Chapter 571 – Qualification Test (12)
Kronos could feel the two powers sleeping in the springs creak into position like cogs in a wheel. Time and death. He had lost death to Hades, but technically, it had been more of the authority to rule over the Underworld than the actual concept of death. Thanks to that, Kronos was able to release death and cloud the Illusory World. His plan was to pull Allforone into death.
[The legends of the unaffiliated G.o.d ‘Kronos’ stain the 77th floor!]
[The gate of Light, the holy territory of Player ‘Vivasvat’, is filling with Kronos’ legends.]
[Legends are swirling around.]
[Player Vivasvat lacks achievements.]
[The domain of ‘Death’ has been activated by the legends!]
[Player Vivasvat fiercely resists.]
[Player Vivasvat’s power, Invincible, has been activated.]
[The activation of ‘Death’ has been canceled due to its incompatibility.]
『Foolis.h.!.+』 Allforone’s voice was filled with fury. Most of Allforone’s skills had been paused after Kronos released his legends in the Illusory World. At this rate, they would invade Allforone’s ego, and it would be difficult for him to move. This was the moment Kronos was hoping for.
[The remaining energy of ‘Death’ has been transformed into a curse.]
[An extreme curse has afflicted Player ‘Vivasvat’!]
[‘Unstable Curse: Binding’ has been activated!]
『Hup…!』 Allforone’s actions grew slower and slower. The domain of death flowed along darkness and tightly wound around him like chains. The concept of death was not particularly effective against Allforone’s nature, but now that Allforone had been invaded by the legends and grown weaker, he was bound tightly. This was exactly what Kronos and Count Ferenc had been planning. It was the best way to buy them time.
‘But we still don’t have too much time.’
Dududu…! Allforone continued to release strength even though he was bound by darkness, and he summoned back the power he had previously expelled outside into Illusory World. The chains began to unwind at a rapid pace.
‘What an unbelievable strength.’ Kronos clicked his tongue. He couldn’t even begin to imagine where such a powerful being had come from. He was tempted to pounce on Allforone with an onslaught of attacks, but when he thought about the difference in their strengths, he knew that he didn’t have a chance.
As long as he was in the Tower, there was no way he could defeat Allforone. According to Count Ferenc, Allforone was blocking all the transcendents on his own, which meant the guy had many hidden weapons.
Eventually, Allforone would loosen his chains and turn the situation around. However, that would take time, and perhaps it would be enough for Kronos to restore his strength and try something else. Kronos looked up and suddenly spread his arms wide.
『What…are you doing?』 Allforone was fl.u.s.tered. He’d believed that Kronos was about to begin his attack.
“What else?” Kronos just grinned, as if Allforone was asking the obvious. “I’m going to save my stupid son.”
At that moment, the domain of time activated. The darkness that stained the world of light expanded more ferociously. The air vibrated, and Kronos could feel himself connecting to the broad laws of the universe. It was a sensation he hadn’t experienced in a while, and the feeling of transcending all universes and dimensions and looking at the world from above electrified his soul. At that moment, Kronos felt like he could become all-powerful and omniscient, something all divine beings desired.
In the past, he had stopped time to end Olympus’ civil war, using an ability numerous divine beings feared. ‘I guess it’s too much to spin the wheel of time and s.p.a.ce.’ However, Kronos knew that his current strength wasn’t enough. Things were too different from how they’d been in the past. Even though he was restoring his strength, it wasn’t a fraction of what he used to have.
If only he could wind back the time of the universe a little. He wasn’t asking for much. All he wanted was a month—even days. He wanted to turn back time to the moment before Jeong-woo entered the Tower…but that seemed impossible.
He’d only ever managed to spin the wheel twice when he was still in his prime, and it had only been possible because Olympus had used a significant number of laws of causality. Naturally, it wouldn’t work now.
For the first time, Kronos yearned for his old abilities, but he tried to use the wheel in another way to make himself nearly omniscient. If he perceived the past with the wheel, he would be able to see everything that was happening in the universe at that moment, and if he perceived the future, he would be able to see what would happen. Kronos would be able to do on his own what the Three Norns of the sixteenth floor had to do together.
Of course, he wouldn’t actually be able to see the future. Everyone had different fates, and there were too many variables. Nothing was set in stone. The ability to observe the possibilities was something only an emperor who transcended s.p.a.ce and time possessed, but at the moment, Kronos could approximate the ability. If he focused on a specific person or location, he would be able to limit variables as well.
Kronos chose to look at Jeong-woo and in particular, the future that was in front of Jeong-woo.
‘There’s no way I can escape Allforone’s cage now. There’s no way I can save Jeong-woo myself, so I have to find a way to help him escape the Tower somehow. That’s all I can do.’ Kronos knew his limits, so he tried to look at the different futures that Jeong-woo faced in the Tower. He planned on looking for a good outcome and leading Jeong-woo towards it.
For a short while, countless futures flashed by Kronos’ eyes. He saw over 10,000 possibilities. ‘No.’ However, despair overwhelmed him as he looked at the different futures. Despite the astounding number, not a single one had a happy end for Jeong-woo.
* * *
Yeon-woo clenched his fists. Thump, thump. His heart was beating like crazy, and his blood was circulating quickly. He almost felt dizzy. The things he’d seen of Kronos’ life so far were beyond shocking. All the things he’d believed were true had been crushed to pieces. His father had suffered for eons, and in the end, he had sacrificed himself for his wife and children.
Ignorant of this fact, Yeon-woo had only been filled with resentment towards his father in the past, and now, he could no longer contain the emotions flowing out of his heart. ‘Father…!’
He wanted to say the word at the tip of his tongue again and again, but he couldn’t. He wanted to run forward as he watched the vivid legends in front of him, and he was furious that he couldn’t.
When Kronos chased after Jeong-woo and tried to turn the tables on Allforone, Yeon-woo almost shouted, “No!” But the word didn’t escape his mouth. It couldn’t. The possible futures Kronos had seen were ones he had seen as well. ‘They’re like the ones I saw in the diary.’
Kronos was witnessing the countless futures that Jeong-woo’s vestige had to experience, the same experiences that had been recorded in the diary. He was watching the pain of Jeong-woo’s despair and anguish repeating over and over without any release. If these vivid scenes had broken Yeon-woo’s heart, how would their father feel?
‘Somehow…somehow I have to help Father!’ Yeon-woo wanted help using any means possible. Even though this was only a memory and something that already happened…even if it was in vain, he wanted to help his father. He just wanted to help.
That despairing expression wasn’t right for the despicable father he remembered. His father had always been taciturn and brusque. Whoos.h.!.+ Yeon-woo released his strength with all his might to synchronize once more. He didn’t realize that he had already begun to think of Kronos as his father for some time now. However, no matter how much he moved in the world of Kronos’ conscious mind, it was difficult to reconnect to the consciousness.
[Reconnection has failed!]
[Reconnection has failed!]
[Warning! Your current synchronization level with Kronos is unnecessarily high. If you successfully reconnect, there is a high probability of being trapped in Kronos’ legends. Instead of reconnecting, find the ‘springs’ to finish the quest.]
[Warning! Your current synchronization level is unnecessarily high. Forcing a reconnection may destroy the ego of your soul.]
[The Cold-blooded trait has failed due to an unknown reason!]
Bam! Bam! When the synchronization failed over and over, he tried to move his spirit body to break through the scenes of the legend playing out below him. However, nothing worked.
Yeon-woo raised his head with a frustrated expression. He needed to find a way, but he was too enraged to think rationally. He couldn’t help feeling annoyed since he couldn’t find a solution. Just then, Yeon-woo felt something out of place squirming in the corner of his heart. He abruptly fell into calmness. ‘The Demonism!’
He was still combined with the Demonism, and…Kronos was as well. He had finally found a point of contact. He didn’t know if it was just a coincidence the Demonism happened to move now, or if the Demonism was plotting something. The most important thing was that he’d found a way to synchronize once more. Yeon-woo gathered all his Consciousness and cast it into the Demonism.
Dududu…! Suddenly, the world of his conscious mind began to quake.
Very nice. Very… Letters from the Demonism spun over Yeon-woo’s head.
[Reconnection has been successful!]
Yeon-woo shouted as loud as he could, “Father!”
* * *
“Yeon-woo?” Kronos whipped around, thinking he’d heard his other son’s voice. But of course, there was no way Yeon-woo would be here since he was on Earth. ‘Am I hallucinating…?’ However, the voice was too real to be a mere hallucination. ‘Maybe.’
Perhaps that was why Kronos stopped focusing on Jeong-woo’s future and changed gears. Although he couldn’t name a reason, it seemed like he would be able to find a solution if he tried another direction.
Kronos rapidly spun his domain of time and saw the futures that would occur after Jeong-woo died, and he saw Yeon-woo follow Jeong-woo into the Tower. He saw Yeon-woo overcome many obstacles and reach his true body, and in the end, he watched Yeon-woo return to Kronos and view his legends.
“I said not to come because it’s dangerous… I suppose you truly are twins. Neither of you listen.” Kronos sighed and turned around.
“No.” The Yeon-woo from the future was standing there. “It’s because I’m your son.”