Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 31
After YuWon had left, Hargaan stood in place for a moment.
There were people waiting for him.
“So they’re here.”
A group made its way through the new players. A man wearing gold-plated armor and a helmet led a group of about ten or so players.
Hargaan had locked eyes with some of the group members earlier, so he had wondered if they would come greet him. Apparently he guessed right.
The group wore capes with an emblem of a large mountain, sword, and spear—the symbol of Olympus.
“I, Agamemnon of Olympus, give my greetings to the one of great lineage.”
“Agamemnon, you say? I think I’ve seen you before.”
“Thank you for remembering me.”
Agamemnon got on one knee while facing Hargaan. As a player who hadn’t become a Ranker yet, he had to show his respects according to Olympian lineage. But unlike his actions, Agamemnon looked at Hargaan with indifference.
“Is Ares well?”
“He’s the same as always.”
“I heard he became a High Ranker recently. Please pass along my congratulations.”
The war maniac of Olympus, Ares. He was the player that Agamemnon followed. But also…
“However… Lord Ares finds lineage more important than anything. He has ordered me to not pass along any of your messages until you find your birth mother.”
… Ares was renowned within Olympus for his bad personality.
“What did you say?”
“As you know, the Ruler of the Skies has little interest in children. And, sir, you do not know who your mother is…”
Electricity started flowing out of Hargaan’s body. He tried to hold himself back, but his rage was already overflowing.
Yet, in the midst of Hargaan’s anger, Agamemnon wore a stoic look, the look of someone who didn’t know what they did wrong. In fact, it was possible that he was enjoying Hargaan’s rage.
“Do not be like this, sir. I’m sure you’re well aware of Lord Ares’s personality. Lineage is something you create. I hope you’ll have your own family one day.”
Agamemnon put out the fire that he himself started.
Hargaan couldn’t continue to show his anger after what Agamemnon said. It was true, the one that looked down on Hargaan was Ares, not him. Not to mention the fact that Agamemnon was one of Ares’s men. If he accidentally went too far, it might end up souring his own relationship with Olympus.
“Alright. You guys may go.”
“Yes, sir. Farewell.” After bowing, Agamemnon suddenly remembered something and asked, “Who was that man earlier? Seeing as how he left by himself, he doesn’t seem to be one of your teammates.”
Hargaan pressed his brow, recollecting YuWon, who had left first towards the city. He didn’t quite know how to explain YuWon. Since he lost the bet and failed to recruit him into his team, he couldn’t call him his companion. However, he couldn’t say that it was just some guy he knew, since they still had unfinished business.
His relationship with YuWon… After thinking hard about it for a moment, Hargaan slowly spoke, “He is… a friend?”
Maybe it’s because he had finally said it once, Hargaan was able to say it again with more confidence.
“Yeah, he’s something like a friend.”
Hargaan’s answer left Agamemnon in confusion.
“… Like a friend?”
The Jackals called the period when the Tutorial ended the time of harvest.
They were a band that camped out on the 1st Floor whenever the Tutorial ended and went after new players.
Even though they might have earned the qualifications to be players, they were still greenhorn kids that had just completed the Tutorial.
The leader of the Jackals, Phatayo, was extra interested in this round’s harvest.
“To be over already… They were much faster than expected.”
It was only about ten days since the Tutorial started, and it was only a little over five days since the 5th Tutorial had started. Yet the new players had already arrived…
“That was historically fast.”
“That would mean that quite a few of them will have good items.”
“And because they took so little time, they should be that much weaker…”
This was great news for the Jackals. It meant that low-leveled new players with better items had entered the Tower.
“Let’s quickly get into position and make sure to check that there are no guilds with them.”
Including Phatayo, a total of 20 Jackals hid themselves on the pathway between the Meadow of Beginnings and the city. They were aiming for teams of new players with five or less people, but their first target was unexpectedly a single player.
“What? Only one guy?”
“Is he really alone?”
“This almost never happens…”
One of the Jackals asked Phatayo, “Boss. Could this potentially be a bait?”
Baiting was one of the ways the guilds on the 1st Floor used to lure out Jackals. They purposely sent out a small number of new players to bait out the Jackals, catching them once they revealed themselves.
However, Phatayo shook his head.
“No. He’s the only one around.”
Phatayo had a skill that let him see far into the distance. It even let him see through objects at close range. Thanks to that skill, he had been able to lead his gang of Jackals for a long time without getting caught.
Their boss’s words made the gang look closely at their prey. According to Phatayo, they had nothing to worry about.
“He’s actually alone?”
“It wasn’t a dud?”
“He doesn’t have any companions.”
“Something feels off. Should we just let him go?”
One of the Jackals got ticked off at his cowardly fellow Jackal. “Why should we let him go? We just need to quickly take care of him. Can’t you tell? That’s a Pyromancy Robe.”
“A Pyromancy Robe?”
“Wow. We hit the jackpot…”
The 「Pyromancy Robe」 was an item that cost a whopping 50,000 points in the Shop. It was an item worth potentially struggling against a single opponent.
“I take it that everyone’s in agreement…”
While looking at his companions in the tall grass, Phatayo’s face suddenly froze. His companions were confused why their boss froze up.
“Where did he go?”
The guy that was walking down the road just a second ago had now disappeared. It was like the act of a ghost. They were sure he was just there…
“Is it an enemy?”
The Jackals drew their weapons—swords, spears, and bows. And one of them must have specialized in skills over weaponry because he pulled out a staff. But their preparations were for naught.
“Who the fuck are you?!”
“Fucking come out!”
The Jackals fell into chaos. They couldn’t see their enemy.
“This must have been a bait.”
The guy that was right before their eyes had disappeared. They couldn’t believe it.
‘There’s no way a new player that just got to the 1st Floor has a stealth skill.’
They thought that this was probably an illusion skill used by a different player to lure them out.
‘No wonder a new player was wearing a Pyromancy Robe. It was too good to be true.’
Phatayo ground his teeth. He had already heard five screams, and he was in a situation where the enemy’s sword might pierce his neck at any moment.
“Everyone, retreat for—”
“He disappeared again!”
In just a short moment, the people that were in the ambush apart from Phatayo dropped dead one after another. They weren’t far from him, so that meant that the enemy was already nearby.
Phatayo turned his head, and, though faint, he could see someone wearing a crimson robe.
‘Could it be?’
Phatayo concentrated mana in his eyes. The skill that got him to his current position, [Falcon’s Eye,] was activated.
His vision got brighter, and he was able to see something faint.
As the hazy figure swung his sword, Phatayo could see the crimson dragon robe and the enemy’s face.
The enemy disappeared right away. The only moment that he revealed himself was in the short instance when he swung his sword. However, to Phatayo’s gang members who didn’t have the [Falcon’s Eye] skill, they probably saw nothing more than a quick flash.
Phatayo’s eyes widened.
The crimson dragon robe. The long sword. Though he couldn’t see it clearly, Phatayo was sure that this red flash was the new player that they had planned to rob.
Another Jackal lost their head, falling to the ground.
It was him again, a player wearing red clothes and wielding a long sword.
Phatayo started stumbling back.
‘He wasn’t bait.’
The first new player to head towards the city from the Meadow of Beginnings. At first, Phatayo had just assumed he was a slightly skilled new player. Then he thought he had made a mistake and that he was a ‘bait’ prepared by a guild to lure them out.
Phatayo realized he was wrong twice. This guy wasn’t something like bait. He was a ‘sword’ that was personally out to kill them.
‘With this much skill, he must be a player from the upper floors. But why? A player from an upper floor would get penalized if they interfered with the 1st Floor.’
He was overwhelmed with confusion, but he decided to stop thinking, realizing that now wasn’t the time to stand around and think.
“R-Run away—!” Phatayo shouted as he ran full force into the forest.
Well, he tried to run full force.
“Don’t be annoying and go too far.”
A warm sensation enveloped his feet, as Phatayo’s field of vision slowly tilted downwards.
“Ahhhhh!” Phatayo screamed in agony, his feet having been cut off.
Having lost his feet to support him, he fell to the ground. Phatayo tried to crawl forward with his arms.
A sword pierced his hand. He looked back to the shadow that covered him. The hazy figure started becoming clearer until YuWon, wearing the 「Pyromancy Robe,」 became fully visible.
“You were going to get caught immediately anyway.”
YuWon pressed down on Phatayo’s shoulder with his foot.
“I’m going to ask you something. If you answer it earnestly, I’ll at least send you off peacefully.”
“Kugh… K-Kill… t-this son of a bitch. Kill him…”
“Who are you talking to?”
After hearing YuWon’s words, Phatayo quickly glanced around him. Just earlier he had a team of almost twenty people around him. They were Jackals that had been hunting new players for over ten years, but now all that remained were headless corpses.
“I get what you want, but you should have reasonable expectations of corpses.”
“If you’re going to keep acting like you’re mute…”
“I’ll just continue on with what I was doing.”
“I-I’ll talk! I’ll talk!”
Phatayo screamed from the agonizing pain of his shoulder getting crushed.
Then the force pressing down on his shoulder eased.
YuWon kept his foot on Phatayo as he proceeded to ask him questions.
“Do you know where the guy by the name of Mu WoonCheon is?
Phatayo was shaken by YuWon’s question.
He couldn’t continue his sentence.
The sudden change in Phatayo’s expression made YuWon smirk.
YuWon pressed down on Phatayo with more force.
“Jackpot on my first try.”