Chapter 323: Star, Gaia’s Curse (5)

“He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster.”1

* * *0

There was a kind of monster called a Hundun. It was an insidious and wicked creature, and whenever it met a good person, it spoke ill of that person and ate them. However, it was friendly and gentle to bad people. A Hundun usually stayed quiet, but it occasionally chased its own tail for a while, then looked up at the sky, smiling. The monster was a good analogy for chaos and a symbol of the space outside of the universe, where the beings of Nyx had settled.0

‘When one looks into an abyss for too long, they become a monster… So that means they need to be able to look a monster straight in the eyes first. And that monster is a Hundun.’0

Mephistopheles called the latter part of [Prelati’s Spellbook] the Four Steps of Abyss, which referred to the four steps one had to take toward the <Abyss>.0

“Once you climb up all four steps, you’ll be able to become an Outer Celestial,” Mephistopheles said.0

Chang-Sun would become an Outer Celestial, not an Otherworld Celestial. In other words, Mephistopheles was saying that Chang-Sun would become like him.0

Badump, badump―!0

That made Chang-Sun’s heart pound harder as he thought, ‘It was a stroke of genius to become Mephistopheles’ disciple.’0

There were also the Ten Elders’ lessons, and he had not yet completed the plan he had made with Thanatos. Thus, Chang-Sun would be able to become stronger without Mephistopheles; still, he could not help but look forward to Mephistopheles’ teachings, as they would no doubt be as great as those of the Ten Elders and the plan. However, there was one thing Chang-Sun had to make sure of first.0

“I have a question,” Chang-Sun said.0

“What is it?” Mephistopheles replied.0

“As you already know, I’m trying to become a <Supreme Light’s Face>, but an Outer Celestial is…” Chang-Sun began.0

“An Outer Celestial is a subordinate of <Dull Darkness>, so it would create a conflict of interest?” Mephistopheles finished.0

Chang-Sun quietly nodded. The plans Thanatos and the Ten Elders had made for him were designed to let him reach his final goal, which was becoming a <Supreme Light’s Face>.0

However, <Dull Darkness> was the opposite of <Supreme Light>. Even though they seemed to have reached an accord(?) through the mediator named <Deus Ex Machina>, their origins remained in conflict with each other. That was why Chang-Sun wondered whether they would be able to unite.8

“I don’t know,” Mephistopheles replied casually, crossing his arms.0

Not having expected the answer at all, Chang-Sun’s mind blanked briefly. He asked, “…What?”0

“You’re the one who came to me to become my student, so you should be the one who deals with the consequences,” Mephistopheles remarked.0

“…!” Chang-Sun could not help but feel concerned..0


『Hahahaha! You ate everything just because you thought it was good for you! It serves you right! Haha! Hahaha! Hahahaha! Hahahahaha!』0



The golden machine eyes on the ceiling now looked like two crescent moons as <Deus Ex Machina> burst into laughter. Perhaps his real self was also rolling on the floor laughing.0

Chang-Sun clutched his head, thinking, ‘What… should I do?’0

Up until now, he had been learning everything indiscriminately if he felt that it was necessary to become stronger more quickly, but he could not do that anymore. A <Supreme Light’s Face> and a subordinate of <Dull Darkness>... Chang-Sun was at a crossroads between the two incompatible factions of Eros and Nyx, but the problem was that he could not choose one side.0

‘If I choose one, I’ll have to give up anything I acquired from the other side and become drastically weaker… It’ll take a long time to make up for the lost power,’ Chang-Sun thought. His mind remained in turmoil for some time, but he eventually wondered about something. ‘What would happen if I continued to be on both sides, if I can’t choose one?’0

Choosing Eros or Nyx would cause a problem either way, so would it be impossible for Chang-Sun to stay on the border of both? Mephistopheles had clearly said that anyone with an ego would join Eros or Nyx no matter what. Light or darkness. Order or chaos. One had to choose a foundation in one of them.0

However, when Chang-Sun recalled that, he thought, ‘It’s not as if I do what others tell me to do, anyway.’0

“Well, who knows?” Mephistopheles continued suddenly.0

Chang-Sun looked up in confusion. “…?”0

It was still impossible to read what was going on in Mephistopheles’ mind. With his calm, pitch-black eyes, Mephistopheles looked at Chang-Sun and said, “You might be able to become the true twilight by harboring both qualities.”4


Eros symbolized day, while Nyx symbolized night. Twilight referred to the moment when day and night crossed paths. Chang-Sun’s Divine Name was ‘Divine Twilight’, which had originally referred to a being who killed Celestials, but if he could broaden the meaning and become twilight itself, he would be able to achieve something unprecedented. Indeed, during twilight, all the stars in the sky were obscured. As one of Chang-Sun’s goals was to make all the Zodiacs plummet, there could be no more fitting path for him.0

At that moment, Chang-Sun could feel all the fog in his mind clearing up. He ruminated on his future path, gathering his determination as he said, “I’ll become the twilight.”0

* * *0

While Chang-Sun was brooding over the true definition of a Divine Name and searching for any materials related to [Gaia’s Curse] in the ‘Changgong Library’...0


Richardus, the ‘New Tian Shi Yuan’, was having an unpleasant meeting.0

“So forty percent of our land is already reduced to ruins, huh?” he asked.0

“Hohoho, that is what I heard,” the Eunuch Star reported.0

Richardus smiled bitterly and said, “Twilight gave me a great gift indeed.”0

Images of the territory of <Purple Star Astrology> engulfed in fire were displayed all over the hall they were standing in. It did not matter whether that territory was in <Heaven> or the <Saha World>. All the civilizations that had worshiped the <Purple Star Astrology> Celestials were thoroughly suppressed, and the planets they lived on were destroyed, their remains floating across the universe.0

That was the result of the <Anti-Star Alliance> ambush. The Azure Dragon of the East and Vermilion Bird of the West were supposed to protect the <Purple Star Astrology> from such an ambush, but the problem was that they had died. On top of that, <Purple Star Astrology> had been unable to mobilize their remaining forces because the <Underworld> could make their next move at any moment. As such, the damage and casualties suffered by <Purple Star Astrology> was increasing exponentially over time.0

“What is <Horoscope> doing?” Richardus asked.0

“Of course…” the Eunuch Star began.0

“Of course?” Richardus repeated.0

“They’re cooped up in the ‘Demonic Celestial’s Mirror Eyes’ and not setting a foot out of there,” the Eunuch Star continued.0

“They built their own nest up there…” Richardus remarked.0

“There’s nothing new about how prone they are to treachery, isn’t there? Hohohoho,” the Eunuch Star replied.0

‘Demonic Celestial’s Mirror Eyes’ was one of the Seven Wonders, like the ‘Star Grave’, and a key region on the border of <Horoscope> and <Purple Star Astrology>. Whichever <Society> occupied the place first would gain quite a significant advantage, so the two <Societies> had formed an agreement to leave the area neutral.0

However, <Horoscope> had backstabbed <Purple Star Astrology> and used the crisis experienced by <Purple Star Astrology> to their own advantage. In the end, <Purple Star Astrology> had been driven to a precipice.0

“What is ‘Zi Wei Yuan’ doing?” Richardus asked as he looked up from the images.0

“‘Zi Wei Yuan’ is still busy with work,” the Eunuch Star replied.0

“How about the <Troop>?” Richardus asked.0

“They’re running wild, thinking this is their chance,” the Eunuch Star said sarcastically.0

“What a mess,” Richardus said, closing his eyes.0

“It’s not just a mess. It’s a total disaster! Hohohoho!” the Eunuch Star exclaimed.0

The Eunuch Star’s high-pitched laughter echoed throughout the hall, but the people who knew him well could tell that his laugh was one of annoyance and anger.0

“There’s no other choice,” Richardus said. He let out a quiet sigh and slowly stood up from his throne. “I’ll have to make a move personally now.”0


[The Celestial ‘New Tian Shi Yuan’ stands up from his seat!]0


It was a simple movement, but it could not be taken lightly.0

Getting down on one knee, the Eunuch Star bowed and said, “Everything shall be done according to the king’s will.”0

Just then, thunderous voices came from outside the place, as if they had been waiting for this very moment.0


“Everything shall be done according to the king’s will―!”0


There were thousands of them. From the children of the ‘Tian Shi Yuan’ to Richardus’ original followers, all those who believed Richardus to be the true leader and king of <Purple Star Astrology> bowed with one knee on the ground.0

Smiling bitterly, Richardus slicked back his hair. This was not exactly what he had in mind before, but things had turned out this way. However, he had professed to be a lion and walked down the path to become one, so it was now time for him to throw his hat into the ring.0


[The Celestial ‘New Tian Shi Yuan’ takes the steps of a lion!]0


‘I can say goodbye to living an easy life,’ Richardus thought.0

His gaze turned sharp little by little as he looked in another direction, where his old colleague was. That person was the cause of all the chaos, having taken action to knock down <Purple Star Astrology>.0

‘Twilight, it looks like the day I’ll meet you again will come very soon.’0

* * *0

“I can’t believe I’m reading this,” Chang-Sun muttered as he read the letters slowly appearing on a book’s page. Shortly after, he chuckled and put the book back where it belonged.0


Richardus, the New Tian Shi Yuan.0


That was what the book cover said.0

“I never imagined I would be able to read a person—no, a Celestial’s life like this,” Chang-Sun muttered to himself.0

The ‘Changgong Library’ was known to hold records of all the knowledge and information in the universe, but that was not all. Records of all living creatures were contained within, as well. Thus, Chang-Sun had tried visiting the sector named #801. There, he had found a whole bookcase of records about all the inhabitants of Worldline #801. It did not matter whether they were humans, monsters, Aberrations, or Celestials.0

Just to be sure, Chang-Sun had pulled out the book about Richardus, and was immediately able to see what he was doing.0

‘One guy plummeted, so the other one made a move right away,’ Chang-Sun thought.0

Richardus would try to fill the Emperor’s Seat in any way possible. Perhaps he would not be satisfied with the position of ‘Tian Shi Yuan’ and aim for a higher goal, such as becoming the sole king of <Purple Star Astrology>. Richardus had always called himself a lion, so he would never remain a subordinate or be happy as a co-leader. It was obvious that he would make his move to take the position of the remaining ‘Zi Wei Yuan’ as he waited for Chang-Sun to arrive.0

For a moment, it seemed that Richardus was looking in Chang-Sun’s direction, but it was just a coincidence. Nevertheless, Chang-Sun had a strong feeling that he would have to face Richardus soon enough.0

‘I stirred up their nest once, so I should continue to do so until it’s shattered,’ Chang-Sun thought, reaching his hand out to the book of ‘Zi Wei Yuan’, which was beside Richardus’.0


[You are not authorized to access this book!]0



Sparks flew into the air, pushing Chang-Sun back. He thought, ‘Is the information about ‘Zi Wei Yuan’ so highly classified that I can’t open the book with Grade 1 clearance, just like with Hsan?’0

To test out his hypothesis, Chang-Sun reached out toward the books of the Zodiacs, which were in the section named <Horoscope>.0




[You do not have enough Causality!]0

[The visitor has not been granted access to the information!]0


Just as expected, similar messages appeared.0

‘No, it’s not about the level of my clearance. The information isn’t part of the category I asked for.’0

Chang-Sun had requested to research [Gaia’s Curse], so he would not be able to read a book unless it contained relevant information. Then, how could he have read the book of Richardus? Before Chang-Sun could think about it further, something else caught his attention.0


Cha Ye-Eun, the descendant of Quirinale.0



Chang-Sun unwittingly flinched, swallowing down his saliva. He thought, ‘Ye-Eun is suffering from [Gaia’s Curse], so she’s part of…!’0


As soon as Chang-Sun reached that conclusion, he slapped his cheek firmly, but his eyes were still glued to the book.0

‘No, no, stop. Stop thinking about it,’ Chang-Sun repeated to himself several times. ‘I’ll still be able to come up with a fundamental solution after finding out how exactly Ye-Eun got infected with [Gaia’s Curse]’0

Once Chang-Sun went down this road, there was no turning back. ‘Y-Yeah, I have to start from somewhere, and this is the right place. This is all for Ye-Eun. I need to know who’s behind her curse, so I can prepare for what happens after I cure it.’0

Little by little, Chang-Sun reached out his hand further.0

‘I-I’m not trying to take a peep!’0

His heart pounded very loudly.0

‘A-And I want to… know how I-Ithaca could have reincarnated as her c-current self…!’0


Chang-Sun loudly swallowed his saliva once again. “Yes, let’s never read about the other parts and put it back after only checking out the necessary parts.”0

Indeed, Chang-Sun made a decision purely for Ye-Eun’s treatment(?) with zero selfish interests and desires(?), but why was he feeling guilty, as if he were reading his girlfriend’s super secret, hidden diary?1

[Unbending Spirit]? [Composing Spirit]? Those things were ineffective for a time like this. Chang-Sun slowly reached for the book with a shaking hand.0


At that moment, the ominous sound of gears turning echoed from upward.0


『Ha! Look at this bastard.』1


In Chang-Sun’s ears, it sounded like the voice of an older brother who had been shadowing a bum hanging around his younger sister, catching him red-handed.

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