Chapter 160. The First City (2)


According to the system, there were 78 people who passed the second tutorial in the highest difficulty level. The size of the Tutorial Town was about the size of Yeouido, and all 78 highest difficulty challengers were now in this town.
Even among those 78, the two Heroes closest to the Master rank status were here.
Hiding my nervousness, I observed them.

“Where is this? How mysterious.”

They walked into the pub, and I pulled my hood over my head.

“This is the Mercenary Pub it says. Look, there are missions on the bulletin board there.”

“Ah~ so we have to make money by completing missions~”

Aileen nodded her head at Yi Yongha’s words. At a glance, they looked like an uncle-niece pair.

“Looks like it.”

“How much do we need to make again?”

“1000 each in ten days.”

“That should be easy~”

The third tutorial’s goal was simple. To make TP.
Players who possess more than 1000 TP at the end would move on to the real Tower, but those who didn’t would have to stay here until the start of the next tutorial on November 1st.

“Destroying a goblin settlement, wiping out a group of bandits, dismantling an illegal gambling house…”

Yi Yongha read the missions on the bulletin board.

“We can probably complete them all today.”

Aileen spoke impatiently.

“…Please, you’re going to be dead tired by the end of a single mission.”

“What? Are you underestimating me?”

“I’m being realistic. Your magic power is restricted right now.”

Since Aileen was Yi Yongha’s superior and they arrived together, Aileen must have entered the tower with a red ticket with Yi Yongha being her companion.
Kiik—
At that moment, the door creaked open once again. Yi Yongha and Aileen turned to the door, and so did I.

“Where the hell is this? The last tutorial was more interesting…”

“Can you be quiet?”

I could tell who they were just from their voices.
A giant and a seductive Western woman.
It was Cheok Jungyeong and Jain.

“How the hell are we supposed to make… eh?”

“…Oh?”

They found Aileen and Yi Yongha who were standing in front of the bulletin board.
Aileen and Yi Yongha also saw them and received their gazes.
2 vs 2.
Four sets of eyes glared at each other. None of them said anything, but the atmosphere was filled with hostility.

“Owner, give me two of your strongest alcohol.”

I ordered two drinks from the owner, paying 20TP. The owner took the two silver coins and handed me two highly concentrated alcohol.
I pulled my mask up and held the glasses up.

“You two know me, right?”

Aileen was the first one to break the tension, speaking as she glared at Cheok Jungyeong and Jain.

“Haha, that’s right, kid. We’ve seen you once before.”

Cheok Jungyeong replied.

“…Kid?”

“Maybe it’s more appropriate to call you a brat.”

“…Ha, haha, I dare you to say that again.”

Aileen’s face turned red from Cheok Jungyeong’s clear provocation.
However, now wasn’t the time to fight.

“Both of you, come…”

Aileen’s power, Spirit Speech, neared the level of an Authority.
I quickly twisted my wrist. Vodka shot out of the glasses I was holding and flew into Aileen’s mouth in a beautiful arc. Yi Yongha tried to block it with his body, but I prepared two glasses for this exact situation.

“Here— kek!”

Yi Yongha blocked one stream of vodka, but the other stream entered Aileen’s mouth. With hard liquor suddenly ending up in her throat, Aileen coughed but was unable to spit it out.

“Aak! Neck, m-my neck is… burning… haak…”

Spirit Speech was useless if you couldn’t speak. As Aileen was weak with alcohol to begin with, she started picking up and drinking other NPCs’ drinks.

“Ptui! Ah, this is also alcohol! W-Water—!”

“Um, Aileen-ssi, calm down. Take a deep breath…”

“You think I can calm down!?!?”

Normally, Aileen would have quickly recovered using her magic power that rivaled Boss’. No, normally, she wouldn’t have been affected by alcohol at all. However, her stats were restricted at the moment, making her all the more vulnerable.

“What the hell’s up with that brat?”

“Cheok Jungyeong.”

I walked up to Cheok Jungyeong and Jain and whispered.

“Huh?”

Cheok Jungyeong’s eyes widened.
I held my index finger up to my mouth, signaling Cheok Jungyeong to keep his mouth shut. Then, I dragged them outside and ran for five minutes straight.

“O-Oi!”

Cheok Jungyeong shook off my hand once we arrived at an alleyway. Now that we were far away from the pub, I let him go free.

“The hell’s wrong with you? Why’d you drag me here?”

“It looked like you were about to start a fight, so I brought you outside.”

“What, I can’t fight?”

“….”

I looked at Jain who was standing next to Cheok Jungyeong. I wanted her to do something about this muscle-brained fool, but Jain only shrugged.

“Their stats are restricted like the rest of us, right? I want to beat up that brat Aileen too.”

“…You’ll be arrested if you fight inside the town. Haven’t you seen the town’s vigilante group?”

I looked around carefully. Thankfully, there weren’t any Players watching.

“By the way, where is Boss?”

“Who knows? We just arrived here too…. Oh wait, there she is.”

Jain pointed to the middle of the street.
I turned to where she was pointing.

“…She really is there.”

Boss was tilting her head in front of a street vendor who was selling candies and chocolates.

“Looks like Boss wants sweets.”

Just like Jain said, Boss smacked her lips and began to rummage through her pockets.

“I guess so. She does like chocolate.”

“Oi, Newbie, what’s up with your clothes?”

“Oh yeah, where did you get that?”

Cheok Jungyeong and Jain seemed interested in my clothes.

“I made them.”

“Oh! Make one for me too.”

“Me too, me too.”

“Sure, if you’re paying.”

“…Then nevermind.”

Jain backed down as expected, but Cheok Jungyeong was different.

“How much? I have 300 won right now.”

“300TP?”

“Yeah.”

I stared at Cheok Jungyeong and carefully spoke.

“…For all of what you have.”

“Hahaha, brat, do I look like a pushover?”

“….”

Despite looking and acting like an idiot, he wasn’t that stupid.
I let out a dry cough and changed the subject.

“Kuhum, let’s go to Boss first.”

Boss seemed to have figured out how to take out TP, as she pulled out a gold coin. Gold coins were worth 100TP each, and the one she had was likely gained as a reward from the second tutorial.
Boss stared at the street vendor with the gold coin in hand. The vendor’s face was full of greed.

“…She’s going to get scammed at this rate.”

Tutorial Town.
Although it sounded kind and helpful, close to 70% of its residents were scammers.
I went to Boss with Cheok Jungyeong and Jain.

“Oi, Boss!”

Cheok Jungyeong called her, and Boss turned around just as she was about to give the vendor her gold coin.

“Oh, it’s Gyeong. Jain and Newbie are here too.”

Boss greeted us expressionlessly as Cheok Jungyeong practically stomped towards her. I also approached her quickly and took away the gold coin in her hand.

“Hm? Newbie, why are you taking my money?”

Boss frowned.

“I’ll give it back to you later.”

I faced the candy vendor instead of Boss.

“This chocolate, how much is it?”

“Pardon? Uh….”

I could practically hear him racking his brain. However, NPCs thought the same way as humans. Seeing Cheok Jungyeong towering over behind me…

“They’re 10TP each.”

“….”

Wow, he’s trying to scam me in front of Cheok Jungyeong.

“Give me one, no, two.”

Boss spoke up. Because she hasn’t eaten chocolate in over a month, she seemed pretty desperate.

“No.”

“W-Why? I have 20TP…”

“I know, but that’s enough to buy ten chocolates.”

Leaving the struggling Boss to Cheok Jungyeong, I faced the candy vendor once again.

**


With 20TP, I bought 20 chocolates and 20 candies.
Now that that was taken care of, we headed to an inn.
While Boss was happily eating junk food, we arrived at a nearby inn.

“Let’s see, four people… that will be 300TP per night.”

Even the innkeeper was a scammer.
But knowing the real price, I only took out six silver coins.

“Let’s make it 60TP.”

“Ehey, that won’t do at all. Go somewhere else.”

“I’ve been to all the inns in town. It only got cheaper each time. This is the last place.”

I glanced at Cheok Jungyeong as I said that. Cheok Jungyeong noticed my eye signal and began to glare at the innkeeper.

“…150, let’s do 150TP per night.”

“60TP.”

“60TP for a 4-person room? That’s impossible…”

“60TP, but we won’t ask for food. You only have to provide us with the room.”

“.…”

“Let’s not make it difficult.”

The innkeeper was silent for a long time.
I also kept quiet.
After about three minutes of dead silence, system alerts let me know that my haggling was a success.

[You acquired the technique, ‘Lv.1 Haggling’]
—You can see the rough estimate of the minimum price desired by NPCs with low-level Haggling.

[‘Lv.1 Haggling’ links with your ‘Charming Voice’.]
—Extra7’s voice will now contain ‘Minute Persuasion’.

‘So Charming Voice can be used like this…’ I grinned and looked at the innkeeper.

“F-Fine, 70TP!”

…He still wanted 10TP more.
I threw 60TP on the counter and took the key. I brought Boss, Jain, and Cheok Jungyeong upstairs and entered a large 4-person room.

“So, what are you going to do now?”

Jain sat down on the edge of the bed and asked.

“I’m planning to go steal something. I’m sure you’re going to go off and do your own thing. The problem is…”

Jain looked at Boss and Cheok Jungyeong.

“These two with low social experience.”

“I’ll take Cheok Jungyeong with me. You should take care of Boss.”

“What? You? You’re going to take me with you? Ahahaha, you’ve gotten funnier, kid.”

Cheok Jungyeong laughed as he hit my shoulder. My bones would have been broken if this was the outside world, but thanks to the balance patch in this world, I was unexpectedly okay.

“Also, invest all the money you have on me.”

Jain’s eyebrows twitched.

“…What for?”

“Gambling.”

“What? Are you crazy?”

The Tutorial Town also had a gambling house. The problem was that over half of the gamblers were scammers, making victory or loss not completely luck-dependent.

“Ah~ is that why you bought a pack of cards before coming here?”

Cheok Jungyeong asked.

“Yes.”

On our way to the inn, I stopped and bought a pack of cards. To make money in a room full of scammers, you just had to be the best scammer in the room.

“Are you confident?”

Jain asked doubtfully.

“Of course, would I ask Jain-ssi for money if I wasn’t?”

Money was life to Jain. Stealing money from Jain was no different than declaring war on her.

“…Really?”

“Of course.”

Before coming into the Tower, I studied and practiced cheating with cards.
Double dealing, hand mucking, base dealing, sleight-of-hand, etc. Thanks to my Gift, Dexterity, I was practically a professional scammer.

**


One hour later.
I arrived at a gambling house with Cheok Jungyeong, asking NPCs nearby for direction.

—Threes full of fives.
—Fucking hell, you cheated, didn’t you?
—Oh please.

The gambling house was loud and full of the acrid smell of smoke. I went to an empty table and sat down.
A scammer who was smoking and looking bored flashed his eyes.

“Oh~ are you two new here?”

“Yes.”

“Oho~ a bodybuilder and a skinny boy… what a strange combination. Are you two friends?”

I smiled without answering him. Cheok Jungyeong also grinned.

“It’s true, this guy is skinny.”

“Anyways, welcome. I’ll treat you two well.”

I could tell that he was a scammer as soon as I saw him.
Since I was going to cheat as well, I didn’t care all that much.

“Alright, why don’t we begin?”

The man picked up a pack of cards.
I simply smiled.

*


Two hours.
It only took two hours for me to win most of the money in the gambling house.
I cheated when I was playing against scammers and relied purely on luck when playing ordinary people. Of course, scammers caused a scene knowing that I was cheating somehow, but Cheok Jungyeong was there to stop them every time.

“How boring. All cowards.”

NPCs who were only good at scamming shrunk in front of Cheok Jungyeong’s muscles. It was quite funny to see.

“Now let’s run away.”

“Eh? Why? We can still make more.”

“No, look over there.”

I pointed at the fierce-looking man who I just felted. He was glaring at me as he chewed on a cigarette.

“He should be a scammer hired by the owner of this gambling house.”

“…So?”

“The owner will come soon with hired hands. Let’s exchange money and leave before then.”

There was no reason to fight NPCs.
I brought Cheok Jungyeong to the exchange place.

“10200 chips, confirmed. Hold on a minute.”

The employee working at the currency exchange confirmed the number of chips I made.
300TP from Cheok Jungyeong, 200TP each from Boss and Jain and 1000TP that I originally had brought my starting total to 1700TP. In two hours, I had more than quintupled it.

“Here you go, 10200TP.”

The employee gave me ten 1000TP banknotes and two gold coins.

“How much do I get?”

Without answering Cheok Jungyeong, I put everything in my inventory.
Ssss—
The two gold coins and some of the banknotes transformed into dust and entered my inventory.
Right, ‘some’. There were still five banknotes in my hand.

“These are fake.”

I stared at Cheok Jungyeong.

“What? Really?”

“Yeah, that’s why they don’t go in the inventory.”

Cheok Jungyeong’s face immediately contorted and turned red with rage. His muscles also bulked up, and…
KWANG—!
A thunderous sound rang out.

“You son of a bitch!”

“Hiik!”

“Do I look like a pushover? I dare you to try that again, you…! Mother… father…!

He began to spit out all sorts of curses I couldn’t describe with words.

*


With 10200TP, I returned to the inn.
Boss was working out, and Jain was preparing to go steal something in disguise.

“Oh, you’re back? Where’s my money? If you lost it all…”

“Don’t worry. First, take a seat.”

I gave Boss, Jain, and Cheok Jungyeong their money back and an additional 1000TP.

“Whew… good.”

“Just by keeping the 1000TP I just gave you, you’ll be able to go up to the next floor.”

“Well, that was easy. Is this it for this floor?”

“No, stay on your guard. There are pickpockets all over the town. They can even steal money that’s inside your inventory.”

Although it was easy for us, this place was still the highest difficulty Tutorial Town.
There was no way anyone could know that most of the people in this town were scammers. Even a great sage would have no choice but to be tricked once.

“Do we get a performance-based reward like the last tutorial if we get the most money?”

“Probably not. The system would have told us about it if that were the case.”

The third tutorial reward was simple.

“The TP we earn in this place should be our reward.”

**


On the other hand, in a goblin settlement some distance away from the Tutorial Town.

“What? You said it was 700TP!”

Someone’s angry voice rang out. Birds sitting on branches flew away and squirrels fell from the trees in surprise.

“Agh, do you need to be so loud?”

Aileen glared at the mercenary leader who hired her.

“You think I can be quiet? Huh?! You said it was 700TP before!”

“As I said, that’s if we didn’t suffer any damage. Look at the state these guys are in.”

“What?”

Aileen looked around her surroundings. There were mercenaries who were clearly suffering from great pain. She bit her lips silently.

“It’s written in the contract. That the amount paid might change depending on other mercenaries’ condition.”

“…But I don’t think it’s right to not even give us half the listed amount.”

This time, Yi Yongha spoke up. The mercenary leader was unreasonably saying he would lower the 700TP mission completion reward to 300TP.

“No, no, that’s just how it is.”

“At least give us half.”

“I can’t. If we consider how much it’ll take to get these guys treatment, we can’t spare even a single TP.”

“You—”

“Fine! I don’t need your dirty money!”

Aileen shouted sharply and snatched the three gold coins in the mercenary leader’s hands. She wanted to use Spirit Speech to have things her way, but because she used up most of her magic power fighting, she couldn’t do anything about it.

“You better pray we don’t see each other again. If we do, I’ll kill you for real.”

“I-I’m just going with what’s written on the contract. You don’t have to be so mad.”

“What, you son of a bitch—!”

“…Stop Aileen-ssi. We won’t gain anything from fighting.”

“B-But this bastard is…!”

Yi Yongha dragged Aileen back as she struggled with her short legs.
…After separating from the mercenary group, they began to walk back to the town.

“Forget about today. Let’s just buy some potions on our way back.”

Yi Yongha spoke as he wiped his sweat.

“But the Player Shop doesn’t sell potions…”

Aileen’s voice was especially meek today. She was lively even on an uninhabited island, but a few people had managed to make her depressed. Yi Yongha made a bitter smile.

“No, not the Player Shop. I’ve seen potion shops around. Ah, there’s one right there.”

Yi Yongha pointed at a potion shop nearby.

“Aileen-ssi is low on magic power, right? Let’s go and buy some magic power potions.”

“Yeah, good idea.”

The two of them ran to the potion shop.
…Then.

“100… 100TP?”

“Yes, magic power potions got expensive recently.”

“…Still, there’s no way they can be that expensive.”

“It’s true. It should be the same everywhere else. Though, I don’t think many shops are open because it’s so late.”

“Ha….”

Although the price was hard to believe, the shopkeeper looked too honest and righteous to be lying. Even Yi Yongha had no choice but to believe her.
He looked at Aileen who was looking dejected and sad. It easy to see how unhappy she was with the whole situation.

“Haa.”

Yi Yongha sighed. Suddenly, he had a great desire to see his wife back home. But since Aileen overused her magic power today, she needed a magic power potion if she were to regain enough energy for tomorrow.

“…I guess it can’t be helped. We’ll take one.”

“Ah, yes, sorry about that…”

“No, it’s not your fault at all.”

“Next time you come, I’ll add in some additional bonuses.”

“Ah, thank you.”

In the end, Yi Yongha used up his money to buy a magic power potion.

“Here you go, Aileen-ssi.”

“Ah, thanks.”

Aileen took the magic power potion and put it inside her inventory.

===
[Poor Magic Power Potion]
○Lv.0 Magic Power Recovery. Restores 10 magic power upon consumption.
○Lv.1 Food Poisoning. Increases your chance of getting food poisoning upon consumption.
===

The item description was a bit weird, but because magic power potions were normally expensive, Aileen didn’t think much of it.

“Then let’s find an inn.”

“Un!”

…10 minutes later, they found an inn to stay in.
However, the innkeeper glanced at them and delivered another shocking news.

“Let’s see, two people… that’ll be 150TP per night.”

“…Pardon?”

As soon as they heard the innkeeper, they felt as though their souls left their bodies.

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