Chapter 108: Opening Act (6)
Translator: HH Editor: HH
Semi ranker. Skilled people who challenged rankers.
A ranker is the name given to the strongest players who climb the Tower.
In general, they’re players who have started climbing higher than the 50th floor.
But the 50th floor isn’t one that can be overlooked.
It has a difficulty way stronger than the 49th floor.
Even the strongest players fail that floor. So that’s why rankers were so amazing.
Players who were about to defeat the 50th floor were often called this.
Challenger, or semi ranker.
77 floors that have been conquered so far.
And if you were to name the floors with the most residents, it was narrowed down to two.
The first floor and the 49th floor. The reason was simple. The first obstacle was the first floor, which was hard for people who just passed the tutorial.
And the 49th floor posed an obstacle to players who had been on a smooth run.
People on the 49th floor would kill to somehow succeed. Because even if it was only one floor, there was a wide gap between those who had succeeded and those who didn’t.
But the majority of them failed, and only a select few could move on. And so rankers who passed the 50th floor called the players of the 49th floor ‘failures.’
Because they were fools who couldn’t move past that one obstacle.
But this was only something that players on the higher floors fought over. On the lower floors, even the 49th floor was incredible.
To pass the ‘magic gateway’ that was the 50th floor, you had to be extremely strong and make a huge effort.
So the players staying on the 49th floors were called something else out of respect. Semi rankers.
People who dreamt of being a ranker.
And in reality, semi rankers were already plenty strong. Some even said a few of them were stronger than actual rankers.
And there was a semi ranker right in front of him.
Yeon-woo let out a laugh in disbelief.
Even if he was at his full strength, the chances were slim. But he was trying to do this while he was both mentally and physically exhausted?
It was like committing suicide.
‘This is fun.’
Yeon-woo weirdly felt more of a stronger will to fight.
He laughed. This time it wasn’t because of disbelief, but in amusement.
Yeon-woo was going to defeat all the 8 clans single-handedly. And if he wanted to do that, he needed to grow stronger from defeating players like this.
No, he had to defeat the Nine Kings who were all high rankers.
He needed to be able to be on the level of the Martial Kng at the very least to start his revenge.
From that perspective, defeating a semi ranker was only a way to get stronger
Yeon-woo was able to learn a lot of things from the past 4 battles.
He had gotten rid of all unnecessities.
He had successfully linked the Heaven Wing Mana Control and Eight Extreme Fists, and he could control the intensity of the Cores.
Pushing himself to the extreme, he was able to find all the weaknesses.
The Marital King probably did this for that reason.
So he could improve.
Of course, if he was to make a slight mistake, his life would be in danger.
‘I already put my life on the line by entering the Tower anyway. There’s nothing to worry about.’
The Martial King probably felt the same way. In some ways, he was extremely dispassionate.
Yeon-woo lightly waved his hand. The Black Bracelet made a slight ringing noise and it locked the souls in the collection.
It was hard to get souls of players of this level. It would be nice to make them his Soul Familiars.
‘Let’s start fighting again.’
Yeon-woo pushed his Magic Circuit to the very limit. He didn’t have to worry about mana with the improved efficiency.
An abundant amount of magic power filled his body.
And with the use of Draconic Eyes and Combat Will, he got into position.
The proficiency of Eight Extreme Fists (Superior) was 15.2%, and Heaven Wing Mana Control was at 31.2%.
He had completely mastered the first section, so he didn’t have to worry anymore.
Shanon knew that Yeon-woo was gathering all his strength for this fight and gripped his knife.
Whether it be a human or a beast, a creature that was fighting with everything it could was dangerous.
The Yeon-woo that Shanon observed was that kind of being.
A beast drenched in blood.
One that wouldn’t fall even when it was tired. And it was one that kept growling, baring all its teeth. Shanon lifted his knife. The Sword Breaker that was bumpy all over like cobblestones. Auror concentrated within the blade.
Shanon looked at Yeon-woo with an unreadable expression.
“Can I ask for a favor?”
“Regardless of the result of this battle. I’d like it if my subordinates could be saved.”
Yeon-woo squinted his eyes at the unexpected request. Up until now, all the players he had seen were more concerned with saving their own lives, not saving others’.
But Shanon smiled sourly.
“To be honest, on the way here, I was so scared that I wasn’t able to think of my subordinates. I just remembered them. I know we met as enemies, but you’re not cold hearted enough to kill those who surrendered too, right?”
Yeon-woo read Shanon’s mind.
‘He’s not planning on winning this battle.’
It was strange. This situation was obviously favorable toward Shanon, and up until just now, Shanon had a strong will to live.
He was observing everything about the situation, figuring out how to attack and where Yeon-woo’s weaknesses were.
But how it was different.
He was half given up, and half curious about Yeon-woo.
Yeon-woo didn’t know why Shanon was suddenly feeling this way and felt heavy.
Like he had met a strong wall.
‘I’ll break it at once.’
Yeon-woo summoned his fire. He was planning on finishing the fight as quickly as possible.
Wings made of fire soared higher than ever into the sky. He wrapped the wings around him and stomped his foot in the ground.
As the heat whipped around Shanon like hail.
Shanon lashed Sword Breaker out, and a strong wind pushed the fire away.
Yeon-woo focused his magic power in his feet and caught in balance mid-air.
And as he turned, he struck Shanon’s neck with Carshina’s dagger.
Shanon responded by using his Auror.
As the Auror exploded like fireworks they defended against the attacks.
It tried to rup Yeon-woo apart like a tsunami and he had to go on the defense.
Yeon-woo was flicked out of the air. But he tried again, using the First Section of Eight Extreme Fists.
Shanon swung Sword Breaker in wide movements, and with every swing, Auror spiked out like thorns.
Yeon-woo and Shanon fought a tight battle to never show their weaknesses.
Yeon-woo was rough. He didn’t even care about his body that was bleeding by the second.
On the other hand, Shanon was steady. He tried to push Yeon-woo into a hole by using his Auror
Everytime Yeon-woo tried to attack Shanon-to find his weakness, he was met with a wall.
Yeon-woo realized why his opponent was called a semi ranker.
He was really on a different level as him.
No matter how hard he tried to look for a weakness, the guy never showed a single one
Yeon-woo didn’t give up. Rather, he turned on all the Cores onto their full power. Thanks to that, he kept getting warnings that his Magic Circuit was overloading, but he ignored them.
He didn’t use Vigrid or the Black Bracelet and not even Aegis. This was a fight of his strength and his strength only. He didn’t want to input another variable.
Even at the risk of his life.
Everytime he swung his sword, there was an explosion and sparks flew out. He could feel blood coming up in his mouth but he swallowed it back.
From some moment, Draconic Eyes had started to show all the flaws. They were all knotted together like string all led to one place.
‘Above his left elbow!’
The first weakness.
Yeon-woo quickly stabbed Carshin’a dagger because he thought the weakness might disappear.
He could hear all the 36 Cores in motion.
The moment the dagger made contact. The left elbow that should’ve been there disappeared. Like an illusion.
He moved his body to the side thinking something was wrong. But Shanon was already swinging Sword Breaker down on Yeon-woo’s neck.
It was an attack like lightning.
He barely summoned his wings of fire back, but his body flew away like a kite without a string.
He turned his body mid-air and narrowly landed. But he still couldn’t and was pushed back.
Where he passed the ground left tracks in the shape of his geet. Yeon-woo clenched his teeth.
He was sure he had stabbed the flaw.
How did it suddenly disappear?
He raised the question, but he ignored it for the time being.
He thought he might’ve missed something, so he once again left his body to Draconic Eyes and chased the flaws. He didn’t have any leftover strength.
He saw the flaws again. This time, there were two. He mustered all his power and stabbed again. But again.
It disappeared, and instead, Auror flecks poured like rain.
Yeon-woo didn’t try to attack and instead created a large gap between them.
Over there, in front of him.
Shanon was still standing. Like a wall.
And in his Draconic Eyes, Shanon was revealing so many flaws.
But his instinct rang a bell. To not be lured in by them.
Once he did, he would be finished.
If he was lured again, he had a sense that he wouldn’t be able to get out.
He had never failed to attack using flaws. Yeon-woo’s face crumbled.
He was frustrated because he couldn’t figure out what was wrong.
“Ah, I see.”
Shanon smirked as if he realized something.
“You don’t know what a focal point is.”
Yeon-woo squinted at the word he had never heard before. He was still holding his weapons, but his head was riddled with calculations.
“But how do you not know what focal points are? Usually this is a mistake that people who just started learning martial arts make.”
The Yeon-woo that Shanon had seen so far had skills of someone who was deeply trained in martial arts.
He never would’ve imagined that Yeon-woo was a total beginner who had just started learning.
“Well. It doesn’t matter if you can’t find focal points. Since I’ll be alive at the end of this.’
Shanon was curious, but it didn’t matter since he had found Yeon-woo’s weaknesses anyway.
“This time, I’ll go.”
Shanon lightly moved. It was different from when he seemed like a sturdy wall.
He was fast.
Yeon-woo could tell right away.
Everything that Shanon had done so far was to discover Yeon-woo’s weakness. In a blink of an eye, a knife was coming down on his neck. He avoided it by turning his body and maximizing his fire ability.
Thankfully, the knife missed its target. But it flung back to his waist, and Yeon-woo swung the Magic Bayonet down. Suddenly, the approaching knife disappeared.
Yeon-woo’s eyes widened. He felt danger. Illusion. It was the same as before.
He could feel something approaching him from his back. He quickly turned his Draconic Eyes in that direction and a knife right in front of it.
Only one thought was in his head.
At this rate.
The overloaded Magic Circuit started firing up again. And his ability to be logical fired up even faster.
He had a migraine like his brain was burning.
He used his rationality the best he could. He couldn’t predict and worry about situations that could happen, so he had to make fast paced questions and answers.
A way to avoid it?
A way to stop it?
A way to end it with the least amount of damage/?
He kept on asking him questions hoping there would be a way.
But the answer that returned was always the same. None.
There wasn’t a solution. He didn’t know what he should do.
Even if he thought of possible situations, there was only one possible outcome.
A knife splitting the air. His head being destroyed and his consciousness fading away.
Even if he was somehow lucky and managed to avoid it, the rapid attacks made him feel like his body would be ripped into pieces.
Yeon-woo experienced a helpless feeling. Even after changing his Magic Circuit and training his Mugong, it was still lacking.
He was weak. Extremely.
The gap between the semi ranker and him was huge, and there wasn’t a way to escape. He was completely trapped in the trap Shanon set up.
The only possible outcome was death. Loss.
So Yeon-woo flipped his thoughts.
He didn’t see a path, so he had to travel the way he came.
The Martial King. He had given another new test, fighting with the semi ranker. It was harder than making a new Inner Cultivation.
If so, why did he do this to me?
No, that probably wasn’t it. Even if he did weird things, everything was done with reason.
So that meant, there was a way for him to escape.
If so, what was that method?
The Martial King had said for Yeon-woo to fight with everything he had.
Then Yoon-woo thought again, Mugong was just a power out of many that he had. So maybe he could find a way from another option.
Draconic Eyes, Sense Strengthening, and Combat Will were among the skills he had used, but there was still one he hadn’t used.
And in that moment, he stopped thinking.
Another knife passed by Yeon-woo. His consciousness was still down low.
But. It was after he activated the remaining skill he had.
It was a skill he didn’t want to use because it would take up all his mana.
But there was no other choice.
When Yeon-woo opened his eyes again, Sword Breaker was pierced deeply in his chest.
His entire body felt like it was going to rip apart.
2 seconds was all Yeon-woo had turned back.
But his consciousness was able to come back. That was enough.
As long as he was alive, he could still fight back.
“What’s this? You should’ve died.”
“You don’t need to know.”
Yeon-woo forcefully moved his body back, bringing the sword breaker with it. And as Shanon came along with it, Yeon-woo didn’t miss his opportunity and stabbed his neck with Carshina’s dagger.