◈ Episode 325. Even animals recognize their owners (1)

Arcana common sense.

The effects of a skill don’t last long. No matter how strong a buff or debuff it is, it only lasts for a certain amount of time. Once you’re a certain distance away from the caster, the effect is gone.

“…… bastard.”

It’s been a long time since false loyalty ran out.

There is no way to return to reality from the Arcana Continent.

I realized that the moment I found out.

“Liu Zunqun, you bastard.”

The man who was supposed to be my lord only wanted to take advantage of my loyalty.

I felt like……. I wanted to stab my one remaining eye out with a branch. I didn’t want to share any of the Arcana Continent’s scenery with Liu Zunqun, not even one of my senses.


But hadn’t he already paid the price of one eye?

To lose his sight completely.

He couldn’t afford to lose his sight on the unfamiliar Arcana Continent.


An eerie scream from beyond the bushes.


The Arcana Continent was still in chaos.

The Demon King had been eliminated, but not all of the demons were gone.

With the king gone, they thought they didn’t need to be watched, or else they wanted to be king themselves. On the contrary, demons, both large and small, had formed hordes and were rampaging across the continent.


Crunch, crunch, crunch.

The man chewing on the dried fruit, Zhang Anlin, muttered.

He was hunched over in a way that didn’t suit his large body.

“How long do I have to stay like this? If I’m going to live this long, I might as well die. Liu Zunqun, I can’t even stand the thought of that bastard peeking at my filthy condition without losing my temper!”

The pale man across from him, Long Shenglac, said coldly.

“I think we’ve been lucky so far.”

“What, lucky?”

“Compared to the five people who died first, aren’t the two of us lucky? We just happened to fall not far from each other. We’re hunting, eating grass, and prolonging our lives.”


Zhang Anlin, who was about to speak, lowered his tail.

Long Shenglac wasn’t wrong.

If you were unlucky and isolated alone.

[Man-Eating Plant Nepenthes: Lv.530]

[Deathwinkie : Lv.550]…….

He would have been attacked by a monster in the forest and died a premature death.

Zhang Anlin gulped and swallowed the fruit.

Then he slowly opened his mouth.

“So, do you have any ideas?”

Zhang Anlin’s mental strength was already on the verge of collapse. It seemed that Long Shenglac across from him would be more rational than he was. But he only shook his head in disbelief.

“If I knew, I wouldn’t be doing this.”

“Shit, you’re just like me, and I’m the one who got my hopes up.”

“But maybe it’s time for a last straw?”

“……Last straw?”

“Do you remember? The message that came to mind the moment you entered the continent.”

“A message? Of course.”

How could I forget.

Even now, the status bar is full of active buffs.

Without checking the status, I was still alive and well. All those fraudulent buffs were the reason I was able to survive in a forest full of level 500 monsters.

Long Shenglac clicked his tongue.

“No, I’m not talking about buffs.”

“Then what?”

“Everything was arranged by the Dark Dragon. I’m asking if you remember the last message.”


The super-giant Guild of Heavenly Unity.

In the midst of all the intrigue and backstabbing, he had survived and gained one thing.

The ability to assess situations in order to survive.

In one word, perception.

Zhang Anlin swallowed dryly.

Then he spoke cautiously.

“……Is that what I think it is?”

“Well. I don’t know what you’re thinking.”

“No, really……!”


Long Shenglac smiled smugly and continued.

“The only way we can survive on the Arcana continent is to build an empire, or at the very least, find a town. You haven’t forgotten, have you? The role that cities and towns played back when Arcana was just a game.”

“I know, I know.”

Zhang Anlim shook his head.

Even an inn in a small town that could collapse at any moment was safer than a forest or cave. Besides, even in a ramshackle inn, you could avoid [Insomnia], [Poor Concentration], and other debuffs by staying awake.

Long Shenglac adds.

“It’s not just about survival. If we could focus on hunting like we did when Arcana was just a game with at least some safety, leveling up a day would be a dream, considering the buffs we’re getting.”

“One level a day……?”


‘One level a day means 30 levels in a month?’

The taste in his mouth that he’d abandoned because of the bitter nectar returned, and he felt revitalized. But most of all, if I can survive. The thought of getting revenge on that bastard Liu Zunqun fueled his motivation.

But there was the biggest obstacle.

“That’s why I asked you, do you remember the last message? The problem isn’t that Liu Zunqun is prying into our vision, it’s that the entire Arcana continent is under the influence of Lee Hoyeol, perhaps even within the palm of his hand. We are his only real enemy.”

“Damn the Heavenly Unity…….”

Five Stars was furious.

After breaking free from Liu Zunqun’s rule, there were no such shackles. However, while I was thinking about my anger, a question occurred to me. It wouldn’t be real, and their faces wouldn’t even be known. It’s about the guild I belong to…….

“If you decide to hide it, can’t you hide it as much as you want?”

Again, this is the wrong answer.

“Why don’t we recall why we were so happy?”

“Because we thought we were chosen by Liu Zunqun…….”

“Yes, because it was a rare opportunity. The connector, the only way to enter the Arcana Continent. Lee Hoyeol has one, and the other seven are owned exclusively by Heavenly Unity.”

In other words.

Inside the Arcana.

Meaning that every player Lee Hoyeol didn’t know was a member of Heavenly Unity.

“No, damn it, Heavenly Unity is really……!”

I had no confidence in hiding the fact that I was a player from the Arcana people. Just as Arcana people seem foreign in reality, they would not be strangers to themselves as Arcana people.

Long Shenglac’s words finally made sense.

“So what’s left is to gamble. Lee Hoyeol, he may be merciful to those of us who would have found him an eyesore. We’ll take our chances that he won’t, because that’s the only way we can survive.”

Now that he was out of control, Liu Zunqun would know.

There were no ill feelings toward Lee Hoyeol. But I guess that’s not Lee Hoyeol’s position. To Lee Hoyeol, they are nothing more than mayflies that he would not feel comfortable striking down.

Zhang Anlin and Long Shenglac.

The two men concluded their conversation with grim faces.

“We’ll just have to flip a coin at dawn.”

The next day.

The two men went about their business as planned.

Then it hit them.


Apparently, the goddess of luck was still on their side.

[The war for continental supremacy begins].

[Maxima of Gold declares war on the Empire].

[Yugrik of the Forest declares war on the Empire].

[Kansul of Valor declares war on the Empire].

[Acamond of Shivers declares war on the Empire].

War Quests.

It was even a declaration of war against the Empire.

Does that mean……?

Zhang Anlin opens his mouth in disbelief.

“Hey, these forces are an empire! So does that mean you are Lee Hoyeol’s enemy?”

“That’s right.”

“…… Look, Long Shenglac, isn’t this an opportunity for us?”

I nod.

“That’s right.”

Along with the Shining, they were the two most experienced warriors on the entire Arcana continent, so they knew the rewards of a war quest.

Long Shenglac spoke up.

“In a war quest, the winner takes all…….”

He didn’t hesitate long.

“Wouldn’t it be better to earn what you can rather than gamble?”


I headed straight for the Empire.

War had been declared.

My heart wanted to open a portal to the Emperor’s palace. I stood stiffly at the gates of Antonium, the capital of the Empire.

‘I literally put on a show when I first entered.’

……What is something to be proud of?

I’d done all sorts of shameful things to prove I was the Dark Dragon, from bringing the legend of the Dark Dragon to life to marching majestically amidst the cheers of the people.

Of course, there was no need for that today.

“Open the gates!”

The guard who recognized me shouted at the same time as he saluted.

After that, well, it was all smooth sailing.

Antonium was back to being a capital city, albeit not as much as it once was.


Procedure restored.

We were free enough to bring guests to the palace by carriage.

Thankfully, I tossed and turned in the swaying carriage.

‘Is this right?’

The Four Families’ declaration of war must have reached the Empire. The hustle and bustle of the scene through the carriage window was proof of that. In the midst of it all, I wondered if I was being treated like a guest of honor…….

A shameless sentiment pops up.

“One shouldn’t make too much of a fuss over a little commotion.”

……Would you, oh would you!

If I’m going to get hit with a big mouth, I might as well keep my mouth shut.

Eventually, I arrive at the imperial palace. It was only when I came face to face with the Emperor that I opened my mouth again. Not from his magnificent throne, not even standing in place, but rushing out to greet me.

“I don’t know how to repay you for your kindness, Dark Dragon. As Emperor of the Empire, I offer you my eternal gratitude.”

If you’re really grateful, first of all…….

Couldn’t you start by refraining from making that Dark Dragon noise?

The reason for the Emperor’s extreme gratitude was simple.

‘Honestly, you are worthy of a greeting.’

The Quernberg Machine Tower, Akshan’s decisive weapon.

I had deployed the machine towers around Antonium to help rebuild the Empire. The Quernberg Machine Tower had served with distinction on the Arcana continent, where demons and other evil spirits rampaged.

But the presence of the Quernberg Machine Tower on the Arcana continent, where demons have been erased and devoured by Bad Omen, where even the demons of the night sky have closed their eyes, and where only the most insignificant of demons rampage aimlessly?

There was nothing for me to say.

“We have received word that Imperial scouts have reached the village of Dredsen, in the farthest reaches of the Empire, and while it is in ruins and will not be repaired any time soon, the news has been a great encouragement to the people of the Empire.”

The scouts reached Dredsen Village, at the edge of the Imperial Territory.

Protection closer to Dredsen?

That means we’ve secured it early.

The Emperor continued.

“We have also received word that new forces have appeared on the Arcana continent, which is not good news for an empire that already has the continent under its control, but.”

The corner of the Emperor’s mouth lifted slightly.

“I, the Emperor, rejoice that they are gone, that they are no longer a threat to the Empire. It would mean that the Arcana Continent would become the Arcana Continent. I have also been informed that he, too, is in the service of the Dark Dragon.”

Oh, that damn Dark Dragon!

“Thank you again.”

By the way, even being addressed with respect by the emperor must have been intimidating. Maybe it’s because I’ve been talking to the president in real life, or maybe it’s because I’ve grown a thicker skin. It’s not as strange as it used to be.

I was able to cut to the chase.

“Is that all you have to say?”


The emperor looked like he’d been hit on the head.

His small smile was now tinged with bitterness.

After a moment of silence, the Emperor spoke.

“I apologize. There’s no way the Dark Dragon, who oversees the continent from behind the scenes, wouldn’t have noticed. You are right. The Four Families, they have declared war on the Empire, just as the Empire is beginning to see a glimmer of hope…….”

Yeah, I thought it was ridiculous too.

There is such a thing as common decency, after all.

Four Families, you were not deleted and restored.

Why did you wait and then declare war at a time like this?

‘I’m not sensitive because of my dark history.’

Let’s see.


It’s because it’s an act that pride would never tolerate.

But the Emperor’s reaction was strange.

What is the Empire’s position on the Arcana continent?

It’s no exaggeration to say that the Empire virtually unified the war-torn Arcana continent. It was a vast empire, and what that means is simple.

The Empire is belligerent, unyielding, unmerciful to its enemies, and fierce. And it doesn’t go far. Just look at the rebellion that took place not long ago.

Led by the Sword Saint Shegwin.

A group of nobles and privateers who plotted the fall of Antonium.

The battle was decidedly on the Empire’s side.

Not counting the transcendent Shegwin.

There were fewer than 10,000 soldiers left in the demon-ravaged empire. But the empire and its emperor refused to back down in the face of overwhelming odds.

Things are much better now than they were then.

‘Why are you so intimidated?’

If the Four Families had been realized, the settings would have been realized.

So I can understand not being confident of victory.

But the empires and emperors I’ve known.

They don’t give up before they’ve had a chance to fight.

The emperor gently closed his eyes.

” ……Has the time come, ancestors?”

He opens his eyes, looks at me, and continues.

“I’m sure you understand, Ancestors. Shouldn’t the Empire have no secrets to hide from the Dark Dragon, the savior of the Empire?”

Secrets to hide.

I had done something.

This was a really big secret.

“Imperial Family, Seric Rose. The Rose was able to take the Arcana continent and the throne not because it was strong. It would be absurd to unite an empire with the fragile thorns of a rose.”

The emperor laughed out loud.

“Yes, it would be. The Seric Rose was able to become Emperor simply because they wanted to. The Four Families, they……. So perhaps the time has come.”

He laughed, a hollow laugh, as if he’d given up on everything.

“Perhaps they think it’s time to dethrone the puppets they’ve placed on their thrones in the past, to reclaim their place as the real masters of the Empire.”

……No, wait.

I can’t follow what you’re saying.

The Four Families, they were that rampaging?!

Actually, maybe it’s not so strange.

I don’t know everything about the realized Claudi’s actions.

But even in the midst of all this.

I can be confident in this one thing.

Four families own an empire?

……No, then what am I?

I, Claudi, am a master of the Four Families!

Soon, my feelings were expressed in Grandfell style.

“Even animals recognize their owner.”

In a chilling voice.

“It looks like you guys are possessed by demons.”