Chapter 104 – The Darkness Planted in a Pure White (2)
Hyun imagined Louise’s death.
He suddenly felt strange.
It was as if a cold, sticky liquid had gone through his body. He had never felt something so unpleasant since he’d started playing the game.
He’d seen enough NPCs dying. In Asrian, humanoid NPCs could die.
He was surprised when he’d seen the soldier committing suicide, but it wasn’t shocking enough to be embedded into his mind.
But what about now?
Why was he feeling so agitated at the thought of an NPC dying?
Was it because of the time they’d spent together while he was trying to protect her? At the thought of Louise dying, he felt as if a close friend was about to die.
“Can I save her?” Hyun asked without realizing it.
He really wanted to overcome the current situation.
“Is there a way to save her…?”
A level 100 user couldn’t influence the result of the battle.
That’s how strong the Abyss army that was invading Iluna was.
“You think that the Heavens will lose?”
It looked as if Rutia was thinking about something; then, as if she’d made a decision, she began speaking.
“I may be able to help you a little bit.”
Hyun slowly raised his head after hearing Rutia’s words.
Soon, Rutia began walking toward somewhere.
Ain looked at her suspiciously.
Louise also couldn’t hide her anxiety.
‘What if it’s a trap?’
Hyun was also startled for a moment but shook his head.
‘We have no other choice at the moment.’
The party began following Rutia and walked through the Symmetrical World.
They crossed numerous portals and even walked through a bridge that went over a red lake.
The scenery around changed quickly as if they were in the middle of a dream.
“Where are we going?” Hyun asked Rutia after they’d been walking for a while.
“In the two worlds, the opposing one looks distorted,” Rutia answered with a smile.
“One step here doesn’t equal one step in the other world—it can be longer or shorter.”
Rutia’s answers were vague and hard to understand.
Hyun, who more or less caught what she wanted to say, assumed that what she meant was that they could use the Symmetrical World to shorten travel distance.
Although he didn’t know the exact theory regarding the difference in space density yet.
Hyun was about to ask for more details when Rutia asked a question.
“If you could use Teleport, where would you want to go?”
“Teleport? Can you use it?!”
“To be more precise, it isn’t Teleport, but it’s very similar. I can send you anywhere on Iluna.”
At Rutia’s words, Hyun’s head began working faster.
The reason why he was feeling so helpless was that he couldn’t do anything.
What did it matter if they got out of the Symmetrical World? By the time they returned to the city, the whole situation would probably be already over!
But what if they could be sent anywhere?
Hyun tried to remember the battle that’d taken place in Asra Online.
‘We must go there!’
The largest battlefield was, of course, where the last magic circle was located, but small battles were happening all over the place.
But even among them, there was a place where a battle that could be called a turning point happened.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that one of the reasons why the Heavens had lost was because they had made a huge mistake.
If he could change the result of that battle, maybe he could find a way to save Louise.
‘If I can buy enough time…’
He glanced at Louise, who was next to him, and started to make some calculations.
‘If it’s us… Maybe we can do it…!’
The chances of Louise surviving were slim, but that was a huge difference from having no chance.
Was it possible or not?
He wouldn’t know until he tried, but it was worth trying.
To make this possibility real, Hyun began thinking about numerous things.
All without realizing the stares everyone else was giving him.
* * *
While the last city was noisy because of the battle…
Steel Rock, who had been a ranker in Asra Online, was at the top of the tower located in the main temple.
Usually, there would be some high-ranking Priest NPC guarding the place, but it was silent.
Maria had sent the people who couldn’t fight back to Asra, and the rest were busy fighting, so that’s how Steel Rock had been able to climb up the tower without anyone bothering him.
‘Just as expected, there isn’t anyone here.’
After climbing up the stairs, Steel Rock finally reached the top and looked around.
There, the last magic circle was beaming a light toward the sky.
It was the city’s heart.
The moment that magic circle went off, the Heavens would immediately lose.
‘I’m glad it’s safe.’
Steel Rock sighed in relief.
According to the previous game’s story, Iluna’s Quest was supposed to happen three years after the main story.
But why had the incident been moved forward?
No one knew the reason.
Steel Rock was worrying about if something unexpected had happened because of the circle, but after looking at the magic circle, it seemed like things hadn’t changed yet compared to the past.
‘I guess he will soon appear.’
Translator – Daniel Shin
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
The reason why the Heavens lost in the previous game wasn’t that the defense lines had been defeated.
—It was because the magic circle had suddenly lost its light.
It happened because of a spy.
Because of that guy’s betrayal, the final light had been extinguished, which had made the Heavens’ army lose their morale as they had been defeated shortly after.
‘Haha, how much contribution rate will I receive?’
Unlike back then, Steel Rock knew the future.
If he could eliminate the spy that would soon appear, he would receive a lot of merit.
Asrian’s merit system was precise and escalated.
The end result probably wouldn’t change, but there probably wouldn’t be a user who could match his contribution rate thanks to him having protected the last magic circle.
In the guild he was part of, easy strategies like that were shared fairly, and now, it was Steel Rock’s turn.
“Hmm? Did he already appear?”
He was spending time while sitting down.
Steel Rock felt that someone was getting closer.
A shadow reflected on the walls was drawing near.
Steel Rock took out his weapon.
According to his memory, he should be able to deal with the spy.
By killing him, he probably would be able to increase the life of the magic circle a lot, and thanks to that, he would probably receive a lot of contribution.
But it didn’t take long before his expectations went wrong.
As the figure of the spy emerged from the shadows, Steel Rock’s sword fell from his hands in surprise.
Although he could only see his silhouette, he knew who that person was.
The Magic Swordsman wielding a blue longsword was someone every Asrian user knew.
He could feel a sharp energy that couldn’t be felt through screenshots.
—It was Lattice.
The user who had never lost the 1st position in the rankings after starting to play Asrian.
“Hmm? Is anyone here?”
Lattice laughed after seeing Steel Rock.
“So you’re an Asra user.”
Surprisingly, Lattice knew Steel Rock’s face.
Because they’d never seen each other, Steel Rock replied in surprise.
“Why are you…”
“What? Is there any reason why I shouldn’t have come here?” Lattice said sarcastically.
His voice was as cold as the blue longsword he was wielding.
“I don’t know what you’re doing here… But if you don’t want to die, move on. I don’t want to be pursued by the guard again, so I’ll let you go.”
Steel Rock understood what was going on.
He never thought Lattice would take on the spy role and appear there! That was the worst possible outcome.
“Or do you want to die? I don’t care either way.”
“N-no… Wait…!” Steel Rock shouted after seeing Lattice approach him.
Steel Rock thought it was unfair.
Why did something like that happen when it was his turn?!
According to the guild’s policy, it was entirely his fault if something unexpected happened.
If he gave up there, he would lose a huge amount of contribution rate.
With the hopes of saving himself, Steel Rock proposed something.
He tried using the information as bait.
“Wait! I’m going to give you information worth as much as the contribution rate of this quest…! So can you just let me have this one?”
But Lattice just laughed at Steel Rock’s words.
Lattice took out his sword.
“I just wasted time.”
Lattice’s sword was about to cut Steel Rock.
A word came out from Steel Rock’s mouth, which made Lattice stop his sword.
“Hyun…! Do you know who Hyun is?”
The moment he heard that name, Lattice’s hands stopped.
The blue longsword stopped at Steel Rock’s neck.
—His last resource had worked.
‘As expected, he knows him…!’
If it was a user like Lattice, he’d probably heard that name before.
Just like he thought, Lattice reacted the moment he heard Hyun’s name.
Steel Rock took that opportunity and kept talking.
“I’ll give you information about Hyun… You’ll probably end up fighting against him one day.”
Steel Rock’s last card made Lattice think.
He silently thought for a while.
After a while, he answered back with a smile.
“What about things like fighting style or weakness…?”
The truth was that even Steel Rock didn’t know the answers to those things.
Although he remembered Hyun’s fighting style, the only weakness he could think of was that he’d lost a couple of times against Ain.
“No… It doesn’t matter who it is. No one can be my opponent. I guess you don’t have any other useful information.”
After refusing that last offer, Lattice’s eyes shone.
Steel Rock’s eyes changed.
“This damn guy!”
Even until the end, he couldn’t give up on the quest.
He thought that, maybe if he landed a surprise attack on him, maybe he would be able to win.
In a fight among users, there were cases of a victory being decided in an instant.
If he was lucky, he would be able to kill him and monopolize the contribution rate. After thinking that, Steel Rock began moving.
Steel Rock’s weapon drew a huge line.
‘Damn, did it miss…?’
After feeling his sword cut through the air, he immediately backed off.
Even though Steel Rock didn’t enjoy PvP, he knew the main movements people used back then in Asra.
An average user would’ve probably died immediately, but the opponent was Lattice.
Immediately after that, Steel Rock felt strange.
[You’ve received 33% of your HP as damage!]
[Your waist has been cut!]
[You won’t be able to log in for the next 48 hours!]
Steel Rock discovered he’d died after reading the system messages.
While his field of vision was tilting, he could hear Lattice’s voice.
“It isn’t only you who knows about those silly techniques.”
Lattice had managed to cut him from behind.
His blue longsword had cut Steel Rock’s body in half.
He wouldn’t have been able to do that if he hadn’t been able to guess what his attack would be.
After ensuring that Steel Rock had died, he sheathed his sword.
He knew about the top 50 rankers from the previous game.
The first Asra Online user he’d met had been easier to defeat than he’d initially thought.
“Was he someone who only focused on hunting?”
According to his information, Steel Rock had once reached the 20th place in the rankings.
He was too weak, even considering that was the best possible ranking he had been able to achieve.
He naturally thought of something.
The ID that guy mentioned before dying…
Hyun, the former number one, what kind of person was he?
Lattice tried to think rationally.
Had he overestimated him?
He thought that was a possibility.
The number of players in Asrian couldn’t be compared to the previous game, which was why the number of talented players was low as well.
‘Maybe he’s weaker than expected.’
After ordering his thoughts, he approached the magic circle.
The lives of the Heavens’ forces were at Lattice’s hands.
– Destroy the 7 Magic Circles that exist on Iluna! (Amount Destroyed: 6)
He was finally about to finish the quest that he had dragged out so much.
Destroying the magic circles was an easy task.
He had to put the stones he’d received from a Demon in the middle of the magic circles; once he did that, the heavenly light started to die down.
Lattice suddenly found the situation funny.
The result of the battle would be decided there and not at the city’s walls.
Countless lives were being lost pointlessly.
‘A useless struggle.’
Lattice didn’t doubt for a moment and slowly walked toward the magic circle.
At that moment, a red light shone from behind him.