Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 55
The hall became turbulent.
“Did you hear that?”
“I did. He wants to start right away.”
“Okay, so I didn’t hear that wrong. Does he have no fear?”
“He probably just doesn’t know the Lords’ true powers. He’s an outsider who is unfamiliar with the cult, unlike the vice-captain.”
“Maybe he misunderstood the rules.”
“Or he’s really that arrogant…”
The Heavenly Demonic Cult’s martial artists present in the hall were angry, disapproving, and baffled. They were all thinking the same thing—he must not know any better.
Having heard the Spear Lord call his name, YuWon looked up at him.
“You might not know this, but the Fist Lord is a Ranker. He’s nothing like the passed-out vice-captain over there.”
His voice sounded calm, but he appeared a bit angry.
“You seem to be looking down on our cult too much just because you managed to take down a vice-captain.”
This was the reason why the Spear Lord was angry. He thought that YuWon was looking down on the Heavenly Demonic Cult.
As this was a natural misunderstanding, YuWon bowed and apologized.
“I’m sorry if it sounded like that. However, I promise that I am not looking down on the Heavenly Demonic Cult.”
“That’s enough, Spear Lord,” the Fist Lord butted in between YuWon and the Spear Lord.
The Fist Lord stood from his seat. When he stood up, he revealed that he was actually much taller and had a larger frame than it appeared while he was sitting down.
“He says it’s a misunderstanding. We should just do as he wants then.”
Though that was what he said, it was as clear as day that his pride had been hurt. The energy around him enveloped his body instead of spreading outward. It wrapped around him so sturdily, it was as if he was wearing steel armor.
He looked as if he was about to dash towards YuWon at any moment and launch his fist.
But right as the Fist Lord was about to take a step…
“Fist Lord,” said the Sword Lord, “Stop.” His words brought Pung BaekLim to a halt.
“Do you expect me to just let it slide after hearing that?” the Fist Lord retorted.
Though there was a difference in skill between the Four Lords, they were all in equal standing. There was no need for one to listen to another. However…
“This is a test bestowed by the Heavenly Demon. It is different from the test that just took place.”
The Fist Lord’s expression wavered ever so slightly.
The Heavenly Demon. With the mention of his name, the Fist Lord had no choice but to back off. The Heavenly Demon’s name carried absolute power within the Heavenly Demonic Cult.
Additionally, the Sword Lord’s words weren’t just to stop the Fist Lord.
“The only one who can change the Heavenly Demon’s test is the Heavenly Demon himself. Three months time. Do not disregard that.”
“… I was careless.”
The Fist Lord sat back down. The prideful Fist Lord of all people. That’s how great the authority of the Heavenly Demon was.
But this did mean that YuWon wouldn’t get what he wanted, no matter how much of a tantrum he threw.
‘Three months, huh…’ YuWon thought.
In the end, he was given three months’ time. He didn’t particularly like it, but this wasn’t something to be disappointed by.
YuWon looked down at the sword at his waist.
‘It won’t be too bad.’
Though he had taken a seat, the Fist Lord was still glaring at YuWon. He appeared to be holding himself back with everything he had.
“Well then, I shall see you in three months,” said Pung BaekLim.
* * *
YuWon was treated as an important guest within the Cult for taking the Heavenly Demon’s test. But another reason why he was treated well was because he had demonstrated that he wasn’t a run-of-the-mill player like the ones that attempted the test long ago.
One could tell that was the case just by the number of martial artists that had gathered in the hall. Rumors about YuWon had already spread throughout the Cult, which was why hundreds of martial artists had gathered to watch him.
‘But still…’ thought YuWon.
He looked at the old man walking in front of him.
The Sword Lord, Shin MuGuek. He had personally taken on the task of guiding YuWon around. When the second-in-command of the Heavenly Demonic Cult took on a task as lowly as being a guide, his subordinates all opposed the idea.
However, this was the Sword Lord. There was no one on Mt. Heaven who could bend his will except for the Heavenly Demon.
“Was this also an order from the Heavenly Demon?”
YuWon tried to suss out MuGuek’s true intentions to see if the Sword Lord’s interest in him was curiosity, good will, or hostility.
Even though Rankers couldn’t easily mess with an average player, MuGuek was someone to still be wary of.
“No, it was not.”
“Think of it as for my personal enjoyment. It has been a long time since I last met an outsider.”
During the entire future that YuWon lived through, MuGuek had remained inside the Heavenly Demonic Cult. Because he never left the 10th Floor, he was eventually forgotten by YuWon and the other Rankers.
The most loyal subject of the Heavenly Demon, the man that never went outside the Heavenly Demonic Cult’s territory. That was everything YuWon knew about the Sword Lord.
‘So it’s just simple curiosity.’
If that was the case, he’d be in the clear. YuWon hoped that MuGuek wouldn’t become a variable in this test. But as long as it was just simple curiosity, YuWon thought it’d be okay.
“And I have high expectations.”
“How could I not have high hopes after seeing you in person? I believe that if it’s you, you might actually pass the Heavenly Demon’s test.”
MuGuek spoke as if he wanted YuWon to pass the test, which was likely the case. It was actually the same for most martial schools. They wanted someone to learn their martial arts, pass their test, receive acknowledgment, and climb the Tower. They wanted great players to become Rankers and make a name for their martial school.
‘This feels a bit different.’
There was nothing concrete to back this feeling up, but YuWon felt an odd sense of desperation in MuGuek’s words just now. It was a feeling that was different from simply wanting someone to climb the Tower and bring prosperity to the Cult.
With MuGuek showing him the way, YuWon finally arrived at his destination after a long walk.
Muguek turned around and finally asked the question that he’d been curious about for a while. “So why this place? If you have something you need to prepare, wouldn’t the weapons warehouse or even the martial arts library where we store our secret arts be more appropriate?”
“I can skip the weapons warehouse. As for the martial arts library, I’ll stop by there later.”
“Are you saying that the medical house is even more important?
YuWon started walking towards the medical house’s door in response to his question.
That’s when MuGuek noticed that YuWon was smirking as he passed him.
“You said that the Heavenly Demonic Cult will provide as much support as possible until the next test, right?”
“That is indeed correct.”
If there were a myriad of challengers attempting the Cult’s test, such conditions would have made no sense. However, YuWon was the first challenger in decades. Maybe because of that, the Heavenly Demon made such a proposition. With the exception of elixirs and the high-rank secret arts, they’d spare no resources for him.
As soon as YuWon had heard this proposition, he’d immediately thought of one thing.
As the medical house’s door opened, the thick scent of medicinal herbs filled the air.
“You’re gonna regret them.”
“A-All of them?”
The chief doctor of the Heavenly Demonic Cult’s medical house, Jin il-Hwan, was shocked by all the medicinal ingredients that YuWon gathered.
It wasn’t just him, though. It was the same for the other doctors that worked under him in the medical house. They had just spent half the day bringing out medicinal ingredients from their storage per YuWon’s request.
It was a pile that weighed hundreds of kilograms at least. Just by looking at the amount, this was roughly half of all the medical ingredients that the medical house possessed. And with the exceptions of medicine that counted as elixirs and the lowest-grade medicinal ingredients, one could say that all the medicine of the medical house was gathered here.
“Yes. Thank you very much for all this.”
Without even looking a little bit sorry, YuWon started putting all the ingredients into his inventory.
Jin il-Hwan was absolutely baffled, but he couldn’t say a thing because of the Heavenly Demon’s orders.
“With the exception of elixirs and the high-rank secret arts, spare no resources for him.”
He didn’t know why the Heavenly Demon had given such an order.
The martial artists of the cult didn’t think much of the Heavenly Demon’s order. With the exception of elixirs and the secret arts, there wasn’t much to provide him with. The weapons could just be loaned to him for a few months, and if you excluded the high-rank secret arts, there wasn’t anything that wasn’t already provided to their normal martial artists.
The training facility, food, a few medical ingredients, and low-rank martial arts. They had thought that would be all they would need to support him, but…
“Why do you need this many medicinal ingredients?”
With this many ingredients, the Demonic Cult could have even declared war against the Martial Artists’ Alliance. So for a single person to use all this, especially in only three months, it made no sense.
Naturally, the chief doctor thought YuWon’s request was absurd.
“I’ll say this again, but any medicinal ingredients you have remaining after three months have to be returned. And if an ingredient that you didn’t use gets damaged…”
“I have to reimburse it out of my own pocket. I’ll make sure to remember it.”
In the time they were talking, YuWon finished putting all the ingredients into his inventory.
It was a fairly expansive inventory. Not only was it large, it also had a great ratio of weight reduction. Despite that, the inventory was almost crammed full.
‘There was a shit-ton.’
After emptying out the medical house, YuWon was guided by a female servant.
He thought he could hear the chief doctor’s scream behind him, but YuWon decided to ignore it.
‘In three months, he’ll really be bawling his eyes out.’
YuWon thought maybe he should have at least left them with something, but then he shook his head.
The belt around his waist, the 「High-Grade Inventory,」 had become heavy from all the items, yet YuWon was still uneasy.
‘This might still not be enough.’
The place the servant guided him to was a cave halfway up Mt. Heaven.
The entrance was only two meters tall, but inside, there was a large, empty space. It was a training chamber filled with grain balls.
The servant handed YuWon a torch drenched in oil.
YuWon lit the torch and walked inside the training chamber. As he lit the lights around the chamber, the dark interior brightened up.
It was a long cave. As he went deeper inside, he found that the training chamber was hundreds of meters in diameter. On one side, there was a pile of grain balls.
While he was taking the space in…
… The entrance of the training chamber was sealed off.
That entrance would likely not open for three months. The mechanism made it so it was only possible to close it from the outside and only be opened from the inside. So now, except for YuWon, no one could open that door.
‘Without breaking it, that is.’
This was the perfect space to train without any interruptions.
‘It’s perfect for consuming this.’
YuWon put his hand inside his inventory. From Inside it, he managed to grab a hard gem-like thing.
[Orochi’s 7th Heart]
ᗌ It is the 7th heart of Orochi, which was separated after being sealed by Susanoo.
ᗌ It possesses a powerful poison.
「Orochi’s Heart.」 An item he had received as a reward for clearing the 1st Floor’s Colosseum, he had been unable to do anything with it yet. And there was a good reason for that.
ᗌ It possesses a powerful poison.
Due to the poison inside 「Orochi’s Heart,」 without some high-quality medicine, one couldn’t even think about consuming it. That was how powerful the poison in the Heart was.
‘I was wondering where I could obtain antidotes to consume this thing…’
YuWon smiled while looking at his inventory full of medical ingredients.
“To think I’d end up hitting the motherlode here.”