My Exclusive Tower Guide chapter 66

My Exclusive Tower Guide

Chapter 66:

The fourth test of the Heavenly Demon Pathway was assassination.

Once the target was assigned, all the cadets immediately began gathering intelligence.

While the most reliable information would surely come from on-site observation, everyone hoped to have at least a rough outline before leaving the vast Shimmangdae Mountains.

I was no exception.

Since there was still no particular message on the Sage’s Status Window, I had no choice but to act on my own.

My target was Maehopyeong from the Red Demon Sect.

My plan was to seek help from the information brokers within the Divine Teaching.

I had neither family backing nor any significant connections.

And of course, I didn’t have any money to spend at information shops either.

“I would like to know about Maehopyeong of the Red Demon Sect.”

The place I found was called Manryujae.

Located within the Divine Teaching, it was the largest information shop with strict security—a fact reflected by its high prices.

The person who greeted me was Yoo Pyeong, the owner of Manryujae.

Though I expected not to be turned away at the door, I never anticipated that the owner would personally come out to meet me.

“Do you have enough money? You reek of poverty.”

“As expected of an information broker, you notice right away. In truth, I don’t have a single coin.”

“Quite the shameless fellow, aren’t you? This is rather inconvenient for me.”

“Your expression doesn’t look that inconvenienced though?”

I decided to take a bold approach.

After all, my confidence was not unfounded.

At the current moment, I was one of the hottest topics around.

“Just as the rumors say, you are quite an interesting fellow.”

“So, my reputation has reached even here?”

“Feigning ignorance now?”

“…Well, yes, that is true.”

Yoo Pyeong chuckled and nodded.

Maybe he was celebrating inside. He likely wanted to meet me all this time.

“As you should know, Manryujae sells information at the highest rate within the Divine Teaching.”

“I’m aware of that. It’s also the place that purchases information most generously. Seeing that you’ve come out yourself indicates that Manryujae has something they want from me.”

At my response, Yoo Pyeong burst into laughter.

“Passed.”

“That was straightforward.”

“Why drag things out? If you tell me something that really catches my interest, we can make a deal immediately.”

What Yoo Pyeong wanted was an exchange of information—specifically about me, Lee Ho-Yeong.

For him, it was somewhat of an investment.

The value of my future would only increase over time.

‘The most valuable information I possess is…’

Naturally, it was about the Tower.

It was where my master currently resided and a place one could only reach by attaining a certain level of enlightenment.

This information was priceless, to an extent where it didn’t even make sense to attach monetary value to it because it seemed so far-fetched to be considered viable information.

“Let me ask just one thing, are you by any chance immune to all poisons?”

“Yes, I am.”

“I didn’t expect such a straightforward answer.”

“Take it as my courtesy for receiving me in person. If you wish, you can verify it right here and now.”

“That was actually my intention.”

His question wasn’t just a passing remark, he was serious about verifying it.

Yoo Pyeong produced a small vial of poison from his sleeve.

His preparedness was truly impressive.

“If you truly are immune to all poisons, try this. It’s the poison of the Snowy Mountain. Just a single drop can kill an expert of the highest caliber. And just for your information, it’s very expensive.”

It was an absurd situation, but it was a necessary procedure for an information broker.

Taking my word for it and registering the information that [Lee Ho-Yeong is immune to all poisons] would be illogical.

Manryujae’s willingness to use such a rare poison, the Snowy Mountain poison, just for verification showed why they were considered top-tier.

“Yes, please give it to me.”

I immediately poured the Snowy Mountain poison into my mouth.

If I weren’t truly immune to all poisons, my internal organs would dissolve instantly.

[Immune to All Poisons trait activated.]

I felt a heat burning within me, but the detoxification was completed immediately.

Yoo Pyeong nodded, seemingly having expected as much.

“Indeed, as expected. As a token of gratitude, I’ll give you a piece of information. To my knowledge, you’re the youngest ever immune to all poisons.”

Quite the useless information, really.

“Now we can have a real conversation. It seems that we’ve established mutual trust.”

“Kekeke. I like the way you think. I’ve just revised upward the value of an individual named Lee Ho-Yeong.”

“How much exactly?”

“The same level as the commodity you requested from the Red Demon Sect.”

“What?”

I doubted my ears for a moment.

Yoo Pyeong had only met me for a few minutes, but he heatedly raised the value of my information and made things easy.

Now, just by offering simple information about myself, I could learn about the story of Maehopyeong from the Red Demon Sect.

“What’s so surprising?”

“It’s a bit unexpected, that’s all.”

“Unexpected for me too. I wouldn’t have thought I’d make such a decision before meeting you. But there’s a condition.”

“I’m listening.”

“Maintain your aura of mystery until the end of all the trials of the Heavenly Demon Pathway.”

“Is that sufficient for you?”

“More than enough. It’s a very profitable deal for me. Would you believe me if I said inquiries about you are already flooding in?”

It was a plausible scenario.

I had already stirred up the Heavenly Demon Pathway.

Everyone must be curious about me, the enigmatic figure.

“Agreed. I accept.”

“I was very curious about something to start with—where did you learn your swordsmanship?”

Yoo Pyeong went straight for the jugular from the start.

In hindsight, I wondered if I had made a poor deal.

This information was a nuclear bomb that could shake the entire Heavenly Demon Divine Teaching.

But the deal was done, and I didn’t feel like going back on my word.

After all, in the world of martial arts—

It wasn’t as though this situation would last forever.

“I’m willing to tell you, but I’m not sure if you’ll believe me.”

“I’ll believe any answer, so long as you don’t say something absurd like your master being the leader of the martial arts alliance.”

“Fortunately, he is not the leader of the martial arts alliance.”

“Then who is it?”

“Before I answer, I have one condition.”

“Let’s hear it.”

“Please do not sell this information for at least the next six months.”

“You’re making me even more curious now. Fine, I accept.”

“Thank you.”

“Now tell me. Who is your master, exactly?”

“Someone far stronger than the leader of the martial arts alliance… the supreme ruler of the Heavenly Demon Cult.”

“What?”

* * *

Maehopyeong was the master of the Red Sect, and the eldest child at thirty-two years old. His martial arts skills were of the first tier internal strength, and he favored the sword, enjoyed the company of women, and…

Manryujae had more information than I had anticipated. It was indeed worthy of being called the best information shop within the cult.

The fact that Maehopyeong enjoyed wine and women was an advantage for me. The 9.87 percent assassination success rate took these factors into account, but if I could dig deeper into his weaknesses, the success rate could be even higher.

What I needed to gather from the field now was the general time he frequented the courtesan houses and the current company he kept. Thanks to Yoo Pyeong’s detailed information provision, the time I had planned to spend gathering intelligence was significantly reduced. I planned to invest the saved time into training my martial arts. Specifically, assassination practice. I had to repeat the same motions until I could do them in my sleep. There’s only one chance at assassination, and my target’s capabilities far exceed my own.

“Damn this fellow! Do you really intend to drag me along to the very end?” Jo Mugun grumbled incessantly.

“Stop complaining and just keep driving the carriage.”

“I told you I could find appropriate workers for you! And that I’d pay them well enough!”

“Once again, just drive the carriage. I’m going to stay with you until the end.”

“Such a damned brat!”

Jo Mugun talked too much for a porter.

The reason I brought him along was singular.

Assassination practice.

Jo Mugun was to become my practice tool.

Although it’s true his martial arts skills are far inferior to Maehopyeong’s, and it’s uncertain whether he will comply willingly as my practice partner, there was no better alternative.

Getting him as my escort also meant I had the unusual experience of riding in a carriage.

“Enough for today! I can’t go on any harder.”

“Goodness, anyone would think you’re the one pulling the carriage. Fine, since the sun is setting anyway, we should camp here.”

“Tch! Playing the role of a boss, I see.”

The sun had already set, preventing us from crossing the mountains today. We unpacked and prepared our camp. Well, it was mostly just me.

“Hey, porter, what are you doing?”

“Porter?”

“Yes, porter. Come and help out.”

“My duty is to escort you, nothing more.”

It seemed he wasn’t going to lift a finger now. Well, he had always been pampered, so it’s a wonder if he’d even cooked a meal for himself.

It’s about time I taught him a universal truth: those who don’t work don’t deserve to eat.

“I’ll make sure you regret it.”

I started preparing the cooking utensils and ingredients I had brought along.

It was a moment I had been looking forward to.

Here in the martial world, situated on the 10th floor of the tower but also not the tower—a different dimension.

The basic human desires that had been repressed in the tower naturally exploded, and the most prominent among them was appetite.

The food I had missed the most was seasoned chicken.

It may seem trivial, but I had painstakingly sourced ingredients to replicate the flavor of seasoned chicken to the best of my ability, with the help of Manryujae.

“Will this really work?”

Although I had some experience living alone and cooking for myself, I wasn’t entirely confident due to the ingredients being somewhat alien to those on Earth.

Bubble, bubble—

The oil extracted from a martial world grain called Yeonhyang began to boil in the pot.

At least visually, it didn’t look much different from what I knew on Earth.

So I had no choice but to trust and proceed.

I dipped the chicken pieces in batter and dropped them into the Yeonhyang oil.

Sizzle—

My trust was not betrayed.

The sound was promising, a familiar and comforting crackle that triggered an instant salivation reflex.

“What on earth are you doing?” Jo Mugun peeked out curiously.

He seemed to be getting curious, but there was no reason for me to respond.

My focus was on the golden-brown chicken pieces frying before me.

“Hmm.”

The pieces lifted from the oil exuded an enticing aroma.

But the process wasn’t complete yet.

I’m a firm believer in the supremacy of seasoned chicken over fried chicken.

“What in the world is this bizarre food you’re making!”

By now, Jo Mugun was ravenous as well.

I ignored his protests and continued, applying a pre-prepared red sauce evenly over the battered chicken before placing them on a plate.

Once I sprinkled peanut powder and sesame seeds on top, a convincing seasoned chicken was ready.

‘I wish I could take a photo of this.’

I’m a chicken aficionado, yet this was my first attempt at making it myself.

With anticipation, I picked up a piece of chicken, starting with a drumstick, of course.

Crunch!

The long-missed sound exploded in my mouth.

It was a moment of pure delight.

“Have you decided to ignore me entirely? How many times must I ask, what is that?”

What is it?

To you, chicken spells death.

– To be continued in Episode 67 –



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