◈ Episode 54. The Illusions Will Be Free (2)

Guild, Analyst of Gaon.

Nam Chul-min checked the update details.

“New monsters will be added.

‘Demon Army Infantry’ : Lv.350

‘Demon Army Demon Cavalry’: Lv.400

‘Demon Army White Captain’ : Lv.420

‘Demon Army Fighter’ : Lv.420…….』


I looked back and forth between the monitor and its updates.

I let out a sigh.

Frost’s landscape in the video sent by the drone.

No wonder I was feeling overwhelmed.

“It doesn’t end when you take the gates.”

Yes, we were struggling to get to the gate.

The real challenge came after the gates fell.

Why, look at the number of demons waiting behind the gates.

Level 350 monsters.

Even if they didn’t, there must be a thousand of them.

A scale not even comparable to Count Ascura’s.

But at the same time, it was understandable.

Nam Chul-min looked at the update again.

“……Demon King.”

Demon King.

If the boss monster was the king of demons.

Yeah, no wonder Frost fell.

Nam Chul-min shook his head.

He put on his in-ears.

He spoke to Gaon’s officers, including Nam Tae-min.

“Monsters are waiting behind the gates. There’s no time to rest. Make sure you manage your health and magic, and don’t get caught up in contribution quests.”


The monitor screen was cut off at that moment.

Nam Cheolmin’s sigh deepened.

“Okay. We crashed to the last drone.”

The Demon Army lived up to its name.

They were clever.

They wouldn’t give up their information.

They destroyed the filming drone as soon as they saw it.

“I suppose it was a cheap shot, though, a fortunate one. Because I don’t think they have any great ranged attacks.”

Now, Nam Chul-min has only one view left.

It was the video his brother was sending him.

And then.

“It’s quiet.”

Nam Tae-min wasn’t his usual self.

He’s the older brother.

I could recognize the reason.

“I’m sure it’s because of the excitement.”

Frost meant a lot to Nam Tae-min.

As far as Arcana was concerned, he could call Frost his home.

And now it had been trampled on.

In real life, in living color.

Beheaded heads as far as Nam Tae-min could see.

He could recognize them.

that his brother’s silence was a silent rage.

So he added a word.

“Tae-min, don’t get too excited. You know?”

Well, I don’t know if that’s possible.

The truth is, even as I watched on the monitor, my fingers were shaking.

Nervous, angry, worried, excited…….

A lot of mixed emotions.

‘The only person who could possibly be okay in this situation…….’

……can only be Mr. Ho Yeol, right?

When I think about the way he’s been acting.

I couldn’t imagine Ho-Yeol being nervous.

That made me wonder.

“……Are you making any progress?”

Frost has a total of 10 gates.

Gaon was quite far away from Ho-yeol’s side.

He went online and was stunned.

“……, this is the siege I knew?”

Arcana’s common sense is second to none.

His common sense as an analyst was crumbling.



The collapse of the gate was a signal.


Led by Harkon, Jessica, and Enoch.

The Lionheart Knights leap out like a flash of light.

The Shadow Mercenaries following close behind.

I watched the scene for a moment.


I could feel the gap, even if only for a moment.

No matter how well organized the Demon King’s army was.

The difference in weight couldn’t be ignored.


Harkon’s sword emitted sword energy.

The moment he swung his sword, their formation immediately collapsed.

Instant death in a single blow.

Even their shields were cut off like tofu.



The enemy’s formations were scattered.

The Lionheart Knights didn’t hesitate for a moment.

They burst through the demon army.

They quickly reduced the number of Demons in their ranks.


There was no hesitation in their actions.


Like a lion capturing its prey.


Like the heart of a lion.

They were not even the slightest bit intimidated.

They didn’t seem the least bit intimidated.

I admired them anew.


Indeed, the majesty of the Empire’s mightiest knights.

Even the Demon Army can’t match them in a one-on-one fight.

Yes, I should have been surprised.

‘It’s the Lionheart Knights, they’re already great.

The Shadow Mercenaries were a surprise in that sense.

There were only ten of them, including their leader, Kichi.

But I could tell just by looking at them.

‘These are not ordinary individuals.

An organized movement?

Kichi was right, there was no such thing.

But each one of them was taunting the demon army on their own.

And the players who joined them.

“We’ll support you too!”

“Thank you, adventurer.”

“Healers, follow right behind! Guilds and parties, heal the wounded first!”

Of course, the reason players joined together was because of contribution.

After all, they were allies on the siege side.

Helping an ally also seemed to affect their contribution.

No favors are given for no reason in this cold society.

Yes, it’s all give and take, and that’s why we’re working together.

I’m a social butterfly.

“I could save some mana.”

Anyway, I was reaping the benefits.

I could step back and watch the battle.

I was regenerating the mana I’d expended to take down the gate.

In that momentary respite, I calmly finished my topic identification.

“…… I don’t have to go out of my way, do I?

After all, I had my trusty Ally…….

No, the level of my allies was too high.

The Emperor’s last man.

That alone should have been enough to motivate me.

Wasn’t it the Lionheart Knights who have the goal of rescuing the survivors and retaking Frost?

No wonder their morale was so high.

And the Shadow Mercenaries’ combat prowess exceeded my expectations.


‘Just because you’re on to something.’

He didn’t sound like he was going to stay behind.

Every single one of those demons, every single one of them.

They were wasted experience and contributions.

Of course, I’ll need to stockpile as much magic as possible.

‘The great evil, the Seven Sins of Greed…….’

Wasn’t I the one who poured all my magic into defeating a helpless fellow?

Even if I had grown since then, the opponent was a demon king.

The more prepared I was, the better.


“Knowing when to step up and when to step back.”

Even with all the magic in the world.

To earn a modest contribution.

And yet, acting in a way that didn’t compromise the pride of the Grandfell.

I continued shamelessly.

“That restraint is part of the formality.”

…… It gets more shameless as it goes. Really!

Okay, let’s skip the cringe-worthy line.

What matters is the so-called behavior.

To the listener, there’s nothing more mysterious than that.

But not to me.

Because I’ve done it many times before.

That behavior.

There was no hesitation because I’d already done the validation.

No wonder the process was so quick.

A familiar target for navigation.

And skillful interference.

I looked at the manifested magic and thought.

“Eat it raw, that’s my specialty.


* https://pindangscans.com

There was so much to see in Frost.

There were nearly ten gates under siege alone.

Top guilds attacking each gate.

On top of that, there were star players with celebrity status.

Their appearances alone were already being broadcast on dozens of channels.

So, with so much to see.

Who was getting the most attention?

The answer was on my laptop monitor.

A real-time viewership chart was showing.

” ……, we’re #1 in our time zone!”

The news broke the silence.

The VBC channel’s ratings had surpassed 20 percent.

Considering it’s not terrestrial.

The impact was more than double that.

But there was no fuss.

Even the boss, Nam Jin-man, who couldn’t get enough of the ratings.

“It’s loud. Let’s watch that first.”

“Oh, yeah. I’m sorry…….”

He didn’t even pay attention to the viewership chart.

He was so immersed in the studio situation.

VBC has more flexibility in programming than terrestrial broadcasters.

It was none other than Today’s Arcana PD, Hyun Yong-seok, who was in charge of directing the special program.

It was all thanks to his strong insistence.

“In a word, it’s a Lee Ho-yeol program.”

A program that would take hours.

No, it would take days to recapture the Frost.

During that time, Hyun Yong-seok pushed for a special program that would focus solely on Lee Ho-yeol.

It was a gamble.

No matter how amazing Lee Ho-yeol was, everything has its fatigue level.

How many viewers would stick around to watch him when they could just turn the channel and see a completely different picture?

At the programming meeting, there were many opposing opinions.


“I knew it, I knew I was……!”

It was just a fluke.

Lee Ho-yeol.

His performance was enough to make me not even think about touching the remote, let alone flipping the channel.

It was no joke from the start.


In an instant, the gates collapsed.

The battle between the players and the demon army began.

The cast members were astonished at the sight.

” ……, you managed to capture the gate by yourself!”

“What an unbelievable display of skill.”

“As I speak, Harkon’s sword strike!”

“A level that players can’t keep up with. That one.”

“It looks like the Shadow Mercenaries are following right behind. Expert, how do you see the level of the Shadow Mercenaries?”

“In Arcana, the assessment of a mercenary is simple: their ability can be judged by their commission fee. The commission fee of the Shadow Mercenaries is astronomical…….”

“Ouch, just as I was saying that!”

A movement interrupted his explanation.

The dormant Ho Yeol had begun to manifest his magic once again.


The familiar sound of the field and a memory that I had momentarily forgotten.

“That’s right, that’s Lee Ho-yeol!”

Boulders erupted from the ground.

In the past, when Ho Yeol was first introduced to the media.

The skill that caused Ho-yeol to be mistaken for an alchemist.

“This is the same skill that saved our Gaon and Inazuma from certain death!”

Manifested stone pillars and stone walls.

Hoyeol’s actions in stopping the cavalry charge and supporting Gaon and Inazuma had been the talk of the town, so his actions made sense.

“I’ll support my stronger allies. That’s what you think, isn’t it?”

“Yes, that’s right. No matter how strong Lee Ho-yeol is, there is still a huge gap between him and the Arcane……….”

“Ahh, the moment I say that!”

But once again, the explanation was cut off.

This time, it was inevitable.

The cast members who were watching the screen stuttered.

“……, what skill is this, expert?”

” I don’t know, I’ve never seen it before!”

“Dear viewers. Do you believe it!”

Into the rising dust.

A figure emerged.

“Come on, it’s the stairs! Lee Ho-yeol, the player… … !!”

Dozens of stone steps connected to the city walls.

And players climbing them.

That wasn’t all.


A ranged attack from a flying demon army.


And the massive barriers that rose up in response.

Even if it meant taking a step back from the front.

Ho Yeol’s actions were far too influential to be considered mere support.

Okay, so it’s not really a support at all…….

“He’s in complete ‘command’ of the battlefield……!”

The look of a commander who perfectly controls and coordinates the battlefield.

The cast was once again in awe.

“The players, of course. He’s leading the Lionheart Knights. And the Shadow Mercenaries. It’s unbelievable to see. Really!”

“Now that I look again, that outfit looks a bit like a conductor too…….”

“What does this do to the contribution, expert?”

“Well, it’s like everyone putting their spoons on a table set by player Lee Ho-yeol, so we can assume he’s probably racked up a ton of contributions!”

Once again, I couldn’t help but wonder.

Lee Ho-yeol is capable of that.

How could he have stayed under the radar all this time?

We still can’t even guess his class.

The moderator spoke up sincerely.

“Truly, it is a moment to wonder about the past!”


The quest window flashed incessantly.

I checked my current contributions.