Choi Han ran and ran some more.
He was extremely out of breath, and it felt as if his heart would burst.
However, he could not stop. In fact, he needed to use every ounce of strength he had to run and run again.
Choi Han was inside an illusion, but he was able to use all of his abilities at full strength.
Unlike the last test where they had met the sealed god, these illusion tests allowed Choi Han to use everything he had in his arsenal.
He used everything he had to run and run again.
He instantly jumped on top of the large stone wall in front of him.
He then looked down below.
All he could see down below was red.
Blood, corpses… Fire.
The color red swept over Harris Village.
Choi Han’s illusion this time was the tragedy that had struck Harris Village in the past.
He could see Arm members escaping through the redness. He had killed them in the past and felt sadness and wrath that could not be explained with words after seeing the corpses of the Harris Village villagers. That was the first time he learned what it felt like to lose his rationality.
However, this test was neither sadness nor wrath; it was failure.
Choi Han jumped off the stone wall.
He was not the Choi Han of this time, but a much stronger Choi Han.
He had started running as soon as he opened his eyes in the Forest of Darkness, but he was too late.
The moment his feet landed at the village at the bottom of the wall…
“…Here it starts again.”
He saw the red being replaced by a green light.
The green light enveloped his sight and Choi Han was in the Forest of Darkness when he opened his eyes again.
He looked toward the village.
He could see smoke.
He started running again.
This was his seventh time running and he had only arrived at Harris Village after everything was destroyed all seven times.
It resembled seven times that he had failed.
The test of failure gave Choi Han just barely enough time.
It gave him just enough time that running at full speed with his current abilities would allow him to arrive at Harris Village right after every single one of the Harris Village villagers were killed by Arm.
Of course, this was not any different from the past. Choi Han had been gathering medicinal herbs at this location in the Forest of Darkness when the village was attacked in the past.
He did not stop and used every ability he had available to run and run again.
He ran toward Harris Village.
He had no idea how many more times he would fail.
No emotion was visible on Choi Han’s face as he ran so hard that he was out of breath.
However, there was a small glimmering light in his eyes.
Choi Han was arriving at Harris Village slightly faster.
Even though this was an illusion, he should be able to at least save some of the Harris Village villagers if he continued like this.
And if that was impossible to achieve simply by running…
“I just need to find a different method.”
Because of that…
“It’s worth trying.”
He would be able to move forward if he continued like this.
Choi Han said the words of someone, whom he respected despite this person being much younger than him, as he ran again. He was getting quicker than before.
A shining black aura started rising around him. The black light that used to only be violent slowly started to take a refined form by Choi Han’s side.
Elsewhere, Clopeh Sekka clasped his hands together as he started speaking.
“It is a simple test. This so-called failure.”
He had figured out the weak points of the failure test after coming here from the sloth test.
This test was not about overcoming the failure.
The illusion was showing the challenger a situation that may look as if the person may just be able to succeed despite it being impossible to overcome. You could not go past this test if you wished for success.
“So, you must humbly accept the failure. This is merely a flaw from my past.”
Clopeh could see the green light surrounding him start to get dimmer.
Accepting the failures of the past and moving toward the future…
That was the way to get past this test as easily and peaceful as possible. Clopeh was sure of it. He was about to walk past the dimming green light toward a new color when he suddenly flinched and stopped walking.
“…Nobody will actually try to overcome this failure, right?”
‘That should be impossible.’
He had another thought as well.
“But it may also be possible.”
He turned around. An eccentric and heated gaze was visible in his eyes.
“It is doable if I overcome my present self.”
This test was showing a situation that the challenger, with their current abilities, would feel as if they may have a chance to succeed but they did not.
That meant that it would be possible if he became stronger than he was right now.
‘Wouldn’t the others know that as well?’
Clopeh thought about the people Cale called his friends.
Well, he chose to ignore Toonka from this list. He didn’t care to know the inner thoughts of such a simple person.
‘Choi Han would definitely run toward it with the intention of succeeding.’
Although that bastard was on the smarter side, he would not think about how to strategically overcome such a situation. He would keep it simple. No, it was not that he would keep it simple. It was that Choi Han would have the confidence that he would be able to overcome his failure.
‘As for Mary and Rosalyn…’
An odd smile appeared on Clopeh’s face.
He looked at the new color past the green once again before walking back toward the green light.
Mary and Rosalyn. The two of them might be lost at first but they would quickly figure out how to escape from this test.
‘But they are not the type who would accept failure like that. They would at least try to overcome the failure at first and then step back if it doesn’t work.’
It was plausible since Mary was sometimes even more radical than Choi Han. Rosalyn tended to be more rational, but she was too stubborn to accept a failure and let it go.
Clopeh walked back toward the illusion in the green light. Yes, he was walking back toward the failure.
“It’ll be quite bad if all three of them end up succeeding through their failures.”
Passing this test not but accepting the failure but by overcoming or successfully completing it…
That would symbolize that the person became stronger than they were right now.
That would be bad.
That would be very bad.
“It would be bad for me to fall behind.”
Clopeh wanted to remain by Cale’s side to know the path that Cale walks and record it all.
But to fall behind?
His physical body was already many steps behind Cale’s companions.
He couldn’t fall even further behind.
He walked back toward the green light of failure out of his own will. His eyes were full of eccentric passion and desire. Walking by the legend’s side… That was something Clopeh never wanted to have to let go.
At that time, Mary opened her closed eyes and stepped toward the purple light. However, she stopped for a moment to observe the illusion that was covered in green light.
“Failure is part of the process.”
That was how the current Mary was able to be here.
She turned her head without any regret and started walking toward the purple light again. Mary mumbled to herself as if she was firming her own resolve.
“Getting rid of this temple as quickly as possible for the people outside.”
This was an important issue for Mary.
This test was simply another part of the process that was Mary’s life. Mary would simply walk forward toward her goal.
She only had one goal.
Her friends and family living peacefully.
It was the same goal as Cale’s.
Taking a walk with Raon, On, and Hong in the Forest of Darkness again and then watching the sunset and the stars in the night sky. That was what Mary wanted to do the most right now.
She continued walking as if nothing could get in her way.
Mary was the first to enter into the purple orb.
* * *
In front of the closed temple door… Eruhaben walked up to Alberu who was standing there and started speaking.
“Three people have entered the green illusion now.”
Alberu looked toward the orb on top of the temple.
“And one of those three people seems to be making their way into the next stage, Eruhaben-nim.”
Two of the six pieces of the orb were glowing green. One piece was slowly starting to glow purple as well.
Green symbolized failure.
Alberu’s mouth opened.
“…It looks like the fourth piece is exiting Sloth and headed toward Failure now.”
There were five people left with Toonka out here now.
Alberu had no idea as to what was going on in there.
‘I couldn’t become the Dark Tiger again even when I fell asleep.’
Alberu thought that something might have happened to the cintamani since he couldn’t reach the other side again.
“So everybody other than that last piece is either in the green or exiting it then.”
“Then do they have the Indignity and Wrath illusions left?”
“That is correct, Eruhaben-nim.”
Eruhaben looked toward the only piece that was glowing yellow. That piece was glowing purely yellow as if it had no intention of turning it green.
‘Who is that yellow light?’
He was certain it was not Cale.
He had a feeling it would not be him. Sloth. Cale always talked about dreaming of being a slacker but his life and his personality were far from sloth.
‘Who could it be?’
Mary, Choi Han, Clopeh, and Rosalyn. He thought of the other four people. All four of them seemed far from sloth as well. They were all people who had clear goals in life.
Eruhaben slightly frowned while looking at the orb.
“I told you not to get close-!”
A small black Dragon was flapping his wings rapidly while floating around the orb.
This was naturally Raon.
He had been with Beacrox, On, and Hong until a moment ago but he was roaming around the orb before Eruhaben noticed.
Eruhaben was not allowing anybody other than the adult Dragons to get near it because he was worried something might happen to the others while being around this orb that had the influence of a god.
‘Tsk. I should go get him.’
Eruhaben was thinking that he should take Raon away from there.
It was highly likely that Raon would stay there late into the night if he was left alone.
‘Children need to sleep properly.’
Ron and Beacrox were in charge of On, Hong, and Raon’s meals while Eruhaben paid more attention to their sleep.
As soon as he called out Raon’s name…
Raon started flapping his wings intensely as if he was shocked by something before he quickly flew over toward Eruhaben and Alberu.
“What is up with him?”
“I’m not sure, Eruhaben-nim.”
Raon arrived in front of the two of them while both of them were confused. He seemed quite shocked.
His chubby front paw was pointing toward the orb.
“I can feel the human’s presence!”
Alberu jumped up from his seat while Eruhaben walked a step closer to Raon.
Raon pointed toward the orb again.
“That yellow piece! I can feel the human’s power in there!”
‘He can feel Cale’s power?’
The ancient Dragon quickly thought about Cale’s different powers.
Shield, fiery thunderbolt, stone spear, etc. The numerous ancient powers and other powers Cale possessed popped into Eruhaben’s mind.
‘Raon felt those powers?’
‘Did something happen to that unlucky bastard to the point that he needed to use so much of his powers that Raon could feel it from outside the orb?’
Eruhaben thought that Alberu must be thinking the same thing as he noticed Alberu’s pupils shaking. Raon shouted with certainty at that moment.
“That power where he pretends to be strong!”
“He’s not strong at all! But he has that power that makes him seem strong! I can feel that power coming from that piece!”