Return To Player Chapter 272

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Return To Player

# 272

Descent (3)

Luke believed Regulus would never notice him. He was driven by a desire to become stronger, never bothering to look down. The fact that there was something beneath his feet didn’t occupy a single thought. Born a divine beast, he was always powerful, with only gods or transcendent beings like giants above him. Humans held no significance for him. Always chasing the gods and giants above, Luke finally obtained power equal to theirs.

Luke had often seen beings similar to himself—humans who were drunk on their own power. To Regulus, they all followed a similar pattern. Though it was amusing to think that a divine beast like him would act in such a way, it was those full of themselves who usually had an exploitable weakness. The so-called beginner’s luck, or a lucky hit—a pitfall they often stumbled upon due to their arrogance and underestimation of their opponents. It leads to situations exactly like the current one.

Regulus, catching sight of his own left arm strewn across the ground, was dumbfounded. Why was it severed? The question kept swirling in his head. “You’ve underestimated humans too much,” said Luke. His eyes, once blue, turned to gold, and golden beams of light erupted along the blade of the Libra sword he wielded. This power wasn’t Luke’s. He was an ordinary, weak player without a hint of divinity.

‘Could that power be…?’ It was the divine might of Astraea. “Why do you have that power? Isn’t the Goddess of Justice asleep?” “The one asleep is my daughter.” Though they shared one body, Astraea and Rin were distinct beings. Unlike Rin, who continued to slumber, Astraea had recently regained her consciousness. She was just not moving, quietly waiting for Rin to wake up. That is why Luke had made a request to Astraea. To merge temporarily, just like Rin. As a regular player, Luke wouldn’t be absorbed by Astraea like Rin could be. Astraea was merely using Rin’s power in her stead, which wasn’t a hard task. Moreover, Rin Taylor, the current Goddess of Justice and Luke’s daughter, had a good affinity with him, and Regulus was now vividly aware of what kind of synergy that produced. Even if Regulus wasn’t shrouded in divine power, the fact that his arm was cut like tofu showcased the level of might.

‘This man, sacrificing his own life for such a feat!’ Channeling a god into one’s body is a double-edged sword. Even with a good affinity, it still burns one’s life to perform. In his first life, Luke died after invoking Astraea. But the difference now was that the power he channeled into himself was from his daughter, Rin. He also only needed to invoke it momentarily for the final strike. Nevertheless, Luke felt as if he could lose consciousness at any moment.

‘Did Rin absorb all of this?’ It’s not easy for a human to accept the power a god bestows. It inflicted a tremendous burden on someone, not like Sehan, who climbed the steps one by one, but who received a deity’s divinity all at once. But Luke endured. Behind him, his daughter was asleep. As a father, he couldn’t afford to fall.

Clutching Libra tighter, he took another step forward and raised his sword, causing Regulus’ eyes to widen with fear. “Your wish to fight the Goddess of Justice has been fulfilled,” Luke said with a faint smile.

Regulus wanted to retort that he did not intend to experience the Goddess’s power in such a manner. More importantly, the man before him wasn’t Rin Taylor, whom he had intended to fight. “Wait, wait a moment, human…!”

With his left arm gone, Regulus had no defenses left. The golden flame-enshrouded sword of judgment swung again, tracing a golden arc. Shik. The once-considered strongest of the Twelve Zodiacs, Regulus, was slain by a regular human who didn’t possess any divinity.

***

The moment Sehan arrived in Seoul, he realized something was wrong. He had anticipated the siege of giants and stars on Dearsight, but he sensed an aura of a ‘top-tier’ divinity. ‘Could Regulus have obtained top-tier divine power?’ This hadn’t happened in the first life. The Regulus of the first life was powerful but only barely clung to the edge of the upper ranks. Yet, how did he reach top-tier?

‘It doesn’t matter why. I need to hurry.’ If Regulus had obtained top-tier divinity, not even Sword Saint Gail could defeat him. With a physical prowess unmatched and Regulus’ proficiency in martial arts, it seemed impossible.

‘That’s…?!’ As Sehan flew toward where Regulus was, he spotted Luke grabbing hold of Regulus from behind. ‘He used fusion.’ Luke’s entire body flowed with powerful divine energy. Astraea’s—or rather, Rin’s—divinity. Having absorbed a part of it, Luke, in a merged state, resembled himself from the first life when he killed Aldebaran. It was in that moment his sword glowed, severing Regulus’ neck.

Objectively, Luke’s strength was no match for Regulus. Nevertheless, he could sever Regulus’ neck because the Sword Saint had a hold of his right arm, and due to some reason Regulus was depleted of divinity and couldn’t utilize it effectively for defense. Of course, his neck was bound to be sliced by the Libra wrapped in divinity.

“Luke!” Sehan called his name, landing right in front of him. As soon as he did, Luke, releasing the fusion, staggered, and Sehan immediately supported him. “Are you okay?” “Ah, yes. A bit tired, but not dying. I’d rather not repeat this, though,” Luke said, his face pale but relieved.

‘Good, he’s not in a critical state.’ Sehan feared Luke might lose his life to the fusion as in the first life, but he looked tired rather than life-threatened. The one actually in danger was Gail who had just restrained Regulus’ arm. Gail had taken a massive hit from Regulus’ redirected attack and strained himself holding his arm.

“I’ll refuse such labor in the future.” “There likely won’t be a next time.” “And… cough. Could you heal me, please?”

Gail, bleeding from the mouth, spoke, and Sehan nodded. His injuries looked severe enough that general healing magic may not be sufficient, but fortunately, Sehan had one very skilled healer pet.

“Baek…” “No need to call, I’m already here.” Before he could finish the name, Baek Seolyi had appeared behind Sehan. Sehan looked puzzled, and sensing his gaze, Baek Seolyi sighed lightly. “Well, I’ve been in Dearsight all along. I came out as soon as the fight seemed over.”

Baek Seolyi, aside from the saintess, possessed one of the most remarkable healing abilities. Not only healing but also proficient in all magic; she remained a last resort. With Regulus defeated, she came out immediately. “And you always tell me to be ready before calling me,” Baek Seolyi said. Due to Sehan’s habit of calling without notice, she had to fall to the ground every time.

A small cough escaped Sehan under Baek Seolyi’s intense gaze. “Ahem, anyway. I’d appreciate it if you could tend to him quickly. Time is of the essence.” “Sure.” Without further complaint, Baek Seolyi knelt beside Gail lying on the ground and released a bright white light from her hands. “Phew, I’ll make it,” Gail eventually sighed, his expression easing across his once agonized face.

“I’d prefer not to fight such monsters again, but it’s unlikely, isn’t it?” “Since you’ve agreed to help, please see it through until the end. It won’t be bad for Petroiya.” “Well, I’m indebted, so naturally, I have no choice.” “Thank you.”

Color returned to Gail’s now much healthier-looking face. He might grumble, but it was merely complaining for the sake of it. If the publisher attacked, he would be the first on the front lines.

“Luke, you went through a lot. I’ve learned something valuable this time.” “Learned? I haven’t really taught you anything.” Recovered from Baek Seolyi’s healing, Luke tilted his head at Sehan’s odd comment. He had never felt like he had taught Sehan anything particular, given Sehan’s know-it-all demeanor.

“No, I learned a lot. Really a lot.” What might once have been avoided was now nearing the end. He eventually had to share the story of the first life with Luke. The current Sehan owed it to the first life’s ‘teacher’. And his words were not mere flattery. He learned much from witnessing Luke take down Regulus.

“Baek Seolyi, please look after the two.” “Are you going somewhere again?” “I have something to deliver to those struggling over there.” “Understood.” After entrusting the recovering pair to Baek Seolyi, Sehan dashed to where Park Seonghyuk and Lee Ayoung were located.

It was a distance of at least a few hundred meters, but Sehan reached Lee Ayoung’s side within a single leap. “You startled me! How can you just appear out of nowhere like that?!” “Didn’t you see me flying in from the sky just now?” “Right now, monsters are pouring in. Who has time to look at the sky?”

Indeed, she had a point. The forces of constellations that Genesis and Pianhua were desperately trying to fend off were formidable. Recalling how Seoul was once razed by Aldebaran’s forces alone, the current force was a significant advancement.

“How many of the Twelve Zodiacs and the vanguard are here?” “None here. They’re being held back by Hong Ga-eun and Song Chang-woo right now.” “Just the two of them?” “Well, the Outrising Guild is also there, but I’m not sure how much they’re helping.”

Although Lee Ayoung’s words carried a hint of sarcasm, the Outrising Guild was trustworthy. ‘Were they ranked 7th when I last saw them?’ Among the top three guilds in Seoul, they had the highest rank. Probably because the guild master, Kang Tae-sung, had been diligently hunting. Their combat prowess was certainly assured.

“But because their troops are converging here, it’s quite overwhelming.” Not only the Twelve Zodiacs but also numerous smaller constellations were mixed in with their forces. Even the lesser constellations, as bearers of divinity, couldn’t be taken down by one or two players. It required dozens to match one, and with the multitudes of thralls brought by the constellations, being overwhelmed was expected.

“Then I should help out. The full force of the publisher will soon arrive, and we can’t waste energy on these guys.” “What? Isn’t this the full force?” “You thought this was their full force?!” Sehan’s words did not only shock Lee Ayoung. Park Seonghyuk, who raced over upon seeing Sehan, was equally astonished. “You knew what’s coming; why are you surprised? Did you think Imyr alone would come through that blasted hole?”

Park Seonghyuk’s own god, Tyr, had constantly told him that the publisher could not be defeated. The gravity of that statement was truly sinking in. The reddening sky and the growing black maw… Everyone was worried about what might burst through.

“We need to deal with this quickly then…” “Don’t worry about this.” Sehan laid his palm flat on the ground. “I’ll take care of it now.” Ordinary constellations or the thralls led by them held no meaning to Sehan. His power was absolute when facing ‘weaker’ beings.

‘What is he planning to do?’ Park Seonghyuk was puzzled seeing Sehan touch the ground. Wasn’t Sehan’s ability related to empty space? While he expected weapons to be flung around, there was no sign of that.

Suddenly, the earth trembled as divine power flowed from Sehan. Even Park Seonghyuk, who had faced many constellations, including the Twelve Zodiacs, had never witnessed such a force. ‘Kim Sehan, how in the world did you obtain such power?!’

Boom! Thin conical pillars erupted from the shaking ground, impaling the enemy forces indiscriminately. Intriguingly, the pillars caused no harm to the players, passing through human bodies like illusions. Yet, they mercilessly tore through the bodies of their foes, regardless of how resilient their hides or how solid their forms were. Just five minutes—that was how long it took to annihilate half of the constellations’ army.

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