The Return Of Apocalypses Tyrant Chapter 58

Chapter 58: “So Cold…”

As soon as Somin stepped off the plane at Reykjavik Airport, the stark difference from Korea’s weather hit her—it was the depth of winter’s chill. Shivering, she complained, “Ugh… it’s so cold.”

“I know, right? It’s freezing. I can’t stand the cold myself,” she confessed.

“Even you, sis?”

“Yeah. On days like this, all I want to do is wrap up in a blanket and peel some tangerines.”

“I agree, totally.”

“…Why did you follow us, anyway?”

While standing at the airport entrance, Namgoong frowned slightly at Park Hyoju, who was beside Somin.

“Obviously, I had to come. You think I’d let you two go alone after mobilizing a private jet? I need to have something to report back to the higher-ups,” Hyoju justified her presence.

“I don’t mind. It’s nice having my sister along.”

“Right? Me too!”

Having been among men all this time, Somin seemed pleased to have Park Hyoju’s company.

“Do as you like. After all, I’m not even sure if we will be able to enter ‘that place’,” Namgoong dismissively responded to the women’s chit-chat.

“Now, where do we go?”

“Svínafellsjökull. It’s a glacial area about a four-hour drive from here.”

“Shall I rent a car?”

“No need. I’ve already called for a guide.”

“Namgoong!!”

Just then…

“You’re alive! But, of course, if it were you, survival is expected. The world’s gone crazy, hasn’t it?”

A colossal jeep pulled up at the airport gate, and, adding a bit of exaggeration, a giant black man—easily twice the size of Namgoong—greeted him with a hearty laugh, embracing his shoulder.

“Wow… this is the first time Namgoong looks so small. Even Jang Gilsu is no match, huh?” Park Hyoju shook her head, amazed at the man’s size.

“Oh! Somin? You’ve grown so much already. I only heard you were going to be born!”

The large man put down Namgoong to hug Park Hyoju and Somin alternately.

“…This girl is my daughter. Wicker Man.”

“Huh?”

With a sigh indicating annoyance, Namgoong nonchalantly clarified to the man who was shifting his gazes between Park Hyoju and Somin.

“Hahaha, sorry, sorry. She’s just so cute.”

The man scratched his head and laughed heartily, extending his hand to Park Hyoju.

“Please forgive my rudeness. I’m Moose.”

Moose lowered his arm to his side, giving a polite nod. Park Hyoju looked at him, clearly perplexed.

“Moose, let’s not do anything out of place and move on. We’re short on time.”

“Alright! Let’s go. I shall escort the princess.”

“Eek?!”

Moose lifted Somin effortlessly onto his shoulder and strode towards the parked jeep, laughing heartily.

“Who is that giant?”

“After being in Unit 711, he’s become an associate through shared operations.”

“He was with the British Special Forces before… but now he has become the Wicker Man.”

“Wicker Man? What’s that?”

“It originates from the ancient Druid ritual of human sacrifice—an effigy used for such purposes, but now it simply refers to a priest who manages the ceremonies. It’s a title bestowed upon only one individual.”

“Human sacrifices, you say?”

“Hey, Namgoong! Don’t startle the lady with such pointless talk. The Druids no longer commit slayings.”

With Somin seated inside, Moose opened the jeep door and wagged a finger at Namgoong, who shrugged with a smug grin.

“Heartily too.”

“What… even if there’s only one Wicker Man, the only remaining Druids would be him and Cuchulainn.”

The jeep roared to life, picking up speed as the group departed.

* * *

“It’s been a while, Namgoong.”

“You haven’t aged a bit, it seems. Even after ten years, you have the same face.”

After an extended drive, the group crossed the great glacial expanse of Svínafellsjökull and arrived at an unexpectedly placed tent, which seemed out of place amidst the cold.

Like a Mongolian ger, the rounded ceiling of the tent provided warmth capable of instantly melting the cold of the glacier.

But it was not mere heat from a fire.

‘The air is different.’

Park Hyoju marveled, looking around the tent as if she had entered another dimension.

“Ha ha… considering the length of my existence, ten years is nothing. Be it a pine box or a casket, the difference is merely one step from the grave.”

“That may be, but you’ll still be alive in ten years.”

“Me, alive? How would you know? You speak as if you have seen my life.”

At that moment, the pupils of the stooped old man seated before them emitted a light.

Park Hyoju shivered involuntarily, having seen it clearly.

“I saw it. You ‘ll live for another 25 years. I actually come from the future. You are alive after ten years. Later, the Druid’s barrier breaks, and you become a sacrifice to the Wicker Man, burning to death.”

“Cough!”

Park Hyoju coughed in shock at Namgoong’s response.

“Wicker Man’s sacrifice? Interesting… always have wondered what might occur if a Druid directly sacrificed himself.”

“Nothing remarkable happened. Just as it’s written in the Druid’s book of magic, the heart of Cuchulainn indeed housed the Druid’s tears.”

Cuchulainn referred to the Druid before her, but it was also more than a name—it was a title for the highest position among the Druids.

“Exactly! It seems I haven’t neglected my practice. The creation of the Druid’s tears…”

He clapped his hands joyously, laughing heartily.

“What are the Druid’s tears? Like relics of a monk? Or, more importantly, are we honestly taking this absurd story at face value?”

Park Hyoju grimaced and whispered to Namgoong.

“You’re a time traveler? Seriously, this old man must be out of his…”

“Ha ha, sister.”

Somin was at a loss for words, her expression perplexed.

“Ha ha ha, just kidding. I always dreamed of dying in the Druid way. Oh, I welcomed guests but forgot to serve tea.”

Cuchulainn laughed, lifting a teacup from the brazier within the tent.

“It’s made from spruce leaves. Must be cold after the journey. It’ll warm you up.”

Taking the steaming tea, the two guzzled it eagerly, as if they couldn’t wait.

“Now, shall we have a deeper conversation?”

Cuchulainn turned to Namgoong as the other two had fallen asleep; Moose gently placed them where blankets lay.

“It’s still a long way off. Who would think a National Intelligence Service agent would be so careless?”

“Ha ha, forgive me. Druidic space is comforting, beyond what conventional training can negate.”

“Still, you should have suspicions. Man, you didn’t even check if the tea was poisoned.”

Namgoong took a sip from the teacup in front of Cuchulainn and set it back down.

“The world is dangerous, sometimes a break is needed. And look, your daughter has grown up beautifully. Must take after her mother.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment.”

“Indeed, a compliment. If she looked like you, she’d be hideous.”

“You talk too much for a blind man.”

“Hmm… Now answer me. Who is it that burns me alive and takes the Druid’s tears? Perhaps Roxanne?”

Surprisingly, Cuchulainn didn’t doubt Namgoong’s story of regression.

“Correct. Your granddaughter. Now that your children are gone, she’s the only direct descendant with Celt blood.”

“Then, she’s one of the eight visionaries. And you, were you a visionary too?”

“In my past life, I wasn’t. But now I am.”

Cuchulainn nodded slowly in response.

“The path of the usurper… that explains why the wraiths were restless. So, what future do you wish to change?”

“Nothing much. I’ve already changed the future, and now I just want to protect it.”

“Your daughter.”

“Indeed.”

Namgoong sensed no need for further explanation, as Cuchulainn grasped the full picture.

“Cuchulainn, I’ll protect you from Roxanne. Would you make a deal with me?”

“No need. I wouldn’t ask someone else to protect me from my own granddaughter. That would be laughable.”

He shook his head.

“Wait…”

The answer left Namgoong uncharacteristically flustered.

“Even the great Namgoong worries as a father, I see. But fret not. The future of the Druid is not to be altered but adapted to.”

Cuchulainn spoke to him, his voice firm.

“Your coming here is also a part of that future. I’ll assist you without a deal.”

Cuchulainn heaved himself up and moved toward where the two lay.

“Perhaps your daughter is the one who requires my help.”

Ssshhhh…

Laying his hand over Somin’s forehead, white smoke arose there, astonishingly from his empty hand.

“One body, two souls…”

Cuchulainn nodded and stroked his chin.

“Good that the soul within her bears no malice. Such immense power is dangerous for a young child. Lucky, really. It could have been risky… you might have lost her.”

Ssshhhh…

As the smoke color changed again, Namgoong nodded his head.

“The spirit of the child’s mother?”

“Is there a way?”

“Strengthening the child’s body is paramount, but that will take time. How about you ensure her safety until then?”

“That must be related to the proxy auction.”

“Planning to participate?”

“Yes. I’ll enter with Somin. We can’t evade forever. More difficult times will come. Someday, there will be a moment I can’t protect her.”

“There is one method.”

Cuchulainn suggested they turn to the soul for a solution.

“What’s that?”

“If you can’t immediately reinforce the vessel, then join the souls. The burden on her body comes from both souls using power together.”

Cuchulainn swirled his hands in the air, and the smoke took shape.

“Greater power creates greater strain. Reduce the load by uniting the souls when using magic.”

“Merge souls? Never!”

“Fear not. I don’t intend to erase them.”

Drawing circles with his fingers, Cuchulainn caused the smoke to swirl faster.

“Water and oil don’t mix, but with vigorous stirring, they briefly appear to. We’d create such a state for your daughter’s soul.”

Swoooosh…!!!

The smoke churned violently.

“If she could temporarily unite her souls when employing Maelstrom abilities, her body would suffer less.”

“Is that possible?”

“If she underwent training under my guidance for about three years… Tough, but doable.”

“Three years? That’s too long. We have less than a week.”

“Ha ha, you expect to master an eon’s worth of Druidic secrets in a week? Ridiculous!”

Cuchulainn burst out laughing at Namgoong’s statement.

“…Are you serious?”

“If not, I wouldn’t have brought my daughter along.”

Cuchulainn saw determination in Namgoong’s eyes.

“Fine. Consider it payment of a debt to you. I’ll do my utmost.”

“…Thank you.”

Namgoong exhaled a deep breath of relief as Cuchulainn agreed. Despite his usual composure, the thought of his daughter in danger had unsettled him.

“But, this young lady you’ve brought… is she here for training too?”

However, the moment was fleeting as Cuchulainn, puzzled, cocked his head at Namgoong.

“Uh? No. She’s a National Intelligence Service agent. Just monitoring me.”

“Hmm… Does she possess spiritual abilities, perhaps?”

“Yes. She has telekinesis.”

At that revelation, Cuchulainn regarded Namgoong as if he were foolish.

“Telekinesis? Such profound depth of spiritual sea (Ling Hai), and she wields only such paltry tricks!”

“What do you mean?”

“The spiritual sea is not just the soul, but the soul’s depth. In other words, the depth of the soul.”

He spoke with reverent tone.

“I’ve never seen such a deep spiritual sea. You may not understand, but…”

A tremor in his voice resonated low in Namgoong’s ears.

“Right now, wraiths are stirring around her.”



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