Artifact Reading Inspector - Chapter 209 - Finally, In There… (2)
Chapter 209: Finally, In There… (2)
Haejin was in such a hurry that he kept stepping on the accelerator. He must have gotten himself at least 10 speeding tickets on his way to Incheon Airport.
He booked the fastest flight to New Zealand and waited. He didn’t let his guard down and got ready for another ambush.
The men had fired loud shotguns in the middle of the day, even though it had been a desolate parking lot. Haejin thought they could do anything at the airport as well.
Only after getting on the plane, he and Silvia could get some sleep. They had waited for more than 16 hours without resting, so they fell asleep immediately.
The land was covered in snow. It was so bright that it pierced the eyes, but he didn’t stop and moved forward.
He didn’t know how much he had walked. He kept moving and a moment later, he saw a small altar about a meter long.
When he got close to it, a strange light appeared and engulfed him. The next moment, he saw a scene that he couldn’t believe.
“Wake up now. Haejin? Haejin!” Silvia was shaking him.
He was startled and opened his eyes.
“Haa…. Haa… How long… did I sleep?”
He was breathing heavily.
Silvia then looked at him worriedly while saying, “You fell asleep when we got on the plane and slept till it landed. I even checked if you were still breathing. Are you sick? You are sweating too much.”
Haejin couldn’t believe it. He hadn’t slept for that long after receiving magic, except for when he used a huge amount of mana.
After he woke up, he could feel his body was full of energy. It let him know that there was nothing wrong with him, but he must have slept like that for a reason.
The moment he wiped off the sweat on his forehead, he recalled the vision he had seen in his dream.
“In the end…”
“What?” Silvia asked.
“No, it’s nothing.”
He couldn’t believe it. However, the pressure in his heart and the strange headache made him think about what he had seen in the future.
He didn’t say anything more, he just took Silvia and hurried.
When they arrived at Christchurch, they met Eric Holton who had been waiting for him. He gave Haejin a huge hug the moment he saw him.
“I was so relieved to see your name on the passenger’s list. What happened? Guns are restricted in your country, but some people were shooting at you…”
“I’m fine now, thanks.”
Haejin didn’t tell him more as he was feeling disappointed.
Eric pouted, which didn’t look good on him, and said, “You know it isn’t easy to use an American military plane, right?”
“Of course. I’m always grateful to you,” Haejin replied.
“There’s no need for that. I’ve told them you’re going for some scientific purposes, but why are you going to the middle of Antarctica? Is that a secret too?” Eric asked.
“I cannot tell you everything, but I need you to find something.”
“Have you found a treasure map or something? But you are going only with her? Without any equipment?” Eric asked again.
He meant equipment for excavating. He had prepared for the journey to the cold Antarctica, including artic clothes.
“Fortunately, it’s not important enough to make all that fuss,” Haejin replied.
“Really? It’s good, then.”
Haejin took Eric to where there was no one and asked him a favor.
“I need something. I know this is too much to ask, but…”
Thankfully, although Eric was surprised by the favor, he promised to help.
Haejin and Silvia waited for more than 10 hours and boarded Hercules, which was an American military plane. It then landed near the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station after 7 hours.
Eric was going to wait at the station with the people he had brought. Haejin, instead, loaded some food and clothes on a huge sleigh and left with Silvia.
“You know where you’re going, right?” Eric shouted in worry, but Haejin just waved his hand and hurried to move.
Actually, he had not been sane since the moment he arrived at Antarctica.
He was in a daze, and the only thing he knew was that he had to keep moving.
Silvia had no idea where they were going. She just quietly followed Haejin.
One hour… two hours… they had been walking for more than five hours, but the scenery of the snowy land was just the same.
The only difference was that Haejin was walking faster and faster.
Silvia called him, but Haejin just kept moving as if he couldn’t hear anything.
Silvia followed him for a few more hours, but then she couldn’t take another step. She grabbed Haejin’s arm. He stopped for the first time.
He was breathing hard while Silvia exclaimed, “Oh…”
They saw a small altar that came up to the waist.
Surprisingly, there was no snow on it and it didn’t look old.
It was almost as if it had been built only a few days ago…
There was a strange magic circle on it. Judging from it, only the power of magic could take out the artifact hidden inside it.
“I… no, how many hours have passed?” Haejin spoke for the first time.
“You can’t remember? Seven hours? More accurately, it’s been seven hours and twenty minutes.”
Haejin calmly nodded and took another step to the altar. Then, he flinched and didn’t move more.
“I slept for a long time on the plane. It was hard to understand… but I realized after I woke up. The dream was about wandering in the white land of snow and coming here eventually. It’s strange. It’s like I’m about to get hypnotized,” Haejin commented.
“Then let’s find the artifact and head back to the station.”
Silvia shivered because of the tiredness and extreme cold.
Haejin lightly squeezed her hand and used magic on her.
“I’m sorry. If I had been in the right mind, I would have casted a temperature controlling spell on you, but I couldn’t.”
Silvia was fine now, and her voice was lively again.
“Haa… thank you. Now, let’s get that artifact…”
Haejin stared down at the altar and took out a huge pickaxe from the sleigh.
“I don’t need it. I’m going to destroy this altar.”
Silvia grabbed his arm in surprise and asked, “What are you talking about? It is so important! Let’s just take it out first and…”
“No, I’ve made up my mind. This artifact will only bring chaos to the world, so it shouldn’t see the light ever again. I’m going to destroy it so that no one will be able to get it again,” Haejin replied.
Haejin was about to take a step, but…
Then, he felt a cold metal behind his head.
“Ha… I really didn’t want to do this. I’m sorry. Take out the artifact, now!”
Her voice was icy cold.
Haejin bit his lips and asked, “Why…”
“Don’t even think about resisting. Your magic doesn’t work on me. There is more than one artifact that can block magic. So, put it down slowly and take the artifact down.”
Haejin put down the pickaxe. Then, he was enraged at seeing the pistol aimed at his head.
“Everything was part of your plan?”
A corner of her lips curled up to scold him. She had been so kind, but now she looked like a witch.
“I realized it the moment I first saw you at the palace. Men are all the same. You didn’t even know me, but you were so nice to me, just because I said I had to marry you!”
Now thinking back to it, it wasn’t right. If she only meant to help him, she didn’t have any need to get married. Maybe, Haejin hadn’t given much thought to it because she was an Arabian princess.
“So, you gave me your artifact just to have me find this place?” Haejin asked.
“Of course. I wasn’t chosen by God. Only the chosen one can find this place. Even if hundreds and thousands of people had come here, they would have passed by this altar without seeing it,” Silvia replied.
Haejin had not even imagined she was behind everything. Had he been that naive? Or had he just been stupid?
However, there was one thing he couldn’t understand.
“Then, why did you make all that fuss in Seoul? We were coming here anyway.”
“You wasted time in Japan… enough of this, get out the artifact or I will pull the trigger,” Silvia threatened.
“And then? You think you can go back on your own? You don’t even know where we are,” Haejin replied.
“Huh! Do you think I’m a fool? I’ve left marks on our way here. And what makes you think I will go back alone? I promise, get me the artifact and I will grant you everything you desire. Money? Honor? Women? Anything. So, take it out.”
Haejin couldn’t help but laugh. He thought he was progressing with his plan without anyone knowing about it, but it turned out she had been toying with him all along.
“Stop laughing, take out the artifact!” Silvia shouted.
If he had used magic to take out the artifact as soon as he arrived at the altar, he would have met immediate death.
Just like he had seen in his dream.
He could still see Silvia smiling coldly and pulling the trigger without hesitation in his dream.
So, he knew too well that her promise of giving him everything was a lie.
“Fine, I’ll give it to you,” Haejin nodded and put his hand on the altar. He realized what to do the moment he saw it.
A light came out of his hands that spread to the altar. And…
Haejin turned to the surprised Silvia.
“You have underestimated the chosen one. I knew you would betray me.”
Now, there was a sculpture with a strange shape on the altar.
“I knew you had a gun. It wasn’t hard to find it once I knew. I then had someone look into your bag on Hercules and remove the firing pin,” Haejin replied.
Silvia probably didn’t even know what a firing pin was, but at least, she knew there was something wrong with her gun. She turned pale.
Haejin picked up the pickaxe again.
“Your greed will disappear after seeing this,” Haejin said.
“That is the source of this world’s magic. If you smash it, your power will be destroyed with it!”
She wailed, but Haejin didn’t care. Magic had never belonged to him, anyway.
She clung onto his arm, but he threw her away and smashed the artifact.
The next moment, he was thrown backward as if a bomb had exploded.
“No! No!” Silvia cried and wailed.
The artifact slowly lost its red light like a dying fire.
Haejin could feel the mana leaving his body like air leaking out of a balloon.
He started to lose strength, and his eyes were slowly closing.
“Mr. Park! Mr. Park!”
He could see a group of people running toward him. However, his eyesight was now blurry, so he didn’t know if it was real or just his hallucination. He blinked and tried to stay conscious, but that was all he could do. Then, the world turned black.