‘Is it here? The name seems to be correct.’
Knock knock knock.
Hyeonu knocked on the door after confirming the name on his smartphone matched the name on the room.
“Who is it? Come in.” A young voice could be heard from inside the room.
Hyeonu carefully opened the door and entered.
“Who is it?” There was a little girl who sounded as young as her voice.
“Hello? I’m called Gang Hyeonu. Um... Is your father here? I’m here to see your father...”
The girl replied to Hyeonu with a happy expression as if nothing was going on, “He’ll be here soon. He went to the convenience store for a while.”
“Really? By the way, what are you doing now?”
Unlike other girls her age, Choi Jisu was fiddling with a laptop. “I was watching an Arena video. I like this type of thing.”
“Shouldn’t someone your age like cartoons or something?”
“No, I like Arena better.” Choi Jisu shook her head at Hyeonu’s words.
The disease that Choi Jisu was suffering from meant it was a luxury to even walk. It was painful just taking one step. Thus, all she could do was sit and watch things. It was Arena that caught Choi Jisu’s eyes. Filled with fierce battles and brilliant magic, Arena showed Choi Jisu a new world. Then ‘he’ appeared. A man who fought more magnificently than anyone else, Alley Leader—he was Choi Jisu’s idol.
At this time, someone opened the door of the hospital room and entered. It was Choi Jisu’s father, Choi Yoon. Choi Yoon finished his business as quickly as possible and returned to the hospital room for the sake of his waiting daughter. However, it wasn’t just his daughter who was waiting in the hospital room. There was someone else waiting for him. It wasn’t someone he knew. He didn’t know a young man who dressed like this.
“Who are you?” Choi Yoon opened his mouth and questioned the mysterious man.
“Are you Choi Yoon? I came here because I have something to talk to you about. Can you give me a moment?” Hyeonu, the mysterious man, said politely to Choi Yoon.
‘What is this...’ Choi Yoon was dumbfounded but decided to listen to the story first. He didn’t know what this person wanted to say, but he didn’t have any money. All he had left was his precious daughter.
“Yes, if it is just a little bit... Jisu, wait a minute. I’ll talk to this person for a moment.”
Hyeonu and Choi Yoon left the hospital room. Both of them had stiff faces.
“I don’t know why you came, but I don’t have anything.”
Hyeonu watched Choi Yoon who spoke such words. He watched with an expression that wondered what this person was saying.
“Huh? I’m not such a person,” Hyeonu said with a flustered expression.
Then it was Choi Yoon who became so flustered that he stuttered. “Th-Then why...?”
“Did you not apply for Alley Leader Academy? I’m here to talk about it.”
“What do you mean? Perhaps...?”
“Yes, it is as you think. Choi Yoon has been chosen as the second student. I couldn’t help choosing such a desperate story.”
“Thank you. Thank you. Sob...” Choi Yoon fell to his knees and sobbed upon hearing Hyeonu’s words.
‘Ah, I haven’t finished speaking yet...’ Hyeonu scratched his head in embarrassment as he glanced at Choi Yoon, who didn’t give him time to speak. “I’m not finished yet...”
“Thank you, thank you very much.” Choi Yoon repeatedly said thank you without listening to Hyeonu. The kneeling Choi Yoon soon stood up and glanced at Hyeonu. “It is my daughter’s wish. It is why I watched Alley Leader’s stream. Additionally, her enjoyment comes from watching me play.”
Therefore, he desired to play a bit better. He wanted to fulfill his daughter’s wishes. The two factors combined resulted in him applying for Hyeonu’s academy.
“The result of Nike’s investigation shows that Jisu’s disease can be treated. It just costs a lot of money. Do you know this?” Hyeonu saw Choi Yoon’s expression darken and realized this person might’ve already known.
“I know this, but the cost of the surgery... It is ridiculously expensive. In the first place, the surgery is only available in the United States. I can’t...” Choi Yoon had barely calmed down, and now he started to sob again.
“After hearing Choi Yoon’s story, a sponsor appeared. They said they will support the cost of the surgery.”
“Really? Is that true?” Choi Yoon grabbed Hyeonu’s hand. It was unbelievable. Someone who would support the cost of the expensive surgery had appeared. Something he only saw on TV was happening to himself.
“I’m here to tell you this. The detailed schedule will be coordinated by phone and email.”
Hyeonu felt burdened by Choi Yoon’s attitude. He hadn’t accepted Choi Yoon as a student to be treated like this. It wasn’t an intentional part of the plan for Alley Leader Academy that Hyeonu would sponsor the costs of surgery for Choi Yoon’s daughter. That was just his own mind. Yes, it was just a whim of the moment.
“Then I’ll see you next time.”
Hyeonu exited the hospital like someone was chasing him.
“You’re late. Did something happen?”
“I’m sorry. There was a situation... I ended up meeting Your Majesty separately from my master.” Hyeonu bowed his head and paid homage to Emperor Alexander. Currently, Hyeonu was in the imperial palace. To be precise, it was in the great hall with the emperor.
“Well, it isn’t a big deal. I heard the report. Didn’t you do a great job smashing that fool?” Emperor Alexander sat on the throne and stared at Hyeonu. “I don’t know if you know, but Alkyl’s leader, Edward, is my brother—the empire’s second prince.”
The emperor was murmuring in a low voice, but it left a deep impression in Hyeonu’s ears. “He was behind me in everything—swordsmanship, politics. He wasn’t even popular with the people of the empire. It was natural. It is the crown prince who would rise to the throne and become emperor. However, he didn’t acknowledge it. Thus, he pulled out his sword at my coronation. Then I told him—”
The emperor got up.
‘There is still such a huge difference...’
Hyeonu couldn’t get up. He was now close to level 200, but in front of the emperor, he was no different from a frog in front of a snake. The emperor was right before Hyeonu’s eyes, and his expression seemed like he was really enjoying it.
“‘Take it if you want. However, it won’t be easy.’ After that, he hid in the south and expanded his power. I tolerated it. Isn’t it interesting? There is someone who actually wants my position.” The emperor burst out laughing. The atmosphere shook with his laughter.
He kept laughing, and Hyeonu felt like he was going to die. ‘Crazy! Isn’t he just laughing?’
“I will reward you, but it isn’t fun if I just give it to you. I know that you took a martial arts book of the East Continent. I’ll let you know where there are traces left behind by the original owner of that martial arts book.”
[A quest has been created.]
[The Emperor’s Gift[
[The emperor will give you a gift in exchange for entertaining him.
Conditions: Find traces somewhere in the Kanix Mountain 0/1
Reward: xxxx’s Journal.]
Hyeonu frowned when he saw the quest window in front of him and opened his mouth. The words that came out of Hyeonu’s mouth were completely unexpected to the emperor. “Your Majesty, I already have his journal.”
That’s right. It was the book he obtained from killing Held—the journal of the master of the Mysterious Sky Demonic Art.
“Ohu? Did that happen? I see. One of the subordinates under Edward uses dark sword energy. That guy had the journal?” The emperor listened to Hyeonu and figured out the situation. It was the correct answer.
“Then I have nothing to give... No, I’ll give you a title. It will be a viscount title,” the emperor said after thinking hard for a moment. He did not have any rewards for Hyeonu, but he soon came up with something—a title of nobility. Hyeonu was Lebron’s disciple, but he didn’t have a noble title.
“How many imperial contributions would I need to make if I wanted to become a viscount on my own?” Hyeonu couldn’t judge if this compensation was good or bad. The idea of whether it was worth replacing a clue for an A+ grade quest couldn’t leave Hyeonu’s mind. Then after hearing the emperor’s answer, Hyeonu was forced to nod and judge that it was better.
“200,000. You need 200,000 imperial contributions. That is assuming that you already have a baron title. In other words, you need a total of 300,000 contributions. Why? Is it a shame?”
Hyeonu shook his head. He would’ve been troubled if he didn’t already have the journal. The pressure given by a figure of 300,000 was that high.
‘My current contribution is roughly 40,000...’
He had to gain seven times his current amount to get the rank of viscount. Once he thought this, he realized it was better than getting a viscount title on his own.
“What about the appointment ceremony...”
The emperor interrupted, “Viscount? Is it a big deal? You will be a viscount of the Yusma Empire from today.”
[You have become a viscount of the Yusma Empire.]
[The title ‘First to Become a Viscount’ has been created.]
[First to Become a Viscount]
[You are the first player to become a viscount of the Yusma Empire.
The title grows when you rise in rank.
Effect: The stat ‘dignity’ is created, and the damage dealt by opponents of a lower level is reduced by 20%.
Dignity: A noble dignity that overwhelms others. The dignity stat will reduce your opponent’s stats. The weaker the opponent, the more the stats are reduced. You can gain more favors from NPCs. Remaining stat points can’t be added to it.]
‘A stat!’ Hyeonu was astonished when he confirmed all the messages. He had predicted a ‘first’ title as it was clear that he was the first noble. Obviously, no one would be able to get 100,000 imperial contributions when even Hyeonu hadn’t acquired it. However, he hadn’t expected the effect of the title. It was the creation of the new ‘dignity’ stat. The effect was great. He would’ve jumped around if the emperor weren’t in front of him. This was good enough.
Hyeonu realized that he had to leave the great hall if he wanted to learn more about the dignity stat. “Then I’ll be going. I don’t want to take too much of Your Majesty’s busy time.”
Hyeonu left the great hall hurriedly. The emperor just smiled.
After Hyeonu left, Choi Yoon got a call from an unknown number.
-Is this Choi Yoon? I’m Yoon Jeongmin from Nike Entertainment Asia. I’m calling to talk about the streaming participation schedule and the surgery schedule.
Choi Yoon realized at once this wasn’t a dream.
-Choi Yoon-ssi? Can you hear me?
Choi Yoon couldn’t speak due to all his excited feelings. He soon calmed down and replied, “Yes, that sounds good. Please explain it. I can hear you.”
Since then, there was a one-sided explanation from Yoon Jeongmin. How long did they talk for? Looking at the watch on his wrist, Choi Yoon stopped talking after realizing how much time had passed. ‘I’m worried about Jisu.’
“There is no time. Can I call you back later?”
-Of course. Please call me when you are available, and I will be happy to explain it.
Choi Yoon finally asked a question. There had been one strange thing. He was a bit curious about that man. “Was it Alley Leader who came to the hospital today?
-That’s right. The man who visited the hospital today was Alley Leader.