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180 My Heart is Bleeding

 ......

Shin walked out of the Sun-Moon Church with confused expression on his face. Earlier, when he tried to look for Archbishop Ronald, the high-priest assigned to take care of him said that the Archbishop went to the main branch of the Sun-Moon Church in 'Divine Empire' to recuperate.

'This is a big trouble then. If Archbishop Ronald is not here, then I don't have anyone that I can trust in the Church especially that I don't know who are the real traitors yet,' muttered Shin to himself as walked out of the entrance gate of the church, where a lot of players with priest and paladin related are coming in and out of it.

Then Shin brushed off those thoughts at the back of his heads almost immediately. It was not his nature to think about a problem that needed to be solved for the future. What he needed to be thinking now was the current situation on his hands, and good thing that even if he didn't managed to meet with Archbishop Ronald; he was still able to get the information about the identities of the other recommended group.

And while walking on the street, Shin brushed past a hooded player wearing a gray-colored cloak with a pair of longswords hanging on each side of his waist. He suddenly halted his steps for a brief moment when he felt something unusual when brushing passed with that person. Then he almost immediately resumed walking forward and knitted his brows when that feeling suddenly disappeared.

He tilted his head a little to the side while mumbling to himself. "It must only be my imagination."

Then Shin walk further and further. What he didn't know was the hooded player experienced the feeling as him. The player turned his head to the side as if he was looking over his shoulder even if his view was being blocked by the hood of the cloak that he was currently wearing. And after a sight pause on that player's steps, the person continue walking forward while muttering. "That couldn't be the case. It is the same feeling but definitely a different person."

...

Shin arrived at the Heavenly Resto-Bar once again and walked straight to the VIP Room no.1. And when he entered the room for another time, the same rowdy atmosphere greeted him. But this time, Lawless was not present on the room as well as Faker.

He took a random seat and asked Morgan. "Where are Brother Lawless and Faker?"

Morgan smiled bitterly at Shin and said. "They said they are going to visit the Hand of Midas Trading Firm to see if they can ask some assistance from them."

The expression on Shin's face suddenly turned weird after hearing that and said. "I hope that Big Sis will not ask them some unreasonable demands. She is always taking advantage on the deal whenever she got the upper-hand."

"So how was your visit on the Church end up to? Did you get anything useful?" said by Ravier sitting across Shin.

"Well, I couldn't meet Archbishop Ronald since they said he is currently recuperating on the main branch of the Sun-Moon Church. But I managed to get some information regarding from the other recommended group," said Shin while leaning his body on backwards to take a more comfortable position.

"So who are they? I hope they are quite decent players, because if they are not, we are in trouble clearing this quest," said Ravier.

Shin shrugged his shoulders and said. "I'm sure either. But from what the information that I got, that group belongs to the Wing's Alliance, it's just I'm not sure if they are going to pass for a decent group in your standards."

"Oh! From Wing's Alliance, Huh? If that was the case then those guys must be a part of their experts groups. I guess they should have some skills at the very least. Have you managed to get who is the quest initiator?" asked Ravier once again.

Shin put his right hand on his chin while thinking for a moment before saying. "I guess he is called S.Tigris. Hmm... And I feel that this name sounds familiar."

"That was because he was the guy who you rejected to talk with when we first met." Then Lawless entered the room with Faker coming in tow.

And after taking his seat, Lawless immediately added with a little sign of envy on his face. "If it was really that guy, then they should really have a descent team. That guy had a really good right-hand man after all."

Then he continued once again after a slight pause. "His team is good enough to be compared to some of the famous Adventurer Teams in the past. It's just I'm not sure if his team is still intact, especially that he was a part of the Wing's Alliance now. But either way, it is still not going to be enough for this quest even if we teamed up with them."

"So what happened to your visit on the firm?" asked Shin

Lawless scratched his right cheek and said awkwardly. "Well, that was the problem too. Your Big Sis is currently not present on the Firm for she have some matters to attend on the Real World. And according to the manager of the firm, she might even take some time to come online once again."

"As for the deal that we are going to offer, the manager said that she doesn't have the authority to decide about that and she needed to wait for your Big Sis to come back online once again. What's more, they are going to become super busy now because of the sudden burst of member applications."

"Because of the battle prowess shown by the three chiefs of the Trading Firm on the recent war, a lot of the Lifestyle Players are now swarming towards the firm and asking to be taken under them. There are even a bunch of Intermediate Ranks mixed in the groups."

'That was pretty much predicted by Big Sis, I guess. Based on her personality, I'm pretty sure about it. And she will never get a deal that she will not profit from after all,' thought Shin on himself before saying to Lawless. "So what is the next plan?"

Then Lawless said after a moment of thinking. "Let's contact the other team first and see how it will end up. At the same time, I'll look for the old friends of mine to ask them if they have some free time to come over. And I kind of remember that some of them have a deep grudge with Immortal."

"Let's dismiss for now and let me and Faker handle about it for a moment. You can do whatever you want for the time being, but don't wonder around too much 'cause I will get back to you immediately after everything was settled with them."

Then the others except from Faker started to stand up one by one before walking out the room. At the same time, Lawless started to contact some of his backups.... I mean old friends.

.....

After walking out of the Heavenly Resto-Bar, Shin immediately walked towards to the Teleportation Hall to visit his town. And when he arrived on it, he became shocked at what he saw. He couldn't help but doubt if this was really the Calderock Town that he know or if he just teleported in a wrong place.

The player traffic here was no lower than the one in some major cities on this Kingdom. What's more, the current busy plaza looked like a down-graded version of the City Plaza of the Holy City.

"What the heck? Is this really the Calderock Town?" said Shin in shock as he watch the busy streets and the Town Plaza with overflowing number of players.

And when he recovered from it, he immediately started muttering to himself. "Is this also the after-effect of the war? It is a given if there are only a bunch of Lifestyle Players but most of these players are combat ones. Eh!? Wait! That is right! If there are a lot of Lifestyle Players on a single place, there is going to have a high demands of materials; and these combat players are here to sell some of their stuffs to those Lifestyle Players."

The he couldn't help but clicked his tongue the moment he came up with that conclusion. Then he changed his plans and went straight to the Town's Mayor's Residence instead of going to Hand of Midas Trading Firm.

Naturally, there are also some players lining up on the Town's Mayor's Residence, but Shin just ignored them and walked straight towards the residence, not giving a sh*t to all of the astounded gazes that were being directed at him for not being blocked by the NPC Guards standing on the entrance of the residence. In fact, those two guards even saluted at him when he was brushing passed them.

And when he arrived at the mayor's office, he immediately saw Ribbit sitting behind the office table while busily checking out the pile of papers placed on top of the table. The latter didn't even manage to notice Shin's arrival because he was too focused at looking on the papers.

Shin walked towards the table and waited for Ribbit to finish what he was doing before opening his mouth. "Is everything is going well?"

Ribbit was startled at the sudden interruption and immediately raised his head to look at the source of the voice. And when he saw Shin looking at him with a smiling face, he immediately shot up from his seat and said while bowing his head. "Ah! Town's Mayor! So you are back!"

Shin wave his hand and said in a nonchalant manner. "Be at ease, we are the only ones here after all."

Then Shin immediately sat on a chair in front of the mayor's table. And that sight almost gave Ribbit a heart attack, and quickly prevented Shin from sitting there. "You must not, Town Mayor!"

But Shin just ignored him and said to him while chuckling. "Don't worry, I really don't mind it. What's more, you are actually the one that is always doing everything and I feel guilty because of that."

Ribbit became moved at what Shin had said, giving the latter a system notification; saying that Ribbit's loyalty suddenly increased with a great margin. The former seat on the chair right across of the one that Shin had currently sitting.

Shin shook his head and released a helpless sigh before asking. "So how are the things in town? Is everything fine?"

Then Ribbit finally recovered himself and said. "It is more than fine, Town Mayor. It is more accurate to say that our town is currently bursting."

"There are a lot of otherworldly individuals such as yourself are keep coming on our Town. So we built some additional inns and restaurants to occupy them. We also upgrade most of our Inns to advance rank, same goes for a few restaurants and some blacksmith shops, and that was with the help of the people from Hand of Midas trading firm of course."

Then Shin suddenly chimed in. "How about our security? It was hard to control this kind of playe-... I mean city populations after all."

Ribbit hesitated for a moment before replying to Shin. "Actually, we have a hard time maintaining the peace and order of the place at first because the number our City Guards are not enough to monitor the players, and that is even if we have some supports of the Patrolling Paladins from the branch of the Sun-Moon Church..."

Ribbit trailed for a moment to take a look at the expression on Shin's face, but too bad for him, Shin was already wearing his mask once again. "So I spend some of Town's money to hire more guards for the town's security."

The corner of Shin's mouth suddenly twitched under his mask after hearing that. Then he immediately asked after that. "How much did you spend on sustain our Guards?"

Ribbit swallowed a mouthful of saliva after hearing that question and replied cautiously. "Ahmm.... A total of five million gold coins, it is together with all of the previous guards that we hired before."

'Ugh!' Shin felt that his heart was being stab by a dagger when he heard the amount of gold that have been spent. And even if he knew that his heart was going to bleed even further, he still asked the next question. "How much are all the other expenses that you spent when upgrading all of the establishments that we have? Wait! No! Report me all of the expenses that you spent on everything during my absence."

This time, Ribbit started to broke with cold sweats the moment he heard that. Then he answered very carefully. "Ahm... We spent a total of 2,000,000 gold coins for the blacksmith shops, 5,000,000 gold coins for the upgrade of all of the inns and some recently built, 3,000,000 gold coins for the renovations of all of the restaurants together with some additional ones and 700,000 for the upgrade of the barracks and training grounds for the soldiers outside the village and 500,00 gold coins for this town's mayor residence."

Shin felt that his heart was keep being pounded by a huge hammer every time he heard Ribbit how much is it. 'Is developing a Town really cost that much?'

.......