[Translator – woni]
[Proofreader – sharlottle]
Chapter 23: Family-Friendly
Many people chose to become players after the world entered the Iron Age.
It got to the point where more than half the world's population were players.
The appeal of obtaining skills simply by clearing the dungeon was just too great.
"< One two three. Mic test. One two— >"
In order to level up, one had to clear the dungeon.
But the deeper into the dungeon they delved, its difficulty only exponentially increased.
That was why, despite having so many players, the majority of them were below level 10.
No matter how profitable the dungeon was, not just anyone could risk their life.
That was another reason why high-level players were placed in such high regard.
"< Can you hear me? You can, right? You better hear me loud and clear. >"
And out of those billions of players, only ten had reached the end of the dungeon.
That was why Monarchs were truly incredible beings.
Not only did they have the genius talent to make a contract with a Monarch-rank Constellation, they also had luck on their side.
Only with both, could people reach level 100 — the realm of the absolute.
But in this moment…
"< If this doesn't get broadcasted to the Infinite Monarch, I'll rip this dude's head off. >"
One of the Ten Great Monarchs was at a loss for words.
But no one would've blamed him.
Because everyone in the country— no, the whole world… was in the same state.
The president of a nation, drenched in sweat, having a blade held to his neck on broadcast.
"…Chief Park, what's going on?"
He even had to pause the recording on the TV and ask what was happening.
Contrary to how he normally was, he couldn't hold it this time, accidentally letting slip his bewilderment.
Park Hyun-gun answered him, the blood draining from his face.
"There was an… accident at the Blue House."
"What kind of accident was it to result in a broadcast like that?"
Park Hyun-gun was stumped.
He could not think of a way to explain the situation without making it sound like utter nonsense.
But it wasn't something he could refuse to answer.
Biting his tongue, he described how Limon had barged into the Blue House and took the President hostage.
"……And he requested a press conference?"
"…Yes. And if even a single broadcasting network in the country failed to show up, he would behead the President and his aides."
"Why were things allowed to go this far? If this all really happened, they must have requested our guild's assistance."
"The VIPs stopped it. They thought such a move would result in political instability if they rallied the guilds for something as… minor… as this."
“I believe it would have been better than getting held hostage on TV, no?"
Despite his cold comments, Lee Chun-gi understood President Han's decision.
Forget Limon, even just a rumor that someone had invaded the Blue House would tip the country on its head.
And if they requested help from the major guilds because they were unable to stop one person?
Whether it was because he allowed the hero of a past nation to turn traitor, or because he couldn't even take care of some disturbance caused by a non-player civilian — regardless of any rhyme or reason, it would've only beat the dead horse that would've been President Han's political career.
That must have been why he blocked as much communication as possible and tried to take care of it personally.
Politically, it was the right call.
Tactically, it was the perfect mistake.
“Just what made him think he could handle him on his own?”
"It seems one of his aides had used 「Information Analysis」 to deduce that guns were effective against Limon Asphelder, since he wasn't a player."
"They must have thought that even in the worst-case scenario, they could at the very least have negotiated with him if they used their skills on him. Since they're also high-level players and all…"
"And… this is the result."
Lee Chun-gi sneered cynically.
Limon had slaughtered 150 high-level players and Squad 909.
It appears a skill they lacked was hindsight.
A truly reckless decision, but what could they do now?
It's already happened, and President Han was paying dearly for his misjudgments.
Having a rough understanding of the situation, Lee Chun-gi tapped the desk with his fingers and resumed the footage of Limon.
Translator - woni
Proofreader - sharlottle
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"To start it off, there are probably a lot of you who would like to know why the hell I'm doing all this."
Indeed, no one could deny it.
The question that was on everyone's minds: why did The Limon Asphelder become a traitor?
Even Lee Chun-gi, who knew most of what was going on, was baffled watching the video.
Imagine how shocked the rest of the world would be, randomly witnessing a sword pressed to the President’s neck with no context.
"< Mind your own business. >"
"< ……Excuse me? >"
"< I said, leave your noses out of my business, you little shits. >"
Everyone in the world had a question mark over their heads.
"< I'm not planning on answering anything you guys ask, nor do I feel like justifying this shit with messy words. >"
"< How does that make any sense?! >"
The middle-aged reporter, without even realizing, had objected to Limon’s mind-boggling statements.
"< And what if it doesn't? Would you like me to blow the President's head straight off his neck right now? Huh? >"
"< N-no! That wasn't what I meant…! >"
As Limon drew his sword closer to President Han's neck, the reporter stammered.
His words could get the President killed. He had no choice but to tread lightly.
"< Well, but… aren't broadcasts like these held to make a statement? >"
Maybe it was because of his experience on the job, or because he felt that his exclusive scoop was more important than the President's life.
Even as he read the room, the reporter managed to ask another question, to which Limon replied nonchalantly.
"< Said who? >"
"< What? >"
"< Who said you had to make a statement while holding a hostage on air? >"
"< Well, to justify holding someone hostage… >"
"< And I'm saying, you fucking swine. Why do I have to do something so pathetic? >"
This would have been regarded as a broadcasting incident if it wasn’t a forced livestream.
"< Uh, uhm… If you could tone down your language a bit… This is a live broadcast… >"
"< You motherfucking dumbfucks, going nuts with your dicks out. >"
"< D-dicks?! >"'
"< Oi, ya fucking lunatic. The President's execution is about to get broadcasted on national television. Is my language really the problem here? >"
Limon's words silenced the reporter.
There was a limit to how much one could squabble over broadcasting regulations.
Saying a few curse words in this situation wouldn't make the current situation any more ugly than it already was.
‘He’s not wrong… But why do I feel insulted?’
But whether the reporter felt insulted or not, Limon continued with a scoff.
"< And only people who have some shit on their conscience try to justify their actions. Why would I babble out excuses, when I don't have anything to feel sorry for? >"
'Are you listening to yourself?!'
The reporter's jaws dropped.
It was shocking to hear the very person holding the President hostage with a sword to his neck say such a thing with such confidence.
Even the other reporters and cameramen looked dumbfounded.
But theories and logic wouldn't work on a madman.
Unable to bring himself to criticize him, the reporter asked Limon another question instead.
"< Th-then why did you demand a press conference? >"
If he wasn’t going to justify himself, why was he trying to broadcast this scene to every news channel?
Wasn't it because he really did have something on his conscience?
Or was he actually just crazy?
There were several hidden questions behind what the man asked, to which Limon nonchalantly answered,
"< Oh, this? I wanted to send a message. >"
"< A message? To whom? >"
"< Who the fuck do you think, dumbass? Did you not hear me tell you all to show this to the Infinite Monarch? >"
"< …If you wanted to talk to the Infinite Monarch, why didn't you just give him a call? >"
Limon returned the reporter's inadvertent sarcasm with advertent sarcasm.
"< Yeah, and how great would that go? I'd be waiting for about ten years on the line just to have it hang up on me. >"
Limon did have a point.
It was just that holding the President hostage on live television in lieu of a phone call was that deranged.
But Limon wasn’t really doing this for completely no reason.
"< Plus, I'm about to offer something that son of a bitch wouldn't be able to refuse. >"
"< Son of a…? Wait, what did you just call the Infinite Monarch? >"
"< Infinite Monarch, Lee Chun-gi. You son of a bitch. It looks like I've been getting on your nerves lately, so I specially got a gift, just for you. >"
Whatever the reporter was babbling about, Limon didn’t care a single bit.
He only looked straight into the camera and spoke on with a cold voice.
"< Come to the Blue House by midnight. >"
"< It doesn't matter whether you come alone or with your guild members. >"
"< I'll let the President go if you just come over here. >"
"< But if you don't, the President dies. >"
"< …! >"
Limon silenced the press conference room in an instant.
Not just because of Limon's menacing threats.
But also because of how emotionless Limon was while talking about killing the President, like his life was that insignificant.
"< Oh, and it won't stop with just the President. >"
"< Next in line will be the Prime Minister, and then the Deputy Prime Minister. >"
"< After that, it'll be the secretaries and the National Assembly, one after another to send the same message. >"
It was pure lunacy.
This would be impossible for an ordinary person.
Even if it was possible, they wouldn’t dare act on it.
It was something only the perfect lunatic could say.
But those who were watching the broadcast couldn’t take it as a simple bluff.
The fact it came from a superhuman who single-handedly raided the Blue House and held the President hostage wasn't the sole reason.
Limon's icy, settled gold eyes were like staring into a frozen lake. It made them all realize that they were looking at a madman who had the ability and exertion to do such a thing.
"< Stop me if you can. >"
"< That is, if you think you can protect this country's senior government officials from me. >"
And memories of the past, buried in oblivion, suddenly resurfaced in their minds.
They remembered the old tales their grandfathers would tell them,
Of humanity's last Swordmaster.
The nation's hero that everyone looked up to,
And his enemies' worst nightmare.
"< Well, you could just sit back and watch these guys all die. That way, you can take over this country without lifting a finger. >"
"< Or you could play a hero who got rid of a goner and saved the nation. >"
"< Whatever you do, its for you to decide. >"
"< But just keep in mind, one thing. >"
"< Whatever choice you make, one day… you will have to settle the score with me. >"
With a beaming smile that contrasted his dead serious eyes, Limon concluded that he wasn’t forcing him to make a choice. Everything was up to Lee Chun-gi.
And dragging the President, who’s blood had drained from his face, he left the press conference room.
"< Oh, one more thing. >"
As if he’d forgotten something, Limon stopped in his tracks and smiled at the cameras.
"< You shouldn't try what I'm doing, good children. I am a trained professional. If I catch you imitating me, you're screwed. >"
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