Chapter 21 - Ruins, Corridor Of The Fallen (2)

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On the way to the ruins, Jin-hyuk was with Captain Kim.

Jin-hyuk was participating as a porter in a raid for the first time, and the difficulty of this raid was one with a low survival rate. As Captain Kim talked, he thought it would be best to give the people in his team some courage.

Although the attempt was clumsy, it communicated the intention well. It was a message with a warm heart for everyone to return safely.

“Did Mr. Kang come here to earn money too?”

“Yes. It takes a lot of money to live.”

“Well, everyone’s the same. I, too, came here to feed my fox-like wife and rabbit-like kids.”

Captain Kim took out his phone.

On the phone’s wallpaper was a middle-aged woman with a pleasant face and two children, a boy and a girl, who looked to be in middle school.

Behind them was a messy home.

It was just…

‘It is usually these people who die first…’

Maybe it felt like they were showing their past before leaving?

Jin-hyuk smiled.

“So you are taking the risk.”

“Right. Even if I die, the reward will be huge. It cannot be small.”

Even if I die to save my family.

A typical, silly, and dignified father appearance. A frustrating type of person.

He didn’t hate it, though. It was just another person’s way of thinking.

“Do not worry. At least those of you here can get back home safely.’

“What? Puahaha! Right, right. Thank you for the good words. Mr. Kang is quite kind.”

Captain Kim burst into laughter.

How far did they walk while talking? After traveling for over 7 hours with their backpacks full of food, the porters finally reached their destination.

“F-finally…”

“We are here.”

“I thought I was going to die.”

The fatigue had accumulated.

Due to the forced march with no rest, everyone’s stamina was rock bottom, and they were all sitting down to recover.

“Everyone has been through a lot. I want you all to rest until the raid members arrive.”

Captain Kim encouraged the struggling porters by handing them ice water and chocolate bars.

‘It has been so long.’

Jin-hyuk had looked forward to this. This place filled with endless mountains and cliffs.

The gate everyone saw in front of them led to the ‘Corridor of the Fallen,’ a ruin that boasted one of the highest levels of difficulty in the Tower of Trials.

Ting!

His skin felt like something was stinging it despite not having gone inside yet. As expected.

It felt like this.

His heart was pounding with excitement and anticipation.

But then…

Wooong!

A magical reaction could be felt from an empty place close to the group.

“This?”

Jin-hyuk raised his head. He saw the clouds above them parting.

And at that moment, the reeds around them began to sway from side to side.

Kwakwakwang!

Rays of light fell from the sky. This was a phenomenon that appeared when using space movement magic.

“Ugh, my head. No matter how often we do this, I cannot get used to this.”

“How many people?”

“All are safe. All fifty have arrived.”

“Well. Who do you think used the magic?”

More than 50 people appeared. Their backpacks were all filled with weapons and armor.

This was the main raid team of the ‘Balhae’ Guild, named after a kingdom that had risen after the fall of Goryeo.

“Is that man the captain?”

“He looks young…”

“Don’t underestimate him because he is young. He received an AA rank in the test and has climbed the tower up to the 9th floor before.”

Everyone focused their eyes on the man in front of the raid.

A shield that exceeded his height and armor with distinct patterns on them.

At the forefront, he looked like the raid’s core, pillar, and tanker.

‘This man is the captain of the Balhae Guild…’

Jin-hyuk activated the Eye of Truth.

Name: Song Cheon-hwa
Gender: Male
Age: 20
Level: 14
Strength 30 Agility 18 Stamina 19 Magic 5
Stat Points: 0
Coins: 3,850
Occupation: None
Unique Ability: Item Weight Reduction
Skills: Lv3 Iron Shield, Lv2 Phalanx, Lv2 Tenacious Will to Survive, Lv1 Stoning

The unique abilities and skills weren’t bad, but…

[Copy Condition: During the period of the raid, gain the trust of Song Cheon-hwa.]

Jin-hyuk, who confirmed the copy conditions, soon lost interest in the man. Gaining hostility was easier.

Trust wasn’t something that could be gained in a short period, especially when everyone there wanted something important.

But…

Jin-hyuk narrowed his eyes at Song Cheon-hwa

‘A guy of the top 10 guilds is of this level?’

His stats and skills all seemed low. It meant the focus was on gaining experience points rather than actual battle experience.

Besides, the 9th floor wasn’t the end of the tower.

‘The level of the rest of the team members would be lower than that guy.’

Of course, this didn’t mean they didn’t understand the situation.

Currently, all top-level guilds are focusing on attacking the 3rd-floor boss monster.

As a result, there was relatively little manpower for the lower floors.

But no matter how much one took that into consideration…

The lack of power here was undeniable.

At that time…

“Come on, everyone, stop staring. The raiders are here, so let’s get up. We have to do what we need to do.”

Captain Kim clapped his hands once.

The mining team that mined magic stones and collected drops from monster corpses would enter later, but…

Porters carrying the much-needed supplies need to enter first.

‘This is good.’

Jin-hyuk quickly got up from where he sat. It was an opportunity to see how the guild’s raid group would perform.


About an hour after the raid team entered, it was now the porters’ turn.

[Name: Corridor of the Fallen
Type: Ruins
*Difficulty: Unmeasurable
Description: A place where the original blood was sealed within. At the end of the ruins, the purest weapons and most grueling death coexist.]

A sour smell stung everyone’s noses.

Wheik!

The magic users in front summoned flame. The field of vision immediately brightened, showing the ruins’ interior.

“Everyone, please follow me. You can’t lose focus here. Nobody can be saved if they get careless.”

“Oh god…”

“… that is huge.”

“Is this the ruins?”

The appearance was reminiscent of ruins from the ancient Mayan Civilization.

Exterior walls covered with stones and moss stretched out in all directions.

Step.

As they went further along the path, various murmurs could be heard from ahead.

“Ah, here! This side!”

“Cheon-hwa hyung! The porters have come!”

As if there had already been a fierce battle, the path ahead was full off corpses of monsters.

The undead monster types included ghouls and skeletons. At a glance, it looked like there had been over 100 of them.

On the other hand, no player corpses were visible.

‘It is strange…’

Even though there had been no high-level undead monsters, not even one player took damage after dealing with so many?

With the power that the Balhae Guild had upon entry, it wouldn’t be possible for the battle to conclude with no one taking damage.

“What are you doing?”

Captain Kim grabbed Jin-hyuk’s shoulder.

“Uh?”

“Why are you standing still? Please share the water and ice.”

It was a face that asked such a question naturally. Captain Kim then summoned three to four additional people to help Jin-hyuk.

“We will handle this side. Can you handle the foreigners?”

Captain Kim pointed to the players who had exotic looks. The raid group also included middle-rank guilds and solo players in addition to the Balhae Guild.

It had to be one of those players.

Jin-hyuk looked over at something.

‘I remember seeing…’

That was a pattern that he had seen in the Tower of Trials in the past.

The ‘Zion’ Guild.

As a guild based in Europe, the number of members was small, but he heard it was quite capable.

“The four of us go to the people there.”

“Sure.”

Jin-hyuk filled a large mug with water and ice and headed to the Zion Guild’s side.


Water and ice were quickly distributed. There were only brief words of thanks and not much else.

And then he got to the last person.

Unlike the other guild members, who were quite tall, the last person had a noticeably more petite frame.

Perhaps just a bit over 160 cm?

It didn’t seem like it was a man.

Maybe a woman?

Jin-hyuk wasn’t sure because their body was completely covered in armor and helmet.

“Here, have some water.”

“Ah…!”

A short exclamation.

Clack!

Their helmet was removed. The blonde hair, which had been curled up inside, was blown by the wind.

“Ugh?!”

“Oh god…”

The porters were all shocked.

Her face was so beautiful that they doubted whether she was real.

Her white skin and blonde hair matched the armor she was wearing. It was a breathtaking sight.

However, it wasn’t just her appearance that surprised everyone.

Typically skills were accumulated through achievements. Other factors included the family’s bloodline.

She had three such pillars that supported her.

‘Saintess of Amsterdam…’

Teresa de Laurentia.

He couldn’t help but know who she was.

She was one of the most well-known players in Europe.

Jin-hyuk narrowed his eyes.

She was the youngest daughter of the Laurentia family, who held titles of nobility.

At the same time, she was the hero who had saved Amsterdam after it was devastated by the outbreak. That was her true identity.

Now he understood.

Why the Balhae Guild had no wounded people.

‘Because this woman has the best efficiency when fighting against the undead.’

An all-round player who could use divine power for both attack and defense and possessed auxiliary healing skills.

It was even rumored that it was only thanks to Teresa that they had been able to break through the 2nd floor of the Tower of Trials.

However, there was a catch.

‘She chose to do this instead of the 3rd-floor boss?’

No matter how precious the relics from the ruins were… unless it was a holy relic, then going to a higher floor would be more beneficial.

Above all, there was no need to bring Zion Guild members to this floor.

… how did they even bring them here?

Jin-hyuk pondered for a moment and shook his head.

The priority now wasn’t to anticipate the Zion Guild’s motives but to learn what powers Teresa had.

And how to copy the ability.

This was the important thing.

‘This is an opportunity which will never come again.’

Immediately, he activated the Eye of Truth.

However,

[The skill activation is canceled due to the level difference.]

A red status window blocked his eyes.

‘Shit. The level diff…’

He knew she wasn’t in a guild yet, but she had already reached level 20.

The moment he thought that.

[Luck and Adaptive stats have neutralized the level difference.]
[You can look through the target's status window]

Shh…

The red status window disappeared, and Teresa’s personal information appeared.

‘Right, I had that.’

His luck and adaptive stats helped him as soon as he needed it. At a crucial time as well.

Name: Teresa de Laurentia
Gender: Female
Age: 22
Level: 29
Strength 42 Agility 31 Stamina 25 Magic 30
Stat Points: 0
Coins: 10,850
Occupation: None (A job quest is currently in progress)
Unique Ability: Blessing of the Stars
Skills: Lv5 Divine Power Enhancement, Lv5 Hidden Movement, Lv4 Blessed Hands, Lv4 Sign of Cross, Lv4 Illusion Barrier

[Copy Condition: Teresa is ranked in the top 100 in the world. If you save her life, you can copy one of the skills and unique abilities of your choice.]

A terrific option.

‘As expected, people should be enthusiastic.’

Jin-hyuk was happy.

This was absolutely a luxury hotel buffet.

Additionally, thanks to being able to read her status window, he was able to understand her motive for coming here.

[A job quest is currently in progress]

‘I see.’

This was why she gave up on the boss on the higher floor and was stuck here. It was interesting.

Maybe a useful one too.

[Lv1 'Communion' has been activated\]
[Subject has a slight affinity with you.\]

A warm vibe.

Teresa looked at Jin-hyuk and smiled brightly.

Bluish-green eyes that reminded him of a deep whirlpool.

“Thanks… for water.”

She’s thanking him?

No, he was thankful to her.

‘Blessing of the Stars.’

A unique ability considered the best for those who chose paladin as their profession. He was given a chance to get such an ability.

The problem…

He needed to create a situation that put this woman in danger. He then had to save her life.

‘Certainly, the conditions are not easy.’

Jin-hyuk wet his lips.

It was a peculiar habit that came out when he was thinking. And at that very moment.

“Ch-Cheeon-hwa hyung! Come this way! Right now!”

Followed by an urgent scream, everyone turned their eyes toward it.

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