The Hero Returns - Chapter 322
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Buzz, bzzzz, vrrrrr—
The vibrations didn’t feel right.
Su-hyeun looked up at the purple sky above—at the dungeon up there, rather. He knew only too well what the current phenomenon signified, and that was why he found it so much harder to accept the current situation.
“Just how many dungeon outbreaks have happened so far?” he asked inwardly.
Su-hyeun might know more about dungeons than anyone else, but even then, he didn’t have much knowledge on purple-colored dungeons because only one such dungeon had appeared on Earth—the one where Fafnir had shown up from.
As such, he guessed that the purple-colored dungeon must be unique compared to other colors, at the very least, and he also definitely remembered that a near-infinite number of monsters that flooded out from the purple dungeon.
However, that dungeon’s outbreak wasn’t split into several different incidents like what had been happening here. No, it simply let out countless hordes of monsters in one outbreak and drove the world to its demise.
“The ones Hercules has mentioned before…” he thought.
The aura coming from the dungeon felt incredibly ominous. It was on another realm compared to all the other ragtag mobs that had shown up so far. It was powerful enough to send chills down his spine, in fact.
“The really dangerous ones are the Colossi. As for the other ones…Well, in human terms they are like regular foot soldiers.”
These were the creatures that made the mountainous Giants look like mere foot soldiers; they were the leaders of the race of Giants that even made the gods and Hercules, who was capable of killing a Giant with one hit, deeply nervous.
The Colossus—there could be no other monster aside from it that was capable of emitting this much amount of ominous aura.
Su-hyeun closed his eyes and probed the aura coming from the purple-colored dungeon a little deeper than before.
“Their numbers…That’s a lot.”
He furrowed his brows unconsciously.
Did the Giants and Gigantes appear first to test the waters? Or was there another reason why they couldn’t appear here together?
The reason was unknown at this stage, but there was no mistaking the fact that the number about to show up was far greater than the Giants he and Phaethon had taken care of minutes ago. Regular Giants alone numbered over a hundred individuals, and he thought he could sense at least 10 Gigantes.
Then, there were two more that emitted an aura that was even greater than all the others combined—the Colossi.
“Hercules,” Su-hyeun called out to the demigod.
Hercules was already getting his club ready. He walked over to Su-hyeun and addressed the latter, “Looks like you’ll have to handle one of them.”
“Is it difficult to deal with two at the same time?”
“This is the first time two of them have appeared together. It seems like the one I chased away the last time brought along a friend.”
“Why didn’t you hold back when you beat that thing up? Did you hurt it so bad that it even decided to bring a friend along?”
“Urgh! I didn’t know things would turn out this way.”
“And about the other Giants and the Gigantes…”
“That fool will have to take them on.”
Hercules turned his head to look at Phaethon behind him.
Although Phaethon looked a little exhausted from the battle earlier, he was still one of the few combat forces who could still able to participate in the upcoming battle. The tens of thousands of soldiers and knights like Chris would most likely find it difficult to deal with just one Giant, after all.
“Well, at least he’s going to be helpful in moments like this,” said Su-hyeun.
“I’ve already told them to get out of here since the other soldiers will simply get in the way. Just why did he have to go and bring along so many people today?” Hercules muttered, clearly not liking the whole situation, and glanced at Chris.
In the meantime, the soldiers were busy making their retreat under the command of Chris and the other knights.
Phaethon walked over to the side of Su-hyeun and Hercules. “What do you want me to do?”
His voice contained a little more energy than before.
It seemed that regardless of how lost and empty he felt, his personality wasn’t so soft and weak that he would remain demotivated and not even bother to face the invading enemies. That was certainly a relief.
“We’ll take care of the Colossi. You deal with the other Giants,” said Hercules.
“Will that be fine?”
“Judging from how you fought earlier, I’m thinking that anything stronger will be too much for you.”
“I know that you feel deeply embarrassed after your lie of being a son of a god was exposed, so if you manage to handle this crisis well, I promise I won’t beat you up and let you go home, so do your best.” Hercules stared at the Giants that began descending from the purple-colored skies and finished what he wanted to say. “Remember that if you fail to kill even one, tens of thousands of people will lose their lives.”
“Tens of thousands…” Phaethon mulled over what Hercules said and nodded his head soon afterward.
For some reason, it felt like a huge and heavy lump of lead was crashing down on his shoulders. The meaning of the upcoming battle…It seemed that Hercules understood that far clearer than Phaethon had.
The gods, not humans, were supposed to fight against the race of the Giants. The appearance of just one, maybe two Giants would result in the deaths of countless people.
“And the one stopping them until now is none other than Hercules.”
This felt different from when he would listen to all the tales about Hercules. Phaethon could now understand the truth after personally participating in a battle and then witnessing the ones Hercules talked about, the Colossi, getting ready to make their entrance.
The potential blowback and the responsibility of losing the battle or making a fatal mistake somewhere turned out to be far weightier and more frightening than what Phaethon had bargained for.
“Don’t freeze up and do your best.”
Hercules slapped Phaethon’s back. The latter flinched greatly and nodded hastily. Then, the burly demigod pounded on Su-hyeun’s back next.
“You too. Don’t die on me.”
“Why does it feel like you hit me harder than him?”
“Because you’re tougher than him, of course.”
“You think I’m some kind of an indestructible iron man or something?”
“An iron man? No, you’re well beyond that. I mean, you’ve already acquired two different qualifications of godhood, haven’t you?” A meaningful grin appeared on Hercules’s face as if he had witnessed what transpired between Su-hyeun and Apollo even though he was a great distance away. “So, I’ll leave it to you.”
The demigod stopped talking there and turned his head away, a grave expression etched on his face.
This would be the first time Su-hyeun saw Hercules make such a tense expression. It was as good a proof as any just how dangerous the existence of the creature called the Colossus was.
And Su-hyeun somehow figured out the reason for the demigod’s nervousness—they were the prey.
The incoming Colossi emitted a type of aura that was similar to what Gluttony emitted when it was still alive—in other words, the “prey.”
However, these two came across as far more threatening than Gluttony.
Their outer appearances perfectly resembled humans. At only around five meters in height, they could be described as “small” only when compared with other Giants.
One of them was wearing armor and had a shaven head, while the other boasted short but unruly blond locks.
Hercules stared at the Colossus with a shaven head and spoke, “Oh, so you came back, baldie.”
“Yeah, I’m back.”
The two of them stared at each other and growled menacingly.
As for Su-hyeun…
“Hey, look over here.”
He snapped his fingers and lit a flame right in front of the other Colossus’ eyes.
The Colossus asked, “A dog of Apollo, I see.”
Su-hyeun snapped his fingers again at the Colossus’ comment.
When he did…
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom—!
Purple-colored flames appeared all around the blond Colossus and caused a chain of explosions.
The corners of Su-hyeun’s lips curled up into a smirk as he stared at the Colossus and its scorched skin. “Guess again.”
The eyes of the Colossus gleamed dangerously.
* * *
The two Colossi landed fully on the ground and stood in front of Su-hyeun and Hercules.
The Colossus that chose to stand before Hercules silently glared down at the demigod for a while. Hercules called it “baldie” since it was indeed bald, unlike its companion.
Hercules broke the silence first. “Even if I did beat you up senseless back then, how could you go and call your big brother? That’s way too embarrassing.”
“He’s not my brother but my father.”
“Doesn’t matter whether he’s your brother or father, it still doesn’t change the fact that you got your ass handed to you, and you had to run back home in tears to ask for help.”
Hercules replied with a snicker and glanced to his side. That’s where he saw the other Colossus facing off against Su-hyeun. Judging from either the physical size or the aura oozing out from the creature, it was definitely stronger than the baldie before him.
“I better wrap this up quick and help out over there,” he thought.
But as soon as Hercules’s gaze shifted to his side…
“How dare you get distracted before me?!”
The Colossus punched the ground Hercules was standing on. The earth below split apart and overturned, and the debris shot up toward the demigod’s face.
Hercules tightly grasped his club and stepped on the rocks shooting up in all directions.
“Fine. I’ll definitely bust open that shiny head of yours today!”
The bald Colossus and Hercules collided.
In the meantime, Su-hyeun and the blond Colossus maintained their tense standoff. The creature’s body, which was previously scorched by Su-hyeun’s flames, had recovered to full health by now.
“So, you aren’t Apollo’s dog, then?”
Even though the Colossus asked a question, Su-hyeun didn’t reply and simply took his time scanning the creature from top to bottom. Thanks to the creature’s large size and their close proximity, it was kind of difficult to take in the Colossus’s entire figure in one glance.
The creature furrowed its brows and stared at Su-hyeun when the latter didn’t bother to reply. “What are you doing?”
“The way I see it, the only noticeable difference between you and us is that you’re big and we’re small.”
Su-hyeun got a feeling that a Giant would resemble a human more and more the higher it went in the Giant race classifications—the bottom-tier Giant-class, Gigantes, and then, the Colossus before his eyes.
“Are you seriously comparing us to humans? Not even to the gods?”
“If there’s one advantage you have over humans, then it would be your bigger size.”
“Hmm…But you also do not look like a regular human to me.”
“Meanwhile, you are a monster.”
While lightly spinning the sword in his hand, Su-hyeun walked toward the blond Colossus. “That’s why I should become a monster, too.”
Hercules once said this.
He said that if they failed to kill even one, two Giants that appeared in this location, then that would lead to the deaths of tens or hundreds of thousands of people.
[The trait “Necromancer” has been activated.]
[By using “Death Aura,” you can now see or command the dead.]
At Su-hyeun’s call, Gluttony and the other summons—from the Chief Gatekeeper and Ouroboros to Prince Nezha—revealed themselves.
And finally, there was Miru.
The blond Colossus paid close attention to Gluttony and Miru among all the summoned creatures. His brows shot up especially high after he sensed a vibe similar to his coming from Gluttony. “What is that thing?”
“Kill them all. Oh, and Gluttony?” Su-hyeun didn’t bother to reply to the Colossus again and simply issued his command to the summons instead. “Don’t eat the humans, okay?”
Gluttony made its move. The same applied to Ouroboros, the Chief Gatekeeper, and Prince Nezha.
Miru used magic and provided protection to all the summoned creatures. Even though the punches of the Giants were fearsome, they shouldn’t be able to easily penetrate past Miru’s defense magic.
“How dare you…!”
The blond Colossus didn’t idly sit by and let the summons rampage unchecked. No, more correctly, it raised its hand and tried to do something about the situation.
However, that hand was struck dead on by a spear that rapidly flew in, and its direction had changed at the last second.
“Why don’t you forget about that side,” Su-hyeun spoke while spinning another spear in his hand. “And pay more attention to this side instead?”
“You insolent little…”
The Colossus’ expression crumpled unsightly.
Su-hyeun succeeded in attracting its fury. While injecting his power into the spear, he then continued to speak to the blond Colossus. “It hasn’t been that long since I acquired this power, you see.”
It was a bit difficult to call this a mere “skill” anymore. The flames permeating with divinity swirled around the spear as Su-hyeun got ready to throw the weapon.
“Even then, I promise you that it’s going to get really hot.”