Episode 61/Chapter 5: Great Hero (5)
Tae Ho escorted Demeter and returned to Mesena for now.
Only one day had passed since the battle with Poseidon so most of the people like Echidna couldn’t shake off the after effects of the battle but the forces of Mesena had to move to Delphos so the preparations to move was still going on even though it was late in the night.
“Athena. You have gone through a lot. I can know it looking at your face.”
“You have been through more things than me. I’m glad, really glad.”
Athena embraced Demeter and said. It was an action that didn’t suit her as she was usually stiff and hard headed so Demeter opened her eyes roundly out of surprise and embraced Athena.
Even if that wasn’t the case Hestia that was the one that comforted her had lost consciousness and wasn’t able to wake up and Hermes, her only companion, lost his legs along his motivation so Athena had also become quite depressed.
In addition, the forces of Asgard made her feel more complicated.
They were certainly glad to see but Olympus could only lean and depend on their good will. It wasn’t an equal allied relationship but a one sided one.
She couldn’t not feel glad when one of the 12 Olympians, Demeter, appeared quite safe. While they were embracing each other Athena even shed some tears.
“Hephaestus is also safe.”
“The master of Asgard told me. He said he also accomplished a great deed.”
“He did. I’m proud of him as one of the 12 Olympians.”
When Athena smiled brightly, Demeter opened her eyes roundly once again and then laughed.
It was a bit weird to say this but she liked the current Athena more than the previous one.
In the other hand, Athena flushed at Demeter’s smile and then turned to look at Tae Ho.
“I’m really grateful to you for having rescued Demeter.”
When she expressed her thanks politely Tae Ho, that was looking at the warm reencounter of the two Goddesses shook his hand and said.
‘Of course, of course. For real. If you deny that you aren’t a God and even a person.’
Tae Ho ignored Cuchulainn’s words that scratched his conscience and thought why he was being like this all day and Demeter laughed just like Idun.
“I also came to meet you.”
Demeter spoke brightly and approached Tae Ho. She then kissed Tae Ho in his cheek like how she did in the shore.
“Let my blessing accompany you.”
“Th, thank you.”
As Tae Ho’s face turned red completely, Demeter laughed once again. Athena didn’t laugh that boldly but looking at how she was trembling while having turned around, it seemed like she was trying not to laugh.
“Anyways…..enjoy your encounter.”
Tae Ho left the place for the two people.
And the next morning.
“Hm hm hm.”
Adenmaha hummed because of what she heard last night before going to sleep. She really looked like a child that was about to go to an excursion.
“You are feeling good?”
“Hm hm hm.”
Adenmaha hummed once again at Tae Ho’s words and then gathered her lips and looked at her surroundings with expectant eyes.
But she couldn’t see what she was looking for no matter where she looked at.
Adenmaha got flustered and turned to look at Tae Ho after blinking a few times and Tae Ho tilted his head as if asking if there was something wrong.
“Adenmaha, transform. Let’s fly quickly.”
“Um….we aren’t going to ride on Sleipnir?”
Drakon Ismenios had boasted about it a lot.
Adenmaha had resoluted herself expecting that he would do the same for her!
“Sleipnir, wait nearby.”
Tae Ho spoke like that and then spread the wings of light at his back and held Adenmaha’s waist with one arm.
There was a deep and black sea below them. If it was like Demeter had said, the deepest trench in the world should be below them.
Adenmmaha spread her arms while clinging on to Tae Ho and brought up her divine power.
She had become the Goddess of beauty and love of Erin but she was still a Goddess of sea.
“Power of the sea!”
She didn’t split the sea below them and instead a thick and transparent barrier covered them in a round way.
It was impossible to split thousands of kilometers down the sea even if Adenmaha’s divine power had been strengthened.
Tae Ho added some runes on the transparent barrier Adenmaha made. It was to reinforce the barrier to be able to endure the overwhelming pressure of the sea.
When the task ended, Tae Ho retrieved his wings and embraced Adenmaha from her waist. The transparent barrier was formed with Adenmaha as the center and because of that Tae Ho was the one that got to hang on her.
Adenmaha flinched when Tae Ho embraced her by the waist and then spoke with courage.
“Master, grab more tightly.”
“A bit more.”
‘Do it with moderation, moderation. Master, I want to see you.’
Tae Ho listened to Cuchulainn’s teary voice and entered the sea with Adenmaha. One of the runes Tae Ho had engraved started to shine and drove away the darkness.
And after some time passed.
When they were starting to get afraid of driving away the darkness at their surroundings because they got able to see the strange creatures living deep in the sea.
The pair finally arrived at the floor of the sea.
“It’s a shrine.”
Adenmaha opened her eyes roundly and spoke. It had a complicated structure maybe because it was deep in the sea but there was certainly a shrine with Olympus’ peculiar shape in front of their eyes.
The shrine was really huge. Even Delphos, that was the biggest shrine Tae Ho saw in Olympus, was small compared to it. He was just guessing but he didn’t think that Delphos was even half the size of this.
Tae Ho reinforced the transparent barrier once again and glanced at Adenmaha. She then made the barrier advance to the insides of the shrine.
There was nothing inside of the shrine besides pillars. When they kept advancing forward they saw stairs connecting to the underground and when they kept going down hundreds of stairs they passed the surface of the water at some point.
Tae Ho and Adenmaha looked above them with surprised eyes. They could see the surface splashing as if the world had turned upside down and they could see a really deep sea beyond that.
Adenmaha turned to look at Tae Ho and he nodded. When Adenmaha dispelled the transparent barrier, a bright and cold air welcomed them.
“I will take the lead.”
Tae Ho started to go down the stairs carefully and then, the walls that were filling their surroundings disappeared at some point. A vast and white space appears and a huge woman was lying down below the stairs.
It was a woman that had black hair and light brown skin. She was wearing clothes that were similar to Echidna but the color of her clothes was white so the skin and the color of the hair of the woman showed even more.
‘Hey, you will die by getting blessings from her.’
Cuchulainn spoke with a dumbfounded voice. That was because the woman- the primeval God of earth Gaia, was too huge. There was still some distance between them but they felt like they would get overwhelmed at her size.
It seemed like she easily surpassed a 100 meters and she felt even bigger than that perhaps because she had the appearance of a woman.
Adenmaha gulped dry saliva and grabbed Tae Ho’s sleeve. Tae Ho walked down the stairs with calm steps to calm her down.
The face of Gaia that was sleeping was a bit different to Demeter’s or Hestia’s. Her face gave a sharp and scary impression compared to the other two that gave a soft and gentle feeling.
Actually, the one that resembled Gaia the most among the 12 Olympians was Hera but Tae Ho still hadn’t met her yet so he thought of Scathach, the one that gave the sharpest impression among the ones he knew.
He finally reached the end of the stairs and at that moment, Gaia opened her eyes when Tae Ho placed his feet in the floor.
The huge green eyes observed Tae Ho and Adenmaha. Her eyes didn’t seem like she had just woken up but emanated light as if she was already awake.
She, that was lying down in one of her arms, looked at Tae Ho and Adenmaha that stopped by reflex. She opened her eyes a bit sharply and then fixed her posture.
She just raised her head from her arm but just with that small motion the reach of her eyes increased by ten meters.
[You are unexpected guests.]
Gaia said. The voices of the Gods spread into the white and vast place.
But it wasn’t loud. It did vibrate a bit but the tone was just right to listen and her voice was also soft and clear.
“I’m the master of Asgard Lee Tae Ho. I greet the ancient God of Earth.”
“Adenmaha, a Valkyrie of Idun’s legion and Erin’s Goddess of love and beauty, greets the ancient God of earth.”
Gaia smiled with her eyes as Tae Ho and Adenmaha expressed etiquette first.
[Nice to meet you Gods of a foreign world. I would also like to stand up and express etiquette but the difference in height of our eyes will become too big. Sorry that i’m lying down.]
The reaction was quite fine. Tae Ho and Adenmaha got relieved unconsciously and then turned to look at themselves and then looked at Gaia again.
“Ancient Goddess of Earth Gaia, we came to find you because we have something we want to ask you.”
[I can feel the power of Demeter from you. And also the power of Athena and Hestia. You also have the power of that incredule Echidna….how strange. In some meaning you are worse than Zeus.]
There was a bit of displeasure in Gaia’s voice. For her, thinking about Zeus, was not pleasing at all.
Tae Ho hurriedly activated the rune of Bragi and continued speaking.
“The Goddess of soil Demeter told me where you were at.”
[Right, I can see that looking at the power of Demeter in you. It’s not forced. That child judged it herself and told you. That means that you came to find me because of something really important.]
The eyes of Gaia became a bit sharper. Tae Ho took a deep breath and then spoke about what had happened to Gaia.
[It wasn’t the time to be sleeping comfortably.]
Gaia spoke in a low voice after she listened to everything. But it somehow didn’t give off a feeling of motivation. It was rather felt like she was feeling desperate.
[Master of a foreign world, what is it that you wish? What do you want to know?]
“The reason why the primeval Gods turned like this and their situation…..and the method to beat them.”
Gaia closed her eyes for a moment at Tae Ho’s request. She read the memory of Mesena aside from Tae Ho’s story and then opened her eyes while twisting her eyebrows.
[I think that I will have to explain about us, primeval Gods, first.]
[You have already experienced the power of the Protogenoi….us, ancient Gods as Poseidon had the power of Pontus in him.]
The reason Poseidon could pull an overwhelming amount of sea water deep inland was because of the power of Pontus. Tae Ho could clearly feel a different kind of divinity compared to the other Gods as he had actually fought with Poseidon.
[Pontus and I are different. I’m an ancient God that has been personalized and materialized. I obtained flesh and freedom of movement and obtained an ego to be able to think and act by myself but I have been weakened due to that.]
Gaia slowly raised the arm she was placing in her waist. When she rolled her finger in the air, the power of the Earth manifested in her hand but what was drawn in Gaia’s face was a bitter smile.
[Pontus is a concept God. He is the sea itself and his power is really overwhelming. The two of us are ancient Gods but he should be a dozen times more powerful than mine. But he doesn’t have a consciousness and that’s why he can’t have hostility or hospitality. Poseidon brought up and used the power of Pontus but Pontus doesn’t oppose you. Not having taken revenge on you even when Poseidon died at your hands is proof of that. If he really had the will to take revenge on you, then how is it that you were able to cross the sea and meet me?]
In other words it means that Pontus did aid Poseidon with his strength but he hadn’t dazzled him.
“Are you saying that the one that is bewitching Zeus is an ancient God like Gaia-nim that has obtained flesh?”
Gaia shook her head at Tae Ho’s question.
[It’s different. The only ancient Gods that obtained flesh are me and Uranus. There exist personality Gods that hadn’t been able to obtain flesh but still have a will and are in the middle between me, a personality God and Pontus, a concept God.]
Gaia looked to a distant place. Her face was one that was thinking of her old acquaintances.
[The one that is bewitching Zeus should probably be Nyx. She, that was born with me, has desired for a long time to return to the void of Chaos. I’m a bit doubtful as to why she acted so suddenly but it’s not that i’m not able to understand her actions.]
It was similar to what Echidna, Athena,etc. had guessed.
The Goddess of night Nyx.
The Goddess of darkness that gave birth to death.
Adenmaha, that had been listening silently, raised her hand and asked.
“Gaia-nim. If Pontus is a concept God with no will…..then can we also borrow his power just like Poseidon did?”
[That’s impossible. The ruler of the sea Poseidon has been able to use his power because he is his proper successor.]
Nyx wasn’t the one that connected the power without a will. It was an authority of Poseidon itself.
[The ruler of the sky Zeus is able to use the power of Uranus. On top of him, Nyx and his other supporters are also able to obtain power from him. The personality Gods that have a will are able to support others with their own strength.]
That was the reason Odin sought to attack the mount of Olympus directly. Even if that wasn’t the case, they had to stop the already strong Zeus from becoming even stronger by obtaining strength from the ancient Gods.
[But the biggest obstacle is Heracles.]
Gaia frowned and said and started to speak about things Tae Ho and Adenmaha didn’t know of.
[The Gigantes entered Olympus. They are heading to the mount of Olympus. This means that Heracles has turned into a being wanting to destroy the world.]
Athena’s guess was wrong. Heracles had turned into their enemy and in addition he had joined the Gigantes.
[Master of the foreign world. You won’t be able to evade having the decisive battle on the mount of Olympus. In the end, if you aren’t able to defeat Zeus in that land the battle won’t end. But it won’t be easy and perhaps impossible.]
Worry spread in Gaia’s face and the tone of her voice had dropped a lot.
[Zeus is certainly the king of Gods. He possess strength stronger than all the other 12 Olympians gathered together but he isn’t the strongest one of Olympus.]
“Are you saying that….Heracles is stronger than Zeus?”
Tae Ho asked in surprise and Cuchulainn also got flustered at the unexpected truth.
[It is like that in the mount of Olympus.]
Gaia took a breath and then looked to a distant place.
[Heracles is a being that was born to protect Olympus from Gigantomachy…..the final war. You could say that he’s the real protector of Olympus. Because of that, he’s invincible when he is protecting the path going to the mount of Olympus. His strength surpasses Zeus when he gets assisted by all of Olympus.]
“Are you saying that he can take the entire world as his own sacred force?”
Tae Ho interpreted Gaia’s words in his own way. There was bitterness and joy showing in Gaia’s face at the same time.
[That’s right. Heracles is an existence like that in the mount of Olympus. In addition, he doesn’t need such things like belief. He simply gets assisted by the power of the world itself.]
The protector of Olympus.
The being that becomes immortal when he protects the path leading to the mount of Olympus.
Adenmaha grabbed on Tae Ho’s sleeve and expressed fear. Tae Ho gulped dry saliva and then raised his head.
“Oh Gaia, I have something to request. Can you listen to me?”
[Do you want my help? If you do, I can support you with a bit of my strength but you won’t be able to beat Heracles in the mount of Olympus.]
Tae Ho also understood that. It wasn’t that Gaia was looking down on him at all. Gaia knew about the strength of Tae Ho really well as she could read the memory of the earth. But regardless of that, she was still saying that he won’t be able to beat Heracles in the mount of Olympus.
“I know that. What I want is something else.”
The thing that popped up in his head when he heard about Gaia’s story.
The conquest method made by his senses and base as a progamer to win a battle that is close to impossible to win.
Tae Ho said and Gaia listened. And at the end of his story she feigned a laughter. But that feigned laugher soon changed into a refreshing one.
[I will do that. I will fulfill your wish. I won’t save any assistance you want at all.]
Gaia affirmed. She rose half of her upper body and then extended her big hand towards Tae Ho and Adenmaha.
[And this is an extra.]
What she could know because she had read the memory of the earth regardless of the promised assistance.
[It’s a meeting.]
Gaia said while smiling and Tae Ho got on her palm while expressing embarrassment and happiness at the same time. While Adenmaha was letting out a troubled sigh, Gaia’s huge lips blessed Tae Ho.
And the morning after four days.
All the forces heading to the mount of Olympus gathered in Delphos.
< Episode 61 – Great Hero (5) > End
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