Chapter 471 – As expected.

Episode 471. As expected.

The Shadow Corridor.

Now that I know the story behind it, it seems a bit lonely.

But since Grandfell-nim’s aesthetic does not reflect your personal feelings…

[The Shadow Corridor sinks into the shadows].

I looked at the dispersing Shadow Corridor and murmured.

“At last, a clear sky.”

Yep, you’re very objective.

I shake off Grandfell’s clear impression.

Think about the last words.

Me, in conversation with the Shadow God.

Lee Hoyeol asked purely of my own volition.

So how the hell am I going to use this ‘karma’ thing!

Why, the karma I possessed was a thousand karma, like a bounty. Not to mention the bounties I earned from hunting down prototypes and Bad Omens in the entrance to the Pantheon.

[Current Karma: 1,171]

A mere 171 Karma increase after killing them all.

I realize how much karma I have.

I realize it again.

‘That’s why I’m even more nervous.’

The Shadow God answered my question.

-“Karma is karma.”

To put it simply.

In other words, my actions have been measured in karma.

When I thought about it, it made sense.

‘I thought, I must have done so much.’

I’ve saved the empire, saved the Arcana continent, rebirthed the World Tree, the mother of all things, hunted down the Seven Deadly Sins, the Demon King, and the High Ranking Demon King, and…….

‘Didn’t we save the Black Curtain just now?’

[Savior of the Black Curtain: Having saved the Black Curtain, you are authorized to contact it at any time. When activated, you can enter Hidden Peace, Shadow Corridor, and the Entrance of the Pantheon.]

However, the question remains.

The sum total of all my accomplishments.

Is it worthy of a thousand karmas?

The Shadow God wasn’t sure about that either.

-“As I said, I, and the gods of the Pantheon, were unable to see the Arcana Continent. It was the prayers of the faithful that guided them, and the eyes and ears of the Contractors that guided me.”

There was a reason they compared themselves to frogs in a well.

Only the Shadow Gods could make a contract that would keep a contractor from dying, and they were more omnipotent than the Shadow Gods.

‘They were prevented from influencing the Arcana Continent.’

The same reason the Magic Tower was unable to do anything in the past.

Well, some good is good.

It was enough to give us some wiggle room.

[Karma: the currency of the Pantheon.]

It seems that the currency called Karma isn’t just for the dreary Shadow Corridor, but is also accepted in the Pantheon, and I’m glad for that in many ways.

Grandfell character spending in the Shadow Corridor?

I know it’s impossible. I was worried that my karma would go to waste. But I thought, if it’s the Pantheon, maybe I’ll get a chance to spend it someday.

-“The gods would use karma to awaken holy relics with omnipotent effects that lay dormant in the treasury of the Pantheon. Karma has that kind of power.”

Very useful.

Of course, that was all before the update to the Pantheon was complete.

Raymon Sean, I don’t know what he’s up to.

‘I can’t access it right now.’

But we do know that even he doesn’t have complete control over the system. That meant that one day, whether he wanted it to or not, the Pantheon would be updated and the gates would open.

I spat out meaningfully.

“For senselessly delaying precious time.”

Then I manifested a portal.

“I will take that into account in my disposition.”

The portal’s target coordinates were the Behemoth’s Maw, where the Holy War Alliance would be.

Paimon has returned to the Demon World, and at best, the imps are rampaging.

I wasn’t really worried about the safety of the Holy War Alliance.

Yes, there was only one pure concern.

‘…… So, other than legends, I guess nothing has emerged?’

While I was in the Shadow Corridor, I checked to see if a world message had been sent to the Arcana Continent, and if it had or hadn’t included my damned full name.

Because that was the only thing that came to mind……!

*

“!”

The color returned to Kichi’s eyes. That wasn’t the only change. Wolfe winced at the heat on his skin, the Shadow God’s Mark burning away at his body.

The former Shadow Mercenaries stood by Kichi’s side.

“Are you okay, Wolfe?”

“Your stigma is being erased, right?”

“Wait a minute, Kichi……? What the hell, when did this happen?!”

A small commotion erupts in the Claudi outbuilding.

“…… I saw it.”

Kichi opened his mouth, and everyone fell silent.

Is it because it has become quieter?

Kichi could recall a blurry memory of what she’d seen as a shadow.

“I saw him in the Shadow Corridor.”

“……The Commander in Chief is in the Shadow Corridor?”

“Wait, isn’t the corridor a place that not just anyone can go to?!”

How did he get to the Shadow Corridor if I’ve never been there?

For a moment, Rockid felt a stab of jealousy where it didn’t belong.

Kichi shook her head.

“I don’t know, I don’t know that much, but one thing I do know is that my shadow jumped on the commander, and no, I wasn’t the only one.”

Kichi rushed towards Hoyeol.

“…….”

No one in the troupe was surprised by the sound. They’d had countless near-death experiences on countless missions. Thanks to this, everyone has witnessed the shadow of Kichi at least once.

So the question had to be turned the other way.

“So how come you’re still alive……?”

Wolfe asked if no one else.

He knew better than anyone the strength of Hoyeol.

Why did he ask?

Because he knew better.

Shadow, the contractor favored by the Shadow God.

Just by entering the Shadow Corridor, they were of a different level of power.

Even Shadows cannot be defeated by normal means.

Kichi replied.

“…….”

No matter how she tried to search her memory, the scene in the social hall was the end.

It was too unreal to have witnessed.

Kichi couldn’t get the words out of her mouth.

Why not?

‘Something about that weirdly long name…….’

Lee Hoyeol.

The commander-in-chief had spoken Claudi’s name, not a name the world was familiar with, and as if that weren’t bad enough, he’d gotten on some kind of whale and flew off to the upper floors of the corridor.

So now I needed confirmation.

“Wolfe, what about the stigma?”

“Wait……. Uh, he disappeared without a trace.”

“What the hell happened in the corridor?”

Rockid frowned and rolled his eyes.

Alkari was the first to speak.

He summarized the situation.

“Perhaps there’s been a change in the contract with the Shadow God.”

Kichi held her tongue.

Kichi threw off the futon covering her and rose from her position.

She made her way to the window.

The curtains fluttered antiquely in the breeze.

Sswaaa.

“…….”

And the sun shone down. A figure slowly emerged from the sunlight. A shadow stretched behind Kichi’s back. Everyone shouted in surprise, starting with Rockid.

“Your shadow is back, Kichi!”

…… also.

Kichi was sure of it.

Again, this time.

He’d done it.

How many times has it been already? Is it possible for me to repay him like this? Is it worth sacrificing my life? In a split second, Kichi, who had finished her agony, opened her mouth.

“…… Then let’s get started.”

At that, everyone turned around.

“What are you doing all of a sudden, you have a new plan?”

Expressions full of color.

It seemed everyone was bored.

Kichi smirked.

“What is it, Akshan-style fitness training.”

“……ah.”

*

The news also reached the AAU branches.

Sung Hyun-joon and Yoon Soo-gyeom.

They couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw the documents Park Minjae handed them.

“……So, General Manager Yusra, you’re saying that player Lee Hoyeol has returned after making a deal with the Shadow God? No, am I understanding correctly?!”

Park Minjae nodded.

“That’s right, I cross-checked with the players on the Arcana side.”

World message displayed on the Arcana continent.

[The Shadow Corridor has been cleared.]

[The Arcana Continent’s dark side has lost its backing.]

[Arcana Continent’s security has increased significantly.]

[Crime in the Arcana Continent will be greatly reduced.]…….

Sung Hyunjoon muttered.

“I guess it’s true, senior……?”

An achievement that can only be described as astonishing.

One would ask.

The corner of Park Minjae’s mouth twitched.

“The media’s reaction is the same as usual, that Lee Hoyeol was Lee Hoyeol again. But isn’t it true that you only see what you know? Isn’t that right?”

“If everything you say is true…….”

A glint flashed in Yoon Soo-gyeom’s glasses.

“You’re saying that the General Manager has proven more than one thing, right? From the existence of gods on the Arcana Continent. That he could meet with them. And that he defeated one of those gods…….”

“No, you’re wrong about one thing.”

“What?”

“He didn’t defeat the Shadow God.”

Park Minjae repeated Hoyeol’s words.

“It’s just that, according to the laws of nature, the yin has become the yang.”

“??”

Yes, it was a Grandfell-style way of speaking, delivered verbatim.

“Yin became Yang……?”

Doubt appeared on the faces of Sung Hyun-joon and Yoon Soo-gyeom, but Park Minjae had nothing more to say. He hadn’t heard the full story yet.

But the fact remains.

“So, which one of you do you think is more amazing?”

“What?”

“The side that kills God and the side that rehabilitates him.”

The Shadow God was a black curtain in the story of the Arcana continent’s biography. According to the rules of the Cataclysm, he should have held back the players in some way.

Understanding the meaning of the question, Sung opened his mouth.

“Of course, it’s harder and more impressive to rehabilitates!”

“That’s a good answer. You’ve finally taken off your rookie tee, Sung Hyun-joon.”

“Mr. Park. Even though I’m the youngest, I’ve been here for more than ten years now. Isn’t it too harsh to say that I’ve finally shed my rookie tee……?”

But Sung was having none of it.

It was just a fake, but wasn’t it Park Minjae who had been speaking alone with Raymon Sean anyway? Thanks to that, he had a rough idea of what Raymon Sean was thinking.

“You think I’m harsh? The real harshness is just beginning. You’ll be working overtime for a while. Can you guess why? His plans are ruined. Raymon Sean, he’s not one to sit still.”

Needless to say, the backlash was anything but mild.

“I can’t believe we’re still working overtime.”

“No, I’ve been living in the office for the last week……!”

“I swear I’m crazy when I entered Cosmo at this age……!”

AAU’s hard work is no less difficult than Akshan’s.

But just as Akshan cannot complain.

AAU employees couldn’t complain either.

Park Minjae adds.

“Isn’t that what General Manager Yusra told you?”

“……ah.”

Sreuk.

Lee Hoyeol.

Even the employees who jumped up at the sound of his name sat down.

It’s the best of both worlds.

The unexpected overtime didn’t last long.

The newly updated official website of Arcana continent.

“It’s up, it’s up!”

As expected, an urgent update popped up.

The entire AAU Korea branch simultaneously checked the monitors in the control room. Park Minjae perused the update. He was the first to speak up.

“Everyone, let’s get off work for today.”

“……!!!”

Several employees were stunned.

But they weren’t happy, they were shocked.

Yes, because they had checked the update history together.

They could guess what Park was going to say next.

“Everyone, pack your bags. You’ll be working tomorrow!”

“……ah.”

──────

A new event is coming to your side.

A new large-scale event, ‘Lord of the Great Monsters’ begins.

New monsters will be added…….

Great Monsters: New monsters over LV.1,000

Lord of the Great Monsters: Oxidin the Transcendent

──────

Sung stopped staring at the monitor.

Wait a minute…….

Something was wrong.

Sung Hyun-joon poked Yoon Soo-gyeom in the side as he was packing his bag.

“Se, senior? There, there! There’s a strange name in the player rankings……!”