The World after the Fall - Chapter 59[Updated at: 2021-01-11 07:15:56]
Chapter 59: Last Hope (8)
Inner Gorgon Fortress, meeting room. Three newly appointed department heads were sitting in front of Chancellor Euren.
“Don’t worry, the Master knows what he’s doing!”
Jahir, the newly appointed head of the Department of Security, seemed especially excited.
“…And what would that be? Are you talking about opening up a tournament without a proper meeting with the head of departments?”
“Jahir, this is serious. All warriors of <Chaos> are gathering here.”
“I know that…”
Gorgon Fortress was overcrowded with visitors, from tournament attendees to just plain spectators. Teleportation stations were having a hard time and all of the four gates were packed with people trying to get into the fortress.
“Karlton, any word?”
“About the situation.”
Euren sighed at Karlton. The opening of the tournament, even if it was started without a proper meeting, was not illegal at all. If half of the officers in Gorgon agreed, the Master had the authority to proceed with projects that would cost more than 300 million horuns. And surprisingly, Jaehwan had earned more than half of the approvals.
It was simple. When Jaehwan became the Master, out of the five officers, four had died and one had been injured. Jaehwan then appointed three members to become the new head of Security, Law, and Finance departments. They were all people that Jaehwan knew, so it was apparent that he could get any approval he needed.
Karlton asked, “I guess the Chancellor doesn’t approve of his ideas?”
“It’s not about that.” Euren frowned, “It’s not about if I like it or not, but the principles.”
“Enough with your principles.”
Someone interrupted. It was the new head of the Department of Finance.
“When will you quit talking about that nonsense?”
Euren’s expression turned cold.
“Everything runs on principles. I guess you wouldn’t know because of your background.”
Euren did not like the new head of the Finance Department. He was only okay with Karlton being the head of the Law Department and Jahir the leader of Anti-Evil taking on the head of the Security Department.
‘But this is too far.’
Gorgon was under an emergency, but a 2nd stage Adapter who managed a saloon was not fit for such a job. Euren could not forget when Jaehwan first brought Claire into the fortress to appoint her as the new head of the Finance Department.
-To me, a saloon or Gorgon Fortress are all same. It’s just a matter of size.
After Claire took the position, she quickly kicked out the corrupt officials and changed all the policies in Gorgon to fit the standard of the common citizens.
The result was outrage. Even now, there were a lot of high ranked Adapters complaining about the new policies being piled up at the Master’s office.
“Don’t think of me lightly, Chancellor,” Claire said to Euren. “It seems that you don’t like how Master is running things. Do you know what values he’s bringing in?”
“Of course, I…”
Euren knew this, of course. There was money where people gathered. Gorgon was overcrowded with people and it surely brought good money to Gorgon itself.
“I’ll give you an example. The tournament that you so hate, do you know where that is being held?”
“I am not sure.” Euren replied honestly.
Claire then answered, “It’s in the northern streets, in the outer fortress.”
The northern streets of the outer fortress. It was where the destruction with Golden Sky Clan had occurred, leaving hundreds of citizens homeless.
Claire nodded. “All those homeless citizens are now working as staff for the tournament.”
Euren was surprised. He knew the tournament was being held, but never imagined it was being put to use in such a way.
“You must know how much we lost because of the Golden Sky attack.”
“I believe it’s about thirteen billion Horuns…”
“Yes. To be precise, it’s twelve billion, eight hundred, and seventy-eight million horuns.”
Euren looked at Claire in shock. Since when did she look into such things? But she wasn’t finished.
“Then, let me ask you this. Do you know how much we have earned during these two days that the tournament has been running?”
“I… believe we are still counting that.”
“A total of thirteen billion, two hundred, and eighty million horuns. That’s the net profit for the past two days, and it will only keep growing.”
Euren was dumbfounded. If that was true, Gorgon had already come out on top of its loss.
‘But how did she know all those numbers?’
Claire scoffed at Euren’s expression.
“You look surprised? I’ve managed a saloon for all of my life, AND my afterlife. Counting money is like breathing to me.”
Claire took out a cigarette and lit it.
“I am not sure what the Master is up to, but one thing is for sure.”
Claire glanced at Jahir and Karlton, then turned to Euren.
“<Chaos> WILL change.”
Euren felt something in him was shake. Claire had something stirring within her eyes. An emotion that all who lived in <Chaos> had lost. Karlton and Jahir also had the same emotion in their eyes too. Euren knew the name of this emotion.
‘Master… what are you trying to give to these people?’
It was something that had not happened over hundreds of years. Euren became worried. No, he was wary of the one individual that was bringing about all these changes. Yet Euren did not know that he too, was changing.
After three days of harsh schedules, the tournament was now down to 16 people. People who came late to Gorgon Fortress were able to participate in the additional matches to join in as wildcards.
“Last 16 in three days? It’s too fast.”
Mukeuk, the leader of Arms Extreme, was amused. His elite clan members stood behind him. Most were either 4th or 5th stage Adapters, powerful enough to wipe out weaker clans. Mukeuk, who only looked to be in his mid-40s or 50s, was actually over a thousand years old.
What’s more was that he was like Chunghuh and the Lord of Steel, Huhyou from Moorim. He was also one of the five top swordsmen in Moorim. Someone then came out from the crowd and replied to Mukeuk.
“Kanghwang overdid it.”
Mukeuk turned to the voice.
“He ran on a rampage with fire in the preliminary and scared all the 4th stages and lower into giving up.”
Mukeuk nodded. “Long time no see, Chunghuh.”
“Yeah. Been a while, Mukeuk.”
Chunghuh smiled by showing his teeth. Then, the two instantly released a powerful wave of energy, scaring nearby Adapters. This was the way power could be tested between two Awakeners. Chunghuh spoke in astonishment.
“You seemed to have moved onto a new level.”
“And so have you.”
Both smiled as the people around began to mumble among themselves.
‘It’s the Doctor of Despair!’
Some people seemed to even consider it an honor to see two powerful figures in <Chaos> talking to each other.
Chunghuh mentioned, “Anyway, I was surprised that you didn’t decide to join this tournament.”
“I like genuine competition, not this dog fight.”
“Haha, Kanghwang should’ve heard that.”
On the stage, Kanghwang was fighting against a young woman. It was the last fight of the 16. Kanghwang’s fires had been thrown onto various parts of the stage, but the woman was dodging all those fires with ease using a fast movement skill. Chunghuh commented on the woman’s skills.
“She’s good for her age. Do you know who she is?”
“She’s not from Divine Lady… but that movement skill is familiar.”
“You sure got old! That’s Green Wind Walk.”
“Green Wind Walk?”
An old name in his memory struck Mukeuk hard. He quickly asked, “Is it the Steel’s skill?”
Mukeuk turned grim. By the name of ‘Steel,’ it meant one person. The one who cleared the tower and moved onto the <Great Lands>. The one who was once their friend, Huhyou, the Lord of Steel.
“Why is Huhyou’s underling here?”
“I wouldn’t know. But there are Lords who are interested in this tournament.”
And the fight was over. The woman won. Kanghwang’s shocking loss had created a huge sensation with the spectators.
Mukeuk frowned. “Fool, he was too proud.”
“That’s the result of laziness.”
Following the match, an announcement was made that the round of 16 was over, and the round of 8 would begin right after. Jahir quickly came running out and took the microphone to announce.
-Hello everyone, we will now start the round of 8!
Mukeuk, who was ready to look around as he thought there would be an intermission, frowned at the quick pace of the matches.
“Isn’t this too quick?”
“The Master of Gorgon is quick-tempered.”
“I heard, but still…”
He couldn’t continue as he recognized the man stepping up onto the stage.
“Leader of Disciples.”
It was Jagel Meng, the leader of Disciples. He glanced at the spectators and found Mukeuk and Chunghuh. He smirked arrogantly.
“That arrogant fool and his smirk, I should teach him a lesson.”
“Give him some slack. He’s only 400 years old.”
Meng looked around the spectators for beautiful women while his opponent stepped in. Spectators began to shout with excitement as the person who stepped up was the most-talked-about man in recent days.
“It’s the new Master.”
“I didn’t know the Master was going to join in.”
Mukeuk muttered as he watched Jaehwan flexing on the stage.
“That’s strange. I sense something similar in him to you, Chunghuh.”
He glanced between Jaehwan and Chunghuh as he asked, “Is he your apprentice?”
Chunghuh laughed. Then suddenly, a loud explosion came from the stage as someone was thrown into the sky. It was Meng, flying into the sky like a leaf caught up in a storm.
As he looked upon that sight, he answered. “…There’s no way that monster would be my apprentice.”