Yeongchan stopped harassing Hyeonu. It was because the press conference started broadcasting on television. Dressed in a suit, a man with impressively sharp eyes stood in front of the microphone while holding several sheets of white A4 paper.
-I am Kim Junsik, prosecutor of the First Advanced Criminal Investigation Department in the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office. Before making an announcement about the investigation, I will share the data first.
Kim Junsik, the man with sharp eyes, turned his head and gestured to the woman standing behind him. The woman and a few men next to her held sheets of A4-sized paper in their hands and started distributing them to the reporters.
Then Kim Junsik read out his prepared lines word for word: -You might know it already, but I’ll explain again. As described in the distributed materials, an investigation was initiated after receiving reports that match manipulation has been taking place in the Arena Pro League. We have already obtained the testimonies of several key officials and are in the midst of collecting evidence.
At Kim Junsik’s words, the conference room seemed to come alive; it was a scene reminiscent of a market. Kim Junsik raised his hand with a subtle smile and said, -The first thing I can tell you is that the ‘brokers’, aka the forces manipulating the matches, are situated deeper and more widespread in the league than we thought.
Yeongchan turned his head and looked at the eating Hyeonu. “Aren’t you surprised that something like this happened?”
“What is surprising, specifically?” Hyeonu asked Yeongchan, feeling totally unsurprised.
Hyeonu had been a bit startled when he first got the tip but only temporarily. The world was merciless; people were nothing in front of money. It was this world that overflowed with such people.
“Think of it as a feast for the idiots who can’t recognize the goose laying the golden eggs. Or you can think of them as crazy for money,” Hyeonu told Yeongchan who looked at him without saying anything.
-...It has also been confirmed that they used huge sums of money to dazzle young players and intimidated them using physical force and the difference in status.
Hyeonu looked away from Yeongchan and focused on the television again. He hoped people like that would be swept out.
-Finally, I will say something. This is what I want to say to them personally. Please don’t surrender voluntarily. I will make sure that trash like you will never be able to set foot in Arena again.
The prosecution didn’t release any further information. They just launched the investigation and announced that the results were coming. Yet, in the Arena communities, there was already a line of names belonging to the people involved in the match-fixing.
[My analysis of Korean League matches in the past year has finished.]
[-The announcement is clear. I think I’ve watched hundreds of videos. There is a pattern that occurs with the defeats. The pattern is ridiculous. Go to illegal gambling sites and look at the Arena betting stakes. Pay attention to it. For example, there are bets for if a game is lost within seconds or who will be the first to be eliminated in a siege. It is really obvious after knowing about it. I’m afraid some clubs have been discovered. I think you will be curious, so I’ll reveal one game. Watch the Summer League Big Stars VS UK Heights 1st PVP game.]
It was posted by a netizen on the Arena Gallery. There was no exact date, but there was no problem for others to find the video. All teams met once in the Arena Pro League. Therefore, there was only one case where two specific teams met up. People who came to see the video started commenting on the post one by one. Everyone sympathized with the content of the article and admired the writer’s ability.
-From the Stars: I’ve been watching the video, and it really can’t be denied. Seriously. I thought it was strange that UK Heights lost to Big Stars once.
-Foreigner Doctor: I watched the video, and it met some of the conditions of the illegal gambling site. It can’t be denied.
UK Heights was ranked after JT Telecom in the Korean League. The championship was always decided in a match between these two teams. The winning side would win, while the defeated side was the runner-up. It made no sense that such a team would lose one game of PVP to Big Stars, the weakest team.
“It is a bit too much.”
Hyeonu also took a look at a video about the problem. Now that the issue had become so big, there were videos that compared and analyzed games between professional players.
‘Why didn’t they know about this?’
Hyeonu shook his head. His eyes clearly saw the intentions in the players’ movements—their squirming shoulders and eyes that were unable to fix their gaze on one spot. The players pretended otherwise, but their feet which had lost their direction appeared too unnatural.
‘I’m sure there will be results soon.’
It was such a poor level of manipulation that those who participated in it would soon be revealed. People united by money sometimes showed great solidarity, but most of the time, they were like grains of sand, easy to crumble.
‘It isn’t just one or two large guilds that have collapsed because of this.’
“It looks like things will be done well.”
Lee Hoon’s recruitment had passed, and the professional stage would be cleaned. He just needed to appear once it became like clean and pure water.
‘I just need to handle the Buncheonru matter well...’
Now Hyeonu’s homework was in Arena.
Hyeonu still hadn’t left Buncheonru. Two days in Arena time had passed since his last stream. He kept walking around Buncheonru, but the quest didn’t respond. The only thing that happened was that he pulled the slot machine handle 10 times a day.
‘Do I need to make contact with a particular NPC to be updated?’
At this point, it should be assumed that Hyeonu’s conjecture was wrong. It seemed that instead of going around Buncheonru to move onto the next part of the quest, he needed to trigger a specific event.
‘I was thinking too lightly of it.’
He had disregarded the S+ rated quest. The two days he wasted was the price for forgetting that S+ rated quests weren’t easy. Hyeonu thought about it while pulling the handle of the slot machine.
Tick... tick... tick... tick!
[Slot machine results: SAG]
[You haven’t won.]
[Current number of times remaining: 0/10]
The 10 attempts today were all failures, but Hyeonu wasn’t disappointed at all. Rather, Hyeonu stepped away from the slot machine in a relaxed manner.
‘300 gold is nothing because the prize I got was so big.’
The skill he got from streaming on the first day was so good that the almost 30 failures in the next few days could be regarded as nothing.
[Fire will become hotter, and wind will become stronger.
Skill Proficiency: F
The power of attribute attacks will increase by 10%.]
‘It is the same as a unique-rated one for me.’
It was an unbelievable skill for one with a rare rating. Of course, 10% wasn’t a very high number. He needed to raise the proficiency of the skill, but the increase might remain small. However, it was better to have it than to have nothing. Furthermore, 10% for Hyeonu could actually be 30% or 40% to others, so it was worth it.
Hyeonu quickly moved through Buncheonru. Due to his two days of experience, he understood the geography of Buncheonru very clearly. He knew where to find what and what was being sold, as well as even which local guide could be trusted.
‘Where is the quest NPC?’
It wasn’t just his legs that moved quickly; both of his eyes and his neck also moved quickly. He looked around everywhere as he examined the NPCs and stores that were related to the quest. The time of one or two days he’d spent walking around Buncheoru hadn’t been a total waste. Yet, even while searching with wide eyes, he still couldn’t find any suspicious people or stores.
‘Should I give up and go to the imperial palace first? I think it is time to collect the imperial contributions...’
Kim Seokjung and Gang Junggu said they would use their imperial contributions to get a territory, but it was better if they weren’t needed.
‘It is burdensome. It doesn’t matter how close we are and that we have a brotherly relationship...’
This was a territory worth hundreds of millions or even tens of billions of won. Of course, its value might decline in the future. Nevertheless, the value would definitely increase beyond imagination before that.
‘Right now, the method to get imperial contributions is too limited.’
It was simply too hard to get imperial contributions. Among the players, Hyeonu was the closest player to the Yusma imperial family, yet his imperial contributions didn’t even reach 50,000. It was obvious that other players and guilds would have much fewer points than Hyeonu.
‘They can never get a territory if it continues like now.’
If players accumulated imperial contributions at a similar rate to before, they would never be able to get a territory no matter what happened. In fact, they would barely be able to gain a noble title. Nonetheless, the story would be different if more imperial contributions could be obtained through the East Continent. If the exchange quests with the East Continent could result in receiving a lot of imperial contributions, all professional clubs would do anything to cross Cruise Mountain.
‘It means that my value might soon increase.’
At present, only one person could kill the drake on Cruise Mountain. Of course, other named players could come out as raid helpers, but they still came with some risk. Unlike Hyeonu, they couldn’t guarantee a perfect success. After all, they were just helpers, not bus drivers.
At this moment, Hyeonu’s eyes widened. A message window had appeared in front of him and caught his attention.
[Dignity of the Sect Leader is activated.]
[You can limit the movements of those who have learned the Mysterious Sky Demonic Art.]
Hyeonu immediately turned his head and looked around. However, he couldn’t tell who had learned the Mysterious Sky Demonic Art. He might’ve learned the Mysterious Sky Demonic Art, but he couldn’t tell anything was different on the surface.
‘How can I restrict their movements?’
Hyeonu was troubled for a moment. It wasn’t something he had tried before, so he couldn’t figure out how to do it. Despite that, he realized it instinctively.
Everything was through willpower. It was how he manifested magic power and used fighting energy. He believed it was possible this time as well.
‘Stop it, stop it. Stand there and don’t move.’
Hyeonu eagerly prayed that the man who had mastered the Mysterious Sky Demonic Art would stop moving. Just then, some people stopped and stumbled in the crowd. Hyeonu stood at the crossroads of choice. There was more than just one or two people who stopped moving, so he had to decide who to pursue.
‘Follow the youngest person.’
The reason for that was simple and natural: those who were younger were more likely to be disciples of the Mysterious Sky Sect. The people who staggered quickly recovered their balance and disappeared from Hyeonu’s field of view. However, Hyeonu had only one target, and it was the youngest amongst them—a long-haired girl.
The girl walked diligently. It was walking, but it was as fast as running. Nonetheless, she couldn’t escape Hyeonu’s vision. Hyeonu’s movement speed hadn’t fallen, so he was able to follow the girl without difficulty. Additionally, he even used the Mysterious Sky Steps in the middle and cleverly squeezed through the gaps between people to narrow the distance between him and the girl.
‘At this distance, I can find her wherever she goes.’
Then it happened when Hyeonu was less than five meters away...
The girl suddenly disappeared.
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