Level up with swords (267)
“Who are you!?”
Leon, startled by the voice, took a few large steps back and looked in all directions, raising his awareness.
It had to be that way.
The voice that was transmitted directly into my head was something I had experienced before when dealing with the ‘Death King’. Mental waves, not sound waves. The ability to communicate not through language, but through will itself.
It is a communication unique to higher beings.
The head of Cerberus, which had been smashed by the Five-Star Wheel, began to melt like lava from the nape of the neck where it had been cut.
The shattered skull and flesh fall down.
Because it was so large, the amount of by-products was considerable, but strangely, as soon as it hit the ground, it mixed with the soil and seeped indistinguishably.
El Cid, who saw that, said as if it was interesting.
[It’s not regenerative power. Is it restoration or overlaying?]
‘Overlaying? what is that?’
[It’s a kind of descent. You’ll know when you see it.]
When Leon’s question only came back with a vague answer, he glared straight ahead and grabbed the hilt of his sword with all his might.
Suddenly, the flesh rising from the nape of Cerberus’ neck formed the skeleton, weaved blood vessels as thin and dense as a spider’s web, and created teeth that could easily chew and crush even metal.
A head was reconstructed in less than 10 seconds!
It was right after that.
—Who did you ask, human?
A pair of eyeballs burned viciously in the regenerated head, glowing with an intelligence that had not been seen before.
Leon felt it instinctively.
Who is the owner of this voice?
—I am a dog that serves Hades, the god of the nether world, who rules over the Mage Island. He is a gatekeeper with the duty of distinguishing between the living and the dead with his three heads and punishing those who stray from his territory.
The intimidation of Cerberus increases several times.
My back, damp with cold sweat, gives me chills.
The guy I faced a little while ago was powerful, but compared to now, it was nothing. It is a being that possesses complete deity, closer to <Apophis> who was summoned to the underworld of the ecliptic than to <King of the Dead>, which had incomplete divine status.
Moreover, this ‘famous song’ was a magic scene that was close to the origin list of Cerberus. The power that should have been restricted by the law of causality was freely released and its presence was clearly revealed.
‘You can’t win this.’
Leon swallowed dry saliva without realizing it.
Cerberus also seemed to have read the reaction and giggled in a voice as thick as the sound of metal scraping.
—There is nothing to fear, human. You passed my test.
“What if it’s a test…?”
—The one who dealt with you a little while ago was me, the alter ego of Cerberus, and my main body has always remained on the borderline of the Mighty Demon.
I thought it was pretty decent for a mythical beast, but then I found out that it wasn’t even its original body, but its alter ego.
Leon, who frowned upon hearing that fact, said.
“Are you saying you were playing with me?”
—I apologize if I was offended. Because of the divine protection of the other world that resides in your human body, I had no choice but to check it out.
“God’s protection from this world?”
Leon asked back with a puzzled expression.
Cerberus responded by tilting his three heads.
—I sensed the power of Anubis, the messenger of Duat, from you? Since it wasn’t at a level that could be obtained through relics or anything like that, I wondered if it had something to do with it.
It was only after Leon heard that that he was able to recall that time.
The story that happened after defeating Nephren-Ka and freeing the corrupted Anubis from its clutches.
【My foolishness has been detrimental to you, but you have been gracious to me. Therefore, I, Anubis, as the guide of the list, must return an appropriate reward.】
【Apostle who embraces the sun, I will bestow my protection on you. If you add the stigmata engraved on that body and my protection, the dead will not be able to attack you carelessly.】
I had forgotten about it because it was not a power I could feel on my own, but that protection was definitely something that the godhead declared with his own mouth.
Cerberus, who possessed the same level of godhood, could feel it.
It was not a blessing that could be bestowed on a whim.
If you offer a huge amount of sacrifices or do not have a relationship that can be called benevolence, the law of causality does not allow it.
—Did you remember?
“I thought of something. “Why is that?”
—It is a problem of territory invasion. Since we have confirmed that you are not a descendant of Anubis, there is no need to worry any further.
Cerberus completely relaxed his fighting stance and sat down on his haunches, looking down at Leon.
—Human, I would like to ask you a favor. If you listen to that request, I will give you the reward you deserve.
“Please? “Someone like you to me?”
—Go to the center of this twisted land and destroy the connection between the Myeongbu Demon Island and this place. If you have a sword, you should be able to do it.
This time, Leon had no choice but to reveal his doubts.
“Are you asking me to destroy this demonic realm just now?”
—It’s just as they say.
As far as he knew, the outer dimension was a more barren land than this world, so he was looking for an opportunity to come over every chance he got.
However, Cerberus requested that the demonic realm corresponding to that dimension be closed. I was even more skeptical because I intuitively realized that what he said was sincere.
—Isn’t it obvious why?
Cerberus said, twitching his three pairs of eyeballs.
—Oh indeed. You are thinking wrong.
—The distortion point of this dimension may be considered a way out for the sinners of the Master of Demons, but to me, it is like a hole in the corner of a prison that must be protected. They even sent self-immolations to catch and kill those that escaped, but they still missed a few.
Leon naturally felt his heart tighten at the voice that did not hide his displeasure at all.
Higher beings threaten the lives of lower beings just by expressing their emotions. At Leon’s level, I would only feel a bit intimidated, but this pressure was not pleasant.
“Is it…impossible to close it yourself?”
—That’s why I want to ask you a favor. My power can only be exerted on the list. If I go that direction, the distortion point will become several times larger due to the scale of my power. If that happens, there is no way to handle it anymore.
Leon, convinced by Cerberus’ words, thought for a moment.
If that’s what you said, it definitely makes sense.
Watchdog of the List From that perspective, it was natural to feel uncomfortable about the existence of a passageway through which one could escape to another dimension.
According to a legend recorded in ancient times, Cerberus did not prevent the dead from entering, but would stop them from escaping at all costs.
Nevertheless, if a few of them had escaped, the anger behind those calm faces might have risen to the top of their heads.
—I think I know what you’re thinking. In my heart, I also want to kill the bastard who created this distortion, but I guess that’s his intention because he can’t hold back his anger.
When Cerberus tears open a dimensional rift and appears, Vritra benefits from the death toll that will pour in as a result.
Surprisingly, the watchdog of the list saw it right away.
“Okay, I’ll grant you that favor.”
So Leon decided to agree to Cerberus’ request.
El Cid’s advice also contributed to his choice.
[It’s not bad that the magic world is completely closed.]
‘Really? ‘Why didn’t you tell me that first?’
[uh. Aside from defeating monsters, this is a way to quickly accumulate karma. I didn’t mention it because I thought there would be a lot of guys in the center that would be difficult for you to deal with, but if that dog asks you first, the story is a little different.]
I was already planning to enter the deepest part of the world, and I had no time to choose between means and methods to deal with Vritra.
It was also worth looking forward to the ‘reward’ that Cerberus would give.
The guy growled as if he was pleased with his answer.
—Thank you, human. I will wait for you in front of the distortion point. Don’t make me wait too long.
Leon asked back with a questioning look.
“What are you planning on putting a time limit on?”
—You only have to come within 100 years. By my standards, it’s only a moment, but for you, it’s quite a long time.
“…it won’t last long until it’s overflowing with rot.”
—Heh, I see.
Cerberus let out a laugh and added a few words.
—If you kill the prisoners who escaped from the list, I will give you additional compensation. I look forward to your visit.
Eventually, Cerberus’ body became blurred and soon disappeared without leaving a trace.
The sight of a large body weighing hundreds of tons disappearing like a haze was truly unrealistic. Only then did Leon relax, lower his sword and sit down, giving in to the fatigue running through his body.
Although it was a blow, the reaction to writing <Corona> was significant.
Rodelin, who had already returned to his side, suggested.
“Shall we use recovery magic? Although it is difficult to replenish Aura, the speed of recovery from physical fatigue increases significantly.”
“I guess it’s okay. please.”
“All right. “Refresh” and “Great Healing” will be used together for 20 minutes.”
A soft light overflows from Rodelin’s palm and begins to slowly rotate as if covering Leon’s whole body.
At the same time, the fatigue gradually subsided.
It is less efficient and effective than holy magic, but if it is high-level magic, there is not that much of a difference. Leon closed his eyes and focused on recovery, reliving the fight from a little while ago.
‘I guess I’ll have to go back before I enter the deep end.’
There was something I wanted to ask William.
* * *
“what? “You talked to that being?”
When Leon returned near the entrance to ‘Famous Song’ and spoke, he even forgot his calm expression and opened his eyes wide.
It seemed like he was aware of the existence of Cerberus.
There was no way a skilled person like William couldn’t go to the depths, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he had encountered him before.
“Have you ever talked to Cerberus?”
“No, there is none.”
But William shook his head slightly.
“Strangely enough, when I tried to go to the center, that beast blocked my path and prevented my entry. “I didn’t think I could win if I fought, and I didn’t feel any killing intent, so I didn’t warn you.”
“For me—oh, I see.”
Leon, who remembered what Cerberus said was ‘test’, convinced himself. He must have been a special case in many ways, as the main body popped out as soon as the head was destroyed.
William must have thought the same thing, as his eyes widened.
“But since talking to the hero isn’t enough, you are requesting the closure of the demonic realm. Does that mean you are also an agent of the Goddess?”
Leon had nothing to say so he just smiled sheepishly, then looked around and changed the topic.
It was a question I wanted to ask since I returned to the beginning.
“What was it?”
Albion looked at him with the same noble attitude as when they first met and stroked Karen’s head as she lay on his lap.
Leon saw that and asked with a shocked expression.
“Why are you doing this?”
Albion pretended not to notice with a calm expression.
Leon ended up having to throw a fastball.
“I mean Karen.”
Did I fall asleep or was there another reason?
Karen was lying on Albion’s lap and groaning, her entire body turning bright red and she was sweating coldly.
It doesn’t look normal.
Leon soon realized the reason from Albion’s answer.
“Ah, you mean my guardian knight?”
El Cid spoke a beat late.
《…Do dragons also get senile?》
A thick blood vessel sprouted between Albion’s eyebrows.