Chapter 287. After the Setup (8)

Eun Yuri’s condition looked worse than he expected. Her hair was a mess, thanks to the wind tossing it all over the place, and her eyes were slightly cracked open, looking at the sky in a daze.

“Keuk…. Keuk….”

It seemed she was on the verge of passing out, especially given the trickle of saliva dripping off her mouth.

Then again, even if this wasn’t her first time in Paradise, she had yet to step out of the Neutral Zone. It was no wonder she was like that, especially after experiencing a movement skill that flashed through short distances at the speed of lightning, multiple times in succession.

“Uhh… Ahh….”

Nevertheless, Eun Yuri had somehow managed to cling onto her conscientiousness and proceeded to take out her phone with trembling hands.

[Sender: Unknown]
#Coastal Cliffs (Diary of an Unknown Survivor — Page 30)

One of our companions went missing while we were searching the mountain for a way to deal with the killers. He was nowhere to be found no matter how hard we searched.

We finally managed to find a trace of our lost companion after searching for half a day. We found a pair of shoes lying in front of a cave on a cliff. They belonged to our missing companion!

But what is this cave? Why are there so many blood-stains all over the place?
It feels strange. There is a dark aura flowing in this place. It’s filled with a cold, insidious air that can’t be described with words.
I don’t think I’m the only one that feels like this since my other companions seem reluctant to approach the cave, too.

At first, the comrade that suggested capturing the killers instead of killing them persuaded us to quickly proceed with the search, but after a discussion, the rest of us came to a consensus to give up the investigation of the cave.

The comrade harshly criticized us and after saying she would go in by herself, she forcibly continued the search alone. We tried to persuade her against it, but we couldn’t stop her from entering the cave.

This is driving me crazy. I get that she lost her reasoning after her lover went missing, but I really don’t want to go inside that cave.

…Damn it. Why isn’t she coming out? Did something happen inside?

Not knowing what to do, we waited for her for a bit before we turned our backs as we were unable to endure the ominous feeling. It might have been my imagination but right as we arrived at the foot of the mountain… I thought I heard a hideous laughter ring out from behind us.

It was the right decision to escape.
The thing inside that place isn’t something that can be handled by humans.
I shouldn’t ever go near that place again…


Seol Jihu let go of the soundlessly struggling Eun Yuri only after he finished reading the Diary of an Unknown Survivor.

“Are you alright?”

Eun Yuri stumbled instead of replying. She grasped Seol Jihu with both hands and steadied herself with great difficulty.

“Huk… Huk…”

For a while, she took deep breaths in and out before wiping the saliva off her mouth with the back of her hand and straightening her posture. Seol Jihu spoke while feeling awkward.

“I’m sorry. The smoke was faster than I expected.”

“It’s fine…. Rather…”

Eun Yuri collected her breath and shook her head.

“It was my first time… experiencing such a thrilling ride…”

Though she said she was fine, she glared at him with a slightly resentful gaze.

Seol Jihu dryly coughed and switched the subject.

“Ah. Look over there.”

Eun Yuri turned her head as he pointed towards the coast.

“It looks like we found it, doesn’t it?”

Her face slightly brightened when she found the round cave carved into the cliff.

“Well done. Nice job, really.”

When Seol Jihu fired off a succession of compliments and patted her slender back, Eun Yuri’s shoulders’ flinched. She made a bitter face, but Seol Jihu was looking at the cave.

‘Let’s see.’

He started walking as he activated his Nine Eyes. Then…

“…”

He abruptly halted his steps. Eun Yuri, who had been following behind him, also stopped with a confused look.

“…Wait a moment.”

Eun Yuri looked at Seol Jihu while frowning with her long, slender eyebrows.

He had been hitting her in excitement just a few seconds ago. Now his expression changed without warning.

It was the face of someone finding out that the result he had gotten after solving a complex math problem was different from the answer.

Seol Jihu gulped while staring at the cave.

‘Yellow and orange?”

This was unexpected. There had been several cases in the past where two colors had simultaneously shown up, but this was the first time he saw two warning colors together.

‘It means ‘Attention Required’ and ‘Do Not Approach’, huh…’

Seol Jihu bit his lips, unable to make heads or tails of the situation.

‘If I try comparing it to the basic tutorial…’

There was no rule against having the same thing come up in Stage 2 or 3 just because it had already appeared in Stage 1.

For example, the phantom, which was the most difficult enemy at the time he took the tutorial, had appeared ever since they escaped from the auditorium before making its entrance again in Stage 3, causing the survivors to tremble in fear throughout the level.

From what he could gather from that case, it wasn’t a bad idea to get rid of the thing inside the cave now. It could be better to settle things in advance in case of unforeseen implications in the future.

That was how Seol Jihu decided to interpret ‘Attention Required.’ And as for ‘Do not approach’…

“Let’s back away for a moment.”

Seol Jihu quickly retreated while circulating his mana. He might have turned away to flee the area if ‘Immediate Retreat Recommended’ or ‘Escape Immediately’ popped up, but luckily enough, he didn’t see any red or black.

Of course, orange also meant that there was danger, but like the Diary of an Unknown Survivor mentioned, they would probably be fine as long as they didn’t approach the cave more than necessary.

‘In that case…’

Seol Jihu created a Mana Spear after widening the distance to the cave. When he aimed his palm at the cave to first test the waters, a blue Mana Spear shot out and split through the air.

What happened next, however, caused Seol Jihu to doubt his eyes.

As soon as the Mana Spear came into contact with the black smoke floating around the cave…

‘It vanished?’

…The Mana Spear disappeared without a trace.

He felt a sinking feeling.

‘One more time.’

Seol Jihu prepared his mana once again.

He activated his mana to his limits, causing his reinforced mana circuits to become hot, and molded the anti-evil attribute into his mana.

And when he threw the Mana Spear with all his might after a run-up, a lightning spear beaming with a golden light exploded out with a mighty radiance.

Pzzzzzt!

It was definitely different this time. Because he had thrown it at maximum power, the spear did not immediately disappear and pierced through the black smoke.

However, that was it.

Seol Jihu’s eyes widened after only a few seconds.

When dark gas suddenly shrouded the Mana Spear….

Pzzzzt! Pzz…

…The spear began losing its speed before ultimately losing its golden brilliance and melting away in the air.

“…”

Seol Jihu gazed at the cave with sunken eyes.

He had imbued the spear with High (High) mana and the power of lightning which was said to be the highest rank of all anti-evil energy. However, the spear couldn’t even go near the cave.

He had yet to go all out. He still had Sword Qi, the defining skill of Level 5 Warriors.

Woooong!

When he linked his mana circuit with the machete’s blade, the machete began resounding with a mighty sword sound while shining with golden light.

As he did that, the haze became a level darker as if it was mocking him.

‘Oh?’

Feeling that it was daring him to try, Seol Jihu hesitated while holding the machete. He had to try to find out, but for some reason, he had a feeling that it wouldn’t be devoured like before.

‘Should I try going in?’

The thought suddenly flashed past his mind, but he shook his head. It wasn’t just his Nine Eyes, but his intuition too was ringing alarm bells. They told him that he shouldn’t approach the cave nor even touch the gaseous substance.

Seol Jihu smacked his lips.

‘It’s still the final boss of the special Tutorial, huh?’

It was at that moment.

[Hehehehe….]

A creepy laugh echoed out of the cave. It was a terrible laugh that raised goosebumps just from hearing it.

[The anti-evil attribute, eh?]

[Kehe, I thought you were only a prideful punk believing in his trivial abilities. But I guess your confidence wasn’t baseless.]

‘What?’

[Kehehehe. To think that the anti-evil attribute was still being inherited. I thought I had thoroughly purged it that day…]

[I am a little surprised, but… it’s a power that has already been defeated once. You dare think you can harm me?]

Seol Jihu’s eyes sharpened.

“Who are you?”

[Me?]

A sneering laugh followed.

[Who knows? Why don’t you come in if you’re so curious?]

It only ridiculed him instead of revealing its identity.

Seol Jihu’s mind began to race as he stood guard against the cave. From what the voice said before, the being inside seemed to be something related to his anti-evil magic.

‘The power of anti-evil was once defeated?’

Now that he thought about it, he felt like he had heard of it before. When he desperately combed through his memories, the words Kim Hannah had told him while investigating the warehouse appeared in his mind.

[In Paradise, magic is categorized into seven systems, depending on their application, method, and discipline.]

[Soul manifestation, anti-evil, summoning, alchemy, elemental, white magic, and black magic.]

[Among these, white magic and black magic were lost along with the Empire’s collapse.]

[The heritage of anti-evil magic apparently disappeared a long time ago after being defeated by the followers of black magic.]

Seol Jihu asked, half in doubt.

“Black magic?”

[Ho.]

A surprised voice sounded out.

[How… No, an inheritor of anti-evil magic would naturally know.]

[Good, good. Now. Why aren’t you coming in? Don’t you need to take your revenge?]

The haze swayed as if to provoke him, but Seol Jihu decided to collect more information first.

“Why is a black mage here?”

[Hehehehe, I’ll tell you if you come in.]

However, his opponent did not comply.

Needless to say, Seol Jihu had absolutely no intention of entering the cave. Only an idiot would listen to that monster when it was goading him with such obvious intentions.

[Hehe. To see a punk that supposedly wields the power of anti-evil frozen in place in fear. What a sight!]

[Yes. Tremble as much as you wish. A little more… Only just a little left. My children are diligently at work. It’s almost time…]

“It’s almost time for what?”

Eun Yuri who had been quietly standing to the side spoke up.

“We won’t go in.”

She spoke towards the cave.

“There’s no reason for us to enter. From the looks of it, you seem to be trapped inside anyways. We only need to kill the rest of the killers to leave this place.”

It looked like she also felt the need to collect more information and was throwing out random sentences to bait the monster into talking.

[Kekek! What a cute little girl. Then who… huh?]

The black mage suddenly stopped laughing and made a strange noise.

[Ho… Now that I look at you, you are rather excellent … No, in the end, you’re still only a human.]

[It’s quite unfortunate, but you’ll still serve as good nourishment. Kehehehe!]

It spoke to itself and laughed at its own words. While Seol Jihu didn’t know what it was talking about, he knew it wasn’t anything good when it talked about nutrients.

Seol Jihu decided to first match Eun Yuri’s words.

“Oh, I guess you’re right. But poor you. Your children will soon end up being killed by my hands.”

[Kek!]

But the only response that came back was a mocking laugh.

[This is the problem with all you anti-evil magic users…]

[You’re all so stupid. How could people be that stupid?]

[Use your head a little. It’s because you guys were so reckless, blindly believing in your powerful energy that you were destroyed in the end by us.]

[Well, do whatever you want. I should be thanking you instead. Kehehehe!]

Seol Jihu frowned.

Just where did this black mage’s confidence come from? He knew he shouldn’t enter the cave. But seeing its carefree attitude, he felt uncertain whether he should get rid of the remaining killers.

‘Let’s think.’

One thing he knew for sure was that the remaining killers would become stronger whenever they were killed by the survivors. When one died, their physical abilities increased, and when two died, their senses were enhanced.

If he killed two more killers leaving only one remaining, he wasn’t sure just how strong the last killer would become.

There was a method of obtaining more magic rope to tie up the remaining three killers before killing them all at the same time, but he didn’t know how many ropes were available. He also had to take into consideration the time he would expend in finding the ropes and the killers.

He wasn’t sure what would happen in the meantime, nor did he think the black mage would just watch and do nothing.

In other words, he was in a dilemma.

Seol Jihu closed his eyes. Seeing was not everything.

‘Maybe…’

Was he treating this tutorial too easily?

That thought flashed in his mind.

‘What should I do?’

After thinking for a while, Seol Jihu arrived at a decision.

He would push on according to their plan.

In any case, he was almost certain that black mage called the Sixth Mother played a pivotal role in this tutorial.

While he didn’t know what she was up to, all was good if he got rid of the perpetrator. He felt this was the best option he had at the moment.

“Miss Eun Yuri.”

Seol Jihu spoke after organizing his thoughts.

“No matter how I think about it, I think it’s best to kill that thing now.”

“…I think so too.”

Eun Yuri thought for a second before agreeing.

“The souls of the dead killers went into the cave. Then the remaining killers became stronger. I was curious about the process, but I think there’s a connection to the Sixth Mother inside that cave.”

In other words, there was a possibility that the remaining killers wouldn’t get stronger if they killed the Sixth Mother now.

The two shared the same thought.

[Kill? Do you mean to kill me? Kahahahah!]

Crazy laughter rang out of the cave.

“Good, then…”

‘Laugh if you will.’

Seol Jihu spoke while staring at the cave.

“Let’s rip one here.”

Eun Yuri’s eyes widened. But that was only for a moment.

She immediately understood and took out a piece of white paper from her bag.

It was a paper talisman.

“There’s nothing else to see. Rip it.”

At Seol Jihu’s order, Eun Yuri ripped the blank paper talisman with hesitation.

[You have used a Necessary Talisman.]

[Scanning for the most needed spell in the current situation. Please wait.]

[Activating the Liberation Forbidden Magic: Territory of Heavenly Jurisdiction.]

[Heavenly light will shine on the designated area and return all evil into nothingness.]

Rumble!

A deafening roar shook the earth as if an earthquake erupted and the sky began to split in half.

[…Huh?]

The black mage ceased its laughter.

A moment later.

White light spilled out from the crack in the sky.

[Wha— What!?]

The black mage panicked.

[That… That’s impossible! Where did this supreme white magic suddenly come from?]

The dazzling ray of light shined down the entire region before…

[W-Wait!]

…The rays focused and rushed into the cave, like a flood.

[Wait, wait! Waaii-aaaack!]

A terrible scream rang out.

*


Meanwhile.

In the Neutral Zone, a group of five or six people had gathered in front of a screen to watch the tutorial.

The room should have had a lively atmosphere judging by all the food and alcohol scattered around the floor, but for some reason, everyone was quiet.

The majority were struck speechless as they watched the live stream.

“…This is driving me crazy.”

Chohong wrapped her face in her hands and shouted.

“Of all the things he could have done…!”

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