Chapter 45. Two Hearts (3)
There were five times I had a sword stuck in my heart. Three belonged to the Lords, one from my previous lover.
The other one was from a person whom I believed was my friend.
* * *
Though Kahn and Doyle were the biggest reason, they were definitely not the only reason as to why Yeon-woo decided to destroy Arangdan.
Yeon-woo thought this could also be an opportunity to drain Cheonghwado’s power out.
‘Cheonghwado has built several human farms over the rounds of the tutorial, but… why?’
In regards to efficiency, the human farm wasn’t a good way to rob players. If their goal was to simply take the artifacts and Tokens from the players, they could have relied on looting and plundering.
So, why did they run several farms that are difficult to manage? And why rebuild themselves even after being wiped out by Arthia?
‘There must be something.'
Yeon-woo was sure there must be a reason for that.
And that would be,
‘Something that should never be exposed to the outside world. Something that could be used against them.'
If only he could find out what that was, and be lucky enough to snatch it away from them...
The corners of Yeon-woo’s mouth were starting to turn up little by little.
‘It’ll be a weapon that can shake up Cheonghwado.’
The top 8 clans. They were the ones who tore down Arthia and drove his brother to death.
Moreover, Cheonghwado was the clan where one of the guys who stabbed his brother in the heart had turned to.
It was a little earlier than he expected, but he could finally embark on the path towards revenge.
He made his decision and his goal was clear. Now, he had to make his preparations before starting a fight.
‘There’s no way I can measure Arangdan’s combat power. But what's certain is that they are stronger than those who previously fought against Arthia.'
Arthia had escaped from several near-death situations when subjugating the scavenger syndicate. That's how persistent, strong and outnumbering the scavenger syndicate was. And the size of Arangdan right now was not any smaller, if not bigger than them.
‘Cheonghwado sends one to five players to manage Arangdan.’
They weren’t just ordinary players but players who had proven their excellence in Cheonghwado.
The key was to know how skilled they were.
‘It would be stupid to launch a frontal attack. I have to think, what advantages do I have that I can make use of against them?’
Yeon-woo racked his brain for ideas.
‘Since they have no information about the skills I use, they don't know exactly how good I am. Also, they could only make a rough estimate of my location. If I make sure to erase the traces I leave behind, they will no longer be able to locate me. And…”
Arandan was fixated on him, but they should have no idea that they had already been exposed. Though just once, he could also launch an ambush while the enemy had their guard down.
Besides, Yeon-woo was quick on his feet. Almost no one within the tutorial could catch up to the speed of his Shunpo, not to mention his stealthiness.
His senses were also of great help for pinpointing the enemy's position.
And above all.
Yeon-woo had new weapons now.
Diamond Physique and Mana Circuit. With these two things, he was already well above the average player in the tutorial. He was certain that he himself was already stronger than Arthia had been during their days in the tutorial.
But that didn’t mean he could let his guard down.
‘That leaves me with hit and run tactics then.'
It was a tactic his troops used a lot back in the military.
When aiming for an enemy camp, they would launch several guerilla attacks, steadily wearing the enemies down. And when the enemy finally exposed a loophole in their defense, they would deal the final blow and destroy them.
Once again, Yeon-woo’s brain spun fast.
‘How much time do I have now?’
‘That’s about three and a half days.’
It was enough time to rescue Kahn and Doyle, but if he let Arangdan off the hook with just that, they would most likely interfere with him during the remaining time of the tutorial.
‘Once I pick a fight with them, I’ve got to completely finish them off and make sure to leave no survivors behind, so that Cheonghwado doesn’t know who attacked them.’
What he was about to start, was a war.
In a war, one had to eradicate the enemies to make sure they couldn’t make a comeback.
Not only that, but Yeon-woo had not yet given up on claiming the first rank.
To sum it up, Yeon-woo had to destroy Arangdan and pass through the remaining sections within little more than three days.
Yeon-woo sorted out his plan step by step. A vague picture was being painted in his head.
‘I’ll have to dart in and out of their base camps and swamp them with ceaseless attacks. And when they show signs of exhaustion, it’ll be their last. I’ll destroy their base, their heads, and everything else until they cease to exist.'
A brief cold blaze shone from Yeon-woo’s eyes.
‘All of this will be done in one day.’
* * *
And that night, when Yeon-woo finished all necessary preparations, he paid a visit to Galliard to bid farewell.
Galliard stared at the Yeon-woo and asked in a serious tone.
"Is it a war you’re thinking of?"
There was no need to hide it from him.
Yeon-woo nodded his head.
"How did you know?"
"I was once a warrior that fought for his people. I was a fool who thought fighting was everything. And in you, my friend..."
Galliard continued as he raised one side of his lips.
"I see a great deal of myself."
A small smile rested on his lips.
"Your looks, your actions, and even your atmosphere, all of them are from someone who is about to go to war. Well, actually you were like that ever since you first came to visit me here. Seems to me like you are a fighter in a battle against the world itself.”
Yeon-woo shut his mouth tight.
"But right now, it’s gotten more pronounced. If I couldn’t even see that, I might as well dig out my eyes.”
Then Galliard narrowed his eyes.
"So, do you need my help?"
If Galliard were to help him, things would be very easy. He was considered to have skills nearly equal to rankers in The Tower. He might even be able to annihilate Arangdan all by himself.
"No, it's okay."
Yeon-woo shook his head.
Galliard's eyes were looking at him with interest.
"This is my war."
Saving Kahn and Doyle wasn’t the only goal he was trying to achieve through this war. The biggest purpose was to shake Cheonghwado, one of the enemies who hurt his brother.
And confide such a task to someone else? Yeon-woo could never do that. This war had to be settled with his own hands.
It was a commitment he had made to himself even before crossing through the gate to this world.
"It’s gonna be hard."
"Nothing is easy in this world."
"Well, I guess you’re right.”
Galliard nodded understandingly.
After all, one’s fight must be fought by oneself.
"Okay then, I wish you good luck."
Yeon-woo nodded in response as he slung his backpack over his shoulder.
After confirming his daggers were fastened to his belt, Yeon-woo left Galliard’s cottage.
It was the beginning of a new war.
* * *
"Did you find him?"
A subordinate standing in front of Bild bowed his head at the question.
"We still haven’t found him yet. The whole Section E was razed to the ground....”
"What a walking disaster.”
Bild had to swallow his boiling anger.
After an unexpected Monster Outbreak swept by, around 70% of Arangdan’s main combatants were annihilated.
He had lost contact with team 1, whom he had fostered to be the leading force in Cheonghwado, and the scavenger syndicate, which he had reorganized so laboriously after its fall, had completely fallen apart.
Not just that, but as all the other members of the Arangdan were swept away, Arangdan’s entire network in the tutorial also evaporated along with them.
Except for some hidden bases located in Section F and in the inner area, Arangdan was practically done for.
What Bild had built over the past few years was blown away within a few days.
It was also a death sentence for Bild.
“By all means possible, I must rebuild Arangdan… Before the Isle gets word about this."
Bild tried to calm down his heart that was thumping with tension.
Originally, Bild had planned to rise to the top of Cheonghwado relying on his performance in Arangdan.
In fact, he had been recently told by his ‘master’ that there had been discussions about filling the vacancy for the owners of Yeonhwagak and Cheonmujeon. Along with word of Bild being mentioned to take that place.
And his master repeatedly asked Bild to make sure and complete ‘it’. After its completion, his master could soar into higher ranks in Cheonghwado.
Practically speaking, it was almost as if Bild was making his master into one of the five heads of Cheonghwado with his own hands.
However, things had come down to this point.
Contrary to Bild's wishes, now there were only about three days left until the tutorial ended. It meant that it was virtually impossible to rebuild Arangdan.
Once the tutorial was over, the Isle would eventually find out about this, and Bild wouldn’t be able to avoid taking responsibility for poor his management.
However, there was one way he could pull himself out of this crisis.
To complete ‘it'.
‘Is it possible?'
Bild licked his lips several times at the boiling tension.
It wasn’t going to be easy to complete it. If it were, why would the progress be at only 60% despite having poured large sums of money and having ran several scavenger organizations and human farms over the past few years?
And now, he had to finish the remaining 40% in just three days. It would be strange if it didn’t break or go out of control.
But as nervous as he was, he was also somewhat confident about it.
The reason why he hadn't been able to complete it was not just because of the difficulty of its process, but also because of the poor quality of the materials he had used, which were players and monsters.
Bild's expression sank deeply.
‘For that to work, I will have to push all the top rankers into it...!’
Bild hadn’t relied on such method up till now, because most of the top rankers had big clans behind their backs.
He couldn’t let the making of ‘it’ be known even to the Isle.
Because it had to remain hidden, he had been trying to pick out players whose disappearance wouldn’t cause much trouble.
But now that things have come to pass, Bild was in no position to be choosy. Therefore, the first person he thought of as a sacrifice was presumably the cause of this situation, Cain.
He wanted to make him pay for what he’d done.
"Judging by his route, we can only speculate he's in Section F."
"Then get your ass out, search every single corner of Section F and bring him here. Now!"
The subordinate wanted to ask him how should they find one person in the section that was as wide as the sea. But looking at Bild's eyes spewing fire, no words came out from his mouth. If he were to say it was impossible, he would be dead that instant.
The subordinate bowed his head and left the room.
Bild gritted his teeth as he stood up from his seat.
"For now, I'm gonna have to push in everything we’ve got."
Bild made his way to the human farm located in Arangdan’s base.
A sly grin appeared on his face as he thought of the two he had put in there just a few days ago.
It was Blood Sword and Foxy Tail.