Chapter 556

The results of the arm-wrestling matches were obvious. Mascherano and Hyeonu’s match ended with Hyeonu’s victory. Just like Aike, Mascherano was defeated in one breath. The other side had a more natural outcome where Karelin smashed everyone to reach the finals.

In the confrontation between Hyeonu and Karelin, Hyeonu was defeated. He persisted for more than 10 seconds, but he couldn’t defeat Karelin’s overwhelming power. Still, this alone proved his strength. It was just that they had bodies of different levels like that of David and Goliath. Yet when they competed briefly, it was an equal match. So it was natural for Hyeonu to receive the praise of people.

The fight for third and fourth place was between Mascherano, who was defeated by Hyeonu, and Ryan, who was defeated by Karelin. Third place was won by Mascherano, which left Ryan as fourth place. The siege order started to be set in accordance with the established rankings.

“Player Karelin, you won first in the mini-game. What place will you choose?” the host asked Karelin.

“I am going to pick number one.” Karelin chose a number immediately without any hesitation. In fact, it would be strange if he were to hesitate here. All the professional gamers wanted number one.

“Then the first defense of the siege is taken by Zenith. Next up is Player Gang Hyeonu of Crescent Moon with the second choice. Please select a number.”

On the screen, the name Zenith was placed next to the number 1.

Hmm...’ Hyeonu was briefly troubled. Then he observed the other players on the stage. ‘There are a wide variety of facial expressions.’

The arm wrestling determined the ranking, so this could also be considered the order of defense in the siege. Those at the top of the ranking smiled, while those who failed to get a good result showed regret.

‘However, this isn’t particularly fun.’

It was good to choose a high number, but Hyeonu felt that doing that would make this position in the ranking meaningless. This was tantamount to using brute force to determine the siege order.

‘This isn’t Arena. Numbers aren’t everything.’

Just then, Hyeonu met Reina’s eyes. He smiled mischievously at her. Seeing that, Reina cocked her head.

“I’m going to pick number eight.” Hyeonu picked a number—eight, the number for the last match. Instead of picking the second position, he picked the finishing position.

“Number eight? Is number eight correct, Player Gang Hyeonu?” the host asked Hyeonu again in seeming disbelief. However, Hyeonu’s answer remained unchanged. This wasn’t a mistake but his will.

“Yes, number eight. Crescent Moon will decorate the end of the siege. If number one opens the door, isn’t it right that number two should close the open door?” Hyeonu talked nonsense. In short, he just wanted to do it.

“Do your teammates have the same opinion?” The host couldn’t believe it and even wondered if it was discussed in advance.

“Yes, well... That’s right. Everything is taken care of.” Hyeonu’s words showed that no one had reached an agreement. Even so, his choice wasn’t overturned. There was no way to get back the spilled water.

After Hyeonu made his choice, nothing else unusual happened. The ranking of the representatives was in line with the number they chose. Third place picked the second position, and fourth place picked the third position. The rest of the rankings were set that way.

The schedule for the first day of Arena Week was over with this. In the case of PvP, there was no special match order.

“In PvP, you will have to play seven games no matter how you compete, so it will be decided internally through a program,” the host said. Nevertheless, no one cared about his announcement. It made no difference who they were fighting first or later. This was the definition of the full league format—the result was the same regardless of the order.

“This is the end of the first schedule of Arena Week. I would like to ask for a lot of support for the siege that will take place tomorrow.” The host bid goodbye with these words.

All the players of every team came out and waved to the audience.

The first day of Arena Week ended like this.


***


“Well done. Originally, the protagonist should appear at the end.”

“We are the protagonist of the siege.”

The players of Crescent Moon had no complaints about Hyeonu picking number eight. They weren’t greedy about the ranking. If there was something they wanted, it was to show what they had prepared. This was their only goal.

“Yes, why does the order matter? We just need to do it as we’ve prepared.” Hyeonu smiled brightly at his teammates, who respected his choice.

Then Kale approached them. “The vehicle is already waiting.”

The players welcomed Kale’s appearance with a smile. 

“I enjoyed watching today’s match. In particular, I could see that Yuri’s and Lee Hoon’s strength has greatly improved during this period of time,” Kale remarked..

Yuri and Lee Hoon both won once in the class-change event. They had bad luck and met Aike and Ryan in the second match, so they were eliminated. Nonetheless, it was because Aike and Ryan were too excellent, rather than because Lee Hoon and Yuri were lacking.

Lee Hoon and Yuri had done their part well enough. They had made great progress in the months they had been with Hyeonu.

“Of course, one victory... isn’t much to talk about.”

It just wasn’t very meaningful for Yuri because she would no longer be fighting in close combat once she emerged from Crescent Moon.

“Congratulations on winning today, Mister Gang.” Kale congratulated Hyeonu on winning the event match. He thought it was possible for Hyeonu to win, but he hadn’t expected Hyeonu to have such an overwhelming appearance.

‘Hyeonu really has a talent for surprising people,’ Kale thought. No matter what was imagined, Hyeonu always showed more. This was Hyeonu.

“Thank you. The magic worked out better than I thought. I even won,” Hyeonu replied to Kale modestly. There was no need for Hyeonu to show off. People would know about his achievements even if he didn’t brag.

“By the way, number eight... It is a good choice. Everyone might think number eight is bad, but... There are surprising benefits,” Kale told Hyeonu what he thought. Number eight was a good position. Crescent Moon would be able to watch the other team’s records until the end.

Kale added, “There is an advantage with this position. A certain ranking will have already been determined through the defense of the previous rounds. We’ll be able to divide the competition into the teams that did their best and the teams that didn’t do their best.”

The teams competing in Arena Week were the most skilled and proud players in the professional league. It was impossible for them to not do their best. Nevertheless, this didn’t mean they would go all out and show something beyond their best. This was what Kale was talking about—the slight difference between a team that had the passion and determination to win first place and the team that didn’t.

“Thinking about it, it does seem to be a possibility. I didn’t mean for this to happen, but... it’s good.”

It was a situation Hyeonu had just happened to obtain. He had picked number eight merely on a whim and as an expression of his confidence.

“We won’t be broken anyway. How sad would the other teams be if they were blocked by the second defending team? We have to be considerate,” Hyeonu said.

This was a distinctively different attitude from just a few seconds ago. Hyeonu’s words gave off a lot of confidence, to the extent where it seemed crazy.

“I believe the other teams won’t be able to cross the walls that Crescent Moon guard. Mister Gang and Crescent Moon have the power to stop them.” Kale didn’t think that Hyeonu’s words were conceited. Hyeonu had enough ability to hold the defense. It would be difficult to beat Hyeonu even if all the players from each team were combined. Hyeonu was that strong.

“Thank you for saying so.” Hyeonu nodded at Kale, who believed in him.


***


After returning to the hotel, Hyeonu simply finished his meal, enjoyed dessert time, and went to the room with the capsule. Arena Week was important, but Arena was more important to Hyeonu. Arena Week was going to end for him, but Arena had to continue after that. This difference was crucial.

Upon entering Arena, Heonu appeared in a forest full of lush trees. The day of the appointment with Earl Delrun had yet to arrive, so Hyeonu had to hunt some more. To be exact, he had to kill time until the quest was completed. However, Hyeonu wasn’t given the time to hunt so leisurely.

A whisper arrived from someone and made Hyeonu feel anxious.

-From Gang Junggu: Hyeonu, are you already connected? You should get a bit of rest.

It was from Gang Junggu. He had checked his friends window and sent a whisper after seeing that Hyeonu was online.

-To Gang Junggu: Yes, hyung-nim. I’ve connected. It’s okay. It wasn’t hard today, and I want to play the game.

‘What is wrong with this hyung-nim? He is playing Arena instead of drinking.’ Hyeonu was startled by the sudden whisper, but he still managed to give a calm answer.

-From Gang Junggu: I enjoyed watching the match today. The magician was worth seeing… Gang Junggu danced around what he wanted to say.

-To Gang Junggu: Hyung-nim, do you have something to say...? Hyeonu eventually asked about it when he couldn’t stand it anymore.

He felt like they were just wasting each other’s time.

-From Gang Junggu: Ah, did you sense it? It’s nothing. It’s just that… the emperor is looking for you. He knows we are in the same guild as you. He wanted us to bring you straight away, but we insisted we couldn’t get in touch with you... It didn’t work. If it wasn’t for your NPC master, I would’ve died several times. Really.

Gang Junggu’s words were a shock to Hyeonu, whose expression became distorted.

‘As expected, he can’t help looking for me.’

It seemed like it was time to go back. Hyeonu sighed and answered Gang Junggu, -To Gang Junggu: I will go back now.

Despite saying that, Hyeonu was disappointed. If only it were three days later when Arena Week was over... It was so unfortunate that he could not have just that little bit more time.

-From Gang Junggu: I understand. Come back quickly. Prepare your heart.

The conversation with Gang Junggu ended here. Hyeonu finished the whispers and immediately returned to Etono.

“Return.”

His figure disappeared.


***


When Hyeonu appeared in Etono’s inner office, he raised all of his magic power and used Mysterious Sky Steps. He moved through the castle like clouds drifting in the sky or birds in flight. As he did so, Hyeonu could see black-red smoke in the distance.

He moved for a long time before he finally stopped using Mysterious Sky Steps. In front of Hyeonu, there was a man with short brown hair who was sitting on the ground.

“Master, Master!”

The man’s name was Lebron. He was Hyeonu’s master. He was also the only hope Hyeonu had of protecting himself from the emperor.

“Help me one time, Master.”

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