Chapter 125 – Disturbance at the Tournament (2)
The moment Practice’s attack exploded out, the opponent became stunned.
Stardust members launched a joint attack while he was immobilized.
He became light and scattered away in an instant!
Jini took advantage of the four-on-five situation and placed a speed buff on her allies. It became a one-sided slaughter in the blink of an eye.
A fancy skill effect covered the screen.
It wasn’t long before not even a single opponent was left standing.
Doom- The words ‘Finish’ appeared over the top of the screen with a grand sound effect.
“Annihilated! All members of Air Green have been annihilated!”
“It takes 60 seconds to revive! Not only that, but we have to take into consideration the time it takes them to return to the battlefield! In the meantime, Ain Green’s base could become a mess!”
In just 10 minutes, the members of Air Green had been pushed back to the front of the final wall.
By then, it was as if the castle had already been invaded.
The waves of the invading soldiers got stronger over time.
On top of that, they had to resist the attacks of the five members of Stardust for 20 minutes.
It was an almost impossible task.
In the end, Air Green members couldn’t resist the fourth wave and gave up their base.
[Duration: 16 minutes 03 seconds 11]
“The first round has ended!”
“Player Practice’s first attack was decisive! That one attack tipped the balance in their favor!”
Amid thunderous shouts, the teams rotated.
It was Stardust’s turn to defend.
If Air Green wanted to win, they’d invade the castle in less than 16 minutes.
That would be the equivalent of scoring three goals in a football match’s second half.
“Calm down. The match isn’t over yet.”
“Everyone, let’s go with aggressive settings regarding skills and stats.”
But Air Green’s offensive was no joke either.
They were also one of the top most prestigious teams.
Stardust’s iron-like defense shook.
For their third wave, Air Green divided the soldiers into two groups and managed to kill two players who were separated from the rest.
Jini, who was in charge of maintaining the party formation, was among those who died.
There were only three survivors on Stardust’s side.
“Isn’t this situation… A little bit dangerous?”
“It’s okay. From Stardust’s point of view, as long as they don’t die, they’ll be okay. If they manage to resist for a minute, their allies will be revived.”
“Oh? But what’s up with this situation? Stardust started to move aggressively?!”
The player who moved next was ‘Chaser.’
Rushing alone toward a group of five was like committing suicide.
That’s why Chaser moved between the alleys and tried to keep the opponents at a distance and stop them from advancing.
His movements as he toed the fine line between life and death were almost artistic.
The two members of Stardust revived as he did that, and their base wasn’t damaged.
“Air Green, even after killing two players, they hadn’t been able to produce any results!”
“Chaser used the terrain very well. Even Air Green couldn’t try to run past Chaser, whose job is an Assassin. The possibility of their rear being attacked was too high.”
“Time has run out! Stardust earned a point first!”
While thunder-like shouts spread through the tournament arena, SeoHyun nodded.
The one that stood out the most was Practice.
—But Chaser was almost as good as him.
Not only that, but the rest were impressive as well.
Everyone was good, even compared to the top rankers of the previous game.
‘They weren’t this good until very recently.’
A few months before then, most rankers didn’t even know the basics of moving.
But just looking at the footage that was being uploaded to the internet was enough to realize that the rankers were getting better with each passing day.
Knowing those kinds of basic movements was common knowledge among rankers.
‘I guess that the number of talented people is higher than before thanks to the sheer amount of users.’
The one who’d made the rankers get better was probably Ain.
Hyun noticed something after looking at the day’s match.
Even though it was the first time he’d seen the movements of a certain player, it seemed familiar.
—His style of movement resembled someone he knew.
Hyun turned his head. Ain was smiling.
“Interesting,” Hyun mumbled.
“Is that okay?”
Ain tilted her head at Hyun’s question.
But after their eyes met, she understood.
“Well, who cares. Even back then, there were lots of people who copied me.”
“That’s true, but…”
“Not only that, but it doesn’t change the fact that they can’t compete with us. Also, it’s not like my movements are protected under some sort of copyright or anything,” Ain replied without doubting.
At her attitude, he found his reaction funny after seeing how much users had progressed.
Would someone better than him come out eventually?
He was wondering about that while watching the tournament, but Ain, the only user he recognized, had made an affirmation.
—They wouldn’t be left behind.
Hyun finally laughed comfortably after that.
“Well, I guess it would be boring if there were only weaklings. There should be a few guys who can face us to make things more interesting.”
Ain smiled after seeing Hyun’s change in attitude.
The second set began while they were both laughing.
Battles happened in succession.
The battle was so fierce that it was hard to believe it was a demonstration match.
There were two players who shined more than the rest among all of those players…
Practice and Chaser.
Although it had been only half a year since Asrian’s servers opened, they both moved as if they’d been playing for years.
‘Chaser… He’s someone worth remembering.’
Practice had learned some things from him, but Chaser hadn’t.
Had Practice and Jini influenced him?
They’d probably practiced together a lot, so that was a possibility.
The battle was nearing its end when Hyun was about to finish analyzing the match.
Translator – Daniel Shin
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
The result was three to zero.
Even though it wasn’t an official tournament, it had a huge meaning.
NFM had streamed the tournament, and millions of users had seen it live.
Thanks to that match, many people became aware of Stardust.
While everyone was shouting and the tournament was nearing its end…
Something unexpected happened.
Something no one expected… No, no one except for one person.
Lightning struck in the middle of the stadium.
It wasn’t real lightning but a game effect.
The loud noise echoed out, and time within the arena stopped.
The fortress Stardust had managed to defend and all of the soldiers became dust and scattered away.
“What? Is this some sort of effect to announce that the match is over?”
“No, I don’t think so… There’s something too strange about it for it to be that.”
There wasn’t anyone on the field except for the ten players, who had blank expressions on their faces.
A group of lights shaped like a human appeared where the lightning had struck.
Then, after a while, wings of crystal that shone with rainbow colors appeared on the figure of light’s back.
It was an archangel.
Due to the immense light coming out from its body, the Archangel looked like a giant jewel.
The Archangel that’d appeared in the middle of the tournament arena made her presence known to all of the spectators.
Everyone looked at the middle of the tournament arena with their mouths agape.
Because the game was separated from real life, they weren’t overwhelmed by the presence of the Archangel. But still, they became fascinated by her beauty.
—The image of the Angel in front of them was that strong.
The Archangel of Truth…
That was what she was known as in Asrian.
Although there were lots of Asrian players gathered, there weren’t many people who knew about Truth.
Not many people knew that she was one of the three most important beings in Asrian—one of the three Archangels.
The strength of the being that had appeared in the tournament arena couldn’t be compared to the users.
No, even if you considered all of the NPCs within the game, there wasn’t probably anyone stronger than her.
After all, only a handful of beings were at the same level as her.
Users within the game couldn’t meet someone as overwhelming as her and also had no reason to.
“Nice to meet you, beings of another dimension.”
The hologram of the woman that had appeared in the tournament arena looked around once and bowed lightly.
If people from the Holy Kingdom heard that the Archangel of Truth had bowed to humans, they would’ve lost their minds.
Woah- the people who came back to their senses began clapping and shouting.
—They were praising NFM for having put out such a performance…
But the people from NFM were lost. They couldn’t understand what was going on.
“Is this a planned event?!”
“No, we don’t know what’s going on…! What’s happening?!”
“Call the developers! We need to understand what’s going on!”
While people from management were confused and lost about what they should do, the Angel’s tender voice spread through the tournament arena.
“I’m the Archangel of ‘Truth.’ Sadly, I can’t see you… Although those present here are probably able to see me.”
What the Angel wanted to say was that she couldn’t use her authority there.
Although she had managed to create a tunnel between Asrian’s servers and the tournament ones, expanding that tunnel to the real world was physically impossible.
“As expected, appearing in another dimension isn’t easy… Since I don’t have much time, I’ll speak quickly.”
As the Angel kept speaking, the expressions of the people began changing in a wide variety of ways.
Was that part of the game?
Some people got confused for a short while.
They were lost because what the Angel said was completely different from the tournament, which was a real-life event.
“As Truth, I’ll give you an oracle.”
As the Angel finished talking, the cheers became mumbles.
“Is this a tournament event…?”
“Her way of speaking is weird.”
What she said didn’t make sense to most people.
If it was something produced by NFM, she should have congratulated Stardust for winning.
But the Angel had spoken to the Asrian’s ‘users,’ not the ‘spectators’ of the tournament.
It was as if the tournament hadn’t existed from the beginning.
SeoHyun, Ain, and a few other rankers noticed something.
An exclamation mark popped into their heads, and a ridiculous thought rose to the surface.
Maybe it was something that was stupid to think… but it seemed the only possible explanation.
‘Maybe this wasn’t programmed… Is it possible that the real ‘Truth’ has appeared here?’
‘The NPC knows about the real world!’
It was hard to believe that an NPC from a game had broken into the real world.
It was impossible for something like that to happen from the way the servers were set up.
‘I heard that the tournament servers were separated from Asrian. Then how…?’
An NPC being aware of the real world was something that had never happened.
No, it was something that was impossible.
It was conventional wisdom that Artificial Intelligence could not act beyond its originally set goals…
But the Transcendent, who ruled over the Heavens, was talking to the users, who were in the real world.
As time passed, people realized that what they were seeing was something special.
A self-aware being that existed within the game…
A type of artificial intelligence no one had seen or experienced had appeared.
Kwon DaeHo was smiling quietly while watching everything unfold.