Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 22
The guy that suddenly climbed up the rankings.
Hargaan took a close look at the name ‘Kim YuWon,’ which was now ranked second.
“So he’s coming up.”
That person had jumped up high on the leaderboard in no time. Though Hargaan didn’t actually know his name, he was pretty sure. It was him.
‘I thought he was just some guy that was really fast at running because none of these guys were catching my eyes.’
Hargaan grinned softly. The day the final Tutorial started, he was surprised and baffled by the fact that there was a participant that he couldn’t match in speed. However, this also excited Hargaan.
Who was he? What powers did he possess? Could he be someone that could fight and rival him? And could he become his comrade?
Seeing Hargaan’s face, a man that was following him asked, “What are you finding so amusing?”
It was Lee SungYoon, the newest participant to join Hargaan’s ‘team.’
“There’s a guy that I want to recruit no matter what.”
“Is it Kim YuWon?”
“Do you know him?”
Now that he thought about it, he realized that Kim YuWon and Lee SungYoon were from the same world. Their names were similar, and the fact that they both had talent was also similar.
Lee SungYoon. He was exceptionally talented among the participants from the world line called Earth. Though his physical abilities were so-so, his talent for controlling mana was uncommon, even in the Tower.
Not only did he start off with 12 Arcane Power as soon as he awakened his Arcane Power stat, he was already capable of using [Mana Blast] in the 5th Tutorial. Even in the history of the Tutorial, there weren’t many participants who were capable of such a feat.
‘He’s definitely full of talent.’
Earth was a planet inhabited by the weakest humans among the world lines. However, Hargaan had already discovered two monsters from there by the names of Kim YuWon and Lee SungYoon.
SungYoon replied while shrugging his shoulders, “Not likely. I think he’s from the same country as me, but I’ve never heard of him. I just knew who you were talking about as soon as I saw the updated ranking.
“At this rate, he might overtake your spot, sir. The gap in CP between you and him is shrinking fast.”
“Well, that’s because of you guys,” Hargaan said while looking back at the comrades following behind him.
Paladinte, Elador, Yolche, Lee SungYoon, and five others. A total of nine people formed a line behind Hargaan.
“The real hunt starts now,” declared Hargaan.
On the first day, Hargaan’s focus wasn’t on hunting. It was on gathering good comrades and forming a team. And he wanted to raise that team so they could climb the Tower together.
‘This is a pretty good team,’ thought Hargaan.
He had taken a big liking to the group he had formed. They were each highly skilled, and their levels were pretty high. Best of all, their various aptitudes and positions synergized well together.
Of course, the reason why these people could be gathered into one group was due to Hargaan’s dominating strength and background.
‘There’s only one spot left.’
Hargaan wanted to find exactly 10 comrades during the final Tutorial, and one of those spots was already reserved for someone.
‘So his name is Kim YuWon.’
Hargaan resolved himself to not let him go next time.
Hargaan was lost in thought after checking the rankings, when he was interrupted by a stoic male voice.
“Ahjussi.* That’s it, right?”
*TL/N: Korean for ‘mister.’ It’s typically used to refer to middle-aged men.
“Hey, I told you. I’m not an ahjussi.”
Hargaan looked towards the voice with a ticked off expression.
Paladinte, an Elf participant, was standing off to the side, pointing towards a hole in the middle of the forest.
Hargaan knew it was somewhere around here, but it took them half a day to find it, and without Paladinte’s help, it might have taken them days to find it.
“Okay, now let’s see…” said Hargaan, slamming his two fists together.
The rest of his team spread out so they wouldn’t get caught in the shockwave. Wearing golden gloves, Hargaan tightly clenched his fists, raising them up high in the air. And then…
Hargaan pounded the earth, and the ground gave way.
Within the crumbled ground, a huge hole opened up.
Hargaan smiled as he exclaimed, “I found it!”
Barragánda, the Tutorial island. The center region of this island was filled to the brim with various dangerous monsters and hidden pieces. However, the problem was that the entrances to the central region were hidden across the island.
The electricity around Hargaan’s hands lit up the inside of the hole. Without hesitation, he threw himself down the hole, slowing his descent by scraping the walls with his hands.
At the bottom of the hole, the ceiling was covered in bright stones.
“Is this it? The place you’ve been trying so hard to find?”
“It looks very spacious…”
“It looks like a cave.”
Hargaan’s teammates followed him into the hole and looked around the cave. They had thought it was just a large island. They didn’t expect there to be a place like this.
Having found an entrance, Paladinte ordered his spirits to scout around. He then looked back at Hargaan.
“We should first scout it out before we start moving… Ahjussi, what’s wrong?”
Hargaan, who was smiling widely when they first entered, now looked stoic. He didn’t answer Paladinte’s question because something was really off.
He was sure that a message should have popped up. He waited for the message, but there was nothing but silence. He tried listening closer, but there was still nothing. That could only mean one thing.
“Did… someone already find this place?”
There were no signs of someone having already entered through the entrance they had found, but there was more than a single entrance for this dungeon. This was a massive dungeon under the island, and it was unknown how many entrances to this place existed.
‘But to have already found this place when it’s only been a few days…’
“Captain!” shouted SungYoon. “The rankings! Please check the rankings!”
At first Hargaan was confused, but then his eyes widened. He immediately checked the rankings.
[1st – Kim YuWon : 5679cp]
[2nd – Hargaan : 5539cp]
He was able to see that within that short time, their positions had flipped.
A volley of electric attacks exploded, shaking the cave.
The centipede-like monsters that had appeared out of nowhere were blown up and shredded in an instant.
Hargaan punched the air, and once again the sound of thunder echoed through the cave, shaking the earth.
“He seems pretty pissed.”
Paladinte and Elador walked together, arm-in-arm, watching the electric attacks fly out from Hargaan. His physical abilities and electric attacks were truly terrifying. Despite not being the target of his attacks, they could still feel light shocks.
“He seems less pissed and just really motivated to me,” said SungYoon.
Elador tilted her head after hearing SungYoon’s words. She stared at him intensely, her blue eyes juxtaposing her grey skin.
“You think it’s rivalry?”
“Yeah, something like that.”
SungYoon tried to calm down his heart. Whenever he got to see her face up close, his heart started beating like a drum.
Elador was an Elf. And on top of that, she was a biracial child between a fair-skinned Elf and dark Elf. With clear skin devoid of any imperfection, exotic blue eyes, and long ears, SungYoon thought she was more beautiful than any woman he could ever imagine.
“But we won’t be able to hunt properly like this,” said Yolche. She was a woman that kept her eyes closed, and had long black hair that reached her waist.
SungYoon and the rest of the team nodded their heads in agreement. Regardless of motivation, a normal hunt couldn’t happen while Hargaan discriminately killed all the monsters by himself.
“Let’s split the team in half,” suggested Hargaan. After quickly finishing his hunt, he spoke while wiping the sweat on his forehead with the back of his hand. “Yolche, SungYoon, Elador, Fayle, and Typhoon.”
The members that Hargaan named looked at him as he continued.
“Since we’re at a crossroad, you guys go right. Elador and Paladinte can lead the way for each group and also keep us in contact with each other.”
“You really think the five of them will be okay by themselves?” asked Paladinte.
Hargaan responded, “They’ll have Yolche.”
“Hmm… That’s true,” answered Paladinte, while looking at Yolche, who was already headed down the right path.
She was a Pure-Blood like Hargaan, and she was a mercenary from a clan that specialized in magic. As she was the second strongest person in the team after Hargaan, she was definitely trustworthy.
Yolche and the others went down the path on the right and started hunting. Even though they no longer had Hargaan, they were able to hunt without any issues.
Up until now, Yolche had been holding back in order to not get caught up in Hargaan’s electric attacks. She finally unsheathed her two swords and weaved in between the monsters.
Dozens of centipedes cried simultaneously, and SungYoon pointed the palm of his hand at them.
Mana started condensing, forming a [Mana Blast.] Yolche and Elador had bought time for SungYoon to prepare a big attack.
“Please get out of the way!”
The [Mana Blast] wiped out the entire area, blowing up the centipedes to smithereens. It took a lot of mana to use, but its power more than made up for it.
In an instant, the pack of centipedes had been decimated, and SungYoon let out a deep breath.
Currently, three shots was the max number of [Mana Blasts] he was capable of firing. Since he just fired one off, he now had to start conserving his mana.
“Let’s keep going like this.”
At first, the hunt progressed smoothly. The group used the same method to hunt for hours. However, as time went on, the number of the centipede-like monsters increased, and the number of legs they had also increased.
“They’re targeting the rear!”
“Don’t stray from the front! Maintain your positions!”
The hunt started to get tougher and tougher. That meant that the amount of EXP and CP they gained increased, but in terms of quantity and toughness, the centipedes were on a different level from the monsters above ground.
“This just keeps getting tougher.”
“What’s that door over there? It’s massive.”
Beyond the horde of centipedes, a five meter tall, giant steel door could be seen. It was the first door that had appeared after half a day in the dungeon.
“Maybe it’s like a boss room?”
“It’s similar to a game… So, I’ve experienced a dungeon similar to this before, and there was always a boss inside doors like that.”
SungYoon was recollecting a video game he played long ago, but Yolche ended up thinking that he must have been a mercenary like her, if not an adventurer, which changed her opinion of him.
The group decided to take a short break.
SungYoon gathered his breath, focusing on recovering his mana, but he also continuously checked the rankings.
[1st – Kim YuWon : 7149cp]
[2nd – Hargaan : 7081cp]
YuWon’s lead was starting to grow shorter. It was because Hargaan’s hunting speed was absolutely ridiculous. He also encountered a hunting ground with an excess of monsters at a good time, so he was collecting CP left and right.
But SungYoon thought that something felt off.
‘I don’t think it’s gone up for a while now…’
YuWon’s rapidly increasing CP stopped increasing at some point. Thanks to that, Hargaan was able to start catching up, and now they were at less than 100cp from each other.
“What are you doing?” asked Yolche.
“Pardon?” SungYoon was caught off guard by Yolche’s question.
“N-Nothing,” he answered.
“Don’t get too relaxed just because we finished hunting. You’re usually closest to death when lowering your guard.”
While replying to Yolche, SungYoon’s eyes widened.
Seeing the sudden change in his expression, Yolche asked, “What’s wrong?”
The ground of the cave started shaking. It was a tremor that felt like something heavy had just dropped.
“W-What’s going on?”
“I think it’s coming from that side.”
The group stopped their break and started moving once again.
The shock had definitely originated from inside the doors.
“Everyone, raise your guards. And SungYoon. Go to the back and hold your position,” directed Yolche.
SungYoon nodded at her orders. He had a hunch that this tremor wasn’t unrelated to the CP rankings he had just seen.
[1st – Kim YuWon : 10149cp]
And just as he had expected.
“W-What is this?”
“Who in the world…?”
What was awaiting the group that entered the depths of the dungeon was…
[You have entered the boss room.]
[The boss room has been cleared.]
A mountain of centipede corpses, as well as the corpse of the boss that was dozens of meters long.
“You guys were a bit late.”
And at the top of all those corpses…
“I just killed this guy.”
… A person that looked like he had killed all these centipedes by himself was chilling.