Chapter 19 - Mysterious Warriors (1)

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[You have obtained a Island Treasure Map piece. 7/7]

“Disgusting bastard.” Seol-Hwi scowled down at Gu Yeom. The last one had been particularly hard to get. He could understand hiding things on your legs or the soles of your feet—but in your butt? Seol-Hwi couldn’t help but swear.

[All pieces of the Island Treasure Map (7/7) have been collected.]

Seol-Hwi didn’t understand how this man had got it, but the map showed where every treasure in all seven buildings was.

“Huh? Come to think of it…” Seol-Hwi’s gaze was drawn to the side. There was a treasure mark under the closet if he wasn’t mistaken.

“Ah.” The man had been looking for the treasure but couldn’t find it. Looks like someone took it.” Instead of a treasure, there was just a confectionery bar.

Seol-Hwi tucked the map into the toolbox so it wouldn’t get damaged by accident; plus, he’d be able to take it into his next life if he needed it.

At any rate, at least he had one bamboo plaque.

The first treasure was in the sixth room, stashed under the stairs to the third floor.

[Obtained the manual for Secret Voice Transmission.]

Usually, this technique would take time to learn, but Seol-Hwi had it imprinted straight into his mind at shocking speed.

[You have learned Secret Voice Transmission.]

So long as he met the conditions, he could learn anything. No lengthy teaching period necessary—wasn’t it remarkable?

The second treasure was located in the ninth room on the third floor. A blank book was hidden behind a closet.

[You have obtained the recipe for Iron Demonic Poison.]

Seol-Hwi didn’t think it was helpful in the current situation, but it was still good to learn it.

[You have mastered Iron Demonic Poison.]

Seol-Hwi moved on.

The third treasure was at the very end, in room twelve. It was tough to find—he had to break open the ceiling to find it.

[【Advanced】You have obtained Demonic Arm Guard.]

Advanced? A treasure was a treasure. What was this “advanced’ level? Better than the other ones?

“It sure looks unusual…” Unlike a typical arm guard, which protected the wrists and knuckles, this one had flexible silver overlapping scales extending over the entire arm. The whole thing glowed with a soft silver light.

“Should I try it?” Seol-Hwi was curious to find out what “advanced” meant and decided not to put it in the toolbox just yet.

[You have acquired the basic skill Wind Fist.]
[Your understanding of the Red-Hot Palm has increased.]

“I think I found something incredible…” Seol-Hwi’s head snapped towards the system window.

[Demonic Arm Guard]
Description: [Advanced Treasure]
Currently ranked 34 in the Demonic Sect. Forty years ago, in the battle between the Demonic Sect and the Forces of Justice, a man famously deflected a blow from Mount Hua’s champion and snapped his neck.
This item was placed in martial military training.

“Whoa… insane!” He knew there would be treasure, but he’d never imagined something like this. This was no mere treasure!

That man it referred to had to be Elder Nok Jeong, a member of the Demonic Sect’s general troops. Hadn’t he been called a powerhouse of the sect when he was in his prime?

“Why would they invest so much in people who could die at any time?”

Seol-Hwi mulled over it for a moment.

If you dared to risk your life, and survive the attempt, then this place was ideal for growing as a warrior. It was no wonder the rest of the Demonic Sect regarded the graduates so highly.

“I need to get moving.”

Seol-Hwi wasn’t satisfied with what he’d got. The treasure map showed him four treasures on the third floor, and someone had already taken one of them. Three more treasures awaited him on the second floor.

He hadn’t noticed at first, but the shape of the building made it evident as he traversed the second floor. There was a fight going on. The doors were left open for him, luckily.

To his surprise, there were no less than four people locked into a standoff.

“Why don’t you move somewhere else?”

“We learned attack arts! Do you think we’d let you go?”

“You seem to have come from the Administration Hall. Who doesn’t know how clumsy your attacks are?”

“Then come at us. If you’re ready to die, come at us!”

Seol-Hwi got a little closer, and their stats came up.

[Status Summary]
Mu Kyeong
[Seven Dragons Team of the Administration Hall]
Health: 2,305/2,305
Internal Energy: 2,510/2,510
[Status Summary]
Gam Ja
[Seven Dragons Team of the Administration Hall]
Health: 3,203/3,203
Internal Energy: 2,920/2,920
[Status Summary]
Seo Tae
[Demonic Dragon Team of Red Demon Hall]
Health: 2,901/2,901
Internal Energy: 1,620/1,620
[Status Summary]
Sal Yu
[Demonic Dragon Team of Red Demon Hall]
Health: 4,500/4,500
Internal Energy: 4,670/4,670

The Administration Hall and the Red Demon Hall were two of the four pillars that supported the sect from within. The Supreme Pavilion and Wutian Pavilion were subordinate to the Halls.

Which is why they’re stronger than Jeok Myung. Particularly this “Sal Yu”.

Damn it. Seol-Hwi was troubled. The treasure is over there.

The treasure chest was squarely between the opposing teams. The box stood out, making it obvious that there was treasure inside.

How do I… All of them had high skills—not to the extent of overpowering him, but Seol-Hwi could be seriously hurt if he was unlucky. It would be even worse if they had good teamwork.

Health: 7,306/7,408
Internal Energy: 6,800/6,800

Hmm. Good numbers. The thing was, the window wouldn’t pop up until he found a weakness or he was in danger.

Abruptly, the standoff broke. The Red Demon Hall made the first move.

“Where are you going!?”

The man from the Administration Hall easily blocked the attack and ducked to the side. The room quickly filled with the sounds of their battle.

Seol-Hwi debated his next move. In theory, it would be better to let them fight and then pick off the survivors, but he wouldn’t get any stronger unless he took risks. He’d obtained everything he had by risking his life—and losing it.

I want to take them down myself… Is there no way?

“Ugh!” Gam Ja, from the Administration Hall, staggered from a blow to the shoulder.

[A great opportunity! Found a weakness in the Seven Dragons Team member Gam Ja. How would you like to respond?]
▷Use Martial Arts
▷Use Toolbox
▷Approach the Opponent (New)

Huh! Fuck! Seol-Hwi thought that the moment Gam Ja lost his balance would be a perfect time to make his move, but the window interrupted him. Disconcertingly, he couldn’t walk away now.

…6 …5

If he didn’t choose, he’d get a random option.

I can use martial arts to kill one, but there are four. The moment I enter the room to use my martial arts, all of them will come at me. Seol-Hwi’s nerves spiked; even if he attacked, he couldn’t guarantee that he’d defeat all of them.

Ah, shit! I don’t know anymore! Let’s just go!

…3 …2
<You have chosen Approach the Opponent. Which direction do you choose: North, South, East, or West?>

Um, which direction…? Seol-Hwi stared blankly at the sudden new option. What is this?

An arrow ▼ pointed wherever Seol-Hwi looked in the still-frozen room. Evidently, it wanted to know where he wanted to move.

So, maybe… it moves me instantly? Seol-Hwi felt goosebumps rising on his skin.

Fortunately, there wasn’t a timer for this; Seol-Hwi had time to think.

West would put him closer to Gam Ja. Sal Yu was ten steps away, having recovered his sword after striking Gam Ja.

North of Gam Ja was Mu Kyung, Gam Ja’s companion. He kept his sword pointed towards Seo Tae, despite knowing that his teammate was injured.

East and South are safe options, but… Sal Yu and Seo Tae would be a little further away, and Mu Kyung would be five steps away. However, Seol-Hwi could end up cornered: the moment they realized Seol-Hwi was stronger than them, they would definitely gang up on him.

I have to kill two people at once. That’ll cause enough confusion to buy me time.

<You have selected North. Resuming immediately.'>'

Seol-Hwi instantly appeared next to Gam Ja. The man spun around, but he was too late—Seol-Hwi’s sword went right through his chest.

<One-hit-kill! The opponent took 3,203 damage, a lethal strike.>
Gam Ja
[Seven Dragons Team of the Administration Hall]
Health: 0/3,203
Dead in one shot.

…Huh. Well now. Honestly, Seol-Hwi was shocked. He didn’t think the system would put him this close.




The other three were equally startled. They warily raised their swords at Seol-Hwi as he pulled his sword out of Gam Ja.

Seol-Hwi figured this fight was worth doing—no, he was certain it was.

▶ [A golden opportunity! Found a weakness in Mu Kyung. How will you respond?]
▷ [A golden opportunity! Found a weakness in Seo Tae. How will you respond?]
▷ [A golden opportunity! Found a weakness in Sal Yu. How will you respond?]

It was like a gift from God.

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