Chapter 53 – Heaven Invasion (1)
“I, Emperor Carlos announce that, until the Abyss that has taken root in Asra disappears completely, I will give my full support to all users that belong to the Heaven’s Force!”
“The Holy Kingdom will also help users that belong to Heaven’s Force! We cannot stay still and watch the actions of those evil people!”
The two most important countries had announced that they’d fully support users that belonged to the Heavens.
As they came out with how they would support users, all the surrounding small countries started to join too.
That’s how most human forces, except for a few, joined in one big alliance.
The ‘Knights Road,’ which was in the Empire’s capital, was a place that was forbidden to users before the patch, but after the Emperor’s support, it became accessible to users that belonged to the Heaven’s Forces.
“Support users that belong to the Heaven’s Forces!”
After Emperor Carlos’s announcements, users were allowed to use the Empire’s training facilities.
For a user, that was of great help.
You could learn many skills like «Imperial Basic Sword Art» from the NPCs!
Not only sword the art, but you could also learn archery, magic, and holy magic, among other things, so it was something that every user of the Heaven’s Forces welcomed.
But that required a lot of NPCs.
Even if there were a lot of inhabitants of Asra, the workforce of the Empire was limited; that’s why they couldn’t fully support novice users under level 50.
They also received a simple ‘Heaven’s Quest,’ so there weren’t many complaints, but it was true that they’d received less support compared with top users.
The top-tier rankers that were part of the Heaven’s Forces received more benefits and support than those offered by top Guilds, so everyone was trying their best to reach a higher place in the rankings.
* * *
They were both Japanese users and sisters in real life.
Mina-san was a Magician.
Noris was a Warrior.
They had reached level 50 just before the patch. And thanks to that, they’d gotten the benefit of being able to walk on the Knights Road.
It wasn’t like they’d received special treatment, but just being able to walk on that road was a huge opportunity.
They had received a quest that allowed them to learn a free skill!
[Heaven’s Quest: Let’s learn the Imperial Basic Sword Art!]
– Hit the scarecrow and increase your swordsmanship proficiency (Currently 49%)
– If you fill the proficiency bar, you can learn the «Imperial Basic Sword Art» Lv.0.
Noris had received a skill quest related to sword art and Mina-san to magic.
Mina-san always felt a little bit sad because of the low amount of magic she could use.
You didn’t need to use skill points on skills obtained by quests, which made Mina-san even happier.
“Finally, 50%! Oof… I never thought that I’d train so hard…”
Users inside the game wouldn’t run out of breath, even if they moved roughly, but spending an entire day hitting a scarecrow was tiring labor by itself.
“Eh? 50% already? Fast!”
Mina-san, who had just filled 30%, was surprised.
She had also spent hours hitting the scarecrow with magic.
Unlike Noris, Mina-san was a Magician.
Every time she ran out of mana, she had to rest, so the progress was slower.
“Sister, you’re amazing!”
“It’s going up 20% by an hour… But I just wish boring things like this ended more quickly.”
Noris said while looking at the side of the training center.
There, she saw a user receiving personalized training from an imperial soldier.
Tsk- Noris felt envious at the sight.
“I also want to receive personalized tutoring!”
The truth was that having someone to teach you was better and faster than learning on your own.
Users who received personalized tutoring from an imperial soldier could fill the proficiency bar 10 times faster.
“This is too boring. I don’t want to spend the entire day hitting a scarecrow.”
“But sister… There’s nothing we can do about it. That user is probably in Diamond at least on the Battle Arena.”
There were two ways by which NPCs categorized the potential of users:
The first one was the ranking in the Hall of Fame, and the second one was the ranking in the Duel Arena!
But unless you were among the top 1000 in the Hall of Fame, NPCs wouldn’t notice you.
That meant that most of the judgment was done based on the duel ranking.
Since NPCs couldn’t check a user’s stats, checking out the duel ranking was probably the most convenient way to judge a user’s potential.
Because of that, there was a boom in dueling among users that were part of the Heavens Forces.
“I want to reach Diamond…”
“Me too… But it’s impossible with our level…”
“I know that.”
Noris had spent many hours in the Duel Arena…
And had learned the harsh reality.
After doing more than 200 matches, she had barely managed to get up to Platinum 5.
“From what I’ve heard, you’re among the top 1% of players if you reach Diamond.”
“That’s amazing. Those people are probably professional gamers or people related to that field, right?”
“I’m not sure about it, but even Platinum, which I barely managed to get into, was full of monsters. Oh, people in Platinum are among the top 5%.”
“They’re people from another world. We need to learn to conform with our current position.”
From the Empire’s point of view, checking out the duel ranking was the best way to know which user to support.
There were more benefits to users that had a higher ranking than Diamond.
Users with the rank of Master, who were among the top 0.05%, received training from a knight that was in the category of leader.
The hours you needed to train were longer, but the skill was stronger than what those of lower tiers could learn.
But what if it was a user that was a Grand Master?
The top 1000 players…
From there, the treatment NPCs gave you changed completely.
Grand Master users were treated almost like nobles, so low-ranking officers bowed to them.
Asrian’s NPCs were scarily similar to real humans.
Just like a user tried to get the attention of an NPC, they also tried to get the attention of a user they liked.
For example, if the person was a Grand Master…!
The growth rate of users was faster than NPCs.
NPCs knew that even if there was a user weaker than them, they could become very famous and influential in the future.
What if a very affectionate user towards you becomes someone very successful in the future?
It wasn’t a coincidence that many male users and female NPCs and female users and male NPCs had close relationships.
But to enjoy all those benefits, there was a requisite.
That requisite was to belong to the Heaven’s Force!
Even if you ranked high in the duel ranking or were among the top users in the Hall of Fame, if you were part of the Abyss, you couldn’t receive support from the Heaven’s Forces.
Translator – Daniel Shin
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
The problem wasn’t just not receiving support, but there was also a chance of you being attacked or murdered at the hands of an NPC.
At the entrance of the Knight Road, there was a gatekeeper and a high-ranking priest.
The priest checked for the Rune.
The Heaven’s Rune was blue lightning.
And the Rune of the Abyss was a red fire.
A high-ranking priest could see just by taking a glimpse whether the Rune was real or not.
There had been cases of users that belonged to the Abyss who had been killed after trying to fool the priest.
“I’m glad we’re part of the Heaven’s Force,” Mina-san murmered.
“People who belong to the Abyss cannot obtain all these benefits even if they rank high. Right?”
“That’s what I’ve heard.”
“That’s too bad…”
“The highest-ranking NPC on the Abyss is a demon. Right? I don’t think that a demon would willingly help out a human.”
“It’s weird to call it an NPC… Shouldn’t we call demons monsters…?”
Noris and Mina-san were talking when the training grounds suddenly became noisy.
Both sisters looked at the side from where the noise was coming.
“Hmm? Did something happen?”
Tens of users who were training stopped practicing and walked toward the entrance.
Not only users, but NPCs were also looking in that direction.
A few soldiers bowed their heads to show respect.
One user walked through the crowd.
The dark robe, which looked as if it had been covered with black paint, had become quite famous among the users.
Noris shouted while looking at the girl.
“Oh, I know who she is!”
“Since even you recognize her, I guess she’s someone very famous.”
“Yes, she is! Did I see her on the internet…?”
Even though Noris was Japanese, she often watched foreign streams or videos of rankers from other countries.
The video of that girl dueling had become a trending topic on a foreign community board. That video had left an intense mark on Noris’s memories.
“That’s amazing… Do you remember her ID?”
“Hmm… What was it… It started with A. Ain…? Yeah, I think that was her ID!”
* * *
A few hours before.
Hyun was sending Ain a message.
In Asra Online, both Hyun and Ain belonged to the Heaven’s Forces, so if he didn’t tell her anything, she would probably choose that side.
If he didn’t want them to end on different sides, he needed to hurry and tell her.
Hyun got an idea just before sending her a message.
‘Do we need to be on the same team? Maybe, could we use that strategy…?!’
Hyun tried to order his ideas.
Ain was taking a rest from dueling when Hyun sent her a whisper.
Ain: Oh, you came?
Ain’s voice seemed more subdued than usual.
The reason why she was in a bad mood was that she had lost. And because of that, she wasn’t able to earn as many coins as she wanted.
Even Ain couldn’t overcome the consecutive victory penalty.
LeeSeoHyun: Are you hurt? Your voice sounds weak.
Ain: I… Lost my consecutive win rate…
LeeSeoHyun: Really? Well, I guess even you lose from time to time. So how many consecutive victories had you achieved?
Hyun didn’t know that Ain was saving up coins to buy the couple’s ring, so he just didn’t give it importance, but what Ain said next surprised him.
Ain: 60 victories… Ah, did I think too much? I should have just attacked with everything I had!
LeeSeoHyun: What? What did you do?! 60 consecutive victories? Oh, wait…!
While talking, Hyun remembered his previous line of thought.
If Ain’s duel ranking was high, couldn’t he get away with his plan more easily?!
LeeSeoHyun: So, what’s your current duel ranking?
Ain: Grand Master.
LeeSeoHyun: That’s great. I was about to ask you to increase your tier.
Ain: I know. It’s because of the Heaven’s Quest requirement, right?
AIN: But you need to increase it too.
LeeSeoHyun: No, I’m okay.
Ain: Hng? Why?
LeeSeoHyun: Because I’m Abyss.
Ain was surprised at Hyun’s answer.
Because Hyun hated uncertainty, she was sure he would choose to side with the Heavens.
AIN: What happened that you changed sides? I’m glad you told me! If you hadn’t said anything, I would’ve picked Heavens.
LeeSeoHyun: You should choose Heavens.
Ain: Eh? But… Hyun, you said that you’d chosen Abyss.
LeeSeoHyun: Yes, I’m Abyss. And you, Heaven. Okay?
Hyun spoke in short sentences since Ain was having a hard time understanding.
‘With this, she should’ve understood. Right?’
No, it would be better to explain her things in more detail.
Hyun was about to explain to her when Ain quickly asked him a question.