Chapter 58 - Part 1: Vice-Captain of the Corps (3)

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Turn-based mode would show him a window whenever someone, enemy or not, discovered a weakness. It was a style that revolved around opportunity and crisis, but was inactive at all other times.

So Seol-Hwi waited.

“Cheeky—!” Yong Jin, standing by the backdoor, rushed at him. Nothing he did was sufficient to trigger the system, however. The gap continued to close: 10 meters, 9 meters… nothing from the system.

I have to do it myself then. Seol-Hwi’s hand dropped to his waist.

[A great opportunity! Found a weakness in Yong Jin. How would you like to respond?]

There it was—however, it was not exactly what he was expecting. Seol-Hwi was trying to leave a gap for Yong Jin, not exploit one.

▶ Attack

▷ Use Martial Arts

▷ Use Toolbox

▷ Approach the Opponent

The last option felt like the most appropriate for this situation.

<You have selected “Approach the Opponent.” Choose direction: North, South, East, West.>

Yong Jin was coming at him head-on. The most effective move would be to his back, so east.

<You have selected “North.” Proceeding.>

The move was instant. Seol-Hwi quickly judged the distance between Yong Jin and himself and stretched his arms out.

With a light gesture, Yong Jin fell to the ground.

The three others stared at Yong Jin, flustered.

“Tsk tsk. Look at this.” Seol-Hwi lightly brushed at his collar. “Where did you get the confidence to ignore me? You must have thought you could say what you please because you have some skills…” He touched his mask. “I guess I must have looked simple.”

The atmosphere tensed immediately. Yorim’s legs were no longer on the table, Jeok Seong no longer leaned against the wall, and Seo Ryeong had left the window sill. Even Yong Jin had leapt off the ground.

They didn’t know it, but this was exactly what Seol-Hwi wanted.

Combat Mode: <Simulation>

Their combat power was in the millions. Dealing with all four at once was risky, but taking them out one at a time wouldn’t leave as big of an impression on them. Seol-Hwi needed to provoke them into a situation where he could show off his best abilities—that being Simulation.

<Analyzing Seol-hwi’s abilities.>

Time froze. An endless horde of shadows swept their gaze across the room. Their numbers decreased until there were only a few, and then only one.

<Solution found. Playing video (Once only).>

The singular shadow began to move. Seol-Hwi watched eagerly, expecting it to do something amazing.

<Tilt 15 degrees. Cut diagonally.>

<Move half a step to the left. Position sword in the middle.>

Two simple moves. That was it.

He didn’t know what “15 degrees” meant, but it was easy to figure it out based on the slightly twisted slash the shadow pulled off.

How is this the best option? he wondered. It didn’t really make sense to him. Yorim was drawing his sword; Jeok Seong already had his sword out and was taking a stance; Seo Ryeong was readying her throwing blades; on top of that, Yong Jin was coming at him from behind. He was supposed to handle them just by slashing and then straightening back up?

Well, there has to be a reason for it. He trusted the simulation. It was, without a doubt, the key to his success so far in the Hidden Truth Corps.

Seol-Hwi slashed his blade along the same path as the shadow, causing time to flow again. Then he took half a step to the left, just as the simulation did.

And… everything changed. The first slash deflected both of Seo Ryeong’s thrown blades and somehow sent one at Jeok Seong and one at Yorim. Yorim had to drop into a crouch to avoid it, and Jeok Seong clutched his chest, trembling.

Seol-Hwi’s second move was a half-step to the left and raising his sword to the middle.

Yong Jin’s attack never manifested—in fact, he’d frozen as soon as Seol-Hwi turned during his first move. Now he was confronted by Seol-Hwi’s sword and the realization that Seol-Hwi had him figured out the whole time.

“What? You don’t look too good, for someone who was about to try a back attack,” Seol-Hwi derided him. “Or did you think you were just lucky?”

Yong Jin’s brow creased as he frowned. Seol-Hwi provocation must have dented his pride.

“Are you blaming yourself for choosing the wrong path?”

The four flinched.

Seol-Hwi lowered his sword and looked at them calmly. “Again, I don’t care what you people think. I don’t care if you don’t want my teachings. To be honest, I want to be done with this useless shit as quickly as possible and go home.” He turned around, locking eyes with the still-frozen Yong Jin. “Still, I have to pretend to teach you. Don’t come here tomorrow unless you want to learn.”

He was being completely honest—Seol-Hwi didn’t care about leading them or otherwise dealing with them. Even if he became insanely strong, he’d never be able to shake the feeling that he was wasting time he could be spending on training.

With that in mind, his eyes were already on the door. There was no class today, but…

<Members’ favorability has increased.>

He didn’t expect this. It’d certainly never happened before.

<Vice-Captain’s Favorability>

1st Member, Yorim: 10/100 Favorability

2nd Member, Jeok Seong: 10/100 Favorability

3rd Member, Yong Jin: 10/100 Favorability

4th Member, Seo Ryeong: 10/100 Favorability

If possible, he needed to raise those numbers.

<Reaching 100% favorability unlocks the ability to perform missions with unit members.>


Seol-Hwi went back to his room early. He immediately sat down and pulled off his mask.

“What kind of pict…” The mask has a tiger on it. It was so ridiculous it made him want to laugh.

He set it down on the table and stared up at the ceiling.

“Another crisis will come.” Seol-Hwi knew that life was never smooth sailing, although this curse of his let him turn any crisis into an opportunity even as it drove him into another crisis.

In this situation, Seol-Hwi knew what to do: “I need to get them on my side, as fast as possible.” He had to finish his tasks quickly, just like on the test island and the library. If he wasn’t ready, he’d miss any unexpected chances that came his way, and his chances of survival were nil.

Seol-Hwi got up from the chair.

“Let’s check again.”

[Status]

Seol-Hwi [Vice-Captain of the Hidden Truth Corps]

Health: 710k

Internal Energy: 1.21 million

Coins: 2

Grandmaster level

Combat Power: 5.91 million

Two lives and good abilities.

Seol-Hwi was not confident about his combat power. He always had to deal with tough enemies, so he really wasn’t sure how strong he was.

“What about the Toolbox?”

[Toolbox]

<Healing>

Golden Potion x3

<Pills>

Full-Body Quick Recovery Pill x1

<Equipment>

<Goods>

Martial Island Map, Sect-Leader’s Secret Office Map (2/4)

Secret office… Seol-Hwi realized he had another thing to do. He didn’t know what all might be in the sect leader’s secret stash, but the best martial arts definitely were.

“I need to practice…”

An unfamiliar feeling arose in him. He wanted to go into the field and take a mission. Not necessarily a dangerous one, but there was the chance that he could find some unexpected rewards.

“I can’t… for now.” He’d lost two lives on Hong’s mission, after all. “And…” Seol-Hwi set his sword on the table.

The Sword of Reverence, his new, elaborately engraved weapon. It was like nothing he’d ever seen before. The only reason he’d been able to deflect Seo Ryeong’s blade was this sword.

“What is soul chasing qi…?”

<Special Ability>

- Soul Chasing Qi (Sealed Curse)

Examining the sword made Seol-Hwi more curious. If he was interpreting it right, it was something that chased his opponent.

“I have a lot of work to do…”

Seol-Hwi went outside. The first day would never be easy. If he had a chance to get stronger, he wouldn’t miss it.

I need to find a way, or else the Supreme Pavilion Lord is going to kill us all within the year.

He had a feeling Seo Ryeong’s words would be important in the future.

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