One Man Army – Episode 7: [Chapter 4] Drawing a Big Picture (2)

Even if the boundless pasture was a special place where one was able to die and revive to fight repeatedly, it took a long time to die 4,444 times.

Sang Hyuk accomplished his goal, dying 4,444 times at the boundless pasture over 3 days exactly without sleeping at all. The total time he spent was approximately 60 hours.

With advances in virtual reality technology, all virtual reality contents except for illegal virtual reality contents applied ‘Shock Prevention Skill’ officially. So, if he was immensely shocked in virtual reality, he would feel only slight pain or dizziness in reality.

Even though the skill was advanced, people who weren’t used to getting attacked or assaulted by others, still got shocked mentally. Due to this, game companies tried to protect those people through several ‘Mental Revision Skills’.

It might be so, people felt displeasure upon their ‘death’.

So, some users used the option of ‘Skip Death’ to turn a virtual reality connection statement into sleep mode when faced the situation of death.

The upper ranks users would never use the Skip Death, only normal users widely used the option.

If Sang Hyuk could use it, he would have used the Skip Death. But, this setting was not available at the boundless pasture, so he had no choice but to endure his deaths fully.

At least he had much experience in virtual reality, hence he could endure 4,444 deaths.

The moment he stood up in front of the monster troops after 4,444 times of dying… Finally, the message he really wanted to see popped up in his eyes.

  ‘ Congratulations! You, who have never given up and tried constantly, deserve to be awarded this special title.’

‘You’ve achieved a unique level title [The Challenger Never Gives Up].’

“PHEW, nice!”

Sang Hyuk murmured while clenching his fists and grabbed a normal sword which he had never used and lay it on the ground.

At that moment, monsters which looked like huge cicadas were flying to him constantly.

Sang Hyuk who already achieved the most important first goal didn’t need to be patient anymore. At least, Sang Hyuk was really happy about this point.

“From now on…. I will kill you guys!”

CHIANG, he drew the sword while shouting loudly and started brandishing it in a familiar appearance.

As it was commonly said, Sang Hyuk, in his former life was really into EL and tasted its sweetness, bitterness, saltiness, sourness; everything of EL.

Therefore, he knew how to use all the weapons. Even though he could have used all the weapons that rose from the ground, he killed all the monsters troops 20 times with a normal sword.

Besides, he didn’t even choose skill books afterwards and only used the sword he was holding to kill all the monsters.  

The reason why he did so was simple.

There was a secret, which no one knew at that time and it became a basic attack for all users about 1 year later, that he could get the weapon if he only used one weapon to kill all the monsters until level 10 without using any skill books or any other weapons at the boundless pasture.

Surprisingly, the weapons that appeared at the boundless pasture were all rare level items.   

The rare level items were worth a lot of money because magic level items were not released yet and it was only the third day since the game was released.

Level up! [10].

Congratulations. You are qualified as a ‘Traveller’. You who became a ‘Multi Dimensional Traveler’ will visit the first planet ‘Teurinakeu’ in accordance with the meaning of chaos.  

There isn’t a specific mission for a multi dimensional traveller. You are free to do whatever. But… if you have a problem, you will also have to solve the problem by yourself.

I hope you enjoy your eternal life from now in earnest.

[Hidden Compensation : You got the ‘Traveler’s Sword of State’.]

*Flash*!!

Sang Hyuk was moved to Teurinakeu planet as soon as he achieved level 10. In short, Teurinakeu planet was the first continent EL users experienced.

New planets appeared every one to three years. The last added planet was the 7th in his former life.

As soon as the light, which was extremely glaring, had disappeared, the view of his surroundings had totally changed.

The distant sound of horns and a familiar image of an old inn in the city of Palcorn exactly corresponded with a piece of his memory in his former life.

It was really crowded in front of the inn as well as inside of it because of people who came from the boundless pasture after achieving level 10.

Basically, EL only operated under a combined server for all users from all over the world. It was never possible with the old Internet environment, but most games operated under a combined server because DN didn’t have any burdens of servers anymore.

Of course, there was a channel system to prevent this kind of cities from being overcrowded, it only affected a few main crowded cities.

Eventually, what EL seeked was only one huge world.

In front of the inn, new users who had just started EL in a few days exchanged information with each other actively.

Since EL didn’t have any known information, users had to cooperate with each other.

Normally, users were led naturally by quests in the games, however, EL wasn’t that kind of game at all. Multi dimensional travellers who just reached Teurinakeu weren’t given anything.

They only had an old cloth which barely covered their body. There wasn’t such a quest.

They had to find out what they needed to do next by communicating with an NPC or by asking someone who had already done this process before.

Of course, Sang Hyuk communicated with neither NPC nor with other users. He knew the answer again exactly at this time, so he skipped all processes and moved to the answer directly.

What users had to do first after being multi dimensional travellers with level 10 was ‘Stamping Souls’. Users could find out about this information easily after communicating with the NPCs at the inn where they arrived at first.

If they didn’t stamp souls, they couldn’t get EXP at all, so they had to put this stamping as their priority. Put simply, stamping souls was what and how they chose their job for the game.

Players made ‘Soul Hole’ through stamping souls and filled SH with Knowledge of Ancient, and finally got to have their power through this process. There was an EL owned particular setup at this point.

   

Sang Hyuk already knew more than a thousand kinds of ‘Knowledge of Ancient’ to stamp souls. The interesting point was that people could get unlimited numbers of knowledge of ancient to stamp souls.

It meant that one could stamp all thousand kinds of knowledge of ancient if he wanted to do. But, no one really did so.

There were no limits of the numbers to stamp souls, but people were given a big penalty whenever they got new knowledges of ancient, 99 percentage of people had just 1 to 5 kinds of knowledges of ancient to stamp souls.

 

The penalty whenever people got stamped knowledges of ancient was really simple. Of course, there was no penalty for stamping only one knowledge of ancient. But, if you added one more, so that you had 2 knowledges of ancient, the exp to level up increased double-fold.

And, if you added one more, total three, the exp to level up increased to quadruple of the original exp.

If it was 4 kinds of knowledges of ancient, increased 8 times, 5 kinds, 16 times… because the required exp increased exponentially, it was almost impossible to grow with more than 5 knowledges of ancient in reality.

Especially, stamping souls could be done at level 10, and they had to initialize level to 10 if they wanted to remove their knowledge of ancient.       

In summary, they had to zero out their achieved karma (or up: people called exp karma or up) and start over.

Thus, people shouldn’t change until the end of the game once they decided on something.

There was an argument among users about how many number of stampings on their soul was best.

This argument went longer than people expected and was settled naturally 5 years after the game released.  

‘If you are a light user, you would have One soul. If you are a hard user aiming to be a top ranker, you would have Double souls or Triple souls. And, people who insisted on Quadr souls and Penta souls ended up depressed usually. A rich user in the Middle East chose Quadr souls and ended up giving up and starting over. In fact, Triple souls was the limit.’

Sang Hyuk remembered clearly how people, who suggested Quadr and Penta souls and chose them, ended up collapsing.  

“But… I will go for Quadr souls!”

Sang Hyuk knew about the limit of Quadr souls more than others. Sang Hyuk knew that it was not just difficult, a rich man at Middle East who had about 5 billion dollars could not endure the high exp requirements and gave up in the middle of game.

Nevertheless, the reason why he chose Quadr souls was… the title ‘The Challenger Never Given Up’ obtained through dying many times at the boundless pasture.

Title – ‘The Challenger Never Given Up’

Level – Unique

Explanation –

Effects – [Prefix: None] [Postfix: None] [Constant effects: Karma(Up) needed to level up is diminished half.]

Sang Hyuk could challenge Quadre souls and not Triple souls because of the title. Even though he had Quadr souls, he could still grow as fast as Triple souls because of the title.

Of course, he felt pressured about the increment of exp quadruply, but he was sure that he would be able to overcome it easily with all the knowledge he had.  

Actually, a minority of some top rankers grew up well with Triple souls in his former life.

He reached ‘Soul Hole’ while he was thinking of this and that. The Soul Hole was located in most cities, people could stop by easily.

The process of stamping knowledge of ancient was what he needed to put a knowledge of ancient in the hole after making a hole for the knowledge of ancient at the Hall of Soul.

For reference, the knowledge of ancient was possible to act as ‘Growth’ or ‘Exchange’, but both were only possible through a quest. Putting knowledge of ancient should be determined carefully.

And, people had to decide how many soul holes opened through the first stamped soul. It was impossible to open only one and open another one later.

People had to give up everything and come back to level 10 by themselves if they wanted to change the number of soul holes after making a soul hole once.

In that case, the knowledge of ancient already installed would disappear as well, so no one really decided to do it.

Of course, there was no information about this, and it could only happen through trial and error. That wasn’t the case for Sang Hyuk.

“Travelers, I am blessing you with a great earth mother and a lord in the sky.”

The NPC who guided the Hall of Soul blessed Sang Hyuk while mentioning all the gods he prayed to.  

‘Four soul holes… The last thing I need to do is to put knowledge of ancient. I want to do it one by one.’

Sang Hyuk made four Soul Holes free and nodded after leaving the Soul Hole.

There were many kinds of knowledge of ancient. The interesting part was that there was a level for the knowledge of ancient. Of course, some knowledge of ancient was hard and some was easy to get, but it couldn’t be a level.

If users visited a big library in big cities, they could get a knowledge of ancient for an inexpensive price, it wasn’t useless at all.

Anyway, a knowledge of ancient could be growth and exchange, people could make it better during the time they played the game.

For example,  ‘Iron Guardian’, which people agreed as the best tanker knowledge of ancient 5 years later from now, was easy to get by growing ‘Guardian’.

It was one of the important information in EL to grow a knowledge of ancient up this way. So, there were some people who sold these kind of strategies professionally.

Of course it was also possible to be without any knowledge of ancient. There were two skills in EL, one was ‘Soul Skill’ achieved through a knowledge of ancient, another one was ‘Basic Skill’ which whoever could get regardless of a knowledge of ancient.

As a guide, the number of soul skills one possesses was unlimited in accordance with a knowledge of ancient, but the basic skill one possessed was limited depending on one’s level.

It increased by one every 10 levels. EL didn’t have the highest level cap because of its infinite level setup, so it was hard to keep learning new basic skills because amount of exp needed was directly proportional to one’s level.  

Sang Hyuk was drawing a big picture now.

It could be ambiguous the first time because it was too big. But, Sang Hyuk looked far into the future, not in the near future and he dreamed of things which people never dared to dream of.

It was only possible for someone who knew the future in advance.

If he didn’t know the future, it was impossible to dream of the big picture. No, he couldn’t even draw half of it.

Developers who developed this game couldn’t expect something as huge as Sang Hyuk’s sketch. The One Man Army which Sang Hyuk was dreaming of was started from this sketch.

< [Chapter 4] Drawing a Big Picture (2) > end


Translator : Joyce Gim
Proofreader : Kerrigan

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