[The Celestial ‘A Good Season to Hunt’ wonders what illusions you are seeing right now.]

[The Celestial ‘World-Encircling Serpent’ concludes that all the illusions must be insidious.]

[The Celestial ‘Twilight-Piercing Owl’ is certain that the illusions must be about your righteous past.]

[The Celestial ‘Abyss-Chasing Great Devil’ observes you closely.]

[The Celestial ‘Calamity Tiger’ clicks his tongue because he cannot see the illusions you are seeing.]

‘Fortunately, the deities can’t see these shitty illusions,’ Chang-Sun thought, chuckling dryly.

[Phantom Maze Circle] triggered the hidden traumas of those trapped within its illusions, in order to leave them in despair and shut down their minds, causing the state of Self-Closure.
Afterward, Gwak Do-Woon eliminated the incapacitated targets, as easily as harvesting crops in fall.

[The Authority ‘Kalokagathia’ has been activated, making you immune to mental debuffs!]

Luckily, Chang-Sun remained unaffected by the illusions, but the effect of [Kalokagathia] was not the only reason for that.
His life had been far too turbulent for him to suffer Self-Closure from such illusions alone.

‘Still, seeing them here is pretty unpleasant,’ Chang-Sun thought.

He squinted as he recognized some unusually familiar ghosts mixed in among the ones he could not even remember anymore.
They belonged to the people who had been killed by him during the Myth War; they were .
Even though he was able to retain his composure, he could not possibly feel pleased as the ghosts incessantly clung to him.

Suddenly, he stopped walking.

“Mis… ter?” Woo Hye-Bin asked hesitantly.
She was unsure why he had stopped, and thus also stopped and looked up at Chang-Sun, wondering whether something was wrong.

『What’s wrong?』

Gyeo-Ul asked a question in surprise.
However, Chang-Sun did not answer as he stared silently at one particular ghost.


Among the various ghosts, there was one who appeared different from the others, looking in Chang-Sun’s direction.
Although the ghost was unusually tall and had a robust physique, he was an old man, judging from his wrinkled face and white hair.
In contrast to the other ghosts, who did nothing but curse Chang-Sun, the old man smiled faintly as if he were looking at his grandson all grown up.
Chang-Sun knew that old man very well.

‘…Gramps,’ Chang-Sun thought to himself.

Gramps had gently taken the wandering Chang-Sun under his wing in Arcadia, and thus influenced Chang-Sun greatly.
It was no exaggeration to say he had played a major role in creating the being called ‘Divine Twilight’.
He had also died on Chang-Sun’s behalf, leaving behind scars on Chang-Sun’s heart.

Perhaps because he was seeing the face of Gramps, someone he had thought he would never see again, Chang-Sun was having trouble calming himself down.

[The Authority ‘Kalokagathia’ is becoming ineffective for an unknown reason!]

[You are losing your immunity against mental debuffs!]

[Warning! Your sturdy mental barrier is being shaken for an unknown reason.
You are advised to pull yourself together.]

[The Celestial ‘Twilight-Piercing Owl’ widens her eyes, unable to understand your condition.]

For a moment, Chang-Sun just watched silently, wondering what that damned ghost who looked like Gramps was going to say.
He could disregard the other ghosts’ blabbering and go on his way, but he could not do so with Gramps’ ghost.

It seemed almost as if the ghost had noticed that Chang-Sun was looking at him.
Chang-Sun felt as if Gramps had begun smiling more noticeably; Gramps then began to speak slowly, making Chang-Sun tense up without realizing.

―…I’m proud of you.

They were very faint, but Gramps’ words made Chang-Sun freeze up.
He had never expected Gramps to say that; nothing else could make him freeze that way.

―I’m proud of you.
You’ve become a great man.
I can finally rest. 

After leaving those words, the old man ’s ghost quietly disappeared, as if he had been a mirage.


“…Ah,” Chang-Sun muttered, realizing he had been holding his breath.
He knew he would not be able to grab the ghost, but he still held out his hand, feeling as if he had touched the particles that made up Gramps.

“I’m proud of you.
You’ve become a great man.”

The ghost’s words echoed clearly in Chang-Sun’s ears.
Gramps had been an illusion, but he had looked so real that Chang-Sun could not think of him that way.
For a long time, Chang-Sun stood still.

『Hyung… nim?』

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Gyeo-Ul called out cautiously, finally bringing Chang-Sun back to reality.
Chang-Sun also saw Hye-Bin looking at him worriedly.

“Sorry, I was wondering whether something was up ahead,” Chang-Sun said before calmly shaking his head and going on his way.

―Twilight… Twilight… The wretched Twilight…

The ghosts had stopped bothering Chang-Sun, even as they clung to him.
In fact, they completely failed to catch his eye.
As he continued to ignore them, they disappeared one by one until eventually, none of them were left.

[The Authority ‘Kalokagathia’ is active again!]

‘He’s smiling…?’ Gyeo-Ul thought, looking at Chang-Sun’s back from within his shadow.
He somehow felt that this was the brightest smile he had ever seen from Chang-Sun since meeting him.

* * *

How long had it been since they started walking?

“H-How did you find…?! Argh!”

“No way…!”


[The second focal point has been eliminated.]

[The third focal point has been eliminated.]

[The sixth focal point has been eliminated.
The ‘Phantom Maze Circle’ has been partially destroyed.]

Still using [Viper Eyes], Chang-Sun quickly passed through the [Phantom Maze Circle] with Gyeo-Ul and Hye-Bin.
If anyone were to see him, they would think Chang-Sun himself had built the [Phantom Maze Circle].
Every time Chang-Sun found the illusion mages, they were incredibly startled, and Gyeo-Ul quickly eliminated them.

Before anyone realized it, a message appeared to notify Chang-Sun’s group that part of the [Phantom Maze Circle] had been destroyed, and the red fog subsided significantly.

‘They’re… more loyal than I expected,’ Chang-Sun observed.

While destroying the circle, he had found out that the illusion mages were extremely tenacious.
At first, he had thought it was just the first illusion mage he met, but the other mages were not so different.

Most of them had ended up providing the information Chang-Sun wanted after being tortured, but they had all endured until the end.
Demonic beings normally did not behave like that.

‘I can’t consider the Highoff Clan an ordinary demonic group,’ Chang-Sun thought as he moved to find the seventh focal point.

“…Too many people have died,” he muttered bitterly as the group found traces of other people for the first time.

The problem was that those traces were corpses.
There were more than ten bodies lying around on the ground, making Chang-Sun worry that Hye-Bin would be shocked and scared.

“How could this happen…?!” Hye-Bin muttered angrily, her tightly clenched fists trembling fiercely.

Her anger was understandable, as most of the victims wore badges that indicated they were Sword of Ohsung Clan members.

[The Skill ‘Viper Eyes’ has been activated, examining the traces on the scene!]

[The Celestial ‘World-Encircling Serpent’ pompously says his eyes can find anything, and that he is different from other deities who only know how to fight.]

[The Celestial ‘A Good Season to Hunt’ angrily says she can do that much.]

[The Celestial ‘World-Encircling Serpent’ asks what 435,323,348 times 343,459 divided by 31,312,678 is.]

[The Celestial ‘A Good Season to Hunt’ stutters for a moment, unable to answer.]

[The Celestial ‘World-Encircling Serpent’ snorts.]

[The Celestial ‘A Good Season to Hunt’ stamps her feet on the ground angrily.]

“They’ve only been dead for a few minutes,” Chang-Sun said calmly as he identified the victims’ cause of death.

The victims all had a few things in common.
One was that they had all been overwhelmed with fear, and another was that they all showed signs of asphyxiation, as if invisible hands had strangled them.

‘Hye-Bin also said the illusion squeezed her neck,’ Chang-Sun recalled.

The last common factor was…

‘They fought with each other,’ Chang-Sun noticed.

An illusion mage Chang-Sun captured had said that the [Phantom Maze Circle] triggered intruders’ trauma and also made them act violently using illusions.
Depending on how the illusions were used, they could make people on the same side kill each other.
Hye-Bin had not noticed that yet, and Chang-Sun had no intention of telling her, as it would only shock her more.

‘Judging from how the corpses are still bleeding, the incident took place mere moments ago.
Then…’ Chang-Sun thought, concluding that the illusion mage responsible was nearby.
He looked up and sharpened his senses.

[The Skill ‘Beast Senses’ has been activated, sharply widening the radius of the area you can detect to the fullest extent!]

Chang-Sun concentrated closely on every sense apart from sight.
He could hear the wind brushing against the grass, the red fog spreading even further, and a whirlpool of demonic energy swirling.

…Boom! Rumble―!

The faint sound of an explosion filled the air, accompanied by waves of force and intense, mana-infused winds.

‘Multiple ranker-class Players have clashed,’ Chang-Sun thought.
The clash seemed fiercer than any he had seen until then.
It was so violent that the entire [Phantom Maze Circle] shook.

‘Although they created the [Phantom Maze Circle] to buy time, their plan was to take out as many rankers in the punitive force as possible.
They’ve finally begun to hunt,’ Chang-Sun thought.

An illusion mage, or perhaps even Gwak Do-Woon himself, had to be standing nearby to observe the situation.
Chang-Sun could not sit idly.

“Gyeo-Ul, take Hye-Bin and continue looking for others.
If you find an illusion mage, subdue them immediately,” Chang-Sun said, then headed to the clash site without hearing Gyeo-Ul’s answer.

[The Title ‘Jigwi’s Phantom Body’ has been applied, starting the Effect ‘Single Eon Fire’!]

[The Skill ‘Windstalking Tiger’ has been activated, performing the Skill ‘Lightness’!]


Chang-Sun spread his Jigwi wings fully and quickly flew forward.

* * *

“I’ll kill everyone… Grrrr!” A man growled.

Rumble, boom―!

Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh!

[The Trap ‘Phantom Maze Circle’ is being destroyed!]

[A focal point has been reactivated.]

[Extra demonic energy has been added.]

[Initiating the restoration process.]

[The restoration process has been completed.]

The red fog had been haphazardly blown away, and large trees had fallen like dominoes.
Several smashed boulder pieces were scattered all over the place, as if someone had driven a bulldozer across the landscape.
Do-Woon watched the scene as he sat on a branch of a tall tree, crossing his arms.

“He’s a complete animal,” Do-Woon muttered, laughing dumbfoundedly.

The man who was going on a rampage was Seo Jeong-Gwon, who had been caught up in his trauma and lost his mind.
Only anger remained within him; Do-Woon was not wrong when he described Jeong-Gwon as an animal.
His eyes had lost focus, and were bloodshot.
All his veins had swollen up as if they would explode at any moment.

Jeong-Gwon was showing the initial symptoms of mana deviation, which all Players feared.
Due to that, his ragged breaths released a great deal of mana, becoming visible in the air.
The mana winds that burst out of him were so violent that the air trembled noticeably.


He had not hurt anyone yet as no one was around him, but if he were to coincidentally encounter someone, he would rip that person into pieces immediately, not caring whether they were friend or foe.
Due to his rampage, the [Phantom Maze Circle] had broken down and recovered several times in quick succession.

It was still manageable as long as the illusion mages responsible for the focal points remained, but the speed at which the circle was restored would gradually be reduced as their demonic energy was depleted.
Thus, Do-Woon had to stop Jeong-Gwon’s rampage.

‘The restoration seems to have already gotten a lot slower…’ Do-Woon thought uneasily, but he had to shift his attention to Jeong-Gwon.
‘How in the world should I deal with him?’

The problem was that Do-Woon could not just jump in and fight Jeong-Gwon.
Things would be different if Jeong-Gwon retained some rationality, but he was running wild like a tiger on the loose, which would naturally make fighting him more difficult.

If things had gone according to plan, Jeong-Gwon would have been lost in memories of his trauma and fallen into Self-Closure, and all Do-Woon would have had to do was slit his throat.

‘A person running amok after falling into Self-Closure… This is really a rare case.
Hmm!’ Do-Woon thought.

Of course, there was still a way to take out Jeong-Gwon.
As it would be difficult to fight him, Do-Woon could just leave him alone.
Jeong-Gwon’s stamina and mana would run out at some point; when he finally fainted from exhaustion, Do-Woon could eliminate him.
However, the question was ‘when’ Jeong-Gwon would be exhausted.

The [Phantom Maze Circle] could not remain active forever, and Jeong-Gwon was not the only one Do-Woon had to kill.
He had already taken out most of the small fry, but he had not assassinated many renowned Players.
In the end, he carefully pondered what to do.

[A new presence has been detected.]

“Hmm?” Do-Woon muttered, looking backward to identify the presence he had detected.

Woo Yeong-Geun, a member of the Sword of Ohsung Clan, was wandering around nearby as if he were looking for something.
He was just as talented as Jeong-Gwon, so what would happen if they came close to each other?

This should work,’ Do-Woon thought, smiling crookedly as a good idea came to mind.


The pendant on his neck shone brilliantly.

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