Return of the Frozen Player Chapter 44

Chapter 44. The Wild Forest (1)

“Go. I won’t walk you out.” Kwon Noya sent him off with a heartless farewell and didn’t look back as he went upstairs.

Kwon Palmo gave a dry laugh. “Please don’t feel too bad. He’s just not good at expressing his feelings.”

Seo Jun-Ho knew better than anyone. He smiled back, and Kwon Palmo took out a small pouch.

“What’s this?”

“Agarit tea leaves. He told me to give it to you. He has never treated a new person this well before…He must really like you.” Part of Kwon Noya’s charm was the way he took care of you despite his grumpy demeanor.

“Tell Noya I said thank you.”

“Alright. And…” Kwon Palmo’s eyes sparkled, but he shook his head. “It’s nothing. You’ll know soon enough.” Kwon Palmo didn’t add anything to his mysterious words and bowed. His muscles folded as he did so. “Please take care.”

Seo Jun-Ho tilted his head as he left the workshop and looked behind him.

‘I’ll know soon enough? What?’

He hadn’t said anything else, so there was nothing for Seo Jun-Ho to think of. The only feeling he got was that it wouldn’t be a bad thing.


“Dark elves?”

Cha Si-Eun had been organizing the documents when she repeated his words in shock.

“Yes. Why are you so surprised?”

“They’re famous monsters. For multiple reasons.” She quickly tapped on her Vita and started to read an article. “Dark elves refer to elves who betrayed the World Tree and got drunk on dark power. They go around in tribes, so the lowest difficulty of their Gates is ‘Hard.’ If you’re lucky, you can find the legendary elixir in their village.”

“It’s a good summary.”

“Thank you. Are you thinking of going into the Grantham Gate?”

“Correct. Do you have any information?”

“Mm, it’s a little too vague to be called information, but there’s a domestic article about it.” Cha Si-Eun projected the article in front of Seo Jun-Ho.

[Cheong-hae Guild to participate in Grantham Gate raid.]

“Cheong-hae Guild.” They were a prestigious Guild that was famous even outside the country. It was also the Guild of Cha Min-Woo, who he met while fighting the Cinder Fox.

“Anything else?”

“Um, I think Cheong-hae is the entirety of the Korean team, but there are also Players from all over the world gathering to participate.”

“All over the world…? Wait. What about the Gate information?” All he knew was that you needed to be at least level 20 to enter.

“The Gate is called [Wild Forest]. Your level has to be below 35, and the clear condition is defeating the leader of the Black Moss tribe. The party cap is…” Cha Si-Eun glanced at Seo Jun-Ho and smiled nervously. “200.”

“…Oh my god.” Seo Jun-Ho held his head in his hands.

A Gate’s conditions were never advantageous for either the Players or the monsters.

‘The bastard of a system is fair, after all.’

There was a simple reason why the party cap was at 200.

‘It’s how hard the monsters are to defeat…’

Or it could be that the Gate was insanely big and that many monsters would appear. No matter what, it was definitely one of those two.

“The Wild Forest.” He would prefer it if all he had to do was defeat one strong boss monster. It was impossible to clear a Gate while protecting over 100 Players.


Drip, drip.

Rain fell as if there was a hole in the sky. Two men nibbled on stale bread in a shack halfway up a mountain.

“Dammit.” The bread was tasteless, and Kal Signer threw it away. He seemed pissed. His subordinate watched him carefully as they also put their bread down.

“Nothing’s going the way I want it to.” He was furious for he was in a precarious position.

The Sword Saint Kim Woo-Joong was still chasing him relentlessly. Nowadays, he was barely able to sleep two hours a day, and that time was still getting shorter.

‘That monster alone will make me go crazy…’

Kal Signer gnashed his teeth. He received news this morning that the Watchdogs had been completely annihilated and that he had failed in his objective. The Fiend Association was obviously angry, and he had just received an order to return.

‘This is the worst.’

He didn’t expect the Watchdogs to fail, and he also did not even imagine that the Skeleton Mage would be killed.

‘Nazad Hallow is famous for treasuring his disciples, and I made him die…’

He swallowed. How had things gotten this bad? He looked for someone to direct his anger toward and settled on one man.

“…Seo Jun-Ho.” He was the starting point of it all and he continued to wreck his plans. Whenever something went wrong, Seo Jun-Ho had always been involved in the mess.

‘Seo Jun-Ho also participated in the Las Vegas auction.’

He had been there when the Shadow Brothers were killed and the Watchdogs were annihilated. It was a rational conclusion.

‘But the Association won’t think so.’

He had already talked to them, but they didn’t buy it. From a logical point of view, it made no sense that a Player that had debuted only two months ago could defeat all of them. If Kal Signer was on the other side, he would have also snorted at the notion.

‘They are probably thinking that I’m trying to pin the blame on someone else.‘

Just as he was thinking that…


Someone opened the door of the hut and stepped in.



Neither of them had been able to sense their presence. Kal Signer and his subordinate nervously grabbed their weapons.

Rumble! Crash!

Thunder flashed ominously, and the stranger wearing a magician’s hat stood silently at the door. As soon as they saw who it was, the two dropped their weapons. Sweat started to bead on their foreheads as they got on one knee.

‘Demonic energy…!’

‘Their power is like one of the executives’ Supreme Masters!’

The Fiend Association was a group of scums. The only reason why there was a hierarchy was because of the Supreme Masters. They adapted the special traits of the demonic clan and looked exactly like them.

Being scared of a fiend that was stronger than them was understandable.


The stranger was silent for a second longer before they turned to Kal Signer.

“Are you Kal Signer?”

“…..Y-yes.” He wouldn’t dare lie. The violent energy filled the hut and covered everything. The stranger stared at Kal Signer for a moment before they took off their hat, revealing the face of an elderly man whose face was as cold as ice. He spoke. “I am Nazad Hallow. Even if I don’t say it, you should know the reason why I’ve come to you.”


“N-Nazad Hallow-nim?” Kal Signer’s mind went blank. Did this old man come to avenge his disciple’s death?

But Nazad said something else. “I saw your report. I’m intrigued.”

“…My report?”

“The one about Seo Jun-Ho.”

Seo Jun-Ho!

Realizing what he was saying, Kal Signer nodded eagerly. “Y-yes. I posted a report about him”

“If I follow, the rookie named Seo Jun-Ho defeated the Shadow Brothers and the Watchdogs…he’s also deeply connected to my disciple’s death. Is that what you meant?”

“Yes. Seo Jun-Ho is no doubt related to their deaths.” Kal Signer wasn’t actually sure. But if he wanted to survive, he had to insist that Seo Jun-Ho was related to those incidents.

“Hm. But how is that possible? It has barely been two months since that rookie debuted.”


Kal Signer’s eyes quickly shifted. He was both powerless and powerful in this situation, but he had the wits befitting of an executive of the Fiend Association.

‘Nazad Hallow didn’t come here to ask me such trivial questions.’

Someone as powerful as Nazad wouldn’t move without a clear goal in mind. Kal Signer realized what it was and slowly raised his head. “If I’m honest, I’m not sure how it’s possible either.”

“…You don’t know?” Nazad Hallow’s eyes were as cold as frost. Magic and Demonic energy mixed into one, gripping Kal Signer by the throat and raising him up.


“Do you think I came all the way here to hear that?”

“I-I really don’t know. But…!” Kal Signer was desperate to save himself. “I will…capture him…and bring him to you!”


Nazad held him for a moment longer and tapped his cane lightly on the ground.


Kal Signer fell and coughed violently.

Nazad leaned in. “I will give you half a year. Find him and bring him to me within that time,” he said coldly.

“Cough…B-but, Nazad-nim, he has to reach level 30 before he can come to the 2nd floor. I can’t do anything about that…”

“Don’t misunderstand. You are gambling your life to make the impossible, possible.”

Nazad scattered into dust and disappeared.


The hut was once again full of the sound of rain. Kal Signer’s subordinate quickly scrambled to him.

“Signer-nim, are you alright?”

“…Dammit.” Kal Signer banged his fist on the floor and bit his lip. “We’ll ditch Kim Woo-Joong and go down to the 1st floor. Find a Pathfinder,” he ordered gravely.

The Pathfinder would help him go down the Dimension Elevator while avoiding the eyes of the Player Association.


Drip, drip.

An AI carrier followed Seo Jun-Ho as he walked. He entered the room that Cha Si-Eun had booked for him and looked up at the gloomy Grantham sky.

“This country’s weather is as bad as ever.” England could go through four seasons in one day. When he had arrived at the airport, the sky was bright and the weather was summery, but it had become autumnal in the afternoon.

Seo Jun-Ho organized his luggage and checked his schedule first.

‘The raid is in four days.’

He only came here early to make sure that his body was well-adjusted to the time difference so he could be at peak condition when the raid started. The more experienced a Player was, the more they had to pay attention to their body’s condition before they went into a Gate.

“I’ll have to get warmed up in these four days.”

Most Players spent the days before a raid adjusting their diet and doing light exercise. But in order to bring out the best when he fought, Seo Jun-Ho made a different choice.

“Let’s go for a long walk.”

Before he entered the Wild Forest, he was planning to clear another Gate in the area.

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