Author: Dawn

The gentle waves that had washed up on the shore receded, leaving foam behind. The sea was calm.

Carlyn was looking at the coastline. His eyes were squinted due to the sunlight reflecting off the water.

At the age of eighteen, he had grown a little taller and his appearance had matured.

The salt-mixed wind swept through his hair. Carlyn was genuinely pleased by the sea.

This was the first time he had seen the sea in nearly six years, ever since he left Earth.

Gradually, islands came into view over the broad horizon. They were a part of the Western Archipelago he had seen in the game.

There would be more islands further ahead.

“Carlyn, I’ve secured accommodations. They also mentioned lunch. So, what do you think? Should we set out right away?”

“No. We’ve just arrived today, so let’s take it easy for a bit. Our schedule was two days ahead of plan, so let’s rest today and start tomorrow.”


Toun Zaha stood beside Carlyn. The vast sea seemed to enter his chest.

It had been a while since he had seen the sea in the west. The depth of his feelings matched the years he had experienced.

He had been moving with the child who had saved his life two years ago, a journey of half a year.

Carlyn was the leader, and Toun Zaha was under his command.

—Always prioritize Carlyn’s life, no matter the situation.

That was an order given directly by the Chief of Intelligence.

At first, he was taken aback. The child who had saved his life wasn’t just seventeen years old.

But that perception changed with his first mission.

Over the six months since he turned eighteen, the judgment and situational awareness the child displayed left him in admiration.

Spies were broadly divided into three categories: field operatives, strategists, and those skilled in both.

Of course, rarely did someone only do one thing, but specialization was inevitable.

Specialized agents were not disrespected, but those who could rise high were the latter.

Carlyn excelled in both.

That’s why the present Toun Zaha fully resonated with the Chief of Intelligence’s intentions.

“Is this your first time seeing the sea?”


They were on the western coast of the continent, to be precise, slightly north of the western region.

In the southern plains of the western region, adjacent to the Great Forest, were indigenous Westerners like Cedric.

Toun Zaha felt there was something odd in Carlyn’s laughter when he answered, but he didn’t pay much attention to it.

“Your awe is natural when you see the sea for the first time. It’s a magnificent view. It’s been a long time even for me.”

“How long has it been?”

“Let’s see. Fifteen years? Seventeen years? I can’t remember now.”

Carlyn felt that Toun Zaha’s emotionless words carried the weight of his experienced years.

And with that amount of time, it seemed okay to ask what had happened.

“What was the mission?”

“Hmm. Was it to assassinate someone? Or was it an observation? I’m not sure. I only remember the sea I saw at that time.”

“It doesn’t seem like it was a particularly difficult mission.”

“That’s right. If it had been difficult, I would remember it.”

Toun Zaha shrugged his shoulders.

“But what was annoying was for sure. I’ve always disliked the west, then and now.”

Carlyn chuckled softly. He could somewhat empathize with that feeling.

The western part of the continent, a place densely populated with a dozen or so minor kingdoms, experienced wars almost daily.

It had been a chaotic region where, over the years, when one kingdom disappeared, another would emerge.

In fact, there had been several times it almost unified. It was external interventions that prevented that.

The Empire and nearby kingdoms joined forces to hinder the unification of the west.

When someone gained the upper hand, the other side would support the opposing side.

‘Western unification would become another headache.’

Moreover, the barbarians residing in the Western Archipelago were a problem. Well, not exactly barbarians.

In Earth terms, they could be likened to ancient Vikings.

With limited resources in the archipelago, they resorted to raiding neighboring kingdoms.

The chaotic situation in the West prevented any action against this.

“Territories change even after a few years. It’s a headache for someone like me.”

“But you’re well aware of it.”

“It’s annoying, that’s why. You should reach my age and see. It’s a pain.”

Carlyn understood his sentiment. Even within the Haisen Intelligence Bureau, the West was the most avoided region.

There were just too many changes, and it was tiring.

Naturally, when taking on missions that required blending in with the locals, how much information had to be taken into account?

How did this complex region’s history unfold? What were the sentiments of the locals?

Fortunately, this time he had come as a mercenary. There was absolutely no room for suspicion.

The current continent-wide mercenary force was under Godfather’s command in the West.

‘Since two years ago.’

The Empire was on the verge of a succession struggle among the princes.

With the internal turmoil, efforts were being made to reduce external problems, sparking conflicts across the continent.

The West was the starting point, and even Haisen couldn’t avoid being affected. Knowing it, they still had to endure it.

If the Empire showed favor to Altrena Temerza, Haisen would suffer losses. So, inevitably, other kingdoms competed against each other.

If there was a margin of error, it was that the chaos in the West had spread more extensively than the Empire intended.

‘In times of crisis, heroes emerge.’

The second prince of Rohalak had successfully ousted the aging and ailing king and his elder brother from power.

Thanks to the Empire’s support, the prince had considerable ability himself.

To prevent internal turmoil, he turned his sword outward and first recruited large mercenary groups.

As a result, he had already absorbed two kingdoms.

He may have been a hero in words, but he wasn’t a good person. He often indulged in debauchery without hesitation.

In essence, he had become the ruler of the western archipelago.

‘I hope I can meet him this time.’

Carlyn’s purpose for coming here was to select individuals or groups for support from Haisen.

Not all information flowing into Haisen came through their agents. In areas where Haisen couldn’t exert significant influence or where it wasn’t necessary, cooperative groups were employed.

Essential information had to be obtained.

‘It’s almost like hiring a subcontractor.’

This time, he had come to find such a cooperative group.

There were candidates, but even that information had been obtained indirectly. He needed to observe and judge for himself if they could be trusted.

“Do you have anyone in mind?”

“Well, it seems I’ll have to observe directly to know.”

“Anyway, the Empire is causing a lot of trouble.”

“There’s nothing we can do about it.”

All existing cooperative groups had failed. It was the information that the Empire was supporting the prince of Rohalak that marked their end.

Moreover, they were all in Rohalak and nearby kingdoms.

In any case, Carlyn hoped to meet the person who would become the ruler of the western archipelago through this mission.

He didn’t know what the person was doing right now, but he, Carlyn, hailed from the Rasphal Kingdom.

“After this mission, are you going back to the Empire?”


Carlyn nodded. It had taken quite a while. Originally planned for a year, it had been extended by seven months.

However, he felt no impatience.

There were still five years left until the starting point of the game.

There was plenty of time. After experiencing it, building a career seemed like a decent idea.

There had been many events during this time.

The Heide Mercenary Corps had risen to become a major force in the north, and Haisen had confirmed the existence of devil worshippers.

They hadn’t delved too deeply, but Carlyn felt that this much was sufficient.

This meant that the actions of the Haisen Empire’s intelligence leader had been constrained.

‘What on earth is Duke preparing for?’

When the promised year had passed, Harvan Brusek told him to wait a little longer.

He said they were planning an important mission. Carlyn was curious about what it could be. He had no idea and didn’t bother to guess.

“Are you coming with me?”

“How would I know? I’ll just follow the Duke’s orders.”

Just to be sure, Carlyn had asked, but Toun Zaha merely shook his head. Carlyn quickly turned off the subject.

“Toun, I have a favor to ask.”

“Just say it, you’re in charge after all.”

“No, it’s a request. It might be somewhat unrelated to the mission.”

Toun Zaha looked at Carlyn with a puzzled expression. Unrelated to the mission…

While agents sometimes engage in side activities during their spare time, this was a new kind of request from Carlyn.

“I’ll listen and think about it.”

“Kasmark, Kasmark Rodri, please try to find him. Don’t tell the other agents.”



“Do you know this person? I don’t think I’ve seen him on the list of candidates.”

Carlyn felt something odd in Toun Zaha’s words. It was a knowing look.

“I’ll let you know after we find him.”

“I don’t think there’s much need to find him.”


Toun Zaha smiled.

“He seems to be quite famous. When we were getting accommodations earlier, some thugs were cursing Rodri.”

What? Just like that? Carlyn felt a sense of absurdity as things were being resolved too easily.

He almost wondered if he had brought it up for no reason. He had prepared some excuses, but it seemed like something he could have done on his own.

“Let’s go for now. I’ll look into it.”

* * *

Toun Zaha had no trouble tracking down the whereabouts of Rodri, as it turned out.

He was more well-known than I had initially thought. Simply by giving a few coins to a wandering orphan in the market, I was able to gather information.

Anyway, the Casmak Rodri I was searching for wasn’t the one I found. However, the connection was clear: Josh Rodri, the elder brother of Casmak Rodri.

The Rodri family.

A household of about 15 members, including both family and relatives, running a tavern by the docks.

‘I didn’t expect them to be such a large family.’

The reason the thugs mentioned the Rodri family was simple. Those who had been focused on fishing were now encroaching on their territory through recent smuggling activities.

In places already struggling with chaos and poor security, it was only natural for such factions to emerge.

The Rodri family were newcomers to such activities.

‘The situation seems promising.’

I had come here to find potential individuals or groups for cooperation.

With Casmak Rodri’s presence, the Rodri family was sure to rise. I was confident about the future. The Casmak Rodri I had seen was alone.

Viewed from a different angle, this was an opportunity to build a connection with Casmak, potentially even a patronage if I could ensure the safety of his family in the future.

This mission might conclude faster than I had anticipated.

‘It shouldn’t be a problem to persuade Toun.’

These were individuals starting their own criminal organizations, believing in the power of Casmak Rodri. 

But naturally, this fell within the expertise of professionals like us.

There probably wouldn’t be much trouble in recruiting the Rodri family. There were no concerns from that direction.

After all, I knew Casmak, the ruler of the Western Islands.

He valued promises and loyalty.

Looking at the bigger picture, this was an opportunity to establish a connection with the practical ruler of the Western Islands.

‘I should meet with him before discussing this with Toun.’

How should I approach this? Honestly, I hadn’t even considered meeting Casmak in person.

A straightforward approach might be best, considering Casmak’s character.

It took less than 10 minutes to locate Casmak’s whereabouts. He was at a tavern owned by the Rodri family, drinking.

As the tavern doorbell jingled, the gazes of those inside fell upon me.

Casmak was seated at the bar. As I approached, the attention of the patrons shifted toward me.

At 22, Casmak appeared much younger than he did in the game. Of course, it was only his face that looked that way.

Despite being seated, Casmak’s height of 195cm made him taller than me when I stood.

His long hair was tied back, reaching his shoulders. A tattoo adorned the shaved side of his head.

“Casmak Rodri, right?”

“Why do you ask like that?”

“I’m someone who’s here to offer you a proposition that could benefit you. I’m interested in discussing a business venture with you.”

“So, you’re the one who’s been asking around about the Rodri family.”

Casmak smirked and leaned back, his hand resting behind him. The tavern buzzed with noise once again.

I was slightly surprised.

Was I attracting more attention in this neighborhood than I thought? Or perhaps, the kid could be connected to Rodris.

“Leave, kid. This place isn’t for little brats like you to play mercenary games. It’s where the sea men unwind.”

As I stared in silence, Casmak placed a hefty hand on my shoulder.

“When you’re in a better mood. Should I really consider someone who looks like they’re not even twenty trying to dig into our business and then suddenly wanting to talk about ventures?”

“I would think it’s natural to be curious.”

“…Do we seem like a joke to you?”

“Well, I don’t know about me, but aren’t you the one treating me like a joke?”

Casmak’s grip on my shoulder tightened. It was surprisingly painful, as if I was dealing with a boss-level character.

I grabbed his hand with my right hand, countering the strength. There was a brief moment of power struggle. Casmak seemed a bit surprised.

“You’ll have to listen to understand what I mean by those words.”

“Fair enough. I might have underestimated you a bit.”

Casmak let out a wry smile, an intriguing expression on his face. I seemed to have passed the initial test.

An intrigued gaze swept over me.

“Another round here.”

Casmak signaled to the tavern owner while still in that position. Soon enough, a glass of strong liquor was placed in front of me.

His eyes gestured towards the glass. It wasn’t a standoff or anything. As I lifted the glass and took a sip, the warmth flowed down my throat.

“However, before that, I should confirm if you’re even worth my time.”

“Consider me intrigued. How?”

“I’m in the process of finding someone.”

Casmak whispered in a lower tone, catching me off guard. I smiled and inquired. This was my area of expertise.

“It won’t take long. What’s the name?”

Author's Thoughts

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