While I was stuck in the elevator, I talked to Muninn’s egg. It wasn’t anything interesting. I just told it fun folktales like the story of the rabbit and the turtle and the story of the three little piglets.
As the egg periodically shook, I knew it would hatch soon.
[You arrived on the 2nd floor.]
Exactly 4 hours later, the elevator stopped on the 2nd floor.
I put on my mask and hood, then did a maintenance check on the Desert Eagle.
0.5 seconds to load and reload, 1.5 seconds to transform the gun with Aether.
That was enough.
The elevator door opened with a futuristic sound. Beyond it was a vast forest. Warm sunlight shone down from the sky, and hot air enveloped my skin.
I stepped into the grass and surveyed the area with my Thousand-Mile Eyes.
Thankfully, Luke wasn’t too far away. Judging by the empty plaza in front of him, the second wave of Players still seemed to be in their waiting rooms.
First, I climbed a tree. Then, I jumped from tree to tree, looking for a place where the entire plaza was in full view.
After checking out dozens of trees, I finally found a tree that could fully view the plaza and was by a cliff so there was little chance of me being ambushed.
I sat down on the branch. Now, I just had to wait until Jin Sahyuk came up.
10 minutes, 30 minutes, 90 minutes… then three hours.
“I can wait. I like staying hidden. It’s fun. It’s great.”
Using [Lv.6 Demon’s Cunning Speech], I casted self-hypnosis. I no longer felt bored out of my mind and suddenly felt full of energy.
It was quite mysterious. In any case, I was now fueled up to wait even longer.
6 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours…
During the course of a day, the extreme heat changed to extreme cold and day turned to night.
Finally, Players appeared in the plaza.
Close to 2000 Players were instantaneously summoned. The burst of light that flashed out upon their arrival almost blinded me.
—W-Where are we?
—This must be the 2nd floor.
—Shh, don’t reveal any information.
Some looked confused, while some seemed to know about the 2nd floor. The former should be ordinary people (or Djinns) or those from small guilds. The latter should be members of large guilds or Djinn groups.
I scanned the crowd and looked for a specific target.
—Wow, look, it’s Kim Suho.
—Tsk, why did he have to come here? He could have stayed outside and become the world’s youngest high-intermediate rank Hero.
Kim Suho stood out even among the crowd of 2000 people. His handsome face was shining like it was covered in gold. I was happy to see him, but my gaze coldly grazed past him.
Not long afterwards, I found my target. She was someone who was just as important as Kim Suho.
Jin Sahyuk. She was standing with her arms crossed like an iron-blooded general.
I tightened my grip on the Desert Eagle.
When Players died on the 2nd floor, they had to start over from the tutorial. Furthermore, they would lose the right to keep all the skills they acquired in the Tower. It wasn’t a coincidence that Players had 7 lives and could have a maximum of 7 skills (with the black ticket being an exception).
I planned to kill Jin Sahyuk at least twice.
I wanted to ambush her right away, but with Luke being so close by, I had no choice but to wait.
Even the 2nd floor’s administrator was far stronger than me in the real world. As such, I had to fight Jin Sahyuk far away from him.
“As you can see… the 2nd floor of the Tower is chaotic. It is filled with all sorts of frightening aspects of nature.”
Players were carefully listening to the administrator’s speech. Jin Sahyuk was the only one yawning. A few Players even glared at her loud yawn.
“Your goal is simple. Pave through this chaotic nature filled with traps and monsters and find the elevator to the 3rd floor.”
Luke gave the second wave of Players the same speech he gave to the first. Jin Sahyuk was bored. Even without an explanation, she was confident in steamrolling through everything that hindered her.
“Each elevator can hold 50 people, which is quite a lot. Unfortunately, they are very slow. Each elevator takes 8 hours to travel back and forth. In other words, once the elevator departs, it will not come down for the next 8 hours.”
That was all Jin Sahyuk needed to hear. Listening to the rest of Luke’s speech with distracted ears, Jin Sahyuk turned around and began to walk away.
“But be careful. In this place, there may be hunters other than monsters who are out to prey on you.”
The administrator gave a final warning.
Bothered by this particular sentence, Jin Sahyuk stopped and looked at the administrator. For some reason… he seemed to be staring at her.
“There are Players who remained on the 2nd floor or came back from an upper floor to attack and steal from newer Players. You will need to watch out for these ‘Newbie Hunters’. They know that you have at least 1000TP, and that you are at your weakest.”
The crowd stirred. It seemed this was the first time guild members were hearing about this. Because guilds were so focused on how to climb the Tower quicker, they had forgotten about other Players who had ill-intentions.
“Now, go out and find an elevator.”
With that, the administrator sat down under a tree and began to read a book.
The majority of Players including Jin Sahyuk stopped paying attention to the administrator and headed off. Even Players, who weren’t among the majority only gave the administrator a light bow before going on their way.
There was only one group who stayed and approached the administrator.
Unsurprisingly, it was Kim Suho and his companions.
“…Being nosy again. Tsk, tsk.”
Jin Sahyuk sneered at Kim Suho and headed north. Unlike many others, she was alone.
In Jin Sahyuk’s eyes, Newbie Hunters were just a source of money and food. She wasn’t afraid of them in the slightest.
“Come get me.”
She walked with confidence.
With every step, a thin current of magic power shot up.
After 30 minutes of her come-and-get-me walking, a boar appeared that was attracted by her magic power.
[Lv.2 Blackblood Boar]
The large boar charged forward. Jin Sahyuk lightly shot a bolt of magic power.
The boar’s internal organs were blown up, killing it instantly.
Jin Sahyuk approached the corpse and carefully emitted her magic power, dismantling the boar’s meat and leather. She took only the most delicious parts of the meat and the thickest parts of the leather. Everything was done with the information she gained outside the Tower.
Afterwards, Jin Sahyuk continued forward. Contrary to her expectations, no Newbie Hunters challenged her, and only unintelligent monsters appeared.
It seemed even the weakest humans recognized a predator.
Jin Sahyuk let out a disappointed sigh.
Suddenly, an unnatural current of wind blew, a strange spiral of air stormed past her.
Immediately, an alarm rang in her head.
Jin Sahyuk instinctively twisted her body and clad herself in qi reinforcement. The next moment, a beam of light pierced her shoulder. Blood spurted out, and an intense pang of pain struck her.
Strength instantly left her body, her legs gave out, and she fell backwards.
However, she quickly picked herself back up.
Using her magic power, she stitched up her wound. She made up for the large amount of blood she lost by circulating her blood quicker with her magic power. At the same time, she calculated the direction that the attack came from and threw a bolt of magic power. Her attack shot forward like an arrow and completely destroyed all trees in its path.
Jin Sahyuk spoke in a low tone. But with her voice carrying her magic power, it spread far and wide.
The attacker reacted to her voice with another bullet.
This time, she didn’t let it get her. The bullet touched the magic barrier she quickly created. The barrier was shattered the moment it touched the bullet, but it managed to change its course just slightly.
That was enough. Jin Sahyuk quickly twisted her body and dodged the bullet.
She had already learned from the initial attack.
Now, long ranged snipes would no longer work on her.
She didn’t know who could be so daring to attack her, but as far as she was concerned, it was his loss the moment he couldn’t kill her with the first blow.
However, the attacker shot another bullet.
It seemed he wasn’t a learner like her.
Jin Sahyuk grinned and unleashed a barrier.
The bullet suddenly curved in the air, ignoring the laws of nature and flying towards the blind spot of her barrier. It was impossible to dodge it. Jin Sahyuk hastily calculated the bullet’s point of impact and concentrated her magic power in that spot.
This time, her thigh was hit. Her quick concentration of magic power managed to prevent her leg from being blown off, but an unbearable pain coursed through her.
With the rustling sound of leaves, a man jumped down from a tree.
The man predicted to be the sniper was wearing a mask and a hood. However, he then threw them off and revealed his bare face.
He began to walk towards her. Jin Sahyuk carefully observed his face.
She knew exactly who he was.
After firing three bullets, I deactivated the sniper rifle mode. Then, I jumped down from the tree I was sitting on. I considered mixing in Stigma’s magic power in a bullet to kill her in one blow, but I decided otherwise. If she dodged, my ultimate attack would have been wasted, and even if it did hit her, she would only lose one life from it.
To take at least three lives from killing her, I had to blow her head off with a shotgun. That was the only way.
I approached Jin Sahyuk.
“It’s been a while, eh?”
Jin Sahyuk was glaring at me. I thought she had fallen backwards, but she was already up.
Behind her, dozens of magic power weapons undulated.
It was her special application of magic power. Her magic power capacity surpassed even Chae Nayun’s, and her magic power control and magic power adaptability were the greatest in the history of mankind. Her Gift, Magic Arms, was a simple yet devastating ability with the power to create thousands of weapons with magic power.
But as that should be something the current Jin Sahyuk was incapable of handling, I furrowed my brows.
“You obtained a hidden piece, didn’t you?”
Jin Sahyuk didn’t reply, but I was confident in my guess. I didn’t know exactly how she found it, but she must have chosen ‘remove 10% of the stat restriction’ as her reward.
Jin Sahyuk, who was only glaring at me, finally spoke up.
“Did you come down to get killed?”
I smirked. It seemed she was wondering why I didn’t just kill her from the tree.
Of course, if I wanted to, I could have easily done so. Without her finding out who killed her, I could have killed her slowly or swiftly.
But there was a reason I came down from the tree.
“It was to kill you thoroughly.”
That lit her fuse.
Dozens of edged weapons, blunt weapons, arrows, and harpoons shot towards me.
However, they were all toothpicks in front of my eyes.
I transformed the Desert Eagle into an assault rifle.
Jin Sahyuk’s weapons shot towards me like a torrential rain, but in Bullet Time, they were moving like turtles.
The movements of each of her magic weapons were clear and obvious.
First, I needed to test how many bullets I needed to strike down one weapon.
I fired two bullets.
The first caused her magic weapon to waver, and the second made it disappear.
After learning that two bullets were enough, I began to shoot down her weapons, starting from the ones closest to me.
The lighter arrows only took one bullet, and the rest took two.
However, Jin Sahyuk’s barrage of weapons never ceased. Her magic power capacity was seemingly endless. As such, I began to space out the usage of Bullet Time.
After firing a round of bullets, I deactivated Bullet Time.
The world instantly hastened.
Jin Sahyuk’s mouth moved once again.
I instantly scanned my targets, then reactivated Bullet Time. By deactivating Bullet Time for a split second and reactivating it, I was conserving as much time as possible.
Eventually, Jin Sahyuk should run out of magic power.
On the other hand…
[Assault rifle bullet x119]
I wouldn’t run out of bullets any time soon.
Kwang, Kwang, Kwang!
Magic power continually clashed with bullets. Dust and wind swirled in the air.
Through this drawn out exchange, I became confident that I would win.
There simply wasn’t a way for me to lose.
Jin Sahyuk must have felt the same thing.
Her expression was honest, being clearly muddled with rage. She seemed to be running out of steam, as the strength of her magic power dwindled.
I couldn’t help but wonder what she was thinking right now.
When Jin Sahyuk’s attacks clearly became much weaker, I decided to stop wasting my bullets. I put my gun down and activated a skill.
[Lv.3 Extraction and Permanent Materialization]
A skill that could be used for both offense and defense.
Jin Sahyuk’s magic power would now condense into crystals and fall before reaching me.
[Lv.2 Jin Sahyuk’s Mana Crystal]
[Lv.1 Jin Sahyuk’s Mana Crystal]
Tk, tk, tk, tk….
The crystals fell on the ground like tiny droplets of rain. By the time twenty-six crystals fell on the ground, Jin Sahyuk’s attacks stopped.
She glared at me with frozen eyes.
Her eyes were wet with tears. I didn’t know whether they were from anger or resentment, but I knew they weren’t from fear or sadness.
I sneered as I approached her. Because she squeezed out every drop of her magic power, she shouldn’t be able to move even a finger.
I walked up to her and transformed the assault rifle into a shotgun.
Jin Sahyuk clenched her teeth.
“…I’ll admit it. Right now… you are stronger.”
Jin Sahyuk muttered.
“But ask yourself this.”
Glaring at me with eyes full of hatred, she continued.
“Will you be able to kill me seven times?”
However, it wasn’t even a question worth answering.
Seven times? I only needed to kill her thrice.
I strongly kicked her knee.
After forcing her to kneel in front of me, I pointed the barrel of the shotgun to her head.
Looking down at her, I grinned.
Before she went back to the tutorial… I said this.
“See you later.”
Hoping for these words to instill fear in her heart, I pulled the trigger. A slug clad in Stigma’s magic power shot out.
Soon, a deep silence descended.
Because the death was instantaneous, no blood spurted out. Her body dispersed into blue particles of light.
The blowing wind carried the particles away.
I breathed a sigh of relief.
The first killing of Jin Sahyuk was a success.
It was so easy that I felt stupid for worrying about it so much.
To be honest, there simply was no way for me to lose.
Even if her Magic Arms struck me directly, my Lv.4 armor would have protected me. Should I have let her hit me a few times?
I stretched with satisfaction. Then…
My smartwatch rang.
[You won from a duel with a Target!]
[Target ‘Kim Hajin’ acquires the following victory reward!]
An incomprehensible system alert was written on the screen.
4th floor, final area.
Boss, Jain, and Cheok Jungyeong were standing in front of one of the 4th floor’s crystal stele.
“I think I will have to go outside.”
Reaching the crystal stele meant that they had cleared the 4th floor.
The 4th floor’s mission was to defeat the eight undead kings in eight compass directions. To advance to the 5th floor, one only needed to defeat one of the eight kings and find the crystal stele in its palace.
“Outside? To Earth? Why~?”
“It’s starting to get fun, Boss. Why don’t you wait until you clear the 5th floor?”
Jain and Cheok Jungyeong tried to persuade her.
“No, I don’t think I can wait any longer.”
However, Boss was determined.
She was no longer able to ignore the doubt and suspicion in her heart.
She wasn’t sure whether the magnifying glass was faulty or if Kim Hajin was mistaken, but she needed to know why Kim Hajin would have such a feeling to sleep soundly.
Jain, who was calmly watching Boss, stepped up.
“Move aside, Jungyeong.”
“What? Why always me….”
“Move it. You’ve been exiled before in your past life, right?”
“What does that have to do with any—”
After sending Cheok Jungyeong off, Jain walked up to Boss.
“Something’s been bothering you, right? Tell me.”
She whispered in her ears.
“…I can’t tell you yet.”
However, Boss remained silent. In a situation where she couldn’t be certain of anything, she didn’t want to bring discourse among troupe members.
‘I’ll find out the truth, no matter what it takes.’
Seeing Boss’ determination, Jain didn’t dig into it any further.
“If you say so….”
“Alright, I’ll see you two later then.”
“Don’t go and hurt yourself, okay?”
After nodding, Boss looked through the Player Shop to buy the necessary tickets, while Jain and Cheok Jungyeong walked up to the crystal stele.
After about five minutes…
“Are we going up right away~? Do you have enough potions?”
“I’m always ready.”
“Okay, then let’s go~”
Boss slowly approached Jain and Cheok Jungyeong, who were talking excitedly.
“Boss? You still haven’t left?”
Jain widened her eyes and tilted her head.
Boss stared at Jain for a moment, then mumbled softly.
“…Lend me some money.”
“I, I need to buy a return ticket and re-entrance ticket, but I’m short 300TP.”
Jain stared at her, blinking in surprise. Boss quickly added an excuse.
“…I ended up spending too much.”
Jain immediately furrowed her brows.
“Boss, you donated to authors again? I told you not to do it!”
She didn’t donate to just novel authors. She even donated to manhwa authors and artists.
Even if she liked art, it wasn’t like she was from the House of Medici…
Boss swallowed her saliva.
“Sorry… that’s been my only source of entertainment recently… I’ll try to curb my habits when I come back. My sense of money has been muddled when compared to reality—”
“Ah, this is all Hajin’s fault! It’s because he spoils you that you can’t think rationally….”
Jain began to nag her. Boss was about to say that she should be more respectful to her boss, but she swallowed her words and listened to Jain’s nagging.
Boss knew that Jain became terrifying when it came to anything related to money.