That was a massive pool of light.
The moment he sensed the distance closing, ‘it’ instantly reached right in front of his nose.
And when he thought its overall shape was indecipherable, it instantly created a solid shape.
At first, it resembled a massive deer. Its two eyes seemed to gleam beautifully and a short while later, its huge antlers transformed in a head – eventually turning the deer into a dragon.
This dragon encircled the moon with its whole body. It was almost impossible to estimate just how large this creature was. It felt like it was even bigger than the sun, and the pressure it emitted froze the gods to their spots, making them unable to move an inch.
Its form changed once more. The dragon changed to a lion, then to a bear, even to a turtle – it continued to shapeshift over and over again.
Su-hyeun initially thought that it possessed so many different forms, but suddenly realized that all these were fakes.
‘No, its form isn’t transforming, but…’
Vishnu hadn’t moved at all.
‘…But it was me who failed to see the truth.’
It felt like that if he reached out, he could touch Vishnu right away. Even though there was a considerable distance between them, Vishnu’s size was much larger than anyone could have even imagined.
Just as Su-hyeun stood there in sheer stupefaction, he felt a hand grabbing his shoulder.
“Hey. Don’t get too nervous.”
It was Shiva.
Su-hyeun nodded. He unsheathed his sword, then wielded Gungnir in his left hand.
‘Did I say it’s a hunt?’
He had to revise his mindset now.
‘This is not a problem that can be solved with sheer numbers.’
Gods coming together to form a large group like this was a meaningless act when facing such an existence.
The Primordial God…
Su-hyeun have met Brahma, Shiva, and now, even Vishnu. He had already planned out his future battle against Shiva and felt quite confident about his chances, too.
But Vishnu… he was on another realm compared to Shiva or Brahma. Both of them were originally born out of Vishnu, after all.
“Take a proper look.” Shiva stared straight at Vishnu that continued to shift his form. “His essence isn’t different from us.”
Su-hyeun heeded the advice, got over this feeling of fear clouding his judgement and glared at Vishnu.
Only then could he see it clearly.
…Vishnu’s face, that was.
The face of the existence that shifted his form starting from a deer… turned out to be that of a regular human being.
His hair was long enough to extend past his pure-white back. The rest of his skin was just as pure white, while the facial features were beautifully androgynous that this creature could’ve been either a male or female.
Anyone would’ve objectively say that its face was beautiful. But the first thought popping up in Su-hyeun’s head was neither how beautiful or handsome it was.
No, it was ‘awe’.
It felt like he should kneel down right now. The feeling itself wasn’t strong, but that alone was already an alarming thing to behold.
And sure enough, quite a few gods ended up kneeling when looking at Vishnu. They all came here for a fight, but it seemed that their resolve had already been snapped in half.
‘What a mess.’
They could no longer fight just from staring at Vishnu for a bit.
The distance seemed to have closed up enough, so Su-hyeun began wondering if he should throw the spear in his hand. But then…
Sun Wukong lightly kicked the ground and soared higher in the much-weaker gravity of the moon.
Ruyi Jingu Bang in Sun Wukong’s hands stretched on seemingly endlessly. Su-hyeun had fought alongside, and against, Sun Wukong many times already, but even so, this was his first time seeing that polearm extending this long
It seemed that Sun Wukong had accurately seen through Vishnu’s real form as well.
A wry chuckle leaked out from Su-hyeun’s lips. His whole body had frozen up from extreme nervousness, yet unlike him, Sun Wukong had not shrunken back not even an inch.
Not even Shiva or the Bull Demon King had made a move yet despite already detecting Vishnu’s true essence. This was no longer the issue of who was stronger anymore.
No, this was courage to stand proud even in the face of death. In other words, Sun Wukong’s guts.
He’d never shrink back in fear regardless of who his enemy was.
The polearm pierced straight through Vishnu’s arm extending toward the moon, then even pierced right through the Primordial God’s head, too.
Vishnu’s head exploded. Su-hyeun, already feeling like someone had smacked him in the head after seeing Sun Wukong’s jump, ended up getting an even greater shock from this scene.
He could scarcely believe what he just witnessed.
‘Wait, it’s this easy?’
His grip on Gungnir weakened instantly just then.
But instead of thinking that this was for the better, a question mark popped up in his mind first. He was vaguely certain that this matter couldn’t have been this simple to solve.
Sure enough, Vishnu’s figure suddenly vanished from the view.
It was like watching a mirage disappear. Sun Wukong spun around in the air before retracting Ruyi Jingu Bang.
“Tch.” Sun Wukong tutted in disappointment after landing on the solid ground.
Su-hyeun walked up to him. “What happened?”
“I didn’t get him.”
Sun Wukong spun around the retracted Ruyi Jingu Bang in his hand while replying. “There was no feeling of hitting him. I thought it was a bullseye, but…”
He smacked his lips in disappointment, too.
“Can’t figure out where he’s gone off to.”
No matter how much he sharpened his senses, he couldn’t detect anything. Other gods were also visibly surprised when Vishnu disappeared from their view.
Su-hyeun sneaked a glance at Shiva, but the latter didn’t seem to know, either. He was busy scanning the surroundings in a full-on vigilant mode, his aura creeping up gradually.
‘For some reason, I’m really anxious.’
Just when was the last time he felt this worried and anxious?
Hundreds of thousands of gods had gathered, but there was little noise to speak of. It was so eerily quiet that the sounds of gulping saliva and shuffling feet could be heard so clearly.
And as they stood there, all of their senses heightened to extreme, Su-hyeun’s head shifted to a side. “…Over here.”
“He’s already in the middle of us!”
Sun Wukong reacted to Su-hyeun’s words and shifted his gaze over in that direction, too. Shiva nearby was also glaring at the same spot as Su-hyeun. Other gods on the moon noticed it one beat later.
Something was rising up from the grey-colored ground.
It was difficult to determine the gender of this creature with pure-white skin. It slowly writhed and wiggled on the ground while standing up, and a short while later, Vishnu’s face appeared on it.
It wasn’t all that tall. It didn’t even have defined muscles, either. Overall, it was like staring at a lanky and handsome androgynous young boy.
He looked like a human, but at the same time, a god and a Yogoe, too.
‘God created mankind in his own image…’
Right at that moment, Su-hyeun finally got to realize the true meaning behind that saying he had heard so, so many times before.
All those countless shifting forms of Vishnu he witnessed until now were nothing but illusion.
This was Vishnu’s true appearance.
Vishnu had appeared in the middle of all these hundreds of thousands of gods. He seemed to be within one’s reach, but on one dared to approach him.
Actually, they began retreating hastily, instead.
Su-hyeun sneaked a glance to his side and noticed that Sun Wukong was the same as everyone, too. The latter was still wielding Ruyi Jingu Bang, yet he didn’t rashly pounce forward, only gripping his weapon tighter and tighter.
‘It’s not because he’s scared, now is it?’
Indeed, Sun Wukong’s eyes didn’t quake once.
He seemed so much calmer than his usual self. Those eyes indicated that he was vehemently racking his brain right now, that he wasn’t lost to his desire to fight or reckless competitiveness.
He might seem simple-minded in normal settings, but when it came to battles, Sun Wukong was smarter than most people out there.
‘Even Third Brother understands it. That it’s too dangerous to recklessly charge in.’
Su-hyeun also had sensed it.
Vishnu’s physique was small and the aura he emitted didn’t raise any alarms.
But he still gave off this inexplicable sense of danger that surpassed those criteria. Not just Su-hyeun and Sun Wukong, but everyone else had picked up on that.
“So many of you have come today.” Vishnu spoke as he scanned the surroundings.
He wasn’t looking at one individual, but everyone here. And every god meeting eyes with him shuddered on their spot.
Just how could a small frame like that emit such an intense aura like this?
Su-hyeun got ready to throw Gungnir at any given moment and fixed his glare on Vishnu. But just as he thought that his glare almost met Vishnu’s eyes, the latter’s head turned to elsewhere, instead.
“Are you aware of your sins?”
“What is it that you want to say here, Vishnu?” Shiva asked back.
Vishnu’s gaze locked on Shiva, his expression one of sadness and lamentation. “Shiva. Oh, my son.”
“I’ve never regarded you as my parent, though.”
“That doesn’t matter to me. So, my son. Do you think you are different from me? Does this universe deserve to continue on in your opinion?”
“No, it doesn’t.” Shiva replied without hesitation. But it didn’t look like he’d humor Vishnu’s intention regardless of what he thought about the subject matter. “Even so, the next universe is a necessity.”
“However, I have waited for nine thousand times.”
“I recommend waiting until you hit round and even ten thousand.”
In other words, one thousand more universes, then.
But Vishnu didn’t seem interested in changing his mind at Shiva’s recommendation. “It is meaningless. After all, it has been confirmed that my ideal can never be realized.”
“I figured you’d say that.”
“Does that mean you accept my will?”
“Never.” Shiva replied by materializing a black spear and sword in his grips. “Forgive me, but I must oppose you until the end.”
Vishnu made a truly tortured expression.
He covered his face with one hand and began shedding tears. Even though he made no sound at all, everyone could still hear his intense wailing nevertheless.
What a heart-wrenching wailing it was, too. But it only managed to send an even more ominous chill down Su-hyeun’s spine.
‘He… really is planning to kill everyone.’
Vishnu hated the current universe. Those tears did not come from a place of sorrow. No, they came from this near-uncontrollable hatred.
That’s why Su-hyeun found the current Vishnu even more terrifying than before.
‘The moment he stops crying…!’
When that happens, Vishnu would surely make his move.
Despite knowing this, Su-hyeun couldn’t bring himself to make the first move. Even though Vishnu was covering his eyes, he had not shown a single opening so far.
Su-hyeun wasn’t sure why he came to such a realization, however. It’s just that… he instinctively understood that he shouldn’t make a single move right now.
Massive pillars of flames suddenly erupted all around Vishnu.
Crimson flame pillars numbering several hundreds looked truly menacing, but Vishnu didn’t even bother to take his hand away from his face. As he continued to shed tears, a god’s figure appeared among the pillars of flames.
This god’s hand transformed into flames as he reached out to Vishnu.
The flames were as hot as the sun. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Vishnu’s flesh melt away to nothingness the moment those flames touched him.
Su-hyeun recognized who that god was.
He remembered seeing that god before. Helios was one of the top Olympian gods who also commanded fire just like Apollo.
By the look of things, he must’ve thought that the current situation was an opportunity for him.
How foolish of him that was.
Su-hyeun tried to stop him.
But it was too late by then.
Helios’s hand stopped mid-air and couldn’t reach Vishnu in the end.
His whole body came to a dead stop as if chains had bound him to the spot. He then discovered the state of his hand.
“My, my arm…?”
His hand and arm had melted down.
His body that had previously transformed to flames was already back to its normal state. Helios ruled over flames and only knew how to burn and melt other things, yet for the first time in his life, he got to learn what it felt like to get melted down himself.
And that was unimaginable pain.
Helios’s entire figure melted down, leaving behind crimson flames in his place.
“All of you came from the beginning of everything. Me.”
Vishnu finally took his hand away from his face.
Everyone present froze up when they saw Vishnu’s uncovered face.
“As such… I shall devour you all.”
The crimson tear streaks on his face, and his eyes with whites gone, leaving behind only the pitch-black darkness…
After shedding his tears, Vishnu had transformed into a monster..
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