“Before Big Bro Chan-yong clears 100th Floor and leaves the Tutorial, let’s check the messages for him to carry to the outside world.”
This was necessary because communication between the Tutorial and the outside world was only flowing in one direction.
We could obtain new information from newbies arriving at the First Floor, but we could not deliver any information outside.
The people outside were not even aware of our existence.
If things were normal, they may have felt that something was off because people would routinely going missing. However, the reality outside consisted of monsters running amok.
The government and media were completely oblivious about the hundred people going missing every month.
“First, the list of names of the players inside the Tutorial and the messages for their families. These are must-haves.”
“Right. We had been making the list of names since a while ago. We will also collect addresses and messages too soon.”
Delivering messages to the families were going to be of great help to the people inside the Tutorial and alleviate their worries.
“Also, we need to inform the Korean government of our existence and have our authority acknowledged.”
That sounded a little out of the blue and unnecessary. Having heard what Park Jung-ah said, everyone’s gazes focused on her.
“The authority to make laws inside the Tutorial in addition to the authority to punish the people violating the law.”
“I am not sure. Do you think the government would give us such authorities?”
It was unlikely.
The Order of Vigilance was already functioning as the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.
Also, they had firmly established themselves already.
However, would the government officially acknowledge our authority?
Instead of acknowledging us as an independent governing body inside the Tutorial, they’ll probably try to absorb us into their own.
How? Will that be effective? There was no need to question such.
Such questions were not something the brass would think about.
“It won’t be easy.”
After Kim Min-huk, many people voiced their opinions.
What would the government do? How would they treat us? How should we respond?
The tent was full of people muttering until Park Jun-ah spoke up.
“People are invited to the Tutorial at random. It does not matter if the person is a kindergartener or 80 old elder. It does not matter if the person is a senator or the president. There are no exceptions. Anyone who enters the tutorial has to follow our law. Otherwise, they will be punished just like others.”
Everyone thought about what she just said as the tent fell silent.
This is not just about being fair to everyone.
The rules of the Order had things like the following:
Those who do not acknowledge the Order’s law will be punished.
Those who make their own laws and force them on others will be punished.
Those who make and consist in political parties numbering members of ten or more will be punished.
Combining these rules and what Park Jung-ah just said, I think I can think of the following underlying meaning.
If the Korean government do not acknowledge us and force their ways to us, that is in violation of our law.
So, the government outside will be punished.
Most of the punishment issued by the Order was, other than a few warnings, executions.
In other words, if someone from the government entered the Tutorial when the government had not acknowledged the Order yet, the Order would kill that person immediately.
It didn’t matter if it was the president or some senator.
This is not a compromise. It was a threat using the Tutorial’s special characteristic of random selection.
Personally, I think it may work out well.
People high up tend to be more serious when their own assess are on the line.
Still, this is too outrageous.
Everyone started voicing their opinions again, and the tent bustled with noise.
“Let’s think about this problem later.”
Having heard what I said, the atmosphere calmed at an instant, and we moved to the next topic.
They didn’t actually calm down from Park Jung-ah’s declaration. It was just that they had no choice but to go to the next topic.
They could not ignore me, so they just shut the hell up and moved on.
“What about the starting weapon?”
That was a good topic.
The probability of survival changed depending on the weapon selected at the beginning.
I thought about the college girl I met at the First Floor.
I couldn’t quite remember her name. She picked a katana that was half the length of her own height.
It would have been hard for her to survive even in the Hard Difficulty. It might have been difficult even if it was at the Normal Difficulty.
“We need healers. At the moment, compared to other classes, we have too few healers. In each floor, we have one at most if any at all. Most of the time, there aren’t any.”
This was definitely true, especially in easy and normal.
It was really, seriously bad.
After all, who was going to choose a skinny stick after getting kidnapped when told to choose a weapon to protect their lives?
It is no use even if we are to put a notification on the Community forum.
Most people get transported to the space to choose the weapon as soon as they see the message about it.
Like that, most people check the Community only after selecting the weapon.
If we tell the outside world about the existence of the Tutorial, tell them about how rare the healers are and how important they are, the number of healers may increase even if by a small margin.
“Of course, tell them not to choose healers in Hard and Hell Difficulties.”
It is difficult for someone to survive in Hard and Hell Difficulties during the early solo levels.
“Ah, now that we are talking about this, we need to make it so people cannot enter the Hell Difficulty.”
This was almost the end of the Round 14. However, Lee Hyung-jin and I were only two who survived through the First Floor.
Coming to the Hell Difficulty willingly after knowing about this place was no different from suicide.
I once thought about how it would be to have party members when I was at the Sixth Floor.
However, having thought about it for a very long time, I thought that having someone will only obstruct me instead of helping.
“That may not be a good idea in the long run.”
It was Kim Min-huk who spoke against the idea.
That was obvious.
He was the only one who would dare to speak up against me in this meeting.
“I am not sure. Even if we accumulate a lot of information and make a perfect guideline, the number of people clearing the Hell Difficulty will be extremely small. Entering the Hell Difficulty is no different than entering a slaughter house.”
“Um… Let’s think about this one later too.”
The meeting continued for a long time after that.
Everyone was noticeably tired from the long meeting.
Just when the meeting seemed to come to an end, Kim Min-huk brought up a new topic.
“I have one more important thing to talk about.”
Being trapped in a tent with a bunch of people mumbling and listening to conversations for hours is quite tiresome.
Idy was actually just lying on the floor, sleeping.
I envy her. I wish I could just sleep too.
“From the Manager of the Normal Difficulty, I heard that something is going to be held.”
We heard occasionally heard things like that from the Managers, so what he was talking about was not anything special.
“The problem is that this is not going to be another day of the great harmony.”
“If it is not the day of the great harmony, then what is it?”
Until now, all information regarding something being held had always been about the day of the great harmony.
“I don’t know that yet. I need to find out for now. For a while, all members of the Order should focus on gathering information about this after clearing a stage.”
“What about information for Big Bro Chan-yong?”
“We should collect information for him and this.”
Oh my. This is going to be tight.
Of the members of the Order, only high-ranking players were exempt from information collection duty This is because they needed to gather information of their own levels to progress.
Still, I should get information whenever I get the chance.
The conversation about this mysterious event went on for a while under speculation.
I didn’t usually speak much, but I started to frequently join in the discussions until my mouth was literally dry.
“Well then, we will conclude the meeting here. If you have additional comments or questions about what we discussed today, please let us know through the captain or vice-captain of each difficulty. As for all vice-captains, please do not forget the reports for the floors you are in charge of. All right. Thank you all for the hard work.”
Along with her declaration, the meeting was formally concluded.
The people heading outside had bright looks on their faces, probably because the strenuous meeting was over. It must be nice to be them.
However, the three Captains including myself and Park Jung-ah, who was the Commander, remained inside the tent.
“Well then, I’ll get going too.”
“Hey, Commander, please wait a bit. I need to talk to you.”
Park Jung-ah was getting up from her seat. However, Park Jong-sik stopped her from leaving.
There is one more important matter left.
I need to join the discussion regarding this matter.
Unfortunately that is…
“Yes, I understand. What is it?”
“Uh… Um. The thing is… Hey, Min-huk. You tell her.”
Park Jong-sik opened his mouth and tried to answer. However, as if he thought it was a bother, he handed it over to Kim Min-huk.
I understood his feelings very well.
When it comes to the job that involves opening one’s mouth, asking Kim Min-huk to do the talking is the most convenient way to handle things.
“It’s nothing special. Commander, we have something to discuss regarding the problem with your attitude.”
In actuality, there was no need to worry about her attitude when it came to how she dealt with people.
She was not rude to people, nor did she try to pressure people into doing what she wanted using her position.
She was just very stiff like a machine. She was cold to people.
She did give hell to the members of the Order occasionally. Even so, she was just yapping away about the faults and mistakes and didn’t use violence.
Although she did mix in some swearing in the process lately…
She never once criticized anyone without a good reason. Moreover, she worked hard to be considerate to the members of the Order. Considering those, her attitude was not to the extent of being a problem.
In fact, her approval rating within the Order was quite high.
To begin with, the Order of Vigilance was established by her and her supporters as the core members.
“I’m talking about how you treat Captain Lee Ho-jae.”
The problem was that Park Jung-ah, who was the Commander, treated me as if I held a higher rank.
Damn it. If this problem had nothing to do with me, I would have gone outside and rested for a bit.
Actually, I am higher ranked than her, in terms of age difference.
However, inside the Tutorial, we don’t decide ranking on age.
There are a few reasons why the situation came to this.
First, when the Tutorial first appeared, most of the people who led the scene through the Community were in early 20s or late 10s; the young people.
Most of the communication were done through the Community.
Also, people were gradually becoming superhuman as they progressed through Tutorial, which made age meaningless.
Finally, the Commander of the Order of Vigilance, the organization that practically ruled and maintained the people inside Tutorial, was a young high schooler.
Time passed and Park Jung-ah was now 20 years old. However, that still didn’t change the fact that she was young.
In addition to that, the Order of Vigilance forbid deciding the ranks based on age a while ago.
To be precise, the Order made a law to forbidding the usage metrics including age to differentiate people and rank them.
The Order fundamentally hated emergence of class differences among the people.
The Order wanted all people inside the Tutorial to be equal. Only the Order of Vigilance, the management group, and the executioners existed separately.
Given what the Order of Vigilance was and what it represented, it was a really big problem that Park Jung-ah treated me as a superior.
It could endanger the leveled social structure and create a power hierarchy, placing me on the top with the Order placed right below and the rest thereafter.
Even if it does not come to that, it could appear to be like that from an outside perspective. That alone would negatively affect the public opinion about the Order of Vigilance.
Besides this problem, there was the problem within the Order of Vigilance.
It is true that I took a big part in the establishment of the Order. It’s also true that I am the strongest bastard.
If Park Jung-ah treats me as a superior, the organization’s command structure will falter.
Even now, there probably are many people who think I have the highest authority, rather than Park-Jung-ah.
Whenever Park Jung-ah and I have a collision of opinions, there will be people who would see it as a power struggle between us and mumble about it amongst others.
If factions develops within the Order, it would be very bothersome.
“Um… Well. The bottom line is that you should relax when you are interacting with Captain Lee Ho-jae. Actually, it would be good too if you treated him as your subordinate.”
“Yes? Me? To Captain Lee Ho-jae?”
Park Jung-ah’s face paled in panic. She had the exact same face as a servant who was asked to physically punish the emperor’s son.
The root of the problem was that Park Jung-ah still saw me as a gracious brave hero straight out of some fairy tale.
Honestly, it is uncomfortable to the point of physical pain.
It’s uncomfortable for me to keep my mouth shut and put up a serious, dignified face whenever she’s around.
Her excessive expectations and respect make me uneasy.
Moreover, I feel like her tendencies are getting worse.
Kim Min-huk yapped away for a long time about why Park Jung-ah should be more relaxed toward me.
After his logical and boring lecture, Park Jung-ah soon agreed.
“Okay then. Try talking to him casually.”
Park Jong-sik, who was dozing off while the lecture was in full swing, casually tossed out the question.
“… Captain Lee Ho-jae… Sir?”
Why is her face turning completely red?
“Skip the formality. Try calling him more casually. Think of him as a town’s fool.”
Park Jong-sik tripped the conversation over with an uninterested tone.
Think of me as a fool? Isn’t that going too far?
“Captain Lee… Lee Ho-jae? … Please keep up the good work as always.”
“Don’t be so polite. Try again.”
Park Jong-sik snickered.
It was very strange to see Park Jung-ah’s face tomato-red and stuttering when she had always been calm and emotionless.
She once delivered a speech in front of several hundred people while drenched in blood, and she did so without shaking. Now, she was embarrassed to talk. Certainly, this was a rare sight.
Seeing her acting like this is…. um… Adorable?
It seemed Park Jong-sik and Kim Min-huk had similar impressions. They were watching, quietly snickering at her expressions.
With great difficulty, Park Jung-ah managed to lock her wandering eyes, which were rocketing from the ceiling, the floor, and my face. She said again,
“Captain Lee Ho-jae… Keep up the good work… as always.”
The power of it all was incredible!
A pretty girl was looking at me in the eyes while blushing and saying a line like that. I was really feeling it in my heart.
It’s making me embarrassed for some reason.
Park Jong-sik covered his mouth to pretend he was yawning, while while Kim Min hyuk laughed quietly at me while staying out of Park Jung-ah's field of view.
By any chance, is my face red too? It’s not, right?
It better not be red.
I thought Idy was asleep. However, she was making a “Keruk” sound from the side.
“You are still too polite. Again. Again.”
Now, this guy was just really excited about this whole process. Energetically, Park Jong-sik asked Park Jung-ah to try again.
Buy us some coffee!