Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 75
YuWon loved the sensation of mana overflowing in his body.
‘That’s the shit,’ he thought to himself.
His grip on his sword strengthened.
「Edge of Nightfall」 was no perfect sword. It had the restriction that it could only exhibit it’s full power in ‘night’ or ‘darkness.’ That was a huge negative.
But right now, not only was it night, but Hypnos’s skill was creating a near-perfect darkness. And in a situation like this…
‘It’s the perfect item.’
Hephaestus’s ability felt truly great in this moment for YuWon.
YuWon controlled his breathing while sharpening his senses. He might have been able to injure him, but his opponent was still a Ranker. He couldn’t afford to be relaxed.
‘Hypnos is a Ranker that specializes in illusions.’
Fortunately, YuWon already knew a bit about Hypnos.
‘His battle position is a close-range mage, and he utilizes dark attribute mana, ideal for illusion-type skills.’
YuWon’s eyes had a glow in them. He could feel the overflowing power of the [Holy Fire] and the 「Dark Divine Crystal.」
‘I’m confident against guys like him.’
Both of YuWon’s arms started to inflate from activating [Gigantification,] and the [Holy Fire] wrapped around his sword.
Hypnos’s mana that was spread out around the area started to move.
The distance between the two people shortened.
YuWon and Hypnos. Their fighting styles differed, but they both liked to have a similar distance between themselves and their opponent.
Hypnos’s sharp blade flew towards him. It moved fast and sharp, but YuWon didn’t let the image fool him.
Hypnos’s mirage disappeared, and another Hypnos popped up right beside him. It was just another illusion. YuWon was able to see through all of Hypnos’s illusions with [Cinder Eyes.]
The two blades clashed, and two different black-colored manas rippled throughout the area.
YuWon’s sword was not pushed back by Hypnos. There was a difference in the sizes of their swords, but Hypnos still couldn’t believe what was happening.
The purple [Holy Fire] raged on, threatening Hypnos.
Hypnos sliced the fire, and it was swallowed by his darkness.
Every time the fire got close to him, a mysterious fear crept up on him.
‘What is this skill?’ Hypnos wondered.
This eerie feeling was there the first time he saw YuWon’s fire. He had never seen a fire that was purple before, and for some reason, when he looked at it, it felt instinctively repulsive to him.
But as his repulsion and fear increased, the fire burned hotter.
‘No.’ Hypnos soon realized the true nature of YuWon’s fire. ‘It’s not actually growing hotter.’
Hypnos stretched out his hand and snatched up the fire that was flying in midair.
With the ability to turn dreams into reality, Hypnos was able to grab things that didn’t have a physical form.
The hand that he had grabbed the fire with felt hot, but it wasn’t as hot as before.
‘It just feels hot.’
It was a bizarre skill.
Hypnos was shocked that it was able to provoke an opponent’s fear and change in power proportionally to their emotions.
“How troublesome,” Hypnos said, shaking his hand.
Sparks flew around him. It was a sign that the penalty was starting and a testament to how much power he had used.
The [Holy Fire] was pushed aside in multiple directions. It was as if a huge hole was being opened up.
YuWon hesitated for a second before swinging his sword.
Mana exploded out of the 「Dark Divine Crystal,」 adding power to the sword.
With no more reason to pay attention to the [Holy Fire,] Hypnos focused his attention on YuWon.
Cling, clang, clang—!
As the swords struck each other and slashed through the air, countless sword marks made imprints on the ground.
The two had now traded dozens of blows, and as more time passed, Hypnos became more and more impressed. ‘This is unprecedented talent,’ he thought.
At first Hypnos had brushed him off, thinking, ‘How great can a player on the 11th Floor be?’ But that preconceived notion had now been smashed.
A player on the lower floors could never beat a Ranker. That was a long-standing, unchangeable law.
Every once in a while, among the elite Pure-Bloods were ones with great talent who managed to surpass Rankers before they became a Ranker themselves. However, that always happened after they had climbed pretty far up the Tower.
‘If he were to become a Ranker in the future…’
Hypnos couldn’t begin to imagine what kind of a monster YuWon would be.
‘I can’t let that happen.’
Hypnos finally understood why Hera cared about a lowly player.
‘I have to kill him here,’ Hypnos resolved himself.
The penalty on Hypnos’s body grew stronger.
At the same time, a huge circle floated above their dark arena. It was as if a full moon was up alone in the night sky.
The moon started to rupture…
… And it exploded.
Shattered fragments of the moon started raining down with nowhere to escape.
“I guess you’re not afraid of the Administrator,” YuWon stated.
His words made Hypnos pause for a second. Even Hypnos’s turbulent mana froze momentarily.
But soon after, Hypnos bit his lip and responded, “My only allegiance is to Olympus.”
“What a joke.”
“Say whatever you want.”
The sky and the ground shook.
“There’s no way a brat that knows nothing like you would understand the greater cause.”
“‘Greater cause,’ you say…” YuWon muttered while watching the fragments of the moon coming at him.
“Keep this in mind.”
YuWon remembered what Chronos said when he first revealed the 「Clock Movement.」
“Whoever is the one that uses this to go back in time…” Chronos said while everyone was gathered around. “They will have to carry the entire Tower on their back.”
The Tower was a collection of hundreds of different worlds. It was a world with trillions of living beings, and that world was on a trajectory heading towards doom.
YuWon knew the end of the world.
“So the one who goes back needs to be capable of holding up that weight.”
YuWon only understood after coming back how truly heavy it was.
There was no way for Hypnos to know the magnitude of the weight on YuWon’s back.
“I may not, but I at least know one thing,” YuWon said to Hypnos.
The greater cause. That wasn’t something one should easily say. Not only was it embarrassing to say, but one needed the responsibility and right to be able to say it unabashedly.
YuWon didn’t truly know what it meant either, but he was sure of one thing.
“The thing about the greater cause,” YuWon snickered at Hypnos, “is that it’s meant to be said when you’re sacrificing yourself, not someone else.”
Like Yuwon, who had gone back in time just to repeat that hellish fight once again.
“That’s cooler, isn’t it?” YuWon asked.
Between the two of them, YuWon had the greater right to talk about it.
The fragments of the broken moon covered the ground.
As YuWon was squashed under the pile of rocks, the ground underneath buckled, unable to handle the weight.
* * *
The user of the skill, Hypnos, was fine because none of the moon fragments fell around him.
YuWon was now buried somewhere underneath the mountain of rocks.
“‘Cooler’?” Hypnos said bitterly. “How dare you say that when you don’t even understand Olympus’s will…”
Hypnos clenched his fist tight.
He was well aware that what he was doing right now was one of the unforgivable crimes in the Tower, but he had no choice.
‘Everything is for Olympus,’ Hypnos closed his eyes and repeated the same thing over and over in his head. ‘For Olympus…’
A hot sensation pierced through his back and chest.
Hypnos looked down and saw a black sword drenched in blood.
“You should never let your guard down in a fight,” YuWon said while pushing up on his sword.
Hypnos grabbed the blade with his hand, using sheer force to barely stop his body from getting cut in half.
However, he was unable to do anything about his hand getting torn apart by the blade.
Along with incurring a powerful penalty, mana flowed out of Hypnos’s body.
This mana was threatening enough for YuWon to pull the sword out of Hypnos’s back and jump back a distance.
The fragments of the moon around the place slowly started disappearing.
As the scenery returned to normal, Hypnos had a shocked look on his face.
‘H-How…?!’ he thought.
[Moon Dream] was the strongest skill he had that he used in combination with [Dark Night.] It was a cheat-like skill capable of turning illusions into reality within the area of his mana.
Moon Dream showed illusions of Hypnos’s choice to his opponent. Even if his opponents suspected it of being an illusion, it was hard for them to be certain that the rocks falling right in front of them weren’t real. That was the power of visions. The ability to inspire fear in someone, even if they knew that it was fake.
And [Moon Dream] had the power to change that fear into reality.
Two conditions were needed to nullify the skill. The first was to realize that the sight in front of them was an illusion. The second was to not feel even an inkling of fear after seeing the fragments of moon fall on them.
If one doubted whether it was real or not for even a second, the illusion became reality.
“Is it because of those eyes?” Hypnos asked, staring at YuWon.
YuWon’s eyes were red. Hypnos sensed a peculiar flow of mana around them.
At first he didn’t care since there were many eye-related skills, but it seemed that this was no ordinary skill.
“They are pretty good eyes,” YuWon didn’t deny it.
In this fight, YuWon had focused his energy into [Cinder Eyes] more than anything. He already knew how Hypnos fought, so it was a matter of seeing through his illusions. Hypnos’s skill mixed reality and illusions, so it was critical to discern what was real or not.
‘There’s nothing better than the Golden Cinder Eyes for that,’ YuWon thought to himself.
[Cinder Eyes] was not a perfect skill. As it wasn’t completed into the [Golden Cinder Eyes] yet, its effects were still half-baked.
Despite that, [Cinder Eyes] was the best counter-skill to illusion-type skills. The reason why YuWon was confident in this fight was all thanks to [Cinder Eyes.]
“It’s not over yet,” Hypnos said, clasping his wound and walking towards YuWon. “If illusion-type skills don’t work, I’ll use another method—!”
“No,” YuWon cut him off, putting down his bloody sword. “It’s over.”
“What?” Hypnos said in confusion.
He knew that he wasn’t in a great state, but for YuWon to lower his guard so much…
On top of that, YuWon started to calm his fighting spirit.
‘Is he trying to catch me off guard again?’ Hypnos wondered.
However, Hypnos was no longer going to underestimate YuWon. YuWon had exhibited far too great a strength for him to do that anymore.
Hypnos’s eyes glared while he gripped his dagger tight.
‘I will slit his throat this time,’ Hypnos thought to himself.
Penalty overflowed from Hypnos’s body.
Hypnos had no intention of going easy anymore since he now knew YuWon could see through his illusions.
However… he could not move his dagger, as if a powerful force had taken hold of his weapon.
“Behind you,” YuWon said while smiling. “Look who’s here.”
Cold sweat started gathering on Hypnos’s forehead.
He didn’t have to be told to know who would have arrived at a moment like now.
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Hypnos carefully turned his head around to see a mean-faced, red-skinned, giant man.
“Sir…” Hypnos trailed off.
It was the 11th Floor’s Administrator who had given Hypnos his position as the test examiner.