The Divine Twilight's Return - C.500: Star Fragments (10)

The Divine Twilight's Return

C.500: Star Fragments (10)

Bel-Marduk had actually not wanted to become a Star Sign from the start. Just like Chang-Sun, Bel-Marduk had received Ithaca’s <Star Fragment> and become a <Star> when he was still Lee Chang-Sun.

After then, he had been killed by Ubbo-Sathla, which marked the start of his Rollback loop. During the endless loop, Bel-Marduk had been irreparably ruined, because he had experienced how he could never overcome the tide of his fate. Right at the moment when he had given up on everything and was about to do the same with his life, Asclepius had found him.

“Your eyes are those of a ruined one. You’re also stuck in this <Punishment> and suffering under your <Mark>, aren’t you?”

<Mark>, <Punishment>... It was Bel-Marduk’s first time hearing those terms, but the biggest reason why he was shocked was that Ascle looked the same as him, except for Ascle’s untidy appearance and belligerent way of speaking.

The moment he realized it, Bel-Marduk felt as if he had been hit in the back of the head. All this time, he had thought that the world he was in was practically all there was to this universe, but it was merely a fragment of the universe.

Bel-Marduk had also been aware of the existence of parallel universes, but had not thought about going to them because he had been fixated on the thought of defeating Ubbo-Sathla and rescuing his Ithaca in this Worldline. Thus, Ascle’s presence in Bel-Marduk’s Worldline obliterated his existing belief. Bel-Marduk could no longer find a reason to stay locked up in this Worldline when he could just head to a different one.

“<Stars> are beings who are free from all restrictions. Follow me and I’ll show you a new world,” Ascle said.

Mesmerized by Ascle’s offer, Bel-Marduk followed him and met people who were similar to him. Those who had run away from their Worldlines, had eaten up their Worldlines, had forsaken their qualifications to become Celestials in order to be free... At best they were free, but at worst they were lawless fugitives, calling themselves <Stars>.

“Why do we call ourselves <Stars? Haha! It’s an interesting question. The simplest reason is that we’ve swallowed <First Star’s Fragments>,” Ascle answered.

“What’s the other reason?”

“What did you think when you looked up in the sky as a mortal?”

“They’re sparkling? They’re beautiful?” Bel-Marduk replied, stroking his chin.

“Candles burn themselves up to shine and then eventually die out, and <Stars> are the same. We may be shining radiantly right now, but no one knows when our light will go out.”

In fact, the members of the Star Sign group led by Ascle changed a lot. They often ate each other in fights, and newcomers arrived day after day. No rules were imposed on them, but they stayed together in fear of <Dull Darkness> and <Supreme Light>, who could come for them at any time.

The other reason the Star Signs stuck together was Ascle’s power. If it had not been for those reasons, or if Ascle tried to rule over them, the Star Signs would have gone their separate ways long ago.

Bel-Marduk felt liberated from the fear of <Extinction> for the first time as he stayed with Ascle, who was himself from a different Worldline; Ascle became his teacher and father figure. The guilt of how Bel-Marduk could not save Ithaca remained in the corner of his heart, but he justified his guilt by telling himself that he could do it in a different Worldline.

However, the only reason Bel-Marduk could earn his freedom was self-indulgence, so it did not take long for him to pay the price as Ascle began to exert his evil influence over him.

* * *

Ascle’s Divine Rank was medicine, which was advanced enough to revive a dying person; however, if his practice went wrong, it could turn a living person into a being who was neither alive nor dead. Bel-Marduk was the victim of such a case; the reason why Ascle had saved Bel-Marduk was his need for a research subject.

“I guess you still haven’t found a way to become an Emperor despite all your research, huh?” Bel-Marduk gritted his teeth, suppressing his lingering fear of Ascle.

The outcome Ascle had wished to obtain by experimenting on Bel-Marduk was <Transcendence>. Mortals normally became Celestials by going through <Exuviation> and <Transcendence>, but it was a little different for <Stars>, who absorbed the <Star Fragments> they swallowed for their Ascension. That was why they called themselves Ascendants.

Since he had not gone through <Transcendence>, Ascle had tried to do it artificially because he had believed that achieving both Ascension and <Transcendence> would be able to make him an Emperor or someone on a similar level. The problem was that Ascle had suddenly gone missing in the middle of his research.

After losing their leader, the Star Sign group had almost disbanded. However, that had been when Bel-Marduk had taken charge and founded <Horoscope>.

“I didn’t expect you to still call me Father. Kek!” Ascle snickered, finding the fact that he was talking to Bel-Marduk amusing.

However, Bel-Marduk did not. That was why he decided not to continue their conversation, not wanting to exhaust himself mentally by reacting to Ascle’s taunts. Looking at how Bel-Marduk quietly closed his eyes, Ascle laughed bizarrely again, but Bel-Marduk kept his eyes closed and tried not to care about it, although his eyebrow twitched a bit.

Just then...


“Are you ‘Ophiuchus’?”

...footsteps accompanied by a deep voice suddenly came from the hallway. Wondering what was going on, Bel-Marduk opened his eyes, and was surprised to see the last person he had thought he would ever see here.

‘Tian Shi Yuan?’ Bel-Marduk gaped slightly.

It was Richardus. He had been the foster son of the Emperor’s Seat, but had taken his father’s position, becoming the ruler of <Purple Star Astrology> as ‘New Tian Shi Yuan’. However, Richardus had abandoned the position and disappeared; and yet he was here right now, unscathed. Richardus was standing with his back to Bel-Marduk, so he did not see Bel-Marduk, who watched everything with a confused look..

“Who are you?” Ascle frowned, looking at the uninvited guest who had interrupted his long-awaited reunion.

Not caring about Ascle’s reaction, Richardus looked at Ascle’s face through his tousled hair and chuckled dumbfoundedly. “I heard about it beforehand, but you people really do look similar.”

“Do you know me?”

“I know another you, not you.”

“Kek! There are too damn many Lee Chang-Suns in this universe.”

Richardus chuckled, pulling out a golden key from his inner pocket. At that instant, Ascle’s eyes turned cold and filled with madness.

Noticing the change, Richardus asked, “You know what this is, don’t you?”

“How... did you obtain this?”

“Does it matter? Isn’t the fact that I’m the person who can get you out of here more important?”

“Cut the bullshit and answer me! How did you get that?!” Ascle growled, practically ready to fly at Richardus; the shackles around his wrists and ankles shook violently.


“W-What is that?”

“It’s the k-key!”

“Unlock mine!”

“No, unlock mine! Mine!”

Thump, thump, thump!

Remembering Chang-Sun’s golden key, the other prisoners ran wild after seeing Richardus’ key. Since he did not know what had happened before, and almost no one was supposed to know about this golden key, Richardus was dumbstruck.

‘Even the leader said that he didn’t have a lot...’ Richardus hid his confusion and looked at Ascle, whose eyes were still filled with murderous intent.

Richardus had already received a heads-up about how Ascle would know about the key, but he did not notice that Bel-Marduk’s expression had also changed.

“Hear me out first. I’ll answer your question, and I can get you several of these if you want,” Richardus explained.

“What...? That’s preposterous!”

“You can see for yourself after you come out.” Richardus’ gaze turned sharp. “Asclepius the ‘Ophiuchus’—no, Lee Chang-Sun from Worldline

1. There’s someone who would like to meet you. Will you come with me?”

Ascle narrowed his eyes, trying to find out what Richardus’ true intention was.

Finding Ascle’s reaction amusing, Richardus laughed quietly. “The sole purpose of the ongoing chaos outside is to get you out of here, but I’m not going to force you. I know very well that Lee Chang-Sun isn’t someone who will yield to force.”

After staying silent for a moment, Ascle smiled coldly. “I don’t like to obey others readily, but... fine.”

“You made the right call.” Richardus nodded, turning the golden key in the prison cell’s keyhole.



The golden key disintegrated into particles. At the same time, the door swung wide open, and Ascle’s shackles were unlocked.

“...It was a replica.” Ascle looked at the golden particles in the air with mixed emotions.

“Let’s get going. We can’t waste too much time.”

“Hold on.”

“What is it?” Richardus asked.

“Do you have more copies of that key?”

“...I’m going to leave you behind if you’re seriously asking for the key right now.”

“I’m not. I’m just suggesting to bring one more person with us.”

“One more?” Richardus asked. Without answering Richardus, Ascle pointed at the back. When Richardus turned back, he ended up chuckling again. “There’s another Lee Chang-Sun? Why is the leader of <Horoscope> locked up here right now?”

Bel-Marduk usually hid his appearance with his sacred light, so Richardus had not known the fact that he was another Lee Chang-Sun. However, Bel-Marduk’s typical aura made Richardus instantly recognize his true identity.

“He would like the leader of <Horoscope> for certain.” Richardus pulled out another golden key.

Bel-Marduk frowned. “I have zero intention of becoming your minion.”

“It’s none of my concern. I’m simply setting you free because the person I have to bring says he needs you. If you aren’t going to voluntarily come with us, I’ll just drag you along by force,” Richardus said with a shrug.

Because he was aware of how many problems Bel-Marduk could cause as a free man, Richardus only intended to open Bel-Marduk’s cell door, not his shackles. The moment he was about to insert the golden key into the keyhole, however, he saw Bel-Marduk’s smile, making him hesitate. The smile reminded Richardus of his old friend an awful lot. Whenever his friend smiled like that, a disaster always took place...

Richardus reflexively stepped—no, was about to step away from the door, if not for an assailant swinging his sword toward his neck.


“Keough...!” Richardus groaned.

A wound opened up from his neck to his chest, blood pouring out. The attack was so lethal that Richardus’ entire upper body would have been cut through if he were a little late. Although Richardus quickly turned back, the assailant nonchalantly closed in on him, not caring how the previous attack had failed.

“Twilight...!” Richardus hissed through gritted teeth.

With the [Yuchang Sword] and [Tiamat’s Snaggletooth] in each hand, Chang-Sun quickly slid across the floor. The sunset-colored light created from mixing <Supreme Sacred Light> and <Darkness> looked unusually ominous in Richardus’ eyes.


Chang-Sun did not talk to Richardus at all, only planning on killing him.

[You have activated the Divine Class of a Celestial King!]

[The <Supreme Light’s Face> has been gifted with strong <Supreme Sacred Light> under the law of Eros.]

[You have activated the Divine Class of an Outer Celestial!]

[The student of <Dull Darkness> has been gifted with strong <Darkness> under the law of Nyx.]


[The Celestial ‘Divine Twilight’ is going to submerge his enemy in twilight!]

Updated from fr𝒆ewebnov𝒆l.(c)om