Yeon-woo had been wondering why Phante and Edora hadn’t arrived yet, and now, all of a sudden, a One-horned tribe member had appeared. Yeon-woo noticed that the man was holding something that looked like a letter. 'He must be a messenger.' Perhaps the letter was for him. "Would you mind letting him through, please?" Yeon-woo said towards the sky.
The Phoenix wasn’t allowing any strangers to enter her territory in order to keep her children safe, but she said, 『As you wish.』 She ordered the beasts blocking the man’s way to stand aside and let him pass as Yeon-woo calmly watched.
* * *
Yeon-woo led the visitor to a pond far away from the Phoenix’s nest.
"Hehe. It’s so nice to meet you! My name is Yanu.” The man had lost the sharp demeanor he’d shown while confronting the beasts and now looked at Yeon-woo with a silly smile on his face.
‘There’s a blade behind that smile.’ However, Yeon-woo could tell he was no pushover, and his aura indicated he was around Phante’s level. ‘But his smile doesn’t seem fake at all.’ Yeon-woo examined Yanu with his Draconic Eyes and didn’t see any hostility in him.
‘But why?’ He couldn’t understand why a stranger would be so friendly.
Just as Yeon-woo inspected Yanu, Yanu also examined Yeon-woo from head to toe with shimmering eyes.
"Why are you staring at me like that?”
"Oh! I'm sorry if that bothered you. I guess I was too pleased to meet you, I didn’t realize I was being rude." Yanu scratched his cheek with a finger as if he were really sorry.
"No, I’m not bothered. I just don't understand why you seem so comfortable around me.”
"Hehehe, oh, that’s right. You don’t know. You’ve never heard about me, but I have heard a lot of stories about you, Cain. I was just too excited to finally meet you." His words surprised Yeon-woo. He clearly wasn’t talking about the stories about the Hoarder’s accomplishments. "About me? From who?"
"Oh, you have no idea how famous you are in our tribe. Oh, wait. I don’t think I’m allowed to speak about this. Hehe. Please don’t tell anyone I said this. You'll find out later anyway."
Yeon-woo had a strange feeling about this, but he shrugged it off, assuming that Phante and Edora must have told Yanu about him. "Is that letter you’re carrying for me?"
"Yup. As you probably know, this is from Phante-nim and Edora-nim.” Yanu used honorifics to refer to the siblings. “They asked me to deliver this letter safely to you and wanted to apologize for disappearing without notice. The details are inside the letter." Yanu handed the letter over. Its envelope was sealed with wax.
Yeon-woo removed the seal and took the letter out. However, as soon as he unfolded it, his eyes were met by lines full of characters he did not recognize. The letter hadn’t been written in the common language of the Tower but in the language of the One-horned tribe.
Befuddled, Yeon-woo was about to ask Yanu to read the letter out for him, but before Yeon-woo could even open his mouth, the characters suddenly started glowing with a bright light. They broke loose from the paper and floated into the air one by one.
A voice suddenly began speaking in his head. 『Hi Oraboni, this is Edora. First of all, I am sorry that we had to leave without…』
『Hey! What are you doing? Eh? Is that a letter? Puhaha! Who sends letters these days when you can just—』
『I know! Just shut up and get out! 』
『Jeez, look at your temper. You know, that’s not gonna help.』
『I said get out! Can't you see I’m writing a letter?! 』
『OK, I’ll go. By the way, you know our conversation has already been recorded in the letter, right?』
The letter contained a mixture of Phante and Edora’s voices. Yeon-woo burst into laughter. 'Typical siblings.' The sound of the two siblings quarreling faded as though they’d moved somewhere farther, then Edora’s voice returned. 『That useless idiot! He never helps. Ahem! Anyway, Oraboni, the reason why we had to send you this letter…』
『Hey, can I say something too? 』
The voices of the letter sounded like the thoughts the Phoenix transmitted to him using her telepathic skill. Perhaps it was a similar method.
After her final shout, Edora managed to finish her explanation, and Yeon-woo confirmed why they hadn’t shown up on the eleventh floor. Most of his theories were correct. She said that the One-horned tribe was facing an urgent situation, and since she and Phante were royalty, they had been summoned back to the tribe. However, she kept the details confidential, which Yeon-woo understood.
No matter how close they had become, he was still an outsider to the tribe. He only felt a little sad they had parted ways without a proper farewell. 'Me, sad?' A strange feeling welled up inside Yeon-woo’s heart.
Edora said that the two of them would follow him as soon as they were done with their business, so he should continue to climb without worrying about them. Finally, the letter ended with: 『Take care. 』
Yeon-woo folded the letter and looked at Yanu, who was still smiling at him. "How are Phante and Edora doing?"
“Oh, they are doing fine. By fine, I mean great. Especially Phante-nim. Ugh, I swear, no one can put up with his temper!”
‘Nothing’s changed.’ Yeon-woo nodded with a chuckle. "That's good."
Yanu gave Yeon-woo a strange look.
"I thought you’d be more curious."
"Why Phante-nim and Edora-nim couldn't come here."
"And are you going to tell me if I ask?"
After a few seconds of pondering, Yanu put his silly smile back on his face and answered, "Hehe, nope.”
"That's why I didn't ask. Besides, I’ll find out eventually."
Yanu nodded a few times, looking satisfied with Yeon-woo’s reply. "Hmm…you know, I heard you were a strange man, and I think it’s true.”
"What did you hear about me?”
"Hehe. I can’t tell you that either. I don’t want to die young.”
‘They sent a weirdo as a messenger.’ Yeon-woo thought as he clucked his tongue, then he realized that Yanu was probably thinking the same thing. ‘I guess we’re both weirdos.' Yeon-woo laughed.
* * *
"Oh, wow! So this is what a Legendary Beast’s territory looks like," Yanu said as he explored the forest that belonged to the Phoenix. Yeon-woo thought it would be rude to send him away right after receiving the letter, so he asked the Phoenix for permission to let Yanu look around her territory, not including her nest.
And Yanu was like a dog—not in the vulgar sense, but simply that he was like an animal that eagerly sniffed every corner of a place with great curiosity. He explored every nook and cranny and even found places Yeon-woo didn’t know existed. ‘I didn’t realize her territory was this big.'
As expected, the Phoenix was annoyed. 『Send that human away as soon as you two are done wandering around. I have never seen such an unbridled human. I am starting to worry that my children will see him and copy his behavior. I thought the members of the One-horned tribe were composed and well-behaved, why is he so different?』
Yeon-woo could almost imagine the Phoenix shaking her head from side to side, and so he stopped Yanu from proceeding to another location and asked, "Haven’t you passed through the eleventh floor already?"
Yanu chuckled as he scratched the back of his head. "I did, a very long time ago. But I never came to places like this when I was here. You probably don’t know that most players don’t get to enter the territory of a Legendary Beast. Even in our tribe, only our king and perhaps a few of the elders, have come to this place.”
"In fact, when I first found the mark saying that you would be waiting here, I almost didn’t believe it. I mean, it’s a Phoenix, you know? They are so powerful and magnificent! They’re just great!"
Yeon-woo thought he had a point. Even rankers didn’t want to fight with Legendary Beasts, and it would take a lot of guts for ordinary players like Yanu to even enter their territory.
『Hmm…Perhaps the human is not as bad as I thought. Tell him he can stay for as long as he likes.』
Yeon-woo covered his laughter with his sleeve. It seemed like a couple of compliments was all it took for the Phoenix to change her mind. After he told Yanu about the Phoenix’s invitation, Yanu became even more excited and exploration grew wilder. Yeon-woo followed behind him like a parent running after a child in an amusement park, making sure he didn’t go into the Phoenix’s nest.
As he walked after Yanu, Yeon-woo’s thoughts began to drift. He was relieved that Phante and Edora were fine. Although he hadn’t been that worried, it was still good to get confirmation. However, now he was beginning to worry about his beast egg. 'Now that I know for sure that they are dealing with something in their tribe, it’s clear that they won’t be showing up here anytime soon.’ He needed Edora’s help with the Black Bracelet and the Mythical Beast’s egg. Although he wasn’t in a hurry about the bracelet, he needed to settle the situation with the egg so that he could clear the trial. If he couldn’t get Edora’s help, he had to find another alternative as soon as possible.
‘What should I do?' As Yeon-woo agonized over his problem, Yanu suddenly stopped running around and stared at him with curious eyes. Noticing his stare, Yeon-woo surfaced from his deep thoughts. "What is it?"
"Uhm, I just thought you looked like you needed help. Is there anything I can do to help you?”
"Why would you do that?"
"It’s something our princess would want me to do."
‘Princess? Oh, he’s referring to Edora.' Yeon-woo suddenly remembered Phante’s and Edora’s status in the tribe.
“She said, ‘I know he won’t be needing our help because he’s such a perfect man, but if you see him struggling with anything, try to help him, if you can.’ Didn’t she mention it in the letter?"
It was only then that Yeon-woo recalled the last part of the letter. 『He looks silly with his bushy hair and smiling face, but he knows a thing or two about the Tower. If you need any help, you can ask him for advice.』
He hadn’t thought much of it, but it seemed like Yanu was serious. Yeon-woo debated trusting Yanu for a short while. He would have rejected his offer immediately if he hadn’t been sent by Phante and Edora.
"Wait, you don't seem to trust me. I don’t know if she mentioned this in the letter, but I’m a Psychic Medium candidate!”
At that moment, Yeon-woo's eyes glittered. ‘He’s a Psychic Medium?' He knew about their role in the One-Horned tribe.
The One-horned tribe’s history dates as far back as the history of the Tower itself. It has always been the strongest tribe in the Tower. Several factors have helped them keep their position, such as their innate talent for martial arts and their policy of neutrality. But the most important thing is none other than the existence of the Psychic Medium.
A Psychic Medium is also known as a Prophet. It is a person who can communicate with the god that the One-horned tribe serves. Although not much is known about Psychic Mediums, it is said the tribe’s god gives the Psychic Medium prophecies that have helped guide the tribe throughout their entire history.
Yeon-woo was surprised at how easily Yanu disclosed his identity. He had heard that the One-horned tribe usually hid the identity of their Psychic Medium in order to protect them from being harmed by other clans.
As if Yanu understood what Yeon-woo was thinking, he quickly waved his hand. "Don’t worry, Psychic Mediums are not as great as people imagine. Besides, I’m not a real Psychic Medium, but just one of the many potential successors. Besides, there’s already a confirmed successor for the next Psychic Medium. But I assure you, I’m only second to that person, so you can trust me! Yeah?" Yanu's eyes shone brightly.
The Phoenix also added her opinion. 『I also suggest you ask the human for his opinion. Despite their reputation, the Psychic Mediums are more like scholars that study the records allowed to them.』
Yeon-woo grew curious at the Phoenix’s description, but he decided to set that aside for now and confide his troubles to Yanu, explaining to him in detail what was going on.
Yanu listened with excited eyes, which grew rounder as the Yeon-woo’s story progressed, and he even gasped out loud several times, especially when Yeon-woo said he created a second Flame of Life and when he said the egg was now about three meters tall.
When Yeon-woo said that he was considering getting the other Legendary Beasts’ energy, Yanu’s jaw almost touched the floor. It was a long time before he shook his head and managed to pull his thoughts together. "Wow! Even though I’ve heard some stories about you, I never expected you’d be this great!"
Yanu looked at Yeon-woo as though he were facing a legendary creature, then began asking questions. "Hmm, so, let me get this straight. You need Edora-nim’s Insight skill right now, is that correct?"
"Oh, that's an easy problem to solve." Yanu exhaled with relief and said with his usual smile, “Just return to the tribe with me. That’s the simplest option.” Yanu spoke as though it were something easy to accomplish.
This time, it was Yeon-woo’s turn to be surprised. "Didn't you say there is some important business going on in your tribe? Also, how can I leave this floor if I haven't cleared the trial?”
"Yes, it’s quite important, but I think it’ll be OK, hehehe. After all, some of the elders want to see you in person. And about your second question, well, you’ll see.”
Yeon-woo didn’t understand what Yanu was talking about and kept asking several questions. However, all Yanu did was repeat “You’ll see” while scratching his cheek with a finger. Although Yeon-woo didn’t understand the situation, he was sure of one thing: he was allowed to visit the One-horned tribe. ‘The One-horned tribe was one of the first participants in the Tower, right? They must know a lot of secrets about it.’ Yeon-woo's eyes shone brightly.Previous Chapter Next Chapter