Currently, I was lying belly down in a patch of grass in Central Asia.
I left the Tower of Wish the day before the Genghis Khan artifact scramble.
That said, I didn’t plan on joining in the scramble. I was just thinking of helping out if anything unexpected happened.
Of course, I was a sharpshooter, and the excavation site was underground, but it didn’t matter all that much since I planned to add an ‘obstacle piercing’ attribute to my bullets.
In the first place, my sniper rifle was an ‘anti-material’ sniper rifle. It wasn’t specialized for hitting human targets but objects like helicopters and tanks.
As such, the sniper rifle and sniper bullets had an ‘obstacle piercing’ attribute built-in, and I just had to strengthen it using Stigma’s magic power.
I also had another method.
It was currently 5 in the afternoon.
I picked up the [Blessed Bow of Horus]. The sun had set early, so the sky was already dark. If a fight broke out, I should be able to activate [Eye of Horus] for 5 seconds.
Eye of Horus’ Authority was ‘unavoidable lock-on’. This ability bypassed the world’s law of physics. So long as my targets were within the ability’s range, my attacks would hit them no matter what obstacles lay between them.
In any case, I was observing the excavation site from a somewhat faraway place. Because Central Asia was entirely flat, it was hard to find a place to hide, but I disguised myself perfectly with Aether. If anyone was looking at me from the sky, I would look no different than a patch of grass.
My Thousand-Mile Eyes began to capture movements of Heroes. It seemed they were starting their operation.
—Stay quiet and just follow me.
Yun Seung-Ah, who was acting as a field leader for the first time in a while, warned solemnly.
Creator’s Sacred Grace entered the 1st floor of the underground excavation site. Unfortunately, the 1st floor was closest to the surface and naturally had subpar artifacts. Low-intermediate grade artifacts were probably the best ones there.
Of course, Creator’s Sacred Grace would be happy even with those. I also knew that the heavens would be touched by their efforts and grant them a special gift.
Underneath them was the 2nd floor, currently being explored by American guilds, ‘General’ and ‘Lost Child’. These two guilds vied for America’s number one guild spot and would self-destruct because of it.
Frost Sanctuary was in charge of the 3rd floor. They were also the ones who hired the world’s greatest mercenary group, ‘Jeronimo’. Right, the Chameleon Troupe was mixed within their ranks.
The 4th floor was held by Desolate Moon. Shin Jonghak arrived late, and although he should have stolen the leadership position, he was surprisingly listening to the guild’s designated leader.
Next was Essence of the Strait’s 5th floor…
A subconscious murmuring came out of my mouth. Just now, Chae Nayun’s team encountered the Djinn, ‘Gunyuden’. This muscular, large-statured man was a bottom-rung member of Satan’s Servants.
He was also the one who murdered Chae Nayun’s mother.
Gunyuden stared at Chae Nayun and yelled.
—Your mom, I killed her.
“Your mom, I killed her.”
These five words heavily sunk into Chae Nayun’s heart. Even so, Chae Nayun stayed still. She wasn’t calm. It was just that she needed time to understand what she just heard.
However, it wasn’t easy. Daehyun had used every method in its arsenal to try and find the murderer, yet they came up short. Chae Nayun had no choice but to accept the reality that she was never going to avenge her mother and consequently buried the idea deep in her heart.
However, her pent-up sorrow and resentment were being pulled up by the man in front of her….
“Stay composed, Chae Nayun.”
Kim Youngjin tried to calm Chae Nayun down.
“The assassin who infiltrated Daehyun did so stealthily and masterfully. No one could find even a single clue to the murderer’s whereabouts or identity. There’s no way that such a light-mouthed fool is that assassin.”
Despite Kim Youngjin’s persuasive words, Chae Nayun’s face contorted more and more. With bloodshot eyes, she glared at the man who admitted to killing her mother.
“Hah? No one found a single clue? I told everyone I met about my heroic deed! It’s just that no one believed it…. Don’t tell me, did you buffoons think humanity's political power would reach Pandemonium?”
The man said so as he took out a large sword. Well, rather than a sword, it was more like a sharply cut piece of rock from a boulder. ‘Barbaric’ was the only word that could describe it.
A sigh filled with rage and resentment came out.
Chae Nayun pointed her claymore at the Djinn and asked.
“…Did you really do it?”
The man grinned from ear to ear.
“Why, of course.”
“I see… but it’s too bad…”
The corner of Chae Nayun’s mouth curled up. A stream of tears fell from her cheeks as she sneered forcefully.
“There’s no evidence. I’ve met a lot of guys like you. You Djinns all act and think like having a death wish is something to be proud of.”
Chae Nayun glared at him with disgust and disdain. The man then rubbed his chin in thought.
“Don’t try to provoke me and shut your damned trap—”
“Evidence? Mm… evidence… Ah, wasn’t that corpse missing its thumb?”
Instantly, Chae Nayun’s eyes shook. She whimpered under her tightly shut mouth, and fierce magic power began to swirl around her claymore.
Kim Youngjin and the other members of Essence of the Strait also covered their weapons with magic power. Chae Nayun was their comrade. They were naturally angry as well.
“My client told me to cut off her finger to prove that I killed her, and that’s exactly what I did.’
That was the final line for Chae Nayun. It would have been the same for anyone else in her spot.
She shot forward like a bullet, the magic power imbued in her claymore flashing.
“You son of a bitch—!”
A large stone sword collided with a claymore.
An explosive sound erupted and the exploding light of magic power dyed the world white.
Yun Seung-Ah paused momentarily, feeling a faint rumbling from the earth beneath her. Then, she examined the nearby presences. The Djinns standing guard on the 1st floor began to hurry down. Yun Seung-Ah turned to the seven elite members of her guild and spoke with an excited voice.
“The number of enemies has lessened. We’ll quicken our pace.”
They moved stealthily but quickly into the 1st floor’s [Area A].
Artifact excavation sites were often divided into multiple areas, and because the 1st floor only had mediocre artifacts, there were many areas like an ant tunnel. The result of their investigation showed that there were 6 areas in total.
“There is a high chance the Chameleon Troupe is here, so stay on your guard at all times.”
Yun Seung-Ah warned before entering Area A. Although no one knew about the Chameleon Troupe’s participation in this artifact scramble, Yun Seung-Ah was certain; certain that Jain was here.
Kim Suho asked. “By Chameleon Troupe, you mean…”
“Yes, it’s the organization that Black Lotus is a part of. You know it?”
“Yes.” Kim Suho nodded. He had heard about it from Jin Sahyuk when they met coincidentally in a dungeon in Crevon. Jin Sahyuk told him that she was being chased by a certain organization as she ran away. Kim Suho remembered it distinctly, as it was the first time they didn’t get into a fight after meeting each other.
“I guess it’s not too surprising. Their name is slowly spreading nowadays.”
Then why was Jin Sahyuk chasing Black Lotus? While Kim Suho contemplated the answer seriously, Yi Yeonghan asked hurriedly. “Black Lotus is here? As a guard?”
“No, the Chameleon Troupe isn’t a Djinn organization. Its members are likely all humans.”
‘Though that was a problem in and of itself.’ Yun Seung-Ah recalled the past Chameleon Troupe and continued. “In any case, Black Lotus is an archer. He won’t try to enter such a limited space if he can help it, so don’t worry too much.”
Yun Seung-Ah stopped talking and held Area A’s doorknob. It was a normal door, but before she opened it, Yun Seung-Ah looked at Kim Suho.
“Don’t spare Djinns.” She said so strictly to Kim Suho.
“…Understood.” Kim Suho hesitated but nodded nonetheless. He still had memories of his home world which transformed into the Demon Realm. Djinns who sold their souls for their safety were no different than devils. A soulless existence wasn’t human….
“Then we’re going in.”
Yun Seung-Ah opened the door. The eight members of Creator’s Sacred Grace quickly stormed into the room. No one was merciful as the Djinns guarding Area A died without the chance to even scream for help.
The ground continued to rumble.
As elite members of Korea’s former rank 1 guild, all eight Heroes could feel and hear the faint trembling of the earth.
The battle happening on the 5th floor started out disadvantageously. It was a 10 vs 30, to begin with, and such a difference in number couldn’t be made up for easily. Not to mention, the Djinns guarding this place weren’t just any ordinary Djinns.
However, Essence of the Strait’s Heroes used the ‘skills’ they acquired from the Tower to their fullest extent and slowly gained the advantage over time.
It was undoubtedly thanks to Chae Nayun holding up their leader all by herself.
“…You’re stronger than I thought.”
Gunyuden swung his stone sword down as he murmured in genuine surprise.
Chae Nayun defended the attack and sneered openly.
“Are you sure you’re not just weak?”
Gunyuden instantaneously pulled his sword up and destroyed Chae Nayun’s qi reinforcement. Chae Nayun quickly jumped back and reproduced her qi reinforcement.
“I don’t think so.”
Chae Nayun’s qi reinforcement quickly recovered, and she made a bigger smirk.
“If you had such a trick up your sleeve, you should have used it to cut off my neck. Watch and learn, idiot.”
Chae Nayun stretched her sword out. The distance between them was about 10 meters, a distance that a sword couldn’t cover. However…
Magic power rose above Chae Nayun’s claymore, forming a giant blade.
Chae Nayun didn’t reply and attacked. The blade of magic power absorbed even the smallest particles of magic power in the surrounding as it swung down.
However, Gunyuden took the blow without difficulty.
“What is this…?”
However, the moment his stone sword touched Chae Nayun’s magic power, a part of the stone sword shattered.
The weight of pure magic power wasn’t to be taken lightly. Only now did Gunyuden’s face flicker with unease.
However, Chae Nayun was only getting started.
Horizontal slashes, vertical slashes, crossway slashes, spin slashes… Chae Nayun’s 10-meter-long blade dominated the entire area. Gunyuden was entirely focused on frantically blocking Chae Nayun’s blows. But because his stone sword broke down with each exchange, this duel was clearly approaching an end.
But for some reason, Gunyuden seemed carefree. He smiled as he received Chae Nayun’s attacks and recalled what Chae Nayun said earlier.
‘If you had such a trick up your sleeve, you should have used it to cut off my neck.’
In truth, that’s exactly what he planned to do.
A gap appeared in Chae Nayun’s defense as she tried to make a huge swing. Gunyuden threw a glance to the side. Immediately afterward, something fell on Chae Nayun’s shoulder.
She quickly tried to throw it off, but it was too late. A sharp pain struck her back, and strength left her body.
“What… did you….”
The figure that fell on Chae Nayun’s back lightly jumped up and returned to Gunyuden’s side. Chae Nayun sent him a deathly glare even as she panted in pain.
“…You cowardly son of a bitch.”
“Ah, well, to tell you the truth, it’s him. The one who killed your mom.”
Gunyuden smiled brightly and pointed next to him. A short, ugly man was snickering to himself.
“He’s my brother, Yudoren.”
Chae Nayun clenched her teeth.
Brother? You damned bastards….
She tried to stop the bleeding with her magic power, but the younger brother’s Gift seemed to have done something as her bleeding didn’t stop. Blood quickly left her body, and her vision blurred.
Kim Youngjin shouted.
However, the other Djinns stopped him.
She couldn’t expect help. She thought of an item as she gasped for breath. Perhaps, it was the last chance she had.
Call me if you’re ever in danger. She recalled that man’s words…
Chae Nayun tried to take something out from her pocket.
However, the small man stopped her. Yudoren had thrown a knife and pierced her hand.
The sound of flesh being cut rang out, but Chae Nayun didn’t feel any pain. It was a dangerous sign.
Chae Nayun glared at the two Djinns with her blurred, bloodshot eyes.
Not now. The sworn enemies who killed Mom are in front of me… I can’t give up now. I can’t….
Chae Nayun unleashed her magic power for a final attack.
But did the heavens abandon her?
An arrow suddenly descended through the walls of the excavation site.
It mercilessly pierced Chae Nayun’s heart.
Chae Nayun looked down blankly as the magic arrow stuck in her body. She knew instinctively that it was a fatal attack.
…Tears streamed down her face.
Light flashed before her eyes. Memories of happy and painful times appeared in her mind.
Strangely, Kim Hajin’s face was in both memories.
“Ah….” She slowly closed her eyes.
Maybe it’s better to just die like this.
It’s been too painful.
My consciousness should slowly fade away now.
I tried hard.
I tried hard, so it should be okay to rest.
Mom and Oppa will surely understand…
5 seconds, then 10 seconds passed. Still, death didn’t come. It was only then that Chae Nayun thought again.
Wait. It doesn’t hurt?
“What is this?”
For the first time in a long time, I received a settings change alert on my smartwatch.
[Problem – It doesn’t make sense that a terrifying, giant stone sword-using villain can assassinate someone without leaving behind any evidence.]
[Modification – A younger brother was added as the assassin, creating a more logical character persona and skillset differentiation.]
A strange Djinn was added. Chae Nayun would have won too if things continued.
I watched everything happen and raised the ‘Blessed Bow of Horus’. Then, I nocked one arrow.
[Blessed Bow of Horus] had an ability to create healing arrows.
As long as Chae Nayun’s injuries were healed, I believed she would be able to overcome her trauma by herself. As such, I decided not to kill Gunyuden and Yudoren.
Currently, it was 5:59 p.m.
With one minute left to go, I activated Eye of Horus.
My vision instantly expanded and thin strands of starlight and moonlight began to enter my eyes.
As this state only lasted 5 seconds, I had no time to be absorbed in this mystical sensation.
My body moved automatically.
5 seconds. I looked down on the world.
4 seconds. I set my target.
3 seconds. I let go of the bowstring.
2 seconds. I watched the arrow fly with my eyes.
1 second. The arrow seeped into the ground and hit its target.
Just as I was about to watch the result of my action…
A terrifying killing intent suddenly surrounded me, and a familiar human figure flew towards me.
A cold voice called my name.
I twisted my head and stared at her.
Goosebumps immediately shot up on my arms.
With only a hair’s breadth between us, we stared into each other’s eyes.
Covered in magic power armor, she was grinning ever so happily.
I couldn’t continue.
Pain quickly arrived, as a fist infused with magic power struck my stomach. Aether’s defense was easily broken through.
At the same time, I coughed out a mouthful of blood.
As my body shot back like a soccer ball… a countless number of magic weapons hurled towards me.
…The fight that broke out inside the excavation site affected the outside world.
Magic power shook the air and twisted the earth.
Through all this, Jin Sahyuk kept her eyes on one man. He was observing the excavation site while covered in a strange grass-like membrane.
She wanted to charge at him the moment she laid eyes on him, but she held herself back.
She removed her killing intent and magic power.
To enjoy greater happiness, she squelched her roaring desires.
‘I will crush you at the most crucial moment….’
Thankfully, it didn’t take long for that moment to arrive.
A strange reverberation rang out from the excavation site, and Kim Hajin took out a bow. He created an arrow out of magic power, then his eyes began to turn blue as well.
Jin Sahyuk didn’t know what was happening, but her instincts were roaring… roaring that now was the time to kill him.
She immediately drew out every ounce of magic power in her body and shot forward.
In less than a second, she reached the prey she wanted to hunt so much. Looking at his flustered face, Jin Sahyuk smiled brightly.
His widened eyes filled her with joy. However, this joy soon transformed into astonishing rage.
First, she punched his stomach to shut him up.
He was sent flying with just that.
As expected, she seemed to be stronger outside the Tower.
However, she didn’t chase after him. She created her magic power weapons and sent them flying at Kim Hajin.
Weapons formed with a boundless amount of magic power rained down on him.
One, two, three, four, five… It was pointless to count the number of weapons as it would be no different than counting the number of rain droplets during a storm.
Jin Sahyuk’s barrage didn’t stop. As more and more explosive sounds rang out, her happiness increased. Every inch of her body tingled with excitement and delight. An electrifying sense of ecstasy traveled down her spine.
She stopped her bombardment of magic power… and covered her face with her hands. She remained standing, even as she staggered side-to-side from ecstasy.
Through the gaps between her fingers, she stared at the man’s tomb. He was covered in dirt, grass, and a current of magic power. Looking at it, her cheeks flushed.
However, this blissful moment only lasted a moment.
“…Did I finish it too quickly? Hmm.”
Jin Sahyuk was happy with the result but somewhat regretted letting him go so easily. If possible, she wanted to toy with him more and make him into an example for anyone who wanted to mess with her.
…It was then.
Jin Sahyuk’s eyes widened.
It was undoubtedly the sound of a living person.
The man, Kim Hajin, had not died.
Even though he was buried deep underground by magic power, he had survived. His flesh and bones were cut, yet he wasn’t dead.
He dusted off the dirt and rocks on his body and raised his body.
Jin Sahyuk was surprised.
At the same time, she was happy.
Jin Sahyuk made an elated smile. It seemed her wish had been granted.
“Great, now that’s more like—”
A sudden exclamation of astonishment interrupted her remark.
Kim Hajin spoke apathetically, cutting her enjoyment in half.
Jin Sahyuk furrowed her brows and glared at him.
“What do you mean, ‘wow?’”
“…This is the first time I’ve felt anything like this.”
He continued to mumble incomprehensible things.
Was his brain damaged?
Jin Sahyuk created more magic power weapons in the air. Kim Hajin glanced at them, then began to laugh.
“…Did you go crazy?”
Kim Hajin shook his head.
“I just found it funny. You really came to find me?”
His tone was full of leisure.
Jin Sahyuk was about to berate his arrogance and hubris when she felt it with her body – the overwhelming and pure ‘power’ emanating from his body.
It wasn’t magic power.
It wasn’t a magic spell.
It was something much more pure…
“This will be my first close-ranged combat.”
Murmuring nonsensically— he shot forward.
A crater appeared where his foot kicked off, and a cloud of dust rose up behind him.
Immediately afterward, an intense pain struck her solar plexus.
Her magic power armor was broken instantly.
Jin Sahyuk coughed out blood at the punch that was in a league of its own. Her vision blurred, and every internal organ in her body throbbed.
But before the pain could leave her body… in the cloud of dust filled with pieces of stone, Kim Hajin’s face popped out.
His wolf-like eyes glowed blue, and his monstrous body… ‘easily’ caught up with her body in flight.
“I told you last time.”
He reached out with a rough hand and grabbed her face. Then, he murmured softly.
“That I’ll kill you if I ever see you.”
Jin Sahyuk blankly stared at him with her half-closed eyes.
“That it’ll be the same both inside and outside the Tower.”
Finally, he made a twisted smile.
“Why didn’t you listen?”
Then, her entire body was smashed into the ground.Previous Chapter Next Chapter