Choi Han chose to defend rather than to attack after seeing the silver shield in front of him and the two silver wings surrounding him.
The Black Yong that had tried to rip apart the enemy was now surrounding Choi Han as it curled its body.
Choi Han then saw it through a gap in the yong’s body.
He saw the sealed god’s hand coming toward the silver shield.
Choi Han felt an unknown source of fear as soon as he saw the red aura around the hand.
His instincts were telling him something.
This red thing was something that transcended human abilities.
No, it was something that transcended the things of this world.
He could feel despair from this red thing.
He had no idea how he was able to figure all of that out almost instantly.
However, his heart was beating wildly.
He needed to dodge that hand. His heart was warning him to not let it touch him.
Once the red hand finally touched the shield…
There was neither a loud noise nor an explosion.
The shield slowly became engulfed by the red aura without any noise.
This was the first time.
Choi Han had never seen Cale’s shield disappear so weakly. Even the White Star had had trouble getting past this shield.
‘Is it because gods truly are different?’
Even if this god was sealed, he was still a god.
Dark Tiger Alberu had said that Cage had told him not to stop the god’s game.
This god had pretended to be Cale and the White Star until now, thus only using their powers.
That was why Choi Han had not realized it.
‘He is a god in the end.’
He had not known that this red aura was such a scary and ominous power.
However, Choi Han had no thoughts of retreating.
He had realized a long time ago after coming to this world that he could only move forward by taking two steps if he took one step back. As a result, he chose to take one step forward instead of one step back.
The holy shield disappeared.
Choi Han was about to let the curled Black Yong of his run wild.
However, he didn’t need to do that.
The shield appeared again.
The disappeared shield resurfaced quickly. It looked even sturdier than before.
Choi Han subconsciously turned his head, despite having the enemy in front of him.
Cale had his unique nonchalant look on his face as he cast the shield again.
Choi Han subconsciously smiled. He had forgotten about it for a moment.
‘I probably forgot about it because I just saw the sealed god using Cale-nim’s powers.’
The sealed god’s battle style was to use the powers efficiently so that it did not burden his body.
He had intermittently used the shield very efficiently.
However, the Cale that Choi Han knew was different.
‘In some ways, it’s stupid.’
Cale might respond, ‘Stupid?’ If he knew what Choi Han was thinking, but… Cale truly did stupidly use his power endlessly.
It was because Cale’s version of efficiency was focused not on his body, but his goal.
Cale’s goal right now was to protect Choi Han.
That was why he would stop the sealed god to achieve his goal, even if it meant that he would cough up blood in the process.
Cale working so hard to protect Choi Han made another individual move.
“We must stop it!”
The young black Dragon, who had survived the sealed god’s attack, moved his two front paws. Black shields continued to appear in front of the silver shield that looked as if it would be swallowed by the red aura again.
“Damn, I’m experiencing all sorts of things in my final years. That power does not seem to be from this world.”
Gold dust sparkled as they appeared around Choi Han and the sealed god.
Mary pulled a spatial pocket bag out of her black robe and opened it toward the ground.
Boom, boom, boom.
Large things covered in black cloth fell to the ground.
They were the things that had been on the backs of the Dark Elves when they headed to the Mogoru Empire earlier.
Mary’s hands started to move. Black threads flowed out of her fingers and the things covered in cloths were soon revealed.
They were bones. They were bones that had been soaked in dead mana underneath the Alchemists’ Bell Tower.
The bones gathered together to create a large Bone Dragon.
It then immediately flew toward the sealed god.
Choi Han observed all of this before closing his eyes for a moment.
These people who had made moves starting with Cale…
They were people who ended up becoming Choi Han’s allies, close friends, and family.
“This changes nothing.”
Choi Han opened his eyes and observed the black Dragon’s black shield silently being gobbled up by the red aura and the silver shield disappearing once again and then made up his mind.
He had faith.
He had faith that this red aura, this ominous thing full of despair, would not reach him.
No, that it wouldn’t matter even if it did reach him.
There was no way he would be swallowed by that thing.
The black Bone Dragon and the gold dust attacked the sealed god at that moment.
An unfathomable amount of gold dust rushed into the area around the sealed god and started exploding.
The explosion made everybody’s ears ring.
Choi Han used that moment to move back.
“I will take on this bastard.”
Eruhaben moved past Choi Han and charged forward at that moment.
However, he soon stopped after seeing something through the explosion.
Necromancer Mary plopped down on one knee.
The large Bone Dragon’s bones lost form and fell to the ground.
The bones looked odd.
They were neither cut nor exploded. They had simply had a part of them disappear.
Everybody here was able to know the reason behind it.
“…I guess he really is a god.”
The gold explosion subsided, and the sealed god was standing there without having taken any damage.
The red aura was no longer in his hand.
Instead, he was holding a large red scythe.
This red scythe made people think of blood.
The Bone Dragon and the gold mana were both swallowed by this scythe the moment they touched it.
The people watching… They finally realized the sealed god, no, the God of Despair’s power. He no longer looked like the relaxed person he had been with this scythe in his hands.
The sealed god smiled.
At that moment…
Choi Han shouted and the sealed god instantly appeared in front of Mary and raised his scythe. A red aura burst out of the scythe.
The scythe soon cut through the air and…
The silver shield disappeared once again because of the red scythe.
As for the silver line connected to the shield… The sealed god only moved his eyes to look at Cale who was at the end of the silver line.
This was the only person who was stoic when everybody else was shocked, astonished, or slightly afraid because of the changed demeanor of the sealed god and his power.
This person was continuously casting his shield nonstop to protect the others even though it was probably taking a significant toll on his body.
That person, Cale, nonchalantly commented while looking at the sealed god.
“Are you sure it is okay to use up your power like that when you had to gather it from so many places?”
Thanks to the God of Death, Cale knew that the power the sealed god was using right now was the despair he had gathered from the challengers to the temple in the other worlds.
That was the reason the sealed god was able to have so much power despite being sealed and was able to create changes like this.
“Weren’t you planning on gathering power to release your seal? You may never be able to remove the seal if you use it up like that.”
Cale’s demeanor and tone were extremely calm.
However, Cale’s inside was a complicated mess, unlike his expression and tone.
‘What is that power? No. How do I stop that?’
Cale’s goal was the sealed god.
But it was difficult for the current Cale to attack the sealed god let alone get close to him.
‘I feel like we would be able to work together and fight against him if we could avoid that red aura somehow. Should I use Embrace?’
Cale started to think.
‘If I embrace the red aura for a moment and we used that opening to attack-’
However, he soon shook his head.
He had only been able to embrace the White Star’s power for a few minutes before it exploded.
This red aura was incomparable to the strength of the White Star’s attack. It was something that was beyond the limits of this world. Embracing something like this would make it explode almost instantly.
It may end up harming his friends instead.
‘Something is weird.’
However, there was something extremely weird.
Cale observed the sealed god who was smiling at him and started speaking.
“Is it okay to break the rules of the test like this?”
Using Cale’s ancient powers instead of his own powers was probably the rule that the sealed god had set for this test.
The God of Death either changed or got rid of some of those rules, which was why the sealed god had said that the God of Death might have to retire.
So why was the sealed God of Despair using the power he had set such complicated methods to gather when it was breaking the rules?
That question was what was keeping Cale from jumping right in.
“I’m sure it’s not good for the test.”
The sealed god’s smile became even bigger.
The moment he said that…
Cale clutched his ear with one hand.
This piercing noise screeched for a long time. Cale urgently raised his head.
The sky was fluctuating.
He then heard a voice.
– Error detected.
It was an extremely stiff mechanical voice.
Cale quickly looked around. Choi Han, Mary, and Toonka could not hide their shock. They weren’t the only ones.
Alberu, Raon, Eruhaben, and the others were looking around in shock as well.
They seemed to have heard the same voice as Cale.
They heard the voice again at that moment.
– Analyzing the cause.
‘Error detected. Analyzing the cause.’
Cale was able to come up with a hypothesis.
Now that multiple rules had already been destroyed in this exam…
Could this test still be called the original test?
What if even more rules were destroyed in this current state?
What would happen to this test that has detected errors?
Either that, or…
This test was an unexpected variable created from the power the sealed god had collected. It could not be restarted without that power.
Then what about the test stopping?
That was plausible.
This test would stop. What would happen after that?
Cale cast his shield as soon as he realized it.
He heard Choi Han’s voice at the same time. He was already activating his Black Yong as strong as possible while charging toward the sealed god.
“We must finish it here!”
Choi Han shouted as he charged in with Mary and Toonka by his side.
The others seemed to have felt the weirdness of the situation as well and were helping them. Even Alberu walked up to Cale with a spear in his hand.
“What is going on?”
However, Cale had no time to answer that question.
The sealed god laughed out loud before raising his scythe.
The red aura was almost overflowing out of the scythe and making it glow devilish red.
It then shot out in all directions.
“It negatively affects you as well, so why?!”
An uncontrolled attack that didn’t care where it landed continued to burst out.
The more that the sealed god swung his scythe…
The noise echoing in their ears became even louder.
The sealed god attacked all around himself as if he was going berserk. It was as if he didn’t care if his attacks did not hit his enemies.
However, his face was calmer than ever before and his gaze was sharp as he launched this reckless attack. That was why Choi Han immediately realized it from the front of the group.
‘This attack is aiming for this illusion world itself.’
In that case, they needed to stop him from doing that.
Choi Han channeled the last of his powers that he had kept in reserve.
The ground started to shake.
The rumbling started from underneath Choi Han’s feet and spread out.
As the rumbling passed the forest and reached the hill…
He thought about someone’s actions as he mumbled to himself.
With a loud explosion, from the hill and the forest… Large stone spears started shooting up from the ground.
He had taken the Scary Giant Cobblestone in Cale’s place.
Choi Han was using that earth power and the numerous stone spears that had floated up from the ground started moving.
Choi Han then pointed his sword somewhere.
His target was the sealed god.
He let out a short breath before the Black Yong left the tip of his sword and charged toward the enemy.
The stone spears gathered around the Black Yong.
The Black Yong then became bigger.
The red aura hit the stone spears as well.
However, there were numerous stone spears left even if one or two were destroyed.
The Black Yong would reach the stone spears in the end.
Choi Han did not doubt it at all.
It was at that moment.
The sealed got snorted before picking up his scythe and slicing from left to right.
It was directed at the sky.
The red aura created a line in the sky.
At that moment… Crown prince Alberu was holding a spear as he approached someone who was casting a shield.
“Why are you not doing anything?”
Cale was standing there as if he was deep in thought before he made eye contact with Alberu and started speaking.
“If the test stops…”
Only the area around Cale was calm. Alberu felt as if he was out by the lake when Cale quietly mumbled.
If the test stops…
“A new test will start.”
Alberu asked back and Cale smiled at him.
“That should be how it works.”
It was a warm smile as he put his hand on Alberu’s shoulder.
“It was nice to see you, hyung-nim.”
‘Why am I your hyung?’
Alberu tried to ask but Cale was not done yet.
“Will I see you again? I always seem to see people again despite thinking it is the end.”
Once he said these things that Alberu could not understand…
Alberu opened his mouth to ask his questions but he could not say anything.
Only one voice could suddenly be heard in the world.
It was a voice without any emotions or warmth.
It was the same voice from earlier.
– Completed determination of the source of error.
Cale felt his body starting to shake. He looked around.
Cale, Toonka, Choi Han, Mary, and the sealed god…
Only the five of their bodies were slightly shaking and their bodies were warping.
It was probably the same for Rosalyn and Clopeh who went to the Eastern continent.
‘They are probably about to come back.’
The original plan was for Rosalyn and Clopeh to lead their respective forces here to put an end to the sealed god.
That plan was useless now.
It was what they were all feeling while looking down at their bodies.
They heard the voice again.
– The source of error has been determined to be an indiscriminate destruction of rules.
Cale looked at the sealed god.
The bastard was smiling.
– It has been determined that the current test cannot proceed.
The test has stopped as he had expected.
The sealed god mumbled while looking at Cale.
“I just need to gather it again.”
He licked his lips with his tongue.
“With even more delicious prey.”
Cale could tell what the prey the sealed god was talking about even without being told.
It was most likely talking about the despair from Cale and the rest of the people who were in this first dispatch into the temple.
– Reverting to the original test.
Cale could feel his body slowly moving away from this place. He turned his head. He observed the black Dragon flying toward Choi Han with a chaotic expression on his face. Choi Han reached out his hand that was fading and whispered something to the black Dragon.
Cale turned his head and nonchalantly commented to Alberu.
“Your highness, you are meant to be here. Please remember that.”
That was the end, and Cale could not get a clear look at the unexplainable expression on Alberu’s face as he let the darkness take his body.
‘The original test…’
It was probably the test that Ahn Roh Man had told them about.
The corners of Cale’s lips curled up.
The sealed god would not appear in this test anymore. Instead, he would be sealed somewhere in the temple.
If he finds the place where the God of Despair is sealed, once Cale finds the item he is sealed in…
‘I just need to Embrace it.’
Then the sealed god would no longer be able to gather power through the temple.
Of course, it was possible that the sealed god would swallow the despair from this first dispatched team through the original test and become stronger.
He trusted his friends, but there was no way of knowing what would happen.
‘The answer is for me to clear the test as quickly as possible and get out of the illusion.’
Cale was not worried about the original test that Ahn Roh Man had told them about.
He felt the darkness disappear and saw a blue light suddenly engulf him.
That was supposed to mean sadness.
The cold blue light disappeared and Cale looked down at himself.
He was wearing clothes for mourning.
Cale raised his head and observed something.
He could see portraits of Choi Jung Soo and Lee Soo Hyuk.
He had lost his family at a young age, but the day that he had lost his second family had returned as an illusion.