Return To Player Chapter 287

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Return To Player

Chapter 287: The Sword of Humanity (3)

First Cycle.

Sehan only had a rough understanding of the Giant King Ymir. The apex ruler governing the Publishers, the will of the world, an agent of the system. Although Sehan had never been anywhere near the upper strata where the Publishers were known to exist in the first cycle, his longing for the unattainable drove him to scrape together every bit of information he could find.

Beyond the red sky, inside the black hole, Sehan was yearning to reach the Publisher said to exist in the upper strata.

“That is impossible,” the Blood Demon—among the strongest transcendents Sehan knew back then—had said. It was impossible to reach the upper strata and drive a sword into Ymir’s heart.

“Ymir is an immortal being. Moreover, he’s also an agent of the system,” said the Blood Demon about the giants birthed by the system itself and their king Ymir, a very special existence.

Even if you attempt to kill him, you would fail because killing him would mean killing the system. It was then that Sehan learned about the fusion of gods and humans. He thought if someone like Ymir existed, perhaps he could also perform something similar with the system.

Sehan, like the Blood Demon, had thought of the ‘system’ as what could be considered a ‘god’ in this world. Thus, if the beings currently referred to as gods could merge with players, could the system be incapable of achieving something similar?

From the system’s perspective, Ymir was essentially his avatar.

‘You were right, Blood Demon,’ Sehan acknowledged with a tense smile as he gazed upon Ymir’s massive form, too large to fully comprehend by the naked eye.

He never imagined it would come to this. He had gambled against the Publisher and succeeded in killing Ymir. Though it was a close semblance to gambling, Sehan ultimately achieved it all and turned the tide in his favor. As a result, when the realization that delaying would only lead to defeat dawned upon him, Ymir resorted to his last card—the ‘Merger with the System.’

What was once mere hypothesis now became reality.

“Why, are you afraid?” Idras, settled upon Sehan’s shoulder, gripped his collar as though reading his thoughts.

“A little.”

“We’re only a step away now.”

“That’s exactly why it’s scary.”

Afraid of failing with just one step left.

“And…”

“And?”

“…No, it’s nothing.”

Sehan halted his words. After all, only by toppling that thing out there would he find his answers.

“The external deity Sehan Kim is to be deleted. Deletion is necessary.”

The system’s alert roared, and the massive body of Ymir began to move. It was no longer possible to call it the ‘Giant King.’ Should the flesh surrendered in totality to the system still be addressed as Ymir?

“Deletion should be your fate.”

“Disorder to providence, a villain aiming to shatter the order of the cosmos, Sehan Kim.”

“Don’t arbitrarily label others as evil.” Remarkably, the notifications echoing like a soliloquy began to mimic ‘human conversation’ after hearing Sehan’s words.

“When intelligent beings develop, it leads to resource depletion, causing a cosmic imbalance.”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“The cosmos is finite. To maintain this universe as close to infinity, such consequences must be thwarted. Resource consumption is suppressed, and the energy generated by living beings in the process is circulated, transforming it into resources.”

Suppressing resource consumption meant designating developed civilizations as targets in the game and assigning them a scenario of doom. The system then generates quests, deriving energy from the many ensuing causalities. That was the crux of the matter.

“The birth of intelligent beings is infinite as long as conditions are met. Making use of the infinite to maintain the finite universe is logical.”

The system dictates everything with the goal of eternal preservation.

The utopia crafted by Ymir.

That too was the will of the system.

“Bullshit.”

Faced with no choice, Sehan laughed sarcastically. “Don’t dictate our end on your own accord.”

“Infinite expansion of intelligent beings hastens the lifespan of the universe. Their destruction is justified.”

“Stop the nonsense!”

Sehan saw the amethyst gem embedded in the forehead, not Ymir’s eyes, as he gazed down upon him with pale white eyes. The gem was connected by black tattoos. The origin of the system resided precisely there.

“Everything has an end. Surely, we do too. But it’s not for the likes of you to decide. The universe is no different. If it’s finite, it inevitably has an end.”

The system’s intent to use causality originating from life to perpetually sustain the universe was ultimately a paradox.

“And who are you to arbitrarily extend it?”

“The sustenance of the universe is natural.”

“Then just keep that to yourself. Don’t shirk responsibility onto us.”

“No entity born from this cosmos can evade responsibility.”

The argument felt like it was running in place. Sehan sighed toward the paradoxical deity.

“Let me ask you, then. What about you?”

“?,” the system queried.

“Are you infinite? Or finite?”

“As long as the universe exists, I am infinite.” But the universe is finite. Though nearly infinite, it is finite; thus, ultimately, the response itself was paradoxical.

“No.”

Sehan slowly regarded the system, now wielding the giant body of Ymir.

“You’re wrong.”

The system might very closely resemble omnipotence. However, being closest to omnipotence does not imply being omnipotent. That subtle distinction resulted in the creation of the current system. For that reason, the system could not become a divine origin.

Whish!

With a sweep of Sehan’s hand, the world transformed.

The red sky, and the hole piercing it—permanent features in Sehan’s memory since the ‘Lonely World’ ending of the first cycle.

“Hostile intent detected. Beginning interception.”

The altered world announced the termination of their discourse as the massive legs of Ymir began to stir. If this were an ordinary world, the mere movement would have overturned the earth, and all in Seoul would have been devastated.

But this place was different.

This world was an illusion created by Sehan.

“The showdown should be swift! If we leave that be…”

“It would be difficult to keep confined.”

Sehan was aware too.

It was time to put forth his entire strength and end it all in one go. It was time to use every godly power he had been conserving without hesitation.

“Leave the grunt work to me.”

“Count on it,” Sehan said as Idras replied.

With Idras’s agreement, Sehan extended his hand toward the giant form operated by the system.

Boom!

A hole pierced the red sky.

Through the breach, giant meteors began to plummet towards the ground.

The same meteor that had been cast upon Beelzebub. Now, dozens of them cascaded towards the system.

“Deleting.”

A single meteor could bring an Ice Age; yet, they were pulverized or vaporized without leaving a trace in the presence of the utterly composed system. After all, the system had no emotions; perhaps that was why.

Vroom!

Concentrated light around the amethyst gem fired towards the meteors. Purple beams of light crisscrossed the red sky, sweeping in large arcs from left to right, precisely where the meteors fell.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

The meteors struck by the system’s light beams shattered or evaporated completely. The shattered fragments battered the body of the system, which remained, of course, completely unscathed.

Instead, the system focused on Sehan, who was preparing to strike again, launching him into the sky.

‘Has gravity been reversed?!’

If this world wasn’t an illusion, he would have been flung out into space.

Moreover, the system’s assault on Sehan wasn’t merely the reversal of gravity. The air itself vanished, leaving no words to escape his lips.

Sehan endured the pressure and restored the reversed gravity and vanished air to their original state.

Thud! Thud! Thud!

Descending towards the ground, Sehan summoned every weapon within reach, showering them upon the system.

Despite the rain of attacks—swords, spears, guns, and cannons, even tens of nuclear bombs exploded—, the defensive barrier encompassing the system was unscathed.

But the relentless assault had started to weaken the barrier.

“It will be restored soon.”

“How long will it take?”

“One minute.”

Even with the power of external deities and the fact that this world is of Sehan’s own making, he is alone. Insignificant against the system that influences the entire universe.

“…That’s more than enough.”

That applied when discussing the system as an entity by itself. Currently, the system merely operated Ymir’s body in its stead, but its source was undeniably linked to that purple gem.

Naturally, there was a limit to how much power the system could wield at once, determined by the body of Ymir and the gemstone.

The proof was that it took ‘a whole minute’ to restore the defensive barrier.

Sehan clenched his teeth and continued his aerial barrage around the colossal body of Ymir, utilizing every conceivable attack—weapons, navigating across dimensions, meteors, nuclear fission, seas of lava. Regardless of the tactics, the system endured everything.

‘No matter if it’s his own kin, it’s still a different body. There must be a vulnerability.’

Sehan felt his divinity waning.

Without divinity, Sehan was no different from an ordinary human, and eventually, the fusion with Idras would dissolve. Thus, he had to bring this to an end beforehand.

“Delete, delete, delete.”

The monotone alerts rang out as all attacks by Sehan were neutralized and vanished.

It wasn’t merely the attacks that were being deleted.

Even the world created from Sehan’s illusion was collapsing. Sehan was sincerely grateful that this place was not Earth.

If it weren’t so, the country known as Korea might have been erased with a single ‘deletion’ notification.

Moreover, the destruction of stars could have been decided with just a few spoken alerts.

Sehan forcibly recreated the destroyed world, the red sky, the barren land.

‘The Lonely World’ lingered as one of Sehan’s most vivid memories, allowing him to restore it repeatedly, no matter how many times it was demolished.

Faced with Sehan’s more intense resistance than anticipated, the system chose to bring forth a power that could truly erase Sehan.

“To delete the external deity Sehan Kim, ‘The Rift of the World’ will be installed.”

The Rift of the World.

The place where Ji-soo was trapped.

The hidden origin of the system’s omnipotence.

The moment Sehan heard it, his eyes widened in shock because he could feel it distinctly in his world—something new connected to the system.

Omnipotent power stretching from an unknowable space.

And then he realized.

Now, as the system was being installed, this fleeting moment, similar to the blink of an eye, was the exact opportunity he had been waiting for.

“Idra!”

With Sehan’s shout, the Shining Trapezohedron that Idras had prepared for instant use began spinning furiously.

Like when the door to the demonic realm was opened in ‘The Mad King.’

Idras had opened a gate leading somewhere.

The system realized the passage was connected to ‘Earth.’

Had Ymir been present, he would have questioned Sehan’s actions. Why separate the system from Earth only to open a pathway to Earth now? If they did so, the system would immediately attempt to return to Earth.

But the system did not entertain this logical doubt.

The system lacked emotions.

Instead, it actively sought to utilize the newly opened pathway.

“Reconnection with Earth confirmed, returning to Earth through the open path—”

However, the system’s notification could not be completed.

The gigantic 20-kilometer body, previously unscathed.

“—”

Was punctured by something that flew with the speed of light toward its chest.

Even more, it was a colossal sword, extending thousands of meters.

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