Yeon-woo pulled out the weapons of heroes like Durendal or Harpe, the Demonism might be able to withstand them since there were limits to heroes who didn’t become gods.

  However, Yeon-woo wasn’t trying to release their folklore. He was trying to release legends of a being who had once been called the king of gods.

  [The hidden name of ‘Vigrid-???,’ Kronos, is released.]

  [Folklore: Descent of the king of gods]

  Whoosh. An extraordinary aura began to whirl in the world of the conscious mind.

  [‘Summon of the Dead’ has been activated.]

  [Who will you summon?]

  “Kronos.” With that quiet command, the domain of death, a small spring that had been sleeping inside Vigrid, began to spin again for the first time in thousands of years.