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Swordmaster Healer - Episode 71
Chapter 24: Trouble (1)
The imperial family's Magic Tower.
The imperial family's Magic Tower possessed the largest force of Mages in the Empire. The master of the Magic Tower, Marquis Anfellico, paced around his office with a worry-filled face.
This was due to the Emperor ordering him to find the cause of a strange phenomenon that had begun just a little while ago.
It seemed as if someone were waiting for him, as he continuously checked the clock. He continued pacing around the large office and soon felt a presence. He turned his head towards the door.
"Lord of the Magic Tower, the Special Forces Commander came to see you."
Anfellico shook his hand at the door. The closed door opened and a white-haired man slowly walked inside.
It was Count Ares, the Special Forces Commander. He was wearing light armor.
"Welcome, Special Forces Commander."
"You look like you have many concerns."
"Our troops throughout the Empire are experiencing a strange phenomenon where they are mysteriously killed, so how could I feel at ease? His Imperial Majesty even gave me a special command… indeed, I cannot feel at ease!" Anfellico said.
Ares nodded his head.
"I heard that another strange phenomenon occurred. Where were we hit this time?"
"The Great Labyrinth. We sent the Special Force's Investigation Unit, but they didn't discover anything. What do you think about dispatching the Magic Tower's Witches in addition? There's a limit to the Investigation Unit."
The Investigation Unit also had Mages, but they tended to have less expertise than the Magic Tower's Witches.
"We had sent a survey party consisting of Witches to the scene before, but they couldn't figure anything out. It's certainly magic, but we can't even find any traces of the flow of mana."
"Could it be the doing of the Kingdom's Alliance?" Ares asked.
Anfellico shook his head and said, "There's no way of knowing. However, my personal opinion is that the Archmages of the Kingdom's Alliance aren't capable of this level of Dimensional Magic."
"If it isn't the Kingdom's Alliance, then who is it?"
"It could be an unknown foe. The allied species'* investigators are also of the same opinion," Anfellico said. (*Reminder: allied species is their term for the monsters.)
Ares grimaced. They were enduring the Alliance's attacks right now, but it'd become tough if an unknown enemy appeared.
"His Imperial Majesty wants us to destroy the Kingdom's Alliance as soon as possible and proceed with the plan to invade the other world. We have to do our best."
The biggest reason that the plan to invade the other world had been pushed back was because the Kingdom's Alliance planned to counterattack on a large scale and had begun to fully mobilize.
"Special Forces Commander, are you inside? I'm a high-ranking officer who's part of the Investigation Unit."
"It seems like it's my subordinate."
It was a voice that Ares was familiar with. He nodded his head and Anfellico opened the door with magic. The young uniform-wearing officer walked inside with discipline.
"This is my report! We collected all the bodies in the Great Labyrinth and after investigating, we discovered traces of the Illusionary Sword."
Ares and Anfellico were astonished by the high-ranking officer's report.
"The Illusionary Sword? Is that true?"
"We're positive. We also confirmed it with the Knight Brigade."
Ares couldn't believe what he was hearing. He asked again just to confirm, but the high-ranking officer's answer just hammered the point home.
"Isn't that a sword technique that only Sir Roukel knew? I had heard it was lost…" Anfellico said, and Ares nodded his head.
"You're right, it is a lost sword technique. So it couldn't have happened! I'm telling you that that traitor died in the Ridonia Great Plains!"
Ares' eyebrows shook, as if there had been an earthquake.
"I can still remember… Whenever that traitor swung his sword, hundreds of the Empire's elites spilled their blood and died."
"Did Sir Roukel have a disciple by any chance…?"
"That'd be nice. If Sir Roukel is alive and intact, has a grudge against the Empire, and joins forces with the Kingdom's Alliance, the Empire won't be able to deal with them."
Ares shook with fear.
Sung Joon visited his father for the first time in a while. After he finished his visit, he returned to his studio apartment and received a call from Hyun Sung.
As it was time to acquire the Hunter sedan that Hyun Sung had told him about the other day, Sung Joon excitedly picked up his phone.
"Mr. Kang Sung Joon, it's me, Kim Hyun Sung. The sedan has arrived at the Hunter Bureau. We could send it over to your residence as a service, but I've heard that there are people who prefer to pick it up themselves, so I called to check. What would you like us to do?"
"I'll come over to take it."
Sung Joon took a taxi and visited the Hunter Bureau.
Hyun Sung was waiting for him at the entrance, but when he discovered Sung Joon exiting the taxi, he hurriedly dashed over.
"Did you wait a long time? I'll take you to the parking lot," he said.
Sung Joon and Hyun Sung walked over to the parking lot behind the building. There was an extravagant-looking sedan parked in the corner.
It looked like a luxurious sedan, but its durability was incomparably st.u.r.dy.
"Is that the one?" Sung Joon asked.
Hyun Sung nodded his head and said, "Please take this folding key. We've already completed all the paperwork."
Hyun Sung pa.s.sed him the folding key and Sung Joon opened the door and sat in the driver's seat. He started the car and the silent engine brightened his mood.
"It's worth $2 million. Headquarters really recognized your efforts, Mr. Kang Sung Joon."
He opened the window and looked at Hyun Sung, smiling faintly. After that, he took hold of the steering wheel. It seemed like he would depart at any minute, so Hyun Sung hurriedly opened his mouth.
"M-Mr. Kang Sung Joon! Please wait just a minute!"
"According to Mr. Park Jung Chul, who similarly attacked the Invading Dungeon, there was a humanoid monster that emerged as a Boss that didn't drop any magic stones… is that true?"
He was asking about Riduke. Sung Joon nodded his head.
"So Mr. Park Jung Chul's statements were true. It may be inconvenient, but it seems that you'll soon be called to the Hunter's Bureau, where you'll have to make a statement regarding what happened."
"I'm sorry. Since this is the first time it's happened, headquarters ordered us to acquire as much information as possible."
Sung Joon hadn't done anything wrong, but Hyun Sung bowed his head in apology and asked for his understanding. There wasn't any legislation regarding the Invading Dungeon so unlike the PK case, they couldn't force him to go through an investigation.
"I understand. Please contact me when it's scheduled."
"Thank you, Mr. Kang Sung Joon."
Hyun Sung was relieved once Sung Joon showed his willingness to cooperate. There were a lot of Hunters who hated wasting time, so he had been tense.
Sung Joon said, "I'll be going now."
"I'll contact you," Hyun Sung replied.
Sung Joon drove his car back to his studio apartment. After he arrived and finished parking, he went inside his room with an elated feeling.
After he browsed through the top bulletin board messages on Hunter.com, Sung Joon travelled to the Blue Dragon Group's 'Iron' training center in order to stretch his body.
"Isn't that a Hunter sedan?"
"It's probably really expensive… he must be at least a B-rank Hunter."
When his car entered the parking lot, two nearby Hunters looked jealous, realizing that his car was a Hunter sedan.
Sung Joon smiled and parked his car. After that, he went up to the building's fifth floor. They had installed the most cutting-edge simulated battle system that they were so proud of on the fifth floor.
It was a vast s.p.a.ce and there was plenty of equipment, so he didn't need to wait; he could use the system immediately. An illusion of a B-rank Living Armor was materialized using the power of the magic stone.
Sung Joon drew a training longsword. They were allowed to carry their weapons inside, but drawing them wasn't permissible.
When he utilized his mana, the training longsword was enveloped in a fake aura, just as the worker had explained.
He took a deep breath and shot forward like a bullet. The Living Armor's empty eyes turned towards Sung Joon.
Its armored arm was cleanly severed.
'It's just like cutting through a real Living Armor.'
It was an illusion, but it felt as if he was really cutting through something. The Living Armors movements were also natural.
'Is this due to the magic stone technology?'
Sung Joon was in awe.
Whenever he had seen writing regarding magic stone technology or its corresponding topics on Hunter.com, he hadn't really paid attention to it, but after experiencing it in real life, he understood why magic stones were traded for such a large price and why the nation so feverishly tried to acquire them.
Eventually, he defeated the illusion of the Living Armor and touched the equipment, summoning the rank Death Knight, famous for its swordsmans.h.i.+p amongst the rank monsters.
He had tried using his Heal, but the Death Knight wasn't damaged at all. Sung Joon belatedly recollected the worker's explanation; they hadn't discovered how to implement the damage from magic yet. He grasped his sword.
Aura manifested around his sword when he injected mana into it.
Sung Joon let out a short battle cry and approached the Death Knight with high-speed movement. The closed-off room that utilized the simulated battle system was vast, but his high-speed movement was outstanding, so he instantly advanced right in front of the Death Knight.
The Death Knight's sword oscillated with aura. Sung Joon saw that and wondered what it would feel like to be hit by its sudden attack. Its sword swung and struck Sung Joon's left arm.
The Death Knight's sword grazed his arm and with an electrifying tremor, his left arm felt weighty.
- Attack! Left arm severed!
An indifferent and stiff mechanical voice reported the damage.
Sung Joon swung with his healthy right arm. The Death Knight noticed the wound and began to attack unreasonably, but then the Death Knight's left arm was severed.
However, it was an undead that couldn't feel pain, so it didn't stop aiming for Sung Joon's neck.
Sung Joon utilized his high-speed movement and moved behind the Death Knight.
At the end of their fierce clash of offense and defense, Sung Joon pierced the Death Knight's head and thus, its core, in two brief seconds.
"What superb swordsmans.h.i.+p!" Rishubalt complimented.
"Thanks," Sung Joon said softly.
After Sung Joon returned the training sword to the stand, he left the simulated battle system.
He had exercised lightly for around two hours before showering on the second floor. After that, he walked over to the parking lot.
He was sitting in the driver's seat and heard the alarm, so he checked his phone.
"I got a message," he mumbled.
'It's an advertis.e.m.e.nt…'
As Sung Joon raised his head blankly, he felt something quickly approaching. He hurriedly opened the door and threw his body to the side.
A car had rushed forward with incredible speed and collided with Sung Joon's car.
"What is this…"
Sung Joon was in stunned silence at the sight. When the accident-causing car backed up, Sung Joon a.s.sessed the extent of the damage to his car.
Although the car had collided with his car at an incredible speed, there was essentially no damage. However, he was bothered by the dent on his b.u.mper.
Sung Joon pushed down his surging anger and gazed at the car that had caused this accident. It seemed like it was the same Hunter sedan, as the damage wasn't severe.
The driver's door opened and an armed Hunter came out of the car. They immediately hurled their gla.s.ses to the ground and crushed them with their feet.
"This really p.i.s.ses me off!"
Sung Joon was speechless at the sight of something even more stunning than the previous accident.
"What was that sound?"
"It looks like an accident."
"The car looks unexpectedly fine."
"They're both Hunter sedans."
The spectators gathered. One of them recognized the driver.
"Isn't that person the 12th placed Hunter, Mr. Cha Kyu Tae?"
"Oh? He really is…"
"The other guy's an rank Hunter at best, but he's been caught by the S-rank Hunters' biggest bully… I feel bad for him…"
The final spectator shook his head. Though even the lowest tier rank Hunters were powerful, compared to S-rank Hunters who forced the nation to yield, it was like the difference between heaven and earth.
"What lousy parking…" Kyu Tae said.
He spoke loudly, though he was talking to himself. Sung Joon took that as a provocation.
"How dare you speak to my lord that way…!" Rishubalt exclaimed angrily, but he couldn't do anything.
Kyu Tae slowly approached Sung Joon and opened his mouth with an annoyed expression.
"You know who I am, right? Let's settle this nicely. How much do you want?"
"I don't need it. Apologize while I'm still talking nicely," Sung Joon said coldly.