Chapter 190 - Demons' Forest (5)
It was different from an embodiment or an alter ego.
An alter ego was bound to disappear sometime, and an embodiment was something completely separate from the body because it had its own personality.
That was why an apostle was sometimes called an embodiment of the god they served.
Because they experienced the power of the god, their identity could sometimes be mixed with the god’s. However, that didn’t mean that their identity was completely lost.
However, an incarnation was a much more complex concept than embodiments and alter egos.
It was when a god put themself into the prison of a physical body.
It was a bit different from the Three Norns on the 16th floor. They couldn’t use their power outside of their holy territory.
But an incarnation could freely come and go.
However, because it was limited to their physical body, there were constraints on their power, and it was likely that the soul would be damaged as well. It might experience true destruction.
So the gods and demons preferred using apostles; they never made incarnations. If something went wrong, they could die. And no one would put themselves in a position where they couldn’t use their full power.
But the god Brahma was different.
He hated being related to the gods and demons on the 98th floor, so he descended to the lower floors.
This was also the reason why he left the Elohim. From what he saw, their ideology wasn’t too different from that of the 98th floor.
However, from the Elohim’s standpoint, they couldn’t face off against an actual god, so they just watched him.
Meanwhile, Brahm continued to chase after the legacies and myths that he wanted.
The domain of the god Brahma was creation and knowledge.
Learning new things through experiments with alchemy was enough for Brahm.
Of course, the fact Brahm was the incarnation of the god Brahma was thoroughly kept under wraps.
Nothing good would come from a lot of people knowing.
Brahm’s ideals were very simple.
He wouldn’t accept or interfere with anything that wasn’t related to him.
The Elohim tried to hide things about him so they wouldn’t have anything they were embarrassed about come to light.
The reason his brother knew about Brahm’s identity was because of an incident a while back.
He had promised not to tell anyone, so he didn’t.
He only told the diary.
Of course, Yeon-woo didn’t say anything about this either.
Making the Philosopher’s Stone had nothing to do with the fact that Brahm was an incarnation. Like Brahm, he also didn’t feel the need to interfere with things that weren’t related to him.
He was a bit annoyed that he knew his hidden powers.
For a moment, Yeon-woo didn’t say anything and looked at Brahm and the little girl.
There were a lot of things going on inside of his head.
How was he supposed to respond to this? He thought that it would be better to pretend not to know what they were talking about.
“…..Is it because of the Draconic Eyes?”
Yeon-woo decided to spill a part of the secrets.
Since the other person was sure of himself, it wouldn’t be easy for Yeon-woo to pretend not to know. And to learn Brahm’s skills, he had to build trust.
Actually, he was even planning on telling him about the Philosopher’s Stone when they got started.
However, he didn’t worry about it spreading anywhere.
‘Since he’s someone who follows his standards so closely that he didn’t help Jeong-woo as he was dying.’
It would be a lie if he said that he didn’t despise him.
His brother had thought they were friends, but he didn’t come even at the very end. Of course, Brahm didn’t help the other side either. He was just a bystander, through and through.
However, he was definitely someone able to be trusted for a deal.
“Right. To be exact, it’s because this child’s eyes and my skill worked together.”
Brahm stroked the head of the little girl. The little girl gripped his clothes even tighter.
Yeon-woo nodded his head.
If the Summer Queen had used her Draconic Eyes and looked at him, he might’ve been caught. The reason he wasn’t caught might’ve been because of her broken Dragon Heart as well.
But if the girl’s Draconic Eyes and Brahm’s power were combined, it would be effective. Although Brahm probably contributed 90% while the girl contributed 10%.
Of course, Yeon-woo pretended not to know this either.
Instead, he asked a question observing the little girl. She stepped back even more.
“Is she a child of Ananta?”
Brahm’s eyes shined.
“Do you know her?”
“I only heard of her. The Summer Queen hated her own species, so she refuses to have an offspring, and Heaven Wing, who was Kalatus’s successor, died. Then only Ananta is left. That child….must be at least a Quarter.”
After all, there wasn’t anyone to mate with Ananta, who was a Half. And when he checked with his Extrasensory Perception, she was a lot weaker than Ananta.
“Aren’t you bringing me in while you’re on the run from the Elohim because you want to make a deal with me regarding that child?”
Brahm curved his lips. It might have looked like a smile full of joy, but it also looked like a cynical smile.
It was always satisfactory to find someone who understood what you were saying.
“Why? Is that bad?”
“Of course not. Actually, it’s a relief, because I was wondering how I should make a deal with you.”
He had definitely thought of it. But if Brahm proposed the deal, everything changed. The deal would progress smoothly.
Brahm’s conditions were extremely simple.
‘He’s probably trying to help her learn the powers of a dragon that she hasn’t learned yet.’
It seemed like the child couldn’t use the power of the Draconic species even though she was a Dragon Human. Where was Ananta, her mother?
“Fine. Then I’ll have to check if you’re qualified to become someone to make a deal with. Who are you?”
He wasn’t asking for a name. He was asking how there was a new dragon’s successor when it was known that they were all gone.
“I don’t necessarily see a reason why I have to answer that. Instead, don’t I just have to show that I’m qualified?”
Yeon-woo clearly expressed his opinion, and attempted to awaken his Dragon Body.
Scales grew on his skin. It was a color that was closer to navy blue than sky blue. As his Draconic Eyes opened, his eyes grew horizontally.
The child dropped her mouth open and made a sound for the first time. She hid behind Brahm again, face red, but she peeked out to look at Yeon-woo.
She looked relieved after finding someone that was the same species as her.
Yeon-woo looked at Brahm again and asked.
“Is this enough?”
“More than enough.”
“Then let’s talk about the details.”
Yeon-woo followed Brahm into the cottage.
The cottage was organized into different sections with potions and ingredients, fitting of an alchemist, and there were a lot of chests filled with rare materials.
Galliard left, saying he would be back after checking if Aether followed them.
Thanks to that, Yeon-woo and Brahm were able to discuss many things.
“Actually, if Galliard didn’t talk about you, I wouldn’t have felt the dragon’s energy from you. You were the first person that he spoke about that much. Of course, it was a bit unpleasant since my name was used.”
“I’ll apologize for that.”
There was only one person who Brahm had opened his mind to. It was Galliard.
The relationship that began when he was looking for Undine’s Goblet turned into the closest of friends.
Yeon-woo internally thanked Galliard and began to get to the point.
“I heard that you don’t care about others’ businesses. But how did you come to take care of Ananta’s child?”
“Like how you won’t tell me about the reason why you’re a Dragon Human, I don’t need to tell you. However, I’ll tell you that it was a deal with Ananta.”
Brahm narrowed his eyes.
“Isn’t it more important to give each other what we need?”
Brahm made things clear and spoke about the conditions.
“I’m asking for one thing. Teach the child knowledge about dragons while you’re staying here.”
Yeon-woo turned to look towards the little girl.
She had been peeking out from Brahm’s back, and quickly hid herself when she met Yeon-woo’s eyes.
“Is there anything I shouldn’t tell her?”
“No. Tell her everything. Powers, knowledge, family. Their locations. And even their history.”
To tell her the history meant to tell her about the extinction of the species as well. At first glance, he seemed to treat her like a daughter, but he seemed to be clear on things like this.
“What is the child’s name?”
Sesha. In the language of the Draconic species, it meant ‘remainder.’
It might’ve been a name that fit the little girl well, but it was a bit sad.
“And at times, I hope you act as her guardian. Even though we’ll take care of security as much as possible. But you never know. And you seem to be skilled enough to protect the child.”
“Understood. I will.”
Brahm widened his eyes in surprise as Yeon-woo easily accepted his conditions. What he was asking for could get Yeon-woo involved in what was going on with him. But it seemed like he accepted it too easily.
However, Yeon-woo had to be prepared for that. Since he was planning on asking for something that could be too much.
“Then I’ll tell you my conditions.”
“I want to learn the ‘Book of Mercury’ that you wrote.”
Brahm’s eyes hardened. A threatening energy began to swirl around Yeon-woo.
The illusionary world that had always been bright suddenly became dark and heavy.
What Yeon-woo said was a dangerous statement.
The Book of Mercury was a book of magic that Brahm had made with all his memories and knowledge from when he was a god on the lower floors.
Since Yeon-woo was basically asking Brahm for everything he learned, it was expected that he would be sensitive.
This place was Brahm’s territory. Yeon-woo could be in danger with a single misstep.
However, Yeon-woo was calm.
“Sesha is scared. Is that still okay?”
Brahm slightly bit his lower lip and took back his energy. It was the first emotion that he showed. Yeon-woo didn’t miss it. He seemed to care about Sesha more than it seemed. He might actually consider Sesha as his real daughter.
“How do you know about the Book of Mercury?”
“Didn’t you hear when I spoke with Galliard? I heard from a returner.”
“No one knows that.”
“It’s not a complete secret. Since a few people saw it themselves.”
Brahm narrowed his eyes and glared at Yeon-woo. There was nothing ruder than asking to give one’s weakness away. He was probably thinking of whether to leave Yeon-woo alone, or to deal with him.
Yeon-woo knew that he needed to take a step back here.
“Of course, I’m not saying I’ll learn all of it.”
“Just the sections about alchemy.”
Brahm’s eyes slightly settled.
“What about the level?”
“Everything that’s possible.”
“I see you’re trying to use your Dragon’s Knowledge to fill in the rest.”
“I won’t deny that.”
Brahm was deep in thought for a moment. He was calculating different scenarios-whether it was disadvantageous to him or not.
“What about your knowledge of alchemy?”
“I think I know the basics. Even though it’s basic, I did learn metallurgy from Henova and rune magic from Victoria.’
Brahm looked surprised. He was one of the top five artisans as well. If he learned the ‘basics’ from the others, Yeon-woo was advanced compared to others.
“That’s a relief. I don’t like teaching someone from the beginning. And I have things I have to do, so I can’t teach you a lot.”
“Good. This can be the end of our deal.”
After the two pledged on the pledge of mana, they were in the same boat.
[Geez. He’s a scary guy. Why is his tone so cold? I literally almost hit him.]
[But I heard he’s quite reasonable. Is it because of that child?]
It was Shanon and Hanryeong’s review of Brahm.
After that, Yeon-woo received lessons for 2 hours every day from Brahm.
The knowledge he learned from Henova was a big help. Henova said that what he knew wasn’t that much, but because it was knowledge he learned about being a blacksmith for a long time, his level of understanding was extremely deep.
In some areas, it was Brahm doing the learning.
And in the day, Yeon-woo had to look after Sesha. It was something Brahm used to do, but he said he had something else to do.
[You’re a babysitter now. You’ll struggle for a bit, huh? Hehehe.]
Shanon giggled inside him like this was hilarious. He was doubting that Yeon-woo would be able to look after the child. Not making the child cry would be a feat in itself.
Sesha seemed interested in Yeon-woo because they were the same species, but she didn’t approach him first. She just peeked at him from far away. She didn’t even talk.
[Look She’s totally on her guard! What are you gonna do, master? She looks like she’s gonna cry if you try to teach her something. Ahem. don’t worry. I actually…..]
‘Who said I couldn’t babysit?’
At Yeon-woo’s confident answer, Shanon thought that things weren’t going as he expected.
Yeon-woo ignored Shanon and suddenly headed towards the kitchen to look for something. Although they were only men here, they seemed to have everything needed.
He began to prepare for something. He pulled our flour, eggs, white sugar, milk, oil, strawberries, bananas, and chocolate syrup.
He searched through his memory for the recipe and began to cook.
[Hm? What’s this?]
[It looks like he’s trying to cook. He looks familiar with it.]
[What? This wall, cooking?]
Regardless of Shanon’s teasing, Yeon-woo combined flour, baking powder, butter, and white sugar to make the dough, and began to mix the whites of the eggs to make the meringue.
Sesha became curious at what Yeon-woo was doing and came over to look.
Yeon-woo felt Sesha’s gaze but pretended not to notice. At times like this, he had to make the other person come over. He knew that forcing her over would make her run away.
He poured the dough on the frying pan and heated it up until it was brown around the edges.
As a delicious aroma wafted in the air, Sesha slowly approached him. It had been some time since their last meal, so she was feeling a bit hungry.
Not being able to resist the curiosity, she asked Yeon-woo a question, pulling his clothes.
Sesha’s eyes sparkled.
She looked so cute doing that that Yeon-woo subconsciously grinned. She reminded him of someone. A memory that he was keeping hidden popped up.
After the cooking was finished, he got the pancake ready on the plate and put strawberries and bananas on top. He placed it on the table after adding chocolate syrup as the final touch.
Sesha used her short legs to get on the chair and started to devour the food. Her mouth was covered in chocolate syrup.
Next to her, Yeon-woo quietly wiped her mouth with a handkerchief. He didn’t say much, but he looked generous in this moment.
[Goodness…..! The world is going to end! The Tower is going to fall down!]
[He had that kind of side to him as well I see.]
Shanon began to jump around and Hanryeong reminisced about his past, since he too had raised a child once. Rebecca appeared above Yeon-woo’s head and smiled as well.
The smile didn’t leave Yeon-woo’s face as he watched Sesha adorably eat the food.
Looking at her, his forgotten memories started to pop up.
When he was in Africa, he had a short but ‘happy’ dating life. His girlfriend at the time had a daughter of this age, and he frequently made pancakes for her.
They broke up, but it was one of the only precious memories that Yeon-woo had.
“Is it good?”
Sesha licked the chocolate syrup that was left on the plate and held it out.
“Please give me more!”
Yeon-woo smiled as he looked at the beaming Sesha.