Ranker's Return
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Chapter 294
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Ranker's Return
Author :rainbowturtle
© Wuxiaworld

Chapter 294

The meat party with Hyeonu ended, and Tang-E held his swollen belly as he sat in Hyeonu’s arms.

‘Cute guy.’ A deep smile appeared on Hyeonu’s face. Then he stepped through the door at a leisurely pace. The background for Senu’s Stage 4 was the Colosseum. This was Senu’s original appearance before the first stage began.

-In Stage 4, we will test the life you have lived up to the present. The empire wants talented people who not only have skills but also humanity. Three witnesses will be summoned to the testing bench in front of you. They will be asked a few questions each. If the answer is above a certain standard, the Stage 4 test will end. There is no time limit.

Hyeonu smiled bitterly as the voice ringing through the space stopped. This was the worst.

‘It’s shit.’

It was a more difficult mission than anything else. Testing his life—this meant checking his play history. The presence of Senu on the East Continent and Laek on the West Continent meant that there had been no distinction between east and west during the Luos Empire. The components on which talents who were desired by such a huge empire were judged included personality. It meant that they wanted him to have a tendency toward either ‘good’ or ‘neutral’ behaivor. Of course, this was just Hyeonu’s guess.

‘Did I do so? Did I play Arena nicely?’

Hyeonu was already looking back on himself. What had he done and who had he harassed?

‘When did I harass anyone? No, I never did.’

Hyeonu shook his head vigorously. He hadn’t done that at all. Although he hadn’t done anything good, he hadn’t done anything bad either. Hyeonu was extremely neutral, and it was the definition of how he had played Arena so far. However, this stage had nothing to do with Hyeonu’s willpower or strength and merely depended on who appeared and what they would say.

‘Please, please... Please be people who have a good relationship with me...’ Hyeonu prayed earnestly.

-The first witness has been summoned, the voice spoke again.

Simultaneously, a four-meter-wide circle appeared around the place called the testing bench. The light disappeared, but nothing was left in that place.

“What?” Hyeonu was naturally annoyed. It was because this was Senu’s problem. In a way, it was a bug.

“Why isn’t anyone coming out?” Hyeonu murmured as he watched the empty test bench. He was annoyed, but he didn’t know the cause, so it was natural for him to be curious.

-The first witness has been summoned, the polite voice said once more.

Then the light appeared again, but there was still no one on the test bench. The irritation disappeared from Hyeonu’s face, and seriousness filled it instead.

‘Is it really not appearing?’

He didn’t know for sure since this was an ancient empire. A lot of time had passed, so perhaps the magic circle was damaged. There could be a problem.


-The first witness has been summoned.

Just then, the magic circle glowed three times, and the light burst out again. Hyeonu stared at the testing bench with a face of anticipation.

‘Work this time! Someone appear!!’

Perhaps Hyeonu’s desperate prayer worked. There were small movements from the place where the light had disappeared. Yet Hyeonu’s expression quickly stiffened when he saw the other person. Simultaneously, his face turned white like he had seen a ghost.

“Hrmm... Who called me? Is it the earl?” The owner of the voice had golden hair as gorgeous as the sun. He was a person with a distinctively lazy voice. It was the master of the empire who ruled the West Continent. The emperor, Alexander, had been summoned.

“I thought someone was playing a joke. This doesn’t seem to be the West Continent. Is this the East Continent?” The emperor looked around with curious eyes. This was extremely rare for the emperor who didn’t see most things in his eyes. If any of his attendants saw this scene, they would be shocked.

Hyeonu soon managed his expression and calmly answered the emperor’s question, “Y-Your Majesty, this is a place called Senu on the East Continent.”

He had always felt it, but he was struck by fear once again when he stood in front of the emperor. Arena was a game yet the reluctance that came from instinct couldn’t be helped.

“Senu? Ah, the place that Suped was looking for. You are eager to advance in many ways. Truly a model for the nobles of the empire. In particular, Lebron should imitate your eagerness...” A subtle playfulness was on the emperor’s face. “So why am I here?”

“That...” Hyeonu hesitated as he was unable to answer the emperor’s question properly.

Just then, a voice answered the emperor’s question instead of Hyeonu: -It is for the examination of the academy student.

“It’s a test? Do I have to fight against the earl?” The emperor’s expression was still playful. It was a terrible joke from Hyeonu’s point of view.

“It isn’t like that, Your Majesty. Don’t say that even as a joke,” Hyeonu said.

Just imagining it was horrifying. A battle with the emperor, a dragon-certified monster, was nothing but suicide.

-Just answer three questions, the voice stated, saving Hyeonu.

“How boring. Is that all? It isn’t worth standing up from my throne after such a long time.” The emperor shook his head slightly.

The emperor’s face had lost his sense of playfulness, which was then replaced by the expression Hyeonu was used to seeing. It was an expression of being bothered by the world.

‘He stood up from the throne?’ Hyeonu realized it from the emperor’s words. It was a fact that the emperor’s body had always been buried in the throne.

‘Ah! There was one time.’

An exception was when he had a fistfight with Lebron, Hyeonu’s teacher, but that had only happened once. Apart from that time, the emperor had always been buried in his throne.

-The first question. What is your relationship with the academy student in front of you? The voice asked the first question.

The emperor started answering without hesitation, “I am the emperor of the empire.”

The answer was ridiculous, but it was the most obvious expression of the relationship between the two. The emperor—no matter what the relationship was packaged as, everyone was just a subordinate in front of him. The voice was well aware of this as well.

-The answer turned out to be true. Then I’ll move onto the next question. Who is the academy student in front of you?

The emperor answered the next question without hesitation as well. It was as if he had studied in advance the questions that the voice would ask.

“Our Earl Gang Hyeonu is very suitable. His talent is good, his greed is appropriate, and he is even moderately fun. I like him very much. He is the best subordinate.” It was the emperor’s praise. Of course, it varied depending on those listening, but it couldn’t be higher praise according to the emperor’s standards.

-The answer turned out to be true. Then I’ll move onto the next question. It is the last question. Is the academy student in front of you trustworthy?

“Gang Hyeonu is a trustworthy man,” the emperor once again asserted without hesitation. Hyeonu was embarrassed to hear it.

‘Does he believe in me that much?’ Hyeonu even had this thought. However, just as he was feeling moved—

“He has the right amount of armed force. He isn’t a threat at all. A dog is a dog. He can’t bite his owner.” The emperor’s ensuing words shattered Hyeonu’s emotions.

The voice echoed through the space: -The answer turned out to be true. The questioning is over. I will return the witness.

Light wrapped around the emperor’s body, but the emperor didn’t move away as the voice intended. Instead, he moved entirely of his own will.

“Bring more when you come. Understood?” The emperor ordered as he stared into Hyeonu’s eyes. There was a faint sense of greed in his eyes.

“I understand,” Hyeonu replied with a smile.

‘I have to fill my empty inventory with alcohol.’

It was clearly alcohol that the emperor was asking him to bring.

“Don’t make me wait for long. There is only a bit of alcohol left.” The emperor disappeared from the testing bench with these words. He was truly a monster.

-The second witness has been summoned.

A second witness was summoned before Hyeonu could recover from the aftermath of the emperor. This person had a familiar face and appearance. It was a face he saw countless times a day. The face belonged to Yeongchan.

“Hey, what is this? Did you do it? This shit...” Yeongchan frowned with annoyance the moment he showed up. He had been hunting with his guild members. Yeongchan was a guild master and their ace, so his absence meant that the hunt would have to stop.

“What? This? What is this place?”

In response to Yeongchan’s words, Hyeonu answered briefly, “Give good answers. You will be sent away soon.”

“What?” Yeongchan asked again, not understanding Hyeonu’s words properly. Before hearing Hyeonu’s answer, Yeongchan heard another voice.

-The first question. What is your relationship with the academy student in front of you?

“I have to answer this?”

Hearing Yeongchan’s question, Hyeonu nodded. Yeongchan opened his mouth as he thought of the guild members who would be sending him whispers after he went missing. He answered, “A friend. A friend I will be with for the rest of my life.”

Like the emperor, Yeongchan responded without hesitation. In fact, there was no need for him to hesitate. He just had to tell the truth.

-The answer turned out to be true. Then I’ll move onto the next question. Who is the academy student in front of you?

“A good friend. He is pretty kind but also moderately bad. He is a really good friend.”

It was a simple answer, but this alone showed what Yeongchan thought of Hyeonu—a friend he would know forever.

-The answer turned out to be true. Then I’ll move onto the next question. It is the last question. Is the academy student in front of you trustworthy?

It was already the last question. Two questions passed by in an instant. Yeongchan immediately opened his mouth to answer this question and said, “I believe in him more than my family. My parents gave birth to me, but this friend knows me best. Who will I trust if I don’t trust the person I’ve shared half my life with?”

The relationship between Yeongchan and Hyeonu had lasted over 10 years, from their days of being snot-faced kids to the present when they were 23 years old.

‘Jerk...’

Hyeonu had believed that Yeongchan would speak well of him, but he hadn’t expected such sincerity.

-The answer turned out to be true. The questioning is over. I will return the witness.

“Hey, buy my usual fried chicken later. Onions, ribs. You know the drill?” Yeongchan was pleasant to the end. At the end of these words, he disappeared from the testing bench with a burst of light.

‘I just need one more person.’

So far, it had worked out well. The emperor and Yeongchan—they had both showed confidence in him and come up with good answers. Hyeonu wanted to end it here. However, he wasn’t the one who would finish the test.

-The last witness has been summoned.

It was a nice sound. This was the last one.

‘I just need to pass this time.’

He felt lucky.

“Huh?” Hyeonu instantly became awkward as his body felt lighter. It felt as if he just put down a heavy load he had been carrying. The reason quickly became apparent.

“Master dude, the last one is me.”

The last witness was a cute bear with golden fur. It was Tang-E.
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