Now that he had no reason to stay in the dungeon any longer, Yeon-woo left with Kahn and Doyle.
"Well, here comes the goddamn Heavyweight Water again." Kahn had a disgusted expression as he glanced at the pond. Like Yeon-woo, he had also chosen the Black Route and had experienced difficulties when crossing through it. The pond water was high in density, devoid of buoyancy, pressurized to restrain the body’s movements, and filled with aquatic monsters. Just thinking of passing through the pond got his back up.
At the same time, Kahn was curious how Yeon-woo would pass this ordeal. He had only seen hints of Yeon-woo’s skills inside the dungeon, and it would be the first time he’d see his abilities. He would decide whether they needed more members from Yeon-woo's capability or potential growth. But suddenly, he said, “Huh?”
Yeon-woo was walking towards the pond without any preparations.
"What is it?" Yeon-woo glanced at Kahn, wondering what the matter was.
"Don’t tell me you’re thinking of jumping straight in. I mean, you haven’t made any preparations."
“Do you have a problem with that?"
"Bro, you’re gonna get yourself into a lot of trou—"
Yeon-woo jumped into the pond before Kahn could even finish speaking. Kahn was about to rush forward, worrying that Yeon-woo would drown in excruciating pain.
"I suppose we didn’t have to worry, did we?"
He paused. “Yeah."
Yeon-woo was swimming with complete ease as though he were a fish. Doyle smiled, and Kahn looked a bit abashed. He had confirmed in the dungeon that Yeon-woo was quite skilled, but this was just a different level. He started thinking that he might have found someone better than he had anticipated.
“This guy has grown so much even before clearing Section B. Can you imagine how much more he’ll grow after passing through the rest of the sections?”
Kahn smiled at Yeon-woo, who was effortlessly cleaving through the water. “Maybe.” It occurred to him that Yeon-woo might be someone who would set the whole Tutorial on fire, just like him. He would always welcome another expert.
* * *
Unconcerned by Kahn's surprise, Yeon-woo analyzed his new body as he swam through the Heavyweight Water. 'So this is what Flame Heart and Frost Crest does. It’s so good.’ An ordinary person would be crushed by the pressure of the water, but with Reinforced Physique, his body didn’t hurt at all.
The Flame Heart pumped an enormous amount of vitality throughout his body, and the Frost Crest had hardened his skeleton enough to withstand the pressure of the Heavyweight Water. It was as though Yeon-woo were taking an ordinary bath on Earth. Then, he began to wonder how Kahn and Doyle would cross the pond, so he turned around to look.
Kahn, who was physically fit, took a piece of cloth out of his pocket and tied his sword to his waist before jumping into the water. He was a good swimmer. Doyle, on the other hand, made a subtle gesture in the air.
“What is that? Is that his skill?”
A swarm of flies suddenly gathered over the pond to form a cloud. Doyle moved forward and stepped on the dark cloud of flies. The bugs flew ahead of him to create a bridge with every step he took. It was a peculiar sight. Although some flies were trampled to death, other flies filled their spots.
'He belongs to the Tamer class, maybe entomopathy?' Tamers, especially those with zoopathy, were often accompanied by animals because they valued communion with their animals. But entomopathists had to deal with bugs that possessed low levels of intelligence, so it was more difficult and complicated. He hadn’t expected to see one in the Tutorial, and it made sense why someone at the eleventh rank wouldn’t react to his ambush in time. He relied on his skills and entomopathy, which meant that his physical ability fell short.
'That reminds me, didn’t he say Black Skull was also good at entomopathy?’ For a second, he thought of a ranker in the Tower. But Yeon-woo shook his head and erased the name from his mind. They were going to meet one day, but he didn't have to worry about it now. After confirming that Kahn and Doyle were following him, Yeon-woo took a deep breath and dove into the water. The water was pitch black, as though he’d entered a sea, and he had to strengthen his senses to their maximum.
Splash! With a powerful kick, Yeon-woo glided through the water. The water felt cool and refreshing against his skin, perhaps because it had been a while since had experienced such speed.
* * *
Bild, the executive of Arangdan, was frowning at a report about the villain who had decimated Kaen’s team and disappeared into the Black Route. Bild had finally discovered that he was at the Pond of Heavyweight Water in Section B. It seemed like he hadn’t made any progress because of its high difficulty. But when he was about to take off in search of the villain, he was intercepted by another report.
"Sir, we have a problem."
"Kahn and Doyle were also spotted with him."
"What? Why are they with him? They are supposed to be at Section E, aren’t they?”
Kahn and Doyle, along with the siblings from the Cheongram family, were hogging the spotlight so much that even the Cheonghwado, the force behind Arangdan, was paying close attention to their every move. And all of a sudden, they had appeared. Bild thought that the villain they were looking for didn’t have any connection to anyone in the Tower.
"We don't have accurate information yet, so we're still investigating. However, we have some reports saying that those two haven’t been seen in Section E recently, and some people saw two men that fit their description in Section B."
Bild glared at the subordinate. "Why am I only hearing about this now?"
The subordinate made an excuse with his shoulders hunched. "The reports came from an early section, so we thought it was unimportant."
Bam! Bild slammed his fist onto the table. "So what is that supposed to mean? Did they team up?”
The subordinate lowered his head in embarrassment. "I’m afraid that’s our assumption."
"So he’s got somebody behind him. Kahn, Doyle. You dirty pieces of shit." Bild gritted his teeth as he pictured the dumbass duo’s faces. He took this situation as a declaration of war. They had recruited the masked guy even though they knew he had stirred trouble with Arangdan. This was clearly treating Arangdan, and even the Cheonghwado, with disdain. “Let’s head to his location now. Assemble the team."
“They are all waiting outside."
Just as Bild nodded and was about to move to the gathering place, another subordinate suddenly hurried into the room. "A new report has just arrived! They’ve cleared Section B and arrived at Section C!"
"Then we’ll go…" But before Bild could even finish his sentence, more subordinates kept barging in with their reports one after the other.
"We have another report! They've broken through Section C!"
"Currently at the entrance of Section D..."
"No! They've cleared Section D and entered Section E!"
"They are in..."
"Kahn and Doyle are following behind..."
He couldn’t comprehend the situation due to the continuous stream of reports. The network Arangdan had in the Tutorial was very tight; there were usually no errors. The sudden flood of reports only meant one thing: a speedrun.
But even if Kahn and Doyle were helping the masked man, their speed was beyond comprehension. "What the hell is going on?” His expression hardened.
* * *
[You have successfully cleared the Black Route of Section B as a solo player.]
[You have made an achievement that is not easily accomplished. Additional karma will be provided.]
[You have acquired 2,000 karma.]
[You have acquired 1,000 additional karma.]
[Your health and mana will be restored.]
[All statuses will be removed.]
[You have successfully cleared Section C as a solo player.]
[You have made an achievement…]
[You have successfully cleared Section D…]
“What am I looking at right now? Is he the same guy who was in Section B just a short time ago? How can he grow so fast?” Kahn was so stunned that he couldn’t help but laugh. He had to admit that he had been wrong. He thought that this guy might one day become one of the strongest players, becoming a dark horse who would threaten the rankers’ positions. The reality, however, was much different from what he thought—'He was already strong!'
When they first crossed through the Heavyweight Water with Yeon-woo, Kahn thought he had found someone great. But by the time they entered Section C, he had to completely update his assessment.
Clang! Swish! "Human! Human’s here...argh."
"Human, too strong! Chief, need...urk!"
Yeon-woo cleared Section C so easily that he seemed to sweep past the monsters that stood in his way. Unlike previous sections that consisted of a straight path, Section C was a labyrinth of caves that were connected like a cobweb. There was only one exit, and the way out was complex. In addition, the den of a Hobgoblin and hordes of Goblins waited at the end of the maze.
The monsters regarded players in Section C as intruders, so they regularly sent scouts to prevent players from advancing. Players had no choice but to evade the scouts or exterminate them. If they were caught, the worst scenario would be facing down the whole tribe of Goblins. No matter how skilled players were, it would be impossible to battle such an overwhelming number.
Most players cleared Section C by playing hide-and-seek with Goblins as they searched for the way out. However, Yeon-woo, he ignored all of that. He pushed forward as if he didn’t care what he would face. Naturally, his method caused a huge disturbance throughout the whole den.
The news of the massacre made Goblins swarm to Yeon-woo, but he achieved victory by simply butchering them all. Soon after that, he also took the Hobgoblin’s life. The same thing happened in Section D. Even the Trolls guarding the stone chamber were slain with a single strike.
When it came to physical power and resilience, Trolls were said to be one of the most difficult monsters to beat, even by players in teams of five or more. And yet Yeon-woo was ripping the Trolls into pieces. Doyle wasn’t sure if he himself could produce such an astounding scene, so he only watched Yeon-woo with a serious expression. No words came out of his mouth.
After the bloodbath, Yeon-woo began dissecting the Troll carcasses without showing any signs of fatigue. Kahn and Doyle couldn’t resist asking him what he was doing.
"Their blood is an important ingredient for brewing health potions. Their tendons and skin are also great materials for other items." He even asked them if they thought there was something wrong. Yeon-woo was squeezing out everything he could from the Tutorial.
* * *
[Your ranking in the Tutorial has been updated.]
[1. Edora (57,987 Points)
2. Phante (56,342 Points)
3. Kahn (50,475 Points)]
[192. Unknown (15,700 Points) (You)]
From 281st to 192nd place. Yeon-woo jumped nearly ninety places in one go.