Pandemonium’s 30th ranked private organization, ‘Hounds of the Demon Realm’.
Its executive, Kim Goohwan, was walking in stifling nervousness. He was in a daze so much so that he didn’t even know where he was. He was solely focused on following the puppet in front of him and not straying off course.
After about 30 minutes…
The puppet stopped and pointed deep into a desolate alleyway. Kim Goohawn nodded as he took a deep breath.
The puppet soon disappeared, and Kim Goohwan walked into the alleyway.
There, he found a Portal created through magic power.
He swallowed hard. They were beyond this Portal. The ones who shook the whole of Pandemonium were waiting for him.
His stomach churned from nervousness. He was starting to regret coming forward.
However, Kim Goohwan clenched his fists and stepped into the Portal courageously.
He could feel himself traveling through space.
Was it the sound of leaves rustling? Or was it the sound of waves crashing?
He opened his eyes in an unknown place.
In a completely dark space, an excited voice rang out from a dilapidated staircase. Kim Goohwan looked up and saw an Eastern woman with white hair.
The mysterious woman greeted him.
“Y-Yes, it’s an honor to meet you. My name is Kim Goohwan.”
He tried to maintain his composure as much as possible. However, he was sweating profusely, and his breathing was starting to get rough.
“Where’s the item?”
He felt dizzy as though he was going to faint at any moment. Thankfully, he had practiced what to say and what to do over a hundred times. Kim Goohwan reached into his pocket and took out a ticket. Even while maintaining respect, he wasn’t showing any weakness or submissiveness.
However, the woman didn’t take the ticket.
“I won’t be taking it. There’s someone else who wants it.”
Although Kim Goohwan didn’t expect this situation, he quickly adapted to it.
He backed off and waited.
“…Oh, there he is.”
Footsteps echoed out in the empty space.
Kim Goohwan turned his gaze to the direction of the sound.
At first, he thought a shadow was walking towards him. But he soon realized that it was a man dressed entirely in black.
Kim Goohwan stared at the man calmly.
Unlike the woman, he didn’t give off any imposing aura or pressure.
“I heard you guys call him Lotus.”
The woman’s next sentence caused his body to freeze cold.
Kim Goohwan stared at the man walking towards him.
He couldn’t breathe as though he was being choked.
A ghastly aura seemed to be emanating from the man’s slow footsteps. Of course, it was only a hallucination.
Black Lotus. The man who destroyed several towers and hideouts with a single attack, and even assassinated an executive of Blood Poison, Pandemonium’s rank 10 organization.
This man was currently standing only a foot away.
Kim Goohwan felt a chill run down his body.
He had to introduce himself, but his mouth refused to move.
Although the man was covering his face with a black mask and hoodie, his eyes seemed to pierce through everything.
“What’s wrong? He’s waiting.”
“…Ah, y-yes, here, here you go.”
Kim Goohwan snapped out of his daze and gave the item to the man clad in black.
The man stared fixedly at the ticket, then took it off of Kim Goohwan’s hands.
Kim Goohwan gulped and waited for the man’s next move.
Suddenly, the man raised his hand.
Was he unhappy with something?
Kim Goohwan couldn’t bring himself to close his eyes.
He simply stood in terror, waiting for the man’s hand to behead him…
The man put his hand on his shoulder.
Then, he lightly hit him a couple of times. It was almost as though the man was giving a compliment.
For a moment, Kim Goohwan forgot who he was, where he was, and what he was doing.
After barely holding onto his consciousness for a long time…
Kim Goohwan fainted and fell on the ground.
“…What, what happened?”
The person most confused by this was the man who praised Kim Goohwan.
After the exchange, I returned to Chameleon Troupe’s hideout.
“Is that what you wanted?”
Jain canceled her disguise and asked.
I thought about the man I just met who fainted from a single praise.
Jain seemed to understand my worries as she smiled playfully.
“You can add that to your resume.”
To be honest, my notoriety in Pandemonium was too much.
People began to be fearful especially after I killed Blood Poison’s executive. In my defense, that executive wasn’t physically powerful. Although he was decent with magic, the reason he became an executive was his unusual craftiness and cleverness.
“Oh, by the way, can I enter the Tower too if I have a ticket?”
Jain sounded interested.
“Yep. You can use the orange ticket that we have.”
It didn’t hurt to have extra tickets as they could be used in many ways.
The most obvious way was to sell them to others. You could also give it to someone in exchange for them becoming an ally inside the Tower. Furthermore, the scant amount of available tickets made them all the more valuable.
200 whites, 1000 greens, 800 yellows, 500 oranges, 300 reds, 5 blacks. The total number of people who could enter the Tower was at most 3105 people every two months (each red ticket counted as 2 people). Considering the size of the Tower of Wish, 3105 was tiny.
“Will we see each other once we’re inside?”
“Probably. I don’t know for sure though.”
“This sounds fun~”
It seemed Jain was interested in going.
I took off my hoodie and put the black ticket in my pocket.
“Then I’m leaving now.”
“You’re going home?”
“Alright~ I’ll take a nap then.”
Jain returned to her room, and I came back to Seoul through Khalifa’s Portal.
However, I didn’t go home. Instead, I headed to an underground facility located in the Seocho District.
This huge, 650-square-meter space with high-rank mana density was a training room I created for Evandel. It was an underground bunker I purchased from some rich guy.
“Let’s see… ah, there she is.”
It was hard to see Evandel since she was so small compared to the size of the space.
Wearing a magician’s hat and holding a wand, she was seemingly performing a rhythmical dance routine.
There was also a small army of ghosts following her guidance. A horse, a tiger, a crocodile… wait, is that a unicorn? And that’s… a velociraptor!?
“…Yep, that’s talent alright.”
I was planning on bringing her home, but she had a new ‘friend’ every time I visited. Perhaps this was why it was good to expose children to movies and fairytales.
“Wave of Honor~”
Evandel was working hard on her own right. Ever since she started watching PreCure, she started adding names to her moves as well.
It seemed I needed to ask exactly what she watched.
I called her name as I approached her. Evandel stopped training and turned towards me. Her eyes curled into crescent moons, and she hopped over to me.
“Did you have fun?”
“Then you must be tired.”
It was time to go home.
“It’s still okay.”
Evandel smiled brightly and nodded.
It seemed she liked training more than I thought.
But I was also pressed on time…
Then, I remembered the wolf sleeping in my chest.
“You can play with Fenrir for ten minutes. We can leave afterwards.”
I called Fenrir out.
Fenrir ran out excitedly and licked Evandel’s leg.
As expected of Evandel’s first Servant, Fenrir grew a lot over the past three years.
[Servant] [High-intermediate rank]
—The first Servant created by the witch, Evandel.
[Bite force 10.850]
[Magic power 7.850]
As you could guess from his incredible stats, he didn’t lose to most low-intermediate ~ intermediate rank Heroes.
But in front of Evandel, Fenrir was only a gentle puppy.
Seeing them playing around together, I laughed bitterly.
Once I entered the Tower of Wish, I wouldn’t be able to see Evandel for at least a month and a half. Though, I should be able to come back for 2~3 days once the tutorial ended…
I called Evandel’s name in a slightly more serious tone.
“…I need to tell you something.”
I already asked Haeyeon’s parents if they could take care of Evandel for 1~2 months, and they happily agreed.
“From July 1st, I’m going to be away for a month.”
“But it’s nothing dangerous. I’ll come back soon.”
Evandel didn’t say anything.
I was worried that Evandel would cry for the first time in 4 years.
After a long period of silence, Evandel asked instead of crying.
“…A month? 30 days?”
“…I can’t go?”
I shook my head silently.
Evandel bit her lips.
Her eyes watered, and her lips trembled. Still, she didn’t cry.
“I’ll come back soon. You can think of it as a month-long break. Meanwhile, you can have fun with Hayang and Haeyeon. You can sleep in or watch TV late into the night.”
I consoled Evandel. I even picked her up and gave her a peck on the cheek. Or at least, I tried to.
Evandel rejected me. Turning away with a pout, she refused to look at my face.
“I’ll shave tomorrow, no, today.”
Evandel looked back at me with watery eyes.
The only thing I could do now was smile.
2029, middle of May.
The biggest Tower in the history of mankind had been given the name ‘Tower of Wish’. At the same time, information about ‘entrance tickets’ began to spread quickly. Many ordinary people were posting comments online stating that they picked up an entrance ticket.
The Association wanted to establish a system to control the tickets ordinary people found, but it was too late. It didn’t take long for people to find out about the tickets’ value, and they began to sell them online.
Currently, inside Essence of the Strait’s team leader office, Yoo Yeonha was staring at a computer monitor in thought.
Although she wasn’t sure how it worked, she knew she had to obtain as many as possible.
“Why do something so risky?”
Frustrated, she muttered with a sigh.
Many people who posted about tickets online had gone missing. They were most likely attacked by Djinns.
“13 might be enough…”
Thanks to the Falling Blossom guild, Yoo Yeonha already purchased 13 entrance tickets. What she wanted now was information about the Tower. She didn’t want to lose precious members of her guild to an unknown Tower.
At that moment, someone knocked on the door.
“Who is it?”
—Team Leader Yoo Yeonha, a package arrived.
The door opened, and a guild employee walked in with a mysterious piece of furniture.
“Um, a chair.”
It indeed looked like a chair, albeit a bit futuristic and strange. First, it had two legs instead of the standard four, and the back of the chair looked like a tidal wave.
“Who sent this?”
“It’s from uh… Kim Hajin-ssi.”
“Kim Hajin…? Oh right, it’s my birthday present, right?”
“Ah, yes, that’s what it says here.”
A week ago, Yoo Yeonha had received a text message from Kim Hajin saying that he would send a birthday present.
“He sent a chair as a birthday present?”
‘A bit weird, not that I have any problems with it.’
“Thank you. You can go back.”
Yoo Yeonha put the chair down and tried sitting on it.
“It’s not like I’m lacking chairs in my…”
She paused in the middle of talking. No, she couldn’t speak.
Feeling a strange sensation, she leaned against the chair. A strange, indescribable comfort wrapped around her body. It was as if the chair was hugging her tightly.
At that moment, someone kicked open the office door.
“Hey, Yoo Yeonha!”
It was Chae Nayun.
Startled, Yoo Yeonha quickly shot up.
“A-Ah, geez, I’m a team leader, you know!”
Yoo Yeonha shouted at Chae Nayun who didn’t give her any face as a team leader.
“Oh, sorry, I was just in a hurry.”
Chae Nayun smiled wryly as she scratched her head.
“Geez… huu. So, what’s up?”
“Send me there!”
“The Tower! The Tower of Wish. I heard you have tickets. The guild can keep whatever I bring back, so just let me go.”
“Oh, it’s about that.”
Yoo Yeonha knew Chae Nayun would want to go.
“Let’s talk about that.”
“Oh, what’s up with this chair? It looks so weird.”
At that moment, Chae Nayun sat down on the chair she got as a birthday present.
Yoo Yeonha blinked a few times and stared at Chae Nayun.
“It looks… weird… but, wow… this is… amazing…”
Seeing Chae Nayun looking comfortable and happy, Yoo Yeonha felt an unknown anxiousness.
“…Hey, get up. That’s mine.”
“Eh? It’s not for guests?”
“N-No. It’s a su~per precious chair I got for my birthday.”
“Can’t you tell just by looking at it. Now, get up.”
As soon as Chae Nayun got up, Yoo Yeonha changed the chair she has been using with the one Kim Hajin gifted. She didn’t want to put it off and have to worry about Chae Nayun asking for it.
2029, early June.
Guilds like Essence of the Strait, Desolate Moon, Frost Sanctuary, and Creator’s Sacred Grace managed to obtain entrance tickets and began to meet for discussions.
Meanwhile, the English Royal Court guild was also in a meeting.
The topic of their meeting was also the newly discovered Tower, but compared to other guilds, they were in a much better position.
“We have a total of seven tickets.”
The English Royal Court guild was lucky enough to obtain 10 tickets: eight greens, one orange, and one red.
However, they sold their two off-color tickets and one green ticket to Jeronimo Mercenary, and only had seven green tickets left.
The purpose of today’s meeting was obviously to decide who would use the entrance tickets.
Although there were many ideas, no one actively came forward.
Everyone was secretly afraid of what was lying inside such a giant Tower.
The entrance ticket stated, ‘participants can freely exit once the tutorial is over’, but there was no information about this ‘tutorial’.
Someone volunteered resolutely. Immediately, everyone in the room stood up.
“If something happens to vice-leader…”
“There’s little chance that guild master will agree.”
However, the Royal Court guild’s vice-leader, Rachel, made her decision clear.
“No, I’m going. And you don’t need to worry…”
She hesitated slightly before continuing.
“Um, Jeronimo’s Fenrir will be entering as well.”
“In that case, I’m sure it’s fine.”
The atmosphere changed instantly. That was how much Fenrir was loved in England (although England didn’t know, Cheok Jungyeong’s achievements were all changed to Fenrir’s).
“Ah, could it be!? Did Fenrir say he would protect you!?”
“I’m curious too. Did he say he’d protect you!?”
The meeting suddenly transformed into a press conference.
“I can tell that you’re flustered~”
“F-Flustered? N-No! Everyone be quiet!”
“Now you’re angry~”
“No, I’m not! We need to proceed with the meeting…”
The young, 21-year-old vice-leader was an easy target for the other, more experienced members in the room. As many of them knew Rachel from when she was young, the English Royal Court guild had become quite like a family.
2029, July 1st.
The promised date arrived.
Currently, I was inside Chameleon Troupe’s hideout, waiting for the Portal to open.
“Huaam~ I’m so bored. Newbie, when is the Portal opening?”
Cheok Jungyeong asked.
“Just wait a bit.”
Other than me, Jain, Cheok Jungyeong, and Boss had tickets.
Other members showed interest, but they were either busy or didn’t mind waiting for the second round of tickets.
“Ah, I’m itching with excitement. Jain, you’re following me as my companion?”
“…You’re my companion, idiot.”
Jain glared at Cheok Jungyeong uncomfortably. Jain obtained a red ticket, and Cheok Jungyeong annoyed her until she agreed to let him accompany her.
“Everyone be quiet and wait.”
Boss spoke. At that moment…
Our entrance tickets glowed with magic power.
We threw down our tickets on the ground. Immediately, the tickets sucked in nearby magic power and created three pillars of light.
Orange, red, black.
The three pillars all had different colors.
“So we just walk in?”
Cheok Jungyeong asked as he smacked his lips.
“Alright, I’ll see you inside, Newbie.”
“Ah, before you go, I think you should choose the lowest difficulty level for the tutorial. We want to meet up as soon as possible.”
“I don’t mind… but I doubt this idiot will do that.”
Jain smiled wryly while Cheok Jungyeong agreed.
“Obviously I’m going for the highest difficulty.”
“…Then Boss, at least you should—”
I turned to Boss.
Recently, Boss’ trust in me had greatly risen.
“…Oh, o-okay, then I will go with the, um, lowest difficulty.”
But by the looks of it, she was planning on doing what she wanted.
“Alright, I’m going in.”
Without hesitation, I walked into the black Portal.
The world flipped upside down, and I landed on my back.
“Uuu… what the heck.”
A cold ground, chilly wind, an unusual sensation.
Even my voice was coming out staticky, like a broken television.
Although it was exactly like how I described it in my novel, it still felt strange experiencing firsthand.
I quickly got up and took a look around. I was in a pitch-black space.
“I wonder when it’s going to start.”
After waiting for about five minutes, blue words popped up in front of me.
[Welcome to the Tower.]
It was a more realistic 3D text than what was shown in VR games.
[Before you start, please choose your nickname.]
The Tower seemed to have the same setting as the one I created.
I already knew what nickname everyone would use.
Kim Suho should be MasterHolysword, Shin Jonghak should be YoungFly, Jin Sahyuk should be StrongestWill, and Chae Nayun should be ImGosu.
After thinking for a moment…
“I guess I’ll go with this.”
I decided on my nickname.
[Your nickname will replace your name in the Tower's Community.]
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I changed the previous chapter so now Nayun's nickname both reads ImGosu (I kept the last chapter in lowercase though on purpose). By the way, Gosu means "expert".
To explain further, the author uses English 'imgosuda' in the last chapter. 'da' is just a korean ending marker for sentences, so it really just means the same as "I am gosu".
In this chapter, the author actually put Nayun's nickname in Korean (내가젤고수), which roughly translates to "I am the strongest gosu". I translated this as 'ImGosu'.