“You’ve worked hard. Good job.”
I stroked Chunza’s head and smiled when I saw her desire to be praised. Chunza smiled and nodded. Perhaps it was due to her high intelligence, but she seemed to understand everything I was saying. I would be able to go around with her later once she learned Polymorph to change her appearance. It was reliable just thinking about it.
“By the way...”
I looked down at Metheus’ square from the hill located right in front of the lord’s castle. Strangely, there wasn’t a crowd like last time. It was as if only NPCs were left and all the players were gone...
“Ah, the match isn’t over yet.”
It was the time when the Golem Siege event was in full swing. If so, it was understandable that there would be less people than there were now. I was curious about how the match went. I was about to walk into a beer bar where players were gathered when I stopped.
“Oh, my face...”
I had already revealed my identity. I heard that the black wolf masks popular in Metheus not long ago had disappeared. If I tried to hide my identity by putting on a mask, I would be blatantly advertising that I was ‘Choi Chuntaek.’ Other measures were needed.
I thought about it and used the Designated Return Stone for the first time in ages. I immediately checked the registered numbers and called Aren using the third-grade magic engineering technique ‘Secret Communication.’ Someone picked up after two rings.
-It has been a while, Jackson.
“It has been a while. I’m contacting you because I need your help. I would like to meet and talk. Do you have time?”
-Of course. Do you want to come now?
“I’m going right now.”
-I’ll be waiting for you.
The moment that Secret Communication was cut off, I tried to return to ‘Aren’s Mansion’ registered in the Designated Return Stone. Then something happened that I hadn’t thought about.
The current designated return spot was the Vulcan Volcanic Zone. I had some things to do there after the competition ended so I saved it as the return place.
“Well, it doesn’t matter.”
I raised the magic of the wind in my heart. I felt the wind around me warmly embrace my legs and make my body lighter. The goal was Aren’s mansion in Fortren. It didn’t take long when running with the wind. The wind swirled around me and I soared upwards.
Then the magic power of the wind scattered and left afterimages. I was already gone.
* * *
Meanwhile, at this time. Mido was discharged from the hospital and went straight to find her teammates.
Maybe it was a break. Her roommate, Lim Sara, was watching the match on TV while drinking an Iced Americano. Mido smiled like she had seen the worry in Lim Sara’s eyes.
“Unni, I'm here.”
“How are you feeling? Are you okay?”
“Of course. That’s why I came here.”
“It is good. I am just watching the match. Come and sit.”
Mido sat alongside Lim Sara on the bed while feeling grateful for her care. They watched the fierce Golem Siege that was being broadcasted live on TV. The Golem Siege had already passed the round of eight and was in the round of four.
“The first match in the semi-finals was France against Spain. Of course, France wasn’t a match for Torres.”
Mido nodded at Lim Sara’s words. It was natural since Torres was a powerhouse with enough strength.
“However, the fight is pretty fierce. I didn’t know that France was hiding such a trump card. Did you watch the video the other day? It is that Talmorim Knight or whatever it is called. The undead who fought your grandfather.”
“Ah, I remember. Immortal?”
“Yes. In any case, it has become stronger. My heart was beating quickly when I saw a water dragon and skeleton knight armed with bones fighting.”
“Wow, it must’ve been very fun,” Mido exclaimed.
“You should have seen it.”
“Well, I can watch it later.”
Mido left behind her regrets and focused on the match that was currently underway. The current fight was a confrontation between David, who had the ability of the trees and was nicknamed King Arthur in Britain, and Zhen Sulong, who was nicknamed the ‘Wing Chun King’ in China.
-Abyo! (Bruce Lee fighting sound effect)
On TV, Zhu Yangtian posed like a mantis and defeated the British enemies in the forefront. China had really strong individual combat skills. They each used different Chinese martial arts that seemed like animals. In addition to the famous ones, there were those that were like a chicken and a tiger. There was also a martial art that looked like a snake.
“Sigh, I don’t know why the British came to compete mainly with magicians. They do this every time.”
It was one-sided. With the exception of David, Britain was almost one-sidedly defeated. The game ended in an instant. There was no summoning of the golem. From the beginning, China didn’t bother collecting the magic cores and launched a surprise attack on the enemy. It was effective.
-It is over! China has reached the finals of the Golem Siege! Sure enough, it is Torres of Spain and Zhen Sulong of China. Who will be the winner in the fight between these two aces? It will start after 10 minutes of rest!
At the same time, the screen switched and an advertisement was displayed. It was an advertisement for a fusion razor company called Gallette.
“Sigh. It isn’t easy. We’re going to have to beat those players tomorrow.”
Mido shook her head.
"Don't worry. Aren’t you strong now? Have confidence. You are also a Star Fruit eater.”
Lim Sara cheered on Mido. She was sincere. If Mido was determined to become stronger, she would be no less than Zhen Sulong, David, or Torres of Spain. The Mido she saw at that time was as strong as them.
“...However, it wasn’t me at the time.”
Mido wasn’t confident. It literally wasn’t herself. She had watched the video at the hospital and she was clearly possessed by something. According to her grandfather, it was Monet. In any case, Monet was a vampire so she was advised that it would be better to not use Blood Craving.
Mido naturally nodded. She didn’t want to see such a terrible sight again.
‘I have to become stronger.’
Mido wanted to become a better person in the team now that she gained this ability. She had to do things she wasn’t capable of doing because her class as a painter was limited to being a supporter.
“Unni, I’m going to train.”
“Already? Don’t you want to go training with my oppa and the others after watching the finals?”
“There is no need. I’m going to become stronger. I don’t want to become strong like I did last time. Tell the Oppas to come to Metheus. Grandfather told me that he rented the entire training ground there.”
“Yes. There will be many helpful opponents. Grandfather said he would be coming soon as well.”
“Wow, it is a jackpot. I understand!”
The excited Lim Sara ran outside to tell the team to go to Metheus. Before that, Mido called someone. She needed someone who could give her special training. The identity of that person was obvious.
Ring ring — click.
-Yes, Mido. It's me.
“Teacher, please give me some special training. Call Seongchan as well.”
-Well, your mind seems determined. Good. I will come with Seongchan soon.
"Thank you. Come to Metheus’ training ground. My teammates and Grandfather will also be there.”
Mido hung up with a firm expression. Then she jumped into the capsule and connected to the game.
* * *
I was able to run like the wind and arrive at Aren’s mansion. Aren’s butler Alfred was waiting at the front door to pick me up.
“Welcome. I was waiting.”
I headed straight to Aren’s room and Aren shook my hand with a bright smile. His expression was bright, but the dark shadows under his eyes made me guess that he was very busy. I apologized. “I didn’t know I would be forcibly grabbing a busy person.”
“Haha, it’s nothing. I’ve been busy lately, but I can afford to spare some time. Please sit down.”
I sat down at Aren’s invitation and Alfred filled a cup with black tea. Strangely, I felt a desire to smoke.
“Can I smoke here?”
“It’s fine. Go ahead. I was just thinking about it so it worked out well.”
Alfred placed a jeweled ashtray in the middle of the desk, took out a huge cigar from a chest, handed it to Aren, and lit it. I didn’t need the lighter because I had the Blowing Fire skill. Was it my illusion or did my cigarette feel shabby?
Aren wondered, “Do you want a cigar?”
I shook my head and blew out cigarette smoke. “No. I just didn’t know you would take that out.”
“I heard there are people who smoke this even among the immortal humans. I’m also a smoker so I was curious and tried it. There was the tobacco factory in Fortren left behind by Aidan. The facilities are still intact. I thought it was good and started production. There is a great satisfaction among the nobles. Hahaha.”
Aren smiled like it wasn’t a big deal.
I decided to cut to the chase. “I think you are busy so I’ll tell you why I’m here. Please lend me some guns, daggers, and 10 resistance soldiers, including Leslie.”
Aren sipped tea and his eyes brightened. “...Is it an assassination?”
“No. I have friends who need training so I would like to borrow them.”
“Um, I see.”
“Additionally, you know the cloak you gave me last time? I’d like to ask for some modifications.”
I said so and looked at Alfred, who was standing next to me. Our eyes met and Alfred smiled. It was a sly smile.
“What are the modifications?”
“I want to strengthen the Cognitive Impairment so that my face isn’t exposed at all. I think it would be better to wear a hood.”
Alfred looked at Aren and Aren nodded. “Please do so.”
“I understand. Can you give me the cloak?”
I handed the cloak to Alfred. He said that he was skilled in magic engineering and it would be done soon. I could hear the sound of Aren sipping his tea again before he said, “I also have one request.”
Originally, life was about giving and receiving. I came to ask for a favor so it was right for Aren to ask for one in exchange. Aren paused for a moment before his eyes brightened.
“Please meet the Merchant King once.”
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