Chapter 464 - Central Bureau (6)
Each time Yeon-woo strolled around, the players whose foreheads touched the ground trembled. They all sported black eyes.
‘f.u.c.k, where did that guy come from…’
‘Monstrous b.a.s.t.a.r.d! Is the system really blocked for him?’
‘When is he going to let us go? Ahhh! My head’s getting crushed.’
At first, they’d been excited that a newbie had come. They planned to order him around and use him to relieve their stress from mining, but as soon as they tried to pick on him, something flashed and they saw stars, which was impossible in the cave. Before they knew it, they’d fallen to the ground. Their seniors, who’d been watching from the back, came running over, full of rage. The fight that came after was…
‘Fight, my a.s.s! It was a one-sided beating, how could it be called a fight?!’ The new arrival had practically flown around, and it was hard to believe he wasn’t using the system. Despite being surrounded by dozens of strong players, he didn’t even blink an eye as he beat them all up. Even Chemical, whom they called their king, received two black eyes and was forced to stick his forehead to the ground.
Keeping your hands together behind your back and supporting yourself with only your head and feet wasn’t something that humans ought to do, and it was only thanks to the fact that they hadn’t slacked off with their individual training that they didn’t fall over right away.
However, even after hours had pa.s.sed, they weren’t allowed to change their positions and were forced to shout another slogan.
“f.u.c.k…another punk like the Martial King…”
The others turned pale when they heard an inmate mutter to himself.
‘d.a.m.n it! He’s gonna die!’
But… “Hm? You know my teacher?
The inmates all whipped their heads around to look at Yeon-woo. They had all gone pale.
‘The disciple of the Martial King?!’
They all remembered how the Martial King had caused a huge ruckus a long time ago, and they even remembered the way he laughed uproariously at the time.
‘So that’s why!’
‘The Martial King?! No!’
‘d.a.m.n it! That guy sent his disciple to kill us! Ahhhhh! These punks!’
They wanted to cry.
* * *
“Get up.” Yeon-woo had given them freedom a few hours after that. They all had dark circles under their eyes, making Yeon-woo laugh in disbelief. He’d only planned to beat up the three who picked a fight with him, but before he knew it, he was fighting with most of the inmates in the cave. It was the first time in a long while since he’d had a purely physical fight, so he had enjoyed it a little too much.
When he fought the last player, who was probably their leader, it had been fun because the player was pretty skilled, unlike the others. But Yeon-woo still beat him up with only five moves. Even while he was covered in dust, the player glowered at Yeon-woo like he was going to run at him the instant he showed any weaknesses.
‘I didn’t know the Executioner of Hot Sands would be here.’ He was long forgotten by now, but he had been active in the Tower before the rule of the Nine Kings. He had gained infamy for ma.s.sacring rankers on the fifty-first floor’s Heavy Mountains, and although he wasn’t as powerful as the Devil Army’s Black Dawn and the One-horned tribe’s Blood-Red Philosopher, he was as strong as the Gluttony Emperor and Magnus.
He’d suddenly disappeared when the era of the Nine Kings dawned, and it turned out he was in this cave.
‘They say some inmates sometimes become Guardians… is he aiming for that?’ The relations.h.i.+p between the Bureau and their criminals and details of their punishment wasn’t well known, so Yeon-woo couldn’t figure out why the Executioner of Hot Sands was here. However, it was true that the inmates of the Cave of Yaanek were all at least A-ranked players since the prison was directly managed by the Central Bureau.
That meant all the inmates here were skilled players who had the right to act arrogantly—although Yeon-woo had just beaten them all up.
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The third was a thin Dark Elf, Gylfi, who was mining in the corner without any interest in what was happening around her. She was doing things on her own, as though she didn’t enjoy mixing with the other inmates. ‘But she’s focusing on the center of the mine’s veins with her pickaxe. It means her understanding of the Blood-Tear Stones is different from others.’
On the surface, she seemed weak and she hacked away slowly, but her strength control and the quality of the Blood-Tear Stones she mined were all on a different tier from others. The fact that the other inmates hadn’t taken notice of it meant she was of a high caliber and hiding her abilities thoroughly.
‘If she’s not the Vampiric Lord, she’s someone who’s obsessed with getting the Blood-Tear Stones.’ From what he knew, Dark Elves had a high understanding of different rocks and minerals because of an underground village on their home planet, Nidavellir. It was possible she truly was a Dark Elf.
The fourth was… ‘The one observing me.’ It was the one who was following Yeon-woo on Tarneck’s orders. Yeon-woo couldn’t figure out who it was because he couldn’t properly open his Draconic Eyes.
The person was trying to hide, but they couldn’t escape Yeon-woo’s keen senses. Based on the abilities they had, it was likely they would be as strong as Chemical had been with the system in place.
What the four suspects had in common was that they were opaque and clearly hiding their strength. ‘Should I test them?’ Yeon-woo wanted to clash with all of them, but he quickly shook his head. ‘No. Then my plans of quietly approaching Laplace and returning with the entrance ticket will fail.’
The Vampiric Lord had been hiding for over a hundred years from some unknown reason. If he bothered her, she might be displeased. ‘And if I cause trouble here, Tarneck will step up immediately. I’ll be stopped if I move rashly.’ Yeon-woo narrowed his eyes. ‘It would be easier if I could summon Lana.’
The Vampiric Lord’s love for her family was so great that she’d sought Jeong-woo, thinking he was Lana’s child. If Yeon-woo used Summon of the Dead to call Lana, the Vampiric Lord would react. But this was also far from acting quietly.
If the one observing him wasn’t the Vampiric Lord, it would become obvious that he could still use his powers. Was there no way to find her other than to continue observing all of them? Wait, perhaps there was one. ‘I can just kidnap all the suspects.’ He could prevent Tarneck’s interference by doing things away from his sight. However, this would mean really s.c.r.e.w.i.n.g the Bureau over. He’d only make them angrier, which wasn’t good since they were already furious that he’d destroyed the fifty-first floor.
He didn’t want to do it because he didn’t want to be marked as an enemy.
「Since when have you cared about things like that?」
But Shanon wasn’t wrong either. Yeon-woo looked up at the ceiling contemplatively. ‘Master was fine even after what he did. The mess I make here will probably be blamed on him, too.’
He began to move his dormant Consciousness to awaken the Stone of Sin and Dragon Heart. The aura he released shook the air. The inmates mining from afar and even the Bridgeheads all stopped what they were doing to look at him.
The message that the Atman System was recovered popped up.
‘I’ll be following in my teacher’s footsteps, so what could go wrong.?’ His Draconic Eyes could see the imperfections splitting through the ceiling and the walls. They were the veins of Blood-Tear Stones.
Yeon-woo put his hand on one of them.
「You said your teacher was useless, and yet you’re just going to follow after him… 」
He poured his magic power into the imperfections. Rumble! Dust rained down from the shaking ceiling. The cave was about to collapse.
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