Return To Player Chapter 111

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Return To Player Chapter 111: Thousand Changes (3)

The first thing Mama Jack did upon appearing in Seoul was to kill all of my crows that were flying in the sky.

Even if they tried to disguise themselves as ordinary crows, Mama Jack keenly noticed and killed them all without exception.

‘This is troublesome.’

Despite appearing just like any typical crow, it managed to find and kill every single one of them.

Essentially, it was as if one of my skills had been sealed away.

Moreover, the crows’ eyes were one of my most frequently used skills, essential for dealing with Mama Jack, which could transform its appearance.

But with the situation as it was, I had no choice but to track down rumors personally.

Considering the trouble Mama Jack caused in my past life, it was sure to incite a division among the major guilds.

‘Then it is one of the two big guilds.’

Uprising or Genesis.

As for Pianhua, Yoo In-young wouldn’t be able to carry over its essence, so that was a stretch.

Even if Mama Jack could copy abilities, it couldn’t replicate inherited skills.

Unless the deity that granted the inherited skill was of a lower divine status, but all the gods participating in the game were at least of mid-to-upper divine status.

“Se-han, should we just gather information then?”

“Yes, Chang-woo, please look into Genesis, and Luke, I’d appreciate if you could check out Uprising.”

“Will do.”

Luke nodded agreeably, though his expression wasn’t the best. It seemed Rin sticking close to my side was bothering him.

“But isn’t Rin in danger? She’s not even properly raised her stats through points yet…”

“Yes, it’s fine. Stats can be raised over time. She’s slightly above average compared to normal players, right?”

“That’s true.”

Since stats needed to be raised with points, Rin was relatively lacking in activity. But I’d been continuously looking out for her, and Luke had taken her dungeon diving, so she was at least of average capability.

Power leveling really is the best.

After all, stats can always be raised later.

“Rin needs to understand herself.”

“…You really think highly of Rin.”

“Don’t you think the same, Luke?”

Luke scratched his head.

Though he didn’t seem displeased as it was his daughter being praised, his face still held a complex expression.

“To survive in this world, strong power is essential. Just because it’s been easy so far doesn’t guarantee it will stay that way.”

“You’re right about that.”

Luke nodded, his usual playfulness hidden.

“Let’s move then. We don’t have time for chit-chat.”

“Alright.”

After ending the conversation, we each dispersed to our assigned destinations.

Chang-woo headed to Genesis, Luke to Uprising.

As for Min-ah and I, and in Min-ah’s case, we decided to scout around Seoul, monitoring the players.

“But do you really need me? Why do I have to come along?”

“Everything happens for a reason.”

No use explaining.

How could I possibly tell her, “Because in the first timeline, you killed the guy”?

‘But really, how did you kill him?’

Mama Jack possessed a mid-level divine status.

This wasn’t a change from what I had done in my second life cycle.

Even in my first life cycle, Mama Jack must have been a constellation of mid-level divine status.

‘Even if it’s much later, and Yoo Min-ah is stronger…’

I couldn’t figure out how she’d managed to do it.

Tap, tap.

“What’s wrong?”

“Ah, I just have a strange feeling…”

Rin, who had been listening to Min-ah and me, looked around and commented.

‘Huh?’

Only then did I notice the odd atmosphere around us.

We were near Seonyudo Station, a place not crowded with people, allowing us to move leisurely. Yet, several players who noticed us were giving us oddly keen looks.

Suddenly, I felt a prickle at the back of my neck.

Swoosh!

“Mommy!”

I grabbed Min-ah, who was about to walk away, and pulled her shoulder.

A sharp needle embedded itself exactly where Min-ah had just been heading.

‘It’s an attack using a paralyzing skill.’

I looked towards the direction the attack had come from.

A player with a panicked face hurriedly fled from me.

Yet, this was just the beginning.

The observing players started to attack us individually.

“Damn it, they spotted us! Everyone, attack!”

Caught off guard by the sudden assault, we had no choice but to dodge.

It was a delicate situation, as we couldn’t attack other players recklessly without understanding what was happening.

“What, what’s going on? What did you do wrong again, brother?!”

“Again? I’ve never done anything wrong in the first place.”

“Then why are they attacking us out of the blue?!”

Min-ah shrank in size and transformed into a small squirrel, climbing onto my shoulder.

It was as if she was saying she’d cling to me while I figured out the dodging.

“Aren’t you supposed to protect Rin?”

“Squeak! Chrrrrrr!”

The small squirrel’s paws persistently pointed at Rin, who was following us.

I couldn’t understand the animal’s words, but I could guess she was saying that she didn’t need to protect Rin, who was dodging well on her own.

It was a funny sight, but Rin really didn’t need any protection.

‘Does she have eyes in the back of her head?’

Without needing any protection from me, Rin was adeptly dodging attacks coming from all directions.

Despite screaming and tearing up as if she was about to cry, she didn’t allow a single hit.

Had it seemed like she would be hit, I would have stepped in, but that wasn’t necessary.

“Get him!”

“Go for that guy! Don’t touch the girl!”

From the shouts around us, it seemed I was the target.

The mystery was why they were pursuing me so intently.

“…?”

Min-ah too realized the truth, her expression turning serious as she crouched on my shoulder, resembling a dismayed squirrel as if to say, ‘So can I run away now?’

“It’s too late; the players have all seen you with me.”

“Squeak…”

The squirrel lowered its head in disappointment. As adorable as that was, from my perspective, it only seemed more aggravating.

‘But we can’t just run away like this.’

I wasn’t just fleeing aimlessly.

Without the eyes of the crow, I was checking for any other players following us while dodging.

‘There are a total of 18 players.’

Not a large number.

To by-passers, the commotion of being chased made it seem like we were being pursued by more.

“Fuck, he’s not getting hit at all! Just attack him, will you?”

“This sucks. How is he so fast? He hasn’t taken a single blow.”

“Just give up and get caught already!”

I reassessed the players while noting their locations.

Once we had run a sufficient distance, I flicked my finger.

Snap!

I had plenty more means to subdue the players than they had to attack.

“Aargh!! What is this?!”

Screams erupted from the players that had been pursuing us as obsidian spaces opened all around us. Various items flew out and bound the players’ bodies in place.

“Ugh! What is this ring?!”

“My legs are stuck together!”

“Help me get this off, hurry! Someone save me!”

Everything from training bracelets that could be worn when thrown, to the adhesive part of sticky bombs repurposed into a slime, were non-lethal items that could restrain players.

These items soared towards about a dozen people and brought them all down within a mere 10 seconds.

‘I realized the need for such items after my fight with Ji-soo.’

In Ji-soo’s case, whether her body was pierced, cut, or torn, she could regenerate, so I had to use more violent methods to restrain her. But for regular players, it’s different.

Blasting through them with a bracelet-attached spear would send them straight to the next world rather than subdue them.

Hence, I had asked Siwoo to make these simple consumables.

Since the materials were exclusively DLC items, their effectiveness was outstanding.

“…Siwoo really has some skill. How did he even make these?”

“By the way, I’m planning to ask you to refine this adhesive later.”

“Eck, I don’t do sticky stuff!”

With all the players restrained, the squirrel that was Min-ah returned to her original form.

What a shameless creature she was.

“Anyway, what’s this about? Why did they suddenly attack us?”

I needed to figure out what was going on, so I approached a bearded man lying near me among the subdued players. He was yelling and swearing furiously.

“Shut up! Chameleon bastard! Had it not been for the guilds’ words, you would be dead!”

Now where did that come from?

I’ve heard of being called a crow, but a chameleon?

‘A moment, this is…’

The term ‘chameleon’ reminded me of the current quest and Mama Jack.

“Eventually you’ll be caught! There’s a bounty all over Seoul on you!”

The players trapped by my items mocked me as they writhed on the ground.

Unsurprisingly, my brow furrowed.

“So, you’re really going to take that angle.”

“Chameleon? What’s that about?”

“What do you mean, brother is a chameleon? Isn’t there some confusion here?”

Min-ah and Rin were bewildered by the players’ words since they had been with me constantly. To them, such accusations would have been hard to digest.

However, a little thinking makes the answer quite clear.

“…It’s something Mama Jack commanded.”

“Ah.”

Min-ah looked grave, quickly catching on since she was also a transformation skill user, understanding what Mama Jack had done.

Only Rin seemed confused by the vague explanation.

“Simply put, that person transformed into someone important and ordered the players. ‘Currently, the chameleon has taken this form.’ That’s what it means.”

“Right. Add a rule like ‘once transformed, can’t change form again for a while,’ and the players will believe it and come after me.”

“But they believed that?”

“They will.”

Especially if the leaders of the three big guilds in Seoul said so, then credibility would soar. If it’s the Genesis guildmaster known for intelligence, the effect would be even greater.

Given that even local players like these know, the rumor has likely spread throughout Seoul.

Only the three major guilds could have done something like that.

Soon enough, two messages arrived in my inbox, both from Luke and Chang-woo. The content was identical.

「It seems Mama Jack, disguised as a guildmaster, has ordered the capture of a man.」

Obviously, that man refers to me.

Mama Jack must have taken the form of the guildmasters from both guilds, excluding Pianhua, to pull this off.

The reason for killing all my crows was also clear.

With that skill, it would be easier to avoid players.

According to Luke and Chang-woo, the guildmasters suddenly started saying that a chameleon disguised as player Kim Se-han was roaming around Seoul.

‘If it were the original Mama Jack, it would have sowed discord among the guilds first.’

If you wanted to avoid being caught, that would be a more effective tactic.

Causing discord among the three guilds would lead to fights between players, escalating into a major issue.

Yet, Mama Jack chose this approach, which was simple.

It was targeting me.

‘So be it, you want to play it like this?’

It was clear that Akatarsus was behind this incident.

Otherwise, Mama Jack would not have behaved in this manner.

“Being well-known has become a poison, brother.”

“Indeed.”

With recent events, my face had become all too familiar, and there was no one who didn’t recognize me.

But if they thought I was a chameleon-turned-Kim Se-han, did they believe the original Kim Se-han had vanished? They were just attacking without hesitation.

‘They wouldn’t bother to discern that.’

Capturing the chameleon would end the quest, and the captor would undoubtedly receive platinum-rank rewards.

How tremendous a platinum-rank reward can be was well known to the players.

And if the guilds added extra rewards, it was only natural for them to pursue with tenacity.

Minor misunderstandings or mistakes were irrelevant to them.

“So now what? Isn’t everything all twisted from the start?”

“Not at all, this is actually good. Currently, Mama Jack must be in either Uprising or Genocide, right?”

If Mama Jack had a cloning skill, it could be in both places at the same time.

To find the real one, we’d have to visit both locations, but now that we could pinpoint the location, it was actually an advantage.

“So we might end up fighting numerous players along the way?”

“That doesn’t matter.”

We’re already seasoned in fighting against multiple players.

***

“Honestly, I hope we can smoothly get this over with.”

Currently, Mama Jack was in the office of Kang Tae-sung from the Uprising Guild.

Disguised as Kang Tae-sung, Mama Jack distributed photos of Kim Se-han to the guild members and ordered them to capture him.

True to the reputation of one of the top three guilds, the players were quick to act, and the rumor spread rapidly across Seoul. It wasn’t just Uprising; Genesis helped too.

‘I’ll have to stay busy managing two guilds.’

Mama Jack had to keep stirring public opinion as Kang Tae-sung and Park Seong-hyuk of Uprising and Genesis, respectively. A clone skill was created and left at Genesis, but the clone couldn’t perform complex actions.

“I vowed to protect the players as much as possible.”

It would be seen whether that vow could be upheld this time.

Mama Jack smiled to himself smugly.

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