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The Hero Returns is a Webnovel completed by Heuk Ahin. This lightnovel is presently Ongoing.
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Chapter 249: Chapter 249
Blood splattered everywhere, and the place descended into pure chaos.
Su-hyeun’s figure cut through a straight line between the gigantic bodies of the Heavenly World’s G.o.ds he could lay his eyes on.
The Heavenly World’s G.o.ds, whose arms and shoulders were severed clean, collapsed to the ground. Su-hyeun unleashed his magical energy and fought freely after deciding not to hold back on his energy reserve.
[The trait “Necromancer” has been activated.]
[By using “Death Aura,” you can now view or command the dead.]
The moment Su-hyeun activated his trait…
At his beckoning, a gigantic snake raised its head from beneath the ground.
The Ouroboros had made its entrance.
No matter how big the Heavenly World’s G.o.ds were, they couldn’t be compared to the size of the Ouroboros. The snake used its ma.s.sive body to wrap tightly around the G.o.ds and bit their heads off clean.
The Ouroboros was the only one he summoned, however.
Su-hyeun could use Death Aura and magical energy, which were two separate and disparate powers, but he chose to conserve one of the two. And he chose Death Aura this time. At least for this occasion, his Ouroboros alone was more than enough help.
“It’s a Yogoe!”
“Sun Wukong has summoned a Yogoe!”
The G.o.ds of the Heavenly World called the Ouroboros a Yogoe. It seemed that there were quite a few Yogoes in cahoots with Sun Wukong.
“That big guy, did you summon him?”
Sun Wukong asked Su-hyeun while punching a Heavenly World’s G.o.d away with his fist.
“Yes, I summoned it.”
Su-hyeun injected a lot of his magical energy into his blade and swung it in a big arc, cutting off the head of a Heavenly World’s G.o.d.
Other than their big bodies, these so-called G.o.ds were lethargic in their movements and didn’t seem to possess any special abilities. Instead, they presented such huge targets that Su-hyeun thought they were fairly easy to fight.
“I think I somehow get just why he said they are not real G.o.ds.”
The G.o.ds of the Heavenly World.
Su-hyeun tensed up considerably after hearing that term. Even if this was the 60th floor’s trial, he believed that fighting against G.o.ds was still a bit too much for him.
However, they were not G.o.ds in Sun Wukong’s opinion. No, they were nothing more than p.a.w.n-like existences for the real deities.
In that sense, they were not that different from another race of creatures called angels, the one Su-hyeun was familiar with. They were known to be the closest beings to a “G.o.d,” the ones who could hear a G.o.d’s voice and so on.
“Commanding a dead Yogoe, huh? That’s a pretty unique ability, you know?”
“Is that so?”
Su-hyeun alternated his gaze between all the falling lightning bolts and Sun Wukong who was controlling the clouds with one hand and frankly made his impression known. “From my perspective, your abilities come across as even stranger.”
“Ah, that’s true, isn’t it?”
Sun Wukong’s punch blew off another giant’s head, and with that, the last of the Heavenly World’s G.o.ds that attacked them were killed off.
“Now it feels like a load’s taken off my chest. Tsk.”
It seemed that he was really frustrated when he had been imprisoned in the eight-way trigram Crucible for the past 500 years.
Sun Wukong turned around and took another look at the ground littered with the dead G.o.ds of the Heavenly World and then asked Su-hyeun, “Hey, man, wanna join me and do something extraordinary?”
Su-hyeun followed Sun Wukong down below.
As implied by Sun Wukong, they were not headed somewhere deep underground but to another world below the clouds.
Su-hyeun rode on Miru’s back, while Sun Wukong was on a cloud. Once they emerged beneath the cloud cover, the former looked up only to find nothing but clouds up there.
Up until then, they were actually in a world above the clouds.
“So, that was the Heavenly World,” Su-hyeun realized.
The world below was where the mortals and Yogoes lived together. And Sun Wukong was basically the king of the Yogoes down there.
“A human accompanied by a dragon. I’m telling you, you’re a really unique guy.”
“But is it more unique than a Yogoe riding around on a cloud?”
“No, well. If you put it that way, I’ve got no clever comeback for you, but still. I’m a Yogoe, right? And you’re a human.”
“Yes, I’m a human,” Su-hyeun replied, sounding unconcerned. “That’s not a problem, is it?”
“True that,” Sun Wukong said, smirking. “I’m also a Yogoe who’s unlike other Yogoes.”
Human, Yogoe, and G.o.d.
From the beginning, Sun Wukong always believed the existing boundaries among them were meaningless. He didn’t believe that the Yogoes were lacking in comparison to the G.o.ds of the Heavenly World, and that’s why he learned the Sage Arts to challenge them.
But to think that someone like him was puzzled by a human who possessed that much strength. He was basically being a hypocrite.
Not too long after that, the traveling group arrived at a traditional tile-roofed house located somewhere deep in a tall mountain.
“Don’t sweat it and come in. Ah, take off your shoes first, though. And the floorboards over there are brittle so watch out for those. Also…”
Despite being told not to worry, there did seem to be a few words of caution directed at him. Su-hyeun gingerly stepped inside the house.
They went past the living room and were about to enter one of the rooms to find someone waiting for them. Su-hyeun had been under the impression that there was no one there, so he was slightly stunned by the revelation.
“But I hadn’t sensed anyone’s presence,” Su-hyeun thought as he lingered beyond the open doorway, unable to step inside.
He reflexively sensed for any presence before entering any place that his eyesight couldn’t immediately reach. He would automatically do this to feel for any traps or dangerous opponents hidden somewhere. It was a force of habit that he built from his long history of battles.
But then, he was unable to sense anything earlier.
Within the room was a man with long white hair, dressed in an airy and luxurious dragon imperial robe. He was sitting cross-legged on the floor, his eyes studying Su-hyeun.
“Big bro! Your little bro has just returned home after being away for 500 years away, so shouldn’t you at least say h.e.l.lo?”
“Who is the guest you brought with you?”
“Worrying about a guest before your own brother? Seriously?”
“You didn’t go there to meet your doom, so there’s no problem, is there? In any case, who is this human?”
“This dude saved me. He might be a human, but he’s extremely strong. So I brought him here thinking that we could work together. There’s no problem with that, right?”
While saying his piece, Sun Wukong dusted his feet and stepped inside the room.
Su-hyeun followed after him and bowed slightly to the white-haired man. It was then that he spotted a pair of small horns protruding from the man’s head.
“Let me introduce you to each other. This over here is my big brother, a Yogoe named Bull Demon King. In the past, we fought for one year straight and grew close after that, so we now refer to each other as brothers. Despite how he looks, he’s seriously strong.”
“My name is Kim Su-hyeun.”
“Kim…What? I completely forgot that I didn’t even know your name until now. Oh, even your name’s unique.”
“Are you sure he’s really a human?”
The Bull Demon King spoke again. His gaze had been fixed on Su-hyeun since the beginning.
Sun Wukong who was playfully responding to the responses until then suddenly became quite serious.
Su-hyeun didn’t avoid the Bull Demon King’s gaze and asked, “In that case, what do I look like to you, sir?”
“If so, why did you need to ask?”
“It’s because I can see two of you. You—” The Bull Demon King stopped mid-speech, looking unsure as to how he should word his observation and then nodded his head. “You’ve lived twice, haven’t you?”
That caused Su-hyeun’s eyes to grow much bigger.
He knew exactly what that meant.
“Well, now that I have taken a closer look at you, you are indeed human after all. And a truly powerful one at that. Stronger than any human I’ve seen.” The Bull Demon King then s.h.i.+fted his gaze over to Sun Wukong. “At the very least, you’re far stronger than this one over here when we first met each other. And, dear younger brother, you should get your facts straight. We did not fight continuously for one whole year; we repeatedly went through cycles of you running away only to come back to challenge me again, which lasted one year.”
“If that wasn’t one year straight, then what was?”
“You were wielding the Ruyi Jingu Bang. And after noticing that we were fighting, the Heavenly World had to send Erlang Shen to a.s.sist you. Only then did we reach a stalemate.”
“Big bro, that…”
“It’s not ‘big bro’ but ‘dear older brother.’ I’ve lived for hundreds of millions of years longer than you, my dear little brother.”
Even though he was speaking softly with an affable smile on his face, his voice contained an unexplainable power.
At first, Su-hyeun felt incredible nervousness that numbed his hands and feet just from facing the white-haired existence.
“This feeling, it…” Su-hyeun’s thoughts trailed off.
It wasn’t as if he was outwardly displaying his power nor was he deliberately unleas.h.i.+ng his presence.
No, he was just sitting there. Even then, the presence he gave off just by being in Su-hyeun’s sight was extraordinary. The latter had sensed a presence similar to this only once before.
“Fafnir,” Su-hyeun realized.
The giant with a head of a dragon that appeared from a purple-colored dungeon.
The absolute worst monster that Su-hyeun knew.
He suddenly recalled the first time he encountered that monster. Almost immediately, the inside of his mouth dried up, and a cold sweat broke out on his whole body.
“He’s just sitting there, yet it’s already this much?” he thought.
Gooseb.u.mps broke out all over his skin.
“And Sun Wukong fought against someone like this?”
The Bull Demon King from the Journey to the West, also known as the Great Sage who Pacifies Heaven, was Sun Wukong’s sworn brother and the only Yogoe that the Monkey King had struggled to defeat.
However, that couldn’t have been true.
It wasn’t as if Su-hyeun knew everything about Sun Wukong, but there was simply no way the latter could have been an opponent to the Bull Demon King.
Unlike the so-called G.o.ds of the Heavenly World, this white-haired being came across as a genuine G.o.d in a sense.
The noise that Su-hyeun made as he swallowed his saliva seemed to have audibly echoed.
That sound woke Su-hyeun up. Even Sun Wukong and the Bull Demon King who were previously exchanging banters s.h.i.+fted their gazes over to him.
“Looks like I made you nervous. My apologies.”
“No, it’s fine,” Su-hyeun replied to the Bull Demon King’s apology and exhaled deeply.
The latter chuckled affably and addressed both Su-hyeun and Sun Wukong. “Regrettably, I can no longer accompany you.”
“Is it time?” Sun Wukong asked after hearing him say that.
“Yes. I do not know how much time I have left, but I can sense that it is imminent.”
At first, Su-hyeun didn’t understand the meaning of this conversation.
Could an existence like the Bull Demon King get sick? He couldn’t even imagine it. In that case, could it be that the white-haired Yogoe’s lifespan was almost over?
But the meaning became clear pretty quickly.
“Are you really going to become a Taoist G.o.d?”
The Taoist G.o.d (神仙).
That probably wasn’t the same thing as the G.o.ds of the Heavenly World.
No, it literally meant just that, a G.o.d. It was another type of existence who had broken out of the mortal coil and oversaw the world—not the Heavenly World—and possessed the power that approached true omnipotence.
The Bull Demon King was about to step into that realm.
“That’s correct. I haven’t left yet because of a single lingering attachment to this world. Will you be safe even after getting imprisoned in the eight-way trigram Crucible? What will happen to you after I leave—?”
“I told you, bro. No need to worry about us.”
“I know. I’m sure you’ll be fine. Still, a part of me was worried. But now…” The Bull Demon King took another look at Su-hyeun and said, “I feel greatly relieved.”
His gaze caused Sun Wukong’s eyes to s.h.i.+ft over to Su-hyeun as well.
“Will you be working with us?”
Just listening to the Bull Demon King’s voice made Su-hyeun’s heart thump loudly.
The Bull Demon King.
The influence his presence alone had on Su-hyeun was hard to describe in mere words. It felt like the latter was witnessing the true heights of strength—something he hadn’t sensed before—with his own two eyes.
“Am I…going to be the Bull Demon King’s subst.i.tute?” he asked himself.
The Bull Demon King couldn’t go with Sun Wukong.
And at this rate, Su-hyeun would have to work with the Monkey King. Maybe the Bull Demon King leaving the scene as soon as the trial got underway was an unavoidable turn of events.
“Before that, I’d like to ask a question first.” Su-hyeun exhaled deeply again and opened his mouth with some difficulty. “Why are you two waging a war against the Heavenly World?”
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