The members of the Order of Vigilance surrounding the plaza drew their weapons, to which the people responded immediately.
Others who didn’t initially notice the Order also drew their weapons and joined others around them who they knew.
Even those who just got summoned here also quickly evaluated the atmosphere and watched the situation.
It had been 18 rounds. I think there had been enough rounds to reveal the situation in their servers.
There were old people with white hairs. There were young children who didn’t even appear to have reached the 7th grade. However, they were all wielding weapons and wary of the surrounding.
The Tutorial system did not care about age or gender.
During the early days of Tutorial, we saw the old or ill people in the system, which should be protected.
However, as the time went by a little, when strategy for even those people to get past the early stages safely, the situation had changed. Of course, the Hell difficulty was an exception.
People started to think that even old people can have power rivaling that of young people once they develop far enough.
Their aged body and slowed cognitive ability were covered by the system’s adjustments and healing effects.
As for the children and teenagers who had not fully grown up, they also received adjustments for their smaller frames.
In Tutorial, a person’s body frame and weight didn’t have a significant impact on their raw muscular strength, so having a smaller frame was actually an advantage.
Having a smaller body meant it was that much harder for opponents to land a hit. Also, being shorter meant having lower center of mass. This greatly affected the outcomes of battles.
Soon, the gender also became meaningless.
Some people even claimed that women who were either casting-based mages or healers were at a greater advantage than the rest of the challengers.
Still, most of the Order’s strike division were male.
Most of them were big and muscular men in 20 to 30s.
Although people could overcome their physical limitations through growth in Tutorial, still, the fact that they were ahead of the pack since the beginning could not be ignored.
It was only obvious that young men with relatively stronger bodies could adapt and develop faster than the rest.
Based on above, Kim Min-hyuk had a theory.
Unlike the young men’s age group, old and ill require help until they can overcome their physical penalties.
Minimal amounts of food, information, equipment, potions and etc…
Also, the difference between the two groups starts to narrow only after such help is provided.
So, Kim Min-hyuk theorized that we could get a feel for the situations in other countries’ servers by estimating this difference between the two groups and observing its state in each server.
Honestly, I didn’t think it would work, but now that I am seeing the people from other servers for comparison with our own, I could not say that anymore.
Besides the Korean server, there were two more from other countries.
I still didn’t know where they were from. One group was from an Asian country. The other one was from a Western country.
The Asian group drew their weapons and stayed alert at the surroundings. Everyone, regardless of gender or age, were ready to battle.
There were slight differences in the quality of equipment among the people, but that was about it.
However, only a few people of the Western country’s group drew their weapons.
Even at a first glance, only the men with bulging muscles, dirty looks and tattoos, the kind that looked like street thugs were the ones with weapons.
Other than those people, woman, elderly or those who were weak didn’t draw their weapons.
How could people in this server have developed so unevenly?
I could not even say that their developments were held back. It was more like these other people looked almost as if they were still just civilians with no experience in the Tutorial.
I’ll have to find out about the exact cause, but it was hard to see this observation as something positive.
In the Western country’s group, there definitely was a disparity among the people.
Also, it was so easy to tell them apart.
I could tell them from the weapons, armors, attitude, expressions on the faces and volume and tone of the voices.
I saw a fix like this before in Korean server.
The Order of Vigilance surrounded the main plaza so people won’t scatter to outside of the place, but it was also done so we could deliver our message to them in one place.
We figured that people won’t rush into battle without understanding the situation if everyone drew their weapons in a standoff like this. We figured that people would merge together among their groups and stay alert.
The first goal was to elect representatives from each group and start the conversation with them.
Of course, the whole arrangement was excessively rude as the mean for a conversation. However, nobody in the Order’s strategic command opposed it.
We had less than 5 minutes until the rest of the people from the Tutorial were going to be summoned here by force.
We didn’t want to risk having them being summoned suddenly and defenselessly into a chaotic battlefield. So, the Order decided that we should have the situation wrapped up before they arrive.
As we anticipated, the people from two foreign servers gathered up amongst themselves. We could identify the representatives among them as well.
Even if the particular individual didn’t step forward, just from how people were glancing around, I could tell who had speaking authority and power.
After that, through conversations, we just need to explain ourselves and get to the next step based on their responses, but…
The Westerners were the problem.
The group was clearly divided in two. The differences in strength and class were also too obvious.
Moreover, even though people grouped together based on the servers, the Westerners who were not wielding any weapons didn’t even think about going near those thugs-like bastards.
The situation didn’t appear to be at the level of having something like the Representative Federation that once existed in Korean server. It looked like a few thugs flexing their muscles around. However, I was certain that some of the Order’s members must be seriously agitated to see this.
Right now, even Park Jung-ah was…
I turned to look at her. With a hardened face, she was watching the Westerners.
Because Park Jung-ah usually had emotionless look on her face, others didn’t notice, but this was different from her usual look.
Her right hand’s index finger was flickering. It looked like she was pulling the trigger to the handgun that she was not holding at the moment. It made me anxious.
Although it appears she got better lately, I could say that Park Jung-ah was the most extreme and dangerous person in this place.
I’m worried. This lass isn’t just a little insane either.
Trouble is brewing from the most unexpected place.
I’m being painfully reminded about Kim Min-hyuk not joining us for the crowd control.
Even at this very moment, time is flowing. We now have less time until the mandatory summon.
In a situation like this where neither Park Jung-ah or Kim Min-hyuk can decide, I need to make the move.
I walked as I called Park Jong-shik.
“Big Bro, please handle the people over there. We will talk to the people over here first and join you afterwards. I think the people over here seem to be relatively stable.”
I led Park Jung-ah toward the people as I hollered at Park Jong-shik.
“Cool your head. Let’s talk to those guys first.”
Park Jung-ah pointed at the Westerners with her eyes. However, I ignored her gaze.
For now, Park Jung-ah agreed with my response.
It was a wise choice of word.
I saw that Park Jong-shik took a part of the strike division members and was head to the Westerners. Meanwhile, with Park Jung-ah, I went to the Asian group. I checked that a few of the strike division members followed us and said to Park Jung-ah,
“Should I talk?”
“It’s all right. I will.”
I turned to check if she was really up for it.
It seemed Park Jung-ah already found composure. She looked calm.
I was glad that it didn’t end up with me carrying out the conversation.
The people from Asian country were gathered at a side of the main plaza.
To be precise, they appear to be from Northeast Asia.
If I am to make a more specific guess, I think they are from Japan.
They had distinct characteristics for me to make that guess.
There were many people carrying a traditional Japanese sword.
Thinking about how useless it is to have a swordsman with just a longsword in a party battle, the ratio of people with that particular weapon was absurdly high.
I also checked out their other characteristics.
They are all gathered in one place, but they were not completely united.
I got a strong feeling that they were divided into smaller groups within.
It didn’t look like they had a large organization that represented the server. It looked like they were gathered up in smaller groups from the same waiting rooms or party.
Still, it didn’t look like they were weary of each other.
There were a few people who seemed to be solo players, but even such people all joined each other to form groups.
I think this is how students during overnight trips who got partnered up with friends look like.
Of course, this is just a guess, but this is how it feels like.
Instead of hostility, there were more people who looked anxious.
Still, their overall armaments are not bad.
There was someone who appeared to be the center of the people.
The man appeared to be in 30 to 40s.
One thing unique about the man was the long beard. Its length reached below his neck.
I don’t get it.
He didn’t look like the most influential leader of the group. He looked more like a popular high ranker.
Nobody was stopping him from stepping forward and standing in front of everybody else. However, he didn’t have a group formed around him either.
Could it be that he was considered as the most powerful one in the server and ended up stepping forward because of it?
Maybe he is the emotional support and leader for the people of his server.
I should observe them more.
I don’t know very well about their server, but they probably do have various choices in their swords’ length and type. Despite this, the people here all had very similarly-shaped katana.
They were all similar to the one that man was holding. Even the sheath and armor were often similar.
Ah, that must be it.
Is he like the trend setter?
Even in the Korean server, for a brief time, a particular arrangement of armor or weapon became trendy or ridiculously popular.
The high rankers on higher floors were the ones who led such trends.
To say that such Korean rankers were famous people in SNS, I think that bearded old man is popular enough to be at the level of an idol?
There is nothing special about his appearance.
He just has a slightly sharp-looking face.
In that case, he must have leadership qualities in his abilities or personality.
Maybe he is popular because he is simply a funny guy in the community.
He is a unique one. I should learn more later.
“Excuse me, but could you please tell us your nationality?”
It was Park Jung-ah’s question that started the conversation.
“If you think you should be excused, don’t you think you should offer an apology first?”
The bearded old man retorted at Park Jung-ah.
As I thought, he didn’t appear to be scared.
The translation by the Knowledge Before the Time of Babel is quite clean.
It was only at level one, so I was concerned that it might have been lacking in many ways.
For example, I thought the translation might have come like it was put into a translation machine.
However, the bearded old man’s words were translated to perfect Korean.
Park Jung-ah ignored the man’s retort.
“I’ll get straight to the business.”
Her attitude said she didn’t give a damn about their nationality to begin with.
I’m actually curious though.
The man was finding her response to be ridiculous. However, as if it was perfectly normal, Park Jung-ah didn’t respond to the man.
“For the six days, while the tournament is taking place, we forbid all criminal activities in this place. Also, during the tournament, use of excessive cruelty against another participant and interfering with the opponent from declaring surrender are both forbidden.”
“If anyone violates those rules?”
“That person will be punished. By us.”
The man closed his mouth and looked up the sky for a moment.
It was not a gesture that had any meaning. It seemed he just wanted to organize his thoughts.
I thought the man would object and question our authority to oversee the situation, assess the weight of the crime and execute the punishment. I thought he would oppose the proposal.
Declaring to have the three authorities listed above was no different from declaring that we were going to stand above their heads.
We surrounded them as soon as they arrived and aimed our weapons against them. Only after that did we initiated the conversation. It must be difficult for anyone to acknowledge and accept proposal from such people.
However, instead of questioning these, the man asked something else.
“What’s the standard for judging the crime?”
“Based on common laws and ethics.”
The man stopped talking and started to stroke his beard.
For some reason, it was fun to watch him doing that.
“It is a good thing to forbid crime. I won’t object to that. I will cooperate. However, what if we discover a crime first? We have been dealing with crimes and punishments internally.”
What an optimistic old man he is.
We just met and tossed out a few words to express that we will punish anyone who commits crime. However, the man was responding to us as if it was a friendly negotiation.
We didn’t explain anything about the method of punishment or judging the crime. In such a situation, it would be only natural for anyone to be concerned that we might abuse our authority or have an ulterior motive.
Maybe this old man was also concerned about crime happening in the tournament where other servers join.
“If your side apprehend the criminal first and gives a suitable punishment, then we won’t punish the individual again.”
“Even if the criminal is from your side? How about setting different jurisdictions over people? Won’t that be better? If a foreign criminal is apprehended, for example, then you should hand over the individual to the original group.”
“I refuse. Also, if you misjudge and attack an innocent individual, we could see that as an act of crime instead of justice.”
“I can say the same to you. All right. Let’s wrap it up here. However, if you make unreasonable demands to innocent people or try to frame someone, I won’t let it pass. Do not forget that you yourselves are included in the rules you proposed.”
“Do as you wish.”
She said ‘do as you wish.’
It didn’t mean that she understood or will keep it in mind.
It seemed the old man didn’t find any problem with her response. He just moved to the next subject.
Maybe he thought it was the limitation of the skill’s translation ability and was not thinking too much of it.
“Let’s postpone making detailed introductions of ourselves to each other. Let me say this to you once more. When everyone is summoned here by mandatory summon and everyone from all three servers are here, crime is forbidden. We should have chance to have a conversation after that. Well then, excuse me. I must go talk to the people on that side as well.”
Park Jung-ah said that as she pointed at the direction of the Westerners.
In the direction, the Westerners and Park Jong-shik were… Um… What the hell are they doing?
They were arguing.
“89th Floor! 89th Floor! You said the bastard among you who got to the highest floor is only at the 71th Floor? We have someone at the 89th Floor!”
He was talking about Lee Chan-young’s floor. He was at the highest floor in the Korean server.
“That’s just in the Easy difficulty! Isn’t that right? I am right, aren’t I? You are bragging about the Easy difficulty floor? We even have Hell difficulty challengers!”
My head is pulsating in pain.
Park Jong-shik and the bald head from the Western group were arguing as if they in kindergarten.
They looked like elementary school kids who were boasting stuff about what their family had, claiming to have a golden toad at home, someone’s father being very high up, great grandfather owning a mountain in the countryside… and etc.
[PR: Basically the golden toad is a bearer of good news in Asian culture (Chinese, Korean, etc.) usually related to wealth. Here’s a picture if you need some fortune in your life. https://i.pinimg.com/originals/d6/9d/b4/d69db452c7334c570eef71960540c984.jpg]
Why in the world are they doing this?
“Hell difficulty… W… What floor?”
In that instant, Park Jong-shik looked relieved. Also, he had the pompous look on his face as well.
Before the bald head man had the time to express his anger at Park Jong-shik, he turned to look at me.
Other Hard difficulty members of the Order all turned to look at me.
Even the Westerners all followed their gazes and looked at me.
“Hoooooeeeeeeeeeeeejaaaaaaaaaaaaaeeeeee!! Right now!!!! Which floor did you say you were attttt?”
Buy us some coffee!