Chapter 52. End (2)
It was an unexpected remark.
Yeon-woo's eyes grew slightly bigger.
But Kahn shrugged his shoulders as if asking what was so surprising about it.
"While you were out there wrecking havoc, Doyle and I, we had a serious conversation. We can't go to Section G like this. We’d just be eaten alive by those who’ve been watching thirstily for a chance to get us."
Doyle then spoke right after Kahn.
"So we've decided to give up on this round and aim for the next one. Besides, there’s no point if we can’t be the first and second ranks."
Yeon-woo nodded at their answer.
Those who clear the tutorial ranking first are given a handsome amount of rewards. It was the reason why Yeon-woo tried so hard to acquire as much Karma as possible. But it seemed like Kahn and Doyle were also after that.
At the same time, however, a question occurred to him.
"But do we get a chance to retry the tutorial?"
"Huh? You didn’t know that? There are quite a few players who try over and over again until they finally qualify to enter The Tower."
Doyle had an innocent look on his face, as if stating the obvious.
Yeon-woo was lost for words. His brother hadn’t mentioned anything about this kind of rule. So all this time, Yeon-woo had thought that players only got one chance to pass the tutorial.
So it turned out that Yeon-woo had been going through a lot of unnecessary troubles.
‘It was fun though.’
He didn’t feel any regret.
There was no set time or interval at which the tutorial opened its gates. Thus leading people to say that ‘the tutorial opens whenever The Tower wants to’.
So no one knew for how long they would have to wait if they gave up.
‘I've met some nice guys, and I also got Bild'
Below his mask, Yeon-woo's eyes were drawing two arcs.
"So, you want me to take this?"
"It’s better to give them to someone. Otherwise, we’d have to throw it away, right? Besides,"
Kahn replied as he turned up the corners of his mouth.
"I think you could give Phante and Edora a slap in their faces. Huhuhu!"
Doyle clicked his tongue next to him.
"You know, hyung?"
"You looked really hideous just now."
"Shut up, you idiot."
"You’re just making him do it just because you can’t do it for yourself. You seriously have an issue."
"Come on, man. It wrenches my gut to think about them.”
Yeon-woo’s eyes glimmered as he watched the two of them squabbling.
Phante and Edora,
The names that had appeared repeatedly throughout the tutorial since he first checked the tutorial ranking,
‘The names of the players whom I must defeat in Section G.'
They were strong enough to kill Akasha’s Snake by themselves.
"Phante and Edora, who are they?"
Kahn thought for a moment how to answer and soon replied with one word.
Kahn, who was usually very playful, had a very serious look on his face.
"I tried so hard to surpass them, but I was unable to."
Yeon-woo could see a sense of ‘inferiority’ in Kahn’s eyes.
He couldn’t tell how strong the two of them were just by his description.
As far as he knew, Kahn was also a very skilled player. It almost felt like he didn’t belong in the tutorial. But being such a player, he described Phante and Edora as monsters, to the point that it even made him feel inferior to them.
‘How skilled could they be?’
Kahn lifted one side of his lips.
"So take this, and take the first rank. Then, we can at least say we helped you win the first place, you know? How good does that sound? Damn!"
Yeon-woo couldn’t hold back his laughter as he watched Kahn stealing the show all by himself. Then he grabbed the pouch Kahn was handing him.
"All right. I’ll do my best, on behalf of you two."
"Yes! This is what I’ve always wanted. The loyalty of men sprouting in the midst of a competition, the friendship, and the sportsmanship! This is exactly the picture I was hoping for!"
"... You’ve gotta be kidding me."
Kahn raised his middle finger towards Doyle who kept trying to pick a fight with him and then said to Yeon-woo.
"Give it your all, bro."
Yeon-woo stood up as he nodded his head.
Then he took out Hargan's Crown from the pouch and put it on his head.
A white mask with a crown on it. Yeon-woo looked a little silly with those two items put together.
Kahn and Doyle burst out laughing, and Yeon-woo laughed along. It might look funny, but he now felt more encouraged than ever.
And after a good laugh, Yeon-woo turned around.
One last section, within two days remaining. The end was near. He needed to rush because the timer was quickly counting down even now.
* * *
The hidden piece requiring Hargan’s Crown was hidden deep under the ground, in the lair of the Spiny Moles.
Yeon-woo descended down the lair as Kahn told him to, and fought off every single Spiny Mole inside the lair. Finally, he was faced with the boss monster in the final room.
He was a strong monster. Almost as strong as Akasha’s Snake.
Had it not been for Hargan's Crown, he might have been buried under the lair or eaten by the boss monster. But Yeon-woo managed to defeat him after a long fight.
At last, he was able to get his hands on the hidden piece lying in Section F.
Yeon-woo pulled out the sword that was stuck in a large rock.
The hidden card that Kahn and Doyle had thought of using to surpass Phante and Edora.
Then, Yeon-woo walked across the border leading to the final section as he hung the sword on his back.
It was just a half-day before the tutorial ended.
* * *
"Ohyohyo. Aren’t you a greedy one? Akasha's Snake, Arangdan, and now you have your hands on Vigrid."
Yvlke clapped his hands as he watched the screen in front of him.
A player who hoarded almost all of the hidden pieces as if had known everything about them beforehand, and in the end had blown Arangdan away.
The more he saw him, the more amazed he was. He was starting to wonder how could a player like that exist.
Yvlke was dying to know what kind of show would he put up with only 12 hours remaining.
He felt his heart beating like crazy.
"And this kind of performance will become even more interesting when I’m the only one who knows about it."
Yvlke tapped the air and quickly assigned the detailed records of Yeon-woo under ‘First Class’ restrictions.
Even amongst the guardians, only the highest officers could access information under such a high level of security lock.
Yvlke had been told that recently there had been some guardians who had abandoned their duties of maintaining neutrality and were engaging in private deals with players.
Information like this had to be sealed tightly to prevent any problems.
After Yvlke blocked off all the access, he leaned his chin against his clasped hands.
His two eyes were still fixed on the screen.
* * *
[You have successfully cleared Section F as a solo player.]
[You have made an achievement that is not easily accomplished. Additional Karma will be provided.]
[You have acquired 3,000 Karma.]
[You have acquired 2,000 additional Karma.]
[Your health and mana will be restored]
[All status effects will be removed]
[You have entered Section G, the last section of the tutorial.]
When Yeon-woo stepped into Section G, he was enveloped by a pool of light. As the light faded away, Yeon-woo realized he was standing on a marble structure floating midair.
Starting from the structure he was standing, there were floating steps leading upwards. And up in the sky where the steps ended, he felt a vast amount of aura raging over a stage on a large cloud.
He didn't know what was going on there, but it was plain enough to know that there were several strong players fighting up on the stage.
That place was the last stage of Section G.
‘I’m finally here now.'
Yeon-woo began to climb the steps.
At that moment, a new message popped up in front of him.
[The challenge of Section G will begin.]
[You have successfully passed through six sections and made your best effort to meet the qualifications to enter The Tower. However, The Tower still requires you to gain more achievements and Karma.
Here, in Section G, you will have to fight other players on the provided stage. You will be allowed to take others’ Karma points once they are defeated. Face as many players as you can, build up your Karma points to prove your qualifications.
The final rewards will be given according to your rank and the Karma points you have collected.]
The task of Section G was very simple. Just like what the messages had said, players who made it this far had already fully proved themselves to be great players.
But that wasn’t enough for the participants who wished to become a god.
In order to be a god, one must be superior than their peers and cannot let their growth stagnate.
If fighting was optional in Section E and F, in Section G it was almost mandatory.
A place where the top rankers come together to fight against each other.
Naturally, tension would built up between players.
To put it shortly, Section G was a battle royale with a ‘winner-takes-all’ system.
Because of this, the competition among the players gets really fierce, to the point where situations like lower ranking players joining forces to bring down higher ranking players happen very often...
...But that doesn't necessarily mean that there’s only a total carnage in Section G. Because if one gets exhausted after fighting against other players, they would soon get ambushed and end up losing their Karma.
To sum it all up, Section G is a brawl where players have to both fight others to gain more Karma and remain extremely alert to avoid losing it.
His brother described Section G with two words.
A battle royale and,
‘A brawl, was it?’
A place where only the highest ranking players participate in a free-for-all battle.
‘But the rankings change so frequently in this section that players can aim for a final turnaround.’
As he trod on the last step, a large open stage emerged in front of his eyes.
At that moment, all the players around the edge of the stage turned their heads towards Yeon-woo.
"What? Who the hell is he?"
"I thought it would be Blood Sword and Foxy Tail. I didn’t expect a weirdo to show up."
"Someone said they gave up on the tutorial. Maybe it’s true."
"Well, that’s gonna clear up sooner or later, so let’s not talk about that. Anyway, it doesn't look like he's anything special, showing up so late."
There were approximately 70 players standing on the stage. Of them, about 50 were in the middle of a battle, and the remaining 20 stood in the safety zones at the edge of the stage as if they were injured or abstaining from battle.
The people who showed interest in the sudden appearance of Yeon-woo were those in the safe zones.
The stage of Section G can be roughly divided into two parts.
The outer safety zone where players can take a rest and organize their thoughts,
And the inner battle zone where players fight for Karma.
Players outside the battle zone were those who had already settled with their current rank. Their words were beneath Yeon-woo's notice.
So Yeon-woo didn’t pay attention to what they said. Instead, he turned his gaze towards the battle zone to have a look at the situation.
"Oh. You’ve got time to look away, don’t you? Was I that boring? I’m sorry if I was. Uhahaha!"
When Yeon-woo looked at the battle, it a rather strange scene. It seemed like one male and one female player were fighting against the whole crowd of 50 players.
Or, to be exact, the woman was only standing at the back with her arms folded, and the man was pressing on the other fifty players in front of the woman as to protect her. Only with sheer aura.
"What the hell! How is that a player in the tutorial? It doesn’t make sense!"
Despite the fact that the two players surrounded were vastly outnumbered, the players surrounding them could barely stand in the storm of aura that was raging like a typhoon. They clenched their teeth, gathered strength in their lower bodies, and tried desperately to not fall down.
But the man found their appearances ridiculous and he broke out in laughter. He laughed so loud that the sound seemed to resonate throughout the whole stage.
Hair with a violet hue, eyes with a golden glow. His canine teeth were slightly poking out of his lower lip. He had a very sturdy looking physique that was likely to exceed two meters in size. His clothes were also quite unusual. Players often wore armor to protect their bodies, but the man was wearing some kind of uncomfortable-looking ancient martial robe.
But the most noticeable thing was the horn that stuck out from his right temple.
Among the various demi-human races present in The Tower, they were called ‘the embodiment of martial arts itself’
The man had already set the whole stage under his feet, just by releasing his aura.
Yeon-woo already knew who the man was.
The second place of the tutorial rankings.
A wall that Khan and Doyle had tried so hard to jump over.
Such man took a step forward.