A VIP as Soon as You Log In - Chapter 27 Breaking out of the Egg - 5
“He was unbelievably fast. I thought my speed was second only to Baek In-ha, but his magical attacks caught up to me.”
An hour’s intermission was given before the finals. Karen visited Kang Shin-hyuk who was waiting in his own waiting room and started talking about various things.
He would’ve kicked her out if she came empty-handed, but she brought a mango smoothie with her to wish him good luck, so he decided to listen while drinking it.
“And there were plenty. He incanted some sort of magic and created ten fire arrows to shoot at me. That bastard certainly has at least two abilities: one to create multiple arrows and another to fire them at high speed. He’s purely a magic type.”
“Do Magic majors mostly have those kinds of traits?”
“No, only a few are armed with incantation traits or skills. The traits and skills of Magic majors are usually ones that modify their brain structure to become capable of certain magical skills, create magical circles or modify their magical power. If you’re really unlucky, you’d just be given an ability to create a fireball or something like that. Though anyone with that kind of low-tier magic wouldn’t have made it to Shinyoung.”
Kang Shin-hyuk smiled back at her, took his mouth off the smoothie, and responded.
“You never know. Maybe there’s someone like me among Magic majors. Someone who’s really good at handling fireballs.”
“Oh. . . . . . Anyway! He’ll use incantation magic to create multiple high-speed weapons. So you shouldn’t throw away your weapon like you did in the quarterfinals. Rather, think of it as fighting against a warrior who throws a lot of weapons, and be careful.”
“You came to tell me that, didn’t you?”
Karen came to cheer for Kang Shin-hyuk in her own way by informing him of his opponent’s abilities. When Kang Shin-hyuk smiled softly, Karen shrugged her shoulders and laughed.
“We’re partners. You’ve got to avenge me.”
“Three-legged race partners.”
“I’ll cheer for you. Now you’re the only one who can build the honor of our class.”
Just as Kang Shin-hyuk narrowed his eyes to a slit out of suspicion that she had something in her mind, Baek In-ha came bursting into the room in tears.
“Oh, I know what you’re about to say, so go over there and cry alone.”
“Get the fuck off me, you idiot!”
Five minutes ago, Baek In-ha had been defeated in the semifinals of the Battle for the Crown of Martial Arts. (1) His opponent was Natan Bodin, a third-year French student who was the current Crown of Wizards. (2)
It was a competitive match, but it was a loss all the same. Karen had already heard the news and had shared it with Kang Shin-hyuk before Baek In-ha came bursting into the waiting room.
“You’ve made a record as a 1-st year student to make it to the semifinals of the battle for the Crown of Martial Arts. Someone made it to the quarterfinals last year, but you’re the first to make it to semifinals after the Thunder Empress four years ago.”
“The Thunder Empress took the title of the Crown of Wizards as well as the Crown of Martial Arts in her first year!”
“Wow, you were actually thinking of beating the Thunder Empress. . . . . .”
Karen laughed in disbelief at Baek In-ha, who seemed like he was about to disintegrate and die. The Thunder Empress was already a legend at the time of her admission to Shinyoung. As evidence, despite her young age in mid-20s, she’s currently ranked 317th in the World Superhuman Ranking.
Some people who knew a little about her even claim that she had never shown her full power. To make that claim more authentic, she had never failed in conquering a gate, so there was no opportunity for anyone to accurately assess her full strengths.
“Ahhhhh! If I were a little faster, I would have won! If my magical power rank had a +, I would’ve totally owned her!”
“Calm down, dude. Anyway, you did a great job.”
“Actually, Baek In-ha is a real nuisance. He beat the Crown of Knights in the quarterfinals, so it all ended up as if a Knight major had lost to a Magic major.
The Crown of Knights of Shinyoung was Douglas Paine, a third-year American student studying abroad who was currently the captain of the Wyvern Knights.
Having secured his title as the Crown of Knights this year, he entered the Battle for the Crown of Martial Arts to secure that title, only to be defeated by a first-year student in the quarterfinals before even getting the chance to face the Crown of Wizards.
It would have been better if Baek In-ha went on to become the Crown of Martial Arts, but he was defeated by the Crown of Wizards while having beat the Crown of Knights!
“You’re truly a nuisance. . . . . .”
“He was weaker than me! What do you want me to do!?”
Baek In-ha rolled on the floor, saying, “I don’t give a damn about that dude.” Kang Shin-hyuk wondered what it would have been like if he had gone out to the Battle for the Crown of Knights and won the title, but the train had already left, which couldn’t be helped.
“Karen, are there any Knight majors left in the Battle for the Crown of Martial Arts?”
“Our vice-captain made it to the finals. Of course, if it’s her, I think she can beat the Crown of Wizards, but. . . . . .”
“Then is your vice-captain stronger than the captain? . . . . . . Ah, forget it. Don’t tell me. Hey, I said don’t tell me.”
“Tsk, you’re too quick-witted.”
“. . . . . .”
As soon as the vice-captain was mentioned, Karen tried to take the chance to let Kang Shin-hyuk into the loop, but stepped down while smacking her palate as Kang Shin-hyuk quickly deterred her. Baek In-ha glanced at the two and narrowed his eyes to a slit.
“As expected, you two are dating.”
“Yes, so is today our first day as a couple?”
“Kang Shin-hyuk, you traitorrrrrrr!”
Kang Shin-hyuk finished off his smoothie, leaving Baek In-ha alone as he flustered over Karen’s mischievous jokes. Karen threw away her empty cup and finished what she came to say.
“Anyway, everything will be fine if you win. I even bought smoothies, so you have to win.”
“I drank it without knowing it was prepaid.”
“Oh, well, I’m going to buy you a proper artifact this time, so make sure you win, Shinyok.”
“That’s quite a burden, you know.”
Kang Shin-hyuk rose from his seat while pushing back Baek In-ha away. It was surprisingly fun to talk to them, but he didn’t have time to relax anymore. The final match was about to begin.
But when he opened the waiting room’s door, Do Woojin was standing in front of him.
“. . . . . .”
Do Woojin slightly flinched when he saw Baek In-ha and Karen Stringfield in the waiting room, but soon gave something to Kang Shin-hyuk.
It was the belt he was wearing when he faced him in the round of 16.
“I don’t think there’s a rule against renting an artifact. Use this.”
“What. . . . . .?”
Kang Shin-hyuk looked at Doo Woojin with a shocked look. Do Woojin clicked his tongue and avoided eye contact.
Baek In-ha, who was watching from the side, shouted with his eyes wide open.
“Oh, you’re right! Doo Woojin, you’re so smart! Wait a minute, Shinyok, I’ll lend you the artifact I brought. . . . . .”
Karen clapped her hands as Kang Shin-hyuk was embarrassed by Do Woojin offering his belt to him and Baek In-ha who was about to take off his artifact.
“You fought so well that I thought you had everything, but I see, you didn’t use an artifact.”
“This sword of mine is an artifact.”
“But that’s the only artifact you have, right? It’s a good thing we noticed before you got up to the ring. Your final opponent is equipped with two artifacts, both of which are B rank or higher. I know for sure because I fought him myself. If you’re going to fight someone like that, you’re going to have to be well-equipped.”
“Hm. . . . . .”
Kang Shin-hyuk responded to her reasonable words in a low voice. He hadn’t been expecting this to happen.
Why did he burn so much enthusiasm for the rookie competition in the first place? Of course, he purely wanted to achieve good grades, but he also wanted to prove his strengths to Yoo Min-joon of the Wyvern Knights who s started a quarrel with him.
“But the one who made me confront Yoo Min-joon and was defeated by me in the round of 16 is trying to lend me his artifact.”
It was a very difficult situation to understand. Even if he took his offer, Do Woojin was going to be seen as weird.
‘What is he thinking?’
Kang Shin-hyuk looked at Do Woojin with an indescribable look. But Do Woojin was still sticking out his belt at him with a wistful face.
“Don’t worry about useless things and just take it, you bastard. I just don’t want to see you beat me and lose in the finals just because your opponent had better items.”
“I mean, I can take mine? I don’t need yours.”
“That’s funny, what Baek In-ha’s offering you only works well for certain users.”
That was true. Of course, in terms of rank alone, the Baek In-ha’s artifact would be higher in quality than Do Woojin’s belt. But more importantly, Baek In-ha’s artifact was specialized equipment.
Baek In-ha has the highest-quality trait associated with speed, and his artifacts have the ability to enhance that quality of him. Even if Kang Shin-hyuk were to wear it, he wouldn’t receive any dramatic effect, since his agility was only a little bit high.
‘But that belt. . . . . .’
Kang Shin-hyuk thought while looking at the belt in Do Woojin’s hand. That belt had the ability to trigger the activation of the user’s trait. For someone like Kang Shin-hyuk who had exclusively relied on his trait until his awakening of spirit power, it was an invaluable treasure.
“Whoo. Okay, then I’ll borrow it for now.”
“Of course you should.”
Eventually, Kang Shin-hyuk accepted the belt from Do Woojin. He decided to push useless concerns aside and borrow the artifact only for the duration of the competition.
In the first place, it was not pleasant imagining his opponent to be armed with artifacts of B rank or higher while waiting for him, and he didn’t want to refuse the item that Do Woojin had given out with a good intention. Thus, it was not time to say, “I will win the match with this one sword!”
“Thanks, Do Woojin. I’ll definitely win.”
“It’s expensive, so don’t scratch it.”
“No, why, my artifact is much better even if it’s not a good match to your trait!”
“You’re looking down on my trait. I’ll show you what it’s made of, so keep an eye on it.”
As Kang Shin-hyuk looked at the belt in his hand while Baek In-ha was rolling on the floor from a sense of unfairness and indignation, a message from the Gaia system popped up in front of his eyes.
[Enhanced Power Belt of Delampe]
[Special ability: Weakly triggers the activation of a trait and enhances a trait with low probability]
It was just as expected, or perhaps more. Kang Shin-hyuk took off the armor he was wearing and wore the belt. Then, as if it was waiting for the right moment, the broadcast announcing the final match rang out.
[The long-awaited final match of the Shinyoung rookie competition will begin! The contestants will now enter the stage!]
“Whoo. . . . . .”
After a short deep breath, he looked back for the last time.
For an unknown reason, the sight of Baek In-ha and Do Woojin looking at him with the same sulky expression made him smile. They weren’t adults yet, he thought.
“Good luck, Shin-hyuk!”
Bartender: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!
Karen voiced her support while the boys were staring at each other. At the same time, Claire’s cheering message popped up in front of his retina.
Kang Shin-hyuk nodded firmly and turned his head again to move forward. A myriad of spectators gathered at the second gymnasium looked at him.
Among them was a familiar face: Yoo Min-joon, the sunbae who had promised to watch his matches. He seemed shocked to find Do Woojin’s belt on Kang Shin-hyuk’s waist.
Kang Shin-hyuk was expecting such a reaction from him, but it was more entertaining to see it with his own eyes. He didn’t accept Do Woojin’s good-willed offer to provoke such a reaction from him, but he couldn’t help but enjoy.
[Oh, contestant Kang Shin-hyuk! He’s wearing the belt that contestant Do Woojin wore in his last match! They’ve exchanged their artifact for the final match, and according to the rules. . . . . . There’s no problem! How nice of him to lend his artifact to the opponent who beat him!]
On the stage, his opponent with a conical hat holding an elegant staff looked straight at him. Rather than an out-dated fashion, they were powerful artifacts that were at least B ranks, as Karen had told him.
[On one side we have a genius who has been the fan-favorite from the start, and on the other, we have a dark horse who popped out of nowhere. What an exciting match this is! A battle of pride between a Knight and a Wizard; the loser will carry home the humiliation of losing to their rival as the representative of their major. Both contestants must put out everything they have!]
Kang Shin-hyuk stepped up to the ring and looked at his opponent.
On the surface, he didn’t seem nervous at all. Kang Shin-hyuk could understand the look of arrogance; he was the Wizard equivalent of Baek In-ha, whom every Magic major unanimously acknowledged as the strongest.
‘If I hadn’t borrowed Do Woojin’s belt, I would have been finished after swinging my sword once or twice.’
But somehow, it never occurred to him that he was going to lose.
It wasn’t because of his friends’ sincere and heartfelt support; he was just fully confident in himself.
“Whoo. . . . . .”
Kang Shin-hyuk pulled out his sword and fixed his fighting posture.
The judge raised his hand and struck it down.
The Godslayer shone brightly and Kang Shin-hyuk rushed to his opponent.
The final match of the rookie competition has begun.
(1) Fixed a translation error; the previous “academy competition” was modified to “Battle for the Martial Arts Crown.”
(2) Changed from the previous “King of Magic majors”