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The Hero Returns - Chapter 468
Chapter 468: Chapter 468
The destruction of the Dark Realm was the second incident, after Uranus’s demise, to greatly shock the Predators who called themselves the “Outer Gods.”
And one particular god was involved in both of those incidents.
“The God of Hero and Combat, hmm?” the handsome “man” with green hair, Osiris, muttered softly while grinning faintly.
He was lying sideways on a spacious bed with his head propped up while popping green grapes in his mouth. Inside this palace lavishly stuffed with golden objects, he continued to swim within his thoughts, all the while constantly munching on various heavenly fruits.
Many loyal subjects of his were kneeling in front of him, their heads deeply bowed.
Osiris popped yet another green grape in his mouth. Then, while chewing, he muttered to no one in particular, “Although it was an expected result, it still happened this way, huh?”
“My king, do you not think it was an unnecessary waste?”
“Losing the most powerful card you have been preparing for such a long time and also with such dedication, my king.”
Osiris shook his head at the question of his loyal retainer currently kneeling and bowing his head, “That card had already been taken out of my hands, anyway. It was not mine, to begin with, so its destruction wasn’t a waste for me.”
“It was taken out of your hands, my king?”
“Yes. That punk grew too strong. He exceeded not just mine but even Shiva’s prediction. There’s only one way to deal with a variable that you can’t predict, and that is through another, even bigger variable.”
The retainer heard Osiris’s reply and stopped questioning his liege’s decision or being puzzled by it. He was nothing more than a loyal slave to his king, after all. His role was to become a puppet that acted according to Osiris’s commands.
“And what about him? What was he like when you saw him from nearby?”
“I’ve run into him a few times in the past, but he didn’t seem as impressive as you have indicated, my king. His growth was indeed rapid, but to me, it always seemed to be because of the ‘system’ created by Subhuti.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes, my king. However, there’s no doubting that he has now become one of the strongest beings, even among the high-ranking gods. Before he becomes an even bigger threat, perhaps nipping the bud now—”
Osiris shook his head at that recommendation, “No. No can do.”
“May I inquire as to why?”
“He’s not on this side yet, you see.”
The retainer slightly raised his head at what Osiris said and made a confused face.
However, Osiris didn’t look like he would resolve the confusion at all. Instead of a detailed explanation, he simply got up on his feet.
He lightly tossed aside the fruit in his hand and walked up to the nearby window to take in the sight of the land beyond the palace. “Regardless of what’s happening, in the end, this universe still has entered its final phase.”
All sorts of growls and screams were resounding.
Beyond the window was an expanse of land that seemed to stretch on infinitely.
This world, stained deeply by the eternal torment and filled with every known pain and anguish, was one of the Hells Osiris ruled.
This world was so large that it was easily several dozen times larger than the Dark Realm.
Osiris was the existence in command of the largest number of Predators in the universe.
“And so, it’s about time we start making our move, too.”
Upon Osiris’s muttering, the retainer spoke on behalf of his colleagues, “We shall always obey you regardless of what.”
“That’s right. Ah, now that I think about it, I haven’t given you a new assignment, haven’t I?” Osiris turned around to look at the retainer. “Your old identity as Johnny Brad has run its course. You now have a different task to handle.”
At those words, the retainer with bowed head, “Johnny Brad,” looked up, the facade of his face cracking apart and falling to reveal a skull with no living flesh and skin. “I await your command, my king.”
“We shall now prepare for war against Asgard.”
“It seems that I’ll have my long-delayed reunion with Odin soon.”
Odin was the god protecting Yggdrasil and the ruler of Asgard. Also, he was one of the Five Godly Sages and someone who had been fighting against the Predators the longest.
Not to mention, he was Osiris’s long-time sworn enemy as well.
“My king, are you planning to destroy Yggdrasil?”
“It certainly has been a while since we began working on it, hasn’t it?”
Yggdrasil—a gargantuan tree that connected and propped up so many dimensions—was an existence that started its life just as the current universe was born.
Suppose that the tree was destroyed, which happened to be supporting at least half of the entire universe. In that case, no one could possibly imagine just how many worlds out there would stop existing altogether.
“I shall personally handle Odin. Your task in the meantime will be to locate Subhuti.”
“Do you desire the destruction of the system, my king?”
“That system of his is rather troublesome. If you find him, employ whatever means possible to kill him and bring me his corpse. It does not matter how much combat force you decide to utilize. I shall overlook it.”
“Understood, my king.”
“Get on it right away.” When Osiris issued that order, the figures of his retainers seemingly melted down before scattering away in black smoke.
Every second was precious now.
“Now, then,” Osiris smiled in satisfaction at the quick response of his retainers and shifted his gaze back to the view from the window, “why don’t we start dragging the Five Godly Sages down one by one?”
The playful chirping of birds or the winds being broken apart by lush leaves always managed to perk up Su-hyeun’s mood.
He followed the Bull Demon King and Sun Wukong to return to the small house he stayed at during the 60th floor’s trial. He spent almost half a year under this roof, so the incoming rush of emotions packed quite a punch.
“Don’t just stand there and come inside. Is it not our home?” the Bull Demon King addressed Su-hyeun, who was standing around awkwardly, before taking off his traditional shoes and stepping inside the house.
Su-hyeun followed suit and carefully removed his shoes, then stepped inside as well. When they opened the door, thick layers of dust whipped up in the air, causing a choking, unpleasant smell to sting his nose.
“It seems that we’ve left the house unattended for too long. Look at all this dust. Do try to understand since we haven’t been home in a while,” said the Bull Demon King.
“Ah, no, it’s fine. I understand.”
“Why don’t you rest for a little while? We won’t take long cleaning the house.”
“Let me help you.”
“No, you shouldn’t. We certainly can’t force our little brother to work when he’s come home after a long time away. Wukong—!”
Sun Wukong, who was already quite some distance away from the house and was walking hurriedly away, flinched grandly when the Bull Demon King called out his name.
It seemed that he had predicted what might happen and was trying to make a quick getaway.
“Ah, you see, big brother…I was, uh, trying to go and fetch Second Brother from—”
“Uncle should be meeting up with him right now. Besides, it’s not that urgent anyway, so there’s no rush.”
“I, uh, I need to go and procure booze too, so—”
“I’ve already prepared rare and precious alcohol. You don’t need to worry about it. Just come over here.”
Sun Wukong’s face became all teary at the Bull Demon King’s insistence. He seemed to be unable to come up with other excuses and trudged back to the house and helped out with cleaning its interior.
Su-hyeun watched his two older brothers as they started “spring cleaning” and could only stand there uncomfortably, not knowing what he should do here.
The Bull Demon King glanced at him and said, “If you head in that direction, you’ll find a village.”
“Second Brother is there. You should go and find him.”
It seemed that he was concerned about Su-hyeun standing around uncomfortably like that.
Since Su-hyeun also couldn’t just stand around watching the others busy themselves, he quickly agreed by bowing his head, “Okay. In that case, I’ll be right back.”
“Mm. Take your time.”
And so, Su-hyeun left behind the Bull Demon King and Sun Wukong and began walking down the path through the forest.
If it was any other time, he would be rushing to get to his destination. He abruptly realized that he hadn’t taken a relaxed stroll like this one in a long while.
A room to breathe—that was a state he had forgotten about for a long time. He needed not only mental leeway but also physical time-off, but recently, it felt like he just couldn’t do so.
“This is great,” he thought to himself.
These moments and his current feelings all felt like a part of a painting.
To someone who had to rush around all the time, brief time-off like this would be the most special moment for them. The same applied to Su-hyeun, too.
He began wondering if the Bull Demon King wanted to gift this precious moment to him, and that was why the Yogoe had him run a simple errand like this.
After he strolled for a while…
He could see a village in the distance, beyond the thickets of the forest. He felt a bit rueful, but this thought was quickly replaced by his happiness at the upcoming reunion.
The Roc Demon King was the sibling that didn’t exactly enjoy the most cordial relationship with Su-hyeun. If one wanted to get technical about it, then the Roc Demon King didn’t accept Su-hyeun as his little brother right until the end.
Indeed, he only called Su-hyeun “little brother” right before their parting.
Even so, Su-hyeun was curious.
“He’s supposed to be staying in a human village, right?”
It was rather hard to picture when he first heard that. To think that someone who glared at him with such contempt just because he was human was now living among humans?
Once that thought piqued his curiosity, his ruefulness quickly vanished. Su-hyeun sped up his steps a little more and entered the village’s boundaries.
“Oi, over there! You stepped on the rice stalks!”
“I didn’t step on it! It was like that already!”
“Already, my ass! You better—”
“Oi, oi! There, there. Stop being rowdy, will you? Let’s keep going! Things like that can happen when we’re all working hard, don’t you agree?”
“Daddy! Come here and eat some potatoes!”
“What? Is it already the hour of the Monkey?” 
“Everyone, over here! Have some before getting back to work!”
The villagers were in the middle of their harvest.
It was at the tail end of autumn, and the fields were golden-brown in hue, indicating that the time for harvest had come around once more. They might be working hard and also in competition with one another in the fields, but from the perspective of a bystander, this scene looked peaceful and rather calming to behold.
Su-hyeun walked up to the villagers, and then…
“Excuse me, I’m kind of starving. Can you spare me a potato?”
He approached them with a smile and cautiously extended a hand.
Six healthy adult males were gathered around the boiled potatoes. They shifted their gazes over to Su-hyeun, scanned him from top to bottom, and then started commenting.
“You say you’re starving?”
“This young fella’s arms and legs are so stick-thin and frail-looking, aren’t they?”
“Where are you from, fella?”
“Agh, what are you all saying? Fella, you seem to be from somewhere far. Why don’t you take a seat first? Here.”
They gladly offered Su-hyeun a spot to settle down.
Thankfully, the village didn’t seem to be suffering from a food shortage. With the villagers’ generosity, Su-hyeun was able to get two potatoes to eat without much trouble.
“Where are you from?”
“What brings you here?”
“From the looks of you, you must be a scion of some important family or something…”
The village men began asking Su-hyeun this and that. He replied to those questions that he could answer and chatted to them about trivial matters.
And so, after the short snack time came to an end…
Su-hyeun chimed in, “I’d like to help.”
“Ah, ah, it’s fine.”
“Young fella, I’m sorry, but you don’t look strong enough for the job. Rather than wasting the food you just ate, let us take care of it.”
“He’s right. If you still want to do something, our village chief is staying in the middle of the village, so you can go and speak to him. Oi, Mister Wong! Can you show this fella the way?”
“Yes, sir!” A man with a hulking physique named Mister Wong shot up from his spot and took the lead in guiding Su-hyeun away.
Su-hyeun wanted to help out, even if only by a little, so he felt a bit apologetic about this turn of events. Still, he followed after this Mister Wong. His initial reason for approaching the villagers was to provide his help if at all possible.
And so, while following Mister Wong and leaving the rice fields about halfway…
Su-hyeun suddenly guffawed uncontrollably, “Haha…Ahahaha…!”
“Mister…Wong? Really? Wong…?”
Su-hyeun began staggering as he tried to hold back his laughter.
Mister Wong, who was walking ahead, slightly turned his head and furrowed his brow deeply, “What? Is it that funny?!”
“Do the other brothers know about this?”
Su-hyeun barely managed to suppress his laughter again.
This “Mister Wong,” a big man with a friendly and somewhat wholesome-sounding name, was none other than the Roc Demon King from Su-hyeun’s memories.
“You seem to be kept busy.”
“What brings you here?”
“First Brother sent me.”
“First Brother did?”
The Roc Demon King didn’t say anything else after learning that the Bull Demon King had sent Su-hyeun here.
Even if it was the Roc Demon King, who was famed for his violent temper, he was still unable to openly express his dissatisfaction regarding the Bull Demon King.
“Yes, he did. He asked me to come and find you so that we can drink together, but this…Kek.”
“Hey, stop laughing already!”
The Roc Demon King must have been deeply embarrassed because his entire face was beet red. He hurriedly rubbed his face down.
Su-hyeun was doing his best to suppress his laughter, but he found it hard to control his expression at what could be possibly the funniest, most unexpected scene he had run into in recent times.
“Hey, you punk, do you have any idea who that person was? The one who called me Mister Wong?”
“How can I know that?”
Of course, Su-hyeun wouldn’t know.
The man that the Roc Demon King referred to was a middle-aged uncle with a thick beard, who suggested for Su-hyeun to sit down and even handed a couple of potatoes over to him.
Su-hyeun simply saw him as a good-natured, friendly neighborhood uncle of the village or some such.
“That man is none other than Master Subhuti, the 10th disciple of Buddha. Did you get that? Ah?”
At that completely unexpected revelation, Su-hyeun stopped suppressing his laughter and let his jaw hit the ground, “Huh?”
 Between 3 and 5 pm
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