The World after the Fall - Chapter 63[Updated at: 2021-01-11 07:15:57]
Chapter 63: Last Hope (12)
Join the [Depth Expedition Team]? What was up with them?
“What are you up to?”
“What do you mean?”
It was Ryung who was even more confused.
“I want to join the expedition to bring hope to the people of <Chaos>. Anything wrong with that?”
Jaehwan shrugged and so Ryung continued, “I guess you are forgetting the true purpose of this tournament.”
Jaehwan wasn’t sure what she was talking about.
“Let’s be honest. You do not plan to give up the Master position at all. Isn’t that right?”
Jaehwan couldn’t answer before Ryung continued on, “It’s because the tournament was to find members for your expedition team from the beginning.”
The crowd began to become restless and Ryung spoke out even more strongly, “I am astonished. I really am. No one has dared start a plan like that after the first team failed 900 years ago. But you put your life on the line to start on that plan. I applaud your actions.”
Ryung then turned back towards Jaehwan and towards the spectators.
“That’s why I am glad that I am here. I believe all of you here share the same feeling.”
Her voice was now amplified by a skill to allow everyone in the spectator seats to hear her.
“I know that if this tournament was only to find a new Master, not this many people would have gathered. There are a lot of you who are strong enough to compete, but didn’t join.”
She then took off her veil. The crowd fell silent as Ryung looked around the spectators. People quickly looked up to meet eyes with her.
It was Ryung’s best skill, ‘Eye of Righteousness’. It made the target to reflect on their inner self, against their righteousness within.
Ryung continued, “Everyone, I want to hear from all of you. Are you here because of the possible new Master of Gorgon? Or for the [Depth Expedition Team]?”
They were quiet but heavy words.
“I want to believe that we still have a last ‘hope’ that remainswithin us.”
The crowd began to move. It was what they had in their minds for all this time. But it was something that they did not dare to even consider as a dream. It was now becoming a reality.
“Yes! What we want to see is…!”
The crowd began to agree with Ryung and one old man spoke out.
“I agree with her. I am not here to just watch some fights.”
It was a voice filled with powerful spirit power.
“Mingkhan the Sword General!”
Mingkhan, who was not in any clan, was considered as powerful as the Ten-Clan itself, with generous and merciful characteristics. However, Jaehwan did not miss the old man and Ryung exchanging eye signals.
‘They are together.’
She nodded and answered Mingkhan, “He is right. What we need is unity, not to fight among ourselves!”
People began to shout, agreeing with Ryung’s words.
“As such, I request that the Master of Gorgon terminate the tournament now. This tournament has fulfilled its purpose. You have enough people who are eager to join your [Depth Expedition Team].”
The crowd reached its frenzied height of reaction. Control was in Ryung’s hands. She had applauded Jaehwan’s purpose and pointed out the unneeded process and made the result, the [Depth Expedition Team], look like an idea that she had taken a big part of.
“But it’s not too early to decide. We have one more issue.”
Someone asked what it was and Ryung answered, “Who, then, will be in charge of the expedition team?”
Chunghuh, who was listening quietly, frowned.
“She’s up to something.”
Mukeuk also nodded. He, too, felt uneasy.
“Communication skill [Stealth Deception] and [Serpent Tongue]…”
They were skills that covered up anything that lacked logic or facts with the tone of voice and strength. The only ones who did not succumb to her skills were 7th stage or higher Adapters. Then, someone in the crowd asked. It was the Sword General.
“So who do you think is fit for the role?”
Ryung answered, “I think the Master of Gorgon Fortress fits the role best.”
Some seemed shocked while others moaned in astonishment. As she was getting the most attention, she could claim herself to be the leader of the expedition team, but she did not do that.
Of course, people were oblivious that Ryung had calculated everything up to this point.
“I object that idea.”
Mingkhan replied, “I do not trust the Master of Gorgon.”
The crowd began to boo at Mingkhan, as Ryung asked, “Why are you saying that? He fits the role best.”
“I, to a certain extent, agree.”
He continued, “He is more powerful than any Ten-Clan Leader, and he has the intelligence as he outwitted Meng of the Disciples Clan. There’s no one like him, even in <Chaos> history.”
“That’s weird. Then why are you objecting?”
“Because the leader of the expedition team needs to be something more than that.”
The people fell silent. Those were the words from someone who watched the [Depth Expedition Team] depart and reach its disastrous end. Ryung then asked, with an ever-generous smile, “Then what do you think the leader needs?”
“He needs character.”
It was a deliberate response.
“The leader needs character to hold powerful men in place. I think this is a must.”
The crowd began to agree with what Mingkhan was saying.
“You mean, the Master does not have such character to do so?”
The people turned to Mingkhan, who changed the subject without answering, “I heard some rumors about him while on the way here.”
“What kind of rumors?”
“I heard that the Master has only lived half a century and it has been only a month since he appeared in <Chaos>.”
The crowd began to grow uneasy as they also had heard of such rumors. Ryung then asked Jaehwan, “Is that true? Those rumors?”
Jaehwan replied honestly. People began to shout.
“That’s a problem!”
“We cannot have a man who only lived half a century to lead the expedition team!”
Jaehwan frowned at such unease.
‘Is it the number again?’
Ryung continued, “Sword General, you are right in your argument. But-”
Mingkhan nodded and Ryung continued,
“We cannot bring him down because he has only lived a ‘short’ life. We do not know what kind of 50 years he has lived.”
People began to praise Ryung’s kind words again. Mingkahn spoke, “I agree. But I still think the Master needs to prove his character.”
“Prove… but how can you prove such a thing?”
“I think you can do the job very well.”
“Me? But how?”
“How about you perform the ‘Question of Righteousness’?”
The ‘Question of Righteousness.’
Ryung’s ‘Question of Righteousness’ was famous in <Chaos>. Many high-stage Adapters asked to do this with Ryung to gain their rating of the ‘Way of Truth’. This had the potential of entrapping Adapters into self-despair, but overcoming it granted an incredible amount of ratings.
The crowd began to cheer in approval of the idea and Ryung spoke reluctantly, “If you all want it so much…”
She smiled faintly as she turned to Jaehwan.
“Mind my manners. We have not asked the Master’s opinion on this matter. I am sorry. So, do you plan to take up the leadership of the expedition team?”
Jaehwan did not answer. He was looking towards the sky, at the incoming dark clouds from the distance. A faint sense of disastrous energy that Jaehwan was familiar with.
Chunghuh, without knowing where Jaehwan was looking at, groaned.
‘You have been trapped by her trickery. What will you do now?’
If Jaehwan decided to pull out his sword and beat up everyone, his expedition team would be as good as gone. There was no one who would want to join the team led by a tyrant. But if he agreed, he would need to face the ‘Question of Righteousness’.
Jaehwan spoke out.