Hard Carry Support Chapter 194

Chapter 194 – Where’s Louise? (2)

「Are you busy?」

A reply came after a while.

「Hello? Are you planning to send me more footage?」

「No. We aren’t going to make videos for the time being.」

Thanks to the success of the History Quest strategy videos, Hyun didn’t feel the need to upload more videos.

He earned enough money just to lay around and play for a long time without doing anything else thanks to those videos.

The day before, he’d spent almost 80 thousand USD on a new capsule machine.

He had plenty of room for other uses, too.

「Then, what’s going on…? Ah, you’re going to pay me, right?」

「Oh, yeah. I forgot about that. I’ll give that to you tomorrow, but besides that… You can talk with the Duke, right?」

「Yes, but why do you ask?」

「Then come to the private room.」

AHyun began to prepare for the encounter with the Duke.

‘I haven’t done anything wrong, but…’

He decided to take insurance just in case.

He wanted to increase friendliness with the Duke as much as possible.

‘Blessing of Darkness, On.’

After a while, TarrTarr got to the private room and called the name of the Duke. Intense Demonic Energy began gathering in the lobby.

[Duke Bahmir wants to visit the private room of the Shade Guild!]

[Will you let him in? Y/N]

A black magic circle appeared on the floor.

Bahmir, who had walked out of the magic circle, was emitting ferocious energy as always.

As the figure of the Duke became clearer, Hyun became more nervous.

The Duke had seen his, Ain’s, and Louise’s faces in Darkness’s land.

Since he knew that Louise was Darkness, how would he react to him?

The Demonic Energy curtain went off, and the Duke appeared with a smile and looked around.

“Long time no see.”

“Haha. Is that right?”

“Yes. It’s been five years for me. You two haven’t changed at all.”

Bahmir had clearly gone through some changes.

It wasn’t that he’d become older, but the Demonic Energy that lingered around him had changed.

Hyun could feel that the Duke’s Demonic Energy had become thicker and stronger compared to five years before.

“Duke… you’ve changed a lot.”

“Woah, you noticed that? To be more precise, all those that serve Darkness have changed.”

As Darkness recovered her strength, all of her underlings would become stronger.

The energy surrounding Bahmir had probably changed because the soul knot that connected him with Darkness had become stronger.

‘Does the Duke know where Louise is?’

If the letter hadn’t warned him, Hyun would have immediately asked him, but he was thinking of making the Duke open his mouth first.

Thankfully, because Hyun had the ‘Blessing of Darkness,’ the Duke had a positive opinion of him.

They sat at the table in the lobby along with TarrTarr.

Hyun responded positively and agreed to what the Duke said in a close imitation of what someone just entering the workforce would be like.

Hyun had one more secret weapon…

He always thought spending money on food inside the game was a waste, but something happened that changed his opinion.

The alcohol with a taste that changed depending on the amount of Demonic Energy you had, the Frenzy Immersed in Darkness!

‘To think this would be of help here.’

He’d bought too much, so he couldn’t keep it in his inventory, but Louise would drink them all if he left them hanging around anywhere, so that’s why he’d hidden them.

“Hmm? You have this?”

“Yes. I prepared it for the Duke.”

“Hahaha, good.”

Bahmir’s smile deepened after seeing the Frenzy Immersed in Darkness.

Good alcohol and the Blessing of Darkness…

‘Fufu. Yes, you should give me any information you can.’

By using a strategy to increase the positive opinion as much as possible, Hyun was able to obtain quite a lot of information from the Duke.

Bahmir’s story started with a brag about himself.

He was proud that his rank went from around 100 to 50.

According to him, it wasn’t common for a Duke that used to be a human to reach the top 50.

The society of the Dukes that belonged to the Abyss was a part of the game Hyun didn’t know much about, so he just listened to Bahmir’s explanation.

Suddenly, the Duke began talking about that day five years prior.

“What relation do you have with Darkness? You were with her before.”

“Ah. About that, you see…”

Hyun told him the answer he’d prepared beforehand about how he’d met Louise and why she was with him.

He told him that, before the ceremony, he didn’t know she was Darkness. Bahmir nodded when he heard that because he also hadn’t noticed her identity.

After a while, something interesting came out of Bahmir’s mouth.

“Have you heard anything about Darkness’s movement in the past five years?”


“I’m asking if you’ve heard any news about her.”

At that moment, Hyun thought of the wanted poster and the letter, but he shook his head.

“No… I don’t know what happened while time was stopped.”

“I asked just in case… but as expected, you also don’t know.”

Bahmir clicked his tongue and began explaining what had happened during the past years.

“I’m going to tell you what happened. After the ceremony ended, we were connected with Darkness through Empathy for a very short moment.”

“A short moment…?”

“Yes. After a short while, her Empathy was sealed again, and once the ceremony was done, she disappeared.”

That was something Hyun didn’t know.

According to Bahmir, no one had seen Louise for the past five years.

“Then… you also don’t know where Darkness is?”

“It isn’t just me. No one has seen or felt her. Scothanatos said he followed the traces of Demonic Energy, but he wasn’t sure where she disappeared to.”

“Why did she disappear?”

“I’m not sure… If the skeleton doesn’t know, then no one does.”

‘Even the Dukes don’t know…!’

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At that point, Hyun realized history had changed once more.

In the previous game, from the first moment Darkness appeared, she used the Dukes as her underlings.

She had borrowed the strength of the Dukes to increase her influence and was a menace to the Heavenly Beings because of that.

On the other hand, Louise was alone, wandering around somewhere in the Empire.

“But still, there’s a place I can think of.”

Hyun came back to his senses after hearing what Bahmir said next.

“Where’s that?”

Bahmir pointed toward the sky and said, “The sky.”

“The sky…?”

“It is something that Scothanatos said.”

“You said no one knows where she went to.”

“That’s right. That’s why I said it’s a place I can think of.’

For Darkness to fully recover her strength, she had to regain the pieces of her Ego.

The place where her next Ego fragment was sealed was the sky, so that’s why the Duke thought that.

Hyun was troubled.

According to the Duke’s explanation, Louise was in the sky—just like he’d thought at the beginning. 

‘Since there’s wanted signs for her, she shouldn’t be in the sky…’

In the end, Hyun decided to use the first strategy.

‘I’ll have to find her.’

After the Duke finished part of his explanation, Hyun asked him a question.

“There was something I wanted to ask.”

“Say it.”

“Do you happen to know where the Abyss Repository is?”

Bahmir’s eyes narrowed after hearing the words ‘Abyss Repository’.

“Of course I know.”

“Then, I want to use the Demonic Energy Crystal.”

At Hyun’s request, the Duke asked back in a low voice, “For what purpose…?”

The Abyss Repository was a place allowed to Dukes only. Although Hyun’s action in Darkness’s land was impressive, he was still a normal human being. On top of that, he was a user, so there was no way he’d easily accept.

His being willing to ask for the reason instead of outright denying it was already progress.

‘How should I answer?’

Although he was planning to use it to find Louise… Hyun decided to use another reason just in case.

He thought of a way to get the Duke’s attention and not to touch his nerves.

Hyun showed him the ring Mayday had given him.

“It’s to find this ring’s owner.”

“Hmm? That’s interesting. Does this belong to a Heavenly Being…?”

The Duke’s eyes showed interest.

“Still, it has Demonic Energy.”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“Well. If it’s to find a Heavenly Being, I guess it doesn’t concern me.”

“Does that mean you can let me use the Demonic Energy Crystal?”

“Hmm. If it’s you, I’m sure you won’t do anything dumb…”

The Duke didn’t immediately accept.

“Before that, you’ll have to prove one more thing if you didn’t know about the existence of Darkness before the ceremony.”


Hyun returned to his senses after suddenly hearing a notification sound because he’d received a quest out of nothing.

Bahmir’s story began with an incident Hyun was familiar with.

“You don’t know this… but previously, a rat infiltrated the Abyss Repository. He disappeared after using the Demonic Energy Crystal twice, but we weren’t able to catch him. That’s also why security around the Abyss Repository has become tighter.”

“I see…”

Bahmir’s eyes while saying that were so scary that Hyun couldn’t say it was him who had infiltrated the Abyss Repository.

“We weren’t able to figure out the rat’s intention, but there’s something we’re sure of… He was definitely a spy of the Heavens.”

“A spy…?”

“Yes. These past five years, we’ve exposed numerous spies. There were some cases in which someone from the Heavens managed to hide his identity, and there were some others that were part of the Abyss but changed factions.”

The Duke gave the Holy Knight that was in Kaidan Castle as an example.

Back then, someone from the Heavens had hidden his identity and taken over his castle.

“Of course, we executed the spies, but do you know what all those that changed factions had in common?”

As Hyun shook his head, Bahmir answered with a smile on his face.

“They all were part of ‘Deception’s’ forces!”

He kept talking.

“I have no doubts you are loyal to the Abyss. Not only did you help me recover my castle, but you also managed to make Darkness’s ceremony a success. Still, I’m not sure you won’t get deceived by the forces of Deception.”

Bahmir wanted to make sure of Hyun’s loyalty to Darkness.

“Prove that your loyalty is directed toward Darkness in the Ranking Ceremony. If you do, I’ll let you use the Demonic Energy Crystal.”

Ting! After the Duke finished talking, Hyun got a new message.

[Quest: A faction against a faction]

– Participate in Bahmir’s ceremony and show him you’re loyal to Darkness.

– In the Ranking Ceremony, you’ll have to face Dukes that are against Darkness—Dukes that serve Deception. There might even be spies that belong to the Heavens.

– Could defeating them help Darkness?

(Reward: Increase friendship rate with Bahmir, decrease friendship rate with the forces of Deception)

(On Failure: Decrease friendship rate with the forces of Deception)

“I haven’t seen them personally, but I heard about your abilities many times. According to Mablen and Scothanatos, you’re quite clever. Use that against the forces of Deception.”

“Still… Is there a need to use strategy in a Ranking Ceremony?”

Hyun couldn’t help but have some doubts.

According to his memories, the ceremony consisted of a one-on-one duel that lasted until one was put into a near-death situation.

“I don’t think I’ll have a place in a fight between Dukes…”

“Ah, that’s right. I haven’t told you yet.”

At that moment, something Hyun hadn’t expected came out of the Duke’s mouth.

“Have you heard about ‘tournaments’?”

“After users appeared, many things around the world changed. You really have quite a few forms of entertainment, and they’re all quite addictive. Even during the five years you weren’t here, the users’ culture spread around the world.”

‘Don’t tell me…?’

Suddenly, Hyun imagined something that made no sense.

“How the Ranking Ceremony is conducted changed because of that. It’s similar to the tournaments created by users, so you are probably going to be familiar with it, too.”

What Bahmir said next was exactly what he imagined.

While time was stopped, the culture of the real world spread among the Dukes.

Hyun was so surprised that he couldn’t say anything for a while.

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