Chapter 64. The Tower (5)
The kicked player flew far off like a kite with its string cut. He tumbled on the floor, smashing a table and a couple of chairs.
His groan echoed along the entire inn.
"Idiots! We’re dealing with one goddamn player who’s even freshly out of the tutorial!"
All the way across the hallway, there was a man shouting at the rest of the players.
Yeon-woo flung himself towards him.
"What the fuck? S, stop him!"
The player flinched as his face turned pale.
The others stood in front of him, as if protecting their leader.
However, Yeon-woo easily knocked down the players blocking his path, quickly approached the player and tightly clutched his neck.
Before he could say anything,
Yeon-woo put strength into his grip, instantly breaking his neck.
His head helplessly fell forward with his tongue rolling out from his mouth.
"No! Not Sai!"
"H, how the hell...?
Yeon-woo crudely threw away the corpse and concentrated on the faint sound he had been hearing.
‘Where is it? Up or Down?'
Soon after, Yeon-woo was able to hear something going ‘clink’.
It was the sound of traps.
Thanks to the sound, Yeon-woo found an empty space lying beyond the traps.
Inside, he felt a person’s figure running hurriedly across the space.
Was he trying to escape through a secret passage?
‘That’s not happening.'
Yeon-woo quickly made a rough estimation of the figure’s position as he activated his Mana Circuit.
With the mana wrapped around his calf, he stomped the ground.
The floor underneath his feet caved in as if a bomb had exploded. The impact further crushed the traps placed around the building, creating a massive chain explosions.
A series of shock waves shook the entire inn up and down.
"T, th, that...!”
"F, f, fuck...!”
Those who had yet to fight with Yeon-woo stood with their mouths agape at the unbelievable sight.
The impact left a big hole in the floor, revealing a hidden room underneath his feet.
Through the hole, Yeon-woo found a person in front of a large safe, frightened at the sudden turn of events. It seemed he was in the midst of opening the safe.
A man with rotund belly.
It was Daem, the clan master of the Night Watch.
Yeon-woo lightly jumped down the floor and landed in front of him.
Daem stood in shocked silence with his mouth agape. He collapsed on the floor with his back leaning against the wall.
At the same time, the safe’s lock was unlocked and its door slowly opened.
He could see various documents of bearer bonds and certificates, gold bars and other small jewels lying well-organized in each compartment.
Yeon-woo slowly approached Daem as he fixed his grip on his bayonet.
Below the mask, Yeon-woo's eyes were smiling coldly.
Daem stretched his hand into the safe while facing Yeon-woo. A sword was caught in between his fingertips. It was an artifact he had kept separately in his secret safe.
Daem quickly picked up the sword and rushed towards Yeon-woo. He drew out every single drop of his mana and started to cast all of his skills.
But Yeon-woo simply swung his Magic Bayonet along the flaws of his sword, snapping it in half, and drew out Carshina's Dagger, stabbing it into his throat.
Bloody froth spewed out from his mouth, and his body soon collapsed on the floor.
It was the fall of a clan master who had once dictated the underworld.
Yeon-woo threw his body to the floor and looked up through the hole above him.
There was a forlorn look in the faces of the players on the upper floor.
"One of you, come down here."
* * *
"H, here’s the coffee you asked for.".
Yeon-woo let out a mild laugh as he watched the man bring a cup of coffee.
His hand putting down the coffee cup was trembling slightly.
"Did you poison it?"
"How would I even think of such a vile trick?"
His face turned pale as he replied.
It wasn’t that he hadn’t thought about it, but he knew that if he did, it would be him who would be lying as a corpse instead of the masked man.
‘Just where the hell did this monster come from?’
The second advisor of Night Watch who now turned into the first advisor, Bister, felt like he was going to go crazy.
Previously, there had been rookies who blindly approached Henova when they heard of him and his title of one of the five Master Blacksmiths.
Usually for such players, they just had to threaten them a little for them to turn tails. He had presumed this time would also be the case.
The only difference was that this time, the artifacts they had taken from Henova's smithy were very good.
No, they weren't just very good. They were abnormally outstanding.
The Beast Lord’s Lion Mane Helm and a half-complete Gyges’ Eyes.
The moment Daem and Bister saw those, their eyes rolled back from greed.
They were items with ratings that they had never seen in their whole lives inside The Tower.
At the same time, they began to worry about the aftermath of taking such valuable items. Because the player with such artifacts be no common player.
So they did an investigation regarding who the owner of those artifacts could be.
‘Shouldn’t have listened to Daem!'
And as a result of their investigation, they were able to find out an interesting fact.
The fact that the mysterious player who made a new record in the tutorial had received the Beast Lord’s Lion Mane Helm as a reward.
When they figured this out, Daem almost screamed from joy.
No matter how good of a player he was, a novice was still a novice after all.
Stealing artifacts from such a player was as easy as picking up items dropped on the floor. Not just that, but his whereabouts could also be sold as valuable information to many players who wondered where he was at a pretty high price.
Who would have thought the ‘Hoarder’ was staying not in The Tower but in the Outer District? It was like what they say, you can’t see what’s right under your nose.
But Bister, on the other hand, was reluctant to steal the items.
Although he was a novice, being a player with such highly rated items he most likely had someone watching over his back.
Even if he didn't as of now, he would definitely in the future.
But Daem simply ignored Bister's apprehension.
And the price of such complacency was just too great.
‘Our entire clan got destroyed. Damn it.'
Night Watch was not a small-sized clan. Normally, they wouldn’t be defeated so easily.
They had even spread the rumor that they were under the protection of one of the Eight Clans, Red Dragon. Even underworld clans bigger than Night Watch couldn’t touch them solely because of that reason. But Yeon-woo didn't care about that at all.
Bister thought they might have to close their business for a while.
No, maybe they were already done for.
They had so many casualties from this one battle. Their base had also been destroyed in the process. It was evident that the yet unscathed would drop out from their clan overnight.
The consequences of messing with the wrong person were miserable.
Yeon-woo put down the coffee cup on the table and glanced at Bister with a cold look.
The sudden sound made Bister flinch a little.
Just by looking at him, Bister felt like he was being chained down.
"Let’s talk about the compensation, shall we?"
"Henova’s artifacts and the smithy you destroyed, the economic loss Henova suffered due to the obstruction of his business, the treatment for both physical and psychological damage Henova received… We have a lot to take from you, don’t we? If you don't want to, I’ll take what’s on your neck."
Bister instantly shook his head.
He didn’t dare to say that it was not just their clan, but also others, involved in this matter.
"First things first, I’ll take what’s in that safe."
Bister’s face ashened.
It was the moment when the last remaining funds of the Clan were stolen.
"You’re going to have to fix the smithy with your own hands. Bring the ones that destroyed the smithy and hurt Henova. I want them to fix the building. Also, I need you to keep your eyes on Henova’s smithy so none of the other clans can come bother him again."
Bister squeezed his eyes shut and nodded.
"You can report it however you want to that clan watching over your back. Well, I don't know if they’ll have time to look after your clan."
Bister remained silent with his mouth shut tight.
For some reason, Yeon-woo seemed to know some of the underlying mechanisms of the underworld society.
As he mentioned, Red Dragon wouldn’t pay attention to what happened outside The Tower despite them belonging to Red Dragon.
Even if Night Watch were to be disbanded, they would send players not to take revenge but only to investigate the cause.
Bister’s head fell down helplessly.
"All right, I'll leave the rest to you then."
Yeon-woo got up from his seat, pushing his chair back.
Bister’s legs were trembling.
* * *
Yeon-woo returned to the smithy with his backpack full of items.
‘Should I have given them more orders?'
When he sat down in front of Bister, Yeon-woo, in fact, had a second plan in his mind.
He once thought of killing everyone in Night Watch and a couple more underworld clans and hang their heads in front of Henova’s smithy.
But the underworld was the underworld after all. Their vacancy would soon be filled with other new clans.
New flies that would bug Henova with different means.
If so, it would be better to keep the original one and make them compliant.
Even though Yeon-woo had left them with enormous damages, with their size, it was likely that they would regain their power very soon.
‘And they’ll be the shield that'll protect Henova from the other clans’ hindrance.'
And when Yeon-woo returned to Henova’s smithy organizing his thoughts,
Yeon-woo could see Henova roaming in front of his smithy with his face full of anxiety.
Seeing his head wrapped in bandages, it seemed he had already returned after treating his wounds. But his eyes were still trembling worriedly.
Yeon-woo felt himself swelling up inside. So he had to spend some time trying to put on a calm face and then made some noise once he was ready.
When Henova turned his head towards the source of the noise, the worried look on his face was suddenly replaced with delight.
But after a moment, he quickly turned around clearing his throat, and turned back to his usual angry look.
Henova then creased his brows as much as he could and shouted at Yeon-woo in a loud voice.
"Where have you been wandering...!”
But Henova couldn’t string the rest of the sentence because Yeon-woo suddenly let out a short chuckle as he put down his backpack.
He started to take out items from the backpack one after another.
The items not only included artifacts and materials Henova originally had, but also consisted of those he brought from Night Watch’s safe.
Henova turned his gaze at Yeon-woo and his backpack for some time.
Various emotions swirled inside Henova’s eyes. Then he spoke after a deep sigh..
"You bastard. Did you already get yourself into trouble?”
Yeon-woo nodded without saying any word.
"I knew you wouldn’t listen to me. What about the clan? Did you take care of them?"
"Okay then. That’s all that matters. Pick them back up and come in."
Henova went inside, grumbling to the end.
But Yeon-woo could feel the warmth from his voice.
A small smile rested on Yeon-woo’s lips.
After picking the items back up, Yeon-woo followed Henova into the smithy..
* * *
News about the incident of Henova's smithy spread quickly across The Tower.
Night Watch ran around everywhere trying to put the rumor to a stop. Because the fate of their clan was on the line.
But as it was impossible to stop all the mouths of the players in The Tower from babbling, the rumor spread from player to player, along with the whereabouts of the missing player known as the ‘Hoarder’.
Because of this, several clans of the underworld started to move.
They monitored his every move, made rough reports with the information gathered and started to sell them to clients at high prices.
A number of giant clans began to work under the table in order to scout Yeon-woo.
The rumor didn’t only get to the ears of those clans, but it also reached those who had been searching for him for several weeks.
"What? Outer District? Why is he out there all of a sudden?"
Phante stopped drinking his alcohol and frowned at the words he heard from the table next to him.
The player, frightened by Phante’s reaction, had to explain for a whole hour everything about the rumors he had heard.
But nothing except one name entered Phante’s ears.
"So, he’s at the Outer District? Just outside The Tower!"
Phante's eyes shone with an intense glow.
Edora, on the other hand,
She tilted her head at the sound of a somehow familiar name.