Chapter 6. Tutorial (4)
Yeon-woo didn’t know what to make of this mysterious merchant. He had just said ‘peekaboo’, and ‘gullible’.
He couldn't read the merchant’s expression because of the robes obscuring his face , but he seemed to be enjoying this situation.
Yeon-woo slightly knitted his eyebrows.
‘I've been too complacent.’
The mysterious merchant, like the guardian, was absolutely forbidden from intervening with the players.
That's why the merchant didn't hurt him while he was asleep.
‘But even though I was exhausted, I shouldn’t have slept like that."
He checked the time and saw that 12 hours had passed since he arrived at this base.
It had taken him about a day and 10 hours to get through this first half of Section A. In total, approximately 46 hours had passed since arriving at the tutorial.
It was pretty fast for a solo player.
There was no doubt as to why his body was so exhausted. After all, he had forced himself to power through the section with his body on the verge of collapsing.
However, Yeon-woo didn’t like this situation.
He knew, of course, that after any kind of intensive training, sufficient rest was necessary to allow for growth. Because the human body was not a machine.
No, even machines needed plenty of rest to prevent overheating.
But Yeon-woo couldn't afford that right now.
For him, The Tower was no better than a battlefield, and on a battlefield there was no room for rest at all.
He had to be wary about enemies that could come out from anywhere at anytime.
And the same could be applied to the arrival point.
Even if he was no longer under the threat of the steel arrows, it was still a place where other players were free to enter.
Even if the mysterious merchant couldn’t, it wouldn’t be strange for other players to try and harm him while he was sleeping.
‘Even if I was too exhausted….’
Yeon-woo put his thoughts together.
He had to admit that after being away from the battlefield for some time, he had become dull.
So he decided to sharpen himself.
To revert to what he used to be.
Yeon-woo opened his eyes as he thought back to the code name that was used to refer to him, but was now left unused.
His eyes were shimmering with cold determination.
In that instant, the mysterious merchant had a strange expression on his face.
Although it didn’t show because it was hidden by his robes, he seemed to have noticed a big change in Yeon-woo’s mindset preceded by his psychological struggles.
And he asked with a light smile.
"Did you find yourself in need of anything on your way here, sir? I'm the merchant who sells everything that exists in this world. If you need anything, just name it. Need any artifacts, or slaves? I’ve got some information too. I’ll sell them at a proper price."
The mysterious merchant flicked his finger lightly.
Then, a window popped up in front of Yeon-woo.
The items he had for trade were listed and divided into multiple categories.
Yeon-woo lightly clicked his tongue as he touched the window.
‘Medusa’s Venom, Horn of the Golden Mountain Goat, Left eye of Tiamat… and Nightmare of Walpurgis too? He deals with these kind of items in the tutorial? This is insane.”
The items that occupied the top of the list were items that rankers would fervently jump at, if carried to upper floors of The Tower.
The list was also full of things that could easily help you put an end to the tutorial.
However, this was nothing but a wild-goose chase. There was no way players that were going through the tutorial could afford items like these.
Thankfully, items of lower rating were also found as he scrolled down.
He could find good items for beginners here and there.
‘Arhan-style Swordsmanship Manual, Introduction to One-Circle Magic, and Success Formula to Elemental Sorcery. These are the skill books that might come in handy. But it will also require some effort to attain proficiency in their respective skills.'
In particular, a dagger named ‘Venomous Fang of Barma’ grabbed Yeon-woo’s attention.
[Venomous Fang of Barma]
Attack power: 25
A dagger made by smelting the teeth of a serpent that inhabits the swamps of Barma. Poison is applied on the edge of the dagger, causing a certain chance of poisoning the opponent when hit. The poison’s effect is random.
‘To be exact, it’s a dagger that deals with curses, not poison.’
The weapon cursed its target as soon as it came into contact.
There was a wide variety of curses that could be given to the target. Poisoning, burn, freeze, electrocution, hallucination, stun, blind, and so on. One of the curses would be randomly applied on the target.
If the opponents couldn’t find a proper way to fight against this erratic curse, it was possible to easily take them down amidst their confusion.
Moreover, it was made from the teeth of a mystical creature, so even after reaching the higher floors, he could continue using it as a magic item.
If he bought it, he would be able to put it to good use.
However, Yeon-woo took his eyes off of the dagger and moved on to the next categories.
‘It would be good to have it, but right now I need to focus on physical training. There’s no need to rely on artifacts yet.”
A long time passed while he was looking through the list.
Then, at one point Yeon-woo stopped scrolling.
You can return to any place you desire.
Yeon-woo looked at the mysterious merchant with a grin.
"What's the price for the items?"
"We are conscientious merchants who offer only reasonable prices. We never overcharge players for items they need. We can't rip off those who don't have money….”
"Make it brief."
"The attribute points you have. That's all you have to pay."
Yeon-woo placed his hand on the "Mineral water" at the bottom of the list.
A bottle of drinking water required when thirsty. Be sure to have some with you.
Price: Strength 2
Mere water costs 2 Strength points, and what? Conscientious?
Yeon-woo was so dumbfounded that he burst out laughing.
Of course, given its ludicrous price, he could just ignore it and not buy it.
But the problem was that humans needed water to live, and there was no way to supply oneself with drinking water or even food during the tutorial.
"3 Dexterity points for one day worth of food.’
Even if someone brought enough food and water from the outside, it could be lost on the way, or even be stolen by other players.
In addition, players who barely managed to get through Section A often found themselves in need of better equipment.
‘There’s a boss room beyond this point, so players have no choice but to fully equip themselves for the fight.”
So the players would have to bite the bullet and buy items from the mysterious merchant.
But then, with their lowered attribute points, the next fight would be even tougher, and they would have to trade the attribute points they had just barely manage to pile up again to buy the next set of equipment, throwing themselves into a vicious cycle.
And here he is, calling himself a ‘conscientious merchant’.
He was no better than a thief.
Yeon-woo smirked a little.
‘I don't know who designed the tutorial, but they are truly evil.’
After closing the category window, Yeon-woo said.
"There’s something I want to buy."
"Yes. Say it."
"In exchange for all the attribute points I got from Section A,"
Yeon-woo had already decided what to purchase.
"I'd like to buy tickets to reset Section A."
The rules didn’t allow players to re-attempt a section after clearing it. But when he heard that there was a rare ticket that could send a player back to any chosen place, a thought came to his mind.
If he could stack up attribute points by repeatedly going through Section A, wouldn't it be much easier to proceed afterwards?
In that brief moment, the mysterious merchant’s eyes gave off a strange glow under the robes.
Eyes filled with interest.
“Do you mean the reset tickets?”
“I do have those, but I've never seen anyone interested in that item. Usually, after surviving Section A, players would ask for things that can make the next section easier for them, and not something that will make them go through Section A all over again."
“Well, I personally have something in mind."
"If you say so."
The mysterious merchant chuckled and then clapped his hands.
All the shelves at his back disappeared.
[Attribute points acquired through Section A will be paid in exchange for the purchase.]
[You have acquired ‘Reset ticket for Section A’ x10]
Yeon-woo felt his body deflating like a balloon. The battle hardened body he had just a moment ago felt almost like a dream.
Instead, his hand was now holding 10 pink colored tickets.
“The method to use the ticket is very simple. Just tear off your ticket whenever you want , and you'll be teleported back to the starting zone.”
Yeon-woo shoved the tickets into his pocket.
"I’ll use it well."
"I'd appreciate if you do. I must be off. I hope we meet again."
The mysterious merchant gently turned around and melted away leaving no trace.
The room surrounding Yeon-woo also started to disappear like a wave, and he found himself in a different place.
Unlike the empty passage way he came through, ahead were dozens of scarecrows standing in a row. There were also some people other than Yeon-woo in that place.
Far in the distance, about five people were blasting away all kinds of skills against the scarecrows.
He also heard people screaming in anger, signifying that the scarecrows weren’t so easy to deal with.
[This is Section A’s boss room. Do you want to enter?]
Yeon-woo took out a ticket
He wanted to experience the difficulty of the boss, but with his current body’s condition, just one mistake and he would be toast.
He tore the ticket without hesitation.
He opened his eyes and found himself in a familiar place.
It was the starting zone where he had arrived before.
He drew a dagger from his waist and held it in his right hand.
‘I must raise my attributes as high as possible while I’m here.’
This time, he intended to make Section A entirely of his own.