The trait Explorer had three effects. First, it revealed the System’s secrets. Second, it expanded the maximum number of points one could get in a dungeon. Last but not least, it informed the user in advance when a gate opened.
[You have entered the Final Stage.]
Peter had been staring at the sky ever since the notification message had popped up. The sky was silent, but he couldn’t let go of his tension as it seemed like something was going to happen at any moment.
At that moment, a woman with an exhausted expression approached him. It was Deborah.
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He wondered if Odin’s lightning made the moonlight particularly bright that night. Deborah’s robust body was more noticeable than before. However, her eyes were bleaker than death. Overnight, Odin had taken away everything from her, including her military strength and her man.
“Not yet. It’s still quiet without a message saying that a gate would open,” Peter replied.
“Don’t pretend you don’t know.”
Her response didn’t sound as cold as before. The world had changed. Deborah Bellucci and his world ended after Act Two, Stage Five. After all, the ruler of the outside world had overpowered them and had become an absolute ruler here.
Peter realized the purpose of Deborah’s visit and answered calmly, “Everything I said is true, Deborah. The more you doubt this, the more you will be in trouble. Whether it’s here or outside.”
Deborah snarled quietly, “I have never kept a traitor alive. That applies even if it’s you.”
“How come you’re calling me a traitor?” Peter asked.
She hissed, “You hid the most important thing. Odin.”
As soon as Deborah mentioned his name, she felt as if Odin’s lightning had fallen to her head. His appearance and presence was still shocking to her.
He retorted, “I don’t know everything. I didn’t expect that Odin would have entered this stage. Even if I was aware of it, there would have been no way to respond to the circumstances. Also, traitor? People usually call this ‘adapting to the circumstances’, ok?”
Deborah stared at Peter. She was not used to seeing him acting this meek. He was more daring than anyone else and knew how to use the power of words. He somehow achieved what he wanted by using rumors to his advantage. He was good at stirring up turmoil, and his mentality was strong. His motto was, ‘If I have to drink poison, then I might as well swallow the entire glass.’
However, such a guy was acting like a loser. He hadn’t tried anything, but instead complied with what Odin said.
Deborah muttered in disbelief, “Is this really the end? You started it first. You did!”
Peter was the one who had set fire to her mind, but he was now taking steps back. He even said that it was possible to conquer the world if they succeeded in merging Camp Six, Jonathan Investment Finance Group, and removing Joshua von Karjan.
Then, Peter revealed a smile full of resignation. “Ah, you are still talking about that?”
Throughout history, there had always been cases when the elite ruling class abused their power. It had peaked in the era of globalization, and the Bilderberg Club was created. It was a secret society that spanned nations, and it became a system that allowed a few elites to govern the whole world. From that, many networks were formed, such as the Trilateral Commission, Club of Rome, and Roundtable. However, they had all been derived from the Bilderberg Club, which eventually became the core and backbone of the world government. The order they established was an iron fortress that would never be broken.
Surprisingly, the Bilderberg Club was finally destroyed by a young Korean man. The families who used to be the owners of the club either disappeared into history or they barely managed to preserve their place by crawling down under the Korean guy’s legs. As mentioned earlier, the Bilderberg Club was an organization that had been created to achieve the common purpose of becoming the world’s shadow government.
On the other hand, the Jeonil Club was founded by the Korean guy to serve him as a royal bodyguard. Unlike the Bilderberg Club, there was no process of argument and harmony in the new institution. He gave out orders, and everyone had to obey him. His words dictated the fate of the entire world. Even if he had not awakened, he could have intervened enormously in this world by relying on his natural dominance. However, since he was the leader of the Awakened here, he now held absolute power.
After all, they had all seen how he had easily gotten rid of De Gaulle, a leader of a camp. In addition, his equipment was ridiculous. He had his overpowered golden armor and stunning lightning spear. In addition, they had all witnessed the gargantuan lightning bolt that had soared to the end of the sky when he hit the ground with the spear. Furthermore, both Jonathan Hunter and Joshua von Karjan stood next to Odin as obvious subordinates.
Odin was the most powerful ruler since the birth of mankind, but he was also the first conqueror who united the entire world. As the Korean Awakened all said, he was a god-like figure. When Peter realized that, a new ambition wriggled inside him. Since he was already a member of the Jeonil Club and an elite among the Awakened, he thought that Odin would value him greatly.
Democracy was just one of many political means. The club had deliberately made the public assume that democratic societies had power, but the truth was that one person had been manipulating the world with absolute power for a long time.
So wouldn’t it be possible for the club to actually promote an actual physical unification of the world openly instead of just being a shadow government?
Such a new world wouldn’t be just a federation. It would be an empire. Also, the larger the empire’s territory was, the more likely it would need kings to rule parts of the land. Peter didn’t expect his territory to be equal to those who were sitting right next to Odin. He thought that it’d be more likely that he’d get a piece of land the size of Mexico.
“What are you up to?”
Deborah’s words dug into Peter’s ears.
“If we return…” Peter paused and then continued calmly, “I will serve him as my emperor. I hope you will join me then, will you?”
The last part was said in a whisper even though there was no one around them.
I encountered several leaders who praised themselves as kings. Even if they didn’t use the title ‘king,’ the way they governed was essentially the same. The same went for Deborah. However, all of this was only possible because this was a lawless area, not Earth. Of course, Peter knew the truth. He could be considered one of the most knowledgeable of all Awakened if someone only thought of people’s status in the outside world. Deborah recalled what Peter said before entering the field.
“The order established in the world is all derived from the Great Odin, and that is why I said it depends on his decision.”
They had gone back to square one.
“Tell me everything that you’ve been hiding,” Deborah insisted.
The anger that had raged inside Peter when Deborah had initiated this conversation instantly died down.
He responded, “I was a journalist.”
People only cared about each other’s status in the outside world at the beginning of the Stage of Advent. Therefore, Deborah had only found out that Peter was a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist after hearing it from Odin. However, she had a rough idea because he was good at inciting others. He had even instigated her, who used to close her mind.
“You have won the Pulitzer Prize, right?” she asked.
He shrugged. “Then, they contacted me. They needed people like me.”
Her eyes narrowed. “Who are they?”
He smiled sardonically. “What about you? When you think about yourself, what was your place in the outside world?”
Deborah replied casually, “I was in a relatively high social hierarchy until the Day of Advent.”
The businesses and assets she had at the time were incomparable to her current power as an Awakened. As Odin mentioned earlier, if the association guaranteed freedom and safety, then she had opportunities to rebuild her social position. However, no one could buy an Awakened’s ability with money.
Peter then said, “Then you might have heard of them, the Bilderberg Club.”
Deborah nodded. That name was like a cloud of smoke as if it was an old memory.
“Most people would have thought of them as a mere conspiracy theory, but the group actually existed. Their meetings determined the state of the world.”
“Are you saying that you were one of them?” she asked curiously.
Peter’s lips quirked. “Financeman, industrialists, politicians. Everyone knew them by their faces as they appeared in official events, but there were a few who influenced the world with writings like me. I worked for them. The privilege I received from them was incomparable to the benefit I enjoyed here. It was much better. Very much.”
Peter smiled with his teeth showing, then it turned into an insidious smile. His voice quieted down with a silent laugh. “However, I’m sure you have never heard of Jeonil Club. I am a hundred percent sure because that was my job.”
Deborah frowned slightly. “Jeonil Club?”
“The Bilderberg Club was destroyed by one person. The Jeonil Club is one that was built by putting the Bilderberg Club as a base. It was created by one person. He swallowed the world by himself. You won’t be able to believe me that the whole world is under one man’s rule, but it truly is” explained Peter.
Her eyes widened. “Odin.”
Peter nodded. “Yes, he is the owner of the Jeonil Club. Jonathan Hunter and Joshua von Karjan are his loyal dogs. Others like the president and prime minister are also under him.”
She sighed. “That is a surprise. That story would change everything.”
Only by hearing that could Deborah understand that Odin was in a higher position than Jonathan Hunter. She couldn’t believe it. Things had reversed at one point. The Stage of Advent felt real, and the outside world felt like a dream. That was why Deborah’s tone was calm.
She speculated, “If Odin becomes an emperor, then we will become kings. Do you think that is possible? Odin might have different intentions.”
“He has also gone through the Stage of Advent. He might not have felt the need before, but he might want it now.”
Peter recalled De Gaulle’s death. Odin had slaughtered him without blinking an eye like an absolute emperor of the Final Stage. He had burst the other man to death without leaving any flesh behind. Moreover, Joshua von Karjan and Jonathan Hunter had been born anew. They no longer looked like they did before the Stage of Advent, and they were now ruthless and armed supermen. They could bring the fragile human beings on the outside to their knees.
“What if he doesn’t want that?” Deborah asked again.
Peter shook his head. “The outside world is not only dark, but they also need a de facto ruler. Gates open there too. There are so many reasons for him to do so. Yes. If he doesn’t want that, then we will have to change his mind.”
Odin’s lover, Mary, always had a grim smile that smelt of blood. Jonathan Hunter always seemed to be outraged. Joshua von Karjan, of course, was a bloodthirsty man. Peter was confident that he’d be able to make allies with all of Odin’s other aides besides Lee Tae-Han.
He coaxed her, “We can rule the world under him, Deborah. It’s less risky than the previous plan.”
Deborah’s lips twisted. “I guess that’s the best choice we have, right?”
Peter smiled. “Of course.”
She let out a loud sigh. “I can’t wait to go back.”
Their two eyes finally became one, and their tongues started to tangle with each other. Peter pulled on Deborah’s back with one hand, and their bodies got closer. His other hand was grabbing the part of her buttocks that were past the tip of her breastplate. If Peter had touched a civilian with the same amount of force, their pelvis would have been crushed. However, the throbbing pain was tolerable to Deborah.
Deborah grabbed Peter’s neck with a screaming moan. Nevertheless, their tongues didn’t stop. Their grip on their hips and necks tightened even more. When their actions became violent, Deborah loosened her grasp first because someone was approaching Peter. It was Ian Jones, the owner of one of the five seats. He seemed to want to hear more about Odin’s real identity.
1. A nongovernmental organization of leading private citizens from Europe, North America and Asia Pacific that targets to promote mutual understanding and cooperation on common issues related to their democracy. ☜
2. A nonprofit organization of intellectuals and business leaders whose goal is a critical discussion of pressing global problems. ☜
3. An international charitable association that holds discussions and undertakes community service. ☜
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