Chapter 204. Omen of Reunion (3)


“Damn….”

Phiunel scratched his head as he looked at the room that had become a mess. A disaster had taken place in just 10 minutes.

About 20 minutes ago, five country bumpkins had arrived at the mansion to try out for a guard team position. In Phiunel’s eyes, they were no different than any other Outsider.
However, Phiunel didn’t want to let them pass. Although the entire test was a farce to begin with, he just received a bad feeling about it.

In fact, he hated the arrogant demeanor the group had. Although he didn’t consider himself an inflexible person, he acknowledged that it was okay to be inflexible every once in a while. As such, he brought in the strongest assassins at his disposal, who were considered elites.
But now…

—Uuugh…
—Kuuuk…

The elite soldiers were groaning as they were sprawled on the ground, and there wasn’t a single piece of furniture, which he had purchased with care, that remained undamaged. He was even beginning to doubt whether he was looking at his own mansion because of the severe damages it had received.

“…How dare they.”

Phiunel muttered with anger.
He had heard about Outsiders. That they were seekers of truth who had entered the Tower from another world and were trying to reach its summit.
But to Phiunel, Outsiders were no different than thugs. He didn’t believe any of them would be able to reach the Tower’s summit.

“….”

As such, Phiunel clenched his teeth. Unconcealable fury rose in his old eyes. It wasn’t that he cared about his subordinates. It was just that their arrogant words still lingered in his ears. He remembered how they were sitting so insolently. Moreover, he remembered how they were mocking the demon race in front of his eyes.
He came to a simple conclusion.
They had to die.
Although Outsiders were said to have seven lives, he already knew a way around it.
He took out a small notebook from his pocket.

[Lv.11 Directory]

This item was undoubtedly the most precious treasure Phiunel had.
It allowed its user to see the name and details of individuals he’d met. That said, it only showed the ‘nickname’, ‘real name’, and ‘current location’ of Outsiders.

“Fools.”

But that was enough.
Demons were well-known for their assassination and torture. There was surely a way to make one death take away seven lives.

Phiunel wrote down the names of the ruffians on his kill-list.

**


[8-3F, main street outside Phiunel’s mansion]

After passing Phiunel’s test, we were given the designation [Guard Team 2]. Phiunel had also given us mysterious name tags that had communication magic in them.

After leaving Phiunel’s mansion, we headed to the western side of Crevon, which bordered the demons’ territory and where the Ironblood Duchess’ mansion was located. It took us 40 minutes even by a carriage that drove at 120km per hour.

“Ah~ You’re here~ My friend and friends of my friend~”

Tomer welcomed us with a sumptuous meal. Compared to other Players who had to return to Prestige to sleep because of Crevon’s high priced inns, we were living the lives of the aristocrats.
I couldn’t help but be grateful for the relationship I had formed with Tomer.

After the meal, we were each assigned our own rooms. I had the biggest room, and the rest had rooms that were slightly smaller than mine but equal otherwise.
However, I had no plans to stay in my room.
As I said before, my waiting room was much better than most places in the Tower.

“Create waiting room ticket.”

[An entrance ticket to Player Extra7’s waiting room has been created.]

As I was about to tear the ticket…
tok, tok
I heard a knocking noise on the door. I tilted my head and opened the door. Boss was standing behind it.

“Boss?”

She was looking at me intently with a single book under her armpit. It looked to be a skillbook.

“Is that a skillbook?”

“Yeah. I was looking through the auction house and found what seemed to be a good basic skillbook. I came to ask whether I’m right.”

Boss handed me the skillbook bashfully. She looked like a student getting her homework checked by her teacher. I smiled lightly and took a look at the skillbook.

[Basic Skill Acquisition Book – Lv.1 Touch of Fire]

“How much did you pay for this?”

“…5000TP.”

Boss swallowed her saliva as she muttered quietly. Her eyes were shaking faintly.
I laughed audibly. Although I didn’t mean much by it, Boss’ shoulders flinched.

“W-W-What’s wrong? Did I pay too much for a trash skill?”

“No, it’s a decent skill, and you got it cheap too. Well done. You can learn it if you want.”

“…Huhu, I see.”

Boss made a self-satisfactory smile, and immediately afterwards, the skillbook transformed into a current of magic power and flowed into Boss. She had acquired a skill.

“By the way, what’s that?”

After regaining her confidence and becoming the ‘boss’ once again, Boss pointed at the robe and jewels on my bed.

“Oh, they’re for the upcoming craftsmanship tournament.”

“Craftsmanship tournament?”

“Yep. I want the first-place prize.”

The craftsmanship tournament’s first-place prize was [Hephaestus’ Chisel]. I didn’t know exactly what it did, but it surely wouldn’t hurt to have it.

“Mm, I see, good luck. I’m going to go train this skill.”

“See you later.”

The corner of Boss’ mouth curled up into a smile. Then, she spun around and hopped away. She was probably heading to the training room.

“Oh wait, Boss.”

I stopped her before she left my sight. She looked back at me.

“Hm?”

“If you can’t sleep, you can sleep in my waiting room.”

I generated entrance tickets to my waiting room for the members of the Chameleon Troupe.

[You gave a waiting room entrance ticket for your friend Player ‘Boss’.]
[You gave a waiting room entrance ticket for your friend Player ‘PhantomThief’.]
[You gave a waiting room entrance ticket for your friend Player ‘Goryeo’sStrongest’.]
[You gave a waiting room entrance ticket for your friend Player ‘Hurabono’.]

Of course, Kaita was excluded. He and Zurahan have been busy fighting Kim Suho’s group recently.

“…Your waiting room?”

Boss looked at me suspiciously.

“Yeah, I have a good bed and even a hot spring. I sent entrance tickets to other members too, so tell them to drop by whenever they want.”

Hearing the words ‘other members’, Boss’ expression turned gentler.

“Okay.”

Boss left my room with a smile, and I sent her away with mine.

**

…For the next nine days, I did what I had to do.

First, I got myself a citizenship ID through Tomer’s help, then began to travel around Crevon with Sannuri to find dwarven steles.

Other than land occupied by humans, the 8-3 floor had the western territory where demons lived and mountain ridges where monsters lived. While clearing my way through them, I acquired quite a bit of valuable resources. Of course, it was my luck that played a major role.

First, I found an herb called Crevfort, which could be used with a mandrake and shamrock plant to brew an elixir. I could easily sell it to an NPC in Crevon for 20000TP.

Next, I found two dwarven steles.
The first stele contained information about installing ‘magic circuits’ into weapons, a miraculous technique that allowed weapons to possess magic power. Unfortunately, the knowledge wasn’t permanent and would disappear from memory after one use.

After thinking about it for a long time, I decided to install a magic circuit on Aether. After a successful procedure, a faint magic circuit appeared on Aether. Since Aether had intelligence, it should polish and expand this magic circuit on its own.

The second dwarven stele was a diary about their own existences and the world known as the Tower. It was pretty much a philosophical book that contained musings about their birth, their reason for existing, and where they lived. I was surprised by how accurate some of their guesses were, but there wasn’t anything special otherwise.

In any case, I spent my days productively, and it was now the day for the Banquet of Honors.

“You ready?”

I asked the other members. Currently, we were standing in the back lawn of [Lv.16 Phiunel’s Grand Mansion], a special mansion Phiunel had constructed for the banquet. Although it was only recently built, it looked rather ancient because of its architectural style. The banquet should be starting at 5 p.m. in this place.

“I’m ready~”

“Me too. Looks like it’ll be interesting.”

Jain and Jin Yohan replied excitedly, while Boss nodded in silence.

“But do we have to wear this?”

Cheok Jungyeong seemed to be bothered by the robes we were wearing. Although I made Cheok Jungyeong’s robe big on purpose, I had to admit it was fluttering too much.

“Don’t you have a robe that’s similar to the one you’re wearing?”

Cheok Jungyeong looked at my robe with a hint of envy.
For the record, I was wearing a different robe than everyone else. In fact, it was more like a light leather armor with an eagle-like hood added on top.

“You can rip parts of it off as long as you keep your face hidden.”

“Oh, okay.”

Cheok Jungyeong easily accepted it.
At that moment, Jain cut in.

“By the way, you know my Disguise won’t work on you, right~?”

“Yes, I do.”

Because even the royal prince and princess were coming to this banquet, a heavy restriction was put on Players’ abilities. Although Jain could still use her Gift, it was now only limited to herself. In the outside world, her ability would even bypass magic barriers, but it was restricted in this mansion by someone’s [skill].

“Be careful, everyone.”

As I said that, I glanced at my smartwatch.
Currently, it was 2 in the afternoon.

Music began to ring out from the grand mansion Phiunel built for the banquet. Luxurious carriages began to arrive at the front entrance one-by-one. On Earth, these carriages would be comparable to Bentleys and Rolls-Royces.

The nobles attending the banquet came out of the carriages with elegance and walked gracefully into the mansion.

*

[Lv.16 Phiunel’s Grand Mansion]

3 p.m.
The ‘Banquet of Honor’ began amidst beautiful classical music. The nobles were either dancing or talking to each other, enjoying the banquet’s atmosphere and their ability to attend it in the first place.

However, the most noble existences at the banquet were unable to do the same.
‘Atalos’, the clan that became the rightful owner of Crevon under the blessings of Agamemnon and Moses.
Members of the royal family, who lived in Crevon’s central region, were present, but they could only enjoy the view from the 2nd floor balcony, as it wasn’t in the dignity of the royal family to join in with the rest.

“This is why I didn’t want to come. It’s so boring. I’m a good dancer too! And I practiced so much~ so, so much~”

‘Araha Von Atalos Diana’, Crevon’s fifth princess who had just turned 18, complained.

“Be quiet.”

The fourth prince, ‘Aruon Von Atalos Philip’, wasn’t too pleased with his younger sister’s antics.

“This is why I didn’t want to come. Didn’t the demons send a threat? I guess it’s my fault for being lower ranked~”

The demons had sent a letter of threat, saying that they would target the Banquet of Honor. However, the Atalos Royal Family only scoffed at the idea, arguing that the Banquet of Honor was ordained by the Atalos Royal Family’s administrator.

“Don’t say that anywhere else.”

“I’m gonna~ I’m gonna~”

“….”

Aruon sighed. Although he was not a candidate to succeed the throne, he believed he needed to maintain the royal family’s face even more because of it. He wasn’t the only one who felt this way. This sentiment was why there wasn’t a single speck of dirt on the Atalos Royal Family’s name even after generations.
Of course, the immature Araha was different.

“Oppa, how much money can you spend? I want to get the ‘Crane Feather Fan’ no matter what. I saw it in the auction catalog, and it’s soooo pretty~”

“…I’ll buy it for you, so be quiet.”

“Yay~”

Araha giggled happily. Turning sideways, she saw a huge, muscular man towering over her.

“Um… Sir Lü Bu?”

Princess Araha carefully called her guard’s name. The great general standing next to her then reacted, turning his head sideways to look at her.
He had his hair in a bun and had well-defined facial features. Furthermore, his fiery eyes seemed to pronounce his great name to the world.

“…Yes, Princess Araha.”

He addressed Araha in a tone that could be either respectful or disrespectful. Prince Aruon furrowed his brows, but Princess Araha liked this royal guard’s attitude.

“If the demons attack, what will you do?”

“…I will dispatch all who dares to harm Prince and Princess.”

His words were restrictive in a sense. He was saying that he only cared about the prince and princess’ lives. Clearly, he didn’t care about the other nobles.
But that was to be expected.
Lancelot, who was standing on the opposite side of Lü Bu and scouting the banquet hall, had come with them for this exact reason.

“Hehe, how very trustworthy. Do you mind if I like you, Sir Lü Bu?”

“….”

“I’ve never dated anyone before.”

Lü Bu remained unfazed by Princess Araha’s daring remark and closed his eyes. The fifth princess was well-known for her mischievousness, and Lü Bu was well-aware of it.

“Do you dislike younger women…? But isn’t this dress fantastic…?”

“Araha, just shut up, please.”

Unable to stand the princess’ jokes any further, Aruon put his hand over Araha’s mouth.

—Everyone, the Auction of Honor will begin soon!

5 p.m. arrived, and the host’s voice rang out in the banquet hall.
At that moment, the grand mansion rumbled.
Lancelot started and put his hand over his sword, but after realizing that it was only an event, he made a bitter smile. The walls off the mansion slowly drifted out, making the room more spacious. Then, the podium in the middle of the hall rose to change the mansion’s design to that of an auction house.

“Phiunel made this mansion for the sole purpose of this banquet? Amazing.”

Aruon smiled for the first time since the banquet started.

“By the way, Elder Brother, who are those people?” Araha asked.

The prince and princess could see much more from the second-floor balcony, so the busily moving guards entered their vision. Aruon also followed Araha’s line of sight and looked at the guards downstairs.
Guard teams of Outsiders were communicating with each other and running to their stations.

“Outsiders….”

Aruon strained his eyes. The Players’ names were shown above their heads: ‘Nayunjajangman’, ‘CaptainBritain’, ‘StraitTeamLeader’, ‘WindSamurai’, ‘CrazyMan’, etc…. It wasn’t that the royal family had a special ability. The nametags worn by the Players were showing this info.

“They’re Outsiders?”

Aruon nodded at Araha’s question.

“Looks like it.”

“Wow~ It’s the first time I’m seeing Outsiders~ They really are somewhat different than us.”

“…Stay put, please.”

While the brother and sister were bickering with each other, the host continued his announcement.
—Please take your seats, everyone.
At the same time, luxurious chairs shot up from the ground.

“Make sure you keep your poker face.”

Aruon nudged his sister’s side and put on an imposing expression. The host soon pointed at them and thanked the members of the royal family for coming.

—Before we start the auction, let us take some time to thank Atalos Royal Family’s Prince Aruon and Princess Araha, who are always watching over us from a higher place!

A spotlight fell on them, garnering the attention of countless nobles.
Clap, clap, clap—
Araha and Aruon smiled forcefully while facing the applause ringing out in the auction house.
Crevon, the city of the rich.
The ‘Banquet of Honor, where huge sums of money went back and forth, had official started.

**


[Back yard of Phiunel’s grand mansion]

6:15 p.m.

—The next item is… Kteron’s Mantra! When you seek wisdom in times of need, this treasure will grant it to you!

I stood guard in the backyard of Phiunel’s mansion for most of the day and threw away my nametag when the auction was slowly approaching its end. I then disguised myself by coloring my armor with Aether and entered the mansion.
The number of guards in the backyard decreased from five to four, but Boss’ ‘Shadow Puppet’ would fill in my hole.

—The starting price is 30000TP! Ah, it already became 40000TP! The bid comes from Hail family’s Young Lord Yoten!

Infusing Stigma’s magic power into the Thousand-Mile Eyes, I watched everything that was going on inside the mansion as I walked.

…This is the ‘Crane Feather Fan’.
…Confirmed. What’s the next item?
…I think it’s ‘Kreton’s Mantra’.

I could also see Phiunel’s subordinates swapping out the real items for replicas. Phiunel kept the real items deep underground, but I already knew how to get there.

There was a small pillar on the right corner of the mansion which held a silver candle. By turning the candle slightly, a secret room would appear. There was one final catch. To enter the secret room, one had to infuse ‘demonic energy’ into the door, which only demons possessed.

It was a foolproof way of stopping Players or human NPCs from opening the door. Unfortunately, I already had a source of demonic energy in my inventory in the form of a crystal obtained with [Extraction and Permanent Materialization].

I walked as quietly as possible to the right corner of the mansion. To avoid suspicion, Phiunel didn’t dispatch any of his guards there. So I should certainly be enough on my own…
Then suddenly, I was struck with a feeling of uneasiness.
A presence I didn’t expect appeared behind me.
Tak.
A small footstep rang out. Even though I clearly heard it, I couldn’t understand it at first.
Did the footstep really come from a person?
But I couldn’t feel anything a moment ago!
Even if I didn’t feel anything, it didn’t make sense that even Aether didn’t notice.

…But soon, I understood why.

The Tower of Wish had something that could make the impossible possible.
A Player’s skill. It had to be a high-level [Stealth] skill.
I bit my lips. It wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be. I should be able to suppress them without difficulty.

“Who are you?”

…But at that moment, a soft voice rang out from behind my back.

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