Childhood Friend of the Zenith
Chapter 201: I'll Be Back (1)

༺ I’ll Be Back (1) ༻

Things seem to have gotten really messed up.

I didn’t expect the Second Elder to suddenly appear.

Our eyes met and with a piercing look at my body, he spoke.

“As far as I know, this is called a prison break.”

“Well, even though it may seem that way, believe me when I say that’s not what’s happening.”

I couldn’t believe he had appeared now of all times.

I had such shitty luck sometimes.

The Second Elder stared at me briefly before placing down the basket in his hand, and began to speak.

“If that’s not what’s happening, then explain it to me in a way that I can understand.”

His glare seemingly warned that he wouldn’t let this pass if I didn’t give a good enough reason.

The Second Elder was trying to understand the situation, rather than scolding me right away.

Of course, considering the oddity of the situation, his suspicion towards me was understandable.

However, it really wasn’t that big of a deal.


The day after the marble had suddenly glowed at midnight.

‘My field of vision changed.’

It was a sensation that I had felt for the first time.

One of my eyes felt normal, but my other eye could see something else.

‘What is this?’

It was pitch black.

‘What am I looking at right now?’

For a moment, I had the thought that I had gone blind in one of my eyes.

Fortunately, that didn’t seem to be the case, as my eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness.

‘What is that? Iron bars?’

Intermittent splashes of light seemed to light up my surroundings.

I wondered what I was seeing right now.

I tried to look around, but it seemed like I couldn’t.

Even if I turned my head, my sight didn’t move along with it.

[Hmm, what’s the matter?]

“Can’t you see this?”


For some reason, Elder Shin, with whom I shared my body and emotions, couldn’t see what I was seeing right now and couldn’t read my thoughts about it as well.

‘What could this mean then?’

Why did such a thing just occur…

‘I guess I don’t need to question that.’

It was likely because of the marble in my hand.

It was the only possibility here.

‘…What even is this thing?’

I needed to discover the purpose behind this marble.

‘Will this disappear if I let go of the marble?’

As I was about to let go of the marble to check,


I catched a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye.

From my eyes that had adjusted to the darkness, through the moonlight shining through a very small window, I could faintly see the appearance of a person.

A familiar red uniform and long black hair.

A beautiful lady with a fierce appearance.

‘Gu Huibi…?’

She was definitely Gu Huibi.

I could see Gu Huibi looking around.

She touched the iron bars and checked the walls.

It seemed like she was looking for a way to escape.

Yet, every now and then she’d appear to be talking to someone.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t hear her.

I could only see and I didn’t seem to be able to hear anything.

‘…But why can I see this?’

My vision changing was one thing, but for me to see Gu Huibi of all people.

Furthermore, it wasn’t even from Gu Huibi’s point of view.

Instead, I was seeing from some kind of third person view?

If this wasn’t an illusion…

‘…Where is this place? I need to find the location.’

Putting aside my confusion, I had to focus on what mattered most.

Fortunately, it looked like Gu Huibi didn’t have any injuries.

She didn’t seem to have been tortured there.

After confirming all that, I shifted my focus and tried to gather information about the place, but…

‘I can’t see much because of how dark it is.’

The only information I could gather, was that that Gu Huibi was here and she was trapped in a jail.

This wasn’t going to be easy.

‘Is this place even the Black Palace?’

The Palace Lord may have taken her, but that didn’t guarantee that she was taken to the Black Palace.

I wanted to figure out just a little more.

If only I could watch it from a little farther away…


As I had that thought, I instinctively placed my hand over my eye, feeling a sudden pain in it.

Even though I closed my eyes due to the pain, my vision didn’t fade.

That wasn’t the only surprising thing.

‘…It’s getting further?’

My field of view only contained Gu Huibi and a very little part of her surroundings.

But that narrow field of view gradually widened, showing me what was surrounding her.

As my sight moved further away from Gu Huibi, I gradually began to see the surroundings.

It was a big building, one shrouded by a thick layer of fog.

I couldn’t see it clearly because of the fog, but it seemed like it was located in the middle of a forest.

‘…A forest shrouded in fog.’

As I was noting down the characteristics of the location in my mind, my normal field of vision came back, preceded by a tingly sensation in my eye.

The pain receded, replaced by a rising tide of nausea, vomit rising in my throat.

I couldn’t afford to leave nasty stains in this already small cell, so I forced it back down.


[What the, what’s the matter with you all of a sudden…?]

“Just wait… Don’t talk to me for a moment.”

Elder Shin’s echoing voice inside my head, would worsen my situation even further.

“…A forest covered in fog.”

I had to think hard, even while I covered my mouth.

A forest covered in fog may not seem that special, but the discerning factor was the extreme density of the fog.

And more importantly, if Gu Huibi was currently located there…

‘It should be relatively close to the battlefield.’

Considering that it didn’t take that long for her to arrive at her current location, there was one location that I was able to think of.

‘The Misty Mountains.’

It was a huge mountain that was covered with fog throughout the four seasons.

Back in the past, a White-Grade demon had come out of a Gate of Demons.

And the fog that covered the forest of the Misty Mountains, was a trace left by that demon after its death.

Considering this, if what I saw wasn’t an illusion, it seemed like Gu Huibi was currently located in the Misty Mountains.

If that was true, I had to first pass this information to-


As I was about to call for someone, a sudden shock made my body falter.

I hastily tried to lean towards the wall and hold on, but powerless, I plummeted and lost consciousness.

“…So you’re saying that when you woke up, you found yourself to be in this situation?”


I nodded at the Second Elder’s question.

As for the reason I had lost consciousness, it was probably because the recoil from using the Blood Qi hadn’t fully ended.

My body most probably had been unable to handle the recoil that had piled up.

After all that happened and I lost consciousness, it was already noon by the time I woke up.

The Second Elder’s expression turned serious as I finished my explanation.

I had given him a rough summary of what had happened to me earlier, but it seemed like he couldn’t understand it properly.



“What does all this have to do with you breaking out of your cell?”


Right, I forgot to tell him the most important part.

I ought to explain it to him properly.

“It’s not a prison break.”

“It’s called a prison break if one breaks out of the prison, you damned grandson of mine.”

“Um, but…”

This was really frustrating.

My body had faltered—probably because it was still recovering— when I woke up after regaining consciousness.

And as I leaned on the door for support, how in hell could I have known that it would just open on its own?

“You’re saying that the door was unlocked?”

“Surprisingly, yes.”

Hearing my response, the Second Elder began to check the door behind him.

And as expected, there wasn’t any trace of me forcing the door open, or breaking anything.

“If I really wanted to make a run, I wouldn’t have chosen such a stupid option.”

“So you caused so much trouble thinking that it was clever?”


I couldn’t counter that.

“…The door was unlocked, huh.”

The Second Elder contemplated for a moment, clenching his teeth after seemingly realizing something.

“I see… those old fuckers I swear.”

“Second Elder?”

“Never mind… There are more important things than that right now, so continue what you were telling me earlier. The part about you seeing Gu Huibi.”

At the Second Elder’s urgent tone, I took out the marble from the charm pocket, and showed it to him.

“Do you know what this is?”

“…This is…”

The Second Elder’s eyes widened at the sight of the red marble.

“This is the Marble of Celestial Captivation. How do you…”

“The Marble of… Celestial Captivation?”

It was my first time hearing that name.

But at the very least I was able to know that it wasn’t some junk sold by a random merchant, considering that the Second Elder knew its name and what it was.

“Elder Sister gave this to me, telling me to keep it on me.”

“Huibi gave this to you?”

At my words, the Second Elder’s face dawned with realization.

“This must be why the Lord went to the vault saying that he wanted to grab something.”

“Vault…? Did you just say the Vault?!”

“Yes, did Huibi not tell you about it?”

Of course not, this was the first time I had heard anything about it.

If Gu Huibi really got this from the Gu Clan’s Vault, then it was at the very least comparable to a treasure.

‘And she says that she bought this from some merchant…? That crazy woman…!’

I already had enough treasures, dangling on my body without my consent, and now another one gets added to the list.

At this point, my body was basically a moving treasure chest.

“…This treasure, does it do what I think it does?”

“Yes, what you saw wasn’t an illusion, but the power of that marble.”

The ability to look at someone from anywhere as long as they also had the marble on them.

Granted, I couldn’t hear anything and was only able to see, but it still was an incredible power.

‘And if I was able to see Gu Huibi with this…’

It meant that Gu Huibi also had the same marble.

“I knew about this already, but Huibi really is obsessed with you.”

As the Second Elder spoke with a chuckle, I nodded agreeing with him.

“I know. I can’t believe she gave me this so that she could bully me even further.”


“What a terrifying person she is.”

At my words, the Second Elder had a strange expression on his face, but it was quickly erased.

“Anyway, it’s really fortunate. Thanks to this, we were able to figure out Huibi’s location.”


“The Misty Mountains you said? I must immediately send a letter to the Lord.”

When the Second Elder was about to leave in a hurried manner, I stopped him.

“…Take this with you.”

It was so that I could give him the Marble of Celestial Captivation.

I didn’t want to have this suspicious marble that let the opposing side know what I was doing.

And more than anything, it would be more helpful for Father to have it, so that he could find her faster.

However, the Second Elder, shaking his head, responded.

“The requirement to activate this marble is to use one’s blood.”


If what the Second Elder was saying was true, then it seemed like the marble had activated because I had touched it with my bleeding hand.

However, what the Second Elder said afterward was even more shocking.

“Once the marble is used, it’s not possible for others to use it until the current owner of it dies.”

“…What did you say? What kind of bullshit item is that?”

Not only did it stalk on the other person, but it also stuck to the owner until their death.

It was an item that was filled with flaws.

“If you think I’m lying, do you want to give dying a try?”


Hearing the Second Elder, I put the marble back into my pocket.

“So keep that with you. We could always put it back in the vault if you want, but with your personality, you probably won’t let it.”

He was right on the money.

“Well… I can’t afford to chat for any longer, this old man must go.”

“Yes… Understood.”

Gu Huibi’s location now known, the Second Elder wasted no time, and quickly went away.

Seeing the Second Elder leave, I went back inside the cell and closed the door myself.

Lamenting my sorry state, I gritted my teeth reminding myself that I had to put up with it for now.

As I was about to close the door after going back inside the cell, the Second Elder who had been walking away hurriedly, suddenly stopped his steps and turned his head towards me.

In a serious tone, he called.


At the sudden serious tone, I looked at the Second Elder straight in his eyes, wondering what the matter was.

“This old man requests something of you.”

“Yes, what is it?”

“Do not go.”


My eyes widened greatly at the Second Elder’s words.

I hadn’t expected such a request from him.

My reaction, whatever it was, went unnoticed as the Second Elder continued.

“This is something beyond your control, leave this matter to the others.”

“…What are you talking about? Where would I even go.”

“Yes, so do not go.”

“Second Elder, what are you even saying right-”

“Answer me.”

The Second Elder cut me off with a serious tone.

His eyes seemingly told me that despite it being so urgent, he wouldn’t leave if I didn’t give him a response.

In the end I gave up, responding to him with a sigh.


“Thank you.”

The Second Elder hurriedly went back to the clan, seemingly satisfied with my response.

The only thing left was a basket full of food brought by the Second Elder.


The food had already gone cold.

This meal, courtesy of the Second Elder, was meant for us to eat together.

“…And why is it placed so far away? Is he telling me to just open the cell casually and eat it?”

I could see how urgent the situation was for the Second Elder.

I unconsciously let out a chuckle, yet my mind was filled with other thoughts.

It wasn’t the request made by the Second Elder nor was it the Marble of Celestial Captivation that Gu Huibi had tricked me into taking.

-Brother, please be happy.

Buried in the memories of my past life, the face of a woman emerged, uttering such words, her gaze fixed upon me.

At a situation where tears should have been the answer, she chose a smile, whispering her final farewell.

For a long time I wondered, why, at that moment, did she choose that.

But by now, knowing vaguely what thoughts and emotions she had while speaking those words…

“I’m sorry.”

The only thing I could do was apologize.

After all, it didn’t seem like I would be able to listen to the Second Elder’s request.


Night had arrived.

I didn’t know the exact time, but it was clear that the sun had fully set.

Sitting still, I gently opened my eyes.

Just like that, I got up.

[Hah, so in the end, you decided to go.]

It was Elder Shin’s inquiry.

Fidgeting with the marble inside my pocket, I nodded.


The marble didn’t show me Gu Huibi’s situation again.

The marble that used to be red, had lost its color.

Well, the colors were slowly coming back, so it was only a matter of time before I could use it again.

[It will be dangerous.]

“I know.”

If it really was the Palace that the Black Palace Lord stayed in, then this was a situation far more dangerous than anything I had come across.

And I was thinking of crawling in there with my own two feet.

Despite always saying that I wanted to live a peaceful life with a bright future, I was now walking into danger with my own two feet.

I chuckled at the sheer irony of the whole situation.

“It’s because I’ve regretted it my whole life.”


The door to the cell opened very easily, it was still unlocked.

And strangely enough, no one had come to check in the first place.

Was it because the imprisonment was just for show?

Or did they have any other intentions?

I didn’t know yet.

“But I do know which one I would regret more.”

Which regret held the greater weight?

Even if the scales were barely tipping, I knew the answer in my heart.

“I would regret it more if I just stayed and did nothing.”


Because of Elder Shin’s lack of response to my words, I couldn’t be certain whether he was intentionally remaining silent as a way of respecting my decision.


I felt confident that this was indeed the case.

As I approached the basement exit, I sharpened my senses further.

‘One at the entrance.’

Only one?

I was aware that they took turns keeping watch, but their lax approach almost gave me the impression that they had no real intention of guarding this place at all.

At this point, they were wanting me to break out.

As I went outside, I swiftly subdued one of the clan’s guards with a quick chop, rendering him unconscious.

They had never sealed my Qi to begin with, so this imprisonment was pretty much pointless.

“…Even though it hasn’t been that long since I returned to the clan.”

I could’ve sworn that I said the same thing before I left for Hanam.

At this point, I began to wonder if the world was out to get me.

If that wasn’t the case, why did I keep running into deplorable situations like these?

I had no intention of breaking out in the first place, but to think I would have to escape like this.

It seemed like I would have to deal with a lot of hassle when I came back.

‘Father would surely take my side.’

Well, I wasn’t certain of that, but I didn’t really care.

Let them punish me if they want, as my outrage will be far scarier than that.

[When will you ever mature…]

I ignored Elder Shin’s quiet remark and took off in the direction with the least amount of activity.

Due to a sizable portion of our clan’s forces being absent at the moment, it was easy for me to leave undetected given my current abilities.

‘…The girls are the problem, though.’

They must already be worried about me.

So, if I were to disappear like this without telling them, I would surely be met with sharp glares when I return.

Namgung Bi-ah also had warned me to let her know if I ever did anything like this.

As such, if I were to get caught, I would be in real danger.

‘She might actually pull her sword out.’

Namgung Bi-ah in that regard, was far scarier than Tang Soyeol or Wi Seol-Ah.

It was even more so as I had personally witnessed her skill in slicing people during my past life.

Tightly biting my lips, I focused on the situation at hand.

Even if they were to get angry, I wasn’t in a situation leisurely enough to just go and meet them.

‘Later on, I’ll just send them a letter.’

Well, I didn’t know if I would be able to do even that.

After taking a few leaps by surrounding my body with Qi, I could see the clan’s wall.

Without any hesitation, I jumped over it and landed on the other side.


Just as I thought I had escaped the clan without detection, a golden light flickered past me for an instant.

I searched my surroundings, wondering if I was mistaken, but found nothing out of the ordinary.

There was only darkness beyond the boundaries of the clan, with the trees and the crickets greeting me as company.

‘Was it just my mistake?’

It was probably just a firefly passing by.

Unable to sense any other presence nearby, I chose to believe that was indeed the case.

As I was about to continue on my way after correcting my direction, a familiar voice interrupted me.

“Young Master.”

My body instinctively spun around.

The voice belonged to someone who shouldn’t have been here.


At that spot…

‘…Why are you here?’

Stood Wi Seol-Ah, looking at me with swollen eyes and crouching beneath a tree.

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Chapter 201: I'll Be Back (1)
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