Chapter 85. S-ranker Yeon Hwawoo (2)
The next day, the entire pension flipped upside down. People found out that over 100 people had been killed. There were rooms where everyone inside was dead, leaving behind only dried up corpses, while there were people simply sleeping in rooms the Blood Succubus had not gotten to. Because of it, the incident became even more of a headache.
Ruling out the possibility that this was done by a person, the professors and staff immediately reported the incident to Guardian. Then, they saw the traces of fighting in the room Ye-Eun and I were in, safely concluding that the incident was caused by a monster. However, they thought it was strange that no victims arose from that room.
The Guardians that arrived later on were convinced that a human had interfered in the incident, but as they did not have the authority to investigate, they had to leave it to the police through the New Moon Agency. The police, of course, disagreed with them slightly. They were sure that a monster had been behind the attack, and said that if a person was involved, that person must have fought the monster to prevent more people from dying. In the end, they could not find a lead on the truth of the incident. Because of the sheer number of students staying at the pension, they couldn't investigate each and every one of them.
Had Guardian and the police agency had a more definite relationship of cooperation, things could have been different, but their relationship was rocky, to say the least. It was because the Guardians appeared and saved citizens from monsters in times of danger, which took away from the positive views the citizens had of the normal police. To be more specific, the police agency did not enjoy having to cooperate with the Guardian whenever monster-related incidents occurred, and Guardian likewise did not trust the police agency. As this had been going on since the beginning of Two Moon, the two agencies were only friendly on the outside, while they were no different than enemies outside of the public eye.
"We do have to be thankful though, since they just let it slide by."
Thanks to their rocky relationship, we were able to return to our homes safely. At the same time, I made Ye-Eun into a First Dungeon explorer and taught her the things I knew. Even as she seemed confused, she listened to me. I thought she was more than capable of climbing the First Dungeon with her excellent stealth ability and attack power, but she seemed happier to be doing the same work as me.
"35th floor! I'll be there quick!"
"No, that's impossible. Like I said, you need to grind."
"I can just level-up quickly to make up for it!"
She was saying the same thing father said. Upon thinking about it, I thought that wasn't a bad idea. After all, with her superb ability, leveling up might be better. Giving up grinding and speeding through the dungeon was indeed something she could do. Though, of course, things would get harder the higher she climbed.
I advised her to do solo raids if she could. She was overwhelmingly stronger than me when I was on the 1st floor. Her ability would only get stronger as she climbed as well. As such, she would have no trouble doing solo raids. I told her to at least consume one elixir of each type as they immediately raised stats. Ye-Eun then nodded her head in understanding.
I told her the strategy for going through the lower floors and ways for her to get used to the dungeon as quickly as possible. However, she didn't listen to me and was just staring fixedly at my face.
"Hehe, this is nice. I like it."
"Mm? You know, this! Hihi."
Ye-Eun skirted around the details and laughed happily. I thought I saw the wagging of a puppy tail, but it was just my imagination. First, I flicked her forehead a few times for not listening to me properly, then explained again. However, it was of no use. She was laughing even as I hit her. For someone that was just rejected, I wondered why she was so happy. Since I felt like she would confess again if I asked, I didn't do so. My entire body felt itchy.
"Ah, by the way."
"For the time being, leave the dungeon explorer communication channel off."
I emphasized again.
"Who knows if you'll slip something."
Ye-Eun nodded her head as if she was just given a top-secret mission. I was satisfied with that. Then, I told the other explorers about what happened last night.
[Yeon Hwawoo, are you unhurt!?]
[Are you okay, Hwawoo-nim?]
[Yeah, I'm fine. I wouldn't be talking in here otherwise. I'm going to go to the New Moon Agency to disclose what happened. Mastiford-ssi, please back up my claims later. It'd be better if you can come to Korea.]
[Hm? Like I said, call me Hwa... ah, mm, yeah. I'll try. To think all those Event Dungeon bosses could be hiding in various countries, how terrifying. You must have had it rough, Yeon Hwawoo.]
[Thanks for comforting me, Mastiford-ssi.]
Then, Hwaya sent me a private message.
[Then can you come support me here too, Yeon Hwawoo? We haven't been able to advance recently. You can even come as Thunder Knight.]
[I'll think about it. If you can stop China from getting in the way, I'd be happy to go. I always did want to see Windermere.]
[Don't worry, China isn't in any position to hold you accountable, and Britain sees Thunder Knight rather favorably. We call you a true knight. I'm sure everyone will receive you happily.]
[Got it, but don't call me Thunder Knight.]
Just like that, we made a secret agreement of cooperation. Walker then joined the communication channel.
[Yeon Hwawoo... you seem rather close to Mastiford.]
[Walker, I think that's just you being a loner.]
[Walker-ssi, Hwawoo-nim is different! He's Takemikazuchi-nim's incarnation!]
[No, that's not right, Minami-ssi.]
I did like the name since it sounded strong, but I wasn't Takemikazuchi, but Hermes. It's important so don't get it confused! Though I couldn't tell her that.
A few days later, I visited the New Moon Agency as Yeon Hwawoo, wearing Otus' Secret and the Wraith Queen Set. When I explained the circumstance to the manager, he looked at me like I was an idiot.
"You're talking about France's Gate? I think you're going too far with your joke."
"Is that so?"
I opened the coffin I was carrying on my back, revealing the succubus' corpse. I had temporarily stitched back the wing I cut off and her charming golden eyes.
"I looked into it, and it turns out this girl is an international student from XXX college's business department. You know, a student of the school that had that recent massacre."
"M-Mm. Indeed, this monster goes above the normal standards. Not to mention, the corpse contains a considerable amount of mana... Yeon Hwawoo-ssi should have been A-rank. Did you kill this monster alone?"
"My ability must have gotten stronger."
"She said she came from beyond France's Gate. It's probably something to make sure of. I knew something was strange the moment those damned Gates disappeared. It might be easy to just laugh it off, but you should know what the smart decision should be. After all, who knows if something like this will happen again?"
The manager became silent for a while, then spoke.
"This is outside of my jurisdiction. I might have to bother you for a little while longer, is that fine?"
"I hope you can pay me the proper hourly wages."
I retorted with a smile. That evening, S-ranker Yeon Hwawoo held a press conference that appeared on all 3 broadcast TV news channels. I thought New Moon Agency would take care of the press conference if I just reported the problem, but the so-called chief of New Moon Agency passed the baton onto me. His reasoning was that strength equaled trust. It was possible, as Korea did not have an SS-ranker.
Although I was a bit nervous about going on TV, the mask I was wearing helped me relax. I first introduced myself, then explained about the Event Raid. Of course, I didn't use the exact terminology.
The moment I explained my ability was martial arts based on lightning attribute mana, I received questions asking if I was Thunder Knight. These journalists sure did their jobs well. I spoke evasively, saying I wished I could be Thunder Knight, then continued to how and when I met the succubus. When I revealed that succubus had told me she had come from beyond France's Gate, a barrage of questions flew in my direction.
"How can we trust those words?"
"If you don't want to believe them, you don't have to. I'm here to warn the world about a potential danger, not to argue whether I'm right or wrong."
"Do you have proof?"
"There's no way to bring this succubus back to life, but I'm sure there are other monsters that can take the form of humans. I believe the world should be more alert."
"Do you have a girlfriend?"
"You, follow me."
Even after one of the carefully selected reporters got dragged out, the press conference continued smoothly. Just like the New Moon Agency's chief said, it was hard for them to ignore the words of one of Korea's four S-rankers.
In truth, my goal wasn't to get them to take my words seriously, but to just let the world be aware of the possibility and stay alert. However, as the Korean media made a huge deal out of the press conference, the story began to spread to other countries like wildfire. The New Moon Agency also asked for my opinions a few more times, and even formed a new department with Guardian. Although they asked for my cooperation, I declined respectfully. Of course, when they asked if I could give them the succubus' corpse, I declined a bit more violently.
"Mom, oppa is on TV! Come see!"
"You know you can't tell your friends, right?"
"Of course, oppa."
Yua was purely happy that I appeared on TV and stared at it fixedly. Mother, on the other hand, tilted her head, seeing me disguised as Yeon Hwawoo.
"Why does your jawline become so slender with that mask? It doesn't look good."
"I like it though. It's thin and nice."
"It's too thin! You're perfect the way you are now, son."
"I like the current oppa too."
For now, I decided to record Yua's line.
Father felt indignation that his son went on broadcast TV before him (as a well-known martial artist, he had been on cable TV before). His eyes burned as he vowed to find an Event Raid boss. Father, we both went on broadcast TV before... though we were both wearing armor.
Hwaya kept her promise. After my press conference, she went on Britain's TV, supporting me and insisting that countermeasures had to be put in place. She had found the time do so even while she was busy with 'Graveyard Over the Lake.' Although she apologized for being unable to come to Korea, I told her it was okay. Then, I decided that I would visit Britain soon.
The British government officially requested aid from other countries' SS and S-rankers. The situation had become too dire for them to worry about their pride. Though, no country had sent an SS-ranker outside of their own country...
In truth, Japan and America were both in trouble as well. For Japan, they seemed to care about their pride as they insisted they would take care of it on their own. As they only had a B+-rank dungeon, it seemed it would not take long for them to take care of it.
The real problem was with America's S-rank Field Dungeon, Wyvern's Nest. It was a terrifying place where the S-rank monster, wyvern, appeared. Not to mention, as wyverns had wings, they were constantly expanding their territory. People were worried that at this rate, other canyons near Page would become dungeons. Although America's SS-ranker seemed to be holding on, they would soon have to borrow the strength of other countries like Britain. Wyverns. I wanted to try hunting them.
In any case, after making plans to visit Britain, my business on Earth had been taken care of. News, newspapers, and even magazines tried to focus their stories around Korea's fourth S-ranker, Yeon Hwawoo, but he was a rogue and they could not find any information about him. Whenever I worked as Yeon Hwawoo, I used Return, thus shrouding my identity in secrets.
While the mass media was focused on Yeon Hwawoo's identity, I focused on the dungeon.
After all, in the dungeon, there was something I had to quickly take care of.