Chapter 11. Tutorial (9)
The moment they met Yeon-woo's fierce eyes, Kaen's teammates froze in place.
Just looking at his eyes that seem devoid of emotion made their legs tremble involuntarily.
"Wh-why are you doing this! You have n-nothing to do with this guy! Wh-why are you interrupting us?”
One of them gathered up his courage and shouted at Yeon-woo.
Players usually did not to interfere with each other’s business. It was an unwritten rule in tutorial.
They all had different standings and different circumstances around their troubles.
And dislike towards other people meddling in their affairs was a common characteristic between players with strong personal tendencies.
So technically, Yeon-woo had no reason to intervene in the matter.
But Yeon-woo bluntly said.
"I don’t like it."
“I said I don’t like it. Do you have any problem with that?"
Yeon-woo sneered at them.
"You guys are doing whatever you please, so who says I can’t?"
They wanted to scream against such nonsense.
But the menacing eyes floating behind the mask made them unable to say anything anymore.
They had a hunch that they might get into a huge mess if they went on like this.
"Put your weapons down."
"Put them down."
"Do it! Throw it away! Please!"
Eventually, Kaen couldn't hold it any longer and started to scream.
The three began to abandon their weapons one by one while looking at each other.
"O-okay now, let Kaen go."
One of them said in a trembling voice, as he stayed on alert against Yeon-woo.
At that moment,
Yeon-woo gave them a sneer and pressed his foot harder, breaking Kaen’s spine.
Kaen's eyes rolled back, as he dropped down on the floor.
He was still breathing, but it was clear he couldn't move his limbs any more.
"Th, that’s different from what you promised… Awk!"
One of shouted as his face turned pale and gasped in surprise.
Before he knew it, Yeon-woo had already thrown a dagger at him.
He barely managed to strike the dagger.
In the meantime, Yeon-woo quickly approached him and smacked his throat with knife-hand strike.
Yeon-woo then darted close to him, smashed his chest with his elbow, struck his sternum with his knee, and punched his stomach.
His muscles were ruptured and all the struck bones were destroyed, accompanied by an air bursting sound. His jaw was crushed, and three or four teeth were chipped.
In the end, he collapsed on the floor covered in blood.
He was barely gasping for air. He looked like he could completely stop breathing at any time.
"I’m gonna kill you!"
"Just die already!"
At that moment, the other two people ran from behind Yeon-woo and swung their swords towards his neck and waist.
It was their last ditch effort.
Two of their teammates had collapsed without inflicting any damage. There was no chance of running away, so at the very least, they tried to oppose some resistance.
Yeon-woo lowered himself close to ground to avoid the attacks and simultaneously drew his dagger from his waist and slashed in front of him.
"AAAK! My foot!”
The two dropped onto the floor as their achilles tendons and arteries were cut.
As a fist flew towards their faces, their two heads were completely knocked backwards.
Their mouths were full of foam mixed with blood.
Yul’s jaw dropped as he watched the situation.
Everything happened so fast.
Even though unsightly, they still were players who had somehow passed Section A on their own.
But Yeon-woo crushed not just two, but four of them at once.
He knew Yeon-woo was strong, but he didn't think he would be so overwhelming.
The four seemed unable to make a comeback any longer, unless someone took them to a High Priest, or brought them a Superior Healing Potion.
If they were to be left like this, they might die or end up crippled for the rest of their lives.
It had to be either one of these two, the latter being more likely.
Yul felt so much relief, not because they were dead, but because they had to live like that until they died.
So he wanted to express his gratitude.
Yeon-woo was calm and composed as if he had just gone for a stroll.
He shook off some of the blood from his dagger, roughly put it around his waist and looked back at Yul.
Yul hastily wiped around his mouth with his sleeve.
Just now, Yul had just heard Yeon-woo laughing.
Yul raised his head with his eyes wide open.
He had been wearing a mask and his eyes had been dull up until now, so Yul had thought he didn’t have any emotion.
He had heard a few sneers, but he had never heard Yeon-woo’s real laugh.
But Yeon-woo turned his back as if nothing happened.
"Take care of yourself. Watch out for other people from now on."
"Uh, uh, wait…."
Without thinking, Yul called out for Yeon-woo.
But Yeon-woo just went his own way without looking back.
So Yul urgently shouted.
"Th-thank you! Hyung! Someday I’m gonna be like you!"
Yul thought to himself that he wanted to get rid of his weak self and become strong like this person.
Suddenly, Yeon-woo stopped for a moment and turned his head back.
Yul flinched for a moment, wondering if he had made a mistake.
"Try going to the Freesia Garden."
"It'll be quite helpful to you."
Yeon-woo just left these words behind and waved goodbye without saying anything else.
Yul stood there for a moment with a blank expression, but soon got a grasp of what he meant and clenched his fists.
‘Freesia Garden, was it?'
As if he had made a pledge to himself, he turned his gaze to another side of the room.
* * *
"Oh! Would you look at that?"
In a place with a lot of dropouts, a man who had been crouching in one corner and yawning from time to time, exclaimed with admiration.
Disheveled hair, rustic clothes, and a fishy look. He wasn't a person who left a strong impression on others.
But his look completely changed once he found something interesting near the gate.
It was like the look of a kid who had found a fun toy.
"Hey, hey. Stop sleeping and get up."
"Haaam! You won’t even let me sleep. So, what is it? "
The young man with disheveled hair kicked the boy who was tossing and turning.
Then the young boy with a baby-faced look got up and made a slight frown as he rubbed his eyes.
Bed head and sleepy eyes.
However, he had a pretty face that would make anyone stand in awe. If it weren't for his Adam’s apple, people would have believed he was a girl.
"Did you see that?"
"Well, the guys who were boasting about their admission to Arangdan, they just got beaten up."
The boy yawned.
"What's wrong with that?"
We expected it would happen since they went around being all being haughty about it. I knew they'd get beaten up someday. And hey, they weren’t all that great.
The boy was about to say this, but as the young man added the next sentence, he could only stare at him wide-eyed.
"They were beaten up by a single guy."
His sleepy eye suddenly flashed.
"All by one guy?"
"Yup. I think he passed Section A all by himself too."
The boy gave a small exclamation saying ‘Oh!’, and put on a timid smile as he looked at the gate leading to Section A.
It was such a cute smile that would even make men’s heart flutter.
"Really? At a time like this? That's great~ I thought there would be no more people. But that Kaen or whatever was pretty good.”
Then the boy cutely tilted his head.
"But you said the guy just screwed with Arangdan, so Cheonghwa is gonna go nuts about it, right?"
The young man gave a wicked laughter.
"To be exact, They were just candidates. Hehe. But still, I came here without expecting much, but now I've seen something fun right from the start. So, what do you think?"
"About making him our team member. Don't you think he is okay? Playing solo means he doesn't belong to any other team yet. I don't think there will be anyone else like this."
"Well, I’m not convinced yet. It’s too bothersome to clash with Cheonghwa."
“Ha! Since when did you care about that?"
"Heehee. That’s true."
"In any case. Just to check him out again, should we go after him?"
"Hyung, that's a bad habit."
"So? You're not coming?"
The boy puffed out his cheeks in response to the young man’s question.
"I didn’t say no."
Then, he timidly smiled.
"Don't you know I like this kind of stuff a lot more than you do? Hehe."
* * *
‘He said, thank you….’
Yeon-woo chuckled as he recalled to Yul’s words.
He had a long way to go, but he didn’t mind this kind of little connection just for some refreshment.
Moreover, he had peeked into Yul’s bloodline ability with his Draconic Eyes.
He was an Enchanter.
‘It’s an ability that lets him imbue a person or equipment with mana. I didn't think I would see this kind of thing here.’
He felt drawn to such a unique ability that was hard to find even in The Tower.
‘If I could keep him close to me….'
It would be of big help in the future.
‘Of course, that’s only if he can get through here safely.'
Yeon-woo couldn’t erase the smile from his face every time he recalled Yul's earnest look.
‘By the way,'
Yeon-woo stopped and looked around for a moment.
‘Where is the passage that leads to Section B?'
He didn’t know if it was because of the fight with the Kaen’s group, but he could feel the players around looking at him. He ignored them and passed through the center of the waiting room.
At the end of the wall on his right side, four doors stood in a row.
As he walked past a yellow line which meant the starting zone of Section B, a message automatically popped up on his retina.
[The challenge of Section B will begin.]
[Section B has a total of four passages. Select one door and clear the passage.]
At the end of huge vacant lot laid four doors in a straight line.
Each one of them was the same in size and shape, but had a different in color.
‘I'm going to choose,'
White, blue, red and black.
Yeon-woo scanned through each door and headed towards the door at the far right without any hesitation.
‘Jeong-woo's choice was blue.'
Each door was designed to guide the players to a different room with a set difficulty level. The further to the right, the more difficult it would be.
His brother had chosen the second easiest door.
Section A had already been too hard, therefore he and his teammates decided to choose a relatively easier door in order to take a breather.
But after a long time, when he was already somewhat settled in The Tower and learned about the secrets of the tutorial, he regretted the choice he had made in Section B.
The rewards differed depending on the color of the door selected in Section B.
"Behind the black door, also known as the ‘Black Route’, there are White Mosses and Cannibals waiting inside."
Section A only tested the players’ physical performance.
But it was little bit different in Section B.
It required something else.
Judgment, cognition, attention, concentration, determination, etc.
Their decision making, thoughts and course of action that different players make when faced with the same environment. Even how much they knew about the situation they were in.
And finally, the ability to find the hidden pieces that the Guardians had concealed as if it was a treasure hunt, relying on the abilities mentioned above.
‘I must get my hands on Bathory’s Vampiric Sword here.’
As Yeon-woo recalled the location of hidden piece in Section B, he slowly placed his hand on the black door.