Chapter 21. Altar (6)
Hansoo, who was smoking on the cloud snack, opened his mouth while he looked at Sangjin.
“What do you seek for?”
Hansoo could vaguely guess.
That this guy had killed those guys for him instead.
If he had the thoughts of getting rid of him then he could’ve just pushed them in while he was busy fighting the beast.
But Sangjin had helped in a way that he could survive.
By warning him with a shout from above and acting after the beast’s movements had slowed down.
Sangjin breathed in and out as he looked at Hansoo.
He had been thinking Hansoo only until now.
‘I want to follow Hansoo’
This was clear.
This had sprung up from three things: Longing, envy and a pursuit for safety.
But he didn’t know what exactly would happen from now.
But he thought he couldn’t be with Hansoo because he was weak and because of this he thought that he just needed to become stronger.
But whilst he was pondering over this, Suyeol had approached him.
When Sangjin saw Suyeol and his friends approach him he thought of something.
That this was a trap in order to bring harm to Hansoo.
But he followed just to see hear their story.
If they crossed the line he was going to beat them down.
It was clear that he was the strongest after Hansoo and he had created a large gap between him and the others.
And so he had thought that he could become like Hansoo.
Maybe not as much as Hansoo but he thought that he could at least beat around 10 people.
But this was a very big misunderstanding.
There only a single number between him and Hansoo in ranking but there was a gap between them that could not be caught up and smashing down a large group was something only Hansoo could do.
He understood the moment he got surrounded by the ten people.
That he could not beat them.
But he could not deject them here.
Then they will definitely kill him in a manner so that Hansoo wouldn’t notice.
From the way they were talking it seemed like that they were going to go hit Hansoo from the back no matter what happened.
Kill him or take him alive then kill Hansoo with him there.
There were only two options.
So he followed.
Since he couldn’t die on that spot.
They had told him to try going to his friends but if he had turned around in that situation then he probably would’ve been stabbed from behind at that spot.
Sangjin thought of countless things whilst he walked.
How he would get out of this situation.
The anxiousness of possibly dying had calmed down as he walked with the ten.
The thought of him having become a lot stronger had been replaced with the thoughts of his lack of strength.
These guys were scared of Hansoo so they couldn’t act out in the front and had stayed behind him.
While they were throwing empty threats at them straightforwardly.
He had to look good in Hansoo’s eyes but if he couldn’t even take care of these ten guys what could he do.
His head started spinning at a crazy rate while in was in danger.
And at the same time he, who had seemed very big, started to look smaller and something became clear to him.
Very very clear.
‘There is no way that I can be with Hansoo by becoming strong independently.’
The thought of being approved after becoming strong and then following him was arrogant in itself.
And the thought of being approved after leading a large group was the same.
He realized after calming down and judging himself objectively.
That no matter how hard he struggled alone or even with a bunch of scrubs, the gap between Hansoo would only become wider.
No, it was likely that he will become even weaker by being near weaker people.
And at the same time longing, envy and admiration had disappeared and a different mindset had risen up.
That jealousy or longing was something that he should have only when he had the leisure to.
The current him was in no state to do so.
If he acted arrogantly just because he got a little bit stronger and get attacked by a mob then he would just get killed.
He had to set somebody faster than him in front of him as the goal and chase them zealously.
When his thoughts had cleared up, one thing became clear.
That he wasn’t in the situation to question a lot of things.
He just had to catch up while he was still within his eyesight.
He will approve of me if I become strong… he had been looking at this situation in a very laid back manner.
He had already lost his chance.
He had to prove his worthiness in order to catch up to him.
And at that moment he saw Suyeol and the others who were walking next to him.
‘Aha. This is it.’
Hansoo’s existence was fear in itself but at the same time he was a very temping existence which dropped numerous artifacts and ruins along with his death.
Like a tiger which was scary to no extent but drops a very tempting skin upon death.
People who would want to send Hansoo into traps like these would probably keep coming up.
If they don’t die then they will bother him without giving up.
So he realized.
How he could get approved by Hansoo.
How he could help Hansoo.
“Hansoo. Use me”
Hansoo showed a conspicuous color as he gazed at Sangjin.
And then Sangjin bit down on his teeth inwardly.
‘I’ve had the wrong thoughts until now’
Since he had Hansoo were running towards the same goal, he thought that they could become acquaintances.
Because he was misled by useless thoughts and emotions he didn’t realize the main point and thought that he just needed to become strong.
But he was wrong.
He and Hansoo had different goals from the start.
While he was looking out to survive day by day, Hansoo was running while looking at something in.
the distance without stopping.
While they were struggling in order to survive and become stronger, he was acting with his personal rules.
From dividing runes perfectly from the start to every little detail.
He had to keep moving but he didn’t hurry and always followed the things he had to.
The moment he realized this was when he didn’t kill Taesoon and his friends and just left them alive.
There was no such thing as being disabled here.
If you don’t cut off their lifeline then they could come back even higher health but even so he had left them alive and created future troubles.
Even though it would’ve been more convenient to take their runes after killing them.
And it was like that on the altar too.
Though it would’ve been a piece of cake for Hansoo to just take the runes from them, he had given them the options.
Sangjin, who had pondered his actions for a while, realized it finally.
That Hansoo was ignoring the acts which would bring him instantaneous rewards because he was looking at something in the distance.
Though it would be of benefit to becoming stronger in the moment, he knew that it would bring harm to what he wanted to accomplish.
Sangjin didn’t know if this was because of his psychic powers or because he was smart.
But once he figured this out, one thing became clear.
The way he could become useful to Hansoo.
“I don’t know why you don’t kill people. But as I see it, it isn’t that you don’t kill them because you don’t want to kill them right?”
Even monkeys would realize it.
If he could do that much then killing was a piece of cake.
Which meant there was another reason why Hansoo didn’t kill.
And by leaving them behind, it seemed like that he just needed to not dirty his hands.
Sangjin spoke as he looked at Hansoo.
“Use me. I will dirty my hands instead of you. But then take me with you. No, allow me to follow you”
Hansoo always acted with a clear goal.
But because he looked at things on the long term, it was likely that he needed to endure things that grabbed onto his ankles momentarily.
And in that moment, he could do things instead of Hansoo.
Like a cleans who cleans after Hansoo so he could focus on his own goals.
Since he had already threw away his first chances, this was the only chance for him to be accepted by him.
“I could only use a method that put you in danger as well because I was weak but I can make sure that there won’t be a time where I even get close to your line”
Hansoo was special.
There will definitely be guys who will be jealous of and envy Hansoo and block his path.
And out of those people, there will be guys which Hansoo would leave alone because of this personal rules and his goals.
He was willing to thoroughly erase those guys.
So Hansoo can focus on his own goals.
And for that he will become strong by following Hansoo around.
Since he, who had followed him for a few days, had become the strongest after Hansoo.
By helping Hansoo to run faster, he, who is also following Hansoo, would also become faster.
And if he had another small wish he wanted to find out what Hansoo’s goals were.
But this would be completed naturally if he stuck by Hansoo and helped him.
Hansoo, who had been listening to his story, chuckled.
“Even if I say yes, what would you if it’s a situation where you cannot follow? For example getting pushed off forcefully”
Then Sangjin’s expression froze.
He thought that he was being abandoned.
But his thoughts changed after seeing Hansoo who was smiling in amusement.
‘…there must be something in the 2nd tutorial’
He didn’t know what but he head seen it with his psychic powers.
That they would forcibly be separated in the 2nd tutorial area.
Sangjin clenched his teeth.
“Then… I will become stronger and come find you. Let’s at least go back to our old relationship.”
Hansoo laughed as he responded.
‘Dammit, is it not possible?’
Sangjin bit his teeth for a moment and then shouted loudly.
“Kang Hansoo! Can’t a person can make a mistake once in awhile! I had to make a choose something I didn’t have a choice against because I was weak but I’m just starting! Fuck just try using me! And if I’m still useless then you can leave me behind!”
He wasn’t worthy enough.
He wasn’t enough until now and he wasn’t still enough.
But he gained another chance he had the confidence to do better.
‘Fuck. Just once! Please!’
Hansoo threw down the cloud snack which he had finished smoking and then spoke whilst looking at Sangjin.
“Don’t misunderstand things. Come here tomorrow around one. I would have killed that thing below by then”
“And then take all the runes that are below. You killed those 10 so you should take them. Well. Let’s see each other later with smiles on our faces”
Sangjin’s expression became bright at those words.
And Hansoo mumbled inwardly as he looked at that Sangjin.
‘Hmm.. though it’s a little awkward’
Hansoo thought of what he and Eres talked about in the past.
— You will be acting in a place full of sunshine from now on. But when that happens there will be restrictions. When you return to the past, you will be heading for a goal because of a goal but run into an ironic situation where your ankles will be caught.
Hansoo nodded at those words.
Since that was always Eres’ problem.
And because of Eres, there existed cleaners.
No, it was a necessity that every sovereign had even if they weren’t Eres.
People who would dirty their hands instead of the sovereign.
And people who would help their owner head towards their goal.
And Eres looked at Hansoo as he spoke.
— To prepare for such a situation, make some Punishers. Those you would move instead of you.
‘I was actually going to Enbi Arin but… I will see first’
He would need to use the cloud snack again in order to kill the Carnivorous beast.
But it didn’t seem like much of a loss.
Since it seems that a lot of things changed in a small moment.
‘It’s very cheap if it’s just some runes and cloud snacks’
The cloud snack was just something that worked on the normal runes anyway.
It didn’t work on the colorless runes so he couldn’t use it for that long.
Of course he didn’t know how far he could trust Sangjin.
When the second tutorial begins than everyone here would be forcibly separated around the second tutorial area and they would not know when they would meet again.
His mind might have changed by the time they meet again.
But investments were always something like this.
An investment of a few runes and eight cloud snacks in order to attain a chance of getting a decent Punisher was a very good investment.
‘Well. If it fails then there’s nothing I can do about that’
If that happened he could just follow his original plans.
Hansoo, after looking at Sangjin who was going down, started to regenerate his health.
Hansoo cut off the Carnivorous beast’s life as he ruthlessly stabbed the needle into its heart.
It let out a last cry as it fell down.
He had went hunting and had already experience him so he only needed to smoke six of them to kill it.
The carnivorous beast didn’t drop any runes as if it wasn’t designed to be killed.
The floor was littered with the runes of the guys who had died yesterday but Hansoo didn’t even take a glance at them as he started to walk towards a corner of the Altar.
The requirements of the Hidden piece was simple in some ways.
To kill the monster before it destroyed the Altar and jumped out.
For it to come out it needed to destroy the Altar but in that instant the chance of attaining the hidden piece disappears.
Which meant that if you wanted to kill him you needed to kill it inside the Altar where his fears got amplified.
‘It’s seriously not something that was designed for somebody to kill’
Hansoo went into the room in the corner of the Altar that Mad Monarch had told him jokingly in the past.
And in the middle of the room there was a single artifact.
‘It’s not a skill but…’
He wasn’t that disappointed, if he were to compare an artifact and a skill of the same quality then the artifact was more useful despite his trait.
If it was useful to a point.
‘Let’s see what they give’
Hansoo had a bit of anticipation as he walked to the middle of the pedestal.
And Hansoo’s face, which did not get shocked easily, started to tremble at a minute level.
“…Ring of the Vampire King Nurmaha.”
Solo ranking <9>
The strongest artifact which represented Mad Monarch.
‘Mad Monarch this guy. I wondered where he had obtained this…’
Hansoo sighed as he saw this.