Chapter 103. Exercise in Futility (2)

Kang Oh pointed at the marble on the ground.

"Your Hyper Intuition activated upon seeing this?"

"Yeah."

Eder examined the marble.

"It's just a normal marble..."

"This has to be it. My Hyper Intuition activated and it's the only marble here! Not only that, but it looks human made," Kang Oh said.

The marble was shaped like a square; such a perfect square couldn't possibly occur naturally.  

Which meant that someone had deliberately put it here!

But the square marble hadn’t stood out because of the numerous rocks and boulders here. 

It was like the saying, 'If you need to hide a tree, then hide it in a forest.'.

"Oh, you're right. Do we put something on top of it like we did at Kudal's Laboratory?"

"Something could be buried underneath it too."

Kang Oh lifted the marble. It was quite heavy, but not so much that he couldn't lift it.

Thud.

He set it down to the side, and began to dig through the dirt where the marble had once been.

Kang Oh's fingertips felt something heavy.

'As I thought!'

Kang Oh grinned. 'I got it!,' he thought.

A short while later...

Kang Oh dug out a box made of marble.

"Oh, there's something engraved on it."

The inscription on top of the thick lid said...

"Fools chase after fantasies, while wise men pursue logic..." 

Quite the meaningful words.

'Why did they bury this here?'

It was a question that just came to him.

But then...

Ukkikki!

The white monkey appeared before them, the very monkey that Kang Oh had been looking for.


[You have discovered the Mysterious Monkey, Montey.]


"Huh?"

Eder widened his eyes at the monkey's sudden appearance.

The white monkey, Montey, cried out and danced, seeming exceedingly excited. 

Kang Oh calmly assessed the situation.

'The Mysterious Monkey, Montey... It doesn't seem like a boss monster.'

Montey wasn't a boss monster. It didn't have any treasure either.

Furthermore...

'The reason it popped up out of nowhere must be because of this box.'

Kang Oh nudged his hands forward and grabbed the lid.

Kkikki!

As expected, Montey reacted. It raised its hands and showed off its teeth.

It looked both happy and mad at the same time. It could go either way.

Was it telling him to let go? Or was it telling him to open it?

'I have to make a decision. If I take too long, then the Asta Guild will come over here in droves.'

The Asta Guild was looking for Montey like mad, so time wasn't on Kang Oh's side.

Ultimately, Kang Oh made his decision.

Open it!

"Huahp."

Kang Oh forcefully opened the lid.

Kkikkikkikki!

Meanwhile, Montey jumped around and wailed, but it didn't attack him, at least not yet. 

Fling!

He opened the lid of the box.


[You have opened the storage box containing the Illusion More Real Than Reality Itself Grimoire.]

[The box's guardian is using their power.]

[A trial awaits you.]


'Illusion More Real Than Reality Itself Grimoire?'

Kang Oh read the system message.

Then...!

Kkiiii!

Montey's body began to swell.

"M-Mr. Kang Oh?" Eder anxiously called.

What the hell was happening!?

"That monkey's apparently the box's guardian. If I want what's inside, I have to pass the trial."

Kang Oh grabbed his demon sword.

Eder followed suit, wielding his mace in one hand, and his shield in another.

"How big is it going to get?"

Montey was already over 2 meters tall. Despite that, it continued to grow even further.

"Dunno."

"But won't this noise attract the Asta Guild?"

"It will, 100%."

"Then we have to fight that monkey and then fight the Asta Guild as well? That's..."

"Impossible."

Kang Oh finished for him.

"Right?"

"Yeah. That's why we have to dump it onto them."

Kang Oh planned on making the Asta Guild and Montey fight against one another, and use that opportunity to take the box and run.

Kuuu.

It was only after it reached 5 meters did it stop growing.

It looked just like...!

"King Kong," Kang Oh muttered.

Montey had transformed into a white King Kong. Of course, when you looked at it closely, there were some differences.

"What's King Kong?"

"Never mind."

"Isn't it too big?"

"Yeah. It's really big."

At that moment...

Kuwaaah!

The monster monkey roared and swung downwards with its fists, its speed comparable to a catapult shooting a giant boulder.

In order to dodge its attack, Eder threw his body to the side. Obviously, Kang Oh had to do the same.

However...!

'What's going on?'

It was definitely a dangerous situation. If they just sat there, then they'd be flattened by Montey's fists.

'Why don't I feel anything?'

He didn't feel a chill anywhere, which meant that his Hyper Intuition didn't feel like he was in danger.

'Why?'

Kang Oh's brain began firing at top speed, whereas the world seemed to go in slow motion.

'Hyper Intuition didn't activate, 'Fools chase after fantasies, while wise men pursue logic...', and the trial... Which means!'

Kang Oh didn't move in the slightest.

He no longer had the time to dodge Montey’s attack.

"Get out of the way!" Eder yelled anxiously after dodging. 

Thud!

Montey's fist slammed onto Kang Oh.

Whoosh!

Gritty dust rose from the area of impact.

"M-Mr. Kang Oh!" Eder said, his voice close to a scream.

"What's wrong?"

Kang Oh came out of the dust cloud unscathed.

For some reason, the monkey didn't attack again either, and just sat there.

"Huh?"

For a moment, Eder just stared blankly at him. What exactly happened?

"Hoo hoo," Kang Oh laughed, reading the system message.


[You have seen through the Illusion More Real Than Reality Itself.]

[You have completed the trial.]

[You have gained ownership of the Illusion More Real Than Reality itself Grimoire.]


'As I thought, it was an illusion.'

Using all the clues at his disposal, Kang Oh had realized that the monster monkey was nothing more than an illusion.

Therefore, he had allowed the monkey to attack him without moving.

As a result, he had come out unscathed and had proved that the monster monkey was nothing more than an illusion.

"What exactly happened?" Eder asked, having barely gotten a hold of himself. 

"What do you mean? It's just an illusion."

Kang Oh pointed at the blankly standing monster monkey.

"T-That's an illusion?"

Eder widened his eyes, unable to believe that it was actually an illusion.

"If it wasn't, then I wouldn't have come out unscathed."

Kang Oh shrugged his shoulders.

"T-That's true. Then that's truly an illusion? Wow, to think that there was such a vivid illusion..."

Eder examined the monster monkey.

From the feel of its fur to the lively expression on its face, the feeling of intense pressure, and the weight of its attack that sunk the ground...

Who would see that and go 'That's an illusion.'?

Kang Oh left Eder to his own devices, and took the book encased within the box.

The book was titled, <Illusion More Real Than Reality Itself Grimoire 1>.

'It's only the first book? Then that means there's a second book out there...'

Kang Oh tried to see the item's information.

However, he sensed several presences and sounds coming his way. 

"The giant monkey’s over there!"

"Guildmaster!"

The Asta Guild was coming.

'Change of plans. We're running.'

Kang Oh took out a return scroll from his inventory.

He'd discarded his original plan of pitting Montey against the Asta Guild.

He didn't know when the illusion magic would fade, so he couldn't make them fight against one another.

Rip.

Once he ripped the return scroll, silver powder glittered. Soon, he would fade entirely.

Eder's form began to fade as well as a result of Kang Oh's summoning.

A short while later...

The Asta Guild had surrounded the monster monkey.

"What's going on?"

Arcol looked up at the monster monkey and furrowed his brow.

He'd sent Vesta off to gather information, so there wasn't anyone here who could answer his question. 

At that moment, the monster monkey began going invisible.

"Ah, it's starting to go invisible!" one of the Asta Guild members said.

"Attack!" Arcol yelled.

It was his only choice, since he needed to do something.

The Asta Guild members bombarded it with spells and skills.

However, they couldn't prevent it from disappearing.

Because Kang Oh had stolen the grimoire, which was the source of its power, the illusion had faded.

Ultimately, the monster monkey disappeared completely, as if it had never been there...

The Asta Guild, having lost their target, had no choice but to stare at where the monkey had once been, a true exercise in futility. 

* * *

"It would've gotten troublesome if I was even a little late."

If he'd encountered the Asta Guild, then things would have gotten complicated.

But, he was barely able to make it out!

Kang Oh had safely made it back to Altein with the grimoire in tow.

"Indeed."

Of course, Eder had come along with him.

"But Mr. Kang Oh," Eder called.

"What?"

"How did you know that that monkey was an illusion? Is it because of your Hyper Intuition?" Eder asked.

He still couldn't believe that that monster monkey was an illusion.

"My Hyper Intuition's a part of it, but I also read the title of the book."

Kang Oh shook the grimoire in his hand.

"Illusion More Real Than Reality Itself Grimoire 1, huh..."

Eder's eyes were filled with greed. He wanted to read it! He really wanted to read it!

"Please let me read that!"

"Oho, no way. I'm going to read it first."

Kang Oh entered an abandoned alley and appraised the grimoire.


[Illusion More Real Than Reality Itself Grimoire 1]

Aerd, once ridiculed as the Clown Mage, was a great mage who mastered illusion magic and wrote this grimoire. 

He is the only Illusion Master in history.  

This grimoire contains a portion of Aerd's 'Imaginary Projection', a facet of his arcane magic.

If you manage to collect all three volumes of Illusion More Real Than Reality Itself, then you can learn 'Imaginary Projection'.

In order to learn Imaginary Projection, however, you must first possess Beginner Wizardology and High Rank Illusion Magic.


'Arcane magic!'

Kang Oh's eyes widened.

It was said that arcane magic was only usable by masters!

A portion of that magic was contained in this grimoire.

"I hit the jackpot!"

Kang Oh clenched his fists. He'd definitely struck gold!

At that moment, he saw a system message.


[Aerd's memories are contained within the grimoire.]

[Would you like to see the memories?]


"Eder, place your hand on the book."

"Are you going to look through the memories sealed within?"

Kang Oh nodded his head.

Once Eder placed his hand atop it, Kang Oh said, "Yes."

At that moment, he saw a recording play right before his eyes.

* * *

Aerd was a bright young boy who loved to make people happy, so he worked as a clown in a circus.

One day, Aerd, who travelled across the continent with his circus, visited Altein, the capital of the Altein Empire. There, he coincidentally saw a magical fireworks display. 

Aerd was moved by that fireworks show and thought, 'If I use magic, I can make people even happier, can't I?'.

Ultimately, Aerd quit the circus and headed straight for the Altein Mage's Tower in order to learn magic...

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