Chapter 82: Chapter 81: Nip it in the Bud, Part II
“You’re…” I had no idea what his name was. Well, maybe I did, but I didn’t care who he was when I first saw him. I also had no idea why he was calling me “master”.
“Do Sunghoon! My name is Do Sunghoon!”
“Do you remember me?”
“Uh… from Hyungjae Loans, right?”
“Yes, that’s right! I was the one who got captured by Oh Hyungjae and was killed by him multiple times. If it weren’t for you, master, on that fateful day, who knows what would have happened to me… umm, by the way, I never got your name.”
“It’s Lee Jiwon.”
“It’s very great meeting you again, Master Lee.”
I did not expect to meet him here in Cairo, of all places. I thought I would never see him again after that day.
“What brings you all the way to Cairo, Master Lee?”
“Master…why are you calling me master?” Why was he calling me master, when this was our first time talking?
“That’s because I decided to take you as a teacher of life and strength since that day!”
“Say what now?”
“I’ll never forget what you did for me that day. I swore to myself that if I ever see you again, I’d make you my master and live as your apprentice!”
I was taken aback by his enthusiasm. He began telling me about how hard he looked for me, how he tried to copy my appearance, and about how he hunted relentlessly to get stronger. It was like a child bragging to their parents. He kept looking at me like he wanted me to tousle his hair and tell him good job, but… he looked older than me. There was no way I would do that to a middle-aged man with a beer belly.
“I…I see. So that’s what happened…”
“That’s right! That’s why Master Lee is forever my master. Forever! To the end of days!”
“No… you don’t have to go that far.”
“Please, there’s no need to be so formal. Why would a master be respectful towards his student?”
“But our age…”
“Age doesn’t matter between devas. All that matters is who is stronger!”
“Master, please! If you continue this way then I, Do Sunghoon, will not meet you ever again!”
That’s want I wanted him to do. It was really weird to have someone be so forward with me. But it was nice to have someone to talk to after hunting on my own for a month, as weird as it was to have someone look at me like a dog to its owner. “O…okay…”
“Thank you, master!
“By the way, what brings you all the way to Cairo? Most Koreans don’t come all the way out here.” Egypt was way too far from Korea just for simple training. There were better and closer hunting grounds in Japan and China.
“Hmm…it is a secret, but I’ll tell you because you asked, master. I’m currently a member of a group known as Fate.”
“Fate?” I had never heard of a group like that before.
“I doubt you’ve heard of it. Put simply, it’s a group formed to fight against deities. Of course, we don’t fight every single deity out there. We mainly target deities that bring harm to devas.”
“Then you’re here for the Blood Prince.”
“Yes. The Blood Prince is Fate’s greatest enemy. The number of devas and mortals he has killed just went over 20,000. He is also getting stronger at an alarming rate, much faster than anyone else. We believe that if we just let him be, there will come a time that we devas will have to live in fear under his shadow, and decided it was best to join forces with the Myth Guild. That was why I was dispatched here.”
“Do you think killing him once will make that much of a difference?”
“As you already know, the existence of deities is a complete con. Yes, there are only a few deities out there that have special skills and abilities like the Blood Prince. The rest of them have to buy skills like devas. Those special deities, including the Blood Prince, are known as the Seven Monarchs.”
“Right.” If all deities were as strong as the Blood Prince, all devas would become slaves to deities. That much was obvious.
“Of course, most deities are stronger since they get twice as many stat points when they level up. That alone makes them that much stronger than devas.”
I already knew all of this. In the past, many devas hated the existence of deities, including me. What made them better than the rest of us?
“However, they lose just as much upon death.”
“First off, we devas have to wait three hours before we can respawn. Deities, on the other hand, have to wait 3,000 hours or 125 days. Second, devas lose 2 points to each Stat, a total of 10 points; basically we lose 1 level when we die. Deities lose 30 levels each time they die; they lose 120 Stat points to each Stat.” Unrivaled devas had a similar death penalty; they lost the same amount of Stat points they gained from one level.
“Deities also can’t use Penalty Recovery items like we can. They can’t get back the 600 Stat points they lose from dying once. Also, we devas can use the Sea of Reset to start over, but if a deity used it…”
“They become devas.”
“What…” It was my first time hearing all of this.
“You must not tell anyone this, but the leader of Fate is a deity.”
“!!!” I stared at Sunghoon in shock.
“According to the boss, deities and devas aren’t supposed to be enemies, but there are a few deities that are misunderstanding the whole thing. The boss believes that we need to be working together to prepare for the future, but the Blood Prince is causing a lot of problems. That’s why the boss decided to step in, to prevent a war between deities and devas.”
I didn’t ask him about it, but Sunghoon kept telling me everything he knew. He was becoming more and more useful.
“Oh, look at the time. It’s almost recruiting time so I’d best be going.”
“Oh, yeah. OK.”
“Oh, and take this too.” Sunghoon took something out of his inventory and handed it to me.
“Is… this a Comm Link?” People still used radios and phones. Large guilds even had their own transmission towers. But those things couldn’t be used inside dungeons. The only way to communicate during long dungeon hunts was to use Comm Links. Comm Links allowed others to communicate with each other as long as their Comm Links were connected. They were also very expensive.
“Yes. This Comm Link can connect to five other Comm Links. This one already has mine connected to it. It’s under #1.”
“It must have been expensive.”
Sunghoon gave a hearty laugh. “I finally got to meet you again, master; I can’t just let you go, now can I?”
I almost didn’t want to take it, but Sunghoon did go through a lot to find me.
“One more thing, master.” Sunghoon’s face turned dark as he got up to leave. “Cairo is going to turn into a bloody battlefield tomorrow. The Myth Guild is going to fight to the last man against the Blood Prince. Neither side is going to yield. You must leave Cairo before then.”
“What about you?”
“I must fight as a member of Fate. We must do everything we can to stop the Blood Prince from getting stronger.”
“Even if no one will recognize your efforts?”
Sunghoon laughed again. “There are a few out there. We have a few large guilds that have been secretly supporting Fate. I’m sure it’s because they’re jealous of deities.”
“Yes. I know there are some devas out there that work tirelessly to watch out for the future of devas, but…well, I do have the support of many.”
I nodded slightly at what Sunghoon just said.
“Well then, master. I’ll contact you soon. Do get out of Cairo ASAP.” Sunghoon left those final words before leaving the restaurant.
There was still quite a bit of food left on my table, but I lost the will to eat more.
-What should I do?- I had more to think about now. I left the restaurant and went back to the motel.
“It’s not like it’s got anything to do with me, honestly.” I did have my own encounter with the Blood Prince, and it was only a month ago. The bastard picked a fight with me for no reason while I was out looking for Khufu’s hidden dungeon. He had the same atrocious personality I had heard about in the past. He attacked anyone he wanted to, and saw all devas and mortals as insects to be exterminated.
“The Blood Prince did completely eliminate the Myth Guild and took over all of Egypt. He ascended even higher in strength after that…”
Even though the Blood Prince saw all devas as bugs, he did have devas that worked for him and stuck by him. They probably learned how to deal with him and his whims just so they could reap some of the rewards.
“What is this? I just have to not run into him again and I can go on my way…” I had nothing to do with them or him. It was the same in the past, and that’s how it was now. I didn’t belong to any guild, nor did I have anyone I cared about in particular. I knew that I would be fine if I just avoided him for the rest of my life.
“But there is something I learned in this new life. What was it I told Kim Jiwan? It’s smart to leave no potential enemies.” That was the problem right now.
In the past, the Blood Prince was an entity that was so far away from me. I was so insignificant compared to him that there was no chance of me ever running into him. But what about now, or in the future? Would it be the same? Was I really never going to run into him again? Those questions kept surfacing.
I had a strong feeling that I would encounter him again sooner or later, and that he would be much stronger then.
“What to do…?”
If I were weak, I would have died in an instant back at the Giza Pyramid dungeon’s entrance, just like all the other devas. Revenge? There was no way I could ever dream about revenge. It was because I was strong that I fought back and that I could hurt him.
“He’s going to end up getting in my way.” Even if I keep getting stronger, the Blood Prince would do the same.
Of course, I probably wouldn’t lose then but right now, I had a chance to nip him in the bud. That was the smartest choice to make.
I laughed to myself. “Did I grow that much to think like this?” I wasn’t worried about the fate of other devas and mortals. I was just thinking about my future. It was selfish of me, but that was how I thought. But I was still happy that I could think this way now, as it was something I couldn’t afford to do in the past.
I had to go with the flow of everything around me. I never had anyone that could get in my way.
I picked up the report the Myth Guild gave me on the Blood Prince and thumbed through it. I didn’t believe everything in the report, but there were quite a few things in there that matched what I knew from the past.
“Fine! I’ll do it.” I made my decision. I would join the fight against the Blood Prince. It was for me and me only!
Based on his temper, he was never going to see devas as his equals. He did the same in the past. If he wiped out the Myth Guild, he was only going to get stronger.
“I need to defeat him while I can! I need to put some distance between while I still have the chance!” It wasn’t like I needed to do much to prepare for the fight. All I had to do was my own thing. The Myth Guild was even going to pay me!
I decided to go to the Myth Guild’s headquarters the next morning and took the rest of the day off. I had to get ready for the fight of my life.
Early next morning, I arrived in front of the Myth Guild’s building.
“It’s so close.” I could see it from the motel. The main building was less than thirty stories tall, but the campus was very large. There were also two other ten-story buildings that were being used by the guild.
“Who goes there?” There was a guard in front of the main gate.
“I have business with the Myth Guild. Oh, I can just show you this.” I took out the VIP card Ebonene gave me.
“Ah! A VIP card. What is your name, sir?”
“Understood. Please wait here one moment.” The guard entered the guardhouse and spoke to someone on his radio. Soon, I could see someone inside the building running towards me.
“Welcome. Thank you for coming all this way. My name is Edwifu, and I’m the head of Recon here. I’ll take you in.”
“Yes, thank you.” I followed Edwifu through the campus.
“Since you’re here, is it safe to assume you’ve decided to join us in the fight against the Blood Prince?”
“Thank you. Thank you so much!” Edwifu’s face lightened up, and he thanked me vigorously.
On the way to the main building, I saw a large group of devas gathered in the building to the right. They weren’t in uniform and didn’t seem to be part of the Myth Guild. It seemed the entire guild was busy as well.
“They are mercenaries that work out of Egypt. We used golden rings and all of our connections to bring them here. There are some who might be able to make a difference, and others that are probably hopeless. But we had no choice as the Blood Prince has a massive army of his own.”
“Ah, I see.”
“It’s… pretty busy here, isn’t it? We have about six hours left.” Edwifu could tell what I was curious about just by looking at me.
“We’re here. The guild master, vice-master and other officials are inside, formulating battle plans.”
I entered the large conference room Edwifu led me to.
“Welcome. It’s good to see you this morning.” Ebonene and Shin stood up and were the first to greet me.
“Yes, thank you.”
“Thank you for coming.”
“Thank you for deciding to help us.”
We briefly said our hellos before moving to another room on the other side.
“We have less than six hours left until the Blood Prince’s attack. Most of Cairo has already been evacuated.” That was the situation I saw when I left Khufu’s hidden dungeon.
“Of course, there are a few hidden spies from other guilds watching us.”
I remembered the battle between the Myth Guild and the Blood Prince was a huge issue back then.
We began the meeting.