Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 23
The boss of the dungeon collapsed. YuWon, who was riding on top of it, showed his distaste.
“So fucking tenacious.”
The monster with hundreds of legs was commonly referred to as a ‘Parasite Dragon’ in the Tower. And despite its insect-like appearance, it was very hard to kill. Because of that, it took YuWon almost 30 minutes to defeat it.
Still, thanks to that, he was able to level up.
[You have leveled up.]
[Your Strength increased by 1.]
[Your Dexterity increased by 1.]
[Your Arcane Power increased by 1.]
‘I’ll have to be careful using Gigantification. The mana consumption aside, it’s too straining on my body with my current Constitution.’
YuWon had gained a lot from defeating this boss. On top of leveling up, he was able to go all out with his arsenal of skills, letting him get a proper grasp of his current fighting power.
‘This should do it.’
Having defeated the Parasite Dragon, he had fulfilled his second objective for this dungeon. And on top of that, there was an unexpected bonus.
[You have obtained 3000cp from clearing the boss room.]
[Heaven-Slaying Star’s completion rate increased by 1%.]
To get only 1% from defeating such a tough boss. However, this was the first time [Heaven-Slaying Star’s] completion rate increased so much. He had only gotten a total of 2% from killing thousands of monsters in the past few days.
‘Does the completion rate go up faster if I kill higher class monsters?’
YuWon was sure now that it wasn’t just about how many monsters he killed.
‘The completion rate is going up very slowly. I wonder if I have to focus on killing bosses in order for me to properly complete this skill.’
Except for the initial stat boost it gave, the [Heaven-Slaying Star] hadn’t demonstrated any effects. It did say in the skill description that it would give additional stats depending on the completion rate, but there was no way to know how much it would give.
‘One thing’s for sure—I have to complete the skill to see its full effect.’
YuWon sat down on top of the giant centipede’s corpse and started massaging his right arm. Seeing as how he needed more Constitution, he couldn’t help but appreciate a skill that would raise his stats.
From the opposite side of the room that YuWon entered from, the steel door opened, and a group of participants came in.
“Who in the world…?”
They were shocked from seeing the state of the boss room, which was honestly a normal reaction. There were hundreds of dead centipede monsters, not to mention the corpse of the giant boss that resembled a dragon. The room was nothing but full of surprises.
‘They were lucky,’ thought YuWon.
This was a hidden dungeon inside the final Tutorial area. YuWon didn’t know how they managed to get in here, but he could get a rough estimate of their abilities just by looking at them.
‘Had they arrived here before me, they would have been wiped out… No, maybe only a few of them would have died, and the rest might have escaped.’
YuWon squinted his eyes, observing each of them. There were some familiar faces.
‘Isn’t that Elador? She’s usually with Paladinte. And that guy…’
YuWon spotted a participant that looked Korean like him.
‘Is that Lee SungYoon?’
They were all fairly high ranked participants. For them to be in a team together… It was an interesting party.
“You guys are a bit late,” said YuWon.
Alerted by his words, the party that was looking around the boss room spotted YuWon.
YuWon continued, “This guy. He just died.”
“You killed all of them by yourself?”
Everyone in the party tensed up, preparing for a fight. It was unavoidable that they found YuWon a threat when he cleared a boss room by himself.
‘Could the captain also do this?’ SungYoon thought while looking around at the monster corpses in the room.
Shrouding himself in golden electricity, Hargaan was capable of killing a dozen monsters with a single punch. He claimed himself to be the strongest person in this Tutorial, and all his teammates agreed after seeing his skills.
However, the doubt still lingered in SungYoon’s mind. Would Hargaan also have been able to clear the boss room by himself?
‘That mark…’ thought SungYoon, noticing a huge hole in the ground.
He was puzzled. How were these the skills of a participant who grew up in the same world and went through the same Tutorials as him?
SungYoon gulped. The man standing in front of him was a wild beast.
* * *
“Are you perhaps Kim YuWon?” asked SungYoon, remembering how YuWon’s CP had shot up just a moment ago.
YuWon nodded his head. There was no reason for him to keep it a secret.
“Do you have any party members?”
“I’m alone, as you can see.”
Hearing YuWon’s answer, SungYoon finally understood why Hargaan wanted him so badly.
At first, SungYoon couldn’t believe it. How could someone from the same world as him hold as much power as Hargaan? And after joining Hargaan’s party and hearing about his life, SungYoon became even more skeptical that YuWon’s skills were on par with Hargaan. However…
‘It was true,’ thought SungYoon. And he wondered what might happen if YuWon joined their team.
Hargaan and Kim YuWon. Yolche and the two Elf warriors, Elador and Paladinte. They were among the strongest people in the Tutorial.
Hargaan wanted to form a team, a team that could be led to the top of the Tower, that would become Rankers together, and receive recognition from Olympus. That was why Hargaan wanted YuWon so badly.
“Would you like to join our team?” asked SungYoon.
Hargaan had left a spot empty for YuWon. And now SungYoon and the rest of his companions also wanted to be part of the same team as YuWon.
The group looked silently at him, waiting for a response to SungYoon’s offer.
‘He’s definitely different from Kim MyungHoon,’ thought YuWon.
He had heard a similar offer from MyungHoon, but their offer was as different as night and day. MyungHoon had no intentions of forming a real ‘team’ with YuWon. He only wanted someone that would protect him and make his life easier.
But these guys were different. They didn’t want someone that would protect them, but someone that they could fight alongside as comrades.
‘I recognize Elador. Is that girl Yolche? These guys all have pretty strong mental fortitudes.’
YuWon looked at them like an adult looking at children that were growing up big and strong.
‘So these are the guys that Hargaan gathered? Not bad.’
In his early stages of the Tower, Elador and Paladinte climbed the Tower together with Hargaan. Around the midpoint, for a reason unbeknownst to YuWon, they split up, but he knew that they were still on good terms. Because when that event happened, Elador and Paladinte still sided with Hargaan.
‘It’s a pretty big team, and they all have potential. Yolche is ranked even higher than Elador and her brother. Seeing as how they managed to get here, they’re definitely the big fish in this Tutorial…’
Seeing as how Paladinte wasn’t with them, YuWon decided that Hargaan probably split up the team for now to hunt more efficiently.
YuWon was appreciative of the offer, but his mind was already made up.
“I’ll have to say no.”
“… I knew it.”
SungYoon slowly shook his head, having expected this response. YuWon was already powerful enough that he didn’t need a team, and Hargaan mentioned how YuWon had already rejected his offer before. So why would YuWon say yes to his offer?
While SungYoon was contemplating by himself, Yolche approached YuWon and asked, “Does that mean you’re planning on fighting the boss alone?”
The ‘boss’ she was speaking about wasn’t something like the giant centipede that was lying dead on the floor here. She was talking about the final boss that lived at the top of the Tutorial Island, Barragánda.
Yolche continued speaking, “We were given a month to clear this Tutorial. And we’re allowed to fight the boss by combining our strengths instead of fighting it alone.”
YuWon nodded his head, before asking, “So what’s your point?”
“The focus of the final Tutorial is ‘teams.’ It’s a matter of how much you can grow within the given timeframe, how many comrades you can gather, and how well you can work together with them.”
She was right. That was the design behind his final Tutorial: a boss that was impossible for a single person to defeat, a month to grow stronger, and no restrictions on the method. It was a stage where a ‘team’ was supposed to defeat a boss that no individual could defeat on their own. It was probably designed to teach the most basic method of climbing this tall Tower. However…
A loud noise erupted. Thunder boomed, and the ground shook lightly.
Something, no, someone was headed over here.
“I contacted the captain.”
It was Elador’s doing.
“I told him that we found Kim YuWon, and he said he’d be here right away…”
SungYoon was baffled by Elador’s words. He had traversed such a distance in a moment.
“It’s going to get pretty rowdy,” predicted SungYoon.
It was the guy that he’d been looking for all this time. There was no way the hot-headed Hargaan would simply remain still. Their meeting would not be peaceful.
And right on cue…
A string of golden lightning passed by SungYoon. He was startled for a second by the light shock.
Hargaan jumped up high, flying straight at YuWon.
“I finally caught you….!”
In that moment…
Hargaan’s vision went dark, and suddenly he was flying backwards.
‘Huh?’ thought Hargaan, wondering what was going on. But his train of thought was shortly interrupted by a hard impact to the head.
Hargaan landed deep inside the shell of the giant centipede. What had happened was that YuWon had grabbed Hargaan’s head, used his momentum against him, and threw him downwards.
Everything had happened in a flash, and SungYoon and the rest of the gang were speechless.
YuWon acted like nothing happened and looked down at Yolche, asking, “Do you guys simply desire ‘survival’? Or do you guys want to become Rankers?”
Yolche’s eyes widened. He mentioned Rankers. She wondered how YuWon, who wasn’t a Pure-Blood, knew about their existence.
People who prevailed through all the trials of the Tower and cleared all the floors, those people were Rankers. With fame, authority, and the power of eternal life, every player desired to become a Ranker so they could possess any mystical item that existed within the Tower.
“Because if that’s all you guys want, you can play house elsewhere. I don’t have any intention of playing along with such childish dreams.”
“Are you saying you’re different?” asked Yolche.
She no longer viewed YuWon as simply another Tutorial participant. She believed that he must have been a Pure-Blood like her. That his name was similar to Lee SungYoon must only have been a coincidence, and he was in fact a completely different being.
“No, I’m not that different. I have to become a Ranker one day as well. However, that’s only part of the process. It’s not my goal.”
They were definitely a good team. Elador alone was destined to become a great, famed Ranker in the Tower. It was the same for Hargaan. However, YuWon couldn’t go with them.
What YuWon wanted wasn’t simply to become stronger and make it through alive.
“I don’t have any intention of forming a team with people who have a different destination than me. That’s my answer.”
Yolche was baffled by YuWon’s answer. In the Tower, just wishing to become a Ranker was enough to become a laughingstock, getting ridiculed for having such an unrealistic dream.
However, YuWon was the complete opposite, saying that it wasn’t great enough of a dream.
“Are you saying you’ll become a High Ranker?”
“No. Even higher,” YuWon answered, pointing up with his finger. “I…”
A place far higher than a Ranker. The final destination that YuWon was aiming for in this life wasn’t something like a Ranker, a High Ranker, or the top of the Tower.
“… Am going to break through the ceiling of this Tower.”