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Episode 7 – Landlord (5)
As I watched the surging wave of monsters, I gave strength to my thighs. The level 15 strength condensed at once and my feet developed a strong propulsion force.
The ground rats ran from all directions and the hard horns of the grolls flew from unexpected places.
My skin, which was tempered by the level 15 stamina, became bruised and b.l.o.o.d.y from the grolls' horns.
[The number one bookmark has been activated.]
Bookmark was activated and Kim Namwoon's Blackening wrapped around my body. I pushed away all the monsters coming from the front.
Fangs burrowed into my body and a few ground rats bit my thighs. However, I didn't stop. Run and run again.
Over here. Finally, the original wall was visible. I jumped over the ground rats. There was a green zone for two people shining.
By the way…s.h.i.t.
[Green Zone 1/2]
There was already someone inside.
I forgot about the monsters coming from behind and stared at him. There was a guy who should never be there.
He turned to me.
"Can't you get out? You don't even need to stay in here."
“It is difficult. I am tired today."
I pushed to punch this a.s.shole's face. I didn't understand. This wasn't the 'third regression' Yoo Jonghyuk that I knew.
In Ways of Survival, it was written that Yoo Jonghyuk only found the first hidden green zone in the fourth regression… d.a.m.n, did he know about this place since the second regression and it just wasn't described? Then why didn't he originally use it in the third regression?
There were the cries of the ground rats chasing me from behind. It was too late to blame the writer. I could feel Lee Gilyoung's breathing. I stared into Yoo Jonghyuk's eyes. We spoke at almost the same time.
"Take the kid."
“Give me the child."
Still, it was lucky. The constellations would hear my words.
[Green Zone 2/2]
I moved Lee Gilyoung and the mark of the green zone changed. Now Lee Gilyoung was safe.
"Hyung! Wait a minute! Hyung!"
Lee Gilyoung urgently tried to rush towards me but Yoo Jonghyuk's hand restrained him. I swung my sword towards the ground rats.
[The constellation 'Bald General of Justice' has closed his eyes.]
[The constellation Demon-like Judge of Fire is watching you with uncomfortable eyes.]
At the last minute, Yoo Jonghyuk's eyes seemed to move.
「 I told you that you would die. 」
The waves of monsters headed towards me. Now there were no more green zones remaining.
"I won't die."
I ignored the monsters and put a hand in my pocket. In fact, I really didn't want to use this. I couldn't be a.s.sured that there would be no aftereffects. Now I had to believe in the Fourth Wall.
「 That…? 」
Yoo Jonghyuk's eyes shook with surprise. This b.a.s.t.a.r.d, did he find out? Well, I wouldn't have known this method without him.
I looked down at the white stone shining in the palm of my hand.
It was an item I gained by hunting specters on the way to Chungmuro.
Hundreds of ground rats started biting at my body.
I was bleeding from minor wounds and the shoulders struck by the grolls' horns were red with blood. As the durability of my body rapidly diminished, I put the stone into my mouth.
Then something like water vapor started to emerge from my mouth. The water vapor formed a fog that covered me.
[The Welcome Prison is activated.]
The ground rats and grolls stopped attacking me at once.
Everything around me started to distort. The platform, Yoo Jonghyuk and Lee Gilyoung calling out to me.
I became a 'ghost.'
* * *
「 Dokja. 」
I noticed as soon as I heard my mother's voice. This was a dream.
I tried not to get caught up in it but it wasn't easy this time. The floor sank like a quagmire and swallowed me.
[Due to excessive immersion, the influence of Fourth Wall has temporarily weakened.]
Scenes started to weave in front of me, no matter what I wanted.
A living room covered with blood. The cold body of a man. The back of a woman looking down at the body. No. This memory was difficult to remember. I couldn't remember it.
I shook my head furiously and the scene in front of me scattered. This d.a.m.n trauma…
It was a memory I didn't want to see.
This was why I was reluctant to eat the Specter's Stone. The Specter's Stone temporarily made the user a 'ghost' and turned them invisible to monsters. But it has a side effect of causing the user's trauma to peak.
That's why I didn't give it to the other party members. If it had been used by someone other than myself, they might've turned into a madman.·····.
I had to endure, even if my head was hurting like crazy.
Certainly, the Fourth Wall was a scam. The skill would even be able to eat away at this stone. I wouldn't see this effect even with the superior 'Mental Barrier.' Where was it? If my guess was correct, this skill…
「 Yoo Jonghyuk? Are you Yoo Jonghyuk? 」
I thought a trauma had started again but it wasn't my voice. It wasn't a voice created by my memories. I looked back and saw a strange woman.
「 …You aren't Yoo Jonghyuk. I think you are Korean but who are you? 」
A dazzling blonde foreigner. She was a little girl with a short height. The girl looked at me for a long time with an incomprehensible expression.
「 That…I don't understand. I've seen the future a number of times but I've never seen you before… 」
In the girl's left eye, an ominous red swirl could be seen. The pages flashed in my head. I knew this person. No, there was absolutely no way I couldn't know her. In this case…
[The exclusive skill, Character List is activated.]
[The character 'Anna Croft' is using 'Mental Barrier Lv. 6'.]
[Character List ignores Mental Barrier Lv. 6.]
[There is too much information about this person. Character List is converted to Summary List.]
Name: Anna Croft
Attribute: Prophet (Legend), Savior (Legend)
Exclusive Skills: Future Sight Lv. 5, Past Sight Lv. 4, Insight Lv. 8, Clairvoyance Lv. 4, Advanced Magic Training Lv. 4, Mental Barrier Lv. 6, Lie Detection Lv. 7, Great Demon's Eyes Lv. 1…
A woman who could ignore s.p.a.ce constraints and freely enter the consciousness of other people. A woman who saw the future and tried to design the future of the world. There was only one 'woman' with such a way of thinking in Ways of Destruction.
「 …How do you know me? 」
Her eyes widened and she glared at me.
I replied quietly, “I’m a prophet."
[The character Anna Croft has triggered Lie Detection Lv. 7.]
[Lie Detection has confirmed that your words are false.]
Indeed, I couldn't lie to a true prophet.
「 …Reveal your true ident.i.ty. Who are you? 」
Her small lips were tightly closed. It looked as though she was protesting.
I antic.i.p.ated how the situation would roughly occur. The woman noticed my presence, perhaps because the influence of Fourth Wall temporarily weakened. If Fourth Wall was really the skill I thought it was…
By the way… it was disappointing.
“Do you really not know who I am?"
「 …Huh? 」
"Didn't I send you the ichthyosaur's core?"
Anna's lips slowly widened.
“You must've implanted the 'great demon's eyes' with the power of the core. Right?"
「 T-Then you? You asked for Broken Faith…? 」
[Great Demon's Eyes.] It was a huge one million coin item that was taken by this woman with a d.a.m.n diamond sponsor. I felt envious.
「 You! What is your name? How… 」
[The influence of the exclusive skill 'Fourth Wall' is slowly returning.]
「 Why… why can't I see anything…? 」
Her eyes became blurred. The influence of the Great Demon’s Eyes, which could interfere with the consciousness of others, weakened and her figured gradually faded. I waved my hands.
“Someday we will meet. Wait across the continent."
[The exclusive skill Fourth Wall has been completely restored.]
Anna completely disappeared.
I sighed with relief. In fact, my spirit had been fluctuating back and forth when talking to Anna Croft. It wasn't very good.
[Due to the skill effect, immunity to Welcome Prison has occurred.]
…Dammit, the effect took place too late.
I felt my consciousness clear up.
The discomfort still remained but it was much better than before. I took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. I looked at the distinct facts one by one in order to regain my rationality.
I am Kim Dokja. The world was destroyed. Ways of Survival had become reality. This was…Welcome Prison. I ate the Specter's Stone and was a ghost for a while. If I was a ghost, I wouldn't be attacked by the underground species.
Yes, that's right. So… the world looked like this.
In the midst of the landscape that seemed like I had eaten drugs, the flow of time was hardly noticeable. I became a bit uneasy.
What happened to Yoo Sangah, Lee Hyunsung and Jung Heewon? That Jonghyuk b.a.s.t.a.r.d, did he kill Gilyoung? Was the third scenario still in progress? What if there were still ground rats around? Were the grolls circling in order to eat me?
Voices flashed through my head.
[The exclusive skill 'Permanent Lv. 1' is activated.]
(TL: Temporary name. The skill hasn't appeared before, and there is no explanation. The Korean used for it is usually used for 'perm'. I highly doubt that is right so I went with permanent. I will change if it I get more information later)
Yes, it was time to go back.
* * *
I breathed out roughly. There was a soft texture touching my cheek.
The fog faded and my vision became clear. The first thing that I saw was Yoo Sangah's face. Lee Hyunsung and Jung Heewon's worried faces also appeared.
"It ended Dokjssi. We did it. We did it!"
…I see. We did it.
I looked at the agitated party members and tried to move my body. I had remained stiff for a long time and my muscles barely listened to me.
“Only one day has pa.s.sed. Yesterday was the third day…"
Lee Hyunsung caught me as I tried to get up.
"Dokjssi! It isn't possible. You haven't slept at all."
“What time is it now?"
"It is 8:30 a.m. 30 minutes have pa.s.sed since the scenario ended."
8:30… fortunately, not too much time pa.s.sed. By the way, there was a face missing.
"Where is Gilyoung?"
Before Jung Heewon spoke, I already discovered where Jung Heewon was. Lee Jihye and Yoo Jonghyuk were looking down at Lee Gilyoung a few steps away.
…No, what was that b.a.s.t.a.r.d Yoo Jonghyuk doing?
At this moment, I remembered how Yoo Jonghyuk was surprised when he saw my party. Don't tell me, when Yoo Jonghyuk used Sage’s Eyes…?
“When… you have chosen? Obvious never…before."
Due to the aftereffects of using the stone, Yoo Jonghyuk's voice wasn't heard properly. Then Lee Gilyoung started talking.
“It is okay."
“…You really won't go with me?"
“You can become much stronger with me than with him. You still won't go?"
"Yes. I won't."
Yoo Jonghyuk frowned and looked my way.
[Exclusive skill, Omniscient Reader's Viewpoint stage 2 has been activated!]
「 …Lucky guy. He will be helpful so let's keep him a little longer. 」
I wanted to say something but I had no energy in my body.
Once he discovered that I woke up, Lee Gilyoung rushed towards me with swollen eyes. Yoo Jonghyuk's thoughts still rang in my head.
「 There is no time to delay. I have to finish the attack today. Otherwise… 」
…Attack? What was he talking about?
I had to think… d.a.m.n, I'm too tired. As I relaxed my body, the softness of the thigh I was lying on touched my cheek again.
“Sorry, I'm going to sleep a bit…"
Then I fell sleep. It was a sweet sleep without any dreams.
* * *
I woke up two hours later.
[Hey, how long are you going to sleep?]
I opened my eyes at the loud and unpleasant voice. This time, the texture against my cheek was much thicker and harder than before.
"…Ah, Dokjssi woke up."
Smiling lips. Jung Heewon was looking down at me.
“Yoo Sangah-ssi took a break. We didn't sleep well last night."
I turned my head and saw Yoo Sangah sleeping against a wall. Jung Heewon smiled.
"By the way, is Lee Hyunsung's thigh comfortable?"
I turned and saw Lee Hyunsung drooling.
“Today in the morning… the on-call officer will conduct the duties…"
…I thought the height of the pillow wasn't right. It turned out to be Lee Hyunsung's thigh. It was an army pillow with a b.l.o.o.d.y smell.
I felt a heavy feeling on my stomach and looked down to see Lee Gilyoung leaning against me and sleeping.
The moment I carefully raised my body, I heard Bihyung's voice.
[Haha, you are awake? Then take this.]
Messages poured into my ears.
[The constellation 'Demon-like Judge of Fire' is sad about your trauma.]
[The constellation 'Abyssal Black Flame Dragon' is interested in your past.]
[The constellation Secretive Plotter is wondering about your mother.]
[The constellations have sponsored you 1,800 coins.]
…Sons of a b.i.t.c.hes. They were trying to steal a peek at my past.
This wasn't the end.
[You have endured Chungmuro's night without the green zone.]
[You have accomplished the 'Never-ending Dawn' achievement at Chungmuro Station!]
[You have earned 1,000 coins as an achievement reward.]
[Coins Possessed: 22,650 C]
I had achieved the target amount. I didn't experience a hard night for nothing.
This time Jung Heewon asked. "What should we do today? Like yesterday…"
“No, not today. That only works for one day."
Of course, if we were lucky then we might be able to find the randomly generated green zone. Unfortunately, there was no detailed description of the location of the green zones on day four in Ways of Survival.
Jung Heewon's expression became dark. But it was unnecessary worry.
“Today we will completely end the third scenario."
I carefully laid Lee Gilyoung and got up.
It wasn't originally planned but I couldn't wait after hearing Yoo Jonghyuk's thoughts. Yesterday, he had no choice but to buy time. However, the story was different today.
"I will drag out the land owners.
Jung Heewon asked and I looked at Lee Hyunsung, who was sleeping deeply.
"I have to use the secret weapon that I saved."
Now it was time to change the owner of Chungmuro.