The Novel's Villain - Chapter 202
58. God-Given Task (1)
For a moment, silence subsided.
Hades was the first to break it.
“Uh, how about a drink…?”
Jin-woo nodded with a rather awkward expression. He sat down on the sofa as the god of the underworld began to rummage through the kitchen, pulling out a cup with trembling hands.
Rather than frightened, he just seemed weak. He could barely open the refrigerator and pour orange juice into the cup.
Jin-woo looked around the place.
‘… It looks pretty normal.’
It was no different from an ordinary family house, its atmosphere that of an American home. It even had a kitchen filled with ordinary household appliances.
Hades shakily put down the drink in front of him, and he drank it with no hesitation, tasting a familiar earthy flavor.
Taking a closer look at him, the being before him almost had no skin left and had gone bald. For a god of death, it was a pretty mundane appearance. It would be more appropriate to call him undead at this point.
“You look tired.”
“Such is life.”
He looked at him with the Magic Eye of Information.
[SS+] Hades, God of the Underworld
One of the three great gods of Olympus and ruler of the underworld.
Because of his inclination, his relationship with the other gods isn’t on favorable terms.
He’s currently in serious pain due to his wife, Persephone. The mental torment he’s currently experiencing is so severe it has caused him to lose weight and his body to weaken. If he weren’t immortal, he would’ve disappeared a long time ago.
[SS+] immortal: He’s automatically resurrected upon death.
Hades’ rank itself was decent.
‘He’s worried about his spouse, huh.’
Hades’ wife, Persephone, was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. In other words, she was his niece.
To have his niece as a wife was truly the pinnacle of extremes. If this were a morning drama, the producers wouldn’t even be able to show their business cards to pitch it without getting lashed upon.
He groaned, not having the strength to keep the conversation going.
Seeing him like that, Jin-woo also lost his motivation. He decided to make him prepared to talk for now.
“Do you like beer?”
Hades nodded his head helplessly.
“Let me use your kitchen.”
He went to the kitchen and opened his subspace to make snacks using fresh ingredients. Having fun cooking, he unknowingly made more than he planned.
Putting the dishes on the table, he took out Oel beers made by elves and orcs together. He poured it into a glass of ice.
Hades stared blankly at it, took a glass, and drank it. He then ate the snacks.
“How long has it been since I last ate…” Tears flowed from his soulless eyes.
Jin-woo looked at the corner of the kitchen.
‘Those are from Earth.’
He had plenty of cup noodles and other instant foods. However, his stock seemed to be composed mainly of cereals and ramens.
With the beer seemingly refreshing him, it looked like they could now have a normal conversation.
Jin-woo told him his purpose of visit upfront.
“I want you to hand over the underworld to me.”
“I want to do that too… Sniff… I’m so sick and tired of this life. Do you know how difficult it is to manage all those dimensions? Hngh…”
“Well… I’m here to listen, so don’t cry and tell me about it instead.”
His sadness exploded. Tears dripped down his cheeks like chicken droppings.
Jin-woo patted him on the back awkwardly.
“Whenever I try to fix it, it just gets destroyed again, and if I try to revive people, they just fight again until they lose their lives. My soul is about to burst, but I can’t catch a break… Yet those bastard people called gods continue starting wars for fun, and I’m the one left having to clean up the mess they leave behind. I can’t even expand because I don’t have the funds!”
“Funds? Don’t you get that from Earth?”
Hades shook his head solemnly.
“The underworld is the place I rule and preside over, but its operating rights currently don’t belong to me.”
“What do you mean?”
“Persephone… has them.”
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“She’s my wife, but she’s a treacherous woman. After taking my operating rights, she lived in luxury, robbing the underworld of its treasures. My subordinates also follow her now.”
Hades was afraid of Persephone. If what he said was true, this place fell into a serious famine because of her extravagant use of its funds. Cerberus apparently used to secretly steal money from her and give it to him, but that was no longer possible.
This situation was bad.
“That crazy perverted lightning bastard… Ugh, I’m sorry. I meant Zeus might’ve influenced, manipulated, and ordered her to do that.”
According to Greek mythology, Hades fell for Persephone’s beauty so hard he kidnapped and brought her to the underworld, but that didn’t seem to be the case at all.
“Didn’t you kidnap her?”
“Me? I’m way too busy for that. I was invited to Olympus and was on my way home after drinking when…”
He went on to explain what happened.
Apparently, he drank nectar alone in the corner until he got wasted during the event since the gods refused to even converse with him.
The incident happened when he opened the door to the underworld to quietly return home. Persephone appeared and hit his torso with force so immense he immediately lost consciousness.
When he came to his senses, she had already descended into the underworld, framing him for kidnapping her.
The gods of Olympus condemned him for it, but Zeus intervened. After that, she gradually increased her influence in his own territory, leading to his current situation.
“What a mess.”
Zeus and Persephone plotted to gain control over the underworld.
In mundane terms, a CEO’s brother coveted his company so much he conspired with a woman to take it.
It was similar to the usual plots of the dramas Jin-woo used to watch.
That only made him take more interest in this.
The story was so exciting that he unconsciously fixed his posture as he looked at Hades.
“So you just gave them everything?”
“Haha… I was so exhausted I couldn’t even fight back…”
Hades was confined to this palace built to keep him locked up, leaving him no other option but to repair all the damages Persephone, now known as the Queen of the Underworld, had done.
He even planned to leave the underworld, go to Earth, and migrate to an entirely different dimension.
“Zeus and the other gods… sealed the underworld and gave Persephone the key to it. If I beat her, I’ll be able to secure a way back to Earth.”
“Can you win?”
“The gods do not fight against each other. We are immortal, after all… Doing so only creates pointless damage to our surroundings. That’s why we appoint champions to battle for us.”
In Jin-woo’s ears, it sounded like Hades was just making excuses.
Although he was afraid of Persephone, he still had a little bit of pride left.
“Yes. Warriors from the World of Gods. Persephone has many heroes she can pick.”
He laughed hard for the first time since Jin-woo got here. He looked quite confident.
“But I also have a secret weapon that I’ve been working hard on for so long now. Persephone just needs to be off-guard. If I can find such a gap, I’ll have a chance to win.”
“Looks like you want to get away from here badly.”
Hades nodded vigorously, causing his jaw to fall out, but he skillfully reattached it.
Whatever that secret weapon was, it was his only hope.
Considering he was keeping it hidden, was it something similar to a robot? Jin-woo didn’t bother asking about the details.
An alarm went off. Hades groaned as soon as he heard it.
“Ugh… Time for work…”
“Why don’t you take a break?”
“If I do, this dimension will fade away… The underworld is a funds-devouring ghost right now since the dead don’t bring anything. All I can do to keep it running is to use underground minerals instead of money to maintain this tower and system’s upkeep. Without fundings, I’m forced to do everything manually and by myself…”
Hades paid the funds the underworld needed with his own labor.
Eating cereal or ramen in the morning was his only break.
“Winning against her champion means regaining control over the underworld, right?”
Hades nodded in reply.
“I’ll give you the funds so you can get some rest. When you regain the operating rights, hand it over to me.”
He looked at Jin-woo intently.
When he came to the underworld, he saw everything Jin-woo had done. The sky whales alone were a huge shocker.
‘Being a god of that level, he must be used to dealing with things like this.’
In his perspective, he wasn’t just an ordinary god. He was a completely different transcendent being down to his very core, making him much more divine than the deities in the World of Gods.
By watching the saint’s worship services, he learned a great deal about him.
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“It’ll cost you a lot of money…”
Maintaining the underworld was by no means cheap.
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But that wasn’t a problem for Jin-woo.
He took out a dimensional gold coin and handed it to Hades, causing his eyes to widen.
“Can I pay with this?”
“Dimensional gold coin… There’s no currency as perfect as this, considering these can make miracles.”
Hades held it so delicately it was as if it was as fragile as it was valuable. He even rubbed it against his cheeks joyously.
Jin-woo took out a leather bag full of it from his subspace and dropped it on the table, causing some of its contents to spill out.
But Jin-woo didn’t stop there. He kept taking leather bag after leather bag out of his subspace, piling so many of them up on the table Hades’s jaw fell to the floor.
“Consider this your advance payment. I’ll be sure to keep taking care of you when our work here is done. I’ll let you live in luxury wherever you go.”
Hades blanked out.
“Will you be willing to sign a contract?”
“I’ll do it! I’ll skip reading it entirely!”
Hades immediately grabbed Jin-woo’s extended hand with both hands, his face no longer filled with worry.
As always, settling things peacefully was the best course of action.
‘I provided him with quite a lot of money. Shouldn’t it be enough for him to go on a long vacation?’
However, now given time to rest, he just wandered around the house, not knowing what to do. He seemed to have forgotten how to take a break entirely, which seemed to unnerve him.
“Why don’t you sleep?”
“I can’t close my eyes because I am the god of the underworld.”
“I saw quite a beautiful field when I came here. Why not go out and take a walk?”
“If… P-Persephone sees me…”
This palace felt like a kind of safe house for him.
Jin-woo gazed at him, making him flinch.
“O-oh, right… I just remembered what I wanted to do.”
Moving slowly, Hades opened the door in the corner, revealing a dust-covered room. He followed after him, finding an old computer in it. Its model seemed to have been released before Jin-woo was even born.
Next to its black and white monitor was a 5.25-inch floppy disk labeled “Tetris.”
Hades turned on the computer, inserted the floppy disk into the CPU, then played Tetris as soon as it booted up, achieving quite decent scores.
He looked at Jin-woo proudly.
“It’s a computer game. What do you think?”
He found himself momentarily rendered speechless. In his silence, Hades began to explain how it worked with sparkling eyes.
“If you arrange the blocks with no gaps, they disappear… Like so. Its concept is simple, but the longer you play it, the faster it—”
“Stop.” Jin-woo interrupted his monologue, thinking he looked too pitiful. “First of all…”
With a wave of his hand, the dust in the room disappeared. He then got rid of his old computer, causing Hades to look at him in surprise.
Afterward, he brought out the latest game consoles, a high-end computer, and G&P’s latest hologram TV from his subspace.
Hades tapped a controller with his skinny fingers, finding it quite strange. When it vibrated upon being connected to the console device, he was startled so much his arm fell off. The way he put it back into place made Jin-woo’s eyes red.
Jin-woo handed him the controller.
Hades looked at it in confusion at first, but his expression completely changed when the game started.
His eyes widened, and his mouth opened.
“This is amazing…”
A miracle that transcended the power of gods unfolded before his eyes!
* * *
Jin-woo enjoyed the game with Hades.
After teaching him how to play, Jin-woo was already quite entertained, so he started playing with him.
While they were gaming in such a small, dark room, an old thought passed in his mind.
This was just like the time when he used to visit his friend’s house to play.
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“Oh! You leveled up. Which trait should I increase?”
“Try to increase your strength first.”
“Alright. Ah, I picked this up. Do you want it? It’s a legendary item!”
Their gaming session continued.
Jin-woo stayed in his house for a while.
“Come to think of it, don’t you have a match coming soon against Persephone?”
“Yes. Give me a minute…”
Unlike Luna, Hades was smart and had excellent senses. Since he had prepared a great secret weapon, wouldn’t it be okay to predict his victory already?
Taking that into consideration, Jin-woo didn’t really feel like he had to step up.
Hades’s now looked quite divine. He had gained quite a bit of mass and was now pretty attractive. His hair had grown back abundantly as well.
“I don’t know what your secret weapon is, but can I check it out?”
“My secret weapon is probably undergoing rigorous training right now. If I were to watch, they wouldn’t be able to train properly.”
Jin-woo nodded, and they resumed playing for a few more days.
When his duel against his wife was only a day away left, Hades’s body began to deteriorate again.
Since he was a god, his body was prone to changes due to mental factors.
“Their training should be over now. Let me introduce you to my secret weapon.”
Jin-woo went out with him.
The moment they stepped out of the palace, Hades’s confidence began to drop. He looked and moved around like he was just being reintroduced to society after decades of seclusion.
His case was much more serious than Luna’s.
‘Are all gods like this?’ Jin-woo thought, shaking his head.
He followed him to the large gymnasium behind the palace, but there was no one in it, much to Hades’s surprise.
“W-what? W-where is it?”
“W-wait a minute.”
Hades spread out his hands. Then a purple air stream spewed out, creating a round plate.
“Radius, my loyal warrior! Reveal yourself along with the ten heroes who follow you!” He shouted.
‘Radius? Wasn’t that the name of the warrior I met when I arrived here?’
Jin-woo had sent him and his followers to World Tree Land as testers.
They were soon reflected on the round plate Hades made.
“Why are they there?” Hades asked as he looked at Jin-woo, unable to understand the situation.
He avoided his gaze.
‘It should be okay for as long as they retain their skills, right?’
They didn’t train for a few days, but they were still heroes. Their abilities wouldn’t just vanish.
They heard a voice over the round plate.
“After losing them… I’ve become confident I can endure any amount of torment.” The cat-eared being said.
Radius and his warriors nodded as they looked at each other as if they had made a great decision.
The god of the underworld quickly figured out what they were trying to do.
[Hades is astonished, causing his bones to tremble!]
“Hey, stop it! No!”
But Hades’ voice didn’t reach them.
“For victory! Let’s accomplish our god-given task!”
Radius and his warriors made a bold decision.
Jin-woo was quite surprised.
Even Prof. Kim Dae-jin was greatly shocked to see Radius and his warriors crouching down.
“Hey! Why would you do that… A-ambulance! Call an ambulance!”
Unlike them, Beta nodded with a benevolent expression.
Hades’s jaw fell out again. He also lost weight and became a skeleton once more.
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The condition of Radius’s party became critical.
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Since their souls were in a materialized state, potions wouldn’t work on them.
“Hmm… They can’t compete tomorrow in that state, can they?” Jin-woo smiled awkwardly.
Hades crumbled down in reply.