Chapter 216. Reason for Meeting (2)


[8F Crevon]

Not only did Jin Sahyuk hide in a dense forest, but she also dug a hole in the ground to escape from Kim Hajin’s attacks. She didn’t even have the time to feel humiliated. In a mere minute, she dug a hole deeper than most underground tunnels and began tending her wounds inside the cozy nest(?).

“…Uk!”

Her shoulder injury was serious. The arrow had pierced it cleanly, but the skin and the bones which had been penetrated were far from being clean. Her right arm would have fallen off completely if the attack had been only 1cm closer.

Sssss….

Suddenly, a handful of magic power resonated and appeared in front of Jin Sahyuk, who was hurrying to take out a potion.

—Hurt again?

Jin Sahyuk glanced towards the direction the voice had come from. Although the voice was undoubtedly that of a human, what was standing there was a tiny cat.

“…Shut up, Bell.”

Surprisingly, Jin Sahyuk referred to the cat as Bell. The cat called Bell wagged its tails and continued.

—You said you didn’t like the mouth, so I changed it to something cute. You don’t like it?

The cat perked its ears and body up in an effort to appear cute.
This was part of Bell’s Gift. He could turn his body, not just as a whole but also parts of it, into magic power. The cat was the result of him taking his eyes and mouth together and reshaping their forms.
He chose to be a cat because cats were the only animal Jin Sayuk didn’t hate.

“…Can’t you tell by looking? I’m not in the mood to talk.”

The cat’s eyes widened. Her remark was pretty gentle, considering her shoulder had just been shot. Did the turn-into-a-cat thing really work?

—Before, you’d have started out by cursing. Jin Sahyuk, you changed! Or am I just too cute? Meow~?

Jin Sahyuk even withstood that stupid remark. Letting out a feverish sigh, she continued to ignore the damn cat.

—Do you want me to avenge you?

But the short question that followed was enough to win Jin Sahyuk’s attention.
She froze for a moment and threw a sharp glance at the cat. The cat sat cross-legged on the ground and continued arrogantly.

—If it’s a surprise attack, I think I’ll be able to kill him at least once.

Bell carefully sounded Jin Sahyuk out.
But her curt reply was both expected and unexpected at the same time.

“…Don’t you dare.”

Bell smiled.
He had expected her, at this point, to want to take revenge on Kim Hajin, even if it meant receiving help from others.

“I’ll be the one who kills him.”

But her fighting spirit wasn’t dead yet.

—…Yeah, I understand. Take care of that wound on your shoulder.

With that, Bell the cat disappeared into thin air, and Jin Sahyuk, now alone, let out a small sigh.
Amidst the serenity of the forest, she reflected on today’s events. Although her arm almost fell off with a single shot, it wasn’t enough yet.
Today, she saw that she had a chance of winning.
The difference in their abilities was small enough for her to catch up.

Jin Sahyuk held the potion in her left hand and twisted the cap open with her mouth. Pong— The potion opened with a refreshing sound, and she poured it over the penetrating wound on her shoulder.
Tzzzzz… Steam rose from where the potion and the skin came into contact. The pain was more severe than the initial shot, and Jin Sahyuk’s bloodshot eyes swelled almost to the point of bursting.
Amid the severe pain, she recalled his face.
I want to kill him.
I will kill him myself.
With my own two hands, I’ll… Jin Sahyuk endured the pain with tears streaming down her face. She clenched her teeth and shivered but never let out a scream.

‘A monarch must always be calm and collected on the outside.’

Because that was what Machiavelli said.

**


[Party ‘Kimchipay’ has defeated the calamity, ‘Medusa’!]

Meanwhile, the members of Kim Suho’s party were sprawled on the ground, catching their breath.

“Haa… Haa….”

“Aiya….”

Was it a groan or a breath? The indistinguishable sound reverberated through the field.
After 3 hours of desperate struggle, they were finally victorious.
They won because they utilized their advantages until the end.
Medusa was a calamity whose ‘magic eye of petrification’ had to be dealt with with extreme caution. Petrification was equal to eternal death. The wicked Medusa knew that Players could be resurrected, and so she would have kept the players who had become stones in her stomach.

However, the Sword Saint Gift could cut what could not be cut. Kim Suho severed the magic eye of petrification with his sword. With the magic eye of petrification incapacitated, Medusa was nothing more than a slightly more powerful monster.

“…By the way, that was Black Lotus, right?”

Suddenly, Yi Yeonghan asked.
Sure, victory was victory and joy was joy, but they all harbored the same question in their minds.
The advantage they had in the battle was broken for a moment in the middle of the fight.
When hundreds of harpies arrived, they were supposed to retreat or call for reinforcements.
But right at that moment, a number of arrows came flying from a distance. The dark stems that appeared out of nowhere decimated the harpies. Even though the black arrows quickly dispersed— that scene of magnificent destruction had been clearly imprinted on their minds.

“Probably. Those were definitely Black Lotus’ arrows.”

Kim Suho placed his hand on Misteltein and raised his upper body.
Deep in sentiment, he looked up to where the arrows came from. But there was no one at the tip of the cliff far away.
Kim Suho remembered the man who looked down at them from that place just a few moments ago.
Did he help them out of amusement?
Or, as others had said, was it part of his heroism?
Kim Suho stared at the cliff for a long time in a touch of confusion.

“…No matter how much I think about it, I don’t like this party’s name.”

Suddenly, Chae Nayun glared at the system with narrowed eyes.
The party’s name was ‘Kimchipay’.
[Kim] Suho. [Chae] Nayun. [Fe]rmun brother and sister. [Yi] Yeonghan. The name was composed of the first syllables of their names. It was supposed to be ‘Kim Chae Fe Yi’, but Yi Yeonghan needlessly demonstrated his sense of humor and turned it into Kimchipay.

“But it’s funny. It’s like your dad’s company’s Daehyun Pay.”

Chae Nayun clenched her teeth at Yi Yeonghan’s remark.

“That’s nice and all, but this damn system keeps making fun of me.”

This was what Chae Nayun’s system looked like.

[‘Kimchipay’ has defeated ‘Medusa’.]

[‘Nayunjajangman’ Chi Nayun’s contribution is 14%]

Chae Nayun was not Chae Nayun but Chi Nayun.

“You wanna die?”

Her threats only made the system mock her more.

[Kimchi Nayun’s contribution is 14%]

“…Ehew.”

‘What use is it to fight with something you can’t even see?’
Chae Nayun sighed and lay on the ground.
But others clicked their tongues at her in astonishment. As expected of the Magic Power Monster, she was still energetic even after pouring out such a large amount of magic power.

“…The weather’s nice.”

Chae Nayun, sprawled on the ground, looked up at the sky.
Suddenly, a thought crossed her mind, and she widened her eyes.

“Wait, isn’t the one who killed all the harpies Black Lotus?!”

“What the heck. Somebody’s a little late.”

“…Huh?”

“We’ve been saying all along that he was Black Lotus.”

“…Really?”

Chae Nayun scratched her cheek awkwardly.
This was all because of the system, for picking fights with her.

“But why did Black Lotus…”

…help us?
Chae Nayun mumbled as she opened the messenger.
The only person who she had exchanged messages with recently was ‘Extra7’. He used to be her teacher, but now he was a man full of mysteries. She did keep on messaging him because she believed that he had something to do with Kim Hajin….
She pulled up the conversation and examined the last message.

「Hyung-nim, can we meet? I have a dangerous mission next week.」

「Not joking, I might actually die ㅋㅋㅋ It’s a super dangerous mission.」

「I want to take lessons from you, Hyung-nim, before I leave.」

There was still no reply from Extra7.
She was smacking her lips in disappointment when another system notification popped up.

[Rewards for defeating Medusa]
[Received 2 Effective Good Selector.]
[Effective Good Selector — Turn an item Lv.6 or lower that you want into an effective good.]

“Ooh?! What’s this!?”

Yi Yeonghan shouted, rejoicing.

“Effective Good Selector? Hey, Suho! Isn’t this really good?”

“…You’re right, it is. Lv.6… What should we bring outside?”

Kim Suho smiled in satisfaction, and Chae Nayun also beamed with pleasure as she looked into her inventory.
Effective Good Selector. It was a ticket that could transform an item into an ‘effective good’, which meant it could be brought outside the Tower.
I don’t even have to think about what I’m going to bring outside. Of course it’ll be the [Lv.6 Jack Churchill’s Claymore] that I’m holding right now…
She thought, when suddenly another item caught her eye.

「Lv.5 Invitation Letter to the Love Room」

Invitation Letter to the Love Room.
If I can use the ticket on this Lv.5 item….
Just as she was thinking, another system notification popped up.

[Return to the royal palace and claim Crevon’s rewards.]

[100,000TP will be divided according to the contribution rate.]

[The weapon that Kimchi Nayun rented, ‘Lv.6 Jack Churchill’s Claymore’, will be bestowed on Kimchi Nayun permanently.]

“Are you kidding me? You say Kimchi Nayun one more time….”

“Hey, what are you doing?!”

Yi Yeonghan yelled at Chae Nayun, who was growling at the system. Chae Nayun turned back in surprise and saw that everyone was getting ready to return.

“Let’s go claim the rewards!”

“…Okay.”

Chae Nayun glared into the air and followed after the others.

**


11:30 p.m.
A peaceful home on a peaceful afternoon.
Currently, I was patting Evandel’s head as I answered the various questions that had arrived at Truth Agency.

“Oh… So something like this happened.”

Thanks to all the words of mouth, I’d been getting a lot of serious requests these days. Among them was the request from the Djinns of ‘Destruction’, who wanted to uncover the identity of the Hero who killed their executives. Of course, I had no intention of accepting their request.
As I browsed through the requests, I discovered one with a somewhat familiar content.

“…What’s wrong with her?”

[Dear Truth Agency,
This is LadyU from the other day.
My request this time is also driven by pure curiosity. I am incredibly sorry to take up your time with questions such as these. Then again, my question is out of sheer curiosity and lacks a specific purpose, so please don’t feel obliged to accept my request. And, please don’t get upset that my request is a repeat occurrence and kindly consider it as a silly girl’s immature curiosity….]

It was Yoo Yeonha with her extremely polite writing.
And this time, Yoo Yeonha’s request was….

[Are the English Royal Court guild’s leader, ‘Rachel’, and Jeronimo Mercenary’s Fenrir, ‘Kim Hajin’, lovers?]

“Has she gone crazy these days…?”

Perhaps it was all because of her business mindset: ‘always assume the worst’. Still, how far have her delusions gone?
I wrote the answer down quickly.

[According to my research, the answer is no. It is certain that Fenrir Kim Hajin does not have any lover.]

I made myself clear so that she wouldn't ask again.
‘…Is she going to ask if I like men next?’
In any case, after I sent out my answer…
*Ding— *
I received a text from Yoo Yeonha.

[Hey. I got out of the Tower. If you’re out too, tell me your nickname.]

“…Hmm.”

Nickname.
I could probably tell Yoo Yeonha. She was close to Chae Nayun, but she wasn’t the type to spill the beans like Yi Jiyoon.

“Uuunn….”

Suddenly, Evandel started wriggling in my arms .
She narrowed her eyes as if she was having a nightmare and dove deeper into my arms.

“Cute.”

I gave a small smile and patted her on the head. It looked like my touch, which was surrounded with Stigma’s magic power, had settled her down, as Evandel fell back to peaceful sleep with a faint smile.

—Hajin. There will be a meeting.

…Suddenly, a voice rang in my ears. This was a skill Boss recently learned called [Magic Power Transfer]. She had figured out how to utilize it and was now able to use communicate through the mind.
I held Evandel tightly so that she wouldn't wake up, lay her on the bed, and stepped outside.

The apartment complex at 11 p.m. was dark, and there were no stars in the sky. I recalled Crevon’s sky, which was filled with stars.
In any case, Boss was nearby. She had purchased an apartment unit after I recommended this place to her as a hideout a long time ago.

The location was building 101, the biggest and the most expensive building in the entire apartment complex. On a site note, its price on the market had gone up by 5 billion since then. Housing prices were high around here to begin with, but the Tower of the Wish made them go even higher, or something like that.

Anyways, I arrived in front of suite #902 of building 101.
I opened the door which was not locked, went in, and looked around.
The house was completely empty. Only a single chair stood lonely over the marble tiles which covered the spacious living room.
Boss was sitting on the chair with her eyes closed. She was probably trying to set the mood, but… click.
I turned on the light first.

“….”

Boss frowned at me.

“Boss, where’s Jain?”

—I’m here~

The answer to my question came from below. I followed the voice, looked down, and discovered a small puppy to my surprise.

“Huh? Is that you, Jain?”

—Isn’t this amazing~? I’ve never been so small in my entire life. I feel like I surpassed my limits after coming out of the Tower~

The cute puppy said, panting.

“It’s cute.”

—Haha, really~?

I turned my gaze on Boss again.
Boss looked and me and spoke.

“The reason I called you here today is….”

—Central Asia, you know? There are artifacts there. Let’s get to the point quickly, okay~?

But before Boss could say anything, Jiiiing— Beams of light came out from Jain’s eyes. It was a projector. From the looks of it, they all picked up some weird things from the Tower.

—This is the catalogue of the core artifacts~

It was a list of Genghis Khan’s artifacts believed to be buried in Central Asia.
What caught my eyes were of course [Temujin’s Bow] and the [Saddle of Khan].
The moment I laid my eyes on them, a masculine desire surged from deep within me. I never thought of myself as materialistic, yet I felt a strong urge to obtain [Temujin’s Bow], especially when I thought about how powerful the combination of [Temujin’s Bow] and the [Dark Ore Arrow] would be.
Of course, I already had the [Blessed Bow of Horus], but as the saying goes, ‘the more the merrier.’

—Among these…

“We’ll leave the small fries alone and take the big ones.”

Boss interrupted Jain.

“But Kim Hajin.”

“Yes?”

I tilted my head questioningly and looked at Boss.
Boss said just one thing to me.

“You will not participate in this mission.”

**


…One week later.
I was walking down the streets of 8-3F Crevon with Boss.

“Are you upset?” Boss asked, with only two days left until the mission.

“No.” I answered nonchalantly.

I agreed that I wasn’t needed in the next mission. The excavation site was limited in space, and, to a long distance shooter, distance equaled his own life.
It was better for me not to go.

“It’s okay. I’ll be training for a while.”

“…Yeah.”

We finished talking just like that and walked side by side.

…But it seemed that Boss was bothered, as she began talking to herself earnestly.

“It’s not bad to wear your heart on your sleeve when you’re upset.”
“[It’s healthier to talk openly with others, rather than to let things pile up inside—] In which book did I read that phrase?”
“If we fall out over something like this, then it means that I didn’t communicate with my subordinates very well… It’s my fault….”

I was thinking about covering my ears up, when I saw Rachel on the other side of the street with Princess Araha.
Rachel, who left a great impression on the royal family during defense against calamities, had become their royal guard officially. She probably came here today with Araha to watch the [Crevon Martial Tournament].

“Oh, by the way Boss, who are you up against?”

Today was the final round of the martial tournament, which had been put on hold for various reasons. After defeating two calamities without much casualty, the royal family’s optimism had again regained its control.

“I’m against a man I don’t know.”

“Mm. Yeah? Then please go on ahead. To the waiting room.”

“…Okay.”

As I watched Boss plod towards the arena, a question popped up in my mind.

“Ah, Boss.”

“Yes?”

Boss turned around as if she had expected it.

“What’s the nickname of the guy you’re fighting?”

“…He’s called [Yeokma].”

“Mm, well, good luck. Not that you’ll need it.”

I smiled at Boss. Boss smiled back at me and nodded.
Then, she disappeared into the arena.

“Hmm….”

I decided to look around before the martial tournament began. There were a lot of powerful Players and nobles who had come to watch the tournament. I saw Kim Suho and Chae Nayun. Both of them looked disappointed at the fact that they didn’t know this tournament even existed.

But who was ‘Yeokma’ if he wasn’t one of those two? Kim Junwoo?
I tilted my head questioningly.
Suddenly, a sense of uneasiness set in at the thought that suddenly sprang up in my mind.
I took out the Book of Truth in a hurry.

[Who is Yeokma, the participant of the Crevon Martial Tournament?]
A one-dimensional question like this took up too much Stigma.
So this was the question that I asked the Book of Truth.

[Is ‘Yeokma’, the participant of the Crevon Martial Tournament, the person I know as ‘Bell’?]

I spent 1 streak of Stigma, and exactly 5 seconds later.
The charred letters blazed up over the pages of the Book of Truth.

[‘Yeokma’ is indeed the person you know as ‘Bell’.]

“…!”

As soon as I read those words, I ran towards where Boss had disappeared.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

FudgeNouget's Thoughts

Yeokma could mean various things since the author didn't really give the Hanja (Chinese characters) for it. It could mean something like "Reverse/Counter  Magic/Demon/Devil" or it could refer to this Korean book written in 1900s which is about unavoidable fate. OR it could mean nothing, literally just a random name.