Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 74
Halimun felt like he was going through a horror experience. He was in a situation where he didn’t know when or where players from Team B would come after him.
At least currently things were quiet thanks to YuWon drawing their focus.
‘It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay…’ he repeated to himself.
Halimun forgot to even blink.
A spear or an arrow might come flying at him at any moment, like earlier, so in order to dodge, he couldn’t afford to even blink for a second.
His leg slid a little.
Halimun desperately wanted to run away that very moment, but…
Every time he even thought about it, YuWon’s voice echoed in his head.
“Don’t leave the circle.”
He looked down, seeing the line of the circle drawn around him. His foot was right on the line.
Halimun wondered if he should run away or if he should stay there and wait like YuWon ordered him to.
“Please come back sooner…”
Halimun decided that he had no choice but to accept his fate and wait for YuWon.
After some time passed…
Finally a skill came flying towards Halimun.
Fire exploded above his head.
He managed to dodge it by ducking quickly, but the embers from the explosion still scattered on top of him.
Embers fell on Halimun’s back. He wanted to let out a scream, but he didn’t have a chance to do that.
“He dodged it?”
“So he at least has some reflexes.”
“But why is this guy just standing here?”
“I don’t know. Maybe he’s asking to be killed.”
Five players revealed themselves from the shrubbery.
They were players of Team B.
In an instant, they surrounded Halimun so he couldn’t get away.
“Let’s finish this quickly. Things seemed to be going pretty rough over there.”
“Are they really struggling to get one guy?”
“Kim YuWon really must be as amazing as they say.”
Halimun managed to get a grasp of how things were going from the five players’ conversation.
‘Really? By himself?’ Halimun thought in amazement.
He wasn’t sure when he saw YuWon leave confidently by himself, but it seemed that YuWon was really fighting against them on his own. And somehow YuWon was the one who was winning.
‘That is amazing…’ Halimun thought, ready to burst into tears, ‘but what about me?!’
It didn’t matter how much he cried internally. He didn’t have time to contact YuWon with the player kit, and even if he could, YuWon wouldn’t be able to pick up in the middle of fighting.
Besides, it was impossible for YuWon to get here in time from so far away.
‘I need to run away…’
Halimun took a few steps back, his foot landing on the line.
It was the line that YuWon had drawn, and unfortunately what YuWon said rang in his head.
“Damn it…” Halimun muttered, remembering YuWon’s order to stay within the line at all cost.
He brooded over YuWon’s warning.
It wasn’t like he had a chance of running away from the five players in front of him anyway.
“Okay. Fine. Let’s go, you motherfuckers!” Halimun shouted, drawing his sword.
It was a rash decision.
The players in front of him might not have been on the level of Hoon or Ro’el, but they were still among the top players on the 11th Floor.
In contrast, Halimun had failed to pass the 11th Floor test multiple times now.
Even if this was a 1V1 rather than a 5V1, it was unlikely that he’d win.
‘I can do it,’ Halimun thought to himself while gritting his teeth. ‘I can do it!’
He believed that he just had to buy time and that if he stalled enough, YuWon would come to save him.
“You’re so pathetic.”
“Hey, let’s finish this already.”
“Let’s divvy up the CP equally. Okay?”
“Got it. Just divide up the flags properly later.”
The players blinded by CP approached Halimun, now within a few steps of him.
Without leaving the circle, Halimun swung his sword with everything he had.
The sword hit nothing but dead air.
The closest player started mocking him, “You’re flailing too much.”
The other players didn’t hold back just because there was a difference in strength. From the get-go, they hadn’t viewed this as a fair fight.
“So long. Just consider yourself unlucky.”
The same fire orb from earlier flew towards him again, but this time, it launched so close that it was unavoidable, heading right for his face.
As Halimun braced himself…
… Embers scattered right in front of his eyes.
A big hand blocked the path between him and the players from Team B.
Halimun turned his head, looking behind him.
It was shrouded by the smoke, but there was something there that resembled a person. And that something had protected Halimun.
“W-What is that?”
“Is this his skill?”
The players were taken aback by the domineering mana.
They had expected this to be an easy hunt, but here an unexpected obstacle had popped up.
Halimun looked at the circle that YuWon had drawn on the ground. Then his gaze moved to the thing standing at his back, as if protecting him.
“Ha… Haha…” Halimun laughed nervously.
His legs shook, feeling weak.
[Heavenly Demon’s Spirit]
There was only a single thought that filled his mind: he was going to live.
* * *
About ten days before the test, Hypnos received a message from Olympus.
[Fail Kim YuWon.]
The message was short but shocking.
Knowing the possible major ramifications, Hypnos was deeply worried.
A test examiner’s role was to oversee possible accidents during a test or remove unfair elements in addition to managing and setting up the tests.
Olympus’s order was essentially asking him to rig the test.
‘I did think it was a crazy order,’ Hypnos thought.
Fortunately for Hypnos, it wasn’t that difficult of an order.
Due to the nature of the 11th Floor’s test, all he had to do was manipulate the teams’ seeding a bit. It might earn him a bit of suspicion, but that in itself wouldn’t cause that much of a problem. Especially since Hypnos had Olympus backing him.
‘To think that Lady Hera would show interest as well.’
Right before the test began, Hypnos got a message from Hera, a High Ranker of Olympus.
[Kill Kim YuWon at any cost. The method doesn’t matter.]
The content of the message wasn’t all that different from the original request, but the weight of it was dramatically different.
There was a difference between a message from just the higher ups and a personal message from Hera.
Hypnos had to execute this order, and he could not afford to fail. So he decided that he’d personally make a move.
At first Hypnos thought that maybe he was going a bit overboard, but…
‘It wasn’t unwarranted,’ he thought to himself.
Within the dark, changed landscape, Hypnos watched YuWon endure his mana.
Most players would have long fallen asleep already. Even fairly skilled players should have been affected by the mana and felt drowsy.
But YuWon was perfectly fine, which meant it was one of two scenarios. Either YuWon’s Arcane Power stat was high enough to resist his mana, or his willpower was just that amazing.
Hypnos thought that the former was unlikely.
‘His willpower is probably great,’ Hypnos concluded.
It was fine though. YuWon was still just a player of the lower floors. Hypnos thought that even with the penalty, there was no way YuWon would be a match for him.
The mana that was dispersed into the air started to become darker in color.
And finally, Hypnos’s skill activated.
Instantly, YuWon started wobbling.
Hypnos smiled. ‘I got him,’ he thought.
[Dark Night] was the skill he had used the longest and the skill that got him to where he was. As a hallucination-type skill, it forced any living beings inside its reach to fall into sleep.
Hypnos thought that YuWon was probably using everything he had to not fall asleep right now.
“It’s hard, isn’t it?” Hypnos said, walking towards YuWon. “Just give in. You can have a sweet dream if you just close your eyes.”
His words were sweet. Most people gave into these words, and YuWon was no different.
YuWon’s eyes slowly started to close, and he stopped wobbling.
Hypnos let out a smile.
YuWon fell asleep while standing.
‘It’s over,’ Hypnos presumed.
Everyone had a desire to sleep, and Hypnos possessed the ability to draw out that desire and force people into sleep.
‘The timing was good. Right now was the time of day when [Dark Night] exhibited the greatest power…’
Hypnos started walking closer to YuWon.
Due to releasing his mana in quite a large radius, the penalty started affecting him a little bit.
It wasn’t good for him to drag this out.
Hypnos pulled out the dagger that he had hidden within his clothes.
“No matter how good he is with the sword, he’s still just a player on the lower floors,” Hypnos spoke while pointing the dagger at YuWon’s neck. “I don’t know what’s going on, but don’t resent me too much. It’s your fault for getting on the bad side of Olympus.”
Hypnos’s knife started shining.
“Now then, it’s time to finish this…”
Hypnos took a step back, but he was a moment too late.
A deep cut ran through his chest.
The dispersed mana returned to Hypnos’s body.
He tried to treat his wound quickly through mana control, but the wound was too deep to treat that way.
A dense mana was enveloping YuWon’s sword.
It appeared to be a pretty advanced [Arcane Sword.]
Hypnos knew that it couldn’t be some ordinary skill, considering it damaged the body of a Ranker like him.
“It was shallow,” YuWon muttered in disappointment.
Lightly swinging his sword to shake the blood off the blade, he looked completely fine and awake, even just that moment ago.
“You bastard…” Hypnos grit his teeth. “Was that all an act?”
YuWon didn’t answer his question, which Hypnos took as a silent admission.
It was obvious that it was an act. If YuWon had fallen to Hypnos’s skill, he wouldn’t have even been able to swing his sword.
From the beginning, YuWon was aiming to close the distance between them to get a one-shot.
“Such a cowardly act…” Hypnos accused him.
YuWon retorted, “I don’t think you’re in any position to speak.”
That shut Hypnos up because he was right. No matter how talented YuWon was, he was still a player that had just arrived on the 11th Floor. On the other hand, Hypnos was a Ranker with the giant Olympus Guild backing him. On top of that, he was the test examiner that was in charge of making sure this test was operating fairly.
There was no need to measure who was more underhanded.
“Well, that doesn’t matter,” Hypnos grunted, his hand pressed tight to his wound. “You’re still just a player. The results aren’t going to change.”
“No,” YuWon said while looking around.
His surroundings were still dark thanks to the effect of [Dark Night.]
YUWon continued, “This does change things.”
Black mana started flowing out of the sword in YuWon’s hand. The flow of mana was ominous. It was the dark-attribute mana from the 「Edge of Nightfall.」
[Affected by the Skill – Dark Night, your stamina recovery improves.]
[Stamina recovery speed: +200%.]
[Affected by the Skill – Dark Night, your mana recovery improves.]
[Mana recovery speed: +100%.]
[Affected by the Skill – Dark Night, your mana amplification improves.]
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[Mana amplification: +100%.]
The night didn’t just belong to Hypnos.