Chapter 158 - Evil Solidarity (2)
There was the sound of shattering glass. People shouted with surprise as they gazed at the source of the sound. Very quickly, a crowd began to gather around. It was bloody.
“Idiot.” Kim Hyunchul looked down at it from the coffee shop on the second floor and clicked his tongue.
“Why is he an idiot?” The face of Park Hansik, who was sitting across from Kim Hyunchul, hardened as he asked.
Despite the gruesome scene which had occurred before his eyes, Kim Hyunchul seemed to be emotionless. “What has been achieved? The child is hurt, and he isn’t the only one. There’s also another person who is hurt.”
“Why? It’s true.”
The Hyunchul that Hansik knew wasn’t such a person. Hyunchul was very timid but warm-hearted to his friends. However, he had started to change since playing the game.
“What are you saying? He was trying to save the child.”
“Can’t I be honest? After all, if that person dies, he would be the only one losing something.”
“This jerk… Your sins will be returned to you.”
“Is this a mental victory? Encouraging good and punishing evil. It is just a concept that people use to comfort themselves.”
“Don’t say that.”
“Okay, is your job going well?”
“It is hard.”
Park Hansik took a sip of his americano and looked out the window again.
People were surrounding the scene of the accident. A woman was hugging a child in her arms, regardless of the dirt on her clothes. Meanwhile, the other people tried to do first aid on the man who protected the child, but his body was bloody and pierced with glass.
Fortunately, the man was moving, so he wasn’t dead. He could hear the sound of ambulance sirens in the distance.
Suddenly, Kim Hyunchul asked, “Work is hard?”
Park Hansik looked at him. “What? Can you help me?”
“Of course. Friends should help each other.”
“Okay. I understand.”
“If you are having a really hard time, tell me, and don’t hide it. I'll let you rake in money.”
“Rake in money?”
“Yes, rake in money.” Kim Hyunchul grinned slyly. “You can make a few year’s worth of money at once.”
It was the same face, but he now gave off a different impression.
Park Hansik looked at Kim Hyunchul and drank his americano silently. Then he asked, “You said you played the game?”
“Yes. If you are interested...”
“Are you role playing?”
“Role play? I don’t do such things.”
Hyunchul instantly stopped laughing. Park Hansik smiled at his expression.
Then Kim Hyunchul adjusted his posture. “Why are you smiling?”
“Why are you smiling? I feel bad, like you are laughing at me. I’m not just playing a game. It’s business.”
At the end of Kim Hyunchul’s words, Park Hansik stopped smiling and narrowed his eyes, causing Kim Hyunchul to tense up slightly.
“......” Park Hansik shook his head with a smile. “I’m not saying anything, you brat. Calm down.”
Hansik just wanted to tease Hyunchul, but Hyunchul’s pride was hurt for a trivial reason and he stiffened. Hyunchul had been like this since their school days. However, they were now adults and couldn’t maintain the same relationship as before.
They were no longer boys, and as adults, they had facial expressions that never existed before. Park Hansik’s head shake meant he was resigned about something. Every time he did that, he erased someone he thought of as a friend.
An old song played on the radio.
-Even though seasons come again
Where has my love gone
I didn’t send you away
I didn’t leave you either
“The song is killing my mood.” Park Hansik rose from his seat. “I’m busy, so I should be going. It was good to see you.”
“I told you, work is hard. I have to work without any breaks.”
“Yes, I understand. Don’t overdo it. If it is difficult, contact me.” Kim Hyunchul handed Park Hansik a card. “It is the same as going on a deep-sea fishing boat. Of course, it is much more comfortable, and there is more income. You just need to lay down for a few months or a year, as if you are sleeping. I’m telling you specifically...”
Park Hansik received the business card. It had ‘Luin, Elder Lord Clan’ written on it.
Park Hansik looked at Kim Hyunchul. Kim Hyunchul was wearing expensive clothes and an expensive watch, and he carried himself in an arrogant manner. Unpleasant emotions could be read in Hyunchuk’s eyes.
Park Hansik smiled again. “Yes. Stay well.”
Park Hansik said goodbye before turning around. Maybe he wouldn’t meet Kim Hyunchul in the future.
Kim Hyunchul looked at the leaving Park Hansik and leaned back. He smiled at Park Hansik. Then his nose twitched as he muttered to himself, “That child still acts as if he is in high school... Too bad.”
He grumbled and took a sip of coffee.
Then he glanced out the window. The man from earlier was being carried into an ambulance. He was talking to the paramedics while lying down, so he didn’t seem to be in any danger of dying. Then the ambulance closed its doors and departed.
There was blood left on the ground where the man had been lying. There was no feeling of exhilaration. Hyunchul had seen this kind of sight many times in Elder Lord. These days, the blood in Elder Lord seemed more familiar than that of this world. Seeing the blood splattered on the ground was like meeting a familiar face in a strange place.
Then he suddenly heard the lyrics.
-It is gradually forgotten
I thought it was a love that would stay
Another day goes by
We live apart every day
“Yes, this song is depressing.”
Kim Hyunchul closed his eyes. As he listened to Kim Kwangseok’s song, memories of his ‘Hyung-nim’ talking to him popped up.
‘The world is all about trying to survive.’
The past Hyunchul had been considerate, but that person had died. Now, he was someone who mocked a man who had jumped to save a child, wore expensive clothes and drove a foreign car. Park Hansik, who sympathized with the man, ran a small bar and struggled to pay the monthly rent.
Anyway, the world was unfair. Those who truly realized it also discovered that they had to be unfair. If he was more unfair to those who were unfair, that unfairness would work for him.
‘A good life? Don’t make me laugh. Look at me. I am successful. Look at you. Because I live like this, I drive a foreign car. Don’t worry about the excuses of a loser and just follow me.’
“Hyung-nim was right.” Kim Hyunchul checked his phone. There was a message. It was from ‘Keynes’ who had made him like this.
It was time to work again. Kim Hyunchul got up from his seat.
Outside the cafe, a woman was sweeping up the blood-stained glass pieces. The broom was dyed red. Based on her apron, she seemed to work in a small restaurant next to the cafe.
Kim Hyunchul looked at the scene quietly and asked, “It isn’t your store, so why are you cleaning it?”
She replied back, “This is important. It is the same neighbourhood that is my home. It is ugly. I don’t want to wait for someone else to clean it up. Don’t you think?”
Kim Hyunchul lit up a cigarette. There were so many good people in the world. So, he and his ‘Hyung-nim’ were bound to be successful.
Kim Hyunchul spat on the floor and walked away while blowing cigarette smoke.
The emperor, Akantor, looked down at them from the throne.
Luin was always nervous meeting him, but Keynes and Rommel seemed to be fine. Keynes always said it was a game, while Rommel wasn’t the type of person to be shaken by this. Rommel had to learn all types of courtesies when Akantor had still been the king. Now that Akantor was the emperor, Rommel had to be more formal.
He was accustomed to it now, but it still wasn’t easy kneeling down. Luin was a modern man and unfamiliar with the class system. Of course, while playing Elder Lord, he learned about the class system which wasn’t visible in modern times.
“Can I trust you?”
When Akantor had been a king instead of an emperor, he had been a quiet man. He had always smiled, and he had looked more like a nobleman than a king. However, he now looked down with an arrogant face and didn’t hide his feelings. It was the right of the strong.
“If it fails, it is the end. I will prevent you from escaping to the abyss for eternity.”
Luin’s nose twitched nervously at the words. It meant Akantor would use the Concrete method. The fact that NPCs understood the weakness of those cursed by the stars gave Luin a strangely fearful feeling.
It was no different to what he felt when watching movies about robots conquering mankind. However, by walking this tightrope, they earned wealth and honour.
“We will make certain of it.” Keynes said. He excelled in gaining favour with NPCs. “Please remember the role we have played to allow Your Majesty to sit on this precious throne. We will always devote our loyalty to Your Majesty.”
“Of course. I’m well aware. However, this is the empire. We can never fail.”
“How can Your Majesty talk about failure?” Keynes bowed his head. “The trend in the world is heading towards the empire, Your Majesty. A pebble can’t stop a river. Espada will be decimated.”
“That isn’t the failure I’m talking about.” The emperor leaned against his armrest. “You have to kill that orc.”
Keynes spoke with a serious face.
“Yes. That ugly orc needs to be killed and hung at the gates. No, it would be nice to capture him alive and pour maggots and worms over him to gnaw on his body.”
The emperor’s anger had reached its peak. Everything flowed according to his will. No, it followed the blueprints presented to the emperor by Keynes and Rommel. Crockta was the exception.
The emperor wasn’t the only one who wanted to kill him. It was the same for Keynes. Crockta was an unpredictable variable for him. He wanted to get rid of Crockta and eliminate all possibilities of failure.
“Your Majesty. Don’t waste our forces on him. He is an individual. An individual can never beat an army. We should look at the bigger context, and he will eventually be trampled on by the army.”
To Keynes, Crockta was a stumbling block. However, he knew how stupid it was to consume energy to catch a bug.
Luin nodded as he listened to the conversation. Keynes used to say this to Luin.
“He is a strong person, but he will lost the moment he goes against an army. He is alone. He is strong and difficult to catch, but not fatal. He is tricky like a mosquito. It is better for us to ignore him than worry about him. When winter comes, the mosquito will freeze and die.”
Looking back at how much Crockta had interfered with them, Luin came to admire Keynes’ sober judgment. Luin thought about using the full force of the army to kill Crockta. However, Keynes was right. Crockta was a monster who beat Adandator. He would somehow manage to run away.
They just needed to do their jobs. Then one day, Crockta would be found as a corpse on the battlefield.
The emperor said, “I want his head.”
Keynes bowed his head.
“If Your Majesty...”
“But you always speak the right words. If it were someone else, I would set up a trap to kill Crockta.”
It was a gentle tone toward a faithful servant.
Luin laughed inwardly. Keynes would also be smiling. Everything went as Keynes said.
The young emperor was merely a child who wanted to play a game. Sometimes he wanted to be dignified, while other times he wanted to be impulsive. There were also times when he wanted to be praised as a king.
He had flimsy ambitions.
Then at that moment...
“Your Majesty, an imperial guard is waiting to see you.”
The guard shouted from outside the throne room. Then the emperor replied, “Send him in.”
The door opened. A servant entered and knelt down before the emperor.
“Your Majesty, I am an officer on the west side, Gospel.
“Yes. What is going on?”
“I saw this and thought Your Majesty should know...”
He held out a piece of paper. It was a letter.
“This is being sent out randomly all over the empire.”
“What is this...?”
The emperor accepted it. The guard closed his eyes and fell facedown. His choice was right.
The emperor threw an ornament decorating his throne.
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“I want that garbage orc called Crockta on his knees before me! I will give you Adandator and the White Lion Knights! Go right now!” The emperor’s face distorted into a scowl. “Catch Crockta!”
Praise the Orc: Glossary Link.
Current schedule: There will now be 14 chapters a week, meaning two chapters every day.
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