༺ Kill the Player (3) ༻
The tutorial of ❰Heroic Legends of Arhan❱ was not made to be cleared. It was a linearly designed story meant to teach the basic combat method and the game system, while also including an encounter with one of the named characters.
The tutorial quest consisted of an outbreak of monsters attacking a magic carriage heading to Merkarva City.
There were 2 allies in the tutorial: a Grade 3 knight, Leon, and a Grade 4 knight, Laura, who were hired as guards of the carriage.
Part 1 of the tutorial was to protect the people with these two while waiting for the carriage to finish repairing.
It was literally a tutorial to teach the game’s system instead of focusing on the difficulty of the fight.
“Huu~ That’s all of them. That wasn’t bad, kid.”
“Haha… Thank you.”
“Mister Leon! Miss Laura! We’re done repairing the carriage!”
The people inside the carriage were heaving out sighs of relief while the driver reignited the crystal that allowed the cart to move in preparation to resume their journey.
“Good. Shall we go back inside?”
“Ah, I wanna hurry up and take a re—?!”
Now. It was Part 2.
A deafening howl shook the forest, as suffocatingly heavy air descended upon the ground.
The two knights raised their weapons and stayed vigilant. There was something inside the woods.
Each passing minute seemed like an hour when something suddenly popped out of the woods. It didn’t take long for them to realize it was an uprooted tree.
‘So far it has been the same.’
The tree was pulled down by gravity towards the knights.
They stumbled on the ground while dodging the falling tree and that was when a monster immediately jumped out of the woods.
An ivory-coloured face, long arms and an outstretched body – it was the Grade 2 monster with sharp claws, Beowulf.
The beowulf plunged at the guy who was on the ground but was blocked by Laura who jumped in with her body.
However, Laura was not strong enough to withstand the might of a beowulf.
While still pushing down on the spear that was blocking its claws, the beowulf used its other hand to strike Laura. A light swing of its arm created a not-so-light impact on her ribs.
Her body rolled across the ground. Seeing his comrade collapse in one hit, Leon would hurry the player and…
“Get on the carriage! Run away to the city! I’ll buy some time!”
Here, the player would share a few words and suggest fighting alongside Leon, but that was a meaningless waste of text.
Without any hesitation, ‘he’ rushed to the carriage and told the driver to depart for the city, because there had to be no witnesses.
‘Now, let’s go back.’
Going back, he saw the horrid claws of the beowulf sticking deeper into Leon’s aura with each strike.
It looked like a scene straight out of a horror movie, to the point he would have run away immediately if he didn’t know it was a game.
“Uhk… Kid. R, run away…!”
‘Shut up, ugly. I wouldn’t have come here if not for the scenario.’
Inwardly sneering at the devoted Leon, he pointed his sword. The monster would probably start facing him soon.
“I can’t leave you behind and run away!”
It was when he was decorating himself with a few words, that the sharp claws of the beowulf pierced deeply into Leon’s neck. Then the monster’s violent gaze turned around, looking for the next prey.
The monster that was taller than 2 meters gave off an insane amount of pressure by just walking closer.
‘So damn big!’
At the start, he was thinking of fighting stylishly with a sword but he scrapped that bullshit immediately. He was most definitely going to change to a mage and carry around a staff.
The beowulf charged at him with a loud roar. Random sword strikes won’t be able to create any wounds on its body.
But like mentioned before, this tutorial was not made to be cleared. It was a linearly designed story meant to teach the basic combat method and the game system, while also including an encounter with one of the named characters.
‘All I need to do is buy time. And if after buying time that ‘NPC’ really does show up… then I’ll admit this is a game.’
It was then.
“Please bend your back!”
A streak of light flashing from the forest struck the beowulf but the beast reacted in time.
The sharp claws collided with the sword as sparks flickered from their strike. Seeing the superhuman reaction speed of the wild beast, the owner of the sword strike was flustered.
“It, it got blocked?!”
‘Luina…. No, Alicia Arden.’
Her brown hair gently touched the shoulders exposed by her revealing martial arts uniform. Her meek appearance left a gentle impression unlike her sister, and she was the solace saving the protagonist.
This NPC designed as the player’s classmate had a sword as classy as her beauty.
‘One of the six royal swords. Demon-slaying sword.’
It was the hidden piece that could be gained with the activation of her death event. And if Alicia Arden died…
It would become possible to add Sword Master Luina Arden, a stronger character all throughout except for the hidden skill, into the party.
Sent as the saving grace, the named NPC was strong. Since this was to show off a reliable party member for the future, she would easily be able to deal with a same-graded monster.
But there was something in this tutorial you could do to change the plot.
It was a type of easter egg, or a bug depending on how you considered it.
“You can step back! I will deal with the—?!”
Alicia Arden felt a dagger stabbing into her shoulder. She couldn’t help but allow the attack because it was completely against her expectations.
Blocking the claws of the beowulf that tried to attack her regardless, Alicia staggered a step back.
It wasn’t a detrimental injury. She thought it would be fine to deal with the wound after defeating the beowulf.
But she suddenly turned dizzy as her vision wavered.
‘Poison? How? Was he waiting for me to come?!’
It was by pure coincidence that she saw people getting attacked by a monster. She was walking towards Merkarva Academy for the admission and coincidentally came across them.
How did he know? Without knowing the future or something how…
“There’s the mutual death event. Nice.”
One of the strategies used by the veterans of this game, which allowed friendly fire, was to kill the named NPC with a death event as soon as possible to take the hidden piece and their post-death scenario.
However, players were weak in the tutorial stage. They would simply die after attacking a named NPC during the tutorial from their retaliation.
‘Thank goodness there’s the system window.’
After using the inventory to craft an immediate debuff poison that slowly dropped HP, he had applied it to the dagger beforehand.
It was easy to neutralize it with a first-aid skill, but that would be impossible during a fight against a Grade 2 monster.
The clashing sound of claws and the blade echoed through the forest.
Even though she was weakened from the poison, there was no way she would lose that easily because named NPCs all had a card up their sleeves.
Upon perhaps realizing that wasting time was the worst option, Alicia Arden threw her body behind and sheathed her sword again.
“Calm down. Focus. Focus. Focus.”
It was coming – Alicia Arden’s unpolished secret move. As a character publicly acknowledged for being strong in the early game, her skill was definitely powerful enough to kill the monster in one slash. Even though it might be limited to trash mobs, it was still a very strong skill.
The beowulf ran in with a roar thundering across the forest.
‘Stupid trash mob. Running into its own grave.’
Alicia Arden was in the perfect posture for her battojutsu, to unsheathe her sword in one flash. At this rate, she would easily defeat the monster and try to deal with the guy who stabbed a poisoned dagger from behind.
‘That won’t do.’
He threw a dagger at Alicia who was posturing herself for the slash, because one small interruption tended to ruin her skill even in the game.
She parried the flying dagger with her superhuman reaction speed but that was exactly what he had wanted, because the battojutsu that was supposed to be facing the beowulf ended up cutting something else.
Without even the time to fix her posture, Alicia hurriedly swung her sword at the plunging beowulf.
The demon-slaying sword pierced through the beowulf’s neck. It died on the spot.
Alicia wasn’t unscathed either, evident from the blood gushing out from the side of her belly.
She trembled from the poison and the excessive bleeding before soon falling on the ground. Although she was still conscious, her body refused to move.
‘No… I have to get up…’
She was dizzy. Her body refused to move no matter how much she struggled. It wasn’t a deadly poison and was more of a debuff and paralysis, but she would probably die from bleeding too much if left like this.
“She’s not dying immediately. Is it slightly different from the game?”
There was no value in answering the question of an NPC. Taking out the demon-slaying sword from the beowulf’s neck, he was dazzled by the gleaming blade.
It was an extremely strong hidden piece even inside the game.
Although you would need a special pair of eyes and skills to make the most out of it, that was to worry about later. It might not even be bad to gather all the hidden pieces to aim for 100% achievement.
‘Ah. You get exp for killing a named NPC, don’t you?’
He approached Alicia who was on the ground bleeding from her mouth. Killing this foolish little bitch would probably be even easier than killing a stupid village kid.
But the amount of exp you gain would be in a whole different league.
“Uhk! What was that?”
He touched his nape that was hit by something and found orange powders on his fingers.
“W, who’s there…!”
There was nothing like this in the game though?! Did someone get out of the carriage? Was there someone alive out of the ones attacked by the beowulf?
It might be poison – thinking that, he immediately took an antidote out of his inventory and drank it. The antidote detoxified anything as long as they weren’t a lethal poison, so there should be nothing to worry about.
He stepped back with a gulp. ‘Hurry up and come out if you’re there,’ he shouted but instead of a reply…
– Squeak! Squeak!
What came back was the noise of approaching monsters.
I knew where the tutorial took place. It wasn’t too far from the main gates of the city, and was a place I had been to multiple times after the event that happened there.
Although I did come here, I had to admit I didn’t prepare anything. I had yet to craft a weapon at the academy and the only thing in my possession was a utility knife.
But if there was none, all I had to do was make one.
There were two things I had to do.
It was stopping Park Sihu from killing Alicia Arden, and killing him instead.
I was speeding through the messy woods when an orange mushroom entered my sight. It was a mushroom which was quite common in this forest.
In the middle of the sprint, I plucked it out and continued running. Taking out a coin purse from my pocket, I emptied it and threw the mushroom inside.
What I had to do after that was simple. I pressed on the mushroom inside the purse to mash it into a powder, and then picked up a pebble from the walkway to make it easier to throw.
All I needed now was a weapon. Although I could use a utility knife, the range and power of this tool was far too insufficient.
If I had time, I would have made a wooden spear or a bow, but time was not on my side.
– Clash! Clink!
Hearing the sound that was clearly from a battle, I hid my presence and approached to find a group of adventurers fighting a beast.
Beowulf – it was the tutorial boss, and at the same time a boss that was not meant to be defeated. It was the boss of Part 2 of the tutorial that was there for the named NPC to come in and help with.
The boss patterns were quite limited and a veteran would be able to do a punching challenge but a game was different from reality. Even I was trembling when I was first killing a monster.
“Damn it… so it’s today.”
If it was tomorrow or the day after that, I would have been able to have enough preparations but all I had as a weapon was a utility knife. And if it wasn’t today, I would have been able to save those people as well but…
“Uhk… Kid. R, run away…!”
“I can’t leave you behind and run away!”
You are here.
The only playable character of this game and the protagonist. My comrade and friend who I fought alongside with, for 3 years… Even though I had it wrong the whole time.
After that, things proceeded according to the scenario. There was a person who came to save Park Sihu who was single-handedly facing the beowulf. The granddaughter of the Sword Emperor, Alicia Arden, was here to save Park Sihu from the beowulf.
Now, this was the turning point.
Are you the player Park Sihu I know of?
Or are you just a righteous protagonist of this world?
I might be wrong, and I might have to watch for the time being… In fact, maybe what I went through was nothing but a dream.
That expectation was broken alongside Alicia’s stunned voice.
“There’s the mutual death event. Nice.”
I see. So it is you. Sihu.
In the end, Alicia collapsed seemingly in a mutual death event with the beowulf after a consistent interruption from Park Sihu.
‘It’s alright… Alicia Arden isn’t dead yet.’
If I had a weapon, I would have ambushed Park Sihu and gotten rid of him already, but all I had was a utility knife which wouldn’t be able to pierce through the beowulf’s skin.
“She’s not dying immediately. Is it slightly different from the game?”
A nonchalant voice flowed out of his mouth. It was his unique manner of speech which showed zero respect to human beings.
『Who knows? I don’t think the kill log was over 100k… Ah, three more and I’ll hit 100k.』
I still remembered vividly how he showed off his kill record.
Was Alicia Arden your first victim? Or have you been a composed killer the whole time?
There was no way I could tell that, but what was certain was that he would continue killing numerous people as if there was nothing wrong with it.
He wouldn’t stop tragedies despite knowing they would happen, and would instead instigate them for efficiency or his own benefits. In fact, he might even create tragedies himself.
I couldn’t let him do that.
I will not let him do such a thing.
Picking up the purse of mushroom powder, I threw it at him. He let out a flustered voice before taking out an antidote from the thin air and drinking it.
He might think it was poison, but he was wrong because it wasn’t.
– Squeak! Squeak!
Dashing in were beasts as big as humans with a horn on their forehead – they were the Grade 5 monsters, horned rats. They were coming after sensing the smell of mushroom powders that were covering Park Sihu’s body.
I couldn’t help but click my tongue while hearing his rough gasp.
There were a lot less monsters than I imagined – three horned rats were a lot less than what I had hoped for. With just three Grade 5 monsters, it would be impossible to kill Park Sihu because he was still a player regardless of his rotten personality.
“These damn trash mobs!”
The horned rats were bisected from the sloppy swings of his sword. Because of the demon-slaying sword taken from Alicia, the fight was not difficult for him in the slightest.
However, it did succeed at grabbing his attention. After carefully sneaking up, I checked Alicia’s state before going up to the beowulf who was dead with its tongue out.
Alicia was still breathing although with much difficulty, whereas the beowulf was completely dead.
I took out one of its fangs using the utility knife when a rugged voice was heard from behind.
“Fuck… Who are you?”
“Being overgeared is pretty overpowered indeed.”
Even though they were Grade 5 monsters, a newbie killing three of them in 1 minute was definitely not an easy feat.
Carrying the beowulf’s fang in a reverse grip, I turned around and found Park Sihu glaring at me with a ferocious look on his face.
Soon, his eyes widened into circles.
“Korin Lork? Why are you here?”
Even among the countless attempts of veterans, there had never been any tutorial with Korin Lork, because he was a side character who couldn’t even enter the party.
To be frank, it was quite amazing that he even knew my name.
“That’s not how you hold a sword.”
While he was dumbfoundedly standing in place, I kicked the dirt up. It was a feint to block his sight. Seeing how he instinctively swung the demon-slaying sword, it was evident that he was a complete newbie at fighting.
However, the random movements of his sword were still able to block my approach. He was fast – his physical stats were definitely better than mine.
There was practically zero swordsmanship in his swings, but the sword being supported by his superior stats could still be detrimental to me.
Deciding to sacrifice the flesh for a bone, I stepped closer in as Park Sihu excessively retreated back.
He was being cautious. His gaze was on my right hand.
Even though a beowulf’s fang was indeed quite sharp, it was funny how someone carrying a longsword was so scared of it. However, that was what saved his life.
Therefore, I deliberately flaunted the fang by pushing it forward as he gulped in response. He must be thinking of how he would die if this were to pierce his neck.
Good. Stay on guard. Focus on this fang as much as you want.
Right as his wariness was about to reach the peak—
I shouted and he instinctively stepped back. The fang was as long as a dagger and wouldn’t be able to reach him in time before he recovered his posture, but—
That was a big enough gap for me to throw something.
The utility knife I threw aiming for his chest dug into his right arm in the middle of his staggering struggle. I threw my body towards him in the midst of his confusion.
Park Sihu and I rolled across the ground as one cluster. In the end, it was I who took the mounted position and after recovering my balance I unhesitatingly struck the fang down.
Thanks to his insane reaction speed, he somehow managed to grab my arm in spite of the situation and we were placed in a stalemate.
His eyes quivered seeing the horrendous fang in front of his eyes. I was also desperate in my own way so I tried to push the fang down but he was stronger than me.
Slowly, his hands were starting to push my arms away. It was a matter of time for me to lose in this bout of strength, so I held my ground by adding my weight onto my arm.
Lifting my left arm, I struck my right arm down like a hammer.
It went slightly off center but it nonetheless dug into his body. The fang that went in and out of his traps was soaked in blood.
– Bam! Bam! Bam!
After being stabbed multiple times in his chest and his neck, blood seeped out of his mouth.
His hands could no longer even grip onto my arms, and Park Sihu began thrashing his arms around as if he was in a deep ocean. He swam in the ground in order to escape from the grasp of death but he started to give up soon after sensing his impending doom.
Behind the tears in his eyes were emotions full of rage and the questions, ‘why’ and ‘how’.
But there was no room for sympathy for the human called Park Sihu.
“Thanks. I was able to become stronger thanks to you.”
I had no regrets.
That day, I killed a young beast who would later grow to become a monster.
– All the main scenario bosses: alive
– Player dead at Level 1.
– Examining possibility.
– Examining ideology.
– Examining suitability.
– Reviewing the play log.
– Normal Side Character.
-> Named Hero
– AAA Class Knight.
– Lifted the growth limit of Korin Lork (Normal) by 4.8 times. Final Level: 87.
– Re-calculating the likelihood of the completion of the Main Scenario.
– Succeeding the Player’s exp system to Korin Lork (Hero).
– Minimum backup in the case of an incomplete scenario. A bare minimum will be applied to the succession.