Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 3
A cry could be heard in the midst of the ringing noise.
While listening to the message, YuWon searched for the source of the cry.
[SURVIVE THE ZOMBIE HORDE.]
[All zombies will perish after 30 minutes.]
The mission wasn’t much different from what YuWon experienced before.
But there was one difference.
‘There’s a fuckton of ‘em.’
It was the number of zombies that started appearing in the streets.
The difficulty of the Tutorial was different per area. The difficulty was related to the number of people, so the higher the population, the higher the difficulty.
It made sense. Since there were more people that could cooperate, the missions had to have stronger monsters to make things fair.
At least, that would be the logical reasoning.
‘It’s all nonsensical.’
“Zom…bies? It’s fucking zombies!”
YuWon observed the people that screamed and ran in terror after discovering the zombies.
It was unavoidable. The streets of Hongdae were far too small for how densely populated it was.
Elsewhere, the streets would be wide and empty, leaving more room for people to escape. There would also be fewer zombies, significantly lowering the difficulty.
‘There’s just too many people in the streets.’
There wasn’t an adequate place to run away to. Therefore, the streets of Hongdae would become flooded by the blood of people torn apart by zombies.
There was only a single solution to this problem—when you can’t run, you should fight. You can’t survive such a large horde simply by running.
As this place became a “Tutorial Zone,” you could only run so far, and zombies were hiding around every corner. And…
‘It’s a normal reaction.’
YuWon was the same.
Accepting the world as it was, adapting, and doing everything he could to survive only happened after the Tutorial started.
[You are able to check your status by saying the activation phrase “Status Window.”]
[You have obtained a basic weapon – 「Old Knife」]
Each person was given a weapon: knives, hammers, spears, and various other weapons. It seems like everyone was given a weapon that they could utilize well. YuWon was given a knife.
YuWon tossed the knife away.
It was an item with a dull blade. You could barely call it a weapon.
‘I couldn’t even kill three zombies with this thing.’
It would be a different story if he could utilize it well, but the old knife was just slightly better than going bare-handed. In truth, it was no better than a steel rod. It was a weapon that was so old, it could break any time.
On the other hand, the theme of the 1st Tutorial was “Survival.”
The countless zombies would continue to respawn no matter how many you killed.
“Fucking move, damn it!”
The unfortunate people who happened to be close to the zombies were already getting bit, shoving and pulling each other.
They didn’t hesitate to sacrifice others for their own survival. That was human nature.
YuWon unzipped his bags, opening a small bottle that was inside.
“That won’t be enough.”
The things YuWon had to do couldn’t be achieved by simply clearing the Tutorial normally .
Before, simply surviving was enough, but now he had a more important objective.
YuWon had brought other weapons to use instead of the old knife. And one more thing…
YuWon poured the contents of the bottle onto the sashimi knife.
Done preparing, YuWon had a fierce look in his eyes.
He didn’t need to check his own status. He could feel what his starting stats were.
YuWon dove head-first into the horde of zombies.
Zombies were slow and weak, but to compensate, they were immune to pain and extremely hard to kill. You needed a lot of strength to kill them. There weren’t a lot of people in the 1st Tutorial who would be able to kill them. But…
[You were the first to kill a zombie in your area.]
[You have obtained 100 points.]
[Your experience points massively increased.]
[You leveled up.]
[Strength increased by 1.]
[Dexterity increased by 1.]
[Constitution increased by 1.]
The sashimi knife sliced through the zombies’ heads with great ease.
A smile crossed YuWon’s face.
It was worth moving quickly. The reward for the first zombie kill was quite generous for the effort it took. 100 points were hard to gain in the early stages of the Tutorial, and the stats that came with the level-up would be very useful.
His arms and legs were stronger—the power of the strength stat.
The zombies appeared slower, while his body felt lighter—the power of the dexterity stat.
His body felt revitalized, while his breathing stabilized—the power of the constitution stat.
YuWon kept moving.
Stab, stab, stab—!
YuWon swung his knife, cutting down the zombies one by one in a flash.
[You leveled up.]
Leveling up was quick in the beginning. Of course, it was also due to YuWon cutting the heads off of zombies as fast as he could.
A flurry of endorphin-rushing notifications.
‘This feels great.’
YuWon laughed, seeing the endless number of zombies surrounding him.
This was one of his reasons for selecting Hongdae for his Tutorial location. The number of zombies directly correlated to the population of the region. And that would be consistent until the next area of the Tutorial.
Watching YuWon cut down dozens of zombies by himself, the people’s reactions started to change one by one.
“Could the zombies actually be pretty weak?”
“Doesn’t that seem pretty doable?”
Wherever you go, there will always be people without fear. A few people started joining the fight after witnessing YuWon slaughter the zombies.
The rewards from the early stages of the Tutorial were extremely important. Among the people who were quick to act that day, a few of them would probably make it to the upper floors of the Tower. But of course…
‘It won’t be easy.’
“Wha—what’s up with these things!”
“Why won’t they die!”
No matter how hard you hit them in the head with a sword, zombies wouldn’t die easily. It was no laughing matter, slicing the head of a zombie with a dull, old sword. Many got bit by the zombies, surprised that the zombies weren’t so easy to kill.
‘The toxins of a zombie are bound to be fatal to the participants of the 1st Tutorial.’
The knife didn’t feel like it was making as smooth a cut anymore. It felt as though the knife had become dull, however, that was not the reason.
YuWon made a sound of disapproval while kicking away a zombie.
The effect must have worn off.
YuWon pulled out another bottle in a hurry.
He cut the bottle apart with his sword, wetting the blade with its contents.
The salty, fishy smell pierced YuWon’s nose.
‘It’s definitely working.’
YuWon remembered a distant memory, something one of his companions told him right after they entered the Tower.
“Unlike you, I don’t have any talents. Seriously, compare me to anyone, and it becomes obvious how untalented I am.”
“At least you still survived.”
“I was lucky. I made an amazing discovery in the 1st Tutorial.”
“The first one? Don’t you just have to survive against zombies in that one?”
“Do you know where I used to work?”
“Work? Why are you bringing up your work…? What was your job?”
‘The man I met on the 1st Floor was quite fortunate. Right about now, unlike most people, he is probably hunting zombies with ease.’
“I managed salt evaporation ponds. The zombies in the 1st Tutorial…
“Their weakness is salt.”
Once again, the sashimi knife cut the zombie’s head like it was butter.
It was thanks to the salt water that YuWon had just poured on the knife.
[You have defeated 100 zombies in 10 minutes.]
[You have achieved an unbelievable feat in the Tutorial.]
[You have obtained 3 unallocated stat points.]
[Unallocated stat points will be distributed at random if unused by the end of the Tutorial.]
Yuwon’s eyes widened. He wasn’t expecting this kind of reward.
‘It’s possible to earn unallocated stat points in the Tutorial?’
Unallocated stat points were a valuable reward. You gain stats at random when you level up, so unallocated stat points were very useful since it could be used to raise any stats you wanted. Your level becomes harder to raise the higher it is, but unallocated stat points were completely separate from the leveling system.
‘Should I save it for later?’
Currently, Arcane Power was disabled. Arcane Power would only be available starting in the middle stages of the Tutorial. It was the most efficient stat, as well as the hardest to raise. That was Arcane Power.
But instead of saving the points for later, it might be better to use it now for an immediate power boost.
YuWon made a decision after weighing his options.
‘Let’s save it for now.’
Looking at the big picture, it seemed like a waste to use unallocated stat points to crush some measly zombies. Besides, YuWon wasn’t going to simply slash and stab the zombies anymore.
‘It’s the ten minute mark.’
The number of zombies would start overflowing any second now.
YuWon had to hurry and make his preparations.
‘Where would be an adequate place…?’
YuWon looked around as he cleared himself a path by slicing and dicing zombies. The streets had devolved into absolute chaos from the battle between people and zombies. In the midst of his search, a place caught YuWon’s attention.
* * *
Kim MyungHoon swung his old knife.
Once again it didn’t go as expected. He couldn’t get a clean cut on the zombie’s head.
‘Fuck! Why isn’t this working?!’
He couldn’t figure out the reason.
YuWon, who charged into the zombies faster than anyone else, slayed the zombies like it was nothing.
In comparison, MyungHoon, as well as others, were barely killing one zombie after multiple slashes.
‘Is it because the blade is dull?’
YuWon wielded a different knife.
Instead of a worn out knife, he used the sashimi knife and machete he happened to have on hand.
‘Damn it. If only I had a proper weapon like him…’
A zombie with its head half-split open roared.
The nasty stench was unbearable. Startled, MyungHoon kicked the zombie in the chest.
The zombie must have felt no pain. After falling down, it got back up like it was nothing. Kim MyungHoon stared at the unfaltering zombie in disgust.
“Is it just me… or are they growing in numbers?” As their stamina was reaching their limits, MyungHoon’s friend asked him this question.
He bit his trembling lips. He knew it as well.
‘Instead of decreasing, they’re multiplying.’
There was no way they could handle this many of them.
They were surrounded by zombies on all sides.
There was no way to escape, nor did they have any strength left to continue fighting. Their fates were sealed.
Can we hold these bastards off?
How are we supposed to survive in this situation?
‘How the fuck are we supposed to do that?!’
Kim MyungHoon heard the answer in that moment.
“YuWon! Where did YuWon go?”
There was only one way to survive now that they were surrounded.
They had to receive his help. YuWon’s skill was the real deal, being able to cut zombies like they were made of tofu.
“Fuck, where did that motherfucker go?!”
The zombies were closing in tighter on them.
Kim MyungHoon swung his knife with all he had.
At that very moment…
His eyes opened wide. A fragment of his knife had fallen to the ground. The knife he was swinging broke in half.
“Are you fucking—”
Though completely dull, it was at least something that MyungHoon could use as a weapon to protect himself. Now, he no longer had a way to defend himself against the zombies.
A zombie got within spitting distance, widening its jaws at MyungHoon.
A nose-piercing stench. Rotten teeth that would soon tear him apart.
He screamed, helplessly watching the zombie that was about to take his life.
Something was off. The zombies suddenly stopped moving.
“Wha—what’s going on?”
“Why did these fuckers suddenly…?”
They hadn’t reached the stated time limit yet. There was no reason for the zombies to freeze. And that wasn’t the weirdest part…
The zombies started to twitch, screaming in pain.
They were monsters that didn’t feel any pain, no matter how much their arms and legs were cut, even withstanding broken bones.
Yet, suddenly they were crying in agony, falling one by one to the ground.
The zombies’ rotten flesh started melting, as if they had been splashed with acid.
“What the fuck…”
“Hey, something’s falling!”
Kim MyungHoon raised his head, following his friend’s observation.
Lost in terror, he hadn’t noticed it. There were things falling from the sky.
MyungHoon reached out for one of them with the palm of his hands.
It was a familiar-looking crystal.
He wanted to confirm his suspicions, so he licked it.
T/N: Do drugs, kids.
PR/N: Wait, no, don’t just lick random white crystals, kids.
It was a familiar taste.
MyungHoon looked up again.
Salt was raining down from the skies.