Solo Max Level Newbie Chapter 196

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Chapter 196: Rising Warfire (2)

“Jinhyuk… Sir.”

Theresa’s face had turned white as a sheet.

Her expression, void of any blood, was swirling with only despair.

…This is.

Jinhyuk’s eyes narrowed.

The scene unfolding behind Theresa.

The city, stained with smoke and blood, was no longer the radiant hub of culture it had once been.

He knew what phenomenon this was.

‘Outbreak.’

This was the aftermath of a massive monster onslaught, a completely different event from the ‘Three Great Despairs’ that appeared in Beijing, China.

“Please…… help us. Too many people are… right now…”

Theresa seemed completely exhausted, as if she had fought with all her might.

Certainly, they couldn’t afford the time even to request support as they saved people.

‘The damage is greater than I thought.’

Words of concern were about to escape his throat, but then ripples disturbed the screen.

[Lv?? ‘Grey Mist’ is forcibly terminating the video chat.]

Connection was lost with a crackling noise.

And with it, Theresa’s image vanished too.

Only the afterimages of her unfocused pupils and trembling lips remained.

“……”

Jinhyuk clenched his fists with a hardened expression.

Though the worst-case scenarios flashed through his mind, his head was surprisingly clear.

He couldn’t panic.

Every minute, every second was critical.

The most important thing now was to derive the best outcome from the given information.

“What are you going to do?”

Ellis, who had been quietly watching, broke the silence.

Andria looked at Jinhyuk with a worried expression too.

“Ellis. Take over Andria’s training for me. That’s critically important and can’t be put off.”

“What about you?”

“I… I need to head to the Awakeners Association first.”

In such a crisis, associations from all countries would be on emergency alert. To get more immediate information, he had to go to the association.

“Uh-huh. I see, so you’re planning to go and save them. But do you really need to? Whether or not there’s an outbreak in Europe, it doesn’t concern us, right?”

The idealistic thought of saving every human being seemed like a shiny but empty gesture.

When an outbreak occurs, casualties are inevitable.

Ellis argued that it would be more beneficial to focus on their own growth during this time.

She was right.

She was right, but…

“I can’t tolerate people from my company resigning on their own.”

Promoting shareholder interests is the cornerstone for the company’s growth.

Above all, the only time someone can leave this company is when the boss fires them.

“That’s so you. Well, I like you even more for that.”

Ellis shrugged her shoulders.

Then she quickly added another question.

“Are you sure you’ll be fine without me? The creature that has just arrived… It’s not going to be easy.”

“I have a rough idea already.”

Taking into account the clues captured on the screen, the outbreak occurred on the 14th floor.

But outbreaks aren’t supposed to happen on the 14th floor as it’s structured.

The entity that ruled that floor had no interest outside of its own dominion.

Yet this incident meant someone had intervened.

And at this point in time, if there is someone who would want to bind the hands and feet of the players, there’s only one suspect.

That is…

The martial arts world must have made their move.

It’s the martial faction, without a doubt. Weakening Theresa, a saintly knight who could strengthen the empire, and the forces following her, was surely part of their plan.

‘To think those guys I already disliked upped their game with this…’

Jinhyuk’s gaze grew colder.

***

Even after the appearance of the Tower of Ordeal, the world changed, but most people were still unaware of the tower’s dangers.

That was to be expected.

Climbers of the tower were those who had awakened as players.

The rest were merely bystanders, hoping for the players’ safe ascent.

That peaceful everyday life was believed to last forever.

Until today.

“Kiieeee!”

“Grrrrr…”

Starting with low-tier monsters like ghouls and zombies.

To the unknown and horrifyingly shaped mid- and high-tier monsters.

An enormous number of undead creatures roamed the roads, seeking living humans.

Boom!

Rumbling bricks and burning streets.

The army, which had attempted a meek response, was demolished right after the outbreak, and the nearby players were also swept away by the aftermath.

The human toll of the first outbreak alone was approximately 50,000.

Considering the elapsed time of 12 hours, the scale was truly enormous.

“Damn it…”

“Huff. Huff. Huff.”

“Please…! Please.”

Inside a shop on the other side of the crossroads, about half a dozen men and women were gathered.

They were players from ‘Olympus,’ one of the seven major guilds boasting the largest scale in Europe.

Among them, Maria, one of the top-ranking sorcerers, stood out the most.

6th Circle – the realm that allowed casting two or more spells simultaneously.

Maria, with the surviving few players, was timing their escape from this hell.

‘We have to find an opening.’

They needed to locate a weak spot in the encircling forces and flee through it.

Whoosh!

Maria gathered her magical power, utilizing a wide-range detection spell.

Although the situation was dire, with no idea how many were still alive, she hadn’t a shred of intention to give up everything.

But just then.

A flinch.

Maria’s senses snagged on something.

‘This feeling… could it be?’

A chilling magic that froze down to the marrow.

A sticky sense of discomfort gripped her entire body.

[The target has detected your presence!]

Chills ran up her spine.

It was unmistakably familiar.

How could it not be?

The being that had sold its soul to the devil out of sheer obsession with magic.

The worst sorcerer who became a pile of bones in exchange for the promise of immortality.

“Lich…”

Maria looked up at the sky with dread-filled eyes.

Dark clouds covered what was once a clear sky, and soon magical circles with a purplish hue began to reveal themselves one by one.

It wasn’t just double casting.

Triple…

No, perhaps even higher than that.

“Good heavens…”

“To think it’s area-of-effect magic that covers the entire city.”

“How are we supposed to beat such a monster?”

The players, all of the magical disciplines, understood the absurd level of magic now being unleashed.

A hopeless gap in skill.

By their standards, even a thousand years would not suffice to match this monster.

[The Lich has activated its unique ability ‘Revenant’s Rebirth’.]

The sky turned dark.

And at the same time.

Whirr!

An indescribable force began to engulf the entirety of Europe.

***

At the Korean Awakeners Association.

Over a hundred square meters of meeting room was filled with Korea’s top-ranked players.

Moon Gyoho, the master of the Dangun Guild, with guild ranker Cha Yoonkyung.

Gong Minwoo from the Fight Club Guild, and the co-guild master Yoo Jina.

Lastly, Jinhyuk, who was officially unaffiliated.

The five top Korean players were gathered for an urgent meeting.

A tense atmosphere hung in the air.

The room was rife with sharp, confined magical power, making it difficult for any ordinary person to endure.

This tension was proof that everyone’s nerves were on edge.

Indeed…

‘This is the situation, huh.’

Although there had been several outbreaks since the Tower of Ordeal appeared, this degree of catastrophic damage was a first.

Rather than a mere breach, entire dimensions were connected on a massive scale.

Therefore, emergency meetings to aid Europe were convened worldwide.

Jinhyuk glanced around.

‘Such a gathering of these members is quite the spectacle.’

They were all famous figures so difficult to see in person, it would be easier to encounter top stars.

Especially Moon Gyoho of the Dangun Guild, who was the most enigmatic of them all.

Consumed with finding hidden mazes and ruins rather than ascending the tower, he rarely engaged in public activities.

As such, almost nothing was known about him.

‘I’ve heard rumors he’s madly driven to become stronger…’

Curiosity piqued within him.

That’s when.

Click.

The door opened, and the person responsible for convening this meeting appeared.

Han Sangjin, the chairman of the Korean Awakeners Association.

All eyes turned in one direction.

“Thank you all for gathering despite your busy schedules. Time is of the essence, so I’ll skip the lengthy greetings and get straight to the point.”

Han Sangjin briefly expressed gratitude before diving into the main subject.

The real-time situation in Europe was displayed on a giant screen in the center of the meeting room.

“As you are aware, gates have appeared across Europe due to the outbreak. Five have been confirmed so far: one A-rank and four B-ranks. The number of casualties is estimated to be over 100,000, considering it’s been 14 hours since the outbreak. And of course… these figures are rapidly increasing even as we speak here.”

“An A-rank appeared in the outbreak, you mean?”

Gong Minwoo from the Fight Club Guild furrowed his brows.

“That five outbreaks appeared simultaneously is shocking enough… and now an A-rank.”

“….”

The rest seemed to realize the situation was more serious than anticipated, their expressions hardening further.

Understandably so.

While B-ranks could be dealt with by a decent guild raid team,

A-rank was a whole different level.

At least five raid teams were necessary, and even then, failures were all too common.

And, depending on the boss type, the difficulty could vary drastically, leaving planners with a migraine trying to devise coping strategies if an A-rank outbreak gate was involved.

“According to the magical power estimates, the associations and intelligence agencies in each country are judging it as A-rank.”

“Is it a dungeon-type outbreak? Or…”

This time, Cha Yoonkyung posed the question.

There were three types of outbreaks: dungeons, labyrinths, or ruins.

Even if it was A-rank, the danger level greatly varied depending on which type of outbreak it was.

If it was a dungeon-type, there was a possibility of handling it…

But if, in the worse case, it was linked to a labyrinth or ruins, even united guilds would have to brace for massive damage.

However…

“None of the above.”

At that answer,

The guild representatives felt any spark of hope extinguished utterly.

“We have to eliminate a ‘Lich’. A boss monster responsible for a whole floor. And it has already used ‘Revenant’s Rebirth’ to claim western Europe as its domain completely.”

There was no simple way to describe it as a headache.

The boss-class Lich was different from a common lich.

“….Do you realize the implications of what you’re saying, Chairman?”

Moon Gyoho, who had been silent, finally spoke.

To kill a Lich that had unleashed ‘Revenant’s Rebirth,’ one could only rely on magic, not physical attacks.

But the player with the highest level of magical skill currently exists in Europe.

And the fact that the Olympus Guild, hosting such a ranker, was requesting external help…

It meant the Lich’s skills far surpassed even that of Maria’s.

It was tantamount to a suicide mission…

…At least, that’s what everyone thought except for one person.

‘There’s no one who can win in a magical battle, huh…’

A smirk formed on Jinhyuk’s lips.

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