Chapter 158 – More Than You Can Imagine

◈ Episode 158. More Than You Can Imagine

Everyone in this room is a mastermind.

They know their place better than anyone else.

Those who know how to wield their power.

The AAU, which began as a worldwide organization, has been around for years.

Was it founded to protect the world from the threat of Arcana?

Instead, self-interest has long since taken precedence.

It was the AAU’s branch leaders who strengthened their positions by crossing the line between the government and the players. In short, they are masters of tightrope walking.

They were confident.

‘Don’t treat me like a bunch of journalists.’

‘Lee Hoyeol, you’re too arrogant.’

‘It’s a proposal that would make any human being shudder.’

The player, Lee Hoyeol.

Even facing him, I’m confident that I won’t lose my momentum.

Of course, his confidence was short-lived.


The sound of interrupted applause.


No hospitality?

When I first heard it, I thought I must have misheard.

It wasn’t a refusal, it was an omission.

The nuance of the words was subtle.

It doesn’t mean I’m going to decline because it’s a burden.

It’s a hospitality that’s very much deserved.

It was a way of saying that it was unavoidable due to time.


The atmosphere quickly cooled.

The branch leaders stood frozen in place.

Then, a thunderous sound made them flinch.


The door to the conference room slammed shut.

It was clearly magic from Lee Hoyeol.

Jim Joshua, the head of the Western U.S. office, was baffled.

‘Why did you go to that damn bathroom?’

The door slammed shut behind him.

‘…… Damn, that’s a lot of pressure for one person.’

Including the United States President.

Jim Joshua was used to being alone with all kinds of people in all kinds of places.

But even for him, Lee Hoyeol was an intimidating presence.

I don’t know if we’re just exchanging friendly greetings, but today…….

‘We have a lot to talk about about the future.’

He had a serious proposal to discuss with him.

That made Jim Joshua open his mouth.

As cautiously as possible.

“I believe there are some branch leaders who haven’t gotten in yet……. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to delay the opening for a few minutes?”

But what came back was a stern reply.

“Besides, we have no business talking to people who aren’t even on time.”


They can’t wait even a few minutes.

It’s too much like a knife.

But no matter how frustrated I looked, it didn’t matter.

And then─

Hoyeol continued on to the podium.

His gaze swept across the center of the room. The influential AAU branch leaders from around the world. He should have been intimidated by their presence.

Not flinching at all.

Standing tall.

And then.


It was a strange look.

It was different from the gazes of players who sometimes chill your blood.

It was like bragging that all he had was strength.

It meant that the eyes were not radiating a will to do everything.

It was a gaze that seemed to go beyond calm to indifferent.

But why?

They felt as if those eyes could see right through them.


The sound of gulping could be heard from all around.

The tension made it hard for anyone to sit still.

The pressure was such that the thoughts they had held only a few decades ago became irrelevant.

……It was a big mistake.

Lee Ho-yeol was no ordinary player.

The branch leaders’ pupils trembled.




Let’s see, for now, [Natural Enemy] hadn’t been triggered.

However, the presence of the Demon Worshipper was something that could not be overlooked. I’d been hit in the back of the head once before in the Magic Tower while relying on [Natural Enemy].

‘I don’t even feel it.’

Should we say that it was a good thing among the misfortunes of the branch? An earthquake occurred in the pupils of the branch leaders.

AAU London Branch Leader, Baker.

No one else seemed to be possessed or deeply involved.

But what’s with the looks on everyone’s faces?

Well, like they’re being stabbed or something.

Wait, there are a few people with something stuck in them, right?

Except for the demons and disrespectful behavior.

Unlike the infinitely generous heart of Mr. Grandfell.

I, Lee Hoyeol, am not so generous.

It’s just that I still remember it so clearly because of the back story.

[AAU official, “A Holy War? There’s no way to know if it’s really going on.”]

If there were one or two articles like that, I’d understand.

I would understand if there were one or two articles like that.

Especially from anonymous foreign officials, it was too much. The words “get a grip” came out of Mr. Grandfell’s mouth.

I opened my mouth.

“You have a shadow on your face.”

……No, I didn’t mean to be a jerk.

I spat it out without thinking.

Everywhere I looked, I saw people flinching.

Do you see anything that really stings?

Anyway, enough.

I don’t want to start a new black history.

Let’s get straight to the point.

“I ask you.”

So, what does the AAU know?

The existence of demons within the AAU.

That’s what I wanted to find out.

Even if we assume that the situation on the Arcana continent has changed drastically from the planned storyline.

I confirmed that the Arcana settings such as [Labyrinth] and [Dungeon] are still in effect.

If I could put that information to good use, it would be very helpful for future updates.

“What do you know about the Holy War?”

Well, I suppose I should start with the beginning.

A few people visibly flinched at my words.

I can see it.

You know, those anonymous foreign officials who talk a lot.

They’d better be especially sincere in their answers.

“If you didn’t know, there’s a reason you didn’t know.”

The holy war was tied to the destruction of Akshan, not just my and Lee Ho-yeol’s rear ends, which means that the pride of Grandfell is not easily dismissed.

“If you don’t have a good reason, I think it’s a lack of ability.”

AAU, live up to your name.

“What do you think?”




Ever since he’d gotten the call from Nam Tae-min, Park Minjae hadn’t been able to keep his eyes on him. Lee Hoyeol, even if the meeting was organized by him, he was the one in charge.

The one in charge.


Park Minjae wanted to take responsibility for everything.

‘I don’t care what happens at the end of the meeting.’

Otherwise, he would have warned Lee Hoyeol to be prepared to give his ankle if he wanted to hold on to it.

Didn’t he even promise himself that he would be willing to take on the filth of society?

‘I’m used to being a punching bag.’

But the meeting took an unexpected turn.

Hoyeol was actually questioning them!

The momentum that was soaring in the air was gone, and everyone’s mouths were agape.

If only I could have captured this scene on video.

I wouldn’t have needed digestifs for the rest of my life.

It’s a shame it was a private meeting.

Suddenly, Mr. Okazaki, the head of the Tokyo office, spoke up.

“Everyone seems to have run out of things to say.”

Hoyeol’s words were simple to summarize.

AAU, absurd lack of ability.

Incompetent and unnecessarily loud.

Really, it’s just plain murder.

I’m sure you’re no exception.

But I got to the point early and kept my mouth shut.

Unlike you, who rambled on without knowing the subject.

“If you have a conscience, you should keep quiet, like me.”

Sometimes people have hairy consciences.

Others shamelessly ran their mouths.

“Conflicts of interest are actually quite complicated.”

“Before sharing information, it must be reported to the higher-ups and a confirmation must be received… … .”

“As you know better than anyone, there’s always risk in a rift, aren’t we the citizens before the players? For their safety, we can’t help but regulate…….”

You guys are all very good at sounding reasonable.

It’s a trick of the trade.

That’s how you’ve gotten to where you are, all of you.

But your tongue should be out in front of your face.

“There’s no such thing as a bad procedure.”

I’ve seen it in the few interviews and press conferences I’ve seen.

There was no way to talk back to Hoyeol’s speaking style.

It was all about getting straight to the point.

Above all, there were no wrong words.

In the end, there were no more excuses.

In the heavy silence.

Hoyeol continued.

“I ask you sincerely, do you have any pride left?”


No one could answer easily.

Park Minjae smiled bitterly.

‘Even if I want to answer without answering.’

Now is the time to chase pride.

He was covered in the dirt of society.

‘You’re such a fool that you can’t even prove it.’

There was no point in answering that you had any pride left, since you couldn’t even risk your life on a holy war quest like the players.

The silence continued.

Hoyeol, who asked the question, is so quiet that it feels embarrassing.

Park Minjae sneaks a glance at Hoyeol’s complexion and frowns.


His expression and eyes remained unchanged.

For some reason, it seemed like the feeling of warmth was coming through.

It was as if he was patiently waiting for an answer.

‘No, it can’t be………?’

This is Lee Hoyeol.

Sometimes, I wonder if there is such a thing as emotions. He must be mistaken. Park Min-jae tries to look away.

He made eye contact with Baker, who was sitting across from him.

‘……What are you looking at?’

They exchanged glances.

As if that wasn’t enough, Baker raised the corner of his mouth.

At that moment, a conversation flashed through Park’s mind.

-“I’m going to be moved by pride.”


Park Minjae’s thoughts became reality.

Baker spoke up.

“I want to believe that there are still some left. But even if there is no pride left in my heart.”

His face fell.

“I will act to restore my lost pride.”


A soundless exclamation.

I hadn’t expected such words to come from the mouth of the London branch leader representing the United Kingdom.

The impact of the London incident on the UK was that great?

Everyone was stunned.

Except for one person, Lee Hoyeol.

“If so, I’ll ask you again.”


“Do you have the heart to regain your pride?”


Park Minjae suddenly realized.

The warmth he felt was not an illusion.

Not for money or fame.

Only for the peace of mankind.

Lee Hoyeol, who had entered the rift at the level of a ‘bug’ and had been attacking it.

Park Minjae finally realized the identity of the warmth.

Yes, that was the ‘sublime’ emanating from the hero.

Park Minjae couldn’t help but smile.

‘I wonder if people like us deserve to chase after pride.’

Well, I don’t think we can make that judgment for ourselves.

As I said, it will always be Lee Hoyeol.


After taking a deep breath, Park Minjae opened his mouth.

“Our Japan is…….”


“No, we are also……!”

A change occurred.


[The effect of the sublime is to bring about small changes].

It was rewarding to bring together AAU branch leaders from around the world and preach the doctrine of pride. When there was a cold silence, I couldn’t help but think that something really had happened… … .

‘In many ways, I’m glad.’

Again, the effect of the title.

Are you saying the acquisition conditions aren’t so difficult for no reason?

By the way, once again, I appreciate Grandfell pride.

No matter how fraudulent a title is, there are conditions for activation.

[Sublime] was also the same.

It means that I have to do something to make a difference in order for it to work.

‘This pride of mine is actually helpful.’

In that case, Grandfell’s pride is somehow sublime.

It was something of its own.

It’s no wonder the effect is triggered by consistent behavior.

Of course, the current gaze is very burdensome.

Don’t give my black history a touching glance.

Same goes for you, Grandfell.

Don’t puff out your chest even more than it already is.

‘No, that’s enough.’

But who cares about the process?

What matters is that we don’t lose sight of the flow of change.

Yes, it’s time to drive a wedge.

Or, more accurately, stakes.

‘Trust is not something that can be easily built.’

I don’t know about Grandfell, which is a flower garden in my head.

As a socialite, I know how human beings are.

To prevent a disaster like the one in London.

We need to keep an eye on the AAU on an equal footing.

“Finally, I have a proposal for you.”

Under my ‘authority’, of course.

“I want to create an AAU Yusra branch.”