Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 14
Choi JaeHyun couldn’t believe what unfolded in front of his eyes.
“How… is this even possible?”
YuWon didn’t make any big movements. He simply stood in his spot, cutting down people one at a time as they entered the circle. So when he finally left the circle…
“P-Please save me—!”
The people that were attacking YuWon started fleeing instead. But it was useless. With his high Dexterity stat, he caught up to them in the blink of an eye, chopping off their heads. Around the time he had decapitated another 10 people, someone dared to grab one of YuWon’s essence.
YuWon immediately ran back, cutting off the guy’s arm without any hesitation. It was total chaos. A massacre by a single man. Even the witnesses couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
‘So numbers didn’t matter.’
JaeHyun thought he was adjusting to this world pretty well. His base stats were high from the start, and after leveling quickly by hunting, he thought he should have been ahead of everyone else.
That was a misculation. From the moment he thought an individual couldn’t win against numbers, he had failed to grasp the essence of this world.
With his knife, YuWon pierced the heart of the man that crossed into his circle. And with that, YuWon’s massacre of the enemies that tried to steal his essence ended.
“… What a mess.”
YuWon picked up his box and moved spots.
Not minding the pool of blood around him, he crossed over it and walked right up to the gate, as if he had planned on being there from the beginning.
[02 : 04 : 18]
Not a lot of time remained. After picking his spot, he drew another circle on the ground, setting up right in front of the gate.
The gate started howling. Seeing the once transparent gate inch closer to activation, people started getting really nervous.
There was no longer anyone who dared to challenge YuWon.
‘Since he’s there, I can enter the gate right after I purchase the essence.’
‘I have 43, so I only need 700 points…’
‘What do I do? I only have 200 points…’
Everyone in the crowd scrambled around, anxiously observing each other.
That’s when JaeHyun stepped forward, “I’ll buy it.”
Surprised, DooShik tried to stop JaeHyun.
“Are you really going to buy them? Do you even have the points…?”
“I asked the Lackey earlier, and he told me he’d give me 500 points for this,” JaeHyun said while waving the weapon in his hand. It was the most expensive item he was able to buy in the Shop, having paid 1,000 points for it. Despite having only used it for a few days, its value had plummeted by half.
“Try and think this through, DooShik.”
“What do you think will happen if we try and kill someone here?”
DooShik had a confused look at JaeHyun’s question. Frustrated, JaeHyun let out a deep sigh before whispering, “None of the essence he has was stolen. It was all obtained by hunting.”
“How do you know that?”
“How many monsters do you think he had to kill in order to get that strong?”
DooShik went mute at JaeHyun’s question. He couldn’t even fathom the sheer number of monsters that YuWon must have slaughtered the past three days to become that strong. It finally clicked in his brain how YuWon was able to collect so much essence. He had hunted that many monsters to raise his level so much.
‘Besides, that guy…’
JaeHyun stared at YuWon who was waiting in front of the gate to conduct business.
‘Despite being able to, hasn’t taken any of the essence from the guys he just killed.’
It was because of honor. It YuWon took and sold someone else’s essence, that would ruin his plans. He wouldn’t be “trading,” but “thieving” instead. In order to convince the rest of the people to buy his essence, he couldn’t take anyone else’s. Additionally, with his display of force, he had proved to the crowd that all his essence was fairly obtained by hunting monsters.
“If anyone tries to kill someone else first, they will become everyone’s target.”
JaeHyun originally thought that the Tutorial was a lawless zone. However, he realized he was wrong. Even though the laws of the old world no longer existed, it was impossible for something like a truly lawless zone to exist. As long as more than three people were present, there was bound to be at least some unspoken laws and rules.
‘In this world, the law is written by the strong,’ JaeHyun thought, and currently YuWon was the one calling the shots.
JaeHyun approached YuWon.
YuWon didn’t do a thing, as JaeHyun held his hand out, showing that he intended to purchase essence.
“Please give me seven.”
YuWon nodded his head and shook hands with JaeHyung.
[You obtained 700 points.]
The fist trade was made. YuWon grabbed seven essence from the box and handed it to JaeHyun.
Having collected 50 essence, JaeHyun crossed over into the gate.
“Seven for me!”
“Ten for me…!”
“Does anyone have any spare points? I promise to pay you back in the next Tutorial…”
The street had turned into a marketplace.
[You obtained 700 points.]
[You obtained 400 points.]
[You obtained 1100 points.]
* * *
YuWon counted in his head as he sold off his essence. People were busy calling up Lackeys to sell the items they had purchased.
“If it’s 100 points per stat… Wait a sec. Hmm…”
“Three Perception points. That’s enough for 300 points, right?”
While selling his essence, YuWon observed the trading between participants and the Lackeys that had appeared. In the Tutorial’s Shop, there was a sell-back function. It was a way to get back the points you consumed by reselling the items you were using to the Shop. Then the Lackeys took the items they repurchased and sold them to participants of the next Tutorial. It was a cycle of sorts. However, this function was rarely used by any participant with even a hint of intelligence because most Lackeys were basically highway robbers.
“— This item is a bit damaged. I’ll give you 300 points for it.”
“— That item is actually quite unpopular… so I can only give you 200 points.”
“What? That’s completely bullshit!”
“You fucking con artist!”
The participants voiced their anger at the prices that the Lackeys proposed. Items that were purchased for a 1,000 points were only being offered 300 or 400 points now, even going as low as 200 points.
Lackeys were businessmen at their core. They did business off the backs of the participants who were using the Shop to survive. It was clear who had the upper hand. So participants who were desperate for points usually ended up selling their stats instead of their items, but…
‘100 points per stat.’
It was the definition of a scam.
‘What an absolutely terrible deal.’
Stats inherently had a higher value than points. Though there were many items and skills you could purchase from the Shop, no matter how many points you had, you couldn’t purchase stats with points. Yet here were Lackeys, buying stat points off of Tutorial participants at an extreme bargain.
‘Yeah, sure, losing a few Perception or Constitution points might not seem like a big deal now, but…’
In the long run, it was a huge loss. After climbing even a few floors of the Tower, they’d realize how valuable the stat points they had lost were.
‘It’s probably better than dying here, I guess.’
YuWon checked how much essence he had left. People were fighting each other to buy essence once they realized they could sell stats for points. And just like that, over 50 people had now completed and exited the 3rd Tutorial.
“Uh-Uhm, please give me 20.”
It was a pretty big order. YuWon took a close look at his customer. It was a boy in his mid-teens. He did have a weapon, and seeing how few essence he possessed, he was also probably low-level.
‘He’s probably not going to make it much further.’
No items and poor stats. Someone like him should normally have died and been unable to clear the 3rd Tutorial. Since he sold whatever stats he had to obtain the necessary points, his lack of stats would start weighing him down more and more.
“Here you go.”
The sales progressed smoothly to the very end.
[Total Points : 167,400]
YuWon nodded his head after checking how many points he had. It was much higher than he originally anticipated. It was a combination of the points from defeating the Mother Worm and the sales of essence.
‘I thought I was only going to be able to get 100K at best by the end of the 3rd Tutorial…’
However, the Tutorial had progressed much better than he anticipated. 160,000 points. Even inside the Tower, this was quite a sum. In fact, it shouldn’t have been possible to earn that many points in the Tutorial.
‘It might be possible now.’
YuWon got up from his spot.
JooYeon, who was waiting beside him, asked, “Are you finally going in?”
YuWon turned his head to look at her. Beside her, SeongChan was also waiting for YuWon.
“Why haven’t you guys left yet?”
“We wanted to go with you.”
Though it was only for a day, JooYeon and SeongChan had been following YuWon.
YuWon shook his head. It was a no-brainer.
“I don’t have any intention of making any companions here.”
“You don’t have to consider us your companions. We’re okay with being used as pawns again.”
“And if you think we’re no longer useful, you can toss us aside.”
Calling themselves pawns. That was no easy decision.
A smile spread on YuWon’s face. It was true that hunting went much better thanks to these two. However, that didn’t mean that they could walk the same path as him.
‘Not even close.’
There was almost no human that could walk beside YuWon. Without extraordinary talent, it was impossible to follow where YuWon was headed, let alone walk alongside him. Naturally, that applied to JooYeon and SeongChan. The two should have been more than capable of getting past the Tutorial and into the Tower, but that would have been the extent of their capabilities. YuWon was looking to get to the top of the Tower. No, perhaps even further.
“Unfortunately, this is it.”
“I also told this to the guy that just died, but don’t try and latch onto someone else. You won’t last long that way.”
SeongChan had a disappointed face after hearing that from YuWon, but they had half expected it. Still, disappointment is unavoidable when your hopes are crushed.
YuWon shrugged his shoulders at the expressions on their faces. “Besides, even if I wanted to go, I can’t. Because I’m not going.”
“What do you mean you’re not going?”
JooYeon and SeongChan were confused.
YuWon flipped over his inventory pouch. Not a single thing fell out from inside it.
“It’s because I don’t have any more essence.”