Normally, fighting among the survivors within the training ground was forbidden.
However, there was a way to temporarily lift this rule.
There was a Duel Request card at the store.
In a game, a system called, Duel, was created so that the players can fight amongst themselves.
One thing that was different from PK was that it had rules.
“You want us to fight you?”
Choi Min Ki asked as if he was contemplating.
While fighting amongst themselves, they turned their attention to me and stopped fighting.
They probably knew what I was thinking.
I would let money come in between them, control the fight and completely break up the group.
They didn’t contemplate for a long time.
50,000 Geny wasn’t a small amount and it was an amount that could really help them during the second stage.
If they moved on to the next stage with their current situation, they wouldn’t have a chance.
The fear of not being able to survive overwhelmed them.
I just tossed them a good deal knowing that’s how they felt.
“How are we supposed to fight you? Do we take turns?”
“I’ll take all of you on at once. If you win and get the 50,000 Geny, you can distribute it any way you want. I won’t take part in that.”
“…Okay. There’s really nothing for us to lose.”
All of them seemed to be agreeing with Han Ji Suk.
It might be impossible if they took me on by themselves, but together, there’s a chance that they could.
I stood up from my seat and headed towards the store.
I purchased five of the Duel Request cards, gave one card to each and kept one for myself.
“This should be used as a last resort when things can’t be worked out by talking. Please use it wisely.”
That was what was written on the card.
I think the current situation calls for it.
It was too late for them to make up with each other.
Their hatred towards each other was now focused on me.
Seeing their faces filled with spite made me shiver a bit.
“I made it so that all of us can fight at once.”
They all took out their weapons and were getting ready to attack.
Bow and arrow, a single sword, a dagger and knuckles.
If Goo Tae Myung supported from behind, they wouldn’t have to worry about him getting in the way.
“What’s going on? I think they’re going to duel each other.”
On top of four of their heads, the word, Duel, popped up and a man shouted.
Using four of them as the center of the stage, a blue ribbon connected to each other, making a square around them.
The large stage took up ¼ of the room, giving them enough space to duel.
The people that were worried about surviving the next round gathered around them.
They gladly welcomed these kinds of small events because it helped them forget about having to survive, even if it was just for a moment.
Even if it meant fighting amongst the survivors.
I assumed that the clan leader, Kim Tae Min, would step in and stop the fight.
However, he was seen standing with a smile while eating popcorn that another purchased from the store.
“The 20 second countdown will begin.”
The number, 20, appeared above their heads and started counting down.
I couldn’t hear the sound of the other survivors cheering and shouting.
“Start the Duel!!”
The duel started as the countdown finished.
The rule was simple.
Survivors are automatically eliminated if their HP drops below 5% or if they agree to forfeit.
Despite the fact that the duel started, no one moved.
It’s common sense to observe the situation when there’s a group of people fighting at once.
Going about it without much thought can cause one to be attacked by everyone.
However, I didn’t care much about it and decided to attack them.
I heard the sound of the arrow cutting through the air.
The other stood still until I attacked them.
The first one to attack was Goo Tae Myung.
Goo Tae Myung shot his first arrow and decided to use his distance to his advantage.
The arrow that flew through the air barely touched my cheek.
It didn’t matter.
Not sure if he got lucky or if he actually improved.
If that arrow flew right through my head, I wouldn’t be able to revive because of the damage.
Feeling a bit of fear from the thought, I took a deep breath.
The first one to step up was Choi Min Ki.
“Don’t get carried away!!”
With knuckles strapped to his hand, Choi Min Ki confidently started striking with his fist.
Maybe it was because my agility increased, but my reflexes made his punches seem really slow.
I even waited until his fist was right in front of my nose before dodging.
While he was retracting his fist, I quickly used this chance to punch him in the stomach.
A loud crack could be heard.
Not being able to endure the pain, Choi Min Ki fell to the floor.
His sharp and tough expression couldn’t be seen anymore.
A part of his chest had an odd dent as if his ribs broke.
He barely had any HP left, but it was better to finish this for good.
As soon as I held my main weapon, an axe, his face was filled with fear despite of me not attacking him yet.
As soon as he announced that he wanted to forfeit, his body started floating and was placed outside of the ring.
Behind him were Lee Seul Ki and Han Ji Suk.
As soon as Choi Min Ki was eliminated, both of them kept their distance from me.
There’s an opening.
The obstacles that blocked Goo Tae Myung from shooting was now gone.
Instead of attacking the other two, I decided it would be best to get rid of Goo Tae Myung first.
Goo Tae Myung was already preparing, which gave him another chance to shoot an arrow.
He didn’t have the time to contemplate whether he was going to shoot or not.
He took too much time to prepare the next attack.
There was no way of knowing what would happen if he didn’t end it with this attack.
He let go of the arrow and it hit right in my forearm.
However, I barely felt any pain and broke the arrow shaft as if nothing happened.
It would be lying if I said I didn’t feel any pain at all.
This was more like a scratch than an injury.
Before he had the chance to yell out that he wanted forfeit, I attacked his left arm with my axe.
As part of the duel system, there wasn’t any blood that seeped out from the injury, but he did feel the pain.
He started screaming in pain.
Yelling out that he wanted forfeit could make things easier for him, but it must’ve been excruciatingly painful for him to forget it.
Few seconds later, his HP dropped below 5% and his body was taken out of the ring.
Han Ji Suk observed the fight from the beginning and it seemed like he wasn’t aware of how much of difference there was between his group and me.
His eyes were filled with hostility rather than fear because he couldn’t acknowledge the current situation.
“Isn’t it okay for a large group to suppress the smaller group?”
“What kind of nonsense are you spitting out?”
“The reason why I’m mad about Oh Hana’s death isn’t because I had some sort of feeling for her..You used your group to your advantage by ignoring her opinion, which led her to her death. It made me feel uncomfortable.”
After saying that, Han Ji Suk, who was holding a sword, and I started fighting.
We clashed just twice.
His sword split in half and the blade of the sword spun once and landed on the ground.
Now that he wasn’t able to defend, I attacked his shoulder with the axe.
Unable endure the pain, Han Ji Suk fell to the floor.
While holding onto his chest, he showed how much pain he was in.
His breathing became uneven and he continued screaming..
It was against the rules to use a healing potion in a duel.
In order to escape the pain, all he had to say was that he wanted to forfeit.
Or, he can endure it until his HP drops to zero.
Lee Seul Ki, who had been keeping her distance, suddenly attacked me by slashing my side.
Maybe it was the lack of strength, but the dagger didn’t cut in too deeply.
My sight became blurry and I felt myself losing my balance.
I ended up falling on my knees during the duel.
“I used the poison. It’s a neurotoxin. You won’t be able to move a muscle.”
“No way. I didn’t think you would use the same poison that you used on Oh Hana. I thought it had scarred you for life after seeing you cry about it.”
“…Don’t think too badly about it. I’m doing it in order to survive.”
“Right, of course.”
Lee Seul Ki gracefully flipped her hair and kicked me.
Unlike the girls that usually stood behind to guys to receive protection, she didn’t hesitate when it came to fighting.
She confirmed the effects of the poison with her own eyes and it developed into her own skill.
“Give up. If you don’t, I won’t take responsibility for whatever happens to you. Jin Woo.”
It’s the first time I felt fear just from hearing my name.
No matter how beautiful she was, the thought of getting tortured soon would make any guy feel uneasy.
Lee Seul Ki walked towards me with confidence, thinking that she had won, but I kicked her legs.
When she fell to the floor, I got on top of her, turning the table around.
“They say that the injuries you get during a duel will automatically heal as soon as the duel ends…But what would happen if the head was cut off? It might get attached again but…it’ll definitely be a different experience.”
“Ack…I’m sure the poison is spreading through your body thought.”
“I still have enough strength to take you down.”
Her stubbornness told her to endure it a bit longer.
However, after seeing murderous spirit in my eyes, she decided to give up.
“I still haven’t given up!!”
Han Ji Suk shouted and while trying to catch his breath, I saw red beads of blood.
Rather than saying he was revived, it was more like he gathered whatever life he had left and was depending on that.
Since the sword that he was holding broke, it was pointless to use it as a sword.
Despite of that, he decided to fight me until the end.
“That’s why you created the Survive clan, right? With the amount of members you had, you guys were going to take over the mine and control the other survivors, right?”
After hearing this, Han Ji Suk and the clan leader, Kim Tae Min, both had a shocked expression.
They had already prepared to put their plan into action as soon as the morning portal opened.
Blocking the center of the mine was the base of their plan.
But, I ended up messing up their plan.
“Damn it!! If it wasn’t for you.”
This would be the last attack to end the duel.
We both charged forward, but the axe moved faster, which allowed me to attack Han Ji Suk’s chest.
That was the end of the duel.
As soon as the ring disappeared, the people that got injured during the duel were healed.
The people that were watching didn’t move as they were shocked by the result.
With this duel, I hoped that I wouldn’t have to associate with the college group.
Mentally, they were exhausted from the duel and their eyes showed just how tired they were.
I was responsible for making them feel that way, but it would be odd if I felt bad about it.
I didn’t say anything to them.
The survivors started dispersing one by one and until the manager appeared, it was break time.
Man, I’m tired.
The tiredness that I felt from the mine overwhelmed me.
The sudden exhaustion that I felt caused all the energy to flow out from my arms and legs.
I wanted to take a nap, but I wasn’t sure when the manager would appear.
My optic nerves were telling me to listen to the information regarding the second stage first, which prevented me from closing my eyes.
Right. Information is important.
I wondered if the information was so important that I had to give up on sleeping.
If I wanted to survive by myself, I didn’t have a choice but to work harder than the others.
“The first stage has been completed. The manager reviewed the event that occurred within the My Way clan and has determined that weren’t any issues.”
Not long after the duel finished, the manager appeared.
They were probably watching the duel from start to finish.
As soon as the manager determined that there weren’t any issues regarding the event that I started.
The survivors looked at me with cold and stern expressions.
“We’ll now begin stage two.”
As soon as they announced that the second stage was going to start, a white light enveloped my body and took me to another location.
When the light disappeared, I woke up in a different location.
There were dry trees that were on the brink of dying.
The dark sky created a very gloomy atmosphere.
The first thing that caught my attention were the hundreds of tombstones that were before me.
Is this what the afterlife looked like?
“The second stage is the Undead Invasion. The survivors will have the endure the attacks of the undead that appear once every day.”
When they say undead, are they referring to the monsters where their corpses are able to move around?
I imagined a group of those monsters rising up from the tombstones.
I tried to keep it in, but it ended up escaping my lips.
“The second stage will proceed depending on each of the clans. The difficulty will change depending on the number of participants within the clan.”
I was the only member in the My Way clan.
It seemed like I wouldn’t see the other survivors in this stage.
“But, there is an exception.”
An exception? The manager always proceeded by following the rules, so this was completely out of the blue.
“The My Way clan showed amazing results during the first stage, so we have decided to raise their difficulty. Even though they only have one member, we’ll set it as if they have 10 participants. Meaning, it’ll be set so that it’s 10 times more difficult.”
“…What the hell?”
The stage became 10 times harder thanks to the interest and love that I received from the manager.
“Please don’t think badly of it since the quality of the reward will increase as well.”
“I want to decline it.”
“You’re not allowed to decline. You’re the only one I’m giving special treatment to!!”
“Oh…okay, thank you.”
The second stage was nothing but a trial and with this absurd reason, the stage started.
(PR: oh look! Seems like gods keep a grudge too!)