Chapter 196 – The Witnesses

◈ Episode 196. The Witnesses

The absolute rule of a spacetime social hall or transcendent community.

All hostile behavior toward one another is prohibited.

Naturally, it was a rule that could not be properly followed.

From the perspective of the Arcana Continent, I don’t know.

Players have a lot of pride.

If you turn on the internet right now and look at any player community, there will be more than one or two keyboard battles going on.

What difference would it make if it were a social gathering place in space and time where only the stagnant and transcendent people gathered?

No, it’s probably just as bad, if not worse.

‘Maybe that’s why they put that rule in the first place.’

What if the spacetime social hall had no such restrictions?

The smell of blood must not have disappeared in that luxurious space.

But you can’t stop a conflict by trying to stop it.

AAU, after all, has seen its fair share of players fighting on virtual reality days, so it’s no wonder there are rules in place for such situations.

[However, dueling content can be done through the Transcendent community].

That’s what the AAU’s documentation said.

To put it into words…….

“However, dueling content is available through the Spacetime Social Hall.”

You can think of it as …….

Something like that, but incomplete.

There were additional rules and purposes associated with it.

[Duels would be broadcast through the Arcana website].

[It was expected that the duel between the rankers would attract a large number of viewers]

[Additional streaming revenue would be distributed to the winners].

[Could stimulate players’ desire to level up]…….

When I read that, I realized that AAU wasn’t the developers of Arcana for nothing, because they had a perfect grasp on player psychology.

A duel between ranked players.

Live streaming it on the Arcana website.

And the winner gets to keep all the extra income.

‘Even I would have been salivating.’

As it says.

It would have been a great spectacle for casual viewers and another reason for players to become rankers.

Of course, all of that was back when Arcana was just a game.

‘We don’t know how that system will be implemented.’

It’s uncertain.

But as you can see.

I proposed a spacetime duel to Shegwin.

The reason is simple.

To defeat fake pride with real pride, as Grandfell says?

No, I don’t know about Grandfell.

I, Lee Hoyeol, have no such fancy reason.

A presence felt overhead.

The top of the Zero Mountains.

The Dragon’s Nest has begun to emanate a powerful aura.

Even beyond the magic circle of the Magic Tower.

I was sure of it.

If, and when, the dragon awakens…….

‘We can’t stop it, that thing!’

Isn’t there a sealing circle?

That’s just what the media says!

The magic circle in the magic tower is not the magic circle that seals the dragon. There’s no way that the Magic Tower, which was defeated in the Great Dragon Magic War, could manifest such magic in the first place.

‘Really, it’s just a magic circle to keep the dragon from getting disturbed.’

Because we put in a lot of effort that is not typical of a magic tower.

It wouldn’t wake up at the slightest disturbance.

It wouldn’t even stir.

I can’t help but blame that damned Vivace once again, Grandfell……!

‘I can’t help it.’

In that sense, it is for the best.

[The duel in spacetime is approved].

Moving the place of battle into consciousness.

When the Arcana was just a game.

You didn’t have to worry about losing your life to win or lose a duel.

But now, it’s a different story.

‘Lives are at stake, that doesn’t change.’

The only thing that has changed is that neither I nor Shegwin can run away.

Shegwin seemed to recognize that fact.

Black pupils met mine for the first time.

“I didn’t realize you knew these rules. You’re not so new after all.”

Indeed, the Sword Saint is the Sword Saint.

A Transcendent was a Transcendent.

He had overcome the [Natural Enemy] through sheer mental strength alone.

However, this side is by no means inferior in mental power.

“I commend you for your judgment in accepting the duel.”

See, you’re so nonchalant as to offer praise in the face of your opponent?

A duel in space and time.

No wonder it requires mutual consent.

Shegwin chuckled, as if amused.

“No, rather, I should be grateful.”

You’re actually grateful for my cheeky compliment.

What was that, a cheesy response?

But Shegwin seemed genuinely grateful.

“It’s kind of comforting to know that I can’t run away from it.”

……Ah, did he say that?

For me, to suppress the dragon, and for Shegwin, to suppress the demonic instinct to avoid natural enemies. This means that the duel in space and time was approved because our interests were aligned.

Soon, the space began to take on a landscape.

Fields filled in.

A colosseum, an amphitheater, complete with spectator seats.

It’s spectacular, by the way.

Compared to social halls decorated with all kinds of gold and silver treasures.

A spectacular stadium.

Above all, big and grand.

If you didn’t know the concept of ‘consciousness’, you’d be overwhelmed just by looking at it.


But both I and Shegwin know what consciousness is.

There is no hesitation.

Shegwin raised his sword.

He smiled bitterly.

“You come all this way and still have no answer, Atlas.”

I never thought I’d lose the ability to unleash my sword force.

It’s as if everything I’ve worked for has been denied me.

You look pitiful.

But make no mistake, Shegwin.

Apart from the Atlas, the disposal of Grandfell has only just begun.

I chanted.

“Vain pride, even to the point of giving up being human.”


“How does it feel to have been denied by the sword, Shegwin.”

……I’ve felt it before, but as far as demons go, Grandfell has a way with words that scratches the nerve. Look at the way Shegwin’s face contorts even now.

Of course, we’re not there yet, Shegwin.

“But I will also deny you.”

From now on, it was purely Grandfell pride.

Shegwin had been corrupted into a demon, unable to unleash the power of the sword.

Still, I cannot be too confident.

Even with natural enemy, Circle magic, and demonic loot.

There was no guarantee of victory. Sword Saint.

“With my sword.”

But you say you will fight sword-to-sword, Mr. Grandfell… … !

It’s an idea I wouldn’t have thought of if it weren’t for your damned pride. But I didn’t just blurt it out without a plan.

Yes, I am.

It’s all about the struggle.

It’s because I didn’t miss a beat.

Shegwin, I’m talking about what you said.

-“It is none of my business who wears that crown. I have lent my power to the feudal lords in order to obtain the magic item, the Milky Way Whetstone.”

A perfect finish with the Milky Way Whetstone.

The smelting of the noble iron is complete.

I opened my mouth to speak.


Is it possible to summon spirits in a duel?

If someone asked me, I would say yes.

If it wasn’t possible, then spirit mages would suck their fingers in a duel and lose.

And then, out of thin air, Hiel appears.


It wasn’t just Hiel who appeared.

Just as the Colosseum emerged from the void.

One by one, people appear from the stands of the Colosseum.

And yet, all of them are familiar faces……?

I suddenly realized.

[The duel is streamed on the Arcana website].

……Is this how it’s supposed to be done?


Zero Mountains.

A message flashed before the players’ eyes.

[Duel in space and time, do you wish to observe?]

Voices bursting out from everywhere.


“This isn’t just for me, is it?”

“A spacetime duel? What is this?”

It was a message I’d never seen before, and I didn’t know what it meant.

But system messages are not spam.

The system doesn’t lie.

If a message pops up, it’s there for a reason.

So there was only one possibility.

“…… Wait.”


A beam of light.

At the same time, a booming sound was heard.

This must be something related to Hoyeol.


The message echoed in the heads of the guild masters of the Great Alliance as they followed the procession of light across the mountain range.

Leonie, who was leading the way, stopped walking.


Class, berserker.

The words were familiar to Leonie.

Berserker, a class that requires constant battles to improve the proficiency of its skills.

The best place for that was not the hunting grounds, but the Colosseum, where battles were constant.

Goo Goo Goo…….

The noise diminished as the message came to mind.

Then the light across the mountain range froze in place.

Leonie was sure of it.


She turned and shouted.

“I don’t know who it is, but it looks like we’re headed for a fight!”

It’s a fight.

But there was no time for formality in the suddenness of the situation.

Hisagi’s eyes narrowed.

“I wonder if that was the duel.”

Nam Taemin shook his head.

“I don’t know. Whatever it was, we’ll have to find out for ourselves.”

Even if it was a duel, the question remained.

What kind of duel was it?

And would the other players be able to see it?

The three exchanged another glance.

“Let’s accept.”

“I think we should accept.”

“Of course we should. Observe.”

A message flashed across the screen again.

[Entering the spacetime dueling arena].

And a flipping vision.


As if I had warped through a portal.

The entire landscape was reversed.

Leonie was the first of the three to speak.


She said it was a spacetime arena.

A Colosseum, I was sure.

But I couldn’t imagine a Colosseum this huge! Even back in the days when Arcana was just a game, I had never seen a Colosseum this grand.


Soon, just like herself.

Players emerge from the stands of the Colosseum.

Nam Taemin and Hisagi sitting next to each other.

They weren’t the only familiar faces.

“Rox, Camilla, Schreig, Liu Zunqun……?”

A snake-eyed Hisagi concluded.

“Apparently, the message got through to every player who entered the Zero Mountains, and no one could resist it unless they had a very good reason.”

The Colosseum was quickly filling up.

“Holy shit, where did this stadium come from?!”

It took a moment for everyone to realize what was happening.

Something more important than the vastness of the Colosseum came to mind.

” …… Where’s Mr. Hoyeol?

Nam Taemin’s gaze turned to the center of the Colosseum.


There it was, Hoyeol.

Hoyeol standing tall as always.

And across from him was a man.

“……Who is that?”

Blue hair.

A distinctive look that stood out from a distance.

If I had run into him, I wouldn’t have forgotten him.

However, there was nothing remarkable about him.

“If he’s good enough to duel with Mr. Hoyeol…….

There’s no way he wouldn’t recognize a player of his caliber.

The conclusion came quickly.

That guy is an Arcanian.

While I was thinking about it, I heard a voice from the stands.

“…… Wait a minute, I think I recognize this guy.”

“What? Who?”

“That sword! I’ve seen it before!”

“The sword?”

All eyes turned toward the man’s sword.

It wasn’t hard for everyone to recognize it.

From the days when Arcana was just a game.

Swords like that were rare.

That’s right, that was the Sword Saint’s sword.

Nam Taemin muttered.

“……Now that I think about it, wasn’t Sword Saint also blue-haired?”

“Sword Saint, Shegwin.”

“That’s right! That name! I’ve heard of him!”

Leonie nodded at Hisagi’s words.

But it didn’t make sense.

The Shegwin they remembered was middle-aged.

No, he was more like an old man.

“Did he take some sort of rejuvenation potion?”

“There’s no such item, not even in Arcana!”

“No, before that…….”

There were other things I didn’t understand.

“……Why are those two fighting?”

A loud roar echoed through the Zero Mountains.

It was Hoyeol and Sword Saint.

The participants, of course.

Even the Nam Taemin who had been watching Hoyeol from the sidelines.

No one could guess what was going on.

In other words.

It was something they would never understand.

“It’s Hiel.”

She descended gracefully from the sky.

In her arms, she held a ‘sword’.

And it was a sword that Hoyeol accepted.

A loud roar.

The crowd began to stir.

“Isn’t that ……?”

“You’re going to fight the Sword Saint with a sword?”

“And with the rejuvenated Shegwin?”

“Even if it’s Hoyeol, it’s not……!!!”

In other words, I couldn’t understand it until the end.


Hoyeol raised his sword.

A message appeared before their eyes.

[Achievement: Witness a ‘Legend’].




I checked the rising system window.

No matter how many times I looked again, nothing changed.


[Rating: Legendary]

……What the hell have you become?