Hyeonu handed Chen Long a bottle of alcohol and requested, “First of all, I want to hear about the Gucheon Secret Department that you want.”
“At present, Gucheon Secret Department is different from how it was in the past. Now, one’s background is more important than ability. I have to get rid of that bad custom,” Chen Long replied with a serious expression. Seeing Chen Long’s current appearance, Hyeonu struggled to erase the smile that was threatening to emerge.
‘It’s different from how it was in the past? It seems to be the same as before...’
Otherwise, they wouldn’t have caused conflicts with other forces for nonsensical reasons.
Hyeonu couldn’t help wanting to laugh after hearing something like this. However, he endured it for the sake of the quest.
‘Don’t laugh, don’t do it.’
Hyeonu tried to control his mind before asking Chen Long again, “So what will you do with the Yuxin Empire? First of all, I’ve been commissioned by the emperor of the East Continent regarding the Gucheon Secret Department.”
‘The Yuxin Empire?’ Chen Long heard Hyeonu’s words and pondered on it for a moment.
He had never thought about the imperial family in the first place as he had been in a frenzy just trying to survive in the Gucheon Secret Department.
“We don’t need to have a bad relationship. It is enough to have a relationship of mutual help,” Chen Long stated. He had no preconceived notion about the other existing forces since they hadn’t enjoyed any relations with each other right from the very beginning. Chen Long had simply sharpened and polished the armed forces to survive.
‘Okay, I have to go and mediate appropriately,’ Hyeonu thought.
Then he declared, “I’ll go and tell the emperor that. I will come back with more details after meeting him. For now, let’s have fun. Bakar, come and take a bottle.”
After the daytime party, Hyeonu urged Bakar to give him a return charm to Linakalu.
‘I can’t ride the carriage again.’
It wasn’t bad traveling in the high-speed carriage, but the wasted time was a burden on Hyeonu. As such, the return amulet was a perfect choice for Hyeonu who needed to play quickly.
‘I will go to the emperor and roughly tell him the situation.’
After that, he intended to form a relationship with the Gucheon Secret Department through making a proper deal. There would just be some differences. In the early days, it was a vertical relationship with the old Gucheon Secret Department being under the imperial family. Now they would be in a horizontal relationship like partners.
‘This seems the best to me.’
If it didn’t work out, then he could just wipe out the Gucheon Secret Department. It would be possible if he called New World, Kowloon, the New York Warriors, and Red Bull America. If the power of the Yuxin Empire were added, then the Samsungga would be defeated.
‘I will summon the dragon if a dragon that I can’t handle comes out.
Hyeonu many backups. If all those didn’t work, he would just return to the West Continent.
‘Then let’s go now.’
Hyeonu tore a return amulet to Taeyang, the capital of the Yuxin Empire. Hyeonu appeared on the outskirts of Taeyang with a bright glow. He glanced at Buncheonru in the distance and then moved to the imperial palace.
“I came to see His Majesty the Emperor.” Hyeonu held out the golden plaque he received from Liu Yongyun to the guard just like he had done during his previous visit.
“The gold plaque has been confirmed. Please go in.”
Hyeonu received a markedly different reaction from before. It was natural. This guard was the one that Hyeonu had met previously, so there was no way the guard didn’t recognize the gold plaque.
“You’ve worked hard,” Hyeonu briefly greeted the guard and walked inside.
“Ah, it’s good.” Hyeonu recalled his previous memories and slowly moved to the emperor’s palace. The palace of the Yuxin Empire was still elegant and harmonious. He couldn’t help admiring it. Then this time, it was the palace’s attendant that Hyeonu encountered.
“Can you please tell His Majesty that Earl Gang Hyeonu from beyond the mountain range has come?” Hyeonu asked to see the emperor.
“I understand. I will tell him right now.” The attendant bowed politely and disappeared into the palace.
He appeared again a short time later and stated: “His Majesty said to go in, Earl Gang Hyeonu.”
Hyeonu followed the instructions and headed inside the palace. He soon came across a familiar door.
‘It is an automatic door!’
The door naturally opened. Behind the door was an old man sitting on the throne.
“Your Majesty, it has been a while. Have you been well during this time?” Hyeonu greeted the emperor with a warm face. The emperor was unchanged. He was still an emperor with no energy.
“I don’t think you’ve had much success... What is the reason for your return?” The emperor spoke as he watched Hyeonu.
“There’s no success...? That’s not true at all, Your Majesty. In fact, I have already gained an internal helper. He is a great helper.”
‘Helper? What is that?’ The emperor thought.
After hearing Hyeonu’s words, the emperor expressed his doubts: “Helper? Does it mean that you’ve planted a spy inside?”
If it had been so easy to resolve, then it would’ve been done by the emperor. For the Yuxin Empire, the Gucheon Secret Department had been a headache for decades or even hundreds of years.
‘Is this person really just an adventurer?’ The emperor’s suspicions continued until Hyeonu opened his mouth.
“There was a chance encounter. He is dissatisfied with the system of the Gucheon Secret Department—no, to be precise, the Samsungga. He is disgusted that they rely on background over ability,” Hyeonu explained.
“Surely it isn’t a guard or something like that?”
Upon hearing the emperor’s words, Hyeonu’s eyes widened, and he replied playfully, “How did you know that? He is a guard leader.”
“Are you playing with me right now?!!” The emperor had no choice but to become angry.
Just a guard...
A guard wasn’t a low position, but it wasn’t a great position.
“What do you mean by playing? I built a relationship with a guard in such a short period of time. What did the imperial family do? The Cheonryong Group? The Secret Camp? The Yeokcheon Group? Have you even seen their faces?” Hyeonu retorted coldly.
“Huhu... Yes... That’s right.”
The empire’s resources hadn’t managed to infiltrate the Samsungga or Buncheonru. There had been countless attempts, but the people the empire dispatched were all killed or won over. The imperial family thought this fact was hidden, but they had actually already been exposed.
‘Adventurers are their weak spot.’
It was only now that adventurers were appearing one after another in the empire. In such circumstances, even the Gucheon Secret Department couldn’t have imagined that an adventurer would sneak in as a spy. The emperor’s anger subsided when he thought of this. Regaining his gentle voice, he said, “That’s enough. It is quite a big achievement. You have achieved what the empire hasn’t been able to do in the meantime...”
Then Hyeonu told the old emperor something else: “He is currently a guard captain, but he was formerly the leader of the Cheonryong Group.”
“!!!” The old emperor was speechless from shock. The guard captain was formerly the leader of the Cheonryong Group, which was one of the three major armed forces of the Samsungga.
“It is assumed that he was pushed out of his position for multiple reasons. The main reason seems to be that he was pushed down by someone with a background.” Hyeonu saw the emperor’s expression and continued to talk. “He was one of the leaders, but there doesn’t seem to be anything supporting him anymore.”
“So that’s why he was deceived by you? It was so easy?” The emperor’s face was filled with absurdity. He couldn’t believe Hyeonu’s words. It was natural to not believe. These words were too ridiculous to be believed. If it were applied to the imperial family, it would be like an imperial prince being squeezed out.
“I think it is the result of an internal power struggle. He was demoted, so he is probably holding a grudge,” Hyeonu said.
‘The guard captain is a bit vengeful...’
Even so, there were still many things that didn’t make sense. The guards alone would hold considerable power in the Samsungga. Why did he want the destruction of the Gucheon Secret Department? Such a thing was never easy to do.
“This isn’t enough for a betrayal. Don’t you think so, Earl Gang Hyeonu?”
Hyeonu silently accepted the questioning gaze of the old emperor.
This was because he believed that these doubts would go away once he took out his prepared words: “I promised him. I would make him the master of the Samsungga and, eventually, the master of the Gucheon Secret Department. He readily agreed when he heard this.”
A change occurred on the old emperor’s face again. Now it was completely expressionless; no emotions could be seen.
“Isn’t it the best situation? Minimal blood will be shed, and you can restore the relationship of the past. I think this is much better than wiping them out.”
The moment Hyeonu’s words came to an end, warmth returned to the emperor’s expression. A small smile appeared on his face, and his eyes drooped.
The emperor said, “You are very competent. You seem to be better than Yongyun. It is no wonder that the emperor of the West Continent gave you the title of earl.”
‘It is amazing.’
The old emperor felt more admiration toward Hyeonu than his words expressed. He thought that this adventurer was really competent and excellent. It wasn’t an exaggeration to say Hyeonu was a talented person. The emperor had thought that as an adventurer, Hyeonu was a hand he could abandon at any time. So he thought it was a good thing to use the adventurer a bit. Yet for Hyeonu to have come up with a solution like this...
“You can continue to make preemptive actions like today as long as it is exactly as you’ve said.” The smile on the emperor’s face deepened.
The more he thought about it, the more satisfied he became. If he could communicate with the Gucheon Secret Department like in the past and exert influence over the entire Gucheon Secret Department...
‘I will be able to reign over the nobles and various forces once again.’
“Good. If you want anything, tell me. I’ll give you anything suitable.” The emperor offered a reward to Hyeonu.
However, Hyeonu shook his head and rejected the offer. “It’s fine. I’ll receive the rewards after everything is over.”
‘It is better to aim for unique-rated items than rare items.’
This was carefully calculated behavior. It was a decision made from Hyeonu’s theory that it was better to aim for a big reward than a small one.
“Then I will give you the reward you want after everything is done. Ah, truly... I need to prepare a big one,” the old emperor said with a smile. Just then, a message window appeared in front of Hyeonu informing him of the quest update.
[The quest has been updated.]
[Fight with the Gucheon Secret Department] → [Overthrow the Gucheon Secret Department]
[Destroy the Gucheon Secret Department] → [Cooperate with the Gucheon Secret Department]
Hyeonu had turned around to leave the emperor’s office, but then he turned back at the emperor’s words and suggested, “By the way, this thing. Wouldn’t it be better if it is resolved sooner?”
“Naturally. Isn’t it a human heart to want it to be done tomorrow?” The old emperor nodded. It was better for the sick to be healed as soon as possible.
“In that case, can I invite some adventurers to join? They are all very talented people. They will help and won’t be a nuisance.”
“That’s a welcome thing. I will have to prepare rewards for the other adventurers as well. Instead, you will have to handle the distribution. You understand, right?”
This time, Hyeonu nodded.
It was a proposal he would’ve never accepted if the same reward were given.
‘Am I crazy? Why would I get the same rewards?’
“Of course, but I have some other concerns... I would be grateful if I could receive enough return amulets. The number of adventurers is over a hundred. I think what I’ve received the other day is lacking.”