Chapter 244: Upper Godhood (1)

Chapter 244: Upper Godhood (1)

A pillar of red light descended from the sky.

[The limited ability 'Soul and Body as One (혼신일체)' is activated!]

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A dark and heavy energy surged through Nirasha's body.

The god of destruction 'Shiva'.

He is one of the most powerful deities in the Indian pantheon, and his attack power is undoubtedly unmatched.


Shivers ran down Nirasha's body as she felt the overflowing power.

Though it was only a tiny fraction of Shiva's power...

The pressure was unbearable for both the players and the residents.

"Don't forget. Count. From now on, 10% of all profits made by the Empire go to our Gandhara Guild. And you must keep that 'promise'."

"But of course. If this matter is resolved smoothly, that shouldn't be an issue. I'll make sure to take care of it personally. I'll also clearly convey your contributions to the Martial World."

Vainschtern hurriedly nodded in agreement.

When everyone was about to turn their back on the situation, the only ones they could rely on were Nirasha and the rankers of Gandhara Guild she led.

"If that's what you say..."

Nirasha walked forward with a slight smile.



With each step, the ground crumbled beneath her.

"I've really heard an earful about you. That's why I really wanted to meet you."

For the past year, the name Kang Jinhyuk was plastered across media, communities, VTubers, and the Hall of Fame.

It was inevitable.

His numerous accomplishments and dazzling achievements had been unrivaled among players.

That's why it was frustrating.

Even she was powerful.

Even she possessed talent that no one else could match.

Why then did all the spotlight belong to that man alone?

It was simply maddening.

"However, that's as far as you go. We alone are enough to climb the tower."

The corner of Nirasha's lips lifted.

She knew the insurmountable difference between a player endowed with the power of a god and one without.

And she knew that no other player could communicate as freely with a deity as she could.

Nirasha was convinced of her victory.

But at that very moment.

A gentle breeze whisked through the tomb's interior.

[An upper entity responds to your call!]

Amid the slowed time and monochrome space.

Someone appeared before Jinhyuk.

A handsome man with deep silver hair and golden eyes.


Interest and curiosity oozed from his expression, though only for an instant.

"You don't seem too impressed by my magic."

The man tilted his head, seemingly surprised as he gazed at Jinhyuk.

"You're supposed to come. After all, there is only one deity who would be friendly toward me and willing to lend their power."

"Ho? From what I know, you were closer to the Egyptian guys."

"Well, I've gotten somewhat acquainted with them, but not enough to call it close."

Horus or Osiris, maybe, but given Anubis's twisted nature, there was no chance he would lend his power.


There was a deity who demanded that Cheon Yuseong dress in a maid uniform.

It might seem like a joke, but a god who could interfere with the system had to have struggled to reveal their existence.

"That generosity... Well, one could interpret it that way. I am indeed interested in you."

A positive response.

Most deities quickly lose interest or break their promises.

But this one seemed genuinely willing to keep the conversation going.

"Look, I'm in a bit of a bind. I could use your help just this once."

"Shiva... the vessel holding his power. Indeed, it's too much for a player to handle. Of course, if I stepped in, it would be manageable."

"Are you saying you'll help?"


The man shook his head.

"You talk as if you know me well, but all you've said is sheer guesswork."

Testing the waters with fragmented information is a charlatan's game.

"If you seek my help, speak my true name (眞名). Then I shall assist you."

Of course.

This is how it goes.

If the player can't guess correctly by chance, they are deemed unworthy of help.

"By acquiring 'The Jar that Eats Filth', one of the infernal relics from the psychiatric ward, a connection to you was formed."

Technically more of a mirror that allows the other side to peek in, but nevertheless, it had provided the chance to call them here through the 'Heavenly Command Stone'.

The deity called 'The Rotting Heart' asked to become his Black Apostle and fight alongside him.

After a failed curse and increased interest from that failure,

the demon king 'Belial.'

"That is your True Name."

Jinhyuk spoke slowly.

As he did, a satisfied smile spread across the playful man's lips.

"Splendid. You truly are the player I've been eyeing."

Belial's form began to fade.


The constraints of time and space began to lift.


Nirasha, who had been confidently advancing, suddenly hesitated.

An icy, sticky aura spread along her spine to her bone marrow.

Just now...

Something had changed.

"It can't be..."

Nirasha's voice trembled thinly.

It was unthinkable.

The capricious and arrogant deities responding just because they were called through the 'Heavenly Command Stone'?

Even she, rooted in Indian tradition, had to put in immense effort and time to receive the blessing of an Indian deity.

And this was accomplished so easily...?

It was an unbelievable tale.

But no matter how much she denied it, reality remained unchanged.

"...A monster of a guy. He is not just talented, he's on another level."

Nirasha stood still, her face tense with anxiety.

"A player like Lady Nirasha exists?"

"No, even Lady Nirasha couldn't gain the acceptance of a god with one try."

"How can such a being exist?"

"I can't believe it."

The players of the Gandhara Guild also forgot to breathe.

The nobles and knights of the Empire were equally flustered.

"In all my life... I never thought I'd see the 'Heavenly Command Stone' respond."

"He's deserving of the First Emperor's recognition. Truly... I am in awe."

"We almost made an enemy of such a person."

Admiration turned to awe, and that feeling soon led to mere spectating.

It was only natural.

Humans could only watch in the face of the absurd.

And then.


[The limited ability 'Soul and Body as One (혼신일체)' is activated again!]

Another beam of light descended from the sky.

An energy even denser and darker than Nirasha's began to infiltrate the space.

"What's the matter? You stepped forward with confidence, and now you suddenly tuck your tail?"

"Who... who's tucking their tail? Even the god you've summoned is far inferior to my god."

Nirasha pulled out her trademark vajra (금강저) from her attire.

Golden clouds slowly expanded around it.



Jinhyuk also unveiled an ability befitting the demon king's favor.

With 'Claws that Obscure the Moon', black claws materialized along Jinhyuk's hands.

Dangerous claws resembling those of a beast appeared.

'An extended battle will be strenuous for both parties.'

Considering it was a proxy war between upper gods, they were bound by system constraints.

A few exchanges at most would be the limit.


-Pour all effort into each and every move.

-Strike down with one decisive blow.

The two thoughts merged into one.

What followed was a collision that transcended human limits.


An immense shockwave erupted as the vajra and claws crossed.

Stone slabs on the floor reversed, and pillars supporting the ceiling snapped like straws.

"Put up the shield!"

"Take cover!"

Those watching from afar frantically tried to raise their shields, but even the shockwave was overwhelming.

It was a relief that barriers inside the tomb were still intact, or else everyone present might have been buried inside.

"This is not a human battle. Move further away. If caught, not even bones will be left."

"A shock like this from a 7th circle shield."

"It's like being hit directly by a high-circle spell."

Moans echoed everywhere.

The fact that merely watching could be life-threatening was inconceivable.

"But luckily..."

"Lucky? We nearly died, how is that lucky?"

"Compared to the storm those involved are in... we might as well be in heaven."

If this was the case here, what was the situation like inside?

Everyone's eyes focused in one direction.

Amidst the billowing smoke.

The two monsters were still moving ferociously, each trying to claim the other's life.

"That's... true."

"That makes sense. It does make sense."



Black claws brushed past the vajra and stretched towards Nirasha.

But just before they could dig into soft flesh,


A golden barrier spread around Nirasha's body.

A 'Mandala', and a top-rank unique ability at that.


Jinhyuk swiftly changed course.

Getting caught would be dangerous.

Against Nirasha alone, maybe, but not in her 'Soul and Body as One' enhanced state.

[Quit scurrying around and come at me properly. How will 'The Thunder of Blue Neck' live up to its name otherwise?]

Belial sneered.

[How dare you, the filthy stench of the demon world stinging my nose! It's you, Belial! Calling me names like that! My epithet is 'The Thunder of the Blue Neck'!]

[Yeah, right, as if you don't smash everything you see. It's probably just the color of your philtrum that's blue.]

[What? How dare you, with such vulgarity! I should have wiped out all of your demon kind in the war a thousand years ago.]

[Should have done that then, right? And really, even if I drank a ton of alcohol the night before, I would still beat you guys, wouldn't I?]

Belial rapidly fired back his words.

Although he might lack power, he was unequivocally taking the upper hand in the verbal sparring.

This guy too... seemed to be a quite formidable demon king.

Watching from the 'Jar that Eats Filth', he seemed to have changed somewhat.

But the words he spoke now were not just senseless jokes.

They were provocations to disrupt his adversary's focus.

[Regrettably, with our current connection, I cannot shatter that divine power.]

"I know."

He was aware of that from the start.

Yet he had chosen to confront Nirasha and Shiva because...

...he was confident he could surpass that.

Just watch.

What it means to bear witness to the peak of the tower.

['The third privilege for the first conqueror of the tower' is now unlocked!]

Having already gained Linehart's full trust, he had received two rewards.

The first was the ability to copy one of Linehart's skills, 'Diplomacy'.

And the second was 'The third privilege for the first conqueror of the tower'.

'I checked what it was before the fight started.'

The only thing left to do now was wait.

To gauge each other's abilities in the ongoing battle.

And wait for the moment when they would presumptuously draw a line at each other's limits.

[...Do you wish to unlock it?]

A status window appeared.


Jinhyuk nodded.