Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
Pulling his hair out in frustration, Ho Sung, with his face twisted into a scowl, stared at the headquarters of the Shadow Guild. Initially, Ho Sung couldn't have been happier with the treatment he had received. Unlike when Kyung Tae Oh, his condescending, disdainful childhood friend, had been in charge, the Shadow Guild now treated Ho Sung with the utmost respect and privilege.
'So, this is what it's like to be a VIP!' Ho Sung had thought for the first time in his life. Not only had he been given one of the most luxurious rooms in the facility, but he had also been privileged with the most beautiful, voluptuous ladies bringing him tea and dessert. However, what impressed Ho Sung the most was, by far, the way in which the guild treated him. With it being in an environment where he was treated as a human being, Ho Sung felt as though he was in a-whole-nother world. However, upon meeting with a Shadow Guild official, Ho Sung was met with devastating news.
"We hate to disappoint you, Mr. Lee, but we have no information regarding demons or the Tower of Demons at the moment. Terribly sorry, sir."
The Shadow Guild was the largest intelligence organization in the country, which meant it was practically impossible to find something they didn't know about.
'Well, shit What now!? I'm already on Min Sung's bad side as it is! If I come back empty-handed, he'll either put me on a twenty-four-hour standby, or, even worse, he might decide that I have no use other than recommending restaurants! I'll never be able to tag along on his dungeon raids!' Ho Sung thought, biting his nails anxiously. He had to do something. However, no matter how hard he tried to think of a solution, it simply didn't come to him. At that moment, he received a call from an unknown number.
"Ah, yes! Hello! Is this Mr. Ho Sung Lee?"
"Yes, this is he."
"Hi, I'm calling from KBA, and we wanted to have you on one of our shows"
Hearing that, Ho Sung hung up the call and blocked the number without hesitation. He had been getting flooded with interview requests from various media outlets and broadcasting stations as of late. Then, while he was furrowing his brow, a series of knocks came from the window. When Ho Sung rolled the window down, a young, mysterious man with a smile on his face came into view.
"Hi! I'm from KBA, and we talked on the phone earlier"
At that moment, Ho Sung stuck a cigarette in his mouth, got out of the car and said, "All right, I've had it! Does it not mean anything to you people when somebody hangs up on you!?"
"Well It's just that your fans are dying of curiosity, and they're anxious to meet you."
"What am I, a celebrity!? I'm a hunter! You know, someone who kills monsters!?"
"Haha! Why, of course! I'm aware of that! Thing is people have been taking a greater interest in hunters over celebrities. There's a good number of hunters shooting commercials these days."
"Well, I'm not some poser like those people, so" Ho Sung dragged on as he was interrupted by people who recognized and surrounded him.
"Hey! It's Ho Sung Lee!"
"Oh, shoot! That is him!"
"Son of a bitch," Ho Sung let out. Getting back in the car, he drove off, and the fans stared in his direction longingly.
Taking the bridge after turning a corner, Ho Sung rubbed his forehead in frustration.
"Agh! I can't go back empty-handed."
Then, while he was massaging his temple, his eyes widened upon seeing something stuck to the rear bumper of the car in front of his. It was a skull sticker.
"Why didn't I think of that!? Ace is Bowl's minion!" he said, his face lighting up with hope. "Man, I worried over nothing!"
Then, he stomped on the gas pedal and passed that car.
"Sir? I'm back," Ho Sung said as he came into the living room, bowing to the champion politely.
"Well?" Min Sung asked, his gaze fixed on the TV, which was showing the host of a home shopping channel selling a batch of fresh abalone.
"The Shadow Guild had no information on demons or the Tower of Demons. In fact, they were asking ME if I knew anything," Ho Sung said, and Min Sung, unfazed as if he had expected it, changed the channel.
"But uh sir?"
"So, I thought of an idea on my way here. What if we have Bowl summon Ace and have it ask him directly? Ace told us where the bomb was, so he might know something about the demons and the Tower of Demons," Ho Sung said confidently. After contemplating it briefly, Min Sung looked toward the room and said, "Bowl."
The door opened, and Bowl waddled out of the room with a rag in its hand.
"Go to the backyard and get Ace."
At its master's command, Bowl folded up the rag, put it off to the side and ran to the backyard.
"Well?" Min Sung said, looking toward Ho Sung.
"Right away, sir!" Ho Sung replied, running after Bowl without further delay. Coming out to the backyard, which was connected to a terrace, Ho Sung stared intently at Bowl. While the doll was casting the dark magic spell, black smoke flowed out of its fingertips, and soon, it formed the shape of a person. It was Ace. The terrorist who had once wreaked havoc in Seoul was now the ghostly, zombie-like, undead minion of the Lich Doll. Groaning like a zombie, there was no focus in his eyes, and he responded to nothing except to its master's command. Nevertheless, because his memory of being beaten to near death by the terrorist was still vivid in his mind, Ho Sung couldn't help but tense up at the ghastly sight of the Lich Doll's new undead minion.
While keeping a safe distance from the undead minion, Ho Sung said to the doll, "Yo, Bowl! Ask him about the demons and the Tower of Demons!"
Hearing that, Bowl looked toward Min Sung, who was sitting on the couch in the living room. When Min Sung nodded affirmatively, the doll walked over to its undead minion and tapped him on the shin. At that point, Ace turned his head slowly and looked down at the doll.
"Tell me everything you know about the demons and the Tower of Demons," Bowl said. At that moment, black smoke flowed out of its eyes and coiled around the undead terrorist.
"Ngh! Eughhh! Guhhh!"
Black smoke started to billow from underneath Ace, and soon, the undead minion collapsed to his knees and onto the lawn. After turning into what looked like a wax figure, the undead minion scattered in a cloud of dust and disappeared into the wind.
As Bowl stared blankly in the direction where Ace had stood, Ho Sung's eyes darted back and forth between the doll and the champion, flabbergasted. At that moment, Min Sung, sighing as if he had expected as much, went into his room.
"Wait! Hold on! What happened?" Ho Sung asked, scratching his head in confusion.
"It's because of you!" Bowl said angrily.
"Me!? What did I d"
Suddenly, the doll lept and bit Ho Sung's thigh like it had in the morning.
"Aaaaaagh!" Ho Sung let out, his long agonizing scream echoing in the backyard.
With a thunderous roar, a helicopter landed gently on the rooftop of a hotel. At that moment, the door to the rooftop opened, and the man in the black robe appeared, his robe fluttering violently from the propeller's wind. Soon, a muscular man sporting long, flowing hair came out of the helicopter and approached the man in the black robe. The helicopter took off slowly, and the man in the black robe stared intently at Jan Bred.
Stepping into the bar in the hotel lobby, the two men were greeted by the bartender as they sat at the counter. Since there was a reservation, the bartender brought out a specific drink without taking their order. Reaching for the bottle of Royal Salute with his massive hand, Jan Bred filled his glass to the brim. Then, looking at the man in the robe, he lifted the bottle as a way of asking if he wanted some. To which, the man in the black robe responded by shaking his head, so Jan raised his glass of whiskey without further ado and downed it in a single gulp. Astounded by the man guzzling down straight whiskey as if he was drinking water, the bartender stared at Jan with wide eyes. At which point, the man in the robe handed the bartender a check and signaled for him to leave. Taking the check, the bartender left the bar in a hurry.
Putting the empty glass down, Jan started off, "I heard Ace bit the dust. Came all the way here just to get killed by some local hunter, am I right?"
Seeing as the man in the robe remained silent, Jan scoffed and said, "Serves him right. That piece of trash."
Paying no attention to him, the man in the robe took a certain doc.u.ment out of his bag and handed it to Jan. Drinking his whiskey, Jan took a peek at the paper, which included a detailed profile of Min Sung as well as his schedule.
"So, is this the guy?" Jan asked, and the man in the robe nodded briefly and affirmatively.
"And the key?"
At that, the man in the robe took something out of his inventory and tossed it onto the bar top. It was a key to a labyrinth. After staring intently at it, Jan looked around all of a sudden and said, "We have some prowlers here."
"They're from an intelligence organization. There's nothing to worry about."
"Well, then. I trust that you'll keep your end of the deal?" Jan asked, and the man in the robe, while rising from his seat slowly, stopped in his tracks, stared intently at him and said, "Are you doubting me?"
"No way! It all felt too surreal is all," Jan said, fiddling with the glass, his eyes filled with excitement. After staring intently at him for a little while longer, the man in the robe left the bar, and Jan, glancing in his direction, scoffed and filled his glass with more whiskey, his dark, ominous presence quietly mixing with the serene piano music.
While applying ointment to the bite on his thigh, Ho Sung received a message. Assuming that it was from a media outlet or a broadcasting station, he checked the phone. However, upon checking the message from the unknown number, he clutched his phone inadvertently.
"Wh-who the hell is this!?" Ho Sung let out, looking down at the message with startled eyes. It read:
'Would you like to know more about the demons and the Tower of Demons?'