Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 13
100 points for one. It was quite the hefty price tag, but considering how essence wasn’t even sold in the Shop, YuWon was their only option.
“… But what if we don’t have any money?” MyungHoon asked.
YuWon smirked at his question.
“I don’t care how you pay for it, but you have to pay up-front. You can borrow money from someone, or you can even sell your items to the Lackey.”
People who were despairing from being short on points started whispering to each other. They had all received a set amount of points from the 1st and 2nd Tutorial, but it wasn’t feasible to hunt the monsters in the 3rd Tutorial without spending points. Most of them were low on points, and they were just now told a way they could immediately obtain points.
“I don’t care if you sell your items or your stats. As long as you can pay me in points, I’ll sell you essence.”
No one dared jump the gun on his suggestion. You could get points now by selling your items and stats, but what about after that? You would have essence but also be that much weaker. And taking the next Tutorial into consideration, losing points was equal to losing your strength.
‘If that’s the case…’ It would be better to steal it by force.
As everyone came to the same conclusion, their eyes lit up with greed. And standing in front of them, MyungHoon spoke.
“Don’t make me laugh.”
YuWon stared at MyungHoon, who was looking at his box full of essence.
“I bet you gathered that by killing and stealing it from others, yet you want us to pay for it? You think we’re suckers who’ll let you do that?”
“But what if I didn’t steal them?”
“Bullshit. No way that’s possible. I already warned you once, but it’s survival of the fittest now. Did you really think we would trade money for your goods?”
YuWon nodded his head at MyungHoon’s words. He was right. There were no laws governing the Tutorial. Once you made it inside the Tower, there were established rules, but the Tutorial was a lawless zone.
With a sinister smile, MyungHoon pointed at the people that surrounded YuWon.
“Look at all the people that’ll live if you could just be selfless. Don’t you think you’re being too greedy? Huh? Am I wrong?”
The people in the crowd nodded their heads. YuWon appeared to have at least 1,000 essence. With that much essence, he would be able to save at least half the people here. Then they wouldn’t have to resort to killing and stealing. Just one person, YuWon, had to make a sacrifice.
“That’s fucking funny.”
MyungHoon looked at the person sneering at him. It was the girl that came with YuWon, JooYeon.
“Killing and stealing? Do you really think you have any right to call others out on that?”
“Who the fuck are you?”
“You really don’t remember? You asked me to join you, and when I said no, you immediately tried to kill me.”
Following JooYeon’s accusation, SeongChan came forward. “If YuWon-ssi was someone who would do such a thing, he would have taken our essence as well. This is like the one who farted accusing someone else of stinking up the room. I’m at a loss for words.”
“Oh shit, it’s you guys,” Myung Hoon laughed.
He remembered now. He didn’t remember their names, but he remembered trying to recruit them because they were a party of five. They looked like a group of friends. Perhaps they had been cautious of large groups, so they said no to his proposal, which is why he tried to kill them. He managed to kill two of them, but three escaped in the end.
“So what? What can you three do?” MyungHoon said intimidatingly as he raised his hand.
The surrounding people started moving all at once.
As 50 people circled closely around YuWon, MyungHoon spoke with a smug look on his face, “No matter how good he is with a knife, what can he do by himself? You guys ran for your lives, and the best you were able to do was become his sidekicks?”
JooYeon replied, “You guys don’t know anything about him.”
“That’s funny.” MyungHoon lowered his hand and commanded, “Kill them all.”
Dozens of people started pulling out their swords and spears and charged towards YuWon.
At that moment YuWon said, “You guys…”
YuWon got up from his spot.
“… Crossed the line.”
A fountain of blood erupted.
MyungHoon was confused as to what just happened.
‘What in the world…’
He was in shock at the sight of blood spurting everywhere. It was definitely not YuWon’s bood. It was the blood of the people who charged at YuWon. They had all been decapitated.
In that moment, Kim MyungHoon remembered something YuWon said.
“Don’t cross the ‘line.’”
It was what YuWon told him at the start of the 3rd Tutorial. Back then, he laughed it off as some naive nonsense, but now he realized that wasn’t it.
‘Was the line he was talking about…’
He suddenly got chills up his back. Did he plan this moment all the way back then? While MyungHoon was lost in thought, his lackeys stopped their charge.
“How did he do that?”
These were people who had been wielding swords against monsters, yet they couldn’t even see YuWon’s movements. The only thing they saw were the cleanly sliced necks of the people that crossed the line. It was more than enough to instill fear into them.
“You’re right,” YuWon said, looking at the dead people that laid on the floor.
There were less than 20 minutes until the gate activated. By now, almost everyone had gathered around the gate.
YuWon continued, “It’s survival of the fittest. There are no laws or rules. That’s why it’s so much harder to protect something than to obtain something.”
YuWon picked up a few essence from the box. “The conditions are still the same,” he announced. “100 points each. As long as you can pay for it, I’ll sell you essence. Those who want to live, get my permission before you come inside the circle.”
YuWon was confident he could protect his essence.
MyungHoon ground his teeth. How could so many people be intimidated by just a single person? He didn’t want to accept it, but he was especially furious because he was also intimidated by YuWon.
“And if we don’t want to?”
“You don’t have to if you don’t want to. I’m not going to force you to buy any. But if you cross the line when you don’t intend to actually buy any… ” YuWon pointed to the corpses that littered the floor. “It will be your grave.”
MyungHoon shouted at the top of his lungs, “Goddammit! What the fuck are you guys doing?! Go! Kill him already! Fucking son of a bitch—!”
He must have had good control over his group. The first person to follow his command was Lee JiHoon. Others quickly followed JiHoon, charging at YuWon once again.
YuWon shrugged his shoulders. “I guess this was inevitable.”
He knew something like this would happen. Everyone had gathered here to steal essence from each other, so of course there would be more people who would want to try to take it by force rather than pay for it fair and square.
The 3rd Tutorial was better than any of the other Tutorial stages for amassing a large amount of points. However, the important part wasn’t collecting a lot of essence, but protecting it. And in order to do that…
[Activating Basic Arcane Sword.]
He needed to clearly demonstrate it—the strength of a single individual suppressing a group.
* * *
A decapitated head flew through the sky before falling to the ground.
His inventory pouch perished the instant his head was cut off, and with the pouch, his dozens of essence perished as well.
MyungHoon’s lackeys started hesitating. It was obvious to them that they couldn’t beat YuWon.
Heads dropped and rolled around the floor. YuWon’s knife dripped blood everywhere, completely covering the circle and its surroundings with blood.
YuWon had already killed 20 men, filling MyungHoon with terror.
‘How… is this possible…?’
He couldn’t believe it. YuWon was slicing the heads off people while simultaneously avoiding all the attacks aimed at him. He couldn’t even see YuWon swinging his knife.
An individual that can beat dozens of people. He thought they only existed in shit like movies and comic books, but that was what was unfolding right in front of his eyes.
He was currently Level 11.
‘What kind of world this was.’
In the world that MyungHoon was accustomed to, being able to fight with his fists equated to power. Once he became an adult, he learned the power of having a ‘group.’
Actually, he knew the power groups had before that. He knew since he was a child that no matter how strong an individual was, they couldn’t beat power in numbers.
However, this world was different. A world where stats, levels, items, and skills existed. It was a video game-like world. Someone who was high leveled with high stats and OP items couldn’t be beaten by dozens or even hundreds of low-level scrubs.
“God fucking dammit…”
MyungHoon subconsciously inched away from YuWon, and people stopped charging at YuWon altogether.
There was no way to beat him. Even though it was just one single person, they were completely outclassed. It was like no matter how many hounds you brought, they could never take down a T-rex.
MyungHoon was ready to run when a thought popped up inside his head, ‘The line…’
He noticed the line that was drawn around YuWon. Though it had become faint from being covered in blood, one thing was for sure. Since the start of the fight, YuWon hadn’t taken a single step outside the circle.
‘He’s only killed people who entered the circle.’
The pile of corpses was proof. YuWon didn’t hesitate to cut down anyone that even slightly crossed the line, but he had left anyone that stayed outside it alone.
MyungHoon felt relieved.
At least he hadn’t crossed that line. YuWon would kill him if he did. That would mean YuWon wouldn’t kill people that didn’t go inside the circle…
MyungHoon looked up.
Blood ran down his forehead. Feeling his forehead, he noticed there was a huge hole in the center.
It almost felt like time was frozen. In the slow flow of time, MyungHoon looked at YuWon.
YuWon hadn’t stepped outside of the circle.
He could no longer think. His body wobbled, and YuWon was suddenly inverted. The sky and the ground switched places in his vision, and the world turned white. He no longer had any strength to hold up his body.
MyungHoon fell to the floor. Before he lost consciousness, he managed to raise his head a little, and within his blurry vision, he saw him clearly.
“What, you thought you were safe if you stood there?”
The footsteps got closer and closer. YuWon looked around while smiling widely.
“I’ve memorized all of your faces.”
YuWon had left the circle.