Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 58
“Half a month?”
“Yes. Apparently, he’s been browsing the martial arts library for that long.”
MuGuek put down his teacup after hearing the report from his subordinate.
He had already heard that YuWon had exited the training chamber. He thought YuWon would just pick a few martial arts and go back into the training chamber, but for him to have holed up inside the library for half a month now…
“What is he doing in there?”
“When I checked in on him, he appeared as if he was planning on skimming through every single book.”
“All of them?”
MuGuek himself had been inside the martial arts library a few times. He’d even looked through a few martial arts books as well.
To skim through all those books would be impossible to do in three years, let alone three months.
“First he grabbed a mountain of medicinal ingredients from the medical house, and now this. He’s just doing one weird thing after another.”
“I personally don’t think he’s someone the Lords should be mindful of, sir.”
Of course the subordinate thought that. It was natural for players that reached the Martial Realm on the 10th Floor to learn and practice martial arts. Though it was a personal choice to really try and master it, YuWon’s current actions seemed like a complete waste of time.
“Do you think his actions are weird?”
“I think so as well.”
MuGuek looked at his reflection on the teacup.
“His thoughts and actions are entirely unpredictable.”
He had expected YuWon to train hard inside the training chamber for three months since there was really nothing else he could do. Yet YuWon’s actions continued to defy his expectations.
A faint smile appeared on MuGuek’s face.
“The more he breaks my expectations, the more my hopes for him grow.”
After seeing YuWon up close, MuGuek had gotten a weird weird feeling.
The power that he sensed from YuWon wasn’t all that remarkable. Of course, it was unbelievable for a player that had just arrived on the 10th Floor, but it was nothing compared to Rankers that stood at the top of the Tower.
‘I can see it in his eyes.’
MuGuek could tell that YuWon was sure to become a Ranker one day.
The greater one’s goals and aspirations, the further one’s eyes were able to see. That’s all that MuGuek thought it was when he first saw YuWon, but that was no longer it.
“Let’s start right away.”
MuGuek got a different feeling from him, seeing him confidently ask for the test against the Fist Lord right away.
‘It doesn’t seem like he’s aiming to become something great, he just already is…’ MuGuek thought.
YuWon wasn’t being prideful and overconfident. To him, this was only natural. Compared to the world that he was looking at, the Heavenly Demonic Cult’s test was small and insignificant.
This was simply a stop in his long journey, and YuWon was already looking far beyond this test.
“He’s looking at a place much higher than here,” said MuGuek.
* * *
Another month went by. A total of two out of the three promised months had now passed.
YuWon had only managed to skim through half of the books in the martial arts library by now.
YuWon closed the book he was reading.
The guards watching over YuWon expected him to put the book back in its place as he had been doing all this time. But this time, it was different.
YuWon grabbed the book while mumbling to himself, “I found it.”
It had been a month since he’d been holed up inside the martial arts library, only eating the grain balls and barely getting any sleep.
YuWon finally exited the martial arts library.
And then, another month passed by.
* * *
“One month inside the training chamber. One month inside the martial arts library. And then another month inside the training chamber…”
After coming out of seclusion training, the Fist Lord was told the news after he spent a whole day resting.
The Heavenly Demonic Cult was disconnected from the outside world. Nothing of note really ever happened inside the Cult, so the only interesting news was information regarding YuWon.
“Maybe I did all that for nothing.”
There was nothing special about the actions that YuWon had demonstrated for the past three months. He consumed elixirs and medicinal herbs, then trained for a month after selecting a martial art from the library.
A month. It was barely enough time to master a martial art, even with the power of the system. He would be like a fledgling that only just learned how to walk. Despite that, YuWon claimed he would block three of his techniques.
“My seclusion training is going to go to waste.”
The Fist Lord donned his martial arts uniform and left his residence.
The stage was going to be the martial arts training ground for sword practice, and the martial artists of the Cult were already crowding around to watch.
“Is it starting soon?”
“It’s going to be a rare feast for the eyes.”
“It’s not everyday one gets to see the skills of the Fist Lord.”
“I heard that that YuWon kid is pretty famous on the lower floors.”
“It’s not just the lower floors. I heard even the upper floors are in a riot with even the major guilds trying to get in contact with him.”
“I’m sure the major guilds already know he’s here.”
“But isn’t he still just a newbie that just got to the 10th Floor?”
“Did you forget what happened to the vice-captain of the Black Tempest Squad?”
The reason why everyone was excited for this test wasn’t just because there hadn’t been a player to challenge the Heavenly Demonic Cult’s test in a while. It was because of Kim YuWon, a player that smashed through each floor’s test, dominated the rankings, and set achievements that even the highest Rankers of the Tower couldn’t accomplish.
Because YuWon was the challenger, people of the Cult had high hopes—hopes that he would become the first player to clear the Cult’s test.
If YuWon could clear the Cult’s test and climb the Tower, the revival of the Cult wouldn’t just be a pipe dream.
After listening in on the crowd by increasing his hearing abilities, the Fist Lord let out a silent laugh.
The subordinate that followed behind him remained as quiet as possible, watching his step because the Fist Lord was emanating so much fighting spirit. The subordinate was afraid that if he got too close, the Fist Lord would crush his entire body with a single blow.
“Everyone’s full of expectation,” said the Fist Lord.
It was true. Everyone was indeed betting their hopes on YuWon. Some were even literally betting their points on whether or not YuWon would pass the test.
The Fist Lord found this all distasteful. No matter how great he may have been, how could a brat that just arrived on the 10th Floor be a match against him?
Of course, this wasn’t a real match. It was simply to see if he could block three techniques. But, actually, it wasn’t quite that simple.
“Why did the Heavenly Demon give such a test…”
He might have shone with potential, but YuWon was still just a player. And a player of a lower floor that had just arrived on the 10th Floor at that. Even though he possessed the skills to take down Cheon JaRyong in an instant, the Fist Lord thought that was far from enough to even block a single one of his techniques.
“It’s time, sir,” the subordinate alerted the Fist Lord, who had been standing motionless for a while.
This test was so important that it was rumored the Heavenly Demon himself would come to spectate it. So it was inexcusable for even the Fist Lord to be late to this occasion.
“Alright,” the Fist Lord said as he started walking again, “… Let’s go.”
The Fist Lord finally arrived at the training grounds.
The grounds were completely silent, despite the fact that it was crowded full of people with no room to move.
The thousand martial artists of the Heavenly Demonic Cult were all gathered here. They were all holding their breaths, waiting for the stage to be ready.
“The Fist Lord…”
“Wow. Damn. This is my first time watching him in action.”
“Getting to watch a Ranker fight is like a once-in-a-lifetime chance.”
“I’ve seen him fight once before. It was seriously unbelievable…”
A bit of a clamor erupted at the appearance of the Fist Lord.
The commotion made him furrow his brow. Their conversations were so flippant.
But that was to be expected. Half the players here were from the outside. There were players like JaRyong and HaMuk that were born inside the Cult, but a large portion weren’t. It was hard to expect loyalty to the Heavenly Demonic Cult or a sense of respect towards the Heavenly Demon from them. They were simply here to watch a good fight.
The Fist Demon got on the stage.
YuWon had yet to arrive.
“Is this all?” the Fist Lord said.
It was a rhetorical question. He had eyes. He could see that the thousand people here were everyone in the Heavenly Demonic Cult.
“… The Cult truly has become weaker.”
Due to the organization being cut off from the outside, the number of players that joined decreased, and naturally the amount of people leaving increased. If it weren’t for the authority of the High-Ranker the Heavenly Demon, they wouldn’t have even lasted this long.
However, a single person wasn’t enough.
“You’re here,” said MuGuek, while approaching the Fist Lord. He had been waiting there for a while now.
The Fist Lord took a look around the training grounds, looking at the Cultists that had gathered. He asked, “Did we really have to make such a big deal out of this?”
“This test has not only caught the attention of the Martial Realm, but also various guilds in the Tower. It can’t hurt to make it a big occasion.”
“You’re such a loyal dog.”
Among the Four Lords, MuGuek, the Sword Lord, was the most clever out of all of them.
He had given permission for people to spectate the test through the martial artists of his Cult and even spread some rumors himself.
Among the martial artists of the Cult, quite a few of them had a connection to outside martial schools. So the fact that YuWon was taking the Cult’s test was a perfect signal to use to alert the revival of the Heavenly Demonic Cult.
“Now, the best thing that could happen here would be him actually blocking three of your techniques.”
“Sorry, but that won’t happen.”
“True. This is a test.”
The Tower’s system was not to be underestimated. If the Fist Lord purposely let YuWon pass, the test would be counted as invalid, and the test would be substituted with a different test of a similar difficulty. So going easy on YuWon here was pointless.
“Not just that, I don’t intend on introducing him to the Heavenly Demon if he can’t even pass the test with own strength.”
“Is that really your only reason?” asked MuGuek.
The Fist Demon huffed in response, “I’ll at least try and not kill him.”
The crowd split, and from within the crowd, a person walked into the training grounds.
YuWon, who had just exited the training chamber, had arrived at the stage of the test.
“You’re late,” said the Fist Lord.
“I thought I got here just in time? Also…”
The promised time was noon. The sun was currently right above their heads, so it was true that he’d arrived just in time.
“… The main character is supposed to show up last.”
YuWon put the sword on his waist into his inventory and instead pulled out 「Edge of Nightfall.」
“That’s a bizarre sword you have right there.”
After seeing that the stage was set, MuGuek stepped far away.
The training ground was hundreds of meters wide. It was the perfect location for a fight.
“Let’s see how much progress you’ve made in three months.”
The Fist Lord started emanating fighting aura, and with that, a message popped up for YuWon, the participant of the test.
[The test will now begin.]
[Please dodge or block three techniques from ‘The Fist Lord Pung BaekLim.’]
The test had now started.
Watching the Fist Lord get into position, YuWon raised his sword. He was as tense as he could get.
YuWon said, “You’re going to regret it…”
The first of three.
“… Giving me three months.”
The Fist Lord, Pung BaekLim, swung his fist.