Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 67
Leveling with the Gods
The day of the test dawned.
The location was the Dark Forest of Elilaum.
Hypnos, the test examiner, once again looked through the list of the participating players. First Team A then Team B.
Quite a few familiar names were visible.
“I’m going to be chewed out for a while.”
There was too great of a difference in skills between the two teams.
Hoon alone was known as a super rookie capable of potentially becoming a High Ranker one day. The genius of the NamGung Clan. A player that NamGung JinWoon, a distinguished Ranker and the head of the NamGung clan, said will one day surpass him.
“But the cream of the crop is this guy.”
There were a lot of people paying attention to this test. Part of that was because there were quite a few skilled players on Team B, but the main reason was due to a single player on Team A.
“Kim YuWon,” Hypnos said to himself.
It was the only name that stood out on the Team A roster, almost creating an illusion where the letters of his name sparkled like gold.
It made the names of the players on Team B look pathetic in comparison. His name was famous, not only among the players of the lower floors, but even among Rankers.
“How did someone with such a bright future end up with a target on his back? Tsk, tsk.”
Hypnos pushed his hair back.
From the top of the Tower, there was one single order given out by the great Olympus.
Exterminate the player Kim YuWon.
Within the space of this test, it would become possible to try and do something to YuWon, and on the 11th Floor, where Hypnos was the test examiner, YuWon was basically in the palm of Olympus’s hand.
Hypnos was flying around on a white bull. Beneath him was a sea of dense forestry. It was Elilaum, the stage of this test.
“The preparations should almost be finished.”
Hypnos let out a long sigh, laying his head on the bull’s back.
If this test went well, not only would he be given a few days of vacation, he would also be rewarded well by Olympus. Just the thought of that was enough to make Hypnos smile.
That was when…
Hypnos’s player kit rang.
It was a message.
“Who’s sending me a message right before the test…”
The annoyance from having his sweet daydream interrupted didn’t last long. After seeing who the message was from, he reflixibly sat up in a proper position.
One of the eight High Rankers that symbolized Olympus and the wife of Zeus, king of Olympus.
* * *
* * *
Teams A and B had gathered.
There was a sharp contrast in the number of players the two teams had.
Hypnos counted all the players that had arrived on time. “Team A, 51 people. Team B, 200 people…”
One side had almost four times as many people as the other. On top of that, there was an even greater difference in the quality of the players.
“More players came than I expected,” Hypnos said, seeing all the players that came for Team A.
It wouldn’t have been odd if the entirety of Team A had forfeited, so 51 people was many times more people than what Hypnos had expected.
‘To think he’d actually participate…’ Hypnos thought while looking at the reason this many people even showed up. ‘Does he not know that this is a trap?’
Kim YuWon’s presence was what made this possible. The player that passed the Tutorial above Hargaan, an Olympian Pure-Blood. The player that set a new record on every floor, even passing the Heavenly Demonic Cult’s test.
Despite all those achievements, Hypnos thought that he was too overconfident.
‘There’s no way he thinks he can overcome this much of a difference by himself…’
A single hand couldn’t beat ten hands. Well, that might have been the case in other worlds, but in the world of the Tower, that was false.
One hand could beat ten hands. Dominating, overwhelming power could beat the power of numbers. But that only applied to Rankers.
Currently, YuWon didn’t have to beat ten hands but hundreds. And a few of those hands were more powerful than the average hand.
‘Does he think he might be able to do something because this is a test?’
This fight was no simple fight. Because it was a test to discern if one had the qualifications to move on to the next floor, there were ‘rules’ to this test. It wasn’t some fight where just pure difference in power mattered.
There was a high, no, a 100% chance that the players of Team A were counting on the ‘rules.’
“Ahem,” Hypnos lightly coughed while observing the players. “Hello, everyone. My name is Hypnos. I’m the test examiner of the 11th Floor.”
Hypnos’s gaze went from YuWon to Hoon, Ro’el, Spyros, and others.
The various Rankers observing this test were either sponsors of these players or members of guilds that wanted to recruit them.
Hypnos was more tense than he had been for any other test he had been an examiner for.
“Team A looks short of a lot of people… But there will be no changes made, and we will go forward with these teams as is,” Hypnos announced.
The players on Team A who held but a sliver of hope all let out a sigh. If the teams were resorted, their chances could have gone up.
“I’ll get straight to the point by explaining the contents of the test and starting immediately. This will be your test,” Hypnos said, raising a red flag for everyone to see. “Capture the flag.”
When the test was revealed, everyone murmured.
Capture the Flag.
It was something entirely new to the people who were taking the large team test for the first time. But a few smart ones were able to discern what the test would be about from the name.
For YuWon, this was a familiar test.
‘This is going to be annoying.’
YuWon wondered why it had to be capture the flag. This was a test that he couldn’t solo.
Hypnos continued to explain, “The test is simple, but I should first explain that the flags have been crafted through technomancy and are capable of doing the following.”
Hypnos pulled out another flag and brought them together, which made one of them disappear into thin air, and on the remaining flag was now the number 2.
“This number represents the number of flags. I’m sure you won’t forget this unless you’re a complete imbecile. Now, the challenge is where the flags are,” Hypnos spoke while looking to the massive forest behind him. “The flags are laid out across the forest. In the middle of the road, at the bottom of a cliff, at the top of a tree, and even on the body of a monster. You have no idea how much of a struggle it was to set them up.”
Hypnos’s explanation made a few players chuckle. They could visualize how much hard work it must have been to lay out flags across such a big forest.
Hypnos continued, “You guys just have to collect the flags that are spread out throughout the forest. The team that collects the highest number of flags at the end wins. Simple, right?”
From the explanation, it really did seem simple. However, this wasn’t such an easy test.
“But this test is called ‘capture the flag’ not ‘collect the flag.’ This isn’t a children’s game like tag or something like that,” Hypnos said while smirking. “You will be able to take the flags that your opponents have collected. The method does not matter. You can steal, threaten, kill, or do whatever you like in order to take them.”
That was the true essence of the test. It didn’t matter if you couldn’t find a single flag. If you could take your opponent’s flags, you could win in the end.
“Finally, this test has ‘kings.’”
YuWon’s brows furrowed. This was the reason that this test would be complicated.
Hypnos reassured the players, “Don’t worry. It’s not like chess. You won’t fail just because your king dies. However, the role of the king is critical because any flags that the king holds is counted as double.”
The eyes of the players of Team A all lit up.
For a team with significantly less members, their only option was to utilize the ‘king’ to their full potential.
Naturally, all their gazes looked towards Yuwon. And YuWon understood immediately what their gazes meant.
‘I wish for that to be the case too,’ YuWon thought.
If YuWon could be the ‘king’ and he caught the enemy ‘king,’ it wasn’t impossible for them to win this test. However…
“The ‘king’ is decided randomly. You all know how it is. This is a shitty luck-based test.” Hypnos said while laughing.
YuWon felt an urge to punch Hypnos in his smug face.
On paper, YuWon should have had a 1 in 51 chance of becoming the ‘king,’ but the actual probability was 0.
“Okay. Now then…”
A blue magic array appeared underneath the two teams.
“The test will begin,” Hypnos announced.
* * *
The magic array lit up and the view changed.
YuWon looked around at his surroundings, which was somewhere inside the forest.
‘So we’ve all been transported,’ YuWon thought to himself.
All the players of Team A were transported to the same location.
Somewhere in this forest were flags for them to search and find.
[The 11th Floor test will now begin.]
[Please find the flags spread out across the forest.]
[The team with more flags after 24 hours will win.]
[The flags can be stolen.]
[Your CP (Contribution Points) will be based on the number of flags you obtain.]
[If you deliver a flag to a ‘king,’ you will receive double the CP.]
[If the ‘king’ has his flags stolen, your CP will disappear.]
[Your reward will be based on your CP.]
[Team A: 0 flags]
[Team B: 0 flags]
Hypnos had just given a detailed explanation of the test, and this was a test that YuWon had already experienced before.
The victory in capture the flag was dictated by how you utilized your ‘king’ and whether or not you were able to get the other team’s ‘king.’
So priority one was figuring out who the ‘king’ was, which wasn’t hard at all.
“What’s up with you, man? What’s going on with your body?”
YuWon looked over at the commotion.
There was a guy by himself shining in the shady forest.
It was Halimun.
“It says… I’m the ‘king,’” Halimun said in a daze, not having expected himself to become the ‘king.’
YuWon let out a deep sigh. That reaction alone was enough to disqualify him in YuWon’s mind.
“What do I do?” Halimun asked.
They were already in a disadvantageous situation, and the ‘king’ that was supposed to be the crux of this test was in a state of total confusion.
‘It honestly makes me wonder how he even got this far,’ YuWon thought disapprovingly.
The first one to break away from the group was YuWon.
All the players on Team A had been closely watching YuWon and Halimun.
Seeing YuWon walk into the distance, Halimun asked, “Where are you going?”
“I’m going to go grab the flags, so don’t go off and get killed somewhere and just stay here.”
Halimun followed up YuWon’s response with, “Y-You’re not going to protect the ‘king’?”
“That’s not how you’re supposed to beg for your life. Don’t worry. There won’t be any fighting right away,” YuWon replied.
After saying that to Halimun, who had fallen into the role of the ‘king,’ YuWon looked over at the other players, advising them, “Don’t just fool around. If you guys want to climb up, you need to obtain even the littlest bit of CP and secure a reward.”
The players on Team A nodded their heads at YuWon’s words.
He was right. Since they had just started, neither side had any flags yet. There wouldn’t be any clashes right away, meaning the priority was securing the flags that were spread across the forest.
‘At least it looks like they got the gist of it,’ YuWon thought.
Seeing the players move one by one, he himself started to get moving again.
The forest was quiet, but the 11th Floor’s forest was essentially a large dungeon with monsters creeping around every corner.
‘He said that there were flags on the road, at the top of trees, etc… but most are probably held by monsters.’
That was only natural for a test where you had to obtain flags.
YuWon’s eyes turned red, and immediately the claustrophobic forest felt like a wide-open plain to him. He could easily see a monster passing by far beyond the trees.
It was an ogre, also called the ‘king of the forest.’ And on his clothes hung a flag.
As expected, there was a higher chance that the stronger monsters would have flags on them.
‘I guess it’s time for me to start running.’