“Sigh... Sigh...” Hyeonu breathed deeply as he collected his thoughts in front of the building.
Then he carefully entered it.
‘It is well made.’
This building had been made according to the emperor’s wishes, and it felt like the palace of the capital had been moved from the middle world. Hyeonu walked through the passage at a slow pace. He was in Etono, but he felt like he was in the capital.
At the end of the passage, he arrived at a huge space and encountered a strange sight.
‘What is this...?’
The emperor was floating in the air. At the emperor’s side, he repeatedly gathered and scattered magic power of various colors. During this period, the magic power of various colors collided and even exploded. Each time, powerful waves of magic power shook the whole building.
‘This is what I felt...’
At this point, Hyeonu was curious about something—why was the emperor doing this? While wondering about that, Hyeonu waited quietly until the emperor stopped. A long time passed before the emperor’s body finally sat down on the throne.
“It is nice to see you come running so speedily.” The emperor smiled at Hyeonu.
‘These words are nonsense.’ Hyeonu smiled bitterly at the emperor as the latter’s words didn’t feel like a joke to him.
“I thought something happened to Your Majesty, so I ran over quickly,” Hyeonu answered casually.
“They are words you don’t truly mean. The reason why I called you... I called because I have a request,” the emperor said. He read Hyeonu’s mind accurately and knew that Hyeonu’s words weren’t heartfelt.
“A request... I certainly won’t refuse, Your Majesty. Give me your order.”
“Yes, I will ask you comfortably. I am thinking of starting the full-fledged war in the near future. All the preparations are over.”
“What role shall I play, Your Majesty?” Hyeonu asked again with an expectant expression. It was finally starting.
‘Fortunately, I held out until Arena Week was over.’
Hyeonu had expected it somewhat, so his heart was ready now. He was satisfied that the war hadn’t taken place during Arena Week.
“I realized some things when I was fighting with the demon kings previously. We need more battles against the demon kings. In order to bring them to the battlefield, we need to create a sense of crisis.”
Hyeonu took in the emperor’s words without saying anything. He just listened.
“Take this,” the emperor said briefly. He pulled something out and threw it at Hyeonu. A small glass bead flew into Hyeonu’s arms, and he caught it lightly. “It is an artifact that automatically remembers the terrain around you. Imprint as many places as you can in here.”
The glass bead was an artifact—a type of map with the ability to automatically store a record of the surrounding terrain.
[A quest has been created.]
[Demon World Map Creation]
[The emperor wants to cause a storm in the demon world. He needs a map of the demon world to make his wish come true. Map the demon world on behalf of the emperor.
Conditions: Recorded cities of the demon world 0/10, pass the glass bead to the emperor 0/1.
Rewards: Experience, imperial contribution.]
‘Easy, it’s easy.’
Hyeonu bowed his head and smiled with confidence. The emperor’s quest was too easy for Hyeonu. Hyeonu already had a map of the demon world.
‘This is a big help.’
He’d received it from John Blake, who had gotten it from Baler. The map had been created a long time ago, but the locations of the cities were the same. The only thing that had changed was the information about the owners of the cities.
‘I have to focus on the quest until I return to South Korea.’
This didn’t mean Hyeonu would clear the quest quickly. He didn’t have the ability to do that.
‘It is a very long way between cities.’
After all, it would take at least a month to go around the cities closest to Etono.
‘During that time, will the emperor still stay in Etono?’
A question appeared in Hyeonu’s mind. The emperor seemed like he would jump out even now. Would he be able to endure it for a month? It was hard for Hyeonu to figure out.
“Will there be no war until I come back?” Hyeonu asked.
The emperor stared at Hyeonu. Then he gave a strange smile and asked Hyeonu, “What do you think?”
Hyeonu shut his mouth for a long time before answering cautiously, “I think the war will begin regardless of my return.”
“You seem to know it well? However, it won’t be right now. The number of adventurers operating in Etono is smaller than expected. It will start when they come back. Don’t you think so, Marquis?”
The emperor knew that a fairly large number of adventurers were away. Thus, the demons and demonic creatures wandering around Etono were more than usual.
‘Then I will confirm one last thing before I go.’
Hyeonu’s curiosity wasn’t satiated yet. In some way, this was the most important thing.
“There is one last thing I want to ask you, Your Majesty.”
“Marquis, what are you curious about?”
“Will Your Majesty go on the battlefield?”
Hyeonu’s last question was whether the emperor would participate in the war.
‘It will be very comfortable if the emperor comes out...’
The emperor clearly had great combat power, but most players wouldn’t want him to participate. It was because the rewards they would receive would be reduced if the emperor fought.
“I don’t know why you are asking something obvious.”
“If it is obvious...”
“If I don’t go on the battlefield, there would be no reason for him to come to the demon world personally. However, I won’t go out in the beginning. Marquis, I will join the battlefield once you return. That is when the full-fledged demon world invasion war will begin.”
Hyeonu understood the emperor’s choice. The moment the emperor joined the war, the war would definitely lean to one side. Moreover, the emperor’s involvement meant Lebron’s participation in the war. If these two solid forces were involved and Hyeonu joined in as well, they would clearly show overwhelming power over the main players.
‘This means we will push the cities away in an instant and bring the demon kings to the battlefield in no time.’
“Then I’ll come back as soon as possible. I don’t want Your Majesty to wait in a place like this for long.” Hyeonu placed the glass bead in his inventory and prepared to exit the building.
“Marquis, you said this, so I will wait,” the emperor said.
After hearing that, Hyeonu quickly left the building.
“What city will he find? I’m looking forward to it. I wish I can go there...” the emperor murmured something meaningless as he saw Hyeonu disappear.
Upon leaving the emperor’s building, Hyeonu crossed the wall of Etono straight away. Then he started running at a crazy pace with a scroll in one hand.
‘It is very vague.’
Hyeonu checked Baler’s map as he ran.
‘I have to pick 10 cities close to Etono...’
It was ambiguous. The cities weren’t regularly located around Etono, and the positions were all different. He had to choose a city well in order to get around 10 cities in the shortest amount of time. In other words, out of the 72 cities in the demon world, he had to formulate a route to go around 10 cities aside from Etono.
‘First of all, Earl Kalea’s city and Viscount Garcia’s Penn are certain.’
Both cities would unconditionally be part of the ten cities. They were the closest to Etono and were cities that Baler allowed to be occupied.
‘I will add Quere as well. It can't be helped.’
The city that had once been ruled by John Blake and was now empty was one of Hyeonu’s choices. The reason for that was obvious—it was close.
‘It is a matter of setting the other seven.’
The problem was the rest of the cities, which were all similar. The gap was quite ambiguous, and it was hard to call any of the cities near or far from Etono.
‘I need to draw a circle around Etono as much as possible.’
This way, the defensive range would be reduced to the minimum. If Hyeonu chose and occupied the cities that had the shortest distance to Etono to make it comfortable for himself, he would have to defend all the cities separately in the worst-case scenario.
‘It is a beggar-like thing.’
For Garcia’s city Penn, Hyeonu had the return stone. However, the return stone was of no use. The location of Penn was entered in the glass bead, but that was it. He couldn’t see what type of terrain there was or how to get to Penn.
‘Then will that map mean anything?’
It was no different from drawing a dot on the paper.
“Let’s run, run.”
Hyeonu sighed and picked up the pace. His figure quickly disappeared.
A frivolous vibration echoed in a study that was filled with antique furniture. The vibrations made their existence known more strongly through the wood. The middle-aged man looking at the screen raised the smartphone and placed it to his ear. “Hello.”
Unlike the calm voice of a middle-aged man, a very urgent voice flowed through the smartphone: -Director Jung, there’s a serious problem!
The loud sound that seemed to break the speaker made the middle-aged man frown.
“What happened, Deputy Chief Park? You rushed to call me so late at night...” the middle-aged man answered leisurely despite the other person’s urgency. He did not show any irritation in his voice.
-Now isn’t the time to be so relaxed. An arrest warrant has been issued for your apprehension in the future.
This time, even the middle-aged man couldn’t answer leisurely. An arrest warrant—anyone who knew the meaning of these words could never let them pass by lightly.
“What does that mean? An arrest warrant? Who issued it?”
-Kim Junsik of the anti-corruption department. He is very close to Kim Younggyun, who has become prosecutor general this time. He issued the warrant.
The man on the phone seemed to know Kim Junsik and Kim Younggyun well. Based on the fact that he didn’t use honorifics for them, it seemed he was in a higher position than the two people or that he was in an opposite faction.
‘Anti-corruption?’ The middle-aged man took off his glasses roughly.
The anti-corruption department was a department that didn’t have much to do with the general public. They didn’t investigate directly. Instead, they were in charge of directing and supervising the special investigations.
‘Why issue a warrant for me?’ The middle-aged man couldn’t understand the current situation. Thus, he questioned the other person again, “What is the reason?”
-Business embezzlement and breach of trust. I think you were bitten. You took funds from those old people.
“Isn’t that already over? The association members and players who participated in the competition were tied together, right?”
-I don’t know the reason. The only thing certain is that the old people of Yeouido won’t go down for this. They are superior to anyone else.
“So what should I do?”
-When you are asked to appear, don’t rebel, and just go there. I’ll find out what is going on.
“I understand. I will only believe in Deputy Chief Park.”
The middle-aged man, Jung Cheolho, ended the call. Then he sighed deeply. Nevertheless, it was only for a moment. He quickly packed his clothes and prepared to leave the house.Previous Chapter Next Chapter