Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 40
It was when YuWon had just stepped foot into the slums.
He was on his way to the workshop after getting the message from Vulcaro when he felt an ominous flow of mana.
A sound could be heard in the distance—the sound of Vulcaro swinging his hammer.
‘What’s going on?’
For someone that was in hiding to suddenly use his powers… And then YuWon remembered.
‘Could it be…’
Vulcaro’s real name was Hephaestus. He was an older Ranker of Olympus, as well as a blacksmith. However, after going against the will of Olympus, Zeus made him a cripple, and he started living in hiding on the 1st Floor.
Yuwon remembered that there was one time where he was discovered by Olympus and dragged back.
“That happened to be today of all days?”
Feeling rushed, YuWon imbued mana into his feet. He didn’t have any speed enhancement skills, but he still ran at an impressive speed.
He jumped onto the rooftops, and he beelined towards where he felt the mana was radiating from.
Hot air started blasting past him.
Two manas of the same attribute had collided.
YuWon stood in place, resisting the knockback of the blast from the collision.
‘Is there a fight between Rankers going on?’
Hephaestus was a Ranker from thousands of years ago. Though he might have focused on his work as a blacksmith after becoming a Ranker and despite him being crippled, normal players would never be able to catch him.
“I guess they’re not scared of the penalty.”
If this kind of fight went on any longer, the Administrator might intervene. If that were to happen, Olympus would lose a great amount of the influence they exercised on the 1st Floor.
So the fact that they took this risk meant that that was how much Olympus valued Hephaestus.
After withstanding the heat blast, Yuwon continued on.
On top of a roof, Yuwon saw hundreds of players gathered around the entrance of the workshop, and in the midst of that crowd, he recognized two familiar faces.
One was Agamemnon, who was smiling as he watched the smoke fade away, and the other was…
… Chryses, who was wielding a shield in one hand, his body in tatters after fighting Hephaestus.
‘That shield is…’
YuWon used [Cinder Eyes] to check the item that Chryses was holding.
A Medusa with her eyes closed. An item that could use Medusa’s powers once a day… It was a replica of 「Aegis.」
YuWon’s face froze. As the heat and smoke dissipated, he spotted Hephaestus, who had become petrified.
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Translator – NumbaWon
Proofreader – BringTheRayn
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* * *
Agamemnon’s face relaxed. He didn’t care about his subordinates that had just gotten their feet cut off. Instead, his eyes were still focused on Hephaestus.
“Oh, so it was you.”
Agamemnon’s nonchalant response made one of his subordinates, who was still fully tense, ask, “Do you know him, sir?”
“Kim YuWon. He’s a player that recently set a new record in the Tutorial,” Agamemnon answered.
“A new record in the Tutorial…”
“Does that mean he’s a new player?”
Agamemnon’s answer made all the other players nearby also relax their guard.
“I was worried for a second.”
“I thought another Ranker had dropped by.”
“Hey, kid! Where do you think you’re butting in?”
“Come back after you drink more milk from your mommy!”
In an instant, the tension shifted to mockery. Learning that the enemy that arrived at the scene was a new player and not a Ranker made the other players all laugh and jeer at him. That included Agamemnon as well.
‘There’s nothing that he can do by himself…’
No matter how great of a performance he had in the Tutorial, he was still just a new player that had recently completed the Tutorial. Because of that, Agamemnon wasn’t even a bit scared of Yuwon.
“… What do you think you’re doing?” Agamemnon asked.
Despite their mockery, Yuwon appeared neither angry nor afraid. He was surrounded by almost a hundred players and a Ranker, albeit an injured one, yet Yuwon didn’t budge at all while standing next to the petrified Hephaestus.
‘This guy, could he be…?’ Agamemnon thought.
“Are you planning on standing there and blocking our way until the petrification wears off?” he asked.
Yuwon didn’t answer.
Agamemnon took that as a yes.
The other players, finally understanding the situation, stopped their laughter.
Petrification. That was the effect of the replica 「Aegis.」 However, because it wasn’t the real deal, the effect of the petrification didn’t last long, especially against an ancient Ranker like Hephaestus. Even if it was Chryses, a Ranker, that utilized the item, it was unknown how many more minutes the petrification would last.
Suddenly, Agamemnon could hear a ticking noise inside his head. Though it was entirely his imagination, it was true that time was not on their side.
If Hephaestus were to start moving again…
“What are you waiting for?” Agamemnon asked, raising his hand. “Kill him and bring Hephaestus here.”
“B-But, if he’s a new player…”
“We’d also receive a penalty…”
His subordinates hesitated. In response, Agamemnon pulled out his sword.
Agamemnon cut the head off the subordinate standing next to him. His head fell off, blood spraying everywhere. At the same time Agamemnon started bleeding from his arm.
It was the penalty from murdering a lower floor player.
“What was that about a penalty?”
Agamemnon made it clear that he was ready to cut down everyone who didn’t follow his orders.
“Whoever can kill him and bring back the criminal, I will give them a management position here on the 1st Floor.”
“A management position…?”
“Just for killing a single new player?”
Their eyes filled with greed.
They knew that they’d receive a penalty for attacking a player from a floor lower than them, but Agamemnon’s offer was too good to refuse.
The players started charging in.
“I’m going to kill him!”
“No, I will!”
Even players of the 10th Floor joined in on the attack.
Agamemnon was sure that this would be resolved quickly. He thought that there was nothing a new player could do by himself in a battle like this.
However, he soon realized that he was mistaken.
‘Arcane Sword?’ Agamemnon wondered.
It was a hot, flaming [Arcane Sword.]
YuWon cut down the players that charged at him with his sword imbued with fire attribute mana.
“Don’t get caught in it!”
With a single swing of his sword, he had shrouded himself and Hephaestus with fire attribute mana.
The players who weren’t able to evade it were burnt to cinders.
“Kugh… What kind of a skill is that…?”
“How is a new player already able to change the attribute of his mana…?”
Encasing a sword with fire mana wasn’t something that someone could do simply by possessing a fire attribute skill. To do that, one needed to first master a fire attribute skill, then have enough mana control to be able to change the mana’s essence to hold shape around the sword.
“He’s still just a new player…!”
Countless swords, spears, and a myriad of skills descended on YuWon.
He endured it by swinging his sword and unleashing [Colossal Fire.]
[The power of Colossal Fire is added to Basic Arcane Sword.]
The attacks from nearly a hundred players was like a giant tsunami.
In order to evade the attack from all the surrounding players, YuWon had no choice but to use all of the powers of [Cinder Eyes.]
[Cinder Eyes tries to find a way.]
[Cinder Eyes is resisting fire attribute mana.]
The rare fire attacks were resisted by the power of [Cinder Eyes.] For YuWon who had previously endured Suruhtra’s flames, a lower floor player’s fire attribute attacks almost felt ticklish.
YuWon sensed a turbulent flow of mana from behind him.
‘Mana Blast,’ YuWon realized.
YuWon quickly stretched out one hand in that direction.
[Gigantification x Mana Blast]
YuWon’s [Mana Blast] swallowed up the enemy’s [Mana Blast.]
The three players caught up in YuWon’s [Mana Blast] were cooked alive.
A short silence fell before the players went on an all-out attack against YuWon once again.
“Keep him on the ropes!”
It was a messy battlefield.
Watching the scene unfold, Agamemnon’s face froze. ‘What’s going on?’ he thought.
Another Olympus player’s head was cut off.
YuWon would not go down. Refusing to let them have Hephaestus, who was knocked over on the ground as a statue, he was a real persistent bastard.
‘You’re telling me that he’s truly a new player?’ Agamemnon wondered. He had heard that YuWon got first place in the Tutorial, surpassing Hargaan. He had also heard how he set a historic new record.
Agamemnon thought that perhaps a new player that could one day stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the great rulers of this Tower, the High Rankers, had appeared. That was why Agamemnon didn’t underestimate YuWon. Or at least, he thought that he hadn’t underestimated him… The problem was that that still wasn’t enough.
Agememnon noticed Hephaestus’s petrified body move slightly. It was a tiny movement, but he was sure.
He couldn’t drag this on any longer.
“You useless bastards…”
But as he was about to jump into battle…
… Someone stepped in front of Agamemnon.
“I’ll take care of this.”
* * *
With his crimson vision, he was able to easily read the path of the sword being swung at him. YuWon was disappointed that this was what Olympus had to offer.
‘So they don’t know that numbers aren’t everything.’
YuWon shifted his chest back, avoiding a sword swing before roundhouse kicking his opponent in the chest.
His opponent was knocked away. Players charged towards YuWon simultaneously from behind, left, and right.
Feeling annoyed, YuWon punched the ground.
[Cinder Eyes takes control over Colossal Fire.]
[Colossal Fire – Fire Pillar]
A tall pillar of fire rose up around YuWon.
One of the players who reacted too late ended up getting caught in the flames and was knocked away, and the other two players gave up on attacking and took a step back.
YuWon maintained the fire pillar because buying time was enough for him.
YuWon glanced over at Hephaestus, who was still petrified on the floor.
“Hey, Ahjussi. How long are you planning on sleep—?”
Before he could finish his sentence, YuWon quickly turned his head, sensing an ominous flow of mana.
A big flaming spear pierced through the fire pillar.
[Cinder Eyes is resisting Sun Shard.]
[「Pyromancy Robe」 is resisting Sun Shard.]
YuWon, who had been standing in place, took a step back.
It was the first real fire he had experienced today.
YuWon wiped away the ash on his face with the back of his hand.
If it weren’t for the fire resistance from [Cinder Eyes] and 「Pyromancy Robe,」 he would have just been incapacitated.
His burnt skin stung.
‘Sun Shard, huh….’
YuWon looked over at the person who had just thrown that attack at him.
‘So he finally decided to get off his ass.’
Orange eyes, red hair, and clothes tattered from the fight with Hephaestus.
The lion that was laying low from being wounded, the Ranker Chryses stood in front of YuWon.