Chapter 25 – Hel’S Temple
一 The User has been transported to the secret chamber ‘Hel’s Temple.’
JaeHyun’s surroundings slowly started to break apart. The whole dungeon cracked like fragments of a broken mirror.
The objects in the dungeon scattered like shards in the wind, and JaeHyun dizzily balanced himself on the ground.
His surroundings shook disturbingly.
‘Hel’s Temple… I can meet that woman again if I go there.’
JaeHyun calmed himself down and started to ruminate on his situation.
A moment ago, the Nornir System told him that he would be transported to Hel’s Temple.
He was unsure of the true intention of the one who had saved him in his first fight with the Night Shade. According to the Nornir System, her name was Hel.
The owner of Helheim and the Goddess of Death.
It was absurd, but JaeHyun had no choice but to believe it.
‘There is a possibility it is true since she has the ability to meddle with the system. She also seems to have some effect on the main quest. Plus, the tremendous power back when she stopped the Night Shade… at the very least, she isn’t human.’
JaeHyun continuously organized his thoughts amidst the chaotic magic around him. His conversation with Hel was after his return to the past. This might be a chance to have the questions he had kept in mind answered.
He found himself at a dark plateau where there wasn’t even a single ray of light.
At the border between life and death, JaeHyun had arrived at the temple where everything looked monotonous. As if sucking the life out of its surroundings, the temple was giving off a chaotic energy.
The stained glass with complex patterns high up in the ceiling and thorny vines wrapped around the building added to its eeriness.
“This is… Hel’s Temple.”
JaeHyun looked around his surroundings with a calm expression.
It was a location that simply didn’t look like it was somewhere an ordinary god would stay. It also felt as if it was a temple where an evil god was worshipped.
JaeHyun took a deep breath.
He had to calm himself down and prepare. The one he was about to meet held a status too high for him to compare.
Although he was only beginning to understand, JaeHyun clearly knew this—
If Hel wanted it, someone like him would instantly be pulverized.
But JaeHyun also knew that something like that wouldn’t happen.
‘Surely, there is a reason why the system brought me here.’
Hel had said so before. JaeHyun was a necessary ‘knight’ to defeat Odin.
Looking back, the Nornir System had never done anything that had a negative effect on him.
It brought him back to the time he wished for, helped him grow stronger with numerous ‘EX’ skills, and—although half-coercively—using the Night Shade as a goal, gave him a reason to push himself.
‘I did very well in clearing Hel’s trial. It’s now time for Hel to answer my questions.’
“Hel! I’ve come to meet you!”
JaeHyun shouted loudly.
Together with the sound of heels clicking on the floor, a tremendous aura swooped over JaeHyun.
The pressure was as if someone had hit him in the torso with a hammer. Although JaeHyun hadn’t felt any signs of addiction in the Mana Cube’s ocean of mana, this time was an exception.
To endure the pain of being choked, he gathered his mana and circulated it within his body to catch his breath.
It was a mana level so high that it could not be compared to the Night Shade’s at all.
Hel walked toward JaeHyun without hiding her true strength. Soon, her eyes turned up like crescents as she put her hand on her hips.
“Truly, I didn’t think you would have succeeded.”
JaeHyun’s eye twitched slightly.
Just like before,
Hel, who was somehow already standing in front of him, showed an enchanting and bloody facade at the same time.
A woman with a body that was half-beautiful and half-ugly, with a fascinating voice.
Hel tilted her head to the left and rested her chin on her hand as she smirked.
“Congratulations. You are a child born with the fate of an Adversary. To think that you actually defeated the Night Shade after two months… Mimir’s words don’t seem to be mistaken at all, it seems.”
JaeHyun blinked his eyes. Another familiar name fell from Hel’s lips.
A giant from Northern Europe’s mythology who guarded the Well of Wisdom.
Why was that name suddenly appearing right now?
Hel continued as she chuckled, seemingly finding JaeHyun’s reaction funny.
“Oh, right. Mimir is also the one who created the Nornir System you possess. He’s always been a bit eccentric.”
“He created… the Nornir System?”
JaeHyun frowned to show that he was having trouble understanding what she meant.
The Giant of Wisdom had created the Nornir System and sent him back to the past?
‘Now that I think about it…’
There was something that made all this believable.
According to Norse mythology, Odin visited Mimir’s well to gain wisdom. There, he requested that he be allowed to drink from the Well of Wisdom, and Mimir asked for one of Odin’s eyes as the price for doing so.
In the end, Odin drank from the well.
One of his eyes had been put up as a sacrifice.
JaeHyun recalled the item he gained from the Treasure Gate before his return to the past.
《 Odin’s Lost Eye 》.
If Mimir truly had created this system, then wouldn’t giving him this item also have been his choice?
JaeHyun felt his head become filled with complicated thoughts in an instant. He asked while putting a hand on his face.
“Why? Creating the system… and sending me to the past, what is the reason for doing so?”
“To have you grow as an Adversary.”
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“The Adversary of the high-and-mighty Aesir… That was what the system told me when it first chose me.”
JaeHyun fought against the mana pressuring him and stood up straight.
“Please tell me the reason why I have to be your plaything.”
It was pretty far from the attitude one should have in front of a god. But Hel seemed amazed by JaeHyun’s behavior and laughed.
“It’s because you were born with such a fate to begin with.”
“Born with such a fate?”
“The Adversary of the lofty Aesir. The one who will kill the great god Odin. That is who you are.”
“…The one who will kill Odin? Adversary?
……I couldn’t follow your words from the middle.”
“There’s no reason to understand. We didn’t have any hope from the beginning.”
Hel continued as if it were not something significant.
“But remember this. This is not only about us gods who are against the Aesir.”
JaeHyun could not understand it at all. Why on earth were those who called themselves gods suddenly asking for the help of a mortal?
“”The world is heading to its end. The Aesir and Odin wish to have everything under their feet. To stop this, the strength of the prophesied Adversary is needed.”
Hel smiled slightly.
“I cannot tell you anything more specific. But you must continue to safely go through numerous trials and become the God-slayer.”
With a delicate expression, Hel continued in an alluring voice.
“Now then, Adversary of the Aesir. I wish you good luck until the day we meet again.”
“W-Wait! Hel! I still have more questions to ask…”
In the end, JaeHyun was unable to finish his words.
A single ray of light amidst the darkness wrapped around JaeHyun’s whole body.
Under the light, numerous black hands appeared and swallowed JaeHyun, before the ground rippled and his vision anxiously shook.
Everything in sight started to crack into fragments once again.
As he felt himself get dragged to a faraway place, he lost consciousness.
He saw Park SungJae’s grim face.
With blurred eyes, JaeHyun felt a severe dizziness. He stood up with difficulty. JaeHyun spoke as he looked around.
“Ack! JaeHyun. Are you awake?”
His blurry eyesight finally returned to normal.
JaeHyun’s body had already been transported out of the dungeon.
‘Did Hel send me back out again?’
Returning to his senses quickly, he recalled what had happened a few moments ago.
Mimir, the Giant who created the Nornir System.
The God-slayer who must defeat Odin.
The high-and-mighty Aesir’s Adversary.
Although he couldn’t understand everything clearly, JaeHyun clenched his fist and promised himself.
If those gods who were against the Aesirs, including Hel, tried to use him as a chess piece, he would also use them and get what he wanted.
To begin with, he was supposed to die at Jeong WooMin’s hand that day in the dungeon. The only thing that allowed him to live was Mimir and the Nornir System.
‘It’s not bad to go on an adventure for once.’
JaeHyun truly thought so.
And at that moment—
一 You have received Hel’s Gift.
一 You have obtained the Passive Skill 《 Hel’s Blessing 》.
一 Showing the skill’s information.
Name: Hel’s Blessing
All abnormal inflictions on the user are invalidated.
“There’s nothing physically wrong with him. On the contrary, he is very healthy. You have nothing to worry about.
But just in case, don’t push yourself, Mr. JaeHyun.”
“Thank you very much. That’s a relief.”
Right after JaeHyun woke up in front of the dungeon, Park SungJae brought him to a nearby hospital.
It was to check if anything was wrong since he had lost consciousness, even if for a very short while.
Yoo Sung-Eun, who had received the news, also pushed aside her other duties and ran to the hospital. It was because she was worried about the health of her one and only student.
Fortunately, the doctor said that there was nothing wrong with JaeHyun and even told them that JaeHyun was fit as a fiddle.
JaeHyun scratched his head sheepishly and spoke.
“I’m sorry. Because of me, you had to run all the way here for no reason.”
“Don’t say that. You’re an important asset of our Yeonhwa.”
“…I hate people who try to restrain me…”
“Ahem, seeing how cheeky you’re being, you must really be fine, huh?”
Yoo Sung-Eun laughed with no regard to his words and messed up JaeHyun’s hair.
Park SungJae left Yoo Sung-Eun who was talking to the doctor and walked beside JaeHyun.
“By the way, I was really worried that you died since you suddenly fainted.”
“I’m sorry for making you worry.”
According to Park SungJae, right after JaeHyun came out, the dungeon gate closed. No one knew why, but there was a huge chance that it was Hel’s work.
At JaeHyun’s words, Park SungJae quickly waved his hand and responded.
“Ah, it’s nothing. I didn’t mention it to hear those words. It’s just… I wanted to say it was admirable…”
“You did a great job. Truly.”
At Park SungJae’s honest words, JaeHyun shyly bowed his head.
“What’s this, you two? Tell me too.”
Having finished her conversation with the doctor, Yoo Sung-Eun approached the two as she spoke. Smiling slightly, JaeHyun bowed low toward Park SungJae and Yoo Sung-Eun.
“The dungeon raid this time. I could do it thanks to the two of you. Thank you very much.”
…Well, that’s that. How are you going to distribute the loot from the dungeon?
JaeHyun thought for a moment. Normally, he would have to share the loot with the Yeonhwa Guild at a 8:2 ratio.
But Yoo Sung-Eun and Park SungJae thought that the dungeon he’d entered was an E-ranked one.
If he showed them the loot he got from Helheim, their reactions of shock would probably be interesting.
‘What to do…’
Yoo Sung-Eun said airily toward JaeHyun, who was deep in thought.
“You can have all the items you got from this dungeon raid. The loot from an E-rank dungeon isn’t worth all that much to begin with. It won’t be much if we share it.”
“Huh? Is that really okay?”
JaeHyun decided that he wouldn’t tell anyone that he’d been transported to the Helheim dungeon.
The loot he got from defeating skeleton soldiers and wraiths, plus the Night Shade. He would sell all of it through the black market.
Although he didn’t like how they took a big percentage of the sale,
since they didn’t ask for the seller’s identity, the black market was the best choice in his current situation.
‘I don’t know how I’m connected to Hel and the Aesir gods. But they will come to me when the time comes. Right now, it’s more important to focus on what’s happening in front of me.’
JaeHyun turned on his smartphone and checked the timer shown on the upper portion of the screen.
T-MINUS 9 DAYS
There were exactly 9 days left until he went to Millaes Academy.