A VIP as Soon as You Log In - Chapter 19: The Sports Day's Dark Horse - 1
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“Shinyok, Are you sure you’re okay?”
“It’s all right.”
It was Monday morning before the start of first class. Kang Shin-hyuk replied with a careless look, pushing Baek In-ha’s face away.
In fact, he was in his best physical condition. His status had grown several times, and his new recovery power hasn’t been lying around idly. Even though it was still at (F+) Rank, its effect during sleep was top-notch.
“You looked like a real corpse this morning.”
“I was just sleeping. I’m totally fine now.”
However, Baek In-ha, who did not know about the existence of his new recovery ability, had yet to forget what he saw in the morning. When Kang Shin-hyuk was about to push him again, their classroom teacher came into the class.
“This week is Shinyoung sports day’s preparation week. But most classes will still be normally conducted, so don’t doze off during your classes.”
“Okay, then, make sure you don’t get hurt during today’s classes. Baek In-ha, please follow me for a moment.”
“Well, I’ll be back.”
They were probably going to talk about the school-wide competition. Baek In-ha was the only student from C class whom one could expect to achieve an excellent performance in the competition.
Kang Shin-hyuk waved his hand to Baek In-ha, who was following Siara Bertrand and took his textbook out of his desk preparing for the first lecture.
“What is it, Do Woojin?”
At the very moment when Baek In-ha left the classroom following his teacher, Kang Shin-hyuk was approached by Do Woojin, who previously lost in a sparring match against him. Come to think of it; he often felt Do Woojin’s stare in the classroom.
Perhaps he doesn’t have any friends either, Kang Shin-hyuk thought at first. But. Looking at the guys behind him that were giggling at Kang Shin-hyuk, he seemed to have good friends.
“Join the rookie competition. I’ll show you my actual skills there. If you don’t participate, I’ll kill you.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll be there.”
Kang Shin-hyuk calmly answered and took out an energy bar from his bag.
The “Increased Blood Flow” buff was already gone–was the frequent hunger due to possessing a minor version of the buff?
When Kang Shin-hyuk tilted his head and opened the wrapping paper of the energy bar, Do Woojin spoke with a sneer.
“Don’t get eliminated in the preliminary round. I’m telling you just in case you’re mistaken, but you’re allowed to bring your own weapons to the rookie competition. If you bring a toy like a training-purpose spear, you’ll be out of the competition before you even see my face.”
“You came here just to tell me that?”
“I know you have hidden skills, but the real strength of a superhuman is brought out by using a befitting weapon. If you get cocky for winning the last match, you’ll fall apart in no time. Be prepared.”
Do Woojin left once he finished, his friends tailing behind. Kang Shin-hyuk paused as he ate another energy bar, thinking blankly as he watched Do Woojin’s back.
As if the days of scolding Kang Shin-hyuk for his lack of mana never existed, he seemed to think that Kang Shin-hyuk was an opponent who he had to defeat by fighting fair.
‘Of course, I already knew all that. You can bring up to two pieces of equipment including the artifacts, if I remember.’
Kang Shin-hyuk didn’t have a shield, but he had a weapon. He had the Godslayer sword, which had recently grown to C Rank after absorbing the axe and its spirit power.
Through its higher rank, its durability and strength had been greatly enhanced. It was unlikely to be pushed back even when clashing against another formidable weapon.
But that was it. There were two special abilities possessed by the Godslayer sword. However, “Regression” was completely useless for the competition and “Blade Predation” could only lead to troublesome situations, so its existence had to be tightly sealed.
‘Will I be able to fight against artifacts containing more than one special ability with such a sword?’
‘No, I’ll have to do well if the sword can’t.’
Kang Shin-hyuk kicked away the anxiety that was crawling up in his mind. The battle was in his hands, not the swords. All the sword had to do was endure without breaking. After all, he was already. . . . . .
[Kang Shin Hyuk: C Rank]
Awakened Fanged Wyvern (A+) – Allows you to rapidly acquire martial arts techniques. Amplifies the effects of martial arts techniques and enhances your weapon’s abilities.
Spirit Power: D+
Fanged Wyvern Dance (S-): B-
Kang Shin-hyuk’s eyes filled with satisfaction as he looked at his status window. His strength and stamina were at (C-), and his agility was at (C+). His spirit power had been upgraded to (D+), and he now had ‘Recovery’ added to his special abilities.
But that wasn’t all. The Fanged Wyvern Dance, a core skill that strengthened all martial arts techniques, was (B-) Rank. With that added to the calculation, his overall superhuman rank was C Rank.
The rank set directly by the Gaia system was absolute. Kang Shin-hyuk himself was also convinced he now had the ability to do as much as a C Rank. He had grown immensely since fighting Do Jinwoo.
‘I can do this.’
He wasn’t going to stay content by only beating Do Jinwoo. If possible, he wanted to try to win the rookie competition, or in other words, win the Rookie of the Year award. It was quite thrilling for him to imagine becoming Rookie of the Year after being treated like a loser in the Academy.
For someone who grabbed everybody’s attention for his deficiency in mana. If he performed well in the rookie competition, he’d be in the spotlight in a different way.
But he wasn’t afraid of that at all. If he was bothered by people’s attention, he wouldn’t have enrolled at Shinyoung in the first place.
‘I’ll win. No matter what.’
Kang Shin-hyuk swore to himself again with great determination.
For a moment, the memory of his awakening five years ago flashed back to his mind, but unlike before; it wasn’t accompanied with a sense of despair.
After school that day, Kang Shin-hyuk filed his application for the rookie competition. The scene of Kang Shin-hyuk confidently submitting an application to his teacher created another stir in the classroom, but he didn’t feel as bad as before.
“There’s a rumor that his trait evolved’
“Or skill awakening. After all, it’s all thanks to his bullshit skill that he got into Shinyoung. Eighteen Techniques or something?
“Isn’t that what he obtained along with his trait? Then it’s gotta be trait evolution.”
As soon as Kang Shin-hyuk heard the students whispering on the side of the room, he turned around to look at Baek In-ha, who shook his head firmly.
Kang Shin-hyuk wasn’t very surprised, thinking that the commotion was inevitable as the causes of his sudden growth could easily be narrowed down to one or two possibilities.
‘Though it’s probably not that common to see a trait evolution. . . . . . That’s the creativity of teenagers’ minds for you.’
Of course, it wasn’t a big deal for his evolution to be known. That was because he intended to reveal in the first place. Though when it came to his spirit power, it was completely necessary to have it hidden in the farthest corner of the closet.
His indifference for its reveal was the reason for telling Baek In-ha about it without a second thought. He wasn’t sure how he would think about it, but he disclosed it, nevertheless, because he thought Baek In-ha knowing about it wouldn’t matter much. He felt a little sorry, but it was true.
[What are you going to do today, our dear member?]
Kang Shin-hyuk, who had just rushed out of the classroom, received a message from the Administrator. He knew very well why the Administrator sent the message.
A faint smile formed around his mouth. It was funny, but he thought the Administrator was acting a little cute.
“I think I’ll go to the workshop. Now that I’ve achieved my goal from training, it’s about time for me to face Anvil.”
[A 10HP bonus to our dear member!]
In response to the expected response, Kang Shin-hyuk smiled again. Of course, it wasn’t just a decision made to please the Administrator, but a reflex of contemplating his abilities and the positive directions of their growth.
But since his physical stats had just grown over the weekend, a little more training during the day probably wasn’t going to make a big difference. The buff had already expired, so there was no merit in putting his body under strain again.
‘If I push myself too hard, I might get injuries that an (F+) Rank healing ability can’t fix easily.’
On the other hand, blacksmithing was an efficient training method that helped his spirit power grow without putting too much strain on his body, and it was also a means to regain more access to VIP benefits by increasing the synchronization rate.
Moreover, as only a maximum of two pieces of equipment was allowed to be brought into the rookie competition, he intended to make an effective piece of equipment for the competition.
‘I’d better make a shield because I already have the Godslayer sword, and also. . . . . . Wait, no.’
‘Isn’t it just that I want to use a hammer?’
Faced with his true intention, Kang Shin-hyuk burst into laughter.
Perhaps he actually sympathized with Anvil in his “Blacksmithing as a means to escape” memory while pretending with himself to disagree with such a sentiment. After all, he was trying to reward himself after having gone through the real-life business of accomplishing his training goal.
It was funny. Everything was the driving force behind his growth, so there was no need to hesitate or feel disturbed. He just had to focus on what his instinct guided him to do.
You become good at what you like to do, he thought. Doing what you like makes you strong. There’s no greater blessing, and that had nothing to do with the previous life, present life, impulse or memory.
[Great decision, our dear member. If you succeed in producing a good weapon with your metallurgical techniques, you can try feeding it to the Godslayer sword to possibly raise its rank by another notch.]
Kang Shin-hyuk’s stream of thoughts was cut off by the Administrator’s timely message. He decided not to worry about metallurgical training anymore and replied with a more relaxed look.
“I’ve thought about it, too, and I wonder how much more I can strengthen a C Rank weapon by feeding it with steel that was handed out for student activities. No matter the effectiveness of “Blade Predation,” it can’t just receive another upgrade by feeding on some scraps.”
[There’s always a possibility. What’s more, we may be able to produce better weapons now that synchronization has progressed.]
“That’s true, too. I’ll think about it once I make a shield.”
[A 100HP gift of joy to our dear member!]
After finishing the conversation with the Administrator, Kang Shin-hyuk made up his mind and headed for the Wyvern Hall.
Except, a problem was waiting for him at the door.
“Hey, you right there. Stop for a second.”
Kang Shin-hyuk was called by someone as soon as he was about to enter the Wyvern Hall. He first scanned the person’s uniform and tie. A 2nd-year Knight major, wearing. . . . . . A red cape.
“Are you that Kang Shin-hyuk or something?”
“Yes, but, . . . . . . Who are you?”
“I’m Yoo Min-joon, 2nd-year A-class.”
The cape he was wearing was engraved with a dragon flying into the sky, emitting a transcendent aura that couldn’t be captured by ordinary human beings.
The cape symbolized the Wyvern Knights, one of the three major student organizations of Shinyoung Academy.
Unfortunately, the cape was justifying his arrogant attitude.
“It’s been noisy lately. Apparently, a top 1st-year student was beaten by a piece of garbage who couldn’t even use mana.”
Yoo Min-joon said with a cold look. The top 1st-year student was probably referring to Do Jinwoo. It was true; Do Jinwoo was one of the most notable students among the 1st-year Knight majors.
However, Kang Shin-hyuk didn’t know that word about his defeat over Do Jinwoo had already reached 2nd-year students.
“So I remembered his name and face, but what a letdown. . . . . . I guess there wasn’t much to expect from him.”
Yoo Min-joon gave an ice-cold glare at Kang Shin-hyuk. It was a look of disdain, as if he was a bug by his foot. A look that seemed to have figured him out without knowing him. It wasn’t very pleasant.
[It’s a shame that this waste can’t even catch a glimpse of your true strength.]
A somehow angry-sounding message from the Administrator appeared before Kang Shin-hyuk’s eyes, but he focused on the person in front of him without answering.
Not that he was about to do anything; he was just wondering how strong such an arrogant person would be.
Then suddenly, a thread of spirit power smoothly stretched out from his body and swam through the air, touching Yoo Min-joon’s body for a moment, which Yoo Min-joon didn’t notice.
‘Oh, I see.’
At that moment, Kang Shin-hyuk contacted Yoo Min-jun’s origin and was able to roughly understand his strengths. His spirit power had naturally reacted to his desire to know more about Yoo Min-jun.
It was a very mysterious experience, but quite familiar at the same time. It didn’t feel that different from when he extracted the origin of objects. But if those were two-way communications, the current interaction was a one-sided peek into the other person’s origin!
‘Spirit power surely is a force that can’t be compared to mana.’
Kang Shin-hyuk, who thought that connecting to the origin of things and amplifying their potential was everything that spirit power could do, had once again realized his ignorance.
But now that he’s deeply realized his misunderstanding, there wouldn’t be such a mistake in the future. Once again, he had learned the greatness of spirit power as well as the importance of training.
But, putting that aside, Kang Shin-hyuk thought.
‘I might win if I try.’
Compared to his incredibly cocky attitude, the strength of the sunbae in front of him didn’t seem so impressive.
His high-level (B-) Rank average physical stats was expected as a member of the Wyvern Knights, but the most important attribute of a skill-wielder, magical power, was a mere D+ Rank. In terms of magical power alone, he was below Do Jinwoo. Even if you considered his overall stats, it was still far behind that of the War Troll that he fought a couple of days ago.
It was worth a try to fight him by using his spirit power and the Fanged Wyvern Dance, which had been upgraded to an unusual degree for a student.
Actually, to put it bluntly, he didn’t feel like losing now that he was well aware of the power of the Awakened Fanged Wyvern.
“I don’t know what trick you used to beat Do Jinwoo, but your fame won’t last long. Without a solid base, you’ll soon be exposed.”
Without noticing that Kang Shin-hyuk was deep in his thoughts, Yoo Min-joon was still looking at him with a measured look. No longer able to ignore him, Kang Shin-hyuk faced him, clicking his tongue in his mind.
“. . . . . .You’re right, sunbae-nim. I’m going to compete in the rookie competition. I just wanted to make sure that my base was rock-solid.”
Although he was ostensibly polite to not turn the most powerful organization of the Knights majors into an enemy, he showed through his confidence that he was not inferior to anyone.
“So please keep an eye on me.”
Kang Shin-hyuk answered, looking straight at him. He didn’t bother adding “If you have the eyes for it, that is.”
“. . . . . . Ha.”
Perhaps his confident reply was not what Yoo Min-joon had expected.
Yoo Min-joon let out an explicit frown, but what more quarrels could he make with someone who confidently asked to be evaluated? He backed away after clicking his tongue.
“Okay, I’ll be looking forward to it. I’ll make sure I don’t miss out on your games.”
Yoo Min-jun, who didn’t realize his safety in the current situation was only due to his membership in the Wyvern Knights, pushed Kang Shin-hyuk’s shoulder hard with a sulky look on his face.
When he had completely vanished from Kang Shin-hyuk’s sight, the Administrator sent a slightly chilly message.
[Should I report him to Hero Universe to put a bounty on his head? He’ll disappear like dust in less than a month.]
“No, what are you doing, stop it.”
The Administrator seemed angrier than Kang Shin-hyuk.
[If you’d like to take care of him yourself, I’ll temporarily open a VIP private store for you. There, you can easily buy an item to erase the existence of that less-than-dust life-form without a trace.]
“You call it “Hero Universe,” and are dealing with such hideous items?”
[A true hero must know how to immerse his feet into the dark.]
“I don’t think I’ll have any time left if I do that kind of thing every time something like this happens.”
This was what he has been going through ever since he enrolled in Shinyoung.
Kang Shin-hyuk had forgotten about this feeling for a while after beating Do Woojin and became the center of news in the class, but external assessments had remained the same.
A lightweight without mana, who was purely lucky. A loach that blurred Shinyoung’s water.
“But it’ll be different now.”
This was why he decided to compete in the rookie competition. You can’t go to school properly if you get into trouble like this every time.
“All right, let’s go do some blacksmithing. I’m going to have to get my spirit power powered up.”
Kang Shin-hyuk hurried his way in a calm manner.
However, he decided to keep the name Yoo Min-joon in mind.
A person whom he’d have no trouble overpowering, even though he was forced to back down by considering the power of the group behind him.
If he endured his humiliation now, he’d get a chance one day to repay that humiliation.
. . . . . . And that day is probably not that far away.
[Keut (1). . . . . . A 100HP bonus to our dear member!]
“No, why are you giving me a bonus like a middle-aged man ordering another beer at a bar?”
[A 200HP bonus to our dear member!]
Translator and Editor Notes:
(1) Onomatopoeia for a deeply impressed sob.
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