Chapter 174

[Player ‘Argon’ has surrendered.]

[You have won the ranking battle.]


“What?” Hyeonu was so outraged that he forgot he was streaming and grabbed Yeongchan. “I saved you some face yet you hit me in the back of the head?” 

“Le... Let go of me first.” Yeongchan gasped like he was suffocating.

Hyeonu let go of Yeongchan’s collar.

“Cough cough. Spit!” He coughed a few times and waved his hand toward Hyeonu. Then Yeongchan disappeared from the arena. He ran away from Hyeonu.

Hyeonu was now left alone. He finally grasped the situation and howled pitifully like a wild wolf, Uwaaah!


***


After achieving a wounded victory, Hyeonu showed a furious pace. He played more than 10 ranking battles and destroyed all the rankers he met, stepping on them like they were weeds. Hyeonu really did this best. As such, his ranking surged rapidly, and he broke through to the master level.

Now there might be one or ten matches remaining before he would reach the top of the rankings. It depended purely on Hyeonu’s luck. If he was lucky enough to be matched with a grandmaster (ranked 1-9th), he might be able to reach the top spot in two or three matches.

Hyeonu desperately hoped for such a situation so that today’s stream could end smoothly. ‘Please...’

Then good news appeared before Hyeonu’s eyes.

-Breaking news) All of those ranked 1st to 10th are currently arena streaming.

-So the rankers in the top 50 are fleeing from the ranking battles.

-They suddenly stopped the ranking battles and said they needed a break. Crazy. ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

-Honestly, I have to admit it. They will just be shrimp caught between whales and end up exploding.

There was good news in the chat that all nine grandmasters had started the ranking battles.

‘Please let one of them be caught!’ Hyeonu earnestly prayed to a god he didn’t believe in for one of the nine grandmasters to be matched up with him. Just then, the surrounding landscape started to change. The matching was over. Hyeonu closed his eyes tightly.

‘Please...’

He hoped there would be a familiar face in front of him once he opened his eyes.


***


As a result, Hyeonu’s wish came true. A grandmaster stood in front of Hyeonu. Moreover, it was Teika—the person who was currently ranked number one in the arena.

Waaaah! It worked!’ Hyeonu shouted inwardly and smiled brightly when he saw Teika’s face. He smiled as if he had gained everything in the world.

...At least, until he heard the words that would come out of Teika’s mouth after this greeting.

“Hello. I’m Teika.”

“Yes, hello. I am Alley Leader,” Hyeonu responded to Teika’s greeting. He very excited because he could end the stream soon.

Hyeonu continued to speak as kindly as possible. “I guess I’ve risen a lot. I’m actually meeting Teika, first in the rankings.”

This kindness was sufficient for the man who would lose his throne to Hyeonu in a few minutes.

“I’m not number one anymore.”

Huh?

“It was just taken away.”

Huh?

“Rain is very strong,” Teika said with a casual expression. Rather, his smiling face looked pleasant. It was Hyeonu’s expression under the mask that was distorted. He had thought this was the end of his journey, only to find out it actually wasn’t the end yet. Hyeonu became a demon.

‘This means I stream some more?’

“That means... you are number two?”

“Yes, second place. Alley Leader, what is your ranking now?”

“I’m 43rd.”

43rd place—it was the result of five hours of streaming.

“I think I will be 43rd after this game. Still, I’m happy. I wanted to fight against you, Alley Leader. I’m envious of Reina. Haven’t you fought her three times? I can tolerate my ranking decreasing as long as I can compete with you.”

Hyeonu wasn’t listening to Teika as he declared, “Let’s stop talking and get started.”

It was because Teika didn’t have what Hyeonu wanted. His heart was already heading toward Rain. This person had the treasure he desired—the 1st place in the arena rankings. He was aiming for that great title.

“I am ready, Alley Leader.” Teika pulled his spear out of his inventory. Teika’s spear had a very unique look. The white spearhead contrasted with the dark red body of the spear that was reminiscent of blood. It was like a fallen angel—an angel with white wings soaked in red blood.

Hyeonu drew Dark Star and walked with it on his shoulder. This was the unique preparation posture for Alley Leader that he commonly used in Arena.

“Let’s get started,” Hyeonu said.

Teika moved the moment Hyeonu’s words finished. In modern martial arts, a long weapon was advantageous against swords. Using a sword against a long weapon was no different from holding cutlery to fight. Teika stepped forward precisely one step and stabbed with the spear.

This was a stabbing attack. It was an attack that connected him to Hyeonu in a straight line. Teika’s spear attack was accompanied by a creepy sound. Yet in the face of this frightening strike, Hyeonu swung his sword without changing his expression. The moment the spear entered his sight, he subconsciously blocked with his sword. Not only that, but he also deflected Teika’s spear.

‘Giant’s Power.’ Hyeonu wanted to end this match quickly. He couldn’t stop at a rest station. He would only stop if his car ran out of gas, and he had to stop by a gas station. Teika was a gas station. He was a gas station who would refuel Hyeonu, who was heading for the top spot in the rankings.


[Giant’s Power has been used.]

[Your strength stat has increased.]


Teika struck again during the short period of time when Hyeonu used Giant’s Power. It was an eerie stab because it was just as neat as before. Once again, Hyeonu easily resisted the attack. However, there was something else. There were three impact sounds.

Teika’s attacks just seemed like a single stab because of his speed. When he realized that his attacks weren’t working, so Teika stepped back and used a skill. ‘Blood!’

A stream of blood flew from Teika’s spear to hit Hyeonu. This time, Hyeonu didn’t intend to block it. A denser and stronger pure energy was fired from Hyeonu’s sword toward Teika’s red pure energy. It was Hyeonu’s trademark Crescent Moon Cut. The two pure energies clashed, trying to carry out the commands of their masters.

There was a huge roar as they collided. The sound was as loud as the power was strong. Before the aftermath of the collision disappeared, Hyeonu used Blink to narrow the distance to Teika.

The advantage of the spear was that it had a long range. Its weakness was that if the distance was narrowed, it would hard for the spear to be used. Hyeonu’s movement aimed appropriately at the weakness of the spear. However, Teika was well aware of that weakness. He felt Dark Star swinging toward him and lifted his spear, dispersing Dark Star’s trajectory.

‘Doesn’t he fight very well?’ Hyeonu was impressed when he saw Teika neatly blocking the blow he dealt with Blink. This level of skill was worthy of the number one person in the rankings. There was a moment of admiration.

‘This doesn’t mean I intend to lose.’

Hyeonu was in a hurry to rise.

‘Let’s see how long he can hold on.’

Then Hyeonu extended his sword again. This time, his attack was faster and more powerful than before. The black haze showed that Hyeonu was injecting magic power into his sword. Teika’s spear exploded every time it was attacked by Hyeonu. The continuous strikes caused Teika to keep stepping back.

‘It is stronger than I thought.’ It wasn’t just words. Teika actually thought it would be hard for him to beat Alley Leader.

He couldn’t help wondering, ‘How can I win?’

It was just that reality was cold. Winning depended on more than just skills. There was also the difference in specs. Alley Leader currently boasted specs that were unimaginable for a character that was only a few months old. From items to skills, Teika had no predominance. It was either equal or inferior. In particular, that red aura was a big problem.


[Player ‘Teika’ has entered a ‘slowed’ state.]


The skill accompanied by the message window about his slowed state was a shackle. It was a shackle that prevented him from escaping from the pit of defeat.

‘It is a bit daunting to stop now.’

Teika’s spear was a metal spear. This was a class-specific item. According to the law that it wouldn’t be destroyed until the durability reached 0, Hyeonu’s attacks were blocked without distinction between the spear’s blade and body. It was just that the spear also had its limitations. The spear’s durability was slightly reduced every time Hyeonu hit it.

‘I think Rain can still win... I just can’t see any gaps here.’ Teika realized that it was impossible for him to win against Alley Leader right now.

This didn’t mean he was giving up. He tried to find a possibility of winning. Teika thought about the skills that could be reused soon and tried to make a special skills composition that was different from usual. As a result, he succeeded in coming up with a linkage of skills that was completely different from the skill combo he normally used.

Teika predicted that the new linkage of skills would have an excellent effect on players at a level similar to him. Alley Leader was the first opponent. He was more suitable as a test subject than anyone else.

‘Blood!’ The blood-colored pure energy that Teika originally used reappeared at this moment. Unlike its gorgeous appearance, the bloody pure energy disappeared without a trace before Hyeonu’s light-hearted attack. However, this was to the extent that Teika expected.

‘It is an obvious result.’ Teika nodded slightly. He didn’t feel regretful. After all, it didn’t make sense that a player as fast as himself wouldn’t be able to stop Blood. Blood was just a stepping stone for the subsequent skills.

‘Blood Storm.’ Teika kicked off from the ground and charged toward Hyeonu. At this moment, Teika’s body burst forward like a beam of light. Simultaneously, his spear was surrounded by a bloody stream. It was the precursor of Blood Storm. Teika threw his spear without a moment of hesitation. Then a bloody swirl was released from the spear. The vortex of blood shot toward Hyeonu with a strong momentum.

Hyeonu did nothing and just watched it. If someone else saw it, they would’ve thought Hyeonu had no skill to stop the bloody wind.

‘This...’

“How did it come out so obviously?” Hyeonu mumbled in a small voice as he swung his sword toward the blood-colored storm.

‘Mysterious Sky Range.’

Hyeonu’s choice was Mysterious Sky Range. Dozens of long blades of pure energy appeared in the air. Then they charged toward the bloody vortex, tearing it apart. Like a deer in front of a lion, it was almost impossible to find a trace of the bloody wind by the time it reached Hyeonu.

The black pure energy then headed for Teika, as if eating up the bloody vortex wasn’t enough. Teika had been preparing for the next attack and had no way to stop the strong pure energy coming toward him. After being defeated by Rain, Teika was forced to suffer another defeat. This time it was to Hyeonu.


[Player ‘Gang Hyeonu’ has won.]

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