Chapter 261: Choose me (4)


There was a small bit of light coming in from the ceiling.

Something was sitting there.

[Human, you are here.]

It was a bastard with pitch black wings.

Ju-Heon scrunched his eyes.

He looked around this dimly lit cave. There was sand all around with a large lake.
Ju-Heon was quite familiar with this tomb.

‘It’s that tomb from the past.’

His hands couldn’t help but shake in fear.

Maybe that was to be expected. Even he couldn't be calm in the tomb where he had experienced death.

Who would be able to remain calm in such a situation? Who could do that, especially if the death had been extremely brutal?

Ju-Heon vividly remembered that moment as if it was yesterday because his memory was extremely good.

He would have to be a robot to not be shaking in fear.
But Ju-Heon's shaking slowly started to stop. He realized something important.

‘…No, it’s not that tomb.’

He had originally thought it was the same because of the Crow but it was different.

‘It’s different from back then.’

It was oddly different in some way.

Was this a different tomb? Or maybe this was a fake tomb?

Ju-Heon glared at the bastard with his eyes opened wide.

That bastard should have the answer.

The bastard was sitting up high with its wings spread out.
It’s red eyes were flashing.

[Human, it’s been a while.]

It had only seen Ju-Heon face to face twice before.

The first time was in that final tomb.

Ju-Heon had seen it in that bright flash of light that had brought him back to the past.

He had seen the appearance of the Crow that any human would desire.

He saw the apparition of a Crow in that blinding light.

The other time was when he was fighting against Chairman Kwon during the Great Tomb Appearance.

That bastard had appeared during that first incident with the Egyptian doggies.

It had fluttered its black wings. It had the same overbearing eyes.

That was the same right now.

That was why Ju-Heon only had one reaction.

He sneered at the Crow.

“You haven't changed at all, you stalker bastard.”

This was probably not a clone.

He would have recognized it right away if that was the case.

Most artifacts were sadistic perverts who liked to hide away and peek at the humans trying to complete their tests.
But this bastard revealed himself even without Ju-Heon looking for him?

Ju-Heon asked him a question.

He had something that had been on his mind for a long time.

“Why did you save me? No, why did you bring me back to the past?”

All of these damn artifacts had a reason for their actions.

There was no way this bastard gave him such abilities out of goodwill.

“Did you hope I could get you out of here?
Or were you thinking about fattening me up before you ate me?”

Those were both plausible reasons for artifacts.

They were evil creatures that enjoyed human suffering as the greatest form of entertainment.

He had been wary about the Crow's abilities for that reason even though he kept using them because they were useful to him.

He still did his best to use the Crow's abilities, such as the Tomb Destruction ability, as least as possible.

The Crow seemed to want him to use those abilities to destroy tombs after all.

However, this was how the Crow responded.

[There was no reason. I have never really had any interest in humans. I saved you on a whim as well.]

“A whim?”

[Yes. I was sleeping when you started shouting so much, you damn bastard.]

That was true.

Ju-Heon had been shouting in anger because his teammates had all died and he was being eaten by the snake as well.

He had been shouting in anger toward Chairman Kwon.

[I just decided to see how far a human bastard could go since I was so bored.]

“So then, you’re saying you didn't have any ulterior motives.”

[That’s correct.]

Ju-Heon accepted that answer.

As he nodded his head… The Crow fluttered its large wings as if it was happy with Ju-Heon's reaction.

[Now then. Here is your reward for making it all the way here. I will give you special treatment and assign the tomb’s te……]

It was about to say that it would give Ju-Heon the test.

However…

“Okay, keep up the good work, bye.”

[!]

Ju-Heon turned around without any hesitation! He then calmly started to walk down the path he had come from.

He seemed to have no regrets!

The Crow called out to Ju-Heon.

[Hey, human.]

It seemed oddly flustered. It felt that way although it was trying its best not to show it.

[Hold on. I'm telling you that I wish to contract with you.]

However, Ju-Heon didn’t care and started to walk.

It even made the rope that was wrapped around Ju-Heon's neck urgently look at its master in confusion.

[#$#&?]
Is it really okay to just leave like this? Is it okay to leave?

It must have thought that Ju-Heon had come here to get the Crow artifact.

The Crow had thought the same as well.

[Human. Did you not come here to earn an Heirloom?]

“I did, but you’re not an Heirloom.”

The Crow then started to laugh.

[If it is something like that, then it doesn’t matter. I am also one of the Heirlooms to select the Monarchs. I'm sure I'll be beneficial to y……]

“Really? Then good luck finding another candidate.”

[?!]

Ju-Heon was almost out of the pathway and started to laugh.

He didn't care that this Crow was an Heirloom.

‘Where the hell would I use such a savage Crow?’

This was the Crow that all artifacts feared.

He did want it, but……

‘That Crow ended up killing its own master.’

That was what the doggies had told him.

Of course, Ju-Heon knew that the Crow had a former master.
However…

‘I heard that you guys pretty much brainwashed the Crow's master.’

They had made the Crow's former master betray the Crow. That was why he thought that a different artifact had killed its former master.

However…

‘Did the Crow really kill its master?’

‘It did. That human was already dead when the artifacts went to capture the Crow. There was no other reason he would have died.’

Well, even the doggies didn’t seem to know the full details.
What Ju-Heon did know was that this Crow was cursed.

There was no reason to take an artifact with such a shady background as his own.

He definitely could not contract with it if it was an Heirloom.

Heirlooms were possession-type artifacts that each person was only allowed to contract with one.

He would lose his chance to contract with another Heirloom if he contracted with the Crow now!

‘There are more desirable ones.’

Ju-Heon’s eyes flashed.

Honestly speaking, there were some artifacts that caught his attention.
Based on the information he managed to force(?) out of the Monarch of Fate, there were some Heirlooms that Ju-Heon would be interested in.

He did not manage to figure out exactly what they were, but there were some he could hypothesize based on the information he heard about their traits.

One of them was a divine haetae. [1] There was also a divine giraffe that was said to be looking to select a benevolent Monarch who would treat their subjects well.

There was also the Great Fly, the symbol of the devils, but anyway…

‘Those are more desirable than this guy.’

He preferred the other Heirlooms over this cursed Crow.
As Ju-Heon was about to get out of the cave…

Ruuuuuuuumble!

[The path is closing.]
[The tomb's door has closed.]

‘This little punk.’

Ju-Heon looked towards the Crow.


Around that same time…

“Professor, you're interested in our Captain-nim, aren’t you? Right?!”

Ilya looked at Yoo Jaeha as if he was crazy after hearing his comments.

‘What the fuck is this guy saying all of a sudden?!’

Ilya thought Jaeha had finally lost it.

But what?

“What does that have to do with you?”

Ilya’s jaw dropped after hearing Zhen Cai Yuan’s response.

‘She really is interested in him?!’

Yoo Jaeha started to make a deal with Zhen Cai Yuan.

“I'll give you something extremely precious. Won’t you work with us?”

Zhen Cai Yuan's subordinates and the top restorers became anxious.

‘I was wondering what that bastard was suddenly going to say.’

“What kind of bullshit is this……?!”

They then started to snort.

It was obvious that he was trying to get Zhen Cai Yuan, the strongest of them here, as an ally to get an Heirloom.

“The Professor won't work with you for something like that.”

Zhen Cai Yuan seemed to know what Yoo Jaeha was thinking as well.

“Unfortunately, I will not give you the Heirloom or even da Vinci's artifact. China’s future is on the line.”

She looked extremely elegant and beautiful as she smiled. Even Yoo Jaeha and Ilya couldn’t help but gulp.

They weren’t falling for her because they knew of her witch-like personality and because of fear from her being one of the Four Emperors, but they would have easily fallen for her charm if they did not have their old memories.

Ilya started to poke Jaeha.
He was asking what Jaeha was planning.

“Hey, I don’t know what you are thinking of giving her, but there’s no way that this woman would agree to……huh?”

Ilya was shocked after seeing Yoo Jaeha pull out a picture.

It was not an artifact.

It was just a regular picture.

‘Does he really think something like this would work?’

Yoo Jaeha shouted back with confidence.

“This is a secret picture of our Captain-nim, don't you need it? Let’s work together.”

He did not show her the picture.
He only showed her the back of the picture.

The nearby excavation teams all started to laugh out loud after hearing Yoo Jaeha’s comment.

They had all been waiting to see what Jaeha would say.

Zhen Cai Yuan started to laugh as well.

“It is true that I am interested in Seo Ju-Heon, but I don’t need such a picture.”
“That’s right, the Professor is only interested in Seo Ju-Heon as an experimental subject.”

It was actually because she already had a ton of pictures of Seo Ju-Heon.

Zhen Cai Yuan then started to head toward the Heirloom since she didn't have time to waste.

She needed to quickly get that and then head toward the Crow's aura.

“Now get lost. Otherwise, I will really kill you.”

Zhen Cai Yuan then activated Indra’s artifact.

Indra’s artifact required a strong level of Dominance and was extremely difficult to handle!

However, Zhen Cai Yuan was using Indra’s artifact extremely well even though she had never used it before.

Crack, crackle!

The other excavation teams started to cheer while Ilya was swearing internally.

‘The Four Emperors are all motherfuckers!’

Ilya then urgently turned toward Yoo Jaeha. It was because Zhen Cai Yuan was confidently walking toward the tomb with the Heirloom.

“Alright, let’s hurry.”

She called out to Julien.

It was obvious that she was planning on giving the Heirloom to him.

But at that moment…

“You’ll regret it if you go. This is not a normal picture.”
“?”
“This is a 19+ restricted adult picture of our Captain-nim!”

Zhen Cai Yuan, who was about to walk into the tomb with Julien, instantly stopped moving.


“What? What kind of picture?”

Zhen Cai Yuan seemed extremely interested. Her expression was calm and she wasn't smiling, but Jaeha was certain.

‘Good, she bit the bait!’

Yoo Jaeha was chuckling internally.

The people around them seemed anxious once Zhen Cai Yuan stopped moving again.

“Umm, p, Professor?”

Yoo Jaeha slightly flashed the front of the picture he was holding.

Zhen Cai Yuan saw a glimpse of flesh.

Her eyes instantly started to follow the picture.

However, Yoo Jaeha quickly flipped the picture back and started to smile.

“You saw it right? It really is a 19+ restricted photo. It’s a nude photo of the captain-nim! He’s in his birthday suit!”

Ilya seemed shocked after hearing that.

‘Why the hell does this bastard have that?!’

But Yoo Jaeha continued to triumphantly shout.

“I've been saving this to treat the Captain-nim’s fans for a big occasion, but what should I do? Should I give it to you?”

Julien started to shout in anger.

“Hey, do you really think a deal like that would work……?!”

It was at that moment.

“Is that really Seo Ju-Heon?”
“?!”

Zhen Cai Yuan showed an unexpected reaction!

They dropped their jaws in shock and turned toward Zhen Cai Yuan.

“P, professor.”
“Yes, I'll give this to you if you work with me.”

A thunderbolt struck down at that moment.

Ruuuuumble!

Yoo Jaeha was shocked. Zhen Cai Yuan was attacking Yoo Jaeha with Indra’s artifact, probably thinking that she just needed to take it from him.
Yoo Jaeha quickly held the picture above the lake.

“Stop it, the picture will fall into the lake if you attack me! You know that this is not a regular lake!”

Of course she did.

This was a terrible lake that would melt anything that fell into it.

The picture would not be safe either.

"By the way, this is the original. There are no copies. You understand? The Captain-nim made me delete everything so this is a precious picture, the only one in the world!”

Zhen Cai Yuan turned around. She seemed to be thinking about something.

The excavation teams became anxious after seeing her reaction.

‘We won’t be able to get an Heirloom without this woman.’

They gulped and looked toward her. However, they started to smile.

‘But there is no way this woman would betray us.’

‘There’s no way she would fall for such a thing.’

However, she said something shocking.

“Fine. Monarch of Pushoverness, you follow me instead of the official restorer. I'll help you get an Heirloom.”
“……P, Professor?!”

Yoo Jaeha started to smile.

It was obvious that he was not thinking about the future.


1. The xiezhi is known as haetae in Korea. According to Korean records, Haetae's body is muscular and shaped like a lion and has a horn on its forehead. It has a bell in its neck and the body is covered with sharp scales. It lives in the frontier areas of Manchuria. In ancient Korea, Haetae sculptures were used in architecture during the early Joseon dynasty as their image was trusted to be able to protect Hanyang (now Seoul) from natural disasters and to give law and order among the populace. In Korea, haetae is a mythical beast that prevents fire disaster. To prevent fire in Gyeongbok palace, a haetae sculpture was placed in front of the palace. Seoul city has officially used Haechi (origin of Haetae) as the symbol of Seoul since 2009. In English, it is called "the unicorn-lion" or "an omniscient mythical beast.”

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miraclerifle's Thoughts

Fuji: ... seriously? Every time Ju-Heon was in danger, the crow was shitting itself as if it's life was in danger. "I was so bored" seems more like "I was betting my life with yours to see how far you'd go".