Chapter 161: A Dangerous Gamble (2)
Editor: Hungry Panda
Jinsung's rented room where clouds of war hung in the air.
"That… Harin. I'm telling you, it's a misunderstanding."
"What's a misunderstanding?"
"Loren is just a person that I met today for the first time. She's a person we're grateful for as she came saying that she would help us out in our guild's fort extension operation. We were just having a 'conversation', a conversation!"
"I see, so you were having a conversation. It looked like you were having a conversation with her completely stuck to your side. Doesn't it feel good having a pretty girl stuck right by your side?"
"Ah, no, that…!"
"Sniff, sniff, I don't know who Park Jinsung's girlfriend is, but I pity her a ton… Sniff, sniff. I wonder how sad she must be…"
Truthfully, Harin knew Jinsung better than anybody else.
A game quest would be 20 thousand times more important than a pretty girl to the Jinsung she knew.
Because of that, she already had figured out that there was nothing going on between Loren and Ian even if she didn't hear his excuses.
'Still, isn't it a disgrace? I need to catch onto his weak point at times like this, so that when I say let's go out the next time, he'll follow without much remark.'
Although she was a little apologetic, she rationalized it by saying it couldn't be helped in order to advance in her relationship with Jinsung as Harin continued to act with a sullen expression.
"Sniff, sniff, I'm so sad…"
As she did so, Jinsung began to be restless.
"Why are you like that, Harin. I'm telling you, it's seriously nothing like that."
"What do you mean it's nothing, sniff, sniff. You've never even told me once that you like me, and there was a reason for it."
Harin sneakily induced the words that she wanted to hear.
However, Jinsung wasn't a different relationship eunuch.
'Is Harin sulking at me because she wasn't able to raise her cooking proficiency after coming to the central continent?'
Jinsung, who interpreted it in a creative way to the point it was surprising, carefully opened his mouth.
"Euh, I've been so busy lately, sorry. You've been really bored lately, right? I will make you a kitchen facility in the central continent base as well. Cheer up, hmm?"
Harin was so stunned that her body staggered for a moment.
Jinsung continued his words.
"Next time when I go hunting, I'll gather a lot of cooking ingredients as well. There will probably be a lot of rare cooking ingredients that you haven't used yet in the central continent as well."
Harin barely settled her seething anger as she shut her eyes tightly.
'Ha, how should I deal with this idiot?'
On the other hand, as Harin calmed down, Jinsung wore a satisfied expression as he thought to himself.
'As expected, that's why she was sad! Harin also knows that I was forever alone, so there's no way she would have been sulky over a girl!'
Shortly after, Harin, who narrowly calmed her anger, opened her mouth again.
"You, are you sure you like me?"
It was a question that was at least ten times more profound and difficult than any decent philosophical subject.
The gaze of Jinsung, who thought that Harin's anger had subsided, shook.
Jinsung replied with a calm voice.
"Of, of course! Do you know how much I like you?"
Harin sighed deeply as she continued her words again.
"I'm telling you, it's the truth."
"Then, prove it."
Harin closed her eyes as she lifted one hand and pointed to her cheek.
"Try to kiss… Here once."
Jinsung, who was taken aback, asked back reflexively.
"Hurry up and do it. Then I'll let you go this time."
Jinsung was flustered at the unexpected development of the situation, but Harin was being sincere.
Harin urged Jinsung, who hesitated.
"What are you doing, are you not going to do it? Then were the words that you liked me a lie?"
"Ah, no! I'll do it, I'm going to do it!"
Jinsung abruptly stood up and went next to Harin before sitting down.
And he slightly closed his two eyes as he touched his face towards Harin's cheek.
Even for Jinsung, there was no way that he would dislike pressing his lips against Harin's cheek.
However, as he was not prepared, the problem was that his heart was pounding.
'Get a hold of yourself, Jinsung!'
However, shortly after.
As if Jinsung was hit by lightning, he felt his whole body freeze up.
This was because his lips had met with Harin's lips, not her cheek.
However, he didn't want to separate from those lips, and before he even realized, Jinsung lifted his two arms and slightly wrapped them around Harin's back.
As he did so, he felt Harin's body slightly shiver.
After a while like that, as if time had stopped, the lips of the two people that met lightly, didn't know how to come apart.
As the fighting power of the top 3 guilds that could be considered the representative giant guilds affiliated with the Luspel Empire was pulled from the front lines, the front line of defense that was already being pushed back as it was began to move towards the east at an even faster pace.
As the front line of defense began to be pushed down faster than expected, the Lotus Guild, who needed to buy as much time as they could until the fort was completed, also helped out the front lines with their remaining fighting power, but it was inadequate.
Ian also entered the war twice, but even if he was constantly on the move, just like the last time, they couldn't win.
'If it continues like this it will really be a close call…'
Fiolan approached next to Ian, who was perched on the castle with a troubled expression.
"What are you thinking about, Ian?"
Ian sighed shortly as he replied.
"Well, I was just thinking about what we could do to buy even a little bit of time."
Ian stood up from his spot as he opened his mouth again.
"Fiolan, how did the thing you went for turn out? Have you received some cooperation?"
At Ian's question, Fiolan shook her head weakly.
"No matter how much I persuade them, they won't even budge."
"What did they say?"
Fiolan scratched the back of her head as she replied.
"Hmm… They just keep playing innocent. That they are doing the best they can from their guild as well, but they needed manpower in the back, so they just pulled the guild members that were in the front lines, that is."
Ian's brows furrowed.
"Hmm, they've really brazened themselves. Even just from looking, it's a move to ditch the front lines and fall back…"
"Exactly. That's why I also said that if they buy us a little bit more time, we would be able to block the advanced base with our base and to help us out, but there was no use."
At Fiolan's words, Ian nodded his head as he replied.
"Probably. Since they didn't want the front base to form at the front lines from the beginning."
Fiolan asked back with a quizzical expression.
"If the front line was formed at the front where awkward-sized guilds like ours are mainly concentrated, for them, they wouldn't be able to help but become envious. Since the more they distinguish themselves during battle, the greater the amount of rewards, including Specialty Points, could be earned."
"No, are we the only ones fighting? Don't they just also have to station their main-force units here?"
Ian shook his head as he began to explain again.
"Of course, that's true, but guilds who have bases at the front lines could also use their defense towers to attack the opponents."
"You probably know since you've seen the defense towers that have been built on our base, but their power is seriously tremendous."
"Since with even just the most basic defense tower, it has the same power as two or more decent top level-ranking users. If the fort is properly completed, and the front lines continue to form around our base, then we will probably gain an incredible advantage."
Fiolan nodded her head as she replied.
"It would really turn out like that. On top of that, when there is no battle, it would also create a profit while the participating NPCs and users stay here."
"That's right. Since if the users use the shops or auction house on our base, that will return as tax shortly after."
Fiolan looked at Ian with a gaze full of admiration as she opened her mouth.
"Wow, then, Ian, have you thought this far ever since we occupied this base that others were reluctant about?"
At that question, Ian smirked as he shook his head.
"It's not like that. At first, I was just after a niche market."
"Pfft, aren't you being too humble?"
"It's not being humble, I'm saying the truth. How could I have known beforehand that the defense towers and the soldiers that could be produced in the central continent base would be this strong? We just somehow ended up getting lucky."
"That is true."
Ian continued his words.
"And truthfully, if it wasn't for the Holy Grail, we wouldn't have even been able to proceed with such a large-scale construction right now. This much was only possible since the Holy Grail makes the development speed of the base two times faster."
Ian turned his head and while studying the fort that didn't have much left until completion, he was submerged in his thoughts.
'Everything really happened perfectly. Between Holdream's Holy Grail and the War Trading Post, if we didn't have even one of the two, we wouldn't have been able to make such plans.'
Fiolan asked Ian, who was submerged in his thoughts, with a worried voice.
"Still, it looks like we won't be able to relax. If the Luspel Empire Army and the other smaller guilds somehow endured, then the front line could form with our base as the starting point, but if that doesn't happen, we would fail, right?"
At Fiolan's words, Ian cut her off and replied.
"The front line will continue to push towards the east."
"We will probably become isolated."
While the giant guilds conspired and pulled back their fighting power, no matter how much the smaller guilds and the normal users tried, the front lines wouldn't be able to help but be continuously pushed towards the east.
'If that's the case, our base will remain alone in the middle of the enemy camp.'
Ian also didn't believe it at first, but now, he was almost certain that it would happen.
He was even more sure after having personally participated in the battle a couple days ago.
If that was the case, the key point was how long the fort that they poured all their resources into making could last from a concentrated attack.
'I wonder how long it will be able to last?'
He had no idea how long it would last in the middle of Kaimon Empire territory, but Ian was planning on trying as hard as he could.
'Two months? No, even if we just last one month, we'll be able to get our money's worth for sure.'
Even if they blocked off the Kaimon Empire Army that surged from every direction once, they would be able to obtain an enormous reward.
It would be difficult for sure, but the more they endured, it was definite that the Lotus Guild would grow exponentially.
Fiolan opened her mouth again.
"Then, Ian, did you build a fort with the idea of lasting in the middle of the enemy camp?"
Ian nodded his head.
"That's right, Fiolan."
Fiolan shook her head.
"Ha, I knew that you were reckless, Ian, but this is really the greatest one of all the things you've ever done."
Ian laughed as he replied.
"I also acknowledge that."
Fiolan also laughed.
"No, aren't you being too bright for such a serious situation?"
"Don't worry, Fiolan. Since this is still a gamble with quite a good chance of succeeding."
Ian, who momentarily paused to take a breath, slowly opened his mouth again.
"At the least, we'll get our money's worth, so just trust me."
Three days from then, in the base of operations of the Kaimon Empire.
Officers of the empire sitting on either side with knights lined up behind them were having an operation meeting with serious expressions.
However, inside this operation meeting filled with a total of about thirty people, there were just five users.
They were DarkRuna Guild's Guild Master Ilahan, and Titan Guild's Guild Master Shyakran.
And three ranking users that individually entered the Kaimon Empire knights and succeeded in getting promoted to a high-ranking knight.
Ilahan and Shyakran weren't affiliated with the empire knights, but as they were the only users with the high aristocrat title of Marquis, they were allowed to be there.
The commander, who sat at the upper seat in the middle, slowly opened his mouth.
"Owing to you gentlemen's courage, our Kaimon Empire has defeated the weak army of Luspel and consecutively won."
Taking a moment to breathe, after looking around the whole assembly, he continued his words.
"The result of that is today! We were able to put the central desert area in its entirety into our hands."
The central continent was mostly barren land that had gone through desertification.
However, even amongst that, they meant the central desert area that was the absolute core of the continent, which was a bleak area where not even one base existed, and in this place up until now, both empires had a keen, tight match.
In other words, it meant that the Kaimon Empire army had arrived up to right around the corner of the Lotus base, which was nestled in the front lines.