Chapter 55: Chapter 54: Gnosis Information Guild, Part II
Two men were standing outside the Kaltz hotel that Lee Jiwon had checked out from that morning.
“What? He’s not here?”
“No, sir. They said that he checked out around 7:30 this morning.”
“Ahhh! You idiot! I told you not to let him out of your sight!”
“But, hyungnim! The check-out time was two PM… I thought we could take our time-ow!”
Kim Jihan couldn’t listen to his underling’s excuses any longer, and smacked him upside the head. “Do you think that makes sense? You dumbass!” Kim Jihan yelled at the underling, still furious.
Kim Jihan had received an order from his guild master the day before: keep a twenty-four hour surveillance on one deva! The target was a level 32 deva named Lee Jiwon. At first, Kim Jihan thought it was too simple a task, and accepted it with a smile, but when his guild master told him that this was a very important mission and that he would not accept any mistakes or failures, it made Kim Jihan very nervous.
The expression his guild master made was even scarier.
When Kim Jihan accepted the mission, his guild master repeated to him that he could not lose sight of Lee Jiwon at all during the twenty-four hours, making Lee Jiwon even more nervous as he left his guild master’s office. He knew that there was more to this mission than he initially thought.
“You actually lost him because he checked out early? If I tell the boss that…” A shiver went down Kim Jihan’s spine. His guild master was an extremely dangerous man. To be more precise, his guild master was a carrot-and-stick kind of man. He rewarded success very handsomely, but failures…
“Shit!” The guild master had repeated three times that it was extremely important, that he wouldn’t accept failure…
“Where the Hell do we find him? If we’re too obvious in our search, the boss will hear about it.” Kim Jihan knew several places to look, but if he wasn’t careful, the guild master would find out from his spies. He already knew that Lee Jiwon had stopped by the Kaltz hotel; it would only be a matter of time until he found out that they idiotically lost him when he checked out. Kim Jihan could not let that happen!
“I’ll send two more guys to you, so stay here and watch this place properly this time! He might come back here again. I swear to God if you lose him again…!”
“Yes, sir. I’ll make sure to keep a constant eye on him!”
Kim Jihan left while putting the screws on his underling. He had a lot to do now if he wanted to figure out Lee Jiwon’s movements and find him as soon as possible!
“Fuck! I’ll have to spend all the money I’ve saved up until now.” Money solved everything!
I sprinted down the Han River trail. It took me thirteen minutes to cross twenty kilometers. That was forty seconds a kilometer.
“I can actually run this fast now.” My stamina was nothing like it was back when I was a fire mage. Back then, I didn’t even have the Blink skill, so I had to either walk or use public transportation to get around. The Sunbin Guild had set up its own taxi and bus service, but they were pretty expensive to use, so I couldn’t use them very often…
“This is it.” A tall building stood near the collapsed National Assembly building. There was a large sign on it that said ‘Han Dong’, making it easier to spot.
“This must be my first time here, as I never had the chance to come here in the past.” I walked over to the Han Dong Bar that was the only entrance to the building.
“Huh?” The door to the bar was locked.
“Wasn’t it supposed to be always open?” As I attempted to open the door once more, I sensed bloodthirst behind me. I quickly drew my greatsword from my inventory and spun around. I wasn’t going to be taken from behind!
“What the hell are you?” There was a single man in his thirties with an eyepatch about five meters away from me. I could tell that the bloodthirst came from him, as if he was about to attack. I didn’t like that he was approaching me in that manner and kept my guard up. I let him know through my tone that if he took one more step, I would attack him first!
“You’ve got decent instincts. No, if you could sense me from five meters away, then you must be pretty strong. To think there’s actually someone as powerful as you in Seoul that I don’t know about… we must never have met before.”
“Are you from the Gnosis Guild?”
“I have a request for you.”
“Ha…a request from someone as strong as you. I’m curious as to what it is, but I’m afraid you’re a little too late. We’re in the middle of another request. We won’t be taking requests for the time being.”
“…” I didn’t have to reply to him, now that I knew that I couldn’t put in a request.
“Come back in a week if you still want to work with us then. We should be done by then.” As soon as he finished talking, the man jumped from where he was standing up to the third floor of the Han Dong building. He then disappeared behind a door.
“Huh. Well, that sure was a twist…” I placed my greatsword back into my inventory and sprinted back towards Gangnam. Next stop was Anton’s store!
A man and a woman appeared at a window as Lee Jiwon ran off into the distance. The man was the one with the eyepatch from earlier, and the woman was pretty, with red hair.
“Who was that? Who was it that the made the lazy Cyclops go down there himself? You even let him go, when normally you kill the person for making you act. How interesting!”
“I don’t know. I’ve never seen him before. But, I didn’t let him go. I ran away from him.”
“What?” Jay looked at him in surprise. The man with the eyepatch, Han Yongsuk, also known as Cyclops, was infamous for being the proudest man of the Gnosis Guild. Cyclops didn’t joke around, which made her all the more shocked.
“He’s strong. Much stronger than me. He looks weak on the outside, but there’s a demon hiding inside him. If we fought, I would definitely lose.”
“And our guild has never come across him before? Never, in Seoul? How does that make sense?”
“It has to be one of the two. Either the guild is wrong, or I’m wrong,” he replied, as if neither was a big deal.
Jay had never known either side to be wrong, and didn’t know what to think.
“Do we have to use Clairvoyance once more?” Jay sighed as she opened a door and moved to another room.
After Han Yongsuk was left alone, he looked down at his trembling right hand.
It had been five meters. If he had taken even a single step forward, that man would have closed the distance in an instant, and Han Yongsuk would have either lost his right arm or been sliced cleanly in half. He knew it would have been one or the other. He knew it the second the man drew his greatsword from his inventory and turned around.
“There’s always bigger fish in the pond, and I’m still too weak,” Han Yongsuk muttered to himself, before leaving the room as well. If they were to complete their task in one week, they needed every hand on deck.
A few days before Lee Jiwon woke up…
A meeting was taking place at the fifty-third floor conference room of the Yong Gong Guild’s headquarters.
“Isn’t that place still too dangerous?”
“Father, it must be dangerous for this to work. We just need eight people, including me, to enter the Seorak Mountain dungeon.” Shin Hyuk told his father and the Yong Gong guild master, Shin Chang Il.
“Father, how long must we live under the watchful eye of the Sunbin Guild? If we want to escape their grasp, we must defeat the dungeon’s boss ourselves. We need as many items as possible to bring the fight to them.” Shing Hyuk turned to look at the man next to him. The man was none other than Bang Witae, the former Yong Gong Group’s executive assistant, and currently the captain of the Yong Gong Guild’s Strike Team.
“Mr. Chairman, the young master is right. If we keep this up, the Yong Gong Guild will never escape the Sunbin Guild’s shadow.”
“Furthermore, Song Haein even received 50 million golden rings from America’s Shire Guild to participate in America’s mid-grade boss raid. Our guild’s morale is low because of that. If we let this go, it won’t be long before the Sunbin Guild decides to take us over,” Shin Hyuk added after Bang Witae.
Shin Chang Il fell into deep thought at his son’s and Bang Witae’s words. The Sunbin Guild was doing too well these days. When Song Haein was invited to the Shire Guild’s raid, it only added fuel to the fire. He was extremely happy when Song Haechang failed miserably, but it was short lived when Song Haein came up strong.
“Hyung-nim.” Shin Guhyuk, Shin Chang Il’s brother, called out to him from behind. “I say we at least try it out. We’ve prepared about seven hundred devas to distract the gryphon swarms and the twin-horned gryphon. With their distraction, Hyuk and the others should be able to make it to the dungeon.”
“Uncle’s right, father. As long as I have our Unrivaled deva and my personal healer, we can take any other six devas with us. We’ve experimented many times at Eulsukdo dungeon, as well.”
Shin Chang Il began to get more convinced, as the three people he trusted the most all said the same thing. Shin Chang Il didn’t care that the seven hundred devas would incur death penalties, they weren’t part of his guild. But more than that, he didn’t want his son to incur a death penalty, and hesitated.
But with his son and his most trusted advisors strongly imploring him, he decided to let Shin Hyuk do what he wanted.
“Fine! We’ll try it. But, one thing, Guhyuk.” Shin Chang Il looked over to his younger brother.
“The seven hundred devas you prepared as bait are too few. Prepare three hundred more, just in case. Their death penalties aren’t a problem to us anyway, right?”
“I understand, hyung-nim. I’ll increase the number to a thousand.”
“Good. I want you all to go forward with this with the intention to succeed, even if it’s just an experiment. Take whatever you need from the guild.”
At the Yong Gong guild master’s order, a thousand non-guild member devas were gathered. All these devas were either promised good rewards and a chance to reset their death penalties if they participated, or threatened that they’d be tied up and killed repeatedly so they wouldn’t be able to carry on as devas, or that their families would be starved.
Regardless of promises of reward or threats, these devas were furious. The reward was abysmal and was worth less than one percent of what was needed to remove one death penalty. But they could do nothing but act as bait, and had to swallow their anger with their tears.
Soon, the Yong Gong Guild began moving its people over towards the Seorak Mountain dungeon without alerting the Sunbin Guild and the Ojin Guild. The guild practically dragged a thousand devas over to be fed to a level 800+ twin-horned gryphon boss.
“It seems they’re about to start.”
“Only the Yong Gong Guild is capable of such an inhumane act. A raid at the cost of a thousand lives.” There was an entity that kept close tabs on the Yong Gong Guild without them knowing, of course. It was the Gnosis Guild that had denied Lee Jiwon’s request!