LWTG (Novel) Chapter 148

                         

C148

The 41st Floor.

While the test was taking its course, a few players had gathered together.

“Will this really work?”

“I’m telling you it will. I’ll say it bluntly, what’s so impressive about Kim YuWon? Hasn’t it been a while? Since the 25th Floor that he’s been seen on the rankings?”

“But still…”

“Even if I don’t know what methods he used to climb the Tower like that, it’s a fact that our team’s value will increase the moment we get him.”

The three-syllable name of ‘Kim YuWon’ on the opposing side.

He, among the 200 players here, was the only one who hadn’t created a team. The reason was simple.

“I don’t make teams.”

Like that, he had declined all the offers from other teams to join them.

It was as rumored. The strongest player that didn’t work with anyone else.

But that was old news at this point.

“Well, Kim YuWon’s achievements are a story of the past now. There are a few people who’ve seen his face from time to time, but he can’t make the same records in the tests like before…”

“Also, at that time, apparently there isn’t a single person who’s said that they took the test with him?”

“From what I heard, he climbed the Tower using an illegal method.”

“There’s also a rumor that he’s the secret son of an Administrator…”

“That's huge news. Isn’t he all of it then?”

They cackled and laughed as they created their plan.

Kim YuWon. Those three syllables. It was already publicly known that that name of his was slowly quieting down.

As a player, their rankings in the tests were proof of their skills and worth. The reason that the title of “strongest player” was attached to the front of YuWon’s name was because he had gotten first rank on all the tests on all the floors.

But now, that name had long disappeared. Now, Kim YuWon was just a player who was the strongest player a long time ago.

“Then I’ll take it that everyone’s in agreement.” The player who led this team, Yucal, stood up from where he was sitting. “Let’s go.”

* * *

Crackle, crackle—

Fwooosh—

A dark night.

A figure of a person sat under the trunk of a tree next to a burning brazier.

YuWon, who had been turning the charcoal with a stick, bit into a big, cooked fish.

“He’s over there.”

“Shh. He’ll hear you.”

“I used a Silence skill so he shouldn’t be able to hear us. But don’t go outside its range.”

The eight players muttered to each other after seeing the number above YuWon’s head.

“Fifty…”

“That’s a lot.”

“But he didn’t get as much as I expected.”

The test of the 41st Floor was to gather summoning stones scattered in each area and gain points after defeating summons above a certain level.

“It’s impressive that one person was able to get that much, but it’s still a lot less than the amount we got.”

“Looks pretty doable?”

Fifty was a decent number of summoning stones to have. There probably wasn’t another player taking part in this test that had gathered as many.

But it was still understandable that the players thought YuWon was a feasible target.

“Take your positions. Just in case, we’ll still go after him at the same time.”

“Alright.”

“Be careful not to get spotted as well.”

The eight players all moved as one. They had worked together for a long time now, and they had prepared a lot for this test too. This much coordination was expected.

But then…

“It’s funny.”

Having looked like he was enjoying his meal without a care in the world, YuWon suddenly muttered to himself.

Shwing—

“I could just easily separate a little like this. Why didn’t I think of it before?”

Flick, catch—

The stone was lightly tossed upwards and caught.

In the eyes of the players approaching YuWon, the number above his head was reflected.

“Eight hundred—”

[817]

The summoning stone count was calculated in addition to the stone the player held when they first entered the test. That number would be displayed above the player’s head, and it was also used as a way to determine a player’s combat capabilities.

But YuWon hadn’t used the summoning stone he had gotten at first. He had been holding another summoning stone he had taken.

It was a lure to attract other players.

“Is it eight this time?”

‘This time.’ It meant that this wasn’t the first time.

They only realized at that point that this was one big, elaborate trap.

After realizing this, the leader of the group shouted, “Damn it, run!”

At that moment…

Fwoooosh—!

Purple fire erupted around them.

Surprisingly, the trees in the forest didn’t burn, but they could instinctively tell that this was a flame hotter than any fire they had seen before.

“U-Uwaaaaah…!”

“Aack! D-Don’t come closer!”

“Save me!”

The players screamed when faced with the flames. Some saw monsters in them and would collapse with the whites of their eyes showing, while others would aimlessly swing their swords.

And in the middle of that…

Fwoosh—

The flames parted, and YuWon walked through.

“You have two choices.”

YuWon looked at the numbers above each of the players’ heads.

“You don’t need me to tell you, right?”

* * *

* * *

[153]

Maybe because they were the team that had survived until the end, but their numbers were higher than expected. YuWon was thinking that he would have to wait a little longer, but thanks to this, he was able to reach the number he had set as his first goal.

“Who would’ve guessed that I would get ambushed twice during the same meal?”

This would have been unthinkable before.

‘They’re looking down on me quite a bit.’

It was understandable. From the 25th Floor to the 41st Floor, he hadn’t taken an official test a single time. Naturally, this would make him not appear on the rankings for a while, and the players he had encountered one by one had thought that he had been passing the tests with grades that weren’t on the rankings. However…

‘I only took this test since it happened to be the test day.’

All this was because he had only been taking the Administrators' tests all this time.

After having joined the test that luckily fell within his time frame, he looked at the number of stones he’d gathered with a satisfied expression.

“The tests you take with multiple people really are the best.”

[1,020]

“Someone will deliver things to me even if I’m just sitting here.”

If he had taken the path he had been going, it would’ve taken a bit longer for him to have gathered 1,000 stones. Disregarding his skill, YuWon only had one body, and mathematically it was more effective for multiple people to spread out and gather summoning stones than one person.

That was why YuWon made a plan. Since the flies would gather towards him anyways, he would use those flies.

YuWon put mana into the summoning stones in his hand.

Then the main part of the test started.

[Using ‘Summoning Stone.’]

[How many will you use?]

The test of the 41st Floor was an advanced version of the ‘capture the flag’ test. Look for and steal stones… And use the stones gathered to defeat the summoned target and gain points.

“All.”

[Will you use 1,020 Summoning Stones?]

“Yes.”

YuWon used up all the summoning stones he had right now, which was honestly the majority of the summoning stones that existed in this test.

It was set that the more summoning stones one used, the stronger the summon would be. And only after defeating that summon would one obtain the points required to pass the test.

[You have used 1,020 Summoning Stones.]

[Summoning ‘Demon Lord – Diablo.’]

Shwaaaaaaaa—

A bloody energy started to spread out from the summoning stone.

Although the number of summoning stones was high, a stronger being than expected appeared.

‘So Diablo appears at about a thousand stones.’

It was a fearsome name.

Diablo. The head of the guild Demon Lords and one of the top 20 highest ranked high-rankers.

‘Although it wouldn’t be the real one.’

The test of the 41st Floor was created with the cooperation of the demons. The demons summoned through the summoning stones were mostly beings among demons on the lower floors or actual demons who existed on the higher floors.

It was the same for the guy that was being summoned right now. Although a thousand summoning stones was an impressive number never before seen until now, it wasn’t impressive enough to actually summon Diablo.

Sure enough…

“…It’s taking too long.”

Shwaaaaa—

The mana pouring out of the summoning stone wasn’t normal. And that wasn’t the only problem. Continuously, as if it wasn’t accepting the summon, it just poured out mana like a broken machine atop YuWon’s hand for a long time.

And after a nondescript amount of time…

“ᗙ What a bother…”

As if he had just woken up, a groggy voice was heard.

“ᗙ I was sleeping pretty well. What are you?

Shwoooo—

The blood-colored energy gathered in one place and created long arms and legs. It had the form of something in between a human and a beast. A tall demon with red leather and two horns.

Although it looked different than YuWon remembered, this was definitely ‘Diablo.’

“From what I know, don’t the demons have a cooperation pact with the Administrator of this floor?”

“ᗙ Ah, right. We did.”

From what YuWon could tell, it was probably set that if someone used 1,000 stones for summoning, Diablo would come.

From the way he answered, Diablo had probably completely forgotten that the demons had the contract with the Administrator of the 41st Floor.

“ᗙ I didn’t expect there would be a guy crazy enough to gather that many.”

Only then did Diablo’s gaze looking at YuWon change.

One thousand summoning stones.

It was easy to say, but gathering a thousand summoning stones by oneself was nearly impossible. It was nigh impossible to gather that many within the limited time frame, and even if one did gather them, there was even less of a chance that they would use all the stones by themself because to gather that amount, they would usually need a team.

“ᗙ It’s crazy that you even used that much at once.

Normally, you only needed ten stones, fifty stones max to pass the 41st Floor’s test.

Although there was no limit to the amount you could use at once, it was known that the more you used, the stronger the demon that was summoned would be. And defeating the summoned demon was the final part of the test.

Naturally, there was no player that was so stupid as to summon a demon they couldn’t defeat.

“ᗙ Small human. Just who are you? Just how—why did you summon me?”

“Isn’t it obvious since I’m taking the test?”

All tests existed for someone to move upwards. This was true for YuWon as well.

Diablo smirked.

“ᗙ But I ended up being summoned.”

To a player who wished to climb upwards, he was nothing but a disaster. Even if it wasn’t his true self, it was impossible for a player to defeat a Demon Lord.

An absurd test to defeat no other demon but Diablo himself.

Although YuWon didn’t know how much the demons were being paid for it, this was an even bigger gap in difficulty than Suruhtra.

“That’s what I’m saying.” YuWon had to sigh.

Rather than being frustrated at his current situation, this sigh was more towards the Administrators who didn’t set up their test difficulty properly.

“ᗙ Hehe. Looks like you know who I am.”

“Is there anyone who doesn’t know the name Diablo?”

“ᗙ Then, what do you think you need to do now?”

Flit—

As if he had just drunk a bowl of blood, a scarlet red tongue licked his lips.

Diablo lowered his body to level his eyes with YuWon’s.

He was the demon that held the most pride and strength. He had lived his entire life being worshipped, so he found it natural, and now he awaited YuWon’s reaction.

However…

“Obviously, I…”

Clack—

Unlike his expectations, YuWon pulled out his sword against Diablo. No matter the opponent…

“…Need to take your head.”

YuWon’s reason to take the test to climb the Tower wouldn’t change.


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