Chapter 9. Tutorial (7)
Yeon-woo stared at the young man as if asking what was wrong with it.
The young man seemed to have a lot to say, but he kept his mouth shut.
He was thinking this was a chance. His only chance to get out of this awful place.
His eyes then filled with determination.
"Okay. I'll help you. What do you want me to do?"* * *
The young man presented himself as Yul.
"Yes, Yul. Everyone calls me by that name."
Yeon-woo noticed that it was an alias, but he didn't bother asking any more.
After all, they would part ways after getting what they needed from each other.
"All right, Yul. I'll open up a path so follow right behind me. If you lag, I’m just gonna leave you there."
"And one more thing."
“Use honorifics when talking to me. I’m not gonna let you off just because you’re a child.”
Yul thought it was no longer necessary to act strong since he had already failed to conceal his age, so he answered with an ‘Okay’.
Still, as if his stubbornness ran in his blood, he didn't want to appear weak until the end.
With his Draconic Eyes active, Yeon-woo took the lead and walked along the passage. Every time they advanced a certain distance, a copper puppet would come out and block their way. Taking the same posture as Yeon-woo, the puppets tried to attack them. But each time, Yeon-woo pushed them aside and stabbed the dagger into their flaws.
Whenever Yeon-woo brandished his dagger, one or two of the copper puppet's limbs popped into the air.
Sometimes, broken fragments of their heads fell onto the floor.
If until now he had been focusing on speed, now his focus changed to clashing head-on with the copper puppets and knocking them down.
After switching to it, he realized this method was better. He was able to figure out some clues about new ways to use his senses with his now stronger muscles.
During the whole time he was following Yeon-woo, Yul couldn't hold his mouth from gaping.
Whenever Yeon-woo swung his ordinary dagger, the monstrous copper puppets exploded into pieces.
He was beginning doubt whether they were the same puppets he had fought before.
Then, Yeon-woo looked back at him.
A look asking why he hadn’t started speaking yet.
Only then did Yul came to his sense and opened his mouth.
"I don't know about you, but I can "see" mana inherently."
For a moment, Yeon-woo stopped walking and narrowed his eyes.
"Is this something related to your bloodline(血系)?"
"It is similar."
Cases like this were scarce on Earth, but could be often found in other worlds.
Cases of individuals possessing some Unique Talent(異能) or maybe even a Supernatural Power(超能) were associated to genetic factors.
They usually had an outstanding ancestor, and their abilities had been passed down to their descendants generation after generation.
Then, the descendants would awaken their abilities during their lifetime, rise to prominence, and continue passing down their abilities to their offsprings. This was also the case for Yul.
"The ability I inherited is something along the lines of affinity towards mana, which allows me to see, to feel and to taste mana. That's how I found out that the copper puppets had sensors attached to them.”
Yeon-woo fell into a deep thought for a while.
‘Isn’t this similar to Jeong-woo?'
The trait his brother had, Psychometry.
To be able to communicate with everything, also meant that he could communicate with mana.
Naturally, his brother didn’t have any complication when feeling mana, unlike other people from Earth who commonly struggle with it.
Rather, he could even handle mana very smoothly, as if he had just recovered something he had once lost.
It was said that his teammates were appalled after seeing that.
The reason why he was chosen by the Ancient Dragon Kalatus was all because of that characteristic of his.
Because he could communicate with all things, it was possible for him to inherit the abilities of the dragon race that ordinary humans couldn’t grasp.
Therefore, the description of mana his brother had left in his diary was not very helpful to Yeon-woo.
The whole concept was something Yeon-woo couldn’t rely on, like a pie in the sky.
The same went for Yul.
The bloodline inheritance and the awakening of abilities through traits, they both sounded the same too Yeon-woo.
‘Technically, these two people can be classified as geniuses, which I am not.’
Yeon-woo was starting to think that the deal he had made with Yul would end up being of little help to him.
However, the next comment Yul made caught Yeon-woo's attention.
"You can consider mana as some kind of river. Magic would be the water drawn from the river to a reservoir."
Yeon-woo repeated to himself in a low voice.
Something kept hovering in his head and jumbled up his thoughts.
In the meantime, Yeon-woo had already defeated the last remaining copper puppet and was approaching the iron gate leading to Section B.
* * *
[You have successfully cleared Section A as a solo player.]
[You have made an achievement that is not easily accomplished. Additional Karma will be provided.]
[You have acquired 500 Karma.]
[You have acquired 300 additional Karma.]
[Your health and mana will be restored]
[All status effects will be removed]
‘Fortunately, we weren’t recognized as a team.’
Looking at the pile of messages, Yeon-woo cracked a slight smile.
The interface system marked everything as Yeon-woo's achievements, presumably because the copper puppets were taken care of by Yeon-woo without any help from Yul whatsoever.
‘I got 800 points from that.’
In The Tower, the concept of Karma was very important.
Karma, a scoring system given according to a player's achievements.
The Tower and the Guardians provided rewards based on Karma, and it was also used as a currency amongst players and could be traded for other items.
Basically, it was something that every player had to do their best to gather as much as possible throughout the Tower.
But Yeon-woo, who had just passed Section A of the tutorial, had already gained this much Karma. Others would be shocked if they knew it.
‘It's not enough yet, I need to accumulate more. As much as possible.’
Yeon-woo closed the Karma window, and stepped into the waiting room of Section B.
A refreshing air entered his lungs.
"Wh… who’s that guy? What's up with his mask?"
"He just passed Section A, right?"
"What? At a time like this?"
"Hold on, where are the other guys? Is he alone?”
Beyond the iron gate, there were about a dozen people looking at his direction in amazement.
It was surprising that there were still participants attempting to pass even after two weeks from when the tutorial started.
It was a common knowledge that people entering The Tower this time around, would usually wait for the next round instead of barging in in the middle.
But what surprised them even more was that it was only one person that opened the iron gate and entered Section B.
They wondered if he had broken through the vicious Section A on his own
"What are you doing? Aren’t you coming in?"
Yeon-woo said as he looked back.
Then, Yul crossed the iron gate in disbelief. His faintly trembling lips muttered in a low voice.
"Finally, I'm out....”
It was a voice mixed with several emotions.
[You have entered Section B]
The waiting room in Section B was quite large.
The room was shaped like a dome and it seemed large enough to accommodate thousands of people.
There were quite a number of people inside the waiting room, and each of them was doing something different.
Some were sharpening their swords with whetstones, and some were doing some warm-up exercises. There were also some sleeping in one corner, while others were seriously injured with amputated limbs.
Excluding Yul, they were the first ‘people’ he met since arriving at The Tower.
But Yeon-woo ignored all the glances they were throwing at him.
‘Because they're all dropouts.’
They were those who couldn't think of moving forward any more after barely passing through the grisly Section A.
Every one of them had given up on the challenges and were waiting for the 30 days time limit to end.
The tutorial becomes more and more difficult as players continue to progress.
Of course, it was inevitable that many players would decide to drop out, so if he paid too much attention to them it would only make him distracted.
Yeon-woo moved to a vacant area. Fortunately, he was able to find a bench with no one nearby.
Then he called Yul who was standing nailed to the spot.
He was glaring at one side with blazing eyes. Then, he got startled and turned to Yeon-woo.
"Let's finish our talk first."
Yul gave one more angry look to that side, and quickly approached Yeon-woo and sat down opposite to him.
Yeon-woo glanced towards where Yul had been looking.
Four players were gathered around that place. They had a stern look on their faces.
"Are they your teammates?"
"They ‘were’. But not anymore.”
Yul's expression was cold.
They had left him at the jaws of death. It was natural to be angry.
But Yul didn't seem to want to get involved with them anymore.
Trash is only a trash, and it won't do any good to get tied up with a trash.
Yeon-woo was quite fond of that kind of attitude.
There's a fine line between revenge and foolhardiness.
Knowing to differentiate objectively between them meant that he had a lot of room for growth.
"Where was I?”
"Mana stream, or whatever."
"Oh, about that…."
To his surprise, Yul knew a lot about mana.
To be exact, he knew a lot about the theory.
In most cases, those who had inherited magical abilities were often weak with theory, but Yul said he was forced to study the from an early age because of his family’s policies.
Thanks to him, Yeon-woo was able to roughly conceptualize magic and mana.
It was still hard to understand most of the theory. But as things were beginning to take shape in his mind, it made it possible for him to take in, to a certain extent, what Jeong-woo had written in his diary.
“I got a rough idea of what mana is, but if I can't use it, it's completely useless. What’s an easy way to handle, I mean, use mana?"
Yul scratched the back of the head.
"I don't really know. It feels refreshing, I guess? In fact, I’ve been able to handle it from the start, so it’s hard to explain how."
"Is that so? Well, it is what it is."
Yeon-woo nodded as if he already knew it.
He had already guessed it since he felt Yul was similar to his brother.
But that didn’t mean that there was no progress at all.
At least he was able to relieve the vague feeling he had.
That alone was a great harvest.
He hadn’t lost anything from the deal since he only needed to bring Yul along with him to Section B, which was where he was headed to anyway.
"Then I’ll take my leave here. You're going to wait for the tutorial to end and then go back, right?"
"Yes? Ah, yes."
Yul seemed to have something to say as he saw Yeon-woo rising from his seat, but he just silently nodded.
Even if he wanted to get to The Tower, only those who attained the highest scores during the tutorial were eligible to enter, so there was no way he could.
Still, Yul showed a slightly regretful face.
Yeon-woo, however, turned his back only leaving him a short goodbye.
He had only passed Section A. There were still five sections remaining until Section F, so it was necessary to quickly narrow the gap between him and the frontrunners, and make up for the time lost.
It was at that moment, when Yeon-woo was about to take his leave, when he suddenly saw four players headed towards his direction.
They were the group that had abandoned Yul.
 Says one week in the original, but should be the author’s mistake.
 At this point I just assume the author is bad at maths. Says six sections in the original.