Chapter 122 - Mission (2)

“The Saber God has a child?” Bahal fell silent at the unexpected information, and his eyes narrowed in suspicion. No one had ever mentioned that the Saber God had a family. The Saber God lived and breathed the sword. He lugged his nine swords in that iron box, asking famous players to duel. He was only focused on becoming stronger, and he’d never been linked to a single woman in his life. And yet, he had a child?

“Did you know that the Saber God has been struggling these days because of the depletion of his magic power?”

Only a few players in high positions knew that the Saber God couldn’t last long in a fight. He was now only using seven swords instead of nine, and his clean techniques had grown bloody. Some clans guessed that his body had been ruined by some kind of magical explosion.

“Is that related to his child?”

“Yes.” Yeon-woo nodded and continued, “The Saber God’s child has some difficulties.”

“Difficulties?”

“Yes. They say his body is weak because he was born prematurely.”

“Hm. But the Saber God could’ve gotten some elixir or ambrosia...”

“His son’s body cannot store magic power.”

“Tsk. How unfortunate.” In a normal environment, that wouldn’t have been a problem, but in the Tower, it was a serious disability. It wasn’t something that could be treated even with the latest medicine.

“And his health isn’t that good. He’s almost died a few times. Also, since the Saber God has a lot of enemies—”

“He had to hide him and heal him at the same time. Haha!” Bahal slapped his knees in laughter. If rumors of the Saber God’s sick son spread, players would gather like wolves to hunt his son. The Saber God had chosen to hide him on the sixteenth floor because the temple of the Platform Three Goddesses was located there.

The three goddesses couldn’t walk, but they could read players’ fates. Their temple, Apostles, and priests were famous for their healing power, and it was also a holy territory where fighting was forbidden. It really was the best place for the Saber God to leave his son.

“So, he’s continuing to pull out magic power to heal his son’s illness. Is that what you’re implying?”

“That’s what I know.”

Bahal nodded. If the Saber God needed more magic power than usual, he couldn’t use his fighting methods.

‘And that must be the reason why the Saber God hunted down the Legendary Beasts. If the Cheonghwado let him keep the Neidan and the hearts, there was no way he could refuse.’ Yeon-woo’s eyes darkened. ‘I need to get back the Phoenix’s Neidan and heart that he swallowed.’

Yeon-woo was planning on giving them to Chirpy and taking the other Legendary Beast’s Neidan and hearts for himself. Although the Saber God had probably already digested them, there were ways of recovering them.

Yeon-woo clenched his fists. The information he was sharing was actually from the diary. When his brother had investigated the Cheonghwado’s weaknesses, he’d discovered this, but he hadn’t been able to share any of the information because Arthia had been divided at the time. Now that things had reached this point, Yeon-woo was planning to return the pain Chirpy had felt at watching his mother die at the hands of the Saber God.

“Hm. That definitely piques my interest. But who’s the source?”

“I came across it when I was with the One-horned tribe.” Yeon-woo blurted out the first thing that came to mind.

“It might be a trap.”

“Or not.”

“No. It’s more likely that it is. Whether you meant to or not—”

“I know. I might be a Trojan horse.”

Bahal smiled bitterly. “I feel a bit sorry hearing you say that, but you need to understand our position.”

Yeon-woo had built up some credibility with the map he'd brought, but many still harbored suspicions about him, and this could be part of some elaborate plan to trap players on the sixteenth floor.

“I’ll go myself.”

“You’re volunteering?”

“Yes. I’ll go with Team 2. Even if it’s a trap, Red Dragon won’t be affected.”

Bahal nodded. Yeon-woo was an outsider, and the mercenaries could be replaced any time. It was a card they could throw away. Bahal scratched an itchy spot and couldn’t help laughing as he looked at Yeon-woo. “If that’s true, you’ll be able to remove all suspicion and get promoted quickly.”

“I won’t say I don’t want that to happen. However, I guarantee that you will benefit from it as well as the person who planned this.”

Bahal nodded in satisfaction. Yeon-woo was going to give him all the credit, which meant that he’d be under Bahal’s wing from now on. “When I first met you, you acted like someone who wouldn’t obey anyone’s orders.”

“Since then, I’ve found out that the world is a cold place.”

“You’ve learned well. It’s best to stay warm in a cold place. From now on, you only have spring days to look forward to.”

“I’ll remember what you said.” Yeon-woo bowed, thinking, ‘Warm spring days.’ He twisted his lips. ‘I wonder if those days will ever come for you.’

Bahal didn’t see his smirk behind the mask.

***

The orders arrived for Team 2 soon.

“A mission? Already?”

“I heard he met with Bahal. Isn’t that amazing? A team leader speaking with the Supreme Commander.”

“That means he’s highly respected, but it’s also dangerous. I hope they compensate us well for dangerous missions.”

The mercenaries of Team 2 headed over to the gym, but they grew quiet when they caught sight of Phante standing with his arms crossed, welcoming them as cheerily as the grim reaper. Gathered together, the mercenaries now looked like a well-organized military unit, which was rather unusual for people like them.

“We’ve received a mission.” Yeon-woo began to explain that they were heading out to attack one of Red Dragon’s subordinates. They couldn’t afford to let the information about the Saber God’s son be made public just yet. The mercenaries were bewildered at the sudden mission, but no one asked any questions. The leader was responsible for that; they only needed to follow orders.

However, before they left for the twelfth floor, Yeon-woo said, “I have one more thing to say.”

Everyone looked at Yeon-woo questioningly.

“I haven’t completed the challenges from the twelfth to the sixteenth floor yet.”

They were all stunned at the information.

“That means you’ll have to help me finish the challenges up to the fifteenth floor quickly.”

Dazed expressions appeared on the mercenaries’ faces.

‘What? S-so, the rumors are true?’

‘Not the thirtieth or the fortieth floor?’

‘This doesn’t make sense!’

Some people had been saying that Yeon-woo was a player of the eleventh floor, but everyone treated it as a foolish rumor since no player from a lower floor could beat a semi-ranker. They were stunned to discover the truth, but Yeon-woo disregarded their expressions and opened a portal by ripping a ticket.

[Will you ascend to the 12th floor?]

“I’ll be back, so just wait a little bit.” He said a short goodbye to Phante and Edora. They were upset because they hadn’t finished the challenge of the eleventh floor, but they nodded like it couldn’t be helped.

Yeon-woo and Team 2 were transported to the twelfth floor through a blue portal below their feet.

***

[This is the 12th floor, the gate of the Coffin for Wanderers.]

A bright light revealed a large, dried plains with withered trees under a flat, endless horizon with no clouds. The ground was cracked like a turtle’s shell, and small insects and centipedes crawled around the fissures.

[The challenge of the 12th floor is beginning.]

[Description: Challenger who wishes to climb the Tower, you have gone through many difficult tasks as you’ve climbed up the floors. You may have experienced hesitation and sacrifice, perhaps followed by joy and hope.
The water in this desert has dried up and not even a single blade of grass can grow. It has become a land of death. Cross it relying only on your powers. If you have the strength and motivation to cross, you will keep your steadiness in any trials you come across in the future.]

“Sigh. I never thought I would come back here.”

“I never wanted to see this place again.”

“I’m going crazy.”

The mercenaries all scowled at the desert. The eleventh floor was known as the most comfortable place to live, and those who had grown used to that comfort suffered greatly upon arriving at the twelfth floor.

‘It’s too different from the eleventh floor.’ The twelfth floor was a hellish place compared to the eleventh floor. There was no water or food, and it was a luxury to even find dried bark or insects to eat. In many ways, it was like Section F of the Tutorial, although unlike Section F, you couldn’t quit if you wanted to. However, if you knew the secret of the Thorn Mole, it was bearable, and you had to walk north through the desert using the hot sun that always stayed in the sky.

The large desert grew worse the deeper you went. Wind lashed you with sand, the heat was unbearable, and occasionally, you would come across active volcanoes with bubbling lava. The mission wasn’t complicated, but it was definitely difficult. The players who completed the trial were overjoyed to leave and vowed never to come back.

Thanks to Yeon-woo, the mercenaries were on the verge of tears. However, Yeon-woo didn’t waver even in the face of the intense heat. After he’d earned the title of Successor of the Legendary Beasts, his improved immunity and resistance meant that he wouldn’t even bat an eye at the dreariest of environments.

『It’s so warm here!』 Chirpy fluttered his wings happily as he perched on Yeon-woo’s shoulder.

However, the mercenaries were feeling wronged because they could just meet up with Yeon-woo on the sixteenth floor after he finished passing the other floors.

‘Why?’

However, Yeon-woo had his reasons for making them accompany him.

After the twelfth floor, the environments grow worse, and the trials mostly have to do with overcoming them. This may be obvious, but there are also rare hidden pieces on the twelfth floor that can’t be found anywhere else.

One of them was the Jewel of Fire, which required a huge amount of time to find. However, he had a lot of mercenaries at his disposal, so he might as well take everything he could. ‘With the help of Red Dragon.’

Yeon-woo grinned at the mercenaries, who stared back at him stupidly. They trembled, although they didn’t know why.

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