Keyboard Shortcuts
prev chapter
next chapter
+ ctrl (cmd)  increase font size
+ ctrl (cmd)  decrease font size
« Back to Novel
96.77%

Chapter: 197


Shin Nara looked down for a moment.

According to her memory, Leeha was a person who excelled in surprises, such as disbanding the Rising Sun, and killing Igor, but lacked the level or stats.

‘But he’s a man of good faith. To the extent that he risked his life for someone he didn’t know.’

So whenever Shin Nara thought about Leeha, she felt her heart flutter.

It was not an exaggeration to say that Leeha was the only user that Shin Nara, who knew a lot of NPCs but lacked the relationship with ‘users’, trusted and gave her peace of mind.

Nara decided to confide everything to Leeha.

"Can you hear me out? What I did after that day."

Shin Nara took out the note from that day and opened it. Leeha understood what it meant to get back what she had left in the Holy Grill.

"Who was it?"

"At that time, do you remember that we were able to pick out two suspects thanks to Leeha-ssi?"

"Yes. The two most obvious ones from the top 10 rankers were the assassin and dancer-"

"That’s right, Madame Ju is convinced that the assassin ranked number 5, ‘Crazy Clown’ Petyr."

"5th place, better than Nara-ssi." 

"That’s right. And that’s not all. I’m familiar with his notoriety."

..

..

Even though she only mentioned his name, Shin Nara’s face darkened. Shin Nara was ranked 6th. In other words, it meant that the possible suspect had a higher level than her.

‘Moreover, his job is specialized in assassination and infiltration. The level is not good enough, and the match isn’t good either.’

Leeha had heard of the ‘Crazy Clown’ before. In the first place, the quests given by his Vocational Academy were operations such as assassination, destruction, and espionage.

‘If one wanted to play a stealth action game, the best job would be an assassination.’

Is it that kind of thing again this time? While Leeha was thinking, he heard Shin Nara’s voice again.

"I couldn’t dismiss it as a joke, and once we identified the suspect, I couldn’t log out anymore. The NPCs did not trust me-"

"Guards? Royal Guards? What about the NPCs who protect the king?"

"They didn’t believe me, saying that it didn’t make sense to have such a note in the king’s bedroom in the first place…. "

"What? Can they do that?"

"That’s why I thought I needed proof to convince them, so I went to Lotzac."

"Lotzac!"

Leeha suddenly felt like a bell rang in his head. Who was Lotzak?. He hid the betrayal of the former generation of the Three Musketeers in the second Human-Demon war.

‘Of course, they hid it- In fact, all the NPCs who knew about it got their memories erased with magic.’

It could be said that the reason NPCs like one-armed ‘Lepanto’ wandered around becoming a beggar were all because of Lotzac. When he heard the name of that person again, Leeha felt a tingling sensation.

"Do you know him?"

"N-no. I have heard of him a few times while doing quests. Isn’t he the Mage Chief?"

"That’s right. The Royal Palace Mage Team can monitor the entire palace. Using earth magic and elemental magic-"

"Ah! Like a CCTV?"

Shin Nara nodded her head. In other words, if she could secure evidence from the mage team, she could persuade the guards to take a firm defense.

Of course, given that she was having a hard time now, Lotzac might have been uncooperative.

"Yes. But Lotzac didn’t even meet me. Even if he was the Mage Chief, it was still an official request from the Sacred Knights……. In the end, I had no choice but to mobilize members of the Sacred Knights and place them in the Royal Palace."

"At least you did."

"Are you relieved? The guards are not on good terms with the Sacred Knights, that’s why all the NPCs are standing by in the Royal Palace."

"Aren’t they both guarding the Royal Palace?"

"Strictly speaking, the Sacred Knights ignored the tradition of only protecting the capital and entrusting the Royal Palace to the Royal Guards but……. It’s an old fight. Even before I became a Sacred Knight-  I guess it’s the original setting for Middle Earth."

The NPCs are fighting over the rice bowls! Leeha realized. That’s why there was such a ghastly atmosphere at the entrance of the Royal Palace.

It wasn’t because of the possible assassination of the King that they were alert, it was because they were annoyed that people who could threaten their rice bowl came into the Royal Palace.

"Ah.."

Leeha realized why Shin Nara’s face had become so pale. She had to act by understanding the thoughts and psychology of Artificial Intelligence, the NPCs so to speak, and not the users.

‘Besides, they’re not even ordinary NPCs. All of the people related to the Royal Palace must have been strong and have good heads.’

Shin Nara had to deal with NPCs like Leeha had when he dealt with the owner of the general store.

"In the end, they run around to the point of making the atmosphere of the Royal Palace ghastly……. It’s a situation with no results. And then this happened."

"This- Ah."

Shin Nara shared the quest to Leeha. It was easier to understand if he looked at it himself rather than hear a hundred words from Shin Nara.

[Uninvited Guest]

Description: Rumors about the king’s assassination are floating around the palace like a ghost. It is a situation in which the Sacred Knights, Royal Guards, and Royal Mages could not trust each other! They must protect the pillars of Fibiel with their own strength. If the assassination can not be stopped, a bloody war will once again begin on the continent. (2/10)

Content: Stop the assassination of the Fibiel’s king for 50 days (48 days remaining)

Reward: The intimacy with the Fibiel Royal Family will increase by 20%, The intimacy with the Sacred Knights will increase by 30%, Fibiel National Contribution + 200, 1 gold

Condition for failure: Death of the king

Penalty for failure: The intimacy with the Fibiel’s Royal Family will decrease by 30%, the intimacy with the Sacred Knights will decrease by 50%, intimacy with all of Aelstock’s NPCs will decrease by 20%, Fibiel National Contribution -300

Additional Reward: The intimacy with Fibiel’s Royal Family will increase by 5% if the assassin is captured or killed.

– Would you like\ to accept?

Leeha opened his eyes and looked at the text.

‘The organizations do not trust each other? This……. It’s not a simple rice bowl fight between NPCs.’

They knew the cost. The Royal Guards, the Sacred Knights Leader, and even the Mage Chief – Lotzac. It means that they have the guts to harbor certain ‘doubts’ about each other.  

‘Besides, what was the last line? A bloody war on a continental scale? War? No, there’s a reason. The most powerful country on the continent is Fibiel. The surrounding countries, especially the openly hostile Minis Kingdom, would never miss the opportunity when the king of the strongest nation disappeared and the country is confused. If we are not able to stop this… War? Is it talking about the war of nations?’

Gulp. Leeha barely swallowed dry saliva.

‘Even though the quest was a serious problem, there was barely any reward……’

And the harsh penalty for failure that was unique to Middle Earth stood out even more. Shin Nara looked at Leeha’s eyes and let out a sigh.

"That is why it is even harder to find people. People who know the seriousness of the incident don’t want to get involved……. I thought they were reliable people in their own way." 

"T-That’s right. Still, if there are two out of ten, are there two people who came to help Nara-ssi?"

"One is me. The other one is my friend."

In the end, even though it was a quest to gather 10 people, it meant that only one person came to help her. Leeha nodded.

‘Nara-ssi is right. It’s a quest that is best avoided if possible. People don’t want to get involved in this.’

They could get stranded in the Royal Palace for as long as 50 days. Two days have already passed, so there are still 47 days.

If an expert like Shin Nara got this task, they would have needed to meet the requirement of entering the Royal Palace, so they would not need the Fibiel Kingdom National Contribution anyway.

‘If I include the wasted time, there would be nothing to gain, and there is a lot to lose if the quest fails.’

Shin Nara’s face darkened even more as even Leeha kept his mouth shut while thinking.

"Hu, huhu……"

"N-Nara-ssi?"

"I’m going crazy. I’m so upset and it’s so hard."

Tears didn’t flow in Middle Earth. However, it was as if Leeha could see transparent tears flowing down her eyes.

"Nara-ssi……"

"Huhu, huhuhu-"

Shin Nara sat next to Leeha and leaned on his shoulder. Leeha was so flustered that he couldn’t do anything. What should he do in this case?

As Leeha remembered Shin Nara’s usual self, who had a cheerful and sassy personality, the current situation flustered him even more.

‘Uh, hmm……. When I see it in the movie, I obviously should raise my arms- s-she wouldn’t suddenly slap me on the cheek, right?’

Leeha carefully raised his arms onto Shin Nara’s back, who was crying without any tears. Shin Nara’s body twitched for a moment as he touched her hand, but that was all.

Rather, Shin Nara’s hot breath and large bump pressed on Leeha’s arms even more. Leeha was even more perplexed.

"Do not cry. It’s okay."

Shin Nara, who had been holding her breath for a while, opened her mouth again as Leeha patted her back and consoled her silently.

"It’s okay for me not to be able to sleep. I’d rather it be hard on my own. I’m sorry for my friend who got involved, and I am also anxious that something would go wrong and Middle Earth would change! Because of me, because of me who didn’t succeed in one quest, I’m afraid I have to avoid other users as well, – huhuhu."

"Nara-ssi……"

Patting Shin Nara on the back, Leeha was startled by what she said.

To be precise, he was amazed at the responsibility she had for the game Middle Earth.

She was just a user who enjoyed the game. However, has this ‘place’ of virtual reality, which was more realistic than reality, put the blame on her?

‘To think that one’s choice, one’s play, affects the whole game- and thinking about all the other users that would suffer from it-’

Is this what a top 10 ranker is?

No, she was closer to an NPC than a user, is it the weight that the first user to receive a knighthood should bear?

He was surprised by the words that were a mix of responsibility, worry, and sadness, but he could clearly see the warmth of her heart contained in those words.

In this situation, there was only one thought that came to Leeha’s mind.

"If you’re okay with me, I will help."

"What?"

Shin Nara carefully raised her head. There were no tears, but the tip of her nose was red and Leeha looked at her crying face and said.

"I will help you if you don’t mind. If Nara-ssi believes in me… I can bring more reliable people than me."

"You will? Really…Will you help me even though it’s a quest in which you don’t have anything to gain?"

"I will do it if it would stop Nara-ssi from crying."

"What? What-"

"So don’t cry."

Leeha reassured Shin Nara in a calm, slightly slow tone.

She knew that Leeha did not move just according to profit, but what did his words mean?.

‘Maybe Leeha-ssi……?’ 

A red blush appeared on Shin Nara’s face. Of course, Leeha did not have the same ‘meaning’ as Shin Nara thought. It was because he saw in her the image of his mother, a woman with a sense of responsibility and willingness to sacrifice herself……. Without knowing each other’s thoughts, they held each other for a while.

Leeha pressed the accept button that appeared in front of him. To gather people, he had to move fast.

(To be continued…)

COMMENTS
Leave a comment