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Chapter 204 - Grand Demon Duke Agares (4)

Second Life Ranker
     Chapter 204 - Grand Demon Duke Agares (4)

    [You are in a state of confusion.]

    [The ‘Cold Blooded’ trait has been activated for an unknown reason.]

    [The ‘Cold Blooded’ trait has been activated for an unknown reason.]

    His heart started to beat like crazy. His breathing became faster. He completely blanked. He couldn’t register anything.

    The diary definitely said nothing about his brother having a child. The only person that his brother had loved in the tower was Vieira Dune, and after he was betrayed by his lover, he never gave his heart to anyone.

    However, there was someone who tried to heal his brother’s heart.

    ‘Ananta.’

    Ananta had one-sidedly liked his brother for a long time. As the only Dragon Human in the Tower, she had always been lonely, and had been extremely happy to see someone of the same species as her.

    His brother had also been close to her, according to Kalatus’s wishes. However, unlike Ananta’s romantic feelings, his were strictly platonic.

    When Ananta realized that she couldn’t get his brother’s heart, she had secretly left.

    And the last time she appeared was when his brother had been staying alone in the clan house.

    The only conversation they had at the same time was about how they fared during all that time.

    However, Ananta seemed like she wanted to tell his brother something. But his brother had been cold to Ananta, after all the betrayal he had been through, and Ananta left without saying anything.

    After saying something unclear.

    -I’ll do whatever I can do to protect…

    Was she talking about Sesha that time?

    ‘Now that I think about it…..Ananta seemed to be pretty badly injured. And it was like she was being chased by something. What was it?’

    Brahm’s vestige continued to conjure images in Yeon-woo’s head.

    Ananta, who left a newborn baby in Brahm’s arms. At Brahm’s question, asking if it was even her child, Ananta had shouted that it was a child born from her heart.

    And when Yeon-woo reached Brahm’s thoughts, he was able to know all the secrets that had been hidden.

    Like he was actually Brahm, all the vestiges flashed through his head.

    …..It was a mistake. A mistake that I made joking around with a dragon when I played around because I was so sick of a god’s responsibilities. I was sorry to the child, but I couldn’t acknowledge it as my child…..

    …..I heard from somewhere that the child grew up well. I pretended that I didn’t know about her, but I still thought it was a relief…..

    …..I heard that the child liked another Dragon Human. Is it Cha Jeong-woo, that child? I thought that the world was quite small since he was someone I taught alchemy to…..

    …..I heard that she died coldly by herself somewhere. And I was able to realize. Everything that I considered to be foolish emotions were actually everything to me. I regretted my past decisions. I cursed my wrong choices. I wanted to see the child she left behind…..

    …..She brought a newborn baby. She called me “Father” for the first time and entrusted the child to me. It was the child of Cha Jeong-woo and Vieira Dune…..

    …..Vieira Dune had hidden the fact she had a child from Cha Jeong-woo. My child coincidentally found out about it, and ran away with the child. And she really raised her like her own. The baby’s name was ‘Sesha.’ It meant ‘remnant.’ It probably meant that it was something Cha Jeong-woo left behind…..

    …..I heard that she was fighting with the witches somewhere. Cha Jeong-woo was also fighting a war with the other clans…..

    …..But I couldn’t help my child at all. The child my child gave me. I had to protect Sesha…..

    Brahm’s vestiges were all colored with regret.

    Yeon-woo was able to understand everything now.

    ‘I see. So that’s what happened.’

    The reason why Brahm hadn’t helped his brother. At first, he thought it was because of Brahm’s indifferent personality, but that wasn’t the case. It was to protect Sesha.

    That was also the reason why Ananta had wordlessly left his brother. It was to protect Sesha from the witches. At the time, Sesha was about to be experimented on by the Walpurgisnacht, and Ananta had barely been able to save her.

    But she couldn’t save Sesha from everything, so Sesha always had to suffer her illness.

    Was Ananta fighting a war with Walpurgisnacht somewhere in the Tower now?

    Brahm had to spend all that time not being able to help despite knowing everything.

    And now, to pay for his sins to his brother and Ananta, he tried to heal Sesha.

    Even though everything about this tragedy had stemmed from one person, Brahm was blaming himself for what happened.

    ‘Vieira Dune! You…..!’

    Fire burned in Yeon-woo’s eyes. His head was filled with a boiling rage for her.

    Then.

    [Get a grip, master, you bastard!]

    He heard Shanon’s rough voice in his head. Yeon-woo quickly snapped to attention.

    [Don’t you have to have your head on properly in times like these! Do you want to die?]

    Yeon-woo bit his lower lip. Shanon was right. He needed to get a grip.

    He folded his anger towards Vieira Dune. He also had to bury his grief for Brahm.

    Since he knew the truth, he had to focus on one thing now.

    The reason why Agares had manifested was simple. It was to take the only trace of his brother that was left in this Tower.

    He had to stop that at the very least.

    ‘Even if I couldn’t protect Jeong-woo…..’

    At least Sesha.

    At least his niece.

    ‘I’ll save you.’

    His Magic Circuit spun powerfully to grow his wings of fire. The Devil’s Blessing that had just begun to be absorbed in him reacted to the Demon Studies.

    And soon enough, he was able to arrive where Brahm and Agares were.

    [So this was it. What you prepared all that time. Sorry, but I can’t make your wish come true.]

    Agares smiled wickedly under the binds of the Divine Iron from the sealing circle, and exploded his strength.

    Kwang!

    Tens of black wings spread out, easily breaking the chains. Small pieces of the Divine Iron flicked out.

    Normally, they should’ve activated properly, but as the barrier of the Illusionary World had collapsed, it seemed like the power of the sealing circle had weakened as well.

    Brahm vomited blood and fell forward. The Book of Mercury in his hand was crumbling.

    “No…..!”

    But he forced his hand out like he wouldn’t lose Agares. Divine Iron came out again, but it just helplessly clanked against Agares’s barrier.

    [What a nuisance.]

    Then, Agares lightly shook his hand to completely break the remaining sealing circle and transmutation circle.

    Brahm hugged his body with his arms and landed headfirst into the ground. Because his internal organs were all damaged, blood continued to pour out. The small amount of the lifeforce he had left had begun to end.

    And this time, Agares spread his hand out in the other direction. As he did, something started to float into the air from the middle of the empty field, locked in a round bubble.

    “Brahm! Brahm!”

    Sesha was sobbing, slamming against the walls of the bubble. Galliard quickly ran after her, but he was blown away after being pushed by an invisible force.

    [So this is it. What that guy left behind. It’s not completely to my liking, but it’ll be a good trophy.]

    Along with a movement of Agares’s hand, vines of darkness wrapped around the bubble and pulled it towards him.

    Agares licked his lips with his red tongue, slowly opening his mouth. As he did, his violent-looking teeth gleamed in the air. He seemed to want to swallow her up at once.

    Sesha bawled. She wasn’t scared of being eaten by Agares. However, seeing Brahm call out her name while vomiting blood and Galliard somehow try to lift himself up caused her chest to tighten.

    It made her think of her ‘mom’ from a long time ago. Sesha had an abnormally good memory, so she still remembered back to when she was a baby.

    In a strange dark place, faces she didn’t know continued to mutter incomprehensible words while stabbing her with knives. Sesha just cried, scared of them.

    And the person who saved her was her mom. Her mom had saved her from those people, and she never lost her smile.

    -Sesha, Sesha. You look like your dad, so you look prettiest when you smile. So don’t cry, and smile.

    What her mom said was still engraved deep inside her heart.

    So she always made an effort to smile. At first, it was hard, but from some time, it became easier. That was why she liked it, and she was happy.

    Since Brahm was always happy when she smiled, she liked it even more.

    But Brahm was injured now. She wanted to help him somehow, but she was powerless.

    It was the same with her mom. Her mom got hurt trying to protect her. Like back then. Her mom’s face overlapped with Brham’s.

    Sesha desperately hoped that someone would help her.

    It would be nice if she had a dad, but she didn’t.

    Instead, she thought of someone who was like a father figure to her.

    Agares was now in the process of swallowing her. Sesha tightly shut her eyes.

    ‘Cain!’

    Then, in the dark world, a stream of light suddenly appeared. A red light emanated heat, cutting Agares’s right hand. Sesha helplessly fell to the ground.

    Then, she was hugged by something. A hard chest. It was a warm chest. Sesha lifted her head with tears in her eyes.

    There, the face she was hoping for was there. No, to be exact, it was a mask. It looked as scary as a devil, but the eyes behind the mask were so warm.

    “…..Cain?’

    Yeon-woo used Blink several times, and he quietly placed her down, still hugging her. The heat flared up, messing up his hair.

    Then, he kneeled, adjusting his height to match Sesha’s.

    Click—

    He slowly took off his mask.

    Suddenly, Sesha’s eyes started to shake after seeing Yeon-woo’s face. It was a face she had never seen before but it was still familiar to her.

    It was the face in the stories her mom told her before bedtime.

    “Dad…..?”

    Sesha called for Yeon-woo in a trembling voice.

    Yeon-woo just wordlessly pulled Sesha to him.

    Promising himself that he would never lose her, over and over again.

    ***

    “Dad? Is it really you?”

    Sesha tightly grabbed Yeon-woo’s sleeve. Her thin hands were slightly shaking.

    Sometimes, she thought to herself.

    What did her dad look like?

    Her mom always had a smile when she spoke about her dad. She said that he was the most wonderful, kind, and selfless person in the world. And she had said that he had a lot of laughter.

    So Sesha always tried to imagine her dad. It would’ve been nice if he read her stories to her at bedtime. It would be nice if he cooked her tasty snacks. It would’ve been nice if he played hide and seek with her, and gave her piggyback rides.

    And when Yeon-woo had first arrived, Sesha thought that her wish upon a star to send her a dad, someone like her mom had told her about, had come true.

    At first, he was scary because he had that strange mask on, but he was the same Dragon Human as her, and he always played with her. He even made her tasty snacks and became her conversation partner.

    It was the same dad that she came up with in her imagination. So before she slept, she always clasped her hands together to thank the stars.

    But.

    It seemed like the stars had really granted her wish.

    It was her dad.

    It was the face that her mom had told her about. Unlike what she said about his wide smiles, he had a faint smile, and had sad eyes, but it was her dad.

    “Uaaang!”

    Sesha buried her face in Yeon-woo’s chest and sobbed. As if asking him why he came now. She and her mom had been so hurt. And Brahm and Galliard had had such a hard time. But she was so grateful she met her dad like this.

    Yeon-woo just silently patted Sesha’s back. Telling her not to worry. That he wouldn’t ever make her cry again.

    Then, he quietly blew in his warm magic power to put her to sleep. She was exhausted from the day’s events. He needed to let her rest.

    “Rebecca.”

    [Got it.]

    Rebecca silently appeared behind Yeon-woo and disappeared with Sesha. It was to take her as far away from here as she could.

    Then, Yeon-woo slowly stood up to look where Agares was. He didn’t wear the mask. At this point, it meant nothing.

    “You…..?”

    Brahm barely lifted himself, panting. His entire body was crumbling because of the loss of his holiness and holy power, but he couldn’t take his eyes off of Yeon-woo. His eyes were shaking, like he couldn’t believe what he saw.

    Yeon-woo just silently stretched out his hand in Brahm’s direction and activated the rune magic engraved in his bones.

    “Heal. Recovery.”

    It was nothing more than a simple emergency treatment, but Brahm’s condition quickly recovered. But Brahm’s eyes were still focused on Yeon-woo.

    “I’ll tell you the details later.”

    Brahm just nodded his head, knowing nothing else could be done. And he was able to realize belatedly that although his face was the same, Yeon-woo wasn’t Cha Jeong-woo.

    His skills, attitude, personality, and strength were all different.

    And it was the same for Galliard, who forced himself up. After he observed Yeon-woo with Fairy Eyes, he seemed to have somewhat realized what happened.

    Yeon-woo pulled Vigrid out, and raised Aegis, glaring at Agares. He was looking at Yeon-woo with a small smile, like he was amused.

    As Yeon-woo’s shadow stretched out, Shanon and Hanryeong also appeared, holding their swords. Boo flew up high in the air, and began to create his undead army. The Monster Army steadily got up as well.

    His Dragon’s Territory was already sturdily set up. However, the influence of Agares on the 23rd floor was too strong.

    [Shit. I’ll be damned. How am we supposed to deal with that thing?]

    [A demon is really a demon I see.]

    Shanon and Hanryeong gripped their weapons even tighter looking at the gigantic Agares. Hanryeong especially hardened his resolve.

    Even a high ranker couldn’t easily touch gods or demons, and Agares, who was one of the highest beings, was someone he couldn’t easily approach even back in his old days.

    And Yeon-woo was feeling that same pressure as well.

    On the 16th floor, he had confronted the god Urd, but Urd, who had felt like a colossal sun back at that time, couldn’t even be compared to Agares right now.

    Yeon-woo wanted to kneel from the pressure that was pressing down at his shoulders.

    However, Yeon-woo didn’t plan on bowing his head here.

    [Extrasensory Perception – Synchronization]

    Yeon-woo wanted to be released from the pressure by imitating someone. He used the same skills that of Kindred that he saw in Brahm’s vestige pieces.

    He thought of the shedding of the Monkey King he saw in the Monkey King’s dungeon.

    Suddenly, strength started to grow from somewhere within him and pushed away the pressure.

    [You are being released from the strong pressure of a demon. Your calmness is being maintained through the ‘Cold Blooded’ trait.]

    [You’ve gained a strong resistance to mental attacks.]

    He met his niece that he didn’t even know he had. A trace of Jeong-woo was there. He had to protect it however he could.

    Were Yeon-woo’s thoughts relayed to them? The monsters that had been shaking from Agares’s pressure began to regain their reason and moaned. He could feel that they were filled with the will to fight as soon as he gave the orders.

    At that moment, something flashed in Agares’s eyes.

    The monsters and undeads were technically more closer to demons. Since they were from the darkness property, they shouldn’t have been able to easily stand against him, but to think that they were able to show their enmity so blatantly.

    Was that how strong Yeon-woo’s mentality was? Or were his artifacts outstanding? Or was it both?

    Well, whatever it was, it didn’t matter. Agares smirked and looked at Yeon-woo. This was the only other person that he wanted to see as much as Sesha.

    [So. I guess brothers are brothers. Amusing. Seeing you myself is different than seeing you from above. Very different.]

    Yeon-woo didn’t say anything. It was most important to understand what Agares was scheming right now.

    [How about a response? I don’t like talking by myself.]

    Only then did Yeon-woo open his mouth.

    “What do you want?”

    [From what I saw, you seem to be pretty smart. Don’t you already know?]

    “You probably want me and Sesha.”

    [Right.]

    Agares’s mouth opened. His severed right hand had already regenerated, and he was stroking his chin with it. His sharp canines were visible for anyone to see.

    [A long time ago, your brother humiliated me. I want to be compensated for that.]

    Darkness started to swirl around Agares.

    [But threatening a small fish while being a Grand Duke won’t be looked nicely upon, so I’ll give you a chance. You and the Dragon Human. I’ll forgive just by taking one of you.]

    The darkness intruded on Yeon-woo’s territory and warped around his Monster Army. It was soft, but threatening, like it would swallow him any second.

    [It’s not a bad deal for you. You want power? I’ll give it to you. The condition is the same that I offered your brother. It’s a power that can shake the tower. Isn’t it tempting?]

    Lunacy was shining in Agares’s eyes.

    He had a crazed personality that had to get what he wanted. But the Grand Duke was also someone who became easily bored after getting it. Anyone who was exposed to that lunacy would turn crazy.

    But that was why the darkness around Yeon-woo was so seductive.

    It was whispering sweet nothings in his ear that this would be his if he wanted. It was the same as his brother’s case.

    It really was an intense obsession. The demon was being ridiculous, doing things to get someone who had already died.

    Yeon-woo knew as well.

    If he grabbed Agares’s hand, he could gain the power that he had wanted all this time.

    [Is this not enough? Then give up your niece as a sacrifice. If you do that, I’ll give you a reward that is worth as much, no, that’s much more precious than her.]

    Even in the urgent situation when his brother was about to die, he had refused Agares’s temptation.

    The reason?

    It was simple.

    To be bound to a demon meant that you would lose yourself. You would lose all your free will, and become someone completely different. His brother had refused that, and the same went for Yeon-woo.

    That was why the answer was rejection.

    “And if I don’t want to?”

    Agares’s androgynous face crumpled. A powerful demonic energy shifted around him. The darkness around Yeon-woo bared its teeth, like it would swallow him any moment.

    [You don’t know your place!]

    Agares, who had been rejected by Jeong-woo, and now Yeon-woo, extended his hand to swallow him.

    To forcefully bind someone, he had to touch their soul, so it wasn’t fun. That was why he hadn’t used that method, but since it had turned out like this, there was nothing else he could do.

    Hwihwihwi!

    The darkness spread to wrap around all of Yeon-woo and the Monster Army. Agares planned on trapping Yeon-woo in the darkness. Then, his soul would naturally be absorbed.

    Agares could feel the monsters jumping around inside, but it didn’t do much to him. This darkness was pretty much a part of Agares. It wasn’t a strength that just a player could easily fight off.

    But for some reason, Agares felt uncomfortable.

    The Yeon-woo he had seen from the 98th floor wasn’t something to simply lose like this.

    Unlike Jeong-woo, Yeon-woo never lost his cool. Even in front of beings that were much stronger than him, he never backed down, and he was someone who always played the field to his advantage.

    That was how it had been during the war between the Red Dragon and Cheonghwado, and when he had fucked the god Urd over. Wasn’t that also how he got the inheritance of the Monkey King?

    And such a person was being defeated so easily? It was obvious that a player couldn’t fight a demon, but it was strange that there was no resistance.

    Suddenly, Agares straightened his back.

    It was something that he had never felt after becoming a Grand Duke. When had he felt this? He remembered it was when he fought with the dead Dragon King, Lord Kalatus. He had almost been erased from the face of this world, so he couldn’t forget about it.

    But it was the same feeling as back then.

    A being that didn’t fall short of him was trying to appear from the sky.

    Then.

    The land that Yeon-woo was stepping on started to float the transmutation circle up again.

    And the darkness around Yeon-woo was forcefully pushed back.

    Pang—

    The red sky suddenly split, and a bright light shone on Yeon-woo.

    Under it, Yeon-woo slowly opened his eyes. His wide open Draconic eyes were sparking with gold light, like they were the Golden Gaze of Fiery Eyes.

    Then, multiple shapes and rune letters from the transmutation circle broke, climbing up to the sky.

    And—

    Kookookoo—

    Like how an iron door had burst up from the ground to summon Agares, this time, a gigantic iron door came from the sky.

    It was a holy iron door with images of all kinds of angels and spirits.