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Chapter 53 - End (3)

Second Life Ranker
     Chapter 53. End (3)

    Despite being just a simple stomp, the sound echoed like a rolling thunder.

    Overwhelmed by Phante’s aura, the players had to back away a little. The pressure even made some of the weaker players turn pale.

    It was only a few hours ago that they had agreed to join forces to knock the two of them out of the battle. But as things turned out, none of them could even get close to the two people.

    The force that Phante emitted was much greater than they had expected.

    No, maybe the information they originally had was actually correct. However, that was before the tutorial.

    Phante and Edora had gotten much stronger during the tutorial. Those two, who to begin with were already monsters, had become even greater monsters.

    "What are you doing? Didn’t you guys want my Karma? Then come and get it. Don't just stand there. Because if you do,"

    Phante’s two canine teeth were revealed as he grinned savagely. It looked almost like a ferocious predator getting ready to hunt for prey.

    "I’m coming to you."

    *Kwaaang*

    Phante leaped forward as he kicked off the ground. His speed was almost as fast as a bullet.

    "Damn it!"

    "Don’t let him get close!"

    Even under panic, the players moved in perfect sync. All sorts of dazzling effects glittered over their heads as they cast skill after skill. Different kinds of magic circles overlapped with each other on the ground, providing several buffs to the coalition of the players. Players wearing heavy armor or carrying shields stepped to the front to block Phante’s attack.

    And then, there was a clash.

    *Rumble*

    Phante’s level of skill was something Yeon-woo had never seen before.

    Every time he swung his fist, the atmosphere was torn apart, producing thunderous sounds, and the air swept through where his fists passed by, making the earth shake repeatedly.

    Players were like candles in the wind in the face of his attacks. Even if they were putting up relatively well, it was only ‘relative’.

    Phante pierced, smashed, and trampled several times the barriers that the players built.

    The player’s barriers shook with a stomp of his foot, and a number of players were blown away with a swing of his punch.

    *Kwang* *Kwang*

    Phante’s aura amplified with every explosion he created, further adding to the pressure that the players around were facing.

    It seemed like it wouldn’t take much longer for all the players to collapse.

    Above all, Phante was enjoying the fight, as if it was part of a game.

    ‘He's strong. I can see how they could kill Akasha's Snake.'

    Yeon-woo recalled the carcass of Akasha’s Snake that he saw in Section E.

    They had taken the Neidan, thus his power should be far greater than their original estimation.

    "Did they really think they could kill this guy? That's impossible. The gap is too big.'

    Over the fighting zone, Phante was dominating the whole stage.

    There were only two people who were out of his influence. One was a tall man standing in the backlines issuing orders as if he was the commander.

    He had three different sized swords next to his waist.

    Yeon-woo noticed there was some kind of energy flowing out from him that traversed through Phante’s aura and into the other players. It seemed like the energy was providing the players with boosted power and morale.

    The magic circles on the ground also seemed to belong to him.

    ‘A Lord? No, not yet. A Lord Candidate'

    Lord is a class that is specializes in leading and commanding multiple players, and possibly organizing a legion.

    A majority of rankers and heads of most clans were Lords.

    The original owner of Bathory’s Vampiric Sword, the Lord of Vampires, and the Eight Kings of the top eight clans all had this class.

    And the swordsman leading the players in their fight against Phante also had this trait.

    ‘I don't think it has fully bloomed yet.’

    And then, the other was the woman behind Phante.

    The woman was completely detached from the fight, standing with a long sword that was much taller than her own height, holding it firmly in her arms.

    She was an absolute beauty, but she also gave an impression as cold as ice.

    Especially, the horn sticking out of the left side of her head added a certain sharpness to her looks.

    ‘Edora.'

    Phante’s sister, the unrivaled first rank of the tutorial ranking.

    When Yeon-woo had asked about Edora, Kahn said this about her.

    ‘Phante is strong. Ridiculously strong. I felt like I was in front of a huge mountain when I faced him. But Edora... she’s a little different. She is definitely more gentle than Phante, but she feels… deep. Like the abyss of a sea. That's why I was more afraid of her. I can at least see the top of a mountain when I raise my head up, but I can’t see the bottom of the sea."

    Yeon-woo began to understand why Kahn was more afraid of Edora.

    ‘She’s hiding something. Something very big and ferocious. But what is it?'

    The moment Yeon-woo looked at Edora, she suddenly turned her gaze away from the fight and looked back at Yeon-woo.

    Her calm eyes looked straight at Yeon-woo.

    No, to be precise, she was also looking into Yeon-woo, looking at something inside of him.

    *Grin*

    A faint smile replaced her indifferent expression, as if she had found something fun.

    ‘She saw me.'

    Yeon-woo realized that Edora saw something in him, just like he did. So he smiled back at her.

    Apparently, it was time to stop just espectating.

    ‘If so.'

    He had no choice but to step in.

    Yeon-woo took out a fairly large pouch. It was a pouch full of Tokens.

    The players in the safe zone turned their eyes towards Yeon-woo. Their eyes started to glint with greed.

    From the looks of it, Yeon-woo had enough tokens for them to jump a few ranks ahead if they managed to take them from him.

    However, the rules didn’t allow aggression inside the safe zone. If players didn't follow the rules, they could be expelled from the stage.

    Even for items lying on the floor, players weren’t allowed to take them if they still had an owner. So the only thing they could do was to stand still and watch what this guy was doing.

    But suddenly, Yeon-woo turned the pouch upside down and began to pour the Tokens onto the floor.

    *Clatter*

    "What is he doing? Why is he dumping ’em all out?"

    "I think he is chickening out."

    "Damn, What a waste! He could have given them to someone else."

    Everyone around him thought he was out of his mind. They started laughing or cursing at his doing.

    But as the pile of Tokens grew bigger, no one could continue speaking anymore.

    "Wh, what the fuck? How many is he gonna take out?"

    "Is, is that a thousand? Two thousand?"

    The players on the edges of the stage became boisterous. And as they grew noisier, the players who hadn’t paid much attention to Yeon-woo began to look his way too.

    Phante also stopped his fight and jerked his head towards Yeon-woo’s side. Edora’s eyes glittered with interest as she looked at Yeon-woo.

    And when he finished pouring out the Tokens, there were more than 3000 of them piled on the floor.

    Yeon-woo then muttered a command in a low voice.

    “Convert.”

    *Whoosh*

    The thousands of Tokens burst into a beam of light and merged together, forming a gold crystal.

    [The Tokens collected in the prior two sections have successfully been converted into Karma points and have been added to your existing points.]

    At the same time, a big message popped up in the air.

    [The tutorial ranking has been updated.]

    All the players' eyes were gathered onto him.

    And the moment the rankings were announced, silent screams echoed in Section G.

    Even Edora's calm eyes shook.

    [Tutorial Ranking]

    1. Unknown (109,984 Points)

    2. Edora (68,230 Points)

    ···

    It was the first time since the start of this round that the first ranking had been overturned.

    "I can’t believe it, just...!”

    People shouted in dismay with their eyes fixed on Yeon-woo.

    Even if the name wasn't revealed, it was easy to know who it indicated.

    But Yeon-woo didn't stop there.

    He tied his gold crystal, his Karma, onto the waist and took his hands to the sword that was hanging on his back, and he slowly pulled it out.

    *Srrng*

    The sword vibrated with a clear ring as it was drawn out of its scabbard.

    It was a sword that looked about 70 centimeters long. Its scabbard had a very simple, almost crude design.

    However as the sword was gradually drawn out of its scabbard, strange characters engraved with silvery powder on the surface of the blade began to emit a mysterious white glow.

    A blue energy flowed out of the sword and started to circle around Yeon-woo.

    *Whoosh*

    The white glow and the blue energy merged together forming a strong whirlwind.

    And then, when he finally pulled the sword completely out of the scabbard,

    *Kwakwa*

    The whirlwind covered almost the entire safe zone.

    "Wh, what the fuck is this?"

    "What kind of artifact does this?"

    Players retreated far away from Yeon-woo in fear of being swept away by the whirlwind.

    Eyes filled with astonishment, disbelief, and dismay were bent on Yeon-woo. Nobody had ever heard about an artifact with such fierce effect.

    But Yeon-woo was only laughing calmly at the center of the typhoon.

    [Vigrid]

    Classification: ???

    Rating: ???

    Description: During the Silver Age, the forgotten days in the distant past, there once existed a divine sword that every great hero longed to wield. But as it changed hands from hero to hero, the sword had become tainted with too much blood. In the end, the sword was corrupted, turning into a demonic sword.

    For a long time, the sword had been sealed off in the depths of the earth, away from anyone’s reach. And only recently has it resurfaced, appearing once again in the world.

    But despite being sealed away for three ages, the holy sword has not been released from the demonic curse, and has been unable to regain its original form.

    In order to return it to its original form, the curse of the sword must be completely washed away under special conditions.

    * Blessing of the Sword

    The dense grudge left by the heroes slain by Vigrid has turned the blessing of the holy sword into a curse. When facing against a greater number of enemies or stronger enemies, the sword will unleash demonic energy (鬼氣). The chance of inflicting critical damage increases in proportion to the demonic energy.

    * Contagious Blessing

    When dealing a final blow to an enemy, the sword will spread its curse to other enemies in close proximity to the target.

    Targets under the effect of the curse will be inflicted with the status effect ‘Infection’, significantly decreasing targets’ defense and movement speed.

    * ???

    Ability locked. (Sealed)

    * ???

    Ability locked. (Sealed)

    **This is a ‘Unique' artifact. no same artifact exists in The Tower, and it will be bound to its owner. It cannot be transferred or traded between players.

    **Some of the abilities are sealed. You must meet the qualifications or conditions in order to lift the seals.

    The name ‘Vigrid’ signifies a battlefield in which divine beings such as heroes and transcendents hold their wars.

    The hidden piece that Kahn and Doyle had tried to obtain was a great weapon befitting of such a rhapsodic name.

    A holy sword from the Silver Age, from the days long before The Tower had even come into existence.

    Although the majority of its options were sealed as it was corrupted, each and every one of the remaining functions was still remarkable as it was.

    The first option, Blessing of the Sword, greatly increased the attack power when pitted against a large number of enemies. Plus, the demonic energy radiated by this option helped demoralize the enemies and cloud their judgement.

    For players who usually had to fight several monsters at once, it was definitely a mouthwatering artifact.

    But most of all, it also had an option that granted the wielder greater power when fighting against a stronger enemy. And that was the option that Kahn and Doyle had paid the most attention to.

    ‘The stronger Phante and Edora are, the greater its power will become. With this option, we should have been able to catch up to them without much trouble.'

    Even though it felt like cheating, Kahn had desperately wanted to surpass Phante and Edora with Vigrid.

    "Damn it, I know! I know that the weapon itself is OP as hell. The Dragon Slayer I’ve got does not even come close to Vigrid… If I were to ever use it, I could probably change the game"

    Kahn laughed bitterly as he explained about Vigrid.

    ‘But I realized it this time. Cheating is just cheating. It’ll surely work for that short period of time, but I won’t be able to make any progress with it. You know what they say, 신외지물.'

    신외지물(身外之物)

    An idiom indicating that something external to the body isn’t something of one’s own. Therefore, no matter how good of an artifact Vigrid was, the ability that the artifact provided wasn’t his own power.

    Kahn knew the advantages that Vigrid would give him, but at the same time, he was aware of its disadvantage.

    That the moment he got his hands on Vigrid, he may be able to beat Phante and Edora temporarily, but he himself wouldn't be able to get stronger because of the power of the sword.

    And he knew that one day, he would eventually taste defeat at the hands of someone even stronger than those two.

    In fact, it wasn't long ago that he had gained this enlightenment. After the fight against Bild, Kahn had agonized for countless hours over the difference between Bild and himself.

    Kahn himself was also considered an excellent swordsman, but he wasn’t strong enough to defeat Bild.

    He had thought for a long time about what created such a big gap between Bild and himself.

    Then, he came up with one conclusion.

    It must have been the lack of experience.

    While Bild had vast combat experience from climbing The Tower, Kahn, on the other hand, had only just entered the stage.

    Hence, in order to overcome his weakness, he had to start from scratch.

    So Kahn gave up his idea of obtaining Vigrid and yielded it to Yeon-woo.

    And thanks to that,

    Yeon-woo was able to get a hold of one of the best weapons in The Tower.

    The best hidden piece of the tutorial that his brother didn't even know of.