Solo Max Level Newbie Chapter 193

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Chapter 193: The Solid Corporation’s Unity Event (Feat. Amusement Park) (1)

The person waiting for Jinhyuk at the café was none other than the Empire’s Swordmaster, ‘Penheimer’.

Residents inside the tower encounter limitations regarding information about the outside world due to the system’s interference.

This means that things that could cause discomfort are filtered out or memories are automatically distorted.

Because of this, Penheimer was able to easily accept the outside world beyond the tower.

Clunk!

Jinhyuk approached the table where Penheimer was seated and sat down.

Growing to become the largest force in the middle floors…

It appears he has enough coins to freely come and go outside the tower.

By the way, when that old man isn’t wearing armor but is dressed in a black suit, he exudes a distinguished vibe.

If there were such a thing as a British gentleman, he would surely look like this.

“I was quite surprised that you wanted to meet here.”

“Ha-ha. I wanted to invite you to the Empire if possible, but due to the circumstances, it turned out this way. Thanks to this, I get to see the world you live in, which isn’t too bad, I suppose.”

Penheimer took a full sip of his cappuccino.

“Hmm…”

It really seemed like he enjoyed the food of this world.

Tiramisu, Mont Blanc, madeleines… It was as if he was having a tea party.

“You’re going to pay properly for all of this, right?”

“Of course. I gave them gold coins, and the owner even offered to lease out the place. It’s fortunate for someone like me who needs a quiet place to talk.”

“…”

These bourgeoisie… whether it’s Ellis or this man, it’s as if their hobby is to collapse the currency value of an entire country with their overflowing money.

Jinhyuk felt a headache coming on.

However, what mattered now was not how wealthy the Empire was.

The crucial thing was the kind of information he had to obtain here and now.

“So. I would like to hear the reason you wanted to see me. Surely you didn’t call me out just for a cup of tea.”

“You always like getting straight to the point. Alright.”

Penheimer handed over a ring decorated with a gold dragon and golden roses.

This is…

Jinhyuk’s eyes narrowed.

The two emblems symbolized the Imperial Family.

“Is this like a pass to enter the Empire?”

“Yes. Since you have received this as a gift from a noble, having it means you can move freely within the Empire.”

Having this would certainly grant more freedom of movement.

But it didn’t make sense for Penheimer to come here just to give a ring.

Such an errand could have been given to someone else.

That means…

“It seems that the Murim is pushing in more forcefully than expected.”

Jinhyuk abruptly got to the heart of the matter.

“How… how did you know that…”

“I’ve already heard that the Murim launched a preemptive attack. Everyone probably thinks that the situation is in favor of the Empire.”

However.

The reality was likely different.

His long experience told him so, even without seeing it firsthand.

“Amazing. I’m almost suspicious if you have planted a spy on our side.”

“That’s a confirmation.”

“As you said, the situation isn’t good. A portion of the 24th floor has completely fallen into the hands of Murim. One knight order and a troop composed of 5,000 have been annihilated.”

The situation was more serious than he had thought.

Even if the individual capabilities of those in Murim are not to be underestimated, they shouldn’t be able to annihilate such large numbers.

That means…

“Did the upper floors intervene?”

This suggested the involvement of a higher power.

From the 35th floor and above.

In other words, from the levels where ‘Godhoods’ and ‘Transcendents’ reside.

“…They have not intervened.”

“If it’s not them, then Murim wouldn’t have such a strong card to play.”

“In fact, there is one more possibility.”

Responding to Jinhyuk, Penheimer slowly began to speak.

Then he mentioned a name that was more troubling than the intervention of the Godhoods.

“The Heavenly Demon has emerged from his retreat.”

The Heavenly Demon (天魔).

If one were to rank the beings of the Tower of Trials, he would certainly be amongst the most feared.

A being who had thrown away the limitations of the human body.

His path was stained with blood, and wherever he went, devastation followed.

A monster that caused calamities comparable to natural disasters, he was one of the absolute beings influencing not just Murim but the entire tower.

And now, that being had finished his seclusion.

‘If he’s surpassed the mortal realm and reached the stage of Nature, that’s going to be a real headache…’

Jinhyuk steeled his expression as he added this new variable to his plans.

But then another question arose.

‘If the Heavenly Demon has truly appeared, there’s no use in telling me about it.’

The Empire’s Swordmaster and royal magicians would have to be completely mobilized for such a matter; it wouldn’t be entrusted to a mere player.

After all, players, no matter how skilled, still fall short of the residents’ level.

Thus, Penheimer’s presence here must be unrelated to the Heavenly Demon.

He pretends to be giving various pieces of information, but what he’s really aiming for…

‘I see.’

A realization struck Jinhyuk like lightning.

Penheimer wants to see what conclusions he can draw from the scraps of information given.

He’s assessing the information gathering and analytical abilities, and whether one can realize that he himself is being tested.

Although the reason behind this is unknown as yet.

With this much effort put into it, there must be a substantial backstory to it.

The corners of Jinhyuk’s mouth lifted.

“Let’s stop with the probing. I’ll ask you one last time. What’s the real reason you wanted to meet me?”

“Ha-ha-ha-ha! It seems I made the right decision coming to you, Mister Jinhyuk.”

Penheimer burst out into laughter.

But it was only for a moment.

The words following the laughter carried a desperation more genuine than ever.

“It’s true that war has broken out, and it’s true that the Heavenly Demon has appeared. However, those are matters that we must resolve. What I ask of you, Mister Jinhyuk, is to help us identify a spy within our ranks.”

“A spy, you say?”

“Yes. Someone is communicating with Murim, cunningly leaking internal information. And judging from the level of the information, it’s likely that someone quite high up is involved.”

The situation was quite complicated.

If handled well, an interesting scenario could unfold…

Jinhyuk had a vague idea of which side had betrayed the royal family.

Thanks to his diligent studies regarding the Empire, he was familiar with its history, right up to the current times.

“If I were to take on this task, what could the Empire offer me in return?”

“We can promise support from the middle floors and provide the shortest route to the upper floors. These two things, we vow to give you.”

This meant that, without having to break through each complicated level of the 20th floors, he could potentially accomplish in months what would have taken years.

“I’ll see you in the Empire soon.”

***

[Attention all members of the Solid Corporation. I hope this afternoon finds you well. We have been busy with our respective duties and haven’t had a chance to see each other, so we have arranged a humble gathering to foster unity. We invite all who have received an invitation to attend without fail.]

[Location: Theme park located on the first floor of the Tower of Trials / Time: Please arrive by 3 PM.]

A polite invitation was delivered.

However, due to various constraints, the actual members arriving at the promised location were somewhat jumbled.

Kim Hee-woong, who handled the Black Crow Guild, and Andría, in charge of the Psychiatric Ward, along with Melena from the Mine Association, could not attend.

Instead, Cheon Yuseong and Teresa joined the group.

Of course, Ellis, who clung onto him like glue, and Wolyeong, who hid in the shadows, were also present.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been to an amusement park.”

Teresa looked around with a face filled with childlike wonder.

The theme park located at the center of the Tower of Trials boasted a scale incomparable to Disneyland.

In fact, quite a few people gathered here to relieve the stress accumulated from climbing the tower.

“To think I was called all the way here for this…”

Cheon Yuseong did not hide his displeasure.

Hmm.

Although he claimed to be displeased, his gaze was firmly fixed on the roller coaster.

Why exactly was he holding coins equivalent to an all-access pass in his other hand?

“Speak up if you have something to say. Don’t make faces like an itchy puppy.”

“Alright. I do have something to say, but I’ll hold back. I don’t want to spoil our rare corporate unity event by causing a commotion in the amusement park.”

“If word got out of a medical student wielding a long sword here at the Tower of Trials community, it would be rather troubling.”

Let alone if a video titled ‘The Real Face of Korea University’s Sword Master.avi’ were to circulate on the internet.

Jinhyuk silently shook his head.

At that moment…

Squeeze.

Ellis, who was beside him, tugged at Jinhyuk’s sleeve.

“Mortal. I want to eat that. Quickly. Quickly.”

Ellis pointed at a huge cotton candy, swallowing her saliva greedily.

If not bought, it seemed she might just turn the entire amusement park to ruins.

This queen was truly troublesome to manage.

During the first shareholders’ meeting, at least the employees had been well-behaved and docile…

While reminiscing, Jinhyuk gave up all resistance and headed towards the food court.

“Cotton candy, hot dogs, marble ice cream… Just give me one of everything here, all types.”

Having decided to spend recklessly now that he had managed to collect 500,000 coins from conquering two floors, he thought a little indulgence was permitted.

‘With the video views climbing steadily, my depleted wallet will soon be fuller than before.’

Above all, Ellis could be used as a trump card for endless content possibilities in the future.

Thinking this, the coins he was spending now felt like pocket change.

***

For the following six hours, the group enjoyed a sweet rest, indulging in various rides and delicious treats.

This included the rigorously disciplined Teresa, the stoic Cheon Yuseong, and even Ellis, who screamed so much at the novel experiences that she almost lost her voice.

“Shall we start heading back?”

Teresa, seeing twilight approach, suggested they disband.

Since the park was closing soon, it meant it was time to head home.

However…

“No. How can we leave already?”

Jinhyuk smiled intriguingly and shrugged.

“What? You mean there’s still more left?”

“Of course. There’s one very important place left to go.”

Jinhyuk pointed toward the far end of the amusement park.

There was a door hidden behind the extravagant scenery, difficult to see.

One could feel, just by looking, that it wasn’t a place one should enter—a door emitting an ominous aura that seemed to seep out.

“We’ve had light fun. Now, let’s enjoy the amusement park Solid Corporation style.”

That place…

It was the real ‘hard mode’ hidden within the amusement park.

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