Return To Player Chapter 228

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228. Greed and Wrath (1)

While Sehan headed to the demon world, Song Siwoo was in China, tying up the loose ends of the task assigned to him by Sehan.

‘I can’t just sit around doing nothing when everyone else is working so hard.’

The equipment created by Song Siwoo had already spread across the world, significantly enhancing the standard of player gear.

Most of the equipment was of the supply type, but it still facilitated easier conquest of higher-level dungeons.

It was fair to say that the significant improvement in the abilities of Earth’s players was largely thanks to Song Siwoo.

“You’ve arrived.”

“Speak comfortably, noona.”

“Should I?”

The UN smiled wryly at the considerably grown Song Siwoo.

Once like a young child, his stature had now grown considerable.

The youthful appearance had largely faded, and he finally looked his age.

“Is the thing Sehan hyung asked for almost complete?”

“Yeah. It’s almost done. That’s why you were called over to check.”

Siwoo followed Yun as they walked together.

The place they were at was a highly secret location unknown to other gods.

Of course, there were avatars mixed in, but even the gods of those players strictly kept their mouths shut.

It was the same with Yun’s god.

‘Even the gods are paying attention to humans?’

Such a thing would’ve been unimaginable in the past.

But the world had changed due to Sehan, making the impossible possible.

Gods no longer looked down on Earth’s humans with such disdain.

Even if they took on avatars, they no longer forced them to act as before.

Mina’s god, the Clown, said it was somewhat similar to the Age of Mythology.

An era when gods and humans were entwined.

In fact, the Clown said that it seemed that gods respected humans even more now than in those days.

Whether it was due to the long separation between gods and humans, or the diminishment of the gap between them, was unknown.

One thing was clear though – the values of both humans and gods had changed.

“Looks like you managed to complete it in time.”

“We still have a bit to go, but we received significant aid from the U.S.”

As they rode the elevator heading underground for a while, a massive space came into view.

It was like a secret base where numerous people were constructing something gigantic.

“Wow…”

It was a giant sword.

At least a few kilometers in size, the sword was so large that it was hard to estimate its actual dimensions visually.

It wasn’t something a human could wield.

“We made it according to the blueprint Siwoo gave us. How is it?”

“Perfect.”

“Then that’s a relief. But I wonder if it’s ready for immediate use in battle?”

“We’ve already done a similar test once, so it should be fine.”

Yun looked puzzled by Siwoo’s response.

Nowhere on Earth had there been mention of such a colossal sword being used in battle.

Of course.

The only thing Siwoo had created before was used in a fantasy world made by Sehan.

Back when they had to pierce the heart of the giant Akaterus.

At that time, it was made with the support of one of Korea’s three major guilds.

Thanks to that, it wasn’t as large as now and was less finished. After Akaterus was killed, its durability was spent.

What they were creating now was a new version based on that past creation.

A secret weapon made by Yun who quietly amassed players and leveraged China’s overwhelming population.

‘And… there was also.’

In this colossal sword, there was a space to insert a ‘nuclear warhead’.

It was currently empty, but it was where Sehan’s ‘stake’ was supposed to go.

A stake to kill the undying.

And its power would be infused into this giant sword.

“There’s just a little problem.”

“What is it?”

Yun sighed softly.

“Fortunately, the Ether that was air-freighted from Korea fits perfectly, but we are lacking Orichalcum for the coating.”

Orichalcum is the rarest of metals. Amongst all metals, it is the hardest and lightest.

Coating a gigantic sword like that was unimaginable.

Ether is quite durable, but too soft for dealing with gods or giants.

It’s especially sensitive to magic.

“Yes, I know that. That’s why Sehan hyung sent me here.”

“Really? Did you discover a new vein or something?”

Yun’s face blossomed with color, considering that they had already exhausted their Korean supplies of Ether when they heard about Orichalcum.

“I’m afraid not, that’s not it.”

“Oh, that so?”

Yun’s disappointment was evident as Siwoo softly denied.

Even their own god couldn’t procure enough Orichalcum to coat such a huge sword.

“You’d have to drag in Orichalcum veins from all sorts of stars just to barely make it happen.”

Orichalcum was that rare, so it made sense.

However, the plans wouldn’t make sense otherwise.

The blueprint had clearly listed that the colossal sword should be coated with Orichalcum to complete it.

Sehan couldn’t be ignorant of the possible shortage of Orichalcum.

“That’s why Sehan hyung gave me this.”

“What is that?”

In Siwoo’s hand was a small bottle.

A small bottle filled with a liquid that shone with a golden glow. What could this possibly be used for?

“Variable Orichalcum,” Sehan hyung called it. He said it could coat weapons and equipment. Most importantly…”

It might have looked like just enough to coat a dagger at most, but it was anything but simple.

“It’s not affected by the size of the equipment,” Siwoo explained.

Even a sword spanning several kilometers, as long as it fell into the ‘equipment’ category.

***

The Demon World.

There had been only one occasion in the first round when I visited this place.

It was during the Martial Arts Tournament of the Demon World. Originally, that would’ve happened a few years from now.

Back then, I participated as one of Earth’s representative players.

At the time, Earth was nearly in ruins, so we weren’t treated well.

Even though I fought grudgingly because I didn’t want to lose, I was mercilessly defeated by Beelzebub not much later.

‘Beelzebub…’

The second in command of the demon world, the demon of gluttony.

He may be regarded as below Azazel, but that didn’t mean Beelzebub was weak.

Among the seven great demons, the top three were reputed to be a full notch stronger than the rest.

‘This feels strange.’

I thought I’d return to the demon world one day, but I didn’t expect it to be this quickly.

I assumed it would be a few years later, even given the rapid pace.

But things moved faster than I thought, and I got here far sooner than anticipated.

And to this dog-eat-dog-world of strength’s supremacy, even before the tournament began.

“So what’s your plan now?”

As I quietly immersed myself in thought, Shin Jahun asked.

He wasn’t looking at me, but at the sky.

The sky of the demon world wasn’t blue, but ash-colored.

Lifeless and dull, like smog had covered it.

The sun shone brightly, but the feeling was anything but clear.

“As you know, we only have to defeat two demons.”

To achieve a majority, it should be four. But since the demon of wrath was absent, our options were very limited.

Greed, lust, gluttony.

We had to choose two out of these three.

‘Pride’ was a possibility, too, but that was out of the question.

‘Challenging the demon of pride, who could be said to be the leader of the seven demons, would be madness.’

The demon of pride, Lucifer. He possesses such powerful strength by virtue of his position among the seven demons.

Even Azazel would be uncertain of the outcome of a fight with him.

He might be on the same level as Ymir.

When there are other options available, I didn’t really want to choose him.

“If we go by the process of elimination, greed and lust seem to be the easiest targets.”

“That’s true.”

“Do you have no other opinion?”

“No.”

Shin Jahun answered bluntly, lighting up a cigarette.

“I’m just here because Azazel told me to come. I don’t have anything I particularly want to do here.”

That made sense.

Shin Jahun’s face really didn’t care either way.

“After all, it’s not me who is going to fight. So it only makes sense that you should choose the opponent.”

“That makes sense, too.”

Then why on earth did you follow me?

Was it really just because you were told to follow?

“What do you think?”

“Me?”

I turned to Minsuah, who had been silently listening.

She looked a bit embarrassed when the question was directed at her.

“After all, even if we decide where to go, we don’t know the way, do we?”

“That’s true.”

There was no way I knew the paths of the demon world.

We had no choice but to keep heading towards a nearby village without direction.

Although we managed to get here with Idra’s help, unlike Petroia, it was difficult for Idra to just teleport us wherever we wanted in the demon world. It was clear we were moved to a roughly appropriate place.

“I’d rather not answer.”

“What?”

“I have a feeling you’ll make a decision soon anyway.”

Just as I was about to ask what that meant, the ground began to shake.

It was not a large tremor, but no one in the group failed to feel the vibration.

‘This is…’

A barely perceivable irregular vibration.

There was no doubt that a fight had broken out not too far away.

Swoosh.

Several small crows sprang from the shadows and soared into the sky.

‘There.’

Looking through the crows’ eyes, I found it instantly.

More than ten demons had surrounded a single demon.

‘Was this what Minsuah was referring to?’

As I glanced at her subtly, she nodded faintly.

That was enough for me.

Boom!

I kicked off the ground and flew up into the sky.

The distance was not great, and to me now, it was as good as right in front of my nose.

‘That way!’

I could see the spot where more than ten demons had surrounded a single demon.

Without hesitation, I plummeted towards the location.

Crash!!

“Ugh?!”

I had no intention of helping the lone demon.

I trusted what Minsuah had said, ‘you’ll make a decision soon.’

“What insolent bastard!”

The apparent leader of the demons shouted sharply.

He was a strong figure of middle to lower divinity, but likely not too high level by demonic standards.

“I’m here.”

“What?”

As I suddenly appeared, all the demons’ gazes converged on me.

“He’s human?”

Initially, their eyes were full of wariness, but when they confirmed I was human, their attitudes shifted.

The demon who had been cornered looked at me with baffled eyes as well.

“How is a player here in the demon world?”

The demons muttered and stared at me.

The common thread in their gaze was that they were all looking down on me.

“A human who’s here is ridiculous enough, but to interrupt our business out of nowhere? Are you out of your mind?”

“I was just curious what was happening, that’s all.”

I replied nonchalantly, observing the surrounding demons.

The most conspicuous was the male demon who had been struggling alone, wounded all over but still individually stronger than the encircling demons. Even stronger than the chattering leader demon.

“What are you all doing here?”

“What, what?”

“Why are you fighting here? Just curious.”

There must be a reason they were fighting.

Above all, I didn’t know my way around the demon world and needed someone to guide me.

As I gazed intently, the leader demon let out a hollow laugh.

“Haha, a player goes mad?”

“Player goes mad?”

His mocking words made me laugh.

From his point of view, players may well be considered just “somebody.”

After all, humans with limited lifespans. To him, they must be no better than trash.

“Hey.”

“Hey? Hah, hahah! This is nuts, where did this crazy bastard spring from…”

The insult steeped in ridicule was cut short as the demon’s voice dwindled.

It didn’t take long for his dumbfoundedness to turn to horror.

He probably felt it.

The vast amount of divinity starting to flow out of my body.

“I warned you, talk nonsense and you die.”

I didn’t specifically hide it.

Only that he saw me as just a player and a human.

Demons see humans merely as prey.

Obviously, they didn’t need to look closely.

“Gasp.”

The air grew heavy, and the faces of the laughing demons stiffened.

Their eyes wavered, their pale complexions turned rapidly sallow.

“How is this possible.”

Thud!

The aimless mutterings of a demon turned into last words.

Before his speech could finish, his head was pierced by a sword and he collapsed.

“I said you’d die if you talked nonsense.”

The Demon World abides by the survival of the fittest, a world dominated by the strong.

To these demons, no amount of reasoning would work.

Only overwhelming power was necessary.

“After all, one is enough to show me the way.”

That was all there was to it.

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