Episode 114

Snatching The Chance (4)
1 week ago
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“What’s this?”

I tilted my head, puzzled.

A twisted contract, huh?

Just the name itself seems unsettling, as if it refers to a contract that was inherently flawed.

“Could it be?”

It wasn’t mentioned in the original story, but it was a concept Kang-hoo had considered while writing once.

It involves a scenario where, during the process of linking a sanctum and a contractor in the Grand Holy War, the contract is incorrectly filled out, leading to the ‘death’ of the contractor.

However, there was never a detailed setting for something called a twisted contract.

I examined the contents.

What could possibly be written to justify such a name? There must be a story behind it.

“It’s a standard contract between a sanctum and a contractor… The seal of the Grand Holy War is even stamped on it.”

Everything seemed in order.

Of course, hunters don’t typically sign such contracts when forming a pact with a sanctum.

This means that this contract is one that circulates between the Grand Holy War and the sanctums.

To uphold the order of the Grand Holy War, contracts like these are present in the world of sanctums, similar to those among humans.

However, I remembered the voice I heard in the mysterious space I had entered earlier.

‘To maintain the order of the Grand Holy War, it said it eradicates erroneous spaces.’

There’s definitely something amiss with this contract.

Kang-hoo scrutinized the contents more closely and discovered the issue in an unexpected place.

It was a blank space.

I hadn’t given it much thought, assuming it was a standard part of the contract format.

But there was a significant issue there.

【Special Agreement】
【The owner and creator of this contract, the sanctum (   ), can maintain the contract with the contractor (   ) permanently.
The contractor can firmly hold the position of the main sanctum. This is with the contractor's consent.
This contract must be fully completed within 1 day of its contents being confirmed.】

“This means… I just need to write the names. It doesn’t matter who the sanctum contracted with. If I write my name as the contractor.”

A chill ran down my spine. I understood why it was called a twisted contract.

It’s a contract that should never see the light of day.

Perhaps it’s a contract that was lost due to a mistake by the Grand Holy War or an old format that is now obsolete.

Had it fallen into the hands of another hunter, it might not have been a big issue.

Because the power of the contract would only take effect if the name of the sanctum is accurately filled in.

A regular hunter, not knowing the names of any sanctums other than the one they’ve contracted with or are sponsored by, wouldn’t be able to use it effectively.

Even contracting with the one sanctum sponsoring them wouldn’t have dramatic effects.

However,

“I can steal a sanctum.”

For Kang-hoo, it’s a different story.

He has the scanning ability to know exactly how many sanctums someone has and their names.

He can steal any sanctum.

Moreover, thanks to the power of this contract, he can incorporate it as the main sanctum, coexisting with the Dimension Plunderer as his main sanctum.

With just a day or so to ponder, Kang-hoo has already decided whose sanctum he’ll steal.

“Jang Si-hwan.”

It has to be him.

The leader of The Thirteen Stars, the great villain of this world, and at the same time, the embodiment of the protagonist’s buff.

By stealing Jang Si-hwan’s power here, I can deprive him of his growth momentum.

I’ve narrowed down two candidates to steal the sanctum through the contract, but I decided to ponder a bit more.

There’s no loss in stealing the sanctum a bit later.

“I can definitely hit him hard. With a critical hit. It’s more meaningful than just a simple reward or fate.”

It was a meaningful fate.

It’s not just about stealing Jang Si-hwan’s abilities. It also gives Kang-hoo a significant boost.

It’s as if the total amount of abilities has been halved.

“It’ll be like a bolt out of the blue for him.”

Kang-hoo laughed, thinking of Jang Si-hwan facing an absurd situation today.

Perhaps it was the thought of hitting him hard, but even the corners of his mouth, which usually didn’t rise easily, went up.

The contract of the Grand Holy War holds an irresistible force.

Even if it’s a twisted contract, the contract will be established. Of course, sorting out the disturbed order is the responsibility of the Grand Holy War.


At that time,

Jeon Se-hyuk was talking to a man inside a security-enhanced safety booth.

It was Lee Hyun-seok.

The warlord of ‘The Abyss’ and his childhood friend.

“I got information about Park Dong-jae. Planting an insider back then really paid off this time.”

“Where is Dong-jae?”

“I thought he might be in Moscow since that’s where Kashimar Guild’s base is, but that was a complete miss.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. He’s in the country. Kashimar has so many hostages under their control, they didn’t bring any from overseas.”

“Those damn bastards…”

Jeon Se-hyuk gritted his teeth.

Even when he had transferred money to Kashimar Guild to ensure Park Dong-jae’s safety,

Their negotiator had said Park Dong-jae was safe and well in a villa on the outskirts of Moscow.

They even showed photos of the villa and took pictures of someone who looked like Park Dong-jae from the back.

Since there had been a real video call, there was no doubt he was somewhere in Moscow.

But to think he was in the country.

The light was under the bushel.

Jeon Se-hyuk asked,

“Where?”

“He’s under the control of the Osho Mercenary Corps. After Jeon Jong-du died, it seems the remnants are using him as a financial resource.”

“Like reconstruction funds?”

“Probably. Holding hostages like Park Dong-jae and periodically collecting ransom turns out to be quite a business.”

“Can we get the location information?”

“I can provide all the confirmed information, including the location. But public support will be difficult.”

“It’s okay. I’m really indebted to you for finding out this much. I’m actually very thankful.”

  • Considering the surroundings, you’ll need a skilled assassin. It’s impossible to get in there with brute force.

“That bad?”

  • To the remaining Osho Mercenary Corps, the hostages are their last bastion. The security is extremely tight.

“A skilled assassin…”

It wasn’t Lee Hyun-seok’s intention, nor was he suggesting someone in particular, but,

At that moment, Jeon Se-hyuk was vividly reminded of one person and found himself somewhat taken aback.

The face that came to mind with the phrase “skilled assassin” was Kang-hoo’s.

From here on, it’s up to him.

He desperately wanted to save Park Dong-jae, but he couldn’t afford to be reckless. It wasn’t the place for that.

Jeon Se-hyuk’s gaze deepened.

Could Kang-hoo possibly do it?

No, more importantly, would Kang-hoo be willing to help?

Obviously, it wouldn’t be easy to ask outright, so he began to ponder what offer to start with.


Having no further business at Osan Station, Kang-hoo had moved up to Suwon Station by the evening.

And as always, I was at the modern bar near Suwon Station, drinking a Solarkium Burst.

A cocktail made by the taciturn male bartender. Surprisingly, it had a depth of flavor.

“Considering everything, these two constellations are the best options. I just need to steal one of them.”

I was at the final stage.

Kang-hoo knew better than anyone which constellations Jang Si-hwan had contracted with.

Not just through scanning, but because of the unique knowledge as the ‘original author’ vividly present in his mind.

Kang-hoo revisited the details of the two constellations he had noted down.

【Pure Black Pathfinder: Perfectly mediates to prevent the body and mind from going berserk during the handling of dark energy.】
【Retractor: Sacrifices one constellation contract to recover all physical and mental states. The sacrificed constellation ceases to exist.】

Both constellations were among the top 25 in rank within the Grand Holy War.

“If I take the Pure Black Pathfinder, Jang Si-hwan’s handling of dark energy will become extremely unstable.”

The Pure Black Pathfinder wasn’t called a cheat constellation for no reason in the original work.

It cleanly solved the issue of going berserk, a chronic problem in dealing with dark energy.

In other words, if Jang Si-hwan loses this constellation, his effectiveness as a dark mage would significantly diminish.

“Taking the Retractor would erase his safety net.”

The Retractor wasn’t a bad choice either.

In the original work, Jang Si-hwan frequently used high-risk, high-return tactics thanks to the Retractor constellation.

It was his confidence that he could revive even a nearly dead body. Essentially, it was like having life insurance.

Just before the final decision,

Kang-hoo thought through various scenarios.

The chance of getting another unexpected opportunity like the twisted contract was extremely low.

The fate he intended to snatch in the Hell of Judgement was far from this kind.

How much time had passed?

After weighing his options carefully, Kang-hoo nodded in determination.

“Right. There are alternatives to the Retractor.”

He decided to forgo the Retractor.

For Kang-hoo as he was now, the benefits of the Retractor constellation were few.

To activate its effect, a contracted constellation, not a sponsoring one, had to be sacrificed.

Currently, Kang-hoo’s main constellation was only the Dimension Plunderer.

Even if the Strategist of the Wasteland was to be added soon, that would only make two.

None of them could be easily sacrificed. Each was precious.

In other words, even if he snatched it from Jang Si-hwan, it wouldn’t be of immediate help. It would take a considerable amount of time.

The Pure Black Pathfinder was different.

If I start using dark energy skills in earnest, the biggest worry at that time will disappear instantly.

Instability 0%.

The Pure Black Pathfinder grants unparalleled control over dark energy, neutralizing all uncertainties.

Without the Pure Black Pathfinder, manipulating dark energy is akin to handling delicate glass.

With the Pure Black Pathfinder, it feels like holding a plastic cup without the fear of dropping it. The perspective shifts.

“This will be interesting.”

Kang-hoo smirked malevolently, envisioning Jang Si-hwan losing one of his primary constellations right before his eyes.

He now planned to return to the hotel and inscribe the twisted contract.

Since the Grand Holy War had not nullified the contract, they had no grounds to contest this maneuver.


That night.

【The contract between 'Jang Si-hwan' and the constellation 'Pure Black Pathfinder' has been terminated.】
【The contract with the constellation 'Pure Black Pathfinder' will be transferred to a new contractor following an officially recognized subsequent contract.】
【This contract was established by an officially recognized formal contract of the Grand Holy War.】

“F*ck, what’s this. What’s happening now? What is this? No, what is this…”

Jang Si-hwan found himself in an utterly ludicrous situation, one he had never before faced.

He had lost his main constellation, the Pure Black Pathfinder, right before his eyes, without even knowing who had claimed it.

To him, the Pure Black Pathfinder was not just a fundamental aspect of his identity as a dark mage but also a constellation that greatly enhanced his destructive capabilities.

It also managed the volatile dark energy and stabilized his erratic mind.

But now, it was gone.

【The instability of dark energy begins to amplify. 1 unit of dark energy will naturally dissipate every minute.】

“F*ck…”

A sudden, immense loss.

Unable to restrain his fury, Jang Si-hwan unleashed, expelling black energy from his entire being.

Crash! Clang!

The exterior walls and windows of the penthouse shattered instantly.

In the aftermath of Jang Si-hwan’s rage, he had lost his sanity.

“This is absurd…”

His lips and fingers trembled.

He had relied solely on the Pure Black Pathfinder and made no preparations for handling dark energy on his own.

A severe problem had arisen.

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