In Korea, August 15th was known as Independence Day, a day to commemorate the end of the war.
The 2020 date in particular held a special significance for the two historically intertwined nations because that’s when the Battle Net match between the two countries was scheduled.
When the Sword King was still in Korea, everyone there always eagerly awaited the day.
After all, Korea’s national team had been doing quite well from 2019 to early 2020, which was why most people didn’t doubt their victory.
‘Well, the situation has changed now…’
HaYeon read the message JiHan had sent her.
[August 15, Korea – Japan match result:]
[Match 1: Korea wins / MVP Lee Jin-Wook]
[Matches 2, 3, 4: Japan wins / MVP Ito Ryuhei]
‘Japan winning can already be expected…’
The Sword King had betrayed his home country, after all.
Most people on the internet also agreed with that prediction.
‘But the 1:3 score and predicting the MVP… This doesn’t make sense.’
The lineup of the national teams had already been disclosed, and the Sword King would be participating in every round.
JiHan was saying they would beat him once?
Had the lineup not been made public, she might have believed it, but since the Sword King was set to participate in every match, the result would most likely be 0:3.
‘And the MVP is going to be Lee Jin-wook?’
He was a player HaYeon knew well.
He was a Diamond League player for the Twin Star Guild and a national team representative, but he was a Support, a role that rarely ever became MVP.
On top of that, it was even harder for them to get MVP in disadvantageous matches like the ones coming up.
“I don’t want to waste my money on such an obvious bet…”
HaYeon gave the message a dissatisfied look.
‘Ugh! Fine. I’ll just blow five thousand dollars.’
She decided to think of it as an investment in JiHan and bet on his prediction.
“Huh… the dividends are in the double digits.”
She thought that they should have been higher. After all, she’d specified a score of 1:3 and even placed a bet on the MVP.
It was a bit odd, but she brushed it off.
‘Whatever. It isn’t like I’m going to win any money anyway.’
She was prepared to lose that money. No, it was a rational expenditure so that she would have an excuse to interact with JiHan.
“Now that that’s done…”
Having placed the bets, she continued to think as she looked at her smartphone.
‘It’s time for my real bet!’
She quickly poured a lot of money into a 0:3 victory for Japan.
She was certain that JiHan was talking nonsense.
Within Hee-soo’s car…
“Woah~! Sae-ah, your uncle is really amazing~!”
They were heading back after finishing the student council work.
“So you can clear the Conqueror’s Tomb like that!” Hee-soo exclaimed in surprise after watching the stream with Sae-ah.
“I know, right? He’s amazing.”
“I can’t believe he’s a Bronze…”
Hee-soo looked at JiHan’s video in awe.
“Your uncle seems like a completely different person from before. He’s much cooler.”
“Hehe… is that so?”
“Yes. He used to reek of alcohol and had messy hair.”
“If he reeked of alcohol, he must have either won or lost money from his Battle Net predictions.”
“What’s the difference…?”
“If he made money, he drank out of joy. If he lost, he drank out of frustration.”
Either way, it ended with alcohol.
Hee-soo laughed and then turned her gaze to her phone.
‘Out of all the talented people I’ve seen, he seems to be the most exceptional…’
Sung Ji-ah’s younger brother, Sung JiHan…
She’d thought he had no particular skills, but to think he had been hiding so much talent.
‘He has a good chance of becoming a star player.’
Hee-soo’s eyes sparkled as she continued to look at JiHan’s image with extreme interest.
“Woah, uncle. What was that?”
JiHan, who’d been dragging his party members around, became stronger after encountering the conqueror’s statue.
On top of that, there was the last part of the video as well. When the bow was destroyed with one slash, Hee-soo couldn’t help but be surprised.
“Is that… possible?”
“I’m not sure… I knew that he was strong, but that’s just…”
As the video concluded with JiHan getting the Phoenix Arrow, Hee-soo gave Sae-ah an envious look.
“Sae-ah, you’re lucky.”
“All of your family members have received good Gifts. Have they not? I’m sure you’re going to get a good one as well.”
Sae-ah’s father’s Gift was SSS-rank. Her mother, the Saintess, had an SS-rank Gift.
Judging by the incredible power JiHan had just shown, he also had a high-ranking Gift.
Sae-ah was considered a gem among gems in the Battle Net industry thanks to her family history.
“Gifts and genetics aren’t related.”
“Come on. Three people in your family have received great Gifts.”
“Hmm… Hehe. Maybe?”
Even if she was trying hard to temper her hopes, given her family’s lineage, she couldn’t help but have certain expectations.
“Speaking of which, your birthday is on the 22nd, right? It’s not far off now.”
“Yes. I wonder what kinds of gifts I’ll get… I’m a bit nervous.”
“Fufu. You don’t have anything to be nervous about! I’m going to give you something huge for your birthday gift!”
“Come on~ You don’t have to.” Sae-ah waved her hands.
“No. Please, accept.” Hee-soo smiled.
* * *
[You finished 1st in a dungeon game.]
[As a bonus for finishing 1st, experience and GP gained will be increased by 50%.]
[Your level has increased by 1.]
[You’ve earned 5,000 GP.]
[You’ve earned 1,000 achievement points.]
JiHan began sorting through his rewards.
‘It seems like I got additional achievement points since it’s my first time clearing the dungeon game type.’
[You’ve finished 1st as the sole surviving member of your party, so you’ll be awarded all of the gold bars stored in the Conqueror’s Tomb.]
[You’ve earned 40,000 GP.]
[You’ve cleared the hidden achievement ‘Solo Dungeon Clear’.]
[You’ve earned 3,000 achievement points.]
The Conqueror’s Tomb was known for having sparse rewards, but he was able to monopolize all of the gold bars that would usually be split four ways. He received a substantial amount of GP thanks to that.
He’d also cleared a hidden achievement, which led to a rapid accumulation of achievement points.
[You’ve cleared the hidden quest ‘Pay True Respect to the conqueror statue’.]
[You’ve earned 5,000 achievement points.]
[You’ve obtained the Conqueror’s Arrow, the ‘Phoenix Arrow’.]
Including the reward from the hidden quest, he’d managed to get 10,000 achievement points.
‘It’s day and night compared to the reward from yesterday’s survival map.’
He made a satisfied smile. Although his level had increased only once, he’d received 45,000 GP, 10,000 achievement points, and the Phoenix Arrow.
Considering he’d only played one game, he’d reaped a lot of rewards.
‘Let’s check the Phoenix Arrow’s description.’
– Rank: A
– The Conqueror’s Arrow made with the feather of a phoenix.
– Emits a huge amount of power when shot and returns to its owner’s hand.
– The phoenix’s flame is sealed within it. It will disappear after being shot five times.
‘I thought it was going to be an S-rank.’
Despite the power it demonstrated through the conqueror’s statue, its rank was only A. It was probably ranked that way due to its condition of vanishing after being shot five times.
Still, considering it was an item from a Bronze dungeon, you could say it was overpowered.
‘I’ll use it as a spear for a while.’
He could keep using it as a weapon as long as he didn’t throw it.
‘As for the GP… Let’s bet it all on the Korea vs. Japan match.’
He already knew the results of the match thanks to his memories from before he regressed.
It would be Sae-jin’s first appearance as Japan’s representative, and it would send Korea into a downward spiral.
The flow of the match would go far differently than what people were predicting.
‘No one expected Korea to win the first match…’
JiHan logged in to Battle Net through his smartphone and placed a bet just as HaYeon did. The only difference was that, while HaYeon had only bet 5,000 USD, JiHan poured all of his assets into it.
‘One to 37?’
The dividend was lower than expected when you considered he was predicting both the match’s outcome and the MVP.
Seeing that, JiHan became sure of something.
‘Sae-jin, so you also bet this way.’
There was a reason behind the low dividend. Either there were a lot of people who bet on it, or there was someone like JiHan who’d placed a large sum on it.
It was probably Sae-jin’s doing.
JiHan remembered the game he’d seen in his previous life. During the starting match, Sae-jin deliberately lost to Support Lee Jin-wook.
He’d removed all of his armor and damaged himself, only allowing Jin-wook to make the final blow.
‘That’s how Jin-wook became the MVP.’
In his post-match interview, he said he’d done it on purpose due to a conflict with the other Japanese team members, but JiHan always suspected that there was match-fixing involved.
When he saw the low dividend, JiHan was sure of it.
‘Still, I’ll avoid using Sae-ah’s share, just in case.’
The 50 million Sae-ah had received had to be protected at all costs. He didn’t need to use it to begin with.
‘Instead, I should place everything I earn into this bet.’
A week passed like that, and the dawn of the match arrived. August 15th, Independence Day.