Chapter 183

Hyeonu wandered around for hours and felt that this was definitely the East Continent. The monsters that appeared here were completely different from those in the West Continent. If the West Continent was a world of Western-fantasy fiction, then the East Continent was a world of Oriental-fantasy fiction.

The animal-type monsters like wolves and beasts were similar in both the east and west. There were also many symmetrical monsters. If there were undead in the west then there were jiangshi in the east. The jiangshi had the same characteristics as the undead. In addition to having stamina that never ran out, they didn’t feel pain and had strong physical abilities. The higher-grade ones could even use magic. In short, they were the same at the core.

Monsters that died when it was broken—such monsters were also present in the East Continent. These monsters didn’t pose a great threat to Hyeonu. A black pure energy smashed the head of a jiangshi.


[The red jiangshi of Mount Nam has been defeated.]

[Experience has been acquired.]


The jiangshi’s head was smashed and could no longer move. Hyeonu left the jianshi and moved to another one.

‘Easy, it’s easy.’

The red-skinned jiangshi, called the red jiangshi, had a fairly low level, and Hyeonu only needed to hit them once or twice to kill them. The red jiangshi rushed toward Hyeonu, but it was a meaningless act. The red jiangshi couldn’t even see Hyeonu’s afterimage before its entire body exploded.


[The red jiangshi of Mount Nam has been defeated.]

[Experience has been acquired.]


Hyeonu frowned as he looked at the ground that was covered with gold. He had come to the East Continent, but he hadn’t seen any drops except for gold coins.

“Tang-E, how long have we been walking?”

“Isn’t it running, not walking? It has been roughly four hours, Master dude,” Tang-E responded to Hyeonu.

Tang-E was quite stressed from running for a long time. Hyeonu saw Tang-E’s appearance and silently hugged the bear. “Then I’ll carry you until we reach a village. Is that okay?”

“It is an obvious thing, Master dude. Pets like me should be carried. Well done.”

“Yes. That’s it.” There was a deep smile on Hyeonu’s face.

Hyeonu had continued to run in one direction since the beginning. It was an ignorant method, but it was the most efficient one. There was no better way to escape a mountain in Arena than to go down the slope.


***


“Tang-E, wake up. It is a castle.”

Finally, Hyeonu saw huge walls and a gate in his field of view.

“What? A castle?” Tang-E, who was dozing in Hyeonu’s arms, peered ahead upon hearing the word ‘castle’. “Then we don’t have to move anymore? I will rest a little bit.”

Tang-E didn’t necessarily want a castle to appear, but he was glad that he wouldn’t be wandering around the forest any longer. Upon reaching the gate, Hyeonu said to a soldier guarding the gate, “Hello?”

The soldier turned his head at Hyeonu’s call and stared at Hyeonu’s face. Then he lowered his head and looked at Tang-E. The soldier repeated this action several times before opening his mouth to say, “What’s going on? You might want to take off the mask if you’re not a criminal.”

At the soldier’s words, Hyeonu took off the mask and put it in his inventory. “Where is this place? I got lost on Mount Nam, wandered aimlessly, and found this place.”

Hyeonu used the name ‘Mount Nam’ that he learned from killing the red jiangshi. The soldier stared at Hyeonu like he was pathetic and strange. “You must’ve started here in Haju if you went to Mount Nam. Even if you went the wrong way, you would’ve had to go the wrong way for a long time.”

‘Haju?’ Hyeonu couldn’t understand the soldier’s words. This was natural as Hyeonu only knew the names of three places in the East Continent. There was the Mysterious Sky Sect of Mujang Seong, which had been recorded in the journal, and Mount Cheon, which was another name for the Balder Mountains. Finally, he discovered Mount Nam through the red jiangshi. As such, it was natural for Hyeonu to not know the name ‘Haju’.

“Does Haju belong to Mujang Seong?” Hyeonu inevitably questioned the soldier again.

The soldier looked at Hyeonu sympathetically like he was a fool who was beyond pathetic. “Did you live alone in the mountains? You’re so ignorant... Haju naturally isn’t one of the cities of Mujang Seong. Do you want Haju to be in Mujang Seong?”

“Thank you for telling me. Then I’ll be going...” Hyeonu ignored the soldier’s eyes and walked through the castle gates with Tang-E.

Hyeonu stood inside the castle and shook his head as he stared at the people passing by in a daze.

‘First of all, I need to know the background of Haju.’

Hyeonu felt the need for information. He didn’t know anything, so he didn’t know what to do. It seemed right that his mind was blank for a moment. Mujang Seong seemed to be inspired by a place in reality [1], so it would be helpful to know about this Haju.

‘Personally, I wish this was Henan.’

This was a personal desire. Hyeonu liked the Shaolin Temple the best among all the martial arts sects. So, it was a desire that reflected his taste. Hyeonu bought clothes at a nearby general store, went into an inn, and sat down. The inn’s waiter soon came to Hyeonu to receive an order.

“How can I help you?” The waiter asked with a friendly smile.

Hyeonu showed the same type of smile. This was a very calculating act. It was the basics of virtual reality that the quality of a conversation was improved when the first impression was better.

“Can I ask a question before I order?” Hyeonu said.

Unable to refuse the polite Hyeonu, the waiter had to nod. His dignity was telling him that this wasn’t an ordinary person. “Yes, you can ask comfortably. What are you curious about?”

“I would like a rough explanation of Mujang Seong. I have been living on the mountain and don’t know anything.”

Ah! I don’t know it very well, but since you are curious, I will tell you.” The waiter scanned the guests in the inn before starting to explain quickly. “As you know, Mujang Seong is ruled by the noble Jiang Yu, who was given the territory by the imperial family. The other cities within the territory of Mujang Seong are ruled by the old clans and forces who were designated by Jiang Yu or originally ruled here.”

There were many questions and answers that followed. Hyeonu learned about the worldview of the East Continent thanks to the explanation of the inn’s waiter.

‘It is very novel. Is it aimed at Asia?’

Hyeonu compared it to the West Continent. There was an empire and nobles with different titles.

The role of the lower grade nobles was replaced by powerful clans and forces, namely the gozoku [2] and the martial arts families. 

‘It is simple when I think about it like this.’

All his prejudices against the East Continent seemed to have been discarded. Some forces and groups might be similar, but it was easier to understand when the details were laid out like this. Hyeonu achieved the best result with a few simple conversations.

However, this wasn’t enough. It was because the really important information was missing. He asked, “Then do you know about the Mysterious Sky Sect? I heard it is somewhere in Mujang Seong...” Hyeonu asked casually about the Mysterious Sky Sect like it suddenly came to his mind.

The waiter paused like he was thinking. “Um... Mysterious Sky Sect... I’ve never heard of such a martial arts sect. Are you talking about the Mysterious Sky Demonic Sect?” Hyeonu became uneasy after hearing the waiter’s words.

‘Demonic sect’—it didn’t seem to mean anything good.

He had read martial arts novels in the military for two years, and there had never been anything good about a place called the demonic sect.

“Is the Mysterious Sky Demonic Sect made up of a handful of disciples, with each individual being a master of strong martial arts?”

The waiter was surprised by Hyeonu’s words. “You seem to know it very well? I don’t know much about the Mysterious Sky Demonic Sect since I’m not from Mujang Seong.”

“Then do you know where the Mysterious Sky Demonic Sect is located?” Hyeonu tried to get all the information from the waiter.

However, the waiter didn’t give it up that easily. “Before that, please order... It is very burdensome because the boss keeps looking at me.”

At the waiter’s words, Hyeonu shifted his gaze. The man who was presumed to be the owner of the inn was staring at Hyeonu and the waiter. “Please give me three types of meat dishes, regardless of the price.”

“I understand. The location of the Mysterious Sky Demonic Sect is located in Jeonggyeong, a city close to Haju.” The waiter showed a happy expression after hearing Hyeonu’s order and gave him the location of the Mysterious Sky Demonic Sect.

‘Jeonggyeong...’

The destination had finally been determined. Hyeonu felt like he was a bit more open-minded now. This was the first successful result he’d had after being forcibly moved to the East Continent by Johannes. Plates of food started to be placed in front of Hyeonu.

The first dish was stir-fried pork. It gave off a savory aroma and gleamed with oil. The second dish was a roast chicken with seasoning, and its strong scent made Hyeonu’s mouth water. The last dish was a noodle dish with a lot of meat. It was similar to dandan noodles in reality.

The three dishes had one thing in common. All of them had a red color.

‘I can’t eat spicy food.’

Hyeonu’s face distorted when he saw it. Hyeonu couldn’t eat spicy food at all. His limit was kimchi stew. He couldn’t eat anything spicy, so it was natural to frown when he saw these dishes.

‘Still, it is a game, so there will be no aftermath.’

Hyeonu raised his chopsticks, relieved that the result of eating spicy food wouldn’t come the next day.


***


“Did you hear?” Kim Jinyeong, the head of the operations team of Quency, said carefully. Kim Jinyeong’s face was in a listless state. He had been working overtime continuously, and his dark circles were advancing toward his chin.

“Is it Alley Leader?” It was the same for Park Hyeonjun, the man who was sitting on the other side of Kim Jinyeong and drinking coffee. No, he looked even worse. Park Hyeonjun was already like a skeleton.

“He has already entered the East Continent. It is unbelievable. It’s terrible when I think about all the bugs.”

“Isn’t the development over already? I’ve also checked it several times. I don’t think there will be any big problems. Just... I’m a bit worried because the NPC adjustment isn’t complete yet. I just need to sync the information about players.”

“I’m glad. However, those at the top of the company believe that this is a good thing. They want to open up the East Continent and increase our foothold in Asia.”

“Isn’t that why our side has been rushing the sixth scenario? There are also developments related to the East Continent. Those at the top don’t know the troubles we’ve been going through.”

The two people blamed the Quency executives who didn’t know anything about the work involved. The decision caused them to be working overtime for several months. Park Hyeonjun’s and Kim Jinyeong’s night shifts weren’t just due to this decision. The source was the speed at which Alley Leader consumed content.

“Now I feel like I’m in a rush. I just hope that if Alley Leader thinks about it, he won’t reveal the East Continent on his stream,” Park Hyeonjun said.

Kim Jinyeong agreed with Park Hyeonjun’s words. “I hope so. I hope he keeps it a secret.”


[1] There is a castle in South Korea called Mujang Eupseong

[2] Gozuku: used to refer to powerful and wealthy families. In historical context, it usually refers to local samurai clans with significant local landholdings. Some were almost locally independent and held strong ties to important commoners such as wealthy merchants. Unlike the vassal samurai of the greater lords, gozōku might or might not have held court rank or served directly under a liege. They tended to be financially secure and, if under a liege, less dependent upon him for income

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