Chapter 43-44: Ranking Competition
It was only a few days until the competition that would divide the Awakened into ranks.
Kim Yong-woo leaked the information to all the other guilds and used a banner on the homepage of the Awakened cafe to attract attention.
It was a rare opportunity to see the Awakened fight. The other guilds could also confirm the strength of Heaven’s Will.
Kim Yong-woo generously used his money.
The ranking competition was held at the transformed Seoul World Cup Stadium. He rented an enormous lobby.
The admission was free. Famous celebrities were also invited.
Anything else? Information about the teams participating in the ranking competition were also promoted.
There was no need to say that Kim Yong-woo’s account balance decreased significantly. However, Kim Yong-woo didn’t scrimp on the costs. It was a cheap investment if it would preserve his position as guild master.
The reaction was hot.
News about it hit the individual stations and newspapers and the reporters were all talking about it.
In particular, the large cable tv channels were spreading the news about the Awakened. It was possible to raise a large amount of profits from the ranking tournament.
At this point, the famous guilds that were watching started feeling itchy. The name of Heaven’s Will would rise significantly among the public.
“Do you want to participate in the ranking competition? Yes. Each guild can have one raid group participate. Specifically proceed. Come up with the most powerful configuration for the raid group.”
Kim Yong-woo didn’t mind.
Kim Yong-woo was hoping to get more attention from the audience.
Thus, he was determined to involve all 5 guilds.
Even though each guild could only have one raid group, that was enough to cause a huge stir.
Determining who was stronger among the Awakened was a subject of constant attention in the public. In addition, there was an intense rivalry among the 5 guilds. No one could predict the results if the strongest teams from the 5 guilds participated.
The expectations of the public and the Awakened rose to an unprecedented level.
The strongest would win the tournament. That perception was embedded in everyone’s mind.
People came from all over the country to watch the competition. The interested foreigners and Awakened from overseas also got on the planes.
“Wealth has come to Korea!”
Kim Yong-woo had a dark smile on his face.
* * *
The huge sound of trumpets.
An orchestra wearing white were lined up and playing wind instruments.
A magnificent performance that contributed to an inspiring atmosphere.
After it finished, cheerleaders entered the centre of the stadium.
Their uniform was a short skirt and top that exposed their navel. The shiny red and blue dressed females danced wildly and sensually.
The mouths of the men naturally rose.
The Seoul World Cup Stadium that could house 64,000 people currently had 40,000. And that number was still steadily rising.
The cheerleaders finished and then it was the turn of the invited singers.
A famous idol group had been invited, Mori!
This 5 member group had outstanding skills and was currently a hot topic in South Korea. An outstanding sight.
The atmosphere was further heightened.
After Mori was sent off, members from Heaven’s Will including Kim Yong-woo appeared.
Exactly one hundred and sixty eight people! They were the members of Heaven’s Will participating in the competition.
In particular, Kim Yong-woo was here to speak some words as the host of the competition. Kim Yong-woo grabbed the microphone and said with a smile.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first ranking competition. Welcome. I am the leader of the Heaven’s Will guild, Kim Yong-woo.”
After the formal greetings, Kim Yong-woo turned his head.
“These are the proud faces of the people from Heaven’s Will who will participate in the ranking competition. There were 21 raid groups in this place but I’ve also issued a special invitation to 4 other raid groups. The rankings for these 25 raid groups will soon be decided. An exciting feast that will make your heart pound! Who will win?”
Tension filled the faces of all the participants.
It was the same for the visitors.
Kim Yong-woo laughed.
“Then I hope you enjoy the three day festival and I will end the boring speech here. Thank you!”
The deafening shouts!
The ranking competition had now started.
* * *
It would choose what raid group would advance to the main round.
Half of the 21 Heaven’s Will raid groups were scheduled to fall in the preliminaries.
The 4 special raid groups were invited so they would advance to the main round.
It was naturally for the participants’ eyes to filled with fire.
“Captain-nim. Our first opponent is called Black Panther?”
Kim Chun-won said while they were in the waiting room.
Lee Ji-hye replied.
“That is the name of the raid group. All 8 people in it helped establish the Heaven’s Will guild. They are equipped with several good equipment and have considerable skills…it won’t be easy to fight them from the beginning.”
“Are you afraid of being hurt?”
I asked and Lee Ji-hye shook her head.
“It’s not like that. Isn’t there a shield that blocks a certain amount of shock? There are also sleeping potions in the warehouse. I’m just a little worried that we are meeting a strong group like Black Panther at the beginning.”
Participants in the competition would carry real swords and weapons. There were some safety measures. The right to hold some shield items.
Enchanters had worked with blacksmiths to create a shock absorber.
The shield would last throughout the battle until it broke. If the shield broke in the struggle then that member would be left out of the team.
There were also numerous sleeping potions prepared in the warehouse. A number of potions found from the dungeon would be committed to the ranking competition.
The physical burden was significantly less but Lee Ji-hye was still worried.
They needed to win against a strong raid group. It felt like someone was influencing the bracket.
“There’s no need to worry. You guys don’t need to do anything.”
It was true that they trained for 3 weeks but they were still at a human standard. Their weapon handling, technique and skills couldn’t be compared to the opponent.
A wall mounted TV in the waiting room relayed videos of the tournament.
The first preliminary was the ‘Akbari’ raid group against the ‘Misteik’ group.
Akbari was the raid group where Kim Tae-hwan was the leader.
In the list that Kim Yong-woo handed over, Kim Tae-hwan’s name was on the side of the Devil Hunters. His words in the elevator really was advice.
“What? Is this imitating the special forces?”
Kim Chun-won muttered in a small voice. The members of Akbari had ink marks on their faces and were wearing orange shirts.
The shirt had ‘Victory’ written on it in traditional characters. Victory…it wasn’t guaranteed.
At the same time, the whistle was blown to announce the start of the ranking competition.
“Doesn’t the Akbari team have a lot of warriors? In contrast, the Misteik team has their close and long ranged attackers appropriately placed.”
Yoo Eun-hye said from next to me.
Looking at it simply, Akbari seemed to be at a disadvantage.
They only had warriors so they couldn’t cover the gap. Defense was limited. In addition, the guarder on the enemy team could prevent the attacks while long ranged attacks were used.
Then the voice of a broadcaster came from the speakers attached to the TV.
-Unbelievable! The powerful assault of the Akbari raid group. Hasn’t the guarder raised his shield? It will enter into a melee!
-Foolish. Look here. Haven’t there already been some people with broken shields?
-Kim Yoo-won, it is impossible for him to continue! Ah, that must hurt. Even so, Akbari isn’t stopping their assault!
-The best. Misteik has fallen into chaos. But isn’t a black light coming from Kim Tae-hwan? What is that skill?
-Magic Power Cohesion. A skill that raises the cutting force of the sword. Ahh! Misteik’s guarder is unable to block it and was pushed back!
-In the end, it turned into a melee. Huh…a great breakthrough power.
-Misteik’s long distance members are sticking to the same skills! Keep their eyes open or a mistake will occur!
-It seems to be almost over. It is obvious they would be hurt after failing to block the opponent’s hit. This ranking competition, they are still lacking but it is rather interesting. Let’s continue.
There was an overwhelming response after Akbari was decided as the winners.
It reminded the audience of gladiators fighting in a coliseum so there was a hot response.
“…I’ve done some research on Black Panther in advance. Do you want to know about their formation and operation?”
Lee Ji-hye suggested after realizing the importance of tactics.
It wasn’t simply gathering 8 people together but also involved psychological warfare.
But I said firmly.
“There is no need.”
“Krasla and I are good enough.”
“Captain-nim. The stories about the Black Panther raid…”
“I hate to say it twice.”
Lee Ji-hye nodded. She knew that I wasn’t helpless. It also wasn’t strange if she thought Krasla was stronger than me.
However, this time was different.
It was very desirable.
People were trying to contain the Devil Hunters raid group. The ones who wrote the bracket…maybe Kim Yong-woo didn’t even get a chance to touch the bracket list.
Lee Ji-hye wanted to smash Black Panther in order to change the impression of them.
“Devil Hunters raid group! Devil Hunters, come with me please! Your preliminaries will begin in 5 minutes!”
A yellow dressed helper opened the door of the lobby and yelled.
Our turn had come.
Tension filled the eyes of all the members except for Krasla.
I took the lead.
My mouth was in a smirk.
An overwhelming force……
I would make sure to use this opportunity to clearly show it.
There was a line between the 16 people.
However, there were differences in their formations.
Black Panther had 4 people in the front and 4 people behind while Devil Hunters had 2 people in front with 6 people in the rear.
In particular, the members of Devil Hunters were all wearing skull masks. But they didn’t give off an intimidating presence so the opponents and spectators were puzzled.
-What do you think? They aren’t guarders.
Of course, I was in the front lines along with Krasla. And the reason we stood in front……
It was to bridge the gap between the opponents. I wouldn’t even give them time to breathe.
The moment the whistle sounded, I pushed off strongly against the ground. Dust rose as I arrived in front of the opponent.
There was no need for swords.
I advanced too fast. My fist hit the other person in the abdomen.
The shock absorption shield broke. The necklace that the shield was attached to broke.
A single clash.
Neither defense or offense. Just a one-sided strike.
The opponent coughed out blood before collapsing.
But that wasn’t all. I used the residual power of Lightning God Technique the moment I made a fist.
The lightning power would gnaw at the blood vessels and cells and would slowly kill the person.
Of course, the future of the humans had already been somewhat decided.
The Black Panther raid group was one of those slandering the Devil Hunters. It couldn’t end simply with one blow. I needed to pop that attitude of theirs. I would finish them off before they could even start.
Krasla thrust his spear at the opponent’s body. He had spun it round and round before striking. The shield was destroyed and the body received considerable damage.
Sheep and wolf?
It was like a tiger, lion and wasps hunting sheep. It was like the scene of thousands of worker bees being massacred.
They were no match for us.
It was like a storm was striking them.
The members of Black Panther collapsed one by one until they were all on the floor.
The bleachers were quiet.
Even the broadcasters couldn’t say anything.
A scene that reminded them of something beyond the ‘standards.’
The whistle that blew sounded louder than ever.
* * *
We fought 3 more times and Krasla and I ended it every time. We were the raid group that dealt the most injuries.
After the first day of qualifiers finished, the videos were spread over the internet.
The netizens felt envy as they saw the many attractions and the performance of the idol group Mori. But among these stories, many of them were about the raid group Devil Hunters.
[Devil Hunters raid group? They seem too strong. No other raid group can match them.]
[Aren’t they like Barcelona?]
[Heaven’s Will isn’t weak. We still don’t know. The strongest in each guild hasn’t come out yet.]
[Only two people in Devil Hunters finished the match. Nothing has been seen from the remaining six.]
The reactions were divided into two types.
But they had to admit that the two members were strong enough to end things.
Public opinion wondered about ways to deal with Devil Hunters. Everyone searched for exclusive methods to defeat the Devil Hunters.
But they realized such methods were useless the next day.
The 2nd day.
It was the main competition.
The skull mask wearing Devil Hunters had risen to the top. Their attitude was more casual than yesterday.
I don’t know why they would be worried. In the end, there were only two protagonists on the stage. I had to admit that I made a scene on the first day……
-Now, the biggest issue that has surfaced is the appearance of the raid group Devil Hunters. Their opponent is the strongest raid group of the Mithril Guild, ‘Grizzly.’ Weren’t there some shocking moves yesterday?
The broadcasters looked at the stage with expectations in their eyes.
Yesterday’s preliminaries were only held with the Heaven’s Will Guild.
But today, the main competition was different. The strongest raid group from one of the four guilds. In fact, before yesterday it had been expected that Grizzly would be the winner.
At the same time, the whistle was blown to announce the start of the match.
But no one moved.
All 8 members of Grizzly were wary of Krasla and I.
I read their intentions in an instant.
‘They intend to wrap around both of us.’
They could try but they wouldn’t be able to catch my ankles.
“Guarder! Strengthen shield!”
The 4 guarders started moving in a unit. It would act as both defense and offense and seemed to be a provocation.
“Power of Breath!”
There was even a blessing from a priest?
The formation was extremely defense focused.
It was certainly a strong formation to deal with a powerhouse. They intended to wait until I exhausted myself piercing the defenses.
But this was a different situation from normal.
I pulled out Wrath for the first time in this competition. My strength that reached 86 wasn’t something that could be stopped by the guarders and priest.
The shield’s surface rippled before exploding in all directions.
-Ah, is that the effect of the item?
None of them thought the results would be pure power.
They thought it was the effect of Wrath.
There were wild screams every time the shield exploded. The guarders stepped back and retreated but were mercilessly struck by Krasla’s spear.
The Mithril Guild’s strongest raid group, Grizzly.
But the scene wasn’t much different from the preliminaries.
This was halfway to the finals. The raid group Devil Hunters hadn’t been defeated yet. There were no rivals for the Devil Hunters. The other team would definitely be broken.
It wasn’t just the performance of only two people.
Only there were only 4 people left, the rest of the members would handle it. The opposing team was already helpless due to our attacks and couldn’t fight back.
It was similar to dealing with leftovers but the members didn’t have any complaints. They knew that they could reach this point thanks to me.
The competition had already been decided from the start.
In the end, no surprises happened.
The ultimate proof indicated South Korea’s strongest raid group…it was the moment the name Devil Hunters became known to the public.
* * *
After refusing numerous interview requests, I returned to the dungeon.
Devil Hunters were nationally recognized and each of the Awakened had the S rank attached to them. The ultimate title that only belonged to the strongest raid group!
There was no need to raise a fuss. It was to the level that I wanted.
‘Thanks to this, I can accelerate my plan.’
I had originally planned to slowly increase the influence of my raid group. Thanks to Kim Yong-woo and the ranking competition, I could progress much faster.
In my previous life, there wasn’t the ranking competition.
There were many Awakened that competed against each other but they weren’t divided into ranks.
In the future, the Awakened would co-operate with each other depending on their country. But the ranking competition that Kim Yong-woo developed thanks to my presence had changed the future.
I had only come back here for a little over a year.
The clear image of the Awakened?
I thought it would take 3 years for my plan.
‘I don’t need to bother with such a troublesome thing.’
My plan had been reduced by 2 years.
If I returned to the guild and trained the members then the time would be dramatically reduced.
But there was no need to do such an annoying thing.
‘It is time to prepare a monster wave.’
A large number of monsters would escape the dungeon to invade the country!
I had been preparing the dungeon.
My original plan was to execute it 2 years later after obtaining the title of the strongest so I had been preparing all year for it.
I arrived at the top floor of the dungeon and lightly touched Yihi’s forehead who was dozing against the Dungeon Core.
“Ya! Aish! Who!”
Yihi frowned while waking up and rubbed her eyes a few times.
“It is good.”
“I-I just fell asleep. Yihi has been waiting for Master to return.”
The saliva at her mouth indicated that it was an obvious lie.
I ignored it and asked.
“That’s okay. How many points are left?”
“Um. Wait a minute. After using 100,000 points to purchase the elixir, there is 163,752 points left.”
“It is slightly lacking.”
I had used most of my points buying things from the auction. Of course, my balance was bankrupt but I didn’t regret it.
Yihi was confused.
“Why Master? Did you want to use the points?”
“I want to buy a few Ogres and Twin Head Ogres.
“Uhh, it is incredibly lacking……”
Yihi tried to calculate it while talking.
The advanced ogre was 40,000 points while the twin head ogres was 250,000 points. I had 160,000 points so 4 ogres was the limit. I couldn’t even dream of obtaining a twin head ogre.
I stroked my chin for a moment before saying.
“Convene the dark elves and dwarves. I need them to do some work.”