Baek Cheol had missed Yu-Seong’s movement while focusing on Do-Yoon. He just found that Yu-Seong now stood at the end of the entrance of Jin Do-Yoon’s room that had collapsed. Naturally, Baek Cheol’s face stiffened as he asked, “What are you trying to do?”
“Can’t you see it? I’m risking my life.” With those words, Yu-Seong then stared at Do-Yoon as if he could read his mind.
‘How could I…’ thought Do-Yoon. He momentarily had complicated thoughts after reading Yu-Seong’s thoughts.
“This is an order, Do-Yoon. Forget about me from now on. Your only purpose is to rescue Jin Yu-Ri,” said Yu-Seong.
The forceful words made Do-Yoon nod as if he were possessed by something. He was influenced by Yu-Seong’s dignified presence and not by any physical power or superpower. Steeling himself, Do-Yoon ran toward Baek Cheol without hesitation.
At the same time, Yu-Seong fell back toward the darkness like the mouth of a terrifying monster. He was falling into the bottom of the abyss.
Baek Cheol had his eyes wide open. He stared at Do-Yoon, who was running. Do-Yoon had turned into a wolf beast, and was not looking back at the falling Yu-Seong. It was as if he didn’t care.
“Damn it!” Baek Chul spit out a curse and ran forward. He had an uncomfortable feeling, but he didn’t have time to deal with Do-Yoon.
There were many other reasons, but Baek Cheol had two big reasons why he could never let Yu-Seong die.
‘Master will be very sad if young master Yu-Seong dies.’
Above all, Baek Cheol himself liked Choi Yu-Seong very much. He found it a pity to let Yu-Seong, a man of ability, die at this moment and in such a place.
Baek Cheol urgently threw himself into the dark pit. His gaze was fixed on Yu-Seong, who was falling down in an apparently unconscious state… He only became suspicious when he tried to hold Yu-Seong’s back to relieve the shock as much as possible by reaching out his hands with all his might while falling. Then, as if it were a mere mirage, Yu-Seong’s figure was blurred, shattered, and disappeared.
‘Illusion? This is…Master’s Wind Control?’
Baek Cheol was surprised for a moment. Then, he saw Yu-Seong holding a stone that was barely protruding from the near ceiling and jumping into the air by forming a transparent shield as a foothold.
Yu-Seong looked back for a moment and smiled mischievously. After Baek Cheol landed stably on the ground, he had no choice but to laugh while watching Yu-Seong. The underground floor was at a depth that even he, an S-rank player, couldn’t cover in one jump Of course, it was possible if he hit the wall several times, but Yu-Seong and Do-Yoon would have reached Jin Yu-Ri’s room by then.
At this moment, Baek Cheol had no choice but to admit the result of this altercation. “…They’ve got me.”
Baek Cheol was completely unaware of Choi Yu-Seong’s abilities. This was because Yu-Seong also did not show his full ability, like how Yu-Ri had been cautious during her sparring sessions.
This was an obvious choice for Yu-Seong, whose primary purpose was to collect skills. Thus, Baek Cheol had no idea about Yu-Seong’s shield skill. In addition, the Wind Control that Yu-Seong had obtained later on also added to the unpredictability.
‘It’s fortunate. Baek Cheol didn’t turn back to look in the middle of that.’
It was probably because Baek Cheol had difficulty making the right decision at that moment, since his surroundings were mostly shrouded in darkness. Most importantly, his thoughts were mostly preoccupied by Yu-Seong falling down. He was worried about the young master.
‘If you were going to play the bad guy, you should have been more thorough.’
Unfortunately, Baek Cheol was a good person, and Yu-Seong could tell this fact even when he read the original novel. Even so, it would have been impossible to fool Baek Cheol in such a neat manner if it had not been for the illusion of Wind Control. Overall, luck and circumstances went hand-in-hand in many ways.
Meanwhile, Jin Do-Yoon had placed his confidence in Yu-Seong from exchanging that single look and ran straight ahead. He opened the entrance, broke the stairs, and fell straight down.
Yu-Seong did not chase after Do-Yoon.
‘I’m not like Do-Yoon. I’ll die if I jump down there.’
Thinking that was why Baek Cheol had come to save him, Yu-Seong took a quick breath and thought, ‘Would Baek Cheol come up faster? Or Do-Yoon?’
Soon, Do-Yoon once again jumped through the collapsing pillars, stairs, and gaps in the ceiling. In his arms was an unconscious Jin Yu-Ri, who was still tied to the seal.
“Awooo-!” Do-Yoon settled safely on the ground with much more stability than before, perhaps because he already had experience. Then, he howled. His face quickly returned to its human form. His eyes were full of relief when he saw that Yu-Seong was safe.
On the other hand, Yu-Seong’s mind was all focused on Yu-Ri, who had just been rescued. It took approximately twenty seconds to escape to the ground.
“What about the gas?” asked Yu-Seong.
Jin Do-Yoon shook his head. “I don’t think she inhaled it, but she probably absorbed some through the skin…”
“She needs to get treatment.”
Yu-Ri was partially immune since she was an A-rank Hunter, but she would not be able to last long. Knowing that it was an urgent situation, Yu-Seong rose to his feet. Do-Yoon carried Yu-Ri on his back and followed him. At that moment, they heard a thundering roar, as if the ground were collapsing.
“Baek Cheol is coming,” said Yu-Seong.
Soon, Choi Ji-Ho might also appear. Although Ji-Ho had lost a lot of his power, his abilities would still be threatening for Yu-Seong. Would it be possible to get rid of Ji-Ho and Baek Choi and successfully run away? Yu-Seong grabbed a sharp stone from the collapsed ceiling.
‘I really don’t want to do this, but…’
Since this was the most effective way, Yu-Seong had no choice but to provoke the opponent once more. He said, “Jin Do-Yoon. You take Jin Yu-Ri and escape. I will try to intimidate them as much as I can. Even if I do that, they can’t kill me.”
“There’s nothing you can do about it! If you feel bad about it, get stronger to stand up for me in the future. Train and hunt. Don’t let anything like this happen again. Okay?“
Do-Yoon bit his lower lip strongly. His eyes turned red, as if he was about to burst into tears while he nodded. “I am not good enough to…”
At that moment, Baek Cheol jumped up to the ground. As if to prove that he was an S-rank hunter, he eventually overcame the height that even Do-Yoon was not necessarily able to cross. He was covered with clouds of dust and he made a fierce smile. “Thanks to you, young master, I had a hard time.”
“Go.” Yu-Seong spoke in a low voice to Do-Yoon while placing the sharp stone to his own throat.
“Do you think I will be slower than you?”
“…” Yu-Seong did not answer. He thought he might miss his opportunity to slit his throat when speaking to Baek Cheol. Baek Cheol’s thoughts were clearly read by him.
Do-Yoon lowered his head and slowly stepped back. Baek Cheol shook his head at Do-Yoon and said, “Do you think it’s that easy to escape? My team members are waiting outside the building.”
“Call everyone here,” Yu-Seong said at that moment.
As Baek Cheol’s shoulders twitched, red blood flowed down Yu-Seong’s neck.
“Young Master!” Do-Yoon raised his voice in surprise.
However, Yu-Seong had no time to bother with Do-Yoon. Even a tiny miscalculation would allow Baek Cheol to rush in like a fierce tiger and subdue him. That was not the only thing that he was worried about… Ji-Ho may be coming here right now. Yu-Seong had managed to rescue Jin Yu-Ri, but there were still so many mountains to climb.
‘I have to draw all their attention to me. Would I be able to do it?’ Yu-Seong gulped. He met Baek Cheol’s harsh gaze.
The moment he saw Yu-Seong and Do-Yoon break down the stairs and escape, Baek Cheol lightly pressed Choi Ji-Ho’s shoulder and ran outside without delay.
Left alone, Ji-Ho pondered for a short time, no longer looking at the monitor. He headed out in a wheelchair. However, he was not under as much pressure as Baek Cheol. Ji-Ho knew that Baek Cheol eagerly pressed his shoulder to stop him because he was worried. Ji-Ho did not want to give in regarding this, so he ignored Baek Cheol’s care.
“I will take you out, sir.”
“It’s all right.” Ji-Ho left the room, followed by an aide left by Baek Cheol. He refused to let the aide come with him, however, and wheeled himself out of the building.
It was a rather chilly and windy December night. Ji-Ho left the building alone. He did not want to be disturbed by anyone. As he concentrated through the flowing wind, he could see Yu-Seong’s movements and listen to his voice in detail from quite a distance. The wind told him about Yu-Seong with a lot more clarity than what he could gather from being underground.
“Ha…” Ji-Ho revealed a bitter smile.
In the dire situation, Yu-Seong had used Illusion to fool Baek Cheol while Do-Yoon had rescued Jin Yu-Ri…
‘Choi Yu-Seong. You clever guy.’
Ji-Ho looked at his younger brother, not knowing whether to laugh or to cry. Ji-Ho had honestly hoped that Yu-Seong would get stronger and more determined from this test. The fragile and gentle boy that he remembered would not be able to endure the hurricane created by the greedy people. Yu-Seong would get terribly hurt. Perhaps a shocking death may await him, like the future Ji-Ho had seen in the distant past.
‘Death… His death…’ Ji-Ho saw the death of Yu-Seong. It was a terrible future, but Ji-Ho had no power or ability to change it at that time. He could give a little help, but this would only be possible if Yu-Seong listened to him.
What about Choi Ji-Ho at this time? It didn’t make much of a difference. As said, it was up to Yu-Seong himself to change his own fate in the end. In that sense, it was surprising that Yu-Seong had come here instead of the person who should have arrived here first.
‘Maybe his death could be prevented.’ Ji-Ho was surprised, and he sincerely hoped this to be the case. However, this disgraceful younger brother kept playing with his life without knowing his thoughts. Baek Cheol was swayed by Yu-Seong recklessly putting a knife to his own throat in order to let Do-Yoon and Yu-Ri escape.
In fact, Ji-Ho knew that Yu-Seong’s behavior was due to the desperate situation with Jin Yu-Ri, who had fainted behind him. He thought, ‘I guess it’s time to tell them that it was actually not poison gas but just a bit of strong sleeping gas.’
From the beginning, Ji-Ho had no intention of killing any of Choi Yu-Seong’s people. The test in the Room of Sacrifice was literally just that: a test. A test that should have been taken no matter who came and wanted the treasure. Everyone would have different ways of finding the answers in the process.
Of course, Ji-Ho had felt uncomfortable throughout the entire process. In fact, he had felt even more uncomfortable because the person in question was Choi Yu-Seong of all people. It would have been much easier for him to produce the desired results if it had been most of the other Choi siblings instead, who were cruel and heartless.
‘Since the original answer to the Room of Sacrifice is to prove trust or dignity…’
The person chosen to be sacrificed should not blame the person who abandoned them, even in death. When they woke up from the drug effect and showed confidence that their choice was not wrong, the person who took the test could receive the treasure.
Perhaps Ji-Ho guessed that most of the siblings would make this decision and prove that they were not only worthy of the treasure, but also worthy to be at the heart of the company. Even if it was a somewhat coercive loyalty, Ji-Ho intended to respect that. Therefore, he had created the Room of Sacrifice that forced people to make a rather terrible choice.
However, if possible, Ji-Ho hoped that the person who took the treasure would naturally be trusted and respected by those around them, rather than someone who forced people into being loyal. There must have been such a person among the Choi siblings. Nevertheless, Yu-Seong had chosen a method different from the fixed answer.
‘I thought it would be impossible to escape in the first place…’
After the Mana Resonance that had been yet to appear in the world and the choice of breaking down the stairs, Yu-Seong had even gambled with his life. His actions had been completely outside Ji-Ho’s expectations.
‘I should stop at this point. I lost.’