Sitting in the office of the Blood and Iron Lion, the Chinese billionaire Xu Xin gestured to a round orb.
“We can watch the situation live through this crystal ball.”
He was no longer a Player, but he was a greater item connoisseur than anyone.
One of his items, this crystal ball, reflected the situation on the D-Tower 2nd floor.
Song Junghye stared at the ball, her eyes fixed on that hateful bastard, Kim Hyukjin.
‘He doesn’t seem to be panicking much.’
He was sure to have picked up on something being off, but he looked entirely unfazed, which bothered her.
“This is the end of the line of his bravado,” crowed Xu Xin with confidence.
“Let us wait and see,” Song Junghye replied.
Xu Xin’s brows twitched.
‘Song Junghye, I don’t like you, either.’
None of these Koreans were much to his liking.
He and Song Junghye were working together right now for mutual benefit, but one day, he would make her kneel and lick his feet just like the others.
An intent that Song Junghye noticed.
The gaze that raked her up and down did not escape her notice.
Song Junghye actually disliked Xu Xin as much as he disliked her.
In her eyes, he was just a fool with a lot of money.
And she was already prepared for Xu Xin’s arrangements to fail.
You will never be able to beat Kim Hyukjin alone.’
As much as she hated Kim Hyukjin, she acknowledged his skills.
No matter what fancy trap Xu Xin set up, he would not be able to erase Kim Hyukjin on his own.
‘Your job is just to tire Kim Hyukjin out.’
But just then, the man reflected in the crystal ball began to speak.
“Is he someone who can open gates”
“For example… a gate like Mana Hell”
Xu Xin was holding a Translation Marble, so he understood what Kim Hyukjin said.
Mana Hell had never been brought to light before.
To be more exact, everyone who had seen Mana Hell had perished, having become the gate’s sacrificial lambs.
‘How does he know about Mana Hell’
Something seemed to be going awry, but it was already too late to turn back.
Mana Hell was already set in motion, and a gate would be generated.
That gate would consume Kim Hyukjin.
The crystal ball buzzed with static and noise before momentarily going dark, almost like a video player losing electricity and fizzing out.
Xu Xin wiped the sweat from his brow.
“Don’t be alarmed.
It will turn back on soon.”
Song Junghye’s eyes remained fixed on the crystal ball.
She had heard the words, too.
It seemed the trap Xu Xin had prepared was called Mana Hell, a name even she hadn’t known.
She was only told that a Chinese Player under Xu Xin’s employ had a certain ability, and that ability would be used to hunt Kim Hyukjin.
But Kim Hyukjin seemed to know the name of the ability in question.
‘It’s not… an empty bluff.’
She saw Kim Hyukjin’s smile.
She was certain this was not a bluff.
Junghye got up.
“Excuse me, I need to go to the bathroom.”
She headed towards the bathroom, and once she was inside, she took out her phone.
–Cancel the plan.
From the other side of the phone came the voice of her right arm, Kang Woongmin the Adamant.
–All of a sudden
–I’m afraid… Xu Xin’s arrangements will be ineffective.
–Do we pull out all Blood and Iron Lion members
The Poisoned Dagger Jung Sangchul was on the line as well.
He said in a lowered voice,
–Are we giving up on assassinating Kim Hyukjin entirely
Honestly, he was hoping to hear a ‘Yes, cancel it’.
Jung Sangchul didn’t enjoy murder, and the opponent was Kim Hyukjin, the toughest foe there was.
Song Junghye thought for a moment.
–Move according to the situation.
But our general stance will be to keep out of it.
I will keep that in mind.
Jung Sangchul lowered the phone.
It was a little strange.
They were working with China, and even had fairly reliable information that Kim Hyukjin was on the 2nd floor of the D-Tower.
Even the name Song Junghye had given the operation was ‘Project Hunt Kim Hyukjin’.
But now, they were suddenly scrapping the whole plan, this far in
‘What’s going on’
He didn’t know the reason behind the decision.
All he could do was do as he was told.
* * *
Translator - Lei
Proofreader - Ash
* * *
Kim Hyukjin was very familiar with Mana Hell.
It was an artificially generated gate that would suck in targets set by the caster.
‘Almost like… the Endless Sky’s mana hole.’
He had just experienced the mana hole in the Endless Sky.
After surviving such a phenomenon, what was there to fear about a gate artificially created by a level 30 Player
Still, Lau Ding Xue was once an infamous lieutenant of the Demon King army, so Hyukjin was interested in taking a quick look.
‘I need to look into it a bit.’
He wasn’t calling the Demon King crazy, but why were all of his subordinates such scum of the earth This one was a ‘Trap Mage who Relishes Human Flesh’, for Pete’s sake.
Hyukjin didn’t think the Demon King he knew would use such scummy individuals as his subordinates.
‘It’s really weird.’
The Demon King was an unknown being who might be stronger than the whalekin.
Why would such a person gather Players and form the Demon King Army No matter how Hyukjin thought of it, it was strange.
‘Is this supposed to suck me in’
It felt like a cool breeze was blowing at his back.
Lau Ding Xue stood a distance ahead, his expression showing utmost confidence in this little draft.
Hyukjin slowly walked forward.
“Do you really think such a weak force can pull me in”
Unfortunately, they couldn’t communicate.
If he knew this would happen, he would have bought a Translation Marble in advance.
As he ambled forward, Hyukjin asked, “Senia, can you translate right now”
Senia remained invisible.
He only heard her voice.
I am currently in direct communication with Shobidobi, so I cannot translate.”
If they couldn’t communicate, then it couldn’t be helped.
He just had to keep going like this.
Hyukjin took a few more steps.
‘Man, this is really shoddy.’
It was almost funny seeing how confident Lau Ding Xue was after making such a slipshod gate.
“If he’s got eyes, shouldn’t he be able to see that I’m walking on my own”
But it seemed this trap mage was intoxicated by conceit and hadn’t even considered the thought.
And that was the truth.
Lau Ding Xue believed in his ability.
He had thrown dozens of mana crystals into creating this gate.
Devouring one measly Player was a shoo-in.
The possibility of ‘failure’ hadn’t even occurred to him, so he never once stopped to doubt.
Kim Hyukjin looked at the purple crystal in front of him.
‘If I touch this, I’ll be sucked into the Mana Hell.’
He entered the Mana Hell, completely relaxed.
[You have entered the artificial gate, Mana Hell.]
It was dark, and only he and Lau Ding Xue were there.
The other man said, “You won’t be able to move a single step here.”
Of course, Hyukjin didn’t understand what was said.
He only guessed the gist of it.
Hyukjin wasn’t at all interested in Lau Ding Xue, but the Guardians who were watching from above.
‘From the Guardians’ point of view, that guy is the villain provoking them.’
That was how it was when you read a novel or watched a movie.
Most viewers put themselves in the shoes of the protagonist.
They got mad at the villains, the side characters, who harmed and hassled the main character.
Later, this kind of content would be lumped into a single genre.
‘It was called… Uno Reverse content, wasn’t it’
In any case, it wasn’t like he intentionally tried to make this content or scenario happen.
He should be thankful that such good material was rolling his way.
There were a lot of Guardians who enjoyed Uno Reverse content; there was definitely a demand for it.
‘How can I cook this up nicely’
Senia said she was talking to Shobidobi, her editor.
Shobidobi himself might show up—he liked watching Hyukjin’s Playing in person.
‘First and foremost, I need to give him enough material to work with.’
No matter how much of an editing whiz Shobidobi might be, he couldn’t create a proper video without sufficient footage.
It was the same logic as getting one good photo out of a hundred.
Whatever happened, he needed to get enough footage.
‘Would’ve been great if I had a Translation Marble.’
Maybe that thought showed on his face, because the next moment—
[The ‘True Master of the Heavenly Demonic Mountain’ gifts you a Translation Marble.]
[The ‘Lady of the Scales’ gifts you a Translation Marble.]
[The ‘Barrier of Blue Light’ gifts you a Translation Marble.]
[The ‘White Hunter’ gifts you a Translation Marble.]
[The ‘Whispering Devil’ gifts you a Translation Marble.]
He got 5 messages in one go, each of them bearing a Translation Marble.
[A gift from an anonymous sender has arrived.]
[A gift from an anonymous sender has arrived.]
Other Guardians who hadn’t made it into the first 5 sent gifts anonymously.
They were all Translation Marbles, and a whopping 32 of them.
To his great delight, Hyukjin acquired 37 Translation Marbles in total.
‘Thank you, Lau Ding Xue.’
He used a Translation Marble.
“What did you say Say it again.”
I said you wouldn’t be able to take a single step here.”
“This is a space dominated by me.”
“Ah, that so” Hyukjin responded, wholly unimpressed.
He already knew Mana Hell.
“Then what’s going to happen to me”
“All your mana will be sucked out and you will die here.” Lau Ding Xue laughed, then licked his lips.
“And then, you’ll end up in my stomach.”
A trap mage who relished human flesh.
This man was a psycho for sure.
Hyukjin took one step back.
“Dude, that’s too disgusting.”
“I see you are an insect who cannot understand the art of cuisine.”
Hyukjin took another few steps back.
To Lau Ding Xue, Hyukjin’s expression must have appeared fearful, an act Hyukjin put up on purpose.
“It’s futile to run away.”
“Because this is a space dominated by you”
Hyukjin took another step back.
“This space will suck out all your mana.
Now, any last words”
“Can I say anything”
Lau Ding Xue laughed.
“Anything other than spare me.”
“Isn’t something weird here I’m still walking.
Didn’t you say I wouldn’t be able to move”
Lau Ding Xue’s smile froze.
Come to think of it, Kim Hyukjin had been walking backwards.
In this space, which he controlled.
Mana Hell was set to allow no one other than him to move.
What’s more, there was only one target Mana Hell needed to restrict!
But Lau Ding Xue quickly recovered his composure.
“Looks like you have some trivial skill.”
The undeniable proof was that Kim Hyukjin was only backing away and not coming closer.
Lau Ding failed to see that it was Kim Hyukjin trying to secure the minimum amount of footage for Shobidobi.
“That’s right, I do have a few trivial skills.”
“It doesn’t matter.
You will be eaten by me here.”
That moment, Hyukjin sensed the creation of a ‘black hole’ so bad it could not even be compared to the mana hole in the Endless Sky.
At this rate, he wouldn’t even be able to scrape up enough footage.
His opponent was too much of a beginner.
It was like being told to add and subtract after just finishing twenty pages of calculus.
He felt his mana being drained by this space, so weakly he wouldn’t even notice if he wasn’t focusing.
“It does indeed feel… like my mana is getting sucked out.”
Drunk on his own strength and outstandingness, Lau Ding Xue was blinded by narcissism and left unable to view the situation objectively.
‘He’s way too **ing dumb.
How was someone like him a lieutenant of the Demon King Army’
It was strange.
There was something to uncover here.
“Um, remember how I said I have a few trivial skills” Hyukjin said.
“Have you ever heard of a trivial skill like this” Hyukjin took out Isabel.
“A trivial skill called Flash Step, and...”
Hyukjin vanished, then appeared on Lau Ding Xue’s right side before the man could even react.
“...a trivial skill called Beat ‘em, Beat ‘em, Beat ‘em Hardert”