I Obtained a mythic Item Chapter 214

I Obtained a Mythic Item

Chapter 213: Nastrond (3)

[Pass on, O Adversary of Prophecy.]

The ‘Oathbreaker’ spoke thus, allowing Jaehyun to proceed to the next gateway.

Jaehyun took his steps towards the inside with a lightened stride.

‘Have I now passed through two of the gates?’

Only one remained.

Already about two days had passed.

Jaehyun intended to break through swiftly, in sync with the timing of the trial’s preparation, and then make his return.

After all, what he was currently undertaking was nothing more than a quest to strengthen his weapon.

Ultimately, he had arrived in Niflheim to face the third trial.

For this purpose, there was no time to spare.

“The third gateway might be fundamentally opposed to you.”

“Opposed?”

Jaehyun looked at Hel, who had given the explanation, and questioned her.

But she merely shrugged her shoulders without elaborating further.

Jaehyun had a hunch.

‘It probably means that the last gate won’t be easy.’

Grrr!

Papi poked Jaehyun’s hem insistently as if to cheer him up.

The memories he had glanced at a moment ago were casting his expression darker than ever.

Jaehyun forced his features to relax and resumed his march forward.

Regardless, he had to keep moving.

A fact easily forgotten if not constantly remembered.

* * *

[Uaaah…!]

[Aah…! Aaaaah…!!]

The last gateway of Nastrond awaiting Jaehyun was a hellish landscape where wolves tore humans apart.

Leather clothing stained with blood, the enraged jaws of wolves, and scattered objects came into view.

Most were weapons like swords or spears.

“These are the sinners who have committed murder. Those who killed the innocents.

In this third gateway, they will be eternally torn apart by wolves.”

A place meting out punishment for murder.

It seemed that, no matter where, killing another person was the gravest of sins.

Jaehyun glanced around and, ignoring the row of dying souls, pushed on forward.

Grr…!

Though the presence of Hel prevented the sinners from rushing at him, it was far from a pleasant sight.

The dead attempted to impede their way from time to time, causing Jaehyun to frown.

Papi, too, growled lowly as if wary of them.

Reassuring Papi with a stroke on its head, Jaehyun arrived at the last gatekeeper’s location.

As fitting the theme, a man wearing a wolf’s mask stood there.

“He is the ‘Life-Taker,’ the eldest of the triplet brothers and keeper of the last gateway.”

Hel provided a brief explanation as before. Jaehyun nodded and approached the figure.

The ‘Life-Taker’ spoke.

[It’s been a while since a human has come this far. Or… should I say, not quite human anymore.]

The ‘Life-Taker’ eyeing Jaehyun with apparent interest seemed well aware of him as the Adversary of Prophecy.

For Jaehyun, this wasn’t a bad thing. It meant fewer explanations.

“I want to pass through the last gate. What should I do?”

At Jaehyun’s question, the ‘Life-Taker’ looked at him for a while and then shook his head.

[Hmm… It seems you’ve killed quite a few people, haven’t you?]

The unswerving face of the ‘Life-Taker’ appeared strangely rigid for some reason.

Jaehyun’s brows knit together, and a voice tinged with irritation sprang from him.

“So. Are you saying you can’t let me pass?”

[No, that’s not it. The motivation behind your killings clearly differs from other evildoers’. And those you killed were either wicked or already irredeemably broken.

However, that doesn’t mean your sins disappear. The fact that you didn’t even consider whether there was a way to save them, that was surely a fault.]

“I had more urgent things to tend to than caring for beings like them.”

[I understand.]

The ‘Life-Taker’ replied as if he genuinely believed so. He gazed straight into Jaehyun’s eyes and continued.

[I too have lost much. Ragnarok… That prolonged war was a more dreadful hell than the prison of Nastrond.

Of course, it’s natural to protect a comrade over a stranger you have no ties with.]

“How can I pass the last gateway?”

[One thing.]

Suddenly, the ‘Life-Taker’ turned his head and his voice followed suit.

[Just say yes to whatever I ask. Then, I will let you pass this place.

However, if you respond negatively or fail to answer my questions, then I shall end you here.]

“Let me hear it and I’ll decide.”

The ‘Life-Taker’ immediately inquired upon Jaehyun’s remark.

[Can you swear you won’t kill another human ever again?

If you could go back to before you first killed, could you correct that decision?]

At his words, Jaehyun’s expression hardened for a moment.

But soon enough, he snorted with a smile and stoked his fighting spirit.

The ability to not kill others again?

“I can’t do that.”

He remembered Jung Woomin, the first man he killed.

He was scum unworthy to be considered human, having attempted to kill his mother and him.

Jaehyun asked himself,

Could I have not killed him if I went back to the past?

Could I have made a different choice?

No, that’s not the case.

“I would make the same choice even if I went back. I have no regrets.”

[Kill him.]

Along with Jaehyun’s voice, the ‘Life-Taker’s command fell and…

Krrrrrung!

The surrounding wolves rushed at Jaehyun all at once.

Papi quickly positioned itself in front of its master.

An instinctive stance to protect its owner.

Hel looked at Jaehyun with a smirk.

“A typical ending for you. You could have passed here with just one lie. Are you turning all of Nastrond into your enemy?”

“If I have to.”

Hel couldn’t help but admire Jaehyun’s actions.

‘It truly suits an adversary. Jaehyun always acts according to what he thinks is right. Unyielding and quietly. That’s an incredible strength.’

From the beginning, Hel knew what the ‘Life-Taker’ would ask Jaehyun.

Will you never kill a person again?

It was a sort of test.

There were countless sinners who pretended to repent just to avoid the current situation.

However, right after they pass the last gateway, they are devoured by Nidhogg.

Because the being he most detests is the one who deceives him with false repentance.

Nidhogg waits beyond the last gateway, devouring such hypocritical beings as they arrive at Hvergelmir.

Those who deceive others and pursue only their own interests always bring disasters.

Nidhogg’s job was to tear such souls to shreds so they could never reincarnate.

But Hel had never explained this to Jaehyun.

So why did Jaehyun choose to fight without deceiving the ‘Life-Taker’ with a lie?

She thought it was because he simply didn’t want to lie.

He didn’t flee from his crimes by deceiving himself.

Jaehyun was aware.

What he had to do from now on couldn’t be achieved without blood on his hands.

He couldn’t face Odin and prevent a second Ragnarok by starting to run away now.

Hel watched Jaehyun with a satisfied expression.

The ‘Life-Taker’ in front also didn’t look displeased. He seemingly took pleasure in the situation.

A being who doesn’t deceive and confronts with strength.

How long had it been since such a person had come along?

Moreover, Jaehyun was strong.

He did not over- or blindly trust himself.

He just had confidence.

That he would win.

“I’ll also help. This isn’t a trial, after all.”

Hel raised her mana. Papi growled briefly and increased its size in preparation.

The last gateway of Nastrond, the battle between wolves and the three beings began.

Jaehyun held the crafted sword without hesitation.

Shhhink!

The chilling sensation of slicing through the wolves flowed from his hands through his body.

He wouldn’t kill unnecessarily.

However,

‘If anything obstructs my path, I’ll eliminate it.’

That was Jaehyun’s principle of action.

* * *

Deep in Hvergelmir. A being watches Jaehyun’s battle.

The massive dragon Nidhogg.

He was the guardian of this spring and the dragon gnawing at the roots of Yggdrasil.

[It’s been a while since an interesting guy has come to me.]

Behind Nidhogg, countless bodies were piled up like a mountain.

One and all were murderers who had passed through the last gateway with hypocrisy. They had all become nothing more than food for Nidhogg.

[Min Jaehyun, was it… He’ll surely reach here.]

Nidhogg knew well that Jaehyun was strong.

No matter how powerful the ‘Life-Taker’ was, defeating a being with the second stage of divine power unlocked was difficult.

Jaehyun had proven himself time after time, overcoming his limits to acquire his current strength.

He had long surpassed levels the mere gatekeeper could deal with.

Nidhogg nodded and stretched out his long body.

“Well then, if he’s fast he’ll come to me by this evening, so I should get ready…”

In that moment when Nidhogg was about to shut off the magic of the scrying orb he used to watch Jaehyun,

Boom!

With a thunderous noise erupting from in front, the final gate swung wide open.

A grin unfurled across Nidhogg’s face.

There stood Jaehyun and his companions.

They had reached Hvergelmir several times faster than he had imagined. An unexpected event.

[How interesting…! Adversary… You’re beyond imagination!]

“Thanks for the compliment, but… How about you strengthen my weapon first? You know I’ve come quite a long way.”

Jaehyun’s cheeky words.

Contrary to their deal, Jaehyun had swiftly handled the wolves and arrived at this spot at a speed even Nidhogg found surprising.

[I’m sorry, but that’s not possible.]

Nidhogg’s mana surged as he continued.

[I’ve been rather looking forward to this. To fighting you, the Adversary of Prophecy.]

In an instant, a clamor rang in Jaehyun’s ears.

―Attention! You have encountered a mythic being with a full force for the first time.

―The disparity in rank is severe!

―Cease the battle immediately.

―Cease the battle immediately.

Nonetheless, Jaehyun did not retreat.

Instead, he raised his mana to full throttle with a smile.

“It seems I’ve met someone worth fighting after a long while. Don’t you think so, Hel?”

“Don’t you know? Jaehyun is as out of his mind as Idunn.”

Of course, she was smiling as she said this.

Jaehyun took a deep breath and looked ahead.

Nidhogg.

The master of the mythical Hvergelmir and described in legend as the absolute strongest among those bearing poison.

Jaehyun was now facing a battle with such an entity.

Nidhogg readied for combat, shifting his massive form.

[Don’t worry. I won’t use my full strength.]

“Of course you shouldn’t. It would be your loss if you killed me here, wouldn’t it?”

Nidhogg smiled at Jaehyun’s brazen words.

His sharp white fangs gleamed as he fixed his gaze on Jaehyun.

[Adversary of Prophecy. I shall now put you to the test.]

Jaehyun couldn’t help but smile at those words. He shrugged and replied.

“By all means.”



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