Chapter 59 – Expedition Without Hopes Or Dreams (1)
Translator: WH Editor: Sasha
A bathroom had already been set up in the Great Library.
After washing my face at the sink, I said.
“Before we go to the Murim… Let’s just start with dying once.”
Silence flowed around. There was no one else but me in the bathroom. But there was a ghost and a sword, and they responded to me.
-What do you mean by okay?
[Shiny doesn’t understand your intentions.]
Bae Hu-ryeong batted his eyes, and the Holy Sword’s light glimmered.
“Lefanta Aegim. The first Emperor of the Empire and the one who made the Goddess of Protection into Shiny.”
[Shiny pointed out that you were the one who named her “Shiny”.….]
“I don’t know what kind of guy he is, but he could travel back and forth between the various worlds.”
I put on my overcoat. It was a custom-made suit gifted to me by the Witch before the press conference. Looking at my reflection in the mirror, it made me look like a fresh recruit who was ready to go to work.
Strangely, this appearance gave me a sense of psychological stability.
“Think about it. Shiny, you were in the world of the Aegim Empire, right? But the other sword is in the Murim world. That means Lefanta Aegim had [The ability to cross-over worlds].”
“He must be a munchkin-like dude.”
I touched the shaft of the Holy Sword on my waist.
“He’s capable enough to establish an Empire, and he’s strong enough to split and seal a Constellation. He even has the ability to cross over into this world. It’s not a good idea to blindly jump into the Murim without any plan to look for fragments of the Holy Sword.”
I needed to be a little more cautious.
“I’m not invincible (無敵) either.”
In fact, lately… I was a little on edge.
Should I say I was worried about my current self?
I was worried that if I relaxed even a little bit, my ‘confidence’ would turn into ‘arrogance’.
“I rose to 3rd rank in the Hunter ranking. I almost single handedly defeated the Devil King. In the city, the people only talked about me, and now I’m even giving orders to Hunters that carry Titles.”
“I’m afraid I’ll let my guard down if I make a blunder. ”
There were up to 100 floors in the tower.
As of right now, I was just a Hunter who had only reached the 21st floor.
It was too early to relax just because of the success I had right now.
‘The Flame Emperor was also hunted by me because he let his guard down.’
Because he had a skill that ‘revived’ him even if he died, [Returners Clockwork Watch]. It was a crazy cheat skill that looked as if there was no way to subdue it. However, what happened to Yoo Soo-ha, the Flame Emperor who had such a crazy cheat ability?
What’s more, after his death, he even danced a big round of Kozatsky dance in front of the world’s army.
It was a very good example that no matter how strong a Hunter was, he should not let his guard down.
-No. That’s because Zombie, you’re quite the devilish bastard….
“Anyways, I’m not going to jump into [Chronicles of Heavenly Demon] without any countermeasures. I need to know what kind of bastard Lefanta Aegim was. Right now, I really don’t have any information about it.”
Preparedness averts peril.
[T/N: It’s an idiom유비무환 (有备无患) which basically means, with all precautions taken, one would be safe. Or it could also mean better safe than sorry.]
Why was there a fragment of the Holy Sword in Murim out of the blue, and not in the world of Aegim Continent? What was the munchkin named Lefanta Aegim even thinking, and for what purpose did he split and scatter the [Goddess of Protection]?
I wanted to at least get the minimum amount of information before entering the next Stage.
-Well, it’s not a bad mindset to think before you leap.
[T/N: it’s 돌다리도 두들기고 건넌다는, a Korean Idiom that means to think carefully before you commit to your next action.]
Bae Hu-ryeong tilted his head.
-How exactly are you going to prepare? Just like you said, you don’t know anything about the guy called Lefanta or whatever it is. There’s also no way to find out.
“You’re right about me not knowing anything. But…”
I tapped the Holy Sword with my finger.
“You’re wrong about there being no way to find out.”
“Even if it looks like this, this sword is the [Goddess of Protection]. Though it’s been divided into five fragments, it’s undoubtedly a Constellation.”
I grinned mischievously.
“A question now. If I stab myself with this sword, would that count as suicide? Or is it murder by the Constellation?”
Bae Hu-ryeong’s eyes widened.
He looked as if it was something unthinkable.
“It could be suicide or murder. Let’s say the odds are fifty-fifty, and I don’t know which one it is yet, but… It’s worth testing out.”
[T/N: the sound of pulling a sword out of its sheath.]
I took the Holy Sword out of its sheath. Then I heard a desperate voice.
[Shiny sincerely asks the warrior to reconsider once more.]
[Shiny strongly asserts that it is embarrassing for her past to be seen by another person and that she would like to protect her privacy.]
I raised the corners of my lips.
“Eyyy, there’s no such thing as privacy between us, right? I’m also showing my personal life to you, broadcasted live 24 hours a day. You should be fair.”
[Shiny is begging you to stop……]
The Holy Sword pierced my body.
The next moment, I was sure I succeeded in the fifty-fifty gamble.
[You have died.]
[Your death has satisfied the skill condition.]
[Goddess of Protection’s skill is currently sealed and cannot be acquired.]
It was a bit disappointing that I couldn’t copy her skills.
But what I was trying to get right now was not a skill.
[You are currently a D-Class Hunter.]
[You will receive a penalty due to your skill.]
[The trauma of your enemy is being reenacted.]
[The extremity is Moderate (中). Vengeful Ghost Road.]
The scene I had hoped for unfolded before my eyes.
-Your long journey finally came to an end.
I could hear a beautiful voice.
-I knew you could do it. Warrior-nim.
It was a woman I had never seen before. But somehow I realized right away who she was.
The [Goddess of Protection] that wasn’t sealed in the blade.
It was a Constellation that could fully control her power.
A man. A silver-haired nobleman, probably whom the Goddess was referring to as a warrior, was sitting on a rustic jade throne. From the chin upwards, there was a hint of fatigue on his face. It was the Empire’s first Emperor, Lefanta Aegim who replied to her.
‘Is that dude Lefanta Aegim?’
The man opened his lips.
-It seemed like it was just a few days ago that I was taken aback by the sudden summoning. Before I knew it, I’ve become an Emperor that unified the Continent. Life is full of surprises.
-Hurhur. I feel refreshed too. At first, you were a normal human who really didn’t know anything. Now, you’re stronger than me. No, most Gods wouldn’t even be able to hold a candle against you….
It was then.
-Huh? What the-.
Bae Hu-ryeong, who was looking at the trauma scene with me made a sound.
-It feels like I’ve seen that bastard before?
-I mean that blonde-haired dude. Even at a glance, I can recognise, he’s definitely the Constellation Killer (殺天星).
Bae Hu-ryeong muttered as if it was strange.
I was surprised at the fact that Bae Hu-ryeong had met Lefanta Aegim before.
‘What does Constellation Killer mean?’
-It’s that bastard’s Title. He got that Title because he was a crazy bastard that only went around looking for the Constellations and crushing them.
Crushing the Constellations?
– Don’t you see? The tower is connected to the worlds. From the 50th floor, you have to compete with Hunters from all over the world.
-Mmhmmm. And that [Constellation Killer] was a bastard that was cooped up on the 50th floor.
Bae Hu-ryeong said.
-He would never climb the tower, and just stayed locked up on the 50th floor all the time, and when the words of a Constellation being there came by, he’d chase after them immediately. I’m sure that there are at least a few hundred Constellations that were killed by him.
‘……then Lefanta Aegim is also a Hunter?’
-That’s right. I was wondering what kind of world such a crazy madman was born in, that brat. So he’s from Aegim.
Bae Hy-ryeong murmured.
-I never thought I’d see an old connection in a place like this. Phew.
‘Uhhhh. What was the relationship between the two of you…?’
-What else could our relationship be? We had a proper fight, that’s what our relationship was. He was strong, that I’ll give him, but he couldn’t dare match me.
The trauma scene kept unfolding even in the midst of our chatter.
The Goddess of Protection opened her mouth.
-What do you plan to do from now on, Warrior-nim? There are no longer any Gods(神靈) and Demons(惡靈) that can block Warrior-nim’s path. Your long journey is now…
-It’s neither God nor Demon. It’s Constellation.
Lefanta Aegim stood up from his jade throne.
-The world belongs to humans, not to the Constellations.
Lefanta Aegim looked back at the goddess.
A dark red Aura blazed forth from the Emperor’s body.
– …Warrior-nim? Why are you suddenly using your Aura….?
With an exhausted look, the Founding Emperor of the Empire seemed to be agonizing.
It wasn’t for long.
-I won’t kill you. Because you’ve been helping me up till now.
A red Aura swoop over the goddess.
-I will split and seal your existence. If I do that, you won’t be able to regain your power again. And when the Constellation is gone…….
The latter part of his words couldn’t be heard because of the piercing scream.
The goddess’s existence was being torn apart in front of us.
Lefanta Aegim said.
-But this is the right way.
After the goddess’s scream faded away, the trauma moved away from us in a flash.
[Trauma reenactment finished.]
[Confirming that the subject’s psyche (自我) is maintained.]
[The penalty is ending.]
“……What’s this, this guy?”
After coming back to the day before, I mumbled in the bathroom that I came back to again.
“I thought I would see what kind of guy he was after getting a glimpse of the past through the trauma… Now I’m confused even more after watching it. Hey, Shiny. Why did your old master seal you?”
[Shiny replied sullenly, saying she doesn’t know either.]
The Holy Sword glowed lightly.
Was it because she was down?
The light of the Holy Sword seemed unusually weak.
[The Lefanta Aegim, who she remembers, was a man of few words, but he was a righteous warrior. Shiny expresses that she had no idea why he sealed her, and why he left behind the Empire that he founded.]
The mystery only got worse.
-I told you. The higher the levels of the Hunters are, the crazier they are, okay?
Bae Hu-ryeong shrugged.
-Don’t try to understand those crazy madmen. If you peek into the abyss, you will fall into the abyss yourself. Become strong just like me, and crush all the fuckers you don’t like, whether it is Constellation Killer or whoever!
“Well. It’s considered a harvest just by knowing his face.”
And I was certain of one fact.
Lefanta Aegim. The so-called [Constellation Killer] would be hostile as soon as he saw me.
Because I was carrying around the fragments of the Goddess of Protection that he sealed away.
I wrinkled my forehead while looking in the mirror.
“If we’re going to meet on the 50th floor anyway, I’d like to take care of it in advance….”
-Hold your horses. You’re no match for him with your current ability! He’s just weaker than me, but that guy is a master among masters too. Also, if you already have time to worry about the 50th floor, how about you clear the 22nd floor, you wimp!
He wasn’t wrong, so I quietly repeated the same day.
The next day. The Hunters picked out the ’22nd floor’ after reading all the Apocalypses. [Chronicles of Heavenly Demon] was chosen without difficulty because it was none other than the Sword Saint himself who recommended it.
“Hoooh? I see you all chose Martial Arts as your first genre.”
The librarian watched us make our decision and meaningfully laughed.
“It’s not a bad choice! Although it may not exactly be the same Murim you lot know of, it is the same in that there are martial arts and strong people. Depending on how you lead the story, you might even gain a Miraculous Encounter(奇緣). Martial Arts that are priceless… According to the expression you lot use, you may even be able to learn ‘Skills’.”
Ohhhhhhhhh, the Hunters got excited.
Everyone was in high spirits and yet the librarian immediately sprayed ashes on the mood.
[T/N: ‘sprayed ashes’ is a Korean slang for ruining a mood.]
“However, all things are high-risk, high-returns! That’s how strong the ‘enemy’ characters are. Needless to say, but if you enter the Apocalypse and lose your life, you will actually die in reality. Of course, you won’t be able to escape from the Apocalypse until you’ve completed the ‘ending’ properly!”
The Hunters shut their mouths.
It was a given. Unless you had an unusual skill like me, death always had the power to shut people up.
“[Chronicles of Heavenly Demon] has a play limit of 2 to 4 people. Now! Who’s going to be part of the characters of this Apocalypse?”
The Hunters’ eyes naturally turned towards the top rankers.
Among them, I was the one who garnered the most attention. The reason was simple. It was because, over the past few days, I ordered and directed the Hunters around as if I was some sort of representative.
With power comes great responsibility.
“I’ll take part.”
And I had no intention of running away from my responsibilities.
At my quick answer, the guild masters smiled delightfully, as if saying ‘I knew he would do that’ and the majority of the Hunter stared at me with a surprised look.
“I’ll get in on the act too.”
The Sword Saint followed up and said.
“You can’t leave out the person who recommended the Apocalypse.”
He looked solemn, but there was a slight smile on the corner of his lips. I could plainly see his body was itching for excitement. Perhaps as a reader who loves Martial Arts, isn’t the fact that he could enter the real Murim a pleasure in itself?
“I’m glad. The minimum number of people has been met!”
The librarian chuckled.
“We can have two more characters coming with us here……. How do you guys want to do it?”
“There’s one more reason why I recommended this Apocalypse.”
The Sword Saint immediately opened his mouth with confidence.
“Everyone, look at all the reason for discontinuation.”
[The Chronicles of Heavenly Demon(天魔)]
Genre: Martial Arts, Fusion
Difficulty Level: B Class
Player Limit: 2 to 4 people
※The Serialization is currently suspended.
Introduction: Murim. A world of those who revere Mu, those who use Mu, those who strive to attain Mu! A Heavenly Demon descended here and tried to unify Murim. A Demonic Cult (魔敎) brought together centering on the Heavenly Demon. The opposing forces who go against this Demonic Cult. Fighting over the control of the world…would be what they would’ve done.
[T/N: Murim (武林) is the Martial Arts World, Mu (武) is basically Martial Arts.]
If it wasn’t for the sudden super epidemic.
Reason for Discontinuation: An unidentified epidemic went rampant in the world, causing the Heavenly Demon to die. The Demonic Cult was annihilated. The other forces were also destroyed. End.
Looking at it again, the reason for discontinuation was ridiculous.
It didn’t even state exactly what the epidemic was.
In the text of the Apocalypse, only this was written, [The Heavenly Demon suddenly died due to the unidentified epidemic, soon, all the other forces died too.]
No one knew what happened specifically.
‘We’ll find out when we really enter this world.’
In any case, it was clear that the Murim was destroyed because of the unidentified epidemic.
The Sword Saint nodded.
“As you can see, the epidemic was what destroyed this world. Needless to say, we should not only take strong Hunters but also Hunters who have extensive knowledge about diseases. And I know who is the most educated when it comes to diseases.”
The Sword Saint smiled brightly and called for someone from the [Martial Arts] group where he came from.
“Medicine King. Will you come out?”
A stubborn-looking elderly man walked out with his hands behind his back.
This time again, the Sword Emperor pretended as if he knew.
-Ahh! That guy!
“Why? Who’s that?”
-What do you mean why? You know that store right? The place where I tried to bring you to first, Zombie. He’s the shop owner of Marcus grandpop’s favourite Drugstore.
Aha, really now.
-That grandpop is good at making drugs. But, ummm… He’s good at it, but…….
The Sword Emperor mumbled towards the end of his sentence.
No one knew the reason better than I did.
“Don’t worry. I will be the one mainly fighting, and Death King will help if I am not enough. And when this [Medicine King] resolves the matter regarding the disease, this Apocalypse will only be for the three us…… Death King, is there anything you want to say?”
As he spoke confidently, the Sword Saint stared at me with his hands raised.
“Ahhh. Yes. There’s one person I’d like to bring with me.”
I lowered my hand and pointed to one Hunter.
The Hunter, who was pointed out of nowhere, gasped for words.
“Uhhh, huhhh? Are you talking about me…?”
It was the Alchemist.
“Yes, that’s right.”
The Alchemist trembled as if she had been struck by lightning while walking down the street.
“Dea-, Death King… It hasn’t even been a week since I received my Title. Ve-, I’m very weak! It wouldn’t be of any use even if you took someone like me with you, so why…”
“You’re the most capable pharmacist and doctor that I know, Alchemist.”
“And you also said earlier.”
‘Death King-nim, if you need anything, please tell me!’
‘As long as I can do it, I’ll help you all I can!’
I smiled widely.
“If it wasn’t just empty talk, you’ll help out. Right, Alchemist-nim?”
The Alchemist’s eyes were in despair as if she was looking at the devil.
‘Why? Didn’t she get her Title thanks to me?’
If you got carried, you have to pay the price for being carried.
[T/N: This was talked about in C58, but just in case, Carry in this context is like the gaming term, in other words, our MC carried her by using the item she made, that was why she could get a Title.]
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