CH 35

“Well, you’ll probably never come across an SS tier item, so I wouldn’t put much thought into it.”

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‘So, it’s dangerous.’

Although Yongno smiled, he couldn’t stop thinking about Ascalon’s beauty. Yet, more importantly, Yongno was unsure if there was something about Ascalon itself that caused his infatuation with the sword.

“Anyway, this is as far as I accompany you.”

“Oh, then am I entering DIO now?”

Kyle shook his head as he looked at Yongno’s enthusiastic face.

“No, not directly.
You still need to complete two basic tests: [Fight] and [Joint Warfare].”

“I’ve already completed all the basic tests, though.”

“You cleared them? But how did you do that without the basic items- ah, I see.”

Kyle recalled Yongno’s abilities and well-developed skill set.
With these specs, it shouldn’t have been too difficult for him to complete the basic tests. Furthermore, his hand skill martial arts, Great Strength Vajra Hand, was something Yongno could employ without any specific items or weaponry.
Additionally, since Yongno’s hand skills were already at Level 8, he would probably be able to hold his own against Level 2 existences.

“Then, is everything over?”


As soon as Kyle finished speaking, the scenery around Yongno instantly changed, and he soon found himself in the starting room in front of Mari.

“Wow, such a cold-hearted guy.
He didn’t even give me time to say my goodbyes.”

“That guy has always been like that.”

While saying this, Yongno noticed that Mari’s gaze had become cold.
With his magic hat and robe and the quarterstaff in his right hand, it was obvious that Yongno was a mage in training.
And what made this even more convincing was that Yongno carried himself in a manner befitting the role.

However, Mari expected Yongno to possess a different set of equipment.
Gloves, a bow and quiver, or even a sword… something that dealt physical damage.
Against her expectations, Yongno had come back with mage equipment and spiritual power in the area of magic.

“Uhm, Mari? My skin is tingling.”

“Oh, sorry.”

“That’s fine.
Wow, the aura you project is no joke.
It doesn’t seem like you’re putting any extra effort into it, but your aura is still so oppressing.”

Despite stating this as he withstood the oppressive aura, Yongno’s expression had not changed.
This went on to show just how steeled his nerves had become.
Mari’s aura fell short of the Seadragon Zygmunt’s, which possessed far stronger killing intent and overwhelming pressure.
Yongno’s experience and abilities all pointed to a path of martial arts; however, Yongno had unexpectedly chosen a path toward magic.


Mari knew that the decisions an individual made regarding their area of spiritual power, school of study, cultivation technique, skill tree, physical properties, and other attributes were not random.
If Yongno chose magic as his area of spiritual power and a particular school of study, it meant that he was predisposed to and gifted in that path. 

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‘But still, I thought….’

“Hey Mari, I’m done, right?”

“… Yes, it seems so.
Once you complete Joint Warfare, you’ll be off to the world of DIO.”

Mari spoke softly.
Once she finished speaking, notifications started appearing in the air.

/You have cleared the basic tests!/

/You have acquired the title, ‘Entrant!’/


The generic title initially confused Yongno, but soon, a description popped up.

“I won’t accept the title.”

Though the title would have been helpful for a beginner, Yongno already possessed a Master title.
His current title as ‘Divine Swimmer’ represented his dominance in the medium of water and gave him various benefits.
His stamina, life force, and physical strength had increased by 150 points each, which was common for Master titles.
If any other novice user heard of Yongno’s feat and benefit, they’d let out a loud curse.

The highest title one could obtain through training was a Master title; thus, the benefits that such titles conferred were significant.
Of course, there were titles such as UT and Grandmaster.
These were both above the Master title, but the developers of DIO probably thought that they would be beyond the reach of any user.


Then, Mari gently levitated as a halo of light encircled her body, and Yongno’s eyes grew large at the unexpected scene.
Seeing his response, Mari sighed.

“It’s time.”


Despite Yongno’s question, Mari didn’t respond.
The light that encircled her body gathered into her right hand, and she then spoke.

“If it’s you, oppa, I’m sure you’ll figure out the deeper meaning of Qi Heaven.”

“Qi Heaven’s deeper meaning?”

Yongno had a bewildered expression as he heard this, and simultaneously, a partially translucent white light blossomed in Mari’s hand.
It was the very essence of internal energy which remained after being compressed several times over. Although he didn’t quite understand what was going on, he sensed and grasped some basic knowledge.
He knew that what he was observing was the pinnacle of a certain skill or line of training. 

“Well, it’ll still take you some time to reach this level.”

“Uhm, Mari? I’m sorry to interrupt you while you’re speaking, but your body is becoming more translucent….”


Hearing her firm reply, Yongno shut up.
Once he became quiet, Mari continued to speak.

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“I hope that you come to understand the deeper meaning of Qi Heaven.
Moreover, I hope you transcend its limits.
If you can, you’ll be able to free yourself from the restrictions placed upon you.”

“Restrictions? What are you saying-”



Yongno cried out as he felt a splitting headache in his forehead.
Though the DIO pain control system should have been operational, a considerable amount of pain still struck Yongno as blood started to pour profusely from the wound that had suddenly appeared on his forehead.

“What have you…?”

“I wanted to leave a mark.”

Her figure was hard to make out.
Mari, a white-haired young girl, had almost become completely transparent.
For over a month, she had passionately desired one thing.
She wanted to become an individual, a ‘me,’ not just another marionette. 

“I wanted to leave a mark behind, something attesting to my existence.”


Yongno cried out once more as a fiery heat momentarily overwhelmed him.
His wound had repaired itself.
Since he possessed a Master title, he had a rapid rejuvenation speed, and with his 200 life points, even if Yongno were to have his arm chopped off, he’d be able to regrow it within a minute.

“I am Snowflake Flower of the Frost Warrior Clan.
Don’t forget.”

Yongno was now barely able to make out Mari.

“Snowflake Flower was here.”


The door to [Joint Warfare] opened and forcefully sucked Yongno towards it.
Surprised, Yongno tried to resist, but it was futile. 


Seeing Yongno floating away, Mari- no, Snowflake Flower congratulated Yongno with a sad smile on her face.

“With this, you’ve completed all your basic tests.”


The door forcefully closed once Yongno was entirely sucked inside. Now nearly completely transparent, Snowflake Flower smiled.

“Hmm~ I sure feel empty.
Should I have thrown a tantrum and asked him to stay with me?”

Yet, Snowflake Flower knew that doing so would have been useless. While the restrictions and rules had loosened up a bit over time, it would have still been too difficult for her to forcefully ‘affect’ a user.
The only reason she’d gotten this far unnoticed was that the beginner zone was low on the administrators’ priority list. Alas, in the end, they found out.

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Once Yongno had entered the testing area, the space that he had previously occupied with Snowflake Flower began to crumble and fold.
She, along with the space, was being deleted.
Normally, she would have been recalled and re-established whenever Yongno entered a [Joint Warfare] room, but since she had forcefully severed her connection with her spirit through Qi Heaven, she had exhausted herself.

I guess they’ve assessed that I’m expendable.”

She gave a saddened smile as she shrugged.
And finally…


‘Her’ existence completely disappeared from the world.


“Hey, you.”




Yongno jumped in surprise, finding himself in a hall about the size of several large football fields combined.
Within the room, there were around a hundred users busily talking amongst each other.

“This place…”

“This is the waiting area for the Joint Warfare test.
Anyway, why did you fly into this area? Did Mari chuck you in?”

“How did I enter this place….”

As Yongno muttered to himself, he looked around his surroundings.
There were tens of people around him who all wore different types of clothing.
Among them, there were a few who wore a robe and held a quarterstaff like Yongno, while others were topless and covered in tattoos.
Some wore leather armor, and others wielded swords and shields. There were also those who wore skin-tight ninja-like garb.


At that moment, a user wearing a robe finished chanting a spell and shot a fireball towards another user’s shield.
The warrior on the receiving end mostly held his ground, but he was pushed back several steps due to the momentum of the fireball.
It didn’t seem like either side was serious about the confrontation, seeing how both the attack and defense lacked any killing or malicious intent.

“Oh, now I can cast spells with just my bare hands.”

“Dang, that’s awesome.
I blocked your attack using only my internal energy.
I didn’t know I could infuse my shield with internal energy.”

“Let me try casting another spell.
This time around, let me try an electric attack.”

“Huh? Electric? Will I be able to block that with my metal shield?”

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The warrior had a questioning expression on their face, and after looking at them, the magic user replied.

“Try imbuing the shield with internal energy once more.
Let’s try and see if your internal energy-infused shield can block an electricity-based attack.”

How many magic spells can you cast?”

“I expend about five tetra of magic power if I shoot a bolt-type spell.
Since I specialize in magic, my total magic power is 40 points, so in theory, I should be able to shoot out eight bolts.
However, Mari told me that it's difficult to expend all of one’s magic power, so I think I can probably shoot six bolt-type spells in total.”

The two were learning the limits of their newfound powers in unique ways, and they weren’t the only ones.
All around him, Yongno could see people jumping two or three meters while tied up and others who were slicing wooden dummies, which would instantly reappear whole after being damaged. 

“Users… everyone here is a user, right?”

“Of course.
Ah, you must be confused after just completing the basic tests.
It’s easy to discern who is who.
If the name above the character is white, then it’s a user.
Names in yellow are NPCs, and names in black are monsters.
There are some NPCs who have names like ‘Store Owner’ and ‘NPC Guide,’ but most of them have a unique name.

After hearing the explanation, Yongno looked up to see the name displayed above the person speaking to him.
Above his head was the name [Lizardman Slayer Lancelot].


“My ID is pretty good, no? Since this game is still in beta, I was able to get this name.”

Yongno looked above his own head and fell into thought.
He didn’t see any ID above him.
Throughout his time in DIO, Yongno was only able to see his reflection on the surface of water or through a mirror.
He had no chance to notice an ID above his head, but when he pondered this a bit longer, Yongno realized that he never saw an ID in his status window either.

“Do you see an ID above my head?”

“It seems you haven’t come up with an ID yet, so nothing is showing.
An ID can’t pop up if you didn’t determine one.”

“Ah, I see.”

“Since you don’t have an ID yet, it seems like you’re a fifth wave user.”

“Fifth wave user?”

Since Yongno seemed totally lost, Lancelot went on to explain.
In the beginning, when the beta first opened, the total number of invited users was 500.
These original 500 users all started on the first day the beta was open.
It wasn’t a large number, but since every game had different factors they wanted to evaluate in their beta test, it couldn’t be considered a small number either. Yet, on the second day, another wave of 500 beta testers was invited and gathered.
That second wave started on the third day of DIO’s beta test opening.

Peculiarly, DIO’s beta test kept incorporating more beta testers as time passed.
It was as if the developers had decided that it was better to have as many beta testers as possible.
However, the developers seemed to have high standards when it came to becoming a beta tester, so it was actually easier to become a beta tester for other games rather than DIO.

“I never thought they’d consider one’s level of intelligence and skill set when deciding if someone could become a beta tester.
I had to submit my university entrance exam score and take a separate test.
I was told that they’d prioritize those who were cultured.
I didn’t understand what they were looking for, but since I heard this game was so great, I didn’t complain.
I’m glad I kept quiet back then.”

The developers had gone through four waves of beta testers before allowing the fifth wave to enter today, the ninth day since the opening of beta testing.
Yongno now understood why there were so many people around him. If everyone here started on the first day, it didn’t make sense for such a large number of users to be taking the Level 2 test. 

“How do you make an ID?”

“You just need to speak with Alpha.”


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