Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 50

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YuWon took the sword from Hephaestus. 

The sword had a hazy-colored blade. The weight was appropriate, and the shape and the balance of the sword was also good. The only shortcoming was, as Hephaestus said, its terrible mana conductivity.

[Nameless Sword]

ᗌ It’s a sword made from various materials. Its mana conductivity is terrible, but the blade is well-sharpened. It could be useful for butchering.

It was an object that was hard to even call an item. 

Even when made of normal steel, an item was capable of accepting some amount of mana. And as long as Hephaestus put his effort into it, he could make a pretty excellent sword just out of plain steel.  

However, the sword in YuWon’s hand was not like that. 

“The materials in that are normally used to make armor, rather than weapons. Bad mana conductivity also means that it has strong resistance against mana.”

That meant that this was a weapon that was intentionally designed to have bad mana conductivity.

“If making a failed work is a success, then I can guarantee that I’ve succeeded pretty fantastically.”

It was the greatest failure. That’s why Hephaestus was able to say he had succeeded. 

To try it out, YuWon tried imbuing the sword with some mana.

[Activating Arcane Sword.]

[Failed to activate Arcane Sword.]

[An unknown power is blocking mana.]

Whirr—

The sword vibrated ever so slightly. 

The mana that YuWon had imbued into the sword had become trapped, unable to get outside. And then the sword absorbed his mana like a sponge. 

The skill had failed. YuWon was sure. This piece of work was a failure, the greatest failure at that. 

“I like it.”

Shing—

YuWon put the sword back in its scabbard. 

It was much better than he had expected. He had thought that at best the skill’s effect would be drastically reduced, but for it to completely stop the skill… 

If this was made into armor, it would have been pretty powerful armor with great mana resistance. 

‘Fael, tar, obsidian, and onyx steel. He really only used minerals that are used to make armor.’

YuWon was not a blacksmith. However, after he had become a Ranker and started fighting the Outer Gods, he had touched and used countless different items. Thanks to that, he possessed some knowledge on what materials were combined to make certain items.  

As for this item, it was less of a sword and more like armor in the shape of a sword. 

“I got to have a fun challenge. It never even occurred to me to make something like this.”

That was a no-brainer as Hephaestus had only ever made perfect items. 

Making a sword with the worst qualities using high quality materials was something he hadn’t done even when he had first started wielding his hammer. 

YuWon gave a total of 10,000 points in Asgardian bills to Hephaestus.

Setting aside its properties, the materials in this item had that much value, not to mention the fact that this was something crafted by Hephaestus. 

Hephaestus tried to reject his payment, but YuWon insisted. He had let himself get used to free stuff.

‘That should do it for preparations.’

The 10th Floor. 

It was the first wall that stopped players who decided to climb the Tower after finishing the Tutorial. 

The Tower’s tests became significantly more difficult every tenth floor. So players referred to parts like the 10th and 20th Floors as ‘walls.’ 

Of course, this was completely unrelated to YuWon. YuWon was too far above the average player to feel like he had hit a wall from something like this. 

YuWon found a portal near the workshop. 

For 10p and having the qualifications of clearing the previous floor’s test, one could teleport to another floor by using the portals. 

[Please select your destination.]

“10th Floor.”

It was the world that he had just obtained the qualifications to go up to.

“I’m headed to the Martial Realm.”

[Qualification confirmed.]

[Teleporting to the 10th Floor.]

Flash—!

Before YuWon’s eyes, the Martial Realm opened up.

* * *

The Martial Realm was the name given to the world of the 10th Floor. And among the many floors in the Tower, it was one of YuWon’s favorite worlds. It was a giant continent surrounded by the ocean.

In this place was a martial arts society created by the strong. 

[WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF THE 10TH FLOOR.]

[THE TEST WILL NOW START.]

[Please select a martial arts school to join.]

[Please pass the test of the chosen martial arts school.]

Unlike other floors, the 10th Floor’s test started as soon as you entered. The test was to pick among the thousands of martial schools, learn their martial arts, and pass that school’s test. 

In other words, this was a test of training. 

On this floor, you couldn’t pass the test by simply taking down an enemy or doing a special mission. The only choice you had was to learn the martial arts of the chosen school.

Of course…

‘That’s not the only way to pass the test.’

The area where YuWon arrived on the 10th Floor was crowded. There were countless people gathered around this empty field a hundred meters long. 

“We’re recruiting people to join the School of the Dragon Sword! Anyone is welcome to join as long as they have passion!”

“The House of the Gentleman’s Sword is recruiting people. If you are a fellow that uses the sword, please come to the House of the Gentleman’s Sword!”

“The School of Heavy Steel is a place to train your body as hard as steel! There is no better martial art than ours to learn to climb the Tower!”

It was like a market. There were players that were wandering around, unable to pick a school. A lot of mid-sized schools were shouting at the top of their lungs to attract those players. 

The big fish, however, were either not present, or if they were, they didn’t cause a scene because players with a good eye knew how to find and recognize the true masters. 

That was when…

“Hello, young man.”

… Someone came up to YuWon with a soft voice.

“Is this your first time in the martial realm?”

It was obvious what he was after. 

YuWon looked at the sword on the man’s back. He seemed to be a player that had decided to settle down in the martial realm.

Compared to other floors, quite a few players settled down in the martial realm. The reason was pretty simple: it was a nice place to live.

“That’s right.”

“Hmm. Judging by your outfit, you must be pretty skilled. Do you, by chance, use the sword?”

When YuWon nodded in response, the man started making a big deal out of it.

“What a coincidence… Or perhaps, is this fate? If you are a sword user, then you must join our School of the Sapphire Sword. Our school is…”

Rather than a martial artist, his manner of speech was closer to that of a salesman. Compared to the past, the martial realm had changed greatly due to the arrival of players from many different worlds. 

YuWon just brushed off the man. The School of the Sapphire Sword? He had never heard of it before. Even for YuWon, who had a wide breadth of knowledge, it was impossible for him to know every single school in the martial realm when there were thousands of them.

‘Major schools are probably uninterested in places like this.’

And even if they were, they wouldn’t personally be seeking out people. A martial arts school with great martial arts and skills that had produced high-ranking Rankers would have people going in search of them. There was no need to act like a door-to-door salesman. 

That’s why it was unlikely that one of the large martial schools would personally come for YuWon. 

‘I see that there are a few noble clan-level martial arts schools.’

YuWon paid no heed to the School of the Sapphire Sword. He let him continue on while observing the few people from the major schools. 

Wudang Sect, Azure Mountain Sect, Jaegal Clan. YuWon spotted some large martial schools that he remembered, but the one that he wanted wasn’t present. 

“The founding of the School of the Sapphire Sword actually predates the Tower…” the man continued to blabber on. 

YuWon frowned as he looked at him. First off, he had absolutely zero intention of joining the School of Sapphire-whatever. It was possible to change your school midway, but he had no time to waste on a school like that one. 

‘Do they… not have any interest in places like this?’

Martial arts were the first real challenge faced by players who had been getting stronger from tests, rewards, and leveling up. This was a test where you had to become stronger by moving your body, hardening your body like steel, and practicing martial arts. 

As it was a completely different type of test than the previous ones, there were quite a few players who stagnated on the 10th Floor, unable to ever clear the test. 

“That’s why the School of the Sapphire Sword… Are you listening to me?”

The man who was excitedly explaining his school suddenly looked at YuWon with a frown. He realized that YuWon had stopped listening to him after a certain point.

“No. I wasn’t listening.”

The man’s face quickly hardened. 

“It seems you’re bad at understanding.”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t have any intention of joining your school. Just go away.”

YuWon planned on walking away, but…

“Did you just look down on me? And my School of the Sapphire Sword?”

… The man had a volatile reaction. 

YuWon scratched his head. He wondered why he was being so sensitive over something that wasn’t that big of a deal.

“That wasn’t my intention, but…”

After thinking for a second, YuWon shook his head in annoyance. He didn’t really care to make excuses. 

“You’re not wrong.”

“Grrr!”

As if his pride was hurt, the man stared at YuWon while gritting his teeth. His face was flushed red with anger. He pointed his finger at YuWon.

“You look like a scarecrow. Don’t just say whatever you want when you clearly got here by luck.”

YuWon couldn’t believe he was just called a scarecrow. 

The man had a pretty big frame. YuWon was on the tall side, but this man was about 10cm taller. 

YuWon thought this guy should have known that fighting wasn’t just about size if he had managed to reach at least the 10th Floor and mastered martial arts. 

“Don’t you know how great our School of the Sapphire Sword is?!”

The man walked towards YuWon while trying to create a dominating atmosphere.

It seemed as though he wasn’t completely a small fry. The man released the power he was hiding, sending killing intent at YuWon. 

He might not have been intending to kill YuWon, but he definitely wanted to scare him and pick a fight.

‘There’s no way he’s actually this angry from that…’

This was a pretty old-fashioned tactic.

‘Picking a fight and demonstrating your strength to a player that’s new to the 10th Floor. It’s not a bad way for a small school to show off their skills.’

It seemed as though YuWon had been highly underestimated. He felt like he got caught up in something annoying. He had to hurry since the school he wanted wasn’t here, yet here was a school he had never heard of picking a fight with him.

“I don’t know what floor you’ve been up to, but aren’t you afraid of the penalty? Also, it won’t be good for your school if this incident becomes well-known.”

Among the many schools on the 10th Floor, there was an official rule: to not mess with players that had just reached the 10th Floor. 

This was a long-held tradition after the Martial Realm was settled in the Tower. And any school that broke that rule was always punished. 

The school was either directly punished by the Martial Artists’ Alliance, or they became unable to recruit additional players from losing their reputation. Either way, it was taboo for a martial school to mess with a newly arrived player. 

“Hmph! That is the case, but there are still rules in the martial realm. I can’t let my school’s name be tarnished. Now, it’s too late for you to beg—”

“That’s enough.”

Step—

The man stopped speaking mid-sentence as YuWon took a step towards him.

“If you don’t want to settle this with words, I’m not interested.”

Once was enough for trying to talk it out. 

The look in YuWon’s eyes changed.  

The man sensed a chilling feeling between the distance that was closing between them. After looking YuWon in the eyes, he took a step back without even realizing it.

‘How can his eyes…’

He thought that YuWon should have been a player that had just arrived on the 10th Floor, but his eyes were like that of a Ranker he once saw from a distance. 

“What are you doing?” YuWon asked.

The man’s nerves were on edge while he looked at YuWon.

YuWon whispered, “Come at me.”

Step—

YuWon took another step closer to the man. 

The two now stood at less than a palm’s length between them. 

“Ngh—!”

Whoosh—!

Scared, the man from the School of the Sapphire Sword swung his hand at YuWon.

Wham—!

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