Chapter 123: Mission (3)
‘Search the Large Desert?’
‘Like there’s something to see here!’
The mercenaries really wanted to cry. The Large Desert of the 12th floor they never wanted to return to. But they had a task they had to carry out here.
“Then within the limited time, find the item and come over to the 13th floor. I’ll be crossing the Large Desert in the meantime.”
The mercenaries ended up following his order. And the time that Yeon-woo had given them was tight. They needed to be speedy.
Watching them spread out, Yeon-woo secretly called his Spirit Familiars.
‘It’ll be easy to tell if there’s a spy with this.’
Yeon-woo began to cross the Large Desert. A breeze filled with heat and sand flew at him.
[But Master! Master!]
Chirpy climbed on Yeon-woo’s shoulder and spoke to Yeon-woo.
[Why do they listen to you so well?]
Yeon-woo avoided the question and stroked Chirpy’s head. Although he had grown, he was still young. It wouldn’t be good for him to hear all the dirty details.
[Then what are they going to find?]
“The Jewel of Fire.”
[Jewel? What’s that?]
Chirpy adorably tilted his head.
Yeon-woo nodded his head at Chirpy’s shining eyes. The Jewel of Fire would definitely be a tasty treat for Chirpy. And healthy too.
‘I’ll give half to Chirpy and the other half to the Spirit Familiars.’
Recently, the Spirit Familiars had been met with a limit with their growth. It was because of the limited growth of the Black Bracelet.
So Yeon-woo had been thinking of other ways to strengthen them.
‘Strengthening of properties.’
If he could give them other properties than the dark and evil properties they already had. The reason why the Jewel of Fire was special was because it was a good stone for strengthening. Also, it was a good material for alchemy.
‘It can;t hurt having more of it.’
Being able to mine those items with workers. For the first time, Yeon-woo liked Red Dragon.
[Then. You have to give me a lot of yummy things! Have to! Have to! Promise!]
“I will, so don’t worry.’
[Hehehe. I hope they’re tasty.]
Chirpy started drooling and his eyes were shining like stars.
And he made a big yawn with his beak. He blinked his eyes.
[Hng. I’m getting sleepy. I want to sleep.]
“Rest a bit.”
[Ok! You have to wake me up when the snack comes, ok?]
Chirpy nodded and scattered into a blue light to enter into Yeon-woo’s body. Unlike the 11th floor, where Legendary Beasts could comfortably exist, the rules of the 12th floor were completely different.
Because of that, they borrowed players’ bodies and assimilated to them. This was what Chirpy did. After evolving into a greater species, his energy wasn’t settled. If he swallowed the Jewel of Fire on top of that, it would take more time.
So Chirpy was sleeping for most of the day to take care of his energy. However. When Chirpy entered his body, the resting area was a bit special.
‘Stone. It’s here again.’
Yeon-woo licked his lips feeling the stone that was located next to his heart. It was only a miniscule bit, but Yeon-woo could feel the stone moving a few times.
It didn’t give him energy, or do anything. It just acted as a brazier for the fire that the Phoenix left for him, and now it was a shelter for Chirpy.
Once, he had asked Chirpy why he rested in the stone. And Chirpy tilted his head as if he didn’t know and responded.
[I’m not sure. It’s just nice in there.]
[Yeah. It’s warm and cozy. So sleep just comes to me! Totally!]
He thought it was because that was where the Phoenix’s fire was. But after some observation, he realized that wasn’t the case. Chirpy’s energy settled faster inside the stone. And sturdily.
Better than the Magic Circuit.
Like it was different from how it looked like on the surface.
‘That might be the reason why the spark from the Phoenix settled there.’
Yeon-woo’s gaze sunk while trying to feel the stone.
‘It’s only a minute amount, but I can feel parts of the Void in there. And the Sabertooth Tiger’s remains were tightly wrapped around it.’
He realized that the stone he thought was a failure wasn’t a failure after all. It was just incomplete. It was ready to be completed if only given the materials.
And the parts of the Four Legendary Beasts might be materials as well. However, Yeon-woo couldn’t leave such an uncontrollable and creepy thing alone. He didn’t know when it might be a poison to him.
He didn’t like that it was the result of the sacrifice of multitudes, and if he couldn’t control it, it was useless.
But it wasn’t like there was a way to get rid of it. And it became more difficult now that the Legendary Beasts’ vestiges were there, and because Chirpy thought of it as his shelter.
‘Should I just complete it? Or should I think more about how to get rid of it.’
Yeon-woo clicked his tongue at the stone that had become weak again. And he stopped thinking about it. Since Chirpy was using it, it probably couldn’t harm him for the time being. So he was going to focus on crossing the Large Desert first.
[All trials have been finished.]
[You have accomplished the miracle of crossing the Large Desert without a single break. Additional karma is being rewarded.]
[You have received 5,000 Karma.]
[You have received an additional 3,000 Karma.]
[The received Karma is being added to the total Karma.]
[Will you put your name on the Hall of Honor?]
[You have denied registration,]
[You can change your mind regarding registration whenever you want as your accomplishments are being recorded in the history of the Tower despite not being revealed.]
[Will you ascend to the 13th floor?]
Yeon-woo stepped inside the blue portal.
As he had expected, it wasn’t that difficult to cross the large desert. Rather, it was almost fun, like he was hiking. Since he could incorporate training.
Although the sand that sunk with every step and the atmosphere that was boiling hot enough to leave burn marks wasn’t that great. Not only was he able to increase his physical resistance to outer influences, it was also a big help in increasing his property of Holy Fire.
And he had installed additional Cores, so he was currently, he was finished with 108 Cores. He didn’t forget about training while crossing the desert either. Phante and Edora would’ve shaken their heads if they saw him.
Yeon-woo looked back at the Large Desert he had crossed, and was about to cross over to the 13th floor without any regrets. But then.
“Please wait just a moment.”
A portal opened mid air and a rabbit guardian fell with a plop.
It was Laplace, the Guardian he met on the 11th floor. Yeon-woo looked at him with slightly surprised eyes. Why was someone that hadn’t appeared once during the 11th floor here?
Yeon-woo thought for a moment that he shouldn’t be caught here, but he shook his head.
The Guardians of the Tower were limited by the Tower’s system and couldn’t interfere in players’ businesses. Then why was he here?
Yeon-woo stopped walking and started at Laplace. Without any questions. Just a dry gaze. As if asking why he was here.
“You’re just like when I met you in the past, quiet. You seem to be busy, so I’ll just get straight to the point.”
Yeon-woo didn’t make any reply. Laplace smoothed his face with his hands. He checked himself to see if he was smiling because he thought it might be interpreted in a different way and spoke.
“Currently, player ### is heading towards the Platform Three Goddess temple, am I correct?”
Yeon-woo’s eyes distorted under the mask. Even if it was the Guardian, no one liked their destinations being tracked. But Laplace just waved his arm as if saying not to worry.
“Don’t worry so much. Us Guardians only exist to ensure a smooth environment for the players. We won’t ever bother player ### or spread rumors, so you don’t need to worry about such things.”
Yeon-woo just looked at Laplace’s red eyes. He didn’t know what he was thinking.
Now that he thought about it, even his brother had a hard time dealing with the Guardians. Especially the highest ranking 12 Guardians.
And from what Yeon-woo knew, Laplace was.
‘The Zodiac’s rabbit. Rabbits have lots of curiosity and like to stick their nose and interfere in others’ businesses.’
He wasn’t a trustworthy fellow.
“Then. Why are you here?”
“I’m here to deliver the words of the higher-ups.”
“You might not be aware, but us 12 Zodiac Guardians have another role. It’s to be a messenger of the gods and demons.”
Yeon-woo widened his eyes at the unexpected response.
“I’m here to deliver the words of one the demons.”
Laplace’s smiling face while he was talking suddenly fell.
And the atmosphere turned cold. The heat of the Large Desert disappeared and a dark and cold aura spread into the surroundings.
Laplace’s eyes turned into a bitter blackish-red color. A shady aura blew in the air.
Yeon-woo read the energy exuded by Laplace and frowned. Laplace spoke in the demon’s voice.
“Out of. The Platform. three goddesses. Beware. Of the oldest.”
After he finished speaking, and magi in the air faded away like it was never there. The heat of the Large Desert returned, and Laplace’s eyes became red again.
“Beware of the Platform Three Goddesses? What does that mean? And who’s the demon that delivered those words?”
“I am only a messenger, I don’t know the details. Even if I do, I can’t say it because of the limits of the system. Player ### needs to determine the specifics.”
Laplace laughed as he responded, but Yeon-woo didn’t focus on what he was saying and was lost in thought.
‘The oldest should be Urd. But why?’
Yeon-woo became annoyed. Now he was about to put his plans in action. But because of a variable, they were paused. It was the first time the messages that the gods and demons were observing him felt so annoying.
“Why are you delivering this to me?”
“I wouldn’t know. Would a mere errand-runner like me know what the gods and demons think? Isn’t that so?”
Yeon-woo thought Laplace was twisting his words. But even after this warning, he couldn’t not go to the 16th floor. It would be stupid to blindly trust the demon’s words.
A demon was a demon. They were a species that had a sly tongue. No, aside from that, he was annoyed that they were trying to move him however they wanted to.
So he was planning on ignoring it.
‘And I was expected to make the Three Goddesses mad anyway.’
It was obvious they were going to leave the temple in ruins trying to take the Saber God’s son away. He didn’t think he would get a good reputation with the Three Goddesses after this anyway.
“Like I expected, you don’t seem to want to listen. Then. I hope you go your way. I’ve taken extra care, so on your way to the 16th floor, there won’t be anyone to bother you.”
Laplace laughed and bowed like he read Yeon-woo’s thoughts.
Yeon-woo moved past Laplace and was transported to the 13th floor. A light covered his eyes.
[The 13th floor….]
[The trial has….]
After passing a few floors rapidly.
[This is the 16th, the gate of ‘Life’s Spinning Wheel.’]
Yeon-woo was finally able to arrive at his destination.
The start zone was an empty area surrounded by an expansive forest. There were 3 paths to leave the forest.
The mercenaries were taking a break after having already arrived at the area. But they looked a lot different from when they had just left the 11th floor. It was the result of them searching for hidden pieces like the Jewel of Fire.
Yeon-woo flicked his finger to toss them his Holy Fire and spoke.
“Then pull out everything you’ve gathered.”
An indifferent attitude without recognition of how hard they worked. The mercenaries all looked like there were going to cry.
‘This is like…..’
‘The reason why he brought us along isn’t to…..make us panhandlers, right? No way.’
The mercenaries didn’t know that they were right on. No, they were avoiding the fact.