Return To Player Chapter 268

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Return To Player

# 268 War of the Stars (2)

Humans are truly foolish.

They are weak, so terribly weak that they cannot make proper judgments.

‘If they have two eyes, they ought to know they are of no use.’

Regulus pitied the human trying to block him.

So fragile, how could they possibly survive in this world?

If he were Regulus, he would feel ashamed and terrified.

Knowing one’s own weakness means knowing when to step forward and when to step back.

Yet, it seemed the human before him knew none of those simple things.

“If you step back, I will spare your life at least for now.”

He had no desire to spoil his appetite with a substandard meal.

To use his strength against such a frail human felt like an insult.

“But I can’t do that. My little girl is still sleeping.”

Luke squeezed the Libra in his hand tighter as he aimed it at Regulus.

He knew he could not win.

Nevertheless, he was Rin’s father.

How could he abandon his daughter and run away?

“You piece of trash.”

Regulus had no intention of issuing a second warning.

He kicked off the ground and approached Luke in an instant.

“……!!”

For Luke, reacting was impossible at such speed.

Block him? That too was impossible. He had neither the power nor the speed.

Unless he were to stop moving, touching Regulus’s body would be a futile endeavor.

Kagagang!!

“Hmm?”

Regulus’s claws were repelled before they could reach Luke, causing his eyes to slightly furrow in irritation.

“Why are you here?”

There was a hint of surprise in Regulus’s voice.

And for good reason. The person who had blocked his attack should not have been there.

“Sword Master, why are you here?”

Gail of Petroia, the Sword Master.

There he stood, drawing his sword, blocking Regulus’s path.

“I was asked. I was told to intervene if an unstoppable force appears in Deicide.”

“You are not someone moved by requests. Besides, to come to another planet, you would need……”

“You seem to have forgotten. Regulus, I am a player.”

Traveling between stars was generally impossible.

The system would not allow it. Even Ilmir had to greatly suppress his power and use the key’s power to move to other planets.

But for a player, there were simple tricks.

“Receiving a quest makes it simple.”

Gail had received a quest from Idra.

A collaboration quest.

His assigned quest was to protect Deicide.

A method exclusive to Idra, the administrator of Earth in the game.

“…And I owe debts to both sides.”

Debts to the Earth.

Humiliation to the publisher.

As the one called the Sword Master, he had no intention of silently overlooking it.

“Each and every one causes me trouble.”

Certainly, the Sword Master is strong.

He was, after all, known as the strongest player until Earth’s opening.

A pure human who had ascended to the highest divine ranks.

Indeed, it was an admirable feat for Regulus.

But that was then, and this is now.

He could not allow anyone blocking his path here.

Thump, thump, thump.

The Sword Master positioned himself slowly as Regulus walked toward him with heavy steps.

“Even so, this is troublesome. At my age, can’t I find a more comfortable opponent to fight?”

Luke smirked bitterly at Gail’s grumbling.

For sure, the entity before him was older, yet his behavior was akin to a young man.

“Sword Master Gail. I have something to say to you.”

“To me?”

“To speak in this situation?”

Luke sent a certain plan to the Sword Master with a low voice, wearing a puzzled expression.

“…Really? You want to do that?”

“Can you defeat that monster?”

“Sigh.”

Gail let out a laugh at the ‘plan’ that Luke had just mentioned.

It was a preposterous and reckless plan indeed.

“Let’s give it a shot anyway!”

Fortunately, Gail liked such recklessness.

Luke let out a sigh of relief as Gail readily accepted his plan.

Then he watched intently as Gail and Regulus exchanged blows.

‘A monster that only looks upward…’

Luke had seen such beings often.

That’s why he knew how to bring down such types.

***

“Kakakakakak! Humans, I can finally avenge the past humiliation!”

Busan Metropolitan City.

The second-most populous city in South Korea, also with the second-highest number of players after Seoul. However, even that multitude of players struggled to fend off the monsters currently assaulting the city.

“This damned poison!”

“Damn it, we’d all be dead if it wasn’t for the saintess.”

Curses flew from players all around, in the midst of the thick poison fog.

Moreover, the scorpions crawling out from every direction were enough to drive players to the brink of madness.

‘The complex roads and paths of Busan only complicate the matter.’

Saint Shin Yuhwa gritted her teeth and frowned deeply.

Just when they had barely managed to overcome the giants, the sudden appearance of the Zodiac Constellations from Huangdo had undone everything.

‘How long can we hold out? A day? Two days?’

Players assigned to the giants and players fighting the Zodiac Constellations and stars.

At least, since two out of three giants had sustained major injuries, more players were distributed to handle the Zodiac Constellations.

‘What about that guy behind Antares?’

While Antares had appeared once in Seoul, Shin Yuhwa was there at the time and unaware of the ‘past humiliations’ he spoke about. From her perspective, Antares was nothing more than an attention seeking, hysterical individual.

Moreover, Antares’s main weapon is poison.

Relatively easy to counter for a saintess with the power to purify anything.

However, the real problem wasn’t Antares, but the suspicious-looking beastman standing silently on a building roof.

Judging by the round horns on either side of his head, he looked like a biblical demon.

Yet, because there was no malicious aura to be sensed, he was not a demon.

This suspicious beastman had accompanied Antares in descending to Earth and hadn’t moved since.

‘Usually, it’s those types who are the problem.’

Nevertheless, since he was currently still, the urgent matter was to repel Antares’s forces quickly.

“Currently, three of the Zodiac Constellations have descended upon Earth. Two in Busan, one in Seoul.”

“Yeah, Yeah. Got it, Idra.”

As Idra’s message rang in her ear, Shin Yuhwa responded lightly, though her expression remained grim.

‘Why two in Busan?’

At first, she had been intrigued to hear a foreign entity engage in conversation, but now was not the time for such marvels.

Humanity stood on the brink of destruction; there was no time to be astonished.

“B team, fall back! C team, if you’re rested, move in now. I’ll cast the buffs!”

“Yes!”

She swiftly cast buffs in response to the loud acknowledgements from the Bluerain guild members.

“Phew, survived. Thank you, Saintess.”

“You were just with B team fighting, right?”

“Haha, yes. But I wasn’t much help.”

Yun Hyeong-gyun answered with a smooth smile, which Shin Yuhwa disliked.

In such a situation, maintaining a relatively calm demeanor seemed inappropriate.

“Where’s your vice-guild leader? Why isn’t he here?”

“He’s on his way down from Seoul right now. It was bad timing that the guild was looking for a new place when the attack happened.”

“What kind of excuse is that…”

It was absurd, but the sudden attack by the publisher was such an unexpected event.

“Anyway, isn’t there something we can do? You seem quite smart. Laughing like that, you must have some idea, right?”

“No, I just think it’s a bit lucky.”

“Lucky?”

The word ‘lucky’ was unfathomable in the current dire situation.

Three of the Zodiac Constellations fell on South Korea.

What on this tiny piece of land was worth having three of them?

Besides, two in Busan.

Is this not a misfortune but a fortune?

“…Why are you healing my head?”

“You might have a problem in your head.”

“Unfortunately, I’m in perfect health and sober.”

Despite her healing and dispelling any potential status ailments, Yun Hyeong-gyun seemed to be of sound mind.

“How can such an answer come out with that kind of thinking, I wonder? Ah, wait.”

Hwaahaak!!

Her hands glowed, and the spreading poison fog was cleansed as if washed away, along with the toxins that had seeped through Busan’s complex streets and intoxicated the players’ bodies.

“Your ability is always surprising, is it like becoming an avatar of a god?”

“Gabriel. One of the few angels to survive.”

“Huh, an angel.”

She had heard most angels were extinct from God.

But she never imagined a surviving angel existed.

“As Gabriel was originally an archangel, the power it wields is also strong. It’s quite compatible with me.”

“Huh. So you really are a saintess?”

“Don’t call me that. It sounds corny.”

“Contrary to that, I heard you rather enjoy it…”

Recalling the rumors he had heard about the saintess, Yun Hyeong-gyun couldn’t help but feel they weren’t entirely untrue.

Otherwise, why would she lead her followers around like some sort of cult leader?

“Anyway, why do you think this is fortunate? You didn’t say that for no reason, did you?”

“Well, that’s true.”

Hyun-kyun smiled cheekily at the pressing gaze of Shin Yuhwa.

“Antares once invaded Seoul. I was on my way down to Cheongju and found out later…”

“Did that happen?”

“You were in Jeju, so it’s possible you didn’t know. Yes, Antares visited Seoul, and someone repelled him. Who do you think it could be?”

“Don’t tell me…”

There was only one person Shin Yuhwa could think of who could quietly defeat the once-descended Zodiac Constellations.

Reinforcing her thought, Hyun-kyun gave a sly smile.

“Since Antares is still alive, it mustn’t have been a pleasant experience for ‘him.’ Knowing him, he would never have let Antares leave alive.”

Hyun-kyun knew him well enough.

“He always returns the favor double. That guy.”

Swoosh!

Something split the air as it flew by.

Shin Yuhwa instinctively tilted her head back, and an object sped through the sky at an incredible velocity.

A human?

No, it was a sword.

“Kuaaaak!!”

With a slashing sound, Antares’s tail, which mercilessly pierced players, was severed.

The sudden event stunned the players defending against Antares.

Antares’s body is so sturdy it ranks among the top three in the Zodiac Constellations.

Especially his shell, impervious to ordinary attacks, not even leaving a scratch.

With divinity wrapped around him, no player had managed to even scratch Antares’s shell.

But now, a sword from nowhere had sliced off Antares’s tail in a single strike.

“Is that Pragarah?!”

Shin Yuhwa immediately recognized the sword that had just flown past.

Sehan’s most favored sword, the flying sword Pragarah.

Now a divine sword, Pragarah sliced Antares’s tail and leisurely returned to its rightful owner.

“Son of a b—-! Who dared to cut my tail?!”

As blood and venom poured from the severed tail wound that Antares forcibly healed, his eyes glared furiously.

The players who had been toying with Antares now retreated from his gaze, but there was no sign of the one who had struck his tail.

“Up here, Antares.”

“You, youuuu!”

Antares hastily lifted his gaze at the voice from above.

Sehan, spreading his black wings, was coming down leisurely.

“Kim Sehan, Kim Sehan you bastard! We finally meet!”

“Why didn’t you come to Seoul? Why are you here?”

Ignoring the raging Antares, Sehan asked nonchalantly.

“This insolent bastard…!!”

In front of him, the owner of the Sagittarius constellation of the Zodiac, was acting arrogantly.

As Sehan looked at him, he clearly felt a tremendous power.

‘Top-tier divinity?’

As far as Antares was aware, only the Leo constellation among the Zodiac had top-tier divinity.

‘When did he get so strong?’

Shocked by Sehan’s unexpected might, Antares felt confused.

The Zodiac generally found it difficult to use the community.

Exceptions arise with top-tier divinity, granting authority for recognition of rank, but only the inherently divine Astraia and Regulus had the ability to use the community among the Zodiac.

“Did you come to Busan because of Regulus?”

“What, what?”

“That’s what I thought. You would naturally come to kill me. But you went to Busan instead of Seoul.”

‘This bastard.’

Just as Sehan said, Antares had gone to Busan because of Regulus.

He meant to head to Seoul, but when Regulus suddenly decided to go there, he judged it as an overallocation of force and headed to Busan.

With Aldebaran gone, the strongest of the Zodiac Constellations was Regulus.

No one in the Zodiac could oppose Regulus’s word.

‘And I had to end up with such a worthless partner.’

The first constellation of the Zodiac, the Aries.

An entity known for its lack of presence within the Zodiac, Antares had never seen it personally.

It was rumored to be the weakest of the Zodiac.

“Anyway, good to see you, buddy. I really missed you.”

Sehan smiled warmly at Antares.

Considering he had suffered at the hands of Antares during the first timeline, he couldn’t help but smile.

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