Chapter 639: Happy Ending of the End (4)
No one had ever managed to defy the power of vain over the past two years. However, it was clear that time itself was capable of defying even such a powerful ability.
Seo Jun-Sik’s injuries quickly vanished as if a tape were rewound.
Seo Jun-Sik looked down at his own body and looked up. The familiar face of his Original whom he had been wanting to see so badly was there.
‘But something is strange.’
The Original in front of him seemed different from the original he knew.
He had also said something about teaching him.
‘Someone who taught me something…’
The lightbulb in Seo Jun-Sik’s head lit up, and he shouted, “I know! You’re Sung-Jun, aren’t you?!”
“No, I’m Seo Jun-Ho.”
‘No way...’ Seo Jun-Sik narrowed his eyes and raised an objection. “The only thing you’ve ever taught me was the pain and anguish of working under a terrible boss, Original.”
“At least I taught you something.”
“...I mean, I guess?”
Seo Jun-Sik tilted his head and fell into deep contemplation.
The members of the resistance army’s main team slowly approached Seo Jun-Ho.
“Jun-Ho? Are you really Jun-Ho?”
“Did you guys get scammed by a fake Seo Jun-Ho or what? What are these reactions?”
“What are you talking about, huh? Why do you think we’re so surprised to see you?!” Skaya slapped Seo Jun-Ho on the back and shouted, “You disappeared for five years without telling us anything!”
“...Five years? Is that how long it’s been?”
Seo Jun-Ho smiled slightly. He knew that quite a lot of time would pass until he was done with his business in the dimensional gap, but he didn’t expect that it would take him five whole years to emerge.
Seo Jun-Ho looked at his friends one by one.
“It’s been five years, but no one got old. You guys still look the same.”
The aging process was slowed down once one reached the Liberation Stage, so it wasn’t strange that they didn’t have even a single wrinkle on their face, they were reached beyond the Liberation Stage.
“On the contrary, Jun-Ho—you look…” Kim Woo-Joong trailed off while staring intently at Seo Jun-Ho. He felt like he could understand why Seo Jun-Sik mistook him for someone else. “You seemed to have changed.”
“Is that so?”
‘What should I say…’
Seo Jun-Ho’s eyes used to shine brightly before, as if his eyes contained the entire universe. However, Kim Woo-Joong couldn’t deduce Seo Jun-Ho’s emotions anymore.
“Yes… something is certainly different.”
“It seems like you’ve been liberated from something—oh,?of course, you’ve long gone past the Liberation Stage, but…”
Gong Ju-Ha and Shin Sung-Hyun fell into deep contemplation, trying to figure out what part of Seo Jun-Ho had changed.
However, the explosions from the city center brought them out of their contemplation.
“What took you so long, Jun-Ho…” Skaya muttered, sounding depressed. She was glad to have an old friend back, and she welcomed him from the bottom of her heart. “...But it’s too late.”
The Star Destruction Stage demons were descending upon them from the gates of hell above them. The Players only had two choices left: flee to the 1st Floor and die there eventually, or stay here and bring down at least one more demon with them to death.
“It’s not too late,” Seo Jun-Ho muttered amidst the inferno. All eyes landed on him, and he smiled softly before continuing. “I’m sorry that I didn’t reach out to you guys in the past five years, but I really mean it. It’s not too late.”
“...Yikes, this is bad. He must have really hurt his brain while he was gone somewhere.”
Seo Jun-Sik looked sad.
However, Seo Jun-Ho simply ignored Seo Jun-Sik and said, “I’ll make it short since we don’t have much time left. I’ll take care of the Star Destruction Stage demons, so you guys just take care of the demons on the ground.”
“Specter-nim. Do you even know how many Star Destruction Stage demons are up there?”
“146 Star Destruction Stage demons,” Seo Jun-Ho answered as if Shin Sung-Hyun’s question was the sum of one plus one. His expression then turned serious as he continued. “I’ll say it again. I’ll be responsible for taking care of the Star Destruction Stage demons, but you guys will have to be responsible for the demons that have already come out of that dimensional rift. Do you guys think you can handle it?”
“As long as there aren’t any Star Destruction Stage demons… we can do it.”
“We promise. We can stop the rest of the demons as long as we join forces with the other Players.”
Seo Jun-Ho nodded upon hearing the confidence in Rahmadat’s voice.
“But, Original. What are you going to do with the Star Destruction Stage demons? For your information, they aren’t the type who’ll go back to where they came from with just a conversation.”
“I’m well aware.” Seo Jun-Ho smiled and raised his hand. “White Flower of Chaos.”
He tapped on the demons plummeting from the sky with his index and middle finger, and hundreds of beautiful white flowers bloomed all over the sky next to the demons, taking them away somewhere where they would rest forever.
And that was it—the Star Destruction Stage demons were gone.
Everyone was rendered speechless at the surreal sight that had unfolded before them.
Rahmadat was the first person to come to his senses.
“...Huh. There’s no way I’ll ever be able to catch up to you now,” he grumbled, sounding both disappointed and relieved.
Rahmadat had risen to the Star Destruction Stage by training and fighting like crazy for the past five years, but his friend had transcended the Stages.
Seo Jun-Ho had become his own universe, and nothing could stop him anymore.
“Transcendent.” Rahmadat waved his huge hand and said, “Go. Don’t worry about us.”
“Yeah, hurry up and go!”
It was a huge waste of manpower to let a Transcendent deal with Liberation Stage demons.
Seo Jun-Ho smiled softly at his friends pushing him away.
He nodded at them and said, “I’ll get going, then.”
Seo Jun-Ho turned into darkness itself and soared into the sky. When he entered the dimensional rift where the demons were coming from, he pulled up his magic and carved a beautiful, pitch-black line.
The demons on the 7th Floor, the 8th Floor, and the 9th Floor were killed. Seo Jun-Ho soon found himself on the 10th Floor, and that was when he restrained his magic.
[This is the 10th Floor.]
[Bringer of Spring’s effect has been activated. All stats increased by 30.]
‘What is this energy?’
Seo Jun-Ho still hadn’t placed his foot on the ground on the 10th Floor, but he could already feel a massive amalgamation of energy on one side of the planet.
Seo Jun-Ho hurriedly headed to where the energy was coming from, and he soon found hundreds of people staring at each other.
They seemed to be divided into two groups.
A few people noticed Seo Jun-Ho, and they directed their killing intent at Seo Jun-Ho.
The energy within them was so intense that Seo Jun-Ho felt nervous facing them, even though he was already a Transcendent creature.
‘They’re?Transcendents… but how come there are so many of them?”
A Transcendent approached Seo Jun-Ho.
“You’re still alive, you punk?!”
It was Reiji.
She greeted Seo Jun-Ho, but she quickly scolded him without letting his guard down against the other group. “You crazy punk! Why are you here? Do you even know where you are right now?”
“I still haven’t done anything crazy yet.”
“What nonsense are you spouting? The fact that you came here in the first place is already troublesome—” Reiji abruptly shut her mouth upon realizing something. “Wait, you… When on earth did you…”
“Yeah. It just kind of happened.” Seo Jun-Ho shrugged and glanced at the other group.
He assumed that Reiji’s group were the remaining Transcendents of the Aeon Empire and its allies, while the other group was filled with Transcendents standing on the Archduke’s side.
“I thought you guys have been doing absolutely nothing useful, but it turns out that you have been fighting in your own way.”
“Wow, you always know how to piss me off.”
‘I can’t beat him up anymore.’ Reiji let out a frustrated sigh and checked Seo Jun-Ho’s power level again. ‘Yeah, he’s really a Transcendent like me.’
Of course, two Transcendents wouldn’t have the same level of prowess just because they were both Transcendents.
Reiji knew that fact better than anyone else. “Hah.”
And that was exactly why she acknowledged Seo Jun-Ho—the latter had become more powerful than her.
“You madman… it’s good to see you back,” said Reiji. She then turned around and continued. “Go up! We’ll take care of this place.”
“It looks like you guys need help, though. Are you sure you’re going to be okay?”
“Are you kidding me? They’re Transcendents, but it doesn’t mean they’re as strong as us.”
Indeed, it seemed that the Transcendents of the Aeon Empire were more powerful than the Transcendents standing on the Archduke’s side.
- Take this.
A massive humanoid figure made out of steel moved and approached Seo Jun-Ho.
“Take it away from him!”
“Don’t let him take that away!”
The Transcendent demons went mad and rushed toward Seo Jun-Ho, but the Transcendents of the Aeon Empire formed a wall to block them.
“...What is this?” asked Seo Jun-Ho. Deus Ex Machina had just handed over a small mechanical device to him. It was a spherical object made up of countless cogs.
- It’s proof that we haven’t been playing around over the years.
“What does that mean? I—”
Seo Jun-Ho trembled as a massive fight between Transcendents broke out.
He couldn’t help but tremble at the intensity of the fight.
The 10th Floor was reduced to ashes in an instant, and the surrounding stars also exploded like fireworks.
- Hurry up! You have to get out of here!
“Wait, what is this thing?” asked Seo Jun-Ho.
- It’s a ray of hope made with our wishes, and only you can use it!
Deus Ex Machina shouted and opened a dimensional rift.
Seo Jun-Ho stared at the demons running toward him before jumping into the dimensional rift.
Seo Jun-Ho found himself in an empty portion of the starry skies. He had gotten so far away from the 10th Floor that he could no longer feel the Transcendents. He examined the mechanical device he had received from Deus Ex Machina.
Description: Mechanical device made by the Transcendents of the Aeon Empire at the risk of their lives
Effect: One can perform modifications to the System with this device.
‘I can modify the System?’ Seo Jun-Ho immediately said, “Kill the Archduke.”
A familiar System message popped up along with a familiar mechanical voice.
[It is an order that cannot be carried out.]
‘Well,?makes?sense that it can’t carry that order out.’
Seo Jun-Ho cleared his throat and said, “Raise the level of every Player by a hundred.”
[It is an order that cannot be carried out.]
“Raise all my stats by a hundred points.”
[It is an order that cannot be carried out.]
“...Can you raise my Strength just by one?”
[It is an order that cannot be carried out.]
‘This is useless,’ Seo Jun-Ho inwardly lampooned with a crestfallen expression. “What am I supposed to use this for?”
Seo Jun-Ho had a few guesses. ‘They probably made this device to counter the Archduke. He has been becoming more powerful by nibbling on the System. They did say that they couldn’t interfere with the System even if they were Administrators.’
However, Seo Jun-Ho had no idea how to use the device in his hand, as it couldn’t carry out any of his commands. ‘What’s the point of this device when it can’t even raise my stats by one?’
A rift in space abruptly manifested ahead of Seo Jun-Ho.
“...” Seo Jun-Ho’s eyes turned cold as he wordlessly stared at the dimensional rift.
The energy from within the dimensional rift was definitely demonic energy, and it was the most powerful demonic energy Seo Jun-Ho had ever felt.
‘It’s the Archduke.’
The Archduke was calling for Seo Jun-Ho.
Seo Jun-Ho slowly walked into the dimensional rift.
The space beyond the dimensional rift contained a desolate planet riddled with craters, making it look like the moon. The space up above was desolate as well, with neither stars nor meteoroids.
On the planet was absolutely nothing but only one throne.
“Player Seo Jun-Ho,” said the Archduke as he sat on his throne.
It had been a long time since Seo Jun-Ho saw the Archduke in Specter’s memories, but the Archduke still looked exactly the same as back then.
‘And he’s not even in a dimensional gap. Is he really an Absolute?’
Seo Jun-Ho felt like even a god would be a mere ant in front of the Archduke.
“Let me ask you a question,” asked the Archduke. “What do you think about my plan?”
“Are you talking about that absurd plan to drag all living beings into paradise?”
“...I see. It seems that my plan is absurd to you,” said the Archduke. “It’s a pity that Specter died. He was my friend, and he understood me perfectly.”
“He decided to understand you somehow, as he knew that he couldn’t beat you.”
“That’s an interesting interpretation.” The Archduke looked at Seo Jun-Ho with amused eyes and asked, “Does that mean you can beat me, unlike him?”
The reason Seo Jun-Ho had come here was to fight the absolute ruler in front of him. It was to pull out the root cause of everything he had been through.
“Summon Spirit—the Frost Queen.”
“I would have been disappointed if you hadn’t summoned me.”
The Frost Queen stood next to Seo Jun-Ho with her arms crossed. She had become much taller and more mature than before, as she had grown up on her own while Seo Jun-Ho was going through lifetimes’ worth of memories.
“A visit from two people whose fates are intertwined with mine...”
The Archduke had a hunch that perhaps today would be the grand finale.