Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 91
Ant. It was a degrading nickname used by Giants to refer to humans.
It was a word that anyone would find unpleasant being called, even if they didn’t know the meaning, but one would have to be an idiot to not comprehend that it meant something negative.
“Kwant,” Buar glared at the Giant standing in front of him. “Watch your tongue. He’s Elder Urpha’s guest.”
“Elder Urpha’s?” He acted shocked for a second before scoffing. “His age must be getting to him, doing something so meaningless.”
“You know it just as well I do. The Elder’s become a pacifist from growing old. You should watch yourself. Have more dignity than hanging out with a critter like this…”
“Kwant.” Nwiar, who had been staying quiet, spoke up. “You should watch what you say.”
“Alright, alright. Sorry, sorry,” Kwant spoke with a joking tone as he walked past Buar.
As Kwant walked by, he locked eyes with YuWon. Towering more than a meter over him, Kwant looked down at YuWon with distaste but left without doing anything.
Buar glared at Kwant’s back, grumbling with a frustrated tone, “You fucking bastard…”
“Big brother, calm down. Fighting amongst ourselves will only cause trouble for the Elder.”
“Then when can I fight?”
“During the next test.”
Surprisingly, Buar was an obedient big brother.
Frustrated with anger, Buar scratched his head. He then looked over at YuWon, who was laughing, and asked irritably, “Why are you laughing?”
“Because it’s funny.”
“Aren’t you scared? No one here likes that you’re here.”
“So? It’s not like you guys like me either,” YuWon said nonchalantly.
“I guess you have a point,” Buar nodded his head as he started walking again. “Whatever. Just follow me. Also, you’re frustratingly slow, so pick up the pace.”
Buar had been walking slower to match YuWon’s walking speed.
YuWon followed Buar while being in the spotlight of the Giants’ gazes.
‘I guess I’m not very welcome,’ YuWon thought.
Currently, the Giants were in a crisis, like a candle facing a gust of wind. That’s why everyone was so on edge.
‘It’ll be annoying if a lot of them are like the guy just now.’
The Giant named Kwant openly picked a fight against YuWon. If it weren’t for Buar and Nwiar, and if not for the fact that he was a guest of the Elder, a fight would have broken out.
“Here,” Buar pointed to the giant wooden door they had arrived at.
The door was about ten meters in height, and they felt like the doors of a dungeon boss room.
Of course, in reality, it was just a normal door.
A reply came after a moment, “… Come on in.”
The door opened on its own, pushed by the wind that flowed out from inside.
Buar stepped aside for a moment because, regardless of the circumstances, YuWon was Urpha’s guest.
It was a tall, wide room. In fact, from YuWon’s perspective, it felt more like a large cave rather than a room.
YuWon’s footsteps sounded tiny inside this space.
It had finally sunk in that he was in the land of the Giants.
There was a bed, rocking chair, table, nightstand, and other furniture that were multiple times bigger than YuWon’s height… Some objects were dozens of times larger than their human-sized counterparts.
These objects made Nwiar and Buar not even seem like Giants, but just slightly tall humans.
“Nice to meet you.”
YuWon looked over at the Giant sitting on a rocking chair with a baby Big Wolf on his lap.
He spoke in a soft voice, but his voice still echoed around the room, “What was your name again? I’m getting up there in age, so my memory isn’t what it used to be.”
The Giant had wrinkles all over his face. He was a very old-looking Giant.
It was said that when you became a Ranker, you no longer aged. Despite that, this Giant appareard ancient.
The reason for this was because Urpha entered the tower at an already old age. He was the living, breathing history of the Giants.
“My name is Kim YuWon,” YuWon greeted politely, a rare action for him.
All things aside, Urpha was a being that deserved respect, considering his achievements while leading the Giants.
“Alright, YuWon. I’ve heard a lot about you.”
“Where did you hear about me?”
“From Hephaestus. That brat can’t stop talking about you.”
YuWon nodded his head at Urpha’s answer.
He’d had an inkling from the moment Nwiar said that Urpha was looking for him. Hephaestus was the only route through which Urpha, the Elder of the Giants, would know about him.
“So, you’re fighting against Olympus?” Urpha asked.
“For a kid that’s not even a Ranker yet and who’s just arrived on the 20th Floor to do so. That’s quite amazing.”
“But that’s not bravery. It’s recklessness and nothing more.”
YuWon, who had his head lowered, looked up at Urpha.
“If you value your life, give up. Even a light sneeze from them can send you flying away.”
Urpha was right. YuWon wasn’t that strong yet. YuWon was a single drop of water, but Olympus was a forest fire. He was no match for them… at least for now.
“I had heard that you were a pacifist…” YuWon said in disappointment, “But is it that you’re actually just a coward?”
The room shook.
The mana in the air trembled, pressing down on YuWon’s shoulders.
It was a considerable weight. The density and pressure of the mana was abnormal.
Even at his age, he was still a High Ranker.
“You’re yapping without thinking things through,” said Urpha.
“I’m sure you’ve already heard, but Olympus is once again preparing for the Gigantomachy,” YuWon spoke, disregarding Urpha’s anger. “Are you just going to sit by and wait for the annihilation of your race?”
The weight of the mana increased manyfold. YuWon’s feet dug more than ten centimeters into the ground.
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Urpha silently looked down at YuWon. He was in awe. Despite using a tremendous amount of that mana, YuWon was still resisting.
And that wasn’t the only thing happening.
‘The mana is rejecting my command,’ Urpha noticed.
The mana that should have been moving according to his will was trying to resist harming YuWon.
It was unknown to Urpha if YuWon was aware of this or not, but YuWon continued to stare up at him, looking him in the eyes.
There was no fear or wavering.
The threatening flow of mana that was filling the room slowly calmed.
YuWon dusted off his shoulders. Because of the effect of the heavy gravity, a lot of dust had fallen down.
“It’s as I heard. You’re fearless,” Urpha spoke in a different tone.
The oppressive tone from before was gone, and there was a warm look now in his clear eyes.
This was Urpha’s face without any masks.
“You’re right. At this rate, we’ll be annihilated.”
Urpha had already received the news from Hephaestus.
Hephaestus had long maintained a secret relationship with the Giants, so of course Urpha was notified of Olympus’s actions.
It was already fairly well-known that Olympus was preparing the next Gigantomachy.
He had chosen peace to protect his people, but he was also aware that peace didn’t always lead to talks.
“I really have heard a lot about you. Not just from Hephaestus, but also from the children climbing up.”
“Is that so?”
“Also, Hephaestus, that kid, strongly recommended you.”
YuWon’s eyes lit up. He thought maybe this would go easier than he expected.
In fact, Urpha ended up bringing it up first. “So you’re searching for the Stone of the Sea?”
“It does indeed exist, but unlike the rumors, we do not possess it.”
This was a surprise for YuWon. He had expected that he was called here because Urpha had heard he was searching for it, but to think Urpha would so easily share their secrets.
“But we do know where it is.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
YuWon didn’t doubt the credibility of Urpha’s words. He came here knowing that Urpha knew about the 「Stone of the Sea.」
He was curious why Urpha was so willingly telling him everything.
“I have two reasons.”
Urpha wasn’t sharing this information just for the hell of it.
“First, it’s because you are without a doubt not affiliated with Olympus.”
Hephaestus vouching for YuWon played a big role here. Hephaestus told Urpha that YuWon fought and rescued him from Olympus, severely delaying the second Gigantomachy.
There was no better way to prove that YuWon was not a part of Olympus.
“As for the second reason…” Urpha looked over at 「Kyneē」 in YuWon’s hand. “It’s because you’re the strongest player of this era.”
* * *
YuWon was provided a room that was way too big for his size.
He might have been a human, but Urpha was an Elder of the Giants. Under his orders, Yuwon was able to at least receive treatment as a guest.
Urpha continued rocking on his chair with the Big Wolf on his lap.
Darkness set in the forest as the night grew deeper, and Urpha’s eyes slowly closed.
He had a hazy dream. A nightmare.
“This way. Hurry!”
“Damn Olympus bastards!”
Angry roars and screams echoed into the sky.
The sharp scent of blood filled the air, and the ground became tainted red.
Urpha stood at the center of all this, staring at the dead corpses of Giants.
The sea rose up into the sky.
Giants screamed watching the sea rise like it was alive.
“It’s a tsunami!”
“The God of the Sea is here!”
The God of the Sea. He was one of the Big Three gods of Olympus and a top High Ranker.
A massive tsunami swept up the Giants.
The force of the tsunami crushed their bodies and dragged their corpses deep into the sea.
On top of the tsunami that had consumed countless Giants, a man with blue hair appeared.
‘Poseidon.’ Urpha thought, locking eyes with the god far in the distance.
Urpha remembered this moment vividly.
He was afraid.
It was shameful, but he wasn’t able do anything because of his fear.
Urpha opened his eyes.
He couldn’t remember how many times he’d had that dream now.
The nightmare of the past would make him jolt awake in cold sweat.
The Big Wolf whimpered, worried about its owner’s condition.
“I’m alright. I’m alright…” Urpha said while petting the Big Wolf’s back. He then turned his head to the window.
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He remembered the events of that day more than usual.
The Giants that died to the huge monster called the sea. The eternal enemy of Giants, capable of wiping out an entire battlefield alone.
“Things won’t go the way you want…” Urpha said, standing up in the early morning while recalling the events of that day, “… Poseidon.”