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Chapter 8. Tutorial (6)
A bronze scarecrow suddenly came forward and moved at a rapid pace, blocking Yeon-woo's way. However, Yeon-woo twisted his body in order to avoid it.
The scarecrow then proceeded to narrow the gap between them by dashing towards Yeon-woo.
Yeon-woo tripped the scarecrow’s leg as it ran towards him. His leg ached because of the scarecrow’s hardness, but the pain was tolerable thanks to Yeon-woo’s developed muscles.
Then, another scarecrow came from the front.
Yeon-woo bent his arm and smacked the scarecrow’s chest with his elbow. Taking advantage of the knockback, he moved below its arm and dashed right past him. Several traps also activated in tandem, but none of them could stop Yeon-woo.
[Your Dexterity has increased by 1 point.]
[Your Health has increased by 1 point.]
[‘Sense Strengthening’ skill proficiency has increased. 15.6%]
[‘Sense Strengthening’ skill proficiency has increased. 16.9%]
His attribute points increased as he broke through the traps.
Yeon-woo’s movements became more sophisticated as his attributes increased causing his skill proficiency to also increase alongside.
Then, with his keener senses, he passed through more traps which led yet to another rise in attribute points.
Increase in attribute points - increase in skill proficiency - increase in attribute points… Thanks to this loop, Yeon-woo was able to achieve remarkable growth in the blink of an eye.
'It's a lot faster than when I ran through Section A.'
Yeon-woo had confidence in himself.
His feet were much lighter, and his hands were brimming with strength.
When there were only about ten scarecrows left ahead of him, one of the scarecrows, which until now had only been blocking the way, revealed its sharp teeth for the first time.
As if it were human, it firmly squared its shoulders and tackled Yeon-woo’s side.
A painful feeling struck him, as if he had bumped into a wall as hard as he could. The same pain he felt when he got hit by a steel arrow for the first time.
He fell several meters back as the suffocating pain caused him to frown.
On the other hand, the scarecrow didn’t budge an inch from where it had tackled Yeon-woo.
Unlike the scarecrows he saw earlier, this one’s surface flashed with a red tint as if it were made of copper.
Its strong shoulders gave off an overpowering feeling.
'Is this the guy who imitates players?’
A scarecrow that mimics the movements and actions of the player. It is also capable of attacking within a certain range.
His brother had made a separate reference for this one.
The real boss of Section A are not just scarecrows. The real deal are the 10 copper puppets at the very back. They copy the players’ movements and grate on their nerves.
Their body is also strong as hell, so we were obstructed by them for a long time.
There are two ways to break through.
One way is to fight head-on.
The other way is
'To dominate them.’
Yeon-woo held tightly onto his dagger.
The copper puppets tested players with what they had developed and acquired throughout Section A.
When three players formed a team, three scarecrows would appear to block their way. If there were five players, likewise, there would be five scarecrows. The scarecrows copied the players' skills, forcing them to overcome themselves.
If they did, they could pass through the boss room, but if they didn’t, they would be tied here forever.
And if they couldn’t even do that, the only alternative was death.
However, Yeon-woo had been repeatedly surpassing his limits by breaking through Section A several times.
These copper puppets were annoying, but it didn’t feel like they would poise a problem.
What bothered him the most was that his plan to bust through the boss room in one go was hindered by a mere doll.
He opened his Draconic Eyes wide, and found the flaws scattered throughout the copper puppet.
And the minute he tried to stab the puppet,
"It operates with a sensor. Find the sensor and destroy it!"
He heard a voice coming from a corner.
Yeon-woo had already been aware of his presence thanks to his senses, but he had just ignored him because he didn't want to get involved.
The copper puppet raised its hand and aimed at Yeon-woo’s head.
Yeon-woo slightly bent over to the side, grabbed one of its joints and twisted it.
The puppet's forearm bent in a bizarre direction.
Yeon-woo then charged into its chest, held the dagger in a reverse grip and stabbed three times into its flaws.
In the end, he adjusted his grip and hit its abdomen as hard as he could.
The copper puppet exploded into dozens of fragments and splattered in all directions like a firework.
The pieces of the copper puppet crumpled, raising some dust.
Yeon-woo brushed the dust off his shoulders.
"Wha… What just happened…?”
A dazed voice was heard from behind.
* * *
Yeon-woo threw a glance to the back.
In one corner, where the lights hardly reached, there was a young man hiding, obscured by the shadows.
The young man got startled when their eyes met. But then, he put more strength into his eyes and stared at Yeon-woo as if refusing to lose.
Yeon-woo bluntly walked over to him.
The young man clenched his teeth. He glanced to the side to check his surroundings. When he noticed that Yeon-woo was walking towards him, he stared even more intently.
But contrary to his gutsy look, his legs were trembling a little.
Even though he was scared, he tried to look strong in case Yeon-woo was coming with the intention of harming him.
However, that only gave Yeon-woo the impression of a rain-soaked puppy with its tail erect in front of a tiger.
Yeon-woo stood before the young man and asked in a blunt tone.
"How did you know?"
The bridge of the young man’s nose wrinkled.
"The fact that the puppet was operating through a sensor. I'm asking how you knew this."
For a moment, the young man couldn't answer properly.
But Yeon-woo didn't rush him.
He stared patiently until the young man gave the right answer.
'This player, he's one of those guys who had been raiding the boss room for a long time. Where did the others go?’
During the six days he spent on Section A, there was a team that got their feet bound by the scarecrows and was stuck in the boss room.
At that time, he wasn't interested, so he didn't really pay attention to them. But now, everyone else was gone except for this guy.
He thought for a moment that they might have died while dealing with the copper puppet, but it didn’t seem like it. There wasn’t any trace of corpses, only those of someone eating by himself.
‘I see, he’s been abandoned.’
Occasionally, there had been cases like this.
Cases of team members being ruthlessly discarded throughout the tutorial due to their uselessness. On Earth, people would point their fingers at this irrational behavior, but it didn’t matter here.
Within the tutorial, where players were focused on making achievements, it only natural to party up out of necessity rather than being acquainted.
That's exactly what happened to this young man.
The young man was on guard against Yeon-woo, but Yeon-woo could see just by looking at him that he was too weak.
His eyes were filled with embarrassment while looking at Yeon-woo. He wanted to run away from this situation, but he couldn’t because there were too many scarecrows around.
Yeon-woo began to wonder how did the young man think he would be able to enter The Tower and how did he get his qualifications to participate in the tutorial.
Consequently, Yeon-woo was just going to ignore him and leave him be.
In the first place, he didn't care about anything except advancing through the tutorial and catching up with the frontrunners.
There was no reason to go out of his way and do something troublesome.
But the words the young man had shouted while he was dealing with the copper puppet grabbed his attention.
That the copper puppets were operating via sensors.
Yeon-woo was barely aware of it thanks to his enhanced senses, and he thought it was something the average players would never notice.
So Yeon-woo was wondering how he knew about it.
For someone who appeared to be so weak.
Usually, the truth was very simple.
He could have noticed a pattern in the copper puppet’s movements after being trapped in the boss room for a long time, and made a guess out of it.
'He could have read the flow of mana inside the copper puppet when it operated.’
It was Mana.
It was an unsolved problem that haunted Yeon-woo.
Yeon-woo stared at the young man for some time.
After mumbling for a while, he finally spat some words out.
"I… I saw it."
"You saw it?"
“Yeah... the threads of mana… surrounding the copper puppet....”
In the middle of the conversation, an idea crossed Yeon-woo’s mind. So he immediately activated his Draconic Eyes.
The pupils of his eyes sank deeply, and eyes resembling those of reptiles were revealed.
The young man gasped in surprise.
Vertical slit pupils rose under the white mask. It wasn’t strange to be scared.
Ignoring his reaction, Yeon-woo examined him from head to toes.
Then he chuckled.
“Why did you put on this look?”
For a second, the young man flinched.
“The look you have right now. It’s a disguise.”
The young man's face stiffened.
Yeon-woo put more power into his draconic eyes.
Then, a very small presence was revealed inside the dozens of flaws surrounding the young man.
“Are you around 10 years old? You’re really young. Very small too. But it's too blurry to recognize your face. You're not a normal human, are you?”
The young man clenched his teeth and moved his hand towards the sword he had left on the floor. He was ready to pick it up if necessary.
"What are you planning to do with me?"
It was a sudden question.
Yeon-woo tilted his head as he could not understand the situation.
"What do you mean?"
"I said, what are you planning on doing with me?"
“That’s because I….”
The young man was going to say something, but he managed to bite his tongue and shut his mouth. He was reluctant to say any more.
Yeon-woo snorted at him.
"I know what you mean, but I don't care who you are or what you look like."
“What I'm interested in is how you can "see" and handle mana. I’m just curious about the how. So, can you tell me?"
The young man opened his eyes widely.
Yeon-woo nodded toward the exit.
"Of course I wouldn't ask you to tell me for free. I see you've been stuck here for quite some time. Then, I'll help you out. You can't get any food or attend to any business in here. How does that sound? It's not bad for you either, is it?"
The young man's eyes were filled with confusion. Everything he had said was just unbelievable.
"If there are other reasons you can’t tell, or if you think it’s not a fair trade, well, I can't help it."
Yeon-woo thought it would be a great opportunity if he could learn how to handle mana from this young man.
The ability to see mana.
That meant that he had an extreme affinity to mana even amongst those who knew how to handle it.
If Yeon-woo could acquire such ability, it would be very helpful for him in order to learn how to handle mana.
Above of all, even if it was a secret that he wasn’t allowed to randomly pass onto others, it would be easy to dig it out from him since he was dealing with a child.
As for the rest, it wasn’t of his concern.
Of course, if the young man used this as an opportunity to ask for something preposterous, he was going to immediately decline. Even if not now, he should still be able find a way to handle mana later on.
Seeing as no answer came from the young man, Yeon-woo took his attention off of him and turned around.
"It seems like you don’t want to.”
"Wa,wait! Hold on for a second."
Yeon-woo looked back at the young man.
"What's the matter?”
"About what you were saying, is it true? You really don't know how to handle mana?"
"I don’t have any reason to lie, do I?”
"N...no way! Are you saying you did that without mana?"
The young man looked around Yeon-woo with an incredulous look. Chunks of the broken copper puppet could be seen.
A monster he had tried so hard to defeat with his teammates, but wouldn’t even budge an inch.
It was a puppet that survived through tons of skills and attacks without even a scratch.
But Yeon-woo, with only a few attacks, had just destroyed the puppet and was now saying he didn’t know how to handle mana.
It was simply incomprehensible, it was beyond common sense.
On the other hand, Yeon-woo also could not understand the young man.
"Well, I just did."
The young man recalled a man from his hometown who once painted a wonderful landscape and said, 'It’s that easy'.
Due to exams, I'll have to pospone the rest of this week's chapters. I'll try releasing two chapters on Sunday and then resume with the normal release schedule (monday to friday) starting from next week.
Where did you find the raws?
I found them at Kakao Page.Here's the link to the raws: https://page.kakao.com/home?seriesId=50353143You'll need an account to read them though...
Where did you find the raws?
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 anymore.
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 followed 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 senses 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 with genetic factors.
They usually had an outstanding ancestor, and their abilities had been passed down to their descendant's 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 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 complications 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 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.
Unlike its definition of “user’s instructions”, the tutorial is a dangerous place where players can actually die if they don’t pull themselves together.
There were a lot of people in the waiting room of Section B who had managed to overcome the dangers but found themselves disheartened.
They had lost their companions and their loved ones in front of their eyes and succumbed to the fear of death. Even I would be tired too.
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 trash, and it won't do any good to get tied up with 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 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.
Chapter 10. Tutorial (8)
A man stepped forward.
The man appeared to be their leader.
A handsome figure with a strong physique. He was a swordsman carrying a big sword on his waist.
Yul looked at them with a curl on his lips.
"What is it? Do we still have things to talk about?"
"How did you….”
"I don’t need to tell you how I got out from there now, do I?"
The man couldn’t say anything.
His eyes were filled with confusion.
The teammate who had only been a burden and therefore was left behind in the middle of the boss room had now come back alive.
He didn’t know what to make of this situation.
Yul didn't hide his hostility towards them. Yet, he wasn’t stupid enough to reveal his murderous intent.
Even though he was seething with anger, he knew that in this world power dictates everything. And Yul did not have the power to take revenge on them for now.
Ignoring them was the right answer.
"I don't know what you’re going to say, but please, fuck off. I know you don’t even want to see me, ‘cause just looking at you also makes me sick. So let's just pretend we don't know each other until the tutorial is over. As you know, I don't have any power to do anything to you guys anyway, do I?”
But despite his rambling, the four of them just stood there hesitating.
They showed no sign of leaving Yul alone. Rather, they were busy looking at each other.
"What the hell are you guys waiting for?"
Yul scowled at them as his patience ran out.
At last, prompted by the glares of the other three, the leader bit his lower lip and suddenly bent his waist.
"By any means possible, we want to apologize for what happened before."
Yul’s expression became completely distorted.
"What is this bullshit?”
"And also, I have a favor to ask you.”
"What happened at that time, would you keep it a secret?"
"We're going to... sorry, I can't tell you the details, but what happened between us, please don't talk about it with anyone else. We’re begging you."
The other three also bowed down.
"Please do us this favor."
"For old time’s sake, think of what we used to be."
Yul kept his mouth shut.
Watching them bowing down, Yul could still remember the incident playing like a video in his head.
In the boss room, where their team had struggled several days to pass through, Yul was told that he was useless and was cast as a bait.
He begged them, asking how could they do this to him and cried out for help, but they didn't even think of looking back and ruthlessly went on their way.
When he first met them in the waiting room of Section A, he thought he had met some really nice teammates.
They were all polite, and they were quite skilled.
And although he had been repeatedly warned by the elders of his family that The Tower was a dangerous world, they were people who had made him think otherwise.
But such expectations were shattered.
"I don't know what the hell you're talking about, but get the hell out of here. I don't want to see your faces anymore."
Then Yul quickly turned his back.
The leader was vexed and bit his lower lip.
'This won’t do. If I leave things go like this, the opportunity might vanish into thin air."
Their leader, Kaen, had some complicated feelings inside.
Just as they got out of Section A, he had thought his hellish life was finally over.
Although the fact that they had thrown Yul as bait to divert the copper doll's attention troubled him, he thought of it as an inevitable sacrifice in order to save more lives.
Most importantly, Yul's ability simply allowed him to read the flow of mana.
He wasn’t playing a big part in the raid, so even if he dropped out, it wouldn’t have much of an impact on the team's strength.
In fact, he believed that things were fine as long as he could save more people at the expense of Yul’s sacrifice.
So Kaen led his teammates forward and went directly to find the man in the waiting room of Section B.
It was the name of the player who had tried to recruit them before the tutorial had started.
"We’re called Arangdan. You guys, I like the look in your eyes. Usually, people with that kind of look show great prospects. Come with us. I'll be at the waiting room of Section B, come find me anytime if you want to join us."
At first, they thought he was some kind of freak and didn’t think much of him.
But they found out much later, that Arangdan was a big name in the tutorial.
It was the top clan that had been practically dominating the tutorial for a long time.
Apparently, Arangdan had some connections in The Tower, or that’s what he had heard.
Arangdan was like a vigilante group, formed to prevent chaos within the tutorial.
They tried to prevent all kinds of tricks and cheats, and create a stage where players could play fair and square.
As a result, the selection of their members was strictly managed.
Everything was carefully and meticulously examined, whether the volunteer had done any bad deed, whether they had attempted to threaten or rob an ordinary person, and so on.
As such, for Kaen and his party, the sudden return of Yul was like a bolt out of the blue.
'Damn it, if Yul spills the secret somewhere...!’
He was supposed to meet with Bild this evening.
Kaen’s group had already mentioned that Yul "voluntarily" sacrificed himself in order to save them.
But what if he spoiled their plan?
Everything would be over.
'There's a rumor that Arangdan is under the direct control of a giant guild in The Tower. If we lose their favor now, we'll be in real trouble.'
Rumors said that Arangdan was specifically created by a clan in The Tower in order to find potential recruits for their clan.
Kaen didn't want to miss this opportunity.
But despite their apology, Yul seemed to be not listening at all.
He turned his back on them as if he didn't want to see them.
'If I just….'
Then Kaen gritted his teeth. His eyes were full of malice.
It was only hard to betray for the first time. It wasn't hard for the second time.
Kaen signaled his teammates with his eyes.
It meant to cover him from outside exposure.
Fortunately for him, no one was looking at this corner of the room.
'It's easy to get rid of the corpse. Bild doesn't know Yul’s face anyway. Attributing the cause of death to the damage suffered in the boss room will be enough.’
His teammates were puzzled and worried about whether they should go this far, but they had no choice but to take action, as Kaen continued to signal them.
And then, Kaen carefully moved his hand towards the handle of his sword.
He was going to finish this quickly.
"It is said that there is a clan in the tutorial that directly belongs to Cheonghwado(靑花島), named Arangdan and that Cheonghwado tends to recruit newbies from Arangdan. But they're so particular about recruiting that they only want spotless people. Even if they themselves aren’t."
The sudden voice that came from behind startled Kaen. He tried to pull his sword out, but instead, let out a scream.
A terrible pain reverberated across his arm.
His right hand fell down on the floor, dripping with blood.
"My hand! My haaand!"
Kaen screamed as he held onto his right wrist.
Only then did Yul notice something strange and quickly looked back.
With eyes filled with confusion, the other teammates also drew their swords and pointed them towards their back.
There stood Yeon-woo, shaking off the blood from his dagger.
"If you have the malice to go after someone else's back, of course you should be prepared to lose one of your hands."
* * *
Underneath the mask, Yeon-woo was slightly frowning.
'Why did I get myself involved in this shit. I feel like crap now.’
Originally, he should have ignored it and moved straight on to Section B.
But for some reason, his feet didn’t move from the spot.
It was because the image of Yul was kept appearing in his head.
To be precise, it was the image of Yul being betrayed by his teammates.
Yul’s face kept overlapping with someone he knew.
It was his brother who had been backstabbed by his teammates.
Yul was in the same box. And the ones who had betrayed him once, even went out of their way to find Yul again.
What did this mean?
Usually, in cases like this, people were afraid of leaving behind a weakness that could be exploited.
Yeon-woo knew this too well.
That's why he stayed behind just to see what they were doing and ended up witnessing such a filthy and dirty sight.
In his mind, he wanted to rinse his eyes with running water.
"My hand! My haaand! You son of a bitch! How dare you!"
Kaen cried out as he grabbed his severed right hand and his face contorted. He stared at Yeon-woo with a menacing look.
"I'm going to kill you!”
His other teammates were also pointing their swords at Yeonwoo.
But they couldn’t think of rushing in.
No one had noticed what happened until they saw Kaen’s hand flying.
‘He’s an expert!’
Cold sweat streamed down their backs.
They knew that Yeon-woo was the one who saved Yul, but they thought he only happened to help him on his way.
And even if he helped Yul fight them, they thought they could easily take him down with numbers.
But they were wrong.
Yeon-woo gave an indifferent smile.
"Try as hard as you can."
Kaen bolted forward with eyes filled with madness. He drew his sword with his left hand and swung it towards Yeon-woo’s neck.
His teammates called out his name in surprise.
They weren’t sure how skilled Yeon-woo was, and if he clashed with Yeon-woo right now, their admission to Arangdan could end up being sabotaged.
But none of their words reached Kaen's ears. He was lost in revenge.
Yeon-woo strode forward.
He was thinking of how to deal with these guys.
They were the kind who had no qualms when putting a knife on someone else's back but can't stand when they're the one being stabbed.
He was definitely feeling shitty.
Yeon-woo dodged the sword coming for his head and moved to Kaen’s back. He stretched out his arm and wrapped it around Kaen’s arm. All in a split second.
Then he lightly twisted Kaen’s arm in a backward direction.
Kaen’s left arm bent at a strange angle.
Not caring about his cries, Yeon-woo did a flip with his arm still wrapped around him and climbed onto Kaen’s shoulder.
It was a shrewd move just like a cat’s.
Then, with a hard motion of his foot, he broke Kaen's shoulder.
"Y, you son of a bitch!"
"Let him go!"
The sword fell down helplessly to the floor.
Kaen couldn't withstand the pain and knelt down on the ground.
In the meantime, his teammates still couldn’t approach him.
Yeon-woo was too nimble, and he was riding on Kaen’s shoulders.
Yeon-woo twisted Kaen’s bizarrely bent arm behind his back, placed one foot over his spine and put his weight on it.
He was threatening to destroy Kaen’s back if they approached any closer.
Karen's eyes were bloodshot as if they were going to pop out at any moment.
"Come at me now. I'll make sure he will never be able to walk again."
Underneath the mask, Yeon-woo's eyes shimmered with a cold glow.
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 interfere with each other’s business. It was an unwritten rule in the 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 anymore.
"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 a 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 backward.
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 a huge vacant lot laid four doors in a straight line.
Each one of them was the same in size and shape but had a difference 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.
The waiting room in Section B was definitely a place full of dropouts. But I can’t give up like them. I already promised my friends to get out of here safely. I’m not the only one who’s having a hard time here, so I can’t back out.
Instead, I was instructed to select one out of four doors, so I did... But later, I regretted my decision.
'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 a 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 the hidden piece in Section B, he slowly placed his hand on the black door.
We encountered some problems with a couple of words that don't translate well to English, so we decided to make some changes in previous chapters.
From chapter 1
"…in this tower exists a panacea for all diseases, the Elixir."
In addition to that, cases where it says 'Elixir' have been changed to either 'elixir' or 'Panacea'.
Chapter 12. Black Route (1)
[You have entered the Black Route.]
[Safely go across the pond and reach the opposite side.]
Yeon-woo wiped some of the blood from his dagger and placed it back next to his waist.
Maybe because he hadn’t experienced any bloodshed for a while, he now felt like his whole body was burning with excitement.
'It was useful to some degree.’
Although it was just a clash against some small fry, it had been worth the try.
Clearly, Yeon-woo was still lacking in some departments, be it in terms of skills or abilities.
The experience of going through life or death situations on the battlefield, the instincts taught by those very ordeals, and the determination required.
Those were never easy to come by.
Yeon-woo had an accurate grasp of his strengths and weaknesses.
"Skill and ability are areas I can catch up on. I don't need to be in a hurry. I just have to continue advancing as I’ve been doing up till now. I am not wrong.’
Yeon-woo took a look around while organizing his thoughts.
‘So this is the Black Route, the hardest difficulty.’
The Black Route had a very simple layout.
Along the wide cavity, there was a huge pond.
'Are you telling me to get through here?'
The pond stretched over the long curvy cavity.
It seemed the goal was to swim across this pond.
[Pond of Heavyweight Water (千重水)]
The pond is made of water that giant Mimir accidentally spilled while transporting. No ordinary life form can live in this pond.
Yeon-woo leaned down and dipped his hand in the water.
It did not feel like normal water at all. It was rather dense.
Just to make sure, he threw in a small stone he found lying around his feet. The stone quickly crumbled apart and sank beneath the pond.
'Just as I thought.'
Yeon-woo drew his brows together.
'It’s not ordinary water. It wasn’t a lie to call it ‘Heavyweight Water’. Was it named after its heaviness?’
It was so high in density and pressure that it could not be compared to normal water.
If an average person were to dive in, they would be crushed flat. Even if the body could withstand the pressure, their stamina wouldn’t last long.
They wouldn’t even be able to rely on buoyancy to float on this water.
‘If I try to swim across without knowing the pond’s depth and width, I’ll be dead soon. I don't even know what's inside.'
Yeon-woo concentrated on the line ‘No ordinary life form can live in this pond’ in the information window.
In other words, extraordinary life forms could be living inside.
Even if not, at the very least, there should be some sort of trap set up underneath the surface.
Yeon-woo didn't jump the gun.
'It must be here somewhere.'
He carefully scanned the walls of the path leading to the pond.
Dozens of flaws were drawn along the walls.
Yeon-woo found a spot where the flaws were all tangled up and pressed it with his hands.
At that moment, he noticed the wall sliding inwards.
The wall stirred up a cloud of dust as it began to turn sideways. Then it stopped with a thunk, and a new staircase heading downwards emerged.
'There we go.'
A little smile flickered on Yeon-woo’s face.
It was the hidden piece buried in the Black Route, the fourth difficulty. It was the place where ‘Bathory’s Vampiric Sword’ was hidden.
[You have entered the dungeon.]
[You have found the hidden piece, ‘Room of Frost and Flame’.]
[You have acquired 300 Karma.]
Yeon-woo ignored the pleasant sounds in his head and descended into the dungeon.
The spiral staircase led to somewhere deep inside.
Perhaps because it was a deep cave, from some point onwards the light was cut off and the staircase was no longer visible.
However, Yeon-woo did not worry too much.
[Sense Strengthening: 17.8%]
Thanks to his high skill proficiency, which had once again increased by nearly 3% after clearing the boss room in Section A, it was now possible for him to recognize the surroundings through different senses without having to concentrate on his eyesight.
No, it was possible to take in more information by doing this, rather than by relying on just his eyes.
The surrounding sounds, the terrain’s layout, his own movements...
Everything was felt as it was. There was no blind spot.
Had it been just a few days ago, he would’ve had to consciously concentrate on maintaining his skill active, but now he was so used to it that he could have it constantly active without having to pay much attention.
It could be said that his active skill had turned into a passive skill. Thanks to this, Yeon-woo was able to move through the dungeon without any difficulties.
Who knows how far down he had gone.
Soon after, a piercing wind blew from inside,
The stairs came to an end and a new cave appeared.
The cave was full of a white colored moss along the walls.
A type of moss that bears the essence of the moon. It can cause illness if eaten. It doesn’t taste good either.
The explanation was as simple as it could be.
But Yeon-woo was well aware of the hidden effect of the White Moss.
It was only later that I discovered that as difficult as the Black Route was, it also had many different solutions. One of the solutions was White Moss.
The White Moss was a substance full of moon essence. Many animals feed on this as their staple.
However, it does not suit the human constitution, so even if one eats it, the body cannot absorb the energy and often gets sick.
So, players who somehow managed to find dungeons usually avoided White Moss.
Therefore, players who chose the Black Route often turned back soon after finding this cave.
Because there was no light, they couldn’t even see their hand in front of their faces, and the cave was worthlessly long and full of useless things. No one wanted to waste their time in a place like this when they were busy moving forward.
Even Yeon-woo’s brother didn't know about the secret this place held until very long after.
However, I learned about it after hearing it from my close friend from the Yeon-dan family. That White Moss is a kind of material, and there is a unique way of consuming it.
'White Moss is too fragile. Because it’s thin, it just melts when ingested. However,'
Yeon-woo stopped thinking and turned his eyes towards the sound coming from somewhere.
Something stuck its head out through the White Moss out of a sudden. It was a centipede as big as a person’s forearm. Its reddish exoskeleton seemed pretty hard.
A centipede that feeds on White Moss. Because it dwells in aquatic caverns, its eyes have atrophied and has developed other senses. Sometimes it prefers meat over moss.
As if thinking the intruder was after its food, the centipede moved its dozens of legs and approached Yeon-woo at a furious speed.
It crawled down from the ceiling along the wall.
It was a scene that would make any ordinary person feel both surprised and disgusted.
Yeon-woo, however, stepped forward.
‘Insects and beasts that eat White Moss as their staple have evolved to artificially radiate heat in order to absorb the moon essence. And that kind of heat emanates from their heart which contains the fire(火) property.'
He felt the touch of the dagger with his fingertips.
‘On the other hand, White Moss’ property is water(水). If you consume both heart and moss at the same time, the two properties will synergize with each other and become an elixir that hardens the bones and muscles.’
Numerous elixirs exist in The Tower. Some can augment magic power, and some affect certain stats or properties. Among them, Yeon-woo went for the elixir that would help him nourish his bones and muscles.
The human body is too weak. It easily falls ill, breaks, and tears. But the combination of White Moss and the heart of a fire property beast can transmute such body. It could make bones much stronger, muscles much sturdier. It could transform one’s body into one more suitable for combat.
Yeonwoo bolted forward, throwing the dagger he held in his hand. The dagger penetrated the hard armor of the Red O-Kong, splashing blood and body fluids.
The centipede expressed anger and twisted its body as it spread its forcipules.
The ground under the centipede caved in as it crawled over it.
[Flame Monster has appeared]
[Hidden Quest / Frost and Flame]
Content: The Room of Frost and Flame is filled with unique monsters that feed on White Moss. If they come out of the dungeon, the outer ecosystem could be thrown into chaos. Hunt down as many monsters as you can.
Reward: Rewards will be given according to the number of monsters hunted.
- 100 or more: 100 Karma
- 300 or more: 300 Karma
- 500 or more: 500 Karma + Additional rewards according to achievement
- Over 1,000: ??
The Room of Frost and Flame had one more advantage besides the benefit of obtaining Bathory’s Vampiric Sword and toughening up the body.
According to the number of monsters hunted, additional Karma could be obtained, and there were also additional rewards if the number exceeded 500.
The more he hunted, the stronger his body would become, and he would also horde Karma and rewards. It was basically a treasure trove.
‘No matter how I have to win the reward for hunting a thousand monsters.’
Yeon-woo chose not to engage head-on. Instead, he quickly shifted his body sideways and narrowly avoided the attack.
In the spot where the Red O-Gong rammed its head, some rocks were being crushed by its forcipules.
'The monsters here are very strong. Even with this stronger body I honed in Section A, they’re not easy to kill. It will be really dangerous if I let them crush from the front.'
As soon as Yeon-woo finished measuring up the Red O-Gong, he aimed for its trunk.
'Yup, it’s hard. Too hard.'
The dagger bounced off of its surface, leaving behind only a scratch. But even that was enough to aggravate Red O-Gong, so it squirmed its body to catch Yeon-woo with its forcipules.
Once again, Yeon-woo narrowly avoided its attack and continued racking his brain.
A cloud of dust rose up as a deep pit had been created in the place where he had been standing.
'Normal attacks won't do any harm to it. The exoskeleton is too sturdy. The dagger I just threw pierced its skin by luck but... it’s too shallow. It's not enough to weaken it.’
However, he could not let this battle turn into a war of attrition.
He didn’t know how much health the Red O-Gong had, and this was still just the entrance of the dungeon.
Due to not knowing how deep the dungeon was, he had to end the battle as quickly as possible.
Once again, the Red O-Gong rammed its head towards the spot where Yeon-woo was standing.
Chapter 13. Black Route (2)
Maybe because it was annoyed by Yeon-woo repeatedly going back and forth while dodging, the Red O-Gong let out a sharp cry.
'Weak point. Where is its weak point?'
Yeon-woo got on the Red O-Kong’s nerves as he kept circling around it.
Thanks to the Dexterity and Health stats he had accumulated in section A, he didn’t have to worry about being slowed down or getting exhausted anymore.
Occasionally, he would also catch the Red O-Gong off guard.
There were some places where its flesh was exposed. Right where a segment of its shell connected with another.
Yeon-woo stabbed and sliced its joints and then jumped back out.
As he repeated this procedure, the floor gradually filled with the Red O-Gong’s blood and body fluids. However, the Red O-Gong didn’t get exhausted. On the contrary, it was becoming more furious and more ferocious.
‘There is a tremendous disparity between clearing traps and slaying monsters. I just have to figure out the correct strategy.'
Unlike traps that only needed to be avoided, monsters needed to be hunted.
He had to deal with a predator that was trying to eat him.
Seen from a distance, it was not much different from his experience in Africa.
‘After all, a life is just a life, and that applies to monsters too. There should be some kind of weakness… Wait, weakness?'
Then an idea flashed across Yeon-woo’s head.
As the black pupils in his eyes sank and expanded, his now black-and-white vision was focused on the Red O-Gong.
Everything he saw was now composed of only black lines, just like a drawing sketch, only the monster's contour was shown. However, a few fine lines of flaws could be seen mixed among the black ones.
Then, with his eyes, he tracked the point where the flaws converged.
'There it is.'
It was a spot in the exoskeleton right between its head and neck. If it were a human, that would be its cervical spine.
Why did he never think of using his Draconic Eyes on living creatures? That was most likely because he had always been using it on inanimate objects, so he had thought that there was a limit to it.
But now that he realized it, things weren’t as bad as they appeared to be. So he continued examining Red O-Gong’s movements with his Draconic Eyes.
Of course, finding its weakness did not instantly turn his situation into an easy hunt. It still didn’t take away the speed, fierceness, and strength of the Red O-Gong.
Most importantly, unlike inanimate objects, the Red O-Gong’s weak point was in constant, fast paced movement.
Pinpointing that small spot and accurately stabbing it wasn’t an easy task. The short duration of Draconic Eyes also added to the problem.
Yeon-woo strengthened all of his senses as he tried to keep his distance from where the dust produced by the debris was rising.
He wanted to examine the movements of the Red O-Gong in more detail.
The Red O-Gong did a big turn and rushed down the concave wall.
Yeon-woo ran to its left side, aiming for the moment the Red O-Gong would raise its mouth and roar.
Yeon-woo’s feet kicked the ground as he darted out.
The Red O-Gong clattered its forcipules as it thought the food that had been getting on its nerves had finally gone mad. Its dozens of feet moved, charging towards Yeon-Woo like a rhynol.
As soon as Yeon-woo avoided its head, he slapped its shell with his left hand, propelling himself high into the air and climbed onto its neck.
He held the dagger backward, and then stabbed it into its weak spot.
[‘Draconic Eyes’ skill proficiency has increased. 2.4%]
[You have learned to strike into the opponent’s flaws.]
Blood poured out like a fountain. That spot had probably contained an artery. The amount of blood that was gushing out could not be compared to what had been spilled so far.
However, the dagger was stuck midway through and did not go any deeper.
Just before reaching its weak point, it bumped into something hard and wouldn’t pierce further.
'An inner shell?'
Yeon-woo's face turned stern. He didn’t know there was still another shell protecting its weakness beneath the outer shell. His Draconic Eyes didn’t catch such detail.
Sensing the danger, Yeon-woo tried to get away from the Red O-Gong.
Before he knew it, the tail of the Red O-Gong was flying towards him like a whip.
Yeon-woo crossed his arms to protect his upper body as much as possible. With a crushing impact, his body bounced backward and crashed hard into the wall.
Yeon-woo spat out a mouthful of blood. His body felt like it was going to shatter into pieces. He couldn’t think straight because of dizziness.
[Horrendous pain overcomes your body. You have been afflicted with ‘Stun’.]
[You have severe internal injuries. You have been afflicted with ‘Shock’.]
[Red O-Gong’s body fluid has seeped into your body. You have been afflicted with ‘Poison’.]
Yeon-woo, however, gritted his teeth and quickly checked on his physical condition using his strengthened senses.
‘Four broken ribs, two fractures in the spine. A vein in my left thigh is ruptured. Achilles tendon in my right ankle is torn.'
There was no doubt that he shouldn’t be able to move an inch due to the seriousness of his injuries.
The Red O-Gong took the opportunity to charge towards him with the speed of an arrow. Its forcipules were right in front of his face.
But even in such a crisis, Yeon-woo managed to assess the best course of action based on his current situation.
In that brief moment,
[Your trait ‘Cold-blooded’ has helped you maintain composure.]
[The status effect ‘Stun’ has been removed. You have developed resistance to pain.]
[The status effect ‘Shock’ has been removed. You have developed resistance to impact.]
[The status effect ‘Poison’ has been removed. You have developed resistance to poison.]
[The skill 'Physical Resistance' has been created.]
[You have shown great presence of mind in any given situation. You have attained deep enlightenment in regard to perseverance and an indomitable will.]
[The skill 'Combat Will' has been created.]
Messages notified him that two new skills had been created. But Yeon-woo couldn't afford to check his new skills. Still, he could tell what the skills were about by just looking at their names.
In that instant, the terrible pain greatly subsided. Furthermore, his consciousness also became clearer and he was now more capable of thinking and making decisions.
He felt as if time had slowed down for a brief moment.
Thought acceleration (思考加速).
Thanks to this, Yeon-woo was able to assess a number of actions he could take before the Red O-Gong reached him.
And he finally chose one of them.
At that moment.
The forcipules were closing in right in front of his face.
Yeon-woo pointed his dagger towards the front.
Yeon-woo was lifted up by the impact. His upper body dug deeper into the wall. His spine suffered yet another fracture and both of his arms were shaking from the pain.
Still, he forced himself to tighten his grip on the dagger. Blood drizzled down from his torn hands, but he clenched his teeth. Both his eyes were already red from being bloodshot.
The Red O-Gong’s forcipules were being blocked by the dagger, as they kept opening and closing in front of Yeon-woo's face.
Behind its forcipules, he could see deep into its throat, which was covered with countless fangs.
The Red O-Gong writhed to bite off Yeon-woo’s head. Whenever its forcipules clattered, his dagger trembled as if it would break any time soon.
In the end, Yeon-woo couldn’t hold any longer, and the Red O-Gong’s forcipules almost reached his face.
A rock melted as the monster’s saliva touched the ground.
At that moment, Yeon-woo's body slid downwards.
Once again, the Red O-Gong rammed its head into the wall. In the meantime, Yeon-woo was able to reach beneath it. Other than its joints, this was the only part that wasn’t covered by the hard shell.
'This is its belly.'
There was the smooth abdomen of the Red O-Gong right before his eyes.
He stabbed it with the tip of the now badly chipped dagger.
The monster raised its head and screamed in terrible pain.
Nevertheless, Yeon-woo tenaciously held onto the dagger stuck deep in its stomach.
The centipede twisted its body around and went on a rampage, trying to shake him off. But contrary to its wish, Yeon-woo shoved the dagger even deeper into its stomach.
While dangling from the monster's abdomen, Yeon-woo clenched his teeth and squeezed his arm right into it. The tip of the dagger had almost reached the point where the flaws converged.
He heard something breaking from the inside. He didn't know what exactly it was, but he was sure it was critical to this centipede.
Yeon-woo smiled coldly and sliced its belly downwards.
There was a long cut along the monster’s stomach. Its entrails poured out, and blood splattered everywhere. The whole cave was being painted with blood.
Red O-Gong was struggling with pain. Then as its strength started to drain out, the centipede's head finally fell onto a puddle of its own blood and let out a wheeze.
Yeon-woo also fell to the floor.
His body was already a total wreck. He was so worn out that he couldn’t even lift a finger.
The Red O-Gong glared at Yeon-woo, its eyes filled with resentment.
After a lifetime inside this cave, its eyes had already degenerated. But in the end they were still looking at him.
And soon it stopped breathing.
'This is ridiculous.'
Yeon-woo breathed heavily and frowned.
He thought he gained some strength from his time spent in Section A and dealing with a few players. But this stupid tutorial didn’t give him any chance to relax. It wasn’t lying when it said high difficulty.
However, he still concluded that his training so far didn't let him down. If he hadn't done that, it’d be him lying dead on the floor right now, not the Red O-Gong.
He already knew what to do after the battle.
With all the strength he could muster, Yeon-woo forced himself to move.
He had also spilled too much blood. For now, he was somehow maintaining his consciousness by relying on his skills, but he could pass out at any moment, like a candle in the wind.
He had to get everything done before that happened.
His body moved like a marionette without strings, but he managed to crawl along.
He tore some White Moss from the floor and crudely pushed it into his mouth. He had no strength to chew, but fortunately, the moss melted like water and flowed down his throat.
He felt something cold slipping inside his body.
Before the feeling disappeared, Yeon-woo grabbed onto the hard shell of the Red O-Gong, raised his upper body and pushed his face into the open wound.
It was filled with a disgusting, rotten stench, but in the end he managed to find what he was looking for.
The centipede’s heart was still beating.
With his mouth wide open,
He bit into the heart.
Um, the Stats for "Health" I believed were suppose to be either Vitality or Constitution. I may be wrong here because I cannot read or write in korean. But I had seen most korean MMorpg game's character stats being translated wrongly in the past and they were correct after release. Such as the word Health which were most commonly translated wrong. If you think about it. The word Health would consider to be the condition of the character current status or the word Health point (HP) is most use in game. If you consider the word the Arthur use based upon on game rpg Attribute stats. I believe the correct word should be what I stated, Vitality or Constitution. But from my perspectives, I believe the word Vitality should be more correctly align to what the Arthur intended. Anyway, keep the great work. Thank you for the chapter. Maybe other translator who had translated korean novel before could help.
Chapter 14. Black Route (3)
Blood was continuously gushing out. Most of it was coming out from his mouth, but Yeon-woo tried his best to swallow it back.
His throat was burning with toxicity and the foul stench made him gag. Despite his disgust, Yeon-woo continued to drink the blood as he chewed on the heart that was much tougher than leather.
The energy that the White Moss contained was wriggling inside his body. It was the Pure Essence(精氣) formed by the energy of the moon. This would act as a catalyst to filter out the heat and dregs and to blend the energies together.
Yeon-woo's body began to change little by little.
The broken bones knitted together. The torn muscles closed up. The patches of peeled skin were replaced with new skin. But it didn’t end there. His bones became much denser, his muscles tougher and his skin smoother. His physique was improving little by little.
[The Red O-Gong has been successfully slain. You have killed an enemy that would normally be impossible for you. Additional Karma will be provided.]
[You have acquired 100 Karma.]
[Your Strength has increased by 7 points.]
[Your Dexterity has increased by 6 points.]
[Your Health has increased by 5 points.]
[Your body is experiencing slow changes]
['Physical Resistance' skill proficiency has increased significantly. 7.2%]
[The heart of Red O-Gong has been ingested. It has synergized with the White Moss, revealing its hidden effects.]
[You have obtained a piece of ‘Flame Heart and Frost Crest’.]
[Current progress: 1.5%]
[Number of monsters hunted: 1]
A long time passed before Yeon-woo came out of the Red O-Gong’s corpse. He was covered in blood, but he didn't look tired anymore.
Yeon-woo sat back against the wall and gathered his breath. His injuries were all healed up, but he was still mentally fatigued.
"Well, I made it somehow."
The feeling of a strange energy transforming his body little by little, even if it wasn’t his first time, it still felt foreign to him.
The feeling of freshness that came after the change made him think it was ironic.
Yeon-woo briefly looked at the Red O-Gong and spat out a piece of heart that was still left in his mouth.
'The dungeon is full of monsters like this. What a dreadful place.’
Even if he was shaking his head in disbelief, his vision packed with messages made him feel better.
'I managed to obtain ’Flame Heart and Frost Crest’.'
It was the effect caused by the simultaneous consumption of White Moss and the heart of a fire property beast. It was a hidden piece that strengthened one’s skeleton and muscles.
The progress was only at 1.5%, but he was already starting to feel reinvigorated.
"I heard that the stronger the body becomes, the faster it’ll recover from fatigue. Well, that’s a relief.”
Yeon-woo summoned the status window to check his improved body.
[Player: Yeon-woo Cha]
Strength: 60 Dexterity: 65 Health: 62 Magic Power: 21
Skills: Draconic Eyes(3.1%), Sense Strengthening(17.8%), Foresight(0.0%), Physical Resistance(7.2%), Combat Will(3.2%)
'I didn’t expect I’d gain more stats from killing Red O-Gong than from beating the boss room.’
Yeon-woo was stupefied by this thought and let out a burst of hollow laughter.
However, it was obvious that players would be given more stats according to the level of adversity they overcame, and the Black Route was remarkably dangerous.
But one thing was certain, his body was going through a steady change. Most of the stats were already over 60.
‘My low Magic Power is the only flaw, but what can I do about it?'
Yeon-woo frowned while looking at his Magic Power which was his highest attribute at first, but was now the lowest.
There was no way for him to put his Magic Power to use, for now, so he had no choice but to sit on his hands.
Still, he couldn’t help but worry about the continuously increasing gap between Magic Power and his other attribute points.
'I need to think of a way to feel mana as soon as possible.’
Thanks to Yul, he already had a firm understanding of the concept of mana. Therefore, the only thing he had to do now was to come up with a way to feel it.
'The problem is how.'
In reality, unlike his younger brother who could be categorized as a natural genius, Yeon-woo’s achievements all came from being a hard worker. It had been like that since they were kids.
Yeon-woo was different from his younger brother who did everything effortlessly. He often had to try over and over again to solve a problem, but he tried not to show the efforts he made, pretending he was doing fine.
Even when he was dispatched to Africa, initially he was so weak that he often caused his unit to receive collective punishment, but later on, he managed to become part of the special task force.
Yeon-woo was used to pushing himself to the limit. He would slam himself against the walls of limitation again and again until it would finally break down. And when he encountered another wall, he would continue to hit it until it broke once again.
Things weren’t much different this time. Yeon-woo was well aware of the fact that he was the one furthest behind among the many players participating in the tutorial. That was why he only walked the hardest path, and that was how he achieved his outstanding growth.
Since he wasn’t talented, he had to find ways that best fit him based on his own judgment. Mana seemed to require the same approach.
He knew he had to keep trying to find a clue to handling mana. The problem was that there was no way to get to the clue.
At this rate, his Magic Power would most likely end up being a big dud in his status window.
But he couldn't let that happen.
'I can count on my skills for now, but there's going to be a lot of situations where mana will come in handy. That’s bound to happen as long as I keep climbing higher.'
Mana allowed its users to do things that were physically impossible. It was the power that made so-called magic or unique skills possible.
The Tower was a place full of supernaturalities, so he couldn’t just give up such power.
Above all, Yeon-woo had not yet completed his awakening.
Mana was essential to fully accept this power which originated from the Ancient Dragon Kalatus.
The dragon race was a noble species that was known as the founder of all mana and magic.
'Let's wait for a while and see. Just worrying about it won’t solve the problem.’
For now, he had to focus on what he could do and solve the mana problem later. And if no matter how hard he tried he still couldn’t find the answer, he could also resort to other unconventional methods.
"They say there are plenty of players who are really good at magic. If there's really no way, then I should abduct one of them and figure out how.’
Harming a person who had little to do with his matters was not the way he sought. But he also couldn’t keep waiting without doing anything.
Yeon-woo left the idea of mana and Magic Power behind, and this time he looked at his two newly acquired skills.
When active, resistance to physical attacks increases. In some cases, high resistance to a variety of status effects will be invoked.
Through perseverance and an indomitable will, you burn with fighting spirit no matter the circumstances. While focusing on combat, thought acceleration allows quick decision making.
When Yeon-woo first saw the newly added information, he made a surprised expression and slowly nodded.
As his abilities got stronger, he was now able to find things he originally couldn’t.
The rating reflected the value of a skill. A highly rated skill meant it was powerful, and required less mana or mental power consumption.
The ways to improve the rating of a skill were simple. One way was to gain enlightenment, apply it to the usage of a skill and gain the interface system’s recognition. The other way was to raise its proficiency.
The ratings his two skills had were not so bad.
No, Combat Will skill was actually great.
‘It’s really hard to get skills above D rating in the tutorial.’
Yeon-woo contently smiled and organized the information about the two skills.
‘Physical Resistance will be effective against external impact. It will minimize the impact of an attack and will also relieve pain.’
It was a must-have skill for Yeon-woo, who was heavily dependent on melee combat.
He had to endure terrible pain many times throughout his training.
He managed to maintain consciousness thanks to his cold-blooded trait, but if a person were to be continuously exposed to pain, it could have a devastating effect on their mental health.
However, if he could use this skill properly, he could avoid such situations.
‘I like its high resistance to status effects too.’
Poison, burn, frostbite, panic(stun), hallucination and curse were the biggest obstacles during raids. But if he could avoid all that, it would pose a big advantage.
Yeon-woo felt drawn to his Physical Resistance skill in many ways.
It wasn't an extravagant skill, but it would be of great support to his combat style.
But the skill that appealed the most to Yeon-woo’s taste was Combat Will.
'Thought acceleration, this is the most important one.’
In tense situations, quick judgment was a double-edged sword. It could be an important key to survival, but could also be the worst card that might cause self-annihilation. So judgment had to be made with caution, and the thought process was bound to be complicated.
But this was a skill that made both quick judgment and deep thought possible at the same time. He had even experienced it for himself when he was killing the Red O-Gong.
The moment he felt time slowing down when the Red O-Gong's mouth was about to reach his head, his quick judgment that resulted from thought acceleration had led Yeon-woo to victory.
'It’s really a big merit to be able to make a calm judgment. Besides, this skill can be used in other ways too.’
The benefits of Combat Will did not end there.
Because it enabled extreme concentration, the skill also had a great effect on Sense Strengthening and on Draconic Eyes.
He should be able to control his senses more meticulously, so it should be easier to detect things that he hadn’t been able to detect before.
Using this as an opportunity, Yeon-woo closed his eyes thinking of casting Combat Will once more.
Sense Strengthening was already in action. Currently, Yeon-woo could scan areas up to 15 meters ahead.
But the moment he cast Combat Will,
Yeon-woo almost screamed due to the pressure of the enormous amount of information coming into his head.
Then it was accompanied by sudden nausea and an urge to vomit.
"What is this?"
With extreme patience, Yeon-woo was able to stop himself from throwing up, but his mind was zoning out.
The effect was more potent than what he had imagined. He could see, hear, smell, feel and taste way too many things.
There should have been some sort of limit. But as if the limiter had been disabled, so much information poured down on him that he couldn't quite figure out what was what.
Lights were stirring in his vision, sounds were buzzing in his ears, and smells were pricking his nose. He felt like the information was igniting his brain on fire, so he quickly turned it off.
He highly doubted he would be able to filter out all the useless information from the enormous amount that flowed in.
'Nothing ever goes my way.'
Yeon-woo wrinkled his brows and wiped the sweat flowing down his chin with his hands.
However, he couldn’t just quit here.
Although it just for a fleeting moment, Yeon-woo had clearly felt a sensation similar to as if his body was floating through the combined use of the two skills. And in the process, he was able to feel so many things.
There was no reason to refuse when he had found a way to grow.
'Let's do this.'
He once again closed his eyes and cast Combat Will and Sense Strengthening at the same time. The burning pain in his brain made him frown.
Yeon-woo went down the passage of the dungeon, somehow enduring the throbbing headache by turning on Physical Resistance at the same time.
Chapter 15. Black Route (4)
“What’s going on here?”
Bild stood scowling at the sight of Kaen’s party.
It happened while he was on a mission to pick an important item. So now he was extremely irked.
He thought he had found some good prospects for his clan. But everything had turned into nothing. It was already too late to get their injuries treated.
Apparently, they were able to stay alive thanks to some generous players who had been sharing their food with them.
Among the four, the person who was faring relatively better had his entire lower body paralyzed, and in Kaen’s case, his body was completely paralyzed from neck down.
Bild asked Kaen’s party what had happened to them. But none of the four could give a proper answer, they just vacantly gazed into space. Some of them gave out dejected laughter as if they had lost their minds.
Bild realized that it was meaningless to keep trying to get information from Kaen’s party, so instead he started looking for witnesses.
It was a conflict between players, so he could just ignore it and let it go.
‘But you dare to mess up with us, don't you? So annoying! He must have known they were under Arangdan’s protection, but he just didn’t care... That means he's looking down on us.’
Bild was very proud of Arangdan. To be exact, His loyalty was directed towards Cheonghwado, which encompasses Arangdan.
Still, Arangdan was a product of his hard work. He had established it along with the man he served. He couldn’t stand the thought of it to being looked down upon.
"It was a guy wearing a white mask?"
Every single witness had said the same thing. White mask, short dagger, fast movements.
"Huh? Ye- yes, it was."
"A mask, was it?"
Bild raised his eyebrows.
A man with a white mask on, he had never heard of someone with such a weird appearance in this tutorial round.
"I guess I’ll have to start searching first."
Bild then proceeded to run off to somewhere.
He didn’t have to worry about traveling between each section.
Players who had cleared the tutorial were given a pass ticket to go anywhere within the tutorial.
'Too bad I can’t gain any additional stats or Karma here.'
Because of his haste, Bild had overlooked something.
Just before the fight with the masked man, there had been a young man who had had a conversation with Kaen’s party.
* * *
Taking advantage of the darkness, three bats launched their attacks.
Every time they opened their mouth and shot out ultrasonic waves, the whole cave reverberated, confusing his senses.
Amid such turmoil, Yeon-woo accurately detected the position of each bat by solely listening to the sound of the wind, and flung three daggers in each direction.
Along with the sound of heads shattering and wings ripping, the bats fell down onto the floor. Then, he threw himself between the bats and finished them off.
[You have successfully slain 5 Sonic Bats]
[Number of monsters hunted: 147]
"Hoo. I'm starting to get used to it.”
Yeon-woo gently warmed up his shoulders and approached the bats’ carcasses.
After entering the dungeon and getting rid of the Red O-Gong, Yeon-woo kept descending through it and killed any monster he encountered.
The monsters that appeared here closely resembled insects and beasts that were commonly seen in aquatic caverns. Things like centipedes, salamanders, hogfish, crickets and bats. They looked just the same but bigger. They looked disgusting.
Moreover, just like the Red O-Gong was hard to defeat, other monsters were quite difficult to deal with as well.
However, as the number of monster he hunted increased, he was getting more and more used to it, and after the number reached 100, hunting had gotten much easier.
Once he familiarized himself with their unique patterns, it became a piece of cake.
"The effect of Flame Heart and Frost Crest also played its role."
Yeon-woo drew a dagger hanging on the edge of his waist and began dissecting the carcass of one of the bats. He peeled off its skin, separated the bones from the flesh, and slowly pulled out the intestines. It was something he had done in Africa several times.
Thanks to his former experiences, Yeon-woo was able to extract whatever he needed without much difficulty.
‘He said the eyeballs and vocal cords of the Sonic Bats will become valuable later on, right?’
These items could all be used as materials.
His brother had specified a number of items in his diary, saying that they were hard to find in The Tower so he had to get them while he was in the tutorial.
'If I can make a good artifact out of these little things, I will profit greatly.’
Yeon-woo only extracted the parts that could be used as materials and organized them in his backpack, then began to carefully remove the hearts.
He had been so worn out when he killed the Red O-Gong that he had no choice but to bite its heart off with his teeth. But to properly absorb the essence of flame monsters required considerable skill.
He gouged the hearts out of the bats with a clean cut.
Yeon-woo tore off a handful of White Moss and pushed it into his mouth, then ate the hearts one by one.
He could hear the sound produced by the changes occurring inside his body. At the same time, his body felt refreshed, and he once again felt something flowing rapidly through an unknown path inside of him.
The flow was something he would have never been able to feel if he hadn’t increased his concentration using Combat Will.
It was a familiar flow and a familiar feeling.
Bodily waste excreted out from his pores.
[You have obtained a piece of 'Flame Heart and Frost Crest']
[Current progress: 16.2%]
As soon as the message popped up, the mana that had been drifting inside his body disappeared as if it had never existed.
Yeon-woo only licked his lips.
As the progress of Flame Heart and Frost Crest increased, the feeling of mana flowing inside his body was becoming more clear.
Yeon-woo realized that mana was also involved in the changes of his body, so he tried finding clues from it.
However, as usual, mana only gave him a little taste and disappeared as if it was toying with him.
‘There’s nothing I can do.'
But that didn't mean there was no payoff at all.
As Flame Heart and Frost Crest progressed, the amount of mana in his body was growing little by little, and he could sense mana more and more clearly.
Yeon-woo could only guess that he should be able to handle the mana when the progress reached 100%, so there was no need to be in a hurry.
‘What’s urgent is this right here’
From what was left of the bat’s carcass, Yeon-woo chose only hard parts such as the teeth, claws and bones.
Then he applied a mixture of White Moss and the Red O-Gong’s toxic blood on them.
Then the parts that were covered in the mixture began to melt while producing smoke.
Each monster has a different kind of toxin in its blood. Some are even deadly, so they have to be dealt with caution in order to prevent contact with the blood .
One of my teammates had a little, no, a veeery weird taste. He used this kind of toxin for battle purposes. He didn’t want to battle monsters face-to-face because he was too lazy, or that’s what he said.
But if you were to ask me, I would say that that laziness gave birth to a monster.
Arthia was a clan that had once ranked sixth in The Tower.
If they were to determine who was the best player in their clan, his brother and also another player would come to mind.
No, even his brother had to admit that that person was a notch above himself when fighting against a large force.
Bayluk, the anti-venom.
Ignoring the fact that he was one of the enemies who deserved a slow, miserable death , Yeon-woo could still learn a thing or two from him.
"Bayluk used to be a scholar who originally studied alchemy in his world. Based on this, he made a great achievement by analyzing the toxins that were found in monsters’ blood.'
In view of this, his brother had picked up some of Bayluk’s studies behind his back, and that had all been passed down to Yeon-woo.
The concoction Yeon-woo had applied to the parts of the Sonic Bats was also one of Bayluk's products.
[Liquefying Acid Solution (溶酸溶液)]
A solution that weakens the structure of hard materials. If the solution is high in concentration, it will dissolve the material.
'There’s no reason to be ashamed of stealing his research If it is stealable and can be used effectively.’
Even if he was an enemy, if Yeon-woo could borrow something from him, he should do his best.
No, he was almost too happy from stealing the information, since Bayluk was his enemy.
As the claws and teeth softened up, Yeon-woo began to crush them into fine dust using the pommel of his dagger. It didn’t require much effort since his Strength stat was already approaching 70.
Next, he gathered up the powder and wrapped it up inside the bat wings that he had cut into squares beforehand. Then he tied them together using the tendons.
They were now fist-sized pouches full of powder.
From the entrance of the dungeon up until now, he had collected large amounts of powder through this method. And this one was his fifteenth pouch.
On the surface, it could be seen as a meaningless task, however it was crucial in order to pass through the next point.
'There it is, the ant tunnel. He said this is the most troublesome part.'
Yeon-woo looked at the cave beyond the passage, and frowned a little.
Monsters that appeared in Room of Frost and Flame varied depending on the area and environment. The same applied to this cave. There was only one kind of monster that dwelled in this place.
The cave in front of Yeon-woo was incomparably larger than the passage he had come through.
His eyes caught sight of a countless amount of white eggs laid along the walls and ceiling.
It was a colony of Blue Army Ants.
[Blue Army Ant]
The size of an ant ranges from 30 centimeters to 1 meter. Hundreds of ants form a society around the ant queen.
Due to the nature of ant societies, every ant, including worker ants, are willing to sacrifice their lives defending their habitat if it comes under attack.
Engaging in battle with all of them at once?
The reason why he had been able to hunt more than 100 monsters was because the monsters only appeared one or two at a time, five at most.
If he fought hundreds of them at the same time,
‘That’s just nuts.’
Before he could take any action, he would be torn into pieces and end up being fed to baby ants.
The problem was that Yeon-woo had to pass through this cave.
'In the room beyond this cave, lays Bathory's Vampiric Sword.’
Artifact number 352.
It was a number symbolizing Bathory's Vampiric Sword.
When I found out that that place contained the hidden remains of Erzsebet Bathory, Lord of Vampires, I genuinely freaked out.
In The Tower, there are dozens of classes a player can choose from in order to ensure smooth growth. And those who show outstanding qualities are given the title of ‘Lord’.
Each and every one of them is a master in their domain as well as an absolute being with hundreds and thousands of followers.
The Lord of Vampires was one of the Lords who perished a long time ago.
Legend has it, that she was a bringer of death and destruction. She could drain the vitality out of others to strengthen herself, and if allowed to continue, she could also rob them of their skills.
He had heard that there were still quite a few players and clans who would grind their teeth in frustration whenever they recalled the damage they had suffered from her.
Its artifact number was very low, as it was the legacy left by such a powerful being.
‘The smaller the number, the better. Artifacts with a three digit number, in the 300’s are among the best. What’s more, it’s a Unique Item. It’s one of a kind in the whole Tower and tutorial. I cannot miss this.'
But hundreds of Blue Army Ants were camping outside the entrance.
'Even if the path looks like its blocked, there’s always a way around.’
Yeon-woo tied the tendons of the pouches into a single knot and slung them over his shoulder. The knot was made so that if he pulled the other side of the string, it would be undone right away.
Yeon-woo gently took a breath and,
He quickly ran towards the entrance of the ant tunnel.
One by one, the ants noticed his presence and turned their heads towards Yeon-woo.
The one guarding the entrance let out a horrible shriek, showing its big mandibles.
"I'm really sorry, but you need to get out of the way."
With an agile movement, Yeon-woo grabbed the pouches on his shoulder and threw them in between the guard ants and into the tunnel.
His throw was quite accurate since he had practiced his throwing skills whenever he was bored in Africa.
Then he tugged at the string. The pouches opened up one after another in midair.
the powder was scattered over the cave, covering it like a thick red fog.
The ants shrieked at his actions.
To finish it off, Yeon-woo lit up the zippo that he had originally crammed inside his backpack and threw it towards the powder mist. At the same time, he quickly crouched down against the wall next to the entrance.
A destructive explosion swept through the whole cave.
A huge storm of flame tore off the walls.
The Blue Army Ants were set ablaze, and screamed out loud as they burst into bits.
The powder that caused the explosion wasn’t just a normal powder. It was a powder made of monsters with fire property. Moreover, It was scattered all over a closed space and was set on fire with a lighter.
The power of the explosion was incomparable to any dust explosion produced by a phenomenon.
The explosion nearly shook the cavity upside down.
[You have successfully blown up the ant tunnel. 217 of the Blue Army Ants were blasted, 89 of the Blue Army Ants were burned, and 92 of the Blue Army Ants were suffocated.]
[Additional Karma will be provided.]
Does Unique mean you can't get it anywhere else or that there is only one in the entire tower? (I'm asking this because, if it's the second one, how would he know about the artifact?)
Thank you so much for translating this novel, i just made an account to thank you. If you have any other novel recommendations similar to this novel, please tell me. Thank you.