Chapter 165 - The Monkey King's Palace (9)

“Why are you looking at me with so much admiration?” The Monkey King’s narcissism and chattiness made Yeon-woo wonder if he really was speaking to the Monkey King. ‘He’s worse than Seseung-nim.’ This was the kind of person that Yeon-woo hated speaking with the most, like Kahn had been the first time they’d met.

Fortunately, Yeon-woo figured out that the best response was to ignore what the Monkey King was saying and switch the subject “I want to ask something…”

“Wait.” The Monkey King blocked Yeon-woo’s mouth with his hand. “I need to tell you about the rules before you say anything.”

Yeon-woo shut his mouth.

“I can only answer three questions about the quest. I’d like to tell you everything, but I can’t because of the laws of causality. You’re not in a normal place right now. You have to choose your questions carefully.”

‘Laws of causality?’ Yeon-woo was lost in thought. This would have been easier if he’d planned to meet the Monkey King in the first place, but he’d only stumbled here by accident. He didn’t have many questions to ask, and so after careful consideration, Yeon-woo said, “What is a ‘piece’?”

The dragon god had called him a “piece” when they first met, and he knew that it was related to being the successor, but he wondered if there was more to the term.

The Monkey King grinned. “It seems like our dragon made a mistake. No comment. I can’t say anything because it’s sensitive information.”

Yeon-woo shut his mouth. He’d just blown one of his chances, so he decided to change tack. “Why did you make this place?” It was clear that the Monkey King had a purpose.

“No comment again.”

Yeon-woo frowned. What was he supposed to do if two of the three questions got the same noncommittal answer? However, the Monkey King smiled at him as though he were challenging him and asking what he was going to do about it. The more Yeon-woo looked at him, the more he was reminded of the Martial King. He forced himself to think of a question.

It was clear that the Monkey King couldn’t speak about certain topics because of the laws of causality. At the same time, Yeon-woo had a feeling that the questions had something to do with the third test, since the Monkey King hadn’t mentioned the test yet. With that thought, Yeon-woo realized that he had to ask a question that wouldn’t cross an invisible line. 

His eyes grew thoughtful. “Who are you?”

The Monkey King’s eyes widened at the unexpected question, and he started laughing and slapping his knees. “Hahaha! I wasn’t expecting that. Why didn’t you ask what Bian is or how to learn it quickly? A question like this is…very good.”

The Monkey King suddenly stopped laughing, and the warm breeze stopped. At that moment, Yeon-woo had a sudden sensation that the dragon god’s aura was insignificant compared to that of the Monkey King. Urd’s aura was almost a joke. Yeon-woo felt as though he were standing in the shadow of an immense mountain that stretched up to eternity. He was finally convinced that this world was a part of the Monkey King.

The Monkey King said in a low voice, “Pass.”

[You have successfully passed the 3rd test.]

[You have successfully passed all tests.]

[You have cleared the sudden quest and the hidden quest.]

[You have earned the skill ’72 Bian’ and the title ‘Successor to the Monkey King’.]

[You have made an achievement that is not easily accomplished. Additional karma will be provided.]

[You have acquired 10,000 karma.]

[You have acquired an additional 15,000 karma.]

[Title: Successor to the Monkey King]

[After breaking the seal of the 5th mountain, the Monkey King decided to leave his legacy behind. He’d hated his prison at first, but after 500 years, he’d grown fond of it. And so, he obeyed his teacher’s request to leave his Bian to a successor.With this title, you will have outstanding focus during a fight, and you can manifest the Monkey King’s power. Please request clues about the Ruyi Bang from the Monkey King’s exuviae yourself.]

Yeon-woo’s eyes widened at the message saying that he would be able to manifest the Monkey King’s power. He couldn’t even imagine what it meant. However, since the person who looked like the Monkey King was speaking, Yeon-woo thought he ought to listen first before testing it out.  

“I am Sun Wukong, the Monkey King…’s vestige. I am only the shell he left behind before he disappeared, like an exuviae.” The exuviae of the Monkey King didn’t just mean the Seventy-Two Bian, but also this entity. Yeon-woo couldn’t help feeling a little stunned that an exuviae already held so much power—how strong was the actual Monkey King then?

“This is an imaginary world that I made.”

Yeon-woo nodded at the confirmation of his theory. He finally understood why the servants had built the palace after the Monkey King left. It wasn’t just a shrine to a place where he’d once lived, but also to protect his legacy. “You don’t know where he really is?”

The Monkey King’s vestige said, “How would I know? He’s even more free-spirited than I am. After all, I’m the one who got left behind to test his successor. Honestly, I’m sick of being here, too.” He sounded genuinely annoyed even though he could do anything he wanted in this imaginary world. He clearly longed to leave. “But it’s a relief that a qualified person has finally come after such a long time. It’s been worth the wait.”

Yeon-woo’s eyes gleamed. “A long time?”

“Why is a clever guy like you asking questions like that? People say that you’re sly, right? Well, it doesn’t matter. Here, take this.” The Monkey King’s vestige tossed an object to Yeon-woo. 

It was a piece of gold that was about the size of his hand. Yeon-woo caught it without thinking, but his eyes widened when he saw the familiar metal: divine iron.

[Piece of Ruyi Bang]
[Content: ???]
[Rank: ???]
[Description: One of the pieces of the Ruyi Bang, the Monkey King’s holy artifact. It currently has no function and must be assembled with the other pieces of the Ruyi Bang.] 

Other pieces of the Ruyi Bang?

Ding.

[There is a related quest. Would you like to continue?]

Yeon-woo looked at the piece of the Ruyi Bang and then at the Monkey King. He didn’t say anything and just indicated the piece with his chin. Yeon-woo thought, ‘This piece might just be the beginning.’

[A hidden quest has been created.]

[Hidden Quest / Ruyi Bang’s Owner]
[Description: Although the Monkey King kept his promise to his teacher, he was concerned that a huge number of successors would affect his reputation. As a result, he split the Ruyi Bang into 100 pieces and hid them all over the Tower. Gather the pieces to complete the Ruyi Bang. Only then can you become his successor.]
[Condition of Participation: Attainment of title ‘Successor to the Monkey King’ and ownership of at least one piece of the Ruyi Bang.]
[Time limit: -]
[Rewards: 
1. Title ‘Great Sage’
2. Completed Ruyi Bang
3. …Eyes + ???]

With the title of Great Sage and the Ruyi Bang, the successor could truly be the new Monkey King, and it was clear that other players were also competing to find the other pieces of the Ruyi Bang. 

“The actual Monkey King—my true body—isn’t someone who gives things away easily. He’s a little eccentric, and he’s only happy when he sees others suffering.” The Monkey King’s vestige laughed. “The pieces of the Ruyi Bang are scattered everywhere, and you’ve taken the last piece I have. I don’t know where the rest are. They might even be in the hands of people who have no idea what it is.”

Yeon-woo was quiet at this information.

“It’ll probably create a huge fight since so many people want to be the next Monkey King, or rather, the Great Sage, hehehe.” To become the Great Sage meant taking over a position. It wasn’t an empty title. He wondered, ‘Do Kindred and the Devil Army have some of the pieces?’ And if they did, how many? When did they begin collecting it? He was starting to understand their goal. They wanted to have the Great Sage in their hands. “Is there a way to find them all?”

The vestige waved his hand. “My job is only to give the test and provide some guidance. The rest is up to you, as my true body desires.” The successor had to have martial skills, an analytical mind, and wise judgment. “If you don’t want to do it, you can just give the piece back. I only have to wait until a new successor shows up.”

Yeon-woo’s eyes glittered sharply. “But aren’t you planning on killing me right away if I give up?”

“Ooh. You’re pretty smart, eh?” A corner of the vestige’s mouth rose. A violent expression swirled in his eyes then disappeared. “Naturally, quitters don't deserve to have the Monkey King’s title. So, what’s your decision?”

Yeon-woo looked at the piece of the Ruyi Bang. Although he had all kinds of thoughts in his mind, his answer had never been in doubt. Even if the vestige didn’t force him, he wanted to complete the quest. That was the reason why he’d taken the legacy in the dungeon. And not only that, Yeon-woo didn’t want anything that had to do with the Monkey King with anyone else. He wanted all of them to himself.

He wanted to compete with others and take things from them, relishing the joy that it brought. He’d learned it from the Martial King and then realized it with the Summer Queen. Unless his brother returned, he didn’t want to share it with anyone else, not even Phante or Edora. 

Of course, he knew that it wouldn’t be easy. Some of the people who had become successors before he arrived would have more knowledge by now, and some might even have help from the Large Clans.

What did that matter, though? He could just beat them. From the day Yeon-woo had stepped into the Tower, his path had been blocked by thorns. What would it matter if there was one more? If he got his hands on the power of the Monkey King, he would be able to do anything.

Also, Yeon-woo thought that he had an advantage with the legacy of the Monkey King, Heaven Bracket. The others only had the Seventy-Two Bian. ‘I have the Yin Sword as well.’ He squeezed the Ruyi Bang in his fist before storing it inside Intrenian. “I’ll do it. I don’t have any plans to avoid it.”

Yeon-woo stood up.

“Hm. You’re pretty bold for a newbie, huh?” Although Yeon-woo’s personality was different from that of the Monkey King, the vestige thought that they were made of the same thing. The guy in front of him was a beast.

[You have accepted the hidden quest (Ruyi Bang’s Owner)].

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