Return To Player Chapter 210

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# 210 Sword Saint (2)

Who could it be?

Min-ah stepped back significantly while holding Rin, scrutinizing the opponent.

Even though the people at the station were looking in their direction, Min-ah couldn’t afford to pay attention to their reactions.

‘Rin was taken down in an instant.’

Blue bruises were visible on both sides of Rin’s neck, who was nestled in her arms.

Min-ah hadn’t seen the man’s sword swing.

By the time she came to her senses, Rin was already falling.

“It’s over. That man, he’s the Sword Saint of Petroya.”

“The Sword Saint of Petroya?”

As if to satisfy Min-ah’s curiosity, the jester spoke in a stiff tone.

“Gail Balrundark. The Sword Saint of Petroya, the pinnacle of all current players.”

The pinnacle of all players — if even the jester, of all people, was asserting this so confidently, then there was no doubt they faced a truly formidable foe.

“Which god’s avatar is he?”

“Not an avatar. Like Se-han or Ji-su, no god has been able to take him as an avatar. After all, he’s a human with the highest divine power.”

At the mention of the highest divine power, Min-ah lost her words.

Neither Se-han nor Rin had yet surmounted the wall of the highest divine power.

Of course, they had fought against gods with the highest divine power like Nyarlathotep, but that was always against gods, not humans.

Thus, Min-ah had vaguely believed there wasn’t a human with a divine power surpassing that of Se-han or Rin among the players.

“Look, young lady. If you’d just guide us to your base willingly, I won’t harm you any further. How about you surrender peacefully?”

Min-ah bit her lower lip at Gail’s smooth-talking offer.

Frankly, there was no way she could deal with an opponent who had knocked down Rin in a single blow.

“Ugh…”

A quiet moan escaped Rin’s lips as she lay unconscious.

Min-ah held Rin tightly and signaled Baek Seol-i with her eyes.

‘I can’t just obediently lead him to our base.’

She couldn’t fathom his motive.

He might have come to fight Se-han, and it was possible he was after Idrath or was sent by the Publisher to retrieve the game again.

Above all, civilians were at the base.

With the Shining Trapezohedron stored there, as well as the operations room, she couldn’t just comply.

‘If we just hold on a little longer…’

Se-han would come.

He must have already seen what was happening through the eyes of the crows spread out all over Seoul, and he would arrive within 10 minutes at most.

She only needed to hold out for just 10 minutes.

“It looks like you’re waiting for someone. I like that strategy.”

“… How about you wait, then?”

“I’m sorry, but I can’t. Normally, I’d oblige a cute young lady like yourself, but not now.”

The sword moved slowly.

The chance she had was that he was underestimating her.

“As I said, I’m in quite a hurry.”

Min-ah instinctively flung her body to the side.

She hadn’t seen the sword move. She just reflexively sensed the danger approaching her.

Shiik!

Although invisible to the eye, something had just whisked by the spot where Min-ah had been standing.

‘Was it a sword swing?’

Gail’s posture had not changed significantly.

On the contrary, he was so at ease he even sheathed his sword back into its scabbard.

“That’s not because he’s underestimating you. It’s just a preparatory stance for drawing his sword,” the jester explained.

Simultaneously, he made it difficult to predict where the sword would strike next.

“This is surprising. I had no idea you’d have such sharp instincts.”

Gail wore a genuinely astonished expression.

After all, like Rin, Min-ah didn’t give off any sense of divine power.

It was clear that she had superior abilities among the players, but compared to Gail, they were incomparably lower.

Nevertheless, the fact that she evaded it proved that Min-ah’s instincts were remarkably sharp.

‘I heard to only watch out for that blonde girl.’

Gail looked at Min-ah with a faint smile.

The light sword strike meant to restrain had unexpectedly missed its mark.

‘Really, the level on this planet is high.’

It was no wonder that Imir was so proactive.

If not for this situation, he might have taught them a thing or two.

‘Hmm?’

As Gail watched Min-ah, he suddenly felt an odd sense of dissonance.

That’s because what should have been in Min-ah’s arms had disappeared.

Kaaang!!

“Ah!”

From thin air, a red light burst forth, and Rin’s figure was pushed back considerably.

Rin, who had been unconscious until just a moment ago, had somehow approached Gail from the rear and swung her sword.

“Not bad, young ladies.”

Gail’s eyes quickly scanned the area.

While avoiding Gail’s sword strike, Min-ah had thrown Rin to Baek Seol-i, who then revived Rin. The gap was created because Gail hadn’t anticipated that the unconscious Rin could recover so quickly.

‘So, the horned young lady is capable of using recovery magic?’

Moreover, she used magic so stealthily that Gail had failed to notice it, proving that the girl’s magical skills were extraordinary.

“I have no choice but to acknowledge you.”

It seemed he had underestimated the young girls too much.

With a click, Gail sheathed his sword.

‘There’s no opening.’

Rin circled around him, looking for any opportunity. The other players had long since sensed something ominous and evacuated Seoul Station.

With more space now, Rin leisurely circled around Gail. She had learned from the initial clash not to rush headlong into the fray.

“Rin!”

As Baek Seol-i called out, her horn flashed.

Unlike the spell, a beam of light fired from the Kirin’s horn, aiming straight towards Gail’s chest in a narrow line.

The idea was to target the chest rather than the head to throw Gail into dismay.

Kagagagak!!

Simultaneously, a golden light traced a circular path, shredding the ground of Seoul Station.

The marble floor shattered into pieces due to the incredibly fast movement, sending fragments flying in all directions.

“Haaaap!!”

Alongside her battle cry, Rin aimed her sword at Gail.

She was prepared to strike precisely at a vital point, regardless of which direction he moved.

Kwachang!!

“…!”

However, just as her sword was about to hit his body, it shattered as if it had struck something else.

Even though Rin’s current sword wasn’t Libra, it was a weapon crafted by Si-u with effort and infused with Rin’s magic.

Yet it broke like a mere twig against Gail, causing Rin’s eyes to widen with shock.

Not only that, but Gail had not moved an inch from where he stood.

“Ugh!!”

Before Rin, however, the light beam Baek Seol-i had shot was now heading straight for her.

The light, which was intended to target Gail’s chest, curved its trajectory sharply towards Rin the moment it touched his body.

Kwoaaaang!!

Rin had to deflect it with the hilt of her now broken sword.

With the remains of the magical energy scattering, Gail’s sword became visible.

Kang-kang-kang!!!

Gail’s sword and Rin’s sword hilt clashed repeatedly. Rin managed to kick right under Gail’s jaw, causing his body to falter, and then she had no choice but to retreat significantly.

“…I won’t be caught by the same trick twice.”

“I had heard, but it’s truly an unbelievable ability. To block it just like that.”

“Were you testing it?”

“I was curious. It seemed a bit exaggerated, but it wasn’t. My, I’m surprised.”

Gail shrugged his shoulders casually, causing Rin’s lips to dry up as she remembered the sword strike aimed at her neck a moment before.

‘I’ve been too arrogant.’

Thanks to the assurance from Se-han and the gods of Olympus that she was exceptional, Rin had been quite confident.

But Gail’s sword had cut through her defenses as if mocking her.

Had he truly intended to kill her, she would already be dead.

‘It’s not just simple swordsmanship…’

There was something more.

Gail was perfectly aware of everyone’s movements in the area.

His incredible swordsmanship was secondary.

“Now I’d appreciate it if you just showed me to your base. This should be enough, right? You’re still not ready, young lady.”

As he spoke, Gail’s hand moved swiftly.

There was a small bug in his grasp.

“No matter how skillful you are, it won’t do.”

Gail lightly tossed the bug.

Then, the thrown bug grew larger and instantly transformed into Min-ah’s form.

“This is impossible! How do you know?!”

“Ha ha ha!”

Even though Min-ah had approached him inconspicuously as a bug, Gail had not missed it.

His light laughter deflated the morale of the three women.

They couldn’t think of any way to win.

“I guess I’ll have to knock you all down first and then think about it.”

His hand slowly gripped the sword’s handle.

As different from before, his hand lacked any lightness.

Rin watched, not wanting to miss him drawing his sword.

Ting.

The sharp sound of the sword being unsheathed.

At the same time, sword energy showered down towards Rin, Baek Seol-i, and Min-ah like rain.

“Mommy!!”

Rin and Baek Seol-i managed to block the energy using their own abilities, but Min-ah, who was relatively less capable in combat, couldn’t stop it.

And Rin and Baek Seol-i couldn’t intervene due to the intensity of the sword energy.

Koooung!!

“Wow.”

In front of Min-ah, a massive metal mass fell from the sky, blocking the deadly sword energy.

An orichalcum mass, shaped like an apple, was whittled away into golden dust scattering like sand.

“What, what’s this. Ah, could it be?”

Min-ah was startled by the sudden drop of orichalcum mass but soon smiled brightly.

There was only one person she knew capable of doing such a thing.

“Before asking the girls, how about you state your purpose first?”

A rigid voice sounded, and black feathers scattered around, enveloping Min-ah’s body.

The black feathers spun protectively around Min-ah, deflecting the late-arriving sword energy.

“There wouldn’t have been a need to fight like this then.”

“I’m a little clumsy with words.”

“You didn’t feel the need to talk, did you?”

Se-han, with black wings spread, slowly descended to the ground.

His appearance was a mess due to his hurried flight, but given the circumstances, it couldn’t be helped.

“It seems like you know me well. Was I that famous?”

“Where else is there a player more famous than you?”

“At least no one on Earth knows me that well.”

“There are plenty of gods who do.”

Even with Se-han’s sudden appearance, Gail did not show the slightest hint of disconcertment.

He just observed Se-han with narrow eyes.

‘Really, was it this man who killed an Outer?”‘

It seemed unbelievable from the outside.

His cool gaze, his well-trained body, they definitely belonged to someone with abilities, but they were not enough to kill an Outer.

Even Gail, facing an Outer level existence, could not do it.

And a player with only an upper divine power, killing an Outer was an impossible feat.

“I’ve heard why you came here.”

“Yeah, it’s because of the collab quest.”

“There has to be another reason for you to come here personally.”

“So?”

Grinning, Gail appeared as friendly as the man next door.

‘He certainly has a face that puts you off guard.’

His nature may be light as his face suggests, but make no mistake, he is the strongest player.

Even Imir wouldn’t have an easy time moving him.

Power could not easily dominate him, and he lacked greed for material wealth.

Then, what could have motivated him?

While headed here, Se-han had no choice but to ponder.

He had never had a proper conversation with Gail Balrundark from the first timeline but was well-informed about him.

There was only one weakness the powerful Gail possessed.

“Family.”

Gail’s cheerful face stiffened.

“Your family has been taken as hostages?”

“… Astonishing. Do you really know me? I had heard, but you’re weirdly sharp.”

His right hand slowly reached for the sword.

Unlike before, there was no lightness left in his hand.

“Petroya is under the Publisher’s jurisdiction, so it wouldn’t have been hard for them to exploit the opportunity and seize your family.”

For such an operation to occur, they would have had to approach Gail’s family without him noticing, and the only ones capable of that within the Publisher are two individuals.

“Moreover, if it had been Bango who took your family hostage, you wouldn’t be able to act rashly even with your abilities.”

“…”

The smile that had lingered on his lips disappeared.

Even though there was no murderous intent, his eyes revealed a clear sense of wariness toward Se-han.

“Really, really. Accurate. That damned giant, he took my family. And commanded me to kill you and kidnap the Outer who became human. And if possible, the child named Rin Taylor too.”

His lips trembled slightly.

Intense anger was palpable, as if he thirsted to tear apart those who had captured his family then and there.

“So, I’m sorry.”

Like the dispersion of flower pollen, grey divine power undulated and spread in all directions.

“Please die.”

Ting.

With the crisp sound of the sword being drawn, Seoul Station was cut in half.

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