Chapter 156 – The One That Bloomed (3)

◈ Episode 156. The One That Bloomed (3)

The aftermath of the events in London did not die down easily.

What caught the world’s attention more than anything else was the rapidly changing attitude of England.

The United Kingdom, a country that centered itself around Second Sun after the Cataclysm.

Second Sun’s Guildmaster, Schreig, declared.

“From now on, we are participating in the Holy War.”

[The Unfinished Holy War].

Because Second Sun had close ties to the United Kingdom government.

It was a de facto announcement of UK participation.

“I can’t believe they’re doing this.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to jump into this?”

“Say something that makes sense.”

“Oh, come on, Mr. Director. Can’t you tell a joke? It’s spectacular, by the way.”

Aquarius oak trees on a London street.

These trees must have been the biggest contributors to changing the bleak and stiff England. No, if I were to really ask the question, would Lee Ho-yeol, who sprouted such a tree, be the number one contributor?

“It’s beyond the influence of a single player.”

Even if you put aside the mysterious Skarl.

Just look at Rox, who held the second spot in the rankings.

As a player, Rox had a great reputation, but he couldn’t wield enough power to move a nation.

Lee Ho-yeol, however, was different.

“He didn’t just move the country with his strength, he moved it with his heart!”

Indeed, it was a performance worthy of being called the ‘Miracle of London.’

Of course, there was one other thing that was just as much of a talking point as the Aquarius oak. The skies were gloriously sunny, and there was no shortage of people with umbrellas on the streets.

“This is the place, isn’t it? The place where Lee Ho-yeol defeated the ghost!”

Lee Ho-yeol’s umbrella battle.

All over the streets, people were holding up umbrellas and mimicking the famous scene. In reality, the battle was just a series of swipes of the umbrella.

This made it easy for ordinary citizens to imitate.

The phenomenon had become so widespread that it was reported on the news.

The Kingdom of Yusra.

Nam Tae-min, who had been watching the screen in silence, spoke up.

“This is no joke.”

Barbarians wielding greatswords.

Tae-min knew better than anyone how tiring it was to deal with ghosts whose physical attacks were ineffective.

Leonie, the berserker, was no different.

“That umbrella is enchanted or something.”

What, really?

After watching the video of Hoyeol’s umbrella fight, I realized something.

Even though they’d grown up, the gap between them and Hoyeol was vast.

Hisagi’s eyes shone keenly.

Hisagi’s specialty was fighting with the magical power wrapped around his spear.

He could recognize it better than anyone else.

“I don’t think he used magic.”

That only deepened their suspicions.

“So, is that umbrella really a unique item?”

“Shit, that actually makes sense…….”

“No. Does that look in Mr. Hoyeol’s eyes make sense?”

“……That doesn’t make sense either, though”

A figure approached the three people.

From Frost to the Yusra Kingdom.

It was Harkon, who had moved in for the maintenance of the Lionheart Knights.

“Oops. Commander Harkon, it’s been a while.”

Nam Tae-min and Leonie had been working together with the Lionheart Knights to rebuild the Kingdom of Yusra, and Hisagi, who had joined the organization late, had already made his peace with Harkon.

Thankfully, he didn’t mind and asked.

“You must have been talking about Lord Hoyeol.”

“Ah, have you heard any news?”

“If you’re talking about him, are you talking about the dungeon rift?”

“After all, rumors of Lord Hoyeol have been spreading in Frost as well, haven’t they?”

I didn’t need to be told.

Lord Hoyeol had moved, had cleared the rift, had made a breakthrough.

Even if I didn’t stand still, I could hear the rumors.

But wait………?

Harkon’s eyes snapped to the phone Nam Tae-min was holding.


Harkon said to himself.

Maybe he’s never seen a smartphone before.

Or maybe he’s just as surprised by the umbrella fight as we are.

The three of them scratch their heads.


But you only know what you see.

None of them were right.

Because Harkon was really seeing something different than the three of them.

A long umbrella, pitch-black.

A silvery figure carrying a long umbrella.

It was unmistakable.

“……Is that your light, your unique light?”

Harkon said, his voice trembling.

“How in the world did you reach the level of the Sword Force!”

……Sword Force?

I suddenly had no idea what he was talking about.

Rankers aren’t Rankers for nothing.

They’re not rankers for nothing.

Sword Force is the name of the ability that defeated the ghost with the umbrella.

The three of them exchanged glances.

“Leader Harkon, may we ask what this Sword Force is?”


Magic Tower’s office.

“Failed. Bensch William.”

It was a vibration that woke me from my usual duties as Chief.

The smartphone on my thigh, ringing nonstop.

I don’t need to check it, I know it.

A love-hate relationship, that’s for sure.

…… I sincerely wanted to ignore it.

There’s no way his manners would allow him to ignore a message.

My mind flashes back to the backlog of instant messages.

I don’t even want to think about Wensu, who labeled me as “the Infinite Darkness.” Likewise, I looked at the second message through my blurry eyes.


Big sis, you can’t do that to me. I swear!

A video posted in a chat room.

It’s Arang.

My one and only niece, holding a pink umbrella to be exact.

I can take it if everyone in the world swings an umbrella around like that. I have no reason to control them.

But I don’t want to see my one and only niece stained by my black history……!

“Indeed, a fine posture.”

Don’t take her seriously, Grandfell.

Of course, the video wasn’t everything.

No matter what, they’re blood relatives.

After all the teasing, everyone asked how I was doing.

‘Of course, with some nuance.’

They’d also heard about the Holy War quest.

They asked how I went from being a loner to being with friends.

Still, I have friends.

He says he feels more relieved than before.

“You have nothing to worry about.”

Of course, I had no choice but to reply politely, following etiquette.

That was it.

If I talked to them anymore.

I, Lee Hoyeol, can’t take it anymore.

I turn my attention back to my work.

[Quest: The Unfinished Holy War]

From the Arcana Continent to the real world.

The holy war against demons is far from over.

There are no rewards, no spoils at the end of this war.

All that remains is pride.

Prove yourself worthy.

Unlike other players.

My Holy War quest didn’t have a quest objective: Prove your worth in your region. I’m honestly not in a position to be judged by anyone.

Of course, the players’ quests were still ongoing.

A noise.

The noise outside my office, outside my door, would be proof.

Players were rushing to prove their worth in the tower.

The mages were a bit excited.

Aside from me and Jesse Heinness, none of the other players held positions in the Tower.

‘This is your chance.’

To prove your worth and be recognized.

Entering the Magic Tower and receiving a position wasn’t enough.

You’ll be able to pass on the knowledge.

It’s understandable to have expectations.


“The standards will be strict.”

This is a holy war quest where you will face demons unlike any other. This means that a high level of skill and experience will be essential.

Consider it a blessing in disguise, though.

‘If only I were here to evaluate.’

The adept mages of the tower are the basic.

As was the case with Bensch William.

I’m not the only one who’s been known to dismiss even senior mages in some cases.

So I was genuinely concerned. If I was in charge of evaluating players, I was afraid that not a single one of them would ever make it to the Tower.

“That’s a shame.”

Don’t be disappointed.

You should be grateful for everything, Grandfell.

Above all else, if you get too involved in evaluation, you will really die, you will die.

─Train your weakened body. (Repeat)

●Run 40 kilometers (ongoing)

●3,000 push-ups (ongoing)

●2,000 pull-ups (ongoing)

●1,000 burpee tests (successful)

……I mean really tired to death.

Since investing stats in [Strength] and [Agility], the demands of class quests have risen dramatically.

I’m getting dizzy just looking at them.

Of course, I couldn’t bring myself to complain.

I could only mutter nonchalantly.

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

Speaking of great power, my [Strength] stat is less than a hundred. Anyway, that means I have a lot of work to do besides evaluating, starting with the class quests.


My smartphone vibrates again.

This time it was a call.

What the hell, is Lee Yerim trying to attack my mind with words now? I had my suspicions, but I’m sorry to say, it’s not. It’s Nam Tae-min, who I’ve been trying to contact anyway.

“I’m listening.”


A normal greeting would have made me sprout thorns in my mouth.

This is why I try to avoid calls as much as possible.

Luckily, Tae-min didn’t seem to mind.

-“Huh. Huh. Mr. Ho-yeol, are you okay with the call?”

Apart from the reaction, for some reason, he sounded out of breath.

My curiosity didn’t last long.

Nam Tae-min spoke immediately.

-“I’m sorry to interrupt you, but is there really such a thing as a sword force?!”

……The Sword Force (劍罡)?

I could feel it in my gut.

You’re getting physical training from Harkon.

That’s good to hear. This.


It’s not fair that I’m the only one suffering from physical training.


“The Sword Force is far beyond your reach. For there is another mountain you must climb before you can reach its summit, the Sword Energy.”

Harkon continued.

“To realize such swordsmanship, one must have a body worthy of it.”

Run to build that body!

Nam Tae Min on the phone with Ho Yeol.

Leonie asked as soon as Nam ended the call.

“……what. No, what are you saying?”

Please, there is no such thing as sword force.

I want you to tell me that Harkon was full of shit.

‘It’s a different stamina drain than combat.’

My lungs scream.

It’s painful enough that the swear words I’d left out come rushing back.

But the wind drowns it out.


Nam Tae-min shook his head, his face white.

“……Harkon was right. He said he did.”

“This? Really?!”

“Ms. Leonie, there are no more excuses.”

Hisagi’s face lit up.

So did Nam Tae-min.

At first, I thought Harkon was joking.

A sword force.

I had never heard or seen such a skill in Arcana.

“If there’s a sword force, a sword energy, and Hoyeol use it, then there is.”

But there is.

“Hoyeol, I heard you also did some physical training. I have to follow it.”

And I did.

Crazy fanatics, they are.

Leonie sticks her tongue out at their insanity.

The two men gritted their teeth and ran off.

Damn, I don’t understand, but I can’t stay behind.

I can’t believe how much I miss the rift.

Leonie gritted her teeth and shifted her legs.

By the way…….

“Hey, Nam Tae-min, what are you talking about with the AAU?!”





Park Min-jae checked the message’s sender.

[Nam Tae-min].

Korea’s top guild, Gaon.

It was natural for the Guild Master, Nam Tae-min, to have a meeting with the head of the AAU Korea Branch, but it was unusual for Nam Tae-min to contact him first.

“Let me see.”

A swipe.

Park’s gaze flicked to the calendar.

There were no upcoming events on the calendar. They might have been friends in public, but they weren’t close enough to communicate privately. Park Minjae checked the message and his eyes widened in disbelief.

He couldn’t believe it.


I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

After looking at the message again and again.

I was able to accept the message.

[Player Lee Ho-yeol, requesting to attend an AAU meeting].

Lee Ho-yeol will be attending the AAU meeting……!

In the meantime, the AAU Korea Branch.

No, not from the branch, but from the AAU.

How many times did we send him a courtship?

But Lee Ho-yeol never responded.

So everyone had long since given up.

But the noble Lee Ho-yeol.

He’s the first one to contact me.

“Okay. No problem!”

We didn’t even have to coordinate the schedules of the AAU branches.

Is this the time to worry about time differences?

The number one will always be Lee Hoyeol.

I’m just following.

Park Minjae wrote back, breathlessly.

“W-what’s going on?”

It took me a moment to suppress my excitement.

Suddenly, Park Minjae remembered his manners and etiquette.


Minjae Park rushed out of the branch manager’s office.

Unfortunately, it was none other than Sung Hyun-joon who bumped into him.

Park Minjae asked him straightforwardly.

“Hey, Hyun-joon, haven’t you gotten over being a jerk?”

” ……? Oh, yeah. Right?”

“Right? But no matter how comfortable I am, you should take your hands out of your pockets and…….”


We have a huge update coming up called the Demon War.

I don’t want to get involved in any unnecessary incidents.

In that case, we can’t have a repeat of what happened in London.

As I said, we need to look at the AAU side of the equation.

But first.

Yusra Kingdom Office.

I glanced coldly at the papers on the desk.

The purpose of the document was a request for an audience.

I know the person who submitted the papers well, both in the past and now.

Skarl, the number one ranked player.

But the process was wrong.

“Rejected. Skarl.”

Just saying something infinite deep darkness would have been enough.

My other nickname, the Evil Dragon Hunter.

This means that an apology for spreading it to the world comes first… … .

note : Sword Strength -> Sword Force :