Chapter 413

People watching the match between the Charlotte Dragons and Crescent Moon recalled the incident that occurred less than a month ago.

“12 people can’t beat five? Alley Leader isn’t even fighting this time.”

“Is this a fake match? Does this make sense?”

It brought up the thought of match manipulation. There was definitely a case that had been investigated by the prosecution, for which the trial was still ongoing. Therefore, the scene that was occurring right before them now couldn’t be explained unless it was also a manipulated match.

In Crescent Moon, only five people were taking part in the battle. Yuri used heals and buffs from a distance, and Sunny summoned the undead and used curse magic. Meanwhile, Dwayne and Lee Hoon blocked the advance of the Charlotte Dragons along with the undead under the wall. Then there was Mason who was supporting the previous two people.

Five people were blocking 12. No, they were winning one-sidedly. This was despite the fact that Hyeonu was not participating in the battle.

“I have to report this. I can’t understand it no matter how I thought about it.”

“I think it is a bit strange as well... How can this be true?”

“The first time is hard, but the second is easy.”

“Isn’t the trial already over? Dozens of people were caught. Yet they want to do it again? So blatantly?”

Doubts spread quickly. Doing it the first time was hard, but it wouldn’t be difficult the second time. There was already a precedent. Seeing something similar happen again, people couldn’t help being suspicious about it. However, there were quite a few people who didn’t feel doubtful.

These were the enthusiastic fans of Alley Leader, who had seen Alley Leader’s videos from beginning to end. They just had to see passing scenes and could then guess which video the scene was in, including the time marker for the minutes and seconds. So, they took the situation of this battle as one that was to be expected.

“It seems like Alley Leader is merely standing still, but this isn’t the case.”

“His existence itself is enough.”

“This is the class of our Alley Leader. It is natural.”

Hyeonu’s fans knew too much. They didn’t just watch videos; some even wrote articles. Some of the people mentioned here were those who had a slight conflict with Hyeonu. In other words, they were the people who had experienced Hyeonu’s power personally. Kang Ujong and Jeong Byeongjin also belonged to this category of fans. They had known earlier than anyone else that Alley Leader was meleegod, so they naturally had to be interested in this battle.

“Now that he has completed his fourth class advancement, I think his debuffs have been strengthened?” Kang Ujong asked while grabbing for the snacks in Jeong Byeongjin’s hand.

“Who knows? I’m not sure because I don’t have any information about the skills. Still, they should generally be stronger,” Jeong Byeongjin answered vaguely.

Then he struck Kang Ujong’s hand that was reaching for his snacks.

“Seeing how Charlotte Dragons are worse off than before, they must have been given a larger penalty depending on the level or stats difference,” Kang Ujong spoke while touching the back of his hand that was now red. It was as if nothing had happened.

“No one in the domestic league can cope with it. UK Heights should be the same? They will just lose when they face Alley Leader. They are probably aiming for Arena Week... Unfortunately, it seems like they should first prepare for the wildcard match.” Jeong Byeongjin finished talking and diligently ate his snacks.

That was before Kang Ujong’s talons reached over again.


***


The game ended like this. Hyeonu stood still to the end and watched the battle. As mentioned earlier, he didn’t even move the Mysterious Sky Sword. Nevertheless, Crescent Moon won a perfect victory. So, an exception was made for an interview about this ridiculous thing.

Originally after the siege ended, players would have a break to adjust their condition before PvP began, but they broke this precedent to conduct an interview. It was because of everyone’s curiosity. In the commentator seats on the other side of the stage, there was a sight that would normally never be seen. A pro gamer was sitting in this space.

“I will conduct an interview with the captain of Charlotte Dragons, Gang Seok. Of course, the break time will be extended for however long as the interview is held for,” Jang Junhyung said. Then he handed a wireless microphone to Gang Seok, but he didn’t ask a question.

Instead, he was replaced by Chae Yunho, who was the commentator sitting next to Jang Junhyung.

“I will start by apologizing for interrupting your break,” Chae Yunho apologized at the beginning of the interview.

Gang Seok shook his head and replied, “No, it doesn’t matter since you are giving me extra time anyway. I think the audience is waiting for more sharp questions rather than apologies, so let’s do the interview.”

The audience responded well to Gang Seok’s witty answer. He gave them exactly what they wanted. They didn’t want the commentator’s apology; it didn’t matter. The story that would come from Gang Seok’s mouth was the important thing.

“Then I will ask what the audience is curious about. What happened?”

“They were perfect, and we were lacking. That’s it.” Gang Seok gave a blunt answer in response to Chae Yunho’s question.

“Then I’ll ask you again. What do you think is the exact cause of your defeat to Alley Leader in a battle where Alley Leader was missing?” Chae Yunho followed up with a sharp question.

Gang Seok’s face stiffened instantly, but it was only for a moment. He quickly regained his smile with great control.

‘Loosen up your expression,’ he told himself inwardly.

“Alley Leader didn’t stay out of the battle. He was definitely fighting. He just didn’t wield his sword,” Gang Seok truthfully explained what he had experienced. He spoke just the facts and made no excuses. “He is much stronger than he seems. He gives off pressure even when he stands still. It isn’t my imagination. It is real. It’s not something psychological.”

Gang Seok’s serious words changed the expressions of the broadcasters. They thought it was just a flimsy excuse.

“Alley Leader can have such a large impact on the battle while standing still? It is so great that you can’t defeat five people?” Lee Wanghoon asked with wide eyes.

He didn’t believe Gang Seok’s words. His common sense told him it didn’t make sense that someone could constrain their opponent by simply standing still. It wasn’t just Lee Wanghoon. Everyone who didn’t know Alley Leader in detail felt the same way.

The method for influencing a battle was simple—wield a weapon to fight or use magic as support. Heals or buffs could also be used. However, Hyeonu hadn’t done any of these things. Dark-red energy had poured out of his body, but that was all. There had been no noticeable change due to it. The players of the Charlotte Dragons hadn’t coughed up blood or fallen. They were just helplessly defeated.

“I will talk about Gang Hyeonu with respect. You can regard it as a method to keep in mind to check when watching the other teams. If he does what he did to us to other teams, they won’t end up any different. He is too overwhelming,” Gang Seok concluded.

This was the end of the interview. The interview was arranged to only ask these questions, so it was natural that it would end there. Gang Seok handed the microphone to Jang Junhyung again. Then he got up from his seat and bowed to the broadcasting team. After that, he disappeared into the waiting room where his companions were.


***


“For Crescent Moon and Charlotte Dragons, four players per team will play seven games at most.”

Now, these were words Jang Junhyung was familiar with. Four players—this was a unique number of players that couldn’t be seen when other teams participated in PvP. Now it was a friendly number—a symbol of Crescent Moon.

A beautiful woman climbed onto the stage. Crescent Moon’s priest player, Yuri, was still the vanguard today.

“Her class in Arena is a priest, but her actual skills are at the level of a girl crush who isn’t inferior compared to other rankers! Kwon Yuri is Crescent Moon’s first player!” Jang Junhyung introduced Yuri in a brilliant manner.

Yuri was full of a star temperament. It wasn’t about her skills or personality but her story. Her actual class was a priest—this alone was enough.

“The player who will come out for Charlotte Dragons is Gang Seok, their captain and hope!”

Yuri’s opponent was Gang Seok—the Charlotte Dragons’ spiritual pillar and their most powerful player. He came out as the vanguard.

‘I have to get three wins, three wins,’ Gang Seok repeated in his mind.

The Charlotte Dragons had analyzed the last three matches. To be exact, they analyzed the two matches apart from the opening match against JT Telecom. That opening match had been Alley Leader’s one-man show, so there was nothing to analyze.

‘The other two matches have the same pattern.’

PvP’s vanguard was Yuri, followed by Dwayne and Lee Hoon. The last person was the gatekeeper, Alley Leader. This was an unchanging pattern.

‘It’s to give them an opportunity to gain experience.’ 

The Charlotte Dragons were overwhelmingly dominant in PvP, so they often use this method. It was a good one as it could inspire confidence to the players with less strength and give the aces a break.

‘It is unchanged today, so I have to win.’

After confirming that his prediction was correct, Gang Seok clenched both fists and walked slowly toward the cube.


***


-The first game between Yuri and Gang Seok is starting.

‘Be calm. I can win today,’ Yuri cleared her mind calmly. Not feeling excited or overly nervous, she tried to have the right amount of tension.

‘I’ve already lost twice. I can’t lose again today.’

She competed in PvP in weeks 2 and 3 and was currently on a losing streak, having lost both times.

‘Today was the original date of my debut.’

It was initially supposed to be Yuri’s first PvP debut today, but she ended up debuting two weeks earlier due to Hyeonu’s whims. Nevertheless, it definitely helped. Her heart was no longer pounding like it had done during the first match. Instead, she was calmly maintaining her heart rate at the moment.

‘If I win this time, I’ll have to thank Oppa.’

If today had been Yuri’s debut, it was clear that she wouldn’t have known how to calm her heart and would have lost inevitably. She knew best herself. Yuri pulled out her greatsword and pointed it at Gang Seok. Simultaneously, her eyes examined his appearance clearly. It was a habit and skill she developed from sparring with Hyeonu. This wasn’t the only reason why Yuri was calm.

‘I thought this person would come out anyway.’

After discussing it with Hyeonu and the other team members, it was determined that Gang Seok had a high probability of being sent out first. So she had practiced tremendously for a week assuming that Gang Seok would be her opponent. 

At this moment, Gang Seok pointed his weapon at Yuri. It was a long stick with a sharp metal blade at the end. Gang Seok’s weapon was a spear—a fairly rare weapon considering that most melee pro gamers used swords. Kicking off against the ground, Gang Seok charged toward Yuri. His spear moved with a flash.

A light smile appeared on Yuri’s face when she saw that.

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