Return of the Frozen Player Chapter 36

Chapter 36. Watchdog Hunt (1)

‘They’re only 30 centimeters away.’

Both of them were within his attack range. If he made a surprise attack, he could cut their heads off with a single stroke.

‘But…I don’t have a good excuse to do that.’

He knew that they were fiends, but he’d gotten that information from reading another fiend’s memories. If he killed them, he would have no way to justify his actions and prove that they were fiends.

‘The best-case scenario would be for them to reveal that they’re fiends themselves…’

But that was impossible. They weren’t amateurs who would reveal themselves in a place with lots of Players; they would most likely rather die than reveal their identities as fiends.

‘Then the only thing I can do is to make my own playing field.’

Luckily, they didn’t know that he knew who they were. Seo Jun-Ho calmed himself as he turned to Gong Ju-Ha and laughed.

“Isn’t this fun? I’ll play a few more rounds.”

“Geez, a gambling addiction is a scary thing…” Even as he listened to her expressing her concerns about addiction, Seo Jun-Ho didn’t let his attention on the Watchdogs waver.

“Shall I start?” The two Watchdogs nodded as they pushed forward 10 chips each. At that, Seo Jun-Ho pushed all 20 of his chips forward.

“Please begin.”

“Since there are three people this time, I’ll be using five cups.” The dealer began to elegantly shuffle the cups. As he got faster, it began to look like he was shuffling 20 cups instead of five.

“Wow, that dealer is no joke.”

“Who is he? With that level of skill, he was probably famous at his prime.” Even onlookers admired his beautiful skills.

Tap, tap. Tap, tap, tap!

The dealer finished shuffling and looked at the participating Players, waiting for them to choose.

“The far right.” As soon as Seo Jun-Ho answered, the delinquent woman and the skinny man followed.

“The middle.”

“Let’s go with the far right.”

The dealer flipped the cups. Seo Jun-Ho and the skinny man were right.


Gong Ju-Ha’s eyes sparkled as she looked at his chips that had increased to 40 in an instant.

“Wow. Mr. Snake Head, you have a talent for this. How are you so good?”

“That’s….” Seo Jun-ho trailed off as he reminisced.

‘Green told me.’

One of the Five Heroes, Gilberto Green. Seo Jun-Ho had been curious while he was learning marksmanship from Gilberto, and asked how he dealt with an enemy that made good fakes or an enemy who moved faster than his eyes could follow. Back then, Gilberto only said one thing.

– Watch the substance, not the shell.

His advice immensely helped. It was still effective today.

‘If you look at their stats, Gong Ju-Ha’s are probably higher than the dealer’s stats. But there’s a reason that she can’t win despite that.’

She only watched the shell, or more specifically the cup. On the other hand, Seo Jun-Ho was able to tell which cup the ball was under right away.

‘The dealer’s ability has nothing to do with speed.’

The afterimages from his movements weren’t created from how fast he was moving. The answer was illusions. They were illusions that the dealer was creating.

‘If you watch his shoulders, wrists, and cups at the same time, it’s obvious that something’s off.’

The dealer would use the illusory skill after shuffling and changing the cup the ball was under. It really was something of a scam. But if you could see through the trick, it wasn’t hard to guess the answer.

‘You just have to watch his shoulders. The way his muscles move is the answer.’

It was easy. Seo Jun-Ho just had to watch the dealer’s shoulder muscles and count how many times the dealer’s arms moved, how they moved, and which direction they moved. If he just told Gong Ju-Ha the basics, she wouldn’t lose a single game against this dealer.

“I’ll tell you when we’re done.” Seo Jun-Ho organized his chips and glanced at the skinny man next to him.

‘Did he guess it by chance?’ To check that, he played the game three more times. The delinquent girl didn’t win a single time, but the skinny man and Seo Jun-Ho won all of them.

‘He’s not just copying my answer.’

In two of the games, the man had answered before him. Obviously, he’d figured out the trick.

‘This skinny man…he’ll be harder to deal with than the woman.’

If possible, he wanted to take one of them out tonight. As such, it was important to evaluate their skills before the battle.

As he finished his thought, the dealer got up and spoke sadly. “Please wait a moment. There will be a dealer change.”

Seo Jun-Ho had won all four of his bets. On top of that, they were all all-ins. His 1 million won had quickly become 16 million.

The loss was too great, so the casino had decided to change the dealer.

“A-amazing. You made 16 million in five minutes…” Gong Ju-Ha looked at him in envy. She wasn’t jealous of the money he won, but his skills in games.

‘Perfect timing.’

“The dealer’s gone, so let me show you something interesting,” Seo Jun-Ho said loudly. He reached into his jacket and fumbled around the inner pocket. Of course, there was nothing in it. But when he pulled his hand out, he was holding an ice compass. He used his Frost skill in that short amount of time to make it.

“Wow, that looks pretty.” Gong Ju-Ha’s eyes sparkled as she studied it. The two fiends next to them were also secretly interested.

Seo Jun-Ho smiled faintly. “President Shim Deok-Gu lent me this. It’s quite an interesting artifact.”

“It’s an artifact? Now that you say that, I feel like I can sense magic from it…” Of course, she would sense magic from it. After all, it was made out of magic.

“If you use magic on this compass, it helps you find certain people.”

“Certain people?”

“Haha, well there’s no reason that they would be here, but…” As he spoke, he poured magic into the compass, and the needle started to spin violently. When it finally stopped, Seo Jun-Ho looked up to where it was pointing.

“…Huh?” Gong Ju-Ha had been staring at the needle, and she blinked. It was pointing to the two people next to Seo Jun-Ho. “Um, Mr. Snake Head. The needle’s pointing at them.”

Seo Jun-Ho feigned a shocked expression and pretended to hide it. “Oh, why…why is it doing that?” He swallowed, his face unreadable. “Team Leader, my stomach hurts, so I’m gonna go to the bathroom…”

“Oh, go ahead.” As Seo Jun-Ho got up and waved to Gong Ju-Ha, so did the skinny man.

“I’m going to the bathroom too,” said the skinny man to the delinquent woman.

“Will it take long?”

“No, I’ll be back in 5 minutes,” he replied with a firm voice.


Seo Jun-Ho did not go to the bathroom. He ran out of the hotel like he was being chased, and hid inside a back alley.

Blink, blink.

It was a dark alleyway, and the only light came from a streetlamp that blinked occasionally.

“Huff, huff…” To anyone else, it would seem like Seo Jun-Ho was hyperventilating. The skinny man that had been following him stepped casually into the same alleyway.

“I don’t think this is the bathroom.”

“….” Seo Jun-Ho stared at him wordlessly.

The skinny man smiled as he spoke. “Your luck is really bad. Don’t you think so?” The skinny man judged the man in front of him to be quite unlucky.

‘An ice compass. It’s probably a tool to find fiends.’

He’d never imagined that such an artifact existed. If the needle hadn’t pointed exactly at him and the delinquent woman, he wouldn’t have known what it was.

‘No one can know who we are for tomorrow’s attack.’

This was why he chased after the man.

His bones were visible in his hands as he gripped a sword in his hand.

“I’ll kill you painlessly.”

Before he could attack, however, Seo Jun-Ho looked down at the ice compass in his hand. It had started to melt, and he tossed it aside without a second thought. As the skinny man watched it shatter on the ground, his forehead wrinkled.

‘It broke? An artifact broke so easily?’

Artifacts had magic in them and were highly durable. Even if it was the weakest artifact, it wouldn’t break from simply falling to the ground.

The look in the skinny man’s eyes changed. “It’s fake…In other words, this is a trap.”

“I thought so while we were gambling earlier, but you catch on pretty quick.”

As Seo Jun-Ho unsheathed his sword with a shing, the fear on his face disappeared. He now looked like a hunter observing his prey.

“How did you know?

“No comment.”

“Is there anyone else who knows who we are?”

“No comment.”

“…How much do you know?” That was a question worth answering. It would keep him from running away. Seo Jun-Ho gave a lopsided smile.

“Hm, well, I know your schedule for tomorrow.”

“I see.”

Seeing how Seo Jun-Ho knew about tomorrow’s attack, he couldn’t be allowed to live. The skinny man swung his sword without warning.


The sword pierced through the air, aimed at Seo Jun-Ho’s neck.

“…!” Seo Jun-Ho barely managed to dodge. His face hardened as he touched his neck.

“You dodged that? Not bad.”

Seo Jun-Ho did his best to dodge, but the man was relentless. At this moment, they both had the same thought in mind.

‘…He’s fast.’

Seo Jun-Ho’s speed was over 60, but it was hard for him to keep up.

‘But it’s not just a difference in stats.’

Even if the skinny man’s speed stat was over 80, he shouldn’t be this fast. That left one option.


Seo Jun-Ho stared at the skinny man with a hard look in his eyes.

The skinny man tilted his sword and said, “So you’ve figured it out. I’m an acceleration skill user, and I have three levels. That was the first one…” He readied his stance again. “And this one will be the third level.”

“…Why are you telling me that?”

“I evaluated you with the first attack. You won’t be able to block this one even if you know it’s coming.”

‘Damn, he’s quick on the uptake.’

The skinny man was correct. It would be impossible for Seo Jun-Ho to dodge the third-level attack when he was already having a hard time keeping up with the skinny man’s current speed. Not only that but his opponent’s eyes were starting to turn red.

‘He’s going to use demonic energy on top of his acceleration.’

The skinny man was planning to kill him with the next attack.

“Dammit.” Seo Jun-Ho clicked his tongue.

‘He catches on quickly, and he’s cautious. But once he decides to do something, he doesn’t back out.’

Seo Jun-Ho realized after observing the skinny man at the casino and in the alley right now.

‘There’s no use in dragging this out. Everything will end in the next strike.’

Seo Jun-Ho’s eyes were cold. Each member of the Watchdogs was stronger than he was. If his concentration faltered at all, his head would go flying the next moment.

“…Phew.” Seo Jun-Ho changed his mind. He took his stance and slowly closed his eyes. He no longer needed his sight for this battle.

“You won’t be able to follow me with your eyes, so you chose to close them…Not a bad choice.” The skinny man stared at his opponent and lowered his stance. He planned to cut through Seo Jun-Ho’s windpipe with this attack.

‘Let’s see, the best place to aim is…’

Out of all the pressure points on a human body, the best place to kill with a shortsword were the head and heart. He checked Seo Jun-Ho’s stance, and the skinny man’s eyes flashed.

‘There are a lot of openings around his head. I can slice through his neck with a single stroke.’

He made his decision.

‘I’ll go with the heart.’

It was a cautious decision out of the one in a thousand chance that Seo Jun-Ho had intentionally made this opening. On the off chance that was true, he wouldn’t put himself in danger.

“Goodbye.” With that, the skinny man pushed off the ground.


When his footsteps rang out…


Darkness seemed to explode from the void and covered the alleyway. It blocked the man’s vision, filling his sight with darkness.

“Guh?!” He was surprised by the unexpected situation, but he didn’t stop.

‘A smokescreen won’t change anything.’

He knew where the heart was. Even if his opponent dodged, his opponent still wouldn’t be able to deal with his speed.

‘I just need to stab the target with my sword.’

He didn’t hesitate, and his sword didn’t waver. The skinny man accelerated and swung his sword.


It made a terrifying sound as his sword buried itself into Seo Jun-Ho’s chest.

‘As expected.’

The corner of his lip curled up. As expected, his sword was faster.

But there was something he had overlooked.


Seo Jun-Ho never intended to dodge. He knew better than anyone else that he wouldn’t be able to.

“I said this before, but you’re too cautious.”


His caution had been his downfall. Especially because his opponent was someone like Seo Jun-Ho who knew how to engage in psychological warfare.

Crackle? That’s not the sound a sword makes when it hits flesh…?

Realizing that something was wrong, the skinny man quickly dropped his sword and tried to retreat, but Seo Jun-Ho wasn’t so careless as to let him be.



The man finally realized that his hand and sword were both frozen in ice.

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