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Chapter 91 - One-horned Tribe (1)

Second Life Ranker
     Chapter 91. One-horned Tribe (1)

    Yeon-woo had been wondering why Phante and Edora hadn’t come yet. And now, all of a sudden, a One-horned tribe member appeared.

    Then Yeon-woo noticed the man was holding in one hand something that looked like a letter.

    ‘He must be a messenger.'

    Perhaps that letter was addressed to him.

    "Could you open a way, please?"

    Yeon-woo said towards the sky.

    Although Phoenix had not been allowing any strangers to enter her territory for the safety of her children,

    『As you wish.』

    Then, the Phoenix, who had sealed off her territory to prevent any strangers from harming her children, ordered the beasts that had been blocking the man’s way to stand aside and let him pass.

    Yeon-woo calmly watched the scene unfold.

    *   *   *

    The man was led to a pond, quite far from the Phoenix’s nest.

    "Hehe. It’s so nice to meet you! My name is Yanu.”

    Unlike the sharp impression he gave off when confronting the beasts, the man now looked at Yeon-woo with a silly smile on his face.

    ‘It’s like there’s a hidden blade behind that smile.’

    Despite his smile, Yeon-woo could tell he was no pushover.

    Judging by his aura, he was probably even around Phante’s level.

    However,

    ‘But his smile... doesn’t appear to be fake.’

    Yeon-woo examined Yanu with his Draconic Eyes, and as expected, he didn’t see any hostility coming from him.

    ‘But why?’

    He couldn’t understand how could someone he had never met before be this friendly towards him.

    Just like Yeon-woo was busy inspecting Yanu, Yanu was also examining Yeon-woo from head to toe with shimmering eyes.

    "Why are you staring at me like that?”

    "Oh! I'm sorry if that bothered you. I guess I was too pleased to meet you, I didn’t notice I was being rude."

    Yanu scratched his cheek with his finger as if he was really sorry.

    "No, I’m not bothered. I just don't understand why you seem so familiar with me.”

    "Uhuhu. Of course, you don’t. You’ve probably never heard about me, but I have heard a lot of stories about you, Cain. I was just too excited to finally meet you."

    His remark struck Yeon-woo with surprise.

    Judging by his words, he wasn’t talking about ‘the Hoarder’.

    "About me? From who?"

    "Oh, you have no idea how famous you are in our tribe… Oh, wait. I don’t think I’m allowed to speak about this. Hehe. Please don’t tell anyone I said this. You'll find out later anyway."

    Yeon-woo had a strange feeling about this.

    “…?”

    However, he just shrugged it off, assuming Phante and Edora must have told Yanu about him.

    "Now, regarding the letter you’re carrying, is that for me?"

    "Yup. As you probably know, this is from Phante-nim and Edora-nim[1]. They asked me to deliver this letter safely to you. They also wanted to apologize for disappearing without notice. The details are inside the letter."

    Yanu then handed the letter over to him.

    The envelope of the letter was tightly sealed with sealing wax, proof that it hadn’t been opened yet.

    Yeon-woo removed the wax off of the envelope and took out the letter from the inside. But when he unfolded the letter, what greeted his eyes was lines full of characters he did not recognize.

    The characters didn’t belong to the commonly used language in The Tower, but to the One-horned tribe’s native language.

    Befuddled by the incomprehensible characters, Yeon-woo was about to call Yanu to ask him to read the letter for him. But before Yeon-woo could open his mouth, the characters suddenly started shining with a bright light and began to break loose from the paper, floating up into the air one by one.

    Then, he heard a voice talking inside his head.

    『Hi Oraboni, this is Edora. First of all, I am sorry that we had to leave without—Hey! What are you doing? Eh? Is that a letter? Puhaha! Who sends letters these days when you can just—I know! Just shut up and get out! … Jeez, look at your temper. You know, that’s not gonna help … I said get out! Can't you see I’m writing a letter?! ... Okay, I’ll go. By the way, you know our conversation already went inside the letter … That’s it!』

    The letter contained a mixture of Phante and Edora’s voices.

    Yeon-woo burst into laughter.

    ‘Typical siblings.'

    Yeon-woo then heard the noise of the two siblings quarreling into the distance, followed by Edora returning while grumbling to herself.

    『That useless idiot! He never helps. Ahem! Anyway, Oraboni, the reason why we had to send you this letter—Hey, can I say something too? … GET OUT!!!』

    The voice coming from the letter sounded similar to the thoughts the Phoenix transmitted to him using her telepathic skill. Perhaps they used a similar method.

    After her shout, Edora finally continued with her explanation. And with that, Yeon-woo was able to confirm why the two of them hadn’t shown up on the 11th floor even after having finished the previous trial.

    Not many things were new to him since most of the contents in her explanation were similar to Yeon-woo’s conjectures.

    She said that the One-horned tribe had an urgent situation and that the two of them, being royalty, had been summoned back to the tribe. However, she still kept the details confidential.

    Yeon-woo thought it was understandable.

    No matter how close they had become, he was still an outsider to the tribe.

    He just felt a little sad they had to part ways without a proper farewell.

    ‘Me, being sad?'

    A strange feeling welled up inside Yeon-woo’s heart.

    Edora then said that the two of them would follow after him as soon as they were done with their business, so he should continue to climb without worrying.

    Finally, the letter ended with the words, ‘Take care’.

    Yeon-woo folded the letter and looked back at Yanu.

    Yanu was still looking at him with a smile.

    "How's Phante and Edora doing?"

    “Oh, they are doing fine. By fine, I mean really fine. Especially Phante-nim... Ugh, I swear, no one can put up with his temper!”

    ‘Same as usual.’

    Yeon-woo nodded with a chuckle.

    "That's enough."

    Yanu gave Yeon-woo a strange look.

    "What's wrong?"

    "I thought you’d be more curious."

    "About what?"

    "About the reason why Phante-nim and Edora-nim couldn't come here."

    "And are you going to tell me if I ask?"

    After a few seconds of pondering, Yanu put his silly smile back on his face and answered.

    "Hehe, no can do."

    "That's why I didn't ask. Besides, I’ll find out later."

    Looking convinced, Yanu nodded a few times.

    "Hmm… you know, I think you’re quite a strange man, just as I’ve heard."

    "And what did you hear about me?”

    "Hehe. That, I can’t tell you. I don’t want to die this young.”

    ‘Looks like they sent a weirdo as a messenger.’

    Yeon-woo thought as he clicked his tongue.

    But then, he suddenly realized that Yanu must’ve been thinking the same while looking at him.

    ‘I guess we’re both weirdos.'

    Yeon-woo laughed.

    *   *   *

    "Oh wow! So this is what a Legendary Beast’s territory looks like."

    Yanu said as he explored the entire forest that belonged to the Phoenix’s territory.

    Yeon-woo thought it would be a shame to just turn him away after receiving the letter, so he asked the Phoenix for permission to allow Yanu to take a look around her territory, except for her nest.

    And Yanu was really like a dog. [2]

    Not in the vulgar sense of the word, but as an animal that went around sniffing every corner of the place with curiosity.

    He explored every possible place he could get into, to the point where he was finding places Yeon-woo didn’t even know existed.

    ‘Was her territory this big?'

    And as one might have expected, the Phoenix was annoyed by this.

    『Send that human away as soon as you two are done wandering around. I have never seen such an unbridled human. I am starting to worry that my children would watch him and become like him. I had thought that humans of the One-horned tribe were composed and prudent, how is he so different?』

    From the tone of her voice, Yeon-woo could almost imagine the Phoenix shaking her head from side to side.

    So he stopped Yanu from moving on to the next place and asked him a question.

    "Haven’t you passed through the 11th floor already?"

    Yanu chuckled as he scratched the back of his head.

    "I did, a very long time ago. But I hadn’t been to places like this when I was here. "

    "As you might know, most players don’t get to enter the territory of a Legendary Beast. Even among the members of our tribe, only our king, and perhaps a few of the elders, have come to this place.”

    "I see."

    "In fact, when I first found the mark saying that you would be waiting here, I almost didn’t believe it. I mean, it’s a Phoenix, you know? They are so powerful, magnificent… they’re just great!"

    Yeon-woo thought he had a point.

    Even rankers didn’t want to fight with Legendary Beasts. For an ordinary player like Yanu, it would take a lot of guts to even enter their territory.

    『Hmm… Perhaps the human is not as bad as I thought. Tell him he can stay for as long as he likes before returning.』

    Yeon-woo laughed in his sleeve at how a couple of compliments was all it took for the Phoenix to change her mind.

    Yanu, after being told the news, became all excited and went even wilder in his exploration.

    And Yeon-woo, like a parent following a child running around an amusement park, slowly followed behind him, making sure he didn’t go into the Phoenix’s nest.

    And at the same time, he had a lot of thoughts.

    The first thing that occurred to him was a sense of relief.

    The relief from hearing about Phante and Edora’s well-being.

    Though, to begin with, he hadn’t been that worried, but there was a big difference between being and not being aware of their safety.

    On the other hand, he started worrying about his beast egg.

    ‘Now that I know they are dealing with something back in their tribe, it’s clear that they won’t be returning anytime soon.’

    There were two things for which he needed help from Edora. The Black Bracelet, and the Mythical Beast’s egg.

    Although he wasn’t in a hurry in regards to the bracelet, he did need to settle things with the egg quickly in order to clear the trial.

    If Edora couldn’t help him, he had to find an alternative as soon as possible.

    ‘What should I do?'

    While Yeon-woo agonized over his problem, Yanu suddenly stopped running around and stared at him with curious eyes.

    Noticing his stare, Yeon-woo broke out of his deep thoughts.

    "What is it?"

    "Uhm, I just thought you looked like you needed help. Is there anything I can do to help you?”

    "And why would you do that?"

    "Well, that’s something our princess wanted me to do."

    ‘Princess? Oh, he’s referring to Edora.'

    For the first time, Yeon-woo realized the true identity of Phante and Edora.

    “She said, ‘I know he won’t be needing our help because he’s such a perfect man, but if you see he’s having troubles, try to help him while you’re at it’. Did she mention this in the letter?"

    Only then did Yeon-woo recall some of the sentences in the last part of the letter.

    『... He looks silly with his bushy hair and always-smiling face, but he knows a thing or two about The Tower. If you need any help, you can consider asking him for advice.』

    At that time, he didn’t think much of it, but it seemed like Yanu was serious.

    Yeon-woo pondered for a short time whether he could trust Yanu or not.

    He would have turned him down immediately if it had been someone else, but knowing that he was sent by Phante and Edora,

    "Wait, wait, you don't seem to trust me. I don’t know if she mentioned this in the letter, but I’m actually a Psychic Medium candidate!”

    At that moment, Yeon-woo's eyes shone with a strange glow.

    ‘He’s a Psychic Medium?'

    Yeon-woo was also aware of the Psychic Medium of the One-Horned tribe.

    Yeon-woo was surprised at how easily Yanu had disclosed his identity.

    He had heard that the One-horned tribe usually tries as hard as possible to hide the identity of their Psychic Medium in order to protect them from other clans’ harm.

    But as if Yanu had noticed what Yeon-woo was thinking, he quickly waved his hand in denial.

    "Don’t worry, Psychic Mediums are not as great as what people think they are. Besides, I’m not the real Psychic Medium, but just one of the many probable successors. Plus, there’s already a confirmed successor for the next Psychic Medium. But I assure you, I’m only second to that person, so you can trust me! Yeah?"

    Yanu's eyes were glittering.

    And the Phoenix also added her opinion.

    『I also suggest you ask the human for his opinion. The Psychic Mediums, unlike what they are known for, are more like ‘scholars’ that study the ‘records’ allowed to them.』

    Yeon-woo became curious about the ‘scholar’ part the Phoenix talked about, but he decided to set his curiosity aside for now. Listening to her suggestion, Yeon-woo decided to entrust him with his troubles.

    So Yeon-woo proceeded to explain to Yanu in detail what he was going through.

    Yanu listened to his story with excited eyes, which as the story progressed became more and more round, and he ended up gasping out loud several times.

    Once when Yeon-woo said he created his second Flame of Life and another time when he said the egg was now about three meters tall.

    And when he said he was considering getting the other Legendary Beasts’ energy, his jaw dropped so low it almost touched the floor.

    It wasn't until a long time later that he shook his head and put his thoughts together.

    "Wow… I’ve heard some stories about you, but I didn’t know you’d be this great!"

    Yanu was now looking at him as if he was facing a monster. Then, he asked questions based on the story he heard.

    "Uhm, so, let me get this straight. What you need right now is the Insight skill that Edora-nim has, is that correct?"

    "Yes."

    "Oh, that's an easy problem to solve."

    Yanu breathed a sigh of relief and continued with his usual smile.

    "Then you can come with me to where our tribe is. That’s the simplest solution."

    Yanu said as if it was something very easy.

    This time, it was Yeon-woo’s turn to be surprised.

    "Didn't you say there is some important business taking place in your tribe? And I thought I couldn’t leave this floor unless I clear the trial."

    Yeon-woo asked the questions in quick succession.

    "It is an important business but... I think it’ll be okay. Hehe. Because some elders want to see you in person. And about the second question, well, you’ll see.”

    Without understanding one bit, Yeon-woo kept on asking several questions, but all Yanu did was repeating ‘you’ll see’ as an answer while scratching his cheek with one finger.

    Though Yeon-woo wasn’t able to comprehend the situation, there was one thing that he could tell.

    It was that he could go to where the One-horned tribe was right now.

    ‘Come to think of it, the One-horned tribe is one of the earliest participants of The Tower, right? Then they must know a lot of secrets pertaining to The Tower.’

    Yeon-woo's eyes shone brightly.

    [1] -nim is the highest form of honorifics and above -ssi, but is still used as a commonplace honorific for guests, customers, clients, and unfamiliar individuals. -nim is also used towards someone who is revered and admired for having a significant amount of skill, intellect, knowledge, etc. and is used for people who are of a higher rank than oneself.

    [2] ‘like a dog' (개 같다) in Korean also means ‘shitty'.