Chapter 2. Tutorial (1)
Hansoo’s five senses, which had been numbed by the light, quickly started to recover.
‘It was a success, but why does my head have to hurt so much…?’
He knew it instinctively. He really had returned to the past.
Hansoo shook off the headache and immediately scanned his surroundings.
‘What point have I come back to?’
First, he needed to find out precisely when in the past he had arrived.
If he had returned to a point too late, it would have been in vain.
Through his senses, Hansoo realized that a chaotic situation was unfolding.
“What?! Where the hell are we?!”
“Damn it?! What’s this? Is there a hidden camera?”
About a hundred people were gathered around and shouting wildly in confusion.
At first glance, the place resembled Gangnam Station in Seoul, but currently there were notable differences.
The modern buildings were still standing, but all the windows were shattered. Weird vines and trees grew everywhere.
The scene made you think of a time ten years after a nuclear war.
It was understandable that people fell into a panic.
Some were even fighting with each other out of distress.
It was a really messed up situation.
From this, Hansoo knew exactly at what point he had come back.
‘It’s the first moment after I was transported to the other dimension.’
The year he was born had been rather peculiar.
That year, people all over the world began to be abducted.
At first it was 100 at a time, and then the number continued to increase over time.
And the year he turned 20, he too disappeared from the world.
Only then did Hansoo know where the missing people had gone.
A mid-way area created when the Abyss devours other dimensions.
The terrain and buildings were like reality, but the contents of the world weren’t.
In this place there were many beasts that roamed around due to the influence of the Abyss, as well as powerful individuals that had come here before them.
Once a world’s inhabitants start to be consumed by the Abyss, they are first transported here. As soon as the migration of all the inhabitants of the world in question was completed, the door to the abyss was opened.
At this point, the transportation of all the inhabitants of the earth to the Otherworld would be completed in five more years, after which the passage that linked the Otherworld and the Abyss would open, giving rise to the great war against the species in the Abyss.
Basically, the 25 years before would be like a tutorial.
From a certain point of view it seemed benevolence toward those who had lived an ordinary life before they had to enter the abyss, but to Hansoo it didn’t seem so kindhearted.
It seemed like time had been given only because it would be boring if they died too easily.
‘In any case, it’s not bad to have returned to the beginning.’
He had earned 5 years to prepare before the Abyss opened.
If it was at the moment it opened, he would’ve been in trouble and wouldn’t have been able to do much, but this was a very good situation.
Hansoo started checking his body’s condition after he understood the current situation.
Since no one could leave before a fairy came out and started the basic tutorial, he thought it would be a good idea to do a warm-up before that.
‘As I expected.’
After a few stretches, Hansoo shrugged.
All the skills that he knew and the runes he filled his body with were all gone.
He was like a blank sheet of paper.
‘Well, I can collect them all. Anyways, it’s time for it to come.’
As Hansoo finished his thoughts, something fell from the sky.
Hansoo stared at the creature that appeared.
The palm-sized fairy looked around at the people present and said, in a sweet voice,
“Hello, everyone. I’m a helper, I’m here to make your start quicker.”
Hansoo, who clearly knew what that satanic midget’s ‘start quicker’ meant, inwardly clicked his tongue.
‘It already wants to see us fight.’
As the fairy appeared and a weird aura spread over the people, the seemingly uncontrollable situation slowly died down.
The fairy was a very eye-catching existence, even in this abnormal place.
Once the crowd quieted down somewhat, the fairy smiled broadly and opened its mouth,
“Firstly, I would like to welcome you all to the Otherworld. You’ve now all been granted a wonderful chance.”
“Wait. Wait. What do you mean? What’s the Otherworld?!”
The fairy stared for a moment at the man who had attracted people’s attention with his questioning, then ignored him as it continued,
“In this place, you are all granted absolute freedom. No matter what you do here, nobody will punish you. All the rules you’re used to following do not exist here.”
“And that’s not all. We can’t call that a chance by itself. All you no longer have any of the physical limits of the past.”
“You all can now become infinitely strong depending on what you do, like heroes from a movie.”
As the fairy looked at the confused people, its smile didn’t disappear as it opened its mouth again.
“I’ll show you a quick demonstration, since I came to hasten the progress.”
The fairy pointed its finger at the man who had shouted out first.
From the feeble and delicate finger, a light beam shot out and penetrated directly through the man’s heart.
“I don’t like people who talk a lot.”
The people who were about to scream about what happened, covered their mouths at the fairy’s words.
At the same time, everyone realized that the new environment was not very friendly.
“Very good. Shall we continue?”
Then, the fairy flew toward the man’s corpse.
Something weird happened.
Above the man’s body, a translucent and shining symbol the size of a hand appeared.
The fairy grabbed the symbol and spoke,
“This is a <Rune>. Every living organism contains a rune, and if you kill it, the rune will come out like this. However, what comes out will be random.”
The fairy, who disregarded the terrifying meaning of its words, casually looked around as it continued its speech.
“Let’s see. This is a rune that increases physical strength. Who… should I give it to?”
They didn’t want to end up like the corpse, so they were afraid to take a step forward.
At that moment, Hansoo raised his hand.
One rune was very helpful in the beginning. How much he disliked the fairy was secondary.
Plus, there was no risk involved.
There was no reason to not raise his hand.
The fairy looked at Hansoo and made a satisfied expression.
“Very good. I like your determination. Put this on the top of your hand.”
Then the rune was absorbed into his body.
Externally there were no changes. However, the fairy looked at Hansoo with a smile.
“Isn’t it amazing? These runes break the known laws. Scientifically, your muscles were only able to lift 117.1kg before, but it has been increased to 122.3kg.”
When Hansoo made an indifferent face, the fairy felt a bit awkward and turned to continue talking.
“The reaction was pretty bland. Anyways, there are many skills that can be raised, so a wide variety of runes. Among them, there are special skills that the science with which you are familiar cannot explain. Let’s see… another demonstration would be fantastic.”
The fairy looked around.
Everyone got frightened and shriveled up from the fairy’s expression of hunting for prey.
That expression was quite clear.
It wanted to kill another person as an experiment to extract another rune.
However, the fairy shrugged at the atmosphere,
“Well, let’s stop. But keep this in mind. There is nothing bad about any rune that raises any characteristic. If you want to be strong from now on, you need to collect a lot of runes. No matter how many pushups you do, your strength will never increase like that.”
At those words, everyone started to look around and slowly backed up.
If one died, a rune would come out that would boost someone else.
They could all imagine what would happen in the worst case scenario.
The fairy enjoyed the weird atmosphere as it smiled contently and opened its mouth,
“If you touch your right ear, you can see which runes you have. Humans seemed to like things expressed in numbers, so we implemented this 15 years ago. You just need to know that the average human’s stat is 10.”
Immediately, everyone started touching their ears.
‘Strength was increased by 1.’
A very simple composition. But at the beginning everyone’s was similar.
It would be weirder if an ordinary human had mana.
As one hunted and collected runes, values such as mana, magic, physical defense and magic resistance would be added.
It didn’t matter if the hunted were humans or beasts.
‘Hmm… he’ll probably have started with around 17 strength.’
Hansoo mumbled, as he saw a muscular man in the distance.
A well-trained body.
At this point, he was in a superior position to the rest of the crowd.
The difference between 11 and 17 was only about 1.5 times, but it was not such a simple matter.
That much strength can give him a significant advantage at the beginning.
It’d be a lot for a woman to have a 3 or 4.
The fairy smiled and spoke as it watched the commotion.
“The starting point may be unfair… but where you used to live was like that too, right? Well, I will give you all a bonus, so don’t be sad.”
The fairy touched its butt as it spoke.
Everyone started touching their butts without thinking.
Something was there.
They saw what came out of their pockets, and their faces turned white.
A sharp dagger, which hadn’t existed before they arrived, came out of each person’s pocket.
Normally, this would have been very reassuring, but the thought of becoming prey and the fact that the person next to them also had a dagger was not pleasant at all.
The fairy laughed,
“That’s something you’ll need. Forget about the past and take the chance given to you. The tutorial will start now, so good luck.”
The fairy disappeared into a hole that had suddenly appeared.
As the fairy disappeared, people started to mumble.
Everyone was still tense and on alert from the murderous fairy’s words when a noise started from somewhere.
They looked toward the source of the noise.
Tiny green monsters with deformed looks appeared.
Faced with the familiar monsters from the movies, their faces twitched in fear.
The fairy had called this a tutorial.
The fairy had said it as if it were simple, but it had killed a person in an instant. It would be foolish to think that it would actually be simple for one.
There were more than 200 goblins.
Although there were 100 people and the goblins were only half their size, it was impossible to be calm in this situation.
However, it seemed like the goblins had the same thoughts, as they only stared back at them fiercely but didn’t approach them.
In this tense atmosphere, somebody quietly spoke from the back,
“Let’s not irritate them, and move backwards slowly.”
Everyone nodded. They silently came to a consensus.
That was taught in schools.
No matter what you think you can do, always run away if the opponent has a sharp object in their hand.
They had daggers too, but who would want to fight monsters like that?
Hansoo shook his head.
‘That thing is really evil. How can it just throw in some goblins and call it a tutorial?’
As they slowly backed away, someone stopped and moaned.
One person who saw that was upset,
“What are you doing?! Come on, keep moving. We need to get away quickly.”
The man who stopped, shouted,
“… This is weird. There’s like a wall in mid-air.”
At those words, people tried to flee in a hurry.
And then they shouted in frustration.
“Fuck! What is this? It’s blocked!”
People started hitting the walls while screaming. At that moment, someone pointed out,
“Hey… this thing is moving toward us.”
People started leaning against the walls.
They all frowned.
The walls were slowly pushing them back.
As they heard the cries from far away, they looked in that direction. There, the goblins were also getting pushed toward them.
As the invisible walls continued to push them, they became frustrated and began to hack away at the void, but it was useless.
When the goblins glared at them viciously, the people gripped their daggers tighter. At this point, they had to fight no matter what.
Suddenly, someone managed to break through the clear walls .
“Huh? What? How’d you get out?”
“Uh… I don’t know. I just walked out this way.”
In the air where the man passed, a number appeared.
As the crowd mumbled, one person noticed and quickly ran in that direction.
The number changed.
Everyone realized the truth when they saw this.
50 people could leave, while the 50 people left behind would have to fight those monsters.
The crowd rushed at the same time toward the tiny gap.
“Get out of the fucking way!”
“I will go out!”
Hansoo shook his head at this scene.
If the 100 people fought seriously, they could probably win. Some would definitely die, but no more than 20.
Hansoo was also clear that it would never happen, since it would be a different story than the one he knew.
When Hansoo had first come here, 40 had died to the goblins.
Even now, the goblins’ eyes shone at the sight of the crowd fighting each other and they began to run toward the people.
However, Hansoo would not turn a blind eye.
‘First, I need to quickly clear this area and move on to the next stage.’
He had a lot of things to do, he didn’t want to waste time.
Once he made his decision, his entire body began to writhe as his muscles tensed up.