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Solo Swordmaster

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Solo Swordmaster

[Translator –  woni]

[Proofreader – sharlottle]

 

Chapter 17: A Bus

'I can understand the government, but I didn't think 『Infinity Guild』 would get directly involved in a matter like this.'

Before he saved the children, Limon had considered fleeing the country.

That would've made it easy to get off the government's radar, and he could ensure the childrens' safety.

The problem was that the children had been trapped inside a safehouse of the 『Infinity Guild』.

Even with their high renown, not even the top ten guilds could get away with kidnapping children to use as hostages.

If the Infinite Monarch took action to cover it up, escaping overseas would be futile.

Unlike the government which was trapped within its own borders, the Monarchs held influence over the entire world.

'To bring down that dude, I'll have to ensure the kids' safety first…'

To capture a snake, one had to grab it head first.

Limon could be a runaway for eternity if things went wrong. He also had a plan to bring down the cause of this conflict.

But that plan couldn't be carried out when he had 23 children with him.

And so, Limon pondered if there was any way he could protect the children while moving freely.

'Is there no safe hideout or something?

The first thing that came to Limon's mind was to hide the children.

Of course, there were tricky conditions to be met.

A place that was out of both the government's and the Infinite Monarch's radar, but also somewhere the children could run away from if they were discovered.

A place where they'll have at least the minimum amount of food, clothing and shelter needed to live.

And to add the cherry on top, a place with someone to care for the children in his place…

'Tsk. There's no such place.'

Even he thought it was senseless.

It would be impossible for him to find such a perfect hideout when he was marked as a traitor, and had no money. 

Even if he did have money, nothing would change.

There isn't a place that would be outside of both the government's and the Infinite Monarch's radar……

"Oh?"

Limon blinked.

Without realizing, he muttered aloud to himself.

"……Come to think of it… there is."

Indeed, there was a place that met all of those impossible conditions. And he didn't even need to pay for it.

But he wasn't happy about it. Rather, he furrowed his brows.

The fact Limon didn't come up with that place until now was because it was that unthinkable of an idea.

'This is kind of a gamble…'

Limon tapped his sword.

There was no guarantee even the most perfect hideout would be safe.

If things went wrong, he could be going against something much more dangerous than the government.

But he didn't think for too long.

"What's the saying… To catch a tiger, one must enter its den?"

After chuckling for a bit, Limon took his hands off his sword.

He pressed the numbers he faintly remembered into his phone.

"Well, I might as well live in clover if I'm already a traitor."

Beep beep beep—

He called 114 and asked for a number. After changing the last digits of that number to 116, he called again. And while the phone was ringing, he pressed 111.

After pressing mysterious numbers several times, one pre-recorded voice could be heard through the line.

"< The number you dialed does not exist. Please check and call agai— >"

"The crouching dragon flies up the sky upon meeting the right opportunity."

"..."

Limon raised the corners of his mouth.

He was worried it wouldn't work because of how long it had been, but his worries were put to rest. It seemed like at the very least, the call went through correctly when the recorded voice suddenly paused.

And after a moment, Limon became sure of himself once he heard the voice over the receiver.

"< Who are you? >"

"That's not something you people would normally ask."

"< It is different when it's someone who contacts through a secret mark used only a decade ago. >"

Limon smirked hearing the old man's voice that was aged, yet stern as ever. Though he could say the same thing, this was a much better response than he expected.

"Let her know."

"< Her? Who are you talking abo— >"

"That the Master of Swords just got fired as a civil servant."

"< ...! >"

Limon knew that the moment he revealed his identity, the person on the other end of the line would hold his breath. He knew the man was frozen in place, and only his heart could be heard hammering against his chest.

Well, it was understandable.

Seeing how he remembered the secret mark, with his voice sounding at least 60, it was only natural for someone of his age group to tremble upon hearing his name.

Especially for the very person who picked up the phone.

"You know my location, right? Come pick me up."

"< ... >"

Upon Limon's absurd request, a heavy silence was heard on the other end of the line.

Without a single response, the sound of his heart instantaneously turned cold. Smirking at the cool-headedness of the person-in-charge of 'that place', Limon added on.

"Oh, and don't forget to bring a school bus."

 

***

Reaper Scans

Translator - woni

Proofreader - sharlottle

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Slide—

He moved his hand, putting the piece of steak he'd cut and dipped in sauce into his mouth.

His precise movements could be considered art.

Even teachers who spent their lives teaching the royal family would be amazed, as he perfectly implemented court etiquette.

But Park Hyun-gun couldn't watch and appreciate it. 

He only waited in a cold sweat for the man to finish his meal.

"Excluding the Liberation Brigade, 148 high-level players, 50 soldiers of Squad 909 armed with state of the art weaponry, and two Grand Dukes."

Flinch—

As soon as he opened his mouth, Park Hyun-gun couldn't help but tremble. This was the first time the man had opened his mouth to speak when he wasn't even finished with his meal.

"Did I hear you correctly?"

"Yes."

"Not only did every single one of them get annihilated, even the PAB director died as well?"

"……That is correct."

Park Hyun-gun was doubtful even as he spoke.

Would his answers really be taken as the truth?

Even he thought he'd heard a terrible joke when he first received the information.

Though he did report it after verifying multiple times that it was real, he still couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong.

How could all of them die to one person?

And that person was a civilian. Not a Monarch, not even a player. 

To Park Hyun-gun, that was more absurd than the world ending the following day.

"Hero of the past nation, Guardian of Humanity, they say…"

But the man didn't get angry. He only nodded at Limon's nicknames, as if savoring a weird dish at a cheap street restaurant.

"As expected, it looks like those nicknames were all there for a reason."

Surprisingly, the man came to terms with the situation candidly.

Park Hyun-gun, while taken aback by the Infinite Monarch Lee Chun-gi's reaction, quickly hung his head.

"Forgive me. My investigation was insufficient."

They weren't ill-prepared, either.
"There is no need for you to apologize, Chief Park. No one would have expected you to fail after all your preparation.

'Ah……'

Park Hyun-gun understood the reason Lee Chun-gi wasn't reprimanding him. Even Lee Chun-gi himself hadn't seen this coming.

It was like they brought a gun out to kill a chicken, only for the bullets to bounce off the chicken, and for the hunter to be pecked to death instead.

It would be comical to hold anyone responsible.

This was a time where players were mainstream.

The fact that a mere Swordmaster who couldn't even use skills held this much power, was unexpected and shocking.

At least, it was to them.

But Park Hyun-gun couldn't relax.

There was something else he was responsible for other than failing to kill Limon.

"So where is he now?"

"After he raided our safehouse, we confirmed that he was staying at a pension near the mountains of North Korea…"

Park Hyun-gun was conflicted whether he should report the following bits of information or not. At least his failed plan still sounded like a joke. The next part was just straight up mental.

But knowing he didn't have another choice, he squeezed his eyes shut and continued.

"He rode off on a school bus, and that is the last we traced of his whereabouts."

"…What bus did you say?"

"A school bus. The yellow kind…"

"……"

Lee Chungi may have calmly accepted the news of about 200 people getting slaughtered, but he couldn't hold back this time.

After a moment of dead silence, Lee Chun-gi drank the wine next to him like his throat burned. 

And as if nothing happened, he continued questioning Chief Park.

"You just said you lost track of his whereabouts, yes?"

"Yes."

"That is quite unexpected. Surely our guild tracers are not so incompetent to lose track of a school bus."

In other words, wasn't Park Hyun-gun the incompetent one?

He held his breath.

He got lucky moments ago, but he couldn't wish for good luck again.

Even he would want to behead the subordinate who couldn't even trace a school bus.

But to his relief, he had a reason this time as well.

"It is uncertain, but there is a place I assume he went."

"Is that so?"

"Yes, since there are not many places in this country our Tracers cannot track."

At that moment, Lee Chun-gi raised his brows.

His influence over this country was almost absolute.

And his tracers were the best of the best, able to get past almost any security.

Whether it was the depths of a government agency or a private estate of a conglomerate.

Whether it was legal or not.

They could investigate anywhere.

There were very few exceptions where that was impossible.

It was either somewhere in the hands of another Monarch,

Or…

"Leviathan?

"It's only a possibility for now."

Lee Chun-gi understood.

The possibility of Limon being somewhere else was infinitely close to zero.

Otherwise, he wouldn't say something as nonsensical as a 'possibility' in front of him.

"Limon Asphelder and Hotel Leviathan…… How interesting."

It wasn't just interesting.

Those who knew just what kind of place Hotel Leviathan was, and what it meant for Limon to go there, would be in more disbelief than when they heard the two reports.

But to Lee Chun-gi, he had a reason to take this ridiculous possibility seriously.

"Chief Park."

"Yes."

"Are you certain she contacted Limon Asphelder?"

"I can assure you with my life."

"It would be even better if you could assure her whereabouts, too."

"……"

Park Hyun-gun stayed silent at Lee Chun-gi's calm voice.

At least he could make assumptions about Limon. She, on the other hand, even with the best Tracers around, was truly an impossible target.

Lee Chun-gi didn't hold Park Hyun-gun responsible any longer. He only spoke nonchalantly.

"It appears she's been driven into quite the corner, considering she brought, of all people, Limon Asphelder into this amidst everything."

"…"

"Chief Park. Use all the guild's resources to monitor Hotel Leviathan."

"Do you think she will be there?"

"If not to meet her, would there be a reason for Limon Asphelder to go there?"

Park Hyun-gun understood.

If things hadn't been sorted with her, it would be suicide to go there, even for Limon.

Instead, he confirmed Lee Chun-gi's intent.

"What should we do once we find her?"

"Secure her by any means necessary."

"……Would that be okay?"

He couldn't stop himself from asking.

Getting their hands on her in Hotel Leviathan of all places would endanger Lee Chun-gi, even if he was one of the Monarchs.

 "Keep this in mind, Chief Park."

But Lee Chun-gi didn't repeat himself.

He only spoke on, watching Park Hyun-gun with cold, settled eyes.

"We must secure the Black Dragon Clan's treasure at any cost."

 

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