Vol 2. Chapter 98: The Salvation of God (35)

It was as I had expected, since it was hard to find an expedient and it seemed impossible to play in a bug-like way. It was not because the stage was a God-game that had completely gotten rid of all the bug factors. 

"No, this shit..." I mumbled to myself in disbelief. "Isn't it too simple..."

There were commonalities being maintained throughout the stages regardless of level; a powerful but too hard to find, expendable weapon, a frightening and repugnant environment in which one's mind would fall apart with time, a vicious trap, enemies with strengths and weaknesses… There were also many other factors. However, it was now different.

I looked at the white Holy Sword stuck in the middle of the empty hole with a puzzled look. "The main weapon is just left out in the open, huh." I noticed that this change was accompanied by a weakening of power.

"It's just a structure made out of one big room, with no traps and no mazes to wander around." I realized that it was now impossible for monsters to launch a surprise attack, because the monsters would perceive me and be summoned by my action of pulling out the sword in front of me.

"It feels off. It's not even difficult to find, and for every enemy I defeat, there is plenty of water and food provided," I grumbled, knowing that there was no way for me to escape from the monsters. I definitely had to fight. In other words, in return for Project End lowering the difficulty of the stage, it was now impossible for the strategy guide to be used on the stage. 

Clink! As soon as I pulled out the Holy Sword embedded on the floor, a new Holy Sword was created in its place. A Death Knight was summoned after that. Kwakkkkk! Only after I summoned Napoleon's long sword and killed the summoned Death Knight in a single blow did a text pop up.

-Congratulations! You won!

-You have killed 9 out of 10 Death Knights!

-The Death Knight King will make its appearance after all the Death Knights have been defeated!

-Please pull out the Holy Sword after you have had sufficient meals and rest!

Everything felt...really kind. The current situation had the whole process being literally explained in a kind, pleasing manner. To me, it felt mocking.

The structure is so simple that there's no leeway to raid it. 

"No, wouldn’t this current situation ruin its concept? What kind of horror is this? Is it horror because I’m fighting with a Death Knight, which is essentially a corpse?" I raised an eyebrow.

There was no such thing as a sure-win method in janggi and baduk[1] The same could be said for the new form of the stage. 

This process of defeating one enemy and resting before defeating another was the basic repetition of the Low-difficulty stage 10 times. There wasn't any confusing or secret hidden element anywhere, and was just a head-on confrontation. If I were to make a strategy guide, I could create one that aimed at the Death Knight's attack pattern. However, that was a strategy guide that anyone could make. I don’t have to be the one to do it.

Kwaaaaaak! I swung the sword and crushed the Death Knight King. For me, being on board the Napoleon, there was no particular difference between the Level 14 Death Knights or the Level 15 Death Knight King. 

-Clear!

- Do you want to start the next battle? If you knock down the enemies in quick succession, your number of clears will cancel the corresponding number of Death Procession. At the end of the stage, the Death Procession that isn't retracted will be confirmed and cannot be reversed.

"Start." Once I responded, the background reverted back to its initial clean state. Again, there was a Holy Sword stuck in the middle of the empty hole.

Clink! The moment I pulled out the Holy Sword, another Holy Sword appeared in its place. Clinkkk! Clink! Clinkkkkkk! Clink! I pulled out the Holy Sword a few times in a row, which essentially summoned one Death Knight after another.

Clinkkk! Clink! Clinkkkkkk! Clink! Clinkkk! The Holy Swords that I pulled out tumbled on the floor. Those were pretty powerful Divine Objects, but they were nothing more than junk items from my perspective. After all, I was currently on board the Napoleon. Looking at the 10 Death Knights that were summoned, I… 

<The word impossible doesn’t exist in my dictionary>

<Lightning Flash> 

BzzzapppAs I swung the long sword, worthy of Napoleon's overwhelming size at 30 meters tall, the vast empty hole was swept away by a storm. 

Crackle crackle!!! In one stroke, five Death Knights were swept away. I aimed for all the enemies with one strike, but the remaining five managed to run light lightning or lean down to avoid the attack. In fact, the remaining ones even aimed for a counterattack. 

Tataaaak!!! However, the lethal attack that was exerted by the black Sword Qi only left Napoleon's body with some light scratches. 

Crackle crackle!! Bones flew everywhere, as all 10 Death Knights were annihilated with just two swings. Then, the Death Knight King was summoned. However...Napoleon's sword was already swinging down on its head.

How dare you?! The Death Knight King, who surprisingly recited a line of words, released a black Sword Qi.  Then, it struck Napoleon's sword with amazing reflexes. Although it had a really quick response… 

SquawwwkkkIt was unable to block the attack which could even crush the rib bones of a Level 19 Specter Dragon.

"Genie, how long did it take?"

Including the restart time, 11 minutes and 28 seconds.

"I can reduce the time even further."

-Do you want to start the next battle?

-Do you want to start the next battle?

-Do you want to start...

Brilliant Heaven Seven Lights was a martial arts style, but it was less of a form of martial arts and more like a technique that used vibrations. Therefore, the better the understanding of vibration, the more variations the combat method had. Hence, rather than restricting itself in some form, it was more effective to use a simple and intuitive way to fight. And, that kind of freedom suited my style that included all sorts of special powers.

Brilliant Heaven Seven Lights. Blue… Wiiiiiing!! The longsword containing a strong vibration, which tore apart the 10 Death Knights, also massacred the Death Knight King. 

Including the restart time, 10 minutes and 15 seconds.

Including the restart time, 10 minutes and 1 seconds.

Including the restart time, 9 minutes and 24 seconds.

I kept shaving the time off. From 8 minutes and 58 seconds to 8 minutes and 33 seconds, then 7 minutes and 50 seconds. Later, I cleared the stage within 7 minutes and 48 seconds. A moment later, it was 7 minutes and 40 seconds. Then...

Including the restart time, 6 minutes and 15 seconds! It's a new record!

"Ahhh, it's getting tough. Although the fighting time only takes a few minutes, the text announcement, the summoning time, and the restart time are almost 5 minutes long." Grumbling, I hung the vibrating longsword across my back. The sword, in the form of a Long Sword, was inserted into the spine, which was like a sheath. 

-Clear!

- Do you want to start the next battle? If you knock down the enemies in quick succession, your number of clears will cancel the corresponding number of Death Procession. At the end of the stage, the Death Procession that isn't retracted will be confirmed and cannot be reversed.

 "Genie, how many times have I cleared the stage?"

 You've cleared it 3,749 times now.

"So I've done about one-third of it? How long has it been?"

It's been 26 days, 8 hours and 34 minutes. 

"That means if I keep working my ass off, I can finish 10,000 times in much less time than 100 days then."

I expected that it would take 'at least' 100 days, but things have completely changed. 

The latest update, taking on this simple structure, was not all just bad. It had become impossible for those who were incapable of getting points, since it couldn’t be cleared with the strategy guide. However, the play time had been shortened, which was a favorable situation for multi-time players who cleared the stage more than once. Moreover, even if they did not have the Throne of Honor, wasn't this a situation where they were given sufficient food and water?

-Do you want to start the next battle?

-If you don't start in 2 minutes and 30 seconds, the challenge will come to an end. 

"Challenge." Once I responded, I invoked Steel-ification. My consciousness naturally moved over to the Unique World. 

As I sneaked a look, I saw Napoleon pulling out the Holy Sword, which was a Bastard Sword of a considerable size. The sword was understandably short in comparison to the nearly five-meter-tall Napoleon who wielded it. It looked a little shabby, but it was a necessary weapon for Napoleon, who couldn’t use the Iron Heart's soul power or Ability if not for the compensation of the book and I. 

"How are the newcomers?"

They have been placed at the basic accommodations. There are more people who chose to take a break or observe the atmosphere of the existing members than those who entered training or hard labor. But, there are also a lot of people who just spend their time playing games. 

"Well, playing around is not a big problem now. Just don't let it become a problem later." After saying so, I headed to the bathroom. Unlike my sweaty body in the stage, I was completely clean and simply immersed myself in the bathtub to refresh myself. Taking a long break, I then asked, "Genie, how many people are going to die in the stage this time?" 

Probably a considerable amount. However, it's not to the point where it will be of concern.

"How come?"

Because those who lack the capabilities will not even challenge the stage in the first place. This situation is similar to how it was in the Low-difficulty stage. And unlike the Low-difficulty stage, 5,000 units of Beast-rank Gigas are added into this particular fray. 

The addition of the Beast-rank Gigas would certainly produce encouraging results, because the Beast-rank Gigas were mainly given to Low-ranking players who had talents in piloting. They weren’t given to the players who cleared the stage hundreds and thousands of times by playing nth-amount of times. Still, I did wonder if they were enough to fill the gap of the missing strategy guide.

There are also pilots who have been raised in the Unique World. They are quite talented personnels, because they are elites who have completed the Leonhart Empire's curriculum.

As I listened to Genie, I thought for a moment. If I wanted to, I could achieve a Perfect Clear on the stage this time, because there was a loophole that had already been discovered. 'But if I use that method, the Project End stage would somehow cope with it.'

Project End was somehow coping with the expedient methods I had used so far. With the number of plays that had not even been mentioned limited to 10,000 times, there was no way I could tolerate the situation of 'I will clear the stages for the whole of mankind'.

In other words, there was only one way to use this method. 'This judgment of mine may kill tens of millions of people.' And it was currently not an emergency situation. It was still Level 14, and my method couldn’t be used now. After all, we still had to get past Level 15, Level 16, and Level 17.

"Yeah... Let's have faith." After saying so, I accessed the stage using the Justice Weapon. Since I had already uploaded a post saying that there was no strategy guide, I roughly disregarded the relatively small number of viewers and examined the battle scene. Napoleon, standing at an unusually short height of five meters, smashed the Death Knight like an adult bullying a child. Noting the situation, I nodded. "Good. It's much stronger."

Napoleon's performance was constantly upgraded as my Gigas production capabilities grew and the Enchanter Corps' capabilities improved. In fact, Napoleon was the one who had all the abilities of the Four Guardian Beasts and the Golden Dragon. 

There are 13 types of incantations in the cape alone.

"That's not supposed to be 13 types. There are three types of effects that overlap."

Even with its huge size, I looked at Napoleon for a moment and fell asleep quietly. Then, I had a dream. 'Napol, Napol, Napoleon...'

"Ah, damn it, what kind of crappy dream is this? Am I tired from piloting it for just a month?" I was baffled and spontaneously rested for a week to make up for all my concentration. Then, I went back to the workshop after regaining some mental composure. 

"To be honest, if I was determined, I could finish it in much less than 100 days, but..." However, as I thought about it more, there was no reason to purposely do that. If I were to progress while matching the update rate of the crazy Project End, I would need a distorted and advantageous flow of time. 

Just like that, a few months passed. Now, in addition to Soul Engines, I could now use Enchant in all sorts of areas. The growth of the Enchanter Corps, which was now the main faction of the Unique World, made that possible. 

Half a year had passed again. By now, the weapon, armor, and even each of the springs and screws of the Gigas were also enchanted with magic. I began mass-producing Double Engine and Triple Engine Systems. I even tried building a Quadra Engine, but no other pilot could control it other than me. "I'll have to take it to So-hyang later." 

There was a lot to look forward to from the young girl. In fact, it was no exaggeration to say that she was the only human being in the present world who had the potential to ride a Star-rank Gigas.

Then, time went by again, and on the first year… I thought about how to attach more traits into one part...when a text appeared in front of my eyes. 

-Death Procession has all been cancelled. 

-Congratulations! The stage has been cleared perfectly! Rewards are given based on contribution.

- Your ranking is 7th. 

"…Uh." I paused, because the text appeared when Napoleon had barely exceeded the 5,000th Clear. Whether I stood up due to bewilderment or not, the stage had ended. "Huh? Huuuuuuuhhhhhh?????" In a good way, I knew that there was something unimaginable going on.


1. Janggi and Baduk are traditional Korean board games, equivalent to checkers and chess.

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