Chapter 421 - Dragon Temple (8)
“Dammit!” The leader of Black Dragon, the Autumn Lord Tom, couldn’t contain his anger and swept away the items on his desk. Crash. They were all rare and precious items, treasures that his mother, the Summer Queen, had given him because he was the youngest. However, the sight of them made him feel dissatisfied.
The rumors he heard made him lose all reason—rumors that the dragon king Kalatus’ grave had been discovered. At first, he hadn’t believed them. Talk of a hidden site on the fiftieth floor had been circulating for a long time, but even if it did exist, he never thought the idiotic Gluttony Emperor who would find it first.
To Tom, the Gluttony Emperor was just a tool for decreasing White Dragon’s forces and an easy prey in the future. However, now that he’d discovered the rumors were true, he felt dismayed.
With all the Draconic species gone, and the descendants of the Summer Queen all battling to be her true successor, finding the ancient site of the old dragons could be something that would turn the tide. The legacy of the dragons wasn’t just a treasure in itself, it was also a good excuse to declare yourself the true successor to the Draconic species.
However, this treasure was now in the hands of the Gluttony Emperor, whom he’d already betrayed once. Waltz had become involved in this because she was fighting with Blood Land. The entire situation just made Tom feel worse. “I have to interfere somehow. Any way I can…”
There was still time to enter the grave under the pretext of helping Blood Land, but he would risk being trapped and lose even more of his soldiers. He’d heard that the grave was a labyrinth and one wrong step meant suffering a lot of damage. However, there were rumors that Blood Land had a map. He needed to appease that disgusting pig, the Gluttony Emperor. Overnight, the person who had the upper hand had changed. “I have to give that pig something he will like. What do I have that he’ll want?”
What would be a treasure that the greedy and vain Gluttony Emperor would like? Tom paced around his room and racked his brain. A crystal rolling on the ground suddenly glowed.
『Youngest, I heard your situation isn’t too different from ours. How about we work together for a while?』 A familiar voice rang out. It was one of the leaders of Green Dragon, Dragon Tiger Hyall.
Tom bent over and picked up the crystal. The Summer Queen had given one to each of her children a long time ago, and they hadn’t used it since they’d begun fighting among themselves.
His other siblings were probably as desperate as he was. Thinking that it might be worth listening to their offer, Tom said, “Long time no see, brother.”
* * *
As Ivan felled the Spartoi with the few subordinates he had left, a flash of light burst in front of his eyes. He only felt two things: it was hot and he was furious. He knew what the flames coming from the walls of the cave were, and he felt it was pathetic that he couldn’t do anything but be a sitting duck.
When he came to, his subordinates were all gone, and only a hated face appeared in his vision. It was a man wearing a black mask and coat, the enemy that had taken his son from him and destroyed his clan: the Hoarder, Cain.
“Why are you keeping me alive?” Ivan growled at Yeon-woo. He was wrapped up in strange chains, and he couldn’t even use his skills. His pride wouldn’t let him be pulled around like a dog on a leash. He would rather die than be a prisoner of war like this.
However, Yeon-woo just retrieved strange-looking beads from the skeletal Spartoi using his shadows, as though he couldn’t hear Ivan.
“Why are you keeping me alive?!” Ivan couldn’t hold back his rage and shouted once more. Only then did Yeon-woo stop what he was doing and slowly turn around. His eyes behind the mask were still and emotionless.
“I’m not keeping you alive. I’m just leaving you alone because of Kahn.”
Ivan was speechessl.
“I don’t know what happened between you and Kahn. But Kahn is a special friend, and since you’re his father, I won’t do anything to you. I’ll let Kahn decide.”
“Do you plan on humiliating me?”
“If you think it’s humiliating, you can bite your tongue off and die.”
“Like I said, I don’t have any particular reason for keeping you alive aside from Kahn. If you want to die, be my guest. I’ll decide whether I toss Kahn your corpse or hide it.”
Ivan couldn’t respond.
“And if you want to die, die quietly on your own. Don’t hurt your only son’s heart.”
Ivan bit his lower lip. He realized that in the end, he was worthless to Yeon-woo, just as he was worthless to the Head Bishop, Waltz, and Magnus. He realized how useless he was.
Yeon-woo tsked to himself as he watched Ivan. ‘How annoying.’ He knew that something had happened between Kahn and Ivan, and he was angry because he had experienced the same thing back on Earth.
His father had been irresponsible when it came to their family, and it disgusted him that despite that, he still had a lot of pride. He thought it would be best to leave the decision to kill Ivan to Kahn. ‘And I can keep him as a hostage if necessary, too.’ Yeon-woo glanced at the silent Ivan. It seemed like Ivan wouldn't speak any more nonsense. Then he looked at the stone door in front of him. ‘According to the diary, this should be it.’
The labyrinth was as complex as an ant colony, and there were many stone rooms hidden throughout it. Some were used to store weapons, some were laboratories, while others were libraries and farms for materials. It was possible to own one after passing a test, and each one was guaranteed to be incredible since it had been left behind by the Draconic species.
However, Yeon-woo wasn’t interested in those. ‘The stone rooms contain failed experiments or mass-produced items with low quality.’
The real treasure was probably stored in Kalatus’ lair, the stone room ahead was the only way to get there. From the outside, it looked like any other stone room, but when Yeon-woo held his hand over it with magic power, rune letters glittered over the door. Creak. With the sound of gears turning, the stone door opened.
“Wait, I have something to…!” Just then, Ivan called out to Yeon-woo, but Yeon-woo’s shadow suddenly stretched over him and swallowed him up. Nothing good would come out of showing what was inside to an outsider.
The interior of the stone room that Yeon-woo entered was relatively small. There didn’t seem to be any structures or equipment, just a black crystal ball on a pedestal in the center of the room. To players searching for treasure, it wouldn’t look like much, but it was what Yeon-woo needed the most in the labyrinth. He slowly climbed the pedestal and observed the ball. It was cracked and pieces of it had fallen off. Up close, it looked more like an egg than a ball. were different cracks on it,
[Description: An egg with an undetermined utility. From its cracked appearance, it appears restoration is necessary.]
Yeon-woo pulled out all the pieces of Kalatus’ tooth that he had gathered so far. The black egg and the pieces floated up into the air, whirling as they merged into one. It rotated like a Rubik’s cube then turned into a tiny fairy.
『Are you the one who woke me up?』 The fairy glowed with a blue light as he slowly opened his eyes. His gaze was like a machine’s, completely devoid of emotions.
Yeon-woo nodded. “Yes. You’re Uballa, the main core processor of this labyrinth, right?”
『You recognize me, although this is my first time seeing you.』
“You can say that.”
Kalatus’ five protectors are all uniquely powerful. Their leader is Uballa, the protector who can also be considered the main processor of the complex network of protectors. Also, his motive for protecting the labyrinth is…
“I can’t be called a visitor if I’m visiting a grave without even knowing who the owner’s son is.”
That he’s Kalatus’ son, whom Kalatus had no other choice but to lose a long time ago. It’s the face he’s longed for his entire life. Although he was a great dragon king, this is what blinded him and led to the extinction of his species.
『I never imagined I’d be called by that name after waking up from my long slumber.』 His voice was still mechanical and emotionless, but Yeon-woo felt like he was sighing. 『My master, Kalatus, preserved the memories of his beloved child in me, but I’m a storage space for data. I have no identity as his child. I’m merely the system named Uballa that watches over this labyrinth.』 Uballa spoke flatly, as though he didn’t want to discuss it any further. 『Anyway, you must be the one whom Lord Kalatus and Mr. Cha Jeong-woo mentioned.』
The person that Kalatus and Cha Jeong-woo had mentioned…Yeon-woo’s eyes flashed. Did Jeong-woo leave something behind here as well? The vestige of his brother said he had no memory of his death. Perhaps this was related. “Yes.”
『Would you like to take on the authority that was given to Mr. Cha Jeong-woo?』
『Understood. There is a simple procedure to confirm. Do you accept?』
『Please input your password here.』
A small light sparked in front of Yeon-woo and a transparent window opened. Yeon-woo placed his palm on it and inserted magic power. Everyone had a unique magic power pattern. Since Yeon-woo’s had received his body type from his brother, it was the same as Kalatus’.
『It has been confirmed. User Cha Yeon-woo will now be given the authority of user Cha Jeong-woo.』
Suddenly, Yeon-woo felt like his body was beginning to levitate in the air.
The scenery around him changed. Yeon-woo was no longer standing in a dark cave; he was floating in mid-air, looking down at the labyrinth.
“I think I’ve uncovered the secret to this place. How about we work together for a moment, Head Bishop?”
He saw Waltz speaking to the Head Bishop.
“Shit! Cain! Where is Cain! It’s not like what you said! Where are you!”
“Your Majesty, please compose your… aaack!”
“I’ll eat it all! I’ll gobble it all up!”
Elsewhere, he saw the Gluttony Emperor suddenly losing his mind from the Dragon’s Curse after failing to control his magic power.
“So this is the Dragon Labyrinth.”
“There are a lot of moths flying into the fire here.
He saw Black Dragon and Green Dragon working together to push away hundreds of players at the entrance in order to get inside.
“Aaack! Fuck! What is that? A guard? What the…!”
Some were fighting Balnanta.
“Headquarters! Why can’t I contact headquarters?!”
“All contact has just been cut off!”
He could also see a huge number of players getting swept away by the guards after falling into random spaces inside the labyrinth. That wasn’t all. He could see the locations of all the traps set-up in each tunnel and stone room, and the active protectors. He now had the authority to change the settings for everyone since his brother had been given the authority of head administrator.
With Uballa continually accessing him, he received all the authorizations to change the labyrinth as he wished. He almost felt dizzy from the rush of information.
『Be careful not to be swept away by the information. The moment you are dazed by the labyrinth, you will lose your identity.』
Yeon-woo closed his eyes, catching his breath for a moment, and opened them again. His expanded world of consciousness from his Demonic Draconic Divine Body smoothly processed the information of the labyrinth and slowly synchronized him with it.
[You now have complete access.]
In that instant, Yeon-woo felt like he could do anything within the labyrinth, as though he had the power of a transcendent like a god or a demon. He wasn’t worried about anything, and he was prepared to let the confusion grow rather than interrupt it. He located Edora, and after confirming that she was safely moving through the labyrinth, he raised his head and soared higher than ever, slicing through the clouds.
He finally reached the center of the labyrinth and saw a grand, floating castle. It was Laputa, Kalatus’ lair and final haven. It was also the secret location of Arthia’s clan house. Within the labyrinth, there were hidden otherworlds.
Yeon-woo tried to approach the castle, but before he began beating his Fire Wings, he paused. The sky over the castle should have been a clear blue, but it was stained with darkness, and strange objects that looked like tentacles were creeping towards Laputa. “Hm?”
Yeon-woo’s eyes widened at the sight that even the diary didn’t reveal. It occurred to him all of a sudden that this might be the thing that Kalatus had warned him about. “What is that?” He turned to Uballa. Since Uballa was the system core of the labyrinth’s defenses, he would probably know what it was.
『I don’t know. Neither does the vestige my master left behind. All that we know is that being comes from a place so far away that even the old sages of our species didn’t recognize it. It doesn’t have a name, so it’s commonly referred to as the “otherworld god”. It is trying to use this island as a gateway.』 Uballa spoke in an impassive voice as he watched the black tentacles. 『The old sages of the great species called it Crawling Chaos.』