“You should not get close to Shuiyang. I contacted you because I wanted to say this. There is a problem with a personal quest I am on,” Hyeonu said urgently.
He spoke so quickly that Mascherano couldn’t understand the words despite English being his native language.
-Huh? Can you say it again?
“Don’t go to Shuiyang. Don’t ever, ever go there until I get back in touch with you. Then I’m hanging up now.”
Hyeonu removed his smartphone from his ear and quickly tapped on the phone’s screen. His fingers moved, and the smartphone soon played a ringback tone again. It rang a few times before a beautiful woman’s voice was heard.
-Yes, hello. It is Reina. Who is this? Reina asked, checking to see who was calling.
“I am Gang Hyeonu. Is it okay that I’m calling you now?” Hyeonu’s spoke in a somewhat urgent voice.
In fact, he didn’t need to be so urgent. The fact that he was having this call right now meant that Reina and the other players of the New York Warriors weren’t connected to Arena, so there would be no problems in Arena anytime soon. However, there were no such thoughts in Hyeonu’s mind. He was just filled with the fact that they could be damaged by him—or, to be precise, New World.
‘It is fortunate.’ Hyeonu sighed with relief.
Reina was also relieved. She was grateful she hadn’t answered the phone in her usual relaxed manner.
-Yes, I’m fine. Please speak.
Hyeonu started to slowly explain the situation: “There is a problem in Arena. It might cause some damage, so I contacted you in advance.”
‘Damage? For me?’ Reina cocked her head at Hyeonu’s words.
It was unexpected news about potential damage. Moreover, it was within Arena.
-What do you mean? What damage?
“There is a problem with a quest. Thus, there is friction with the Chonghua Sect of Shuiyang, and they might attack adventurers. I’ll fix the problem as soon as possible. I am contacting you because I hope you can postpone accessing the game until that time,” Hyeonu briefly summarized the current situation.
Still, this alone was enough. Reina fully understood what Hyeonu was trying to say.
-Is that so? Thank you for letting me know in advance. By the way... how long will we have to wait? One or two days is fine, but it will be difficult if it is longer...
Reina wanted to say that even one year was fine, but she wasn’t doing this alone. She was the leader in charge of many colleagues, so she needed a minimum guarantee.
“Of course not. I will take responsibility and resolve it today. It will be over by tomorrow, Reina,” Hyeonu responded with a light smile.
Upon returning home, Hyeonu sent an email to Liu Shei with a rough explanation. There was a reason he didn’t call Liu Shei. It wasn’t discrimination or anything like that. This was just a matter of communication. Liu Shei could read English well, but he wasn’t good at conversing verbally. Therefore, Hyeonu didn’t call him.
‘I must go to Shuiyang first.’
Before entering the cube, Hyeonu thought about it quietly.
‘Meeting Qing Feng is the first thing I should do.’
He planned to go to the Chonghua Sect for a discussion, even if Qing Feng wasn’t there. Hyeonu’s words and the golden plaque would be enough to convince them.
‘The worst case situation is that I can’t meet them...’
He wouldn’t be able to go there anymore. It would really be the worst situation. That would mean he had lost the NPC connections he built up in the East Continent.
‘I will stop that from happening.’
Hyeonu entered Arena with a firm commitment.
A familiar city, Shuiyang...
A familiar mountain, Manhua Mountain...
Then a familiar face, Qing Feng...
“Brother, it has been a while,” Hyeonu greeted Qing Feng like nothing had happened and as if he didn’t know anything.
“Yes, it has been a while.” Qing Feng also welcomed Hyeonu like he knew nothing. “Hasn’t it been too long? I know you are an adventurer, but... it’s saddening.”
Hyeonu concealed his heart and followed Qing Feng’s rhythm. ‘He really doesn’t know?’
Although Hyeonu cocked his head slightly, he still smiled brightly. “I was busy because I had my own work. Of course, I don’t have as much work as you, who holds a high position in the Chonghua Sect.”
“What are you saying...? It is like a bolt out of the blue.” Qing Feng stopped talking and stared up at the blue sky instead. As for what he was thinking about, that wasn’t known.
Some time passed before Qing Feng turned his head back toward Hyeonu.
“This thing. Brother, are you involved? The elders are very angry. I think they will descend the mountain soon.” Qing Feng’s expression was pretty solemn.
He was usually always smiling, so it meant this was an extremely serious situation.
“It isn’t something I did, but it does concern me,” Hyeonu said.
Hearing Hyeonu’s words, Qing Feng’s expression gradually shifted in a bad direction. Nevertheless, Hyeonu continued to speak, and he watched Qing Feng’s expression as he did so: “It is right that the adventurers associated with me attacked him. I just want to let you know that there is a reason for it.”
“A reason?” Qing Feng showed interest in Hyeonu’s words.
In fact, Qing Feng’s current behavior made no sense. A person belonging to his own force had been attacked, yet he was talking to someone suspected of being the perpetrator of the assault. It would be impossible without Qing Feng having a strong trust in Hyeonu.
“Didn’t I tell you the other day? I’m going to get revenge,” Hyeonu said.
“You did. You said you want to take revenge against the Gucheon Secret Department. That and the treasure...” Qing Feng was nodding when he suddenly closed his mouth and met Hyeonu’s eyes. “Don’t tell me... the elder is part of the Gucheon Secret Department…? That’s ridiculous! He has been in the Chonghua Sect for decades. It can’t be! Where did you get the wrong information from?” Qing Feng shouted with disbelief.
The elder was a spy—this would shake the roots of the Chonghua Sect.
“Can you see this? In addition, this?” Hyeonu brought out two things.
They were the golden plaque that was the symbol of the imperial guest and the piece of paper he’d received from Chen Long.
Of course, the paper was torn.
Hyeonu continued, “This golden plaque was given to me by the third imperial prince, and this piece of paper is a list of the leaders of the Cheonryong Group in the Gucheon Secret Department. There are precisely 50 names on this list. It isn’t on this piece of paper, but number 31 was written like this, ‘The 31st group leader of the Secret Camp, Shi Yang. Disguised as an elder of the Chonghua Sect. The specialty is sharp swordsmanship. Left-handed’.”
“......” Qing Feng couldn’t speak for a long time after hearing Hyeonu’s words. It was because Hyeonu’s words had come as a shock for him. The fact that Shi Yang was left-handed wasn’t known to many people even in the Chonghua Sect. Most people knew him as being right-handed.
“Really... Really...” Qing Feng uttered as an unbearable disgust filled his body.
Shi Yang had clearly said so at the meeting. He hadn’t even had time to move his sword and barely fled while fighting with his right hand.
‘He didn’t hold the sword with his left hand...’ Qing Feng sighed before looking at Hyeonu again.
Then he said, “I think I’ll have to go see Master for the first time in a long time... Do you want to go with me?”
Hyeonu readily accepted the suggestion: “Of course. I have to go, of course.”
At the heart of Manhua Mountain, a scene was reproduced in Muhwa Palace. Qing Feng and Hyeonu sat looking quietly at the teacup while Zaun was pouring tea.
“Master, we must bring Shi Yang over and interrogate him. It isn’t the time to drink tea like this,” Qing Feng shouted at Zaun.
It was an attitude that was contrary to his usual appearance.
“Do you expect me to just believe these words? How can I listen to an outsider and drive out an elder? Use common sense and think about whether this is the right judgment,” Zaun said.
“He isn’t an elder; he is a spy! Moreover, he’s spying for the Gucheon Secret Department...”
“That hasn’t been confirmed yet.”
Unlike the overly excited Qing Feng, Zaun’s attitude was consistently calm. He had not shown a single sign of being agitated since he began talking with Hyeonu and Qing Feng.
“Boy, drink some tea. I am going to talk to him,” Zaun told Qing Feng.
Soon, the tea was ready, and Zaun poured it into cups for Qing Feng and Hyeonu. The jade-colored water fell from the teapot into the cups.
“Your eyes are pretty clear for someone burning with the desire for revenge,” Zaun spoke as he poured tea into his own teacup. “To be honest, I already knew there was a spy in the sect. I just didn’t know who it was or their position.”
It was an amazing story. Qing Feng’s eyes constantly grew wider. Despite being Zaun’s disciple, this was the first time Qing Feng had heard of this.
“Master? What does that...?”
Zaun didn’t pay any attention to Qing Feng though. Instead, Zaun didn’t take his eyes off Hyeonu’s face.
“In fact, I guessed it when this incident happened. I didn’t want to believe it. Now I can’t help feeling bitter when I hear this.” There was a bitter expression on Zaun’s face.
A friend in the sect was the spy of another force. It was too incredible, and he didn’t want to believe it.
‘I’m glad it is going well,’ Hyeonu thought.
“Thank you for believing me.” Hyeonu sighed with relief that this was easier to resolve than he’d expected.
‘Then what about Shi Yang?’
“So where is that person?” Hyeonu asked Zaun about Shi Yang’s whereabouts.
“You mean Shi Yang? Why are you curious about that? Can’t you just be content that the Chonghua Sect isn’t hostile to adventurers?” Zaun’s current tone was similar to his tone from before, but the nuances in it were different.
‘Why is it so murderous?’ Hyeonu questioned inwardly.
Zaun’s gentle appearance had disappeared, and only a cold feeling was left.
“I’ve got my circumstances. I have to report to two people about my progress,” Hyeonu explained.
“Is that so? I can guess one of the people. You can tell him this—Shi Yang is dead. He got injured everywhere, ran away, and came here to Muhwa Palace. He died after giving an explanation.”
“Master!” Qing Feng screamed at Zaun’s unexpected words. It meant Zaun had killed Shi Yang. The person who had been with Shi Yang at the end was none other than Zaun.
“This was the last gift I could give to Shi Yang. It is a luxurious gift that shouldn’t be given to a traitor who has taken the lives of dozens of our comrades. I did it because of the decades of memories we shared together.”
Only Zaun’s bitter lament filled Muhwa Palace.