Chapter 3

Chapter 3


Lim Cheolho was the core of the team of 33 scientists who built the virtual reality system and was the person who led the development of Satisfy by establishing the S.A Group.

He had many titles: the one with the knowledge of a god, the creator of the virtual reality system, the person who changed the world, the father of Satisfy, the wealthiest person in the nation, one of the most influential figures in the world, a person who received requests for naturalization dozens of times a year from all over the world, the pride of South Korea, etc.

His countless titles meant that he received the spotlight every time he attended international events, and his influence transcended the American president, making him the world’s envy.

In fact, his life wasn’t as flashy as discussed in the media. He was the head of Satisfy’s development team, as well as head of the S.A Group, so he slept less than four hours a day on average. But was he unhappy?  No, it was something he wanted for himself. Lim Cheolho was proud and enthusiastic about Satisfy, which had captured the hearts of two billion people.

“Umm.”

Lim Cheolho was woken up by the sound of his phone ringing. He checked the time and saw that it was 2:50 a.m. It had only been 20 minutes since he went to sleep. The accumulated fatigue from a month’s worth of late nights crushed Lim Cheolho’s thinking ability. 

His voice was rather sharp as he spoke into the phone, "What is going on? What?”

An urgent voice was heard over the phone. Lim Cheolho immediately woke up. “I’m going immediately! Be prepared to give me the report as soon as I arrive!”

Lim Cheolho got dressed and entered the elevator, heading to the underground floor of his house. In the underground parking lot, limited edition cars from expensive brands were parked in order by type. He climbed into a sports car with the butterfly style doors and drove to the company at full speed.

"What happened?”

Satisfy’s Operations Office.

Lim Cheolho ran into it and asked without recovering his breathing. Yoon Nahee, the head of the operations team, bowed to Lim Cheolho and adjusted her orange horn-rimmed glasses.

"It happened five minutes ago.”

“How interesting!”

The excited Lim Cheolho sat down. He turned his gaze to the huge monitor on the wall and the stopped video started playing. The main character of the video was a level 73 warrior. An Asian youth found a cave at the northern end of an island, held Pagma’s rare book, and used it.

The staff handed two documents to Lim Cheolho as he watched the video. Lim Cheolho read it and rubbed his chin.

“In reality, as well as in Satisfy, he is a normal person with no outstanding traits. After being exposed to Satisfy, he suffered from a lack of self-control, resulting in the lowest level of life. How did this person find the cave at the north end that was concealed by a complex algorithm? Does he have an exploration talent that he doesn’t know about?”

According to the analysis from the development team’s ‘Morpheus’ supercomputer, the North End Cave was supposed to be found by users in one year and ten months. In other words, it meant that the appearance of the legendary book, ‘Pagma’s Rare Book’, was originally supposed to be one year and ten months later.

One young man broke everyone’s expectations and hastened the timing. The number of users who did their 2nd class advancement was less than 100, and he was now the sole legendary class in the game.

Lim Cheolho was greatly interested in the user who gave him a great surprise. But Yoon Nahee didn’t think of the young man as anything special.

"It was merely a product of coincidence and obsession that he discovered the North End Cave.”

“I see.”

The young man called Shin Youngwoo, whose player name was Grid, stayed in only one city for a year and accumulated more than 8,000 reputation in that city. His intelligence stat was also less than 50. 

This completed the conditions needed to receive Earl Ashur’s quest. He explored areas infested with monsters higher than level 200 for three months without giving up, even though he was less than level 80 and tasted death several times.

The most impressive thing about him was his discovery the North End Cave. He found the quest item and was blinded by greed. By choosing to log out, he met the requirements for the linked quest to possess the legendary book. 

‘There are many ways to meet the activation requirements, but the most extreme one is logging out.’

Anyway, as Yoon Nahee said, this chain was the result of coincidence and a stubborn personality. However, the young man proved that coincidences overlapping several times could create a positive cloud. It also reminded him how valuable patience and effort was.

‘Luck and persistent are also great abilities.’

Yoon Nahee asked a question to Lim Cheolho, who was watching the young man on the monitor with sparkling eyes.

"How does the minus level work?”

"That is also a cloud of luck.”

“Huh?”

A scientist was talking about luck? Lim Cheolho laughed and explained,

“As you know, users below level 10 get the beginner bonus, so their experience won’t decrease even if they die. This means that they don’t suffer from the level drop phenomenon. But in fact, a hidden system exists. Level reduction due to quest failure will be enforced regardless of the beginner benefits. However, there is no way for a beginner to receive a quest that would cause a level decrease, so it was likely to remain a hidden system forever.”

Lim Cheolho enjoyed the fragrance of the coffee that a staff member passed him and continued,

“The team predicted that if this quest followed the normal course, the one who received ‘Earl Ashur’s Secret Request’ quest would be a minimum of level 350. If the user is over level 350, they have a high chance of clearing the ‘Earl Ashur’s Anger’ quest and becoming Pagma’s Descendant. In other words, they wouldn’t be lacking in ability like that young man and wouldn’t have failed the quest. Only this young man was able to find the hidden system through this quest.”

Yoon Nahee summarized it succinctly.

Grid made an extreme choice during the quest because he was afraid of losing the hard-earned item. At this point, the penalty of falling to level 1 after becoming a legendary class was applied. 

Users under level 10 wouldn’t experience a drop in experience even if they died, due to the beginner bonus. But there were no exceptions to a failed quest’s penalty. Grid was forced to lose two levels due to the quest failure, even though he was level 1, and as a result, he was now stuck at level -1.

This was why Lim Cheolho called it a cloud of luck...

“Then can a minus level gain experience in the normal way and earn stat points for every level gained?”

Lim Cheolho nodded. “Right. He is currently level -1 and will have to gain two levels to reach level 1, where he will then have 20 stat points.”

"...This means his base stats will be 20 points higher than a character of the same level.”

"That’s right. That young man received a benefit that wouldn’t have been possible if he was a player capable of clearing Earl Ashur’s quest. He is a really lucky guy.”

The expressions of the employees grew serious. Yoon Nahee asked him, “A legendary class has appeared two years sooner than expected. A legendary class is already very powerful, so if he has 20 more stat points than his level, won’t the balance be broken?”

Lim Cheolho showed her the papers listing Shin Youngwoo’s information.

"This graph shows that his level was quite low in proportion to the amount of time he spent hunting. He was a foolish person who stayed in one city for a year without leaving to find adventures or a more pleasant environment. I don’t think he has great talent for the game like the rankers. You don’t have to worry.” 

"Is it really okay? In the eyes of other users, it might be enough to make him look special.”

"What can we do, even if it isn’t okay? We have a policy of not directly interfering in the game, so think positively. Isn’t it a good thing that an ordinary user, not a ranker, obtained it? Besides, Pagma’s Descendant is relatively weak in combat compared to the other legendary classes...”

Lim Cheolho, who was watching the young man on the monitor, suddenly flinched and fell silent. He shook his head at Yoon Nahee’s puzzled expression.

“No, it isn’t a big deal. I will be going now. You have suffered a lot from the late nights of work. I will give you a bonus soon, so please suffer a bit more.”

The atmosphere of the employees became excited at the word ‘bonus’. Lim Cheolho smiled and left the office.

‘Why all of a sudden?’

Only Yoon Nahee was silent among the raucous staff. She felt nervous as she thought about Lim Cheolho’s surprised look. On the other hand, Lim Cheolho’s expression subtly changed in the elevator as he muttered Shin Youngwoo’s name.

***

I lost my place of residence because I was expelled from Patrian. Therefore, I resurrected at a temple near my place of death. Oh and by the way, it was actually a temple for the god of darkness, Yatan.

Dark energy hung around the dark room, while robed black magicians wandered around with gloomy expressions. People were shouting and pounding their chests around an altar, but it was too creepy to watch. 

Kiyaaaaak!

The sharp scream of a woman in pain came from underground.

"...Well, it is nothing compared to that notorious place.”

I had already finished my military service. If someone had been next to me, then they would’ve felt the general, oppressive atmosphere of a horror movie. I wasn’t a female user so I felt no fear at the Yatan Temple.

“S-S-Status window.”

My voice was shaking but I tried not to let it affect me. I ignored the surroundings as much as possible and concentrated on the status window in front of me.

Name: Grid 

Level: -1 (0/20)

Class: Pagma’s Descendant

* The probability of adding additional options when making items will increase.

* The probability of item enhancement will increase. 

* All equipment items can be worn unconditionally. However, the is a penalty depending on the rating of the item. 

Title: One who Became a Legend

* Abnormal conditions don’t work well on you.

* You won’t die when health is at the minimum.

* Easily acknowledged.

Health: 14/14      Mana: 3/3

Strength: 1   Stamina: 1   Agility: 1   Intelligence: 1  Dexterity: 1

Composure: 1   Indomitable: 1   Dignity: 1   Insight: 1

Stat Points: 0

Weight: 3,035/20

* The weight limit exceeds 200%, so movement speed is reduced by 100%. 

The body is heavy and cannot exert any power properly. 

The probability of receiving the ‘weakened’ state has become really high. 

A flood of emotions filled my head.

The minus level was something I couldn’t understand, and the stats that didn’t allow me to win a fight against even a rabbit caused anger. However, the special functions given by the title and profession overwhelmed me.


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