Novel Name : Leveling with the Gods

Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 41

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Chapter 41
Even injured, a Ranker was still a Ranker. Just by standing near him, YuWon felt like his entire body was going to go numb.
“You won’t be able to laugh off the penalty.”
YuWon tried not to be hostile against Chryses. YuWon hoped that he wouldn’t join the fight until Hephaestus woke up.
The penalty of the Tower was much more powerful when a Ranker first laid hands on a player from the lower floor. It was different from Hephaestus, who had retaliated against players that attacked him first.
“I know.”
Chryses endured the pressure that the Tower exerted on him. While cauterizing his open wounds with fire, he created another spear.
“What’s your relation to Hephaestus?”
“I’m a customer.”
“A customer?”
He wondered what YuWon was talking about, giving him a baffled look. A customer? Chryses figured that YuWon must have commissioned Hephaestus for an item or a repair. But he couldn’t understand it… Why would someone butt into a battle of this scale over that kind of relation?
YuWon exhaled a deep breath. He was trying to create some distance so other players wouldn’t get caught up in Chryses’s attack.
‘The moment I let down my guard even a little bit, I’ll be burnt to ashes.’
His opponent was a Ranker and the right-hand man of Apollo, the Ruler of Fire, no less. At this point in time, Chryses was still a fledgling that had just become a Ranker, but he was still not one to be underestimated.
‘Let’s take advantage of the penalty.’
YuWon knew that as long as he climbed the Tower, he’d have to eventually fight against Olympus as well as Rankers. It just ended up happening much sooner than he had expected, but he knew not to panic.
‘If I take his injuries and penalties into account… it should be no more than five.’
If Chryses could use all of his powers, this would be an impossible fight. But considering the injuries he obtained during his fight against Hephaestus, coupled with the penalty a Ranker faced attacking a player of the bottom floor…
‘I can do this.’
Luckily, it wasn’t a bad match up. With [Cinder Eyes] and the 「Pyromancy Robe,」 YuWon had a pretty high fire resistance. Plus, he had already experienced and survived Suruhtra’s [Flames of Annihilation] during the Tutorial.
This was also the 1st Floor. Chryses might have been a Ranker, but the restrictions of the Tower meant that he was a lot weaker.
Crack, kk-crack—
YuWon’s arm started to morph. Like a balloon being inflated, YuWon’s right arm increased in size, enhanced by mana.
Witnessing his transformation, Chryses and Agamemnon’s eyes widened.
It was the most powerful skill that YuWon possessed, and it was also one of the skills that was a symbol of Olympus.
“So he had quite the extraordinary skill.”
[Gigantification] was a skill that only Hercules possessed within Olympus. Countless Rankers had sought it out, but none of them were successful. That meant that [Gigantification] was an epic skill that even most Rankers didn’t have.
The flaming spear within Chryses’s grasp radiated intense heat.
“No matter, he’s still a new player that only just entered the Tower.”
A sun flew towards YuWon. Or at least that was what it appeared like.
YuWon swung his giant hand forward with all his strength.
[Giantification combats against Sun Shard.]
[Cinder Eyes is resisting Sun Shard.]
[「Pyromancy Robe」 is resisting Sun Shard.]
Fwoosh, fwoosh—
[Gigantification] was a skill that had managed to break the armor and defenses of the Chimera Creator with ease. However, it wasn’t enough to defend against a Ranker’s attack with sheer physical strength.
[You have failed to resist Sun Shard.]
[Status effect : Burn inflicted.]
YuWon’s arm was cooked red. The pain from being burned was intense. He had somehow managed to block the attack, but he had failed to come out unscathed.
‘Maybe I should have bought some Ice Crystals.’
YuWon wondered how things would have been had he consumed some 「Ice Crystals,」 like when he fought against Suruhtra. Though he might have become a bit slower in movement due to the icy aura, he would have at least had higher fire resistance.
Well, it was no use wondering about it now.
Chyses’s next attack was already incoming, hurling towards YuWon.
The flames took the shape of a wave as it enclosed YuWon. It was actually closer to lava than fire, but it wasn’t truly lava. It wasn’t possible for Chryses to call forth lava while his powers were being restricted on the 1st Floor.
Though, it might have been a different story for a High Ranker like Apollo.
‘I can’t seem to catch a break.’
Whirr, whirrrr—
YuWon created three [Mana Blasts] around him. The three Blasts took a ton of mana, and at YuWon’s signal, they unleashed their power.
The [Mana Blasts] collided with the crashing fire wave, but all they did was decrease the intensity of the wave’s force.
The flaming waves crashed directly into YuWon. He did his best to try and protect his body with his Gigantified arm and resisted the flames by strengthening [Cinder Eyes.]
[Cinder Eyes is resisting Sun Shard.]
[「Pyromancy Robe」 is resisting Sun Shard.]
[You have failed to resist Sun Shard.]
[Status effect : Burn increased to level 2.]
A string of messages popped up.
YuWon felt like he was being roasted alive. Hazy smoke came off his body, and he felt his legs weakening, making him wobble.
The edges of the 「Pyromancy Robe」 started burning off. Even though it was an item with excellent fire resistance, it was going against a Ranker’s flame.
“That’s… two…”
Spark, crackle—
Yellow electricity started flowing across Chryses’s body. It was the second stage of the penalty.
YuWon wasn’t the only one teetering from exhaustion. Chryses was also using all his strength to stay standing due to the injuries that were inflicted during his fight with Hephaestus.
‘If I can just last a little longer…’ YuWon thought.
He blinked once. It was just for a split second, and he thought he had plenty of distance between himself and Chryses. Yet…
Chryes, who was wavering, disappeared into the fire, and…
… In a flash, Chryses closed the gap between them and punched YuWon straight in the chest.
YuWon heard his ribs breaking.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end.
An explosion occurred at the end of Chyses’s fist, knocking YuWon up into the air.
YuWon’s body flew through the air, slamming into a wall.
The hard wall crumbled, and YuWon was buried underneath the rubble of the building.
Thud, thu-thunk—
Pieces of the building trickled down and fell on top of YuWon’s head.
He slowly tried to move and winced at the pain in his chest.
‘Maybe I underestimated him too much because we’re on the 1st Floor.’
He might have just become a Ranker, but he was still a Ranker nonetheless. Even with the restrictions of the 1st Floor, the penalty, and his injuries, he wasn’t an opponent YuWon could beat right now.
With [Cinder Eyes,] the 「Pyromancy Robe,」 and [Gigantification,] YuWon had thought that he would have been able to at least last until Hephaestus woke up.
‘But that makes it three.’
YuWon got back up while grunting in pain. His bones were broken, but he could still move.
It was thanks to the additional stats he had gained from the [Heaven-Slaying Star,] the Strength and Constitution he gained from consuming 「Giant’s Heart,」 and protecting his body with his Gigantified arm.
‘Only about two more strikes left.’
YuWon pictured the rest of the fight in his head.
‘For me to endure that…’
In the end, YuWon knew he needed that.
In the midst of the rubble of the collapsed building, a faint light entered his vision.
YuWon looked around at his surroundings. This was a familiar location.
“What do you know?”
There was still a Ranker and dozens of players outside.
“I sure am lucky.”
YuWon smiled as he stretched out his hand.
The penalty from the third attack had started. Chryses grit his teeth, trying to endure it. An intense pressure crushed his body while high voltage flowed through him.
When the penalty ended, Chryses’s knees went weak, and he flopped onto the floor.
Chryses vomited blood.
“Cough, blegh—”
He couldn’t keep his mouth closed.
‘So… this is what the penalty is like…’
Having never looked down, only up, with the goal of becoming a Ranker, Chryses had never properly experienced the penalty. And when he did experience it, it wasn’t for something like coming down to the 1st Floor and using his powers, so he’d had no fear of the penalty.
“The penalty? You’ll know once you experience it first-hand.”
That was what the God Apollo had told him after he had received his mission and was about to go down to the 1st Floor.
“You’ll understand how great a power flows inside this Tower.”
At first, Chryses didn’t really understand what he had meant. What kind of a power could make even Apollo, one of the strongest people in Olympus, admit its greatness?
But now that he was experiencing it firsthand, he understood.
‘I could perish.’
The penalty was different from any skills Chryses knew. He tried putting it into words…
From the sensation of his existence perishing, Chryses felt something massive intervening.
‘Is this the Tower’s will to prevent beings on the upper floors from intervening too much?’
He was surprised. Chryses had presumed that the Tower was just a massive world to live in, but for it to actually have its own will like it was alive? And that ‘will’ was trying to extinguish him for exerting too much power in order to protect the ecosystem of the lower floors.
“But with this, it’s now over.”
“Thank you for your hard work, sir.”
Agamemnon approached Chryses and bowed his head.
Without his help, this mission would have been impossible. It was Chryses who had captured Hephaestus with the replica 「Aegis,」 and he was also the one who had defeated the new player that suddenly interfered. This was accomplished entirely through Chryses’s help.
“Quickly transport the criminal! Check for fatalities and treat the wounded! Also…”
Agamemnon looked towards the collapsed building where YuWon was buried.
“Let’s just leave him be,” Chryses interrupted Agamemnon.
Shocked, Agamemnon looked back at him.
“Pardon me, sir. In the future, he’s sure to be…”
“The mission is now over. We’re the ones that broke the rule of the Tower by causing a ruckus. I’d like to avoid unnecessary murder.”
Agamemnon bit his tongue at the firm response. At the end of the day, it was Chryses who was the one leading this mission.
“I understand, sir. Then…”
From within the collapsed building, the rubble erupted, and a cloud of dust fanned out. And from within that mess, YuWon walked out, wielding a sword.
A fire lit in Agamemnon’s eyes once again.
“This almost dead shitling is…”
“Halt,” Chryses said.
Agamemnon shouted back at Chryses, who seemed like he was trying to dissuade him once again, “Are you saying we should still leave him be? He’s clearly trying to fight us again!”
“That’s not it.”
Chryses shook his head. He hadn’t stopped Agamemnon this time around because he wanted to avoid unnecessary killing.
YuWon walked out from the cloud of dust.
From within his hand, dark attribute mana, which was rare and uncommon, was endlessly overflowing.
“… Dangerous.”
[Pure Dark Divine Crystal]
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