Chapter 49. Three Gateways (1)
The chain scythe flew around with Hansoo as the center non-stop.
And at the same time the dagger ripped through the air.
Wongyung grinded his teeth as he heard the screams of his clansmen that came from every direction.
‘Goddamnit… he’s too fast.’
He knew who he was up against after the fight began.
The guy who had messed up their plans as a whole at Central Island.
He wondered why the guy who he had thought went to a different island was here but decided that it didn’t matter.
Since if his skills were the same as when he saw him then, it wouldn’t be hard to catch him with his clansmen.
Why would he have set up the net on the path up from Central Island if he thought that a full frontal clash was not possible?
He had prepared it because he was confident in winning.
And the biggest reason.
That guy, for some reason, did not use any skills.
And that was why he thought that he could win in a head-on battle.
And their gears weren’t even comparable to others, they also had increased their battle strength by consuming other adventurers climbing the tower.
Nothing much to say about their teamwork too.
But this was all a huge miscalculation.
‘Why did he go to a different island if he was that strong?’
There was nobody to stop them when their clan swung their sword.
Nothing much to say about the guys who were caught off guard since they worked from the dark.
But that was simply arrogance.
Thinking about it, it had only been two months since they got here.
It just didn’t feel that short because they had experienced a lot.
No matter how many people they sliced apart for two months, they were still humans.
On the other hand, if there was a thing called a human butcher, he was sure that that guy was him.
It felt like he had gone through countless years of work where he killed people.
Keeping distance with his much higher stats as the basis.
Keeping an eye on the whole battlefield and moving in directions where he wouldn’t get surrounded.
It had naturally turned into a structure where they all chased his back.
And then he would ruthlessly slice apart those who chase him with his chain scythe and his dagger.
It wasn’t that his attacks were weak even if he threw them from afar.
There wasn’t a single case where his attacks did not hit a fatal location.
An attack which flew into a spot of sure-kill.
And because they couldn’t not defend, the gap they barely closed widened while they defended.
Their artifacts were unique and strong ones as well but his scythe and dagger were so strong that every time they clashed weapons, their weapons would break along with their bones.
It was hard to hold him down even if they poured on skills because his resistances were high and every time they used a decisive skill, the skill would break as a light shone from his right hand.
‘Goddamnit… will we be able to catch him before his stamina runs out?’
But Wongyung didn’t really see much hope.
The time when the most amount of stamina is consumed is when someone goes through attacks as well as defending actions.
But he was barely defending and only pouring out attacks.
He didn’t know much but if his stamina was at the same level as his strength or perception then those movements won’t stop until all of them got ripped apart.
“Those with charging skills hold him down first!!”
There were a few who could stick close by him.
Clansmen who had charging skills.
Wongyung had regarded this skill very highly and had distributed this skill to his clansmen who had high defense and resistances.
They were basically charging warriors.
They had high defenses and resistances to go against their weapons and ripped the enemy apart after getting close to the enemy with their defensive artifacts.
He had 20 of these guys.
‘If we can just tie him down then we can kill him.’
It wasn’t that blades did not work against him.
Since he was bleeding from the occasional blades that got to him.
Which means that they could kill him as long as they can surround him and hold him down.
‘Goddamnit… He would’ve died if he had come up through the portal.’
But these were meaningless complaints.
The only thing he could trust in was them.
Maybe it was due to the fact that he had raised them with great care but the charging warriors were going through the endless chain scythe and dagger and had gotten quite close to Hansoo.
A blade was ruthlessly getting close to Hansoo.
But Hansoo already had every information about this guy in his head.
Though it was hard to read the rune stats of a leisurely guy, he could clearly read the stats of someone who was fighting with all their strength.
The images endlessly came one after another until the enemy’s next movement was drawn in his head.
Hansoo followed those movements as he slashed at the side of that guy’s sword with his dagger.
His strength was not average and Hansoo’s hand, which held the dagger that deflected the sword, trembled as it started to bleed.
And the attack which Hansoo had deflected sliced into his own shoulder.
Even if you can completely dodge or defend against an attack, you shouldn’t do so.
Since if you focus on defending or dodging the attacks of those who stick close to you, you will just get slowed down.
And then you will just get surrounded by the enemies who are charging at you.
‘Then you just die.’
Even if he allowed them to attack he could not let them close the gap.
The attack bore deep into his shoulder as it started to bleed.
But he backed off quickly even in such a situation and strongly pulled on the chain scythe.
‘And… I’m not really losing out either.’
Hansoo held the chain scythe, which had cut through the guy’s artery, and swung the chain scythe all around him again as he started to repeat the tedious work.
Of course there were a few things he didn’t forget to do.
First, absorbing all the runes that were dropped as well as using the dropped artifacts for defense and offense.
Second, slashing the Justice of Dekrados from time to time at Wongyung while mid-battle.
His core was being a Lord.
And if Wongyung had any form of survival instinct, he will pull some forces towards him in order to defend against the daggers that flew to him.
And of course when the clansmen who should be attacking fall back to defend him, he gets a bit of a breather.
‘…I guess I cannot let the clansmen live.’
The guys who were under orders charged in like zealots.
Wongyung was ordering his clansmen even more ruthlessly as his life was starting to get threatened.
So that they would bite if their arms were cut off and act as a meat shield if their necks were cut off.
He was also losing health as well.
There was no space for him to go easy.
‘Dark Mad Lord… Let’s stop here this time.’
Hansoo made a cold expression as he tore through the Dark Mad Lord’s clansmen at an intensified rate.
Wongyung made a soulless expression at his massacred clansmen and then shouted at Hansoo while grinding his teeth.
“You bastard! What do you have against me to the point where you would go this far!”
He didn’t know back then.
But he knew now.
That this guy was going after him ever since Central Island.
He didn’t know how Hansoo had known of his existence but he was definitely moving around while targeting him.
And he could not understand this.
“You bitch! Why are you doing this to me when I haven’t done anything wrong to you! Huh? We aren’t like sworn enemies or something, why are you chasing me this far, what sin have I committed! Is it because I killed people? Huh? Is that it? Or because I didn’t follow the rules that you spread around?”
He could’ve saved his daughter if he had a little more time.
And he could’ve found his missing son with this strength.
But all of this had been blocked off.
Because of this one guy.
And he could only think of one thing.
The uncanny rules that he heard from Guktae.
‘This damnable guy… what is he for him to set such rules at us?’
Hansoo shook his head at those words.
“I’m not killing you because you broke the rules.”
He wasn’t killing them because they broke the rules.
It didn’t make sense to apply these rules to those who didn’t want to be with him from the start.
This was the same thing as getting hold of an American and imposing Korean rules to them.
In these kind of cases, you could solve it by splitting up like Taesoon did in the past.
He also didn’t have the leisure to chase them all down and kill them off because they broke the rules.
Setting up the rules is after uniting everyone.
It was a future plan and he had to find a different method to solve that.
How would he govern over all those people?
“Then why are you…”
Wongyung became absent-minded at the unexpected answer.
Hansoo muttered quietly.
‘You guys are just stepping stones.’
There were a few things that he needed to do in his plans.
If his plans were only uniting all of humanity, why would he have come?
Eres or Keldian would’ve come instead.
There were a few things he needed to accomplish in order to solve the <Prohibited Region> and this stood far above anything else.
Even if he had to kill off everyone in the tutorial area in order to accomplish his set plans then he would’ve done so.
He didn’t think that small sacrifices for bigger things were right but he didn’t hesitate if it was needed.
But because they didn’t want this, they had set up a plan which had the least amount of casualties.
But the thing was, even if they tried to reduce the amount of casualties there were occasions where casualties were needed to catch up to their difficult goals.
And because of this, they reduced the targets who would be sacrificed.
Deciding who had to die in order for them to get to the next stage.
The guys who would have no other choice than to die even if they left them alone.
Or those who had the possibility of causing the most amount of damage to humanity or committed the most sins, those who would have their death called for by others when they found out later.
This occasion of <Three Gateways> was like that too.
— No matter how much we calculate… you can’t get to the level of clearing the dungeon just by hunting. Since that Dark Mad Lord exists we will use him. Don’t go easy on him. Receiving orders? Doesn’t matter. Does the number of people who die by his hands change?
It hadn’t been two months yet and the time that they had calculated at which he would go into the Final Dungeon still had a month left.
No, just like how Keldian said, it wouldn’t be possible for him to get to the level of clearing the dungeon even if he was to hunt for a month.
And because of this he needed a stepping stone to get into the <Three Gateways> and these guys were just chosen to become those stepping stones.
In conclusion, he hadn’t come here to give them judgement because they had broken the rules, they weren’t dying because he was right and they were wrong.
‘Ah. Maybe that’s a bit too far.’
Since the number of people who have died in these guys’ hands won’t change.
“Don’t think about it too much. Isn’t it easier to think that you tried to kill me and we clashed because of that? Truthfully speaking, I think that’s enough of a reason.”
“You were just running towards your own goal and I the same. We just clashed while doing so and the one who got crushed was you this time. You have crushed others so well up to this point, why are you making an expression like you’re suffering an injustice?”
Wongyung made a lethargic expression at those words.
‘This guy is just like me.’
He had been fooled.
He had thought that when he tried to lead everyone in Central Island, that was his true character.
He thought that he was like a Hero who was advancing forward in the world which was collapsing.
But that wasn’t it.
That was just the image which he was holding up.
This was his true character.
He was just like himself.
Like how he could kill countless number of people in order to achieve his goals, that guy could also do that with no hesitation.
Except he was much thorough than himself.
Hansoo suddenly thought of Kangtae’s words as he looked at Wongyung.
— Wow! If everything goes according to the plan then you would become an amazing hero!
— …You don’t become a hero by catching evil-doers.
— Nono, Listen. I’m saying that you can become an amazing person of superiority. If you do things properly then wouldn’t you look like an awesome leader from the outside? Girls will be falling all over you too. It should be me who goes.
— …You definitely cannot go.
Wongyung made a focusless expression but then sighed as he realized that this was the end.
Since his sanity had come back after his death got guaranteed.
‘Well. This might’ve been set already when I started killing people.’
He had constantly killed people as he got stronger.
With the sole reason of finding his son.
And at the same time he thought of this.
Because he was strong, he could treat others as sacrificial lambs.
And this world did not have any rules or society to stop that but rather encouraged him.
And this was the result of that.
‘I could eventually be stepped on or eaten by somebody else like this too.’
From a point of view this insecurity had pushed him farther than his desire to find his son.
‘It came much faster than I had thought.’
Wongyung sighed deeply as he spoke while looking at Hansoo:
“…You won’t save my daughter even if I asked you?”
He could only save his daughter if he were to put in a normal human being.
It didn’t seem like that guy would do something like that.
And when Hansoo shook his head as he expected, he sighed as he spoke his last words:
“If you find my son please look after him. Though it’s a little bit too much to ask when you are trying to kill me.”
Hansoo shook his head as he spoke at Wongyung who was explaining his son’s characteristics.
“There’s no need for that.”
“But if my plans work out well his fate may be changed.”
“Goddamnit. What are you talking about untill the end…”
Then Hansoo’s dagger aggressively sliced past Wongyung’s neck.
Hansoo looked at the dead Dark Mad Lord with a complex look and then got up while shaking his head.
‘Just do some clean-up and move out.’
There wasn’t much time.
Hansoo looked around at the hundred plus corpses around him and then looked towards the starting location where he had come from.
“Hnng.. Damn. When can we go…”.
Gyungmi, who had been standing at the starting point with her clansmen, grinded her teeth.
While they were chasing him, they were caught by him when he suddenly changed his path and rushed towards them.
The fact that they stuck too close because she was afraid of losing him was the mistake.
‘Damnit… did he expect one or two people to follow him from the start?’
As soon as Chungjae saw them he spoke out.
— Good. Kuhuuu. Set up a barricade here. So nobody else can go past here.
— …Why should we?
— I will forgive you for following me if you do that. Block them well.
She had followed out of curiosity but that curiosity did not win over her fear.
Since it felt like an ‘Accident’ may happen if she didn’t listen.
It had been over half a day of waiting here.
‘Damnit. Should I just go?’
But before Gyungmi finished her thoughts, a blood-covered Chungjae was walking over from afar.
“What. What did you do?”
Hansoo, who had the appearance of Chungjae, looked over at Gyungmi with a cold expression and then nodded his head.
‘She really didn’t follow.’
If she had followed him to where he had fought then those traces couldn’t be hidden.
Since there would be traces of the soot that filled up the whole of the third floor.
‘Then… it’s ok.’
Since she wouldn’t be able to figure it out even if she went.
“It’s better to not know. You’ve done well so go on your way now.”
As soon as he finished those words, Chungjae disappeared into the paths.
And then Gyungmi narrowed her eyes.
‘…That’s towards the outskirts of the tower?’
Gyungmi made a strange expression but then shook her head.
She had been stuck here for too long anyway.
It seemed like he wanted to hide something but then it might really become dangerous once she tried to pry into it.
‘…It doesn’t seem like he’s the type that would let the person who figured the thing he tried so hard to hide go.’
She was curious but she couldn’t not distinguish between fire and water.
If he had stopped them from following him it meant that he didn’t want to show them anything but if he were to chase them down while they pried into it…
‘I don’t even want to think about it. Stop thinking about it. Stop thinking about it.’
There were things that she needed to keep as a secret even if she knew about them.
Gyungmi took her clansmen as she proceeded forward at a very fast pace.
And after a while a giant cross could be seen.
Her sixth sense had told her instinctively.
That something happened here.
But her only clue was her sixth sense.
He had cleaned up things so well that nobody would’ve known that anything happened without the sixth sense.
‘Well. It’s nothing I need to know about.’
While Gyungmi was trying hard to suppress her curiosity, the fairy appeared in the sky again.
“Oh my. People came again. Then shall I start the explanation? About this cross right? Oh no. It increased by three more.”
Gyungmi made a suspicious expression as she looked at the fairy.