Childhood Friend of the Zenith Chapter 170

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༺ Would You Like To Go With Me? (1) ༻
  Within the room, brimming with medicines and bandages, a golden light swept through, radiating an unmistakable sharpness. 
  However, this wave of light failed to reach Jang Seonyeon; it dissipated right before his eyes, akin to a dissipating fog.
  Despite it being a surprise attack, Jang Seonyeon didn’t lose his smile.
  It was as if he knew that this was going to happen.
  “Child, your way of greeting is rather on the aggressive side.”
  It was a voice devoid of any rhythmic charm.
  And contrary to the speaker’s words, his expression remained chillingly devoid of emotion.
  Jang Seonyeon tilted his head after seeing Wi Seol-Ah’s reaction.
  “Whether it’s you, or that kid from yesterday, none of you show any sign of shock. How lame.”
  Jang Seonyeon, rather, Dok Gojun chuckled softly.
  Wi Seol-Ah then asked while looking at Dok Gojun.
  “Did you know that I was coming?”
  “Of course, how could I not know when you were showing that much bloodlust towards this child.”
  That was impossible.
  Wi Seol-Ah was a master in hiding her killing intent.
  Furthermore, she had been more careful than ever so that she didn’t give any trouble to this child she was borrowing. 
  ‘So then how…’

  Before she could even finish thinking, Dok Gojun spoke to Wi Seol-Ah.
  “It seems like you know who I am.”
  Those words were said with utmost certainty. The statement confirmed that the person before her was not Jang Seonyeon, but rather an existence inside his body. 
  Wi Seol-Ah had to hide her gasp after hearing Dok Gojun.
  “Don’t utter such nonsense.”
  “If that were not the case, you wouldn’t be this perturbed,”
  Wi Seol-Ah masked her unease, regulating her breathing.
  She hid everything she could think of, but Dok Gojun continued to say otherwise as if he knew the truth.
  “Who are you, I wonder? Inside that strong child, resides a colossal beast. Yet, you appear bereft of any such power.”
  Right as Dok Gojun finished talking, Wi Seol-Ah swung her hand once more, stronger than last time.
  Jang Seonyeon’s arm had been sliced off. But when Wi Seol-Ah saw that, she frowned.
  Not only did her attack land at his arm when she had aimed for his neck, but the arm that had been sliced off wasn’t even bleeding.
  Dok Gojun’s smile broadened as he observed the severed limb.
  “I see, you are…”
  He then started whispering as if he realized something.
  ‘Did he deflect the attack with his energy?’
  It wasn’t necessarily impossible, but it wasn’t possible with the level Jang Seonyeon was at. 
  Which meant that it was the power of that unknown existence. 
  Just like herself.
  Despite his arm having been sliced off, Dok Gojun’s expression remained unchanged.
  “You are rather impatient, huh. We haven’t even had a proper conversation yet.”

  “I have nothing to say to you.”
  She didn’t want to speak to him. 
  Because all she had planned to do was finish what she had come here for and then leave.
  She began to charge her Qi again,
  Despite having only a little bit of her energy left.
  Her attack from earlier seemed to have worked after she had used more energy to charge it. 
  Judging by that, she needed to use even more energy to make her attack effective. 
  Dok Gojun interjected once more.
  “Do you have nothing to say even if it’s about that child, the one that you care for?”
  Wi Seol-Ah paused for a moment after hearing Dok Gojun.
  At the same time, the energy inside her hand started to waver. 
  Dok Gojun smiled at her clear reaction.
  “You are an honest child.”

  Wi Seol-Ah was about to strike once more upon hearing Dok Gojun’s words, but he continued.
  “I have planted my seed within that child.”
  “I even gave him the one with the best quality, so the child should like it.”
  Wi Seol-Ah’s hair stirred in response to this revelation.
  In an instant, the room was filled with such formidable pressure and murderous intent that Jang Seonyeon’s body began to crush, yet he maintained his smile. 
  “Don’t worry, child. It’s not a power that would harm him.”
  “Don’t utter such revolting things, how are you even saying such nonsense in your current state?”
  Just the fact that the existence had taken over Jang Seonyeons’ body completely made Wi Seol-Ah lose all trust in him.
  This was especially more the case because the Wi Seol-Ah knew that the entity was Dok Gojun.
  “Whether you believe it or not, is irrelevant. What truly matters is something else.”
  The pressure on the room pressure intensified, causing the furniture to vibrate.
  “So is this a plea for your life?”
  “I am absolutely indifferent to whatever choice you make. I simply wanted to have a conversation with you, that is all.”
  “What kind of conversation?”
  She wanted to slice his neck off this instant.
  She didn’t want to converse with such a loathsome individual. 
  However, she needed to be cautious if he was in the least bit related to Gu Yangcheon. 
  Dok Gojun, observing her, asked.
  “What did you sacrifice?”
  Wi Seol-Ah bit her lips hearing his question.
  “In order to become like that, what did you have to sacrifice?”
  “Why are you curious about that?

  “Child, I’m just curious how you were able to accomplish something I couldn’t.”
  Was he asking about manipulating time to change history?
  Or perhaps…
  “I am the same as you.”
  Wi Seol-Ah couldn’t give a response to Dok Gojun. 
  She couldn’t deny his claim, since he was right.
  Yet she couldn’t agree as well, because he hadn’t been fully accurate. 
  “You may be a little brighter, and more cunning, but in the end, our nature is the same. How could we be any different when we started from the same point?

  “Be clear on what you want to say.”
  “I’m just curious. How did someone like you end up like this? Was it your fault or the child’s, that you’ve become like this? I’m simply curious. I have always been like that.”
  Wi Seol-Ah clenched her teeth, unwilling to entertain this conversation any longer.
  But Dok Gojun continued to speak.
  “That boy isn’t a creation of mine.”
  Words that were filled with certainty, Dok Gojun spoke with certainty ever since the start.
  “Neither is that child. Which is why I’m even more fascinated, since two children have caught my attention, when they aren’t even creations of mine.”
  “I couldn’t care less about your intention.”
  Hearing Wi Seol-Ah’s enraged voice, Dok Gojun responded.
  “I will not interfere.”
  “I simply wait and observe, as in this case. I am merely a curious person.”
  Wi Seol-Ah detested his composure.
  It was more so the case as she could sense the sinister and violent power concealed within him.
  So in her eyes, he appeared fake, feigning normalcy. 
  “Are you worried that I will harm the child?”
  “If you are aware, then don’t you dare touch a single hair of his.”
  She charged her Qi while grinding her teeth.
  “Or I’ll infiltrate your nest and unleash havoc.”
  As Wi Seol-Ah let out a dense bloodlust, Dok Gojun became slightly shocked at her ominous warning.
  “You seem to know more than I had expected.”
  “And do you believe I won’t act, even with that knowledge?”
  ‘If I continue to use this body at this rate, then I will be pushing this child’s body beyond its limit.’
  ‘My soul will likely rot away, and I won’t even be able to give him my farewell that I had desperately wished for.’
  But even so, Wi Seol-Ah couldn’t hesitate. 
  She was willing to take all the sufferings onto herself, if it meant that she was able to reduce the burdens of others, even if it was only by a little.
  ‘What is my soul worth, anyway?’
  When compared to everything the others had done for her, what Wi Seol-Ah had done for them in return seemed negligible.
  It made her feel that her soul had no value.
  Dok Gojun responded to Wi Seol-Ah in an amused tone.
  “I mentioned it earlier, but I have no intention of harming that child.”
  Wi Seol-Ah couldn’t believe his words.
  Because he had already confessed to planting his seed within him.
  Wi Seol-Ah knew what kind of end one would meet if they had Dok Gojun’s seed within them. 
  And if what he was saying was true, then she felt that she had already committed a sin for not being able to stop him.
  “That child will appreciate it, too, as it’s a gift I bestowed upon him, having grown fond of him.”
  “Don’t be mistaken. He would find your meddlesome act repulsive.”
  He wasn’t someone who sought such power.
  He was a person capable of standing on his own feet, and he would do the exact same in this life as well.
  Since he had escaped the shackle of himself, Gu Yangcheon will surely be able to fly up.
  Which was precisely what Wi Seol-Ah was here for in the first place. 
  Wi Seol-Ah continued to glare at Dok Gojun, but he retained his composure, despite him being threatened and put into a dangerous situation. 
  Wi Seol-Ah knew where his heart was located.
  It was in a basement located deep inside this very land.
  Wi Seol-Ah couldn’t afford to go for that heart, so she was forced to hold herself back.
  Yet, she had all the intention to rampage if Dok Gojun persisted in his plans. 
  “Do not worry.”
  Dok Gojun assured Wi Seol-Ah with a small, calming gesture, as her anger grew.
  “My power cannot harm the child.”
  It wasn’t that he wouldn’t harm him, but that he couldn’t, was what he meant.
  As he finished speaking, Dok Gojun’s demeanor changed.
  Wi Seol-Ah remained vigilant, since even that could have been an act.
  She gradually tightened her grip.
  “Judging by your reaction, whatever the entity inside that boy’s body is, even you don’t know about it.”
  The ravenous beast that’s sleeping inside his body.
  Dok Gojun couldn’t help but smile at the thought of that terrifying being. 
  “I will continue to wait. I’ve waited many years for this, so how could I harm that child?”
  Smoke began filling the room, one not made of Qi.
  “I desire nothing more than to see that child’s potential grow, which is why I gifted him so generously. And since we’ve established a connection, he will come to me in due time. You know yourself that it’s the natural order of things.”
  As Dok Gojun spoke, he grabbed his own neck, leaving Wi Seol-Ah wide-eyed.
  “So I hope you’ll still stand by that child,”
  “What are you…”
  “It’s a bit of a waste, but I’m not that sad about it. This is a sacrifice I have to make for my cause and also a gift to you.”
  Wi Seol-Ah charged toward Jang Seonyeon, attempting to grasp his body, but dense smoke obstructed her path.
  “Our conversation today was quite engaging. I look forward to our next meeting.”
  Wi Seol-Ah used her energy to disperse the smoke and rushed towards Jang Seonyeon.
  But he unflinchingly twisted his own neck, collapsing to the floor.
  Though his unsettling posture made it seem like he had died, Dok Gojun’s voice still emanated from Jang Seonyeon’s mouth.
  “It was nice seeing you, my daughter.”
  With that last phrase…
  Jang Seonyeon lost the light in his eyes. 
  Wi Seol-Ah hid her emotions and quivering shoulders. She had an urge to vent her anger and destroy everything around her, but she forced herself to stop. 
  Because she wasn’t in a situation where she could afford to do so. 
  Whether it was this life or her past one, she struggled with the fear of helplessness. 
  ‘What does the Celestial Sword even signify, and why am I the Zenith?’
  ‘I’m this incompetent and powerless. Ultimately, I wasn’t able to change anything this time either.’
  Wi Seol-Ah clenched her lips and waved her hand.
  A golden flame enveloped Jang Seonyeon’s body, erasing all traces of him in an instant.
  Amid the lingering energy, Wi Seol-Ah shivered with her head bowed. 
  ‘…I’m sorry.’
  She was reminded of his face.
  Of how she wished she could have done for him.
  But she still felt like a hindrance to him.
  She contemplated going to the basement to unleash her rage, but she knew that doing that would potentially create even more burdens for him. 
  She couldn’t do anything for him.
  Her actions felt limited, she felt helpless, despite having reached the Zenith, Wi Seol-Ah still carried immense guilt. 
  -Foolish bitch.
  She was reminded of what he said to her back then. 
  Wi Seol-Ah at this point, understood very well the emotions he felt when he had said those words.
  Thus, Wi Seol-Ah continued to stay silent. 
  A day later, the tournament held its final event.
  Jang Cheon personally congratulated the winners of both the finals and the losers’ bracket.
  In the middle of the arena, with numerous spectators, Gu Yangcheon stood before Jang Cheon, wearing his usual unamused expression.
  Wi Seol-Ah, who observed the scene, clenched her fist and controlled her rough breathing.
  Next to Gu Yangcheon…
  Jang Seonyeon stood perfectly fine, despite having twisted his neck just the day before.
  As if nothing had happened.
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