And that, too, applied to the Unique World. The young people born in the Unique World, or came to the Unique World at too young an age, were curious about the outside world and wanted to go there too.
They weren't the only ones. Among those who had entered the Unique World when they were already adults, there were some who were hopeful. They ran away from Earth and came to this place, but... After 20 years, they began to miss Earth. If this constituted homesickness, then yes, they were suffering from homesickness.
"I'm sure you know, but we can't just let everyone out." Everyone nodded upon hearing my resolute words. Then again, there was no way those who came all the way here did not know that the stage was progressing in the outside world.
"And also, once you've completed the Level 14 High-difficulty stage... About 100 years would have passed in the Unique World. You can go back, but everyone you know would be dead and gone."
The applicants' reactions diverged upon hearing my words.
"I've known this since 10 years ago!"
"I don't have a family anyway!"
"My mother said she was going to go into a hibernation device!"
They were people who literally challenged my words, because 'they wanted to go out'.
"I've trained enough now. I'm going to go out and...save my family with my own two hands."
"My country was on the verge of destruction. I have to go back."
"If I am going to die, I want to die in my hometown."
They were also people who challenged my words, because they had lingering feelings for what they had left behind on Earth.
"The stage! Definitely! I definitely want to give it a shot!"
"I heard they'll give us spiritual medicines!"
And there were also people who challenged my words because of their material desires… I shook my head at the sight of the many people simultaneously screaming out loud. I thought that if they were so determined, then it would be better to just think of it in a good way. 'Yeah, well, it's a good thing to have a lot of applicants.'
I nodded and told Genie, "Begin." As I said those words, the floor opened up and hundreds of types of Gigas appeared. There were large Gigas on the very first row; Black Tiger, Green Tiger, Blue Tiger, and Gray Tiger, made by combining two different styles. Unlike the names, the actual color was actually black or gray, because the names did not signify the real colors of the machines. Instead, it referred to the style. However, perhaps because it was the Concept Color, there were paintings randomly done around the body, and even on the weapons.
Naturally, the Tigers weren’t the only ones to appear. Wolf, Alligator, Snake, Hawk, Deer, Horse, and others were there as well. Aside from Horse, which remained in its animal-form, most of the others were two-legged walking weapons.
"Looking back, there really are so many different kinds."
Because there are all kinds of styles.
As the cockpits of all 40 Gigas opened at the same time, the pilots who were getting ready either boarded the Gigas or wore the crown.
I looked at the Gigas at the very front among them.
The 20 years of time I spent did not go to waste, and the standard of the Beast-rank Gigas was much higher. In fact, the level presented was the level of the machine itself.
Wiiiiiiiing! Clang clank! When the pilot got on board, the title of the Gigas changed.
Black Tiger, Kim Jong-pil
Sorry? I haven't done anything yet...?
The pilot, boarding a Black Tiger and just loosening his joints, was perplexed. After I confirmed by using Classification on the title, he was a Level 10 Compléter-class ability user. It was extremely amazing that a Level 10 practitioner reached Level 17 just because he was using Level 11 equipment.
"Next!" I said so and moved on to the next person in line, who had already boarded the Gigas.
Blue Tiger, Donald
"It's vague, so hold aside!"
I haven't done anything yet!
I heard someone saying as if it was unfair, but I was speechless too. This guy was a Compléter too, but the results of boarding the Gigas were unsatisfying. In other words, his capability as a pilot was lacking.
"No, this is below its own level, huh. Fail!"
I quickly filtered out the pilots. The process was fast, because I could roughly estimate it just by looking at the level. At the very least, it took some time to skim through the pilot's information, and if I really wanted to only check the level, it would have taken less than 10 minutes to check everything. Just like that, about an hour had passed. The results came out after the vetting process. "The results aren't that good despite running the pilot training simulation for more than a decade."
The talent pool is too small. If we think about the fact that there are only 200,000 people living in the Unique World, it is a rather encouraging outcome.
More than half of the nearly 6,000 applicants were eliminated and 2,300 remained. This was the result which included those who were held aside, and young children who had promising prospects to be pilots, so to speak.
"Well, I can't help it. Start getting ready to go out."
Understood, Captain-nim. I'll finish up all the tasks and stand by at the Central Plaza.
"Did they say there is a farewell party at the Central Plaza…? Go ahead and proceed with it as you see fit. After that, tell them to get on board Eden, since I'll bring the whole thing outside."
Roger that, Captain-nim.
After listening to Genie's answer, I got busy again. I was used to living a leisurely life for the past 20 years, but I had no choice. I had to value every single minute and second for today, when I would be going back after 20 years. Moreover, it was a day that might not return until hundreds of years later. It was a long-awaited opportunity to be connected with the outside world, so I would have to finish all the tasks when I still had the time.
"Genie, what's the number of humans left now?"
About 3.5 billion people.
"No, wasn't it a Perfect Clear? Why did it reduce by so much?"
Because humans don't just die when they're in the stage.
"This is really the crucible of chaos, huh." I arrived at the workshop while clicking my tongue. Just like that, I laid on the bed and moved my consciousness to Earth. "Genie, what is the most lacking thing in the Unique World?"
In actual fact, now that the Unique World had reached S-rank, the number of humans who could be accepted in one sitting was not limited to 100,000 to 200,000 people. Nevertheless, I limited the number of migrants to 100,000, because I knew that increasing the inflow of people without measures would end up depleting the resources of the Unique World irresponsibly.
We don't need livestocks anymore. Please replenish as much water as you possibly can.
"Alright then. Let's at least go get some sea water." I got off at a suitable sea and absorbed the sea water fiercely enough to expose the sea floor in an instant. I couldn't create a lake after bringing the sea water to the Unique World, where water was an essential resource. Therefore, instead, the water went into the prepared water tanks without any waste.
Then, I repeatedly invoked Recall and Warp. I teleported to Ilsung's building and greeted Jae-seok, "Hello! You still haven't improved a bit, huh?"
"Is that supposed to be a greeting? Screw you..."
"Wow, I heard about it, but Dae-ha, you… You're really darting in and out of everywhere." Kyung-eun was together with Jae-seok. She wasn’t standing next to him, but was sitting on his lap. Even though I had showed up, there wasn't a hint of the two of them intending to maintain some distance between each other.
"Whooo. By the way, my skills... I tried my best to take all sorts of spiritual medicines, kill monsters, and even meditate, but there really isn't a single change. I think a fundamental change needs to happen in the way I turn something into vibrations." Jae-seok seemed to have hit a wall. Of course, he had hit a wall countless times up to this point, but this wall had to be faced when one was in their 20s and 30s. It was fundamentally different from the wall one faced in their 80s or 90s. Besides, the limit in talent was also clearly present.
'Will he be able to cross that wall again?' I wondered, but it was impossible to find out. Jae-seok's Brilliant Heaven Seven Lights level was already higher than mine, so there wasn't anything I could advise him on. However, unlike him, it was possible for me to immediately increase my power.
Booom! I took out a Gigas from the Unique World and put it down. The jet-black giant, seemingly sucking in the light, had an impressive appearance with thick armor. It had a special feature, with black snakes wrapping around both arms.
"It's the Black Tortoise, one of the Four Guardian Beasts. As you can see, it's a defensive-style, so you can charge the core with external shocks if you use the Brilliant Heaven Seven Lights well. And since I chose to use the Dual Core method to actively utilize its core charging characteristics, the user will have to control it well. Ah, the power output is 20 times that of the Black Tiger."
Jae-seok was bewildered by the explanation. "What? 20 times the output? No, what kind of upgrade could be done every day? And an upgrade to such an extent?"
"It has been 20 years for me. It's enough time to upgrade it."
"...Alright then. Come to think of it, you did say that that was how the time in that Unique World or something flowed. If it's already to this extent in the Intermediate-difficulty stage, then the High-difficulty stage will be even worse, won't it?"
His words contained signs of worry, but I roughly shrugged and disregarded it. Honestly it wasn't really a big deal. Then, I said, "Oh, and you, this thing."
Thud. I placed a new Gigas down again. It was also 2.5 meters tall, but its weight was not even comparable to that of Black Tortoise.
"It's the Vermillion Bird, one of the Four Guardian Beasts. It's made of 100 percent specially processed Mithril. It's made to focus on speed battles and flight is possible. Although Vermillion is included in its name, as you can see, it's black in color. There's a ceiling in the stage, so don't act up and fly around, and just focus on fighting a speed battle." Just like that, I handed over the Gigas and had a quick chat with the two of them while having lunch. Then, after a while, I returned to the Albatross ship by invoking Recall. "So busy, it's really busy. Genie, how's the score records for The Great War?"
A considerable amount of data is being updated. There are most probably a lot of people who are testing it because they have improved their skills of handling a Gigas while progressing with the stage.. Hooohhh. Genie’s voice trailed off as she drew a sharp breath. This was a rare occurrence.
I asked, "Is there some sort of problem?"
It's not a problem. It's just that... There's someone who scored 1.7 million points.
"Oh, really?" I raised an eyebrow.
Players who scored more than 100,000 points in The Great War Ranking System could qualify as a reserve pilot. If they scored more than 500,000 points, they would be treated as a skilled pilot. They would only be treated as a top-class pilot who could ride a Human-rank Gigas or greater if they scored more than 1 million points. Moreover, if they scored more than 10 million points, they would be classified as a pilot with the qualifications of a Gigant Master who could ride on a Star-rank or greater.
"Then doesn't that mean that it's a pilot great enough to ride on a Human-rank Gigas?"
I don't think that's necessarily the case. That score was calibrated in exchange for excluding the existence of Ability.
Piloting was, of course, an important factor for a Gigas pilot, but what really mattered was the spiritual talent to possess and use Ability. Without this talent, aside from them not having their own Ability, they also couldn't use the Ability built-in in the Gigas. Needless to say, it was impossible to exceed the limits of Ability unless the piloting control was excellent.
"But it's all for naught. Even with that talent, there's no Ability built into the Gigas I made anyway," I commented. That was the most essential limit of my Gigas, which did not have an Iron Heart. I was proud of the fact that I had made a Beast-rank with my own hands, but as long as the foundation of it was a Lightning Heart or a Soul Engine, and not an Iron Heart, the limitations were clear.
"Well, that's good news, anyway. It'll be worth it to assign a Gigas to that player." At the moment when I nodded…
Captain-nim, all the expeditioners has got on board Eden.
"Great, then I'll bring it out right away." I immediately used the Warp function of the Albatross ship. The set coordinates were where the most prospective migrants existed, and the place where the expeditioners wanted to go the most. It was New York.
Shiiiiiiing! However, as soon as we were teleporting…
"It's Iron Mask!"
"He really came! It's the real Iron Mask!"
"Ohhh, Dear God!!"
"Iron Mask! Iron Mask!"
I could only feel confused by the sudden thunderous roars. "W-What are these people doing?"
A white man approached me as I was in a state of bewilderment. "I welcome you to America! To be able to meet you is..."
"Ah, wait. Wait a minute." First, I raised out my palm and stopped him from continuing. Fortunately, the location we arrived in was quite a large area and there were no high-rise buildings nearby. And upon confirming that environment, I mustered up my power. "Uuushaaa. One, two." I took out the Carrier, Eden.Previous Chapter Next Chapter