My Exclusive Tower Guide chapter 69

My Exclusive Tower Guide

Episode 69

On a late autumn night.

The drizzling rain had gradually turned into a downpour.

The wind howled fiercely, and the intermittent thunder added a particularly eerie atmosphere to the place called Unwol Pavilion.

“Damn this sh*tty weather! Couldn’t be more disgusting!”

The youngest attendant at Unwol Pavilion, Jeom Soyi, grumbled to himself as he crossed the extensive courtyard.

Though he held an umbrella, it was no match for the uncommonly heavy rain that soaked him through.

With every step, mud splashed up, heightening his irritation to the breaking point.

“Blast it! Should’ve stayed home, washed my feet, and gone to sleep instead!”

The idea that someone would brave such dreadful weather to engage in frivolous activities at a gisaeng house was nearly incomprehensible to him.

Furthermore, the hour was late, around midnight or later.

Welcoming guests at such an ungodly hour was anything but ordinary.

– Do not provoke that guest’s temper at any cost! If he gets angry, he might destroy everything.

He recalled the earnest warning of his senior attendant.

As if his mood weren’t sour enough, the guest he was about to receive was notorious for his foul disposition.

One wrong step could lead to unimaginable complications, so he was understandably anxious.

“Damn it all!”

Before welcoming the guest, Jeom Soyi cursed under his breath one last time. In a moment, he’d have to force a smile.

Creak—

As Jeom Soyi opened the main gate, a palanquin awaited him.

Seeing the palanquin bearers drenched in the rain brought an inexplicable comfort—it couldn’t have been easy carrying the infamous brute of a man here in this awful weather.

“Why the hell did you open the gate so late, huh?”

The man atop the palanquin started off with immediate irritation.

Nonetheless, Jeom Soyi, having rehearsed a fake smile, greeted the guest.

Despite being a newcomer to the Faction of the Red Rooms, this man was already infamous for throwing his weight around like a seasoned elder.

“My apologies. It took some time to prepare an umbrella for the guest.”

“So you’re telling me you just crafted an umbrella now, huh?”

“No, sir. Unfortunately, the umbrella meant for reception broke. My apologies, Warrior Kim Seyong.”

“Tch! Consider yourself lucky today. I’ll let this slide, make sure to lead the way quickly!”

Jeom Soyi internally sighed with relief and held the umbrella over Kim Seyong.

As a result, he’d be the one getting soaked in the rain now.

“Idiot! What do you take me for? Share the umbrella and let’s go!”

“Pardon?”

“Are you deaf? Didn’t you hear? Let’s share it and move!”

“Ah! Yes, sir, Warrior Kim!”

Jeom Soyi couldn’t fathom why, but the situation had suddenly become even more uncomfortable.

Sharing the umbrella would surely leave Kim Seyong’s clothes twice as drenched – an unfortunate pretext for finding fault.

“Has nothing unusual happened at Unwol Pavilion today?”

“Given today’s weather, the whole pavilion has been quiet.”

Even as Jeom Soyi replied, he felt an uneasy premonition.

The late arrival of Kim Seyong hinted at the possibility of an imminent disaster.

The two walked together in silence under one umbrella through the courtyard.

Unwol Pavilion was vast like a whale’s back. Since warriors of the Red Rooms Faction typically used the most secluded quarters, Jeom Soyi naturally led towards that area.

Maho Pyeong from the same faction was already using a private room.

“Hey, by any chance, do watermelons grow on trees?”

“Pardon? I’m not sure what you mean by that.”

“Look over there. Isn’t there a watermelon hanging from the top of that tree?”

Such an absurd proposition. Jeom Soyi swallowed the word “idiot” and kept it to himself.

“Warrior, that’s just a ginkgo tree.”

“A ginkgo tree? Then what’s that large fruit hanging there?”

Kim Seyong pointed in the direction.

Incredibly, there was indeed something resembling the silhouette of a watermelon hanging from the tree.

The vision was obscured by the heavy rain, but it looked like some fruit was indeed attached to the ginkgo tree.

Swoosh—

Kim Seyong snatched the umbrella from Jeom Soyi’s hand and threw it up at the tree.

The umbrella, imbued with energy, shot through the air like an arrow and hit the target with precision.

Then, moments later.

“Aaaagh!!!”

Jeom Soyi screamed without thinking.

His ominous premonition had been right; it felt like a major disaster was due to strike today, and it seemed it already had.

Boom!

The head of Maho Pyeong hit the ground.

His expression was so lifelike it looked as if he were still questioning why he died.

His wide-open eyes seemed to be searching for the reason for his demise.

* * *

The fourth gateway of the Heavenly Devil Path, Assassination.

Only twelve, including myself, had been successful in this test.

Seven had lost their lives during the mission, fifteen returned as cripples, while the majority who failed the assassination barely managed to escape with their lives.

There were even a few who returned without even attempting the assassination at all.

In hindsight, it was quite fortunate that Chae In-seol was eliminated in an earlier phase since assassination was entirely contrary to her nature.

Yet, right next to me was someone who fit the role of an assassin almost too well.

“Son Seo-yeon, you had it easy this time too, huh?”

“Why do you think of a gun as a weapon that’s easy to handle?”

“Honest to goodness, isn’t it? Aim from a distance, pull the trigger, and you’re done. Plus, it’s perfect for running away if things get dicey.”

“Don’t belittle my weapon like that. It’s not that simple.”

Son Seo-yeon showed deep offense at my words.

I did not know the exact mechanics of her weapon, but what I knew was that she expended a significant amount of magic with each shot and, for that reason, avoided rapid fire whenever possible.

“Anyway, choosing a target from the Shaolin for assassination, you’re definitely crazy.”

I couldn’t help but respect Son Seo-yeon’s audacity.

Though her assassination target was significantly less prominent compared to Maho Pyeong whom I had killed, he was still a Shaolin affiliate.

She had boldly invaded Shaolin, fired a clean shot, and returned unscathed. I had no choice but to respect her.

When it comes to difficulty, her task was in no way inferior to mine.

“Shaolin, some big deal?”

“Is that a serious question? Everyone might not say it, but when you set out for Shaolin, they definitely considered you insane.”

“Well, that’s not something the person who stirred up the Red Rooms Faction should say.”

“Whatever, I proudly embrace my madness.”

Given that they treated me like a close kin, everything fell into place so that I could assassinate Maehopyeong without anyone knowing. However, he was definitely much stronger than I was. If Sehyang had not cooperated with me, if I hadn’t been lucky, if Jomugeon hadn’t helped, if I had not met Kim Seyong, if Maehopyeong hadn’t been off guard, if the weather hadn’t been clear… Of course, I could have managed somehow, but it would not have been easy.

By now, the Zecksamun sect must be in utter chaos. Maehopyeong was their chosen successor, the future sect leader. I had taken out a big shot and hung his head on a tree, so perhaps the entire martial world is in turmoil.

“Ihoyoung!”

The instructor called my name. The order from Elder Taemujeong had finally come; he was meeting with each of the examination passers one by one for individual interviews. Though I was expecting to be called first, surprisingly, I was the last in order. Elder Taemujeong’s face, as he sat behind his desk waiting for me, was as solemn as it ever was. There were no compliments for my successful assassination.

“Let’s get straight to the point,” he said.

“Speak, please.”

“Are you truly his disciple?” he asked.

“As I have told you several times before, yes, I am.”

“It’s really unbelievable. Difficult to trust, and yet it’s also hard not to believe.”

“Wouldn’t all these doubts be resolved once my master ends his seclusion?”

“Well that’s true, but…”

Elder Taemujeong swallowed back his words. He seemed about to say something but then hesitated. Perhaps the higher-ups of the Sinjiao are alarmed by the absence of my master. His retreat has lasted longer than expected, and it’s possible that they have noticed he’s gone missing.

“Has my master disappeared?” I asked, a question I’d long wanted to probe. Now seemed like the right moment.

“How dare you say such nonsense before me! Are you wishing for death?”

Elder Taemujeong became suddenly furious at my words. But strong denial often means strong affirmation. As I suspected, the high-ranking members of Sinjiao must be aware of the master’s disappearance.

“My master will be safe. No need for concern.”

My master had neither ascended to the heavens nor perished under the earth. He’s simply inside the tower, seeking the end of his martial path.

“Still spouting insolence, I see!”

“Perhaps everyone is worried? That maybe he has vanished from the place of his seclusion, just disappeared.”

I looked at Elder Taemujeong with a sly smile. I’ve spoken out of turn numerous times, yet the fact that he can’t lay a finger on me indicates a level of trust. His ever-hardening expression was evident enough.

“…Do you know something?”

“I have already told you. I am the sole disciple of the Supreme Being.”

I met Elder Taemujeong’s gaze without flinching. There’s no need to. Now that I’ve revealed my status as a disciple, I can stand tall before anyone in Sinjiao, despite merely being a student of Cheonmajiro.

After a moment of silence, Elder Taemujeong seemed to decide on something and said to me, “Come back in two Shijin. Wait until I call for you again.”

Meeting with Elder Taemujeong felt like an unexpected opportunity; perhaps a chance to meet my master once again.

* * *

Two Shijin later, I was able to meet Elder Taemujeong in a more relaxed state of mind. By now he must’ve held serious discussions with the leadership.

Even if my identity wasn’t disclosed, they would have undoubtedly spoken about me. Some sort of action seemed inevitable; it must be causing Elder Taemujeong more distress, so I decided to start with a different topic.

“Elder, you did say that if I succeeded in my assassination mission, I would be granted a special reward.”

“That’s right. In fact, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about first.”

“Thank you for remembering.”

What Elder Taemujeong took out from a prepared box was an Inpimyungu, an exquisitely crafted facial mask, used by martial artists to disguise their identity. It was certainly a fascinating item, but somewhat disappointing. I was expecting something like a martial arts manual or a spirit medicine.

“Are those eyes of disappointment?” he asked.

“No, not at all.”

“Oh? It looks like you’re disappointed it’s not a martial arts manual or spirit medicine.”

Despite knowing the truth, presenting such a thing as a reward irked me slightly. Real-world rewards just weren’t as thrilling as those dished out by the game system. The tower system rewarded me with +30 magic power for the successful assassination of Maehopyeong. Now, with my previously incomplete MuYoungChuHonGeom technique now closer to being full-fledged, it raised my level to that where I could definitively compete against Jomugeon in a fight.

“This is no ordinary Inpimyungu,” he declared.

“Yes, even to an outsider like me, it does seem to be of top-grade quality,” I responded, although my reaction was devoid of enthusiasm.

“It’s not just about the quality. This was a relic owned by the Vice-Master.”

“A relic?”

“Yes. It surprises me that the Vice-Master would willingly give up something so precious.”

If this was directed from the Vice-Master, it must have been a recent decision. As Elder Taemujeong proceeded, my interest was piqued.

“And what exactly about this Inpimyungu is so significant…?”

It looked ordinary to me, perhaps just made of finer material.

“This mask is almost like a living creature.”

Having said that, Elder Taemujeong suddenly put on the Inpimyungu across his face.

Shoop!

As he described, the mask seemed to live, perfectly adhering to Elder Taemujeong’s face.

“And when you infuse magic into this mask, interesting things happen.”

After a moment, an astonishing transformation took place. The Inpimyungu on Elder Taemujeong’s face began to move on its own, forming a new face.

“Now, what do you think?”

I was speechless. Elder Taemujeong’s face had become that of a completely different person in his mid-twenties. The disguise was so perfect that even I, with my absolute sense, couldn’t tell it was fake. Astonishingly, the number of different faces the Inpimyungu could create seemed endless. My initial disappointment with the reward appeared unjustified and it was indeed an impressive item.

But then, why would the Vice-Master give his treasured possession to me?

“The Vice-Master requested that I pass this on to you. He wants you to come to his residence immediately.”

Something extraordinary was bound to happen, it seemed.

– To be continued in Chapter 70 –



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