Above Your Head - Volume 2 - Chapter 126

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*** 

Confusion subsided as my brother reached transcendence.

With the stage progression stabilizing, the number of casualties decreased massively and the speed of killing the Apocalypse Giants increased exponentially. Of course, all of this was the situation outside, but… with every death of an Apocalypse Giant, the players in the battle gained an enormous amount of experience. As such, they dedicated their faith and experience to me which strengthened my Divine Spirit. And when my Divine Spirit was strengthened, I proceeded with the next step instead of just taking it for myself.

A virtuous circle had begun.

“Thank you for your hard work! Then nex… Ah!”

“Huh!?”

“Ooohh!!!”

The players raised their heads with joy in the expressions. There were others who looked at them with a look of bewilderment.

“What? What’s going on?”

“Iron Mask-nim!”

“Iron Mask-nim?”

“He has given us a new blessing!”

Just as they said, I created a new authority, Skill Book. It was unlike the Ability Book, which did not require much action from the believers except for devoting their experience or faith. Rather, they needed to do other things to utilize the Skill Book, since they needed to learn the skills directly. Some skills required a lot of time and skills, while others required talent and effort.

But most importantly, they needed ‘materials’. It was because the majority of the skills required materials and devices.

For example,

Gigas Call – You can call a gigas using rare metals you purchased. When the skill rank rises, the grade of the gigas available for calling will increase.

Emergency Defense – You can protect yourself in case of an emergency by storing energy in a purchased product. Efficiency increases when skill rank is raised.

They were skill such as these. Naturally, the ‘rare metals you purchased’ had to be purchased from me. I could not afford to increase the types of skills, so I had created only 10 for now. External Battery, Abilities of the Day Renewal, Blessing of Piloting Renewal, and so on. Most of them were assistive abilities. 

More time went by.

This time, I created another new authority – Level Book.

Unfortunately, this was a power that did not provide much assistance to the current players.

“Tsk, it overlaps with the End Project bastard.”

Just as I had been worried, it was not possible to overlap the stat system either. In fact, most of the players already possessed much higher levels than their actual capabilities, so there was no need to eliminate the existing level system. But I had to take into account that the stages of the End Project were almost over.

It was true that most of the surviving humans were players, but there were people who did not proceed with the stage due to all sorts of reasons, including illness, being too young, or even just being residents of the Iron World.

In addition, the Level Book was essential because future children would not be able to utilize the level system of the stage.

“Keuk! Kekekeuk!”

I suddenly heard a laugh.

“Hahaha! Hahahahaha!”

He laughed maniacally. I turned my gaze from the outside world and peered into the Inner World. I could see Dekarma plopped down on the ground in front of me. His messy appearance showed that he was being pushed to the limit.

“I can’t believe this… I-I’m going to be serving as a mere springboard? To a little, puny bastard like you…?”

The fight for control had been tilting in my favor for a while now. In fact, it was completely skewed. This was because I was continuously supplementing and strengthening my Divine Spirit as the God of Games with the faith that the players were devoting to me. Naturally, the concept of Machine was not so easy to crush. However… Dekarma did not hold complete monopoly over the concept of machine. The concept had a strong competitor named Adam.

Ooooohh--!

I raised my Divine Spirit to the fullest. If I consumed my sacred power like this, it would take a considerable amount of time to restore it. But even so, there was a need to get rid of this guy sitting in front of me.

“It was god-awful to have spent this time together with you. Let’s never see each other again.”

But the moment I attempted to deliver the finishing blow,

Boom!

The world trembled.

“What?”

A new figure appeared as I frowned with surprise. It was a young man in his early twenties. He possessed distinctive features and tanned skin. It was Juan.

Dekarma laughed.

“You’re not the only one who can do things behind the scenes.”

“Juan, why are you here?”

“…I must be the god of mankind.”

I met his gaze as he spoke. His eyes had once been emotionless, but now they were blazing with jealousy and madness. 

‘I see.’

He was a god, but that did not mean he was a complete being. It was the same with me, and even truer for me who acted like a whiny child. Juan created the most righteous, sincere, honor-oriented version of humanity ever since the beginning of human civilization. It was truly a magnificent feat, but… he did not accomplish such a feat because he possessed great wisdom. Rather, it was only possible because he had great power.

He was a huge influencer of justice, truth, and honor, but in essence, he was only a narrow-minded and a young figure.

“But Dekarma, what are you planning on doing by bringing him here? Juan is an outside presence. He cannot affect the fight for control.”

I was rather confused by the meaning behind Juan’s sudden appearance.

Guwoooo--!

The Inner World started to shake. I could feel the advantage I had built up until now fading away from my grasp.

“What is this…?”

“How young and foolish! Hahahahaha”

Dekarma laughed like crazy. Although he did not provide an explanation, I came to an understanding as soon as he waved his hand to summon an object from a crack in dimension.

Wooong--!

A powerful light easily overpowered all the divinity I had collected so far. It dyed the whole world with a brilliant light. It was the Crown of Light.

Realizing the identity of the object, I screamed.

“You crazy bastard! Why are you brining this here?”

Now I knew. That was not the Divine Spirit of the Machine God. It belonged on a much higher realm. It was the accumulated Divine Spirit of the God of Civilization and Information, something from after he cut off the Machine God from himself.

This was not a good thing for Dekarma. Perhaps he would have been ignorant in the past, but he was well aware of it now, so how could he create such a mess?

Flash!

I could feel the Inner World being torn apart along with a blinding light. A huge explosion of Divine Spirit consumed everything.

- Ah.

And I saw the figure of a man inside of it. He resembled a human, but his figure wasn’t entirely specified.

He spoke.

- I’m screwed.

“Who the hell are you?”

- I am Struggle.

After a moment of thought, I realized who he was. That was the named of Juan’s father, the Unnamed. I became dumbfounded and laughed.

“So none of you died obediently.”

- Don’t be so mean. Isn’t it natural instinct for all beings to want to survive? But looking at the current atmosphere, it seems to be a failure.

He spoke with a laughter.

- I wanted to survive until the end to deliver a blow to the Creation God…

Flash!

Another burst of light tore apart the body of Struggle. Another figure appeared.

“Oh, I guess it must be almost over.”

“…Master Myeong-wol? You were still alive?”

“I died a while ago. My body is still in the Cradle of Justice.”

As he spoke, a corpse appeared in front of Myeong-wol. It was literally a layer of skin covering bones. Its appearance was completely deviant from the Myeong-wol I knew, who always gave off a nice impression with his bulging potbelly and big chins.

Myeong-wol spoke.

“Could I tell you a secret of the universe?”

It sounded like nonsense, but I paid attention after realizing that it was his will.

“A secret of the universe?”

“I realized the existence of karma in the Cradle of Justice. It was an opportunity. The presence of the three gods who directly handled such karma, and the Cradle of Justice created from the power of karma. It enlightened me of a new truth.”

Pssss…

The dried corpse slowly turned into sand and scattered. Myeong-wol continued while observing the scattering dust.

“Karma determine everything in life. Talent, environment, the environment, and even one’s nature… Karma and the possibilities of man is built up through Samsara.”

Flash!

Roarrr!!!

The Inner World fluctuated like crazy. It was making a huge mess as if threatening to tear up all of our existence at once. But somehow, I felt that the whole flow was in our favor.

Myeong-wol spoke.

“If you studied a lot, you will be born intelligent in your next life. If you have great wealth in your hands, you will be born with a silver spoon. If you spent a lot of time honing your physical body, you will be born with excellent physical ability. I realized this after seeing karma itself.”

Humans built up karma as they proceeded through the eternal cycle of life and death, and the more they accumulated, the higher the possibility of reaching transcendence. However, it would not only pile up.

“If you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth and live in idleness, the hard-earned karma of wealth disappears. It is the same if you are born with a high intelligence but do not use it to it full potential. All beings of the world build up karma in infinite rotation, but not even a handful of them can continue to climb.”

The body of Myeong-wol began to glow slowly.

“Then are you… achieving transcendence as well?”

“There was a way.”

Myeong-wol’s tone of speech suddenly turned light.

“When I realized the existence of karma, I knew instinctively. If I tried to forgive those who kicked my life into the abyss… If I could forgive them from the bottom of my heart, truly forgive them, I could have transformed into a completely different being.”

He continued.

“Yes. I could have been. A being with compassion for all things in the world, a transcendent being who could look at the whole world with grace, mercy, and great respect. A transcendent who is completely different from even the god over there who is completely hung up on his own divinity!”

Woo--!

The Inner World resonated as he spoke. It was an unusual phenomenon, as if the world was trying to convince him that it was still not too late.

But Myeong-wol shook his head.

“But that is not human.”

He approached me and patted me on the shoulder.

“Living with a grudge is also me. I knew that throwing it away would be akin to throwing away my humanity.”

His appearance started fading away. I had no choice but to ask.

“How… How can you laugh?”

“Well.”

Myeong-wol grinned like a child.

“Because I will be a stunningly handsome man in my next life.”

“…..?”

“Hahaha!”

I stood dumbfounded for a moment. I barely mustered the words to ask back.

“Well, what, what??”

“Haha! It may sound strange, but it has already been decided! I performed countless good deeds during my life, and good deeds translate to handsome looks! I am sure that I will be reborn as a world-class handsome man!”

He was saying that he would be loved by the whole world.

“Of course, there is a chance that I will be reborn as a beautiful woman… I think that would be great as well. Besides, I accumulated quite a fortune, so I will be born into a decent family and my brain won’t be half bad. My body will be quite nice as well. Don’t you think this will be a blessed life?”

“W, well…”

Myeong-wol smiled. His appearance became more blurred before completely disappearing. Only his voice, which was clearer than ever in the blinding light, could be heard.

“I will die as a human being. You continue to live as a god.”

He spoke in a cheery voice.

“Please, be a good god.”

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