The Hero Returns
Chapter 438

* * *

Buzz, bzzzz—

The loud and heavy voice continued to reverberate inside the workshop. It echoed on and on, prompting even the individual responsible for shouting out Apollo's name to frown heavily.

The individual that called out the Sun God's name was physically bulkier than most gods by about 50%. Not only was his height easily over two meters and then some, but his shoulders were also so wide that his rather sizeable head looked as puny as one's fist.

Behind this man was a group of four gods consisting of two males and two females standing in an orderly line. The man stopped shouting and waited patiently.

A short while later, the occupants of the forge emerged.

"You're being noisy, Ares."

The man referred to as Ares scanned the faces of everyone stepping outside the workshop. He then promptly bowed his head in the direction of the god with black hair and beard, "Good to see you again, uncle."

"I thought I would go deaf just now."

"I didn't know you'd be here as well. My apologies," Ares smiled good-naturedly and then shifted his gaze elsewhere. "There seem to be a lot of...faces that I'm glad to see today," the God of War smirked deeply.

His gaze was currently locked on Apollo, but the latter's expression as he held Ares' stare couldn't be described as nice. "For how long will you keep on chasing me around?" Apollo asked.

"I heard that you got thrown into Hell earlier. Are you that scared of fighting me?"

"Sure, I'm soooo scared right now, so why don't we just say that you won, hmm?"

"Still planning to run away?"

"All the way to the ends of Hell if need be."

The two gods' war of nerves began heating up the surrounding temperature, but unlike Ares, who had been aggressively trying to start a fight, Apollo was trying to avoid getting into one.

The reason for that was simple enough.

"You'd be the winner, anyway," said Apollo.

"We don't know that."

"No, we do know. How many times has it been already, anyway?" Apollo retorted in an irritated voice.

It sounded as if this situation had happened more than once before.

It was around this time that Ares discovered Su-hyeun's presence, "And who is that supposed to be?"

"Someone who will fight you."

"Say what?"

Apollo was grinning brightly, while Ares who was previously making an annoyed face was now glaring at Su-hyeun.

That face seemed to shout, "who is this punk, and why is he fighting me?"

"He made a wager with Hephaestus. If he fights you and emerges victorious, then he wins the wager. But if he loses, then Hephaestus wins."

"And who in their right mind would accept such a wa—?"

"I'm sure you've already heard the news of Kali's death, right?"

When Apollo said that, Ares' brows shot up high. Then, he stared at Su-hyeun, his expression now completely transformed. "Could he be...?"

"That's right. He was the one."

When Ares heard Apollo's reply, he silently studied Su-hyeun for a while.

It kind of felt like he got roped into the war of words waged by the two gods here, but Su-hyeun decided not to say anything and simply wait.

Ares finally said something a little while later, which sounded like he was whispering to himself more than anything else, "Kali's blood...So, it was true."

Kali's blood could only be "controlled" by the individual responsible for making her bleed in the first place. Ares was already aware of that fact, so when he detected the existence of the crimson armor under Su-hyeun's clothing, he had no choice but to acknowledge that the latter had indeed defeated Kali.


His state of awe soon morphed into an expression of amusement and even delight. His focus that used to be locked only on Apollo now shifted in full toward Su-hyeun.

"Very good. Apollo, our fight will have to be delayed until next time. My new priority is this man."

"Hah-ah," Su-hyeun ended up inadvertently groaning under his breath.

Someone who fanatically enjoyed fighting was a tiresome person to deal with. Now normally, Su-hyeun would do his absolute best not to associate himself with people possessing such a preference. He was not a fan of fighting, after all.

Apollo grinned, "Thanks, man."

"Not at all. Besides, I'll definitely be calling on this favor later, so please don't forget."

"Sure thing," Apollo lightly patted Su-hyeun's shoulder.

Su-hyeun raised his head and took a look at Ares. Those wide shoulders, tall stature, and imposing armor the god was wearing over his muscular frame imparted the distinct impression that a giant was standing before his eyes.

"He's supposed to be the God of War and Destruction, right?" Su-hyeun thought.

Among all the gods of Olympus, he was known as the god who was most obsessed with having a good fight. Athena was also a God of War like him, but she used her wits to fight. Ares, on the other hand, relied on his brute strength—or at least that was how it was known.

Honestly speaking, that brief description of his personality seemed to be pretty much spot-on for the real deal as well. Ares was currently raring to go; his fighting spirit bubbling up to a dangerous level even now.

It was rather likely that he wanted to confirm the skill set of the one responsible for felling Kali.

"In any case, it's a wager, so..."

If Su-hyeun could win against Ares today, Hephaestus should only be happy to hand over his hammer.

This was a rather fortunate turn of events because, if Hephaestus obstinately insisted on a wager in something that clearly favored him, then it would have become a very troublesome situation overall.

"Shall we head over to somewhere else, then?"

* * *


The gods, including Su-hyeun, all climbed aboard Apollo's Sun Chariot and traveled to their new destination.

The travel itself didn't take long; not only was the Sun Chariot really fast but the distance itself wasn't all that far, either.

The destination turned out to be a massive temple that resembled a Coliseum.

Su-hyeun stepped inside and took a look around its interior. The Coliseum's grandstands were occupied by the four gods accompanying Ares, plus Apollo, Hades, and Hephaestus.

Tap, tap—

Su-hyeun lightly tapped on the temple's floor with his foot.

It was tough and hardy—those were the sensation he picked up through his foot.

Ares broke the silence first, "This is the Temple of War Declaration, a perfect place to serve as our stage, indeed."

"War Declaration, you say?"

A temple with a name that meant starting a war? With a name like that, it would be hard to consider this structure as a place to peacefully serve gods.

"Originally, this was where gods and giants battled each other. Before their war could begin, they would duel each other to rouse up their fighting spirit in this sacred arena," Ares explained further. Then, right at that moment…



A blade swung and bounced back from the floor. The one who swung that sword was none other than the God of War and Destruction, Ares. His strike, lethal enough to cleanly cleave apart forged steel like a block of tofu, could only faintly nick the floor and not much else.

"This is how tough this place's construction is. It's the work of that guy over there, Hephaestus."

"Is that so?"

"As long as we fight in here, the ripples will not affect the outside. Therefore, we do not need to conserve our strength or hold ourselves back. Not to mention, it's quite spacious in here, isn't it? So, how about it? You like it?"

"The thing is, though, I don't particularly enjoy fighting, you see. I'm only fighting you strictly because of the wager."

"What a peculiar fella you are. You possess such strength, yet you don't like fighting? I don't get you at all," Ares replied while equipping one hand with a long spear and a round shield in the other.

The spear and shield combo looked fairly standard and unremarkable outwardly, with no visible decorations on them, but that was simply their appearance. Some seriously threatening aura were barely contained within both of Ares' armaments.

"You have killed Kali, yes?"


Ares got into his stance.

A far stronger fighting spirit was now burning fiercely in his eyes. He gave off the air of someone about to close the distance in a single breath, so Su-hyeun also got into his stance and prepared for the upcoming battle.

Ares spoke up, "I've always wanted to have a go at that creature. Not just Kali but Asura, too. The Predators that were crazy about fighting...after I learned about those two's existence, I became deeply interested in meeting them."

"Well, that's unfortunate since you won't get a chance to fight them anymore."

"No, not unfortunate at all because the one responsible for defeating Kali—you—is currently standing right in front of me, after all."


Unlike the vibe Ares was giving off, which was similar to a bull about to crush the ground underfoot and charge right in, he began walking forward in a composed manner.

A thick grin didn't leave his lips even now. "Let us enjoy today to the fullest," he said.

Step, step—

When he began getting closer, his already hulking physique seemed to grow even larger and intimidating.

In Su-hyeun's eyes, the figure of the smiling Ares raring for a fight was gradually being overlapped with that of Kali's.

What was the difference between those two?

One was a god, while the other, a Predator. They were supposed to be diametrically opposed to each other, but from what Su-hyeun could see, they didn't seem all that different at all, at least at this very moment.

So, Su-hyeun decided to think of his new opponent as another Kali. "Although I'm not going to enjoy this, it looks like I'll still have to win this fight regardless," he declared.


Su-hyeun headed toward the incoming Ares. The distance between the two that stood on the opposite sides of the arena gradually narrowed.

When the distance became narrow enough for them to touch each other simply by reaching out...

Paht, paht—

Their figures suddenly vanished from the spot, and then...



A huge explosion, along with a flash of light, resounded from the center of the Temple of War Declaration.

* * *

Rumble, crush...


Ku-rurururu, claaaang—!

A cacophony of explosions and thunderclaps, a sword and a spear colliding, and a shield smashing down continued to rock the surroundings.

The gods sitting in the grandstands located at the edges of the arena were watching the battle with deeply intrigued expressions. This Temple of War Declaration was originally designed to facilitate the battles of various gods, so the ripples of the current fight were unable to reach the audience members.

"What a spectacle this is."

"That idiot Ares, he looks really excited, doesn't he, uncle?" Apollo asked, and Hades nodded silently.


While the two gods were chatting, Ares' figure could be seen briefly stumbling mid-air. His balance was lost for a moment there when the Somersault cloud controlled by Su-hyeun managed to trap his feet.


But almost at the same time, Ares threw the spear he had in his grip. The long polearm looked as if it would pierce straight through Su-hyeun's head, but in the nick of time, he swung his sword up to alter the spear's trajectory.

The battle was truly intense, making it impossible to look away even for a second.

Hades replied, "There are no other gods, at least in Olympus anyway, who can evenly fight Ares to this extent, after all. Meanwhile, the one god who is most comparable in terms of combat strength to Ares, which is you, keeps avoiding him, so—"

"How is that my fault, though? Why don't you fight him in that case, uncle?"

"You think someone as old as I am should get into a scuffle with a young hatchling like Ares?"

"Uncle, let's be honest here, shall we? Just admit that you're not confident of winning."

"If I fight in Hell, my territory, not even Zeus can win against me."

"Yes, yes. Of course," Apollo shrugged his shoulders, his gaze still following the battle between Ares and Su-hyeun. "Really now, he is certainly a naturally gifted fighter," he quietly observed.

The God of War and Destruction, Ares, didn't possess some amazing godly authority, nor did he possess particular godhood like how Apollo had his godhood of fire or Hades with the godhood of death—not even the right to rule over a domain, like how Hades ruled over Hell.

To put it simply, Ares was not "specialized" in any particular field, but on the flip side of that coin...

"That idiot abandoned everything for the sake of a good fight, didn't he?"

It also meant that he had no weakness.

Ares was born for the sake of waging warfare.

Ares was acknowledged as the strongest in Olympus after excluding the top god, Zeus, a member of the Five Godly Sages, and his two brothers who were born in the same era—the Three Deities.

But now...

"That guy, he also knows how to fight, doesn't he?"

Su-hyeun was ably fighting against that very Ares.

"The physique and mind of a god, then fire, cloud, wind, even thunder...those are his godhood that I can see outwardly."

Unlike Ares who blindly relied on his physical abilities to fight, Su-hyeun relied on various godhood to pull him through.

The total number of his godhood couldn't even be counted in one hand. It would be hard to find other gods in possession of so many different godhood like him; for instance, even Apollo possessed only a handful of godhood, including the godhood of fire and another one related to prophecies.

Also, Su-hyeun's proficiency in wielding all those godhood was quite excellent. However, none of his godhood seemed to be heads and shoulders above the others at the moment, either.

Rather ironically, the one area he seemed to be most proficient in was fighting, so much so that his gallant figure relying on his various abilities to evenly fight against Ares imparted an impression to all the onlookers that another God of War had made his entrance today.

"That guy..." Suddenly, a question popped into Apollo's mind, "I wonder what kind of 'god title' he will receive."

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The Hero Returns Chapter 438
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