Chapter 154. Entrance Ticket (1)


===
[The laptop update has been completed.]
[Stigma recovery rate has been increased.]
[You receive 3 Points.]

*A few functionalities have been added.

[Overclocking]
—Using your vitality as cost, you can temporarily boost Stigma’s power.
—The boosted amount will depend on the amount of vitality used. Note, you can die from using all of your vitality.

[Device Link]
—You can link electronic devices to the laptop (max: 4).
—Linked devices cannot be used by anyone else. You can operate linked devices with your will.

[Spatial Modification]
—You can now modify environmental settings.
—However, the specified environment must be limited in scope.

[1000 SP has been consumed for the update.]
[Current SP: 3053]

……

▷Variable Stats 「Usable Points: 3」
[Strength 6.4 (+6.000)]
[Stamina 6.435 (+6.000)]
[Speed 8.655 (+6.000)]
[Perception 9.235 (+6.000)]
[Vitality 6.105 (+6.000)]
[Magic power 3]

*Stat increase from ’Magic Dysfunction Physique’ has reached its limit (+6.000).

▷Invariable Stats
[Intelligence – 4.470 / 10]
[Perseverance – 7.207 (+0.5) / 10]
[Luck – 9.100 / 10]
[Charm – 5.535 (+0.4) / 10]

▷Gift
1.「Master Sharpshooter」[Intermediate rank] [Spirit attribute] [Evolving] [Grade 4 – Proficiency EXP: 87%]
2.「Random Consolidation System」[Low-intermediate rank] [Spirit attribute] [3-stage consolidation]
3.「Dexterity」[Low-intermediate rank] [Null attribute] [Evolving] [Grade 5 – Proficiency EXP: 51%]

▷Physique (2/3)
1. 「Magic Dysfunction Physique」
2. 「Medicinal Memory Physique」

▷Art (2/3)
1. 「Parkour」
2. 「Charming Voice」
===

The information I’ve been dying to know popped up.
For the three years that the laptop was updating, I was still able to modify settings of objects and see their information, but I wasn’t able to see my status (other than my Gift).
In other words, I was seeing my stats for the first time in three years.

“The heck.”

My charm stat was only 5.535?
Aesthetic Greed raised by charm by 0.002 points every 24 hours up to a maximum of 1 point. I also made sure to use Random Consolidation System on Aether every day, so my charm increase should have been much bigger.
…Well, I guess that’s how it got to 5.535.
Since it was originally around 4.1, assuming I was getting an average of 40% on each consolidation, 5.535 points came out exactly. Oh, for the record, I used 1500 SP one year ago to raise Random Consolidation System’s maximum limit to 54%.
But even with all that and the charm buff I got from the barber, my charm stat was only at 5.935.

“Mm.”

For some reason, I felt a bit bitter.
Jake Gyllenhaal… you’re too far away!
…Of course, I wasn’t being all that serious. It was just a little self-evaluation that everyone did once in their lifetime.

“What’s wrong?”

Seeing that I was staring at my smartwatch in a daze, Rachel asked.
I replied with a smile.

“Let’s go back now.”

Rachel tilted her head, not knowing what happened. Meanwhile, I tried using one of the laptop’s new functions.
I clicked on the ‘Device Link’ button that was newly placed in my smartwatch. After scrolling through the list of available devices that I owned, I clicked on a picture of a motorcycle.

[Kim Hajin’s ‘Agusta Vigilante’ has been found…]
[Device Link complete.]
[Agusta Vigilante will now move according to Kim Hajin’s will.]

I tried to send a thought.
‘Come to me. Come to me.’
After about a minute, the parked motorcycle drove up to me with a cool engine sound.
Interesting.
Without much thought, I got on.

“Wait!”

Then suddenly, a powerful hand grabbed my hand.

“…?”

Obviously, it was Rachel.

“What’s wrong?”

“Hajin-ssi, wait a minute.”

“Huh?”

Rachel pointed at my bike as she shuddered slightly.

“Didn’t you park your motorcycle by the road?”

“Uh, I did, but…”

“Who is it—!”

As soon as I said a few words, Rachel pulled out Galatyn.

“…Hello?”

“Sh, I think it’s an assassin. That motorcycle just drove here on its own.”

She murmured in shock as she held her sword up. Her sword then shone in a golden light.

“Show yourself.”

Her voice carried a hint of killing intent.
But obviously, no one answered her.
Rachel then repeated the same words in English.

“…Show yourself.”

“….”

“Stop hiding like a coward.”

Rachel was shadow-boxing with an invisible enemy, but it felt like she was sure of her suspicion. From the looks of it, she must have experienced similar situations many times before.
Just how many assassination attempts did she go through to react like this?
I couldn’t help but feel sorry. However, I just continued on and got on my motorcycle.

“Hajin-ssi! That motorcycle is dangerous!”

“Don’t worry, it’s a self-driving vehicle.”

“…?”

“Look.”

I willed the motorcycle to move. At the same time, I voiced out my command for Rachel.

“Make a circle around us.”

Vroom, vroom.
The motorcycle began to run through the sand at a frightening speed.
On the other hand, Rachel was staring at the motorcycle in a daze. Her pupils were suffering from miniature earthquakes.

“Ah….”

“I understand. Technology has improved a lot in the recent years. Just don’t try to fall behind the times too much.”

“…Ah, uaah.”

Rachel was at a loss for words from embarrassment. She covered her face with her hands and shook her head fiercely. What saved her from her embarrassment was a sudden call.
Tiriri—

“W-Wait one moment. I need to take this. …Hello?”

Rachel walked away, using the call as an excuse.
The call didn’t last long, and she quickly came back with a serious face.

“Hajin-ssi.”

“Yes?”

“Apparently, strange papers came out of the Dungeon we conquered.”

**


One week later.

[May Guild Rankings… The English Royal Court guild on the rise. Essence of the Strait maintaining rank 1 for three consecutive months.]
[Creator’s Sacred Grace on the verge of revival. Kim Suho and Yi Yeonghan, the world of Heroes is watching them.]

Inside a luxury limousine, Yoo Yeonha was reading the Violet Times along with an ordinary newspaper.

“…Hnn.”

For some reason, Yoo Yeonha was pouting.
She was jealous. The English Royal Court guild entered the top 20 with the help of Jeronimo, but this partnership was something Yoo Yeonha wanted for Essence of the Strait. It was just that she never had the chance to bring it up with Kim Hajin.

“We’re here.”

The limousine stopped. Yoo Yeonha glanced outside the window. She could see a luxury cruise ship anchored to Han River’s dock.
Today, she had planned a gathering for Noble Society.

“…Thank you.”

Noble Society. It was the name of a friend group Yoo Yeonha made.
She had started it as a fun project before she entered Cube, but starting from her second year, she began to expand the group proactively.
First, she invited high-ranking officials with the help of her father. Then, she donated to universities and charities under Noble Society’s name. Afterwards, she began to snatch up promising cadets with good family backgrounds.
Now, Noble Society had over 200 members.
All 200 of them were undoubtedly Korea’s future leaders.

“I will be waiting nearby.”

“Alright~”

Yoo Yeonha got off.
Tak, tak.
Walking with high-heels that she was used to wearing by now, she arrived at the entrance to the cruise ship. The ship’s guards recognized her and let her in without verifying her identity.
Yoo Yeonha then walked onboard.

“…Hm?”

She scanned the deck and quickly noticed a guest who had arrived early.
This guest was leaning on the deck’s railing and staring intently at something. Yoo Yeonha held her bitter heart and slowly walked up to her.

“…Nayun?”

“Uwaah!”

Startled, the guest turned off her smartwatch.
The girl unnaturally leaning against the railing was Chae Nayun.

“O-Oh, hi.”

“…What were you doing?”

Yoo Yeonha glanced at Chae Nayun’s smartwatch.

“N-Nothing.”

Although that was what Chae Nayun said, Yoo Yeonha quickly found out about it through her own smartwatch.

[Master, a user by the nickname ‘imgosu’ requested for a background check on Kim Hajin as well as his current whereabouts.]
[For now, we’ve put the request on hold.]

Yoo Yeonha read the message she received and looked back up at Chae Nayun.

“…hui, hui~”

She was whistling with a cold sweat.
Yoo Yeonha forced herself to smile.
She had already heard rumors that Chae Nayun was looking to investigate Kim Hajin. She also knew that Chae Nayun was scammed a dozen times because of her low Violet Banquet rank.

“Do you want to come inside? I prepared a private room.”

“Y-Yeah.”

Yoo Yeonha led Chae Nayun to a private room she prepared for her close friends.

“What is this place for?”

“We can hang out here. You don’t like parties anyways, right? The other guys will come soon.”

“…I see.”

Pool, VR, bowling, darts. The room was full of games.
Chae Nayun sat down on the couch without much thought.

“Oh right, what’s this on my nametag?”

Then, she asked Yoo Yeonha.

“Nametag?”

“Yeah. Over here, it says ‘executor’. Shouldn’t it say low-intermediate rank hero?”

[Essence of the Strait’s Hero, Chae Nayun]
「Executor」

“Oh~ that?”

Executor was a new title Yoo Yeonha created for Chae Nayun. Although Chae Nayun easily surpassed low-intermediate rank Heroes in power, she couldn’t be promoted due to a lack of results.

“The Association classifies Heroes based on a rank and a grade, but I don’t plan on following their system indefinitely. I tried creating one myself.”

In reality, not many people were happy with the Association’s rank and grade system.
Thus, Yoo Yeonha created new titles to match Heroes’ diverse characteristics.
For now, she had five titles: Executor, Destroyer, Guardian, etc. Of these, the Executor title was the highest.

“Yep, that would be the rank most team leaders are in.”

“Oh? That’s surprisingly good.”

Tok, tok—
At that moment, a knock rang out from the door.

—Guests have arrived.

“Looks like they’re here.”

Yoo Yeonha smiled at Chae Nayun.

“Yeah.”

Chae Nayun nodded nonchalantly.

“Come in.”

With Yoo Yeonha’s invitation, the door opened, and three familiar faces walked in.
Shin Jonghak, Kim Suho, and Yi Yeonghan.
They were three superstars who had risen to fame at only 21 years old.

“Hey~ it’s been a while~”

Kim Suho waved his hand with a bright smile.

“Move it.”

“Whoa!”

Shin Jonghak pushed Kim Suho aside and stood in front of Chae Nayun.

“…How have you been?”

His voice was wistful and emotional. Yoo Yeonha shook her head as she watched Shin Jonghak.

“So-so. What about you? You look even more creepy now.”

“…Hahaha, that’s a funny way to say I’m handsome.”

“You crazy?”

“Ah, I’m so tired.”

Yi Yeonghan ignored Chae Nayun and Shin Jonghak and trudged up to the couch. After jumping down on his back, he wriggled around like a giant cockroach and murmured.

“Ah~ Creator’s Sacred Grace is too cut-throat. They’re sending me to three Dungeons a month~”

“…Didn’t you say you wanted to go? You said you wanted to buy that Lambo something”

Feeling guilty, Kim Suho poked Yi Yeonghan’s back as he muttered back.

“It’s Lamborghini. Oi, Team Leader Kim, you think you’ll be safe if I report you to the Association for overworking me?”

“Oh please, you got what you wanted, right?”

“…I did put in an order.”

Kim Suho had already become a team leader. Yi Yeonghan was a member of his team. When there was a big difference in rank between two people who joined a company or guild at the same time, there were often minor tensions that broke out between them. However, there was nothing of the sort between Yi Yeonghan and Kim Suho.

“Chae Nayun, do you want to spar later?”

“Sure, but I’m letting you know, you might lose.”

“…We’ll see.”

While Chae Nayun and Shin Jonghak were planning a spar, Yi Yeonghan turned on the huge flat-screen TV on the wall.

—…Emergency report.

“Hm?”

“What’s up?”

“There’s apparently an emergency.”

The sudden news report grabbed the party’s attention.

—A mysterious Tower has appeared in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. This Tower of unprecedented size seems to have risen from the depths of the ocean. Nearby sea monsters are also reported to be acting more violent…

**


The same time. After hearing about the emergency report, Yun Seung-Ah quickly turned on the TV.

—A mysterious Tower has appeared in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean…

A newly discovered Tower was being shown on TV.

“…What the hell?”

Yun Seung-Ah was almost shocked to the point of fainting. Just 10 minutes ago, Violet Banquet had no reports about a new Tower. The fact that there was little delay between the release of information to the public and Violet Banquet indicated that this was sudden and completely unexpected.

—There is currently nothing known about this Tower. It seems to have risen from the deep-sea earthquake that occurred eight minutes ago.

“….”

Yun Seung-Ah stared at the Tower in a daze.
She could only think about one thing.
That was the only scenario in which Creator’s Sacred Grace’s can revive perfectly, the only way for Creator’s Sacred Grace to reclaim the coveted rank 1 spot.

**


===
[Chameleon Troupe’s Hideout] [Comfortable]
—Comfortable Space
You will become rejuvenated the more you stay in this area.
*Staying here for more than 8 hours will cleanse your mind.
*Staying here for more than 24 hours will make you happy.
*Staying here for more than 96 hours will increase all stats by up to 0.5 points.
—What a Great Air.
The area’s high mana density keeps the air fresh.
*Staying here for more than 8 hours will cure light illnesses.
===

As shown above, Chameleon Troupe’s hideout was turned from hell to heaven. Four members of the troupe, Setryn, Jain, Boss, and Cheok Jungyeong, were now living here as well.
Sitting on the couch I made, I was watching TV.

—There is currently nothing known about this Tower. It seems to have risen from the deep-sea earthquake that occurred eight minutes ago.
—The Hero Association has already deployed investigators, but because of how deep the Tower reaches, it is thought to be impossible to enter the Tower in a normal way…

The Tower of Wish.
A Tower that was huge as though it contained all of humanity’s hopes, wishes, and resentments.

“Oh? What’s that?”

Setryn, who was in the middle of receiving a back massage from the goblins, asked.

“Newbie, is the entrance ticket you were talking about…”

On the other hand, Jain turned to me with widened eyes. She really had sharp senses.

“Yep.”

I nodded.
Currently, I had an entrance ticket in hand.
It was the ticket into the Tower of Wish.
The entrance ticket I had was an orange-tier ticket.

“…Let me see.”

Jain took the entrance ticket.

“What is it? Let me take a look too.”

Boss woke up from her nap and glanced up at the entrance ticket.
Jain read the words written on the back of the ticket.

“By having this ticket in your possession, you can enter a designated place on a promised date. The promised date is…”

July 1st.
After July 1st, all entrance tickets will disappear, and new tickets will be issued. The next promised date will be September 1st.
*Note – participants entering this place will undergo a small ‘balance change’ to even the playing field.

“Oh? This sounds fun. Little Apprentice, are you going to use this?”

“No.”

Entrance tickets had different tiers. Although the orange-tier was above average, it wasn’t the one I wanted.

“Why not?”

“This color isn’t the one I want.”

“…Color?”

“Yep.”

Entrance tickets had the following tiers.

White.
There was no benefit to having a white ticket. Consequently, white tickets were even rarer than red tickets.

Green.
Green ticket owners could choose the difficulty level of the Tower’s tutorial.

Yellow.
In addition to green ticket’s benefits, yellow ticket owners were also given an additional tutorial-only food supply.

Orange.
In addition to yellow ticket’s benefits, orange ticket owners could receive a basic weapon.

Red.
In addition to orange ticket’s benefits, red ticket owners could choose one companion to enter together. Of course, they could enter alone if they wished.

“I’m looking for a black ticket.”

The entrance ticket I wanted was black.
Without the black ticket, there was no reason to enter the Tower early.

“Black?”

Boss asked.

“Yes, black.”

The black ticket worked a bit differently than other tickets. Black ticket owners didn’t receive benefits from the previous tier tickets. In fact, they could only choose the highest difficulty tutorial. In this sense, they were at a disadvantage.
However, the black ticket had a benefit that far outweighed its disadvantages.

‘Skill’.
The concept of ‘skills’ didn’t exist in this world.
However, it existed in the Tower of Wish.
If used properly, you could win against someone you normally would never beat and achieve a goal that would be impossible in the real world.
That was why it was called the Tower of Wish.
In a way, this Tower was a chance for those abandoned by heaven to shine.

In that regard, the black ticket was the VVIP ticket.
By entering the Tower of Wish with a black ticket, I would obtain a ‘bonus skill’ at no cost.

“Black ticket?”

“Yep.”

“Do color of tickets matter? How do you know that in the first place?”

“I have a good source of information. That said, I don’t know too much about it either.”

The distribution of entrance tickets had already begun.
They could appear anywhere: sandboxes children played in, corpses of monsters killed by hunters, treasure chests found in Dungeons.
And on the promised date, these tickets would become Portals linked to the Tower of Wish.

“Even if you have a good source of information, it’s only been… no, nevermind, I won’t nitpick.”

“Thank you.”

“It’s my policy to not nag.”

“I see… so, did we hear anything from Pandemonium?”

Because of the series of terror incidents, there were many organizations in Pandemonium who were fearful of the Chameleon Troupe. Using this to my advantage, I made an open declaration that I would reconsider attacking them if they offered any entrance tickets they found.

“Nothing so far…”

The moment Jain shook her head…
Woong—
Her smartwatch suddenly rang.
Jain looked down at her watch without a change in her expression.

“Hm?”

I could tell that my luck was working in full.

“I just received a message. Apparently these guys found a ticket…”

Jiing—
Jain projected the picture of the entrance ticket someone sent.

“…Haha.”

A smile emerged on my face.
The black ticket inside the hologram was just as beautiful as I thought.

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FudgeNouget's Thoughts

EDIT: Equipment Link has been changed to Device Link! Imgosu changed to Imgosu. (the 'da' part is a Korean ending that just ends sentences. No equivalent in English, so it has been deleted)