The Return Of Apocalypses Tyrant Chapter 48

Episode 48 – Scream

After docking his boat at the Yadal Pier on Nangung Island, Jang Bong-do began to run along the path.

“Are there no monsters here yet?”

Unlike the Lizardmen hordes that attacked Yeongjong Island, this island was tranquil.

“There’s talk that the number of monsters is proportional to the concentration of people…”

After the gates of hell opened, the Super-State Alliance Clan founded by Alex Trahman wasn’t just comprised of monster hunters.

There were researchers analyzing the situation, scientists devising plans to survive the changed environment, and analysts and experts from various fields.

One hypothesis that Nangung remembered was proposed by one of them, though he couldn’t confirm it.

The evidence was insufficient, and it was impossible to corroborate by herding people together like creating Gu-poison.

“I don’t remember exactly, but I think that scientist was of Korean descent…”

Though he couldn’t understand why he suddenly remembered that, Nangung quickly shook his head and picked up the pace.

Tatadada…!!

After running for a few kilometers, the beach came into view.

“It seems to be there…”

As far as Nangung could remember, there was definitely a cave under the peaks below the beach.

However, the entrance was obscured by the water level.

“…The tide isn’t right.”

It was nearing night, and high tide had surreptitiously arrived.

“There’s no time to consider everything. I need to hurry more than anything.”

Nangung unfolded his Yakcha bundle.

He scrolled down quickly, looking through the list, and purchased a few items.

Item No. 8231.

Name: Atran Deep Sea Lung

Grade: Magic (Highest)

▶Price: 15,000 Heads

▶Allows you to breathe freely underwater for 10 minutes.

▶Reusable until the consumption time is up.

Item No. 19983.

Name: Fishman’s Webbed Fins

Grade: Magic (Highest)

▶Price: 5,000 Heads

▶Doubles your swimming speed underwater.

▶Reusable until the consumption time is up.

“I’m spending all the Head rewards I got from catching a servunt… No choice, but still… no matter how I look at it, the prices of the items in this bag feel like a scam.”

Nangung muttered bitterly as 20,000 Heads vanished in an instant.

Over time, the number of Heads to be gained increased, but even items of Magic grade saw prices skyrocketing unpredictably, making them almost impossible to purchase initially.

‘It’s just a form of torture by false hope.’

Thinking “If I had that potion…” or “If I had that weapon…” while looking at the items in the bag led to nothing but frustration.

However, the Carnival had the most fatalities especially in its early stage…

Images of countless people whose hope turned into despair and died flickered through Nangung’s memory.

“Hoo…”

To shake off the reverie, Nangung swayed his head.

What use was it to think of such things now? Yet memories clung to him as stubbornly as a bur at every moment.

Splash-!

Nangung put the small lung in his mouth and slid the webbed fins onto his feet, diving into the sea.

* * *

Bubble… bubble…

Cutting through the rough waves of the night sea, Nangung delved deeper into the cold water.

With the help of the webbed fins, he soon spotted two cave entrances.

The caves, known either as Skull Rock or Helmet Rock, were not very deep.

‘That’s the one.’

Nangung looked around and dove lower. Passing through the entrance of the cave, he found a single white egg inside the cavernous space.

‘It’s huge.’

The egg, lying on its side, was almost as big as he was. It seemed impossible to carry it by normal means without machinery.

‘I wish I could put it in my inventory…’

▶ Living creatures cannot be stored.

When he reached out towards the egg, a warning-like alert sounded.

“Hup…!!”

Nangung put his hands under the egg that was larger than his height and lifted with all his strength.

Fortunately, thanks to buoyancy in the water, the egg bobbed up easily, contrary to his worries.

Kuong…

Floating the egg in the water, Nangung took a few steps before setting it down again right before leaving the cave.

‘This should do…’

Anyone else might think the egg was easy to catch, but his expression wasn’t bright.

‘The journey back will be treacherous.’

Swoosh…!!!

Just as he pushed the egg slightly out of the cave, a violent whirlpool erupted.

[Kyak…!! Kyaaaak…!!]

A sharp scream-like roar emanated from the whirlpool.

‘Seahorses.’

Nangung looked at the monsters that had appeared from somewhere and were quickly swimming around, surrounding the entrance to the cave.

The creatures that swam by curling their tails and bouncing through the water indeed resembled giant seahorses, but the sight of three sharp tentacles wriggling from their protruding snouts was far from ordinary.

‘Guardians of the egg.’

Nangung was about to exit the cave but hastily retreated. The reason he thought the return journey would be difficult was precisely because of this.

‘If it were low tide and the water receded, these creatures would lose their power…’

Unlike Lizardmen or Fishermen, seahorses were powerful but had the disadvantage of only living in water.

But it was now high tide when the water was at its fullest.

Moreover, it would take at least a couple of hours for the water to recede.

‘I can’t wait until then. The Monster Wave has started, and monsters are still being summoned… The longer I delay, the harder it will be to get back to land.’

In the end, he had to hunt down all the seahorses in front of him.

“Hup…!!”

With the serpent’s egg placed right at the entrance to the cave, Nangung turned his head.

[Kyak…! Kyaaak!!]

Dozens of seahorses started to block the entrance, intertwining like eels in a swamp.

“They’re guarding the egg.”

Nangung summoned his Aswangs and Soul Soldiers and positioned them around. Then, he glanced back at the spot where the egg had been to check.

‘I should find it here…’

Entering further inside the cave and examining the walls, Nangung spotted something shimmering in the darkness.

‘Found it.’

* * *

[How does he know where the Serpent’s egg is? It doesn’t make sense! That’s cheating!]

[What cheating? The second guardian serpent nests in the designated place after the gate opens and lays its eggs. But it died before it could incubate, so it’s not strange for the egg to spawn during the Wave.]

[It’s still very suspicious!]

[Well, I don’t know.]

The shadows discussing around the round table were mostly angry voices.

[That bastard is definitely a returner. We need to impose a restriction.]

[On what evidence? That fellow returned alive from Lan’s nest. If he were a returner, why would the creature in there have let him live?]

[That’s…]

[Indeed, that’s strange too.]

A mocking voice among them.

The shadow then faced expressions of discontent and voices full of doubt, swirling in confusion beneath the table.

[Even if he is a returner, there’s nothing we can do.]

[Yes. Influencing a participant in the Carnival directly is against the principles of the phase.]

[Merely pre-empting the quest was barely acceptable under the agreement.]

[We have completed the tests we can give. Moreover, he has passed them. Further suspicion is not allowed.]

[…]

Opinions were divided.

Inevitably so.

[This is truly nonsensical. Wu loves to devour time; the returner’s time would be especially sweet for it.]

[We were too naive. Wu is not a simple monster. Perhaps our greed in searching for the returner has disturbed a hornet’s nest.]

[Darn… this is getting troublesome.]

[Why worry? The creature is trapped in the nest. From the predecessor’s predecessors down to us now, all phases have verified its barrier.]

[Yes.]

Yor looked at the wavering shadows, grinning as if amused. The more the shadow quivered, the more agitated the phases were.

‘To go to the place where the Serpent’s egg is… I wanted to warn him not to draw attention, but now he is blithely strutting around.’

He felt a thrilling sensation, watching Nangung’s actions as if flaunting his knowledge of the future.

‘The phases know who their messengers are, but the messengers themselves still don’t know who belongs to whom.’

Nangung had met two messengers.

One of them, who revealed himself as a returner to him, was Ninagawa Erika.

‘Then the shadow guide in the mist must have planned Lan’s nest.’

He stroked his chin, contemplating the most flickering shadow.

‘It’s not something to ignore.’

Tooth for tooth.

Since he could not interfere with messengers, a fight amongst the phases themselves was not against the rules.

Yor thought it necessary to show that the fangs of a snake were not merely for decoration.

‘But it’s unexpected. Why did Wu let Nangung live?’

As far as he could remember, among the numerous Carnivals, Nangung was the only one who had succeeded in returning.

If the phases were right, and Wu really did devour time, then Nangung’s memories would have been an irresistible temptation for it.

‘There must be an ulterior motive…’

Yor considered that perhaps their desire to find the returner might have inadvertently stirred up trouble.

[We have nothing else to do now.]

[Yes. He has passed the test.]

[But if by any chance he manages to hatch the Serpent’s egg…]

[There’s no way. Even if he is a returner, it’s unlikely he knows how to incubate the Serpent’s egg.]

[Right. It requires special conditions…]

Listening to their sigh-laden voices, Yor laughed softly.

[He’s not a returner, is he? You guys are hell-bent on pinning down the guy who survived Lan’s nest as a returner. To be honest, if it wasn’t for me, one of you phases must have chosen a returner as your messenger.]

Yor’s voice was sharp.

[Why can’t we do something? It’s time to decide who stands trial next.]

[That’s…]

As someone fumbled their words in a trembling voice, Yor knew immediately who it was.

[We all know who should be next. Shouldn’t the one who first suggested Lan’s nest bear the consequences?]

A trembling shadow.

Yor looked at the shadow guide in the mist and said,

[… What do you want?]

[Well, since you guys unnecessarily used a 30-years-in-the-future event, how about I pull forward an event set 50 years in the future and give it to your messenger?]

[That’s a nonsensical stretch!]

[Yes. We understand your feelings, but you know we can’t help it.]

[It isn’t good to open quests prepared for the future now.]

The phases started to counter Yor’s words, as if they were waiting.

‘The messenger of the Seven Serpents is definitely the returner.’

‘It has to be… but why did he survive?’

‘At this rate…’

If their messenger ends up on the stand, they couldn’t escape death.

[Alright then. Let’s do this. Instead of testing your messengers, I will give a benefit to my messenger.]

[A benefit?]

[Rather than summoning a future event unknown to the returner, I’ll grant my messenger one benefit that can be obtained within the 25 years that the returner knows about.]

[Hmm…]

[That would balance things. Since the returner knows about it, he is entitled to it, but your messenger is not.]

Yor said.

‘The returner doesn’t know who he is?’

‘That despicable man.’

‘Though his face is invisible, he must be grinning ear to ear…’

‘The gap is already wide enough, but if that guy’s messenger gets more benefits…’

But ultimately, everyone’s thoughts converged on one outcome.

‘Still, it’s better than my messenger standing trial.’

[I just need one promise from you.]

[What is it?]

[While the returner may have memories for up to 25 years, it doesn’t make sense for your messenger to choose and receive a benefit from those future 25 years.]

[Right. That privilege belongs to the returner, not your messenger.]

[Indeed. Yes, exactly.]

As if coordinated, the phases agreed.

[The benefit must be something attainable up to this point where the second door opened. Agreed?]

[The same from me.]

‘Anyway, what could be gained now is just at the level of a Magic grade artifact.’

‘It’s not particularly impressive.’

‘… There is a viable chance.’

[Okay. Let’s do that. It’s settled if it’s something that can be achieved up to the point when the second door opened, right?]

But as if reading their minds, Yor asked with anticipation.

[Yes. What do you want?]

[Nothing big. Just a very simple request.]

[Wait. If you’re going to request something like how to hatch the Serpent’s egg, that’s not possible.]

[Yes. Even if he is a returner, it’s not certain he knows that method.]

[Exactly. It would be too much of a benefit to give him information the returner doesn’t know.]

[You lot are really noisy.]

[… What?]

He told the seven phases in a low voice:

[I’m not asking for something like the method to hatch the Serpent’s egg. I just want to give him a very common item.]

[And what would that be?]

With a sly smile, Yor said:

[An Elixir of Growth.]

It was a potion to evolve a monster into an adult.



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