That’s not a power skill.
I was hesitant about telling him this. In the end, I decided not to tell him.
During the skirmish just now, he used his trump card, yet he was still unable to deal damage to me. However, it seemed he was satisfied with how it played out. He looked proud.
I didn’t want to hurt his pride.
It was not like I was a weirdo who drew twisted pleasure from harassing others.
I should just let him think whatever he wants.
Kim Gyoung-jin cleaned his throat and said in a quiet voice,
“Hey… The thing is… How about you play along for a bit?”
I wondered what he was talking about. I just stared at his face for a moment. He casually glanced toward the spectators to point at them.
Ah, I understood it.
It seemed he wanted to have a match that appear to be intense and evenly matched.
One unique thing about Kim Gyoung-jin was that he was obsessed with the community’s perception of him and the people around him.
He was a ranker at the high floor who continued his path of rising to the floors above.Plus, his source of growth was being praised by the people in the community and idolized.
That’s right. Kim Gyoung-jin is an attention addict.
If he had a cool duel against me in the tournament, that would naturally improve his reputation in the community.
Kim Gyoung-jin will encourage the public opinion towards that direction as well.
It won’t be bad for me either.
To start with, it would be hard for me to run into anyone as strong as him in the preliminary matches.
While I’m at it, it would be more fun to play with an opponent who has some skills.
Kim Gyoung-jin was one of the few who were not afraid of me and close to me.
Also, back in the early days of Tutorial, when nobody believed me in the community, he supported me.
It is late now, but I should cooperate as a way of expressing my gratitude.
I nodded, and Kim Gyoung-jin’s face brightened.
How should I play this out?
If I just go easy on him, then it won’t be fun.
I should fight normally, but place a restraint on some things. That would work better.
How about an arm and a leg?
No. If I don’t use one of my legs, then that would kill my mobility.
That would stagnate my way of handling the battle. It won’t result in cool spectacle that Kim Gyoung-jin wants to produce.
Let’s just not use either of my arms.
“In that case, here I come again.”
At that instant, Kim Gyoung-jin disappeared.
He must be behind me.
He must have moved behind me, to where the dagger with black energy flew towards me.
Instead of turning my gaze to the back right away, I focused mana to my leg and struck the floor.
With the sound, the arena’s floor developed a huge crack.
Usually, striking a floor results in a crack near the strike point or just ends up having the foot getting stuck at the floor.
However, because I applied mana to cover a wide area below my foot, this happened.
It was not like I knew this would happen.
I tried it out because I wondered what would happen. It worked.
Actually, the move didn’t really have much significance to the battle.
I did it because I thought it would look cool for people to see from the distance.
After that, Kim Gyoung-jin was charging at me. I threw a reverse roundhouse kick at him.
He immediately slowed, lowered his body and dodged it.
Is it a skill?
I could hear the people from the spectator seats roaring in excitement.
Right after I struck the floor with my foot and shattered the arena’s floor, I threw a kick at Kim Gyoung-jin’s head. I’m sure it looked dangerous.
The effect is incredibly dramatic.
Kuuuuu…. I’m even minding the special effects for the production. It is a top-notch Ho-jae service.
As soon as Kim Gyoung-jin dodged the kick. He readied his dagger and charged into close range.
He calmly dodged the kick which came at him like a surprise attack. Instead of shriveling at its overwhelming power, he charged in instead.
I was satisfied with his skills and mental fortitude.
As I stepped back, I swung my leg at him while aiming for just below his knees.
Kim Gyoung-jin responded to this with little room to spare. He successfully dodged it by gaining distance.
Kim Gyoung-jin and I exchanged attacks.
He dodged my kicks, while I dodged his dagger.
We each repeated the cycles of attacks and evasions.
When the pattern seemed to be getting a little boring, I jumped up high and tried a drop kick.
Of course, it was a move with a large windup motion. Kim Gyoung-jin dodged it with ease. Once again, I brutally struck the floor.
The arena floor was destroyed once again.
Now, the cracked crater reached the outer bounds of the arena.
Watching this, the people exploded with shouting.
This is fun.
I did say Kim Gyoung-jin is an attention addict, but actually, I love being showered by the spectators’ attention while being on the stage.
It seemed Kim Gyoung-jin was thinking it was about time we should end this. He spread two daggers to the air and threw another at me.
I dodged it and charged in toward him.
As soon as he disappeared, I tried to predict where he went.
Using my skill, I moved to one of the daggers that were spread to the air.
I came right at him without delay, and he disappeared again.
There were two daggers thrown to the air.
Also, he cannot move to a dagger that he just used.
Keeping those two limitations in mind, I predicted Kim Gyoung-jin’s next destination.
As soon as I used the Blink to move, I saw Kim Gyoung-jin right in front of my eyes. I threw a flying dropkick at him immediately.
How he croaked was unbecoming of the cool duel. With that, he was thrown off the arena.
He had been fighting so well. Did I ruin his cool image at the end?
However, Kim Gyoung-jin had a proud look on his face. He gave me a thumb up and was moved to the spectator seats.
[You achieved your first victory in the second preliminary matches.]
[Current number of wins: 1]
It was fun.
It was a new experience to fight under the gazes from the people. Kim Gyoung-jin’s main method of attack were based on teleportation skill, quick body movements, and close range projectiles. It was also fun to fight him using just my legs.
The battle was not brutal, but it was about as fun as playing a game on a phone for a short while.
It would be nice if the next opponent was also someone who was pretty strong.
[Would you like to start your second duel?]
[Please wait until the opponent is decided.]
With that message, I was sent to the spectator seats.
The second duel didn’t start right away.
It seemed that everyone was already in middle of their own duels, so there wasn’t anyone who could participate.
I was sitting and waiting for a moment, and a new message appeared.
[You were matched with an opponent.]
It is like queueing in to find a match on an online game.
[The duel will start 30 seconds later.]
With the message, I was moved to the arena.
It was the same place that I was at the last time. However, the floor that was ruined and shattered was completely repaired.
The next opponent was also a Korean.
Again, the opponent was someone I knew.
It was Lee Yu-jung. I once even formed a party with her during the first tournament’s group matches.
It seemed she seriously panicked.
I think she is still afraid of me.
I thought we have become quite close, but perhaps I was mistaken.
Maybe it is just that she was frightened after seeing the exaggerated duel between me and Kim Gyoung-jin.
I felt awkward after greeting her face to face like this.
What should I talk about for the next 30 seconds?
“Jung-ah didn’t participate, did she?”
“That’s right. She had things to do, so…”
We talked a little about Park Jung-ah. After awkwardly asking how each other were doing, 30 seconds had passed.
Just before the start message appeared, Lee Yu-jung said,
“I… I’ll just surrender. I think it would be better to aim for a second chance…”
“Yes. Please do.”
[The match will start.]
With that, she disappeared.
[You have won your second match in your second preliminary matches.]
[Number of wins: 2]
[Would you like to start your third duel?]
[Please wait until your opponent is decided.]
I was moved to the spectator seats again.
Ugh. That was disappointing.
The next one better not fizzle out like this.
During the first day, only the first and second preliminary matches were done.
In other words, the second preliminary matches were the last events for the day.
If I get my third win because the next opponent just gives up right away, then that means I won’t have anything else to do.
“Was that your second?”
Park Jong-shik was sitting next to me. He asked.
He was pouting in dissapointment.
“What about you, Big Bro?”
“I got my three wins already.”
“I kept on getting small fries.”
While I waited for the matching, I watched other people with Park Jong-shik and struck a conversation.
“That guy sure is good.”
“Who? Ah, Lee Jun-suk. He is good. If he entered the Tutorial during the first round, then he would have been rated higher than now. His abilities are being underestimated both in the community and in the Order of Vigilance. His floor level is not very high in comparison to the top floor challengers. Also, he is not someone from the first round of the Tutorial.”
Actually, Lee Jun-suk was highly evaluated by the community and the Order. Park Jong-shik was saying that he was still underestimated in comparison to his true abilities.
“I wish I could be matched up against him.”
“That would be fun.”
The waiting is pretty long.
I wondered why it was taking so long. I looked around, and I realized why.
There were quite a few people at the spectator seats who were watching me.
It seemed they were all waiting so they could avoid being matched up against me.
[Kim Myung-min, 24th Floor: 14th arena, second row, first arena. I think there will be a problem there.]
One of the members of the Order who was watching the arenas sent us a message.
I’m sure the message was sent to everyone, including Park Jong-shik and other Order members around him.
I looked for the arena in the message.
There were several dozens of arenas where duels were taking place, so it would have been hard for us to identify the exact arena with the problem if we didn’t get the message.
In fact, although Park Jong-shik and I were watching the matches, we didn’t notice what was happening in the 14th arena.
The two challengers on the 14th arena appeared to be two men who were both warriors.
The duel was one sided.
One man was extremely eager and was beating the crap out of the other one.
I sharpened my senses and observed what was happening.
“I surren…. Khuuuk! Kuk.”
Stopping someone from saying the words was easier than expected.
When struck on the pit of the stomach by a punch like that, words that were about to come out would go right back inside.
“I heard they are both from Australia.”
It seemed Park Jong-shik received new information.
The attacker had black hair, so I thought he must be a Korean or Japanese, but the message said he was Australian.
As for the one being beaten, he had blonde hair. Even from this distance, I could tell he was a westerner.
The black-haired man continued to attack.
It was not that he was dealing blows nonstop. When the other man looked like he was just about to declare surrender, the black-haired man interrupted it by dealing another crushing blow.
Like that, he struck the blonde man on the face or the stomach. He was repeating the process so the blonde man could not declare surrender.
In midst of all this, the black-haired man was not even using his sword properly. It seemed there was an extreme disparity in strength between the two.
The black-haired man threw a low kick at the blonde man and he fell.
The blonde man swung a mace at him, but he dodged it with ease. He then countered with his sword.
Blood gushed up above the arena. The blonde man’s arm was cut off.
His painful, blood boiling scream echoed through the arena.
Looking at the man, the black-haired man said in loud voice as if he was trying to make sure everyone heard what he said.
“Oh, no. I am so sorry. I was not trying to cut off your arm. Your attack was so sharp that I countered it without realizing it. See? It would have been a lot better if you surrendered immediately when the duel was decided. Don’t you think so?”
There was no patronization in his tone. His voice didn’t sound like he was belittling either.
The look on his face looked sincere and regretful, as if it was an unfortunate accident during the duel.
After that, he walked close to the blonde man and whispered,
“This is why you should have not gone too far thinking you could fight me. You dumbass. You have been acting like a retard. Who do you think will protect you here?”
Although he was saying such things, the look on his face was full of regret and apology.
If anyone saw this from a distance, they would have assumed that he was apologizing and consoling the man.
What superb acting skill that man has.
He is probably flexing his actor muscles because of the warning by the Order.
If he is acting like this despite being aware of us, then I wonder how he would have acted if we were not here?
It is obvious.
The blonde man shook his body as he quietly muttered,
Park Jong-shik confirmed that the blonde man disappeared from the arena. He said,
“What did he say at the end?”
It seemed he didn’t catch the whispers by the black-haired man from this distance.
“Isn’t it obvious? He taunted the blonde man.”
“I got it. I’ll go handle this. You wait for your matching.”
Park Jong-shik got up from the seat.
There probably is no need for me to go too.
Thinking like that, I waited at the seat. However, a message appeared.
[You were matched up with your opponent.]
[The duel will start after 30 seconds.]
The opponent I saw as soon as I moved to the arena was the black-haired Australian.
I am incredibly lucky.
“What’s your name?”
“My name? Just call me Lucas. Why?”
“Lucas. You are now a subject for a punishment because of the violence you perpetrated just now. I wanted to tell you that.”
Lucas opened his eyes big and retorted.
“Hey, you must be saying that from only seeing what happened at the very end. That was just an accident during the duel. You guys said you won’t interfere with something that was an accident.”
At the end? I had been watching since the middle.
“Ask that guy Ivan later. We had been fighting, so I got worked up, but that was not intentional. We were on equal footings in terms of skills, so I had to fight my best. That’s how it happened.”
It seemed the blonde man’s name was Ivan.
“That victim named Ivan already lost the will to fight well before the duel finally ended. He didn’t have any strength left to fight either.”
“No! He just needed to say he surrender, but he couldn’t. I merely didn’t notice quickly that he was exhausted. You are going to punish me for that? With what evidence? Are you insane? Do you have any evidence that I did it intentionally? You need to be flexible. Without evidence, you can’t punish everyone just because you are suspicious!”
You didn’t notice, huh…
He is saying it was an action taken based on a subjective judgement.
I think it is something we hear a lot in court. Things like,
I thought that was not the case.
I didn’t know. It was unintentional.
Sure, being flexible is good.
When it is hard to make a judgement, then everyone would prefer to go easy on the suspect.
When that bastard starts to make a case for himself in front of everyone, it would become difficult to prove that he is guilty.
As he said, there is no proof.
Judging from how he was running his mouth, it seemed he was confident about shutting up the victim as well.
No matter what, it is a fact that this man is a foreigner.
If people start to suspect that we punished an innocent man, the people from foreign servers might be less cooperative with the Order of Vigilance.
It would be a headache to handle the problems and noises that could result from this.
However, did you know that…
“We don’t give a damn about those, you little shit.”
[The match will begin.]