A blank face.
Contrary to expectations, there were no tears. Unable to feel reality, Hercules remained expressionless and raised his fist.
Hercules punched himself in the face with his fist.
With all the force he could muster, enough to turn the rocks to dust.
He punched himself in the face, again and again.
No matter how strong his body was, there was no way he could be okay punching himself in the face with his bare hands.
His lips burst, his eyes bulged. It must have hurt, but Hercules didn't stop punching.
A voice came from nearby.
YuWon stood in front of him. Hercules stopped punching and looked straight ahead for a moment, eyes focused.
"This, you said you took it from Ares?".
YuWon nodded and Hercules' eyes changed.
"Where is he now?"
He had been on the 38th floor for so long, fighting Giants, that he didn't know where Ares' temple was.
Looking into his eyes, glowing with life, she knew at once what he wanted.
"Dead? Did you kill him?"
"Hah, I see I won't be able to get revenge on that guy anymore."
Hercules raised his head and looked at Gigäntes.
Hercules fell to his knees.
Gigäntes' eyes looked at Hercules.
"I'm so sorry I was alone in my delirium and killed your people..."
A misinformation that the Giants had killed Alcmene.
Hercules had fallen into the trap and had killed countless Giants throughout his life. It had earned him the title of Giant Killer, and he wore it as a badge of honor.
The title of 'Giant Killer' was indelible to him.
『Are you serious 』.
"If you ask for my life, I will give it to you."
There was the same madness in Hercules' eyes as the first time he saw Gigäntes.
"But not now."
『Are you going to look for Zeus? 』
The object of his revenge changed in Hercules' eyes.
It was no longer the Giants, but Zeus.
And by extension, Olympus.
'I'm at an advantage, for now.'
Hercules was Zeus' most powerful hand.
His immediate rank was higher than that of Poseidon and Hades, so there was no doubt of his ability.
Moreover, the Hercules that YuWon knew would later attain a higher rank than Zeus.
"I will kill my father, and come for punishment afterwards."
『 I see 』
Gigäntes' eyes closed.
The mana that had surrounded him since he had confronted Hercules had suddenly diminished.
He no longer perceived Hercules as an enemy.
『My words cannot forgive you. So much of my blood has died under your hands』
『But you and your mother are victims like us. 』
Blood shed by Olympus and Zeus.
Among them were Hercules' mother, Alcmene, and Hercules, who had led an unwanted life as her son.
『At least I won't be the one to punish you. But if you want to pay for what happened, be sure to do so. 』
Turning around, Gigäntes sat back down and returned to his mountain form.
『Destroy it completely 』.
After speaking, Gigäntes fell into a long sleep as if he had nothing more to say.
At those words, Hercules paused for a moment on his knees.
Crouching down again, Gigäntes became like a tall mountain.
With that, Hercules stood up.
Soon after, he put Alcmene's necklace around his neck.
A red necklace around her neck.
Hercules looked up at YuWon.
"Thank you, I am in your debt."
A debt to Hercules, one of the highest ranking men in the tower. His change of mind was a good thing for YuWon, and that change would serve him even better in the future.
"I'll be sure to repay this debt later. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have been able to stop myself."
The fight with Gigäntes.
Hercules knew what the fight would lead to.
As one of the Three Gods of Olympus, the death of Gigäntes would most likely lead to a Second Gigantomachy.
However, he had come to him to avenge Alcmene's death.
"If you feel like it, you can give me a hand later."
"Are you really going to fight Olympus?"
"I intend to."
A definite change of direction.
Fighting Olympus, his father, seems conflicted, but he was raised by Alcmene in the first place.
His bond with Zeus, his paternal love, had been emasculated by Zeus himself.
Zeus was trying to force Hercules' hand with Alcmene's death, and karma ended up turning against him....
"Then I'll give you a nice gift so you can cheer up."
Mana surged through YuWon's shadows.
The Mana enveloped everything around him.
Hercules frowned at that ominous Mana.
"What are you doing?"
"Try to stay still..."
An aura appeared in front of Hercules' eyes.
"Because this is a gift."
There was no such thing as too much caution.
After all, YuWon's skills couldn't hurt him at all.
Above all, he already recognized YuWon as an ally.
The shadow began to squirm.
After a while, it took the form of a man.
"Who is it?"
A colorless body.
Dressed in black armor, eyes unfocused, the man looked vaguely familiar.
'He looks like my father.
The greatest being Hercules had ever known.
The black man who had appeared in front of him, the one YuWon had created, looked almost exactly like him.
Hercules asked in amazement.
With unfocused eyes, he didn't even properly contain a soul.
But his face, which resembled that of Zeus, certainly increased the conviction that it was Ares.
"You think you can't take revenge on the dead?"
"Is that possible?"
"It is possible."
Kyneē's eyes widened.
Eyes wide open.
Although he couldn't directly enter Hell like before, YuWon's title and Kyneē's power allowed him to summon a part of it.
[The 'King of the Dead' confronts his World].
A huge sea where the dead exist.
A small part surrounded it. Just as Hercules was about to channel his Mana at the creepiness of it all, he noticed Ares' eyes come into focus.
Ares turned his head and found YuWon.
- You bastard...!
He found YuWon and immediately brought his hand to his waist.
The sword was not there.
Without panicking, Ares rushed at YuWon. With no sword, he planned to fight with his fists.
[The dead worship you]
Ares fell to his knees without realizing it.
Ares knelt down in front of YuWon.
Unlike Arthur, he was not submissive, but his soul had already become YuWon's.
Besides, the dead could not go against YuWon, who held the title of 'King of the Dead'.
"I am the one who decides..."
YuWon's sword was unsheathed.
"Who will feel pain."
Ares' eyes widened.
He didn't scream, thanks to the mental strength he had developed over the years, but his mouth tightened as he tried to hold back the screams.
Surely he had no body.
But the pain was not felt through the body in the first place.
"Weaker than the body is the soul. But depending on the person, the soul becomes stronger and tougher."
King of the Dead.
Earning that title, he learned about the dead, the living and the soul.
"Something like that, we usually call it 'Mental Force.'"
Mental Force (Note: Other names: Spirit or Will).
It was a measure of the hardness of the soul.
The spirit of an ordinary person would break quickly, but that of a High Rank person like Ares was a different story.
How much more pain would it take to break his spirit?
The soul was not easily broken.
And that was why YuWon could help Hercules get revenge.
"Beat him to death... again."
YuWon's words made Ares turn his head back.
Then, his eyes widened.
She looked at him with terrified eyes.
Ares had avoided meeting Hercules until now, since it was he who had killed Hercules' mother, Alcmene, on Zeus' orders.
"Because it is possible here."
As if preparing his heart, Hercules loosened his grip.
A terrible scream rang out as Ares' body exploded.
* * *
With a few blows, Ares' soul was crushed, only to be restored again by mental force.
It was repeated several times.
Hercules held his fist in front of Ares' eyes and said.
"Beg me what you have done wrong."
It was an amazing display of mental strength.
Feeling the pain of being crushed and exploding over and over again and not apologizing.
Even YuWon, who was watching from the side, felt so disgusted that he wanted to vomit.
Ares' soul was crushed once again.
Apologizing wasn't going to stop him anyway.
But thanks to that, Hercules felt more at ease and was able to beat Ares to his heart's content.
How long had it been?
Ares, who gritted his teeth and held on, finally began to scream.
Anyway, Ares had no place to escape.
As a dead man, he couldn't commit suicide, and he couldn't run away without YuWon's permission.
In the end, he had no choice but to succumb to his mental breakdown and die.
'A warrior who is not afraid of death.'
YuWon folded his arms and stared at the beating scene.
'Then what about annihilation....'
Ares' screams couldn't stop Hercules' fists.
Once again, his soul exploded. Unlike the first time, Ares' soul did not recover quickly, but slowly returned to its original form.
His whole body swayed like mud, and Ares hit his head against the ground.
-I, I, I...
The last remaining pride of the tenacious warrior....
It broke right now.
[You have subdued the 'Sovereign of War and Strife.']
[The Dominion of the 'King of the Dead' is increased.]
A message similar to when Arthur's loyalty was won.
'That's not right.'
How can you induce obedience in such a simple way?
Beginning to soothe a friend's feelings had created a pleasant variable.
Hercules asked without lowering his fist.
Once was hard, twice was easy.
Ares nodded hastily.
-Yes. I'm sorry. I was wrong.
Relief briefly appeared in Ares' expression.
With a single blow, Ares' head flew off again.
"And now, just like that, you're going to get hit some more."