Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 1
A twilight sky.
It rotted away into darkness as the ground disintegrated. The place they’d called home for ages.
The Tower was falling apart.
“So we’ve lost.”
Those were words no one dared to say because it felt like it would finally become true once it was spoken.
The ten “Gods” who were gathered around started reminiscing their epics.
“So is this really the end?”
“I never imagined that this would be how we part ways.”
“Well said. I knew it had to end one way or another but…”
“Let’s not get mushy and make this quick. We’re done for anyways.”
“What do you mean done for? It’s not over yet.”
A platinum white-haired man holding a long staff spoke. It was Son OhGong.* He held the title of [The Great Sage, Heaven’s Equal] and was the protagonist of the myth “Heavenly Realm’s Traitor.”
*T/N: Son OhGong is the Korean name for Sun Wukong, the Monkey King.
“You’re talking big for someone who’s on the brink of death.”
The one who disputed Son OhGong’s confidence was Hercules, wearing his lion skin, wielding a broken club. Having brought victory in the war against the Titans, the greatest hero of Olympus was nearing death with one of his arms cut off.
“I’m not dying.”
“You might be an ‘Immortal,’ but can you really keep acting so mighty in front of them?”
Hercules turned his head, staring at the beings flying far above the twilight skies. Gods of the Other Realm.
The Outer Gods.
[Despair that Reaches the Skies, Gloom Trapped in a Swamp]; [One Who Couldn’t Be Born]; [Foolish Calamity]…
Normal people would lose their life simply by looking at them. Such beings were tearing apart their world.
“They’ll soon discover this place.”
“There’s a chance they already have.”
A pure white mass flew down from out of nowhere. All the Gods turned their gazes towards the mass before looking back towards the person’s voice.
“So I made it back.”
“I thought I was going to die.”
Jet black hair with eyes just as dark, the man had short, messy hair. YuWon looked drained, taking slow steps towards the makeshift tree trunk chair before sitting down.
“It’s just you?” Hercules asked.
The companions that definitely left with him were nowhere to be found, and YuWon came back alone.
“Merlin, Asura, Vishnu… All of them?”
YuWon nodded his head.
“They’re all dead.”
The air became somber.
The Gods that left with YuWon were unable to come back. They were probably swallowed up by those beings, nourishing the Other Realm.
The somber mood was short-lived. The Gods turned their attention towards the pure white mass that YuWon threw.
“Who is this bastard?”
The surviving Gods were shocked by YuWon’s response.
They knew it wouldn’t be someone normal when YuWon came back alone, but its identity was even greater than they imagined.
“… Really? It’s that guy?”
YuWon nodded his head.
“With this, I now know for a fact.”
One of the Outer Gods.
YuWon realized the cold, hard truth in his fight against the [Foolish Chaos].
“An ‘Inner’ cannot beat an ‘Outer.’”
That was how beings that existed within the Tower, like YuWon, were referred to. And those who were gathered here were beings that had risen to the top floor of the Tower, forging their myth, earning divinity and a divine name.
But even they couldn’t compare to the Gods of the Other Realm.
Actually, this was something they knew all along. Since the start of this fight, when the Gods of the Other Realm appeared. Their existence was a calamity, even to those who thought they were equal to a god.
“There is no way to win.”
The old man who was sitting in the corner spoke.
“For now, that is.”
He stretched out his hand to reveal a clock’s internal mechanics in his palm.
「Chronos’s Clock Movement*」
*PR/N: This is the name of an object. A movement is the watchmakers’ term for the inner mechanisms of a clock; everything but a clock’s exterior shell.
YuWon asked while staring at the old man, Chronos, “Is this the only way?”
“Return to an old world line. And start over.”
“If possible, I wanted to end this here.”
“This was the last chance.” Chronos spoke with a powerful voice, which contrasted with his hunchback and wrinkled face.
Chronos was a being that possessed the Divinity to control time. The items he crafted held powers relating to time. But…
“In the world line you will return to, I will probably have disappeared. It is a fair price to pay for the only way to go back in time and shift the world line. So do not waste your energy looking for me.”
“So you will cease to exist?”
“I do not know in what form it will be, but my disappearance does not matter.”
Their story had already ended, which is why YuWon wanted the fight to end here. However, the fight was a loss in the end. Now, there was no other option but to return.
“So who will…”
Everyone’s eyes turned to YuWon.
It was already decided who would be returning to the past.
The only thing remaining was YuWon’s decision.
“I expected it, but it really is gonna be me?”
“That is right.”
It was something that was talked about since the Clock Movement was first brought up, who would return to the past. It wasn’t for certain, but there were two main candidates.
YuWon and Son OhGong.
But while YuWon was absent, there must have been some sort of discussion because a decision was made.
“… Why me?”
“Because you entered last. Yet despite that, you are standing here right now.”
It was true. YuWon entered the Tower later than everyone else present. However, he adjusted to this world and climbed the Tower faster than anyone else, arriving at this place where he could fight together.
“You didn’t forget, right? Beings on the upper floors are restricted in how they can intervene with the lower floors. So, in order to change the Tower, we have to start from the lower floors and go up.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“That’s why you’re our only choice.”
YuWon let out a deep sigh as he reached out his hand.
The Clock Movement continued to send time forward. The instructions would be registered in a person’s mind as soon as they held the item.
“When you return back in time, we probably won’t have the same relationship we have now. So even if I don’t recognize you, just let it slide. That me really won’t know who you are.”
“Knock some sense into the guys who can’t comprehend the situation. If all else fails, you can just kill them.”
“… I hope you have a hard time, my friend.”
Each gave a word to YuWon. Now that this was the final farewell, they didn’t hold back.
“You guys are never short for words.”
YuWon put on a melancholic smile as he gave his companions a good, final look.
After the Gods of the Other Realm appeared, they had no choice but to join forces. No one here were companions in the beginning. Some were antagonistic and hostile. Some even aimed for each others’ throats.
But everything was different now.
Recollecting, it seemed impossible.
‘They were all very bull-headed…’
He was already filled with worry. He wondered if he’d be able to gather all these idiots together in one place after returning to the past. If they’d be able to fight the beings from the Other World, if they’d be able to win this fight…
If he’d be able to change everything for the better.
The Clock Movement started moving backwards.
‘I guess I’m going to have a hard time.’
Within YuWon’s field of vision, countless clock mechanisms started moving backwards.