Chapter 51 – The Heavens and the Abyss (1)
The main story’s opening video began.
There was a vast space in front of Hyun that was impossible to see in its entirety at first glance.
In the middle of the space, he could see the planet Asra going around the sun.
Hyun felt as if he were looking at a 3D movie. He looked around.
‘Woah, the quality is great!’
Looking at the universe from such a distance made him feel as if he were a god.
Because he was in space, it took him a while to get used to the flow of time.
It didn’t take even a minute for Asra to go around the sun.
Also, just like a top, it rotated many times per second.
The camera’s position was fixed behind Asra, so he felt as if he was racing along with it through the outskirts of the sun.
Hyun was enjoying the video when some letters appeared in front of him.
<In the beginning, there were two entities.>
<Heaven and the Abyss.>
<They were entities that couldn’t exist either together or alone.>
Suddenly, the camera closed upon the planet.
The planet’s surface was red.
It was hellish scenery—flames and magma covered everything.
That was probably how the planet looked when it was born.
<Heaven and Abyss fought for control of the territory.>
<After a long discussion, they reached an agreement.>
<The outer was of the Heavens, and the inside was of the Abyss.>
The flames on the surface died instantly.
Soon, the magma solidified.
Instead of that, a blue sea began to rise.
Trees and grass grew, withered, and grew again.
Many years passed in just a few seconds.
<The heavens took control of ‘Cold’ and ‘Electricity.’ That’s why the sky is cold, and sometimes you can see lightning.>
<The Abyss obtained ‘Heat’ and ‘Wind.’ So the inner core was always full of heat. When the earth rotated, the wind rose.>
Time began accelerating again.
Parts of nature started to be destroyed. In its place, he could see artificial things rising.
The history of humanity had begun.
<One day, an existence called ‘human’ was born.>
<It captured the attention of the heavens and the abyss because they had a consciousness that transcended their instincts.>
<But humans only looked at the heavens; there were almost none that looked at the abyss.>
<The territory of the humans was the surface; that’s why they were in the territory of the heavens by a little margin!>
Flap-! As the screen changed again, ominous beings began appearing one by one.
And among those, the beings called demons.
Most of them had either horns or a tail.
Among those, there were some Hyun knew about.
Those beings that were surrounded by a black energy rose from the ground and soared to the heavens.
<The Abyss was angry that it couldn’t get the attention of the humans, so it decided to invade the Heavens.>
<Transcendents who had the will of the Abyss began appearing on Heaven’s territory!>
Once again, the scenery changed.
Now they were somewhere deep in the ground.
Even though it was deep underground, it showed a neat grandeur.
It was a place that resembled a dungeon.
‘Wait, it’s the dungeon!’
—A huge column that connected the Abyss with the surface world.
The moment he saw the endless spiral stairs, something flashed in his mind.
‘It’s the place I escaped from with Louise!’
The sounds of the steps going up the stairs echoed through the entire place.
Hyun turned his head around to where the sound could be heard.
Two people were going up through the stairs.
Because their bodies were overflowing with black energy, their faces couldn’t be seen.
Even so, Hyun knew about their identities.
One was tall, and the other one short.
The tall one scattered away and entered the short one.
That was probably his skill ‘Assimilation.’
‘Is that… Really me and Louise?’
Even Hyun, who knew Asrian’s story, was confused about this.
He couldn’t understand why he was in the opening video.
He also couldn’t understand why he and Louise looked like demons.
In the video, they didn’t look like humans made of flesh and bones—they looked like an entity formed by black energy.
Then what happened next was just as Hyun remembered.
Soon, the spiral staircase crumbled as if it were made of sand.
The two beings of the Abyss, who Hyun thought were him and Louise, began climbing the walls toward the surface.
From time to time, the two devils became one.
—A demon was copying the traces of the movements he had done a few days prior.
He still remembered a few of them.
Everything on that video matched what had happened that day.
The masked enemies were portrayed as divine beings of light.
<The Heavens tried to stop the greed of the Abyss.>
The demon, who he thought was Louise, hesitated at the dungeon’s entrance before going outside.
Because the expression was hidden, only Hyun knew that she was hesitating.
<But the Abyss succeeded in sending its existence to the surface.>
<Furthermore, it tried to paint the territory of the Heavens with its color.>
<The peace broke, and the forces of the surface split into two factions.>
And then the video ended, and Hyun appeared on the main plaza of Leton Village.
As soon as he logged in, he was flooded with messages.
[You’ve cleared the quest ‘Protect Louise’!]
[There are no rewards!]
[You’ve stopped the main event, ‘Great Reincarnation’!]
[Your stats have increased by +10!]
[You’ve stopped the main event, ‘Protect the Heavens.’!]
[Your stats have increased by +10!]
[You’ve activated the hidden event, ‘Evil Gathering’!]
[Your skill points have increased by +20!]
[You have strongly interfered with the cause and effect of the world.]
[You’ve indirectly experienced changing history!]
[Level Up!] x 25
[Five years have passed since that day. The world has divided into two forces. The ‘Heavens’ and the ‘Abyss.’ From now on, you can pick sides!]
[You can decide your side by going to a church that belongs to either the ‘Heavens’ or the ‘Abyss’ and getting a Rune.]
[Each side will support you in different ways and also give you a ‘special buff’!]
Translator – Daniel Shin
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
Hyun came to his senses after a while.
He couldn’t understand the situation very well, so he opened the status window.
He had gone up 25 levels and also received achievement bonus stats and skill points.
Hyun couldn’t hide his smile.
But he also felt relentless. He felt that he wouldn’t feel calm until he understood what had happened.
“Oh, that’s right!”
Hyun remembered something.
His promise with Louise.
Shortly before parting ways, Louise had said that they should meet in the dungeon’s secret marketplace.
‘I guess I’ll know what happened once I meet her.’
Because he had respawned in a town near the place where he died, it didn’t take him a lot of time to reach the dungeon.
Hyun tried to suppress his excitement and began running.
He went through a road that resembled a maze and then jumped up the cliff.
He could definitely feel that his Agility had increased a lot.
After reaching the secret marketplace, he opened its door.
He pulled the doorknob and looked inside, but there was no one there.
For a moment, Hyun felt his heart sink.
‘She isn’t here? Did something wrong happen?’
While he thought that, he saw something on top of the table.
A black robe.
It was the Cloak of the Blood Fairy he had given to Louise to make her run faster.
On top of the robe, there was also the Ring of the Executioner.
Next to it, there was a small bag with some gold coins.
And finally, there was a letter.
Hyun read that first.
「I hope you understand that my writing isn’t good.
-It’s been a little bit over a year since that day.
-I don’t think that I’ll be able to keep the promise to meet you again in five years.
-I’m about to leave somewhere far away, so I thought I’d at least leave a letter.」
A relieved smile appeared around Hyun’s mouth.
It was because he knew that at least something unexpected hadn’t happened.
「I’m not very good at writing, so I won’t overextend it.
-I’ve left all the items you lent me on the table.
-If this place is as hard to find as you’ve said, no one will probably come here. I have no one else to hide them, so I’m going to leave them here.
-I’ve also left the 20 gold coins you lent me.
-I hope no one else takes them.」
He had sold her the bread you received as a beginner.
He had completely forgotten about that.
「Could I talk a little bit about myself now…?
-I don’t understand why, but people from the world view me as a demon.
-Because the Holy Kingdom has placed a reward on me, I even have a hard time moving at night.
-The thing I said about soon leaving to somewhere far away is related to that.」
The bottom of the paper was slightly more wrinkled than the rest.
It was as if a single tear had dropped and dried down.
「Hyun, I want to see you again. I really want to see you.
-One day, I began to think about my life.
-I don’t really remember my childhood, so the only time I had fun was the short time I spent with you.
-It was so fun that I almost forgot that we were being chased.
-Don’t you want to see me? I want to meet you once more.」
The letter ended there.
No, now that he looked closely, some small letters were behind it.
「If you have some time, can you come and find me?
-I won’t be able to tell you where I’m going.
-Since I also don’t know where I’m traveling to.」
The moment Hyun finished reading the letter, he got a quest message.
[ <Main Quest: In Search of Louise!> ]
– Go and find her. But you won’t be able to get a clue about her location or know whether she’s alive or dead.
– Still, will you accept the quest? (Y/N)
* Attention: If you find out that Louise is dead, you’ll have failed the quest!
It was as if the quest was trying to make him give up.
He knew this was reckless.
Searching for a person in this vast world was like looking for dust in the sand.
But even if it wasn’t right then, he should be able to meet her one day. Right?
As long as she was alive.
[You’ve accepted the quest.]
[Because you’ve made such a big impact, you cannot remain neutral! You lean toward the Abyss! (Currently: -73)]
[You’ve been automatically placed on ‘Abyss.’]
Fwoosh- Suddenly, a rune that looked like fire appeared on Hyun’s hand.
Even if a fire was burning on his hand, he didn’t feel hot.
That meant he was part of the forces of the Abyss.
Things like that tended to happen if your actions leaned too much toward one side.
‘So Louise is part of the forces of the Abyss?’
Hyun smiled bitterly.
It was his first time being part of the Abyss.
That made it difficult to approach areas such as the Sky Castle or the Holy Land.
Abyss, underground… It was where demons roamed.
That meant he wouldn’t be able to walk freely in front of high-ranking heaven officials.
‘Well, I’m sure I’ll be able to change sides in the future.’
Depending on a quest or your actions, you could change sides.
For the average user, it would be almost impossible. But to him, who had nearly every bit of information and strength, it wasn’t out of reach.
‘Did Louise say that she got mistaken by a demon…? If I can solve the misunderstanding through the quest, I’m sure I’ll be able to change the trait.’
He still wasn’t sure about Louise’s true identity, but since she had appeared in the opening video, she was clearly someone important to the story.
Getting to influence her should be the easiest way to change sides.
But since he was temporarily locked on the Abyss force, Hyun thought he should try to think about everything he could do.