Team: HH, Yahiko, thursdays (3/10)
“…… With this, the five Magic Towers and 125 different fields of study agree to announce Cain as a common enemy, and we will be creating a team to eliminate him.”
Pound, pound, pound—
The moment the gavel was rapped, all the magicians in the conference room stood up as one.
Nervousness was written on each of their faces.
An announcement declaring the Hoarder aas their common enemy.
It was significant.
The Magic Towers and different fields of studies couldn’t work together. It was because the path they walked on was different. However, after Walpurgisnacht, talks of an alliance began to come out, and Necropolis was the result of experimenting with it.
And the destruction of Necropolis threatened the magicians again and rushed the creation of an alliance.
They were shocked that they were defeated by a newbie player who wasn’t even one of the Nine Kings.
The lofty elder magicians were able to learn their places.
However, the process wasn’t smooth.
It was because of the Hoarder’s backing.
“Maybe if he was excommunicated like the Sword God, it would’ve been easier….. it’s said the Hoarder and the One-horned tribe are close.”
“And he gets along well with the next king candidate, the Cheongram siblings.”
“There will be a ruckus.”
Now that the strongest in the Tower after the Summer Queen and Red Dragon were toppled, what would happen if they stepped up?
Would the magicians be able to take it?
There were many opinions, but the gavel was rapped, and it was decided. They didn’t have anywhere to turn to.
The five leaders of the Magic Towers stood up and headed for the exit through the stairs.
Their faces were stiff thinking of the battle to come.
* * *
“How dare you come here, you bastard?!”
Yeon-woo was wrong about having a hammer thrown at him when he entered the smithy. It was an anvil instead of a hammer.
He avoided it easily with a slight turn of his head.
“Isn’t that expensive? You’ll have to go through extra work to fix it because it’s broken. Then it’ll just…..”
Henova frowned at Yeon-woo’s teasing and shouted.
Yeon-woo laughed, thinking Henova was the same as ever.
“What are you laughing about?”
Henova frowned even more, not liking Yeon-woo’s attitude.
“Anyways, I apologize.”
“How dare you come in…..?!”
Henova shouted again, but Yeon-woo didn’t listen and stepped into the smithy without hesitation. Behind him, Kahn, Doyle, and Victoria followed with apologetic faces, wondering if it really was alright to enter like this. Creutz looked around with strange eyes and entered last.
Henova’s face was as red as a tomato. His fist that was holding a hammer trembled. It seemed he was about to throw that, too.
“Please calm yourself first. You’re not that young anymore, and you might faint from your blood pressure levels being too high.”
“That would be your fault!”
“What a shame.”
Henova ground his teeth. He really wanted to smack Yeon-woo in the head with a hammer.
But then he would just dodge it and tease him again. He really was an infuriating guy.
Kahn and Doyle looked from Yeon-woo to Henova with shocked faces.
‘What? Cain could make jokes like that?’
‘Whoa. No way…..’
The Yeon-woo they knew was always cold and aloof. He was like a sword planted in the middle of a battlefield, painted with blood, about to fall any moment.
Of course, they knew he was affectionate inside, unlike his cold personality.
But looking at this new side of him, they felt the image they had of him fly out of their heads.
It was a bit surprising, too. They felt closer to Yeon-woo.
The same went for Creutz. After sending the Illusion Knightage back, he was glad to see a new, warm side to Yeon-woo after having been treated like he didn’t exist.
‘Is he like that with the Regiment Leader? Hm. I can’t imagine it.’
Creutz thought of the Regiment Leader, who was as indifferent as Yeon-woo was, and grinned.
“What’s that tail behind you? What’d you bring with you?”
Henova looked at them with narrowed eyes. Considering how noisy the Phante siblings were when they came with Yeon-woo, the four just looked like more nuisances for him.
Just then, Victoria stepped forward with a smile.
“Henova, long time no see.”
“Who are….. Hm? Victoria?”
“Why are you here?”
As two of the top five artisans, they met each other from time to time, albeit not often.
“Ah. I wondered where the rune magic he brought from last time was from. It must’ve been from you.”
Henova clicked his tongue, thinking of the papers that Yeon-woo had back when they were making the Philosopher’s Stone.
Then, he narrowed his eyes.
“Should I give you some advice?”
“If it’s from you, I’ll consider it.”
“Avoid that guy. He has all kinds of sly schemes planned. If you can’t get out now, you’ll be stuck forever.”
Victoria burst out laughing.
“I guess you’re already in deep. Well, anyways. How’s your teacher?”
“Fine, thanks to you.”
Yeon-woo was slightly surprised when he heard what the two said.
“You know Anastasia?”
Henova tossed the hammer on the floor and looked at Yeon-woo with a taciturn face. He seemed to be wondering whether he should answer Yeon-woo or not. Then, he took his pipe out of his mouth.
White smoke filled the air.
“Didn’t she use a pipe like this?”
“I made it. She said she wanted one when she saw me smoking it, so I made her one.”
Yeon-woo thought of how Anastasia’s pipe had split in two. It had happened because he got on her nerves. Thinking that the hammer might come flying at him if he mentioned it, he didn’t say anything about it. Victoria glanced at Yeon-woo.
“I also made a place for her to keep her strange weapons, called the Ten Thousand Weaponry. I used to fix it up if there was any problem with it.”
The Ten Thousand Weaponry was destroyed by Yeon-woo’s hand. So were the weapons inside of it. He didn’t say anything about it this time either.
“I made a villa for her to stay at, too.”
Yeon-woo thought of how he blew up Anastasia’s residence.
「How many artisanal works did you break? It’s all money. You said he was like your father, but you blew his works up….. that personality…..!」
Yeon-woo shot back at Shanon internally and decided to feign ignorance. It was a relief he was wearing a mask during times like this. Victoria kept on shifting her feet, not knowing what to say.
“You can think of her as an old customer. Kelkel. Anyways. So, what’d you come to ask me for this time?”
He asked Yeon-woo with a crinkle of his forehead. White smoke wafted around him.
“You say that like I only come when I have something to ask of you. I’m hurt.”
“You’re acting like you don’t. Stop with the nonsense! What is it this time?”
Yeon-woo smiled sourly. Henova knew him too well.
However, this time, it was important to Henova as well.
His eyes were serious.
“There’s something I want to speak to you about.”
Henova, having realized the graveness, put his pipe out by tapping it on the ground.
* * *
Henova still had a morose face as they moved to a room inside the smithy.
He felt annoyed because the guy who hadn’t visited him once had come to ask him for something again.
It was noisy outside.
“Whoa! What’s this? It looks like I’ll cut my hand just by touching it. How did he make this?”
“He’s definitely the ‘Artisan of Ironblood’….. like I heard in the rumors.”
“Do you think I can ask him for one?”
“Don’t you think you’ll get in trouble?”
“Or maybe I can just swipe one…..?”
“Hyung, I beg of you—please grow up.”
Kahn and Doyle were busy looking around at the weapons and armor on display in the smithy.
“Amazing. He’s gotten even better? What did he implement here?”
Victoria exclaimed as she looked around. Her eyes were shining for the first time in a while. The new technology Henova had implemented caught her eye.
And Creutz was…..
He stood blankly in front of an alcohol cabinet that he found in the corner. He enjoyed drinking with his subordinates on a normal basis, and he could feel himself gulp just by looking at the oak barrel.
The beer made by a dwarf was priceless.
Henova couldn’t hold it in anymore and stuck his head out the door to shout.
“Shut up! Go talk outside!”
He shut the door and came back with a furious face.
“Why are the kids you go around with all the same?”
“It just happened that way.”
“If the Cheongram kids are added on top of them….. Argh.”
He rubbed his temples like he was getting a headache already. He didn’t understand why his smithy was becoming the base for Yeon-woo and the others.
It quickly became noisy again outside.
Henova didn’t expect them to listen to him, so he just put his pipe back in his mouth with a dissatisfied expression.
“So. What do you have to talk about? Do I have to make something strange like the Philosopher’s Stone again?”
“You brought something annoying again.”
“This time, I have to make Kynee.”
Henova tilted his head with a grimace. It was a familiar name, but he didn’t remember what it was. Then, he recalled something from deep in his memory.
“Are you talking about Hades’s great artifact? The helm that Olympus’s King of the Underworld used?”
“Ha! You’ve hit a new high this time. Why do you have to make that?”
Henova had a disbelieving face. There was never a quiet moment when Yeon-woo brought something to do.
Yeon-woo didn’t say anything for a while. Countless thoughts were going through his head.
Actually, on the way here, he had contemplated it several times. Henova always helped whenever he needed it, and he never asked for details when doing it.
Although he was probably curious about many things, Henova always trusted him.
The same went for now. Even though he was asking for a reason, if Yeon-woo said it was necessary, Henova would help him willingly.
‘Can I really do that?’
Hadn’t he been too reliant on Henova’s generosity and trust?
Moreover, what he was doing this time couldn’t be spoken about easily.
He would have to pull Henova into what he was doing and could potentially expose him to danger.
Also, it was related to the whereabouts of his little brother, who Henova longed for.
Asking for help without explaining anything was deceiving Henova, even though he might be alright with it.
Yeon-woo came to a decision after much thought. To trust Henova.
“It’s fine. The hardest tool to make in the world is probably the one that will pry your mouth open. So. What do you want me to do now? You’re not gonna tell me to go to Tartarus with you…..?”
Henova trailed off as he spoke. It was because Yeon-woo suddenly reached for his mask.
Yeon-woo took off his mask. It felt strange because he hadn’t taken it off in a while.
Still, he felt dizzy from nervousness.
He didn’t have any idea what Henova would say when he saw his bare face. Whether he would resent him or become depressed. He felt a bit worried.
Henova had a surprised face, not expecting Yeon-woo to take his mask off so suddenly. And when his face was revealed, his widened eyes slightly narrowed, and…..
He scoffed like he was flabbergasted. Still, there was a smile on his face.
“How quick of you to tell me now. You bastard.”
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