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As soon as the protective barrier disappeared, the previously tightly closed Inn door… opened! As soon as it did so, a group of people immediately entered. Judging by their shabby clothing, they were the users that entered Hall Plain before our group.
The city I’m starting at is a place called Babara. It’s known to be the largest city in the Northern Reaches of the country. Since each country only has one large city, they became the base of many users. Each user within the city possessed a keen spirit, giving them a deadly look.
The users all had a design carved over their hearts: a gold lion. It was a design I recognized. The North Country’s Golden Lion Clan… I remember them as a clan that had made history in the Whole Plain. Alas, as a result of a difficult expedition and a weakened military, another clan jumped at the chance and attacked them. Thus started their walk towards self-destruction, but that happened later on.
A titan, about 190 cm tall, that wore a colorful robe that didn’t quite fit his domineering figure skimmed his eyes throughout the Inn a bit, then spoke with an odd voice.
“The second Inn has more people than I would have thought.”
His speech wasn’t particularly directed towards us. The users that entered the room after him seemed to hold the same sentiments. Among them, one started to count the people in the Inn, then spoke.
“Wow… there are actually 43 new users at the second Inn! I haven’t seen this many noobs in a long time.”
“Isn’t this the most noobs we’ve had recently?”
“I’m not sure, if compared to last year at just this Inn alone, probably, but what about the other Inns?”
The survivors (new users) looked at the Veterans worriedly. Among the survivors, some were observing the current atmosphere and others were listening to their Veterans’ words. For now, I decided to remember their faces.
“I’m sure they’re counting them. Hey, Hyun-Woo is coming from the first Inn. Line up.”
After hearing the name Hyun-Woo, the previously chatty users quickly lined up in a straight line perpendicular to the sides of the Inn’s door. Hyun-Woo. The Golden Lion Clan. As soon as I connected those two names, I thought of something: if I’m correct, the Park Hyun-Woo that will eventually become the clan’s leader is about to appear.
Moments later, someone walked in between the lines of users, straight towards the Inn. He was good-looking guy that had a clean cut and gave a good impression. He looked a lot younger than when I first saw him, but after seeing his eyes, I was certain that he was Park Hyun-Woo. I was stronger than before, enough that I could activate the third eye.
* Name: Park Hyun-Woo (4 Years)
* Class: Normal Sword Expert
* Nation: Babara (Global City)
* Clan: Golden Lion
* Alias / Nationality: One to leave traces of the sword / South Korea
* Sex: Male
* Height / Weight: 179.2cm / 68.7kg
* Susceptibility: Neutral / Neutral
* Power 90 / Endurance 81 / Agility 73 / Stamina 87 / Mana 89 / Luck 60
As expected… he’s Park Hyun-Woo. There was no point in looking at his stats, but seeing as how he’s only a Sword Expert, it seems like there is still room for him to grow. I think that he’ll become a sword master after leveling up another two times or so. No, he definitely can. He was even welcomed as Sword Master during the First Alliance War.
Although I’ve heard a lot about him, he wasn’t the one that I had a sword fight against. His Agility stat was pretty low, but that was evened out by his impressive average mana since he was a sword wielder.
I decided to stop paying attention to him. I heard that he was killed when the Golden Lion was defeated during the Alliance War. More importantly, having an enemy within a big clan will make making alliances with that clan hard.
While I mused within my own world, the rest of the survivors’ attention was focused on Park Hyun-Woo. He slowly walked in and carefully observed each of our faces. Soon, a look of surprise appeared on his own.
“Seems like there are a lot of new users here. Probably… over 40?”
“There’s 43. How many survived the first Inn?”
“19. No matter, this is good. Separate them by class and gather them at the square. I’ll have them bring the survivors from the third, fourth and fifth Inn.”
After answering their question and giving the command, Park Hyun-Woo left the Inn with a stern look planted on his face.
The square was filled with so many users. It felt nice to be back at Babara Square. There isn’t anything particularly amazing here; if I had to compare it to something, I would say that it’s similar to an outdoor theater.
Directly at the center of the square was a round stage with staircases leading up to it. After separating the new users by class, the Veterans sat down on each of the stairs. Although their butts were chilled by the cold bricks, they endured it and turned their attention towards the center of the stage.
There were many users with the gold lion design on their bosoms on the stage. They each carried a conceited look on their faces, looking at us as they would animals at a zoo.
If there were people who witnessed this and also knew of the Hall Plain issue, they could say that Babara was in a better situation. The Western Country was taken care of by American users and had an open policy towards the people. This was why they had a large population and were called a “free country.” However, they can’t be considered a peaceful country.
In the Korea-controlled North Country, the Golden Lion Clan was considered the best out of all the clans there. I think I heard someone mention that the rules in the North Country were pretty strict. It makes them look pretty arrogant though.
Right now, I wasn’t with my group. I wasn’t the only one; most of the new users were probably also away from their groups. The Veterans said that they were going to group the new users according to their class.
Momentarily, I was curious as to what An Hyun and the others picked for their classes, but I decided to find out later. I pushed the thought aside, and soon I turned my attention back to the stage. Park Hyun-Woo and several others were talking amongst themselves. As there was not much else to do, I quietly gathered my mana and amplified my hearing. I was curious as to what they were talking about.
“Report on the number of people by Inn. First Inn, 19. Second Inn, 43. Third Inn, 22. Fourth Inn, 29. Fifth Inn, 17. There’s a total of 130 new users.”
“What about number of users per class?”
“There are 75 Close Range Fighters, 26 Long Range Fighters, 18 Magicians, and 11 Priests. There are no one of secret or rare classes.”
“… I see. Thank you. Well, let’s begin then. Yoo-Bin. Activate the Voice Amplification magic. Also, bring that guy in front of me here.”
That guy? Who was he talking about? Now that I think about it, there was some sort of commotion when we were leaving the Inn. I couldn’t find out exactly had happened since I was mixed within the users that went outside after being separated by class.
Soon after, my question was answered. Park Hyun-Woo dragged a brutally beaten guy to the center of the square. As soon as they stepped in the middle, the small whispers disappeared. It was so quiet that I couldn’t even hear people breathe. Park Hyun-Woo continued to drag him with one arm, then threw him up on the stage.
The guy that was thrown onto the stage was Park Dong-Gul. He had foam in his mouth, and his right arm was twisted bizarrely, making him look miserable. I that that maybe he had lost his mind, because his body would occasionally spaz. The expression on his face made me think that he was experiencing excruciating pain…
Ignoring the condition of Park Dong-Gul, Park Hyun-Woo looked at the new users, and spoke.
“First, it’s nice to meet the new users that passed the Rite of Passage. I’ll skip the small talk since you’ve probably heard most of it from the Angels. But…”
He stopped talking for a moment before continuing. Everyone’s attention was glued on him.
“However, there are still things that have to be said. Everyone right here right now were once citizens of Korea. Everyone right here right now have passed the Rite of Passage. Between you and me is only one difference: who had entered Hall Plain first, and who had entered Hall Plain later. The important thing is…”
Thanks to the Voice Amplification magic, his booming voice filled every pocket within the square. I’m sure that all 130 people could hear him loudly and clearly. As he slowly strode towards the crown, he stopped in front of Park Dong-Gul’s body.”
“We. Are not the ones that sends you home.”
There was a certain pressure to his words just then. The new users that were listening to his words intently started to feel uneasy, myself included. I don’t think Park Hyun-Woo will put the blame on the new users.
Why? Because I was like that too. Even if you had heard it from the Angels, hearing the words said openly in front of everyone will result in disappointment. After observing the crowd with a stern expression for a second, Park Hyun-Woo continued to speak with a deep voice.
“We were dragged into this crappy Hall Plain. I understand how frustrated you all must feel. But you must understand- we were once in the same situation that you are in now. I’m sure that you’re all curious as to why we’re here. We have one goal, and it’s to help all of you to get used to Hall Plain. It’s to help all of you to survive. It’s to help all of you, and provide guidance.”
He stopped talking, and glanced down at the body of park Dong-Gul. Even though he was deeply in pain, Park Dong-Gul’s body shook, as if in defiance, as if in defence of his remaining pride. However, as soon as his eyes met Park Hyun-Woo’s, he lowered them. It served him right.
“To elaborate, you can think of it as a video game where the higher-leveled players are helping the new players. HOWEVER! This man here used profanity and violence towards a user that was here to help! Yes, we guarantee one’s freedom- we respect one’s freedom. I know that there are users here that don’t want our help; there are users here that don’t believe our words. To those people, I give a chance right now. If you don’t want our help, please leave this square right now. We will not stop you.”
Even though he had stopped talking, no one dared to speak. Of course, no one stood up either. Silence enveloped the square. Moments later, after Park Hyun-Woo was certain that no one would decide to leave, he nodded twice and started talking again.
“It seems like no one wants to leave. Then, I’ll assume that those here are willing to receive our aid. If at any point an user causes harm towards another, we will take appropriate actions to dispose that that user. Our help will be somewhat painful- but remember, if you feel that the pain is too much, you can give up at any point. Please, keep all that I have said in mind. Yoo-Bin, cancel the Voice Amplification magic.”
Their voices disappeared as the guy named Yoo-Bin released the Voice Amplification magic. Park Hyun-Woo called over a priest, pointed at Park Dong-Gul, and told him something. I hurriedly depleted my mana to increase my hearing once again.
The priest was the titan that I saw at the Inn. To think that he was a priest! The stark contrast between the stereotypes was totally unbalanced. The titan got down on one knee and lowered his body in front of Park Dong-Gul. Moments later, a bright light enveloped his hand as he moved it near Park Dong-Gul’s right arm.
As soon as the titan whispered the word, he raised his hand that was covered in the bright glow. The light blossomed in the air, and was soon greedily absorbed by Park Dong-Gul’s arm. The previously bizarre looking arm was slowly returning to its original position. A couple of the users that witnessed this sight started yelling excitedly.
Park Dong-Gul blinked his eyes, surprised that he was the one being treated. He slowly sat up and tested his right arm. It moved without restrictions, and seemed fully recovered. Park Hyun-Woo looked at Park Dong-Gul with the same stern expression as before and spoke to him quietly.
As soon as Park Hyun-Woo stopped talking, Park Dong-Gul immediately stood up. He was weak to the strong, yet he was strong to the weak. Park Hyun-Woo’s body language suggested that he didn’t like Park Dong-Gul at all. His face scrunched up and spoke growlingly.
“Being hostile towards a new user in Babara is a crazy move. On top of that, he was a fellow clan member! I’ll let it slide this time, but if there is a next time…”
From this one sentence, I sensed the violent temper blended in his voice. Park Dong-Gul quickly shook his head in denial; it was as if death emanated from Park Hyun-Woo.
After receiving Park Hyun-Woo’s instruction, the priest took Park Dong-Gul and led him to the Close Range Fighter group. Park Hyun-Woo once again turned his attention towards us after affirming that Park Dong-Gul was taken care of.
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