Max Talent Player
[Translator – Lei ]
[Proofreader – Ash ]
The Red Eye gleamed wickedly, exuding such intense bloodthirst and chilling aura that even Hyukjin had to take a step back.
“All those who interfere with these joys…”
Seohye smiled radiantly.
“...must be killed.”
Almost like when Hyukjin recited an incantation and uttered the final activation words, Seohye did the same.
From that, Hyukjin realized something.
Everyone must die.
Those were the words spoken by the Red Demon in his past life. He thought they were just ordinary words back then, but it seemed they were an incantation.
‘She’s different from back then.’
The Red Demon who slaughtered so many people said, “Everyone must die.” Now, the first part was missing. Instead of an all-encompassing ‘everyone’, the target was now clearly set to one enemy.
Hyukjin was able to sense another emotion brewing amidst the intense bloodthirst emanating from the Red Eye.
‘At the core of this intense bloodthirst…’
He was mentally connected to Seohye. The reason why Seohye became part of a Guardian Tower in the first place was because of her ‘strong Guardian Will’. Hyukjin could sense Seohye’s desire to protect.
‘...is the desire to protect something.’
The result was the same. The Red Demon looked exactly as her name suggested. That sweet, chilling smile, those wickedly gleaming red eyes, they were the same as the Red Demon in his past life. They looked the same on the outside, but the current Ahn Seohye was different.
‘The previous Red Demon committed slaughter for the sake of slaughtering.’
‘The current Red Demon wants to protect us.’
Red threads emerged from behind Seohye. Tens of thousands of red threads surged into the sky like spider webs shooting towards prey.
[The ‘Angel Statue’ awaits orders from the ‘Angel Statue’s Master’.]
Hyukjin gave the order at once.
He could see what Seohye was going to do. She wasn’t trying to attack the Four-Winged Angel Statue right now. Just like when she faced the Fire Giants, she was pinning the boss down. She, the Barrier Magician and Guardian Tower, would handle restricting its movements, while the ‘angel statue’ did the attacking.
The angel with four ragged wings also had red gems on its forehead. One of them began to exude powerful mana.
Salvatore realized what he needed to do right now.
‘I need to focus my strength on that angel.’
He concentrated his buff on it.
The hymn created by Salvatore’s Castle of Opera intensified, rippling over the entire field before enveloping the angel statue’s body with a bright flash of light.
At the same time—
“You who took my freedom, I still loved you.”
The ground angel fired a red beam. The sky angel was bound by Seohye’s red threads. The red beam fired by the ground angel became even bigger.
The angel statue’s red gem began to crack. A scream split through the sky.
Seohye mumbled to herself, “I’ll kill you. I’ll kill you. I’ll kill you.”
Red energy exploded from her body. The red threads constricted the angel’s body with greater force. Seeing that, the archers fired at the enemy angel in unison.
The leader of Squad 1, Schultz, shouted, “Use your biggest attack!”
Right now, that ‘Guardian Tower’ and angel were buying them time. What they had to do was abandon all thought of defense and go all out on offense. They also had the time to unleash their heavy hitting moves. The archers let loose a barrage of their ultimate attacks.
Hyukjin made the same call. He took out the Ink Bow.
‘It uses a lot of mana, but…’
Despite the intense physical burden, this was their chance.
More cracks splintered through the red gem encrusted on the ‘ground’ angel’s forehead.
‘That red beam… will soon be extinguished.’
Before that happened, they had to seize this opportunity.
[Overlaying the Divine Bow Physique’s mana on the Ink Bow.]
[Generating a temporary Blackfire Bow.]
[The Blackfire Bow’s base item is the Ink Bow.]
It was an artificial, temporary Blackfire Bow. However, it wasn’t at all weaker than the real deal.
‘Focus my mind.’
The weak spot was that red gem. The ‘sky’ angel was, of course, resisting by firing a red beam. Which meant, it would be weakest when that red beam stopped, if only for a moment.
He focused. Every sound fell away, every sight around him ceased to be. Only he and the red gem existed.
Hyukjin fired. An arrow blazing with blackfire sped off. Vela jumped into the air, surging up like he had wings on his back.
He hurled a fist at the Four-Winged Angel Statue in midair, moving like he was dancing. He flowed elegantly from movement to movement like water.
Vela’s hands reached one of the Four-Winged Angel Statue’s wings. His eyes flashed red, and he uttered two words, as if activating a magic spell.
And then, he began to rip off the Four-Winged Angel Statue’s wing with both hands.
* * *
Translator - Lei
Proofreader - Ash
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* * *
The Players were on their backs, utterly exhausted.
The leader of Squad 1, Schultz, was also sprawled out on the ground.
“We… did it.”
Schultz heard it loud and clear.
[You have successfully hunted the ‘Four-Winged Angel Statue’.]
[You have defeated a boss monster.]
They were all taking a break. But something was a little strange.
‘How come it’s not getting cleared?’
Was there a separate clear condition? Normally, hunting the boss monster secured the clear.
[The ‘Sky Gate’ is emitting powerful mana wavelengths.]
[Until the ‘Sky Gate’ expires, the Players cannot leave the field.]
[The ‘Sky Gate’ is expected to expire in 20 days.]
Pietro felt a spike of anxiety. ‘Twenty days?’
The Players were drained beyond all measure. Even getting the best quality food and rest might not be enough to recover, yet they suddenly had to endure twenty days?
[The rewards for the ‘Dewinged Angel Statue’ Gate will be given only to the Players who survive the 20 days.]
[The quantity and quality of the clear rewards will increase with fewer survivors.]
The Dewinged Angel Statue Gate wasn’t over yet.
‘The rewards will increase with fewer survivors?’
Then what if only one person survived?
‘That person would get all the rewards to themselves.’
He immediately had goosebumps.
‘The person here who can do that…’
His gaze moved to Kim Hyukjin.
‘...is Kim Hyukjin!’
He had seen some extent of Kim Hyukjin’s prowess. Moreover, Hyukjin had his Guardian Tower here. On top of that, Hyukjin was acquainted with Salvatore (Chiellini) and was on very close terms with Vela. If Kim Hyukjin wanted, he could kill everyone here.
‘Because he knew what would happen.’
He had come here knowing the future foreseen by the Precognitive Dreamer Ham Sohyun. Pietro stood there frozen, feeling as though every hair on his body were standing on end.
‘He seems to be taking something out of his Inventory.’
Pietro tensed. His eyes met Hyukjin’s. A chill ran down his spine.
“I can clearly see what you’re thinking, Mr. Pietro.”
“I wasn’t thinking much.”
“Then why are you so tense?”
“It’s not that I’m tense, but that I’m just starting to relax.”
Hyukjin grinned. The same thought that had occurred to Pietro had occurred to him. It couldn’t be helped. In a situation like this, it wasn’t strange to fear the strong. Especially if you were a smart and mindful person like Pietro.
“With Miss Ham Sohyun’s help, I predicted this predicament in advance.”
Pietro gulped. A few of the archers also watched Hyukjin with wary eyes, ready to act if he made any threatening movements.
“So I brought a lot of provisions and water with me.”
He took out the ‘Infinite Pouch’, which he had filled to the brim with Sunhwa at the department store. It wouldn’t be hard for everyone here to last the twenty days.
“This is the Infinite Pouch. I will distribute a set amount of supplies one time every day. However, if anyone tries to harm another Player…”
Standing next to Hyukjin, Seohye finished his sentence with a bright smile.
“I might kill them.”
That settled things.
[The ‘Lady of the Scales’ is deeply impressed.]
[The ‘Lady of the Scales’ bestows you a ‘Judgment of the Law’.]
It was his second Judgment of the Law.
[The ‘Nameless Observer’ is observing.]
[The ‘Barrier of Blue Light’ is happy.]
Salvatore was speechless.
‘Was he prepared for this situation?’
Wasn’t that why Kim Hyukjin had an Inventory full of provisions and supplies? He wasn’t just at the level of ‘someone to learn from’. His opponent was so high up that just chasing after him would be hard enough, much less learning from him as a peer.
But then, he saw Kim Hyukjin suddenly crack a smile. It was only for a fraction of a second, and Salvatore was only able to glimpse it because he was standing right next to the man. Kim Hyukjin suddenly bent at the waist towards him.
“All of this was done at the orders of Italy’s sovereign, Mr. Chiellini.”
Salvatore was stunned. The spotlight fell entirely on him.
He stared at Hyukjin, but Hyukjin was already distributing bread and water while saying, “Just as Mr. Chiellini ordered, I will now distribute the water and provisions.”
The quick-witted Pietro went up to Salvatore (Chiellini).
“I am in awe of your insight, Chiellini.”
No, it wasn’t me! But he couldn’t bring himself to say the words now.
“I hate to even think what might have happened to us if not for your prudent preparations, Chiellini.”
“That, um, so. Well, I just did what I should.”
Chiellini’s reaction confirmed Pietro’s suspicions. ‘As I thought, Chiellini didn’t have him do it.’
This was a scheme Hyukjin had cooked up. The others might be fooled, but the information merchant Pietro could tell.
‘But Kim Hyukjin wants to put Chiellini in the public’s eye.’
Kim Hyukjin must have used some kind of ability to hide himself. Pietro decided where to steer his boat.
‘So I need to play to his beat.’
Pietro bowed his head to Chiellini. “On behalf of the party, I thank you. Italian sovereign Chiellini, your fame shall echo across the lands.”
Kim Hyukjin, Pietro, and Chiellini all heard the same notice.
[The ‘Whispering Devil’ is amused.]
* * *
Ahn Seohye’s body was still shining. The light made her body nearly impossible to see. She was sitting on the ground, leaning against Hyukjin’s back.
“I really like being able to move around like this.”
“Before, I had no idea being able to move, being able to breathe were things to be so grateful for.”
Seohye was being sincere. Hyukjin could feel that better than anyone.
“I’ll have to return to being a tower again when you leave this field, right?”
“I’ll bring you out again soon.”
Seohye nodded. “I’ll wait.”
Hyukjin had felt her desire to protect someone keenly. It was an emotion he knew well—he felt it when he looked at his little sister Sunhwa. A desire to protect her at all costs.
‘In the end, I need power.’
The Demon King had made the arrangements. He definitely said, ‘I’ll wait for you at Endless Sky’. And Hyukjin was nearly there.
“It’s a shame the angel statue was destroyed. I think we could have been friends.”
In the end, the ‘ground’ angel perished, and with it disappeared the ‘Angel Statue’s Master’ title.
“Didn’t the angel statue leave something behind when it was destroyed?”
Seohye continued to chatter, almost as if simply talking were a treasure to be cherished. Her lips didn’t rest for a moment.
“What did it leave?”
“Canvas of Longing.”
Hyukjin nodded. While talking to Seohye, he was also borrowing Senia’s eyes to explain what he got to the Guardians as well.
“That angel statue’s wings were cut off. Right?”
“The angel statue said it was ‘robbed of its freedom’. I guess that means wings are freedom to them.”
“I see.” Seohye nodded. She was hanging on every word of his with rapt attention, like it was the most fun thing in the world. “And so?”
“When the angel statue was destroyed, it gave me this Canvas of Longing. It’s a kind of tool that can open another Sky Gate.”
“A Sky Gate? That thing?”
“Yeah. But that one is a gate going from the sky to here, whereas this one seems to be a gate that lets you go from here to the sky.”
“Wow. I wanna go to the sky, too. Do you have to ride a plane to get there, then?”
Hyukjin smiled. What plane?
“But a few conditions are necessary to activate this thing.”
“You need to have the Fountain Pen of Freedom.”
He already had the Fountain Pen of Freedom, fresh from the recent auction.
“Where can you find that?”
“I already have it.”
Hyukjin could tell that right now, he had the attention of many Guardians. They were sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting with bated breath for his lips to move.
‘Then I should put in a little suspense here.’
A story would be flat without any winding curves. Going straight from A to B wasn’t any fun.
“But there’s a little problem.”
He could see it clearly in his mind’s eye—the Guardians were waiting. Hyukjin intentionally took a breath, and then he continued.
“A Player can’t activate the Sky Gate.”
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