Jooheon’s revenge against Taejoon Kwon is underway. Although there is no direct conflict between the two in Volume 3, Jooheon begins to act against Taejoon’s collaborators and the organisations in which he was involved in Jooheon’s past life.
He starts with Irene Holton, who was known as the King of Bankruptcy before he regressed in time. From being a cold-hearted person, she now seems almost adorable. While initially Jooheon didn’t want to have anything to do with her, he realises how much of an asset she could become. Irene is afflicted by a parasitic relic which brings misfortune to everything and everyone all around her. Jooheon offers to help her, but there’s more to the tomb where Irene’s relic comes from than he thought. And he’s not the only one wanting what’s there. The US government is trying to take control. Not only of the tomb, but of many relics.
That’s how Pandora is born: an organisation that aims to help and protect the civilians when relics appear. It makes it illegal for civilians not affiliated with Pandora to own relics or have anything to do with them, supposedly to protect them. It all sounds good on the news, but Jooheon knows the truth—Pandora wants the monopoly of relics. And now that Pandora has been announced to the world, it’s time for Jooheon to show them what they are really made of.
He starts by tricking General Kiera Clark. If not stopped early on, she’ll become a harder obstacle to surpass in his revenge plan. She’s trying to collect all the map-style relics, and Jooheon can’t have that. Moreover, she seems to be keeping a big secret from her employer, the USA. And Jooheon can’t wait to unravel all her secrets—he’s becoming a master manipulator and con artist, traits that even his Crow relic recognises, but at least he’s getting his own way.
The more I read this series, the more Jooheon turns into an antihero, almost like a villain. But the reader knows the truth. There is a reason why he behaves this way, and being a doormat only brought him and his comrades death in his previous life. Now he needs to shake things up. And little by little, he also starts to learn more about the Crow, a relic that all other relics seem to hate. We get more clues about the Crow’s past and why the relics behave this way, but there is still much left unsaid. We don’t know yet if it’s a good or evil relic or if it has any plans for Jooheon, but it must have chosen Jooheon for a reason in his previous life, and their connection still stands with the time turned back.
Other than Jooheon, the character who has quite a bit of growth in this volume is Irene. She learns more about the two ways to deal with relics—affinity and dominance— and thanks to these two skills, she learns how to control her own relic. It will take time, but she’s making progress. However, using her relics has a drawback. Powerful relics have a weakness—the user experiences a change in their physical state for a limited amount of time, like losing their inhibitions and control, or switching from an adult to a baby.
While some relics have drawbacks for their users, they also cause issues with non-users. Relic Syndrome is an illness that leads to death because the human body can’t withstand even the presence of relics being nearby. Someone is not happy about Jooheon and Irene’s partnership and is taking drastic measure to stop it. I wonder what Jooheon will do to fix the situation. Probably he’ll end up blackmailing someone and destroying something.
Tomb Raider King Volume 3 is written by SAN.G, illustrated by 3B2S and adapted by Yuns (REDICE STUDIO). The print edition in the English language is by Ize Press. Originally published as a web comic, the chapters are available on Tapas. Volume 4 is slated for release in September 2023.
Our review copy from Ize Press was supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK.