Team: HH, Yahiko, thursdays (5/10)
“Aigo. You don’t have to go this far to help me.”
“It’s nothing. I’m doing it because I want to.”
The old man smiled warmly and looked at the young boy who carried his load for him.
“I don’t know whose son you are, but your parents must be very proud of you.”
The young boy scratched the back of his head and began to climb the incline with the old man. A sad expression flashed across his face, but he quickly smiled again.
The shadow watching from far away became emotional.
After becoming Yeon-woo’s subordinate, he had been busy trying to regain his strength and helping Yeon-woo that he didn’t have the time to worry about his son.
It was partly because it seemed like Yeon-woo was taking care of his son like he had promised.
But seeing it with his own eyes made him feel relieved.
He heard that he had quit drugs and was working at a general store to earn a small living.
After following him around all day, it looked like he really was living a diligent lifestyle.
The way he treated customers nicely when selling items and helped people on the road from time to time was different from the son he knew.
For a moment, Hanryeong wondered if he had found the right person.
He also thought that his son might have been acting like that only in the day and doing something else at night, but that didn’t seem to be the case either.
He really had turned over into a new leaf.
He didn’t have the competence as a player, but he was still acting like a human.
What had Yeon-woo done to his son?
The thought suddenly occurred to him, but he shook his head.
‘It could’ve been that I raised him improperly.’
Hanryeong did everything he could for Hanbin, but he wasn’t there when Hanbin needed him the most. These things could’ve been what made Hanbin like that in the past.
Of course, that didn’t excuse what Hanbin did.
Many people were hurt by him, and the 16th floor was nearly destroyed.
But after seeing how his son had changed, he felt his head become clearer.
Hanryeong thought of when he met Faceless at the Monkey King’s palace.
-Huhu! I didn’t think I’d meet you here! My dear friend!
That wasn’t Faceless.
Faceless had many faces, but the one who appeared was someone whom he thought was dead or near dead.
Hanryeong clenched his fists.
‘I wondered where you were hiding all this time…..’
Faceless was included as a part of the Six New Stars, but he was a player who had been in the Tower for quite a bit.
He was pretty famous for his acts, but he wasn’t very popular because he wasn’t that skilled.
After Red Dragon suddenly toppled, he had been on the rise with all the changes in the Tower.
The Sword God was Faceless.
No, to be exact, he was disguised as Faceless.
‘He probably swallowed him. The real Faceless.’
The Sword God was crazy about martial arts, but he hadn’t completely ignored other skills. It made sense if he used other methods and arts to avoid the eyes of those who were looking for him.
However, if there was a problem, it was that…..
‘He wasn’t just one person.’
As a Death Noble, he knew.
There were many souls other than the Sword God in Faceless. It was problematic that he knew most of them.
‘Mubyeol, Cadik, Heebaeksul, Sey, Tyler….. And even Flang.’
They were all subordinates who had been ready to give their lives for the Sword God at any moment. They were the “sword” that allowed Cheonghwado to be in the Eight Large Clans.
All of them were with the Sword God.
And one of them was someone he never would’ve imagined.
Flang. The Martial King’s younger brother and one of the founders of Cheonghwado.
There were other souls as well, but most of them were from Cheonghwado.
Faceless was a walking Cheonghwado.
However, because there were too many souls in one body, the body wasn’t able to do its unique function.
It creaked with just a little movement, and the dominant personality changed frequently.
But Hanryeong thought that Faceless would be able to overcome those constraints and become full again.
No, he might even reach a higher peak than the Sword God had.
He would be able to process the thoughts of many people at once.
Most of all, the Sword God Hanryeong knew never crumbled in front of an obstacle and forced himself forward.
That was how he was able to go from being unable to speak to one of the Nine Kings.
-I’ll see you next time if fate allows us.
Faceless aided Hanryeong before the cave collapsed.
And until now, Hanryeong felt frustrated and uncomfortable.
Even if he went back, he would do the same thing.
But even so, everything was because of him.
He had already told Yeon-woo everything he knew about Faceless.
Yeon-woo firmly said Hanryeong didn’t need to worry about anything, but he still felt uncomfortable.
Since Faceless saw that he was with Yeon-woo now, unless Faceless was a fool, he’d know who had destroyed Cheonghwado.
『Hanryeong, where are you?』
Just then, he heard Yeon-woo’s voice through their connection.
It seemed it was time to go back.
After replying that he’d return, he looked at his son for a while and disappeared into the shadows.
Hanbin paused and looked around. He had definitely felt something familiar.
“N, Nothing. Let’s continue.”
Hanbin shook his head and began to walk with the old man again.
* * *
“Uncle! Are you going to work again?! No fair!”
Yeon-woo held the whining Sesha high up into the air.
“I’ll be back soon.”
“Hmph. That’s what you said last time. And Brahm’s going with you this time, too.”
Yeon-woo knew that she was slightly upset, so he smiled. It was probably because Brahm, who took care of her often, was going as well.
“Then bring a Melona when you come back!” [TN: Melona is a type of Korean ice cream.]
“What you made last time was really good! Make it for me again!”
Yeon-woo burst out laughing. He patted her back, saying he would. Also, he desperately hoped he would have good news for Sesha when he returned.
“Don’t worry. I’ll take care of Sesha. No, even without me, there’s no one in this village who wouldn’t take care of her.”
The Head Elder adjusted his glasses as he took Sesha from Yeon-woo. The fights between the village boys became worse every day because of her.
Yeon-woo waved his hand and returned to his companions.
Henova was looking at Sesha stiffly.
“That child is…..”
“Yes. Jeong-woo’s daughter.”
He nodded. He had seen her from time to time when he was making the Philosopher’s Stone, but he hadn’t realized. Even though she called Yeon-woo uncle, he thought it was just a sign of affection.
“Would you like to hold her?”
Henova hesitated for a bit and carefully accepted Sesha, like she would break if he wasn’t careful. Sesha’s eyes widened.
“Uncle! This kid grandfather is weird!”
Kid grandfather. Yeon-woo held in laughter that was about to escape his lips. Others looked away with red faces as well.
Henova pat Sesha with his short arms and returned her with a sigh. Then, he glared at Yeon-woo with narrow eyes.
“It seems the way you brothers speak is a family trait.”
“It seems so.”
Yeon-woo looked back at his companions. Khan, Doyle, Victoria, Creutz. On top of that, Brahm, Galliard, and Henova. A total of 8 people.
The number of members in his party had grown quite a bit.
Considering how he only wanted to solo play when he first entered the Tower, a lot had changed.
“Then I’ll open the path.”
Brahm ripped the scroll in his hand. A red portal appeared under their feet.
It was a portal scroll that used Yeon-woo’s coordinates since he had already been to Tartarus.
They could see the black sky of Tartarus beyond the portal.
As they were about to enter.
“Sir Disciple? Would you please come here for a second?”
The Martial King waved at Yeon-woo from the roof of Brahm’s cottage.
Yeon-woo widened his eyes at his teacher’s sudden appearance and asked for his companions to wait, leaving to speak with the Martial King.
“You should clean up after your own s***.”
Yeon-woo looked at him with questioning eyes, and the Martial King tossed a piece of paper at him like he couldn’t be bothered to reply.
Yeon-woo caught the paper with ease and read it. His two eyes turned heavy.
“The Devil Army has declared war.”
….. In the name of the god, we declare a holy war on our enemy, the Hoarder, for disturbing the actions of our god.
Moreover, punishment will follow the ruffians, heretics, and immoral people who follow the Hoarder.
“As you can see, they’re saying they’re gonna kill everyone who helps you. They’re s****ting on me too, right?”
The Martial King continued with an annoyed face.
“And that Gluttony bastard should just quietly eat his crackers in his room, but he’s saying he’s gonna work with those black salamanders and you to beat up those white lizards.”
It seemed the black salamanders he was talking about were Black Dragon and the white lizards were White Dragon.
“Those Magic Tower jackasses must’ve been shot in the head because they made an alliance or whatever and they’re aiming for you.”
Yeon-woo thought of how Doctor Doom and Necropolis had been melted down by Boo.
“Elohim, those sons of b***** are also acting up again? And that Iron Lion Clan or whatever is gathering mercenaries too.”
Four out of the Eight Large Clans were moving. The Magic Tower Alliance hadn’t been able to show its full power because of internal struggles, but if it was united, it was a force to be reckoned with. If the Iron Lion Clan rounded up the world of mercenaries, it would be a mighty force too.
It could turn into a great war.
“But this is all with you at the center. What kind of mess have you been making?”
The Martial King narrowed his eyes. He was smiling, but the air around him was chill-inducing.
“Because of our Sir Disciple, our entire village will be involved in something annoying, so what should we do?”
“Is that it?”
Yeon-woo was nonchalant.
The Martial King wrinkled his forehead.
“It still needs to develop further. That’s not what I wanted.”
“You….. you want a great war to happen?”
“Ha! You crazy dipstick.”
The Martial King gripped his forehead with an incredulous face.
A great war.
There were lots of wars during the thousands of years of history in the Tower. However, there were only a few on such a large scale that they nearly wiped out half of the population.
One of the most well-known wars was the legendary Great Second Dragon Extermination War.
The Draconic species who wanted to open the path to the 98th floor to regain their supernaturality and Allforone, who had blocked them on the 77th floor.
The result of the war was the extinction of the Draconic species, who were said to rule the Tower at the time. If the young Summer Queen hadn’t survived, the entire Draconic species would’ve died out.
There were a few more great wars after that, and each time, there were changes to the hierarchy of the Tower.
But that was what Yeon-woo was talking about.
It was unbelievable from the Martial King’s perspective. But Yeon-woo’s eyes were more serious than ever.
“Please just ignore it. War won’t happen that easily anyway. The situation will have inflated more than they expected, and they’ll be busy being wary of each other. As long as the fire in the furnace isn’t lit, there will only be talks of allying and uniting with each other.”
“And you’re going to light the furnace?”
Yeon-woo didn’t say anything.
The Martial King’s eyes settled heavily. He lifted a corner of his mouth. It looked like a mocking smile in one way, a mischievous smile in another.
“Is this the picture that you wanted to draw?”
“Our Sir Disciple’s drawing skills are lit.”
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