1

The broadcast being postponed.

I simulated in my head how things would turn out.

Playlist already has a lot of anti-fans.

Whether there’s going to be damages or not, it’s clear what kind of words would come out from them.

‘Every viewer knows how much the players on Playlist want this. For that reason, haters would clamor for something – anything – that would stop the program.’

There’s no way haters would let any sort of interruption to the broadcast pass.

I decided to assume the worst.

‘There’s a possibility that there would be suspicion that there’s something wrong being covered up.’

Since communication has been cut off, there’s no way to convey the appearance of what’s going on in here.

Besides, this is the broadcasting station.

Even if a video is recorded and released later, the broadcasting station has enough power to manipulate things.

It would take months for investigations to conclude if the videos that would be released are tampered with or clean.

In those months, only the cast, those already plagued by numerous vicious conspiracy theories, would know the truth.

Meanwhile, the public will remember all the negative rumors and consider those as facts.

My assumption is on the extreme side, but there were several similar cases in real life, making it difficult for me to dismiss it as an absurd thought.

“…Wouldn’t the cast be blamed for not participating in attacking the otherworld? I think it’s better to just stop the broadcast and let the players deal with the enemies.”

The staff behind Choi Jina trembled as they aired out their thoughts.

The staff’s distorted face makes it obvious that they don’t like the idea of continuing the filming.

Choi Jina took a big inhale.

Her words were lengthy, but every word was clear as day.

“Ever since I appeared on the current affairs program, I have received the same comments as what the lighting director just said. Comments like “there was an otherworld spawning in the neighborhood during the filming time, but where were you?” and “We don’t want to see you anyway, stop the broadcast already” were some of what was thrown at me.”

“It’s a malicious comment, but it sounds reasonable though? Except for the part where they don’t want to see you on TV. Shouldn’t players be prioritizing dealing with otherworlds?”

The surroundings immediately turned silent at the lighting director’s loud words.

It’s true that people’s true nature is revealed during a crisis.

Most of the players were dumbfounded, and even some of the civilian staff and audience were flustered as they bowed their heads sympathetically.

“…Was there people hurt that day?”

“There was no damage. A professional player team successfully attacked the otherworld without causing collateral damage.”

When Choi Jina answered Jegal’s question, the Class Zero sunbaes suddenly shouted.

“Heol, there weren’t any people hurt but they still sent you those malicious comments?”

“You know what they say; the wider the shield, the safer it is. I guess they wanted the widest shield possible.”

“It’s clear that they don’t see players as humans.”

“Weren’t they leaving bad comments for the sake of it?”

The Class Zero sunbaes then looked at the lighting director as if they were looking at garbage, but Jegal stopped them.

The lighting director was the one who shouted at Choi Jina, but it looks like he’s the one who’s embarrassed.

In that situation, he was wise enough to shut his mouth so as to not make a large number of players turn against him in this situation.

Although it seems as if it’s already too late.

“I don’t like it.”

Hwang Jiho said so as he checked the name and face of the lighting director.

I don’t know what would happen to that lighting director, but it’s almost sure that he’ll never be hired again on a program related to players.

Choi Jina smiled faintly as she looked at the lighting director who shouted at her.

“Those malicious comments made me feel the need for a voice that represents players.”

The lighting director was still looking at Choi Jina with a disapproving look.

‘It’s a controversial issue so there’s bound to be varying opinions. But that one’s just…’

The director’s face looked like he had nothing better to say but he was still going to say it.

A civil discussion wasn’t possible in the first place since the director wasn’t trying to make a productive argument, rather he was just pushing the players to head to the battlefield.

Choi Jina seemed to be well aware of that fact.

“Let’s assume that the otherworld is safely dealt with. If there aren’t any damages and casualties, the interruption of the broadcast would be understandable because of the attack and we can minimize bad comments.”

“…Are you really sure?”

“Criticism, when the situation was dealt with safely, isn’t really convincing to the public. Maybe we’d receive commendation instead of malicious comments.”

Players make up 15% of the population.

This ratio makes it quite vague.

“I hope Miro would stay above the stage.”

The one who had been silent all this time, Hani, finally spoke.

Min Geurin, Saeum of April, and Maeng Hyodon agreed.

“Me too…!”

“Me too! We can deal with this otherworld. Please continue filming!”

“Didn’t you say the otherworld only spawned underground? We can just prevent enemies from going up.”

All the players, except some of those in the security team who agreed with the director, supported the continuation of filming.

There was a disagreement among the staff so a decision couldn’t be reached right away.

“I’m the first one who suggested continuing filming. If there’s any problem that would arise, I will take full responsibility.”

When Choi Jina announced so, it was decided that filming will continue.

“What about Miro? Does she know?”

“Maybe not. I don’t think she’ll know until the pre-recording is over.”

“It looks like a barricade will be set up as soon as Miro enters the studio.”

As the others were about to head out of the studio, we saw men busily carrying equipment and piles of boxes.

They must be setting this up to feel safer even though Yeo Raehun already set up a boundary.

“Hey.”

I took advantage of the situation where everyone was busy to hand a pile of item cards to Hwang Jiho.

They were item cards from my item window.

“Why are you giving this to me?”

“Just in case I can’t reach you on time or something unexpected happens. If the threat of enemies leaving the basement comes up, distribute the weapons. There’s a prop room on the first basement floor, so the line should be limited to the second basement floor.”

“…Didn’t you say you’ll join us after you get Junyeol? Why do you sound like that’s not going to happen?”

Hwang Jiho spoke with an unwilling face.

Fortunately or unfortunately, there’s no time for Hwang Jiho’s questioning.

He accepted the item cards in the end.

“The backup called by my alter ego is nearby. I’ll send them to your side.”

Yong Jegun and I headed upstairs, while the others went downstairs.

Choi Jina and Yeo Raehun, two relatively powerful players, were left in the studio.

“Where is Junyeol? I heard he’s supposed to come to the studio at the end of the first pre-recording.”

“He’s in a waiting room near the recording studio two floors above. They were supposed to record the narration for today’s episode while the pre-recording was ongoing.”

The elevator was suspended for safety reasons so we headed for the emergency exit stairs.

On the way, we passed by some employees and celebrities heading to the studio which was our designated evacuation area, but the number wasn’t that high.

It’s late in the evening so many employees already left work, and only those who had a schedule for shooting and editing were in the building.

As soon as we got upstairs, we didn’t encounter a single person.

‘The only thing Cadmus kills are dragons. Others could easily use an item or a skill to escape.’

Perhaps he felt an unusual atmosphere, Yong Jegun tried to run.”

I immediately blocked him.

“You can’t go, Professor Jegun. If you do, you will die. Yeom Junyeol sunbaenim too.”

“…!”

Yong Jegun’s eyes opened wide.

“So Junyeol is in trouble. How about the dragon he’s with?”

For a moment, the Eye Embracing Heaven and Earth showed me the image of a fallen dragon covered in blood.

I shook my head once and Yong Jegun immediately understood as his face darkened.

“I have a suggestion.”

I don’t know what Yong Jegun thinks about my suggestion, but he decided to follow it anyway.

He doesn’t know what was going on right now and what I was going to do, which perhaps made it easy to get his approval.

* * *

Before having the Red Wall thief as his teacher, Yeom Junyeol only had two mentors.

One was a dragon, the other was Yeom Bangyeol.

— It’s not easy having descendants as students unless they’re naturally born with talent in the martial arts. It’s difficult battling with descendants, and that makes it difficult to guide them.

— It’s a good thing that Yeom Bangyeol wanted to teach his son.

Yeom Junyeol has a good understanding of his ability and position as a descendant.

Therefore, he did his best to be a good student to his two teachers, and he made the Red Wall Cliff to be another one of his mentors.

That’s why Yeom Junyeol is still alive.

Descendants are taught how helpless they could be in front of bloodthirsty people and how to deal with those situations.

From his third teacher, he learned what he did not learn from his first two.

‘If my teacher hadn’t taught me how to stifle my presence, I would’ve been caught by now. Dead even.”

As soon as the waiting room door was ripped, Yeom Junyeol’s manager grabbed the opponent’s ankle using the last of her energy.

Using that gap, Yeom Junyeol stifled his presence and ran away.

It was painful to run and abandon a fellow Dragon Clan who was seriously injured, but Yeom Junyeol knew that the only thing that would result from his staying was two dead dragons.

‘I’m sorry, noona…! I’ll make sure to survive and save the others!’

He frequented the broadcasting station, and he practiced stifling his presence in the halls of the station to hide from the eyes of Dokgo Miro and the fellow Dragon Clan sent to his side.

All the practice helped Yeom Junyeol safely escape.

‘Jegun hyung and Professor Jegal are downstairs. The head of the Tiger Clan from class Zero is here too!’

The one who was after Yeom Junyeol was a powerful royal lineage, but the ones that would fight against him were no less.

Yeom Junyeol finally reached the emergency exit stairs.

Beyond the emergency exit, he saw Yong Jegun’s cyan hair and someone wearing a mask and an Eungwang High uniform.’

‘It’s Jegun hyung! The one next to him is…’

The student fixed his mask for a moment.

That’s when Yeom Junyeol clearly saw it.

The crow mask that the Red Wall Thief uses.

‘Teacher…? Why is he…?’

His doubts were immediately replaced by relief.

His teacher was here, there is nothing to be afraid of.

But then…

“Dragon’s Fang, pierce through my kind!”

Along with the thundering voice, a sound of tearing through the wind was heard.

Kwaaadeuk! Fwwaa!

A dragon’s teeth as big as Yong Jegun’s forearm pierced through his back and shoulder.

A jade-colored space broke out near him, and at that moment, it seemed like it penetrated the space easily even though he reacted immediately.

A force destructive enough to make a dragon look helpless.

Blood stains on Yong Jegun’s cyan hair were clear.

Yeom Junyeol had to cover his mouth to prevent himself from screaming out loud.

‘Jegun hyung…! Oh…?’

But then, something odd happened.

Yong Jegun, who just had his body stabbed with a dragon’s teeth, was smiling.

The suspicious kind of smile that Yeom Junyeol’s teacher has.