Chapter 51 - Day 13, Upset
In fact, the gender of the statues wasn’t clear. However, considering the neutral voice, their forms were closer to men than women.
"Is this what you look like?”
“Rather than that, I wanted to have this appearance.”
Isaiah lifted her hand and touched the air. "I don’t have an identity, but I like the human body the best as an avatar. It’s something that I created with my restored power.”
"You shouldn’t be congratulating me. You put the people in my city so I can have these luxuries.”
The slender fingers fluttered through the air. Isaiah smiled like she enjoyed the pleasure of touching. It wasn’t just a free smile. She looked like a child who had managed to touch her dream. "This child. Can you give it to me for a moment?”
"I don’t think I will let it go.” Once again, I became angry as I thought about what the worm did to me.
"I understand that you’re mad, but I think I can use that child in a better way for you. I would like to ask for mercy on behalf of that child.”
“... That isn’t an apology.”
I turned over the worm and Isaiah clasped it with both hands. “Originally, the sacred creatures existed as subordinates to the gods but...”
"Does that mean the sacred creatures have a type of divinity? They aren’t aliens?”
I waved my hands.
“Well... This child was made to be dependent on humans. It’s good, but the problem is that humans are nothing without their roots.”
Isaiah brought both hands to her mouth and whispered something. The vibration of the worm, that was shaking in Isaiah’s hands, became silent. Once the top hand was removed, the worm rolled into a ball and didn’t move.
"Here." In the blink of an eye, Isaiah’s hand was touching my chest. The worm disappeared into my chest.
"That child is afraid of you. It won’t oppose you again. Right now it is asleep, but you can try it out when it wakes up.”
I didn’t know if that would be helpful or not. I touched my chest where it was placed but didn’t receive an answer. Then I walked towards the generator. A piece of metal was embedded in the control panel.
The master key. Yoon Chan-hee had plugged it in. All the power that had been poured into maintaining the egg shell was recovered and the extra power was still full. I manipulated the levers. Soon, vibrations started to spread out from the generator. The ceiling and wall lighting devices were now working.
[The incubation room is activated.]
[Neutral Zone - Imperial Research Facility 042: Druid's Workshop]
I didn’t power up the entire facility. Perhaps... As soon as I fully powered up this facility, it might be cleared and ‘integrated.’ I left the generator for a while and moved outside of the incubation room. The corpses of Yoon Chan-hee’s people were still there. However, I didn’t see the mass of ice that was Chang Ga-ram. Only pieces of the melted ice were visible in his place.
I missed him. He probably wasn’t on this floor anymore. The situation didn’t seem that bad. Yoon Chan-hee’s ability seemed to be one where he could train and operate a large number of people. Yet his people, except for Chang Ga-ram, had been annihilated. As this point, the number of explorers was shrinking, so it would be difficult to regain all those people.
Plus... Yoon Chan-hee had experienced the same thing I had with the sacred creature. Although there was no room for cockiness, he might no longer be a risk.
After acquiring the fingerprints from the bodies and exploring every corner of the facility, I returned to the generator. As I powered up the rest of the facility, I told Isaiah. "I won’t go to the city today.”
"Isn’t everybody looking forward to it? They now have a king.”
"It isn’t a location I have to return to.”
In addition, time there passed like it did in reality. There was no time to act as a good-for-nothing leader. I had to check on reality.
“... Aha.” Isaiah smiled with understanding. "Indeed. I guess so.”
"How about you tell me what happened to them?” I asked.
“Unfortunately I can’t. It isn’t happening in my area.”
"You can't break the rules."
"I guess you understand.” I laughed bitterly.
"I'm sorry." Isaiah said. It didn’t matter. I hadn’t expected a lot. I immediately manipulated the generator.
“See you next time.”
“Yes. I am looking forward to it.”
As power spread throughout the facility, words appeared.
[Talia’s monarch has occupied the Neutral Zone- Imperial Research Facility 042.]
[Currently merging territory: 3rd area.]
[Monarch privilege - Merger rights: One-time acquisition.]
Just before my view shifted. She didn’t make any sound but Isaiah mouthed the words. "You can expect something good.”
I picked up my phone as soon as I got up, then made two phone calls. It was to Yang Su-jin and Yoon Ji-hee. People spent different amounts of time in the dungeon, but they woke up at almost the same time.
[ ... The customer can’t receive the all at this time.]
The tone kept ringing but they didn’t answer the phone. It was the same for both of them.
Should I wait a little longer? I was prepared to a certain extent. Even if they picked up the call, they could ask who I was. It was likely, very likely.
Whether or not the two people fell into the same space, they might have died on the ninth floor. There were two of them. However, it depended on their luck and the type of trials they would face. Maybe they met an opponent they couldn’t win against, but they could have also escaped safely down the stairs. That was what I ordered before entering the ninth floor.
There were dozens of calls and the clock showed that it was past the normal waking time. I changed my clothes and immediately left home.
I knew Yoon Ji-hee and Yang Su-jin’s addresses. The two people might have been killed in the dungeon. There was also the chance that if they were tortured, their identities in reality would be revealed. The more dangerous of the two was Yang Su-jin. Being the granddaughter of a chaebol protected Yoon Ji-hee to a certain extent.
I stepped out of the building and took a few steps in an empty alley.
I felt someone approaching from behind me. In addition, they were careful footsteps, so it couldn’t be a passerby. This was just a guess but it absolutely wasn’t an ordinary person. I pretended to be unaware as I took three steps. During the fourth step, I unexpectedly turned around.
I grabbed the neck of a man in a suit and immediately pushed him against the wall. I already knew that there was no CCTV in this alley.
"Keuk!” The man against the wall groaned. He pulled at the hand squeezing his throat, but the difference in strength between him and me was quite large.
"Good morning." In a voice that was close to a growl, I said hello to Kim Tae-hyun.
“I... I... Cough...!”
I held Kim Tae-hyun with one hand. Then I searched through his coat, suit and pants. Kim Tae-hyun was unarmed. I released some of my strength around his neck.
"Pant... I... Not... Attacking you... ”
He wasn’t at the level of being a threat to me. At least, not alone. "But we don’t have a relationship where you can come every morning to say hello. Please be aware of this.”
I watched Kim Tae-hyun and the whole alley. I heard the sound of a car that hadn’t turned off its engine. A somewhat older male sighed.
"This is just a personal problem. You have the right to leave immediately.”
The man who walked closer wasn’t an explorer. He was a tired looking man in his 50s. He pulled out an electronic cigarette from his coat and started smoking. At that point, I had already released my hand from Kim Tae-hyun’s neck. He leaned against the wall and I brushed the dust from his collar.
I turned Kim Tae-hyun’s body towards the middle-aged man and hit his back. Kim Tae-hyun staggered in front of the man. "That friend is a meal. Isn’t that right?”
The middle-aged man looked at Kim Tae-hyun like he was pathetic and said. "So a person shouldn’t be in a hurry. My world is like that. What do you think normal people would think if they saw this?”
Kim Tae-hyun’s ears turned red. "Get into the car.”
"Go in. I don’t think I can talk to this friend if you’re here. It’s better if I tell the story. At the very least, I wouldn’t be so disrespectful.”
It was easy to understand that the middle-aged man wasn’t normal just be looking at Kim Tae-hyuk’s embarrassment.
The middle-aged man started talking. “On the third day, he came and gave me a direct report. It was about the dungeon.”
The middle-aged man pointed to where Kim Tae-hyun had disappeared before taking a step closer to me. "Every morning. I decided to check the status of his abilities through various physical tests and intelligence tests. I called his bluff. I had to make certain that his skills definitely improved in the dungeon.”
“I think that is a smart method.”
If they were aware of it, a person could survive in the dungeon simply by going down the stairs, even if they didn’t grow. “Well. Although he is like this, it seems like he was doing fairly well. At least, until last night.” The director sighed.
“But he was tearful as soon as he woke up this morning. He didn’t obtain anything in the dungeon."
“He ran away?”
"He said he met a good opponent. In his own words.”
The director trusted Kim Tae-hyun, so it must be right. If he ran away, with his pride, then it meant he met a really strong opponent. “There is a problem. The information about the opponent isn’t in our data.”
"That is strange but can’t there be some gaps in your data? The big data has only been accumulated for 11 days.” The director looked up at me.
“Nine, including you. Yesterday, you ate one of them, making it eight. That is how many people we figured had the ‘excellent survival gene.’”
Things started to slowly make sense.
"How many of those people are out?”
"If I include you... There is one more person who survived, but he isn’t in a mentally stable condition.”
Nine people had gathered yesterday under the government’s call. Of course, I didn’t think all the people would be gathered. But even I thought at least 80%, more than half, were gathered there.
"There are at least five monsters I don't know about about. Furthermore, in the future, they will become stronger and smarter. I don’t know if I can find them in the future but... Kim Tae-hyun said they would be impossible to control. Especially since yesterday’s actions.”
At that time, my phone rang. The director motioned for me to pick up the phone.
It was Yang Su-jin.
[Your absence was truly awful!! Where are you now?]
To be honest, it was a really welcome voice. But instead of laughing, I controlled my facial expressions and spoke calmly. “I’ll call you later.” Yang Su-jin noticed quickly.
She immediately lessened the volume of her voice and whispered.
[Ji-hee unni is with me.]
[I have a city now.]