Chapter 39. Akasha’s Snake (7)
The whole forest was thrown into utter chaos in no time. Flames were devouring the woods and monsters were pouring out like a swarm of zombies.
"Fuck! What the hell is this?"
"I’ve never even heard of anything like this… Wasn’t Arangdan supposed to keep things like this from happening?”
Most of the players still in Section E had been wiped out within minutes in their search for Tokens and Hidden Pieces. Whether it was attacking with a sword or defending with a shield, none seemed to work in front of this monster outbreak.
At times, the monsters appeared in groups, the next moment they had already split up. The players had to deal with attacks coming from all sides at the same time. Even those who organized themselves in battle formations with other players found themselves adrift when facing the swarm of monsters and were soon swept away.
No matter where one looked at, scenes such as Goblins chopping off players’ heads, or Trolls biting player into pieces could be seen.
This must be what hell looked like.
A few players managed to run away with their lives intact. But even so, it seemed they wouldn’t be able to outrun the monsters that were everywhere they looked.
It was unbelievable how so many monsters had remained hidden in Section E.
The flames made matters even worse. No matter where they went, they were quickly met with a sea of fire engulfing the forest and caught in between the fire and the monsters.
“Somebody tell me what’s going on!"
Players who had thought of it as a simple event of the tutorial were now screaming at their desperate situation. They belatedly realized the crisis that had struck Section E.
‘Collect 99 Tokens to ascertain your qualifications.’
To ascertain one's qualifications. It was a task that required them to risk their lives, just like in any other section.
Cleaving through the waves of monsters, players began to rack their brains in order to find a way to survive. Those who had a team banded themselves together, and solo players united with other solo players.
In the meantime,
There was a shadowy figure darting between the trees with muffled footsteps.
It was Yeon-woo.
[You have acquired 12 Tokens.]
[You have acquired 4 Tokens.]
While remaining stealthy thanks to Shunpo, he read the movements of the monsters with his strengthened senses and killed the monsters that were already in their last breath. As a result, he was able to accumulate Tokens at a rapid pace.
‘Is this what they call,’
Yeon-woo laughed coldly.
‘Reaping what others have sown?’
Recalling the phrase his troops used back in the military, Yeon-woo quickly headed back to where the Orcs were.
Their destination was the snake’s den. It was time to take out Akasha's Snake.
* * *
The Orc village was turned upside down.
"Chwik! The Lizardmen started a war! The Lizardmen crossed the north barrier!"
The 32nd tribe’s Orc Chief that was in charge of guarding the north brought a report to the Orc King.
The Orc King gave an angry frown.
"Why would they start a war all of a sudden!"
"I don't know! They said we killed their king! King! Help us!"
"Chwiiik! Those crazy reptiles!"
The Orc King was furious.
Out of all times, they had to come right in the middle of the revival ceremony.
He was already angry for having missed the humans who killed their god. And now this was happening.
Still, the Orc King tried to remain calm. He couldn’t let this ruin the ceremony. Rather, he could think of it as having more food to feed their god.
"Chwik! You, go tell the Shaman! We’re going to have a lot of food ready for our god! And we'll be coming back with it soon!"
After giving orders to one of his minions, the Orc King pulled out a sword that was hanging on the wall and headed outside. It was the sword that made him the greatest warrior of their race. As long as he had this in his hands, victory would always be his.
However, when he stepped on the battlefield, his excitement was quickly replaced with shock. It was not only the Lizardmen, the battlefield was also filled with other monsters.
Far up in the broad horizon, he could see all the monsters rushing towards them. Only then did the Orc King notice that something was wrong.
It was a trap.
A heinous trap that had plunged all the monsters in the forest into chaos.
But the Orc King wasn’t intelligent enough to think that far ahead. After all he had ended up having to face the monster outbreak head on.
"Build a wall, chwik!"
"Chwiiik! Bring the handcarts, anything! We have to stop them, chwik!"
The Orcs made their best efforts trying to stop the monsters, but things turned out contrary to their hopes. When the monsters broke through their improvised walls, they could only helplessly see their village being destroyed.
But still, the Orcs fought relentlessly against the monster outbreak.
Corpses of monsters piled up on the desert. Blood flowed along the ground dying it red.
And on the bloody field,
The Goblin King and the Orc King, they clashed against each other as they called their opponents' names.
The ground caved in as their auras swept across the area.
* * *
‘Those two must be fighting right now.’
On his way to Akasha’s Snake Tunnel, Yeon-woo turned towards the sound of the collision that rang from afar. He didn’t have to check to know what the source of the sound was.
The Goblin King, Kranum, and the Orc King, Farak. Those two boss monsters were in fact both as strong as Hargan.
It was a fight between two monsters of such caliber, it wasn’t going to end so quickly. And without the death of either of the leaders, the war would only be prolonged. The damage would grow, and madness would continue.
And that’s exactly what Yeon-woo wanted.
Therefore, he needed to bring Akasha's Snake as soon as possible.
To this place full of food.
[You have entered ‘Akasha's Snake Tunnel’].
Greeted by a familiar message, Yeon-woo once again traveled into the tunnel.
There he found,
"Chwik! Oh God! Please... Kuk!"
"Chwiiik! God is angry! God is mad!"
"God is punishing us, chwik!"
"Ru, run away, chwik!"
Just like the outside, the tunnel was in confusion. It seemed like Akasha's Snake had gone out of control.
Now five meters in size, the snake had gone berserk and kept devouring the Orcs. The altar was completely destroyed. The Orc Shaman who was supposed to be leading the ceremony was nowhere to be seen.
The Orcs, as faithful believers, tried to calm down Akasha's Snake, but it didn’t work. Some tried to run away, but Akasha's Snake never missed its prey. Whenever they tried to run away, the snake would spit out its venom and melt them, and if they stayed close, they still got eaten up. There was no way to run away from Akasha’s Snake.
‘I knew it.’
Yeon-woo looked at the eyes of Akasha’s Snake, now red with madness.
‘It’s intoxicated with blood.’
Akasha’s Snake was not some sort of a great being to be served as a god. It was nothing but a big and strong snake driven by hunger and thirst. And currently, the snake was very hungry from its resurrection.
If so, what would happen it smelled the bloodshed outside the tunnel?
‘There’s no way it would stay calm.'
This was his goal in the first place. If it wasn’t drunk, he was planning on making it drunk.
But it seemed to have worked a lot better than he had expected. Thankfully, there was nothing else he needed to do for his plan. So he silently watched the situation.
When Akasha's Snake devoured the last remaining Orc, it let out a big shriek towards the ceiling.
The snake swelled up to about 10 meters, and had blood and pieces of flesh all over its mouth.
But as if that wasn’t enough, the cry continued for a long time.
It rammed its head into the wall a couple of times, and suddenly made a hole in the ground, digging downwards with incredible speed.
Yeon-woo kept focused concealing his presence in case Akasha's Snake noticed him. At the same time, he tried to track down the snake using his senses.
It was swimming across the ground, heading towards the outside. The direction was southwest. It was the very place where the monsters were tangled with each other.
Yeon-woo then sprang up to his feet.
The snake's den without Akasha’s Snake. The moment he was waiting for had finally arrived.
‘It will take quite a while for Akasha's Snake to eat up all the monsters on the battlefield. But still, I can't waste my time.’
A hidden piece wasn’t called a ‘hidden’ piece for nothing
Considering it was the place where Akasha's Snake lived, there surely must be something important hidden deep inside the tunnel. Even his brother mentioned something like this in his diary.
A place that no one had ever found in the long history of The Tower. What if he could be the first one to find it?
Yeon-woo landed in the middle of the cavity as he calmed down his pounding heart, and he cast Draconic Eyes. He scanned the whole tunnel looking for the nest that Akasha's Snake used to rest.
‘Considering the habits of a snake, there must be a place where it can relax from outside threat.’
At that moment his Draconic Eyes detected something.
There was a narrow passageway along a wall. Of course, ‘narrow’ only meant small compared to the size of Akasha’s Snake, but it was still wide enough in Yeon-woo’s perspective.
Yeon-woo quickly used Shunpo and passed through the passageway, going further down into the deepest part of the snake's den.
Suddenly, a chilly wind came blowing from the inside.
Thinking he was nearing the secret, he immediately set his foot towards the source of the wind.
And there, Yeon-woo had found it.
‘So, this is it.'
A scene quite different from the barren wilderness outside.
A piercing wind was whirling along the wall, and the floor was covered with soft snow and slippery ice. And instead of stalactites, there were icicles hanging from the ceiling.
It was truly a scene that would draw admiration from anyone who saw it.
And in the center, there sat a little boy that looked of about five years old.
‘I think I found ‘the reason’.'