After Ten Millennia in Hell

Chapter 419 - Darkness Casting Over The Future



Chapter 419 - Darkness Casting Over The Future

[Cough! Cough!]

Elune, who had manifested by borrowing Iris's body, coughed aggressively with one hand covering her mouth.

"A-Are you okay?" Han Seol-Ah asked as she used healing magic on Elune.

White light flowed into Elune and her complexion improved. She turned to look at Seol-Ah in surprise.

[Why do I feel Lady Seraph's energy inside you...?]

"Oh, that's..." Seol-Ah slurred in puzzlement.

Not even she knew why Seraph's soul was inside her. Oh Kang-Woo narrowed his eyes and scanned Elune as an awkward air was lingering between Seol-Ah and Elune.

'What's going on? Has the Deific Manifestation not been properly realized?'

As Layla had mentioned, Elune's Deific Essence was highly unstable. It was as if he was looking at a critically injured patient. Kang-Woo was reminded of something as he looked at Elune coughing up blood.

'She gives off the same feeling as Layla when I first met her.'

At the time, Layla's condition had deteriorated to the point that she needed to be in a wheelchair and was blind. Her condition was because Gaia had been injured due to the invasion of the Demon of Prophecy into Earth, damaging Earth's protection in the process.

'An incarnation's state of being is connected to their respective god.'

In other words...

'Is Elune injured?'

The first thing that Kang-Woo wondered was why. He had heard that, unlike the other gods, high elves resided in a dimension that a giant tree known as the World Tree was.

'It's an important tree that acts as a pillar for the Triad, from what I've heard.'

According to Douglas, the World Tree was created by Yggdrasil, the Titan of Life. They also created high elves to be the guardians of the World Tree, and elves were derived from the high elves.

'I heard that the World Tree was protected by a powerful barrier.'

The barrier had been so powerful that not even Demon God Bauli, who had been rampaging to destroy the Triad during the era of myths, was able to approach anywhere near the World Tree.

'If Elune was injured despite that...'

It meant that something terrible had happened within the World Tree.

"Lady Elune," Kang-Woo called.

[Ah, savior.] Elune turned to Kang-Woo while in the middle of being healed by Seol-Ah. Just then, her eyes widened. [Huh? H-How?]

Elune looked around in disbelief. Her mouth opened in shock as she looked back and forth at Kang-Woo and Kim Si-Hun behind him.

[Th-there are... t-two saviors?]

"Pardon?"

'Oh, fuck.'

A chill ran down Kang-Woo's back. He aggressively bit his lip.

'Shit. It wasn't me.'

He had thought he had been chosen as the savior because he had acquired the Derific Essence of Splendor and his fame had spread throughout the continent. However, his guess had been way off the mark.

'I forgot that he was the protagonist.'

Kang-Woo put a hand on his forehead and bit his lip. He had been acting as the light so much lately that he had forgotten the most important fact; he was not the savior but the Demon of Prophecy who would bring all world to an end.

[But according to the prophecy... No, prophecies aren't always correct,] Elune muttered in confusion.

Kang-Woo placed his hand on her shoulder to change the subject. "Please calm down, Lady Elune."

[Ah...]

"More importantly, what just happened? You coughed up blood all of a sudden... Is something wrong with Iris's body?"

[No, not at all. Rather, the problem is... me.]

Elune lowered her head with a stiff expression and touched the blood on Iris's clothes as if she were sorry for hurting Iris.

"Is something wrong?"

[...]

Elune clenched her clothes while biting her lip. Kang-Woo waited for her to answer without rushing her.

Elune then answered, [The World Tree... has begun to rot.]

"Pardon?"

'It can rot?'

[It is of course not a natural phenomenon.] Elune shook her head and continued, [Someone is corrupting the World Tree intentionally.]

"... Who?"

[Well... We have yet to find the culprit either. The power of the high elves comes from the World Tree. Since the source of our power is suddenly rotting...]

"Your condition has become so critical that you can barely maintain your Deific Essence?" Kang-Woo asked. Uptoodated from n/0/v𝒆lbIn.(co/m

[...] Elune nodded in silence.

Kang-Woo clicked his tongue.

'If even the leader of the high elves coughed up blood as soon as she manifested...'

There was no question about the condition of the other high elves.

'This isn't good.'

Kang-Woo frowned. Elune's condition was only a little better than Gaia's back when the Gaia System was damaged.

'Would she be able to locate the Demon God's corpse in this state?'

The reason that they wanted to meet the high elves was ultimately to figure out the location of the Demon God's corpse. However, seeing the state that Elune was in, it seemed like a stretch for her to locate it.

'No, no.'

Elune may know where the corpse was without needing to locate it with her power.

"Lady Elune," Kang-Woo called.

[Yes?]

"We're searching for the Demon God's corpse. Do you perhaps know anything about where it is?"

[Ah...] She lowered her head apologetically as her lips quivered. [I apologize. Because the World Tree is rotting... We can barely use our power to detect the demonic.]

"Is there anything about its location that you knew about in the past?"

[... Do you know what the Demon God's corpse sealed in Aernor is?]

Kang-Woo nodded. He had heard about it from Gaia before coming here.

"I heard that it is the Demon God's heart."

[Yes, that is correct. It is the region that contains the largest portion of Demon God Bauli's power as well as the decisive region for his revival.] Elune continued in a low tone, [After the war against the Demon God ended, Lady Gaia asked me to seal the heart in a barrier that changes location in specific time intervals. It was so that no one could figure out where it was without being chosen by the World Tree.]

"..."

"W-Wait! That means..." Cha Yeon-Joo sprang up from her chair with a hardened expression. If its location changed periodically... "We have no way of finding the Demon God's corpse anymore..." she muttered lifelessly.

Kang-Woo did not look good either.

'It's sealed in a barrier that changes locations?'

He swept up his hair as he sighed deeply. If that was true, it was truly impossible to find the Demon God's heart without Elune's help.

'Fuck.'

Kang-Woo almost swore out loud due to the unexpected development. He had thought about combing through the entire continent if not even the high elves knew where the corpse was, but that plan had gone up in flames.

'We need Elune's help.'

If that was the case, there was only one way.

"Is there a way to restore the World Tree?" asked Kang-Woo as he placed his hand on Elune's shoulder.

[... There is.]

Kang-Woo sighed in relief. "How do we do it?"

[The World Tree is being corrupted because of a black thorn embedded in it.]

"A black thorn?"

[Yes. I don't know exactly what it is, but... I am sure that it is muddling the inside of the World Tree and absorbing its energy.]

"I see." Kang-Woo softly nodded.

The way forward was bleak after hearing about the Demon God's heart, but it cleared up after hearing the solution.

"Do we just have to get rid of that thorn, then?" he asked.

[... Yes, b-but it is extremely dangerous because the World Tree's energy is running rampant around the area!] Elune shouted as her pointy ears trembled.

Kang-Woo smirked and turned to his party members; they were nodding despite him not saying anything. He turned back to Elune and said, "It's okay. We will dispose of the thorn that is corrupting the World Tree."

[Ah...] Elune expressed.

She lowered her head as she teared up. Her shoulders were trembling; perhaps because she was in Iris's body, she looked like back when Iris was freed from Fidelio's grasp.

[Th-thank you. Th-thank you... very much!] Elune bowed repeatedly.

Kang-Woo smiled awkwardly as he looked down at her.

'She doesn't give off the aura of a Top-rank goddess at all. Well, in any case...'

She was far easier to deal with than someone like Gaia.

[May your path be filled with blessings, dear saviors.]

Elune brought her hands together and prayed. Green light flowed out from her and filled the room.

Riiing.

[You have received 'Elune's Blessing!']

[Raising all stats by 5.]

'Oh, I completely forgot about stats.'

Kang-Woo had reached a point where increases in his Demonic Energy stat did not mean much to his growth. However, it was always welcome.

"Thank you very much," he remarked.

[I don't know why there are two saviors contrary to the prophecy, but... considering how powerful you both are, I believe that you will be able to stop this world's demise.]

Elune looked at Kang-Woo and Si-Hun with a bright smile. She stood up as she staggered.

[Ngh...!]

"Ah! B-be careful!"

Layla quickly caught Elune as she was about to fall.

[Thank you, incarnation of Gaia.] Elune bowed slightly to Layla and slowly walked toward Kang-Woo and Si-Hun. [Could you two come toward me for a second?]

"... Okay."

"Of course."

Kang-Woo and Si-Hun glanced at each other for a second and walked toward Elune. Elune grabbed each one of Kang-Woo and Si-Hun's hands and closed her eyes.

[I cannot use much of my power since my Deific Essence is unstable, but... I can at least see a little bit of your paths forward.]

Whoooom—!

A dense green light poured out from her. Kang-Woo frowned, unable to figure out what she was trying to do.

"It's foresight," remarked Douglas, who slowly walked over to Kang-Woo, as if resolving his worries.

"... Since when were you here?" Kang-Woo asked.

"How could I miss the chance to see a high elf when I've been researching them my whole life?" Douglas chuckled and continued, "What Lady Elune is doing to you right now is the unique ability of the high elves."

"Foresight?"

"To be more exact, she's warning you of the dangers you will face in the future. It's not as exact as a prophecy, though."

Kang-Woo slightly nodded.

'Dangers of the future, huh?'

He found it laughable. Danger was his everyday life and he had overcome them every single time. He wasn't all that interested in being warned of it.

'Well, but still...'

It didn't do him any harm to know.

[...]

Elune focused as she held Kang-Woo and Si-Hun's hands. A green light as comforting as the sun shining down on a peaceful forest enveloped them.

[A-Aaaahh.] Elune's mouth gaped open. [H-how...? Wh-why...?]

She trembled in disbelief. Kang-Woo and Si-Hun stared perplexedly at the trembling Elune.

[Huff, huff, huff!] Elune fell to her knees as she panted heavily.

Si-Hun carefully supported her.

"... What happened?" Kang-Woo asked in a low tone.

[Ah...] Elune trembled in pallor. [S-something's wrong...]

"What do you mean?"

[Y-your futures... A-all the possible paths that you could embark on...] Elune bit her lip. [Th-they are all shrouded in colossal darkness. An endless abyss is... engulfing your futures!]

"..."

'Huh?'

[Th-that's not possible... This is more than just encountering dangers on your path! Th-there isn't a single moment when you're free from the darkness!!]

'Wait a minute...'

[A-Aaaahh, o almighty Titans. Why... Why have you given these poor saviors such an awful fate?!]

Elune closed her eyes and teared up.

"..."

Kang-Woo glanced away from Elune. The endless abyss filling the two saviors' paths...

'... Isn't that me?'

[Sniff. Y-you will be engulfed... by a b-black sea...]

'Shit. It fucking is me.'


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