Chapter 60 – Shortcut (3)
It was a close call.
While falling from the sky, the party had managed to go through the middle hole as if they were diving into it.
‘Did everyone enter the right one?’
They quickly passed through the three possible pathways, soon disappearing from their sight.
It seemed like, except for Hyun, everyone had entered the middle hole.
Even after going through the pathway, the party kept sliding down for a while.
The steep slope began easing.
The speed at which they were sliding down began decreasing.
They reached a completely flat surface as if they’d reached the bottom of a ski resort.
The race had finally ended.
“Oof… That last one was dangerous.”
Hyun, who had come out from Ain’s body, sighed in relief.
If he had used «Assimilation» a little bit later, he would have gotten far away from the rest of the party.
Because of the Ice Thorn Dungeon’s structure, you couldn’t go back once you had already gone through a road.
But if the target was within 20 meters, he could use «Assimilation».
That’s why, at the last moment, even though Hyun couldn’t see Ain, he could join them by using «Assimilation».
“Is it finally over…?”
Practice and Jini had also started to calm down.
Practice sighed in relief. He shook his head while having a look of dismay on his face.
“I think I understand how you guys usually play…”
Even from the point of view of a professional gamer, that wasn’t a normal gaming style.
If he thought it was just ‘a little bit dangerous’… Hyun’s idea of risk was different from those of an average person.
Hyun tried to avoid looking at Jini.
“Ugh, I mean… What just happened.”
Did he proceed too recklessly without an explanation?
Yes, anyone would be surprised if things went on like that without receiving a proper explanation beforehand.
He was about to say sorry because of his lack of explanation when unexpected words came out of Jini’s mouth.
After trying to calm down, Jini spoke.
Hyun was an unbelievable player.
How he moved, his judgment, his timing, even a professional gamer would be no match to him.
“You have no intentions to become a professional gamer, right…?”
She thought that it was too bad that a user like him had no intentions of becoming a professional gamer.
But she couldn’t force him.
Since she thought of maintaining a good relationship with him, she didn’t want to bother him by asking something he wasn’t interested in.
Jini began thinking.
‘Yes, even if I can’t bring him to Stardust…’
The next thing Jini thought about was that video that had become a hot topic in their team.
The last battle of the Count’s Quest.
It seemed like Practice had studied Ain’s movements from that video, but she was a Priest, so she focused her attention on how Ain dealt with the long-range attacks.
—How she made any long-range attack ineffective was way over the level a Priest or Magician wanted to reach.
And now, she had discovered that the one who had done that was Hyun.
‘If I can learn from that play, even a little bit…!’
Just like Practice, Jini had also tried to analyze the video.
But it was hard to understand the principle’s behind Hyun’s movements since he saw space in a complex way.
While moving from a distance, you had more freedom than those at close range, so analyzing it was that much harder.
Not only that, but Hyun also moved while taking into consideration the flow of the battle. So without a proper explanation, it was even harder to understand them.
‘Finally, the perfect chance has come!’
Jini had made up her mind.
Maybe it would be rude to ask something like this the first time they met each other.
But Jini was a very passionate professional gamer.
Jini, who had reached a conclusion inside her head, shouted.
“Hyun, please teach me!”
Practice, who was listening next to her, seemed surprised.
Ain’s expression was similar to Practice’s.
“Eh…? What do you mean…”
As Hyun answered with a question, Jini understood she’d made a mistake.
“Oh, I’m sorry! I said it too suddenly…! But I’m being honest! Even if you don’t want to become a professional gamer, you can teach someone. Right?”
After looking at Hyun’s gameplay style, it seemed like the professional gamer switch had turned on.
The way she continued to mumble what she felt resembled a girl who longed for an idol.
The impression Hyun had left on her was that strong.
How his perfectly calculated movements flowed like water…
Jini could see the meticulous calculations behind Hyun’s movements.
The reason why she suddenly asked him that was because she was fascinated with Hyun’s gameplay.
“You want me to teach you…?”
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“Of course, I’ll pay you accordingly!”
Hyun, who finally understood what Jini meant, began thinking deeply.
Hyun had never thought about teaching someone else. Actually, that was the first time someone had asked him that.
By her looks, Hyun knew Jini was serious about it.
‘It’s too sudden, but…’
Hyun began wondering about it seriously.
Because he had just entered University, he wasn’t used to deals like that.
Once Hyun thought of Jini’s request as a quest, he felt like his thoughts were being organized.
‘Hmm… I guess I have nothing to lose.’
From Hyun’s point of view, it was normal that both average and professional gamers lacked in terms of basics.
The battle theory Ain and he had learned over the years wasn’t something that one could learn in a short period of time.
Just learning one thing would probably take them a lot of time, so it wouldn’t be too much of a bother to him.
Even if he taught them advanced things, they wouldn’t be able to learn them. Also, he had no intention of teaching them those things easily.
‘What do I have to earn?’
Hyun began making some calculations.
He included the tuition fees Jini mentioned and extra benefits he could get inside the game in his calculations.
‘Wait, it isn’t a bad deal at all!’
Jini flinched at the sudden change in Hyun’s atmosphere.
Hyun was laughing suspiciously.
After a while, Hyun nodded.
“After all, you’re someone who JaeHoon knows.”
Hyun talked as if he was making her a favor.
“But I have a few conditions.”
“First, you must show me your status window. I need to know your specs before teaching you.”
Showing your status window meant more than showing someone your ID in real life.
—Because your stats and skills were like your patrimony.
Especially for a professional gamer, that must have been a hard requirement to follow.
“I have no issues with that!”
Jini nodded without thinking about it twice.
It was because she was that passionate about learning.
After nodding, Hyun kept talking.
“The other one is that you need to help me when I ask you.”
“Whenever… It can be helping with a quest or fighting against another user. The number of times I’m going to ask you… Well, we can define that later on, right?”
Jini seemed to think about that requirement for a little while but ended up nodding.
“It doesn’t matter as long as it doesn’t overlap with the team’s schedule. No, as long as it isn’t an important meeting, I’ll ignore the schedule!”
‘Is she serious…?’
Hyun began having doubts after hearing her smooth answer.
From what he heard from JaeHoon, Asrian’s professional gamers seemed to have a very tight schedule…
Translator – Daniel Shin
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
Anyway, if she could manage her schedule, it wasn’t a bad deal.
Jini probably ranked high among Priests, so being able to count on someone like that whenever he wanted was a great benefit.
“Hyun, can I also learn…?”
Practice, who had been listening silently, suddenly asked.
He was surprised when Jini had suddenly asked Hyun that, but as things flowed weirdly, he also decided to ask him.
“One or two. It really doesn’t make a difference, so it doesn’t matter.”
Practice seemed moved at Hyun’s answer. It looked as if he were about to cry.
If he let him be, he was probably going to bow, so Hyun quickly waved his hands to dissuade him from doing that.
Hyun felt a little bit awkward.
He had received many things from JaeHoon. Not only whenever they met, but he had also paid for the dinner and taken him home in his car.
But the only thing Hyun had done for him was tell him about a quest that helped him level up a little bit.
Not only that, but he’d made him abandon the Count’s Quest since it interfered with his goals.
‘I think that I also need to provide a little bit.’
While thinking that, simultaneously, Hyun was thinking about how to use Practice’s abilities.
Calculating the profits and losses within the game was part of Hyun’s nature, so there was nothing he could do about it.
That’s how he made a deal with Practice that was similar to the one he’d done with Jini.
While smiling generously, Hyun was excited on the inside.
* * *
They still needed to discuss the pay, but they decided to talk about that once the quest was over.
The atmosphere of the party had improved.
The two professional gamers couldn’t hide their happiness from being taught by Hyun.
Hyun seemed satisfied because of a similar reason.
Only Ain looked at Jini with suspicious eyes at first but then stopped.
After recovering their Mana and HP, the party started to move again.
[You’ve explored 98% of the dungeon!]
The Ice Thorn Dungeon had many steep slopes, but the Evil’s Seed Dungeon was the complete opposite.
It was a maze that was so long and complex that you just couldn’t see its end.
The probability of getting lost if you relaxed too much was high, and finding the correct road would take a lot of time too.
It was very time-consuming. Especially when they had to go through a passageway from where malice came out.
They had to wait for Jini’s Mana to replenish to recover HP.
It was impossible to predict how long it would have taken them if they hadn’t used a shortcut.
They were exploring such a dark maze.
Sometimes, they smashed down some walls to shorten the time.
In many cases, the thick-looking walls were surprisingly lax.
The reason why they could find spaces like that was thanks to Hyun’s memories.
But no matter how much they walked, the dungeon exploration rate didn’t seem to advance.
[You’ve explored 98% of the dungeon!]
“The remaining 2% is not decreasing,” said Ain, who was bored of just walking.
“It’s a very long dungeon. If we’d done the quest normally, it would have taken us a month at least.”
[You’ve explored 99% of the dungeon!]
The progress rate increased an hour after they began exploring the maze.
As they crossed a bridge made of skulls, a door that seemed to be 15 meters wide appeared in front of them.
‘Seeing it vividly like this is kind of creepy.’
Hyun remembered the past while looking at the devilish decorations that were on the door.
The Door of the Deceased—its name was probably something like that.
From what he remembered, the red frame was made of dried corpses.
Jini, who had a weak stomach, wanted to vomit after noticing that.
Practice also had a dark expression on his face.
Only Hyun and Ain were okay.
Ain, who was next to Hyun, rather than disgusted, seemed excited.