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Junhyuk turned to Ariel, who clapped and smiled.
“Congratulations on your winning streak! Your 1,000,000G winnings have been deposited.”
Junhyuk smiled at her and asked, “Do you know our next opponents?”
“The next team you’ll be fighting is still to be decided. The two teams are battling right now.”
“Yeah? Too bad.”
“One of the teams is winning, but the castle’s force field hasn’t been destroyed yet.”
“Right.” Junhyuk cracked his neck and asked, “What is the return for betting on Ling Ling?”
“It’s about 120 percent right now.”
“There is still gold to be made.”
“Yes, but it is decreasing.”
After pondering about what to do, he said, “Then, I’ll bet 500,000G on Ling Ling’s team.”
The battlefield winnings were high, so he didn’t have to worry about losing all of his gold. After placing his bet, he looked at Ariel and said, “See you next time.”
“I’ll see you for the viewing.”
The world around him brightened and turned blank, and after a while, he opened his eyes slowly. Some had already returned and awakened. Sarang and Elise had their eyes open, but the others were still sleeping.
He looked at the two women and said, “Our next opponents haven’t been decided yet. So far, we’ve met heroes we’ve known, but we might go against completely new heroes. Because of that, let’s train together.”
“It’ll be better if we do.”
Sarang nodded and said, “Elise and I will come up with simulations.”
“You want me to just follow your lead?”
“We’ll come up with strategies to maximize your skills. Trust me.”
Junhyuk chuckled and replied, “OK. Do it. When the simulations are complete, let me know.”
Sarang and Elise left the training facility. Junhyuk waited there, and after an hour, Eunseo and Helen woke up.
Helen left, but Eunseo remained to talk to him. She was working hard, but she hadn’t activated another power yet.
They talked about the alcohol he would need and then both left. Junhyuk got busy readying the things to invite Artlan and his team. He had to invite Layla that time as well. So, he spent that Friday buying everything.
A man was standing in front of a window. His muscles were far too well developed for his age. They were strong. When the man turned around, a woman walked up behind him and dressed him in a robe.
“How is it going?”
“Not everyone is joining Guardians. There is an anti-Guardians group, as well as other, smaller groups.”
“Nobody will find out that I’m funding the anti-Guardian group, correct?”
“You have nothing to worry about.”
The man scratched his chin and said, “Gather those in the smaller groups. They will surely follow us.”
“Yes, sir,” the woman answered. After getting dressed, she left. The man looked at his eyes reflected in the window. They were green. The man’s heart had pounded when he had realized that he had been endowed with power. He had finally attained true power.
His power was to activate other people’s powers.
The man could turn novices into experts. Those he evolved did not displayed green eyes like his, but they were completely subordinate to him. He could even turn experts in to champions. However, Guardians was keeping a close eye on the experts around the world. He had had a hard time acquiring them, but the anti-Guardians group was forming steadily.
It was a secret group, and he was the one funding it.
Charles Rockefeller looked at himself in the window and smiled.
Junhyuk and the other heroes were working for Guardians, but Charles Rockefeller was standing opposite of them. He had two hundred powered people subordinate to him now. All experts that he had evolved from novices.
It wasn’t that much less than Guardians. Charles only had one champion, but he would get more. If he was lucky, he would even be able to turn champions into heroes, and if he did, those heroes would be subordinate to him as well.
He was hiding all of this from Junhyuk.
Charles had lost most of his power and influence, but he could get it all back now.
“Those with powers activated by me don’t have to go to the Dimensional Battlefield either.”
Every Friday, half of the powered people at Guardians went through a narcolepsy bout, and he started wishing that the half asleep wouldn’t wake up.
“Just a little longer…”
Charles smiled, turned around and punched the air. Where his fist stopped, the air around it exploded. “I like it,” he said.”
Suddenly, Charles saw a being covered in bandages in front of him. He had heard about those from Helen. Once someone became a champion, a dimensional manager would show up for them.
“Are you a dimensional manager?”
“To be precise, I’m in charge of monster control.”
“Are you the manager responsible for the monster waves?”
Charles looked around and noticed that time had stopped. He knew that he was in a dangerous situation.
“Why are you here?”
“Don’t wait any longer.”
Charles felt uneasy about the manager who seemed to know about his plan, so he asked, “Why shouldn’t I?”
The manager raised both of his hands and said, “I can control spacetime. Why are you still curious?”
Charles agreed with the manager’s point. There was nothing he could do against the manager, but Charles wanted to be in control.
“We lack strength.”
“There will be a massive monster wave next Friday. You should move then.”
“I can’t do anything about the heroes, so I won’t be able to destroy Guardians.”
“Don’t worry about the heroes,” the manager said with a wide, vicious smile. “I have a present for them to compensate for my failures so far.”
“Can you kill them?”
“Even heroes have weaknesses.”
Charles smiled and said, “I’ll gather the anti-Guardians group. Without the heroes, destroying Guardians will be easy.”
Guardians was in control of the world, so once it was destroyed, there would be those who would be there to pick up the pieces, like a huge pie waiting to be sliced and eaten.
Charles wanted to get the biggest slice.
He would do it himself. He would destroy Guardians HQ using the powered people he controlled. Looking at the manager, he said, “OK. I’ll gain a lot from this. What’s in it for you?”
“It’s a private matter. You aren’t qualified to be curious.”
Charles would have killed anyone who spoke to him in that manner, but he couldn’t do anything against the manager.
“What time will the monster wave trigger next Friday?”
“At 10:00 a.m. South Korean time.”
“Why South Korean time?”
“You’ll be attacking Guardians HQ, so you should get the time right.”
Charles smiled bitterly at that. A small country from East Asia was now the center of the world.
“I’ll get ready.”
“I’ll trust you to do that.”
As the manager was leaving, Charles asked in a hurry, “What’s your name?”
The manager smirked and answered, “Eltor.”
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