Return To Player Chapter 266

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Return To Player

# 266

Direct Confrontation (3)

‘I like the confidence in their stride.’

It made slipping in all the easier.

Either way, with the situation having unfolded as it had, Min-ah pondered how she could use this to her advantage.

“Emir-nim, may I have a word?”

“Hm? Fine, I permit it.”

“As someone who has previously managed GM responsibilities, I understand the psyche of players quite well.”

“And your point?”

“Human beings are incredibly crafty creatures. Though the security of the Publisher is the best in the universe, if anyone could have sneaked in by now, it would be those cunning folks. Especially a player like Min-ah, Loki’s avatar, who is not only crafty but also a rather beautiful woman.”

“I fail to see what beauty has to do with this.”

“Regardless. I believe that they have already infiltrated the Publisher. Even if not in the central control room… well, perhaps they’ve already transformed into one of the company’s employees by now.”

Irritation flickered across Emir’s face at Min-ah’s words.

Obviously, the notion that players had breached the Publisher’s security and sneaked in didn’t sit well with him.

But he was a ruler with a mind open to possibilities.

“Then, what do you propose we do?”

“I believe forming an organization or department dedicated to properly capturing Min-ah and Loki would be wise. You will be heading to Earth soon, Emir-nim, and there may be trouble if they run unchecked during your absence.”

“Indeed.”

Emir nodded thoughtfully.

It was certainly tedious dealing with shapeshifters.

At any given moment, they could infiltrate and cause turmoil, so there was a need for someone to take on this task exclusively.

“Then, for this task…”

“If you don’t already have someone in mind, might I take charge?”

“Yoreum, you?”

“Yes.”

Yoreum’s sly smile, as he rubbed his hands together, was all too familiar to Emir.

The sight of his apparent eagerness to look out for his own interests – ready to betray even a friend of ten years if necessary – was undeniably clear.

‘But he is capable, at least.’

Emir held a high regard for Yoreum.

Otherwise, he would never have allowed a giant, formerly a GM, into the central control room.

Yoreum was ambitious, cunning, and had a sharp mind for strategy.

As long as the Publisher remained the dominant force in the universe, Yoreum would never betray it.

‘Besides, he’s a fellow who trusts no one. Definitely not a bad choice.’

Thinking it over, there was no giant more suited for this job than Yoreum.

If they were to weed out beings with shapeshifting abilities, they would need a position of corresponding authority.

(If someone had disguised themselves as a superior, even if suspicious, it would be difficult to confront them directly.)

But the giants of the central control room were among the elites in the Publisher.

Moreover, since Yoreum wasn’t in the central control room for long and was somewhat removed from key operations, there was no issue if he was temporarily uninvolved in that area’s duties.

Plus, who better than a GM, accustomed to dealing with players?

There was no better selection in Emir’s mind.

“Very well. I shall entrust the task to you.”

“Are you serious?!”

“It makes sense, your perspective. Yoreum, I grant you the authority to command the Titans. With that, no one but me will be able to stop you.”

The Titans were a faction directly under Emir’s command, composed of individuals almost as skilled as his personal guards.

While the personal guards were predominantly used for offense against external threats, the Titans existed solely to protect the Publisher.

In terms of raw strength, the Titans were considered even mightier than the personal guards.

Being given command of such forces was like receiving an entire army at his disposal.

“I trust you shall not disappoint me.”

“Yes! Thank you, Emir-nim!! The moment those cretins show their faces here, I’ll capture them for you, Emir-nim. Or should I just kill them?”

“Players can be killed, but do not kill Loki. The gods of Earth can be quite troublesome with their rather elevated status.”

“Understood.”

Yoreum bowed with exaggerated humility, the spitting image of an opportunist snatching his chance.

Because of this, Emir did not doubt Yoreum.

After all, such simple-minded individuals were easier to manage and easier to discard.

‘Done!’

Of course, this applied to the ‘real Yoreum.’

For Min-ah, acting as a despicable human was a simpler task than eating or sleeping.

Transformed into Yoreum, Min-ah secretly smirked with triumph.

‘With this, I’ve gained one more card to play.’

Additionally, she had drifted further from Emir’s vigilance.

Although temporarily, she had obtained the authority to surveil others, a classic case of killing two birds with one stone.

‘Really, thank you, Emir oppa.’

While Emir, keeping an eye on the situation, patted Min-ah’s shoulder a few times before heading outside.

He had to prepare to lead his forces towards Earth, and it was unlikely he’d have more business in the central control room.

‘Had there been someone else controlling the Publisher apart from Emir, it would have been risky.’

Luckily, no one had been selected to replace Bangho yet.

During Emir’s absence, the giants in the central control room would be taking on his duties.

Thus, effectively no one could halt Min-ah, now empowered with the might of the central control room and the Titans.

‘The rest depends on the situation on Earth.’

That would be something Sehan would handle, so, for the time being, Min-ah put that concern aside.

Now, her task was to root out ‘someone’ using their shapeshifting ability to hide.

***

‘Responses are too swift for comfort.’

First Seat of the Imperial Guards, Grendel felt his anxiety rising.

Although he had invaded countless stars on Emir’s command, never had he encountered such fierce resistance.

Generally, when invading a star, it was often one that had become wretchedly impoverished by the Publisher’s administration, where the players, too broken to cling to life, offered weak resistance.

For they knew, no matter how hard they fought, the Publisher would continuously send in reinforcements, rendering any resistance futile.

However, Earth was different.

United as one, its residents fought back fiercely, and the caliber of its players was beyond Grendel’s imagination.

‘Humans challenging giants?’

He would have scoffed at the notion.

Giants are beings that partake in the mythological food chain, living nearly-immortal lives, normally unaffected by death save for extraordinary means.

On the other hand, how fragile are humans? Prone to death by even the most trivial disease or accident.

Even with the empowerment as players, it was exceedingly rare for them to reach a level where they could confront giants.

Unless they ranked among the oldest stars’ players, like those from Petroria, such a feat was nearly impossible.

The players on Earth, whose game had barely spanned a few years, were beyond Grendel’s wildest estimates.

Especially.

“And to think they could command fiends from beyond…”

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