Chapter 4. Fight Against 100 Men (1)

The pillar of light vanished.

Kang Oh, who looked identical to the real life Jae Woo, appeared in shabby beginner-level clothing.

He was located in the middle of a square bustling with people.

"Inviting a damage dealer and healer for the Alhaitz Cemetery. Must be at least level 100. Prefer experience. We hunt for a long time."

"Selling the priest-only robes, Robes Blessed by Alice. Please make a bid. If you don't know the market price, please don't talk to me."

"Inviting members to the 'Let's Run' guild. Must be at least level 50. Only for active players!"

Kang Oh scanned his surroundings.

"It's Javen Square."

In the half year that Jae Woo was stuck training his body he had stuffed his brain full of all sorts of information on Arth.

There was an enormous amount of information regarding Arth inside his brain.

Thus, he knew exactly where he was by seeing the statue in the plaza.

"The closest training center from here has to be the Rain Training Center."

As he'd planned prior, Kang Oh headed towards the training center.

Since he'd memorized the geography of Altein, nothing got in his way.

"Character info."

While he was heading to the Rain Training Center, he checked his stats.


[Lv1 Kang Oh]

Job: Jobless

Disposition: Neutral

Title: Beginner

Fame: 10

HP&MP: 110/100

Stamina: 100

[Main Stats]

Physical: 11 (The strength of one's body)

Mental: 11 (The strength of one's mind)

Magic: 10 (The ability to use magic)

Sense: 11 (The ability to use skills)

Remaining points: 0

[Side Stats]

None.

(Appears when certain conditions are met. These stats will increase or fall depending on the user's actions.)


By looking at the stats individually, more in-depth information could be ascertained regarding their capabilities.

For example, Physical showed muscular strength, agility, reflexes, etc.

Kang Oh already knew the specifics to each main stat, so he didn't need to look them over.

'The bonus stat distribution is good too.'

Normally, one's main stats started at 10, but his stats (physical, mental, and sense) were all higher.

It was due to the scan.

Dreamgate encouraged its players to scan their physical data and transfer it to their characters.

This was because it was proven that scanned characters, rather than normal character, put less stress on the body.

Thus, starting out as a scanned character yielded bonus points.

As if to say 'just do it already!'

"Though there aren't that many people who do do it."

There were many players who customized their character rather than undergoing the scanning. Since they would be cooler or more beautiful.

Kang Oh was in good health, was able to receive bonus stats, and retained his trained body, so he had absolutely no reason to forgo the scanning.

'I'm here.'

Kang Oh, who'd already arrived, opened the door to the Rain Training Center. 

However...!

"Huh?"

Once he opened the door, he felt something on his face...

Hyper Intuition. It was definitely Hyper Intuition!

* * * 

Kang Oh bowed his head.

It was because a training sword came flying towards his head.

"Oh?"

The old man who'd attacked him grinned.

'Wait, who's this slit-eyed old man?'

Kang Oh furrowed his brow. 

"Try dodging this one too."

The old man swung his sword.

Kang Oh felt that chilling sensation once more.

He quickly withdrew a sword from his inventory, blocking the area where he felt a chill. The old man then struck in that very place with his sword.

His Hyper Intuition, which sensed danger, had definitely activated.

Daahk.

Their swords clashed.

Kang Oh made use of the recoil to retreat.

'I feel my Hyper Intuition even in the game.'

Kang Oh felt that there was a high chance that his Hyper Intuition wouldn't work.

Since it was a game.

However, his Hyper Intuition had activated.

If not for the old man in front of him, he felt like he'd run around with joy.

But the old man didn't even give him a chance to be happy.

"Haha."

The old man laughed as he attacked Kang Oh. His expression was akin to a child that was playing with their toy.

Ddak.

Kang Oh blocked the old man's attacks with a combination of his Hyper Intuition and his combat experience. He also immediately understood the current situation.

'This is the event where the boss teaches you himself.'

Normally, one would receive a quest from one of the training center's instructors, and then by hitting a wooden doll about 100 times, would receive the side stat, Tenacity.

However, when the boss appeared, a special event would trigger in each of the training centers.

'In Rain, it's probably...'

"Damn it," Kang Oh cursed.

'The Endurance (to physical attacks) event!'

The boss, Rain, would beat the player again and again, resulting in the side stat, Endurance! 

"Damn it, why?"

Why did it have to be the Endurance event!?

It could've been any other event, but he'd gotten one of the worst. He had no choice but to furrow his brow.

"Get hit while I'm still being nice."

Rain approached Kang Ho, tilting his head like a gangster.

'I got to hold out for now.'

Kang Oh trusted in his Hyper Intuition and Arth itself.

Arth was truly an amazing game.

Each NPC had their own life, personality, history, and family.

They were like a human being.

These NPCs were completely different from the ones in Warlord; those would do only what they were programmed to do and all the results would be the same!

Thus, there was nothing set in stone in Arth. There were only choices. As well as an infinite number of outcomes based on those decisions!

There must exist an outcome where one isn't beaten up by Rain.

"You're holding on, huh."

Rain's sword didn't stop.

Kang Oh barely dodged or blocked Rain's attacks.

"How about this?"

The more he did, the faster Rain's sword became.

Kang Oh realized that at this rate, he wouldn't last long. The difference in their abilities was too wide.

'I have to end this.'

Kang Oh decided to attack, rather than defend.

But Rain, befitting his status as a boss, didn't have any openings. Thus, his Hyper Intuition, which guided him towards his opponent's openings, was silent.

Moreover, Rain's sword was truly fast.

Even if he knew where the sword was coming from ahead of time, he could barely block Rain's strikes.

At some point, he'd reached his limit; he couldn't block Rain's sword any longer. Ultimately, his legs were struck. 

"Ugh."

Because it was a game, the pain wasn't immense, but Kang Oh lost his balance and fell to the floor.

Now, Rain would enthusiastically pummel him. He would hit him hard for all the trouble he gave him!

However, he didn't lose consciousness even as he fell.

'The side!'

Rain became slightly careless and Kang Oh's Hyper Intuition zeroed in on his opening.

He thrusted with all his strength behind it!

He'd attacked while falling, so there wasn't any strength behind it. But still, it did indeed make contact with Rain's body.

Plop.

Kang Oh fell completely.

"Hmm. You're pretty good," Rain looked at his side and said.


[You have been acknowledged by the Lightning Swordsman, Rain. Your fame has increased, and Rain will no longer attack you.]


Ooh!

Kang Oh stood up abruptly at the reassurance that he wouldn't be attacked anymore.

"It's nothing."

He really wanted to say, 'You crazy geezer!', but held himself back.

It seemed obvious that if he cursed at him now, he'd only get a sword for his troubles. Endure. Endure it.

"Aw, you're no fun at all."

Rain quickly turned around and left, as if he'd lost all interest in Kang Oh.


[The side stat, Indomitable, has been created.]

[The higher Indomitable is, the more you can conquer your fears, and the better you can do against foes more powerful than yourself.]


"You damn geezer!"

Once he'd confirmed that Rain was gone, he let out a long-awaited curse.

'He just did what he wanted!'

He spat on the floor and then entered the training center.

"Welcome. This is Rain Training Center..."

"That's far enough. Please just give me the quest."

Kang Oh, who'd obtained a quest from an instructor, struck a wooden doll a 100 times and obtained the Tenacity side stat.


[The side stat, Tenacity, has been created.]

[The higher your Tenacity stat, the harder it is for your abilities to fall.]


"You have talent in the martial arts. Would you like to become a student of our..."

It was exactly the kind of thing a piano teacher would say to one's parents. 'Oh my, your child is so talented!'

"No thanks!"

Kang Oh refused immediately and left the training center.

* * *

Altein's gates were open as always. Kang Oh left through the gates out into the grassy plains.

The beginners were busy killing monsters.

Monsters like Apple Slimes, Melon Slimes, Diseased Rats, Slow-footed Rabbits, etc... 

Kang Oh approached a nearby wandering Melon Slime.

And struck at Hyper Intuition's indicated opening with his beginner sword.

Tak!

The slime expelled shards of red light.

In Arth, shards of light were used instead of blood.

Obviously, the more shards there were and the larger they were, the more damage the monster sustained.

If shards of red light scattered like right now, then it indicated a critical hit.

Tong tong! (means fat/chubby)

The Melon-colored slime glared at Kang Oh and bounced its body towards him.

A tackle!

Kang Oh moved so that he wouldn't feel a chill, and evaded its attack.

As a result, Kang Oh received 0 damage.

Like in real-life, if he wasn't hit, he wouldn't take any damage.

Avoid! Critical Hit! Avoid! Critical Hit!

By using his Hyper Intuition, Kang Oh continuously repeated the action of evading and attacking.


[You have defeated a Melon Slime.]


"By aiming for its weak points, I get critical hits. And I can avoid its attacks before it hits me!"

Hyper Intuition.

In Arth, this skill was the best. And it was also a skill only he possessed.

'Hyper Intuition! If I use this well, then...'

* * * 

Although it was a weekday, Jae Woo went to the Swordmaster dojo.

"Didn't you say you couldn't come by on weekdays?" Deok Bae said as he looked at him.

"Instructor, please help me."

"With what?"

"Please spar with me while I'm wearing a blindfold."

Jae Woo thought he'd say something like, 'Are you crazy?', but Deok Bae just smiled and tilted his head.

"Fighting while blindfolded. It's a classic."

Blocking one's sight in order to train one's other senses was a classic training method for martial artists. 

Jae Woo's objective wasn't to train his senses, but to complete a certain quest.

"Alright, let's get going immediately."

"Yes. Thank you very much."

At the beginning, Jae Woo sparred against Deok Bae with his eyes closed and Deok Bae holding back.

Fortunately, he wasn't too lost due to his Hyper Intuition. He reacted naturally, moving his trained body in accordance with his Hyper Intuition's direction.

When he became accustomed to fighting one person, Jae Woo slowly added more people into the fray.

And that's how one whole week passed.

In that time, he became familiar with fighting several opponents at one time without his sight.

"I think this is good enough."

Jae Woo accessed Arth once more.

* * *

Altein.

The capital of the Altein Empire, which had once united the entire continent of Arth.

It was once called the sacred city, Altein.

With the people overthrowing the empire, Altein was now the largest city on the Arth continent. It was an independent city ruled by an elected mayor.

Though the Empire was no more, there still remained some huge buildings of when it unified the entire continent. 

One such building was the Holiseum!

It was shaped exactly like a coliseum, but it was entirely snow white. And if one were to look closely, they would find other differences as well.

But it was still a building with the same objective as a coliseum.

Fighting matches!

The Holiseum's fighting matches, which opened on the weekends, was the sport most enjoyed by the citizens of Altein.

Arth's fight matches weren't places of slaughter or carnage, but to show one's skills.

Renowned gladiators were beloved by Altein's citizens as sports stars.

Plus, once every 4 years, the Holiseum would host the Rakan Carnival, where the strongest would be decided.

When that time came, the strong and those who wanted to bear witness to the strong came here.

Of course, Kang Oh had no interest in participating in the fight matches nor the Rakan Festival.

There was another reason why he'd come to the Holiseum.

"Here, huh."

Kang Oh had arrived in front of a stairway that went underneath the Holiseum. A chilly wind blew from within. 

Once he went down, he was met by an arched passageway.

"Are you a challenger?"

A man, wearing a gladiator's helmet, sat on a chair in the middle of the passageway.

'The Rakan's Pride helmet, which was created by the Altein Empire's master blacksmith! So this must be Burkan.'

This helmet was great enough to bear the name of Rakan, the god of victory and war, and the helmet's possessor was Burkan, a gladiator said to have never been defeated.

"That's correct, great gladiator."

The gladiator master, Burkan!

If it at all possible, he'd like to get close to him.

"Follow me."

Kang Oh followed Burkan.

The torches, which adorned both sides of the walls, illuminated the passageway like street lights. And the passageway went further and further underground.

At some point, Burkan stopped.

At the end of the passageway, there was a tightly shut iron gate.

"Once you open and enter this gate, the Fight Against 100 Men will begin. You know the rules, right?"

The Fight Against 100 Men!

This was the quest that Jae Woo had sought.

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