Chapter 187. Sign (1)


Fresh carrots, beef, rice, and water.
Using the best ingredients, I made a porridge. Seeing the boiling pot, I checked its item description.

===
[Lv.3 Porridge Filled with Kim Hajin’s Care]
○Lv.1 Recovery
○Lv.2 Satiety
○Lv.3 Taste
===

‘This should be enough.’
I put the completed porridge in a bowl, put it on a tray, and brought it to Boss’ bed.

Boss was lying down and busily moving her eyes. She was probably reading a webnovel or looking through the Community.

“Your food is here.”

Boss raised her body as I brought the tray to her bed. Her eyes were blinking repeatedly as she stared at me.

“….”

I never even fed Evandel before…
I silently scooped up a spoonful of porridge, then brought it up to her mouth.
Boss seemed to be embarrassed as well as she only opened her mouth slightly. I put the spoon into her mouth.

“…Nom.”

Boss swallowed after chewing only a couple of times.
I picked up another spoonful of porridge. Boss opened her mouth and sucked the porridge off the spoon.
After repeating this ‘nutrient consumption for survival’ a few times, Boss suddenly muttered.

“…This doesn’t happen normally.”

“What do you mean?”

“…Losing my temper.”

She seemed to be embarrassed about what happened today.
I spoke nonchalantly.

“Is that so?”

“I just didn’t expect to encounter him. It was because I wasn’t prepared at all that I… uup.”

I pushed another spoonful of porridge into her mouth, cutting off her sentence.

“…Don’t feed me when I’m talking.”

“I don’t have much time. You should eat quickly.”

There was a mountainload of things to do today.
I had to open the ‘treasure box’, decide how to use ‘Kedrick’s Ghost Sword’ and the ‘Mysterious Pocket’, and introduce Kedrick to Henry and Kiri.

“….”

Boss furrowed her brows and expressed her displeasure, then went back to eating the porridge.

“I will be calmer the next time I see him. I only snapped this time because… uup.”

Seeing that she was making another excuse, I stuffed her mouth with another spoonful of porridge. She must not have expected it, as some of the porridge got on her mouth.
Boss glared at me with narrowed eyes.

“….”

“So, who is he?”

I asked about ‘Bell’, pretending not to know.
Boss flinched slightly, then looked away from me.

“Weren’t you sulking last time because I kept secrets from you?”

“…When did I sulk?”

Boss pouted. Her mouth wriggled as she seemingly pondered. Then, she sighed. I strained my ears as it was a good sign.
Boss looked back at me and whispered softly.

“He is… the previous black seat.”

“…Eh?”

I was genuinely surprised.
I stared at Boss in a daze.
My consciousness froze for about five seconds before recovering.
Technically speaking, this was indeed an empty hole in the plot. The black seat I currently possessed originally belonged to Shin Jonghak, but I had never written about its past owner.

“He is also a traitor who betrayed the previous boss and murdered him.”

Boss continued to explain a setting I didn’t know.
Chameleon Troupe’s ex-boss. I had not written anything about that either. But since Chameleon Troupe had a long history, it made sense for there to be a boss or two besides the current boss.
I scooped up another spoonful of porridge as I listened to Boss’ explanation carefully.
Boss glanced at my hand.

“It’s already been 10 years, but I haven’t forgotten his face for a single day… nyam.”

When I held the spoon up, she bit down on it.
After chewing on the porridge, she announced with determination.

“…I’m going to kill him. I will eliminate the traitor.”

“I understand what you’re saying… but you can’t do what you did today.”

Boss nodded.

“…So what will happen to him next?”

“He died, so he should revive on the 3rd floor in 48 hours.”

I didn’t know exactly how many lives he lost, but he should have lost at least two.

“I see….”

Boss stared at me with a smile.

“Thank you for killing him.”

I smiled back.
Without Boss, I wouldn’t have been able to kill him either. If Boss wasn’t acting as both the frontline tank and damage dealer, Bell would have easily closed the distance. I didn’t know how much of his abilities he recovered, but there was a chance that I could have been killed.

“You too, Boss….”

At that moment, the door opened.

—I’m back~

Jain’s voice rang out.
Perfect timing.
I put the bowl of porridge back on the tray and left Boss’ room.
Jain was taking off her shoes while beaming with a smile.

“Ah, that was so fun~ Oh, Hajin, when did you come back~?”

“It’s been a while. Rather than that, can you feed Boss?”

“…Eh?”

Jain tilted her head at the unexpected request.

“Feed her? Me?”

“Yes, she’s in her bedroom.”

“…Why?”

“You’ll see once you go in. Boss went wild and fell into magic power exhaustion.”

—Kuhum!
A displeased harrumph rang out from the slightly opened door to Boss’ room. When I glanced back at her, she was glaring at me with a clear ‘don’t leave it to Jain’—kind of look.
Of course, I ignored it.

“…Hnn, I see.”

Jain’s confused expression quickly changed to that of mischief.

“Okay~ I’ll do it. Ehehe~”

After making a lewd and wicked smile, she hopped into Boss’ room. When Boss saw Jain’s face, she flinched.

“Boss~ I heard you couldn’t move~ Ah, let’s close the door first~”

Kiik—
As the door slowly closed, I could see Boss’ pitiful eyes requesting a rescue.
Unfortunately, I had other things to do.

—Jain, I’m already full.

—Are you sure? Ah, can you not move your tongue because of magic power exhaustion? Should I feed you mouth-to-mouth?

—N-No! I can move well! See!?

Ignoring the fierce shouting reverberating in Boss’ bedroom, I returned to my room.
Then, I took out the treasure chest Kedrick gifted.

===
[Lv.6 Treasure Chest]
—Krakoon’s treasure chest. It seems to contain various items, but a key is needed to open it.
===

The treasure chest Kedrick hid out of defiance to Krakoon.
Since it was a Lv.6 treasure chest, it was sure to contain good items. Unfortunately, I couldn’t open it with my ‘Mystic Key’. I already tried it, but the key’s [Unlocking] level was too low.

“Is the key too low-level?”

It was a problem easily solved with SP. I could probably take any piece of paper and use ‘Setting Intervention’ to rewrite the paper’s description as [Item Experience Coupon]. Then, I could use the paper to level up any item I wanted.
But this was too wasteful. I only needed 700 more SP until I could make my desired Gift.

“Auction house.”

To see if there was an alternative, I went into the auction house and typed the keyword [Item] and [Experience].

[Searching listings with the keywords ‘item’ and ‘experience’.]
[…13 items were detected.]
[Item Experience +23 Coupon x3]
[Item Experience +17 Coupon x2]
[Item Experience +11 Coupon x7]

“Eh?”

They were there. The highest bid was 50TP, which was very cheap. Even the instant purchase price was 300~400TP.
I was confused at first but soon understood. These coupons could only be used on ‘evolving items’. Without them, they were no different than a piece of paper.

It was yet another benefit of having more information about the Tower.
I immediately clicked the ‘instant purchase’ button.

[You purchased Item Experience +23 Coupon x3]
[You purchased Item Experience +17 Coupon x2]
[You purchased Item Experience +11 Coupon x7]

The coupons were sent to my inventory. I immediately used them on the [Mystic Key] and the [Orb of Regeneration].

===
[Orb of Regeneration] [Magic Artifact]
—An orb with the power of regeneration.
○Evolving Item – EXP 「11/200」
○Lv.2 ???
===

===
[Mystic key] [Magic Artifact]
—A mystical key.
○Evolving Item – EXP 「9/200」
○Lv.3 Unlocking
===

The items’ effects leveled up.

“Is Lv.3 Unlocking good enough?”

I held the Mystic Key and muttered softly.

“Scan.”

The number engraved was 27%.
Jackpot.
I put the key into the treasure chest’s keyhole. Unlike before when the key wouldn’t even fit, it practically slid in this time.
Click—
A clicking noise rang out. Was it working? I turned the key to the right.
Kiik—
A heavy metallic sound rang out and the treasure chest became unlocked.
I opened the lid with high expectations. Brilliant light burst out of the chest.

“Oho.”

I muttered in astonishment. As expected of an administrator, he was hoarding many shiny items.

===
[Lv.4 Blue Diamond]
[Lv.5 Pure Dark Ore Ingot x3]
[Lv.3 Skill Consolidation Ticket]
[Lv.3 Item Consolidation Ticket]
[Lv.1 Basic Skill Acquisition Book – Tempering and Smelting]
[Lv.4 Red Sapphire]
===

The most eye-catching item was undoubtedly the [Lv.5 Pure Dark Ingot].
It was the first time I saw a Lv.5 ore.

“…Should I use it to make arrows?”

That was the first thought I had. Of course, making arrows with such a valuable ore could only be thought of as insane. After all, arrows could only be used once.

But that changed depending on the person involved. Like the saying went, time was more valuable to a rich person than money.
I was exactly such a person.
By making proper arrows with these ores, I would have a powerful weapon other than my gun.
That was the important thing, since I couldn’t use my gun when I was working as a member of the Chameleon Troupe.

“…Hm?”

Then suddenly, a lightbulb went on in my head.
I thought of a method to make arrows reusable.
I looked at my smartwatch.
Then, I looked back at the dark ore ingots.
If this worked, I didn’t even need many arrows. In fact, I could use ‘Synthesis’ to compress and strengthen them together. With this method, the arrow only needed to be powerful and durable.

“….”

I fiddled with the smartwatch with one hand as I gathered Stigma’s magic power with the other.

**


Next day.
I returned to the 5th floor’s [Valley of Darkness]. Although I was alone, I wasn’t worried since I was thoroughly loaded with all sorts of items. This time, I walked up to the highest point possible, which was the mountain peak that protruded up on both sides of the valley.

—So two of them escaped?

—Yeah, Boss went wild because of it.

—Haa….

I looked down at the dark valley below and saw demons talking about yesterday’s incident. Human NPCs were doing hard labor under their watch.
The security was tighter due to yesterday’s incident, but it didn’t matter.

I nocked five arrows on my bow. Both the arrow tip and the arrow shaft were black. Black had unintentionally become my symbolic color.

I aimed the arrows downward and fired.

Chwaaak—

The arrows flew out, moving independently from one another. The first arrow curved to the left, the second arrow flew straight, the third curved to the right…
And all five pierced the necks of demons.
The valley immediately fell silent.
Seeing their bodies scattering into dust, I muttered a certain keyword.

“Return.”

Then, the five [Lv.7 Dark Ore Arrows] I shot suddenly flew up.
Sssss—
They retraced the path they took and returned to my hand.

“Perfect.”

Reusable arrows.
It was easy once I thought about it.
I added a setting to the five [Lv.7 Dark Ore Arrows] I created.
‘Lv.0 Remote Control’.
Because I made it Lv.0 to save SP, for now I could only use it to ‘retrieve’ the arrows. But once I leveled up the effects, I should be able to control them with my will.

“Now…”

There were 11 prison camps left.
Now that I confirmed the arrows’ effectiveness, I moved swiftly and lightly like a ninja.

The dark ore arrows didn’t leave behind any evidence. They flew silently like an owl hunting in the night and delivered eternal darkness to their targets. This wasn’t an exaggeration in the slightest. The moment I fired the arrows, they transformed into invisible darkness to kill their targets.

Using this method, I killed all the demons guarding the 11 prison camps.

Now, Krakoon was the only one left.
I began to make my way to his office.

“…?”

Then suddenly, I felt a fierce gaze fall on me. Two piercing eyes glared at me with killing intent.
I turned towards the direction of the gaze.
There, I saw a man wearing glasses. His skin was blue, and he had a horn protruding from his head.
I immediately knew who he was.

[Lv.8 Administrator of the Valley of Darkness, Krakoon]

“Krakoon.”

—…Who are you?

Krakoon asked.
I couldn’t hear him well because he was too far away, but I answered anyways.

“That’s none of your business.”

—Pft.

Krakoon snickered. He was clearly looking down on the human race.

—…You must be the one who attacked us yesterday. Regardless, you won’t be able to escape. Do you think I didn’t make any preparations?

In an instant, a huge tremor of magic power erupted.

—Hundreds of soldiers will gather here soon.

A purple magic power appeared on the ground.
It was a large-scale spell requiring the usage of a magic circle, ‘Mass Teleport’.

—Your punishment shall be death by dismemberment… no, I will make it so that you wished you were dead.

Krakoon’s confident laughter rang out through the valley.

However, I remained silent and took out the Mystic Key.
It was still strengthened by 27%. To temporarily boost its strength even further, I infused Stigma’s magic power into it.
Then, I stabbed the key into the ground.

“Hey, Kraken.”

—It’s Krakoon, not Kraken. If you want to surrender, tell me where Kedrick and Lirko are. If you do, I will generously allow you to die.

“No, um…”

I turned the key and spoke calmly.

“Have a nice day.”

Magic power flashed from the key and seeped into the dirt.
Immediately, the mountain began to rumble.
Using this mysterious key, I had just ‘unlocked’ something that was holding the mountain together. What resulted was a landslide. As the valley was right underneath the mountain, it was obvious what would happen to it.
Since I focused the landslide in Krakoon’s direction, the human NPCs should be able to live.

—W-What is…

Like a third-rate villain, Krakoon muttered a boring line.
Trrrrr—!
Dirt began to slide down, and the Mass Teleport spell disappeared without ever activating.

“Ehew….”

I sighed and turned to the side.
As though I was a movie star, my eyes met someone else’s.
Well, to say that our eyes met, we were too far away.
Without the Thousand-Mile Eyes, she would have looked like a tiny speck of dust.
Did our eyes really meet? Or was it a coincidence?
I narrowed my eyes with such a thought… then pulled my hood down a bit more.

Standing over yonder was one of the strongest characters I created.
Jin Seyeon, the Divine Archer.
For some reason, she was with Chae Nayun.
However, that wasn’t important at the moment.
Jin Seyeon was staring at the me with her Divine Archer eyes.
There was no shaking in her look nor a hint of doubt. She was staring at me fixedly.

**


“…Haha.”

Jin Seyeon was staring at a faraway distance. Without the supernatural eyesight provided by her Gift, ‘Divine Archer’, it would have been too far to see even for her.
For ten minutes, she had been staring at that person’s actions.
Finally, she smiled at the man who just met her eyes.

“Um, Senior, did you feel that tremor?”

Jin Seyeon was distracted for a split second by the innocent voice beside her. It was Chae Nayun who was curious about the sound of the landslide.

“A landslide just happened.”

Jin Seyeon answered her then looked back.
The man who was standing at the mountain peak was already gone.

“A landslide?”

Chae Nayun asked. Jin Seyeon nodded but hid one truth. That the landslide was purposely caused by one person.
Even if she told the truth, there was a chance that no one would believe her. Unless a mountain was extremely unstable, an ‘artificial landslide’ could only be caused by 5-star magicians who were specialized in that field.
An archer was able to cause a landslide? In the Tower of Wish where everyone’s abilities were restricted?
If Jin Seyeon didn’t witness the strange flow of the man’s magic power, she wouldn’t have believed it either.

“Yes, a landslide far away from here buried an entire valley.”

“…Um, Senior, you don’t have to talk so politely. Feel free to use casual speech.”

Chae Nayun spoke uncomfortably.

“How could I to Chairman’s granddaughter? I am more comfortable speaking like this.”

However, Jin Seyeon firmly refused Chae Nayun’s request. Although Jin Seyeon’s polite speech made Chae Nayun uncomfortable, Chae Nayun was still a little happy inside.

“…Do you know Grandpa?”

“Mm… you could say that.”

‘Though it’s not a good relationship.’
Jin Seyeon swallowed her next sentence and smiled.

“In any case, that’s why I met up with Nayun-ssi.”

“Ha, haha, I see.”

“K-Kuhum. In that case… what do you think about my grandfather, Hero Shin Myungchul?”

Shin Jonghak, who was walking on eggshells around Jin Seyeon, finally worked up the courage to ask.
Even Shin Jonghak couldn’t act arrogantly in front of a Master-rank Hero. As if to prove her status, Jin Seyeon had even caught up to their strength in just four days.

“He is an amazing person. I’ve heard many good things about him.”

“Ha, haha, hahahaha. Kuhum.”

Shin Jonghak’s expression brightened. He then let out a dry cough, and tightened the grip on his spear.
Jin Seyeon spoke.

“Rather than that…”

She had already heard everything from her comrades Seo Youngji and Oh Junhyuk. That many people were pitting her against ‘Black Lotus’ for the title of the strongest archer.

As Jin Seyeon had been losing her motivation, this new opponent was a welcomed one.

As such, she had never slept since she entered the 3rd floor. In other words, she had remained awake for 72 hours. It was all to focus on regaining her abilities and acquiring skills.
The effort she put into improving herself made her feel like she had returned to her younger days.

“Let’s move. I see a demon camp nearby.”

Jin Seyeon looked back at the direction where the mysterious archer stood. It was extremely likely that he was ‘Black Lotus’.
The landslide had ended, and there was no one on the silent mountainpeak.

…Where was he all this time?

After staring at the empty mountain peak for a long time, Jin Seyeon finally looked away with a happy smile on her face.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

FudgeNouget's Thoughts

Another chapter coming out later today~