Solo Clear – Chapter 39: Stage Five #8

I said it bluntly because they suddenly appeared out of nowhere and I missed my chance in cutting off the priest’s head.

“You guys really can’t leave me alone for a second.”
“As a Manager, I can’t even figure out your actions.”

The Great Priest used this time to quickly step back and used his magic to hide himself.
I knew that he used transparency magic to hide himself, but I couldn’t chase after him.
The Manager looked like they were going to stop me if I went after him because they continued staring at me.

“I didn’t think it would turn out like this.”

The Manager that was watching the fight from behind had a shocked expression.
A human getting close to killing one of the leaders was something that never happened within this stage.
No matter how much stronger one has become, they can’t go against the priest or the clan leader.

I was just going to pass through this stage by quickly completing the task that I was given.
It’s only natural to avoid battles with strong opponents and everyone tried to do just that.
Sometimes, idiotic humans would try to form a group and fight, but they end up getting killed.

“I don’t remember there being a rule about not killing the Great Priest.”
“Yes. You’re right.”

Like they mentioned, the Manager wasn’t supposed to intercept in this battle.
They broke the rules and instead of standing by and watching, they jumped into the battle.

“If my rights were taken here, how could I trust you guys and step into the stage?”

I wasn’t wrong and the Manager couldn’t answer.

“Disappearing is probably not the best solution.”

Once I find an opening, I was planning on attacking them.
Even if it meant death.

“What do you want? You want to know why I intercepted? You’re just a human that’s swimming through the system that we created.”

The Manager was boasting and was hoping that I would give up first, but it was no use.
What he said only got me more fired up, which caused me to tighten my grip on my sword.

‘I’m being humiliated…by a human.’

He was angered by several things, but he didn’t have the right to kill me.
If he did, then the other Managers wouldn’t just stand idly by.

“How about this? I’ll attack you just once. Depending on the result, you can tell me or not.”

“Hm?”

It was definitely a surprising offer.
Even if he did become stronger, there’s no way he could injure a Manager.

“Ack.”

Despite that, the Manager couldn’t accept it because of my confident expression.
The Manager knew that I wasn’t just going to injure him, but would try to kill him if I had the chance.

“Okay, I agree.”

He contemplated for a short moment and hoped that nothing bad would actually happen.
This wasn’t the first time that a Manager and a human fought against each other, but in the end, the Manager always won.
It would be the same this time too.

“Mr. Krosus!!”

Kalax, who got injured by the Great Priest, stood up.
Not thinking about the injury that he had, he quickly kneeled and worshiped him.
The clan leaders around him and the surviving Orcs were standing around and then bowed their heads.

“You’re doing well, Kalax. I bid you good luck.”
“…Thank you.”
“We’ll see each other again.”

And just like that, Krosus teleported me and the Manager to an area that was far from the temple.

“Did you hear how Kalax’s voice trembled? It could be because he witnessed me saving the Great Priest.”
“I’m not sure the dull Orcs are able to think that far.”
“They’re smarter than you think. I wonder how they will react once they find out that the God that they’ve worshiping has been balancing both sides and instigating the war.”

The Manager had a mean smile on his face.

“It doesn’t matter if they know about that truth. They’ve already come too far so there’s no way they would make a diplomatic decision like that. Both sides have shed too much blood already.”

In that moment, my body was filled with so much anger that I almost lost my chance.

“What’s the religion? There’s a temple where they worship you and followers that follow them. A Manager’s perverted taste? Are you wanting them to worship you because you created them?”
“I didn’t create them. They’ve been living here for a long time.”

The energy to manage a stage depended on a Manager’s power.
A lot of ingredients were required in order to create the monsters, atmosphere, system and everything else that completed the stage.
Because of that, the Managers liked stages that have already been created.
They just had to tweak a couple of things before using it.

“There are a lot of stages where we borrow the geographical lands to create the stages. There are humans that are completing for other stages that have similar features to this one.”

While listening to his explanation, I slowly took out that sword from the inventory.
The thunder stuck to the ground and just like before, it was releasing its energy.

“What’s that lance?”
“I obtained it from this stage.”
“…You obtained it here?”

Krosus’s had a wide field of vision that he was able to see all areas of the stage.
The fact that he didn’t see the lance once didn’t make sense.
On top of that, it seemed like the lance wasn’t created by the Managers.
“Where did you find it?”
“There’s a plateau where the spirits live. The lance was located at the cliff and that’s where I got it from.”

Krosus also knew of the plateau very well.
And the fact that there was a cliff behind it.
However, he didn’t see the lance.

‘In that case, does that mean that lance has a mind of its own and was hiding itself from me? There’s no way that can happen.’

That’s when he started to feel anxious.
Humans experience fear whenever they experience something that went against common knowledge and this was commonly used by the Managers as well.

“Just stand right there.”

I told him not to move.
Piercing them with the lance was the best method, but I had a feeling that I would be the first one to pass out after using the lance.
Throwing the lance instead might be better.
Once the lance leaves my hand, I was sure that it’ll take care of everything afterwards.

“Hm?”

The Manager was busy building several layers of shields to create a strong defense.
They were probably thinking about getting hit by my attack instead of dodging it.

“Let’s not waste more time.”

The Manager didn’t answer at all and focused on finishing the shield.
The way they were hurriedly creating the shield made them look pretty clumsy, so I couldn’t help but smirk.

That’s when I pulled out the lance.
I didn’t think about the best way to throw it and instead, twisted my body and threw it.
Within that short period of time, the lance devoured half of my mana, but it wasn’t as bad as last time.

Zaaaaaaap!!
Just like their name, the sound of thunder roaring filled the entire area.
My eardrums were damaged and blood started rolling down, but I didn’t have the time to feel the pain.
There was someone else that was in more pain than I am and was rolling around.

“Gahhhhhhh!!”

The Manager started yelling.
Just like a human.
Their upper body was cut off and their lower half was cut into pieces.
The light transformed into liquid and white blood started flowing out.

“Ack!!”

This was probably their first time feeling pain, because they kept on rolling around on the ground.
I thought that their body would regenerate and they would act like nothing happened, but that didn’t happen.

‘If I threw it better, I could’ve really killed them.’

If only the lance didn’t consume my mana and make me lose my concentration.
I could’ve threw it towards their heart and killed them.

“You bastard, I’ll kill you.”

They must’ve forgotten the promise we made earlier because their eyes were filled with nothing but revenge as they glared at me.
In the end, it wasn’t just me that made it possible since the lance did most of the work in killing them.
If I had to go against them, I definitely would’ve lost my life.

However, there was no reason to fight.

And then, the 13th Manager appeared right on time.

“I wondered where you went, but you don’t look so great.”

Even as a Manager, she looked down on their actions.

“That bastard tried to kill me. Gah.”
“You’re the one that agreed, so you’re responsible for losing.”
“You…damn it!!”

The 13th Manager was about to take them to where the other Managers were.
But I intercepted and stopped them from disappearing.

“I still didn’t tell you my request.”
“…Okay. What do you want? Should I make a nice item like last time?”
“That kind of issue is something I can handle by myself. There’s something else. Next time, it’s best not to interfere with whatever I’m doing. Whether it’s the difficulty level, the stage, or other things.”

The 13th Manager glared at Krosus instead of at me.

“We’ll grant your request and us Managers will no longer intercept with whatever Kang Jin Woo is doing.”
“You guys put me in a bad spot ever since the third stage, so how can I trust you guys?”
“…I promise. Really.”

For some reason, her last comment sounded a bit sad so I couldn’t really say anything back.

“There’s no need to take another base. Like we’ve promised before, we’ll return you to the real world.”

“Congratulations on completing the fifth stage. We’re planning on sending you back to the real world in one hour.”

Once I saw that message, I felt dispirited.
In order to take back the lance, I walked into the forest.
The lance returned to its branch form.

“I wonder how much mana they’ll have to consume in order to use the same amount of strength…well, I did end up using it once, so I do feel satisfied.”

***

Even though Krosus didn’t fully recover, he had to attend the meeting the Managers had.
After hearing that a Manager got injured, the other Managers had to stop what they were doing and attend the meeting.

“You’re a mess. That guy. He’s amazing.”
Instead of worrying about their colleague, a Manager complimented the human that injured the Manager.
They wanted to clap for the human, but didn’t because of the heavy atmosphere.

“12th Manager Krosus, why did you intercept in that human’s battle?”

The First Manager that was in the center asked.

“In the fifth stage, there isn’t a being alive that’s strong enough to take on the Great Priest. In order to keep maintaining the stage, we desperately needed their strength.”
“In other words, you’re saying that you didn’t want to lose the stage that I was managing.”
“I’ve informed you when the fifth stage was being made that we can utilize the fifth stage in many different ways. We can’t lose that stage.”
“All I’m hearing are excuses. The 12th Manager was always obsessed with that place.”

Depending on how much one manages the stage and the quality of their management, it can greatly affect their rank.
Among the Managers, there are those that put all their time and energy in maintaining the stage.
There were also a handful of them that had a strong desire that they start becoming obsessed.

“The fifth stage is the stage that the 12th Manager maintains by himself. It’s also the stage where the 12th Manager assigned it to the new Managers.”
“Another issue that we have is that we can no longer interfere with him.”
“Since the 13th Manager has been doing well, they were probably pressured by that.”

Everyone was looking down on Krosus, who was currently sitting in the center.
Because of the issue regarding balance, the Fourth Manager backed them up before, but now, there remained quiet.
Recently, the conflict amongst the Managers deepened.
At first, they worked well together in order to reach their goal, but their teamwork was slowly falling apart.

“We’ll deal with the 12th Manager’s punishment later. First, I want all the survivors that are currently supporting the Elves to be returned to the real world.”

The Managers listened to First Manager’s decision before, but they didn’t think he would actually enforce it.

“There might be skilled survivors among them.”
“It’s been four years since we opened the first stage. All the skilled survivors are already in the 15th stage. We don’t have the time to take care of each and every survivor that enters after them. And the time it takes for them to come back has become faster.”

The bad news caused the Managers to frown.

“This time, I hope to find a human that can get rid of them in our place. Seeing the human race collapse several times is painful.”

End.

Staff :
Jen (TL)
Kuhaku (PR)

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