Chapter 218. Process of Fate (1)


[15F, Genkelope’s Abandoned Vessel]

“Ugh, so tired.”

Out of all the NPCs that required Stigma to open, [Grade-1 Captain — Horner], [Chief Technician — Matt], and [Chief Scientist - Davon] were the ones I rescued first. There were 4 more chief-rank NPCs, but I ran out of Stigma.

“…Excuse me, are you alright?”

2 streaks for the captain, 1 streak for the technician, and the last streak for the scientist.
I couldn’t even bring myself to answer their concerned question after spending 4 streaks in total. Who would have thought I would deplete all my Stigma like this, when I was careful not to let it run out even during battles?
I turned my head and looked at them as I lay on the floor.
Horner. Matt. Davon.
The three of them were important NPCs whom I created with care even as the settings got messier and messier. They were extremely skilled and useful slaves(?) who would clear all quests on the 15th floor for my sake if I just let them be.

“Player-nim, is there something wrong with your body?”

“No, I’m okay. I think I overworked myself a little trying to deactivate the hibernation.”

“Oh, I see.”

Horner, a promising captain in his early 30s, sighed in relief.

“Actually, we’re from the ‘Genkelope Zone’ on the 16th floor…”

Then, an incongruous explanation, which was characteristic of all NPCs, began.
Their story: they were all members of the crew on this ship, which had been sailing through the [Tower’s Void] in order to escape from the demons that had taken over the 16th floor, when, suddenly, the vessel came under attack by unidentified creatures. Because their defeat was certain, they concentrated all their electric power and manpower to Area 3 and went into hibernation in the hope of receiving help in the future.

“Hm. So, you guys are the residents of the 16th floor?”

“We’re originally the residents of the 15th floor. Because we placed our ship in the Tower’s Void, another floor was created artificially… In any case, yes, we’re the last survivors of Genkelope.”

“….”

I nodded. The Genkelope Zone was an old residential area that had been destroyed by the demons. On a side note, demons got stronger the higher one climbed.
Horner looked at me with big, glaring eyes and continued.

“In addition to Area 3, thousands of people are sleeping in the depths of the ship’s basement. There should be other crewmen in hiding in Area 1 and Area 2 as well.”

“Please help us!”

Before Horner could even finish, a young NPC came up to me and gave a 90-degree bow.
—Please help!
—We beg you!
Behind him, a group of 50 or so NPCs whom I had released from hibernation followed. At the same time, system notifications popped up.

[A massive quest has occurred — Recovery and Reactivation of the Vessel]
[Extra7’s database has been registered in Area 3.]
[Player ‘Extra7’ was nominated as the owner of Area 3.]
[You can now spend TP to renovate Area 3.]
[You may relinquish these rights at any time.]

I felt pressured, but they were also part of the ending that I wanted anyways.

“…That’s exactly what I’m here for.”

The atmosphere had become even darker on the 15th floor, which was the middle floor of the Tower. On the 16th, 17th, and 18th floor, which had been completely taken over by the demons, there was no dream, hope, or humanity. The stark scenery was a warning to the human race by the Tower of Wish.

“Oh, so that means…!”

“I’ll turn the power back on first.”

I did the only thing I could do while lying down: spending money.

[Area 3 Management]
[You spent 50,000 TP to restore 12% of power to ‘Area 3’.]
[Power has returned to Area 3.]

I fortunately had plenty of TP since I’d been saving it so far. Still, this ship was a money-sucker. I wouldn’t be able to restore it completely even if I put in a year’s worth of profit from Prestige.
But this ship was worth it.
…Probably.
To be honest, I didn’t know for certain because I had completely skipped out on details when I was writing it.
In the original story, Kim Suho thought that destroying the Tower would allow the souls trapped in here to rest in peace and also make the selfish administrators pay, so he just attacked relentlessly starting here.
The middle and the latter half of the Tower episode that I wrote was really terrible.

“Now, I’m gonna get serious. Get ready.”

I said, and spent large amounts of TP.

[You spent 50,000 TP to reconstruct the basic medical facilities in ‘Area 3’ — AUTO BOT has been activated.]
[…Reconstructing basic training facilities — shooting range, armory]
[…Extending basic defense facilities — barrier upgrade, prison transfer, reformation system]
[…Reconstructing basic sanitary facilities — bath house, cafeteria, dormitory]
[…Reconstructing basic survival facilities — food repository, artificial farms]

As the notifications announced a sharp decrease in my TP, something strange happened in [Area 3]. Rays of light shined down from the empty ceiling, and, through them, various facilities were transmitted in whole.

“Ooh…!”

“What kind of miracle is this…?”

Cafeteria, bath house, shooting range, armory, etc….
All I did was spend money through the system, yet the NPCs hailed me as if they were devotees in the face of God.

[The NPCs of Area 3 have accepted you as their savior.]

Area 3, which was about half the size of Yeouido, was in charge of the core part of the central vessel. Therefore, the next step would be to first enhance the facilities here, and use them to free other areas such as [Area 1], [Area 2], and the [Hangar].

“You all must be hungry. First, eat. Then, for the next week, focus on recovery and combat training. Tomorrow, the military expert over there….”

I glanced at the hibernation machine and hesitated. The Captain quickly explained.

“That’s Colonel Erenner. He’s an experienced soldier with great combat skills and excellent command abilities.”

“Yes, yes. I’ll wake him up later. Let’s restore this place step by step….”

Then I printed a photo through the system.

“This is also for later. When this ship is stabilized and Players like me start to come, if you ever run across someone who looks like this…”

I handed the photo to Horner.
Horner looked at the photo curiously.

“She’s a beauty. Is she your wife?”

“No, no. There’s no way she’s my wife.”

The most important facility on the 15th floor was the prison, in my opinion. Anyone locked up in Genkelope’s prison would be put under ‘system restraint’. Of course, I couldn’t just put anyone in jail with the Captain watching me, but I could at least pick a Player to bully.

“Lock her up. She’s a criminal. Her name is Jin Sahyuk. She’s brimming with confidence, so she’ll respond if you call her name. Keep that in mind.”

“Yes, sir.”

Satisfied with his answer, I raised myself up with a groan.

“Kuuk. I’ll stay here only until tomorrow….”

Tomorrow, I had something planned out. Although Boss told me to stay out of the mission, I really didn’t think I could.

“Spartan?”

Spartan, who had gone out for a walk with Sannuri, flew back and sat on my shoulder. Horner widened his eyes at the appearance of a handsome eagle.

“If anything happens, just tell him. We’re connected to each other.”

**


[4 days later, 8-3F Atalos Royal Palace]

The sacred garden of Atalos, accessible only to the chosen.
In this garden filled with jewel-like buds and soft grass, Rachel was undergoing training.

“Try to accept the elementals more, Rachel. Think of it as sprinkling magic power to make them happy. You don’t control them, you work with them. Remember that.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

She was appointed as [Princess Araha’s Knight]—the biggest rise in status for an individual Player—and, with Araha’s help, found a new elementalist teacher.

“Then, let’s try again.”

“Okay!”

Her new teacher was ‘Yuhael’, Crevon’s best elementalist. She was much more skilled than ‘Shin Yeohwa’, who was Earth’s best elementalist, and the two couldn’t be compared in terms of the quality of their teaching.

…It was too late to say this, but Rachel had suffered too much humiliation and distress from her former teacher, Shin Yeohwa.

Of course, when Shin Yeohwa told her 4 years ago that she would accept her as a disciple, Rachel was truly happy. The next day, when she found out that the tuition fee was 1 billion won a day, her heart dropped, but she promised herself to become a person worthy of such value and attended classes diligently.

However, Shin Yeohwa’s classes were painful and hard.
She would get angry over the smallest mistakes, and when she was in a bad mood, she would needlessly spend half of the class time physically punishing her. At times, Shin Yeohwa would beat her with a cane.

For such reasons, Rachel felt down whenever she had a lesson and her motivation decreased day after day. There wasn’t a day when she wasn’t worn out from the harsh training. Yet she withstood all with sheer willpower and became a full-fledged elementalist.

However, Shin Yeohwa’s envy and jealousy continued even after their lessons had ended. It was her who spread rumors about Rachel and Fenrir.
Rachel didn’t take actions because Shin Yeohwa was her teacher.

“…Good job, Rachel.”

But Yuhael was different.
She praised Rachel genuinely when she did well and mercilessly corrected her mistakes.

“You have a real gift, as expected of my student.”

Rachel smiled shyly at Yuhael’s kind compliment. She was a benevolent teacher who taught her the pleasure of learning.
Oh, of course, that didn’t mean that Rachel hated or blamed Shin Yeohwa. Rachel still considered her to be her master and, like a fool, thanked her for developing her first set of skills.

“But let’s stop here for today. Any more and you wouldn’t be able to move tomorrow.”

“Okay. Thank you.”

Yuhael patted her softly on the shoulder, and Rachel politely bowed.

“I look forward to seeing what kind of knight will be born when elementals and the sword meet.”

“…Thank you.”

“Well then, I’ll take my leave. Rest well.”

“Yes. Thank you for your hard work.”

Yuhael disappeared into the distance using her wind elemental. Her usage of elementals was truly eye-opening.

“Wow….”

Rachel wanted to become strong just like her wonderful teacher, Yuhael.
Rumors had it that Lancaster recently formed a large force. Who knew what he was scheming, traveling between Pandemonium and Africa, the land of monsters? Rachel was in a desperate need of power to be able to withstand his attack, whatever it may be.

“That’s my knight-nim~”

Suddenly the sound of applause caught Rachel’s attention. In the corner of the garden, Princess Araha was looking at her. Rachel approached her first.

“Have you been well, Princess?”

“Yeah. Thanks to you, I’m having a lot of fun these days. I got to see the martial tournament, visit theater rehearsals… If I knew I’d meet such a wonderful unni, I’d have payed more attention to the Crane Feather Fan.”

“Hm? Crane Feather Fan?”

“Yep! It’s an incredible treasure that can help you wield elementals more easily just by having it on you. But some ruffian stole it. …Well, that’s a story for another time. Come in. You must be hungry.”

“Yes, Princess.”

Rachel walked while keeping a few steps behind Araha. The way she walked was polite and elegant, as expected of a princess. Araha glanced at the gracious form and was amazed.

“Wow, you must really be a princess.”

“…Haha.”

“That’s right, do you have a boyfriend?”

Rachel smiled at the girlish question.

“I do not.”

“Then, someone you like?”

“I… do not.”

“Huh? You paused there for a second!”

“There isn’t one.”

Rachel calmly shook her head in disapproval. She had yet to know what it was like to fall in love with someone.
…Thinking so, she turned on the messenger. Most of the people she exchanged messages with were members of the Royal Court guild, though the most recent recipient was ‘Extra7’.

「Hajin-ssi, which floor are you on? I’m on the 12th. If you’re nearby, would you like to climb togetrr? ^▽^? 」

There was still no reply from him. Was it because of the typo? He was fussy about grammar.
Rachel pouted and stepped inside the castle.

“Unni, come play pool with me tonight.”

“I don’t see why not. As long as Princess Araha finishes all her homework.”

“…Hmph.”

In the hallway of the palace, portraits of past kings of the Atalos Royal Family were lined up against the wall. There were four kings in total, and Rachel would always stare at one of the four.

[Arthur Von Atalos Pendragon.]

The letters were embossed.
That name was extremely familiar to Rachel.
The legendary hero of England, King Arthur. After being resurrected here, he had stabilized Crevon just as he did on Earth when he was alive.

“My great-grandfather is indeed handsome.”

Araha murmured innocently, which Rachel found to be cute.
Rachel lips curved into a small smile.
At that moment, she received a call on her messenger. Rachel excused herself and took the call.

“…Yes. This is Rachel.”

Almost immediately, an urgent voice broke out.

—…Leader! Genghis Khan’s artifacts have been discovered in Central Asia!

“Huh? W-What artifacts?”

—We found out about it too late. It looks like a battle is about to break out. The Association and other guilds probably worked in secret….

Rachel listened blankly to her guild member’s hasteful voice.
She had known nothing about any of this.
She realized only then why other guild leaders had been avoiding her recently and why many members of the Essence of Strait and the Frost Sanctuary were outside the Tower.

“…I understand. I’ll hang up for now.”

Rachel clenched her teeth and ended the call.
Sadness and the feeling of dejection slowly rose up within her. She thought they had become comrades, yet it seemed she was still just a stranger to them.

…But it couldn’t be helped.
This was the destiny of a powerless guild. You couldn’t rely on others to gain information; you had to gain it on your own.
So no one was to blame.
If someone had to be blamed, it should be themselves for being so weak….

“Haa….”

She was upset but denied it inwardly and took a deep breath.

**


[Central Asia]

“Everyone on standby.”

The low, icy voice of the vice-leader of Essence of Strait, Yi Jin-ah, resounded throughout the cold and dry underground tunnel.

“We’re entering in 10 minutes.”

The Strait team planned to enter the excavation site through an underground tunnel. The area they were in charge of was the fifth basement. This site was full of artifacts and they had earned it through Yoo Yeonha’s political maneuvering.

“Everyone, inspect your weapons.”

At Yi Jin-ah’s words, the members confirmed the state of their weapons.

“Yi Jiyoon, check that your buffs are active.”

“Yesss! Every guild member has received a Physical Ability Boost buff and Magic Power Application buff. The Attribute Boost buff was given only to Yohei and Shen Yu’an, whose Gifts are related to their attributes. Speed-related buffs were given to Weapon Master Kim Youngjin only.

“Good. Yi Jiyoon and the healers can be on standby at the midpoint of this tunnel.”

“““Understood”””

Yi Jiyoon and the other supports backed away with a quick answer.
Just before the start of the ‘Genghis Khan’s Grassland’ operation, vice-leader Yi Jin-ah began the final roll call.

“The teams will be divided as discussed beforehand. Team leaders are me, Kim Youngjin, and Yi Yoonho. Answer.”

“This is Kim Youngjin, with 11 other team members.”

“This is Yi Yoonho, with 12 other team members.”

“Confirmed. Now, those next in line to team leaders, answer.”

“This is Shen Yuan, vice-leader of Team Yi Jin-ah.”

“This is Chae Nayun, vice-leader of Team Kim Youngjin.”

“This is Yohei, vice-leader of Team Yi Yoonho.”

“Good. Use the [Multiplying Letter] in case of any issues. Now, proceed!”

All formalities were taken care of, and the 35 members of the Strait team divided into 3 separate pathways.
Dadadada…
Kim Youngjin’s team, in charge of the eastern tunnel about 1km in length, was the first to enter the excavation site.
The team escaped the tunnel and studied the area carefully.
No sign of the enemy.
They were safe for now.

[East, confirmed.]

Kim Youngjin sent a message through the [1000x Multiplying Letter], an effective good he found in the Tower.

[West, confirmed.]
[North, confirmed.]

The messages that followed were also unproblematic.

“….”

Kim Youngjin nodded to his team members and silently approached the void in the east, towards the artifact excavation center.
Although they moved as stealthily as possible, they didn’t think they could go unnoticed. And so they weren’t surprised when suddenly a ray of light shined down on them.

Doong—!

Under the bright light that revealed their surroundings, they faced the enemy, poised. Nothing less was expected of elites who had gone through all sorts of struggles in the Tower.

—I knew you’d come, you vermin.

A husky and resonant voice insulted them. The Strait team gazed at that direction, but the owner of the voice was still hidden in the dark.

“Get ready to fight.”

At Kim Youngjin’s order, they all took their weapons out.

—You call Djinns the evils of society, yet you’re no different from us at the end of the day.

Koong, koong.
Loud footsteps followed.
Chae Nayun infused [Lv.6 Jack Churchill’s Claymore] with magic power. Kim Youngjin grasped the sword that was once wielded by an ancient Korean warrior.
Soon, dozens of Djinns appeared from the darkness.

“This time, you’re here to steal our stuff, right?”

A man who was thought to be their leader stepped forward.
His hair stretched outward like a mane, and his chest and chin were covered with hair. He was easily over 2m tall.
His appearance reminded them of a lion.

“We’re not here to steal. We’re here to exterminate humanity’s evils.”

“There you go with your shitty sophistry. Mwahahaha….”

At Kim Youngjin’s remark, the man laughed with his teeth showing. He then tried to continue but stopped when he turned his gaze to the woman standing next to Kim Youngjin.
The smile disappeared from his face.
With widened eyes, he stared at the woman— Chae Nayun. Chae Nayun frowned at the heated gaze.

“Even in this situation, you’re lusting after a woman? Stupid.”

Kim Youngjin whispered to the man in contempt.

“Kuhahahaha—!”

Suddenly, the man burst into laughter. The laughter resounded through the tunnel. A few guild members frowned and covered their ears up.
He pointed his huge finger at Chae Nayun.

“You—! It’s you—!”

“…What’s this douchebag saying?”

“…Hmm?”

He paused for a second at Chae Nayun’s dull response but soon nodded in consent.

“Ah… You wouldn’t know me. Haha, then I guess I’ll introduce myself. I’m sure you’ll be happy to find out….”

And the man confessed nonchalantly, as if he was talking about today’s weather.

“I’m the one who killed your mom.”

**


Meanwhile, Bell was scouting the area around Genghis Khan’s excavation site up in the dark sky. He had turned his entire body into magic power and swam through the clouds.

His magic power eyes could see through things, so he had already finished grasping the general situation.
Essence of the Strait, Frost Sanctuary, and Desolate Moon had just entered the site one after the other. Creator’s Sacred Grace was the last to enter with a mere 8 members, and they were headed to the first basement level, the cheapest and the most dangerous site.

“Where could they be….”

Bell continued to search for someone but quickly gave up 7 minutes later when he couldn’t find any signs of them. He knew it meant that they infiltrated the site using Jain’s Gift at least 2-3 days earlier.

“Give up, Sahyuk. We’re never gonna find them. Let’s just leave.”

—….

But his partner didn’t seem to think so.

“Jin Sahyuk?”

—Shut up. I think I found him.

“…Huh? Found who?”

Bell asked but Jin Sahyuk didn’t answer. Bell searched the visible area again to make sure, but it only became clear that there was no one around.
About 3 minutes later.
Jin Sahyuk’s answer came a little late.

—Found you, you shitty wolf.

Excitement overflowed from her voice.
Bell asked back in mild surprise.

“You did? Really?”

—Haa… Oi, Bell. We are outside the Tower, right? We’re on Earth?

“We are. But how did you… No, I won’t ask. Instead, leave him alone until he makes his move.”

—I know, I know.

Her voice trembled as if she had clenched her teeth.
‘Exactly how excited was she right now? And just how far could Kim Hajin excite her?’ Bell grinned.

—I have no idea what this bastard is planning to do now…

The voice engrossed in resentment and excitement for the revenge that was about to take place filled Bell’s ears.

—But I’ll kill him at the most crucial moment.

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