“How is the captain?” Seeing the people at the door, Jinrang paused. Ted and Elaine were commanders who led Triton and protected Benteke along with Jinrang. They were Antaes’ and Charybdis’ Apostles, and they were twins, just as Antaes and Charybdis were siblings. “He’s still resting. I think he’s having a hard time because his severed arm isn’t regenerating.”
“Are you taking care of him properly? Ted, who was leaning against the wall, narrowed his eyes. He spoke in a curt tone.
Jinrang’s face hardened. “What do you mean by that?”
“What else would I be talking about? I’m saying something like this wouldn’t have happened if you were doing your job.” Ted snickered, and Elaine quietly nodded in agreement.
‘They’re doing it again.’ Jinrang felt that the two had been trying to annoy him for some time now. He knew that they were pretending to listen to him while secretly envying his position as Benteke’s righthand man. It was pathetic to Jinrang.
The news of Benteke’s injuries were spreading around Triton, and everyone knew that he needed a lot of time to recover because he’d used up all of his holy power. However, Ted was trying to take advantage of this by blaming him for something ridiculous.
Jinrang didn’t want to speak with them any further and openly glared at them. “Think whatever you want. The Hoarder is going to be here soon. He recovered much faster than we expected. We have to stop him.”
Ted snorted, uncrossing his arms. “What are you so worried about? We can deal with him. In fact, shouldn’t we be grateful that he’s coming here of his own accord? There’s no need for us to look for him.” Ted thought Yeon-woo was overconfident. He had only forty-nine days to clear everything up to the third floor, and there wasn’t much time left.
He’d heard that Yeon-woo had just entered the thirtieth floor, and it was much more difficult than any of the floors that had preceded it. It was hard to complete some of the trials even if you used up all forty-nine days. He thought that Yeon-woo was forcing an exhausted body forward and thought he was foolish to do so.
However, his nonchalance in front of Jinrang was only an act. He was wary of the Hoarder. Those who were injured and pushed against a wall were the most dangerous, and he saw Yeon-woo like that. Ted planned to catch Yeon-woo using the different routes available on the thirtieth floor. It was perfect.
It didn’t matter to him that Yeon-woo had already recuperated. He would just break him down all over again. Ted believed that he was as powerful as Benteke despite being Benteke’s subordinate. After all, that position was only because of the gods they served.
Jinrang clucked his tongue. His eyes narrowed at Ted’s arrogance, but he knew that Ted wouldn’t listen to his warnings anyway, so he didn’t say anything. In fact, he wanted to see how much Yeon-woo had healed and what he had done with Benteke’s right arm. ‘I can use Ted to test him out and make my preparations.’
Satisfied that Ted would be his bait, Jinrang told Ted to do whatever he wanted and walked away. Ted and Elaine looked at him walk away with frowns.
“He’s so high and mighty. So annoying.”
“Why? Isn’t that part of his charm?”
“Sister!” Ted looked at Elaine with an annoyed expression, but Elaine covered her ears with her hands and grinned.
“I’m not deaf, so don’t scream at me. Also, Jinrang isn’t wrong. Since you have your own thoughts too, we can just find out which one of you is right.”
Ted clenched his fists, knowing that Elaine was trying to reason with him. He smiled. “Fine. I’ll take the Hoarder’s head first, and we can talk after that.” He melted away into the breeze.
Elaine quietly murmured to herself, thinking that both Jinrang and Ted had led Triton well so far, considering how different they were. “The Hoarder, hm. It’ll get pretty noisy soon.” She was excited at the possibility that Yeon-woo might be climbing the floors to search for Triton.
* * *
[Trial: Congratulations on surviving the world of souls with your strong will and courage. You will now reenter the world, but the task ahead of you is difficult. Your body has grown accustomed to the world of souls as you have breathed its air, eaten its food, and drunk its water.
You must cleanse your body of the poison of the world of souls. Only then will you be given permission to leave this floor.]
[Time remaining: 334:01:29]
Every tenth floor of the Tower was a test that measured how much you had learned from the previous nine floors. Depending on the player, it could be an easy process or a difficult one. The thirtieth floor had a simple mission but it was tricky because players had to find an antidote and drink it within a set time. ‘The problem is that you have to know accurately what poison you’re suffering from.’
There were dozens of antidotes—maybe even more. Players had to determine what type of poison had entered their bodies and they had to create an antidote for it. ‘Even if I find a way to create it, it might not be easy to gather the ingredients.’
The thirtieth floor was really vast, but it wasn’t hard finding the antidotes for each of my team members, thanks to Bayluk.
The previous stages hadn’t been small either, but they were nothing compared to the Site of Souls. It had different environments at different locations, which affected the quality and effects of the ingredients there.
It was easy for players to feel frustrated since they were under a deadline. Whenever they ran into monsters, they would burst from annoyance. Only merchants lived the high life on the thirtieth floor. They gathered the ingredients and sold them at high prices. Although it was a waste of karma, players in a rush had no choice. ‘But there are plenty of fakes, too.’
You had to be careful when making purchases. Many of these merchants approached Yeon-woo as well, asking him if he needed anything and offering to give him a checkup for free. However, Yeon-woo chased them all away before sending his Guai out to help gather ingredients for him. There was no need for him to run around himself.
Boo also finally finished his examination of the flasks he’d found in Bayluk’s vault. “So four of these are elixirs and the other six are poison?”
「Yes…but you have to…take the four…according to…this order…red…blue…yellow…black. If you don’t…]
“My holy power will explode?”
「Your…holy power…will destroy…your body.」 Boo nodded, his bones making a clacking sound.
Yeon-woo looked at the flasks. The elixirs could turn a player into a Divine Human by amplifying holy power. He wasn’t surprised that the rest were poison or that there was a specific way of drinking the elixirs. “Then what about these?”
「These are…」 Boo began to explain what the poisons were, and Yeon-woo’s eyes glowed.
‘They’re Bayluk’s Eight Poisons. Or another version of them.’ Bayluk could be considered a pioneer in poisons. One drop of the Eight Poisons could melt a sea king monster. Yeon-woo knew that each of the Eight Poisons was as dangerous as the Devil Poison. He thought, ‘If I use these properly, I might be able to grow thanks to Bayluk.’
“Have you finished analyzing them?”
「I have…finished…analyzing…the poisons.」
“What will you do after?”
「I’m planning…to throw…them away.」
“I see.” Yeon-woo grinned.
Boo didn’t know why he was smiling and cocked his head. Yeon-woo always did something unpredictable whenever he laughed like that, but he didn’t ask any questions.
“Here they come.” The Guai that had scattered throughout the stage returned. Boo scanned the ingredients in their mouths and was surprised.
「Are you…planning on…poisoning yourself…even further?」
Unlike the rest of us, who were desperate for antidotes, Bayluk said that he would attempt to heal himself through another way. We just watched him, not understanding what he meant. When we finally realized that he was up to, we learned that he was a total psycho. Why are none of the people around me normal?
Bayluk thought it was a waste to flush the poison out of his body. The poison of souls was special and couldn’t be found anywhere else, and Bayluk thought it was a better idea to incorporate the poison into his body. If his body changed and grew accustomed to the poison, he would be able to use it whenever he needed to.
The signature skill that made Anti-Venom infamous was born. Yeon-woo was also planning on gaining Poison Blood, just as Bayluk did on the thirtieth floor. Even if he couldn’t acquire the skill, it would be a big help for his body to get used to poison.
He not only could intensify the poison of souls, he also had the poisons that Bayluk had left behind. Yeon-woo could already handle Devil Poison, and if he could control the other poisons, he might be able to catch up quickly to Bayluk, who only managed to complete Poison Blood after he became a ranker.
「It’s…too dangerous.」 For the first time, Boo expressed disapproval. He was always faithful and loyal to Yeon-woo, but he knew how dangerous it was.
Yeon-woo just waved his hand, saying it was fine. The process of how Bayluk incorporated the poison was described in the diary, and Yeon-woo had the Demonic Dragon Body and the potential he’d gained from absorbing the Summer Queen. ‘And if something goes wrong, I have Cold-blooded and Regeneration.’
The Cold-blooded trait increased his resistance, and he thought that Regeneration would help his body heal if something went wrong. ‘After I gain Poison Blood, I’ll take the elixirs too.’ He planned on getting stronger before he clashed with Benteke again.
Boo’s Inferno Sight flickered with concern.
* * *
“Shit.” Yeon-woo narrowed his eyes. His mouth still felt numb. His body weakened then grew strong over and over. He could still smell the horrid scent and taste the sickening flavor in his mouth. He had no plans of ever repeating this again. However, the outcome was pretty good. Yeon-woo looked at the black, poisonous smoke whirling around him: Poison Blood. He’d pushed his resistance to poison to the limit. ‘I hope it’s effective.’
Yeon-woo gathered the smoke in his hands and looked down at the ships docked at the harbor. A flag with a trident symbol fluttered on each one. War had officially started.Previous Chapter Next Chapter