Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 76
Fragments flew into Hypnos’s face as the dagger broke.
Hypnos blinked, and the Administrator was a step closer to him.
“▷ Explain this,” the Administrator demanded.
Hypnos felt like his entire body was being squashed. The inside of his mouth felt dry, and a cold sweat ran down his forehead.
He turned his gaze to YuWon and saw that YuWon was watching him with his arms crossed.
YuWon was a participant in this test. It was obvious who the Administrator would side with in this situation.
“Sir, the thing is…” Hypnos tried to make an excuse but couldn’t come up with anything.
As he trailed off, Hypnos turned his entire body towards the Administrator and got on his knees.
“I’m sorry, Sir!” Hypnos bowed down his head.
It was likely that the Administrator already knew the full situation, seeing how he bothered to show up in person.
Hypnos had used his powers to the limit that the penalty allowed, so it would have been strange if the Administrator was unaware of the situation.
This all happened because the fight dragged on longer than he had expected.
“▷ So at least you’re sorry,” The Administrator said.
“I committed a grave sin, sir.”
“▷ Was this an order from Olympus?”
Hypnos was startled by what the Administrator asked.
The Administrator nodded his head after seeing his reaction.
“▷ So I’m right. Under whose order was it? Ares? Hera? Or Zeus?”
Hypnos shouted, “It was my own—!” But he then quickly lowered his voice after realizing he shouted unconsciously, “—decision.”
“▷This was your own decision?” the Administrator scoffed. It was a lie that even an idiot wouldn’t believe. “So you want to take the blame?”
“That’s not it, sir…”
“▷ But even if that really were the case, Olympus can’t escape all of the blame.”
The Administrator’s words shocked Hypnos.
His loyalty to Olympus was great, to a point that he had already put his life on the line by personally going after a test participant. But by no means did he ever intend to bring harm to Olympus.
“▷ Effective immediately, your position as the test examiner will be revoked. And I shall also be taking away all authority given to Olympus on the 11th Floor,” the Administrator said in a firm voice.
“S-Sir!” Hypnos tried to make a rebuttal.
“▷ How dare you raise your voice?!” the Administrator shouted at him.
Hypnos, who was trying to stand up, had his body crushed back down, his face getting firmly pressed into the ground.
“Kugh—” Hypnos grunted in pain.
“▷ Of course, it won’t end with just taking your position as a test examiner. Messing with a test participant as an examiner is an unforgivable crime. You will be punished for thousands of years, in a state between life and death.”
The test examiner was an important job. They managed floors’ tests and weeded out any cheating. Because of the importance of the job, test examiners were given huge influence and authority inside the Tower.
“▷ We’ll talk more later, Hypnos,” said the Administrator.
Hypnos’s body began to get sucked into the ground. He glared at YuWon while he disappeared.
Once that was over, the Administrator turned his gaze to YuWon.
“▷ So it’s you again.”
This Administrator already knew YuWon. That wasn’t that big of a surprise.
Administrators were beings that were hard to meet, yet YuWon was meeting his third Administrator, and each time had involved a situation that was out of the ordinary.
“▷ Your name’s Kim YuWon, isn’t it? You really aren’t an ordinary kid.”
“Thanks to you, I had quite a few troubles,” YuWon responded while looking over at the spot where Hypnos disappeared.
The Administrator instantly understood what YuWon meant.
“▷ Definitely not ordinary,” he smirked.
YuWon nodded his head.
Administrators were terrifying beings. With power that matched the top High Rankers, they had the ability to use the Administrator’s Authority, which let them control a floor of the Tower. And in contrast to how the Rankers were spread out throughout various guilds, Administrators were consolidated.
In other words, they were the rulers of this Tower. However…
‘That doesn’t mean I have to be afraid right now,’ YuWon thought.
Administrator’s were different from Olympus. They didn’t have personal feelings or goals that defied the will of the world.
As long as you didn’t go against the law of the world, there was no reason to fear Administrators.
“There have been quite a few oddities in this test, and if I’m not mistaken, a test examiner is the proxy of the Administrator,” YuWon made his case.
“▷ So you want me to take responsibility?”
“Someone has to.”
The Administrator stared silently at YuWon.
YuWon didn’t avoid the Administrator’s gaze because he knew that the Administrator wouldn’t do anything to him in this situation since he was the victim here.
“▷ You’re not wrong,” the Administrator said with a look of amusement on his face.
The events that had happened today were certainly something a test participant should never have had to go through. And with the intervention of a test examiner, the test difficulty had increased immensely.
“▷ Okay. I promise to give you a reward when the test is over.”
“And you won’t go back on your words?”
“▷ I’m an Administrator. You shouldn’t compare me with a bastard like Hypnos.”
An Administrator’s words were trustworthy as they were essentially the living, breathing system. Because of that, they would never do something like lying.
“I understand,” YuWon said. Having received the answer he wanted from the Administrator, he turned his attention. “Now then…”
There were a few players watching what was going on.
‘NamGung Hoon,’ YuWon noticed in particular.
Hoon was the successor of the NamGung Clan and a player that was expected to become a future High Ranker. And with the NamGung Clan backing him, his influence was greater than the average Ranker.
“▷ So we had quite the audience,” the Administrator said, shrugging it off and pretending that he wasn’t aware. “A big wave is coming. A big wave. Hahahah!”
The Administrator put his hands behind his back and started walking away. The space in front of him tore apart, and he disappeared in an instant.
Having been spectating for a while, Hoon and his companions were startled by the sudden disappearance of the Administrator,
‘‘A wave,’ he says…’ YuWon thought as he locked eyes with Hoon. ‘I wonder…’
Hoon had had his suspicions while following the ‘king,’ whose identity was unknown.
A test examiner Ranker going after a test participant player was the worst possible crime one could commit because it broke the laws of the Tower.
“So it was true,” Hoon said with a serious look on his face after he got the explanation of the situation from YuWon. “Olympus…”
“This is a massive incident.”
“Are we sure it wasn’t the independent actions of the examiner?”
“Why would a test examiner do this on their own? It’s definitely connected to the higher-ups.”
“Should we remain silent about this?”
“You think Hoon’s personality would allow that?” Hoon’s teammate said while being conscious of him, but it was also something they all agreed on.
Having witnessed this incident, their hands were tied.
Olympus had committed a grave, forbidden crime. And if this incident became public, Olympus would take a massive hit.
“Did it really happen?”
“His opponent was a Ranker!”
“And one who’s powerful enough to be a test examiner…”
Hoon’s teammates glanced over at YuWon.
Fighting a Ranker. That was a pipe dream for players on the lower floors because their ultimate goal for climbing the Tower was to become a Ranker. This was especially true for Pure-Blooded players, so to players like Hoon, this incident hit especially big.
‘It’s the first time since ‘The Great Sage,’’ Hoon thought to himself.
This wasn’t the first time a Ranker had lost to a player. Son OhGong, a current top High Ranker who was also known as “The Great Sage, Heaven’s Equal” had a record of crushing a Ranker as a player. OhGong’s value as a player peaked when that incident became publicly known.
‘The test examiner of this floor is an Olympian Ranker,’ Hoon continued to assess the situation.
When this event became known, it would have an even bigger ripple than OhGong’s incident.
‘What to do…’ he wondered.
At the end of the day, they were witnesses of this incident. As such, they had two options—they could either stay silent or reveal what happened.
There was no particular reason to pick the latter. Even with his clan backing him, Olympus was a mighty force against Hoon. And in the worst case scenario, if the relationship between Olympus and the NamGung clan were to go south, the world of the 10th Floor, the Martial Realm, would fall into chaos.
‘Even without us doing anything, Olympus will face repercussions.’
The actions of an Olympian test examiner were going to affect all of Olympus. They would lose all their influence on the 11th Floor, and Administrators of other floors would start being wary of Olympus as well.
It was clear that, starting immediately, Olympus would go on red alert.
“You…” Hoon finally decided to ask Yuwon after thinking for a long time, “What will you do?”
YuWon had already crossed a line he couldn’t come back from with Olympus.
Hoon didn’t know why Olympus was aiming for YuWon, but it was obvious that YuWon would be marked as their enemy due to this incident.
It was an impossible task for a single person to go against Olympus. Despite that…
“I will fight,” YuWon responded.
His answer was beyond what Hoon considered logical.
YuWon continued, “Until I drag Zeus down to the bottom.”
Zeus. One of the rulers of the Tower and the great King of Olympus.
As soon as Zeus’s name was mentioned, Hoon felt his chest tighten. YuWon said the name of that giant way too easily.
Hoon had to ask, “How did you become enemies with Olympus? What in the world happened?”
“I helped a blacksmith who was being forced to make weapons he didn’t want to.” YuWon was speaking about Hephaestus. “Ever since then, they decided they wanted to kill me.”
“A blacksmith, you say…” Hoon muttered.
Hoon was a direct descendent of the NamGung Clan. Because of that, he endlessly heard news around the Tower.
Even though YuWon wasn’t clear, Hoon was somewhat able to put together what was going on.
“I see,” Hoon said while nodding.
He then turned around and started walking away.
“Hey, Hoon! Where are you going?”
His teammates started chasing after him.
“It’s almost time for the Grand Martial Arts Tournament,” Hoon responded to them while taking out his player kit. “We’re returning to the NamGung Clan.”
He messaged his father, the head of the NamGung Clan and the guildmaster of the Martial Guild, NamGung JinWoon.
* * *
Afterwards, the 11th Floor’s test continued under the supervision of the Administrator.
There was nothing to stop YuWon now.
The majority of the players on Team B had forfeited from the test. So YuWon went around taking flags from the remaining Team B players and finding flags around the forest.
Time passed, and the 24 hours were close to coming to an end.
“I really thought I was going to die,” Halimun said to YuWon.
After seeing YuWon, his legs gave out, and he fell to the ground.
He was surrounded by blood, but none of it belonged to Halimun. Rather, it was the blood of players from Team B who had wanted to kill Halimun to win the test. All those players had been forced to run away while spilling their blood, unable to achieve their goal.
“But you didn’t,” YuWon answered nonchalantly.
Halimun shook his head, having experienced what felt like an eternal hell. Multiple times, he had thought about giving up on the test.
“You did good holding out and not giving up,” YuWon complimented him.
Halimun lifted his head upon hearing that, noticing a red flag.
It was all the flags YuWon had gathered so far.
That was the number on the flag.
Five or ten flags would already have been a lot, but here was someone who had managed to gather over 600 flags by himself.
“Ha… Haha…” Halimun laughed in disbelief. Many thoughts were running through his head.
The test was almost over, and with so many flags, he would be able to receive a tremendous amount of CP, which meant a big reward.
But right now, Halimun wasn’t laughing because of that.
‘I did it,’ Halimun thought. He was happy and proud from receiving a compliment from YuWon and that he’d managed to endure it without giving up. ‘I did it…’
Halimun’s hand shook while reaching for the flag.
That was right. He did it. He completed the role of ‘king’ by not giving up and surviving. Even if it was 90% thanks to YuWon… he had done it.
Halimun was Team A’s ‘king’ who had managed to win the 11th Floor’s test with YuWon.
[You obtained 618 flags.]
[You obtained 6180cp.]
As soon as YuWon handed over the flag to Halimun, both of them got the same message.
And a moment later…
[The test has ended.]
[Team A: 623 flags]
[Team B: 2 flags]
[The winner is Team A.]
[You may now use the CP shop.]
[You have obtained the right to move on to the 12th Floor.]
[You are now able to teleport to the next floor.]
[The 11th Floor’s ranking has been updated.]
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Messages were popping up for players that had participated in the 11th Floor’s test.
The test was now over.