Chapter 195 - Demons' Forest (10)
Under the mask, Yeon-woo’s face stiffened. He was able to recognize him?
After Yeon-woo clashed with Aether and the others, he had quickly hidden his location. But if the Blood Land knew that he was here, it was likely that they knew that Brahm and he had met somewhere else as well.
Was that how much attention was on Brahm? Or him?
‘It might be both.’
But all that aside, he didn’t think it was enough for them to recognize it was him, even with his identity hidden. Unless there was a spy.
Or had they been observing him from near the Illusionary World? If that was true, they had passed by this Extrasensory Perception, so he had to be even more careful.
Lao quickly added on, as if trying to stop Yeon-woo from suspecting them.
[The fact that you’re here isn’t known by many, so you don’t have to worry.]
Just by the fact that they knew he was here, he had to be careful.
[But you should know how many people are watching out for you. And since you’re with Brahm, who’s at the center of attention as well, there’s only going to be more people looking for you.]
Yeon-woo’s eyes widened. Of course. There was no way that only the Elohim knew that Sesha was with Brahm.
The Elohim might’ve found out first, but as Cheonghwado fell, leading to the imbalance of the Eight Large Clans, the clans wouldn’t miss what other clans did.
‘The Eight Clans are involved in this more than I thought. That was what I missed.’
Lao continued to speak.
[Since she’s the last Dragon Human, there’s a lot of attention on her. Except for Red Dragon, everything will be focused on her.]
[We just weren’t able to act because the Elohim was at the front. But then we coincidentally found out that you were involved in this.]
Yeon-woo wrinkled his forehead.
[How many clans know that I’m with Brahm?]
[I’m not sure. Everyone’s busy trying to hide like rats, so I can’t tell. I can’t say that there aren’t any.]
Yeon-woo shut his mouth.
That meant that everyone who would know, knew. And even if they didn’t, they would find out.
‘My record from the 21st floor was too much.’
He had expected this when he decided to take 1st place on the 21st floor. But he still thought that the Eight Large Clans wouldn’t be interested because it happened on a lower floor.
It seemed like things were worse than he thought.
‘I’ll have to be especially careful in the future.’
Yeon-woo admitted that he had been a bit too relaxed.
He had begun to receive attention when he helped Galliard. Even though Aether was too proud to say what had happened, the act was bound to be found out.
He thought that maybe he should’ve hidden his identity back then, but it wouldn’t have been easy to hide his identity so quickly. Even if he did, they would’ve figured it out eventually.
However, even if this was the case, he couldn’t stand out more. He would be suspected.
Until he was stronger, he had to avoid suspicion.
‘But since I’m involved with Brahm, I won’t be able to completely avoid the attention. It’s a mess.’
Yeon-woo’s head spun complicatedly.
He was thinking of what he could do. In the end, he only came to one conclusion.
‘I can’t continue to hide anyway.’
He released the Magic Armor around his body. The plated armor disappeared, and the black clothes that signified Yeon-woo appeared.
Phante and Edora looked back at his sudden change.
“There’s no need to make things so complicated.”
Phante scowled at what Yeon-woo said.
“Sheesh. I went through hell putting this on.”
He scratched his face furiously and threw the mask to the floor. Edora realized what was going on and took off her magician’s robe. The horn and her beautiful purple eyes were revealed.
Lao’s eyes widened, not expecting Yeon-woo to reveal himself so easily, and he grinned, clapping.
The players who had been fighting against Phante glanced at each other, and began to stand guard.
“Now all the eyes around us have probably disappeared. It’ll be easier to talk.”
It seemed like the reason that Lao and the Blood Land players caused problems was to talk with Yeon-woo.
Yeon-woo asked Lao a question first.
“I’ll ask you a few things.”
Even though he was being watched, there were some things he didn’t get.
Lao nodded his head.
“Do you know exactly where Brahm is?”
Lao shook his head.
“We only know that he created an Illusionary World for the Dragon Human on the 23rd floor. If we knew more than that, we would’ve attempted to contact him first.”
“Then how did you know that I would come to De Roy Lake?”
“Because of your habits.”
“Yeah. The habits that only a Hoarder has. Don’t you feel better only when you have all the hidden pieces? Of course you would come here. Although the chances of you not coming were fifty-fifty.”
It meant that he had been sent here on a fifty-fifty chance.
“Then how did you recognize me? I should’ve concealed my appearance properly.”
“Ah, there was nothing you could do about that. It’s because of my skill.”
Lao pointed at his eyes with his finger. Then, his irises separated and became compound eyes, like those of an insect.
Yeon-woo clicked his tongue when he realized what it was.
<Nine Snakes’ Eyes>. It was a skill to examine the traits of your opponent. It couldn’t be compared to Draconic Eyes or Insight, but it was still a superior skill.
Only then did he realize why Lao was sent here. Since he had that skill, he would be able to recognize Yeon-woo even if he hid himself.
‘The reason why he stayed still when Phante was running around was to find me.’
Lao spoke with a smile.
“Then the questions are finished, right?”
“Then I’ll formally introduce myself again. I’m Baron Lao, here on orders from the Emperor. I came here to invite you and Brahm. The Emperor has taken an interest in you.”
The players of the Blood Land were organized into 8 different positions: soldier, knight, baron, viscount, count, marquis, duke—and the Emperor.
There was only one ‘Emperor.’
‘The Gluttony Emperor.’
The Lord of Greed, who swallowed everything he desired.
The Gluttonous Emperor was someone who adjusted the trait of a Lord to how he liked it. He had thousands of citizens under him, and he could freely move his military.
In terms of numbers, they might be greater than the Red Dragon clan. If there was a difference, it was that unlike the Red Dragon, which only cared about the floors above the 50th, this guy was someone to easily extend his hand to the lower floors.
It might not be an over exaggeration that they called themselves a ‘country.’
And the biggest characteristic he had was his gluttony…..
…..The Gluttony Emperor was always hungry. He tried to swallow whatever he could reach. Of course, among that, there were people.
However, the scariest part about the Gluttony Emperor was that his ‘digestion’ was absorbing people.
The Gluttony Emperor was always hungry, so he always ate too much.
But at the same time, his taste was extremely picky, so it was said that the Blood Land struggled a lot because of him.
The Gluttony Emperor had called Yeon-woo’s brother a ‘delicacy’ and had tried to take everything he had. His Sky Wings, Wave of Light, and even his Dragon Body.
A trait that absorbed abilities through eating. It was no wonder why he was judged as the craziest person in the Tower along with the head bishop of the Devil Army.
And that Gluttony Emperor wanted to see Yeon-woo and Brahm?
‘Does he still want to eat a dragon? He really is a psycho.’
He was someone who had eaten everything, but the one ‘meat’ that he hadn’t eaten yet was dragon meat. That was the biggest reason why he wanted Yeon-woo’s brother.
But it seemed like he still hadn’t given up on that. He wanted to see Brahm? No. he probably wanted to see Sesha.
The Elohim, and the Blood Land. He didn’t know why he kept on getting involved with crazy bastards.
Had he read Yeon-woo’s cold eyes?
Lao smiled and lightly waved his hand.
“I know what you’re worrying about. It’s because you’re scared that the Emperor might hurt you and your party, right? But don’t worry. Those are just rumors that people made to frame us.”
Lao pounded his chest.
“We’re an empire. And we’re also warriors that will have the Tower as our territory. Why would we hurt guests that we invited? We won’t do things to betray trust like that. I swear it on my honor and the Emperor’s name.”
The Blood Land’s ‘diplomatic logic’ was famous in the Tower for them twisting their words to how it suited them. What that meant was that it was bullshit.
“The Emperor thinks that your bravery, the wisdom of Brahm, and the future of the Dragon Human will be a big help to the empire. But you’ll probably deny us if we suggest joining us first. So he wants to eat with you. I don’t think this sounds bad for you either, am I right/”
Yeon-woo didn’t answer right away. There was only one thought that went through his mind.
Since he was evading the Elohim, he had to get as much information as possible.
‘And it’ll be useful to use them as a shield from the Elohim.’
And for that,
“Fine. I’ll think about it positively for now.”
“But I can’t guarantee anything yet. Brahm and the Dragon Human aren’t people I can control.”
“Everyone knows about the Exile’s stubbornness. I’m grateful that you’re thinking about it positively. Also.”
Lao paused, and put emphasis on his words.
“Aren’t you close to Galliard? Since the Emperor is interested in Galliard as well, he’ll be happy if you can convince him as well.”
Yeon-woo silently nodded his head. But his mind was rapidly spinning around.
‘So they know about my relationship with Galliard? If they know about what happened in the Tutorial, it means that they examined me pretty closely.’
He would definitely have to be more careful in the future.
But seeing Lao smile with satisfaction, it seemed like he was successful in getting Lao’s favor.
Was Lao simple, or was he confident that Yeon-woo wouldn’t deny his offer?
It was probably the latter. Their loyalty to their Emperor could be compared to the loyalty of the Devil Army towards the demon they served.
So Yeon-woo casually asked.
“But if many forces are interested, are there also people other than the Elohim on the 23rd floor?”
“They’re just testing the waters. Even if they did send people, they only sent a little bit. They’re really wary about the Elohim.”
“The Blood Land doesn’t seem to care.”
“Since the Emperor has decided to do so. That’s how much the Emperor is interested in you and your comrades.”
Lao’s face was flushed, like it was a huge blessing. Yeon-woo was a bit dumbfounded.
‘If they’re only testing the waters. It means that they’ll be ready to interfere as soon as they see the chance.’
Yeon-woo thought that might be when the Elohim and the Blood Land confronted each other, or until Brahm and the Dragon Human were in danger from the Elohim. If not, it could also be when the Illusionary World was found.
After that, Yeon-woo continued to ask Lao questions, and Lao answered like it was nothing.
Thankfully, Yeon-woo was able to quickly realize what was going on.
‘The gameboard is a lot bigger than I thought.’
Lao said that he was only an emissary, and there was actually someone else in charge.
Marquis Caliburn. His actual name wasn’t known. However, he was famous for choosing his alliances, so it would be tricky to deal with him.
And there were also the additional forces of the Elohim. There was Hemera, and he said he didn’t know how many more would be added.
However, it seemed like one thing was for sure.
In the Elohim, it seemed like the Protogenoi species were especially interested.
‘The same went for the 11th floor, but I don’t know why fools who can’t even fight amongst themselves keep on showing up.’
Yeon-woo was a bit annoyed, but he didn’t show it. However, something suddenly occurred to him. The thought that this might not end here.
He felt like he could smell the scent of blood that you could only smell in the battlefield.
And like that, Yeon-woo found out all the information he could, and slowly got up.
“Good. I learned a lot from you. Like I said, I’ll try to convince Brahm and the others.”
Yeon-woo didn’t forget to leave a hole for him to escape.
“But before that, I have something to do.”
“Is it the Ceratopsian Dinosaur?’
Yeon-woo nodded his head.
“Yeah. It’s important to us.”
“If you need, we can help. From what the empire investigated, it seems to be tricky to handle. They say that it’s worse than the Kraken from the 22nd floor.”
Lao tried to extend his hand, but Yeon-woo firmly refused him. There was no need to be in debt to him.
Lao stepped back like there was nothing else he could do. Then, he kindly told him that they would be protecting their surroundings so Yeon-woo could go through with the raid.
Yeon-woo inwardly scoffed, knowing it was a method for them to observe his abilities.
The Hoarder’s abilities? Of course they would want to know. It wasn’t well known, and it was equal to Allforone’s shadow’s strength.
‘I don’t know. Will it go the way you want it to?’
Under the mask, Yeon-woo smirked. Thinking of fucking the Eight Large Clans over was also fun to plan.
“Then what do we have to do from now?”
The size of the dinosaur was known to be about 80 meters. Phante was already excited at the thought of going against such a huge monster.
In reply to Phante,
“Just be eaten.”