The Hero Returns - Chapter 478

It was hard to tell whether this place was on the ground or up in the sky.

Master Subhuti had brought them to a place filled with heat intense enough to melt one’s skin down and burn one’s soul merely by coming in contact with anything.

Su-hyeun furrowed his brow, then shielded his eyes from the intense piercing light.

There seemed to be more flowing lava than solid ground offering stable footing in this place. It all kind of felt like he was standing in the middle of a volcano going off.

He wouldn’t have felt this hot from some regular lava, though. The thing was, he had the divine Flame, which granted him a high level of tolerance toward most types of fire so that an absolute majority would feel lukewarm to him at this stage.

Even Hellfire—the fire that originally burned in the netherworld—felt lukewarm to him, so it was safe to say that Su-hyeun’s Godhood of Fire was a higher class than what your average gods possessed.

“These flames are hotter than even Hellfire. Forget about physical bodies; they might even burn one’s soul to ashes.”

He bent down a little and dipped his hand into the lava. It felt like he had just dropped his hand inside a pot of boiling water.

As he pulled his hand out, Master Subhuti asked him from behind him, “Wasn’t that dangerously hot for you?”

“If it weren’t, I wouldn’t have pulled my hand out, sir,” Su-hyeun wiped off the lava clinging on to his hand.

Sweat had soaked his whole body like a deluge by now.

Sun Wukong was not fairing any better as he was plopped on the ground, panting heavily with his tongue sticking out like a puppy stuck in a stifling summer day. “Uncle, just why are we even in this place?”

Master Subhuti shifted his gaze over to the sagging Sun Wukong, who was quite clearly defeated by the heat, and replied calmly, “For the time being, we’ll be living in this place.”

Sun Wukong and Su-hyeun displayed a similar reaction at the same time. They couldn’t tell if it was even possible to eat or sleep in an insanely hot place.

“This is a prison of sorts where Predators and even gods are locked up.”

“Wait, not humans but actual gods?”

“Unless you’re not a god on the level of the Five Godly Sages… and a Predator on the level of the Three Destroyers, you will never escape from this place. The one guarding this place is none other than King Yama, after all, a true neutral, who doesn’t favor any sides.”

King Yama was the “gatekeeper” of Hell and served as the judge of the dead. The stories about him were easy enough to hear. Never mind those who got to meet the individual in question, it was tough to find someone who knew what King Yama even looked like in reality.

“As such, you two will have to stay in this place from now on. No, let me correct myself there. You must now try to escape from this Hell of Scorching Heat.”

“Can’t we just retrace our steps back in that case?” Su-hyeun looked behind him at the doorway leading into this Hell of Scorching Heat.

The opaque doorway was the same one they used to cross over into this place with Master Subhuti. It also happened to be the same sort of passageway used to hop over to different worlds.

Subhuti replied, “It’s impossible.”

“Didn’t I say it already? This place is a prison meant to lock up not humans but gods and Predators. Of course, there is no easy way to escape from here.”

A prison would only be helpful if the prisoners couldn’t easily escape. Just about every god knew how to create doorways to travel to other worlds, so if left unchecked, they should be able to escape from this Hell of Scorching Heat relatively easily.

“He wasn’t lying,” Su-hyeun thought.

Su-hyeun tried to open a doorway himself but could only frown deeply when his gate seemed obscured by something and turned blurry before disappearing altogether.

The passage that led inside was open, but the path back was undoubtedly blocked.

This situation reminded him of a certain famous saying all of a sudden.

“If you wish to return, though, I can always speak to King Yama about it. You aren’t here to repent for your sins, after all, but even if that’s the case, you still won’t be able to leave with your powers.”

They wanted to escape from the stifling, choking heat as soon as possible. But even so, Su-hyeun and Sun Wukong were unable to say that was what they wanted immediately.

“There must be a reason why you brought us here, correct?” Su-hyeun asked.

Subhuti nodded slowly, “The most optimum way of training is to undertake harsh training akin to self-torture. I’ve been saying that for what feels like an eternity to Wukong. These days, I’m sure his ears hurt just by listening to it again.”

“Do your best to survive in this place. Or at the very least, you should see a substantial transformation after you learn to acclimatize in this heat,” Subhuti continued to speak while fanning his face with his hand.

It seemed that even though he was the one saying these things, he, too, was suffering from the heat.

“I did kill Fafnir, so it should be fine on that side,” Su-hyeun pondered for a bit of while before nodding in agreement, “I’ll do it.”

The one who taught the Bull Demon King, Sun Wukong, and the Roc Demon King was Master Subhuti. He was also revered as one of the Five Godly Sages.

The teachings of someone like that should not be a waste of time. And since Fafnir’s invasion had been dealt with already, Su-hyeun figured that there shouldn’t be any urgent problems popping up on Earth for the time being.

“But why did it have to be so hot?” Sun Wukong muttered, soaked in sweat. He sounded like he hated hot weather.

Subhuti looked at the Monkey King and asked again, “Are you not going to do it?”

“Of course, I’ll do it, uncle,” Sun Wukong replied as his eyes gleamed sharply.

Su-hyeun said he would do it, so obviously, Sun Wukong couldn’t back down from here. Not only that but there weren’t many days left where he would get to see Master Subhuti’s face.

In a way, this might be Subhuti’s final lesson for them. When he thought that way, his enthusiasm began burning even more fiercely.

“Okay! So what are we supposed to do now?” When Sun Wukong asked enthusiastically, Master Subhuti suddenly grinned brightly.

It was one of those smiles filled with lots of wrinkles that happened to be capable of putting your mind at ease.

“You will now cross this.”

“Eh?” Sun Wukong turned his head to look at the spot Subhuti was pointing at.

It was a lake filled with boiling crimson lava. The lava flowing there was so hot that the flames of the eight-way trigram Crucible seemed refreshingly chilly in comparison.

After thinking, “Wait a minute,” to himself, Su-hyeun asked a question as well, “Me too?”

Su-hyeun, holding his breath for a long time and walking on the bottom, finally broke through the lava’s surface.

But never mind being cooled down, the outside didn’t even feel lukewarm. Su-hyeun was experiencing first-hand what it was like to be a slice of meat being boiled in hot water.

And the same applied to Sun Wukong.

“Uwaaah… I—I can’t go on anymore…”

He was limply floating on the lava surface, entrusting himself to the liquid’s flow. He might possess near-infinite stamina that allowed him never to get tired no matter how long he fought, but he was relatively defenseless against the heat.

Su-hyeun reached out and grabbed Sun Wukong’s ankle just as the latter began drifting back to where they came from, “Where are you going, Third Brother?”

“Little brother, can’t you, like, drag me to the finish line like this? I can’t go on anymore.”

“But what’s the point of this training if you do that?”

“Well, you tell me, what’s the point of doing this in the first place? Urgh, too hot!” Sun Wukong’s tongue hung limply as he closed his eyes. He looked utterly pooped out.

Honestly, Su-hyeun felt the same way as well.

“I also had no idea that I’d get to walk inside boiling water, after all,” he thought.

However, only Su-hyeun and Sun Wukong were capable of treating lava as some boiling water. Others would most likely melt into nothingness the moment they touched the molten lava—quite literally, Hell of Scorching Heat, indeed.

There shouldn’t be all that many gods in the entire universe and all of the dimensions capable of withstanding this level of heat, that was for sure.

“No, wait—there are ways to withstand the heat, aren’t there?”

For instance, if he chose to envelop himself in magical energy and prana, or even by activating Kali’s Blood armor, most of his problems with heat would be resolved instantly.

But right at this moment, he must not do that. Doing so would render the time spent in this place meaningless.

More and more bubbles began popping up over the boiling lava’s surface.

Su-hyeun nudged Sun Wukong’s leg, “Third Brother, it’s here.”

“Alright,” he raised himself from the surface of the lava, extracted Ruyi Jingu Bang from his back, spun it around once, and got into a stance.

Visit readlightnovel.me for extra chapters.

And right at that moment…

The lava’s surface exploded and a lengthy creature shot out from below. It was a crimson centipede.

It seemed to possess hundreds of legs and was around 40 meters or so in length. Rather than a centipede, it seemed more believable to call it a small dragon instead.

Ruyi Jingu Bang extended at the speed of a thrown spear and pierced straight through the centipede. However, the wound itself looked like nothing more than some slight nick compared to how enormous the creature was.

The moment Ruyi Jingu Bang enlarged while stabbing it, the centipede was ripped apart into tiny shreds.

When the pieces of the centipede landed on the lava, its meat instantly melted down. The carapace that protected its tender innards was strong enough to withstand the lava, but the meat inside was not.

Sun Wukong could only lick his lips ruefully at the latest opponent, which they defeated so easily.

After stepping into the Hell of Scorching Heat, the only occasion Sun Wukong was able to regain his energy was whenever he was fighting against his enemies.

“Why the heck is that thing so weak?”

“Well, surely the creatures living in a place like this can’t be all that strong, Third Brother. Oh, and also…”

Su-hyeun stared at the bubbles popping over the lava’s surface, “There seems to be more than one this time.”

“Oooh, really?” Sun Wukong smirked as if this was for the better.

Soon afterward, dozens of centipedes burst through the lava and began spewing hot flames from their maws.

Su-hyeun didn’t even bother to dodge or block the flames, however. He withstood them all with his body.

It all felt like someone was pouring lukewarm water on his head.

“Honestly, it’s not even any hotter than the lava itself.”

All the heat accumulated in him meant that most flames at this stage didn’t even feel hot to him anymore.

This new flame felt far more pleasant to his senses. The monsters residing in this world had evolved to suit the situation of the Predators and corrupt gods being imprisoned here and naturally possessed powers of the fire element.

Su-hyeun stood still under the flame shower for a bit before finally making a move himself.

[Heavenly Demon’s March of Sovereign]

As if to match Su-hyeun’s step, intense pressure weighed down on the surroundings.

The bodies of the centipedes were gradually crushed flat. The sturdy carapaces cracked and shattered, flesh leaking out to the surface.

And when he took the next step…

The centipedes were completely crushed flat, their corpses sinking deeply into the lava.

The bits of flesh that leaked out of the cracked carapaces sizzled as they melted. When Su-hyeun turned his head, he spotted the rest of the centipedes floating on the lava’s surface as corpses after getting beaten up by Ruyi Jingu Bang.

“Uh-whew… Heck, it feels a bit better now that I got to move around a bit.”

“But shouldn’t it be the opposite? Normally, you’d feel hotter after moving around, right?”

When Su-hyeun asked that, Sun Wukong frowned with an expression that said, “Wait a second?”

The same was happening to Su-hyeun, too.

“The heat cools down a little after they move around,” Su-hyeun realized.

At first, he thought he had made a mistake somewhere. Since the heat was so intense in this place, he figured that it wouldn’t be strange for him to mistakenly think the level of heat was fluctuating a little here and there.

But if Sun Wukong sensed something similar, then the odds of him not being mistaken dramatically increased.

“Yeah, it feels like a whole bunch of heat accumulated in my body is expelled after exerting myself a bit. But I can’t figure out why,” Sun Wukong muttered.

It was the same for both of them.

Su-hyeun also felt that the heat accumulated inside him dissipated when he moved around and used his strength. During those moments, it felt somewhat cooler, and that’s why he had been looking forward to more enemies appearing before his eyes.

With this, things became certain.

Su-hyeun was about to say that he was getting the same sensation but had to stop after taking a look into Sun Wukong’s eyes. The Monkey King’s black irises had turned crimson.

This wasn’t the first time he saw Sun Wukong’s eyes glow red like this. He had seen it multiple times in the past.

Sun Wukong’s eyes were capable of substituting for Sage’s Eye or even Insight. His ability allowed him to dig deeper into the truth and greatly enhanced his five senses.

His eyes were called the “Fiery Golden Eyes,” and those eyes were glowing so much redder than ever before.

If you find any errors ( broken links, non-standard content, etc.. ), Please let us know so we can fix it as soon as possible.

It was hard to tell whether this place was on the ground or up in the sky.

Master Subhuti had brought them to a place filled with heat intense enough to melt one’s skin down and burn one’s soul merely by coming in contact with anything.

Su-hyeun furrowed his brow, then shielded his eyes from the intense piercing light.

There seemed to be more flowing lava than solid ground offering stable footing in this place. It all kind of felt like he was standing in the middle of a volcano going off.

He wouldn’t have felt this hot from some regular lava, though. The thing was, he had the divine Flame, which granted him a high level of tolerance toward most types of fire so that an absolute majority would feel lukewarm to him at this stage.

Even Hellfire—the fire that originally burned in the netherworld—felt lukewarm to him, so it was safe to say that Su-hyeun’s Godhood of Fire was a higher class than what your average gods possessed.

“These flames are hotter than even Hellfire. Forget about physical bodies; they might even burn one’s soul to ashes.”

He bent down a little and dipped his hand into the lava. It felt like he had just dropped his hand inside a pot of boiling water.

As he pulled his hand out, Master Subhuti asked him from behind him, “Wasn’t that dangerously hot for you?”

“If it weren’t, I wouldn’t have pulled my hand out, sir,” Su-hyeun wiped off the lava clinging on to his hand.

Sweat had soaked his whole body like a deluge by now.

Sun Wukong was not fairing any better as he was plopped on the ground, panting heavily with his tongue sticking out like a puppy stuck in a stifling summer day. “Uncle, just why are we even in this place?”

Master Subhuti shifted his gaze over to the sagging Sun Wukong, who was quite clearly defeated by the heat, and replied calmly, “For the time being, we’ll be living in this place.”

Sun Wukong and Su-hyeun displayed a similar reaction at the same time. They couldn’t tell if it was even possible to eat or sleep in an insanely hot place.

“This is a prison of sorts where Predators and even gods are locked up.”

“Wait, not humans but actual gods?”

“Unless you’re not a god on the level of the Five Godly Sages… and a Predator on the level of the Three Destroyers, you will never escape from this place. The one guarding this place is none other than King Yama, after all, a true neutral, who doesn’t favor any sides.”

King Yama was the “gatekeeper” of Hell and served as the judge of the dead. The stories about him were easy enough to hear. Never mind those who got to meet the individual in question, it was tough to find someone who knew what King Yama even looked like in reality.

“As such, you two will have to stay in this place from now on. No, let me correct myself there. You must now try to escape from this Hell of Scorching Heat.”

“Can’t we just retrace our steps back in that case?” Su-hyeun looked behind him at the doorway leading into this Hell of Scorching Heat.

The opaque doorway was the same one they used to cross over into this place with Master Subhuti. It also happened to be the same sort of passageway used to hop over to different worlds.

Subhuti replied, “It’s impossible.”

“Didn’t I say it already? This place is a prison meant to lock up not humans but gods and Predators. Of course, there is no easy way to escape from here.”

A prison would only be helpful if the prisoners couldn’t easily escape. Just about every god knew how to create doorways to travel to other worlds, so if left unchecked, they should be able to escape from this Hell of Scorching Heat relatively easily.

“He wasn’t lying,” Su-hyeun thought.

Su-hyeun tried to open a doorway himself but could only frown deeply when his gate seemed obscured by something and turned blurry before disappearing altogether.

The passage that led inside was open, but the path back was undoubtedly blocked.

This situation reminded him of a certain famous saying all of a sudden.

“If you wish to return, though, I can always speak to King Yama about it. You aren’t here to repent for your sins, after all, but even if that’s the case, you still won’t be able to leave with your powers.”

They wanted to escape from the stifling, choking heat as soon as possible. But even so, Su-hyeun and Sun Wukong were unable to say that was what they wanted immediately.

“There must be a reason why you brought us here, correct?” Su-hyeun asked.

Subhuti nodded slowly, “The most optimum way of training is to undertake harsh training akin to self-torture. I’ve been saying that for what feels like an eternity to Wukong. These days, I’m sure his ears hurt just by listening to it again.”

“Do your best to survive in this place. Or at the very least, you should see a substantial transformation after you learn to acclimatize in this heat,” Subhuti continued to speak while fanning his face with his hand.

It seemed that even though he was the one saying these things, he, too, was suffering from the heat.

“I did kill Fafnir, so it should be fine on that side,” Su-hyeun pondered for a bit of while before nodding in agreement, “I’ll do it.”

The one who taught the Bull Demon King, Sun Wukong, and the Roc Demon King was Master Subhuti. He was also revered as one of the Five Godly Sages.

The teachings of someone like that should not be a waste of time. And since Fafnir’s invasion had been dealt with already, Su-hyeun figured that there shouldn’t be any urgent problems popping up on Earth for the time being.

“But why did it have to be so hot?” Sun Wukong muttered, soaked in sweat. He sounded like he hated hot weather.

Subhuti looked at the Monkey King and asked again, “Are you not going to do it?”

“Of course, I’ll do it, uncle,” Sun Wukong replied as his eyes gleamed sharply.

Su-hyeun said he would do it, so obviously, Sun Wukong couldn’t back down from here. Not only that but there weren’t many days left where he would get to see Master Subhuti’s face.

In a way, this might be Subhuti’s final lesson for them. When he thought that way, his enthusiasm began burning even more fiercely.

“Okay! So what are we supposed to do now?” When Sun Wukong asked enthusiastically, Master Subhuti suddenly grinned brightly.

It was one of those smiles filled with lots of wrinkles that happened to be capable of putting your mind at ease.

“You will now cross this.”

“Eh?” Sun Wukong turned his head to look at the spot Subhuti was pointing at.

It was a lake filled with boiling crimson lava. The lava flowing there was so hot that the flames of the eight-way trigram Crucible seemed refreshingly chilly in comparison.

After thinking, “Wait a minute,” to himself, Su-hyeun asked a question as well, “Me too?”

Su-hyeun, holding his breath for a long time and walking on the bottom, finally broke through the lava’s surface.

But never mind being cooled down, the outside didn’t even feel lukewarm. Su-hyeun was experiencing first-hand what it was like to be a slice of meat being boiled in hot water.

And the same applied to Sun Wukong.

“Uwaaah… I—I can’t go on anymore…”

He was limply floating on the lava surface, entrusting himself to the liquid’s flow. He might possess near-infinite stamina that allowed him never to get tired no matter how long he fought, but he was relatively defenseless against the heat.

Su-hyeun reached out and grabbed Sun Wukong’s ankle just as the latter began drifting back to where they came from, “Where are you going, Third Brother?”

“Little brother, can’t you, like, drag me to the finish line like this? I can’t go on anymore.”

“But what’s the point of this training if you do that?”

“Well, you tell me, what’s the point of doing this in the first place? Urgh, too hot!” Sun Wukong’s tongue hung limply as he closed his eyes. He looked utterly pooped out.

Honestly, Su-hyeun felt the same way as well.

“I also had no idea that I’d get to walk inside boiling water, after all,” he thought.

However, only Su-hyeun and Sun Wukong were capable of treating lava as some boiling water. Others would most likely melt into nothingness the moment they touched the molten lava—quite literally, Hell of Scorching Heat, indeed.

There shouldn’t be all that many gods in the entire universe and all of the dimensions capable of withstanding this level of heat, that was for sure.

“No, wait—there are ways to withstand the heat, aren’t there?”

For instance, if he chose to envelop himself in magical energy and prana, or even by activating Kali’s Blood armor, most of his problems with heat would be resolved instantly.

But right at this moment, he must not do that. Doing so would render the time spent in this place meaningless.

More and more bubbles began popping up over the boiling lava’s surface.

Su-hyeun nudged Sun Wukong’s leg, “Third Brother, it’s here.”

“Alright,” he raised himself from the surface of the lava, extracted Ruyi Jingu Bang from his back, spun it around once, and got into a stance.

Visit readlightnovel.me for extra chapters.

And right at that moment…

The lava’s surface exploded and a lengthy creature shot out from below. It was a crimson centipede.

It seemed to possess hundreds of legs and was around 40 meters or so in length. Rather than a centipede, it seemed more believable to call it a small dragon instead.

Ruyi Jingu Bang extended at the speed of a thrown spear and pierced straight through the centipede. However, the wound itself looked like nothing more than some slight nick compared to how enormous the creature was.

The moment Ruyi Jingu Bang enlarged while stabbing it, the centipede was ripped apart into tiny shreds.

When the pieces of the centipede landed on the lava, its meat instantly melted down. The carapace that protected its tender innards was strong enough to withstand the lava, but the meat inside was not.

Sun Wukong could only lick his lips ruefully at the latest opponent, which they defeated so easily.

After stepping into the Hell of Scorching Heat, the only occasion Sun Wukong was able to regain his energy was whenever he was fighting against his enemies.

“Why the heck is that thing so weak?”

“Well, surely the creatures living in a place like this can’t be all that strong, Third Brother. Oh, and also…”

Su-hyeun stared at the bubbles popping over the lava’s surface, “There seems to be more than one this time.”

“Oooh, really?” Sun Wukong smirked as if this was for the better.

Soon afterward, dozens of centipedes burst through the lava and began spewing hot flames from their maws.

Su-hyeun didn’t even bother to dodge or block the flames, however. He withstood them all with his body.

It all felt like someone was pouring lukewarm water on his head.

“Honestly, it’s not even any hotter than the lava itself.”

All the heat accumulated in him meant that most flames at this stage didn’t even feel hot to him anymore.

This new flame felt far more pleasant to his senses. The monsters residing in this world had evolved to suit the situation of the Predators and corrupt gods being imprisoned here and naturally possessed powers of the fire element.

Su-hyeun stood still under the flame shower for a bit before finally making a move himself.

[Heavenly Demon’s March of Sovereign]

As if to match Su-hyeun’s step, intense pressure weighed down on the surroundings.

The bodies of the centipedes were gradually crushed flat. The sturdy carapaces cracked and shattered, flesh leaking out to the surface.

And when he took the next step…

The centipedes were completely crushed flat, their corpses sinking deeply into the lava.

The bits of flesh that leaked out of the cracked carapaces sizzled as they melted. When Su-hyeun turned his head, he spotted the rest of the centipedes floating on the lava’s surface as corpses after getting beaten up by Ruyi Jingu Bang.

“Uh-whew… Heck, it feels a bit better now that I got to move around a bit.”

“But shouldn’t it be the opposite? Normally, you’d feel hotter after moving around, right?”

When Su-hyeun asked that, Sun Wukong frowned with an expression that said, “Wait a second?”

The same was happening to Su-hyeun, too.

“The heat cools down a little after they move around,” Su-hyeun realized.

At first, he thought he had made a mistake somewhere. Since the heat was so intense in this place, he figured that it wouldn’t be strange for him to mistakenly think the level of heat was fluctuating a little here and there.

But if Sun Wukong sensed something similar, then the odds of him not being mistaken dramatically increased.

“Yeah, it feels like a whole bunch of heat accumulated in my body is expelled after exerting myself a bit. But I can’t figure out why,” Sun Wukong muttered.

It was the same for both of them.

Su-hyeun also felt that the heat accumulated inside him dissipated when he moved around and used his strength. During those moments, it felt somewhat cooler, and that’s why he had been looking forward to more enemies appearing before his eyes.

With this, things became certain.

Su-hyeun was about to say that he was getting the same sensation but had to stop after taking a look into Sun Wukong’s eyes. The Monkey King’s black irises had turned crimson.

This wasn’t the first time he saw Sun Wukong’s eyes glow red like this. He had seen it multiple times in the past.

Sun Wukong’s eyes were capable of substituting for Sage’s Eye or even Insight. His ability allowed him to dig deeper into the truth and greatly enhanced his five senses.

His eyes were called the “Fiery Golden Eyes,” and those eyes were glowing so much redder than ever before.

If you find any errors ( broken links, non-standard content, etc.. ), Please let us know so we can fix it as soon as possible.

It was hard to tell whether this place was on the ground or up in the sky.

Master Subhuti had brought them to a place filled with heat intense enough to melt one’s skin down and burn one’s soul merely by coming in contact with anything.

Su-hyeun furrowed his brow, then shielded his eyes from the intense piercing light.

There seemed to be more flowing lava than solid ground offering stable footing in this place. It all kind of felt like he was standing in the middle of a volcano going off.

He wouldn’t have felt this hot from some regular lava, though. The thing was, he had the divine Flame, which granted him a high level of tolerance toward most types of fire so that an absolute majority would feel lukewarm to him at this stage.

Even Hellfire—the fire that originally burned in the netherworld—felt lukewarm to him, so it was safe to say that Su-hyeun’s Godhood of Fire was a higher class than what your average gods possessed.

“These flames are hotter than even Hellfire. Forget about physical bodies; they might even burn one’s soul to ashes.”

He bent down a little and dipped his hand into the lava. It felt like he had just dropped his hand inside a pot of boiling water.

As he pulled his hand out, Master Subhuti asked him from behind him, “Wasn’t that dangerously hot for you?”

“If it weren’t, I wouldn’t have pulled my hand out, sir,” Su-hyeun wiped off the lava clinging on to his hand.

Sweat had soaked his whole body like a deluge by now.

Sun Wukong was not fairing any better as he was plopped on the ground, panting heavily with his tongue sticking out like a puppy stuck in a stifling summer day. “Uncle, just why are we even in this place?”

Master Subhuti shifted his gaze over to the sagging Sun Wukong, who was quite clearly defeated by the heat, and replied calmly, “For the time being, we’ll be living in this place.”

Sun Wukong and Su-hyeun displayed a similar reaction at the same time. They couldn’t tell if it was even possible to eat or sleep in an insanely hot place.

“This is a prison of sorts where Predators and even gods are locked up.”

“Wait, not humans but actual gods?”

“Unless you’re not a god on the level of the Five Godly Sages… and a Predator on the level of the Three Destroyers, you will never escape from this place. The one guarding this place is none other than King Yama, after all, a true neutral, who doesn’t favor any sides.”

King Yama was the “gatekeeper” of Hell and served as the judge of the dead. The stories about him were easy enough to hear. Never mind those who got to meet the individual in question, it was tough to find someone who knew what King Yama even looked like in reality.

“As such, you two will have to stay in this place from now on. No, let me correct myself there. You must now try to escape from this Hell of Scorching Heat.”

“Can’t we just retrace our steps back in that case?” Su-hyeun looked behind him at the doorway leading into this Hell of Scorching Heat.

The opaque doorway was the same one they used to cross over into this place with Master Subhuti. It also happened to be the same sort of passageway used to hop over to different worlds.

Subhuti replied, “It’s impossible.”

“Didn’t I say it already? This place is a prison meant to lock up not humans but gods and Predators. Of course, there is no easy way to escape from here.”

A prison would only be helpful if the prisoners couldn’t easily escape. Just about every god knew how to create doorways to travel to other worlds, so if left unchecked, they should be able to escape from this Hell of Scorching Heat relatively easily.

“He wasn’t lying,” Su-hyeun thought.

Su-hyeun tried to open a doorway himself but could only frown deeply when his gate seemed obscured by something and turned blurry before disappearing altogether.

The passage that led inside was open, but the path back was undoubtedly blocked.

This situation reminded him of a certain famous saying all of a sudden.

“If you wish to return, though, I can always speak to King Yama about it. You aren’t here to repent for your sins, after all, but even if that’s the case, you still won’t be able to leave with your powers.”

They wanted to escape from the stifling, choking heat as soon as possible. But even so, Su-hyeun and Sun Wukong were unable to say that was what they wanted immediately.

“There must be a reason why you brought us here, correct?” Su-hyeun asked.

Subhuti nodded slowly, “The most optimum way of training is to undertake harsh training akin to self-torture. I’ve been saying that for what feels like an eternity to Wukong. These days, I’m sure his ears hurt just by listening to it again.”

“Do your best to survive in this place. Or at the very least, you should see a substantial transformation after you learn to acclimatize in this heat,” Subhuti continued to speak while fanning his face with his hand.

It seemed that even though he was the one saying these things, he, too, was suffering from the heat.

“I did kill Fafnir, so it should be fine on that side,” Su-hyeun pondered for a bit of while before nodding in agreement, “I’ll do it.”

The one who taught the Bull Demon King, Sun Wukong, and the Roc Demon King was Master Subhuti. He was also revered as one of the Five Godly Sages.

The teachings of someone like that should not be a waste of time. And since Fafnir’s invasion had been dealt with already, Su-hyeun figured that there shouldn’t be any urgent problems popping up on Earth for the time being.

“But why did it have to be so hot?” Sun Wukong muttered, soaked in sweat. He sounded like he hated hot weather.

Subhuti looked at the Monkey King and asked again, “Are you not going to do it?”

“Of course, I’ll do it, uncle,” Sun Wukong replied as his eyes gleamed sharply.

Su-hyeun said he would do it, so obviously, Sun Wukong couldn’t back down from here. Not only that but there weren’t many days left where he would get to see Master Subhuti’s face.

In a way, this might be Subhuti’s final lesson for them. When he thought that way, his enthusiasm began burning even more fiercely.

“Okay! So what are we supposed to do now?” When Sun Wukong asked enthusiastically, Master Subhuti suddenly grinned brightly.

It was one of those smiles filled with lots of wrinkles that happened to be capable of putting your mind at ease.

“You will now cross this.”

“Eh?” Sun Wukong turned his head to look at the spot Subhuti was pointing at.

It was a lake filled with boiling crimson lava. The lava flowing there was so hot that the flames of the eight-way trigram Crucible seemed refreshingly chilly in comparison.

After thinking, “Wait a minute,” to himself, Su-hyeun asked a question as well, “Me too?”

Su-hyeun, holding his breath for a long time and walking on the bottom, finally broke through the lava’s surface.

But never mind being cooled down, the outside didn’t even feel lukewarm. Su-hyeun was experiencing first-hand what it was like to be a slice of meat being boiled in hot water.

And the same applied to Sun Wukong.

“Uwaaah… I—I can’t go on anymore…”

He was limply floating on the lava surface, entrusting himself to the liquid’s flow. He might possess near-infinite stamina that allowed him never to get tired no matter how long he fought, but he was relatively defenseless against the heat.

Su-hyeun reached out and grabbed Sun Wukong’s ankle just as the latter began drifting back to where they came from, “Where are you going, Third Brother?”

“Little brother, can’t you, like, drag me to the finish line like this? I can’t go on anymore.”

“But what’s the point of this training if you do that?”

“Well, you tell me, what’s the point of doing this in the first place? Urgh, too hot!” Sun Wukong’s tongue hung limply as he closed his eyes. He looked utterly pooped out.

Honestly, Su-hyeun felt the same way as well.

“I also had no idea that I’d get to walk inside boiling water, after all,” he thought.

However, only Su-hyeun and Sun Wukong were capable of treating lava as some boiling water. Others would most likely melt into nothingness the moment they touched the molten lava—quite literally, Hell of Scorching Heat, indeed.

There shouldn’t be all that many gods in the entire universe and all of the dimensions capable of withstanding this level of heat, that was for sure.

“No, wait—there are ways to withstand the heat, aren’t there?”

For instance, if he chose to envelop himself in magical energy and prana, or even by activating Kali’s Blood armor, most of his problems with heat would be resolved instantly.

But right at this moment, he must not do that. Doing so would render the time spent in this place meaningless.

More and more bubbles began popping up over the boiling lava’s surface.

Su-hyeun nudged Sun Wukong’s leg, “Third Brother, it’s here.”

“Alright,” he raised himself from the surface of the lava, extracted Ruyi Jingu Bang from his back, spun it around once, and got into a stance.

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And right at that moment…

The lava’s surface exploded and a lengthy creature shot out from below. It was a crimson centipede.

It seemed to possess hundreds of legs and was around 40 meters or so in length. Rather than a centipede, it seemed more believable to call it a small dragon instead.

Ruyi Jingu Bang extended at the speed of a thrown spear and pierced straight through the centipede. However, the wound itself looked like nothing more than some slight nick compared to how enormous the creature was.

The moment Ruyi Jingu Bang enlarged while stabbing it, the centipede was ripped apart into tiny shreds.

When the pieces of the centipede landed on the lava, its meat instantly melted down. The carapace that protected its tender innards was strong enough to withstand the lava, but the meat inside was not.

Sun Wukong could only lick his lips ruefully at the latest opponent, which they defeated so easily.

After stepping into the Hell of Scorching Heat, the only occasion Sun Wukong was able to regain his energy was whenever he was fighting against his enemies.

“Why the heck is that thing so weak?”

“Well, surely the creatures living in a place like this can’t be all that strong, Third Brother. Oh, and also…”

Su-hyeun stared at the bubbles popping over the lava’s surface, “There seems to be more than one this time.”

“Oooh, really?” Sun Wukong smirked as if this was for the better.

Soon afterward, dozens of centipedes burst through the lava and began spewing hot flames from their maws.

Su-hyeun didn’t even bother to dodge or block the flames, however. He withstood them all with his body.

It all felt like someone was pouring lukewarm water on his head.

“Honestly, it’s not even any hotter than the lava itself.”

All the heat accumulated in him meant that most flames at this stage didn’t even feel hot to him anymore.

This new flame felt far more pleasant to his senses. The monsters residing in this world had evolved to suit the situation of the Predators and corrupt gods being imprisoned here and naturally possessed powers of the fire element.

Su-hyeun stood still under the flame shower for a bit before finally making a move himself.

[Heavenly Demon’s March of Sovereign]

As if to match Su-hyeun’s step, intense pressure weighed down on the surroundings.

The bodies of the centipedes were gradually crushed flat. The sturdy carapaces cracked and shattered, flesh leaking out to the surface.

And when he took the next step…

The centipedes were completely crushed flat, their corpses sinking deeply into the lava.

The bits of flesh that leaked out of the cracked carapaces sizzled as they melted. When Su-hyeun turned his head, he spotted the rest of the centipedes floating on the lava’s surface as corpses after getting beaten up by Ruyi Jingu Bang.

“Uh-whew… Heck, it feels a bit better now that I got to move around a bit.”

“But shouldn’t it be the opposite? Normally, you’d feel hotter after moving around, right?”

When Su-hyeun asked that, Sun Wukong frowned with an expression that said, “Wait a second?”

The same was happening to Su-hyeun, too.

“The heat cools down a little after they move around,” Su-hyeun realized.

At first, he thought he had made a mistake somewhere. Since the heat was so intense in this place, he figured that it wouldn’t be strange for him to mistakenly think the level of heat was fluctuating a little here and there.

But if Sun Wukong sensed something similar, then the odds of him not being mistaken dramatically increased.

“Yeah, it feels like a whole bunch of heat accumulated in my body is expelled after exerting myself a bit. But I can’t figure out why,” Sun Wukong muttered.

It was the same for both of them.

Su-hyeun also felt that the heat accumulated inside him dissipated when he moved around and used his strength. During those moments, it felt somewhat cooler, and that’s why he had been looking forward to more enemies appearing before his eyes.

With this, things became certain.

Su-hyeun was about to say that he was getting the same sensation but had to stop after taking a look into Sun Wukong’s eyes. The Monkey King’s black irises had turned crimson.

This wasn’t the first time he saw Sun Wukong’s eyes glow red like this. He had seen it multiple times in the past.

Sun Wukong’s eyes were capable of substituting for Sage’s Eye or even Insight. His ability allowed him to dig deeper into the truth and greatly enhanced his five senses.

His eyes were called the “Fiery Golden Eyes,” and those eyes were glowing so much redder than ever before.

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