The Frozen Player Returns - novelonlinefull.com
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A sound similar to a landslide could be heard reverberating through the air.
However, everyone in the city remained silent at the collapsing skysc.r.a.per. It was none other than the Imperial Palace, the tallest skysc.r.a.per of Neo City, which was taller than the clouds up above. The noises were because of its collapse.
‘d.a.m.n, that’s impressive.’
It wasn’t just the building. The area around the palace sank as well.
The stockpile that was supposedly underneath the palace should have been destroyed.
“I think we should check just in case,” Gilberto said casually. He looked as if he hadn’t just razed a literal skysc.r.a.per to the ground.
“That’s easy enough.” There was someone nearby that would make a pretty good scene.
“Ahahaha! Where are you going?!” Rahmadat kicked off of the side of a building and flew into the air. His thick hand reached out and wrapped around a robot’s ankle. “I gotcha, ya little rascal!”
He spun its body a few times and threw it like a shotput.
It ripped through a building and was buried in concrete.
- Beep. Beeeeep.
Its body squeaked as it tried to stand up. However, Rahmadat quickly appeared next to it and kicked it like a soccer ball.
Its body was cut in half. The upper half launched into the air, and it was struck by Rahmadat’s ma.s.sive, waiting fist.
The robot let out a pitiful sound like a sigh as it smoked and lay broken on the ground.
Gilberto’s eyes furrowed as he watched. Fresh robot arms and legs were flying out of the manhole on the street.
‘I just destroyed the palace, so how? Did I make a mistake?’
Just as he started to grow nervous, Seo Jun-Ho patted him on the shoulder and smiled. “Gilbe, take a closer look.”
“...A closer look?”
Gilberto turned around and saw Rahmadat s.n.a.t.c.hing the new machine parts from the air.
“Geez, look at these stupid parts,” Rahmadatmuttered.
There was one arm and one leg. That was all. However, the robot he had just beaten up needed far more parts than that.
“You see? It’s starting to have an effect,” said Seo Jun-Ho.
“I see. So these are just some of the few leftover parts.”
The Immortal Army was immortal no more.
“They stopped regenerating!”
“We only have to kill them once now!”
“They have become no different from us!”
“Aim for the chips in their heads! This is the perfect chance to cull them!”
The rope that had been tightening around the Players’ necks fell off. This was a ray of hope in the midst of their long, uphill battle all throughout the city.
“I knew it.” Gilberto looked at Seo Jun-Ho with confidence. This guy had always made Gilberto expect something from him in times of crisis, and it had always made Gilberto feel pressured.
‘But what else can I do?’ Seo Jun-Ho had this penchant for turning the tides of the battle like magic. In that case, how could Gilberto not expect something from him?
Seo Jun-Ho felt his stare. He turned away and muttered, “It’s not like I did this myself. You had the biggest role this time.”
“I didn’t say anything, though.” Gilberto grinned and held out Final Horizon.
“Huh? You can use it for a bit longer. Actually, I can even lend it to you for a while.”
“No thanks. I prefer guns over bows.” The sensation of the cool iron always calmed him down.
The stockpile of machine parts was destroyed, but there were still many robots left.
“...!” Namgung Jincheon whipped around. His intelligence network informed him that the Imperial Palace had been destroyed.
“My Immortal Army…”
Without their constant replenishment of parts, the Immortal Army would be no different from a normal army. Of course, each individual soldier was strong, but he knew that their immortality was the attribute that made them all the more terrifying.
‘Which b.a.s.t.a.r.d did this?’ Which b.a.s.t.a.r.d had seen through it? ‘Wait…’
A young man’s face popped up in his head. He was the first one who caught wind of his goal. The arrogant young man who had mastered Cheon-Gw.a.n.g’s martial arts.
‘Seo Jun-Ho. You again.’
He could no longer stand around and watch him skip around.
Because he was getting nervous...
‘He’s unpredictable.’ He was scared of what the Player could do if he just let him be.
‘It seems that I must make my move soon.’
There was a mountain of decomposing machine parts and corpses behind him.
Up until a mere few hours ago, they had been the loyal martial artists who were at his beck and call. Namgung Jincheon was aware of that, but he didn’t even blink as he dealt with them.
Namgung Jincheon stared in the direction where Seo Jun-Ho was located and jumped into the air.
Upon jumping into the air, a cloud of gas emitting a faint golden light quietly started moving toward the city.
The Frost Queen held out Wisoso in front of her with her two hands.
“Wisoso, use Thunder!”
The electrical current Wisoso released stopped the robots for a very short moment. Their attack was far too insignificant to affect the battle, and their LED eyes drooped upon realizing that.
- ( •́ ̯•｡̀ )
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- Frost Queen, I believe my attack was somewhat meaningless…
“Clearly. However, it was just something I wanted to try once.” The Frost Queen laughed cheerfully and shook Wisoso in her hands. “Soso, Soso. Do you happen to know Thunder Shock? Or Double Team?”
- ...What are those?
“Never mind.” The Frost Queen enjoyed playing with Wisoso while fighting. However, that wasn’t all she was doing.
- Beep. Be-beep.
-Beep. Beep. Beep.
They were clearly attracting a lot of attention from the robots. The Frost Queen scanned the dozens of approaching robots with narrowed eyes.
“Hmph. I haven’t had much time to entertain myself. How dare these mere machines try to interrupt me?”
These arrogant fools. With a small gesture of her finger, the robots froze over.
She looked at the Players, who were too stunned to speak. “Though this is less than what my Contractor can do, I a.s.sume that you all can finish the job if I do this much for you.”
“Then go. Go finish it.”
After saving dozens of Players, the Frost Queen turned a corner and started toward another destination.
“Wisoso, you will use Thunderbolt next time.”
- Please, just tell me what it is.
“Can you not use it? What about Iron Tail? Oh, considering your entire body is made of metal, I am not sure if that would be possible.”
- Come on, just tell me.
“Do not speak to me like that.”
The scales started to tip toward the Players’ side as time went on. No matter how strong the Immortal Army was, they weren’t strong enough to defeat the Nine Heavens and the elite fighters of the Big 6 after they completed Another World’s Seo Jun-Ho difficulty.
“Phew…” Seo Jun-Ho flipped his sweat-drenched hair aside. He was fighting the robots like no other because he was capable of turning hundreds of them into pieces of sc.r.a.p metal at once.
‘I’ve definitely gotten stronger.’
However, before he could feel proud of himself, he felt loathing.
‘Ugh, yeah. If I didn’t manage to get stronger after going through all that, I would have just killed myself.’
After diligently destroying the robots, they somehow reached the end of the battle. In addition, explosions could no longer be heard throughout the city.
“Is it over?” he muttered.
“Bingo. You’re right,” Skaya said. Players started gathering around them. She closed her eyes. “According to Eye in the Sky, there isn’t a single trace of the Immortal Army left.”
“But the city is in complete ruins. We managed to minimize civilian casualties, but I can’t say that I didn’t expect this to happen.”
Seo Jun-Ho wondered when it started. At some point, he started counting casualties instead of celebrating whenever a battle ended.
“How many Players?”
He had heard that 129 Players were killed while fighting Namgung Jincheon.
The Immortal Army killed an additional thirty-seven Players.
‘166 Players died. Just to save me.’
His heart and shoulders felt heavier. They had a bright future ahead of them because of their potential. But now, he would have to carry the weight of their deaths on his back.
The Players around him were silent. Perhaps they could sense his feelings.
At that moment, the Guild Master of Red Tower, Choi Han-Young, stepped forward with a Guild member supporting him. His breathing was shallow, and the bandages wrapped around his ribs were soaked in blood.
“Specter. No, Player Seo Jun-Ho.”
“...” Seo Jun-Ho looked into Choi Han-Young’s eyes without wavering. He had long gotten used to this. This wouldn’t be the first time he was condemned after a battle.
Choi Han-Young took a moment to catch his breath. When he spoke, he sounded furious.
“Just what do you take us for?”
“...” Seo Jun-Ho stared at him silently. He wasn’t sure what Choi Han-Young was trying to say.
“Hooo.” Choi Han-Young panted a few more times before he took in a deep breath. When he did, the blood on his bandages grew darker.
Seo Jun-Ho reached out in surprise. “Hey, you’re bleeding…”
“Hear me, Players!” He yelled in a booming voice that was loud enough to rival Rahmadat’s voice.
Everyone grew silent.
“If you didn’t come here out of your own will, raise your hand.”
A deafening silence blanketed the crowd. At some point, the thousands of Players had gathered around here. They watched while sitting on the ruins of the buildings, leaning against walls, or listening from the rooftops.
However, not a single one of them raised their hand.
Choi Han-Young spoke again. “If you thought this place would be safe, raise your hand.”
No one raised their hand this time as well…
“If you think your friends or comrades died because of Specter, raise your hand.”
Not this time, either…
“Last question. If you blame Specter, raise your hand.”
No one—not a single one of them raised their hand.
Choi Han-Young quietly turned to Seo Jun-Ho. He looked as if he was asking Seo Jun-Ho if it was a good enough answer.
Seo Jun-Ho had always been leading people and taking responsibility for them. He had always been wondering if things would have been different if he had been a little faster—a little stronger. He had always been regretting the things and the people he couldn’t protect rather than thinking about the things he had done so far.
As such, Seo Jun-Ho had always felt guilty and ashamed.
‘I did. I did, but…’
Right now, Choi Han-Young was telling him that he didn’t need to feel that way—that there had never been a need to feel that way in the first place.
Seo Jun-Ho squeezed his eyes shut. He had been mistaken. He thought they were the same weak people whom he used to lead in the past.
‘I was stupid and arrogant.’
They weren’t mere followers who could only trail behind Seo Jun-Ho or Specter.
They were Players…
They had their own opinions, made their own judgements, and they humbly accepted the consequences of their actions.
“I’m sor—” Seo Jun-Ho started.
However, the Frost Queen shook his head next to him. “Contractor, I believe there is something better you could say.”
He flipped through a dictionary in his head and smiled. He slowly opened his eyes and lifted his once-heavy head.
For coming here, for saving him. And for telling him it wasn’t his fault...
He was truly grateful.
For some reason, he felt embarra.s.sed after that display of vulnerability.
“Aw, Jun-Ho’s face is red.”
“That guy actually gets embarra.s.sed pretty easily. Tsk, it’s unmanly.”
“Really? Even when I was still his secretary, I admired those parts of him because it made him seem very human.”
The war was over, and everyone was smiling.
Countless people crowded around him.
“I thought I trained a great deal on the 4th floor, but I can finally see that I still have a long way to go before I can catch up to you.”
“Mr. Jun-Ho, you should be careful. Our master doesn’t like to lose, you see.”
“Well, I’m glad that you are a source of motivation for others.”
“Hey, In-Ho. Why are you looking at me while saying that? What, do you want to be the team leader?”
“Ahem. No comment.”
“Wow. Do you see this guy, Master?”
With that, Gong Ju-Ha, Ha In-Ho, and Shin Sung-Hyun left.
“I’ll have to tell my younger brother about what happened here today. He has been working really hard because he wants to reach the 3rd Floor, you see. He’ll be really happy to hear this.”
Cha Won-Woo from the Cheong-Hae Guild left as well.
Everyone he knew came up to him, and they all said that they were glad he was safe.
“Ahem. Hem.” The last person who approached him was the Sword Saint, Kim Woo-Joong. He smiled warmly and said, “Yah. You did good today.”
Seo Jun-Ho blinked.
1. The word for ‘decompose’ can also mean rust/corrode. ☜
2. Wisoso goes from speaking formally to speaking casually. ☜
3. Can also be read as ‘I enjoyed today.’ ☜