Return To Player Chapter 300

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Return To Player

# 300

300. The World Beyond the Boundary (3)

In the center of the swirling chaos of the outer universe, the throne of Azathoth was a wondrous place that forbade the intrusion of any being.

Or more precisely, ‘it had been’ such a place.

“The presence of foreign gods is not just one or two, huh?”

Purple and blue lights swirled together, causing the sky to ripple like a mirage.

The energies around were so intense that one could detect numerous foreign gods without even focusing.

“This looks almost like a special sale for foreign gods.”

Even the ferocious Beelzebub couldn’t help but fold his arms and let out a hollow laugh at the situation.

The only ones remaining calm in these circumstances were Lucifer and Jisoo.

And if one were to say who was the most frozen over, it would definitely be Lyn.

Ever since she had arrived here by passing through the gate, Lyn’s expression had been dark.

“This will be the last time.”

“What?”

“Once we take down Azathoth, there’ll be no more fighting with creatures like these.”

Suddenly, Loki’s words saying ‘a mechanism like the Observer is necessary’ came to mind.

Even if the system was destroyed, it was unknown whether something new would be necessary.

But even if that was the case, there would be no more causes worth fighting for Lyn.

Because I would make it so.

“…Yes!”

“Good.”

As I grinned, Lyn also smiled, following my example.

Though signs of anxiety were still visible, it was not too bad considering the situation.

“So, Idra, which direction do we move in now?”

“Shh.”

Idra, small as a doll, gently floated above my shoulder.

She had fused with me at the same moment the gate was opened.

Bringing her index finger to her lips, she hushed the surroundings.

“This presence belongs to Ghatanothoa.”

“Ghatanothoa?”

“The Outer God with the one red eye. Whoever reflects in that eye is doomed to destruction as long as the concept of death exists; it’s almost like a natural predator to life forms like humans. However…”

Idra narrowed her eyes and muttered with a look of confusion.

“Considering his main body is supposed to be a planet, it’s strange that he would set foot on this land.”

Indeed, the situation was peculiar.

No matter how immense the throne of chaos was, many of the foreign gods had bodies the size of stars. Yet, the signs of the foreign gods nearby were more than one or two.

“Someone has taken on human form.”

Jisoo stated calmly, looking in a certain direction.

When the others looked that way, a flickering red light could be seen.

It was difficult to determine if that was the shape of a human because the heavy dark blue miasma shrouded the surroundings, making it impossible to see even a foot ahead.

But the miasma did not affect Jisoo.

‘Status effect immunity is an overpowered trait.’

Whether it was the power of the Key, a demon’s ability, or an innate skill Jisoo possessed, I thought it to be Jisoo’s strongest exploitable trait.

Anyways, they’ve taken human form… Could other foreign gods be doing the same?

Ssshh.

Small crows emerged from my shadow and sprung out, scattering into the surroundings.

Of course, it was natural for me to cloak them in heavy illusions for concealment.

‘I can’t see clearly, but there are definitely pale figures walking around.’

Even with the crows’ eyes, they couldn’t see clearly due to the divine presence that covered the stars.

Probably one wouldn’t be able to see them with the naked eye unless they came right in front.

But from the few foreign gods I could spot, it was apparent they had all shrunk down to human size.

I had a rough idea why.

There was only one person who could force the foreign gods to assume human form.

“Has he really become a child in mind as well now?”

“What do you mean?”

Idra asked in a small voice after hearing my muttering.

Clearly, Idra was having a hard time understanding the situation as she knew the original Azathoth.

“It’s simple. This is nothing but a tantrum, no more and no less.”

“A tantrum? But Father would never act like that.”

“Normally, Azathoth wouldn’t. But he’s only been human for less than a month.”

To put it in human terms, he was no more than an infant right now.

An infant unable to control his own emotions.

The current situation was fitting for the acts of a child with the form of a boy.

“Unable to return to his original body, he made the foreign gods he gathered here take on human forms as well.”

“Could it be, such a nonsensical thing…”

“Otherwise, why would the foreign gods be on this planet in human form, unfamiliar as it is? Even if they adjusted their size to fit a star, it would be better just to stay in their original form rather than becoming human.”

“Hmm.”

Idra nodded slowly with a gloomy expression.

“It seems you are right. Father has indeed become human, in the worst way.”

And if this continued, Azathoth might cause some trouble while throwing his tantrum.

Without needing to return to his original body, if he regained even a part of his original power, it would undoubtedly lead to a great disaster.

“That’s enough talk for now.”

The low voice of Jisoo resonated.

Jisoo’s eyes were already glowing with a faint red light.

‘They’re here.’

The hounds of Tindalos.

“Keep an eye on the corners.”

The hounds of Tindalos appeared to be insignificant monsters, but in reality, they were incredibly annoying creatures.

First, they were fundamentally immortal and would pursue their prey across any space-time, without fail.

Their basic power was ‘to move through corners.’

To attack from a place outside human time was their specialty.

To summon them, one fundamentally needed jagged edges and angles, not curves.

These were their preferred locations and their dwellings.

Therefore, as soon as we arrived at Azathoth’s throne, we first concealed the area and then erected several pillars, creating artificial angles.

“Does this really work?”

Shin Jawoon asked, wearing black gloves and looking skeptical.

Indeed, looking at the appearance alone, one might wonder what use such things could have.

But according to Idras’s explanation, the hounds of Tindalos invariably gathered at corners.

“Since there are few corners for them on this star, the hounds that were traveling through the edges will naturally pass through here.”

And seeing Jisoo’s form, it was certain that several hounds had already passed by.

We quietly watched the ten prepared angles.

“Now!”

Idra shouted sharply and stretched out her hand towards the pillars.

The artificially created angles became round, and the pillars were simultaneously pulled up into the sky.

“Kieeeek!”

Out of nowhere, grotesque-shaped entities sprang forth.

Half-sliced upper bodies resembling human figures—they were the hounds of Tindalos.

They were called hounds not for their shape but because they relentlessly chased their prey like hunting dogs.

‘One, two, three, four… There are eight?’

There weren’t many, but it didn’t matter.

Right now, capturing even one of them was sufficient.

“If we come into the sight of the hounds, all of Tindalos’ hunting dogs will converge here!”

If the hounds started moving, the foreign gods would naturally take notice.

I sliced through the eyes of a hound with my arm extended horizontally, while Lyn’s sword pierced its head.

The other demons crushed the heads of the hounds before them and subdued them.

“Kieek! Kieeeeeek!!”

Unperturbed by their heads being shattered and eyes sliced, the hounds tried to turn their gaze towards the source of the disturbance, but Jisoo was faster and grabbed the nape of their necks.

“Disappear.”

The black crown above Jisoo’s head shined as the hand-held hunting dog crumbled to dust. No matter how mighty the hounds of Tindalos were, they could not resist the power of a demon king possessing the complete Key.

“Kyaaaah!”

The sudden death of their comrades caused the other hounds to panic and attempt to move to other corners, but Jisoo was not one to just watch.

It took less than a second for seven of the eight hunting dogs to turn to ashes.

“Hmm, they’re not much to my taste.”

The last one vanished tidily into the mouth of Beelzebub, according to the plan.

Beelzebub, with a dissatisfied face, chewed and swallowed the squirming leg of the Tindalos hunting dog from the side of his mouth.

The sight was so vivid that Lyn’s face turned pale in an instant.

“…So, did you notice any strange reactions from the other foreign gods?”

“Fortunately, it seems they haven’t noticed our movements.”

“Azathoth too?”

“Yes.”

There were indeed no particular reactions from the surroundings.

If they had noticed the abnormality with the hounds of Tindalos, they would have already taken action.

“It seems Father’s power has weakened even more than we thought.”

“That’s a good thing for us.”

So far, everything was going as planned.

“Beelzebub, have you digested it yet?”

Everything depended on whether Beelzebub could absorb the abilities of the Tindalos hunting dogs and locate Eidyk. If we couldn’t find Eidyk’s location with this, moving even a step forward would require utmost caution, like now.

To my concerned question, Beelzebub confidently crossed his arms.

“Uhuhuh, what do you take me for?”

That elated smile was the most definitive answer of all.

***

‘Damn it.’

North Eidyk cursed inwardly while sitting in a space shrouded in darkness.

Eidyk’s specialty was derived from the power to manipulate space-time.

The abilities of the hounds of Tindalos also stemmed from the shred of power that Eidyk possessed.

Unlike the hounds, which could only travel through corners, Eidyk could create his own space to hide his presence.

‘I have to hide like this.’

He couldn’t face the other rulers of Tindalos like this.

He wanted to fold up the space containing those creatures on Earth and erase them, but it was an unreachable goal for him at the moment.

It wasn’t a problem of power recovery; there was no way to defeat the demon queen.

‘What is that power? Is it from the Key? Can a mere demon possess such strength?’

Endless questions trailed, one following another.

But the answers didn’t come.

‘Anyway, it’s not necessary to know. Once Father’s power is restored, everything will disappear.’

He expected it would not be a long wait.

Azathoth, greater than anyone else. Though he was appearing strange for a moment, he thought the former grandeur would soon return.

“Yes, surely……”

“What’s surely about it?”

A familiar voice was heard.

The voice of a woman that, when closed his eyes, he could hear vividly.

It couldn’t be. How could she, here?

The sound had come from above him. Eidyk creaked his neck to raise his gaze.

A small gap in space had opened there.

And through that gap, a pair of crimson eyes quietly watched him.

“Uh.”

Why was that here?

Crack!!

As Eidyk’s mind went blank, an arm stretched out from the small gap torn in space.

Without a chance for him to react, it grasped his throat and pulled him straight through without hesitation.

“Gahk!!”

Eidyk couldn’t grasp the sudden turn of events.

How on earth had they found the space he was hiding in?

‘Dangerous!’

He realized the place he was now was not the hiding space from just before—it was Azathoth’s throne. Despite the confusion of not understanding the situation, he was, after all, a foreign god.

He laid a finger on the arm of his captor, holding his throat.

Ordinarily, he would have opened a space and swallowed it whole, but he already knew that would not work on the owner of this arm.

Eidyk concentrated his divinity to the extreme in his fingertip, maximizing its cutting power.

He moved his finger to cut off the arm holding his throat.

Screech!

Or so he had tried.

But what ended up being sliced was his own finger.

The gold light that flashed by, and in that instant, Eidyk’s finger was severed.

‘This is that goddess of justice…’

It was the same light that had appeared suddenly to tear apart Diandra, who was fighting demons.

Eidyk realized that the situation was far worse than he had thought.

The demon queen followed by the goddess of justice.

‘If this continues, I will be defeated.’

In a moment of extreme crisis, Eidyk called upon a power beyond his limits.

It was similar to the strength that humans could summon in moments of absolute desperation.

Without knowing it, he had gained one of humanity’s strengths.

Kwooaang!!

The space around Eidyk twisted and writhed, utterly destroying everything within a certain radius.

Thanks to that, he felt the grip of the demon king’s hand loosen.

“Gasp, gasp.”

That was close. He had to escape in this moment.

As he quickly stood up, something felt off.

‘The space won’t open.’

As if an unusual barrier surrounded him, restricting him from opening space beyond a set range.

Even if Eidyk’s power had weakened, he was a foreign god.

The only beings capable of interfering with his abilities would be those of equal or greater standing.

“Such bullshit…”

Then, Eidyk realized that he was not only in the presence of the demon queen and the goddess of justice.

They were powerful forces but could not cast such a barrier.

And the one who had created it was now smirking in front of Eidyk.

“Where do you think you’re going?”

The human fused with the foreign god Idras. It must have been him who had cast the barrier interfering with Eidyk’s powers.

Behind him stood four of the seven demon lords.

One of them was even a demon that a higher foreign god like Shub-Niggurath couldn’t handle.

“…”

Eidyk stopped thinking.

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