Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 342
He was a monstrous creature with a hundred heads, equaling the rank of the leader of the Dragons.
Although he was cursed by Uranus and turned into a servant guarding the golden apples for life, he possessed a strength that even made Hercules feel intimidated.
Undoubtedly, Radon, who should have been the final boss of these Twelve Labors, was dead.
“Is that Radon?”
Hercules spoke after a long time, as if organizing his thoughts.
He had also heard of the Dragon guarding the golden apple.
The story of Radon was such a famous legend in Olympus that there was no one who didn’t know about him.
Of course, Hercules was also preparing to fight against Radon.
“It seems someone has already been here.”
The “Hidden Dungeons” were called that because they were literally hidden.
Moreover, it wasn’t a common forest but a Dungeon where the Hesperides were protecting the golden apple alongside Radon.
But that golden apple had disappeared.
“So, this is the end…”
“It’s not the end.”
YuWon’s words stopped abruptly, which was terrifying.
The garden floor trembled, and a presence was felt beyond the invisible bushes.
“It can’t end just by interrupting the Labor.”
“There must be something else.”
“It’s this guy who did this.”
He was the person who stole the golden apple and killed Radon.
Probably, he wasn’t an ordinary person.
Though not visible to the naked eye, Hercules had a vague sense of the person’s identity.
And YuWon felt the same.
[‘Gigantification’ senses the presence of its natural enemy]
[A Giant forgotten by the world bares his fangs]
It wasn’t necessary to use the “Golden Cinder Eyes” to see that person.
With this message, YuWon could uncover the identity of the one responsible for the Hesperides’ Dungeon and Radon’s death.
“Is it him?”
YuWon knew that person was close.
But he didn’t expect to encounter him in this way.
“If possible, I’d like to recruit him as an ally.”
The heavy sound of footsteps.
YuWon turned his head to the sound of the steps filled with Arcane Power.
This time, Hercules was the one causing the ground to vibrate.
“No need to go looking for him.”
Arcane Power surged from Hercules’ body.
Displaying his full Gigantification power, Hercules provoked the Giant hiding behind the bushes.
“It’s obvious who that guy is targeting.”
“Ah, this is a bit complicated.”
YuWon immediately readied his spear.
A Black Bolt burst from the ring and coiled around his hand, transforming into the shape of a spear. The Bolt devoured a large amount of Arcane Power and became a spear.
Thump, thump, thump-.
The sound of footsteps drew closer.
The Giant appeared swiftly, crashing through the dense trees.
YuWon hurled his spear without hesitation towards the giant.
The Bolt, having absorbed an enormous amount of magic, struck the Giant’s body. If it were an ordinary Giant, the Bolt would have pierced through and destroyed it without a trace.
The Giant, emerging while demolishing the bushes, recoiled slightly, but that was all.
The Giant crossed his arms to block the spear and halt YuWon’s advance.
Hercules stroked his chin upon seeing the Giant blocking the spear.
The power of that Bolt was something Hercules knew for certain after having experienced it several times.
That person was suspicious from the beginning. YuWon and Hercules examined the Giant who revealed his face after crossing his arms.
He was about four meters tall, not too big to be a Giant.
Dark brown hair and vacant eyes without focus.
And at the corner of his mouth, there were traces of golden juice.
“The Giant Holding the Sky.”
He knew it when he saw it with his own eyes.
That guy’s punishment had begun long before the Titan War started.
Long before the battle between the Giants and Olympus.
When Zeus saw that Atlas, whose blood was half-human and half-Giant, finally sided with the Giants, he trapped him around the garden and condemned him to carry a burden for the rest of his life. That burden was an enormous mountain weighing billions of tons, and if Atlas let go, all his fellow Giants would be crushed to death under it.
Of course, included was Atlas himself, carrying the mountain.
Atlas showed his teeth and let out a groan.
He looked as if he had lost half of his sanity.
The power of that Bolt had definitely enraged him.
As he took a step forward, Hercules began walking towards him as well.
YuWon, for the first time since the Labors began, obstructed Hercules’ movements.
“You know, this is not an ordinary Labor.”
Hercules stopped for a moment.
“You don’t think you can keep doing this alone, do you?”
Radon was dead.
There was a Giant who shouldn’t be here waiting for them, and the location of the golden apple was not easy to find immediately.
The task that had descended from Olympus was already distorted.
Clearly, it was a trap to catch Hercules.
“That guy is just like me.”
Thump, thump, thump, thump-.
Atlas was approaching with steady steps.
“So, he’s my opponent.”
Hercules was the strongest being in this Tower. (Note: Meaning, physically strongest)
However, Atlas, approaching him, was not someone to be taken lightly either.
Hercules and Atlas.
Both charged at each other at the same time.
The earth trembled with the collision of the two giants.
It wasn’t a collision of Arcane Power, but a clash of pure strength.
The energy generated by this collision upheaved the earth and created a gust of wind.
Hercules’ club struck Atlas’ abdomen, and Atlas’ foot kicked Hercules.
Both faced each other with fists and clubs, without any defenses.
Literally, it was a fight of brute strength.
‘Hercules’ physical ability with the club of Yggdrasil is exceptional. Moreover, he’s overcoming the natural enemy of Gigantification.’
If physical ability alone was considered, there were very few people who could match Hercules in this Tower.
Probably only a few within the Top 5 of the ranking.
Below that, there wasn’t even anyone to consider as an opponent.
Even the great Odin would admit that he wouldn’t be a match for Hercules solely on physical ability.
‘How the hell is this guy here…?’
“Before the Labors started, I heard it from Prometheus. He told me to go to the end of the world.” (Hercules)
When that name came to mind, YuWon recalled the relationship between him and Atlas.
‘A mix of human and Giant blood. Brothers.’
Prometheus, Atlas’ brother, had revealed the location of the Garden of the Golden Apple to Hercules.
Perhaps, everything started to get complicated from there.
The problem was how Atlas ended up here.
‘Unless the other Giants are helping him…’
At that point, an image came to YuWon’s mind.
The Second Gigantomachy.
The relatives who would rescue Atlas, punished by Zeus.
‘It’s not over yet.’
He had thought too shallowly.
He thought that if they overthrew Zeus, the war in Olympus would stop, and everything would end.
It was a careless thought.
‘Even if we stop here, they won’t.’
If one side stopped, it would only delay the collision; eventually, the collision would happen.
Even if Zeus were overthrown, the rage of the Giants wouldn’t stop.
Within the Giants, there could be opposition between those who wanted to stop the war and those seeking a definitive end, like Hades and Hera.
‘This is madness.’
YuWon realized where the outcome of this fight would flow due to Atlas’ existence.
And the resurrection of the Second Gigantomachy.
That was the final picture that Foolish Chaos aimed to obtain by manipulating Hera.
When he reached that point of thought…
Hercules, struck by Atlas, flew towards YuWon and quickly grabbed the ground with his hands to maintain balance.
The situation seemed to be turning against him.
Hercules, with a firm stance, prepared to launch himself directly at Atlas.
At YuWon’s call, Hercules turned his head.
He couldn’t speak much as he was in the middle of a fight.
“We must fight together.”
“This is about the Second Gigantomachy.”
Hercules’ eyes widened.
Those were words that still held relevance for Hercules.
“This is no longer just a civil war in Olympus. If we make a mistake…”
Atlas stomped on Hercules with force.
“The Second Gigantomachy will resume.”
Hercules’ arms swelled.
Holding Atlas’ enormous feet with both hands, Hercules continued the conversation.
“Is that true?”
His teeth separated, and his gaze turned fierce.
“Hera, that woman…!”
Strength infiltrated the arms holding the feet.
The energy coursing through Hercules’ entire body exploded with explosive momentum.
Gripping Atlas’ legs with both hands, Hercules lifted him into the air.
Atlas lost his balance.
Clutching the soles of Atlas’ feet with all his might, Hercules threw Atlas with all his strength.
Atlas’ enormous body soared and overturned the Garden of the Hesperides.
Seeing that sight of Hercules, YuWon bit his tongue for a moment.
‘In my fight against this guy, I might not have lasted 30 minutes.’
What would have happened if Hercules had fought him with that strength from the beginning?
YuWon wasn’t sure if he could have endured it. Suddenly, he felt powerless.
The power that opposes all Giants.
Hercules was no longer ashamed of that power.
And that meant…
He wouldn’t stop anymore, no matter what he did.
YuWon took a spear from his inventory.
The most powerful attack YuWon possessed.
For now, that was the only effective attack against Atlas.
“Is there any way to stop him?”
“Come to think of it…”
“Is there any?”
“At least for now.”
It wasn’t a reliable answer.
But Hercules felt relieved.
At least for now, he said, but there was still a way.
And so far, YuWon hadn’t failed in anything.
“So for now, first…”
“Let’s start with this guy…”
YuWon and Hercules’ gazes turned to Atlas.
The sound of chewing a fruit.
It was such a soft sound that it could barely be heard if one didn’t pay attention, but it resonated clearly.
But what was most remarkable was that while Atlas chewed on that sweet fruit, his eyes shone amid the rising smoke.
Despite being thrown by Hercules, not only was he unharmed, but he emanated an even more powerful energy than before.
“So it was that fruit he ate.”
It was a familiar energy.
YuWon looked up at the sky.
A sky that had turned purple.
There was only one occasion when that sky appeared.
When an Outer God used its power.
That meant that at this moment…
“The Golden Apples of the Hesperides are also called by another name by Heaven.”
The fruit Atlas was eating came from outside this Tower.
“The Fruit of Knowledge of Good and Evil.”