“Yes. He also has the map after all.”
Kaian fell in thought after replying to Roa.
‘How should I say it?’
How would he explain this situation?
Steeling himself, Kaian sent a message to Soo Hyuk.
-Kaian: Soo Hyuk-nim!
-Soo Hyuk: Yes?
Soo Hyuk’s replied a few moments later, and Kaian started to carefully construct his story.
* * *
One of the three forces of Hadrac, Copine Corps. As one of its commanders, Romian had been plagued with a worry recently, however, the topic was too sensitive to expose easily. Solve Romian’s worry.
[Romain’s mission confirmation: 0 / 1 ]
[Quest Reward: 2500 gold, Romian’s Recommendation]
Soo Hyuk looked at the quest as he strolled towards the Copine Corps.
‘I hope the request doesn’t take a long time…’
The quest ‘Romian’s Request’ was a promotion quest, and it was one of the mystery request types. Originally, he didn’t have any plans to attempt this kind of request quests, but for some reason, these were the only kind of quests in the mission catalogue. So he was left without a choice, Soo Hyuk had ended up picking ‘Romian’s Request’.
At that moment.
-Kaian: Soo Hyuk-nim!
He received a message from Kaian.
-Soo Hyuk: Yes?
Soo Hyuk closed his quest window after replying to Kaian. Then not long after, Kaian sent another message.
Kaian: I have a proposition that I hope you can listen to.
-Soo Hyuk: A proposition?
It hadn’t been long since they separated, and they had finished all their business. But then a sudden proposition out of nowhere?
-Soo Hyuk: You can tell me.
-Kaian: We received a mission from the agency about the underground sewers. It’s not a solo quest, it’s a guild quest.
Soo Hyuk opened his inventory. He then took out item no.4, the ‘Secret Map of Hadrac’s Underground’. Shown on the map, was Hadrac’s underground sewers.
‘Is he telling me to give back the map?’
Perhaps he was asking for the map.
‘No, he just said that I could keep it.’
During his talk with Kaian, Soo Hyuk decided to return the map. So, he told them that he would return it, but Kaian had refused. In other words, unless they were going back on their words, this suggestion was not about the map.
-Kaian: But the difficulty is too high, so it’s impossible for us to complete it. We still have some time left, but it’s not enough to get stronger. However, I believe that the quest will be possible with Soo Hyuk-nim’s help, so I ended up contacting you like this.
Soo Hyuk figured out Kaian’s intentions from this text. He wanted his help in a raid on the underground sewers. However…
-Soo Hyuk: I’m sorry.
He didn’t accept the proposition.
-Soo Hyuk: I have something urgent on right now.
His plan was too climb to A-rank without rest. Of course, if someone like Yeon Jung had needed his help, then he would’ve gladly helped. But it hadn’t even been a day since he met Kaian, so he wasn’t familiar enough with him yet
-Kaian: Ah, I see.
-Soo Hyuk: I’m sorry.
Kaian: No, it’s nothing! Rather, it’s you who’s been inconvenienced by us, so I should be the one who’s sorry.
-Kaian: If you want to reconsider the offer, then please contact me!
-Soo Hyuk: Of course.
-Kaian: Have fun!
-Soo Hyuk: You too!
And as he ended his chat with Kaian, he arrived at the Copine Corps.
Soo Hyuk approached and greeted the guard guarding the entrance.
The guard replied with a booming voice. After exchanging greetings, Soo Hyuk cut straight to the point.
“I’m here to see Romian-nim.”
“Do you mean the head?”
“Yes, could you please tell him that I was sent from the Mercenary Agency?”
“Ah, I see. I will, so could you please wait at the reception room?”
Soo Hyuk entered the reception room after his conversation. As expected of a temple, many people were waiting around in the reception or waiting for someone. [TL: Like churches in the western society.]
A few minutes later, the previous guard and an unfamiliar person entered the room. They then both approached where Soo Hyuk was sitting.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Romian.”
As expected, the man was Romian.
“I heard that you came from the Mercenary Agency, is that right?”
At Romian’s question, Soo Hyuk opened his inventory and took out his certification sent by the Mercenary Agency.
“Ah, so you are.”
When he received the certification, Romian cautiously looked around him, then faced Soo Hyuk again.
“First, shall we go to my room? My matter is a bit too sensitive to tell here…”
Soo Hyuk stood up from his seat and followed Romain outside the reception to his room.
“I have 2 requests.”
Romian spoke the moment he stepped in the room.
Soo Hyuk couldn’t believe his ears. 2 requests? The mission had clearly stated that there was only 1 request.
“My first request is this.”
Romian continued as he held out a scroll of paper.
“There is a person called Ketan on the first peak of the Kamian Mountains. Send this to him.”
[Romian’s First Request]
On the first peak of the Kamian Mountains, lives a person. Climb to the peak and give him the scroll!
[Quest Reward: ??? ]
When the quest appeared, Soo Hyuk thought to himself.
‘Ah, how annoying.’
The main reason Soo Hyuk had chosen ‘Romian’s Request’ over other missions, was because it said a ‘worry’, not ‘worries’ or ‘requests’.
‘I have to wait 3 days if I cancel.’
But he had already started the quest, so if he gave up, he wouldn’t be able to receive missions from the agency for 3 days. In other words, he had to choose.
‘If it looks like the quest would take over 3 days, then I’ll cancel.’
Of course, he could be able to complete Romian’s requests within 3 days. Deciding to first wait and see, Soo Hyuk replied,
[You have accepted ‘Romian’s First Request’.]
“The second request is,”
Romian continued speaking at Soo Hyuk’s answer while a notification appeared in front of Soo Hyuk.
“Inside Ketan’s home should be a red marble. Bring that back. Ketan will store it in a box if you tell him.”
[Romian’s Second Request]
Inside Ketan’s home is a red marble. Store that marble in a box and bring it to Romian!
[Quest Reward: Romian’s mission confirmation]
‘It’s basically just one request.’
Soo Hyuk smiled as he read the quest information. Fortunately, the requests were as good as one.
Soo Hyuk stored the scroll in his inventory as he replied to Romian.
[You have accepted ‘Romian’s Second Request’.]
[You have acquired ‘Romian’s Letter’.]
Then before he stood up, Soo Hyuk asked Romian a question.
“How will I know where the house is on the 1st peak?”
The man who lived on the 1st peak, was Ketan. However, the 1st peak wasn’t small in any way; in fact, it was very wide. It would definitely take him some time to search for a house.
“At the centre of the peak is a massive red tree. Ketan’s home should be around 1km south of that tree.”
“Ah, yes. Thank you.”
Soo Hyuk then stood up after hearing the reply.
“Then I’ll see you next time.”
The Kamain Mountains were located near Hadrac, so he should be able to complete this mission today. Soo Hyuk said goodbye to Romian and exited the room, heading to the Eastern Gates.
* * *
Ketan was silently staring at the tabletop.
On the table, stood a crimson marble excluding a strange light. As he stared at the marble, Ketan muttered,
“To think that this was the key.”
He had always suspected that this marble wasn’t ordinary, because of the strange chill he got when he stared at the spot the marble was stored in.
However, he had never thought that this was the key to ‘that place’.
“What’s Romian going to do with this.”
It was a too much for him to keep, as he would be killed if information about this marble became known.
At that moment.
Knocks rang throughout the small house. Ketan quickly turned around with surprise at the sudden knocks.
‘Who is it?’
Where Ketan was staying at currently shouldn’t attract any visitors, yet he could tell that it was a person from the knocks. He also knew that it wasn’t Romian. Romian wouldn’t need to knock.
“Is no one here?”
A voice called out from the outside.
“It doesn’t look like anyone’s here.”
There wasn’t only one visitor, there were two.
“What should we do?”
“Well, our aim isn’t to meet with the house owner.”
“Then just destroy it?”
“Hmm, should we? Maybe just the door. It could be in there.”
Listening to the visitors’ conversation, Ketan looked back at the red marble. It seemed to be their objective. It looked like the information on the marble was leaked somehow.
Ketan quickly grabbed the red marble and hid it inside a secret space he had created inside the left wall.
The moment the marble rolled into the secret space, the door exploded with a loud bang. Thinking that standing near the secret space could give it away, Ketan slowly shuffled sideways before the smoke cleared.
The two invaders exclaimed in surprise as they passed through the ruined doorway. One of them was a tall, muscular young man and other had a dwarf-like body.
“You wanna do it?”
“You do it. You said you’re going to reset your infamy score soon.”
Ketan thought as he stared at the two invaders.
‘They want to kill me.’
Looking at the atmosphere, it looked like they weren’t going to back away nicely.
The man with the dwarf body spoke.
“The red marble? Where is it. The key to the Phantom Celta’s secret cave!”
As expected, their aim was the red marble.
“A red marble? Who the heck are you guys?”
However, as giving up the marble wouldn’t change his fate in anyway, Ketan pretended to not know about it and asked in an irritated manner.
“Ei, right, right. There no way he’s going to tell us.”
“Hey, finish it quickly. We have more places to go.”
In response to the tiny man’s words, the muscular man approached Ketan intimidatingly. Staring at the muscular man approach him, Ketan readied his dagger hidden in his bosom.
At that moment.
At a searing sensation in his stomach, Ketan looked down at his body. He could see a dagger impaled on his stomach.
When had he thrown the dagger?
Also, his body refused to move. It seemed like the dagger was coated in paralysis poison.
Then another dagger flew towards him and stabbed him again. Ketan could feel his consciousness slowly fading as he desperately tried to move. As his vision gradually darkened, Ketan suddenly saw a familiar face.
‘Romian, looks like I’ll be the first to go.’
He instinctively knew that there was no way he could survive. Even now, he could feel his life slipping away from his fingertips.
Ketan slowly collapsed before he could finish his will.
Meanwhile, the two men stared at the fresh corpse of Ketan before moving on.
“Hurry up and find it.”
“It doesn’t look like its here though?”
“Look more care-full-y.”
“Hey, it could also not be here. How many more places do we have to check? One, two? No, we have five, five more places. Plus, we already finished our quest with this.”
“What if it is here!?”
“Okay, okay. Ao… You search too. Don’t just stand there.”