The snake continued to speak.
[And I see that the blood of yours has a distinct smell from my worshippers.]
Even in such an absurd hallucination-like circumstance, Sungchul remained unmoved. In fact, Sungchul was feeling a bit of excitement at the situation as he extended his arm to show the snake the object in his hand.
The snake was greatly surprised to see it.
[Ho. A letter of invitation. How long has it been since the last? Perhaps around fifty thousand years?]
The snake nodded and turned to speak.
[Welcome to the world of the immortals, outsider.]
“World of the immortals? Here?”
Sungchul looked around at the indescribable environment around him as he asked. The snake moved until it wrapped around the floating castle one more time before replying while looking down upon him.
[It is more accurate to call it an entrance. You’re nothing more than an outsider with a letter of invitation after all.]
‘Letter of invitation?’
Sungchul looked down at the seal in his hands.
‘Is it talking about this?’
Sungchul gripped the seal as he glared at the gargantuan snake.
In the eyes of the giant snake was the image of the sky that Sungchul was familiar with. Light blue sky in the background of many gently floating clouds. Each of the clouds continuously changed their colors, making it look even more mystical.
‘This is dangerous.’
Sungchul instinctively recognized possible danger and averted his eyes from the snake’s. The snake’s eyes contained magical charm so powerful that even Sungchul, who was immune to most forms of mental attacks, felt vulnerable.
The snake soon replied.
[Whatever the case, the fact that you have come here bearing a letter of invitation leads to two conclusions. One is that there exists an ability to read the records left behind by us immortals. And the other is that using this ability, you have read the notes left behind by us on the records of an evil god. Am I correct?]
Sungchul nodded at the Snake’s question and replied with his own.
“Then what are you? Identify yourself.”
There was not a hint of fear or cowardice to be found in Sungchul. Snake continued to keep his eyes on Sungchul as it lifted its head until it was direct above Sungchul. It flicked its forked tongue.
The tongue of the snake emitted an incredibly pleasant mint-like scent and filled the air in all directions.
But Sungchul did not like mint. He did not eat any food that contained mint, whether it be snacks, tea, ice cream or others.
‘Ugh. What a disgusting snake.’
While Sungchul was busy trying not to breathe in the smell, the Snake finally introduced itself gently.
[I am Ouroboros. Known as the Snake of Knowledge. I am one of the masters of this world of Transcendents. To your people I am known as one of the Immortals, as well as Lesser Gods]
The snake stopped there and moved its head towards Sungchul. The circular hall Sungchul was standing upon was suddenly full of snake head. Sungchul felt intimidated by its massiveness, but all the snake was doing was to maneuver its head to a comfortable position.
The snake sighed and continued to speak once it settled down on a satisfactory spot.
[Though there has been nearly no visitors the last few years. Most of the letters of invitations made by the evil god were retrieved by my comrades and I.]
[Yes. That parchment you carry.]
“You mean this?”
Sungchul took out a scroll from deep within his pockets. The snake’s mouth twitched.
[Yes. That heretical parchment. Surrender that to me. It is a cursed record left behind by an evil god. It was created with the malicious intent on inciting confusion and panic in the innocent and naive world of the mortals.]
The snake licked the air once more. Sungchul covered his nose from the nauseatingly intense smell of mint and backed off. The snake was taken aback by this behavior.
[Mmm? Do you perhaps feel discomfort from my breath?]
“Sorry but I do not like the smell of mint.”
[How peculiar. Are you an orc?]
“Why suddenly orc?”
[Of all races, only the orcs dislike the smell of mint which is synonymous with cleanliness. No, that’s not true. Nahak also dislikes the smell. But the Naga and the Lizardmen are hopelessly entranced by it.]
“I am not an orc. And I believe there is a more important matter at hand?”
Sungchul turned his head and stood slightly crooked as he tapped his shoulder with the scroll.
[I went on a tangent for a moment. But mortal, you must understand. It has been about five years since I last spoke with someone.]
“…So someone else had come to visit this place five years ago?”
[That is so. Descendents of servants that serve me had occasionally come to visit me with the records of the evil god. But that damnable human, that little one had massacred my followers and enslaved them. So they can no longer come here. I shall have him pay the cost of my wrath soon, but meanwhile, my duty is to collect and destroy the records of the evil god.]
“What is an evil god?”
Sungchul asked. He had somewhat gotten used to the mint smell, enough to be able to breath through his nose again. But the snake remained still.
As Sungchul was wondering what was going on, the Snake suddenly asked a question.
[You do not know of the evil god? You came to this place without even knowing what the evil god was?]
“I think my ignorance is understandable. For example, I was the first to be able to read the content of this parchment called the Letter of God. There was not one word about the evil god at all.”
[Ho, is that so? Well, it certainly has been a while since the Evil God had been active. As you said, it’s certainly understandable. Evil God is as the name suggests, malicious Lesser Gods.]
“Malicious Lesser Gods?”
This seemed misleading to Sungchul. It was because every Lesser God he had ever come to know about were quite evil, and what little record there were on Lesser Gods always stressed the extreme levels of danger they represented.
Whether the Snake knew what Sungchul was thinking or not, it continued to speak with a divine tone.
[It was about ten thousand years ago. Some of the Lesser Gods living in this Transcendent world had opposed God’s will and attempted to descend into the mortal world. All had thought this impossible. I don’t know if you are aware, but us immortals cannot remain in the mortal world. But the Evil Gods found a way.”
A few scenes flashed through Sungchul’s mind. Especially the terrifying scene at Ixion.
[The Evil Gods managed to obtain the power to temporarily remain in the mortal world after stealing the lives and souls of the mortals. And the Evil Gods that managed to cross over to the mortal world had just one objective.]
Sungchul kept his mouth shut and waited for Ouroboros to speak. And Ouroboros soon continued its explanation.
[To destroy the world of the mortals. And as a result, destroy this entire world.]
[… And return the universe to a state of nothingness. That was the goal of the Evil Gods. And they planted a few world-ending Calamities in your world. The recently unleashed Acid of Lamentation is but one of those.]
‘Acid of Lamentation?’
It was a name he had never heard of, but Sungchul could guess what it could mean.
A nameless island far to the east across a large expanse of ocean. The volcano the leader of the Seven Heroes, Desfort, had sacrificed his life to erupt.
‘The creator of that volcano was an Evil God?’
[The ashes of the Evil God is currently above the water, but it will soon touch your lands.]
“Why are the Evil Gods doing this?”
Sungchul asked. To this, the giant snake closed its eyes before beginning to tell a long story.
[All life has a beginning and an end. Us immortals, too, once had a destiny with a start and a finish as one of the mortals. Some adjusted well to the endless and infinite time that were given to them, but not all. Some came to crave an end. And in the worst form possible. The explanation is getting long, but the unclean parchment you carry was created by the Evil Gods to mislead and corrupt mortals.]
“This, you say?”
Sungchul looked at the Letter of God in his hands.
[You should have seen it, you who have the ability Lecter. Who was it? Who wrote that profane record?]
“I recall the name Hildegarm being given.”
The snake suddenly raised its head upon hearing the name Hildegarm. The head smashed into the ceiling and shook the entire floating palace. Even within the immense earthquake, Sungchul could hear the snake’s enraged voice.
[Hildegarm! The whore of Doromea! That rotten woman dares leave such unholy document! Shameless!]
“Is there a problem?”
An ordinary person might have trembled in fear at such a terrifying outburst, but Sungchul appeared unfazed and asked confidently.
[Hildegarm was cruel, even among the Evil Gods. She was one of the worst, killing countless humans like you. Creating mountains of corpses and oceans out of blood for her consumption. A record left by that horrid woman must be destroyed by fire. Mortal. Hand over that parchment immediately.]
The Snake ordered Sungchul. But Sungchul did not like Ouroboros’s attitude. At the very least, he wasn’t going to part with it for free. Even if the other was a Lesser God.
“What can you give me in return?”
Sungchul asked. The eyes of the Ouroboros that contained the sky began to grow dark.
[I shall give you power.]
Shining words covered his vision once he asked.
<Blessings of the Snake of Wisdom>
[Select one of the following]
1 Death Magic Grimoire – Archlich Promotion Item
2 Shadow of Lynx – Soul Contract
3 Essence of the Wind Spirit – Dexterity Enhancing Item
4 Essence of the Fire Spirit – Strength Enhancing Item
5 Flamebearer – Sword
[…Each and every one of these are of legendary class. All of them are invaluable to mortals.]
Sungchul checked each of the items Oroboro offered for a trade.
To begin, he did not need the Death Magic Grimoire. Although Arch Lich, which was a tier higher than a regular lich, was a rare being that no longer exists, Sungchul was plenty strong without having to transform into a lich. And the process of becoming a lich automatically meant he gives up his life energy. Sungchul knew better than anyone else what was going to happen if his heart was to stop beating.
‘This is unusable. And for similar reasons, I don’t like the Soul Contract Shadow of Lynx.’
The easiest way to describe the Legendary class Soul Contract called Shadow of Lynx was to call it a physical attack version of Echo Mage. As that description might imply, the Soul contract was a type of permanent physical attack enhancement that inflicted additional damage to those the host attacks. But Sungchul could already inflict overwhelming damage from his transcendent power. He had even defeated Sidmia in one blow. Not to mention, that the damage from the Soul Contract was separate from the attackers’. Meaning the shadow had inherent limitations in power and could not replicate Sungchul’s overwhelming attack.
‘This is also not all that useful to me.’
Even the Legendary class sword called Flame Bearer was weaker than Fal Garaz.
This was when Sungchul realized that he was extraordinary.
‘Wow, I’m amazing.’
In some ways, the person who he was hiding his strength from the most was none other than himself.
Either way, Sungchul used process of elimination to reduce the possible gifts from the Lesser God to just two. They were the two Essence of Spirits, of fire and wind.
Sungchul looked up at the Snake of Wisdom and asked.
“These essences, do they have upper limits of effectiveness?”
[There is no such thing. In the world where spirits are all but gone, obtaining essence of spirits is both extremely difficult and rare. And the effect is inordinary, since it raises the stats by 50.]
Sungchul could not contain his surprise. It was difficult to find any quest, even among one-time objective quests, that could raise stats by 50 all at once. And even then, raising stats without an upper limit made it essentially the same class as a blessing.
[…This has lost all meaning to us Immortals, but it should be very helpful to a mortal, since it can raise stats by 50.]
It was difficult to believe in the Lesser God before him, but it was an irresistible claim. One that was worth the possibility of being swindled.
Sungchul handed over the Letter of God in his possession.
“The Essence of the Wind Spirit sounds good.”
[You’re a wise one.]
The Letter of God left Sungchul’s hands and flew towards the Ouroboros. Ouroboros opened its mint scented mouth to swallow the scroll.
[I shall grant you the promised reward.]
A green orb from Ouroboros flew and arrived before Sungchul. He gathered his hands and received the orb the size of a child’s head.
The orb emanate a pristine and refreshing aura.
‘So this is the Essence of Spirits. I’ve never felt such pure energy.’
Sungchul was able to experience the same kind of undefiled and clean energy from the green Orb that reminded him of the Spirit World.
[I shall return now, mortal. If you find another Letter of God, return here at any time through our proxy.]
Sungchul got the feeling that Ouroboros was in a hurry. His suspicions were quickly proven when the giant snake unraveled itself and flew towards the east as soon as it was done speaking. The seal in Sungchul’s hands scattered like sand and vanished as well.
The book and audiobook-