Chapter 61 – Expedition Without Hopes or Dreams (3)
Translator: WH Editor: Sasha
The two of them stared silently at the elixirs that they had individually made.
The others were silent too. They had used the same exact material, but the items produced were so different that the people seeing it, looked as if they were enchanted.
It was the Alchemist who made a move first.
She fiddled with her glasses with her dry knuckled fingers and tilted her head.
“Is this the elixir you made, Yonggam-nim…?”
[T/N: Yonggam is basically a polite way of calling an old man.]
The Medicine King was silent.
The Alchemist picked up the Medicine King’s potion and scanned all over it.
Even looking at it from another angle,
She even tried to turn it upside down.
Then, she returned the potion to the Medicine King’s hand and fixed her glasses.
“It’s at this level, huh…?”
‘Is this person the type of person who becomes infinitely stronger when she thinks she is in an advantageous position?’
In other words, like all other high-rank Hunters, she harbours the seeds of a freak?
That can’t be.
It can’t be…….
While my trust in humans was on the verge of collapsing, the Medicine King barely responded.
The height difference between the two was huge.
The woman’s height was as bright and promising as she lived, and the old man’s body was as short as he had lived.
So the Alchemist looked down at the Medicine King, and the Medicine King looked up at the Alchemist.
“Yonggam-nim, don’t tell me……”
“Greenhorn, don’t tell me……”
Both of them spoke at the same time.
“Is your ability at elixir-making just bad…..?”
“Are you just lucky……?”
As the Alchemist tilted her head, the Medicine King nodded.
“It was good luck.”
“Tchhh. This is why young people are like this. It reminds me of when I was in my thirties, I earned about $1.7 billion in 10 minutes on Wall Street. I thought it was all because of my skills.”
The Alchemist tilted her head. Her glasses also tilted along.
A heartfelt voice came from the lips of the tilting Alchemist.
“Would you like to try again……?”
“Is that okay with you? The Goddess of Fortune doesn’t smile twice. Tchhhh, young people are just……”
Three minutes passed.
“You’re very lucky. But the Goddess of Fortune doesn’t smile the third time. “This time, the difference in our years of experience will definitely…”
Three more minutes passed.
“You’re extremely lucky. But the Goddess of Fortune doesn’t smile the fourth time……”
In the end, the Sword Saint gripped the Medicine King’s shoulder.
“Enough, Medicine King…….”
“Marcus, what are you talking about?!”
“You- right now you look awfully disgraceful……”
“That’s not it! This time for sure! This time for sure, my skills! My experience will destroy that first-timer’s luck! Can’t you see?! This is my, Sean McCallister’s Victory Road!”
“I’m sorry, miss. You’re really the best alchemist. It’s my bad that I didn’t immediately trust and understand why the Death King was vouching for you.”
The Sword Saint bowed and apologized.
The Alchemist who was looking down at the Medicine King with her eyes as if she was looking at a bunch of fleas, pulled herself together.
“Umm……It must be hard having a friend like him……”
“Even if he’s acting like this, he’s……it’s not like there’s nothing good about him. Elixirs…… Though he’s not as good as you, he does make some pretty good ones……”
“Yes……I feel like it’s better than nothing……. it’s not like he doesn’t have any basic skill at all, so it’s not like he can’t be used as an assistant………”
It was at the moment when the Alchemist muttered as she fixed her glasses.
With the nimbleness that greatly resembled a cat running towards a silver pine grass, Sangryun’s Master, the Count, grabbed the Alchemist by her wrist to pull her over.
“A contract! An immediate contract! Exclusive contract! A contract with me!”
“Uh, uh uhhhh…”
“I’ll guarantee that you will receive the best treatment in the industry! I’ll even let you touch the cat! No, I’ll let you roll around in the cat field! How about it?! How about it?!”
The Alchemist was perplexed and was unable to speak.
But the Count pouncing upon her was only the beginning.
“Alchemist-nim! And since the Death King pointed you out, I’ll call you Alchemist King-nim!”
“No, exclude the King, it’s just Alchemist-nim!”
“It’s the God of Medicine! Give us some elixirs too please!”
She got the same treatment as I did when I had solo-cleared the 10th floor.
The request for countless handshakes overwhelmed the Alchemist.
“Fo-, for starters!”
The Alchemist was flustered and pushed people away.
“To those of you who want to trade with me, first of all, please ask permission from the Death King! Ah, of course, I’ll still do trade with my previous customers…… The-, Crusader-nim is alright! If not! I-, for now, I’m only going to sell elixirs to people that Death King allows, so……on the condition that they do not cause any trouble to Death King….…”
Her words drew the eyes of the Hunters, including the Count towards me.
Crusader quietly drowned in her victory, did a Hooray pose, and then quietly went off again.
“First of all, let’s think about it after breaking the Apocalypse.”
“Ah! Yes, yes!”
Climbing a tower always works for the Hunters.
Even the Count backed away with a bitter feeling.
With this, the members are in place.
For starters, we have Sword Saint.
And we also have the Alchemist.
Above all, there’s me.
“No. No way! This can’t be happening! My experience! My years of experience can’t be foiled by the luck of a mere greenhorn!”
I don’t know if he was Medicine King or Emperor of Self-Deception…. Though, just like what Alchemist said, he was better than nothing.
“Well! I guess all the characters have been decided.”
The librarian, who had been watching our show so far, said cheerfully.
“I’ll say it again. if you die inside the Apocalypse, you will die in reality. There’s only one way to get out unscathed! Overcome the crisis of Serial Discontinuation in any way you can and then create a proper [Ending]!”
“What’s a proper ending?”
“That depends on your judgment.”
The librarian grinned at my question.
“Maybe you can save Murim by eradicating the epidemic. Or by using the epidemic, you can possibly become the master of Murim yourself. The possibilities are practically limitless! Please think for yourself which will be [The Best Ending].”
In short, it means that the choice would entirely be ours to make.
“Good. Then please send us to [Chronicles of Heavenly Demon] right now….”
“Wait a minute!”
“Isn’t Sect Master-nim going?”
[T/N: It’s just a short term for Chen Mu-mun.]
“I know right. Isn’t a martial arts related Apocalypse a perfect opportunity for Sect Master-nim to actively take part in?”
They were Hunters from the guild headed by Venomous Snake.
The Venomous Snake, who was still holding his breath in the [Martial Arts] group, batted his eyes.
To the perplexed Venomous Snake, the guild members spouted out one word after another.
“No matter how much I think about it, it’s a world meant for the Sect Master-nim……”
“I think so too. Sect Master-nim. Doesn’t a strong player’s duty refer to our Sect Master-nim?”
“I think so too, Master. Master should come forward.”
The Venomous Snake frowned.
And slowly put his arms together.
Those thick eyebrows and the one-eye below them were full of manly determination.
“Alright. I was just about to step up. You bastards, you haven’t forgotten me, right?”
I was speechless.
That’s strange. That person wouldn’t be interested in the martial arts world though?
Something was fishy, so when I pulled up the character window to read his psychological state… Sure enough.
「No, you shitty disciples!」
「Why the hell are you trying to send me to that kind of village?」
The Venomous Snake was crying inwardly.
He was serious, but only on the outside. So the one-eyed prosecutor spoke calmly as if he had been waiting for his disciples to push his back with such encouraging remarks.
“Those who worship martial skills and chivalry. The world of martial artists and chivalrous fighters, that is the Murim! Even though I was born in a different hometown, I have long kept the Murim as my heart’s hometown.”
「There won’t be a flush toilet there. How much shitty trouble did I have to go through because of that in the Aegim Empire, this fucking…」
“It’s not like you don’t know why the clan I set up is called Chen Mu-mun.”
[With the cheat skill ‘Cheon’-ha-moo-sang I have, before I came to the tower, the fact that I was a 32-year-old ‘Mu’-jik who seemed to have painted a big picture, was there a ‘Mun’-je? Everyone knew it’s Chen Mu-mun天武門 for short. That’s how the sign-man made it too. I can’t even explain this now that we’ve come this far, damn it…..」
[T/N: I decided to keep all the Korean words so that everyone would understand the meaning behind Chen Mu-mun. Basically Cheon-ha-moo-sang means unrivalled under the heavens, whereas Mu-jik means jobless, and Mun-je means problem. ]
“I must go, by all means.”
「I absolutely don’t want to go!」
I was beyond speechless.
Bae Hu-ryeong who shared consciousness with me seemed to have a similar reaction.
[Shiny reports that she’s also speechless.]
There was an existence in front of me that made people, spectres, and Constellations alike, all speechless.
Such an existence actually garnered the cheers of the Hunters.
The guild members of the Chen Mu-mun were particularly pleased.
“As expected of Sect Master-nim!”
“I knew you’d step forward, Master-nim!”
“Our idol! A true Hunter of this era!”
“I will follow you forever! Sect Master!”
If I didn’t have the ability to read psychological states… Who knows, I might have also admired him too. No matter where you look, the Venomous Snake’s appearance was that of a chivalrous fighter who devoted his life to the sword.
Just like the Sword Saint.
That Sword Saint folded his arms.
“Uhummm…. Venomous Snake, if it’s you, you have all the right to feel like going.“
“If you say it like that, it feels like you’re nagging.”
“But even so, I don’t think there’s any reason for this man to make concessions.”
The Sword Saint extended his Aura.
It was a situation where the Venomous Snake was already exuding his force. The energies exuded by two swordsmen clashed. Paaangggg…! With the sound of balloons bursting, the air around the colliding forces changed rapidly. The bookmark maids must have felt a sense of crisis, and either ran away quickly or were caught up in the clash of force and were sent flying.
The Hunters were more excited.
“Sword Saint and the Venomous Snake facing each other!”
“This is a battle of pride!”
It was a rare sight in a literal sense.
For me, who knew the psychological state of the Venomous Snake, it was a rare sight.
At that instant, the sound of someone limping could be heard.
“Sword Saint. Chen Mu-mun Master. Stop it.”
It was the sound of the Crusader taking a step forward.
The reason why a limping sound was heard was that Crusader was one of the few figures who bet money on the Alchemist during the bet earlier. Her purse, which had always been thin, was now packed full with 47 times the betting amount.
The reason why the Crusader with the most serious expression seemed a little strange was because of the spell of her stuffed purse.
“You’re not going to start stabbing at each other here, right?”
Regardless of the purse, the voice of the Crusader was solemn. As had always been the case, the two’s fight was mediated.
‘Wait, don’t tell me, was it [Always] like this…?’
-I know right, Zombie. If it was always like that, and it’s just that we didn’t know until now…….
‘This world seems to be full of forbidden knowledge that we really shouldn’t know……’
The Venomous Snake snorted.
“If we have to dance with our swords, then we just have to do it. Fuck, I and the Sword Saint are martial artists, right? Why don’t we just go at it and let the stronger one go?”
「I need to lose on purpose!」
「It’s embarrassing to just lose outright, so let’s make it a close fight and lose!」
「If I lose to the Sword Saint, my disciples will understand. Probably.」
It was a rare sight indeed.
The Sword Saint, who didn’t have a clue about such an inside story, wiped the sweat from his forehead.
“I’m sorry, but Venomous Snake…Against a strong man like you, I will have no choice but to use my full power. As a result of that, you had lost one of your eyes in the last battle. I can’t guarantee that the same thing won’t happen again.”
“Right back to you, old man. If you come at me thinking I’m still the same me from those days, you’ll be lying in a coffin after this.”
「This fucker! Fuck! Fuck fuckkkk!」
The appearance of the Venomous Snake was that of a pompous warrior that lacked nothing.
The Sword Emperor, who was floating beside me, also wiped the sweat off from his forehead like the Sword Saint.
‘Yes, Mr. Sword Emperor.’
-I said all the high-level hunters were crazy right. But then. Even then. Among them, that bastard, how do I say this….
‘It’s for [Real]….’
My forehead was full of sweat too.
In fact, when it came to the ‘sweating on the forehead’ part, everyone present was in a similar state. All the Hunters who were watching this scene had sweat dripping from their foreheads.
Those who had gathered in Babylon’s Square and were watching the broadcast must be sweating too.
The Crusader’s forehead was full of sweat too. The sweat ran down her cheek and dripped on the purse full of gold coins.
“At any rate, Venomous Snake, a man like you……”
The Venomous Snake gave off a wide smile.
“For a warrior. There are moments when you just can’t back down.”
「Crusader! Do something about this!」
The outcry from his desperate mind would never be said out loud, but the Crusader really did something about it.
Specifically, she said this to the Sword Saint.
“Sword Saint……Can you please step down this time?”
「Why are you telling that side to back off?」
‘Why are you telling that side to back off?’
Oh, it overlapped.
With that [Real], our thoughts overlapped…….
[Shiny trembles and pats the warrior’s waist for comfort.]
The Sword Emperor also touched my shoulder.
While I was being comforted without words, the Crusader continued to speak toward the Sword Saint.
“I know you always want to be on the front line. But didn’t you already join in the raid of the 12th to 19th floors with the Death King and the Witch? So, it would indeed be a shameless thing to do if you say you want to be the first to step foot into the 22nd floor’s raid this time as well.”
A calm tone and a logical explanation. With a serious expression.
The only thing that bothered me was the bulging purse that hung onto the side of her clothes.
“In addition to that,”
The Crusader pointed to Venomous Snake, and then to the members who suggested that Sect Master-nim should go.
“Chen Mu-mun Master is the head of a group. Although he’s not a man who cares about the face of his disciples, his position is different from you who plays solo. Can’t you respect him a little?”
Sword Saint, Marcus Calenberry, was pondering.
The hard-posed old man frowned. Then relaxed his tight brows. He went through these motions many times.
Finally, he folded his arms.
“When have I ever cared about the honour of you five top guilds?”
The Crusader gritted her teeth.
“Sword Saint, you really……!”
The Sword Saint, who had cut off the Crusader’s words, turned his head to stare at me.
No, why was he looking at me now……?
“These days, I’ve been wondering if he’s going to have some sense of honour.”
It was a great sight. A stubborn old man had bent over his stubbornness. It was a beautiful sight and yet, the grumbling Medicine King still had a ‘This can’t be happening’ look on his face beside me, and his body language seemed to convey that he did not want to follow the example of the person before him in the slightest.
But why was I seeing that sight of him now…?
The Sword Saint took a step back.
He gazed at the Chronicles of Heavenly Demon full of regret, but the old man brushed it off his heart and said,
“Venomous Snake, this time I will yield to you.”
The Venomous Snake raised his eyes. But that was only for a moment. The Venomous Snake released his force even more and grinned. He looked like a gambler who had won as he wanted.
“You should have done that sooner. You should know that you’ve just kept your life, old man.”
「No! What the shit, why are you making concessions all of a sudden!? Marcus Calenberry! You’re not one to give up anything to anyone else! No, I don’t want to go!」
There was an indescribable scene happening that no one knew the insides about.
As expected, the Crusader also looked at the Sword Saint with the same face, as if it was difficult to describe. Heretic Questioner, who was watching with a sparkling face, jumped and hugged the Crusader’s arm.
“That’s amazing! You convinced the Sword Saint, Crusader!”
“Well. No. It was the Sword Saint who has accepted my persuasion.”
“Ahaha, is that so! Then I’ll have to hug the Sword Saint!”
“I strongly refuse.”
The Sword Saint immediately set up an iron wall. Of course, any random iron wall would not work for the Natural Born Psycho, so the Sword Saint had to be in trouble for a while.
“Really……Everyone is growing little by little.”
The Witch grinned with her mouth closed like a dot.
In a mood as if a heartwarming story had been told, the three people who came to the expedition of Apocalypse [Chronicles of Heavenly Demon] were ready.
“Tchhhh. If it’s decided, go faster you bastards. I’m going to lose it if I keep waiting. You’re just the young me……… It just can’t be helped either. Ha, really. I should just leave, what can I do? I was defeated by the luck of that greenhorn earlier, but the one of a kind, widely renowned, all-time best alchemist is me, Medicine King.”
“Ughh, Death King. I’m scared……… is it really okay if someone like me follows? Oh, but of course, I’m at least better than that Medicine King or something though? The outcome was as solid as Galileo Galilei’s Geocentric theory, but the results are strangely unrecognized by that flea-like old man? Even then, is someone like me……”
“Hey, non-combatants. Take care of yourself when there’s a fight. It only takes a moment for a person’s neck to fly off, you know?”
「I don’t want to go…Swap with me… Sword Saint Grandpops, can you please swap with me, even if it’s right now…….」
I stared blankly at the expedition members who had come together.
The Sword Emperor spoke in a soothing tone which was rare for him.
-Don’t worry, Zombie. If you don’t think this is correct, just die! Whether you get sick or throw yourself from the ceiling, go back to one day before! This reset, I’m going to acknowledge it for real from the bottom of my soul. Although all I have is a soul now.
I nodded weakly.
“Yes… …let’s go……”
The librarian snapped his fingers. Tak! The Apocalypse which was in the hands of the Sword Saint flew by itself into the hands of the librarian. He had just lent it to us for a moment, but this book was originally his own, so the librarian flipped open the book with familiar hand gestures.
“Death King, Venomous Snake, Medicine King, Alchemist.”
Light radiated from the book.
“I would like to name these four new characters in the [Chronicles of Heavenly Demon]. When you lot open your eyes there, it will still be a world ten days before the tragic serial discontinuation of the series.”
And the light enveloped us.
“I look forward to your wonderful ending.”
It was the moment when an expedition team with no hopes or dreams was dispatched.
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