Return of the Shattered Constellation

Chapter 499: Star Fragments (9)

Click! Click!

After Chang-Sun left, the gears in the machine eyes of <Deus Ex Machina> quickly rotated as he looked at <Dull Darkness>, who was reaching out to the sky.

[<Deus Ex Machina> wonders why his twin brother hid information about what will happen afterward.]

[<Deus Ex Machina> cannot understand his twin brother’s choice.]

“No matter what plans we have for him, it’s his decision to make,” <Dull Darkness> answered. Despite his being the one to mention <Twilight> and <Dawn>, Chang-Sun was the one who had to walk down the path. He added, “That’s why I want him to face the reality himself and decide.”

[<Deus Ex Machina> feels that they still could have told him about the Celestial ‘Ill-Tempered Buddha with Golden Eyes’.]

“You could be right, but I still think the same way. It’s better to see for oneself than look to others for an explanation. Besides…” <Dull Darkness> chuckled, glancing at his twin brother’s eyes. “It’s you who has been hiding it, so why are you acting all considerate now?”

[<Deus Ex Machina> purses his lip.]

The laughter of <Dull Darkness> got a little louder, but he actually understood the reasoning behind the decision. It had probably not been the intention of <Deus Ex Machina> to hide the truth from Chang-Sun from the start.

<Deus Ex Machina> was a very soft-hearted and loving person, and that had not changed even after he became an Emperor. Besides, Lee Chang-Sun was their baby sister’s lover, so of course, <Deus Ex Machina> had to have grown attached to him.

At some point, however, <Deus Ex Machina> had been forced to stop getting attached to Lee Chang-Suns, because watching them failing to rise above the <Punishment> and suffering kept breaking his heart. As a defense mechanism, <Deus Ex Machina> had stopped paying attention to them and kept his distance.

That was when Chang-Sun #801 had arrived, however. Even though <Deus Ex Machina> had opened up to Chang-Sun a little when he first arrived at the ‘Changgong Library’, <Deus Ex Machina> had forced himself to remain distant in the end, because Chang-Sun could still end up like Bel-Marduk and Nemea.

However, <Deus Ex Machina> could not help but watch Chang-Sun until he had risen above his <Punishment>... and then had finally opened up to him. <Deus Ex Machina> and <Dull Darkness> had also needed to go through a myriad of trials and tribulations to get to their current positions, and Chang-Sun succeeded just as they had done. Even <Dull Darkness> felt attached to Chang-Sun, so the affection held by <Deus Ex Machina>, who had been watching Chang-Sun’s journey, was bound to be even stronger.

“Since he earned it, I hope he’ll become free from the restrictions and lead a peaceful life with Ye-Eun, but you also know that was impossible to begin with,” <Dull Darkness> said.

[<Deus Ex Machina> is silent.]

What <Dull Darkness> and <Deus Ex Machina> had wanted was not anything as elaborate as their current goal. It was peace and happiness for their family and friends. Everything in their life had been for those goals, but they had ended up where they were nonetheless.

It was true that Celestials and Star Signs would say that Emperors were supreme, one-of-a-kind beings. They were said to be free from all the restrictions of the law of causality, thus obtaining true freedom…

However, <Deus Ex Machina> could say with certainty that all those sayings were bullshit. Emperors were not free. In fact, they had voluntarily walked into a hell with even more restrictions. If it was possible, <Deus Ex Machina> wanted to quit being an Emperor. The only reason he was carrying his burden was that no one could fill in for him. Perhaps <Dull Darkness>, who only had one humble wish, was the one who wanted to break away from everything the most.

“Great power comes with great responsibilities.” <Dull Darkness> smiled bitterly behind his mask. “He’ll soon find out that being freed from one thing doesn’t mean that he’s completely free, and new paths will continue to appear before him. After meeting people who are in similar situations as him, he’ll eventually come to a decision.”

Those very people were flying down here at that very moment after making a new decision.

“Mr. Heavenly Demon is busy figuring out countermeasures for those who are going to come from outside the Unreal World. I have my own business to take care of there, and you have to protect this place at all costs. You have to be careful when deciding anything under such circumstances.”

There was a secret in this universe that no one knew except for Emperors. It was also the reason why <Supreme Light> had left his representative to fill in for him, and why <Dull Darkness> was trying to take over the Imaginary Plane as quickly as possible. It was also why… <Deus Ex Machina> was recruiting people like Chang-Sun from all Worldlines. Yes, <Deus Ex Machina> was organizing a project to stabilize Eros and Nyx even further and prepare for something colossal that was going to arrive in this universe.

―Demiurge Project.

Demiurges brought natural elements from Idea, the world where the <Laws of Nature> could never be modified, and built new worlds, sustaining them afterward. Demiurges did not originate from nothing and made their creations based on existing materials, so they were incomplete. However, they also tended to keep trying to become complete.

And <Deus Ex Machina> had already picked several Demiurges and chosen candidates.

Ilah, Allforone, was the representative of <Supreme Light>.

<Deus Ex Machina> had found and made Samael the Light Dragon his student while traveling from Worldline to Worldline.

Timaios the Natural had awakened on their own in an abandoned world and become nature itself.

Aside from them, many candidates were pursuing power and gaining enlightenment of their own in their ways. Since new Worldlines were being created in Eros even at this moment, so many potential candidates were being born to the point that even <Deus Ex Machina> could not predict what would happen.

Chang-Sun was now qualified to be the fourth Demiurge, but the choice to become one was up to him, which meant the Emperors had to watch him a little longer. There was a high possibility that Chang-Sun would accept the role if the Emperor brothers explained their plan and what was going on beyond the Imaginary Plane.

<Dull Darkness> did not want to force Chang-Sun to decide because he had already gone through a lot. If he accepted and became a Demiurge, Chang-Sun would have to carry a bigger burden, so it seemed wrong to force him. Above all, however…

‘He still has a lot of things to take care of first…’ <Dull Darkness>

Bel-Marduk, Nemea, Asclepius… Chang-Sun had a lot of other selves that he had to face. On top of that, he had to go up against Sun Wukong and the others, since they were pursuing values in opposition to the Demiurge Project.

Those were not easy tasks, but as always, Chang-Sun would find an answer, just as he had risen above the <Punishment>. However, the faith <Dull Darkness> held was merely for Chang-Sun #801, not all Lee Chang-Suns.


With that thought, <Dull Darkness> opened his hand, the <Darkness> trembling violently in response.


* * *

Without further delay, Chang-Sun quickly headed to the Tower, thinking, ‘They aren’t fools, so they must have raided the Tower for a certain goal. The most likely possibility is that their goal is the Tower itself.’

Even if the attackers had not anticipated <Deus Ex Machina> and <Dull Darkness> to be here, this was where R’lyeh lay dormant. In addition, there were Metatron, Baal, and the Eight Gods of Disorder too; being a <Supreme Light’s Face>, Sun Wukong would be aware of the danger.

Despite the risk, Sun Wukong had initiated the raid. The most likely reason why he had also attacked Mephistopheles was to eliminate a possible witness before the attack. Thus, the important part was finding out what their exact goal was.

‘There’s no way they’re going after R’lyeh. They have no reason to do that.’

Sun Wukong and the others had to know about the temper of <Dull Darkness>. However, their goal would no doubt be different from that of the Star Signs, which could only mean one thing.

‘They’re here to rescue their incarcerated colleagues or recruit possible members.’

It was just like the time Richardus and the Eunuch Star had deserted <Purple Star Astrology> and joined Sun Wukong’s side. Considering that numerous prisoners were in the Tower, Sun Wukong and the others were bound to have found someone who piqued their interest. If that was their real goal, the person they were going after was probably…

‘...Him.’ Chang-Sun frowned, recalling the person who had also left a strong impression on him. ‘A special unit is probably going to rescue him while the rest divert the attention of Baal, Metatron, and the others.’

Thus, Chang-Sun planned to ambush the attackers right as they were attempting their rescue, so as to uncover Mephistopheles’ whereabouts.

‘But they don’t even have the golden key. How are they going to rescue prisoners from here? Do they have another way of unlocking the shackles?’ Chang-Sun kept thinking about that part, which bothered him a little, until he reached the vicinity of the Tower’s entrance.


* * *


Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh…!

“What is it now?”

“Fuck. The fact that I got locked up again already pisses me off…!”

“Who could have expected both <Dull Darkness> and <Deus Ex Machina> to show up here? Shit.”

All the prisoners were venting their anger. Perhaps it would have been different if they had just stayed locked up, but their life in the Tower felt even more frustrating after tasting freedom once, just like children who learned the taste of candy but could not have it.

“It looks like a fight broke out.”

“Are <Dull Darkness> and <Deus Ex Machina> fighting against each other?”

“Ha! I hope they’ll kill each other then.”

“Do Emperors die?”

“I don’t know, and who cares? It’s just wishful thinking.”

“Hahaha! They must be too busy to hear us right now, so I might as well give them the curses of a lifetime.”

The prisoners badmouthed <Dull Darkness> and <Deus Ex Machina> continuously for locking them up here again. In contrast, the prisoners on the ninetieth floor and above remained oddly silent with solemn looks on their faces after their advance to the hundredth floor.

The lower-floor prisoners were unsure what was going on and eventually stopped their chattering, tilting their heads in confusion. The upper-floor prisoners had always been intimidating and arrogant, but never quiet, deepening the lower-floor prisoners’ confusion. Eventually, they all concluded that there was actually something important going on the hundredth floor.

Meanwhile, Bel-Marduk ignored the commotion, clicking his tongue and muttering, “…I’m really tired of this.”

It had been less than half a day since Bel-Marduk had gotten incarcerated here, but it was too frustrating. This was precisely the reason why he had been staying clear from R’lyeh, and yet here he was. The more frustrating part was that Chang-Sun was outside and Bel-Marduk was the only one who was locked up, even though they had come here together.

“What the hell is going on?” Bel-Marduk wondered.

He did not think that Chang-Sun had betrayed him. Bel-Marduk would do so, but Chang-Sun was not corrupt enough to betray someone like this. Nevertheless, the commotion had broken out after the two Emperors had taken Chang-Sun away, and Bel-Marduk had no means to find out what was going on, making the situation incredibly frustrating.

The kind of situation Bel-Marduk hated the most was being sure that something big was going on, but also being unable to find out what it was. Without information, he could not come up with any plans.

Right at that moment, Ascle looked at Bel-Marduk from the opposite solitary cell and coldly smiled, saying, “I guess your control issue is the same as ever.”

For wreaking the greatest havoc outside, Ascle had been crucified on a wall, so he could not lift a finger. Bel-Marduk froze up and stiffly tried not to look Ascle in the eyes. However, Bel-Marduk himself was also a prisoner, so it was not easy. He slowly replied, “So what? What’s wrong with that?”

“Can you still not tell after everything you went through? Plans are useless, since nothing in the world goes according to them! Hehehe!” Ascle chuckled, his eyes tinged with madness. “If it were possible, I would have saved everyone already.”

Ascle’s Divine Name was ‘Ophiuchus’, and he had the Divine Rank of medicine. He could even defy the law of life and resurrect the dead, so he had been worshiped as a Celestial of life and death. However, there was someone Ascle had been unable to save, just like Bel-Marduk.

“Is that why you’ve lived your life as you pleased, Father?” Bel-Marduk asked angrily.

Tip: You can use left, right, A and D keyboard keys to browse between chapters.