Heaven’s Test (1) and Heaven’s Test (2)
It has already been 9 months since the opening of Assrian.
In the meantime, a great change has occurred in the game industry.
In reality, it was a natural phenomenon that as Assrian’s influence grew stronger, regular Assrian broadcasts sprang up.
The broadcast called ‘The Great Library of the Wise’ was an information program that recorded high ratings among users thanks to the usefulness and accuracy of the information.
“The information I brought today is… It’s about special NPCs!”
“Who do you mean by a special NPC?”
“Hmm, Seira-san, do you know what an angel is?”
“Are you an angel? You mean that?!”
Today’s special broadcast began with the opening remarks of the presenters.
“… Yes, transcendent. It means the highest Asrian being. You probably know a lot about the fact that classes exist for transcendentalists.”
The man paused for a moment and continued.
“But, have you ever heard that there are levels according to ranks?”
“A level? Did angels or demons have levels?”
“Yes. Every being in Assrian has a level.”
It is information that has not been disclosed to any community so far.
Even in the previous work, it was a fact that was not well known unless you were a ranker who had reached a certain level.
“The Archangel is level 500. Royal is 475, Bishop is 450, Plain is 425, and the lowest Servant is… At this point, even if you don’t say anything, you’ll know, right? It is level 400.”
“Eh? It is much lower than I thought.”
The female host asked questions according to the script.
“Looks like I might catch up in a few years.”
“Whoops, of course there is a reason for being at a low level. Angels aren’t all visible levels.”
Even if the transcendentalist’s level is the same as the user’s, the specifications are not the same.
This is because all transcendentalists receive corrections higher than the named bosses.
They are the most powerful simultaneous beings in the world, and they are the ones who are constrained even in the exercise of power.
Of course, there were other reasons why the level of the Transcendentalist seemed low.
“Seira-san, you know what Assrian’s previous work is, right?”
“oh! That Asura… !”
“That’s right, it’s the game that became the matrix of Asrian. It is said that the last level of the top ranked user there was less than 450.”
It is common to all RPGs that it becomes difficult to level up in the later stages.
However, Asura Online was worse than other games.
To express the difficulty of growth in one word, it is steep from level 200. Hell from level 300! And if you go over level 400, you can’t tell if the experience is going up or not.
“Looks a bit low, doesn’t it? But according to the information I know, level 450 is… The fact that it is a level that humans cannot reach even if they play Assrian for 100 years!”
“Is it 100 years?!”
“In addition, starting from level 400, a death penalty of 10% loss of experience is added. Rather, the level may go down. In fact, there is a statistic that half of the users who reached level 400 during Asura Online did not reach level 401.”
“If raising one level is that hard… In fact, 400 is the highest level!”
“Whoa, this 1 level gap is another interesting point… By the way, that’s what we’ll be talking about in the next special! Let’s talk about NPCs today.”
After provoking some curiosity, the man returned to his original subject.
“Anyway, the reason I gave you information about the Transcendentalists in advance is to tell you about today’s protagonist, the ‘Heavenly Man’.”
“Ah, it’s so hot these days! Thousand Man Quest!”
“you’re right. The growth of the users who gained the favor of the duke in the abyss was amazing, right? The ‘representative of a thousand people’ is the same position as that. It’s a title that any sky user can covet.”
The topic of today’s broadcast is Cheonin!
More specifically, it was a way to obtain the title of ‘representative of a thousand people’.
The two hosts moved on to the main topic only after choosing the amount of useless conversation for a long time.
“Of course, it can’t be just anyone. In order to become a surrogate, you have to pass a three-step test.”
“What is the first test?”
“Don’t be surprised, it is said that reaching the second test site is the first test.”
Pod! The screen has been switched.
A huge staircase about 20 meters wide led up to the sky.
And countless users were climbing the stairs to the sky with their arms wrapped around them.
The faces of several frowning users were close-up.
“… It looks very cold.”
“That’s right, it is said that it is about 20 degrees below zero. It’s unfortunate that Assrian is the first sensory tuning game. Because there was nothing like this in the previous game. By the way, if it’s too cold to use fireworks… .”
Quarreureung! Suddenly, a bolt of lightning fell on the stairs.
Truly, a thunderbolt from the dry sky!
One user who was climbing the stairs on the spot disappeared without a trace.
“… It’s just so crispy.”
“Oh, you can’t even use the stove?!”
“I can’t write. Using the flames is the same as committing a sin here.”
“I already want to give up… ?”
“This is just the beginning. Now, only users who have climbed all the steps are eligible to take the next test. Fortunately, the second test is much simpler than the first!”
To sum up the second test in one word, it is ‘entry screening’.
“When you stand in front of the truth, there should be no shame at all… Some of you may have heard of this.”
“Ah, can’t it be that the archangel of truth is here?!”
The truth, which appeared both in real life and in the game, was the most recognizable archangel among all angels.
“Unfortunately, it is not the truth, and it is said that the ‘Servant’ of truth examines the user’s soul to find out the number of ‘propensity’.”
“Aha, to filter the abyss!”
“Of course I would filter the abyss… Even perforated users with an alignment of less than 50 are filtered out here.”
“Eh, but it’s a hole?!”
The screen switched again.
A corner of the stairs above the clouds. A handful of users were huddled together and praying to raise their propensity.
The users who trembled in the cold and put their hands together felt more than pitiful.
“They could be you. Those with weak faith will taste hell.”
“I never thought that the door to heaven would be hell… .”
A little more explanation followed.
“The Hall of Fame was completely overturned not too long ago, right? Latisse, who is ranked #1, also reappeared after turning to Heaven.”
“that’s right! That was a lot of fuss!”
“That means that there is a high probability that it is related to this thousand man quest.”
The man said that in front of the Servant of Truth, information other than inclination will be revealed.
Level, Hall of Fame ranking, duel rating too!
If any of them excelled, they would receive extra points on the third test.
“Now, the explanation so far is information that everyone knows, right?”
“I didn’t know?!”
“The reason I kept talking was to talk about the third test.”
Pod! The screen reversed again and the faces of the celestials appeared.
about twenty people.
The reason for the small number was that there weren’t that many heavenly beings interested in the earthly world.
At least since it was five years later, twenty people must have appeared.
“The user now has to choose one of the Celestials and give him a proxy test. However, the content of the test differs depending on which celestial being you choose. Sometimes even the same celestials are given different tests.”
“What, then it doesn’t mean anything!”
“That’s right, today’s broadcast is to solve the worries of users who don’t know which Celestial to choose!”
To choose a heavenly person to be his substitute.
If you compare it to reality, it is a moment as important as choosing a boss to follow.
The gentle angel, the damn angel, the weak angel, the strong angel.
The celestials were also a race with as many colorful personalities as humans.
The moderators explained the characteristics of the various devas for a long time.
The most important information was revealed about 40 minutes later, near the end of the broadcast.
“but! There is one Celestial that I haven’t introduced yet.”
“That said, this is the fifth time?”
“Didn’t I mention that angels are classified from F to S rank according to their strength? Yes, I have never introduced an S-class before.”
“Oh, that’s right!”
“As I said earlier, Class A was a celestial being with a power comparable to that of a ‘Servant’ class angel. Then, how strong is S-class?”
The male host was silent for a moment, then continued with a grin.
“you’re right. A celestial being stronger than an angel.”
“More than an angel… !”
“According to the information I brought, the famous Celestial will appear within a week.”
Once a person becomes someone else’s substitute, he cannot become another person’s substitute until that celestial person dies.
In other words, the facilitator’s words were to dissuade the users who were in a hurry to proceed with the celestial quest.
“S-class celestial, Radiette. They say his strength is comparable to that of a Plain-class angel.”
After saying that, the closing video started playing.
Radiette’s event video that appeared in Asura Online.
The timing of Radiette’s appearance was also unknown to anyone because the users of the previous game were controlling it.
Thanks to spitting out special information once in a while, ‘The Great Library of the Wise’ was steadily raising viewership ratings today.
There are buildings in the world that make you feel awe just by looking at them.
Pyramids, Great Wall, etc.
However, no other building will convince us of the existence of ‘God’ as much as this endless staircase.
“… … .”
Ain quietly looked up.
I’ve been running for a while, but I still can’t see the end of the stairs I climbed through the clouds.
It is even more spectacular when you look down the stairs you have passed.
I can’t even see the starting point on the ground.
All he could see was the expressions of the players looking up at him as if they were seeing ghosts.
“Hyun, I seem to have noticed from a while ago.”
Ain muttered to Hyun in a whisper.
That’s right, in whispers, not soul conversations.
Hyun must be watching his screen through a broadcast somewhere far away.
It wasn’t long before the answer came back.
“Looks like you’re wearing the wrong clothes.”
“Don’t you look a little cold?”
Hyun looked at the screen and asked.
Players who can be seen around are wearing thick fur clothes tightly, but Ain has only a cloak attached to the dress-like Reckart’s monster armor.
“Isn’t it cold?”
Celestials do not feel the cold.
The same goes for Hyeon and Ain, who have the title of heavenly man.
“Even if it’s not cold, if we want to be inconspicuous considering our position… .」
“You haven’t bought any clothes that look dull like that?”
“okay. It just happened.」
Before I knew it, the surface of the stairs was coated with a film of ice beyond the frost, and even snowflakes were falling from the sky.
The figure of Ain who suddenly stopped in place and quietly looked down at the single road looked like an alien being at first glance.
“If you go inside quickly, you won’t be noticed.”
“How long do you have left to reach the top?”
“I’m almost there. If you run, it’ll be quick, so don’t use magic for nothing.”
I asked Ain not to use fire and wind.
It was because Hyun knew that an invisible magic circle was engraved all over the stairs.
While chatting like that, we finally reached the top of the stairs.
Above the clouds, the two were able to face someone in a golden outfit.
The one who stared at Ain who had just climbed the stairs was a celestial man.
The reason he acts as a gatekeeper here is because his eyes are special.
The sky is a place that is relatively close to the celestial world, and sharing sights does not consume as much power as Advent.
Therefore, it was not impossible for someone in the heavens to directly determine the user.
“Is it really okay… ?」
Suddenly, Ain asked anxiously.
“If you get caught, then you can jump out with the scroll.”
“Is that right?”
Hearing Hyeon’s answer, Ain glanced at his status window again.
Nothing will change though.
Alignment: -2 (Abyss)
a few hours ago.
Hyeon realized that it is not easy to raise Ain’s propensity.
According to one’s knowledge, a single-digit disposition should change easily… For some reason, Ain’s inclination was immovable.
‘I’m sure he’s not sleeping… ?’
Ain, who quietly closed his eyes, occasionally shook his shoulders alone.
Why can’t I feel the feeling of prayer no matter how much I teach you how to pray?
It was because Ain couldn’t concentrate on anything other than what he liked.
‘It can’t go on like this.’
Hyun decided to change his method.
It takes at least 50 alignment to get through that place, and it could take Ain several months.
‘As expected, is this the only one?’
In the end, Hyun had no choice but to think of Ain’s title.
According to the description, it is ‘the ability to make it easy to deceive others’.
Papi couldn’t see Ain’s tendency.
The fact that the heavenly beings were deceived means that most human beings, including high-ranking priests, are fooled unconditionally.
However, will it be possible to deceive even a higher-ranking celestial than Papi, or even an angel… ?
‘deception… Be deceived… .’
Hyun recalled Asura’s memories for a moment.
In the past, when the world view was not well known, no one knew the identity of deception.
Until he found out, Caidrial cheated even the Archangel and stirred the forces of the sky to his heart’s content.
Of course, the ability of the main demon and the effect of the title possessed by the user may not be the same.
Still, as long as the word ‘deceit’ is included, wouldn’t they have similar abilities?
Ain met his golden eyes with a nervous expression.
angel. Perhaps one of the minions of truth is looking at him.
I’m a deceiver I don’t hear… !
Even thinking about it like that, I can’t help but feel nervous.
Because some of the minions of truth read the status window!
Of course, only the archangels and the truth can read thoughts, but other angels who serve the truth can read information such as level, disposition, and duel grade.
Pod! It had been a while since the color of the man’s eyes had changed.
“… I accept your position.”
Shared view is off, and he smiles and nods.
“It passed… ?」
“Huh, look, I said it wouldn’t take.”
Hyeon, who was muttering like that, was actually watching Ain’s broadcast with a nervous heart.
If the deceiver had not worked, Ain would have become a celebrity in a bad sense among the NPCs in the sky.
“Right now, don’t we just look like smugglers?!”
Suddenly, Ain’s face was caught on the screen in third person.
“Because I passed once. Let’s get away from him quickly.”
“What, Hyun was worried too.”
Even after passing the gatekeeper’s angel, Ain walked for a long time.
At some point, the snow from the sky stopped falling.
The outfits of some players nearby were also simply changed.
After crossing the sky bridge and moving to a quiet place, Ain finally brought up the story.
“Do you want to do it here?”
“Who is looking around?”
“no one is here!”
“Okay, let’s do it now.”
Whoops. At the same time as the ring’s mana shimmered.
A shadow of darkness somewhere on the ground was summoned to the sky over thousands of kilometers.
As soon as the field of view in front of his eyes changed, Hyun used a fairy tale.
No one saw the secret sight of the two bodies overlapping into one.
Hyun looked around and laughed.
It was because it was only after seeing the familiar scene above the sky that I realized it.
“This crazy thing was really possible.”
“Isn’t that what Hyun thought?”
“That’s true, but even if you knew the method, putting it into practice wasn’t easy.”
Hyun looked around once again.
Except for the vividness of the senses, the scenery was not different from Asura’s time.
Sacred and mysterious buildings standing tall in the sky.
It is said that if you look down at the ground from the edge of the city, you will only see clouds.
Users of the previous game named this city ‘the first sky’.
Although it is a small and medium-sized village in terms of area, it is called a city in a symbolic sense.
The reason why this place exists in the sky out of nowhere is simple.
Unlike angels, heavenly people need to eat to live, and they need a place to live.
So, in the place where the celestials stay for the test of the substitute, there is no choice but to have something similar to a village.
In other words, this was the first realm where a small number of heavenly beings and a large number of humans formed the boundary.
“Let’s look around the city for a moment. There is a place I want to visit.”
Hyun was able to find an old house with no sense of life in a corner of the city.
Poppy must have been helping Louise in the labyrinth for five years, so the doorknob was covered with dust.
“As expected, no one is there.”
Most celestials are reluctant to associate with humans for various reasons.
In other words, if there was no purpose of finding a substitute, there was no reason for the celestials to stay in this city.
But Poppy was just living here for no reason.
Could it be that bad memories from the past instinctively prevent him from fitting into the society of devas?
“Let’s go to a place with a lot of people!”
Next, we wandered around the city.
Hyun and Ain looked around and stuck out their tongues.
“There are a lot more people than I thought!”
“Because it’s not Asura.”
“But it’s a quiet city in the first place! Are all these people users?”
“that’s right. I did a bit of research, but it seems that the trend among sky users these days is the thousand quests.”
In the days of Asura, the string of the sky, which was difficult to meet even a single person, passed through the cracks of users and eavesdropped on their conversation.
B-class, A-class, S-class… Stories about the level of the celestials were often heard.
One grade difference is about 20 levels.
It seemed that the standards created by users in Asura’s days for convenience were also used in Assrian as well.
“Haha, what is that! It’s not some kind of tweezers tutoring!”
Suddenly Ain laughed.
“what’s the matter?”
“Look at him, he’s selling information about the celestials’ exams!”
Following Ain’s finger, he soon found one user.
A vendor of test papers who skillfully shouts and sells the contents of the test.
“There really are all the stars of the stars. Do you think the test is always the same content?」
“How about it, it’s a sight I haven’t seen before, so it’s interesting?”
Ain looked at the faces of the users as if he was having fun.
Well, it doesn’t matter.
Having already decided on all the plans, he did not have to be swayed by useless information.
“Looks like you’re digging in a whisper! Hyun, would you like to buy him a test paper too?”
“… Don’t be silly, our choices have already been made.”
A C-class celestial. Letty.
With a level of about 380, she was the Celestial chosen by Hyun.
As the word C-class suggests, he is not a strong Celestial.
Of course, since he was a celestial in the name, he would not be able to deal with normal monsters, but it was true that he was inferior to other celestials seeking a substitute.
‘This is better.’
The reason for choosing such a meager celestial as a candidate is simple.
First, to prevent drawing excessive attention to NPCs.
Second, it was because she, like Maria, had a character devoted to humans, including ‘users’.
If you are a Celestial who distributes rewards, it will be easier to obtain the last legendary material, the unicorn horn.
[Until the Hall of Letty opens: 1 hour 54 minutes]
Hyun frowned as he confirmed that the portal to Letty’s test site was closed.
As the content of the test was different for each celestial being, the time the test started and the number of times it was administered each day were different.
“Wow, the timing wasn’t right.”
“What’s the matter, just hang out nearby!”
“Hot, that’s right.”
According to Ain’s opinion, Hyeon decided to pass the time by wandering around the city.
If you see a user glancing at you from time to time, did you recognize Ain’s face?
Still, the people gathered here were at least close to rankers, or users who were rankers.
Even the top-level users often ran into each other, so seeing a celebrity didn’t make a fuss.
‘But why does Radiette’s name come up so often?’
Hyun realized that similar words had been heard several times amidst the commotion of users.
“As expected, I will have to stay here until Radiette appears.”
Just now, another user muttered something similar.
Radiette is one of the S-class celestials who seldom pays attention to royalties.
It would be nice if I could make a connection with him, but… .
‘It looks like he heard the information about Asura’s time somewhere.’
Hyun was worried about the user’s bleak future.
Not long ago, I heard from Louise that Radiette was imprisoned somewhere for life.
No matter how long he waited, it was clear that his patience would never see the light of day.
Did the feeling of pity move to a fairy tale? Ain suddenly asked.
“Hyun, what are you thinking?”
Shocked, but at the same time realizing the truth of something, Hyeon quickly regained his cool.
“No, I was thinking of giving you some advice. I just want to quit.”
“You almost forgot. The guy waiting for Radiette was that test paper vendor earlier!”
“Whoa, what is that?”
As I wandered around with Ain like that, time flew by, and the two returned to the point heading to Letty’s Hall just in time.
Near a closed portal. Dozens of users had gathered.
Since it is C grade, there are few applicants, but it is said that there are cases where hundreds or thousands of people flock to select one substitute for A grade exam.
The reason why a competition rate of hundreds to 1 is easily formed is that there is a device in which even users who fail the proxy test can obtain some of the rewards according to their performance.
Just as there were sub-rank rewards in the Duke’s Tournament.
[Until the hall of ‘Letty’ opens: 0 seconds]
[A portal to the hall has been created! The test of the deputy begins soon!]
“Oh, it’s finally open!”
“Oh, I waited for five hours!”
Jiying. When the blue door opened in the air, the users sitting around entered the portal one by one.
“Okay, let’s go too.”
Hyeon followed them, slowly retrieving his memory.
Beyond the portal was a completely different atmosphere from the existing place.
A place where you are not sure where you are in this world or whether it is a virtual space.
However, the empty plains spread out under their feet confirmed that this place was not the ‘sky’.
“Where are you? Is it a different place from the one I bought?”
Someone answered the murmur that came from somewhere.
“Keuk keuk keuk, there really was a Hogu who was being scammed. Letty’s test is unique in that it changes every time.”
“Someone just called me a hogu!”
“Didn’t you see the Great Library of the Sages a while ago? If we had gathered information in advance, such a hukou would not have been caught!”
The two voices talked nonsense, but the players except for them quietly looked around.
It was to quickly grasp the contents of the test.
“hmm? Something is drawn on the ground.”
A group of dozens of people quickly discovered complex patterns painted at their feet.
“It’s a magic circle, it’s really big… ?”
A circular pattern with a diameter of about 20 meters.
A soft sparking sound was heard every time the line made up of blue currents swayed.
“This is not a magic circle.”
Hyun was the first to figure out the identity of the pattern.
“uh? Do you know the contents of the test?」
“It’s not like that… At least I know what this painting is.”
“painting? Isn’t it a magic circle?」
“Look at it from a distance.”
Hyun’s words broadened Ain’s vision.
At first glance, the pattern of electric current that looked like a magic circle had been seen somewhere.
Right at the foot of the Awakening Quest.
The only difference was that the sparks were replaced by lightning, but the painting clearly had the shape of a clock.
T-ring! It was at that moment that a message came to everyone.
Continued in the next volume