Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 87
There’s an expression that goes, “There is always a higher sky.”
That was what was going through the minds of the players participating in the Grand Martial Arts Tournament.
“Wh-What in the world?”
“Are both of them really players?”
“Are we sure they’re not Rankers?”
“G-Get out of the way! Or you might get caught up—”
The lightning unleashed from Hargaan’s fists spread out across the arena, hitting the players nearby.
The range of his attacks was so big, it was hard to gauge. Even people who thought they were a good distance away ended up getting caught in Hargaan’s attacks.
“I give up!”
“Me too! Damn it, I can’t be here anymore!”
“I forfeit as well!”
“How in the world do they expect us to fight and win against monsters like them?”
The stage was no longer a place for other players.
All eyes focused on the fight between YuWon and Hargaan, many seeing what happened to the people who got caught up in their fight, which caused more players to start forfeiting.
‘So it’s finally the real finals,’ Hoon thought.
Even Hoon felt miniscule compared to those two.
He was bewildered, ‘Hargaan… I’ve heard his name a lot, but to think he’d be at this level…’
The best Hoon could do was muster up his ki to shield himself from the stray sparks of lightning.
Hargaan was a genius that Hoon was frequently compared to. Because of that, he’d heard of him time and time again, and before he knew it, he had developed a rivalry against Hargaan.
But Hargaan’s skills in person were far greater than what he had heard.
‘Even if I had multiple clones of me, we wouldn’t be able to win against him.’
With YuWon around, Hoon thought he’d just have to aim for second place, but it appeared that he overestimated himself.
Hoon’s gaze shifted from Hargaan to YuWon, who was barely stopping Hargaan’s attacks.
‘… Did he really defeat a Ranker with those skills?”
* * *
Hargaan’s punch made YuWon slide a ways back.
YuWon’s sword was ringing in agony, unable to absorb the entire attack. Scorch marks started to cover the blade.
Hargaan didn’t stop his movements.
Hargaan moved like golden lightning, instantly appearing next to YuWon.
His Dexterity stat had to be incredibly high because his movements were so fast, it was hard to believe he was still a player who was far from becoming a Ranker.
Hargaan narrowed his eyes. YuWon did not get pushed back this time.
“You’re pretty strong,” Hargaan said.
“You’re so nice with your compliments.”
“But it looks like your sword is about to break.”
It was now plainly visible that YuWon’s sword was on its last legs. There were fractures running across the entire blade of the sword, looking like a piece of glass that would shatter upon touch.
“I don’t understand. What have you been doing all this time?” Hargaan asked.
Golden lightning enveloped all of Hargaan’s body.
At the same time, the tip of YuWon’s sword moved.
Light exploded from the two.
The sound of thunder echoed.
Hargaan stepped back, feeling a warmth on his shoulder.
Blood flowed down from his shoulder, hitting the ground. It looked like a pretty deep wound.
“Hmm…” Hargaan muttered.
He grabbed his wound with his hand and saw his palm get drenched in blood.
Hargaan tilted his head up to look at YuWon, who was now flowing with electricity.
The one who took more of the hit in the clash just now wasn’t Hargaan.
A current was running through all of YuWon’s body. There weren’t a lot of people in the world who could survive taking an electric attack of this caliber head on.
“Are you alive?” Hargaan asked.
With a nonchalant look on his face, YuWon raised his head and answered calmly, “… Of course.”
“I thought that’d be the case.”
Hargaan raised his fist again.
He was wounded, but YuWon should have been the one who took greater damage.
‘His physical abilities are above mine,’ Hargaan thought.
Hargaan himself possessed excellent physical abilities. Because his Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution stats were high, he was confident in combat even without the use of mana.
But if you looked at only physical abilities, YuWon’s were far greater than Hargaan’s.
‘On the other hand, my Arcane Power is much greater,’ Hargaan thought.
That was the core of his strategy.
‘Also…’ Hargaan glanced at the sword that looked like it was on the brink of shattering. ‘Let’s start by first breaking his weapon.’
Once he’d decided on his objective, his movements became more decisive.
Hargaan quickly closed the gap between him and YuWon again.
His fists weren’t aimed at YuWon’s body. It was clear what he was going for as he pummeled YuWon’s sword.
As if he was boxing, Hargaan threw a flurry of punches, cracking the sword more and more.
Hargaan started putting more force behind his punches.
His eyes flashed while he stretched out his right arm.
With a flash of blinding light, lightning exploded out from Hargaan’s fist.
It was such a loud and blinding attack, even the audience members who were sitting far away couldn’t see what happened.
But Hargaan was having an electrifying time fighting YuWon.
The sword broke apart like glass shards, scattering all over the place.
Hargaan was sure of his victory.
“I did it…” he breathed out.
With a calm voice, YuWon complimented him, “That was great.”
The sweetness of victory quickly faded as Hargaan sensed that something was wrong. He should have been the one with the clear upperhand, yet YuWon thought he did great?
Hargaan stared at him as YuWon threw aside the hilt of the broken sword without a second thought.
And in that moment…
YuWon’s mana started to push away Hargaan’s electricity.
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“Wh-What the…?” Hargaan was bewildered.
He wondered if this was what the Giants might have looked like. YuWon suddenly looked enormous in front of him.
“Do you remember,” YuWon asked, clenching his fist, “how I sent you flying with a single punch before?”
His fist contained much greater strength than before.
As Hargaan perceived the punch flying towards him…
… He felt an impact against his face, and his consciousness started to fade away.
‘Fucking… hell…’ Hargaan thought.
Hargaan’s body flew into the air, and he shot across the arena.
Hargaan rolled and tumbled across the stage, eventually flopping onto the ground.
One was only able to see that Hargaan was still alive because he was trembling and twitching slightly.
“What just happened…?”
The players still in the arena were confused.
“The match isn’t over,” YuWon said while motioning his hand at them. “I ain’t got all day, so let’s get going.”
* * *
YuWon picked up the sword hilt off the ground.
[Broken Nameless Sword]
ᗌ Classification: Weapon
ᗌ It’s a sword made from various materials. Its mana conductivity is terrible, but the blade is well-sharpened. It could be useful for butchering.
ᗌ Currently broken.
It was the sword he had commissioned from Hephaestus. Not only did it not have a name, it was useless in almost every manner.
There was only one positive thing about it.
‘It really has the worst mana conductivity,’ YuWon thought.
This was the first time he had used it because the 「Nameless Sword」 wasn’t an item that was usable in combat.
He originally intended on using it only until it broke.
The reason he had it made was because there was no better item to use to practice controlling Arcane Power.
‘That should have been good enough to fool them.’
Due to its effect of repressing Arcane Power, to the audience, YuWon and Hargaan’s skills should have looked like they were on par with each other.
There were quite a lot of players and Rankers from Olympus in the audience, and a few of them were Rankers that YuWon might have to fight one day.
Considering how many eyes had gathered to watch the Grand Martial Arts Tournament, simple acting wasn’t enough to fool Rankers.
‘Though I am a bit concerned about that last punch…’
It was an attack YuWon had launched because he thought he shouldn’t drag out the fight any longer with a broken sword.
YuWon raised his head to the screen above the arena.
He could see that he was being shown on the screen, standing in the center of the arena. And on that screen, text popped up.
YuWon then looked over at the players passed out across the floor of the arena.
Because he had fought using the minimal amount of mana possible, he was drenched with sweat.
Hoon, rather than fighting YuWon, chose to forfeit. He said that it was because they had already faced off before, but YuWon guessed that it had more to do with how ashamed he was of the actions of JinCheon and the players of the Martial Guild.
“gt; The winner of the 834th Grand Martial Arts Tournament is player Kim YuWon!”
The MC of the tournament was the 10th Floor’s Lackey.
They appeared while dancing in midair.
The Lackey was a wooden doll wearing a tuxedo, which didn’t really fit the Martial Realm. And on top of the Lackey’s head was a small wooden box.
The Lackey floated over to YuWon and asked him a question.
“gt; How does it feel to be the winner?”
“It was fun,” YuWon answered.
“gt; Is that all?”
A short and sweet answer.
The Lackey had experience emceeing the Grand Martial Arts Tournament multiple times now, but even they had a hard time proceeding with such a lackluster response.
“gt; Ah, yes. Thank you for your answer. Well then, shall we present you with the prize?”
It was the long-awaited moment.
YuWon nodded his head and held out his hand. It was as if he was motioning the Lackey to give him his prize already and scram.
The tiny wooden box opened, and despite being a good distance away from the box, a strong, bitter scent pierced YuWon’s nose.
It was a familiar scent to him.
‘The Great Scarlet Medicine Ball.’
Inside the wooden box was a tiny, red medicine ball.
As one of the items that represented the Martial Realm, this elixir was said to cost an astronomical amount of money and take a long time to produce. It was a heavenly treasure that every player and Ranker desired.
“gt; Yes. As you all are aware, the prize is the Great Scarlet Medicine Ball. The makers of the Medicine Ball, the Shaolin Temple, said that this one came out especially well…”
“Thanks. I’ll make sure to put it to good use.”
YuWon closed the wooden box and put it in his inventory. After this short exchange, YuWon turned away. He had no intention of listening to the chatterbox of a Lackey anymore.
‘It’ll take some time to digest it.’
The 「Great Scarlet Medicine Ball」 was slightly bigger than he remembered, and to absorb all the Arcane Power held inside it, it would take at least a few days.
‘As for over there…’
YuWon’s eyes turned to a section of the audience.
‘I can probably leave them be.’
Cheon MuJin was on his way to settle things with the Martial Guild.
NamGung JinWoon had reached out to the Heavenly Demonic Cult first, and the Cult had accepted his hand.
As these were the two highest Rankers in the Martial Realm, YuWon had nothing to worry about. MuJin alone was strong enough to wipe out all the Rankers of the Martial Guild by himself.
‘If the Heavenly Demonic Cult joins them, the Martial Guild’s strength will basically double.’
The Martial Guild would become a guild that controlled an entire world as well as possessed a High Ranker. With the Heavenly Demonic Cult on their side, they would no longer be a mid-sized guild. They would then have the size and resources to push them into the territory of the large guilds.
‘That’s not bad.’
YuWon had only thrown a small stone, but the ripples it caused were about to bring great change to the world of the 10th Floor.
The Martial Guild and the Heavenly Demonic Cult were two groups that had fought on the forefront of the war against the Outers. So their group becoming larger and more powerful was highly beneficial.
YuWon hurriedly walked faster.
It was now time for the 20th Floor. It was a world that rivaled the Martial Realm in size inside the Tower, and it was a floor where the tests started getting significantly harder.
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YuWon had a lot of things he had to prepare for everything he wanted to do in that world.
‘To start with…’
YuWon looked at the small wooden box in this hand.
‘I’m going to achieve my stat goal.’