Return To Player Chapter 295

TO ACCESS EXCLUSIVE CONTENT AND SUPPORT THIS NOVEL, CLICK HERE !

Return To Player

# 295

295. Preparations for the End (2)

Caught off guard by Jisoo’s sudden proposition, I could only strive to soothe my bewildered feelings.

I had been smiling moments ago, recalling Azazel and Shin Jawoon’s first birthday celebration, but the situation didn’t seem to merit laughter anymore.

It wasn’t that the idea of marrying Jisoo was unappealing, but there was supposed to be a certain order to these things.

“Hm? Marriage, you say?”

Having skillfully diverted Jisoo’s attention for the moment, the person I called upon was IdrA.

She was one of the individuals I shared the deepest emotional connection with, and I felt duty-bound to speak with her.

However, IdrA’s response was surprisingly bland, more than I anticipated.

It was as if she had expected this to happen all along.

“What’s that look for? Did you hope I would be jealous?”

“Not particularly, but…”

“Or perhaps you’re concerned about my feelings? Heh, fret not, I hardly mind.”

IdrA seemed genuinely indifferent, which made things all the more awkward for me.

I was sure of her affection towards me, and after merging, it was evident she viewed me with a certain romantic fondness.

Thus her reaction was completely unforeseen.

“Human morals are like a candle’s flame.”

“What are you talking about?”

“They may hold now, but how long do you think they last? After centuries, even such things will inevitably dim.”

“Don’t speak of such ominous things.”

“Who knows what the distant future holds?”

With that, IdrA grinned mischievously.

Apparently, there was no joking implied by her words, so I had no choice but to clear my throat and change the subject.

“So you’re saying you’re okay with the marriage?”

“If you’re concerned about something as pedestrian as following the right order, there are other options.”

“Like what?”

“Goodness, can’t believe a human is asking an elder being like this. Normally, it’s humans who are more knowledgeable about these things.”

I had nothing to say in response.

I wasn’t exactly well-versed in such matters.

Before this world turned upside down, I was an asocial person who hardly interacted with others and spent my time gaming—how could I have imagined such a scenario?

“The girl simply wants to boast about her relationship with you to the world. Just appease that desire, and that should suffice.”

“And how do you propose I do that?”

“Get engaged.”

IdrA smirked mischievously, leaning over the desk where I sat, resting her chin on her hand.

“Have you properly confessed your feelings before? Offering a confession along with a ring would be quite apt.”

“……”

Her words rendered me speechless, as if I had swallowed honey.

Confession and ring—facing Imyr once more would seem easier than that.

“I can see right through you. We are connected by heart, after all. If we wish, we can read each other’s thoughts, remember?”

“So we agreed not to do so. You’re not saying you’re doing it now, are you?”

“There’s no need to read them. Your face said it all: you’d rather face Imyr again.”

“……You really didn’t read my thoughts?”

“Cross my heart.”

Could that really be true? Her accuracy was uncanny.

Nevertheless, it seemed like the best way to navigate through this awkward situation—engagement.

For now, it was peaceful, but it wouldn’t last.

“……There might really be a ‘next time,’ after all.”

“What do you mean?”

“Imyr… No, Azathoth.”

Mentioning Azathoth wiped the smile off IdrA’s face.

Clearly, as an elder being, she found Azathoth to be a formidable and frightening entity.

“The father surely hasn’t given up.”

“I know.”

“……The incorruptible fragment created by my first cycle has pushed him back for now, but that time won’t last.”

“How long?”

“I’m not sure. I suppose it could be a year, but it could also be shorter. We’d best bring this to a close within the month, I would think.”

Azathoth was a force replete with variables.

The power of IdrA from the first cycle, who brought down Yog-Sothoth and even killed Nyarlathotep, still seemed insufficient compared to Azathoth.

“If not for Azazel, we wouldn’t have had this opportunity. We must be sure to finish him this time.”

“That would require traveling to outer space.”

“Not impossible, is it? You’re here, so is the Demon King, and besides, I have half of the System.”

I thought of the half of the System I had placed into the void space.

All the games in the universe had been put on hold.

To clarify, they hadn’t disappeared; they were simply on pause. The only world that had become completely free was Earth, which IdrA had retrieved.

The worlds that belonged to the publisher were still operated by the System.

“To completely destroy the System, we need to retrieve the half that Azathoth has taken.”

That was the only way to annihilate the System.

To achieve this, both keys—Jisoo’s and the two halves that had been split—needed to be merged.

“Will you go to outer space alone?”

“Crazy? Of course, I’ll bring Jisoo and Lyn. And that means a few devils will follow.”

Gods, frankly, aren’t much help in outer space.

They receive optimal bonuses in their own domains, and there’s clearly a level difference between gods with dominion over a single star and those elder beings who envelop the universe.

Only a devil of the caliber of the Seven Great Devils could possibly contend with elder beings.

“So Jisoo’s assistance is essential.”

“That’s right.”

“Then you’d best hasten the engagement.”

“……The way you say it, it’s almost as if I’m using her.”

“Hehe.”

IdrA’s low chuckle left me with nothing to retort, only allowing me to sigh lightly.

What now?

***

“To victory! Cheers!!”

“Cheers!!”

Amidst the clamor, I sipped my drink.

In Seoul’s plaza, vast crowds had gathered.

A simple party, once delayed due to the city’s reconstruction, had blown into a massive banquet with the involvement of the gods.

A mix of humans, Earth’s gods, and even demons, the number was staggering.

Luk’s sight, arm-in-arm and toasting with Zeus, was almost surreal.

As a result, Lyn stood by, her face a portrait of utter embarrassment, though she was soon swept up by other Greek gods.

With her merger with Astraea of Greek mythology, Lyn was now the Goddess of Justice, the pride of Olympus, so their desire to show her off made sense.

“It’s a shame. We should have claimed that child for ourselves.”

Listening to the familiar voice, I turned to find Loki, the trickster god, approaching with a drink in hand, alongside Mina.

“Aren’t I enough? To be honest, if it weren’t for me, you might have lost this time.”

“Oh, of course not. I’m fortunate. It’s not just about you. I regret not claiming the other two earlier as well.”

Mina bristled, and Loki patted her head to calm her.

Though known for his lies, I trusted Loki’s word in this instance—Mina was indeed an exceptional player.

Lyn and Jisoo were just extraordinarily great.

“Looks like the Goddess of Justice is busy. Where’s the Demon King?”

“If you mean Jisoo, she’s currently surrounded by demons.”

“You still use formal language with her? Honestly, shouldn’t I be the one speaking formally? You’re practically an elder being now.”

“A half one.”

Without IdrA, I’d be nothing but a half-baked elder being.

“Acquiring the status of an elder being is a feat in itself. Merging with a mere goddess is child’s play by comparison. No need to belittle yourself indefinitely.”

“……I’ll consider that over time. But are you okay?”

“With what?”

“All your in-game purchases will vanish with the end of the games.”

By my understanding, the amount Loki spent in the game was astounding.

“Not too concerned about that. Even if it’s not through a game, I think there’s a need to draw certain lines.”

“Lines?”

“Observers. The scene before us is nice, but mixing gods and humans is bound to cause trouble. There needs to be a separation between the worlds, like before. Observers, or something similar, should be employed if divine intervention in human affairs is desired.”

Loki was correct.

Whether in the past or present, he was undeniably wise.

“I hadn’t dismissed the thought…”

“You considered becoming a replacement for the System, didn’t you?”

“Yes. Precisely.”

“That won’t happen. You don’t have the audacity to control the entirety of the universe.”

“But a new ‘god’ might emerge.”

“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. However, we must establish proper rules now to avoid bigger issues.”

Nodding in agreement with Loki’s wise words, I replied.

“I understand.”

“Ahaha, good. Take your time. Catastrophe can come more easily than expected.”

His words were eerily lighthearted despite their dire implication.

“Also, I wanted to ask you something else.”

“Yes?”

“Are you marrying the Demon King?”

For a moment, I fully understood what it meant to lose one’s tongue.

No words would come out, although my mind raced to find them.

I downed my drink quickly and stammered in response.

“That…… Where did you hear that……?”

“I overheard the Demon King discussing it over there.”

“Right, brother. Jisoo said she might have a wedding with Lucifer pretty soon.”

“It wasn’t definitive, but the Demon King seems to have decided. That should settle it, right? Or perhaps it’s needless to ask since you went through such lengths to save her.”

I found myself wiping my face continuously with my palm, unable to make sense of Loki’s warm gaze.

“Cursed community.”

Despite the System’s inactivity, the community stayed active, thanks to Lyn who seized control of the publisher-operated community using her key’s power.

At the moment, the highest viewed content within the community was the clip of me rescuing Jisoo.

It was the decisive moment when I shattered the System and began our counterattack.

A scene of a powerless human triumphing over a transcendent force, favored by the gods. A man, sacrifice all to save his beloved Jisoo—this was the prevailing sentiment on the community forums.

Attempts to sway public opinion anonymously proved futile as the situation escalated beyond control.

“There’s even talk of them having a child together.”

Perhaps Loki also perceived Jisoo and me as desperately in love lovers.

Then, there was another being connected to me.

“But then what about IdrA? I hear she’s quite passionate too.”

I was at a loss for where to even begin correcting such perceptions.

The truth was mixed in, making outright denial difficult.

If this continued, IdrA’s statement of ‘human morals are akin to a candle’s flame’ would indeed turn everything into chaos.

It seemed quicker to divert attention in another direction.

“We’re not planning a wedding but considering an engagement.”

“Oh, indeed?”

Loki’s calm response elicited a silent sigh of relief from me.

Then, a thought occurred to me.

‘Since it’s come to this, why not seek advice?’

Since learning about the engagement from IdrA, I’d spent days agonizing over it.

What was an engagement anyway? How does one go about it? Though I considered an engagement ceremony too much, and simply giving a ring seemed appropriate, finding the right moment was challenging.

I cautiously broached the topic.

“……Loki. May I ask for your advice on something?”

“Regarding the engagement?”

“……”

Lately, it felt like more beings could read my mind than ever before.

I had never experienced this, so it felt quite disconcerting.

[End of text]

TO ACCESS EXCLUSIVE CONTENT AND SUPPORT THIS NOVEL, CLICK HERE !



Want to keep in touch ? Join our Discord : https://discord.gg/wMvrbbTzrG

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *