Chapter 606 - Heavenly Demon Disease (6)
Anastasia looked flustered. It was a sharp contrast to the cold or angry reactions she always had. Kronos didn’t know anything about that, and he walked around Anastasia, examining her carefully. 『I’m pretty sure you are.』
Anastasia turned away and avoided Kronos’ gaze. Sweat beaded on her forehead.
『You are, right?』
She didn’t reply.
『There’s no way you aren’t. Hm?』 Kronos tried to look into Anastasia’s eyes, but Anastasia continued to turn her head in the opposite direction. Kronos looked confused about her behavior at first, then he grinned. 『Paw.』 He held his right hand out, and Anastasia’s hand immediately responded. 『So, you are.』
Kronos smirked as he looked at Anastasia’s hand on top of his palm. Anastasia paled, and she turned to look at Kronos stiffly, like a robot that hadn’t been oiled. “Are you really…Lord Kronos?”
『Who else could it be?』
“Impossible…!” Anastasia looked extremely shocked. She had believed Kronos was dead. Then, realizing that someone else was watching her, she carefully asked Kronos another question with a tight face, “Then what about that bas…I mean, that guy?” Anastasia barely stopped herself from saying “bastard”, but her hope that Yeon-woo had nothing to do with this was crushed immediately after.
At that moment, Anastasia saw a dreadful sight behind Kronos; it was Yeon-woo, who was smiling evilly at her.
* * *
[You have entered the Tower’s Outer District.]
“It’s not much, but please make yourself comfortable.” Anastasia led the father and son to her residence in the Outer District.
After Yeon-woo saw the intact roof and streets, he asked, “Looks like things have already been restored, Popo?”
“If you bas…! I mean…you…hadn’t left the place in shambles back then, it would be even more vibrant now.” Anastasia felt anger rising to her head when she thought about what had happened then. Yeon-woo had caused a significant amount of damage the last time he came to the entertainment district to look for her. She was involved with many places here, and she ended up spending a lot of time and money to restore everything.
Moreover, it wasn’t easy to lure back visitors after all the ruckus. In the end, she had gone through a lot of effort to find her disciple, and she even lost her adamantine nova to Yeon-woo. Her anger boiled over when she thought about it because there was nothing she loved than indolence.
And now, Yeon-woo had learned the one name she never wanted anyone to know about. Although she wanted to tell him to shut up, she couldn’t because Kronos was looking at them. Who would have imagined Yeon-woo’s true identity was…that?
On the way, Anastasia had listened to a brief summary of what had happened from Kronos. Kronos and Rhea’s son? It was unbelievable. And on top of that, he had become Olympus’ supreme god…? She did sense that the energy of the heavens and the Tower’s system had changed recently, but she hadn’t known it was due to this.
Even though she had left, she had once been affiliated with Olympus as well. Her surprise was evident. At the same time, she wondered why it had to be Yeon-woo and cursed her misfortune. She didn’t know what to feel. She was glad her old master had returned and Olympus had returned to normal, but she also felt like she would be led around the nose now.
“I apologize for what happened back then.”
Anastasia paused as she served Kronos tea and refreshments. She frowned at Yeon-woo’s sudden apology. Her distrust in Yeon-woo was still too great. And her instincts didn’t betray her.
“Have you forgotten to call me ‘oppa’, Popo?”
“Or you can call me ‘master’, Popo.”
“You f—!” Anastasia ground her teeth. The tray in her hand snapped in half.
『What are all those?』 Kronos was about to drink the tea Anastasia placed in front of him when he suddenly asked about the children peeking at them from behind the sliding door.
When the children’s eyes met his, they jumped in surprise and hid themselves
Anastasia said with a light sigh, “They are fairies.”
『Fairies?』 Kronos’ eyes widened slightly. Then, he smiled. 『So that’s why they have the same scent as you do. You have the same hobbies as Rhea.』
Anastasia lowered her head. She was silent for a moment.
『May I ask how you’ve been all this time?』
She nodded and began to speak. It was a voice that was different from the usual, calm and composed one she had. The children who assisted her seemed taken aback by this side of her, and their eyes turned red at the solemn atmosphere. “When Lady Rhea first tried to leave to find you, the wolf…and I tried to stop her.”
Anastasia said that at the time, she didn’t think Rhea was in her right mind. Kronos nodded in understanding. He would’ve felt the same if he’d been in their situation. Pulling out his springs to descend to the world below was something only he could do. Reincarnation was a subject that even divine beings didn’t truly understand yet, which was why the gods of Olympus had perceived Kronos’ death as a real one.
In fact, it was rather incredible that Rhea didn’t believe he was truly dead and tried to find him. Although Anastasia was trying to say it as nicely as possible, she had probably thought Rhea had gone crazy from seeing her children dethrone her husband. After all, it would have been odd if Rhea had been in her right mind despite that.
“However, Lady Rhea reassured us and said she’d return soon. Then, she left the Tower.”
『And you guys were left in the heavenly world?』
『You must have suffered quite a bit from some disgusting fools.』
『Sure.』 Kronos snorted. Being a divine being didn’t mean you were of superior character. Once, Kronos had believed the opposite was true. As the son of Mother Earth, he’d lived as a prince of Olympus and had even become the king of gods. He had thought it impossible for divine beings and mortals to be on par with each other. Divine beings were holy and supreme, and they were superior to all.
However, after he fell to Earth and lived multiple lives, he realized that he had been wrong. In the end, everyone was the same. Everyone wanted to have more and climb higher. Of course, there were some beings who were truly worthy. There were many beings who were righteous and deserved to be respected. However, there were even more greedy hyenas who tore at each other to grow more powerful.
Kronos had seen this too many times, and it was obvious what Anastasia had experienced in Kronos and Rhea’s absence. She had chosen to leave the heavenly world without knowing what to do. To Anastasia, Rhea was more than a master. Rhea had been everything. Rhea had given Anastasia love and taken care of her like a mother. How hurt had Anatasia felt when Rhea disappeared, leaving her alone in this cold and vast world?
The happy memories and emotions of the past would become injuries that hurt her, and she must have tried to search for other things to fill that void: drugs, alcohol, carnal activities, staying idle despite the power she possessed. Kronos could see that Anastasia must have lived with a great deal of pain.
『How is Pepe?』
“The wolf is doing well. Unlike me, she believed in Lady Rhea.” Before leaving Olympus, Rhea had said she would return someday with Kronos.
『Is that so?』 Kronos smiled sadly as he tapped his teacup. If he had a physical body, he would have liked to get drunk. During times like this, his spiritual body wasn’t enough.
“But, Lord Kronos…”
『Yes. Go ahead, Popo. Even though it was a coincidence, meeting like this is fate. Is there something you’d like to ask me?』
Anastasia glanced at Kronos, as if she were feeling embarrassed about what she was about to say. She was slightly blushing.
At Kronos’ soft urging, she forced herself to speak. “I…”
“My name, Popo.”
『Popo? What about it?』
“Would it be possible for you to stop saying that…”
Kronos’ eyes widened, and he burst out laughing. Then, with an angry face, he turned to look at Yeon-woo and shouted, 『Yeon-woo! Stop teasing Popo about her name! Popo is embarrassed! My Popo!』
He seemed to be scolding Yeon-woo, but he was emphasizing “Popo” the entire time.
“L-Lord Kronos…!” Anastasia’s face was now entirely red.
『Stop calling my Popo, “Popo”! Only I can call her “Popo”! You know Popo is embarrassed. What a wretched personality you have! Isn’t that right, Popo? 』
Anastasia was speechless.
『Hahaha!』 Kronos’ laughter boomed and Yeon-woo shook his head. He was the one with a wretched personality?
* * *
Kronos managed to settle down after some time. During that time, Yeon-woo organized his thoughts. He didn’t know that Victoria’s master, who was such a powerful person, would have such ties to him. At the same time, he was beginning to understand many things, such as why Kronos didn’t know how difficult it was to obtain adamantine nova. ‘All he had to do was ask Anastasia.’
Furthermore, considering how Anastasia liked to collect artifacts and valuables, she had probably done the same thing in Olympus, too. She had likely brought back precious treasures without him having to lift a finger, and he would have been quite grateful to her. ‘What about Freesia, the one Anatasia called a wolf…?’
While questions spun inside Yeon-woo’s head, Kronos sat down so they could talk. 『Although I’ve been making teasing her, Popo isn't a pet. She’s more special than that.』 He told Yeon-woo to treat Anastasia with care.
Yeon-woo thought it was ridiculous that his father would say that, but his eyes soon widened at what Kronos said after. 『She is your mother’s shadow.』
『Your mother made her by sharing her holy power.』
It was an unexpected statement.
『Your mother enjoyed these things. She liked taking care of things and raising them. Do you remember?』
Yeon-woo nodded. On Earth, Rhea had enjoyed raising plants despite their poverty. She often took in stray cats and dogs as well.
『The reason why Popo raises these fairies and spirits and takes care of the Legendary Beasts on the eleventh floor is most likely due to your mother’s influence. This entertainment district, for example, is where pitiful creatures who have nowhere else to go gather, as well. I heard she’s called “Great Mother” here?』
Yeon-woo recalled how Anastasia had taken care of Victoria even though she grumbled that her disciple didn’t listen to her.
『Also.』 Just then, Kronos suddenly spoke through the mind so only Yeon-woo could hear. 『I think she’s hiding something. Keep a close eye on her.』
Yeon-woo’s eyes narrowed. ‘What do you think it is?’
『I don't know. But I’m certain it has something to do with your mother.』
Yeon-woo’s expression tightened. Kronos suddenly shouted at the sliding door. 『Popo!』
The door opened, and Anastasia, who had been waiting outside, bowed after she entered. “Yes, Lord Kronos.” She didn’t try to show her face because she didn’t want them to see her red eyes.
Just as she had told Kronos about her life, Kronos had also told her what happened to Rhea. She had been quietly calming her emotions outside, although it had been a struggle.
『There’s something I want to request. Can you do it?』
“What’s mine…” Anastasia paused to catch her breath and continued in a polite voice.
“What’s mine is yours and Young Master ###’s.”
『It’s no longer unnecessary to say “master”. It’s all in the past. Anyway, we want to restore Scythe, and we need your help.』
“You need adamantine nova, is that correct?”
“Dare I ask how much you need?”
『As much as possible.』
Anastasia sighed as if she had been expecting this answer. Then, she bit her lower lip. “This place is different from the outside world. Resources are limited within the Tower, so I might be able to obtain one or two…and I cannot guarantee the price either.”
『Is there no other way?』
Anatasia thought for a moment and nodded. “The wolf happens to be doing business, so I will summon the creature.”