Reina and the other pro-gamers of the New York Warriors headed deep into the camp. They moved to a place that was out of the reach of others.
“I’ll apply for a duel,” Hyeonu said to Reina, who was standing in front of him with an expressionless face. Reina nodded silently in response.
[Player ‘Gang Hyeonu’ has applied for a duel.]
[Would you like to accept?]
‘I’m different from last time. I will show you my progress.’
Reina had replayed the video of her last defeat countless times. Why had she lost? Alley Leader had yet to go through his third class advancement, and Reina had the overwhelming advantage. All the coaches of the team had rushed in to analyze it. The result was simple.
Alley Leader was just that good. He avoided what he should avoid. He blocked what should be blocked. He attacked when he had to attack. The theory that everyone knew was turned into reality. This was the difference between Reina and Alley Leader.
‘I will definitely lose, but I’ll be acknowledged.’
She would get him to acknowledge all her efforts in the meantime.
“I said it before, but the rule is that we can only use continuous-type skills,” Reina stated.
Hyeonu set up the rules according to Reina’s words. “I’ve set it up as you said.”
[Player ‘Gang Hyeonu’ has set the rules.]
[The set rule is ‘restrict immediately activated skills’.]
[Would you like to accept?]
Reina agreed as soon as the message window appeared. There was no reason for her to hesitate since she was the one who set the rules.
Shortly after Reina gave the approval, a large dome surrounded Hyeonu and Reina in a corner of the New York Warriors’ camp.
[The duel will start shortly.]
[5... 4... 3... 2... 1.]
The numbers decreased, and Reina felt a pleasant excitement fill her heart.
‘I will do my best. I will show him how hard I worked.’
[The duel has started.]
“Isn’t this really crazy? I wonder if he is a person like us.”
“I always feel in awe when I look at Alley Leader. There is no need to say anything else.”
The Warriors’ players talked as they watched the fierce duel between Reina and Alley Leader. Reina lunged her white pure energy sword at Hyeonu. Hyeonu took one step to dodge Reina’s attack with minimal movements.
‘The difference is greater than before.’ Reina was deeply disappointed.
She wasn’t the only one who had been working hard. What had he been doing during all this time? Reina had a feeling of disbelief. 10 minutes had passed since the duel with Hyeonu began. For 10 minutes, it had been Reina’s one-sided offensive.
Hyeonu couldn’t even fight back. No, it was just that he didn’t. He was clearly observing her. She didn’t know about the other players watching from behind, but Reina—the party involved—clearly knew it. Alley Leader was looking at her. Just now, Alley Leader could’ve avoided her attack and then fought back.
Yet he didn’t do so. Reina stopped attacking and stretched out her sword toward Hyeonu. She asked, “W-Why aren’t you attacking? Am I that funny?”
Hyeonu placed the single-edged sword on his shoulder and responded, “Isn’t this a duel to help you? How will it help you if I win one-sidedly? It is my role now to expose your shortcomings. It isn’t just about winning.”
Hyeonu’s words gave Reina a new shock. ‘Is he caring about me?’
Reina organized her thoughts for a moment before opening her mouth again. “Then let’s compete without the use of pure energy. Just attack. My defense can withstand it.”
Hyeonu nodded at Reina’s words. ‘This woman is more passionate than I thought.’
Such an attitude was worth emulating. It was amazing that she had so much passion despite being at the top.
‘Then I’ll do it properly,’ Hyeonu thought.
“I will use a bit more force from now on,” he said.
Then he stomped his feet. Magic power burst from Hyeonu’s body as he moved explosively. The sword covered with a black light was swung.
Reina was frightened and leaned down to avoid the sword rushing toward her. She never thought of stretching out her sword to block it. It was because the speed of Hyeonu’s attack was much faster than she had expected. At this moment, the trajectory of Hyeonu’s sword changed. It was similar to a veteran car racer turning the steering wheel. The trajectory naturally changed and aimed for Reina’s head. The sword stopped at a small distance away from Reina’s head.
“You won’t be able to stop the next attack if you dodge like this,” Hyeonu said as he reclaimed his sword.
“Was the gap in ability always this big?” Reina asked with a dazed expression.
Hyeonu shook his head. “There might be a difference in ability, but my stats are significantly higher than yours. This is the difference.”
“However, my level is higher?”
“Don’t you know? In Arena, one’s level doesn’t say everything.”
There were still titles, skills, stats, and items. The current Hyeonu had more than a dozen titles, was full of unique items, and had unique skills. Reina wasn’t ahead of Hyeonu in a single one of those areas. Once his talent was included, it was obvious that she would lose.
“Do you want to do it again? This time, we’ll slow down,” Hyeonu said.
Reina smiled at Hyeonu’s suggestion and nodded. “I’m not going to lose this time.”
As soon as she finished speaking, she moved. Like Hyeonu, she used magic to move at an explosive pace. However, there was something faster than Reina’s movement speed—the white sword. The white sword’s identity was Reina’s sword. It was thrust forth in a clean stab aimed at Hyeonu’s shoulder.
Hyeonu lightly deflected Reina’s blow and then extended Dark Star toward her in return. This was a slow counterattack. He made it slower than before to help Reina. Reina intercepted Hyeonu’s attack, and Hyeonu stepped back. If it were normal PvP, he would’ve broken Reina’s defense with his strength. However, this was a spar for her sake. It was right for him to withdraw the moment his attack was blocked completely.
“You are really good,” Hyeonu complimented Reina.
He felt it before, but this woman was truly a great player. She hadn’t become the ace of a team in the world of professional gaming for nothing.
“Then I’ll start again.” Hyeonu looked at the frowning Tang-E before once again narrowing the distance to Reina. He thought he needed to get it done quickly.
After the spar with Reina, Hyeonu shook the hands of the New York Warriors’ players and left the camp with Tang-E.
“It should be right this time?”
Still, it wasn’t easy to find the waterfall even if he knew the location. It wasn’t called the largest forest in the Hejin Great Mountain Range for nothing after all. Hyeonu didn’t know where the center of the forest was, so he had to move through the forest blindly. Moreover, there were several waterfalls in the forest, not just one. Cold water fell from the cliff, spraying downward.
“This is already the third one. It should be the last one,” Tang-E said like he hoped his wish would come true. There were so many waterfalls in the forest that chances were high it wasn’t the one Hyeonu wanted. Hyeonu had already failed twice.
“I hope so too, Tang-E.”
Hyeonu and Tang-E carefully approached the waterfall. The moment he arrived at the edge of the waterfall, Hyeonu saw the message window he so desired to see.
[Are you sure you want to enter Bung Bung Island?]
“Tang-E, we’ve found it!” Hyeonu picked up Tang-E and shouted the moment saw the information window in front of him.
Then Hyeonu said without hesitation, “Enter!!”
They finally arrived at the end of their journey.
Hyeonu enjoyed the changes in the surrounding landscape. Would the Garden of Eden be like this? It was a forest filled with lush green scenery. The stream flowing through the forest boasted a white color.
‘It is truly worthy of all the boasting Tang-E has done about it.’ Hyeonu admired it.
It was a superb sight that was hard to see in reality. Bung Bung Island was beautiful. Hyeonu watched the scenery for a long time before turning his head toward Tang-E. “Tang-E, where should we go now?”
Tang-E’s expression changed strangely after hearing Hyeonu’s words. “To my house, of course. Now you have to meet my parents. Be prepared, Master dude.”
“Huh?” Hyeonu was flustered by Tang-E’s answer. It wasn’t unexpected, but it was embarrassing to hear the word ‘parents’ come from Tang-E’s mouth.
“Really? Then I should go to see them... By the way, is it far from here? How far? How long does it take to get there?”
Tang-E’s head shook from side to side at Hyeonu’s constant questions. “It should be soon. 10 minutes is enough. This is close to my home.”
Hyeonu shook his head at Tang-E’s resolute words. Tang-E continued to say to Hyeonu, “Right, you better take off that mask. My father doesn’t like it. Additionally, take off those gloves. Are you going to show such a bad thing at the first meeting?”
Tang-E’s words made sense. Hyeonu’s mask, ‘Crasul’s Curse’, and gauntlets, ‘Memories of Murder’, were items that were filled with killing intent and resentment. In other words, they were items that were quite awkward for NPCs to face.
At Tang-E’s words, Hyeonu took off his mask and gauntlets straight away. Then he placed Tang-E on his shoulder and moved according to Tang-E’s words.
“By the way, do your parents look like you?”
It was a question Hyeonu had from the moment he heard they would meet. Tang-E looked like a 50-centimeter-tall teddy bear. So what about Tang-E’s parents? Did Tang-E’s parents look like him? Did they have small and round appearances?
“No, my mother and father are different. They are bigger than me—much bigger,” Tang-E said with a proud expression.
When Hyeonu heard Tang-E’s answer, some images rose in his mind.
A polar bear...
A grizzly bear...
A brown bear...
A sun bear...
“Pfft!” Hyeonu couldn’t resist the laughter that emerged. A mother bear, father bear, and baby bear—there were three bears. The main character in the rhyme was Tang-E.
“Let’s go quickly, Tang-E.”
There was no sense of panic anymore. Hyeonu’s heart was full of childlike innocence.
As Tang-E stated, they walked for around 10 minutes. Then in the dense forest, something appeared in his field of view.
“Tang-E, is that your house?”
“To be exact, it is a village—a village for my clan.”
Hyeonu was pointing at a huge fence. Then he approached the fence, and a black figure appeared.
“You...? How are you here?”
“Uncle Tommy, this is the human who is my master. I brought him through the outside entrance.”
“Is that so? Your father will be very happy to know you’re back.” The person called Uncle Tommy disappeared into the forest after speaking.
Hyeonu asked Tang-E, “Is he your uncle?”
“That’s right. Why? What are you complaining about?”
Hyeonu questioned with a baffled expression, “He is a person, right? You’re a bear!!”
The existence that Tang-E called Uncle Tommy wasn’t a bear but a human.