Chapter 158: The Monkey King’s Palace (2)
The power of a god or demon came from places no one expected.
There were often times when the worth of these existences depended on their legends.
From that perspective, Monkey King was irregular compared to other godly beings.
He was known as Son O-Gong to most people, including Yeon-woo.
After he was born as a monkey, he gained knowledge and understanding, and became a god. Then, because he didn’t like what the heavens were doing, he was sealed and had to fight with demons.
And in the end, he became a true god.
Because no one had accomplished anything like this, he was well-known in the entire Tower.
[I did hear that Monkey King on the 20th floor had something to do with him but…..mm. Was that true? And there’s a hidden quest at stake as well. This is crazy.]
Yeon-woo heard what Shanon said and asked.
‘Be more specific.’
[Hm? About what?]
‘The rumors that he has something to do with Monkey King on the 20th floor.’
[Ah, that? It’s nothing, really. Since the 20th floor is also called the Marble Mountains [TN: Mountains that appear in the legend of Son O-Gong.]. There were rumors that if Monkey King was sealed here, he would be related to the Marble Mountains that are here. It’s exactly as it says in the quest. So I remember that a lot of people went for it…..and no one found anything. But it’s real?]
Shanon laughed futilely and spoke in a serious voce.
[And the Tower’s system wouldn’t lie. And since there’s the Magic Stick and the 72 Arts, it seems about right. This is crazy. If this spreads, the Tower will be flipped upside down.]
There wasn’t anything about this in the diary. Maybe because he had written it off as rumors.
The Magic Stick was a legendary item that was said to be stolen from Dragon Kings. The 72 Arts was the skill that made Monkey King into what he said.
Arts. They were different from Mugong and magic. And there was almost nothing that was known about it in the Tower.
All that was known about it was that it was ‘a power of Virtuous People.’
Virtuous People were similar to Taoists back on Earth. Supernatural beings who surpassed their human bodies to have the power of a god. But there was a question about whether they really existed.
Theory-wise, it was impossible. Because there was a difference between gods and humans. Perhaps Superior Species were similar to them. However, none of us have actually seen them. If they existed, wouldn’t they be among the high rankers?
The existence of Virtuous People was a mystery, but the Arts themselves were real.
‘Since the two signature skills that Allforone uses, Shukuchi and Thousand Eyes, are said to be related to the Arts.’
And now this was saying there were 72 kinds of those Arts. What Monkey King had used, at that. They would all be powerful. Like what Shanon had said, they were definitely things that people would be greedy for.
From sometime, the Sadhu had been silent.
Everyone was focused on the hidden quest message that Victoria had shared.
Kahn’s eyes were especially sparkling with something. It was definitely something that he would be tempted by, since he always prioritized becoming stronger.
In the midst of all that.
Yeon-woo was able to realize something instinctively.
‘This is a trap made by the Devil Army.’
Yeon-woo was lost in thought.
‘A bishop of the Devil Army, dead, just because of this quest? It doesn’t make sense.’
From what Yeon-woo knew, each and every one of the bishops were scheming.
They knew how to hide themselves for 10 years for what they wanted, and they also had an obsession for snatching and gobbling their prey. And more than anything, they were violent.
Kindred was the same. No, just by his greed, it was clear he was worse than most bishops.
Also, the fact that he was the 2nd bishop amongst the hierarchy of the ones who believed in the demons, that meant his way of thinking was that much out of the ordinary.
‘Then what is it that he’s aiming for? Did he think it was too hard for him to finish the quest on his own? But that doesn’t wouldn’t make sense?’
Kindred was powerful enough to fight the five of them here alone. And he probably wasn’t trying to combine their strengths to use it. Then what did he want?
He drew a blank. So he became even more suspicious of the trap that Kindred and the Devil Army were setting up.
And the other Sadhu were thinking the same thing. They didn’t know that he was a bishop in the Devil Army, but they knew that there was a thing or two off about him.
Rebecca asked for all of them again. Very directly.
[Isn’t he actually alive? Would he try to put us in a trap or use…..]
Victoria crossed her arms and cut Rebecca off.
[No. I know for sure he’s dead. And if you’re doubtful of my magic, I feel bad.]
[What magic did you use?]
[‘Calling Wind.’ It not only tells where the person is, but also if they’re alive or not. It’s a rune magic used to track people. Even if a good despell is used, it can’t ever be released.]
Calling Wind was a rune magic that Rebecca was familiar with as well. Since trackers often used it. It didn’t have any side-effects, but like Victoria said, it was impossible to get rid of.
If the user, Victoria, felt that way, that was the truth.
[Then you could be lying with Kindred too.]
[If you want, I’ll do a pledge of mana with you. How’s that?]
Victoria recited the pledge of mana. It was a pledge that would decrease your magic power if you lied. But nothing happened to Victoria after she said the entire pledge.
Rebecca was silent. So was everyone else.
Victoria spoke in a cold voice.
[I have something to ask of you all. Entering the quest territory and retrieving Kindred’s body. To be honest, I don’t really want to do it either. But I’m indebted to him, and so I have to honor his last words. Also, I’m not just asking for your help.]
[I want to make a deal.]
[People who want to, go ahead with the quest. I’ll tell you the location of the dungeon. In return, take me to where Kindred’s body is. That’s my condition.]
The Sadhu were silent again.
There wasn’t anything wrong with what Victoria said.
No one knew what kind of dangers would lurk in the dungeon Kindred entered. Victoria was looking for a Guard.
She was offering the location of the dungeon. After that, she wouldn’t interfere with what they did.
The Sadhu were all making calculations in their heads.
There were tons of suspicious things about this quest. However, the reward that followed it was too sweet.
They didn’t even have to worry about the quest being fake. Since the system didn’t lie. The only thing the system was hiding was how dangerous the quest was.
So the Sadhu couldn’t immediately make up their minds. They were here on the 20th floor to become stronger.
The power of the Monkey King that they would get was too tempting.
‘It’s like a poisoned chalice.’
Yeon-woo grinned reading the minds of the Sadhu.
They were seriously contemplating it right now, but the result was already decided.
[Seems like everyone’s going to accept.]
Shanon clicked his tongue reading the atmosphere.
‘Probably. Since players are all the same. Wouldn’t you do it if you were in their shoes?’
[Ha! Why ask the obvious? Of course!]
Shanon laughed like this was all amusing. And Hanryeong seemed to be thinking the same thing.
[Humph. Then what are you going to do?]
‘Of course I’ll do it.’
[Look at you. You spoke like you weren’t going to do it.]
‘But the reason is different. I just want to check what kind of trap the Devil Army is setting up. They’ll have a reason for why they’re doing it.’
[Ah, yes. A likely story. You’re just the same as us.]
‘Since I’m a player as well.’
Yeon-woo thought of whether he should fall back. He didn’t really have to jump into danger.
But as he thought more about, his mind changed.
The thing Devil Army was trying to earn by creating this trap. How nice would it feel when he snatched it out from under them?
And after the war between Red Dragon and Cheonghwado, the remaining clans in the eight were busy. But the Devil Army hadn’t shown any particular movement.
But if this had something to do with it, he needed to check it with his two eyes.
He would have to risk it.
‘I’ll get as much as it’s dangerous.’
No, everything aside, he didn’t want the Devil Army to get what they wanted. Since he had to fight them someday. It would be nice if he could get a grasp of them during this opportunity.
‘Kahn seems weird.’
From when he had been trying to say something about Doyle, to now. Kahn looked like he was being chased after something after being greatly shocked.
He wanted to know why he was doing that.
When Yeon-woo made up his mind, the other Sadhu seemed to have reached a conclusion as well.
[Alright. I’ll do it.]
Rebecca and Kahn agreed. Yeon-woo nodded his head.
Victoria turned her head to Sol Luna’s direction.
[Heu heu. Leave me out. I didn’t become a vampire for nothing. I don’t want to die.]
Sol Luna raised both her arms in surrender and stood up.
Victoria nodded her head like she didn’t plan on convincing her. Instead, Rebecca started to show murderous intent.
Vines grew from the ground and tightened around Sol Luna’s neck.
[If you babble around this somewhere.]
[Do you think I’m crazy enough to do something to make the apostle of Cernunnos mad? Like I said, my life is the most important!]
Victoria was a war mage, and Rebecca was famous for being cruel like the god she served. Sol Luna didn’t want to get on their bad side.
Rebecca frowned, like she wasn’t satisfied, and eventually released the vines.
Victoria looked around and spoke.
[Alright. Then let’s start moving tomorrow at this time. Get what you need before that.]
And they all left.
The next day, the 4 gathered. Yeon-woo, Victoria, Rebecca, and Kahn. They looked at each other like they suspected each other, but they didn’t show it too much.
From now on, they had to trust each other. They didn’t know what dangerous thing had killed Kindred. If even one person had doubts, then it was over.
And they were all veterans on that subject, so they didn’t speak about that matter.
Instead, Victoria checked the members and gave information about the dungeon. She surrounded them with a magic power wall in case someone heard.
[The dungeon is at the top of the 5th mountain.]
[The peak? Is there a cave there?]
[It seems like it was covered with something so no one could see it. Since Kindred said he was flabbergasted when he found it.]
[A cover that even a high ranker couldn’t find…..]
[I said a highest being made it. Isn’t that expected then?]
Highest beings were the greatest gods.
[Definitely. That sounds right.]
Victoria and Rebecca walked while conversing with each other. Yeon-woo wordlessly focused on what they were saying.
However, Kahn had an emotionless face that made it hard to read what he was thinking. Yeon-woo thought he should try to talk to Kahn sometime.
The place Victoria stopped was an area a bit off from the peak. It was covered with grass under a small hill, so it was hard to find.
And there was an unfamiliar energy flowing around from the hill. Like something was being blocked by a clear wall.
It was definitely a strong power. The word ‘heavy’ described it well.
Yeon-woo thought of Urd that he met on the 16th floor. It was slightly similar to back then.
‘Did something like this exist?’
He thought there wouldn’t be anything he wasn’t able to feel after getting Extrasensory Perception. But it seemed like that was arrogance.
A covering that a god had made was definitely different.
Coverings were a type of magic that could be used in many ways. He felt like he might be able to replicate it with his rune magic after learning it.
Victoria lightly waved her hand to dissipate the covering. Since Kindred had already removed it several times, it easily disappeared.
The energy that was deep inside the covering blew away in the wind. The 4 straightened their backs from the creepy feeling.
If this covering was one of a higher being, then this was definitely the vestige of the Monkey King.
[This is all I know.]
[Alright. From her, I’ll lead.]
Rebecca led the way. Since she was serving the god of hunting, she could easily find the way, and she could use her skills here.
Yeon-woo and Kahn stood to the side, and Victoria covered the center. Their defense was weak, but protecting their magician faithfully was the basics of a dealer.
[Then let’s go.]
With Rebecca’s orders, the 4 of them entered down the hill and slowly moved.
And they soon saw the small entrance of a cave.
[It looks like an ordinary cave from the outside.]
Rebecca narrowed her eyes at the cave. She pushed her consciousness and senses against it, but she didn’t feel anything.
No, her consciousness approached the entrance and suddenly scattered away at the entrance. Like it absorbed something.
Even Yeon-woo’s Extrasensory Perception couldn’t search the cave.
Thinking that there was nothing they could do other than enter it, Rebecca slowly moved into the cave.
[You have entered the dungeon, ‘Monkey King’s Palace.’ It is being registered as a party of 4.]
The players all breathed in deeply. It was only a step, but the air around them had completely changed.
If the energy outside was threatening, now it felt like they would be sucked up. They felt like something was denying them.
There was something that gripped around one’s heart in here.
It was an energy that caused fear and anxiety.
Since they felt everything through their consciousness because their senses were closed, they were surprised.
‘Injustice, rage, fear…..they’re all emotions that you feel when you’ve been locked up for a long time.’
Was this all remnants of the Monkey King?
Yeon-woo swallowed. Everytime the negative energy swirled around him, the Black Bracelet trembled.
[….it’s a crazy place. Let’s keep on moving.]
They had slowly moved down the cave with Rebecca leading them.