◈ Episode 463. Familiar to me like breathing (1)

Rockid, a living legend of the Colosseum.

Despite his fame and size.

Muscle mass lay sprawled on the dirt floor.

“I’m going to kill you.”

“Shut up.”

“So where is the Aksh…….”

“Just hearing that name will make you angry, so shut up!!”

Who had turned Rockid of the World into such an ugly mole?

Former Shadow Mercenary Group 3th seats.

Henderson chuckled.

“It’s been a few years since you were addicted to alcohol and pleasure, but did you think your physical strength would remain the same as before? The world isn’t that easy, Rockid. It’s bitter when you trust in your youthful vigor.”

How dare you give advice to my life?

The Shadow Mercenaries are officially disbanded. Normally, Rockid’s temper would have made him lunge for Henderson’s throat.


“Damn it, if I could move, you’d be dead.”

Every muscle in my body refused to listen!

And even though the words were harsh, I wasn’t particularly angry at Henderson’s criticism. He was on the ground, groaning, just like me.

Former 9th seat, DeSheve yawned loudly.

“Grandpa Alkari, what did the Akshans look like? Seriously, they have been doing this ridiculous training day in and day out? If I push myself any harder here, beyond the point of exhaustion, I’m going to have trouble breathing……?”


It was all because of the damn Akshan.

The never-ending training.

Training that barely ends and then starts all over again.

Former 5th seat, Herchiora grumbled.

“Yeah, it takes some work to wash your dirty hands and be reborn. Training is all well and good, I guess. So when are we going to hunt down our demon?”

I never thought a day would come when I would miss the demon’s face.

“I’m not kidding, I’d rather be stuck with those disgusting bastards all day, so I can at least miss a day of training?”

Even for a magic-based class with relatively low physical abilities.

They couldn’t be exempt from Akshan’s new discipline.

Wasn’t it obvious?

It was a process that ‘anyone’ who had rebuilt Akshan had gone through.

The members were tattered like rags.

Among them, there were those who still had some dignity.

Kichi and Wolfe.


For days, they trained to the limit.

Their bodies were already screaming.

But they had a better reason.

It was the difference in their posture.

The two of them painstakingly corrected their posture.

“Can you feel it, Captain?”

“Yes, to a certain extent.”

“It disappeared completely.”

They could feel it.

The faint, but present, scent of the demon lingering in the back of their nostrils.

Of course, they weren’t mistaken.

“What kind of creature can smell an entire continent.”

It wasn’t that they were particularly talented as demon hunters; it was just that the scent was too strong for them to pick up without being recognized.

To the two, Rockid asked.

“Hey, Captain……. So, how long are we going to be stuck in this mess, even though we have a large territory, it’s so cramped!”

Claudi’s territory was vast.

The outbuildings here housed the entire Shadow Mercenary Corps.

The adventurers in the mansion didn’t even know that.

“So you’re using that as an excuse, Rockid?”

DeSheve asked pointedly.

“You’re just hungry for a drink.”

“What? Shut up, you little rat.”

“Don’t you know that the Akshan’s code is no drinking?”

“What the hell?! No drinking?! Seriously, Captain?!”

Wolfe whispered in a low voice to Kichi.

“There are no such rules. I guess you didn’t read them properly, right?”

Of course, who cares about discipline?

This was Rockid, last seat, but one that no one could easily control.

It was hard to believe that Rockid would actually participate in this kind of training.

It was unthinkable in the past.

Wolfe smirked.

“Still, I’m doing a good job of keeping him in line, aren’t I…….”


Wolfe added to the uncharacteristically quiet Kichi.

Wolfe’s face went blank and white in an instant.

Kichi’s pupils were unfocused.


A snap.

Wolfe grabbed Kichi, who was just falling apart.

If it weren’t for the feel of his fingertips, he wouldn’t have thought he had caught her.

Kichi’s body was as light as a feather.

Not metaphorically, but truly, her weight was that of a feather.

But that was to be expected, since Kichi’s shadow had disappeared.

So Wolfe was not surprised.

“Leader, are you all right?”

“Wolfe, what’s wrong?”

“What, suddenly? She didn’t pass out from exhaustion, did she?”

Realizing the seriousness of the situation, one by one, the members of the troupe approached.

And soon, everyone realized.

Claudi’s territory.

A place with different rules than the Arcana continent.

We had overlooked it for a while because it was a [Hidden Piece] in the language of adventurers.

Wolfe’s lips parted in a confident voice.

“…… The leader was taken away. 『The Shadow Corridor』 has opened.”


One step.

I stepped proudly into the wide-open Shadow Corridor.

As expected, the interior was just as magnificent as the exterior.

Two steps.

You’ve put quite a bit of effort into this, haven’t you?


Candles that light up with each step I take.


My shadow flickering in the candlelight.

‘Spooky, spooky.’

And most of all, it doesn’t lie.

The hostility of the Shadow God towards me, which was conjured up as a system message.

All of that combined, the mood was eerie.

Then it happened.

I could feel the heat from across the hall.


Judging by the polite bow and greeting…….

At least they’re treating me like a guest, right?

I should be thankful for this.

‘Honestly, it sucks.’

But such formality and procedure.

As a proud nobleman.

As a proud nobleman, one must treat others with proper formality.

So I couldn’t help but speak up.

“I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to meet the invitation’s deadline.”


I figured that was the first thing you’d say, Grandfell.

You’re a time killer, for whatever reason.

“That’s not true.”

The figure that approached replied in a polite voice.

A black veil covered its entire body.

The voice was that of a gentle woman.

“The Master of the Shadow Corridor told me to express my gratitude to Grandfell Claudi Arpheus Romeo for even accepting the invitation.”


‘No, I’m not used to you popping up out of nowhere.’

If you’re grateful.

Can you tell him to refrain from calling me by my full name……?

A desperate request rose to the top of my throat.

“Now then, let me formally inform you of the rules of the Shadow Corridor, as this is the Arcana continent, a place where the rules are completely different from the usual places…….”

I replied as if it were a quiz.

“I already figured out that it’s a Hidden Piece.”

“……What do you mean, Hidden Piece?”

“It’s a language of anomaly, so of course you don’t know it.”

Don’t fill your self-esteem with that, Grandfell.

No, your self-esteem is always at its maximum, so there’s no need to fill it up, right? Anyway, the employee paused but continued speaking without being caught up in the Granfell-style speech.

“The invitation to this corridor was sent only to Grandfell Claudi Arpheus Romeo, but now that the shadow corridor is open. Inside the corridor, there are other ‘guests of honor’ other than Grandfell Claudi Arpheus Romeo-nim.”

Other guests.

‘Well, I can breathe a little easier then.’

There’s no telling who else has stepped into the Shadowy Corridor, but it’s comforting to know we’re not alone. But the sigh of relief that threatens to escape is scattered by the next words.

“As your employer, if I may be so presumptuous, I would recommend that you keep a close eye on those honored guests, for there are no ‘restrictions’ on the discipline of the Shadow Corridors in the service of the Shadow God.”

No restrictions.

As if she wasn’t lying.

My eyes sparkled.

[The rules of the Shadow Corridor apply to you.]

[1. The free-for-all dueling system is activated].

[2. The Bounty system is activated].

[3. The Secret Battle system is activated].

Who is the Shadow God?

The worst criminal organization on the Arcana continent.

They are worshipped by the Shadow Mercenaries.

Indeed, their discipline is chaotic.

Of course, this was somewhat expected.

I didn’t need to understand the free-for-all duel. As for the bounties, I could understand the existence of these rules when I thought of the Shadow Mercenaries, who were only driven by money.


‘Activation of the Secret Battle?’

Secret Battle?

I didn’t know exactly what that meant.

But it was from then on.

I began to sense an unusual force from the employee who was ahead of me.

I could feel it in my gut.

‘She’s hiding a killing intent behind a smile.’

Of course, class has its limits.

I’m not an assassin, and I don’t possess the unique stats of other classes, such as [Premonition] or [Insight], which are the unique stats of other classes, so I couldn’t immediately sense the killing intent of someone who wasn’t a demon.

But in this moment, I could feel it clearly.


Candles light up one by one with every step I take.

The landscape of the Shadow Corridor slowly revealing itself.

The countless figures targeting me beneath those swaying shadows.

Yes, it is.

This is me.

I, Lee Hoyeol, was not feeling it.

『There was a good reason why Granfell was chosen as the family’s successor at the age of only 7.』

To be chosen as the next head of the Claudi family.

Until the day the house fell.

Grandfell must have suffered from numerous dark struggles.

Grandfell’s senses, which had survived the line of fire, were influencing me, Lee Hoyeol, whose proficiency in the [Heavenly Infant Solitude] exceeded 70%.

I recalled the meaning of the secret battle.

Hiding hostility behind a smiling face.

Cunning schemes are fundamental.

Eliminating the opponent by any means necessary.

So, I didn’t let down my guard even to the employer.

“Beyond the door is a social gathering place.”

I struck a stiff pose.

“Indeed, the discipline of the Shadow Corridor applies not only to its guests, but also to those of you who stay in the corridor. It is a discipline appropriate for fairness regardless of right or wrong.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“That there should be no exceptions to the rule.”


You’ve been found out.

No point in hiding it.

For a split second, her hand glowed with a secret dagger.


Are these unexpected patterns reflected at the appropriate level? I didn’t know that much, but I definitely realized that I shouldn’t trust anyone’s words in the Shadow Corridor.


I pulled out my Gwicheol and returned the employer’s strike.

Then I checked again.

I couldn’t go back later and say something else, could I?

“Then the master of the corridor cannot be exempt from the rules.”

Yes, Hoyeol.

“Whoever you are, tell your master.”

This is a Shadow Corridor far from the Arcana continent.

No one here knows me.

What if I say my full name out loud?

“I, Grandfell Claudi Arpheus Romeo, would gladly accept your hospitality.”

I declared boldly from the entrance of the Shadow Corridor.


For a moment, a shiver ran down my spine.

I couldn’t help it.

I hadn’t received an invitation alone.

Other guests had entered the Shadow Corridor for various reasons.

Among them.

……Wait a minute, what is that?

A familiar silhouette came into view.

What it meant was simple.

……You mean you saw and heard it?

It’s me, Grandfell Claudi Arpheus Romeo.

I said it myself.

Saying my damn full name……?!


[Grandfell Claudi Arpheus Romeo]

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