Reader – Chapter 79

They were against only one person. Although he didn’t know how strong the mercenary was, he knew the Demon Guild’s strength and believed that three of their members were enough.

“Three members. I understand.”

Baal confirmed while nodding.

“When do you want them?”

He then asked. He already knew that the time of the operation was 10pm, but they obviously had to prepare beforehand.

“You can send them at 9 o’clock.”

Heron replied to Baal, then continued.

“It won’t take long. It’ll take at most 2 hours. No, it won’t even take 2 hours. So…”

Heron watched Baal as his voice faded away, then spoke again.

“How about a deposit 200 gold with a total of 600 gold? If it goes for a longer time, then we’ll give an extra 100 gold per hour.”

“That’s fine.”

The rewards were good, and the task didn’t take a long time. With no reason to decline, Baal accepted Heron’s mission.

“Ah, right.”

Baal suddenly spoke up as he recalled something.

“I have something to tell you about the red marble.”

“…!”

Heron widened his eyes at Baal’s words.

“Did you find it?”

“No. We didn’t find it.”

Baal answered while shaking his head, and Heron made a regretful expression. Baal then continued,

“We couldn’t find the red marble after searching up to the 6th Peak.”

“Then…”

“If your information was correct, then it should be at the 7th Peak. We have already sent people up there.”

Of course, they had returned without achieving anything, but there was no reason to tell Heron that fact. After that, Baal kept conversing with Heron, trying to pry out some information about the Phantom Thief Celta.

“Then I’ll see you next time.”

When their talk ended, Heron said goodbye with a smile and stood up from his seat. Baal also stood up and saw him out of the door. When he came back to his room, Baal sat down at his seat and fell into thought.

‘So he doesn’t know the location of the cave.’

Heron didn’t know about the location of Celta’s Secret Cave. More precisely, he didn’t know a lot about the cave. There wasn’t much difference in their level of knowledge.

‘Looks like I’ll have to use an information guild.’

At this rate, it seemed like using an information guild was their best option.

* * *

“Where did you hide it?”

Anna asked.

Romian didn’t answer to Anna’s question. He just stared at her with a chilly gaze.

‘Why.’

He thought. Because of his love for Anna, Copine had rushed back quickly from his expedition as fast as he could despite his hampering health more. That was how much he loved Anna.

He couldn’t understand how Anna, who received enough love to drive out the second wife, betrayed Copine.

“I said I’ll let you live if you tell me where the red marble is.”

However, Anna continued to question Romian, seemingly unfazed by her action so far.

‘Why.’

Romian wondered at her question.

‘Why does she want the marble so much?’

Something was off here. If she wanted Celta’s treasures, then shouldn’t she ask for the location of the cave? Why was she asking for the red marble? Had they forgotten to do something else with the marble?

‘Don’t tell me Heron wasn’t the one behind that?’

Was the true culprit someone other than Heron?

‘I don’t know what’s going on, but they’ll find the marble soon.’

Currently, the marble was stored in a drawer in Romian’s room. It looked like they haven’t found the marble yet, but they would soon.

‘That problem is then what?’

What Romian had to worry about was his fate after Heron found the marble. But he knew one thing.

‘They can’t kill me.’

Heron wouldn’t kill him even after he found the marble.

‘Because only I know where it is.’

The location of the Celta’s Secret Cave. Originally, there were two people that knew of its location. One of them was Romian and the other was Ketan, but Ketan had been murdered. In other words, only Romian knew where Celta’s cave was.

It was then.

Step. Step.

Footsteps sounded from behind Anna. When Anna turned to check its source, she burst into a brilliant smile.

‘Heron.’

Romian ascertained from Anna’s smile that the owner of the footsteps was Heron.

“You’re here!”

Anna greeted Heron alluringly as Heron entered the room.

“Do you require anything, my dear?”

Heron said charmingly as he smoothly wrapped his arm around Anna’s waist.

“No, he wouldn’t talk about anything. I’m sorry, Heron.”

“It is fine. Since we found it.”

As he replied, Heron put his hand into his pocket and brought it out again. In his hand, was the red marble.

‘So he found it.’

Romian wasn’t that surprised as he had expected this outcome.

“Oh my, now we just need…”

Heron trailed off as he rolled the marble around his palm.

“The location of the cave. But…”

Heron put back the marble in his pocket and stared at Romian.

“You’re not going to spill easily, are you? Of course you aren’t. But how long will you be able to hold out for?”

Heron smiled widely as he stared at the silent Romian.

* * *

[You have completed the quest ‘Traps in the Valley’.]

Soo Hyuk, who had just completed a quest, came down to the 1st floor after receiving his rewards. He then lined up and checked the time.

‘One more mission then I’ll be right on time.’

The time was approaching the promised 10 o’clock, so he would receive a mission then go. His turn came a few minutes later, then after skimming over the list, he picked the first quest again and walked out of the agency to head to the Copine Corps.

‘He’s still on duty?’

Not long after, Soo Hyuk arrived at their headquarters. The first thing he noticed was that the guard from this morning was still standing at the entrance. Soo Hyuk approached the guard.

“Huh-“

When Soo Hyuk walked up to the guard, the guard flinched in surprise.

“Are you here to see Romian-nim?”

The guard asked even before Soo Hyuk could say anything.

“Yes, I’m here to see Romian-nim.”

“Then could you please wait at the reception?”

“Yes.”

Soo Hyuk entered the reception at the guard’s request.

Creeak.

Then a few minutes later, the guard, who had gone to get Romian, came back with a person.

“…”

Soo Hyuk couldn’t help but feel suspicious.

‘Why is that person here again?’

The person who had come with the guard wasn’t Romian. It was Heron. Why was Heron here again?

‘Did something really happen to Romian?’

Soo Hyuk now became even more sure that something had happened. As he was in thought, Heron had arrived in front of him and opened his mouth.

“I sincerely apologize about this.”

Embarrassment and regret were written over Heron’s face as he apologized.

“Romian’s matter is taking longer than we thought…”

As his voice faded away, Heron glanced briefly at Soo Hyuk, then continued.

“So since Romian needs more time. Is the letter important enough to be delivered personally?”

The same question as last time.

“I don’t know about that since it’s only a mission for me.”

Soo Hyuk’s answer was also the same.

“Then it can’t be helped.”

“…”

“We will lead you to Romian’s room.”

Soo Hyuk stood up at Heron’s words. When he stood up, Heron stood at the front and lead the way towards Romian’s room while Soo Hyuk followed behind.

‘Hmm?’

Then before long, Soo Hyuk felt something off.

‘Isn’t Romian’s room that way?’

He had already visited Romian’s room from the first time he had gone to the Copine Corps. Therefore, he could feel that Heron was going the wrong way.

‘He said that we were going to Romian’s room, so where are we going?’

It had only been a few hours, so Romian couldn’t have changed his room in such a short amount of time. If so, then where was Heron leading him?

‘Something definitely happened.’

Although he couldn’t be certain as he hadn’t seen Romian again, he was almost sure that something had happened.

“Could you please wait here?”

Heron asked as they stopped in front of a building.

“Ah, yes.”

At Soo Hyuk’s reply, Heron entered the building alone. Then after a few seconds, Heron came out and said as he stood to the side,

“Romian is waiting for you. Once you deliver the letter, I will guild you back again.”

Heron smiled when he finished talking and stared at Soo Hyuk. Meanwhile, Soo Hyuk recalled his tone and eyes and thought,

‘There’s something wrong.’

Soo Hyuk felt leery and uncomfortable in front of his tone and eyes. He instinctively felt that there was something waiting for him inside the building.

“Thank you.”

Soo Hyuk answered to the waiting Heron and entered the sinister building.

Boom! Click!

A heavy metal sound rang out the moment he stepped inside. When he looked behind to see what had happened, he noticed that the door had closed shut tightly. When he tried to open it, the door didn’t budge from its spot..

‘Eh…’

Soo Hyuk thought as he stared at the locked door.

‘It’s a trap.’

He had considered the possibility of traps, and he had felt something before he entered the building. However, there was no way he could’ve back out before Heron’s watchful eye.

‘Should I break out?’

He thought. Just because it was locked didn’t mean that he couldn’t open it. One spell should be enough to break open the doors.

At that moment.

[Quest ‘Imprisoned Romian’ has been created.]

A quest notification appeared as Soo Hyuk was thinking.

[Imprisoned Romian]

Romian is currently imprisoned. Save and escape with Romian!

[Quest Reward: ??? ]

‘He’s alive.’

Soo Hyuk had considered Romian dead when the door slammed shut, but he had been proven wrong.

Soo Hyuk closed his quest window and looked around at his surroundings. Romian was imprisoned somewhere in this building.

Step. Step.

Suddenly, a sound entered his ears as he was watching his surroundings.

‘Footsteps?’

There were footsteps coming near him, and it wasn’t just one person. There were at least two people.

“Is it a user?”

“Maybe an NPC?”

“Well, it doesn’t really matter. We just have to capture him.”

Then, voices also came with the footsteps.

‘Users?’

They were using words like ‘user’ and ‘NPC’, which weren’t words that NPCs would use. That meant that the people approaching him were users, and there were at least three of them. Then after a few seconds, the owners of the voices came into view. They were three as Soo Hyuk had guessed.

“…Huh.”

Soo Hyuk let out a sigh when he saw the three users. The reason for his sigh was because of the three guild marks floating above their heads.

‘Is it destiny?’

It was a very familiar mark.

‘We’re going to be friends at this rate, the Demon Guild.’

The marks hovering above their heads was the mark of the Demon Guild. He hadn’t seen it wrong. It was identical to the Demon Guild Mark.

“We have to keep him alive?”

“Yeah, we can’t kill him.”

“He’s meant to be a prisoner.”

The Demon Guild members stopped a distance away from Soo Hyuk and started talking amongst themselves. From their conversation, Soo Hyuk could tell that they already considered him theirs.

“Then I’ll paralyze him with lightning.”

“Okay.”

Now, the Demon Guild members finally started approaching him. Soo Hyuk stared at the carefree Demon Guild members and opened his mouth.

“Firebolt.”

The infamy score of the Demon Guild was high. There would be no danger in killing them here.

“Oh?”

When he fired the Firebolt, the Demon Guild member slightly behind the other two exclaimed in surprise. Then notifications appeared as the Firebolt exploded onto him.

Bang!

[You have attacked the user ‘Oneshot’.]

[You have entered an ‘enemy’ state with ‘Oneshot’.]

[You have entered an enemy state with Oneshot’s party members.]

[User ‘Oneshot’ has a high infamy score.]

[Your infamy score will not rise.]

AS the messages appeared, Soo Hyuk turned his head to stare at Oneshot, who had been blasted away while spewing black light. Soo Hyuk turned his eyes away from Oneshot’s body and stared at the remaining Demon Guild members. They were staring at him with a shocked expression.


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