Chapter 102: The Man Wearing the Metal Arm Guards
Sila came out of the shop. He still had half an hour until the appointed time. The time was too little for him to rest at the mansion but too long for him to wait without doing anything.
He decided not to unseal the ring on the spot and listen to Sangdao's advice. She told him that, to live safely in the world of Monster Soul, one must reveal only seven parts of their story and kept the remaining three a secret. Revealing all of one's past or all of one's ability to others would bring a calamity to oneself later. Her words were part of what the nameless elder had once told him.
'As expected of the father and daughter pair.'
Unsealing the ring should be done in secret. In the beginning, Sila had thought that Monster Soul was just a game so he didn't care much about his actions. However, his past experience taught him that Monster Soul wasn't just merely a game. It was a new world. Some people did everything they wanted in there and dared to reveal their true personalities there; the true personalities that they kept to themselves in real life.
In that case, wouldn't it be more accurate to say that Monster Soul was, instead, the real world? And the world outside was only a world where people wore masks when interacting with each other.
Sila was confused by this philosophy.
If what Sangdao said was true, that meant she, too, had three parts that she kept a secret from him. Thinking this, Sila felt a strange feeling. It wasn't sadness or disappointment. It was a dark feeling that he couldn't describe.
Sila walked depressingly to the old main building of the Royal Armament Guild. He tried to walk as slow as he could so that he wouldn't arrive there too early. However, he still reached there twenty minutes early.
Although this place was called an old building of the Royal Armament Guild, Sila thought that a better word to describe it should be the wreckages of the Royal Armament Guild. There were many wood scraps and damaged bricks on the ground. Some of the destroyed buildings still resembled tall buildings, albeit ruined. Every building had the same distinct black scorch marks on them. There was even warm smoke drifting around, causing the area around this place to be quite hot.
The terrain around this place was wrecked. Some areas were high while some were low. It was as if this entire place was affected by an earthquake.
Sila stood there silently and rubbed the onyx ring on his left hand. Seeing that there was no one around, he muttered softly to activate Unseal.
The system sound alerted.
Dark Age Sealing Ring couldn't be unsealed since your proficiency in Unseal is not high enough. It needs a Transcendent rank Unseal.
Sila frowned as he didn't get it. His Unseal skill level was currently 60. He could unseal even the Right Arm of the Seal One. However, the Dark Age Sealing Ring required Transcendent rank Unseal. What was that though?
Since he didn't know what to do, he started by opening his system window. The grade system window had a useful function that let the user search for a keyword, then provide the user general information so long as the keyword wasn't something secretive.
There were differences between the information granted by the grade system window and information from the Blue Pigeon Guild.
The information from the system would always have 100% accuracy, though there were many cases where the system didn't explicitly reveal the content but left things in a puzzle. This was the area where the information from the Blue Pigeon Guild was inferior. Their information wasn't free like the system's and the accuracy of their information wasn't guaranteed since it came from a player's self-research.
However, what made the Blue Pigeon Guild strong in business was the reliability of their information and the details of their information that were always clear and never needing interpretation like the system's. More importantly, only a handful of players had upgraded their system window to A grade. Thus, most of them tended to use the services of the Blue Pigeon Guild.
Sila entered "Transcendent rank" into a search box. The system processed the information for three seconds before a blue screen with a slime theme appeared in front of Sila.
The words you have searched for: "Transcendent Rank."
The Transcendent rank is a rank that players cannot reach. The only ones who possess a Transcendent rank skill proficiency are the NPCs who have mastered their departments.
'Oh, this must be why the owner of the item shop said he would contact the unsealer for me. Should I go back?' Sila thought for a while before deciding not to. If the unsealer is indeed an NPC who has mastered the unsealing art, the 'trivial amount' of both service fee and commission fee surely wouldn't be as 'trivial' as it sounded.
Now that he had fallen into debt again, though it was only 500,000 gold which was less than his previous time, it was still a significant amount for him. Sila decided that he needed to find money to pay off this debt first.
Sila used this chance to search for other keywords regarding his untouched quests.
The words you have searched for: "The Lost Android Kingdom."
In the past, it was called the Great Android Kingdom "Siaferia". However, it fell into ruin as time passed. It was said that Grea City is located in the exact same spot as the past Siaferia. There are still many records about the ruined kingdom left there. It was also rumored that Siaferia is still sealed underground below Grea City.
Sila was glad to have some clues regarding his hidden quest, Search for the Lost Android Kingdom, since it was the first quest he ever received. Although the clue seemed lacking, it was better than nothing at all.
The words you have searched for: "The Transcendent Rank Unsealer."
The NPC who has mastered the art of unsealing and identifying objects. Presently, he is living a peaceful life in a weapon shop of a certain city that is the farthest away from others.
'A city that is the farthest away from others? Which city is this? Well, I will take a close look at the world map next time,' thought Sila.
Afterward, he was made to feel greatly disappointed by the search results for "The Sealed One." The search result was as follows:
'There are no results for the words you searched for.'
Even he himself knew more about the Sealed One than the system. There were no clues for him at all. Unbeknownst to Sila, Montra was also clueless about the Sealed One. This hidden quest was one of the hardest quests in Monster Soul.
A firm footstep could be heard from behind. Sila was startled and quickly circulated his qi while turning his body back. Even though he wasn't trying his best to be vigilant, for someone to get this close without him noticing, the opposing person must be a fighting expert.
"You must be Sila," asked the man. His brown eyes were looking at Sila coldly.
Sila took a good look at the opposing person. This man had brown, short hair in a clean pomade-style, showing his cold expression. He wore an old, dark brown magician robe with black lines trimmed. He was wearing a metal arm guard on both arms. However, for Sila, the most noticeable trait of this man was the guild symbol on his collar.
The symbol of a white Chinese dragon twisting its body in a shape of number eight.
"Heavenly Dragon Guild." Sila clad his body with qi reinforcement. His intuition told him that this man would be the most dangerous opponent he had faced so far.
The man nodded. "I'm Kawin, the Earth Monarch…"
Listening to the 'Earth Monarch' part, Sila realized that this man was one of the Two Monarchs of the Heavenly Dragon Guild. Without waiting for the opposing party to be ready, Sila immediately fired qi-strengthened dagger at Kawin.
Kawin used his right hand to perform a circular gesture. It was a slow movement. However, once his hand was level with his face, Sila's dagger was easily caught.
"You don't need to hurry, I still have some business with you," Kawin said calmly, as if the feat of catching Sila's qi-strengthened dagger in close range wasn't something worth mentioning.
Sila was tense. He had never met an opponent who could catch his hidden weapon in midair before.
Not to mention that Kawin's movement was slow, he could surprisingly catch Sila's hidden weapon.
"What business?" Sila asked curtly while still trying to find an opening.
"Has Lady Sangdao not told you to meet someone here?"
"Sangdao? Does that mean…?"
"I am the person who wants to meet you."
'Did Sangdao lure me into a trap? No, she isn't someone like that.' Sila was unsure of what was happening.
"What do you mean by that?"
"I mean, I am the one who will tell you about my teacher's location so that you can practice his martial art," replied Kawin.
"Your teacher?" Sila lessened his qi. If what this man said was true, he would be his ally. This man being in the Heavenly Dragon Guild must be some kind of a misunderstanding.
"My teacher ordered me to tell you that, he is currently with his old friend in Madmen's Valley and plans to stay there for two weeks. He has been there for five days so he should still be there."
'Madmen's Valley? What a great timing. I can do the hidden quest that Mister Zero mentioned.'
"Thank you." Sila slightly bowed his head and walked away.
However, a short moment later, Sila turned his body back to express his curiosity.
"Umm, may I ask you something? Why are you a member of the Heavenly Dragon Guild? You don't look like a bad guy at all."
Sila asked that honestly. However, his words were very unpleasant to Kawin's ears.
"You must think that the Heavenly Dragon Guild is a very bad guild, right?" said Kawin in cold tone.
"Yes. Based on what I have seen from its other members, I think you are different from the rest. You don't look evil like those guys."
The brown light in Kawin's eyes flashed mysteriously. Magic power was surging inside him. Sila could feel it so he quickly circulated qi to resist. He asked, "What are you doing?"
"By 'the rest,' you mean Montra is included, right?"
Sila didn't know what went wrong, but if it was about Montra, he wouldn't back off. He circulated his qi and prepared himself for a battle. His black clothes were fluttering due to the power surging within him. Even Shapeless Qi was circulating throughout his body. This was the first time it moved before Sila's life was in danger.
Who knew, maybe it thought that Sila was already in a crisis.
"Montra is my friend. And based on our perspective, it is you who is wicked."
"I'm wicked, you say?" Sila wondered. This was not the first time he was rebuked, but it was the first time he was labeled as 'wicked.'
"You don't know anything and you have nothing. You haven't done anything while Montra is trying his best, suffering. Although he is called a genius, that is only because he has tried several times harder than anyone. There is no way you can understand even a small part of Montra's torment from being betrayed by everyone. Montra hasn't done anything wrong. The fact that you get everything despite doing nothing is what I called wicked."
Sila furrowed his brows. He didn't understand a thing in regard to Kawin's statement.
Kawin showed a cold smile in the corner of his mouth. "You don't understand, right? That's why I hate you. You always rely on others without doing anything yourself. Montra is only trying to take back his right. His right that was snatched by you unfairly."
Kawin's left foot was stepped forward. His knees were slightly bent down. Both of his hands were firmly held in front of his face. Sila looked at Kawin's fighting stance and worried. There was not a single opening in Kawin's stance.
Presently, Kawin's bearing was like a full moon drifting in the sky. He was angry. It was rare for him to angry.
He was never angry for the sake of himself, this time included. He was angry for Montra's sake.
Even if everyone in the world turned their backs on Montra, there would be no way he and Revin would do that.
"I don't want to fight you. Maybe we both have some kind of a misunderstanding. The Montra you talked about is not like the Montra I know. Is this related to the Wulin Masters Association?"
"You know about the Wulin Masters Association?" There was a change in Kawin's expression.
Sila nodded. This was his gamble. He was hooked by this 'Wulin Masters Association' ever since Sangdao had mentioned it. Although she dismissed it as nothing, Sila wasn't that stupid. He was sure that the Wulin Masters Association was, one way or another, related to this matter.
The matter that everyone knew, except for him.
He connected the dots that Kawin had called Sangdao as 'Lady' and both of them contacted each other to appoint Sila to train under Kawin's teacher, so the Wulin Masters Association must be related to this.
Sila also linked this situation to the fact that he encountered Sangdao in his dojo. He remembered clearly that he had never told Sangdao or anyone in the game the location of his dojo. The fact that Sangdao appeared there could only mean Sangdao or a person related to her was an acquaintance of his teacher, Mora.
'Sangdao knows about this matter more than she told me. No, based on what Kawin said, everyone knows about this… except me.'
Thinking to this point, Sila felt greatly disappointed in Sangdao. He thought she was more sincere than this. Now, he could no longer know who he could trust.
Meanwhile, Kawin's thoughts went in a different direction.
He misunderstood that Sila had known about the Wulin Masters Association all along while pretending like he knew nothing. If that was the case, Sila was, in fact, a deceitful person who acted innocent and waited for others to do all the work without him trying to do anything himself.
Kawin hated people like this the most.
Sila had hoped to hear more about the Wulin Masters Association from Kawin. However, his attempt to obtain information ended in failure.
"My teacher has ordered me to inform you about his location, which I have already done. Nevertheless, it will be your own fault if you can't go there. I heard that if a slime is killed by a dragon, its rank will be demoted. That's good. If your rank is demoted by one, I believe you will have no way to travel through Single-Horned Dragon Forest."
Kawin unleashed his magic power, causing Grea City to shake.
He stomped on the ground and stone walls shot up into the sky, surrounding him and Sila. The stone walls made by Kawin's magic power were quite high and were a meter thick. It was like Sila was trapped in a stone tower with Kawin.
Sila touched the cold, stone wall. He had planned to hear about the Wulin Masters Association, then quickly make an escape. Apparently, his plan failed.
He couldn't afford to be careless. His concentration reached its peak. His battle against the Earth Monarch Kawin of the Heavenly Dragon Guild was now inevitable.