If someone asked whether the phenomenon known as a ‘miracle’ occurred, the ‘Tower of Wish’ would have to be the clearest answer or the closest clue.
The origin of a Tower and the process of its creation were still complete mysteries. A mysterious entity that was capable of even bringing back the dead; a vast, extensive world that ignored the laws of physics and even the laws of magic; and the souls, ‘administrators’, who maintained this place of miracles….
But now, the most famous administrator of the Tower of Wish, Medea, was sighing. In front of her was a beautifully adorned door. Although its ostentatiousness suited her beauty, Medea’s heart was full of bitterness as she opened it.
Beyond the softly opening door were several elegant pieces of furniture.
…Administrators faced Players with memories of their past life intact. However, they were humans before they were administrators. They wished to live their newly found lives as humans and found other humans to live as humans. But because administrators couldn’t interact equally with NPCs and Players, they made a gathering for administrators only. They displayed new magic and interesting magic powers and enjoyed the artifacts uncovered around the Tower. This was more or less a social-gathering for administrators.
Today, Medea had come to participate in this social-gathering.
Ancient Era and Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Modern Age. Modern times and the future had come together to form a beautiful interior. It was the result of each of the members of the social-gathering bringing something to decorate the place with.
However, no one was inside.
Feeling dizzy, Medea sat down on a chair she brought.
She expected as much.
When it came to social-gatherings of administrators, the early birds were fools, as there were five administrators, including Medea, who thought coming late was fashionable and made them more ‘main character-like’.
[Phenomenon Realm Gathering]
Medea stared at the sign on one side of the wall and gritted her teeth. The gathering was only productive at first, when administrators actually discussed what they could do for themselves. Now that over a hundred years passed, the gathering was nothing more than a political battlefield.
There was still one wish she couldn’t give up. The Phenomenon Realm.
To re-obtain her body lost by death and to return to being human.
To achieve this 200-year-long wish, she required two things: ‘fulfillment’ and ‘state of existence’.
Here, ‘fulfillment’ simply referred to one’s achievements.
This was the only reason Medea built an artificial sun over Prestige.
In truth, she didn’t care about NPCs in the slightest. After all, they were already dead souls. To her, only the living Players were important. As such, Medea erected a sun while the Players were watching. That should have been more than enough of an achievement.
However, the bigger problem was ‘state of existence’.
There were many ways to increase one’s state of existence, and one way was through her ‘beauty’.
It might seem strange. One might even ask, ‘why can’t you just equip the countless artifacts in the Tower?’
The answer was simple. The Tower’s artifacts were no different than trash to administrators. The artifacts of the tower were relics left behind with their owners’ deaths. If an administrator happily wielded an artifact, that would be no different than honoring the ‘original owner’ of the artifact. Naturally, it would be the ‘original owner’ who received an increase in their state of existence.
As such, Medea wanted an original beauty. That was why she kept a close eye on the [Crevon Craftsmanship Tournament], even after dwarves went extinct, and when she saw the ever so elegant ‘original beauty’, she believed her hard work had been rewarded.
Even if it only increased her state of existence by a little, that robe was something she must have….
“How should I coax him?”
While Medea was mulling over the matter, the door slowly creaked open. From the other side, four administrators walked in, Aphrodite, Penelope, and Athena.
“Hey, you came early?”
Hearing Aphrodite’s greeting, Medea smiled. Her goddess status was a thing of the past. Now, she was an administrator just like Medea. A hundred years had already gone by since they figured out how to address each other.
“Have you been well~?”
Helena, Athena, and Penelope said respectively. They sat down in their seats while chattering. Medea glanced at their attires, which were no different than what they were wearing last time.
‘I guess they really can’t get any better at this point.’
“Oh right, Medea, I heard you’ve been chasing after the Player who crafted Wolf’s Fragrance.”
At that moment, Aphrodite suddenly faced Medea and smiled brightly. Medea smiled back at her.
“…I’m not chasing after him. You must have heard wrong.”
“Oh please~ Don’t you know how rude that is? Simad planned to give it to me all along—”
“By the way, why is she here?”
Medea was more concerned with Athena than stupid Aphrodite.
Athena was someone who left the Phenomenon Realm Gathering 100 years ago. Her inflexible way of thinking kept her in the mindset that she was a goddess while others were only heroes of humans.
“Is that woman after the robe too—”
“No, not that.”
Aphrodite interrupted Medea, and Athena interrupted Aphrodite.
“Yes, there’s something I want too.”
Did Athena suppress her pride as a goddess? She seemed okay at Medea’s casual speech.
“Arrow. There’s an arrow I want.”
Athena then said something Medea couldn’t understand.
“…What? An arrow?”
[8F, Crevon Mainland]
After leaving Medea behind, I went back to Crevon. The Atalos Royal Family had declared a state of emergency, advising citizens to stay indoors. As a result, the usually bustling streets of Crevon were now empty.
I summoned Sannuri and jumped on her back. Sitting on a comfortable saddle, I faced towards the far eastern battlefield.
Thousands of monsters were marching from the east. Their desire to battle was too evident to say that they were only acting on instincts. By the looks of it, Chimera, the hivemind of monsters, was commanding them.
Thanks to Sannuri, I quickly reached a high vantage point. A few monsters were nearby, but Sannuri and Spartan were more than enough to take care of them, as Sannuri tackled them and Spartan shot blasts of magic power at them.
Sannuri and Spartan pushed the monsters away, while I stood at the edge of a sharp cliff. The wind blew past me fiercely as I watched the monsters below filling the vast land like weeds.
A few arrows were incapable of dealing with such a number.
For dark ore arrows to display their maximum potential, I had to use Stigma’s magic power with them. If I used all 4 streaks of Stigma, I should be able to control my five dark ore arrows freely for about 10 minutes, but 10 minutes wasn’t enough.
I checked the number of bullets I had.
Due to slowly building the count up, I now had 300 handgun bullets, 600 rifle bullets, and 90 sniper bullets. Assuming each bullet could kill 1.5 monsters, that would be 1500 monsters…
While I was calculating my battle potential, I suddenly wondered. Did I even need to fight?
—A wave of lightning will rage! Die!
Aileen’s childish voice summoned a lightning storm that swept through a crowd of monsters.
Yi Yongha’s ‘inextinguishable fire’ also spread from one monster to another, dying the battlefield in its reddish-black hue.
—I’ll focus on sniping down the liches, spellcasters, specters, and other magic casters.
Jin Seyeon’s magic arrows shot down especially threatening monsters.
Meanwhile, Shin Jonghak was also putting on a fantastic show; Kim Youngjin had obtained the legendary Azure Dragon Crescent Blade from somewhere and was utilizing his Weapon Master Gift to its maximum potential; Kim Junwoo was dancing through the battlefield with his sword, as expected of a hunter of the ‘Vast Expanse’; and Jin Sahyuk was firing a flurry of magic weapons in the middle of the chaos…
Was that really Jin Sahyuk?
I narrowed my eyes and focused my sight.
Jin Sahyuk was indeed among the Players sweating and working hard to defeat monsters. ‘What is she doing there?’ I wondered, but I quickly found an answer. She probably participated to earn TP. After all, she seemed to be placing a huge expectation on the 7th floor’s neurotech chip.
I found my first target.
I nocked my arrow and aimed at Jin Sahyuk.
[Warning. Crevon is currently in war. The Player you targeted for an attack is an ally who joined Crevon’s war effort. Killing this Player may result in punishment from Crevon.]
It seemed she even officially joined the war effort. But since the punishment wouldn’t be coming from an administrator, I didn’t care all that much.
…At that moment, Jin Sahyuk seemed to have sensed danger with her sharp intuition, as she suddenly turned around in the middle of a battle. Her eyes scanned the surroundings and soon landed on me.
We gazed at each other from a long distance.
Jin Sahyuk gritted her teeth, seeing my arrow.
Not long afterwards, her mouth moved.
I couldn’t tell if she was only moving her mouth or if I couldn’t hear her for some reason.
Regardless, I understood what she was trying to say.
‘I’m not doing anything bad right now!’
She then added another sentence.
‘Don’t shoot, dammit!’
Her desperate yelling made me laugh.
I let go of the bowstring.
The dark ore arrow shot forward with a sonic boom. Jin Sahyuk quickly formed a barrier, but it was incapable of blocking Stigma’s anti-magic magic power.
Her barrier shattered, and my arrow dug through her shoulder. She should now be struck with an unimaginable pain.
Looking at Jin Sahyuk who managed to not scream, an absurd thought popped up in my head.
Would it be possible to change her too?
Just like how Shin Jonghak and Chae Nayun changed?
Of course, there was no need to be swayed by such a hypothetical question. I would still kill her without hesitation if I were given the chance, but perhaps I’ve been excluding the possibility of reforming her too much.
In any case, Jin Sahyuk was glaring at me with eyes full of pain and frustration. I could clearly feel the rage coming my way.
For now, I had no plans to let her live in peace.
I raised my bow and nocked another arrow on it. It was then.
Jin Sahyuk suddenly disappeared.
I refused to let her escape.
I infused Stigma’s magic power into my eyes and chased after her.
Jin Sahyuk had already gotten far away, holding onto her shoulder as she clenched her teeth in pain.
Fortunately for her, my attention was stolen by other nearby Players.
Kim Suho, Venessa Fermun, Paolo Fermun, Yi Yeonghan, and Chae Nayun.
It was Kim Suho’s party.
—Be careful, everyone!
They were fighting Medusa some distance away from the main battlefield. A white aura emanated from Kim Suho’s golden sword strike. That was likely from Hwai’s Sword Technique I gifted Suho.
—You’re the one who should be careful!
Chae Nayun then swung a claymore the size of her body. The powerful strike smashed Medusa’s minions apart and left a gaping wound on Medusa’s body.
They were at an advantage. In fact, they had an overwhelming lead.
They didn’t need my help, so I slowly began to put my bow down.
Then suddenly, Medusa screamed and activated her magic eye of petrification. That much was something Kim Suho’s party expected.
Kim Suho swung his sword. His Gift easily severed Medusa’s Authority, and the rest of his party remained unaffected.
However, the real problem wasn’t on the ground but up above. In the blue sky, a flock of harpies, several hundred in number, suddenly appeared.
Monsters with the head of a human and the body of a bird. These monsters screamed and spat out venomous fluids, drawing the attention of Kim Suho’s party.
—What are those?
Chae Nayun sent a sword strike into the sky, but the harpies were nimble, dodging Chae Nayun’s attack before it could get to them.
Thinking about it now, Venessa Fermun was the only one in Kim Suho’s party who specialized in long-ranged attacks. Kim Suho and Chae Nayun were striking down a few harpies here and there, but that only meant that their attention was being taken off Medusa.
The tide of the battle was changing.
Kim Suho and his party had to defeat Medusa today.
Without any other choice, I raised my bow once again. I nocked five arrows on the bowstring.
They only needed my help for the harpies.
I infused my three remaining streaks of Stigma into the arrows. Heavy sparks of lightning crackled around the five dark ore arrows.
I aimed at the sky where the harpies were chirping loudly.
The bowstring became tense as the loaded arrows growled.
But when I let go of the bowstring, the five arrows flew stealthily and soundlessly.
The five black streaks only had one goal: to decimate the harpies.
To achieve this goal, the five arrows pierced through all monsters in their paths.
…Soon, harpies rained down from the sky and formed a mountain of corpses.
Seeing that the calamities were being hunted down without problem, I returned to Seoul. It wasn’t anything special. Although I had not mentioned it, I’ve been going back and forth between the Tower and Earth through Spartan’s Authority.
As soon as I returned to my apartment in Gangnam, Evandel and Hayang greeted me.
“Have you been good?”
Evandel was growing by the day. Although her height was on the slower side, she had the body of a 5-year-old when she was born. Technically, her current appearance wasn’t too different from her real age.
“I wanted to see you~”
Because of Evandel’s origin, I couldn’t send her to school. If I knew a worthy tutor, I would happily entrust Evandel to that person, but not many people had the ability and knowledge to be Evandel’s teacher.
…I did have one in mind at first.
A magician with ample teaching experience who used ‘summons’ just like Evandel.
But well, I didn’t have a good first impression of her, and from what I hear, she charged an absurd 5 billion won for one lesson.
“I came back too late today. What should we do tomorrow~?”
Hearing my words, Evandel’s eyes sparkled.
“You’ll be here tomorrow too…?”
At that moment, the door opened, and Yun Seung-Ah walked in with a grocery bag in hand. Her eyes shined the moment she saw me.
“Oh~ Who’s this? The famous Black Lotus Killer~”
I was about to greet her when I heard what she said and flinched.
“You thought I wouldn’t know?”
Yun Seung-Ah smiled mischievously.
“Everyone knows that you killed Black Lotus.”
It made sense, but that wasn’t why I was surprised.
I looked at Evandel, then looked back at Yun Seung-Ah.
I didn’t really want Evandel to hear such words.
“…Ah, it means he plucked a flower~ Nowadays, Evandel, you’re not allowed to pluck flowers that aren’t yours.”
Evandel giggled as she watched Yun Seung-Ah try to save the situation. Then, she grabbed the plastic bag in Yun Seung-Ah’s hand and skipped over to the kitchen. After sitting down on a chair, she took the groceries out with a smile.
“This is chicken, this is onion, this is garlic, this is egg….”
She was lessening her aunty’s work.
Afterwards, I took the ingredients Evandel laid out and demonstrated [Dwarf’s Dexterity] for the first time in a while.
One hour later.
Evandel fell asleep with Hayang soon after finishing her meal. Yun Seung-Ah turned the TV off and buried herself on the couch with a yawn.
“Let’s get back to business.”
The next important event was Genghis Khan’s artifacts in Central Asia. While I cooked, Yun Seung-Ah and I talked a bit about it.
“As you know, those artifacts are in Central Asia, which is causing a lot of headache. Because that land isn’t in any country’s jurisdiction, the Association normally would have given up. Even if an excavation site was built there, the surrounding regions belong to Djinns, and Pandemonium is nearby too.”
Yun Seung-Ah continued with a serious face.
“The question is how this information got leaked, because Pandemonium Djinns managed to find out and began to build an excavation site around it.”
Of course, I already knew everything she was telling me. Still, I pretended not to know and wore an oblivious face.
“Since we can’t just watch them take all the artifacts, the Association reluctantly chose to fight them. We are talking about Genghis Khan’s artifacts, after all.”
Genghis Khan, otherwise known as Temujin.
The emperor who founded the largest contiguous empire in the history of Earth.
Although his empire didn’t last long after his death, his name reached a legendary status that spread through the entire world. Furthermore, Genghis Khan’s army was smaller in number but stronger in individual power. As such, an old weapon used by a nameless soldier in his army could potentially be higher than a low-grade artifact.
“Of course, we still have time. From our estimate of the technology available to them, they still need 2 weeks before they can start excavating artifacts.”
Yun Seung-Ah paused and looked at me softly.
“So I was wondering….”
I had a hunch I knew what she was going to say.
“You’re a mercenary.”
“I start at 50 billion.”
I gave a reply I already had prepared.
Taken aback, Yun Seung-Ah jumped slightly.
“Didn’t you just call me the Black Lotus Killer? That would mean my value just skyrocketed.”
I said with a smile.
Yun Seung-Ah scratched her head with a flustered look.