Return To Player Chapter 130

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Return To Player Chapter 130: Labyrinthos (2)

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Main Quest 9

Labyrinth King Aldebaran

Survive in Seoul, transformed into a labyrinth.

Difficulty S Time Remaining 3 days

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There had been a few times when the quest description was brief, but this time it was particularly concise.

Just a single line.

That alone expressed the nature of the current quest.

The remaining time of 3 days didn’t mean to kill Aldebaran within that period.

It meant to survive by any means necessary for 3 days.

With that alone, the quest difficulty climbed to an unprecedented level of S-grade.

If an A-grade was a quest that held the fate of a nation, an S-grade was one upon which hinged the fate of a continent.

“Why, why suddenly an S-grade…”

Kim Dong-sung, an experienced player, wanted to cry out in frustration.

But he couldn’t even do that.

Minotaurs roaming the labyrinth might hear him and approach.

Now, Seoul had become a colossal labyrinth, and inside, countless Minotaurs were ambushing players.

With no way to know the labyrinth’s paths, escaping was not easy.

“Whew, whew!”

He panted hard from the continuous running.

“Rrrrrgh!”

A Minotaur wielding a gigantic axe had spotted him and was in pursuit.

‘No, no! I can’t die like this!’

But his legs had reached their limit.

Just as the Minotaur swung its axe right before him, a crow fell from the sky.

‘No, it’s not a crow, it’s a person?’

Upon closer inspection, he saw a man with black wings.

The man who landed on the ground extended his fist towards the charging Minotaur.

“Danger…!”

Before Dong-sung could finish screaming, the scene halted him mid-sentence.

Boom!

With a single punch from the man, the Minotaur’s head was driven into the ground.

“What the, what is that?”

The sight of a massive Minotaur collapsing from just one blow from the man was strikingly surreal.

“Follow the crow before it wakes up.”

“Ye, yes?”

As Dong-sung failed to comprehend, the man pointed towards the sky with his finger.

There was a crow flapping its wings in the sky.

“The crow will lead you to a safe zone.”

“Is, is that true?”

“Whether you believe it or not is up to you.”

Dong-sung nodded fervently, sweat streaming down his face.

He was a dead man walking if he kept going alone.

It was better to follow the man who saved him.

“I understand. I will follow the crow!!”

“Good.”

The man grinned and spread his wings again, soaring into the sky.

Watching him disappear beyond the barrier, Dong-sung hastily followed the crow in flight.

To escape from this hell.

***

“Could that person really see the future?”

“There are rumors he has a skill like that…”

Park Sung-hyuk, the guild master of Genesis Guild, sighed lightly as he listened to the conversations of his guild members.

It wasn’t a sigh of frustration but one of relief.

“Gaeun, how is the evacuation going?”

“It’s still in progress. We’re having difficulties rescuing players trapped in randomly generated labyrinth sectors.”

“I’ve talked to Pianhua Guild; cooperate and proceed. I’ll be there soon too.”

“Yes, understood.”

Watching Hong Gaeun exit with a polite bow, Park Sung-hyuk turned to the window.

Seoul was in chaos, but it wasn’t a desperate situation.

All this was thanks to a single player who had foreseen this situation.

“Kim Se-han…”

He owed him a lot, but it seemed another debt would be added this time.

Effectively, the situation was unfolding just as Se-han had orchestrated.

The fact that a labyrinth would form in Seoul and monsters would appear was also something he had predicted.

The top three guilds were rescuing players and leading those who couldn’t escape based on the information Se-han provided.

Caw, caw.

Crows are often called a symbol of bad omen.

But for Park Sung-hyuk, the many crows flying in the sky had never felt so reassuring.

It seemed that as long as they were there, he could get through any quest.

‘Making a connection with him was the best fortune of my life.’

He wasn’t the only one to think so.

Kang Tae-sung of the Outrising Guild probably felt the same.

And even the prideful Pianhua’s Lee Ah-young, although he wasn’t sure about her.

As he prepared to step onto the battlefield, he gazed out the window.

***

“Why isn’t she coming?”

At that moment, Lee Ah-young was waiting for a guest.

The place she was at was Incheon Airport.

Even though a labyrinth had opened in Seoul and it was a critical situation, Incheon was still outside its influence.

Moreover, even in a dangerous situation, transportation systems like airplanes and trains operated by the system were still running.

Crossing her arms, Lee Ah-young had been waiting for several dozen minutes when she finally saw an airplane landing.

Over a hundred people got off the plane.

Among them, at the forefront, was a woman in a pure white priestess robe.

“Did you make the plane yourself? What took you so long?”

“Oh my, I came all this way and you welcome me so sweetly.”

Lee Ah-young twisted the corners of her mouth upon seeing the woman in white.

She thought how much the woman resembled herself.

Honestly, if it hadn’t been for Se-han’s request, she wouldn’t have even considered calling this woman.

The country’s, no, the world’s best healer.

Saintess Shin Yu-hwa.

But unlike her saintly moniker, she could be quite sharp and angular in character.

Just like Lee Ah-young herself.

“You’re listening to a man’s request? Are you falling for him? Helping us out like this, so suspicious.”

As Shin Yu-hwa sneered, Lee Ah-young chuckled.

“My life is expensive. I owe that guy a life debt. I hate owing anyone anything.”

“You’re really just high and mighty.”

“Just as much as my nose is high, so is my pride.”

Lee Ah-young gestured with her hand.

Dozens of vehicles were already waiting at the airport.

“Seoul’s a mess right now, so it’s better to brace yourself. You’d better perform well since we’re paying a high price.”

“I already know about the situation in Seoul. Just lead the way.”

Shin Yu-hwa, arms crossed, retorted with a face every bit as haughty as Lee Ah-young’s.

“I’ll show why I’m called a saint despite my rotten personality.”

***

“The evacuation is going smoothly, and Saintess Shin Yu-hwa has entered Seoul, huh.”

I checked the situation all over Seoul through the eyes of a crow.

My head was pounding, but I was used to it by now, so it wasn’t much of a problem.

It seemed we might be able to minimize the damage caused by the labyrinth’s emergence.

“The real problem is now starting…”

The Minotaurs currently roaming the labyrinth weren’t a big issue.

At best, they were just two levels stronger than the Minotaurs I faced in the first main quest.

If there were skilled players, two or three could handle them sufficiently.

The real problem was the emergence of the boss-level entities.

‘Minotaur King or Warrior.’

These were opponents that guilds had to confront together.

In simple terms of strength, the Warrior was stronger, but if the Minotaur King started ruling the labyrinth as the brain, it would be game over.

‘That’s why I called in Shin Yu-hwa.’

As a saint, Shin Yu-hwa could cover for many people.

Not only could she drastically reduce casualties, but she would also significantly impact morale.

But the real issue was what came after.

His appearance.

‘… Aldebaran.’

There was still some time before he showed up.

I was anxious whether things would go as I planned. Until now, everything had been okay. I had foreseen it.

But from this point forward, it was uncharted territory.

Many things must have changed since this was an event I hadn’t experienced in my first run.

“Anyway, it should be around here.”

The place I was at wasn’t Seoul.

I was walking the streets of Cheonan, not too far from Seoul.

Unlike the labyrinthine chaos of Seoul, Cheonan was exceptionally peaceful.

‘This is the place.’

I stepped into an alley where I could feel faint magic.

The dark alley looked unremarkable, but I reached out with my right hand and gently manipulated the magic.

Zzzt, zztt.

It sounded like tough leather tearing.

It was a magical barrier intended to fool human sight and provide simple protection, but it couldn’t escape my detection.

After all, I used to embody the god of dreams and fantasy.

Such illusions were easy to see through.

Thump!

As I tore through the barrier, a metal door appeared.

The door was made of adamantine, one of the less common metals.

As one of the strongest metals and with high magic resistance, adamantine was too heavy and difficult to work with to be suitable for weaponry.

“It’s a shame to destroy it…”

It would be problematic, especially since I wasn’t here to pick a fight.

After a moment of thought, I raised my hand and knocked on the door.

Thud, thud, thud.

I knocked hard, but no response came.

Could it be empty inside?

“Hm?”

Just as I considered employing a rougher entry method, I felt a hot presence behind me.

“If you’re there, you should have said something.”

“Who the hell are you?”

A man with a fierce look glared at me, his shoulders and arms enveloped in blazing red flames, exuding a very threatening presence.

He looked to be in his late teens, somewhere between a boy and a young man.

I put on the most harmless smile I could muster and spoke.

“I’d like to meet your guild leader.”

“Who are you, is what I asked?”

The boy’s retort was inflexible and direct.

Well, that explained why he was so insolent in the future.

But today, unlike in my first life, I wasn’t here for a fight.

So, preferably in a more peaceful manner…

“Whatever sneaky ideas you have with that rotten fish expression, it would be wise to reveal your identity!”

…was how I planned to resolve this.

But my mind changed at that insult.

Rotten fish? Although I heard my expression was often gloomy, this seemed excessive.

“Hey, Kang Jun-sik.”

Avatar of the Indian god Agni.

And future field commander of Agatram.

“You’re in for a beating.”

Apparently, I needed to knock some sense into this kid.

***

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