Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 86
The powerful impact of Hargaan’s electric attack silenced the arena.
“What was that?”
“Why’s he acting like that?”
The players around the arena continued to move while watching Hargaan growl at the players around him.
They wanted to know what Hargaan was up to, but they were too busy crossing swords to be in any position to spectate him in peace.
Swords and spears clashed around the arena amidst a flurry of skills exploding in chaos.
JinCheon folded his fan back up, staring at Hargaan with a serious look on his face.
“Can I take it that you’ll be assisting Kim YuWon?” he asked.
Hargaan raised an eyebrow and responded, “So what?”
“My clan was thinking that we could form a good relationship with you.”
“I don’t know who’s brain that came from, but that’s a pretty stupid thought,” Hargaan scoffed.
JinCheon’s face soured.
This was an idea from the general of the Martial Artists’ Alliance, Zhuge Jing. And as a strategist, he was the one who had been leading the organization from the shadows.
JinCheon couldn’t stand for his father, who he believed to be great and intelligent, to be insulted like this.
“What’s wrong, pussy?” Hargaan asked.
“How can you say something so tasteless…?”
“It’s because you guys act with no taste that I’m speaking in terms you can understand,” Hargaan said while looking around.
He displayed clear hostility at the players that had been charging at YuWon just moments ago.
“Wh-What’s up with this?”
“How are we supposed to fight against someone like that?”
“He’s a real monster…”
These players lost morale after seeing Hargaan’s big attack.
The mood had dampened, which was bad progression for JinCheon.
“W-Weren’t we told that YuWon and Olympus were clearly enemies?” someone quietly blurted out.
But with his good hearing, Hargaan heard what the guy muttered.
YuWon also heard it. He thought, ‘So the Zhuge Clan even has ties with Olympus.’
This was new information for YuWon.
He was aware that there was a power struggle in the Martial Artists’ Alliance between the NamGung Clan and the Zhuge Clan, but he didn’t know that Olympus had a hand in it as well.
It became apparent to YuWon that one of the reasons they decided to go forward with this plan was because they thought Hargaan would also fight against YuWon.
“… There’s so much rot,” Hargaan said bitterly. However, this wasn’t a comment directed towards the Zhuge Clan but towards Olympus.
“Don’t pay attention to unimportant details. Rather, decide now. Will you stand with or against YuWon?” JinCheon said.
JinCheon’s words made YuWon glance over at Hargaan’s back.
They were currently in the middle of not just any public space but participating in the Grand Martial Arts Tournament. There were eyes of countless audiences directed at them, and on top of that, the tournament was viewable from anywhere anytime through the player kits. So whatever action Hargaan took right now, Olympus would find out.
With YuWon being an enemy of Olympus, helping YuWon would be opposing Olympus’s will.
“You members of the Zhuge Clan always talk too much,” Hargaan said while slamming his fists together. “Why don’t you cut the useless chit-chat and fight me instead? Because I already made my decision long ago.”
“… I see,” JinCheon said while reopening his fan. “I shall now face him. Quickly take down YuWon and come help me,” he said to the others.
Wind started to blow around JinCheon.
“Will you be okay?”
“You’re going to be going against Hargaan…”
JinCheon’s comrades voiced their concern.
“I know that. I’ve also heard a lot about him,” JinCheon said.
He could tell from the attack just now how strong Hargaan was. He was stronger than any other player he had seen up until now.
YuWon was called the greatest player, but having seen Hargaan in the flesh, he deemed Hargaan to be a step above YuWon. Despite that…
“But I am Zhuge JinCheon,” he said confidently, assuring his comrades.
That’s right. He was one of the genius players who was set to lead the Martial Realm along with Hoon.
And JinCheon’s confidence rallied the rest of his men.
In an instant, Hargaan was in front of JinCheon.
“Who did you say you are?”
A punch flew at JinCheon, and he was knocked dozens of meters back. He couldn’t even let out a proper scream as he flew through the air.
His body was electrified and scorched.
It all happened in an instant.
JinCheon tried his best to hold up his unsteady body. He gave his all to not lose consciousness.
‘What… in the world…’ JinCheon thought.
His mind and vision were hazy as he looked at Hargaan.
He knew that a direct Pure-Blood of Olympus would be powerful, especially considering how Hargaan was the son of Zeus, the King of Olympus. It was only natural for Hargaan to be amazing.
‘Still…!’ JinCheon thought while gritting his teeth. ‘There’s no way there can be this great of a difference.’
His pride had been hurt. At first, JinCheon thought it wasn’t possible, but then his subconscious shouted at him, ‘There’s no way to win against this guy.’
“You should know your place, you nobody,” Hargaan spoke while hitting his fists together.
He had called JinCheon a nobody despite being from the Zhuge clan.
“Don’t you dare try anything cunning,” Hargaan threatened JinCheon while walking closer to him.
Hargaan glanced over at YuWon to signal him.
“We should continue where we left off,” YuWon said while approaching the players of the Martial Realm that were circling him.
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YuWon had decided to take care of the annoying small fry before the real fight.
* * *
“I-I give up!”
“I give up as well!”
“Well I’m not giving—ahhhhh!”
The main stage event was starting to reach its climax.
As time went on, their staminas wore out, and more players were forfeiting from injury. There were also players who refused to give up until the end, losing their lives.
And in the midst of this chaos, JinCheon shouted while raising both his hands, “I lost!”
Hargaan’s fist, which had been traveling rapidly towards JinCheon’s face, halted. He wasn’t the type who would continue attacking an opponent that lost the will to fight.
Relieved at seeing Hargaan stop his attack, JinCheon said while letting out a sigh of relief, “It’s my loss. I give up.”
“So you’re forfeiting?”
The fight hadn’t gone on for that long. With his skills, all he could do was stop a few of Hargaan’s punches. And even then, had Hargaan been serious, he probably wouldn’t have managed to block a single one.
“… If you hadn’t stepped in, we would have been successful.”
“Do you really believe that?” Hargaan asked, looking at YuWon flying around amidst the Martial Realm players. “Do you really think that you would be the difference in being able to defeat him?”
JinCheon remained silent. His silence was louder than words.
“Although…” Hargaan muttered while staring at YuWon.
He was confused by YuWon taking them down one at a time by swinging his sword around.
‘I don’t think his skills should have gotten worse. Is he maybe conserving his strength?’ Hargaan wondered.
It had been a while since the two had seen each other.
After the Tutorial and the events of the 1st Floor, Hargaan went through explosive growth. And he assumed the same would have happened to YuWon, considering he was now even rumored to be the strongest player ever.
‘In that case…’ Hargaan thought while stepping towards YuWon, ‘I’m going to draw it out of him.’
Most of the Martial Realm players that were being a nuisance had been taken care of.
Seeing how climactic the mood of the main stage had become, Hargaan thought this should be good enough of a stage.
With each step Hargaan took, the ground caved in under his feet.
YuWon, who was swinging his sword, put his sword down after noticing Hargaan approaching him.
“Are you going to start now?” YuWon asked.
“I’ve waited long enough,” Hargaan answered.
His face was ecstatic.
A powerful current of electricity started enveloping Hargaan, as if he was ready to explode.
“There’s nothing sweeter than picking a fruit that’s perfectly ripe,” Hargaan said.
YuWon could tell how much Hargaan had been looking forward to fighting him again. And now, no longer able to wait, Hargaan was getting closer to him.
YuWon thought, ‘There are still quite a lot of them left, but…’
It didn’t matter to him whether the true final fight happened now or later.
Before getting in formation, YuWon decided to say, “Let me ask you two questions first.”
“Two whole questions?”
“You’ve waited a long time, so it’s not like it’s gonna kill you to wait a bit longer.”
Hargaan nodded, “What are they?”
“First off, are you not going to regret your decision just now?”
Hargaan had helped YuWon, an enemy of Olympus, and fought the Zhuge Clan, a clan allied with Olympus. That was showing blatant opposition against Olympus.
“Does that mean…?”
“Of course I don’t regret it.”
YuWon got the answer to his first question.
“And what’s your second question?”
Hargaan started getting more pumped up, knowing that they would be going at it at any moment now.
YuWon was also getting just as pumped up.
“My second question is…”
A beautiful-colored mana started enveloping the ash-colored sword.
“Did you already forget how I flung you away with a single punch?”
Remembering that incident made a vein pop up on Hargaan’s forehead.
“Of course I remember.”
There was no way Hargaan could forget it. It was the first time had ever lost to someone who wasn’t a Ranker, and the shock of that moment was still as clear as day in his mind.
“I’ll ask you something now,” Hargaan said, now at a spitting distance from YuWon. “Do I seem like I’m the same as I was back then?”
“No,” YuWon answered.
YuWon’s answer eased the tension on Hargaan’s face, but that didn’t last long.
“You seem even smaller,” YuWon continued.
“… Fine.” Hargaan’s electricity shot up into the sky. “Let’s go then.”
Hargaan got ready to swing his fist.
YuWon’s sword and Hargaan’s fist were in reach of each other.
YuWon didn’t try to create distance, nor did he try to evade Hargaan’s attack. He planned to take Hargaan’s full electric punch head on.
YuWon prepared his [Arcane Sword,] which let out small vibrations.
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The sword and fist clashed together, sending out a loud ring across the arena.
From the impact, a tiny fracture appeared on YuWon’s sword.
‘This thing must be at its limit,’ he thought.