Golden beams of light emanated from the random box the moment I opened it.
“Woah— He must have gotten something good—” The nearby NPCs exclaimed as I examined the contents of the box.
I froze because the first card was so good.
On this floor, all cards were ranked from 1-star (lowest) to 8~9-star (highest), and my first card was an 8-star.
[Bahamut’s Red Dragon] [Monster] [8 Star]
○ Summons the Red Dragon of Bahamut to attack your opponents.
●The Red Dragon can defeat any opponent whose attack and defense are lower than its own.
●Can be summoned 3 times
It was a card that allowed me to summon the Red Dragon. I could probably throw the card in the air and have the dragon appear on the spot.
At first the card looked good, but on second thought, it didn’t seem very useful.
Light-attributed dragons like the Light Dragon or the Azure Dragon could come in handy, but the Red Dragon was virtually powerless in the latter half of the Tower arc.
“…What is it?”
Because I was looking inside the box without saying anything, Cheok Jungyeong seemed to have become curious.
“I said, what is it?”
I ignored him and focused on examining the other cards.
The rate must have been extremely low, as I was only able to draw four other 8~9-star cards even with my luck.
However, one of these four caught my attention.
[Card Conversion] [Active Card] [8-star]＊Effective Good＊
●Can convert a total of 10 items into cards regardless of their level and type.
●Converted items are treated as effective goods and can materialize anytime, anywhere, with no restraints.
●Once an item is converted, it will remain a card forever.
‘Card Conversion’, an 8-star card, glowed in gold.
It was an ‘active card’ that could turn any item that I owned into cards.
The most important part of the explanation here was the ‘converted items are treated as effective goods’ part. So its effect was similar to the [Mysterious Pouch] that I got from Kedrick, but with this card, I could turn upto 10 items into effective goods.
“Damn, you’re gonna have all the fun by yourself?”
Currently, I wasn’t one bit concerned about any of Cheok Jungyeong’s grumbling. I took out two [Lv.9 Dark Ore Arrows] and one [Lv.11 Athena’s Moonlight Arrow] from my inventory. I immediately tried to use ‘Card Conversion’ on these arrows.
[Before you use your card, please set your card activation gesture.]
[This unique gesture can only be set on the 21st floor! Only a player who has reached the 21st floor can activate ‘cards’!]
[Please set a motion or make a short sound.]
‘They have something like this?’ I thought for a moment and decided on a finger snap.
I snapped my fingers, and a strange current shot up from the card. The current enveloped the three arrows and shook them around before turning them into three cards.
[Lv.9 Dark Ore Arrow (card)＊Effective Good＊]
[Lv.11 Athena’s Moonlight Arrow (card)＊Effective Good＊]
“Huh, what was that? Hey, shop owner! Give me a random box, too.”
Seeing what I just did, Cheok Jungeyong also stepped forward with a laugh. He purchased a random box for 40000TP, while I continued to check the card information.
[Last Moonlight of the World] [Active Card] [8-star] ＊Effective Good＊
○ A fragment of moonlight from the end of the World cut off by the final knight. It vests a special effect in sword-type weapons.
●Light-attribute Infusion (or Enhancement)
●Technique Infusion, Moonlight Slash
[Miraculous Teahouse that Suddenly Appeared Oneday] [Space Summoning] [8-star]＊Effective Good＊
○ A mysterious teahouse that can never be found when looking for it, appearing only when one is not. The tea it sells has miraculous effects.
●Summons the mysterious teahouse to a place of your choice
●The tea sold in this teahouse has special effects.
●Can be summoned 3 times
[Story of a Legend on the Mural] [Person] [9-star]＊Effective Good＊
●Part of a legend manifests to assist you.
These four, including Card Conversion, were the only useful ones.
The rest were trap cards, one-time weather converters, or monster summoning cards. Still, their grades were 6-star on average, which was pretty high.
“God dammit, did these guys scam me…?”
I inadvertently turned my head to where the cursing had come from. Cheok Jungyeong was looking at a card about the size of his finger and shaking his leg in discontent. Because it was a quite funny yet a sad scene, I gave all my leftover cards to Cheok Jungyeong.
At that moment, I received a call on my smart watch.
—Ship Commander, the mission has been completed. I sent the battlecruiser out to obliterate the calamities on the 8th floor.
I was extremely satisfied.
The battlecruiser that had set out from the 15th floor annihilated the calamities on the 8th floor. It was all thanks to the revolutionary technology named ‘Floor Teleportation’, which was developed by GenphaGo, the AI of the Genkelope’s Vessel, about two weeks ago.
The development cost was almost a million TP. Although I had to invest not only my profits from the vessel but also some of my private assets, in the end, it was all worth it.
“Oh, by the way, how are other things going, GenphaGo?”
—Research on ‘Starlight Laser’, converting the light from a star into a laser beam, is 50% complete.
Floor Teleportation was already revolutionary, yet GenphaGo (Genkelope + AlphaGo) had a lot more to offer.
I nodded in satisfaction.
—We will need another million TP in the near future.
“…R-Really? Uh, yeah, I got it.” The money talk was about to begin, so I ended the call hurriedly.
“Oi, what exactly can you do with these stupid cards?” Cheok Jungyeong asked as he put together the cards I had given him.
“They also have dungeons and missions here. Didn’t you read the pamphlet?”
“Do you think I would?”
In the original story, the 21st floor was summarized in only three sentences, and although I didn’t plan on staying here for long, this place was quite interesting, solely based on its settings.
Players could enter dungeons and defeat monsters to turn them into cards. They could then summon the monsters and set out on an adventure together… Doesn’t it excite the inner child within you?
“There is also a tournament.” Suddenly, a nameless NPC approached us and added.
“Whaaaat~? A tournament? With these cards~?” Cheok Jungyeong asked back in doubt.
“Yes. A tournament called ‘Local Fighter’ is held in the eight provinces of the Kingdom, and their winners participate in ‘Grand Final’, which takes place at the royal palace. The prize money for the Local Fighter is 100,000TP and 1,000,000TP for Grand Final.”
The NPC was probably here to tempt us into participating. Even Cheok Jungyeong widened his eyes at the large amount of prize money.
1,000,000TP. I could participate in the tournament with Spartan’s help. Spartan had recently awakened another Authority, ‘Teleportation’. I should be able to win the tournament easily while traveling back and forth during the competition period.
“The winner of the tournament is also awarded a skillbook related to the cards.”
As soon as the NPC finished speaking, the shop door slid open. At the same time, a cute, child-like voice flowed in.
“Wow~ This is so good. I’ll have to make sure to get some more before we board the train later.”
The voice belonged to Aileen, and next to her was Jin Seyeon.
They entered the shop, Aileen with a chicken skewer in her hand and Jin Seyeon looking through a pamphlet.
“First, we’ll need to purchase some cards here.”
“It looks like they’ll be useful later.”
Nom, nom. Aileen finished chewing and continued, “Anyway, are you sure that the final floor is the 30th floor?”
“Shh. Miss Aileen, your voice is too big.”
“…And why do I need to be quiet? There’s nothing you can do even if you know.”
‘So they already figured out that the 30th floor is the final floor.’
I got up from the seat.
“Let’s go, Cheok Jungyeong. We’re leaving through the back door.”
Cheok Jungyeong glared at Aileen in discontent but got up reluctantly.
When we got outside, Cheok Jungyeong said just one thing.
“Why do I want to pick on that brat every time I see her? Just seeing that hamster girl breathe makes me feel irritated….”
[Essence of the Strait’s office building in Seoul, South Korea]
Yoo Yeonha immersed herself in work the moment she left the Tower. Thanks to the special skill [Thought Circuitry], which she had learned in the Tower, her performance was quicker and more accurate than ever before. It now took her only half a day to finish the work that used to take her two whole days. Fresh ideas also kept popping up in her head.
At times she was as cunning and sly as a fox; at others, she was as audacious and bold as a tiger.
As a result, Essence of the Strait firmly consolidated its position as the number 1 guild, and its subsidiary companies and affliates—SH Agency, Essential Armory, Essential Research, Essential Pharmacy, etc.— were thriving as well.
Now, she could really feel that Essence of the Strait was being watched by the entire world.
Yoo Yeonha put down the newspaper with a small sigh. A number of magazines and newspapers were scattered on her desk.
[Goguk Times’ Person of the Year - Yoo Yeonha]
For starters, the biggest media outlet in the world, Goguk Times, had selected Yoo Yeonha as its Person of the Year, and her beautiful face was on the front cover of countless magazines.
[Gyeongcheon’s Top 100 Richest People in the World]
Next was Gyeongcheon, whose public reputation in the field of economics was unrivaled by others.
Gyeongcheon had included her in their list of the Top 100 Richest People in the World. Not only did Essence of the Strait’s stock price skyrocket, but Yoo Yeonha had also legally inherited a few of her mother’s real estate. Naturally, the amount of wealth she possessed was astronomical.
[The Chief Officer of Essence of the Strait Aims for World Supremacy]
[Yoo Yeonha, Korea’s Amazoness]
[‘Essence of the Strait’, the Most Well-Respected Guild and Corporation in the World]
[How did Essence of the Strait’s Global Team Capture the Hearts of Japan and Europe?]
Most of the media was busy sucking up to her… but the article she had just read belonged to another category.
「Featured Article VII. Fenrir, the Lotus Killer」
Not long ago, the sensational news that Fenrir had murdered Black Lotus became the talk of the town both inside and outside the Tower. The ferocity of the wolf, who uses the familiar yet unfamiliar ‘gun’, delivered a huge shock to all of us.
…Fenrir, known as the greatest beneficiary of the Tower, is currently held in check by the media and the guild cartels. No Heroes want to be killed by a mere gun. They don’t want to degenerate into the soldiers during WWI, WWII, Korean War, or ordinary people of modern times. They don’t want to feel threatened by a ‘magic bullet’ that costs a mere 200,000 won each.
But if a bullet penetrates their hearts, it will not be disrupted by their status nor strength.
At least, Fenrir’s bullet won’t.
It was a featured article about Fenrir written by the Violet Times’ information agency.
The article outlined Fenrir’s strengths in a detailed yet terrifying way, and finished with a sarcastic tone that presumed the heroes would continue their shameful acts in their fear of Fenrir.
She was aware that Violet Times had an anti-guild bias, but an article like this? It would definitely start a fire even if there wasn’t one in the beginning. It was so noticeable too, being on the front cover.
In any case, Fenrir was a complete celebrity now. Thanks to his new status, his past assassinations of Djinns and the fact that he had received a ‘Djinn Hunting License’ from certain nations, including the USA, were disclosed to the public.
Yoo Yeonha rubbed her temple as she looked over the articles that filled the hologram.
[Fenrir was the one who single-handedly destroyed Salomon Djinn Cartel.]
[The ultimate death sentence… his bullets are effective even at a 10km range. Magic barriers and any type of physical defense are ineffective against him.]
[Fenrir’s longest shooting range is reported to be 14km.]
[Fenrir’s past achievements surfacing one by one… They are the traces of a monster.]
Many articles like these gained popularity, and nowadays, not only Djinns but also Heroes were afraid of Fenrir.
It was, of course, because there were many Heroes who were no different than Djinns.
Many people assumed that once the Tower climbing ended, Fenrir would start targeting corrupt Heroes along with Djinns.
Yoo Yeonha, too, presumed as such.
If Kim Hajin did hold a grudge, it would be against ‘people’, rather than Djinns.
A knock stopped her train of thought.
Yoo Yeonha immediately got rid of the scattered newspapers and threw the energy drink that she’d been saving for a while into the trash can.
The whole cleanup process took only two minutes.
She tidied herself and invited the guest in.
“Team Leader Yoo Yeonha.”
An unexpected guest came in through the door.
With a small smile that couldn’t hide her determination and resolve, Chae Nayun walked in and stood in front of Yoo Yeonha.
“What’s up, Nayun? I thought you were in the Tower.”
“…I’m here to hand this in.”
Chae Nayun handed something to Yoo Yeonha.
It was an envelope that read… Leave of Absence.
“W-What is this?”
“It’s exactly what it looks like. I’m taking some time off.”
Yoo Yeonha’s question was purposeless.
She simply wanted to know why.
But the answer that followed sank her heart.
“I’m going to start a serious investigation.”
“Yeah. About the incident involving my brother. I feel like I’ve been trying to manage everything on my own for too long… I’m thinking of asking other members of my family for help as well.”
Her brain froze the moment she heard those words. Even [Thought Circuitry], which had been stimulating her brain until now, turned useless.
Well, in truth, it didn’t.
She quickly came back to her senses, began thinking, and reached a conclusion.
The Chae Family hid Chae Jinyoon’s body because the evidence that he had become the host of a devil was on his body. It was also the reason they blamed the Djinns for the incident and neglected to perform a thorough investigation.
So it was unlikely that the Chae Family would help Chae Nayun’s investigation. Or they might blatantly deceive her.
If there was someone who could discover the whole truth, it would be Chae Nayun, the only heir to the Chae Family and the apple of Chae Joochul’s eyes. She was perhaps the only one on Earth who could burrow deep into the secrets without being threatened by Chae Joochul.
Yoo Yeonha finished thinking.
She would lend her the tools she needed. And with these tools, Chae Nayun would uncover the truth on her own.
The most crucial evidence to the irrevocable truth would be Chae Jinyoon’s body that was hidden somewhere.
Of course, it would be a lie to say that she wasn’t worried about how Chae Nayun would react in the face of the truth.
But she must have gotten strong enough to make a decision like this on her own. She should be able to withstand the truth, however cruel it might be.
“I want to help.”
“…Huh? No, I’m fine on my own—”
“I’ll lend you the best informants in Essence of the Strait. You can even use Magic Contracts to shut them up if the truth is too hard to reveal.”
Yoo Yeonha immediately decided to lend Chae Nayun her best informants.
To convince Chae Nayun, who was now deep in thought, Yoo Yeonha quickly glanced over the list of names.
First up was… ‘Kim Hosup’.
“Kim Hosup. He’s the most valuable agent in this day and age when technology is everything.”
Just his salary was 50 billion won. He also received other bonuses like games and anime before they even came out in the market.
As expensive as he was, he was truly the centerpiece of Falling Blossom. Still, Yoo Yeonha didn’t spare a single moment of thought before deciding to hand him over to Chae Nayun.
[The train to the 26th floor]
We passed through the 22nd and the 23rd floor in the train.
In fact, we weren’t even aware that we had arrived at either the 22nd or the 23rd floor, because the five of us were in my waiting room instead of the train compartment.
“How come Hajin’s waiting room is so comfy~?” Jain asked in a drowsy voice as she lay on the special couch I crafted.
“Because I put a lot of effort into decorating and improving the place.” I explained as I turned my attention to the finished dress.
[Lv. 13 Medea’s Violet Dress]
This level 13 dress was made with violet silk and jewels, both of which were Medea’s favorites.
It was born from the combination of Aether’s Aesthetic Eye, Young Dwarf’s Dexterity, and Stigma’s magic power, a true masterpiece which had achieved level 13 solely based on its beauty.
“Wow, it’s so pretty. Giving it to that crazy woman would be such a waste~”
“Well I am asking a lot for it.”
“Yeah~ I never imagined she would actually agree to give you 40% of Prestige~”
I gave a small smile to Jain and called Spartan.
Spartan flew over to me and sat on my shoulder.
“Take me to the VVIP Conference Room on the 15th floor.”
“See you soon, Hajin~”
Immediately after I nodded to Jain and Boss, Spartan and I teleported to a different area of the Tower.
[15F, Genkelope’s Vessel]
I was back on the 15th floor. In front of me was the excited Medea.
“Y-You’re here~? I’ve been waiting for you.”
Medea smiled modestly and approached me nervously.
“Uh, yeah. Let me show you the dress first.”
I put the dress up in the air using Stigma.
The dress was stunning even in my eyes. A piece of art too beautiful to wear fluttered in the air. Medea was completely bewitched by it.
“This, this is my dress….”
“And your side of the deal?”
Mesmerized, Medea handed a piece of paper to me.
It was the contract that specified Medea would hand over 40% of Prestige to me.
[Would you like to activate the contract?]
I, of course, clicked ‘yes’.
I heard a strange sound all of sudden and looked back. There, Medea was taking off her clothes with magic. She was trying to put on the dress right away. She was completely possessed.
I quickly averted my gaze, but I had eyes on my back, too.
Soon after she finished changing, she let out an exclamation of joy. I looked back inadvertently.
And for a moment, my heart almost stopped.
She was indeed the enchantress from the myth.
Medea in my dress was exceptionally beautiful.
She wasn’t overshadowed by the beautiful dress, creating a wonderful synergy instead. Her beautiful state of existence seemed to exude light on its own, like the very definition of a halo.
“…How is it? Am I pretty?”
I faked nonchalance and nodded to Medea.
“I love the name of the dress more than anything. Medea’s Violet Dress….”
‘With this, the phenomenon realm isn’t far away.’ Medea clenched her fists in joy.
“Well then, everything’s taken care of, so I’ll be on my way now.”
“Wait a minute, Tra-nim. Since you’ve bestowed on me such a marvelous dress, allow me to inform you of an interesting piece of news. I reckon you are aware that the crown prince of Crevon was murdered?”
Although I had already handed her the dress, she was even more polite than before. In fact, I started to feel a bit uncomfortable. Was she expecting me to make her an accessory to go with the dress?
“Yes, I’m aware.”
“That was the 5th Princess’ doing, together with Lü Bu.”
I was surprised, but it did make sense.
The 5th Princess of Crevon, Araha, and the Treacherous Hero, Lü Bu.
They were both ambitious enough to commit such a crime.
“But why are you telling me that?”
“Because, you seem to possess sympathy for NPCs.”
Medea said, and grinned.
“Well, I’ll take that into account. But right now, I’m almost at the 24th floor and don’t have time to deal with such a thing. …Anyways, I’m going now.”
“Yes, Tra-ssi. I wish you luck. Please come back safely.”
Medea saw me off with noble-like manners. It was the classic ‘hold your dress up slightly and bow’ kind of parting.Previous Chapter Next Chapter