[You have passed the first preliminary match of the individual round.]
[Would you like to move to the spectator seat?]
Like the last time, the first preliminary match was defeating seven of mountain goblins from Hell Difficulty.
I had no trouble clearing it. I went to sit at the spectator seats.
It was not like I had anything to do before the second preliminary match started.
I sat at the seat and watched the other participants mingling with the goblins, but Park Jong-shik came to me.
“Hey. Have you finished the first preliminary match?”
“Of course. What about you, Big Bro?”
“I finished it.”
Before Kim Min-hyuk left, he said one of us, myself and Park Jong-shik that is, should not participate in the individual tournament and be on watch duty.
Also, as if it was the obvious thing to do, both of us did not listen.
Kim Min-hyuk probably anticipated as much too.
He probably said it just for the sake of it.
Besides me and Park Jong-shik, there are other members of the Order who are posted all over the stadium as watchdogs.
No matter what happens, I just need to finish my match and come and resolve the problem.
“I hope everything will go along smoothly without problems.”
“I am not sure.”
Park Jong-shik muttered while sitting next to me.
I don’t think it won’t go so smoothly without problems.
We may have set the rules for the people to follow, but there are plenty of bastards who would desire to perpetrate evil while staying around the borderline of the limits.
Such bastards had been trapped in the Tutorial stages and waiting rooms all this time, and now, they got to be in a place with many people. I don’t think they would stay quiet.
I’m certain someone will cause problems.
The key point would be how many of such incidents would happen.
Also, to reduce the number of incidents, the critical factor would be how we handle the very first incident.
“Ho-jae. Are you not going to participate in the group matches?”
“That’s right. While I’ll be participating in the individual and faction matches, I decided not to enter the group matches.”
“Ku… I wish I could enter the faction matches.”
“Big Bro, you get to enter the individual and group matches.”
The faction matches were a new type of match that was added for the second tournament.
The second tournament is held over total of six days.
The individual matches were held for the first and second days. The group matches were held during third and fourth days.
As the finale, the faction matches were held during the fifth day. The sixth day consisted of free activity time.
Individual matches literally involved each individual participating in the matches alone against another participant. The group matches involved parties of 13 or fewer people. The faction matches were literally allowing entire members of factions to participate together.
Here, the factions meant the servers.
I brought out the rule book and checked the rules about faction matches.
[Tournament: Rule book (2)]
These are incredible rules.
These mean that it does not matter if there are one hundred or two hundred members in a faction.
The title of the matches was becoming of its directions.
On top of that, there is even a rule there which states that we could even recruit someone from another faction.
Before the tournament, the Order of Vigilance already had obtained information about the faction matches and analyzed it.
First, with faction matches, it becomes possible to form a group that includes an entire server.
It is meaningful in the way that it joins an entire server’s challengers into one and encourages them to unite their opinions.
Also, recruiting other challengers from other factions is possible. This way, the challengers from a mainstream faction will have the new opportunity of deciding whether to join another faction. Also, by forming a team with another faction, it allows an opportunity for cross-server interactions.
I thought the rules for faction matches were quite something.
“Still, if possible, I would like to win rewards from all three kinds of matches. During the last tournament, I didn’t get to win any in the end.”
They took all of the rewards from the last tournament.
[PR: Not sure who “they” is (probably a reference to earlier chapters that I probably haven’t read)]
“Still, there is the reward from winning the overall tournament as a faction. Please be satisfied with that and the group matches’ winning reward.”
“Huh? That’s not right, no? I intend to win the individual matches as well?”
“Yes, yes. I’m sure you will. If I suddenly develop diarrhea and forfeit the individual matches that is.”
Park Jong-shik was burning with a fighting spirit, saying he will pay me back for the last tournament.
It seemed he obtained a new super move.
Or perhaps he refined an old technique.
The overall tournament win was given to the server that produced the most number of winners throughout the matches. There were rewards given to the entire server for being the winning server.
According to what we found from managers, the reward was a special medicine that allowed the challenger to raise the stat of a desired attribute by five points, which was incredible.
Except at the very beginning, the only way for challengers to raise their stats was leveling up. Considering that it becomes progressively harder to level up as one’s level increases, it was a great reward.
As an additional note, for the duration of the tournament, the challengers who join other servers for the faction matches are considered as a part of the other servers that they joined.
Looking at the overall tournament win’s rules remind me of the sports day tournaments during elementary school.
There were rewards for each kind of matches. Also, there was overall reward for the team that won the entire tournament.
Well, back in the elementary school days, all we got for a reward were applauses and the sense of accomplishment of winning.
“I think everyone is enjoying this.”
“I seems so.”
The first preliminary match was just defeating the seven goblins, but many challengers were passionately and giving it their all in the matches.
There were rewards for points if the challengers won the second preliminary match or every time they won a match during the main matches. So, even if they were not aiming for winning the overall individual matches, many people participated in the individual match.
However, because the goblins were from the Hell Difficulty, there weren’t many people who could win easily.
Even rankers at high floors, depending on their specialization, were having difficulty winning by themselves.
Also, there was a man who was doing the quite the opposite and staying in the arena even though he could win.
It was Lee Hyung-jin.
He didn’t attack the goblins at all. Instead, he only focused on evading.
He was almost completely surrounded by the seven goblins. Minimizing his movements, he was barely evading the goblins’ attacks.
I think he is doing that because he will not have anything in particular to do after winning the first preliminary match. He must be at it for the sake of training.
It looks like he intends to continue until the time limit is up.
He sure is diligent at it.
After he heard about the 17th Floor, I thought he might have been forsaken and give up.
However, looking at him like this, a most of my worries are gone.
I should go talk to him later.
“Big Bro, about that kid.”
“Yes. If you end up fighting against him in the tournament matches, be tough with him and teach him a lot of things.”
Lee Hyung-jin was one of the top challengers, even among all three servers combined.
He probably won’t lose. He probably will continue to go up.
If he ever runs into me in the main matches, I should tell him not to surrender so quickly.
When it comes to learning, one learns faster while getting hit.
Park Jong-shik was supporting my chin on my palm and looking down at the arena. He said,
“By the way, overall, the people are pretty weak.”
He was talking about the challengers from Japan and Australia.
“Now that you mentioned it, that’s true. Their overall skills are less refined than I thought.”
Before the tournament begun, there were talks in the community. People said the overall height of the skills among everyone else were probably on the high side.
I thought so too.
The Korean server had many advantages. Thanks to these, I thought the average growth overall would be high.
This was true.
The problem was that the differences with other servers were too great.
A lot of the people from Japan and Australia were failing in the first preliminary matches.
I think the greatest advantage in the Korean server is the cooperation between the high floor rankers and newbies on the lower floors.
The low floors are relatively easy to clear. So, the low floor challengers have many opportunities to obtain information when meeting the managers.
So, the high floor rankers gave information for free to the newbies.
Also, the high floor rankers obtained more and more points as they rose up through the floors, giving them more allowances for other things with points. Using the points, they actively supported the newbies with equipment and potions.
Like that, newbies were able to progress through early stages without lacking anything in particular. So, during their meetings with managers, they asked for information that the high floor rankers needed instead of about the lower floors.
So, the high floor challengers can obtain the information needed for beating higher floors easily through this arrangement.
I think this interdependent relationship reduced the fatality rate among the newbies and improved the conquest speed of the high floor rankers.
Also, to add efficiency and trust in this relationship, the Order of Vigilance have been the bridge between challengers.
During party play, there weren’t many disputes or accidents among the challengers. It was obvious that this contributed to higher overall levels for everyone in the Korean server.
Still, the difference between servers was far larger than I initially expected.
I think upper matches will be filled mostly by the people from the Korean server.
“You know. They say Korean people are good at games. Could something like that have an effect?”
“Um… I am not sure. As a former professional gamer, I would like to agree on that.”
Compared to other countries, in Korea, many youth play video games starting at a young age. I think that might have influence on this.
The Tutorial system has a lot of similarities with game elements.
Those that are used to games will adapt to the Tutorial faster.
“Well, I’m sure there are various reasons. Perhaps we just happen to have lots of talented people entering the Tutorial in the Korean server.”
I brought out caramel popcorn from the inventory.
Kiri Kiri’s magic’s effect is still lingering with me.
The number of people finishing the first preliminary matches and being moved to the spectator’s seat was growing.
The situation was moving along so peacefully that I could eat popcorns at ease.
“Hey, look over there. Are those guys trying to flirt?”
I looked at where Park Jong-shik was pointing at. At the spectator seat, a few of the Korean challengers were hitting it off with a few Japanese women.
Park Jong-shik was staring at them.
“What is it? Are you envious?”
“Yeah, I am envious. I am eating popcorn with a dude, but they are playing around with foreigners.”
It seemed Park Jong-shik was envious. Unlike him, I was happy to see them like that.
The situation is good.
Despite the fact that we were in a special environment called Tutorial, the Korean server’s situation was maintained at a bright level.
Also, it seemed the Japanese server was just as good.
The people from Australia are not doing so bad either.
The mood is different and varies between the individuals and groups.
The water was slushed with mud because bastards from thugs like organizations are holding the main power, but it seemed the others who are not related to them seemed to be doing fine for now.
As for the problematic bastards… Even at a glance, they seemed like they were going insane from being watched by the members of the Order who were all around the arena.
Are their bodies itching because they have to sit quietly?
“I think I’ll have to strike them down.”
“I think so too.”
Neither Park Jong-shik nor I had to mind the method.
As for the bastards that deserved a good beating, Kim Min-hyuk was going to bring them on his own.
I just needed to focus on giving them a taste of death.
* * *
[The second preliminary matches will begin for the individual rounds.]
[Would you like to participate?]
The first preliminary matches were held through the morning. After a brief break, the second preliminary matches begun.
For this one, each challenger had to fight another random challenger. After achieving victory against three matches, the challenger could participate in the main matches.
A challenger could continue trying to get three wins in the second preliminary matches even after losing once, so this reduced the likelihood of anyone getting disqualified so soon because of having bad luck and running into someone incredibly strong.
Of course, if anyone was extremely unluckily, then it was possible for that person to run into multiple powerful challengers.
[The match will begin after 30 seconds.]
[Current number of wins: 0]
A challenger was summoned on the opposite end of the arena to where I was standing.
He was a Korean.
“Dear Heavenly Farther, how come I always have rotten luck? I had been praying diligently too.”
“Hey, how could you say such things when I’m right here? That hurts.”
It was Kim Gyoung-jin, a Hard Difficulty challenger.
He was one of the people from the early days of the Tutorial.
Unlike others from the Hard Difficulty, he was not related to the Order of Vigilance. However, he had an obsessive presence on the community boards, so he did not feel unfamiliar.
Actually, we have occasionally chatted through the community since the early days.
He was not afraid of me. He was easygoing enough so that he was comfortable around me.
“Of all people, how come I have to face against the Great King of Hell?”
Who is the Great King of Hell? Who.
“Let’s hurry. I want to lose fast and challenge again.”
It seemed Kim Gyoung-jin already lost the will to fight.
[The match will begin.]
I charged forward as soon as the message appeared.
It seemed like Kim Gyoung-jin was sure that he was going to lose, but I am not sure.
If he was really intending to lose right away, then he would have declared surrender right away.
It is obvious that I have a higher chance of winning, but that does not mean I can win carelessly.
No matter how it is, he is a Hard Difficulty challenger. Also, among all challengers here, he is counted among the strongest.
I was charging forward. He threw two daggers in succession directly at me.
I caught the first dagger and swung it to strike away the second dagger.
I approached him and swung the dagger at him.
It was at that moment. He suddenly disappeared.
I raised my senses to look around.
Kim Gyoung-jin was standing behind me.
He was at where the dagger that I struck away was at.
I quickly turned around.
He threw the dagger at me again.
This time, the dagger was covered in black energy wobbling around the surface.
It’s a skill.
I don’t know what kind of power it has, so it would be better for me to dodge it instead of blocking it.
I lowered my body and dodged the dagger.
At that time, the dagger that I was holding shook intensely.
I instinctively let go of the dagger and tried to get away from it.
After that, Kim Gyoung-jin appeared in front of the dagger that I dropped.
He grabbed the dagger that I released right away. He promptly tried to stab my heart with it.
Fortunately, I used the Iron Wall.
The dagger was blocked by my arm.
I could counter right away, but I decided to gain some distance first.
I am dumbfounded.
It is not like you are the Yellow Flash of the Leaf Village. How come you are using the dagger as the medium for teleportation?
“Wow… That really was ridiculous. Is that really the reaction time of someone who was caught off guard?”
Kim Gyoung-jin placed his hands on his waists and sighed over and over.
“I showed you this much of my secret techniques. Won’t it be polite for you to fall for it a little?”
“Polite? Do dogs have horns? That’s a power skill, isn’t it?”
Now, gradually, people with power skills were appearing.
First there was Park Jong-shik, and now there was Kim Gyoung-jin.
Including myself, there were three.
Kim Gyoung-jin pointed at his arm and asked,
“That is a power skill too, isn’t it? You blocked my dagger with bare arm when it even had a skill applied to it when I swung it. That surprised me.”
It isn't a power skill.