Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 37
The cave eventually collapsed from the fire.
YuWon and Hargaan, who had been protecting the exit, ran outside in a hurry, getting far away from the cave.
Hargaan, who had been fighting with everything he had for hours, let out a deep breath before flopping down onto the ground.
Luckily, YuWon saw no injuries on Hargaan. Despite the long battle, it seemed like he had only run out of mana and wasn’t too worn out.
“Are you okay?”
“Do you think I would be?” Hargaan replied, looking up at YuWon.
Unlike him, YuWon didn’t look tired at all. He still looked fully geared to go. Hargaan noted how YuWon didn’t only have great skills, but also incredible stamina.
“Are you okay?”
“What do you mean?”
“We killed a thousand people.”
YuWon looked down at Hargaan, who was sitting on the ground. At first, YuWon thought that he had sat down because he was tired, but it turned out that it was from guilt.
‘This is probably the first time he’s killed this many people,’ thought YuWon.
Hargaan had never experienced war, so obviously he wasn’t used to killing people—even bastards who deserved to die, like the Jackals.
YuWon nodded his head to Hargaan’s question. “I’m okay.”
“How can you be so nonchalant?”
“Murder, kidnapping, robbery, slavery. Those were the primary ways the Jackals made money.”
Jackals were a troublesome matter for the 1st Floor. They hunted new players and other small groups of players, taking their items and robbing them of their lives. And male or female, any good-looking players were kidnapped and sold off to a slave merchant. The organization was a pestilence.
“I can save dozens, even hundreds, of people by killing one of them. Why should I hesitate in taking them down?”
“It might be more convenient for you if you wallow in half-baked guilt.”
Hargaan bit and closed his lips from YuWon’s words. He looked as if he was hit on the head.
After staying still, dazed, Hargaan shook his head and got up from his spot.
“I learned something from this event.”
“What would that be?”
“You have a sharper tongue than your looks suggest, and you’re pretty smart to boot.”
“Is that supposed to be a compliment?”
“Yeah, it is.”
YuWon looked at Hargaan, who was now smirking. YuWon had thought this before, but Hargaan had great mental fortitude. The guy was filled with guilt and regret until just a second ago, and now he was looking better after just a short exchange.
“You really are a just guy. Perfect for living an exhausting life.”
“Well you didn’t seem like a kind person, but turns out, you’re different from how you look.”
“What do you mean by ‘different’?”
“Even though you had nothing to gain, you went ahead and took care of the Jackals. That wasn’t an easy thing to do. It was the same during the Tutorial. You seem to always act with a much bigger picture in mind than me.”
The way Hargaan looked at YuWon had changed.
“From when I was young, I was told that that’s called a ‘great cause.’”
A ‘great cause.’ It was something quite embarrassing to hear.
After hearing that, YuWon burst out into laughter.
“You’re wrong about one thing.”
“What am I wrong about?”
“I don’t know what you meant by ‘there was nothing to gain.’”
YuWon shook a thick paper envelope in his hand.
“Just look at how much there was to gain.”
Hargaan’s eyes widened after seeing the envelope. He had completely forgotten about it. Inside the envelope were the points the Jackals had made from selling items stolen from the most recent Tutorial on the black market.
“You wanna split it? You did help out.”
Hargaan lowered his head, grunting at the difficult decision. He then slowly looked up at the envelope in YuWon’s hand.
“… Give me some,” Hargaan mumbled quietly.
“That’s what I thought.”
After seeing YuWon’s smirk, Hargaan lowered his head even further.
The points that the Jackals had collected were gathered by killing and robbing new players. Though there were no owners to return the money to, Hargaan couldn’t take it with a clear conscience.
While opening the envelope to count the money, YuWon paused.
“Oh, I have something I want to ask you.”
“What is it?”
“You were second to me, right? In the Tutorial.”
Hargaan titled his head, curious why YuWon was asking him this.
After a momentary pause, YuWon asked him, “What was the reward?”
* * *
The corner of the table broke off. All the food and drinks fell to the floor, and in an instant, the restaurant became dead silent.
After slamming his fist down because he couldn’t hold back his anger, Agamemnon lowered his voice before asking, “Why can’t I contact him?”
He was at a pub late at night, and what he was about to talk about was something that he couldn’t discuss while yelling at the top of his lungs in public.
“I-I’m not sure either. I definitely tried contacting them, but…”
“Did WoonCheon go crazy or something?
“Since we sent him a message, I’m sure we’ll get a response soon, sir.”
“And what I want to know is…!” Agamemnon bit his lip while starting to raise his voice again. He somehow managed to reign his anger in before asking his subordinates with eyes full of fury, “… When exactly that is going to be.”
“I-I’m not sure about that, sir…”
“Unless he’s really gone off the deep end, there’s no way that bastard would have run off with our money…”
The money that the Jackals gave Olympus was a significant sum. It only ever happened once after every Tutorial, but they brought in anywhere from hundreds of thousands to sometimes millions of points.
That amount of points greatly affected the Ares faction’s financial power, and it was one of the major reasons why Agamemnon resided on the 1st Floor.
“Have you tried searching for any traces of him? Has he met anyone? Did he go anywhere?”
“We’re already searching for not just Mu WoonCheon, but any traces of Jackals using our network. I’m sure we can find him before the night is over, sir.”
“Find him no matter what. If we can’t, it’ll be the end for you, me, all of us.”
After growling, Agamemnon poured himself another drink.
He was capable of getting rid of the buzz with mana, but at the moment, he couldn’t hold back his anger without being drunk.
A few hours passed.
One of Agamemnon’s men rushed inside the pub in a hurry.
From his subordinate’s reaction, Agamemnon’s face brightened. He thought that maybe they had managed to find WoonCheon.
“Did you find him?”
“W-We did, but…”
The subordinate gave him a weird response.
Agamemnon quickly expelled the buzz by evoking his mana.
His subordinate tried to dodge his gaze as he pulled out his player kit. And on the player kit…
It showed an image of a collapsed cave and a pile of burnt corpses.
“What is all this?”
“Jackals? All of them?”
It was a huge number. Agamemnon estimated close to a thousand of them. It matched Olympus’s estimate of their group size, which meant that almost all, if not all, of the Jackals had been gathered there.
“Th-Then WoonCheon as well…”
“He’s probably among them…”
Agamemnonon’s switch was flipped. He had to gather all his will to hold back his anger.
“What about the collection money?”
His subordinate gave no response.
Agamemnon let out a scream at the top of his lungs.
After returning to the inn, YuWon opened the envelope and checked the collection money one more time.
There were a whopping 384 bills, and this was after he had split half with Hargaan.
‘They did quite a number.’
380,000 points was an amount that only some Rankers ever got to see. If he used this money, he’d be able to buy a set of equipment on par with a Ranker.
“Well, I don’t have to worry about food or shelter anymore.”
YuWon put the envelope back in his inventory. He desperately wanted to run to the Asgardian Merchant’s Guild right away and exchange this to points. However, that ran the risk of Olympus learning that YuWon was the one who had exterminated the Jackals. And YuWon didn’t want to get caught up in something so complicated quite yet on the 1st Floor.
‘With this money, I’ll be able to buy the core materials needed to make the item that’ll hold the Dark Divine Crystal, but I still don’t have enough to buy the materials for the fine detailing…’
YuWon couldn’t hold back his smile at the mountain of points he had amassed.
‘Still, I might be able to finish the production of the item sooner than I expected.’
The 「Dark Divine Crystal」 was currently the highest-ranking item YuWon possessed. As an item that symbolized “the Big Three” gods of Olympus, it was one of the strongest items that YuWon knew to exist.
Though it was currently only capable of [Stealth] and changing the attribute of the mana…
‘The fragment of the Helm of Invisibility’s true power isn’t either of those.’
YuWon knew that the fragment was currently slowly taking shape to show its true worth under the greatest blacksmith within the Tower.
“The problem is…”
While laying down on the bed, YuWon put his hand inside his inventory and pulled out the egg the size of a fist. It was pure white with an irregular purple pattern.
ᗌ It is ?’s egg. There is no way to know whose egg it is, what will come out of the egg, or how to make it hatch.
ᗌ Incubation rate : 0.00%
It was truly a puzzling item.
‘I can’t figure out what this item’s for.’
There were quite a few items with unclear descriptions. They were typically incomplete items, but that’s because they were only half-made.
Even YuWon, who had a myriad of different magical experiences within the Tower, had never seen an item in the form of an egg with this kind of description before.
‘This egg is a reward from the Tutorial, and it’s a reward for having achieved the highest record ever.’
YuWon rolled it in his hands while observing it.
‘Hargaan got the King’s Lightning Glove. It’s a pretty advanced item used by Rankers. Using that as a reference, this can’t be a normal item…’
It had to be an item that was comparable to the 「Dark Divine Crystal.」 And considering that the 「Dark Divine Crystal」 was given for defeating the Chimera Creator, 「?’s Egg」 was likely to be an even better item since it was a reward for achieving over 670,000cp during the Tutorial.
“… But I just can’t figure it out.”
YuWon scratched his head in confusion.
It was only the size of a fist, and it was an egg of an unknown creature with an irregular purple pattern…
YuWon jolted up from his bed. He felt a faint warmth from the egg, and now that he thought about it, this pattern wasn’t there when he had first checked the egg.
His head ached. A nightmare-like memory, one he didn’t wish to remember, came to his mind. But now that he had remembered it, the memory sped through his thoughts like a high-resolution video.
It was an event from the not-so-long-ago past. But it was also an event potentially far in the future. That was when YuwWon had seen an irregular pattern like this.
“An Outer God…”
When YuWon mumbled those words…
[「?’s Egg」 greets you.]
The egg spoke to him.
YuWon’s eyes morphed to a crimson color as he stared at the egg in the palm of his hand.
“You… What are you?”