A VIP as Soon as You Log In - Chapter 26: Breaking out of the Egg - 4
[The first match of the round of 16 has begun! Surprisingly, it’s a clash between two Knight major classmates! I’m sure you’ve all heard that a lot of notable talents have enrolled in Shinyoung this year, and the students of C-class have especially been in the spotlight.]
A 2nd-year student from the student government was in charge of the commentary for the rookie competition.
A member of the student government could not be someone that could be taken lightly, but Kang Shin-hyuk and Do Woojin couldn’t help but frown at the overly dramatic tone of the commentary.
[Can you believe it? A total of three students from C-class had entered the round of 16! It’s almost as if the rest of the classes have been slacking off all year. What’s more, there’s an even more shocking secret involved in this matter, which you can find out while spectating the academy competition at gymnasium 1!]
The secret was obviously implied by the hint that you could find out while watching the academy competition, which meant that the host didn’t have much interest in hyping up Kang Shin-hyuk and Do Woojin.
Kang Shin-hyuk decided to ignore the host and stood with his fighting posture fixed. As if sharing the same thought, Do Woojin gripped his sword tightly with his eyes fixated on him.
He had a gray stone sword that had a coarse appearance and a stylish belt that sparkled on his waist. Those seemed to be the only two artifacts he had prepared.
[All right ladies and gentlemen, it seems that both players are ready. As a reminder, both contestants have a shock-absorbing sensor attached to their body, and if the impact exceeds a certain amount, the buzzer will vibrate and the contestant would be disqualified. Of course, striking the vital spots will lead to harder impacts, so you can expect safe but real-like battles!]
As the host said, Kang Shin-hyuk and Do Woojin were both wearing choker-shaped equipment on their arms, legs, and necks.
They were a shock-absorbing sensor created by the armor-manufacturing brand Mystic, having the ability to absorb a certain amount of shock and protect the wearer while measuring the magnitude of the impact.
The most impressive feature of the equipment was that its measurement was adjusted by the defensive abilities that the wearer was using, so if the wearer had a trait to harden his body or some sort of a defensive skill, the measurement would be lowered to accurately assess the damage inflicted on him.
Therefore, it was a defensive artifact that had the auxiliary purpose of measuring the wearer’s defensive capabilities while protecting him from external attacks.
[On one side we have Do Woojin, who is known to have one of the most exceptional magical power among 1st- year students. Then we have Kang Shin-hyuk on the other side, who has polished his fighting techniques more than anyone else to compensate for his lack of magical power. Then, without further ado, let the match begin!]
A teacher from the sideline raised his hand at the host’s signal. As soon as his hand was lowered Kang Shin-hyuk leaped forward to Do Woojin, who backed away in response and thrust his sword into the ring.
That was the trigger. His body was swarming with mana!
[Ahhh, contestant Do Woojin is infusing his magical power! His belt is releasing its own magical power in line with him–it seems that his belt is a supplementary artifact that helps activate his trait!]
The fact that Do Woojin was born with strong magical power was a testament to his strong trait. And that gave him the excuse to scold Kang Shin-hyuk’s highly ranked (A-) trait.
The stronger the trait, the stronger the magical power! That was an unwritten law in the world of superhumans.
‘I’ve never seen you activate it fully before because there are so many restrictions on the activation of traits.’
If you attended the academy, it was inevitable to have the identity of your trait discovered by others in one way or another, but without the ability to read the status window, it was impossible for others to infer the nature of your trait in great detail.
Moreover, since Do Woojin had never activated his trait in class, Kang Shin-hyuk suspected that the conditions for its activation were severely restricted. True to that expectation, he seemed to possess a ridiculously powerful trait that could only be activated with the aid of an artifact.
‘Though the use of an artifact also depends on the individual’s skill. So? What is his trait?’
Kang Shin-hyuk opened his eyes wide, correcting his balance so that he couldn’t be swept away by the raging magical power storm. Naturally, his spirit power flowed into his eyes to strengthen his vision.
He could see Do Woojin’s body swelling in the midst of the storm.
[Ahhhhhhhhhhh! That is amazing! What an incredible trait that is matched by his powerful magical power!]
The host, who had noticed the identity of Do Woojin’s skill almost simultaneously with Kang Shin-hyuk, lavished praises on him. The host was wary of aiding a contestant by revealing the identity of his opponent’s trait, but Kang Shin-hyuk seemed to have already caught onto the matter, so he didn’t hesitate to make the remark.
It was just then. The mana that covered the entire ring instantly converged into Do Woojin’s body, revealing his transformation into a giant nearly three meters tall.
“Amazing. . . . . . That’s amazing!
“Transformation! It’s not common to see a transformation that is solely focused on size and pure power.”
Gigantification. Actually, given the fact that his sword had also grown bigger, the term “enlargement” might have been more apt.
As he grew in size, his power had also increased, and the air around him gave off the vibe of a monster rather than a human being. If he nurtures his trait further, he could well end up becoming a top-tier tank.
But despite the terrifying pressure, Kang Shin-hyuk let out a faint smile.
“Ah. . . . . . Hm.”
“If you won’t come, I will!”
Do Woojin rushed to him, seemingly having become more militant by becoming a giant. With the increase in size, the width of his stride was broadened, and his speed was faster with the added muscles. So fast, indeed, that ordinary people had a hard time tracking his movement.
Kang Shin-hyuk took a step forward. He drew a circle with the Godslayer sword in the air and firmly gripped it. He recalled the previous experiences he had with the sword.
The battle at the top-quality hotel where he confronted a monster whose size, weapon, and aggression were bigger than the gigantified Do Woojin.
‘Of course, I’m a bit weaker than I was when I drank the potion. . . . . .’
He was weaker than during the incident at the hotel, but Do Woojin was also weaker than the Troll. On top of that, Do Woojin didn’t have the ability to create a shockwave. Most importantly, however, his current understanding of the Godslayer sword was incomparably deeper than when he fought against the monster.
Moreover, whenever he practiced sword dance techniques, he simulated re-matches against the Troll in his head countless times. Although the imaginary simulation didn’t count as an actual battle, after a couple of practices he was able to pull off an 80% win rate.
Therefore, victory against an opponent weaker than the War Troll was inevitable. His certainty in the outcome of the battle was the reason for his vague facial expression. If ‘enlargement’ was the only trump card that Do Woojin had up his sleeve. . . . . .
“Sorry, Do Woojin.”
As if he heard Kang Shin-hyuk muttering to himself, Do Woojin’s eyes narrowed to a slit. He opened his mouth as if to answer something back.
But Kang Shin-hyuk leaned over and charged in without waiting for the answer. His hard-trained spirit power soared like wildfire. The Godslayer sword made a pleasant cry as if to resonate with the flow of his spirit power.
The giant struck down his sword, but Kang Shin-hyuk lifted his Godslayer sword and let it slip it away. The giant tried to punch him, but it didn’t reach him. The giant tried to kick him with his foot as a last resort, but.
Kang Shin-hyuk’s sword had already reached its destination.
The Godslayer sword, which was incomparably more elegant, potent and free the violent aura than during the incident at the hotel, struck a vital spot of Do Woojin.
The trajectory of the sword drawn in the air was slow enough for his eyes to catch, but Do Woojin could not stop the attack.
[Oh, my God!. . . . . . What an unexpected turn-out! Contestant Kang Shin-hyuk is overwhelming contestant Do Woojin! I’m sure you have heard that contestant Kang Shin-hyuk isn’t capable of using mana but. . . . . . What are those movements? Contestant Do Woojin is fast and strong, but he cannot reach contestant Kang Shin-hyuk!]
The sight of Do Woojin swinging his long-sword in every direction after being slain by the Godslayer sword resembled a fish that had escaped water.
On the other hand, Kang Shin-hyuk moved his body swiftly like a butterfly, avoiding every attack and rushing into the gaps of his movements to strike his vital points. His counter-attacks were perfectly timed, as if the two had planned those movements before the match began.
“Wow. . . . . .”
“Is it a side effect of gigantification? No–actually, that kid is very strong right now. You can tell by just reading his momentum. If so. . . . . .”
“What was that kid’s trait? The report at the time of his awakening.”
“It was high proficiency of martial arts at the cost of the ability to use mana.”
“But his power is effective enough to deal damages to a superhuman. He’s completely overwhelming him with his movements! To add to that. . . . . . I don’t think I can dodge those sword attacks myself.”
The people sitting in the audience stood up almost in unison. People who only focused their attention on Do Woojin for his gigantification felt like they had been hit by cold water.
“You fools, look at the sword that the boy is holding.”
Then a scout from Vanguard, one of the world’s most powerful guilds, said mockingly to those who were surprised. Only then did others find that the sword in Kang Shin-hyuk’s hand had a distinct dragon pattern engraved on it.
“I still can’t feel mana from it, but it’s gotten stronger. That pattern wasn’t there before.”
“Then the artifact was activated under some special condition, or. . . . . .”
“It’s the power of that boy’s trait.”
It didn’t matter which way. If he could fight a giant without backing down, and deal damages that were effective against a giant, it was proof that he was a skilled superhuman, whether he was capable of mana or not.
It was impossible to deny it. It was no coincidence that a boy without mana had enrolled in the world’s top superhuman training academy, where he was now evidently one of the greatest potentials!
When the nearly one-sided battle came to a conclusion after very little time had passed, the buzzer rang. Do Woojin himself had felt that he was at his limit.
“Crrrrr. . . . . .”
Just as Kang Shin-hyuk pulled his sword, Do Woojin knelt on the ground helplessly as he dropped his sword. His body began to shrink into its original form like wind blowing out of a balloon.
After he wore the Godslayer sword on his waist, Kang Shin-hyuk agonized over whether he should reach out his hand to him. Out of sympathy, he decided to do so.
Fortunately, Do Woojin, who had completely returned to his original form, did not reject his hand.
“You son of a bitch.”
Do Woojin, who stood up holding his hand, suddenly cursed at him. His tone, however, signified a sense of relief.
“Why did you pretend to be weak all this time?”
“I was, in fact, weak, but I got stronger.”
“Fuck. . . . . .”
With that one word of despair, Kang Shin-hyuk started laughing. Do Woojin frowned.
“My eyes were fucking useless.”
“I’m madder that Baek In-ha knew about your true strength all along.”
“Well, now you know.”
“Yeah, fuck. You’re fucking strong.”
Do Woojin spat out curse words again and let go of his hand. He stepped back from the ring and gave him one last remark in a quiet voice.
“Congrats on making the quarterfinals.”
The matches continued on.
Karen Stringfield, who was also participating in the competition, had advanced to the quarterfinals like Kang Shin-hyuk, but he faced a Magic major whom he easily defeated by throwing his Godslayer sword.
The contestant, who mistook his throw as a simple threat, laughed at Kang Shin-hyuk for abandoning his weapon and tried to defend himself with an instantly activated defense magic, but sadly, the sword thrown by him contained as much spirit energy as he could muddle at the moment, and his throwing technique was enhanced by the Fanged Wyvern Dance.
In the end, that single throw greatly exceeded the maximum amount of impact and the contestant instantly passed out. It was a concise yet pathetic battle.
“Did you just see that?”
“That attack should work on monsters too, don’t you think. . . . . .? I’ve learned quite an interesting throwing skill.”
“Apparently, he’s good at all martial arts techniques, and throwing technique is just one of them.”
His opponent for the semifinals was a Knight major male student from 1st-year F-Class, who was considered a strong contender for the trophy. Karen said that he was a talent whose entry into the Wyvern Knights was secured, just like her and Do Woojin.
He was the master of a versatile trait that could generate flames around his weapon and around himself for protection, but sadly, the flames weren’t powerful enough to pierce through the Godslayer sword.
[Your synchronization rate is slightly increasing. Assimilation rate is now at 3.9%.]
He felt sorry for his opponent, but he was very familiar with flames.
The memory of the blacksmith, who had been accompanied by flames throughout his life, was whispering to him. You don’t deserve to be called a blacksmith if you get scared off by such petty flame.
Kang Shin-hyuk slashed through the raging flames coming from all sides and stepped forward. The heat resistance effect he got from blacksmithing was activated during the battle, whose effect was–to his surprise–amplified by spirit power. The damage accumulated on his sensor was consequently minor.
“You, what the hell is that weapon!”
“It’s an artifact, a very precious one.”
His opponent seemed to have thought that the reason for his flames’ ineffectiveness was due to the Godslayer sword. Of course, it was true that the (C) rank sword could not be affected by that kind of flame, so it wasn’t a false assumption.
“You’re weaker than Do Woojin.”
“Don’t make me laugh, it’s not over yet. . . . . . Kuhuk!”
With his worthless trait, his only means of taking down Kang Shin-hyuk was through his sword skills. But that was an area where Kang Shin-hyuk couldn’t lose to anyone.
After clashing blades with him several times, Kang Shin-hyuk realized that there was nothing left to learn from him, so he knocked the sword out of his hand and dealt multiple damages to his vital points, prompting his buzzer to ring.
That was the end. It was a less exciting ending than Kang Shin-hyuk’s match against Do Woojin.
[Ah, what an incredible finish! The boy who no one had paid attention to had just become the dark horse of the competition. . . . . . Ah, I apologize–was that expression too cliche? But it is undeniably a dramatic turn-out! Kang Shin-hyuk is going to the finals! His opponent is. . . . . .]
Kang Shin-hyuk gently closed his eyes and opened them shortly after.
His opponent who had advanced to the finals by defeating Karen Stringfield was a talented student who was considered to be the next king of the Magic majors.
– The final will be held after an hour’s break! Get your popcorns ready, everyone!
It was a head-to-head confrontation between a Knight major and a Magic major.