Chapter 574. White Lies (4)
Seo Jun-Ho was about to take Son Chae-Won and Shin Sung-Hyun into a conference room when Skaya beckoned at him from the end of the hallway.
“Go ahead. I’ll meet you inside.”
Seo Jun-Ho approached Skaya and asked, “Are you ready?”
“Yes. But…” Skaya was about to hand over the hologram file to Seo Jun-Ho, but she hesitated and said, “I’m not really sure about all this. Are we really going in the right direction?”
“This is the best that we can do for now. I don’t know about Shin Sung-Hyun, but Son Chae-Won will definitely collapse once she discovers the truth.”
“And how do you know that?”
“I saw it.”
To be exact, Sung-Jun saw it, but there was no way Sung-Jun would lie.
“Huh? When did you regress again? It seems like you’re doing that too much.”
“You don’t have to worry about that part. I can’t do it anymore, anyway.”
Skaya’s eyes widened. She retracted her hand and said, “Huh? What is that supposed to mean? Can you please elaborate?”
“What do you mean? It is what it is. I literally can’t regress anymore.”
Skaya was unaware, but Seo Jun-Ho couldn’t regress like Sung-Jun.
“Do you finally understand why I am so obsessed and stubborn about getting the best results by choosing the best options?”
“...” Skaya contemplated with a serious look. “I trust you, Jun-Ho. However, the path you’re walking is really worrisome.”
“What path? The path I’m walking right now?”
“Yes, and I’m glad you know that. You’re the only one who can decide which path you’re going to take, anyway,” said Skaya before handing over the hologram file.
Seo Jun-Ho received the file and examined it. A photo of Kim Woo-Joong and a voice recording that Skaya had fabricated using magic was inside the hologram file.
“This should explain why Kim Woo-Joong cannot be reached.”
The alibi Skaya created was that the Sword Saint had achieved enlightenment after pondering over Ceylonso’s sword, and he was currently in the midst of a.s.similating his learnings.
“Kim Woo-Joong has always been hard to reach whenever he’s training, so I don’t think they’re going to have any doubts,” said Skaya.
“Wait, I want you to remember one thing,” Skaya interrupted Seo Jun-Ho and said, “The best options won’t necessarily lead you to the right path.”
“...I know,” said Seo Jun-Ho.
He knew because Sung-Jun had already done it and failed.
However, humans would always strive to make the best choice possible.
‘And the same is true of me.’ Seo Jun-Ho couldn’t fail because Sung-Jun’s legacy was on his shoulders. ‘I must not fail.’
Seo Jun-Ho entered the conference room with a heavy weight on his shoulders.
“I invited you two here because I want to tell you something,” he said.
“I think I know. Is it about Christin Lewis?” Shin Sung-Hyun asked with shining eyes.
‘We have been suspecting Christin Lewis as the traitor who had been working with the fiends all this while. Since Specter-nim has pulled us here, he must have clear evidence about Christin Lewis’ cooperation with the fiends.’
Seo Jun-Ho stared alternatingly at Son Chae-Won and Shin Sung-Hyunn.
“I guess it’s related to him, but you don’t have to worry about the traitor anymore.”
“Anymore? What do you mean?”
“Christin Lewis wasn’t the traitor.”
Shin Sung-Hyun and Son Chae-Won were surprised, and they looked as if they had been struck by a thunderbolt out of the blue.
“The traitor was Mercenary King Milphage.”
Son Chae-Won and Shin Sung-Hyun’s eyes widened.
“Please keep it a secret. I’m sure you know why I want you to keep this a secret.”
“...Is it for the sake of the Players’ morale?”
“Yes, and the Hallem Guild will definitely be ostracized the moment the word gets out.”
Humans were herd animals, and herds would always ostracize those who were ever so slightly different from them.
“Discrimination starts when others feel that a certain person is different from them.”
It would inevitably lead to a communication and morale breakdown.
Seo Jun-Ho wasn’t planning on letting that happen.
“...I guess we have no choice. We will follow you.”
“Hmm. I do feel uneasy about it, but I think your point is valid.”
The two nodded in agreement.
“Thank you for your understanding. Then, let’s talk about the plan to attack the Float Force Power Plant at tomorrow’s meeting.”
“Sure. By the way…” Son Chae-Won asked carefully, “Have you heard anything about Woo-Joong?”
“...” Seo Jun-Ho froze. It was about time for him to lie. Still, he felt bad and nervous about spitting out fabricated lies. ‘I’m not sure how I look right now. Do I look like I’m acting? Let’s just answer as calmly as possible and hand over the file.’
Seo Jun-Ho gulped and opened his mouth to speak.
“Ah!” Seo Jun-Ho flinched and muttered, “That scared me…”
Shin Sung-Hyun and Son Chae-Won directed strange gazes at Seo Jun-Ho, prompting him to smile awkwardly and turn around.
‘What is going on? Is it you, Keen Intuition?’
- Long time no talk, partner.
‘What is it all of a sudden? You never bothered to answer me when I was calling you.’
Seo Jun-Ho thought that Keen Intuition had fallen into a deep sleep because he had been quiet all this while. He didn’t even answer Seo Jun-Ho’s calls or questions.
- I was busy looking back on your life, partner.
‘...Looking back on my life?’
- Yes. I was looking back on your long life, partner. I’ve been looking back since we got together.
‘I see. I guess that’s why you’ve been quiet. But why are you doing that?’
- You no longer have any more chances, partner. I have to be extra cautious.
‘Oh…’ Seo Jun-Ho’s regret about raising Keen Intuition’s grade disappeared at once. ‘I indeed regretted raising your grade.’
-That’s rude. Anyway, I found something while I was looking back on your life. I call it crossroads.
Keen Intuition sounded more serious than ever.
- I would always feel this strange feeling whenever you’re standing at a crossroads, partner. I mean, whenever you’re about to make an important decision.
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Keen Intuition started listing the moments he felt what he called a strange feeling.
“Yes. He throws in choices and mixes traps among those choices. The same was true of every decision you have made so far. You’ve actually failed a lot, haven’t you?”
“...What happens if I trigger a trap?”
“Things are going to get ugly.” The situation was bound to worsen to the point that it could only be fixed by regressing. The issue was that Seo Jun-Ho could no longer regress.
“...Sigh. My head hurts. I need some sugar.”
“Do you want some chocolate?”
“What? Chocolate?” Helic seemed dumbfounded at the response. She stared deeply at Seo Jun-Ho before holding out her hand and saying, “...Give it to me.”
Seo Jun-Ho handed over the chocolate that he was supposed to give to the Frost Queen.
Helic unwrapped the chocolate and took a big bite.
Then, she crossed her legs and fell into deep contemplation for a long time before saying,
“First of all, give me back my holy relics. They’re mine.”
“Oh, right. Give me a moment.” Seo Jun-Ho obliged and placed the holy relics on the table in front of them.
Moments later, they started floating. Helic examined them and muttered, “Hmm. I knew they would be enough…”
Helic nodded, and a wave of holy light burst out of her.
The holy light pervaded the world.
Helic stared at the light for quite a while before standing up.
“Get ready for what?”
“Get ready to go down.”
Helic gestured, and her divine power coalesced to form a door.
Helic stood in front of the door and gestured at Seo Jun-Ho with her chin.
“Wait, what are you going to do down there?”
“Did you not understand what I said? What is it that the Archduke wants?”
“...I’m guessing he wants me to fall into his traps.”
“That’s right, so what’s the best decision we can make here?”
“Wrong, you foolish human.”
Helic snorted and folded her arms before saying, “The best decision to make is to erase the crossroads. If you don’t have to make any decision, you won’t have to take any risks.”
“But… Is that even possible?”
“Of course it is. Why do you think people call me omnipotent?” Helic boasted, but her expression abruptly turned serious as she continued. “I will lift the curse on your friend, and you will no longer have any reason to lie.”
“You said you needed three holy relics to lift the curse...”
“Well, not exactly, but it’ll be great if I have all three holy relics. I can still lift the curse with only two holy relics, but I will end up losing my strength for quite a while as a side effect of the exertion,” explained Helic. However, there was a reason why she had decided to invest despite the possible losses.
Helic’s dissatisfied gaze turned toward Seo Jun-Ho.
“...You’re an annoying human, but you are the only key.”
“The only key?”
“Ugh, whatever. I don’t want to answer. It’s not like we’re close friends.”
Helic shrugged before turning around to enter the door.
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