Chapter 281 – Starting from Zero (5)

◈ Episode 281. Starting from Zero (5)

There are elements of the Arcana continent that are familiar to humans. That’s because Arcana was developed and serviced by Cosmo, the predecessor of AAU.

Nam Cheolmin swallowed dryly.

‘Of course, now that we’re here…….’

There have been claims from AAU that Arcana was not just a game, but a world that existed from the beginning……. What it does mean is that there’s a lot to love about Arcana.

From legendary animals like dragons.

This moment.

To the weapon in Hoyeol’s hand that appeared on the monitor.


The famous sword embedded in a rock that Arthurian legend says can only be drawn by the Chosen One. One by one, the analysts burst out in excitement.

“Is, is this really Excalibur?”

“What do you mean, you can’t tell by looking at it? The Commander in Chief pulls it out of his hand. The sword that was so firmly embedded in the rock that it looked like it had sprouted out of it, and he just pulled it out with a snap!”

“More than anything, the location is odd. The Sanctuary of the Little Champion. If it’s such a sacred place……. It makes sense that an item that is definitely Excalibur was buried there.”

All of the analysts who were listening, including Nam Cheolmin, nodded.

If the person involved was watching, it was a sight that would have made them tremble.

The person in question was concentrating on discipline beyond the screen, in the cave.

“Who said that?”


“If we put it out as a press release, everything will be quiet.”

“I, I was the one who said that.”

“That was a great idea.”

Nam clenched his fists.

‘It all depends on the will of the commander-in-chief.’

But Nam was thinking ahead.

The world needs to respect him a little more.

Hoyeol already had enough respect, didn’t he?

No, the world is constantly looking for proof.

Humans are unsatisfying creatures in the first place.

The government?

-High-ranking official, “It’s a shame there’s no information sharing.”

-“It is clear that there are matters that can be directly related to public safety…”

-“We should follow the example of the Heavenly Unity….”

It’s hard to be grateful.

South Korean players, including Hoyeol, have consistently been criticized for not sharing secrets with the government. Nam responded with derision.

‘It’s obvious where that information will go.’

I wondered how badly they’d lost to Heavenly Unity.

Public opinion?

-After hearing it, it seems like that???

-Isn’t there zero civilian casualties just by sharing information?

-I honestly wonder what Lee Hoyeol is doing;;

-When the dragons went on a rampage…….

I’m not blaming the public.

When biased information pours in, it is no wonder that such opinions secretly rear their heads. However, Hoyeol’s steps were as brilliant as the sun.

‘You can’t block the sun with your palm.’

Some kind of media play?

No, he could trample on them with ease.

Why, even now.

-No, if it weren’t for the Dark Dragon, the Earth would have been destroyed haha.

-Well, that’s neat, but it’s too bad.

-If the favor continues, I think it is a right haha.

But Nam Cheolmin knows.

But Nam Cheolmin knows that someone will never get tired of biting Hoyeol again. Maybe that’s why he’s more excited than ever.

The big picture.

‘Laying the groundwork by simultaneously attacking the Zero Mountain Caves.’

The corners of his mouth lifted.

‘A Goddess, a being comparable to Dark Dragon, amplifying the anticipation.’

And finally, the finishing touch..

‘Excalibur carved from a rock, the final blow.’

Just the thought of it was enough to make him think of an exhilarating heroic epic. Of course, it would be up to Hoyeol to decide whether or not to reveal everything to the world, but Nam Cheolmin was fine with it.

“You keep proving yourself, Mr. Commander.”

Hoyeol made him feel proud just to be able to move forward with him, and all of this had only happened an hour into the assault.

In other words, they were just getting started.

Nam Cheolmin braced himself.

‘I mustn’t miss a thing.’

Every single one of Hoyeol’s actions had a meaning.

Each action had a meaning.

It was his job to find them all.

The other analysts knew that.

“We don’t know if you’ve always had Excalibur or if you’ve just discovered it, but……. The important thing is that you drew the sword. It’s not called the Dragon Lord for nothing, the vessel of the king.”

“Come to think of it, you were a Dragon Lord, too, weren’t you? You had a lot of names…….”

“Maybe this is a warning to us. Maybe he’s trying to warn us in advance. Why, isn’t there a saying: If you pull out a knife, you have to cut even the radish.”

This sparked a lively discussion between them.

“How about annotating it with subtitles during final editing? I think it would be a shame to keep the deep meaning behind the Commander-in-Chief’s actions to ourselves!”

Nam Cheolmin nodded.

“That’s not a bad idea, is it?”

A person with pride would recognize it without explanation, but there were more than just prideful people in the world, and surely the Commander in Chief would have mercy on them.


Forget the implications of this realization.

The analysts, typing away.

They were so engrossed that they were shocked, even if it was only for a moment.



For a moment, the hairs on their bodies stood on end.

Nam Cheolmin was no exception.

In his case, he was a little more sensitive.


The unpleasant sensation was not new.

But it was due to a rare ‘experience’.

He couldn’t tell right away.

It had to be.

‘……No. This is not the time to be distracted, Nam Cheolmin.’

Chasing the source of the unpleasantness.

The Zero Mountains are vast.

As an analyst, his responsibilities were enormous.


The Heavenly Unity.

Zero Mountains, Area 7, Rally Point.

A red banner with the number seven fluttered.

A big man and a man of below-average height.

The two exchanged a low whispered conversation.

“It’s the same here as it was on the continent.”

“What do you mean?”

“That the lesser bastards make more noise. Tsk!”

Rockid lifted his mask with a snap and spat. It wasn’t a crow mask. It was a mask that covered the faces of the self-proclaimed Five Stars of Heavenly Unity.

“Hahahaha! What can I do about my nature?”


“Have you ever seen a beast hunting in a pack? It’s only natural for the weaker animals to travel in groups!”

“Alas, that’s why I travel alone.”

“Aha! I see, you have a way with words.”

Hanging out with Rockid was the third seat, Henderson.

The two had infiltrated the gathering place for a purpose, and they had to be careful and discreet about it. For such a small group, they were quite a striking combination, weren’t they?

There’s no denying it.

A place far from the gathering place.

White-rimmed eyes.

“Vice leader. That……. Did it have to be those two?”

Seat 8, Nadivo.

His ability is 『Sensory Sharing』.

Nadivo shared the senses of the two men, Henderson and Rockid, with all the members of the Shadow Mercenaries.

Nadivo’s question is met with a sigh.

“I knew it, those idiots! What kind of infiltration is that, and more than that, Rockid, why did you pick a mask that doesn’t even fit?”

Not a pig, not a wolf, but a rabbit mask!

“It’s a damn shame Isabella kept the original rabbit alive.”

If it wasn’t for that, they would have been suspected and their infiltration, plan, and everything else would have gone awry. As if that wasn’t enough, did you eat boiled Mandragora?

“Why do you both have such loud voices……!!!”

Seat 5, Herciora grabbed his head.

“I’m sure you both have thoughts ……, don’t you?”

Seat 4, Pimby asks with a worried look on her face.

“What’s on your mind?”

Alkari chuckles.

Leader, Kichi could be unreliable at times.

Wolfe, the vice leader, was not.

He was a much more capable man than he appeared.

“Rest assured, it’s all according to plan.”

Wolfe studied the sensations coming from Nadivo.

Leader of the pack.

A dishonorable past helped in times like these.

Familiar sights and smells.

You can tell ten by looking at one.

The unusual governance structure of the Heavenly Unity meant that competition between members was inevitable. So at this moment, the rallying point was a battlefield.

Henderson and Rockid.

Why did he put them together?

The reason is simple.

“Because they shine on the battlefield, the two of them.”

Aside from themselves, Henderson and Rockid were the most familiar with the battlefield. That meant they could quickly read the mood of the battlefield. The mood they read came through Nadivo.

“It’s like the calm before the storm…….”

Everyone nodded at Pimby’s words.

“Hmmm. Let’s see, it’s like a cauldron about to explode.”

Alkari’s analogy was spot-on.

“It doesn’t matter who entered. In fact, even if we hadn’t entered, the result would have been the same. In the end, there will be bloodshed at the gathering point.”

“Bloodshed……? You mean there will be bloodshed?”

“They’re our allies, after all, even if we’d sowed the seeds like real professionals. Do you think they’ll turn their swords on each other like the flip of a palm?”

Wolfe answered Pimby and Herciora’s question.

“Because that’s the way they’re built.”

“It’s a structure that has no choice but to be like that?”

“A group called the Heavenly Unity.”

A group of people united for mutual benefit is called a collective.

In that sense, the Heavenly Unity is heterogeneous.

It doesn’t act for its members.

Only one person.

It thinks and acts for its monarch, Liu Zunqun.

“In fact, that’s what a monarch of the Arcana Continent is.”

An existence that can turn the unreasonable into the reasonable.

That’s why they’re dangerous.

But that’s only for the monarch.

Their loyalty is only to the monarch.

Not to the group or the other members.

Alkari listened to Wolfe.

“Even if the brat monarch is alive and well, the Heavenly Unity has festered and the time has come for it to explode. All we did was gently touch the pus that was about to burst. Kekeke.”

The evidence was in the way they pointed their blades at each other.

Alkari’s words seemed to click with them.

Wolfe confirmed the plan.

“The more the disturbance spreads, the more the higher-ups will begin to intervene, we cannot know when our cold-hearted monarch of Heavenly Unity will appear…….”

Sooner or later.

It is said that Liu Zunqun will not budge under any threats.

If his life is on the line, he’ll have no choice but to give up his connectors.

“Until then, I’d rather make a lot of noise.”

In that respect, Henderson and Rockid were a good fit.

“Yeah. They’re loud, those two.”

Herciora’s babbling ended the conversation.

With that, the troupe’s questions were answered.

All they had to do was wait and see.

Wolfe had been feeling uncomfortable even before he’d begun the plan.

‘I wonder if he really didn’t know.’

Liu Zunqun.

Could a monarch of his stature really not know that his group was rotting away? No, this was beyond ignorance and was at the level of inciting internal strife. This means that the weaknesses of the structure were clearly visible to the point where a sense of discomfort was felt.

But Wolfe soon shook his head.

‘There’s no reason for that.’

The number of lives taken by the monarch with his own hands exceeds ten.

Wolfe knew a thing or two about monarchs.

A monarch’s power is proportional to the group.

If the group is powerless, the monarch is powerless.

There is no reason for a monarch to do anything that would cause his group to rot.

As Alkari had said, Liu Zunqun was simply immature.

He was an adventurer, not a monarch of the Arcana Continent.

Wolfe shook his head.

‘You’re out of focus, Wolfe Saccharine.’

Kichi disappeared.

‘Now that I’ve taken up the mantle of leader.’

Perhaps I have been sweating the small stuff.

‘Everything is according to plan.’

I told myself, and watched the situation unfold.

And then.

Henderson and Rockid caught my attention out of the corner of my eye.


It was a man with a demeanor that didn’t fit in with the heavily equipped adventurers of the Heavenly Unity, whose best feature was their appearance…….

“Who is he?”

The man had no right arm.




The demon feeds on negative emotions.

It is the nature of the demon.

Great Evil is no exception.

But even though it’s Great Evil, it doesn’t escape natural enemies.

No, because it is rather a great evil.

Even in the vastness of the Zero Mountains, there is no hiding from it.

Its stench can be smelled even in the deepest caves.

Natural Enemy.

Demon Hunter.

A message appears in Hoyeol’s vision.

[Skill, ‘Natural Enemy’ is triggered].

“You have the audacity to appear before me again.”

A cold voice rings out.

“Await your disposition, demon of question marks (???).”