Return To Player Chapter 12

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Return To Player

# 12

012. How to Train Your Party Member (3)

“Where are we going now? The Rome World Tower isn’t in this direction.”

Having finished our preparations, we exited our rented room and headed in the opposite direction of Rome Tower.

Naturally, Jisoo seemed quite puzzled by the sudden change in route.

“We still have time, don’t we?”

“That may be true, but at most, we have about a week. What if someone else kills the boss monster before we get there?”

“That’s definitely not going to happen.”

“…Why not?”

When she asked why, I didn’t have a suitable answer to give. I just knew it.

“There’s a rule that everyone knows.”

“So, how?”

“It’s a secret.”

“…”

Jisoo’s eyes narrowed.

Her gaze was screaming, ‘What nonsense are you talking about?’

I coughed to divert the conversation.

“Hem, hem. Anyways, this is all related to the second quest.”

“Yes.”

Seemingly recognizing I wouldn’t reveal more, Jisoo acknowledged it half-heartedly.

‘Anyway.’

I looked up at the sky. The blue heaven that didn’t match our current situation caught my eye.

‘There are hardly any observers around.’

This indicated a very small number of players survived in the stages around us.

‘This is normal, though.’

Our stage, on the other hand, had too many survivors.

By now, those observers probably flocked towards Rome World Tower.

“The streets are a mess. Is this the work of monsters?”

The streets were a hotbed of trash.

There were several decaying corpses lying unattended, and the shops looked ravaged, as if they had been looted.

“No, this is the work of humans. Monsters wouldn’t bother stealing money unnecessarily.”

“That makes sense. It seems like the law is no longer functioning as it should, and there’s almost no police in sight.”

Thud.

Jisoo commented, prodding the corpse of a monster blocking her way.

It was a goblin.

Ever since the world turned into a game, monsters began to appear in various stages.

This also included stages inhabited by what one might call regular people, those not chosen as players.

“It’s not completely pervasive yet. It mainly occurs in areas where stages are generated. There are places not affected.”

“Right, considering the TV still works.”

“But organizations like the government are essentially broken down. The GMs wouldn’t let anyone besides themselves try to take control of the current Earth.”

“Yeah, come to think of it, there haven’t been any government announcements.”

Although TV broadcasts kept pouring out news, there was no content related to the government.

The GMs must be in control.

“Side.”

“Oh, okay.”

As soon as I pointed with my finger, Jisoo’s arm flashed.

Slice!

“Kyaaak!”

A goblin hiding in the trash heap screamed its death throes.

Jisoo killed it with one strike, but she muttered discontentedly while eyeing her rusted sword.

“I think I need to change weapons soon. The edge is all worn out; it looks like it’s about to break.”

“It’s doing well for a sword in such a condition.”

“Well, I do deal extra damage to humanoid enemies.”

True, goblins were humanoid. If I dealt 30 percent extra damage, then Jisoo must be dealing 100 percent.

She’s incredibly strong.

‘What was my past life like at this point?’

I surely killed goblins back then, but not as easily as one would swat flies.

“We’ll get weapons after we stop by the place we’re going to now.”

“How much further?”

“We’re almost there. There it is.”

The building I pointed at seemed to be about 5 stories high.

“A bank?”

“Yeah.”

“Why a bank? To withdraw money?”

“Don’t be silly. This area is all stages. Even if there was money, there’d be nowhere to spend it. Maybe if we could trade with points.”

Jisoo tilted her head in confusion after I finished explaining.

“So then?”

“We’re looking for someone there.”

I had some information about their location and current appearance from talking with the Harlequin, but they were likely to move somewhere else in a little while.

I hurried here for that exact reason.

“Keep them at bay while I escape!”

“What about you, mister!”

“I’ll hold them off, now go!”

Screams and shouts came from close by the building as we approached.

It seemed like one policeman was fending off robbers as people took that chance to run away.

“Fucking hell! What is this guy?!”

“How is he so strong?!”

The men, holding sharp knives and encircling the police officer, were wary.

They didn’t look like ordinary people at first glance.

“…A bank robbery?”

“Yep.”

It wasn’t surprising.

With monsters appearing and law enforcement in disarray, it was inevitable that scum would take advantage of the situation.

“Are you going to help?”

“No. There’s someone who will handle it without me stepping in.”

I had come here after observing just that.

“Ugh!”

“What the hell, why is he so strong? I’m a player, you know!”

The robber, shouting expletives, was surrounded by well over ten people lying on the ground.

It was an impressive number to be taken down by just one person.

It proved that the police officer was far stronger than the robbers.

“Now that everyone has fled, I have no more business with you.”

“What?”

As the officer spat out those words, he charged at the robbers, knocking them all unconscious in less than a minute.

“That’s impressive… Those robbers were players, right?”

“Correct.”

“And yet he overpowered them that easily. Does he have some special skill?”

“He might have some skills, but there’s a more fundamental reason.”

Of course, he probably had good skills.

However, the officer could overpower the robbers not just because of his skills but because he was the avatar of a god.

“Phew. It’s finally over.”

The guy sighed, looking around to check for people, and our eyes met.

“Oh?”

He initially looked taken aback, but then he donned a friendly smile.

“This place is dangerous. Since it’s a bank, robbers keep coming. I advise you to find safety elsewhere soon.”

He sounded and looked very trustworthy, like the ideal portrayal of a police officer, causing me to inwardly shake my head.

“No, I’m sorry, but my visit isn’t for banking purposes.”

“What? Ah, right. Of course. Given the situation, the bank’s operations can’t be running normally. Are you here to find shelter?”

“No, not that either.”

“Then?”

“When he asked again, I grinned slyly.

“I came here to find you, Lee Mina.”

“?!?!”

The officer’s eyes widened in shock.

But only for a moment, as he quickly returned to his trustworthy cop smile.

“Lee Mina? I’ve never heard that name before. My name is Nam Kyung-chul.”

As he stated his name confidently, Jisoo suddenly grabbed his wrist.

“Huh?!”

The police officer froze at the unexpected action, and Jisoo whispered softly to me.

“His pulse just sped up. He’s clearly flustered.”

“Uh?”

“And his pupils dilated. Your words must have shocked him significantly. It’s suspicious how he reacted so strongly to something seemingly trivial.”

“…Really?”

“Yeah. You knew too, right?”

No, I had no idea.

That’s actually quite terrifying.

“Who are you two?”

The officer’s face had gone pale, and frankly, I was just as flustered, but I tried to keep it together. Since the situation had evolved this far, it was best to take advantage of it.

“We’re people who know your true identity.”

“And what’s that supposed to mean?”

“Didn’t your speech just change?”

“Guk?!”

He still couldn’t quite pull off the act.

I glanced at the observers watching us from a distance.

That one must be the Harlequin’s observer.

No need to worry about that one.

He tends to monopolize fun situations.

Plus, considering he was likely bored with his avatar hitting the same bank numerous times, this new scenario must be exhilarating for him.

“…How did you find out?”

“Why would I tell you something like that?”

“Damn it.”

The image of the upright officer evaporated. In his place stood a petulant schoolgirl in uniform with shoulder-length hair, a couple of heads shorter than me.

“Great, so why are you looking for me? I’m busy, you know.”

“Busy with bank robberies?”

“That, that’s not it!”

Mina, who must have been 19 years old at this point, looked even younger, but I was certain she was 19.

“Sehan, what’s this?”

“It must be her skill. The ability to take on someone else’s appearance.”

Of course, she could become animals or monsters too.

However, acknowledging that might make me appear suspicious.

She’s probably already dubious, but there was no need to stir the pot further.

“Why would you rob a bank? You looked like you were helping people just now.”

“That’s right, I was helping them. I’m very trustworthy when dressed as a police officer.”

I chuckled softly at Mina’s shameless lie.

“You’re the one who lured the robbers here, weren’t you?”

“…What?”

“You knew the people would be hiding in the bank, making it difficult to loot the vault. So you incited the robbers to come here, right?”

“Ah, no! Then why would I take down the robbers?”

“That’s because you wanted to keep all the money to yourself. If you orchestrate the same situation a few times, people will think this area is dangerous and flee, just like what we saw.”

“Ugh.”

The accuracy of the accusation made Mina shut her mouth tightly.

‘I knew it because she often used this tactic in my previous life.’

No one in Seoul could manipulate people better than Baek Donggwan and this girl.

She probably repeatedly incited robbers to raid banks.

‘The Harlequin’s words seem to indicate she’s done this more than once.’

Though robbers attacked, there probably weren’t any injuries since she took them all out herself.

That doesn’t change the fact she’s a thief, though.

“So what? You’re taking me to the police?”

“No, considering the current situation, there aren’t any proper police or prisons to take you to. And you’d easily escape anyway.”

“…Then?”

“You’ll have to accompany us for a while.”
“For how long?”
“Until we completely clear the second quest.”
Mina’s face twisted into a sneer at my words.
“The second quest? I’m already on the third quest. What stage are you from?”
“That’s not important. So, are you coming or not?”
“Are you an idiot? Why would I go with you?”
Mina turned her head sharply, clearly refusing to comply, and I responded with a sneer of my own.
“If you come along, I’ll give you points.”
“Ha! How many points could a player who hasn’t even cleared the second quest have? Such bravado.”
Her tone was perfectly designed to irritate.
‘I’ve heard worse in my past life, so this doesn’t bother me much.’
Thinking of the future, it seemed she needed a bit of discipline.
Whack!
“Ow!”
I flicked her forehead, and her head snapped back.
“What the—what hit my head?”
It was just a flick, but with my current strength, which had reached the main quest limit, it must have felt like a punch.
Furthermore, I had invested heavily in agility, so Mina, who had just started the third main quest, couldn’t dodge or block it.
“You hit me? Do you think I’ll do what you say just because you hit me?”
Mina tried to pull away from me.
Or she tried to.
“Could you let me go?”
“No.”
Mina’s wrist was firmly held by Jisoo from earlier.
She tried to shake her arm free, but Jisoo’s grip didn’t budge.
“You think I can’t get away from this?”
A faint light began to emanate from Mina’s body—a sign of transformation.
Crack!
“Kyaaa! It’s breaking! My arm is breaking!”
But as soon as Jisoo tightened her grip, Mina screamed, and the light faded.
“Seems like you can’t transform when the pain disrupts your concentration.”
“Ugh.”
Jisoo’s matter-of-fact tone made Mina shrink back.
It was a scene that would terrify an ordinary person, as Jisoo looked like she could crush a human arm as easily as a piece of candy.
“Also, you seem young. It would be nice if you showed a bit more respect. Right? We’re not animals.”
“Alright, alright. I get it.”
Mina reluctantly glanced up at me, silently pleading for me to get Jisoo to let her go.
Naturally, I responded with a gentle smile.
“If you come with us, I’ll let you go.”
See? If you had just agreed when I offered you points, this would have been much easier.

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