“Why are you here?” Shortly after they exchanged greetings, Kim Suho asked curiously.
Jin Seyeon briefly answered, “Because I saw you.”
“I saw you, so I came.”
She said so and turned her gaze to me again. I smiled nervously, feeling a bit uncomfortable.
It was hard to believe that she was my fan, especially because I had used the same excuse before myself, but Jin Seyeon was a good-natured person. It wouldn’t hurt to trust her.
Jin Seyeon asked suddenly, “So, are the two of you looking for an oasis?”
“Eh? Ah, yes.”
Kim Suho appeared slightly flustered at Jin Seyeon speaking politely with honorifics.
“Mm. Then may I accompany you?”
“Uh….” I hesitated. I knew exactly where the oasis was, and I did intend to split the reward with Kim Suho. But I was a little skeptical about sharing it with Jin Seyeon.
“I don’t need the reward. I simply wish to help you out, as a fan.”
Jin Seyeon added as if she read my mind.
“Ah, yes, if that’s alright with you….”
Then it was fine with me. I nodded and hopped up on Sannuri.
“Let’s go find the oasis.”
I ran ahead with Sannuri. Jin Seyeon and Kim Suho followed close behind, and it took us about 30 minutes to get to the oasis. I had taken detours on purpose, pretending to look for the oasis.
[Congratulations! You are the first to discover an oasis. The reward has been doubled!]
Suddenly, a giant pool of water shot up from the center of the desert.
The pool was an origin of life which brought up many plants in the dry desert and shared vigor with desert animals that occasionally stopped by it.
We stood in front of the oasis that was definitely not a mirage.
[50000TP has been awarded to ‘Extra7’ and two other Players.]
“Eh? I also received 50000TP.”
The reward was handed out immediately, and Jin Seyeon took out 5 bills, each worth 10000TP, to give me.
“No, that’s okay. Please keep them. The real reward is probably something else….”
The reward couldn’t just be TP.
I had a hunch.
I mean, just look at it. An oasis in the middle of nowhere— definitely suspicious.
I also believed in my luck. I couldn’t possibly have discovered an empty can.
“Hajin, where are you going?”
I approached the oasis and put my hand in the water. The water was clear and cool, but right now I didn’t have the time to enjoy it.
I activated [Lv.8 Synthesis].
[Synthesis], which was already close to the max level (10), slowly started to absorb the oasis.
The surface of the oasis splattered and its volume dwindled, as opposed to its density which increased. But my spirit power ran out the moment the oasis was reduced to half its original size. So I added in Stigma. Stigma’s magic power synthesized the oasis much more efficiently and aggressively than my spirit power.
“Wow. You are amazing, Fenrir. Clap clap clap.”
And finally, with Jin Seyeon’s cheer which sounded scripted, every drop of the water in the oasis was compressed into the size of a soccer ball.
At the bottom of the oasis, which now lay bare, was an altar, and sitting on top of it was a treasure chest.
I approached the chest without a moment of hesitation.
The chest was locked, but that wasn’t a problem to me.
I inserted the Mystic Key into the lock, turned it 180 degrees, and the chest easily opened.
Inside, there was a book and a piece of armor.
[Lv. 1 Ultimate Skill Acquisition Book - Complete Understanding of Spirit Power]
[Lv.11 Imhotep’s Leather Armor]
[Busan, South Korea — Haeundae]
Meanwhile, Chae Nayun purchased a vacation home in Busan with the money she’d been saving plus her salary from the guild.
She chose Busan for no particular reason. It was just that she kept suffering from headaches in Seoul and thought that maybe a change of environment would serve her well.
But that turned out to be nothing more than a wish. Even in Busan, she rarely had the time to enjoy the new environment or to look after herself.
—Here is the related information.
It was all because of the regular video calls she had with her informants.
The informants whom Yoo Yeonha had prepared for her were way too diligent. They would send her reports a couple of times each day, and Chae Nayun was completely occupied just trying to make sense of them.
“Is this the information related to ‘that incident’?”
Chae Nayun could see the informant’s face, but the informant couldn’t see Chae Nayun’s face. She started going over the pile of reports that the informant, Kim Hosup, had sent her.
She examined it scrupulously. Every single cell and neuron in her brain was on fire. The report was thick and complicated, but she tried to make sense of it on her own.
…However, what she would say in the end was already decided.
The informant continued, as if he had already expected her to say so.
—There are so many suspicious points about the murder of Chae Jinyoon. In fact, it’s suspicious that there are so many suspicious points….
The informant’s summary of the Chae Jinyoon Case was as follows:
There were too many suspicious things about the case, which was also the most suspicious thing about it, since the victim was none other than Chae Jinyoon.
Chae Joochul’s grandson was murdered.
So there shouldn’t be anything suspicious, and even if there were, they should already have been resolved.
Yet, although this case caused a stir once, it was called off much too quietly.
—Because of this, there are a lot of conspiracy theories about this case.
This was news to Chae Nayun who had stopped looking at the internet since that day. Well, to be precise, she was cut off not only from the internet but from society as a whole. After all, she had climbed to Baekdu Mountain immediately after her 2nd year at Cube.
—Investigators detected a demonic energy storm of high density at the site of the murder. It was also confirmed by the witness that the demonic energy was huge and extremely destructive.
It broke her heart just imagining what her brother had to go through.
He must have been so scared and distressed.
Chae Nayun forced herself to listen to those painful words. She felt as though her gut was rotting, but she knew she had to continue.
Demonic energy storm. She was able to find out that much even by herself, but nothing beyond that. Strangely enough, her father remained silent about the case and even scolded her every time she showed the slightest intention of investigating the incident.
—As you know, demonic energy is similar to magic power in that they both have something called ‘signatures’. So by analyzing the demonic energy at the site, we can learn how many people were present at the scene.
Chae Nayun had also learned this theory at Cube. It was something about magic power being able to work like fingerprints.
—According to the investigators, only one demonic energy signature was found at the scene. Nonetheless, the prosecutors concluded that Chae Jinyoon was kidnapped and murdered by a ‘Djinn group’. Two theories can explain why.
The informant continued slowly, step-by-step in detail so that even Chae Nayun could understand.
—The first theory: Chae Jinyoon really was murdered by Djinns. This is what Chae Joochul has officially announced to the public. But a question remains. Djinns like to operate in groups, so why was only one demonic energy signature detected?
“No, that’s wrong. There’s no way it was a Djinn ‘group’.”
Chae Nayun interrupted the informant.
There might have been a Djinn accomplice, but Kim Hajin certainly wasn’t a Djinn. If he was, he would have given off the unpleasant aura characteristic to Djinns. There was no way that Chae Nayun, with her exceptional instincts, would have missed that.
“Anyways, cross that out and give me the next theory.”
—But the next theory is even more bizarre.
“What is it? Tell me.”
One of the two theories was invalid.
Then the remaining one should at least be closer to the truth.
—Chae Jinyoon was a Djinn. That’s the theory.
The moment she heard those words, Chae Nayun’s heart sank.
—The theory is that Chae Jinyoon was a Djinn, and that the Association intervened to dispose of him. This is what the supporters of the theories say.
Chae Nayun didn’t say anything. She had ceased thinking completely, as if a switch inside her had been pulled down.
—A number of Djinns would have been needed to carry out an operation of this size and level. However, as I said, only one demonic energy signature was detected at the scene. Also, there was no sign of demonic energy at the hospital, from which Chae Jinyoon was kidnapped….
Chae Nayun clenched her teeth and interrupted him. Countless words lingered in her mouth. They were all swear words filled with rage, but she suppressed her anger down her throat.
“…Don’t say things like that.”
She mustn’t get angry. The informant was not at fault. In fact, he didn’t even know who she was.
Chae Nayun let out a deep sigh and continued.
“That’s impossible, so look at things from a different angle. For example… a combined organization of humans and Djinns? Something like that.”
— Yes, understood.
“Okay. Good work. As for your performance-based bonus….”
The limited edition of ‘ReOrient Nox’, a game released in 1992. She had put in quite a bit of effort to secure a copy of this rare game for her informant. she had managed to secure a copy of this ‘artifact’ only after utilizing all of her personal connections and paying 1.5 billion won.
Chae Nayun sent the game data over to the informant.
“…Here it is.”
—Huk! This is… the famous Reorient Nox-chan.
“Continue your good work.”
—Arigato! I’ll try my best!
The call ended with the informant gasping in surprise.
Then, everything became quiet. In the silence, Chae Nayun sighed and buried herself in a chair.
…She couldn’t even properly speak because she was so dumbfounded.
“Why would anyone on the internet come up with such bullshit?”
Whoever he is, he deserves to be sued.
How could anyone even imagine my brother was a Djinn?
He was the most righteous man in the world.
He was smarter, cooler, better looking, and stronger than me….
“Ha, that shit totally ruined my mood.”
Chae Nayun turned her computer on to play a game in order to prevent herself from getting depressed. The game was a MMORPG titled ‘Leaf Story’.
However, she turned it off after playing it for only 15 minutes.
It was boring.
In fact, most games had become dull after the ‘Tower of Wish’. It was fun hunting monsters, collecting items, and raising item levels in the Tower. It was all thanks to that fun that she continued to live her life even at a slow pace.
She was stretching her body in her seat when, suddenly, she noticed a slip of paper on top of her desk.
‘Invitation Letter to the Love Room‘.
This was a ticket that could summon any Player, whether he was on Earth or in the Tower, to where she currently was. She had brought it with her since she had turned it into an effective good…
“I guess it’s useless now.”
There was something fishy about him but he was her old teacher. He was also the one who saved her life. She told herself she needed to thank him sincerely when they finally ran into each other.
“Well, I’m sure I’ll have the chance to use it in the future.”
Chae Nayun muttered and placed the invitation inside the desk drawer.
It was getting late.
She entered the bedroom and laid herself on a huge bed.
But her thoughts resumed the moment she settled.
‘Chae Jinyoon was a Djinn….’
It was just as ridiculous the second time she thought about it.
But if that were actually true….
That, maybe, by one in a million chance that her brother had actually become a Djinn…. Not willingly, of course, but if he had been coerced into becoming one, forcefully, with his life on the line…
Then maybe what Kim Hajin did was….
It really was more convincing to assume that Kim Hajin was only pretending to have killed her brother. A demonic energy storm wasn’t something that Kim Hajin could create.
Chae Nayun muttered and shook her head aggressively. Then, she picked up a container full of sleeping pills from the drawer next to the bed. Tak, tak, tak— She emptied the container into her mouth. The amount was enough to kill an ordinary person from overdose, but it was the bare minimum to put a superhuman like her to sleep.
She let out a sigh and lied back on the bed.
Soon, the familiar sense of drowsiness crept in.
[26F, True Demon Realm]
21F Card Kingdom.
22F Deep Sea Abyss.
23F Crescent Moon Sea.
24F Dream-seeking Desert.
25F Bridge to the End.
The train passed through these 5 floors and finally reached its destination: the 26th floor.
— This is the destination, [True Demon Realm]. Our train does not operate beyond this point.
Of the 403 rankers that boarded the train, only 73 remained. From here on out is the start of the final chapter of the Tower Arc. A top-ranker-only zone, so to speak.
—Please look to your right. That is the Demon Realm Tower, where the Demon King resides.
I turned my gaze to the right as the captain, who sounded much more serious than usual, instructed. The violet earth was covered in dark fog. Beyond the fog stood the silhouette of a tall tower.
A tower inside a tower.
The 26th, 27th, 28th, and 29th floors were connected stages, and the 30th floor was the final floor of the Tower. At the Tower’s peak, Kim Suho would have to reach a decision with the ‘Final Administrator’.
—An ordinary attack does not work on ‘True Demons’. Only light-attribute, or at least luminous or shine-attribute attacks will be able to injure ‘True Demons’.
I checked Desert Eagle’s attributes.
Luminous-attribute 4%. This meant that the damage done by 25 bullets here was equivalent to 1 bullet elsewhere. On a side note, the ‘ice-attribute’ appeared after I killed the doppelgänger with the Desert Eagle.
In any case, from now on, Kim Suho would have to take the lead.
All I could do was assist him.
Of course, I did have a secret weapon as well.
[Lv.11 Athena’s Moonlight Arrow]
○ Lv.11 Luminous-attribute Destructive Power
○ Lv.11 Refraction of Moonlight
—When the arrow is reflected under the moonlight, it multiplies.
○ Lv.11 Armor Penetration
○ Lv.11 From Dark Moon to Crescent Moon
—The amount of magic power condensed in the arrow is amplified.
[Lv.11 Athena’s Moonlight Arrow].
With it, even I should be able to defeat True Demons.
But I never got the chance to add [Remote Control] to it like I did to my dark ore arrows. Sure enough, I needed a whopping 1500 SP to add the option to the arrow.
It wasn’t surprising considering the arrow’s high level and already incredible power… but I shouldn’t postpone it any longer. If I waited any longer, I might miss the right timing.
I let out a sigh and turned on my smartwatch.
[Lv.1 Remote Control]
[1500SP is needed. Would you like to save?]
As soon as I clicked the save button, my luck got to work.
[The level of ‘Lv.1 Remote Control’ is wavering….]
[You achieved ‘Lv.4 Remote Control’. Congratulations!]
This was more than acceptable.
At that moment, the special compartment’s door opened, and Jain and Boss appeared together.
“…Phew. That certainly took awhile~ How many months did we spend here?”
Jain mumbled and sat down next to me. Boss leered at Jain in discontent.
“Oh, by the way, Hajin. Is it true that the 30th floor is the last floor~? We only have 5 more left~?”
“Yes, but things will get challenging for us from here on out. You heard the captain, right?”
“Yup~ It’s pretty disappointing, actually. Everyone who doesn’t have light-attribute needs to suffer? Is the Tower favoring good guys or what?”
Despite her grumbling, there was a smile on Jain’s lips.
“You don’t look very disappointed.”
“You aren’t? Then why did you decide to climb the Tower?”
“Hm? Oh, because it looked fun. If it wasn’t any fun, I would’ve quit halfway~”
Boss walked up and sat next to me. Suddenly, she swung her hair.
“My hair is a mess.”
I let Boss mutter to herself and started thinking about the Tower of Wish.
As Jain said, the Tower of Wish was fun. Players get to explore a world of fantasy different than the real world, and unlike in other Towers, everyone could expect to earn rewards depending on the amount of effort they put in.
“My hair is like a lion’s.”
“I can’t possibly go outside looking like this.”
Boss bounced her hair towards me again. The smell of her shampoo snapped me back to my senses.
“Do you want me to brush your hair?”
“…Hm. If you want to.”
I jumped to my feet and started to brush her hair. Boss’ hair moved along my Aether comb, and she sighed softly as she lay on the sofa. She genuinely seemed to enjoy the process.
“Boss is so cute… Oh right, Hajin.”
Suddenly, Jain handed me some documents.
“What are these?”
I asked, still brushing.
“You told me last time that you plan to continue your Djinn hunt. So I made a list of possible targets. They’re all at least Team Leaders and the prices on their heads are huge, too.”
I received the documents with one hand.
…As expected, the list was full of notorious executives of Djinn groups.
“But how did you manage to put this together?”
“I had it made inside the Tower. There are so many people here who would do pretty much anything if you offer enough TP. It’s probably because they can revive even after dying a couple times.”
“Aha…. Okay, thanks.”
I put the documents in my inventory.
“I’ll get rid of everyone on the list within a month.”
“But there are 200 Djinns on that list.”
“…I’ll make it two months, then.”
However, as I continued to brush Boss’ hair, a thought crossed my mind.
To hunt Djinns meant that I would capture their attention; to capture their attention meant that I would be exposing not only myself but also my family to danger.
I only had two family members.
Evandel and Hayang.
Before I began a full-scale hunt, I would first need to move them to a safer place. I couldn’t rely on the Association or the Magic Tower. It had to be a place where Evandel would be safe and comfortable….
A certain someone’s name suddenly popped into my head, as if an electric jolt had ran through me.
The person who Evandel wanted to meet the most, Rachel.
If possible, I wanted to tell Rachel about Evandel too. In fact, even if Rachel didn’t want to know, I would have to tell her someday.
But how would she feel about a witch who looked just like herself?
I tended Boss’ hair to perfection. Boss hesitated as if wanting more but soon got up. I turned the messenger on and pulled up the message window for [CaptainBritain].
I was still worried and skeptical, but this was a promise that I had made to Evandel as her guardian. Even now, Evandel should be training hard, waiting for the day when her wish would come true, the day when she would finally get to meet Rachel….
It was now time for me to make a decision.
I sent Rachel a message.
Soon, a rather stiff reply returned.
I took a deep breath, then thought about what I should say. Ultimately, I decided to be straightforward. In for a penny, in for a pound.
「Next week, let’s meet on Earth.」
CaptainBritain: 「Eh? Oh, I’m sorry. I can’t. Right now the situation in Crevon is dire. It’s worse than the Imjin War.」
“…She even knows about the Imjin War?”
Well, Korean History was a required subject in many countries these days. After Korea became a world power, Korean History became more of a common sense topic. The Korean War was also considered one of the most important wars in history.
「It’ll be quick.」
I typed a response, but because it didn’t seem enough, I sent a second message shortly after.
「I heard you were Fenrir’s number 1 fan.」Previous Chapter Next Chapter