Hard Carry Support
[Translator – Daniel Shin]
[Proofreader – ilafy]
Chapter 124 - Disturbance at the Tournament (1)
The two of them were walking around on the second day of the festival.
Ain was wearing a hat and a facemask.
SeoHyun was feeling a little bit awkward.
The second day of the festival was also full of things to do.
"Let's see, what was there today?"
SeoHyun began reading the pamphlet.
There were three big events on the second day.
The most important thing was the PvP tournament with the rules that were announced the day before!
After the tournament, it seemed like there was going to be a famous singer's concert.
Of course, SeoHyun wasn't interested in things like concerts.
It seemed like there were going to be additional scientific presentations, too.
But Hyun was even less interested in those kinds of things.
'We can return after looking at the tournament.'
Practice and Jini…
If someone asked him which professional gamers he was cheering for, that would be his answer.
If he were forced to pick one among them, it would be JaeHoon, but SeoHyun really wished for them to get good results.
He had taught them, after all!
'They're going to win, right? I don't think they'll lose to someone.'
They had learned new movements from him just a few days before.
The two of them had gone to the Shade Guild’s private room.
They were slowly getting out of the novice learning trajectory.
Was it because they were professional gamers? They were progressing at a fast pace.
'Let's see how much they've improved.'
Not only was it the first day after learning the tournament system’s rules, but it was also the first time he was going to be able to see the results of their training.
"Hyun… Why are you smiling?"
"No, it's just that I have one more thing to see. Hey, we may lose the good seats. Let's go now and wait there."
There were still 30 minutes left before the tournament started.
A lot of people had begun gathering around the tournament arena already.
SeoHyun and Ain began moving faster just in case they were left behind.
* * *
Mari tilted her head.
Although it may have seemed like Robert and Mari were planning to hang around without doing anything, they were geniuses whose names were known worldwide.
Not only that, but they were in charge of things in a wide variety of fields, even compared to other Asrian developers.
"There's something strange."
"What do you mean?" Robert asked back at Mary's question.
"It seems like there's a crack in the tournament's servers."
No one except for Kwon DaeHo could make changes in the settings of Asrian, but the tournament was the exception.
NFM had to program the rules, adjust the balance, and adjust other variables to make the tournament as smooth as possible, so they needed permission to touch the settings.
Basically, the tournament arena had to become a third space, independent of Asrian.
What Mary just said was that, for an unknown reason, they hadn't been able to completely separate the tournament from Asrian.
"Check this out. Isn't this a problem?"
Saying so, Mary pointed to the screen with her finger.
"Wait, how did this happen?!" Robert shouted in surprise.
"Haha, I'm not sure."
There was a fatal flaw.
There was a fine crack on the outer wall of the tournament server.
It seemed like the crack was generated by a passage that had suddenly appeared and ended up connecting the tournament server with Asrian's.
It was a critical flaw!
The fact that they hadn't been able to separate both servers completely meant that, while the tournament was going on, different entities from Asrian could intervene and create unexpected variables.
To put it simply, a situation like a basketball player appearing in the middle of a football match and throwing a ball toward the goal post could happen.
"When did something like this happen?"
"I'm glad we found the bug before the tournament began since we have time to fix it."
"Yes, let's do it right now!"
Thankfully, it was something that they could easily fix.
It wouldn't take them long to fix it.
Robert was about to touch the settings when they heard Kwon DaeHo's voice from behind.
"What's up with all the noise?"
"It's nothing important!"
Robert and Mary told Kwon DaeHo what had happened.
"We aren't sure why, but a crack in the walls of the servers appeared, so we're currently working on fixing that."
Kwon DaeHo quickly started to look at the information on the screen.
He immediately found the reason behind why such a crack had appeared.
Kwon DaeHo's eyes shone sharply.
"I see… so that's what happened."
Kwon DaeHo looked at the screen again and smiled as if something funny had happened.
This… was something that even he hadn't expected.
You could call it a bug from a certain point of view.
But in reality, it wasn't.
After a while, Kwon DaeHo spoke while nodding.
"Let's leave things as they are for now."
"Yes, we're going to fix it immediately… Yes? What?"
"Just start the tournament as it is."
"We should leave the crack in the server…?"
"How many times do I have to say it? Just leave it."
Robert and Mary looked at Kwon DaeHo blankly.
Had the chairman gone crazy?
There was no way that had happened.
Even though they'd worked alongside him for many years, they'd never seen him make a mistake, so it was probably part of his bigger picture.
—It was just that they couldn't see it yet.
"We're going to leave things as they are now… We're really going to… Okay?"
Kwon DaeHo nodded.
At that point, Robert and Mary could affirm that they had no responsibility, so they quietly listened to the orders.
While the two were finishing setting the servers with the mistake, Kwon DaeHo smiled.
Although Robert and Mary hadn't been able to see it, what he saw had stimulated his interest.
The being called ‘Truth' had created a crack between Asrian's servers and the tournament ones.
'I wasn't expecting something like this to happen, but…'
But if he used it to his advantage, he might achieve what he wanted sooner.
'If things go well, the plan could be brought forward. Once that happens, I should be able to create a shock similar to yesterday.'
Kwon DaeHo's smile deepened.
The announcement from the day before had clearly shaken up the world.
The goal was to make the fact that Asrian followed the same laws of nature as the real world known, and he had been successful up to a certain point.
But that wasn't all…
If the goal was to announce the birth of a simulator destined for tests, he wouldn't have made it such a big deal.
The picture Kwon DaeHo had drawn was bigger than that.
'Yesterday's announcement was probably hard to understand without some background knowledge… Especially for the masses.'
A vast amount of people still hadn’t realized Asrian's worth.
Kwon DaeHo wanted to make Asrian known by non-scientists, too.
If things went as he thought they would… something huge was going to happen at the tournament.
That's right, a shock comparable to the one of the day before would hit the world again!
The prior day’s announcement had shocked only a few academics, but that new one would leave a deep impression in the general public's minds.
Once that happened…
It wouldn't take long before Asrian melted into the real world.
* * *
Translator - Daniel Shin
Proofreader - ilafy
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* * *
SeoHyun and Ain were surprised by the crowd
Although the tournament arena was big, there were too many people.
The sheer amount of people resembled bean sprouts in a jar.
Once again, Ain's VIP ticket saved the day.
One of the staff who recognized Ain had taken them to one of the specially reserved seats.
"I'm with someone. Is that okay?"
"Yes, there are no problems."
The staff member took a glimpse at Hyun but thankfully didn't refuse.
Hyun felt a little bit awkward, so he just silently followed Ain.
Anyway, he was lucky to be with Ain.
The seats they were given were so close to the arena that they could even look at the players.
'It was a different format.'
Hyun remembered the rules of the tournament he'd read the day before.
The keywords were ‘Siege Assault’.
Five users would participate in the Siege Assault as heroes.
Five users would be in charge of attacking, and the other five would have to defend.
The roles would change if the base got invaded or 30 minutes passed.
The team that managed to invade the fastest would win!
If neither team completed the mission within 30 minutes, the team that had caused the most damage would win.
'I see what they meant when they said it wouldn't be a specs battle.'
But it was different from a normal five-on-five battle.
It seemed like the people who had come up with the idea wanted to show Asrian's grandeur and the fairness of the tournament.
The stats and skill points of participants were equally matched, and the stats were similar to a level 100 player. Not only that, but users could even resurrect after dying.
Seeing what strategies they used would be the most interesting thing in the Siege Assault. They could collaborate with soldiers around level 30 ~ 80, use the terrain to their advantage, and break through certain points, among other things…
'Although this may seem like a battle with fair conditions, it really isn't.'
The moment Hyun read the rules, he’d realized the problem with it.
"The number of skills you have depends on your level!"
Every 100 levels, a user had the opportunity to ascend their job and learn new skills.
Of course, the skills you learned later in the game required more skill points, but the fact that you could create more builds was a huge advantage.
Not only that, but the more you played Asrian, thanks to having to face numerous situations, you got better at using your skills.
'It's going to be a fight of strategy and control.'
"The game begins!"
The host's loud voice announced the start of the first tournament.
The stage was a square space about half the size of a football field.
Thousands of optical devices rose and created a 3D hologram.
In the past, in e-sports tournaments, you only got to see part of the gameplays through the screen, but tournaments had evolved to use a combination of screens and holograms simultaneously.
It was like looking at a sports match!
Of course, showing the entire map through a screen was impossible.
The hologram's background began to appear slowly as if it were a 3D movie amidst the roar of the crowd.
Soldiers of both sides were standing still while holding their breaths.
There were two factions—one faction for the attacking side and one for the defending side.
The defending faction’s side had a fortress.
The walls of the fortress grew taller and more grand as they moved inward.
There were archers and magicians stationed at strategic places while burning their fighting spirits.
There were also soldiers who were guarding the defensive towers!
It was like looking at real war.
Players from both sides appeared.
Stardust’s opponent was Air Green, one of the top five gaming teams in Korea.
Although it was just an exhibition match, from their point of view, the team's pride was at stake.
After all, the match was being streamed through the NFM official channel and was being watched by people worldwide.
'So Stardust is going to attack first.'
SeoHyun saw the nervous faces of Practice and Jini through the holograms.
They were with three other teammates.
[All of your stats have been fixed at 10!]
[Stat Points +200]
[Skill Points +100]
[Please finish distributing your points within 1 minute!]
[If you die, you'll be revived in your base after 60 seconds!]
[You can re-assign your skill points if you die!]
As the messages appeared, the players began to prepare and move.
While watching the busy figures, Ain exclaimed in admiration.
"Interesting, there weren't tournaments like this before!"
"They probably created this format by using the virtual historical battle as a basis."
"That's what's interesting!"
"This just shows how much more people became interested in Asrian, right? They even created official tournaments like this one."
SeoHyun was right on point.
Asrian was already the most famous game, but it was on the way to becoming something bigger after the prior day’s announcement.
While SeoHyun and Ain were chit-chatting, the match began.
[The first attack has begun!]
The first ones to attack were Stardust.
Dozens of soldiers began charging toward the opponent's fortress, but NPC soldiers on both sides were at around level 50.
Not only that, but they weren't as intelligent as the NPCs from the real game.
One level 100 user could perfectly change the flow of the battle.
"Stardust, they've spread the formation and are trying to attack the fortress from various angles!"
"Rather than trying to win it at once, they're trying to damage the fortress continuously, right?"
The voices of the commentators made the crowd even more excited.
The crowd got noisier whenever a player died or a defensive tower was destroyed.
Most of the crowd there were people who played Asrian.
It was the first time most of them had seen the gaming skills of professional gamers, and they were better than expected.
"Woah, JaeHoon can use that too!"
Suddenly, even SeoHyun became surprised by what he was looking at.
Practice's body began trembling, and two afterimages soon appeared.
It was an attack that simultaneously targeted both the top and the bottom parts.
That was also the technique Lattice had shown during Iluna's Quest.
"I never taught him that. Did he learn it alone?"
Practice’s movements were still a little bit sloppy.
However, no matter how clumsy it was, if it was your first time facing it, it was like being hit by lightning.
A close-up of the opponent’s surprised expression appeared on screen.
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