Chapter 24. Sky Road (3)
As soon as the people got to the land, the bridge got destroyed.
As the people saw the bridge fall down to what seemed like an endless amount of time, they made a horrified face.
If they can’t climb up fast enough, then they would fall along with this island.
“Well. The explanations were done earlier so let’s decide what to do from…”
Since it looked like they were all from different tutorial areas and were strangers, Hanchul started his story.
But before he could finish his words, somebody started moving.
The guy with the needle started to walk towards the suspicious looking jungle hesitantly.
Hanchul shouted as he looked at Hansoo.
“Hello there? Do you know where to go?”
Hansoo shrugged his shoulders.
“It’s a straight line so you just need to go in a straight line. What’s there to think about”
The rest who had seen this made a helpless expression.
Of course there indeed existed a path through the center of the jungle.
An extremely suspicious looking and dangerous looking path where something might pop out.
‘What is this guy’
But he didn’t seem like someone lame.
As long as he wasn’t somebody who treated their lives like flipping a coin, acting like that meant he had confidence.
And at that moment a rumbling sound was heard as the outskirts of the island started to break off.
The exact area that the bridge was attached to just until now.
It meant that it will not let them rest even for a moment.
The people spat out curses as they followed Hansoo.
It was a straight path anyway, there was no other paths.
‘It somehow feels like I became a lackey.’
Hanchul didn’t really feel comfortable but he decided to leave him alone because his ruthless attitude was rather burdensome.
‘I’ll know once I peel him. Either he’s a faker or has something’
Hanchul mumbled as he followed him.
‘Let’s see. With the central Dormant Volcano as the center of direction… the eighth room on the left of the lava river, so turn rightwards twice and once left…’
The <Rune Eater Snake> he needed to obtain was a mutant of <Rune Pattern Snake>
And the place he needed to find for this.
<Rune Pattern Snake’s Forest>
The structure of all 100 of the 1st level of the stair islands was the same.
10 white rooms with the Dormant Volcano as the center and forked roads that connected 498 beast habitats and everything else.
So as long as you follow the path as you memorized than you could find the forest.
And as soon as the fork on the road appeared, Hansoo smoothly turned right.
‘Well it’s actually the same no matter where you go’
The danger was similar no matter which path you took and eventually you will end up on the center where you can move to a different island.
If he wasn’t going to find the habitat for the Rune Pattern Snake then he would’ve just gone in any direction.
Hanchul, who had seen this, asked in confusion.
“Wait. You said you were just going in a straight line before? Do you perhaps know something else?”
Hanchul asked as he looked at Hansoo who was continuously walking off.
He had tested earlier. To see if he could move to the other roads on the side.
But the creator of this island seemed to want them to only move on the paths so they could not walk outside.
Which meant they had to go straight.
Which made sense until now when he decided to go right in a fork on the road like this without hesitating.
Hansoo looked at Hanchul and then spoke.
“I have a psychic power.”
What was this nonsense?
Everyone who had been following made groans.
They thought he had some sort of navigating skill because he was walking so confidently.
But to think that he had no plans.
“What nonsense is this? What are you thinking?”
Hansoo sighed as he spoke.
“You just need to go that way so why are you acting like homing missiles.”
‘Fuck. He’s right. After hearing him for a while’
He didn’t know why he was following that guy like that.
It seems like that the girl called Jimin and everyone else wasn’t weak but were following his guy without saying anything.
‘My pride suddenly feels damaged. Do I take it?’
Hanchul shook his head.
It was obvious that if one person moved confidently while others were hesitant that everyone would want to follow that guy.
And more so if the island behind them was getting destroyed one by one.
‘Sure. We’ll go as you say’
It’ll be the same no matter which way they go.
Since that bloody fairy wouldn’t have made some parts of the island easier than others.
Hanchul checked the people in the group.
‘First, there is a self-proclaimed psychic and a crazy bitch’
Everyone seemed normal but there was somebody else that stood out.
First the person with the healing skill.
From his walk and the fact that he had the healing skill, it seemed like his stats were good.
And the sword that was shining around his waist didn’t look normal either.
He probably wouldn’t attach something to dangle on his waist if he wasn’t going to use it.
If this were a game he felt like a priest, no, it was more like a paladin.
The rest seemed normal but were even more unique.
A couple and three daughters whom seemed around twenty.
Halchul mumbled after seeing this.
“Huh. People come rather well bunched. Thought it was random…”
They got separated on the first area on random.
What are the chances of the family over there coming together.
But Hansoo knew the reason.
‘Since it’s more fun this way’
There’s no other reason. This was it.
They split up relationships created from understandings but left the relationships created from affection.
Since bringing them like had higher chances of created more interesting situations.
‘Well. That’s just how they want it’
Hansoo, who had stopped his thoughts, stopped walking as he stopped in front of a weird looking tree next to the road.
Hansoo pulled out a kukri instead of the needle that he had on his waist, cut a bit of the wood and then started to chew on it.
“…What are you doing?”
“If you chew on this it gives a slight effect of neutralizing the poison”
“Why do you need to neutralize the poison?”
And then Hansoo slightly pulled on Hanchul’s neck.
In an instant a 3m long snake that stretched down from the trees bit the spot where Hanchul was standing.
‘…That was dangerous’
Hanchul got flustered at an extreme speed.
Hansoo chuckled at this.
The one just now was this fast because it was an agility pattern so as long as you are careful of ambushes then it wasn’t that bad.
‘Rune Pattern Snake’
A unique beast that gained extra stats depending on the pattern on its skin.
The annoying part was that the patterns kept changing.
And if there are mana rune patterns on its body one also needed to be careful of the poison.
Once you get bitten while it had mana runes up then you will be poisoned with a toxin that will steadily burn your own mana.
And whilst the mana burned, your magic power as well as health were also affected.
Of course it didn’t burn until you died and the effects will disappear after some time but by the time the effects disappear, you will have become quite a mess.
The bark of the oak tree which it lived in had some sort of antidote-like effect due to it being rubbed against its scales but it was best to just not get bitten by it at all.
Hansoo chewed on the oak bark as he spoke.
“Always be careful of being bit while it has mana runes up and attack when it doesn’t have agility runes up. You can dodge the agility runes if you are careful of ambushes but it will still be hard to catch.”
“How did you know all th..”
Hansoo, who had completed his talk, went into the jungle and everyone else stared at each other but followed him in with frowns as they felt the vibrations behind them into the jungle where the snakes were.
Hanchul grinded his teeth at the snake which did not die even after getting hit by his sword and had bit into his flesh.
It wasn’t that bad because it didn’t have mana runes up but he had failed to kill it with in one shot because it had physical resistance runes up.
‘Such difficult beasts…’
They were so strong that his body was full of scars from being bit from these guys despite having been in here for only a while.
And the way their runes changed was random.
If it changed according to how the snakes wanted or needed then they could at least see it coming but it was very dangerous due to the random changes that happened at random times.
He had thought that he could kill this snake instantly just now because it had strength runes up but then it instantly changed to physical resistance rune, resisted his attack and bit into his flesh.
His flesh didn’t get bit off because it wasn’t a strength rune pattern but the spikes that were attached around the snake had turned his flesh into rags.
‘Damn… there isn’t time to regenerate much either’
Since he had some stamina runes he needed time to regenerate but he constantly heard the damnable island crumble behind him so he did not have the leisure to rest to recover before moving on.
But there was a bigger problem than the snakes.
“Goddamit! Why aren’t you guys fighting!”
Only five of the nine had been fighting.
The four in the back were just idling about.
Well they weren’t idling to be exact.
Since the guy that looked like the head of the family stood at the back as he slashed off the snakes that flew towards his wife and his daughters.
The man hardened his face at Hanchul’s rage.
“I’m sorry. Please understand. I must protect my family”
‘Damnit… family means a free pass?”
Then what would happen to the guys fighting in the front.
This was a difficulty meant for 9 people.
The fairy had set the difficulty like this from the start.
But because four people were doing nothing the others were struggling.
If that guy called Hansoo wasn’t flying around next to them they would’ve already died.
Ok. He could understand the family man but why was the guy with the heal, who was holding a sword, wasn’t fighting too?
“Hey! Why aren’t you fighting!?”
He did not understand.
If he had a healing skill then shouldn’t he fight even more aggressively.
And then Kangmin, the guy holding the sword, chuckled as he spoke.
“I don’t think I really need to fight. I’ll just heal you guys.”
Hanchul’s rage skyrocketed.
‘This yankee, then why are you holding onto a sword?’
Hanchul started to calm down his mind.
This wasn’t the right time to be fighting.
‘Yeah. Let’s think of him as a healer. A healer.’
Aren’t there healers in games.
But Hanchul had to curse at Kangmin’s words that came out afterwards.
“By the way in order to recieve heals from me then you must bring runes. To heal all the injuries on you I will take 3 strength runes or 1.5 agility or 1 mana rune.”
Hanchul grinded his teeth.
Was this something a person doing a team play should be saying.
Which means he, who was fighting in the front, should also receive runes.
He wasn’t fighting in the front because he wanted to.
That was not normal. From what it seemed from the way he acted, the amount of runes he had wasn’t low.
He was probably good at fighting.
And it would be even harder to beat him once he fought while healing himself.
But then to not fight despite having so much battle powers.
‘Is this bitch not fighting because then we will get hurt more?’
Since if you set your mind to earn runes from healing, that was the easiest method.
It might be an over exaggeration but there was a high possibility.
Kangmin had heard himself being cursed but he laughed as he spoke.
“But shouldn’t you fight more zealously? I think I can hear the island slowly crumble from behind?”
Hanchul grinded his teeth.
That he had fallen into a very nasty situation.
Regeneration was a necessity.
But he had already been injured even though it was just the beginning.
If he didn’t heal this then his battle powers will fall and the speed at which he got stronger will slow down because the rate at which he gained runes will also drop.
And if you take into account of the fact that stronger beasts will continue to come out then healing was really a necessity.
If that guy was asking for excessive prices that he would’ve just killed him.
It won’t be easy but if he were to continue then he didn’t know how to deal with him once he got stronger than him and continue to treat him like this.
But sadly the amount he offered was a very reasonable price for healing.
It was a perfect amount where he will still profit by not attacking but didn’t ask for too much.
And to continue the relationship where they profited from each other.
But this wasn’t a situation to make profit of each other but rather a situation where they needed to combine their strengths.
That guy was holding onto the dangerous situation as if it was a chance but this meant their lives will get harder.
Since as long as he took things they will lose something.
‘Bitch. The healer is all that huh’
He wanted to just sit and stoutly declare that he wasn’t gonna do it but he knew that was a crazy act as he saw the island and road slowly fall bit by bit far behind him.
As he saw it, this guy had understood his worth in that instant and laid down these calculations.
Or he had done something like this in the 1st tutorial area as well.
He had somewhat of an idea how this yankee had gained runes and gotten strong.
He probably wouldn’t heal you because you threaten or torture him.
Since if he was somebody who will do that then he would’ve become a mess during the 1st tutorial area and would not have had the time to negotiate like this.
It wasn’t that his skill rune will drop with a 100% chance even if you killed him.
And the worth of the healing skill was too high to bet like that
And especially in a time limited situation like this.
“Are you just gonna leave that alone?”
As Hanchul talked to Hansoo whilst grinding his teeth, Hansoo just shrugged his shoulder.
He didn’t particularly intrude even if they fought or didn’t fight.
Since it will all eventually return to him.
“Here are some runes. Please heal my wife”
As he saw the family man hand over the rune he gathered and asked to heal his wife who was slightly injured, Hanchul grinded his teeth.
It would usually be a very warming view but Hanchul’s situation was too dire to look at it in such a way.
The others also stared at the four coldly as if it wasn’t just Hanchul’s thoughts that were like this.
‘A shit hand. I pulled a real shit hand’
He had thought that the psychic guy was the weirdest one but it seemed that he was the best hand he had now.
A crazy bitch. A heal seller and three harmonious family members.
Hanchul’s face expression turned cold.
And at that moment a voice flowed into Hanchul’s head.
— How is it? Kang Hanchul? Is the place you arrived good?
Hanchul answered as if this was all normal.
— It’s shit.
— Have strength. It seems like that we can meet each other at the top. Make sure to survive and come up. And keep as much alive as you can. We need to raise our numbers and recruit as many strong people as we can.
‘I don’t know… if these guys are worthy enough to take’
Hanchul ended the conversation as he thought of it only and did not send it as a message and then grinded his teeth.
— I’m not sure if you can survive until we meet again. I’ll see you later.
Hanchul, who had finished the conversation with his friend and leader Hyunjin, started to walk as if nothing happened.
He had thought that he was criticizing Hansoo but Hanchul believed in the existence of psychic powers.
Since he had already seen somebody with such an ability like his friend, Hyunjin, and even benefitted like this.
But there was a guy watching Hanchul.
‘It seems like there’s already somebody who had bloomed the sovereign’s trait It’s rather quick’
A trait which Eres and Mad Monarch had.
A trait which made them into a leader and the leader becoming a trait, a trait that made somebody into a <Sovereign>.
Hansoo showed a conspicuous color as he looked at the small symbol that appeared for a moment and then disappeared on the back of Hanchul’s hand.