Chapter 5. Gangnam Station (1)
A beastly sound was heard from below as green blood spluttered out.
Taesoon who had seen this was scared out of his wits.
“What is it!”
This place looked like Gangnam Train Station but it was not anymore.
It copied the looks of the Gangnam Train Station but one could look at it as a dungeon.
And Green Worms were one of the most widely spread mobs of the Tutorial area.
They don’t like sunlight so they stay underground and they come out after feeling the vibrations above ground.
If someone were to be bitten by that somewhat lacking mouth, chunks of flesh getting ripped off was a given.
‘Well, they still give runes.’
From one point of view, it is very dangerous.
If you get bitten once and fall down you will die without being able to do anything.
But there was an easy way to deal with these guys.
Hansoo ruthlessly hacked down on the heads as he spoke:
“If you aren’t confident then walk on the unbroken granite. If you see somewhere that’s broken and earth is exposed, stab it with your sword. Oh and be careful of your hand when you stab.”
Right below the granite was soil, confirming that this place just copied the looks of Gangnam Train Station.
“… How do you know all of this?”
As Taesoon asked with a suspicious look, Hansoo replied very simply.
At those words the seven who had been eyeing Hansoo with a terrified face carefully walked on the granite as they stabbed the areas with exposed soil.
Hansoo shook his head at the way they stabbed the earth ruthlessly.
‘Four of them are useful. Three aren’t quite there yet.’
Surprisingly the females were leading.
Mihee and Jisun were stabbing the earth with clenched teeth and Taesoon and Jisun’s boyfriend were also stabbing the earth zealously.
But the remaining three were perhaps afraid of the green worms who came out screaming, they were just watching quietly from the back.
Hansoo didn’t really care about those three.
There was no reason to get upset because they didn’t join in on the fight. Because the work will eventually fall onto him anyway.
Soon there were tiny runes shining everywhere.
Hansoo was picking the runes that came out from his killings then turned around and asked with a weird look:
“…Why aren’t you picking them up?”
Then Taesoon laughed awkwardly.
“No, It’s nothing much but… isn’t it better for you to take them all? Even in games we do something where we give everything to one person.”
Everyone nodded a little bit.
Just because someone assimilated runes, it didn’t mean they would become strong like superman.
But if at the moment they were to get caught by those beastly things and get tetanus or something then they would just die.
If they gave all these runes to Hansoo and his protection offers safety, it’s a better option.
Hansoo shook his head at those words.
“The things you kill, you take.”
This was not his thoughts.
If they were going to become enemies from the start it wouldn’t really matter but if they are going to travel together they at least needed some rules.
And this was the most basic rule that they followed in order to stay together for decades when roaming around the abyss.
— You take the runes for the things you kill. If it’s a group hunt then you distribute according to order and contribution.
‘As I expected due to it being the start…’
Thinking that they will protect you because they eat the runes is a very flawed idea.
Why would they since we’re friends. Thoughts like if i’m this nice to them they will reward me with something.
When a situation where one’s life is on the line comes along, a relationship built on each other’s likes disappear like bubbles.
So far reality is still in check but soon after they will realize it.
A situation where one’s life is in danger isn’t far off in this place.
In conclusion the only thing you can trust is your own ability.
If you are useless you will get thrown off immediately.
They will realize it eventually and once they do they will zealously go for runes and become red eyed.
The above rule was created because of that.
‘I’m not their babysitter, they’ve got to handle things themselves.’
At that moment Taesoon mumbled softly in the corner.
“Hey look over here. There’s a special rune here.”
At those words everyone gathered around.
Everyone saw it for the first time but from instinct they knew what use this rune had.
“If one takes this then they can use skills huh.”
Taesoon mumbled as he stole glances at Hansoo.
The object gives rise to the desire.
Before, Hansoo coolly said that they should distribute the runes but if his eyes turn at the sight of these new runes and he says that he will take it, Taesoon had no way of stopping him.
“Can I really take this?”
Then Hansoo nodded his head.
Hansoo even knew the identity of that rune.
<Ekrool Troll Tribe’s Essence>
‘It’s a pretty good rune at the start.’
A rune that made your skin hard and increased regeneration.
A rune which increases both defense and regeneration in the beginning where survival is important.
And that rune was almost like a passive where learning had no restrictions and didn’t take mana.
You get more gluttonous but for the benefit you get, it’s worth it.
Food can be stolen once you get stronger and won’t be a problem.
But Hansoo shook his head.
‘I cannot learn skills freely.’
Usually one learned a few tens of skills.
It’s not erasable but there isn’t really anything you need to give up to learn the skill.
The strength of the skill changes according to proficiency and rank but since there’s no risk of learning there’s no harm in learning it.
Someone with a good sense and a lot of mana sometimes has over a hundred and Keldian had over a thousand.
And since he was able to use all those skills properly he was one of the strongest four.
Kangtae was the strongest but if they actually fought Keldian was not a joke either.
But he could not be like that.
A nickname given by Eres after seeing his peculiar characteristic.
A characteristic that allowed him to catch up to Kangtae, Keldian, Eres and stand shoulder to shoulder with them despite starting 20 years late.
And the characteristic that was the deciding factor that made the others send him to the past instead of themselves.
The time he realized his characteristics was when he first learned a skill.
The first skill he learned was <Dororo lizard’s essence.>
But as soon as the rune was implemented to his body he knew he made a mistake which could not be changed.
— …the amount of skills I can learn is exactly seven.
To be specific the amount of runes that was allowed for him was seven.
Eres always lamented.
— If you had learned a mid-tier skill like Reinforcement (??) and evolved it then it would’ve been so much easier on us.
The limit of seven was a huge disadvantage.
But more so than that there’s a huge advantage to it.
The speed at which the proficiency of the skill rises is surprisingly fast.
At an incredible speed.
And the skill even breaks the limit and keeps on evolving afterwards.
The skill he learned, Dororo Lizard’s Essence which basically just gave fast regeneration evolved to the point where it was comparable to his immortal technique he learned.
Eventually the Dororo Lizard’s Essence was like that.
The scrubby skills which he learned as a final resort in order to survive eventually strengthened as he struggled.
<Ganglion’s Fast Charge> upgraded to the point of Keldian’s Void Ripper and <Anon’s Vampire Bat> upgraded to the point where it got as strong as Blood Magic.
In the abyss where a strong skill was important, this was a talent of blessing.
And for that Eres firmly told him before he came back to the fast.
Make sure to carefully select before deciding on the seven skills.
And he was thinking of doing that if all went according to his plans.
‘According to my plans… there’s nothing before exiting the tutorial area.’
“Then I’m going to learn it?”
The surrounding friends stared jealously at Taesoon who was very happy.
And soon when Taesoon absorbed the rune a change occurred.
Taesoon’s skin temporarily showed a bit of green then returned.
There wasn’t much change but Taesoon knew the second he learned what kind of change happened to his body.
The tired body started to have miniscule amounts of vitality flowing into it and the skin which had been grazed by the teeth of the green worm started to heal.
And a newly appeared stat.
‘A stat called physical resistance appeared’
Taesoon touched his ears.
Stamina: 12.5(+1.5<Ekrool Troll Tribe’s Essence>)
Physical Resistance: 10.7(+0.7<Ekrool Troll Tribe’s Essence>)
* Ekrool Troll Tribe’s Essence (Proficiency 1.0%)
The proficiency was only at 1% but quite a lot of stats went up
Dumbass, giving me something like this.
If it was him he would never have given it.
Hierarchy should be taken advantage of when it is applicable.
‘I will catch up to you’
Taesoon, who had counted the number of runes, watched Hansoo with a confident smile.
While Taesoon was doing that Hansoo checked his stats.
[Kang Hansoo] Strength: 15.3
‘It’s not bad.’
The level where it was not bad but rather it was extremely fast-paced compared to the past.
Hansoo shook his head as he continued forward.
But at that moment Taesoon came next to Hansoo as he spoke:
“It’ll be dangerous from now on so let’s go together.”
And as Hansoo saw Taesoon steal a glance at Mihee he shook his head.
‘…There’s no way that he’s seeing me as a competitor.’
Actually this much was cute.
In the future one won’t know how it will change.
‘Whatever happens it isn’t bad.’
Even if they split the runes the speed was fast so the rate at which the runes increased was faster compared to when he hunted alone.
He was worried that Taesoon might be in the way but he was at least working enough for one person.
With the two as the lead, the eight kept on going forwards.
Thankfully a little bit of light came through half broken down roofs so there wasn’t much issue in going forward.
Though it was a little hard to see.
Maybe it was because they got greedy after seeing a skill, everyone was greedily slashing down upon green worms but they could still not compare to Taesoon and Hansoo’s speed.
‘Anyways… that guy doesn’t even have a skill but he’s so much faster than me.’
Taesoon looked at Hansoo with a slightly jealous look.
Due to the new skill he could dash in with a little less fear.
That was the reason why his hunting speed rose.
But that guy ruthlessly dove between green worms as if he was invincible and slashed down on heads.
‘…No. I will win.’
Taesoon, who could not accept that a guy who was quietly stuck in a corner was much better than him, was slashing down on green worms even more zealously than before as he advanced slowly.
Mihee cautiously trailed behind and asked Hansoo.
“…But why are we going downwards?”
Hansoo replied to those words:
“To ride the subway.”
As Taesoon looked at the collapsing train station with no electricity, he looked at Hansoo with suspicion.