Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 35
YuWon restrained WoonCheon with a durable rope.
Though he might have been a 1st Floor player, he was still quite skilled. So YuWon had purchased a pretty durable rope from the Shop for this occasion.
WoonCheon lowered his head as he grunted. He guessed that it must have been a pretty expensive rope because no matter how much mana he used to power up, it did not give.
Watching WoonCheon, YuWon raised his hand.
“Don’t look away. I know exactly what you’re thinking.”
“W-Why are you doing this to me?”
“Because you’re Mu WoonCheon.”
“You got the wrong person. I s-swear.”
“Then why did you try to run earlier?”
“That’s because you had such a scary look in your eyes, I thought things might turn out like this…”
WoonCheon trailed off as he lowered his head. He had a pure, innocent face, and he looked as if he was about to cry from being falsely accused.
With a confused look on his face, Hargaan looked back and forth between the tied-up WoonCheon and YuWon.
Hargaan called YuWon to come to the back. Once YuWon had gotten close enough to him, he whispered a question.
“You sure this is the guy you were looking for?”
“How can you be so sure? He really could have run because he was spooked.”
“Running away just because you heard a name? Doesn’t that seem odd to you?”
“But saying that he’s the King of the Jackals just from that is…”
YuWon picked up and waved the small dagger that was sticking up from the floor. It was the weapon WoonCheon had thrown at YuWon.
“Does this look like a normal knife?”
“What is it then?”
“Look closely at the floor.”
Hargaan checked the place the dagger had been. At first, he didn’t think anything was odd, but upon closer inspection, he found something strange.
Hargaan originally thought that the knife had gotten impaled in the floor, but that was wrong. When the knife fell, it melted the marble until it looked like it had been impaled in it.
And now that he thought about it, unless it was some real master-grade sword, it’d be weird for a knife to be impaled in marble so deeply just by falling on it.
“This is a pretty potent poison. It’s something that players on the upper floors would use, not a 1st Floor player.”
A lethal poison from the upper floors. It was a substance that was illegal to use on fellow players. Not only did it require permission from the bureau to possess, it was also incredibly hard to obtain it.
“Do you really think the owner of a general store would own something like this? Always hidden in his sleeves, no less?”
There were definitely a few oddities. That meant…
“Where did the information leak from?” a random voice said.
Actually, it was WoonCheon’s voice, but his voice had become scratchier, and his manner of speech sounded much more foreign.
And it wasn’t just his voice…
WoonCheon’s face slowly started morphing. On the kind-looking young man’s face, wrinkles started appearing, and his eyes started looking much hazier. It was as if he had suddenly aged.
“… So you were right.”
Hargaan now fully believed YuWon. This guy was Mu WoonCheon, the King of the Jackals.
“How did you discover my identity? And more importantly, how did you learn my name?”
“I wonder. How did I find out?”
YuWon smiled back in response to WoonCheon’s question, mockingly responding to his question with a question.This made WoonCheon grind his teeth and glare at YuWon.
“You apparently have no fear. Do you not know who’s backing me…?”
WoonCheon’s eyes turned to Hargaan, and he was shocked.
“That hair and eye color…”
Golden yellow hair and eyes. It was an uncommon appearance.
He knew Hargaan’s name. It wasn’t all that strange that he knew. Hargaan was the son of Zeus, and he was a rookie that made quite a name for himself during this Tutorial. However, that wasn’t the only reason why he knew who Hargaan was…
YuWon lightly hit Hargaan’s side from an angle that WoonCheon couldn’t see. Hargaan tried to gauge YuWon’s action, and then he remembered what he had told him before coming in here.
“Make sure you respond properly.”
‘Respond…’ Hargaan wondered, ‘Is this what YuWon meant?’
Hargaan raised his hand up high. And in a second, electricity started gathering in his hand.
An electric attack, which radiated intense heat, formed in Hargaan’s hand.
After witnessing that, WoonCheon started mumbling, “… So it’s true.” There was rage in WoonCheon’s voice. “Did Olympus betray us?”
“What?” Hargaan was surprised by the unexpected question.
“Saying you were betrayed. That’s kind of harsh.” YuWon responded as if his feelings were actually hurt.
Hargaan turned his head and stared at YuWon. Meanwhile, YuWon walked towards WoonCheon in order to hide the look on Hargaan’s face.
“We simply have a favor we want to ask.”
“You’re currently following Agamemnon’s orders, right?”
“That’s right. So?”
WoonCheon’s answer made Hargaan’s expression turn sour.
Agamemnon. Hargaan wondered why that bastard had a connection to Jackals.
The confusion was hard for Hargaan to shake off. But before he could snap out of it, YuWon continued on.
“For a little while now, the Ruler of the Skies seems to have an interest in the matters of the 1st Floor.”
“The Ruler of the Skies… does?”
“Yeah. And right on cue, his son has just finished the Tutorial.”
WoonCheon, who had a bitter face from thinking he was betrayed, now looked like he was filled with hope and expectations.
“How much longer do you plan on acting as Agamemnon’s dog here on the 1st Floor? He doesn’t even serve one of the ‘Big Three,’ but a greenhorn that just became a High Ranker.”
“If all this goes well, the Ruler of the Skies will start personally looking after you Jackals. And if you continue to do well, you guys might even obtain an important role in Olympus.”
“An important role…?”
WoonCheon looked sold. The Ruler of the Skies had taken an interest in him. It was a far bigger deal than receiving orders from just Agamenon, one of Ares’s lackeys.
The Ruler of the Skies. The King of Olympus. Zeus.
Being in his good graces would mean that he would have nothing to fear in this Tower. WoonCheon nodded his head, having forged his resolve.
“What… is the favor, sir?”
WoonCheon started speaking more humbly. It was as if he fully trusted YuWon’s words, which was inevitable. He’d been following Olympus’s orders up till now, and after seeing Hargaan’s electric attack, there was no way he wouldn’t believe YuWon.
“How many Jackals are there?”
“There’s about a thousand of them.”
“Gather them all by tomorrow night. Here’s the location.”
YuWon took out a folded piece of paper from his pocket and tossed it to him.
“Have them all there by midnight.”
“Don’t let Agamemnon or any of the guys on Ares’s side know. You can do that, right?”
WoonCheon nodded his head aggressively.
YuWon tapped WoonCheon’s shoulder before turning around.
Hargaan and YuWon promptly left the store together, and Hargaan started growling at YuWon, “You sure are good at name-dropping someone else’s father.”
He turned his head and saw that Hargaan was genuinely pissed. It was honestly a wonder how he managed to hold his anger back.
“Explain yourself, and don’t leave a single detail out.”
His voice sounded like a growling beast.
Because of how furious he was, a bit of electricity flowed out of Hargaan’s body. If he actually exploded in anger, this whole area would probably be blown to smithereens.
YuWon fully turned around and looked Hargaan directly in the eyes. He could tell that Hargaan was angry, but he wasn’t the target of his anger.
‘He did a good job holding it back.’
YuWon knew that it was probably hard for him to hold back after Olympus was mentioned. He was a more patient guy than YuWon had first assumed.
“It’s as you heard.”
“You’re telling me that Olympus is working together with the Jackals? You honestly expect me to believe that?”
“And what if you don’t believe it?”
“There’s no way. He must just be selling out Olympus’s name. Olympus is—”
YuWon stopped Hargaan.
“I don’t know what kind of place you think Olympus is, but you need to take off your rose-tinted glasses…”
YuWon turned around and started walking away.
“… And take a look at the true face of Olympus.”
And like that, Hargaan was alone. He felt dazed.
“▷ Just thinking about how much more work I have now because of those bastards makes me want to go pull out Zeus’s beard right now.”
The relationship between Olympus and the Tutorial’s Administrator had soured. He had asked YuWon, but he avoided giving him an answer.
“Did Olympus betray us?”
He remembered how the King of the Jackals mentioned Olympus’s betrayal. It was something he would never have said if they didn’t have some sort of connection to begin with.
Hargaan’s head ached, and he thought back to something YuWon had said.
“The Olympus you know is probably a place that’s righteous and uses its power to maintain order inside the Tower.”
That should be correct. Olympus was a guild that used its power to maintain order inside the Tower. He was taught that he should not stand by misdeeds and judge others that committed them.
“If you want to know everyone’s true colors, you should slowly uncover it yourself. You wouldn’t believe me even if I told you.”
Everything that had happened so far and the stories he had heard about Olympus, they came together like puzzle pieces, forming a picture. And that picture was not the Olympus that Hargaan knew.
What that was…
“‘True colors,’ he said…”
… Just might be the true Olympus.
Hargaan stood in place for a long time, dazed. His faith had been shaken.
Time passed, and two days later, as the light from the ceiling faded, night set in.
Hargaan came to the promised location, looking for YuWon. He hadn’t been able to reach him, so he was worried YuWon might not show up, but he was standing right at the outskirts of the central city, waiting for Hargaan.
“If you were any later, I was going to leave without you.”
Hargaan had arrived with one minute to spare before the set time. He had cut it a little short, but he did show up in the end.
“Have you finished thinking it through?”
“I was born and raised in Olympus.” Hargaan started going on a tangent. “Olympus was my home and family. And my father was my hero.”
Of course that’d be the case. Hargaan had spent his entire life growing up in Olympus, and it’d been less than a month since he was selected by the Tower to climb it.
“I don’t have a lot of memories with my mother. I actually can’t even really remember her face, but I remember her voice and something she told me.”
“And what’s that?”
“‘My son, don’t forget the pride of Olympus…’”
Hargaan trailed off, but from what he said, YuWon could tell what Olympus meant to him.
To Hargaan, Olympus was more than just a guild. Olympus was pride in itself.
“I took my time thinking it through,” Hargaan said, closing his eyes. “If this was the right thing to do. Or if I’d be betraying Olympus.”
All the thoughts he’d had over the past day rushed through Hargaan’s mind. His own creed and Olympus battled on a balance, and in the end, the scale tipped towards one side.
“And your conclusion is?”
Hargaan reopened his eyes after hearing YuWon’s question.
“Whether you are right or wrong, the Jackals need to be exterminated since they are the parasites of the 1st Floor.”
YuWon smiled faintly as Hargaan continued talking.
“And if that’s an embarrassing secret of Olympus…”
Hargaan’s eyes no longer looked shaken.
“I’ll cut them out with my own hands.”