Chapter 26- The Chosen Ones (2)
“Yes. To be honest, I’m a bit taken aback right now.”
On the stage of the 12th floor, the palace, we were in the reception room. My voice rang out in the middle of it.
“I don’t know why you’re attacking me. You may be seeing me for the first time, but I used to admire your sword technique. Since you’re raising your sword to me like that, it’s really awkward for me.”
Sword Saint’s face stiffened.
Even though I was telling the truth.
‘I guess he would be like that.’
There was a reason his face hardened like that.
The first day he met me, the day that he didn’t remember, Sword Saint had said this.
-Did you think I wouldn’t know you were an assassin sent from Black Dragon?
-I don’t know if the Witch sent you, but I’ll do my best to kill you!
He thought I was an assassin.
‘And an assassin from the Black Dragon at that.’
He was probably thinking the same thing right now. That I was an assassin employed by Black Dragon who killed many innocent lives. No, he might be even more sure of himself now.
‘Or a special assassin from the Five Large Guilds.’
Bae Hu-ryeong nodded his head.
-From another’s respective, you’re really weird.
The appearance of a new hero when no one was expecting it!
An E Class hunter had cleared the unclearable stage. And as soon as he did, he made a deal with the Five Large Guilds and was promised to be treated the same way as the Guild Masters…
‘It’s too strange.’
-Right. From what grandpops Marcus sees, you’re not a hunter who worked hard to get there. You’re a fake hero that the large guilds set up. Tsk tsk.
Bae Hu-ryeong tsked his tongue.
-Zombie. How many was your kill count at? 4090?
‘It’s probably at 4093 now.’
-Right. The 4093 grandpops Marcus sees is just the number of people you’ve killed. Because you’re not a hunter that moves alone, but a hunter that was created by the large guilds.
That was the only result that the Sword Saint could come to.
The same bunch.
‘He probably thinks of it as a number that I killed on orders from the large guilds.’
The large guilds that ruled the tower.
That they had killed 4093 humans.
It was a misunderstanding…but to him, it was probably a dirty sight.
If he was less of a just geezer, he would’ve stepped back here.
“Babylon is no different from the outer world.”
But the Sword Saint didn’t know how to step back.
Even if he did, he denied it.
“After I entered the tower, you begged of me every day. To apply in a guild. But I refused. Do you know that?”
Sword Saint gripped his sword even more. His hands were old. Skin sagged. But the veins that popped out weren’t old at all.
A lion’s teeth weren’t less sharp because of age.
“I wanted to show that in this tower. That in this new world, you could rule at the top alone.”
The Sword Saint looked around him with violent eyes.
“Family, country, where you’re from. Unlike the outer world, you can survive by yourself with a sword in this place. If you work hard, you can succeed.”
“To show that hope to people, I didn’t join a guild until now. But what have you guys done?”
He lifted his blade.
“You’re no different from the rotten water riddled with dirt.”
The Guild Masters squirmed.
Rage. Humiliation. Hate.
Emotions swirled in their eyes. What the Sword saint just said was an announcement for war.
There were some who just smiled like it was nothing, like the Heretic Questioner, but most of the guild masters’ faces didn’t look too good.
“Sword Saint. I don’t know about others but you…”
“Ha! You forgot about how you just skipped out when we were subjugating the 5th floor? Seems like you forgot because of Alzheimer’s!”
“Yeah, Mr.Calenberry. If you used your connections from the outer world, we would have more food, and Sangryun…”
They all shouted.
All the hunters here had known each other from the beginning of the tower. Was it because they had a lot of held back emotions towards each other? As emotion clashed against emotion, the atmosphere in the reception room soon became dark.
“If you’re a Rank 1, you should’ve shown the attitude appropriate of it. But you were all good yourself. You lived by yourself. Do you know how many hunters we could’ve saved if you didn’t act so arrogant?”
The Witch of Black Dragon spoke like she was cursing him.
“It’s not just the 5th floor. If you helped us on the 7th and 9th floor, we would’ve suffered half the damage!”
The Venomous Snake of Chen-mu Mun showed murderous intent.
“Someone who was from a rich family in the outside world. If you helped a bit, the tower would’ve been more settled. We’re rotten water? Fine. Then you’re a kid that doesn’t have any responsibility.”
Count glared at him.
It was a mess.
Even with the curses and murderous gazes of the Guild Masters, Sword Saint just grimaced. Everytime he spoke, he made it worse.
“What are you adults blabbering on about…do you think I’m your grandfather? Put it away. If you’re gonna attack, attack with the sword.”
The reception room became uncontrollably violent.
-Dang! As expected of grandpops. Definitely my one and only disciple.
Bae Hu-ryeong could’t read the mood and just exclaimed in astonishment.
-There’s nothing more disgusting than players talking about connections or politics. If you have time to worry about that, you should fight with your sword instead!
What he said made sense.
I had a regretful heart.
“Even in a place with just 10 people, you fight.”
The hunters all looked at me.
“Even the NPCs of the 11th floor fought to protect their empire. But look. Hunters like us are just pointing fingers at each other saying whose fault it is. Isn’t it embarrassing to be worse than NPCs?”
“…Hunter Kim Gong-ja.”
The Witch spoke.
“It doesn’t have anything to do with you. It’s worse than what you…”
“I know. I get it but…there something that we should do if we’re hunters.”
I looked around the reception room.
“Let’s focus on clearing the 12th floor first.”
“It’s good to give hope to people, and respectable to decrease damage, it’s all good. But please work at clearing the stage that’s in front of you.”
I especially looked at Sword Saint.
“They’re just NPCs…but their empire is in danger. They want help. If we were summoned as warriors and just fight with words amongst ourselves, how pathetic is that.”
I was being genuine.
Sword Saint couldn’t threaten my life here anyway. Since the gap in power was too clear. Then my only focus was clearing the 12th floor.
I wasn’t interested in their politics or their emotional qualms.
“What’s a warrior? Helping others solve what they can’t. Since we cleared the 11th floor, let’s solve the other stages as well.”
“Kim Gong-ja is right.”
Thankfully, there was a hunter who agreed.
The Civil Milita’s Vice Guild Leader stepped up.
“I don’t understand why Sword Saint attacked Kim Gong-ja. But this isn’t the time for use to fight. That one thing is clear. You’re all too tense right now.”
Crusader stepped to the center. But no one let their guards down. Sword Saint, Venomous Snake, Count, and Heretic Questioner were still ready to attack if needed.
They were too distrustful of each other to convince each other with words.
Because of the emotions that were held back for a long amount of time.
Realizing that, Crusader sighed.
“Fine. I’ll sacrifice a little.”
At the word sacrifice, the hunters looked back.
Crusader murmured to herself at the center of attention.
“Skill card open.”
Light soared up from Crusader’s hand. A moment later, a silver card appeared. It was a card that no one else could see unless the hunter allowed them to. It was the skill card of Crusader.
“…Vice Guild Leader.”
The Witch seemed worried about the Crusader. The high rankers didn’t reveal their skill cards towards others. It was the secret weapon of a hunter. Showing it to others was like revealing your weakness.
“It’s fine. It doesn’t matter.”
Then Crusader flipped the card over.
Effects: You can tell whether someone is lying or not. It applies to not only people, but NPCs and monsters! But what they think of as ‘truth’ may actually be ‘false.’ Trust. Doubt. It all lies in your hands.
※However, you cannot guarantee that others will believe what you say as the truth.
My eyes widened.
It was the skill that the Flame Emperor lied about having. So. Crusader had it, and not Flame Emperor.
‘It fits the Vice Guild Master of the Civil Master perfectly!’
The Civil Militia was a guild that maintained order. Crimes were rampant in the tower. Like this. The Flame Emperor or Sword Saint killed people where others couldn’t see.
It was this kind of world. [Lie Detection] could be used in telling criminals apart.
“As you can see.’
The Crusader spoke with the card in hand.
“I have the ability to tell whether someone is lying. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say this is the skill that got me to where I am. Sword Saint.”
“If you trust me, ask anything you want to Kim Gong-ja. I’ll tell you whether he’s telling the truth or not.”
The Crusader looked at me and Sword Saint with apathetic eyes.
“Kim Gong-ja. Same goes for me. If you believe me, I can guarantee whether what you’re saying is the truth.”
“Doubt is poison that swallows humans up, and truth is the most powerful antidote. You can’t regain the lost trust, but with this, we’ll be able to work together on the 12th floor.”
The Sword Saint was deep in thought, rubbing his beard.
And I thought to myself.
This was the best opportunity. It was luck that I didn’t expect to come my way. But…this was right. The reason why the Sword Saint was suspicious of me was because of his skill. Since a skill had made him suspicious, a skill could be used to resolve it!
“I’m fine with that.”
I answered immediately.
It would be advantageous to the person who accepted it first.
“…Crusader. You’re the only person who hasn’t hurt anyone here. Fine. I’ll believe you as well.”
The Sword Saint spoke mysterious words and accepted it.
“Then I’ll take it that both of you agree. Sword Saint. Ask what you want to Kim Gong-ja. I’ll put my honor on the line and fairly judge your answers.”
Sword Saint glared at me.
His face was ready, like he had been waiting for this moment. Was it because he wanted to prove how bad I was? His eyes were full of victory.
Bae Hu-ryeong spoke up next to me.
-Noo, grandpops Marcus. You boomer. This is why I said not to rely too much on your skill. One who lives by skills dies by it! Nooo, no.
‘Please be quiet.’
Unfortunately, grandpops Marcus couldn’t hear Bae Hu-ryeong’s voice. This ghost bastard was my ghost bastard.
“Hunter Kim Gong-ja.”
“You killed over 4000 people. Isn’t that true.”
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