-So a friend called me out of the blue after a long time, and started cussing at me.
-Is all you have to say a string of insults? Your voice is like nails on a chalkboard.
-Shut up, man. We’re almost 30, how long are you gonna live your life cursing like this? Learn to speak a beautiful and graceful language like me, you damn fool.
-You’re talking nonsense. Why did you call all of a sudden?
-It’s not like we contact each other constantly. We only call each other when something special happens, but even then, it’s not awkward at all. It’s strange to see how freely you throw out profanity, especially since we’ve been adults for some time now and rarely use that language.
-I’m going back to Korea.
-Already? What about your Ph.D.?
-I got fired, you bastard. How’s your brother doing?
-You’re talking crap.
-It’s been two years since he left to suddenly get a Ph.D., and he didn’t even get a Master’s degree at the time.
-That Ph.D. is bullshit,” Jong-won said.
-I became a slayer.
-Yeah. Aren’t you surprised?
-Not really. Don’t get into any accidents, you moron. A lot of people have been getting into accidents lately.
Hyun-seok was taken aback, but didn’t show it. It seemed that Jong-won had become a pretty powerful slayer. So he decided to forget about getting his Ph.D. and become a slayer instead.
Hyun-seok shook his head in disbelief.
-Well, at least he has some drive. Do you remember when he suddenly started talking about getting a Ph.D. and then flew to the U.S. not long after?
It seems that now that he’s become a slayer, he wants to be an active one. Not that it matters, because slayers are relatively well-treated. Since their physical abilities are much better than those of ordinary people, countries are trying to recruit them by offering preferential treatment.
Four days later, Jong-won actually arrived in Korea.
Jong-won sat on the sofa, chewing on squid legs while exposing his underwear to the wind, and said:
“Little bastard. Aren’t you coming to pick me up?”
“I’m working, how can I go pick you up? And where?”
“I’m going to find a studio apartment. Let’s use your place until I find one. By the way, you’ve been working out a lot lately. Your body is no joke, huh?”
Hyun-seok has always had a good physique. He has been training with exercise since he was 20 years old.
“It’s not me who got better, it’s you. Does your body improve when you become a Slayer?”
Jong-won stood up suddenly.
“Hey man, you should respect your elder brother from now on. I’m a really valuable guy.”
“You must be joking. That arrogance hasn’t died down yet, huh?”
Hyun-seok let out a deep sigh. Jong-won frowned as if he was frustrated by his attitude.
“No, it’s not arrogance.”
“Shut up, you amplifying amplifier bastard. Why? Don’t they call you the strongest Slayer in the world? Oh. I swear, the insults just come out automatically when I’m with you.”
He hardly used profanity after the age of 20. But something happened with his high school friends, especially with Jong-won, that made him swear automatically.
Jong-won made a serious expression.
“How did you know?”
“You’re pissing me off.”
“Hey. When I awakened as a Slayer, my power was 38. I’m now 48. I checked the official statistics from the United States and there was no one with a higher stat than me, at least officially.”
“You have a power of 48…? Is that the official world record?”
Hyun-seok is currently not registered as a Slayer. There are probably many people like Hyun-seok who are quietly observing from behind without coming forward. But it was a little surprising that the official record for the highest power in the United States was only 38.
“Is 48 power the highest for sure?”
“That’s what it says for your character. It’s considered high-level information. Stat values are confidential.”
“What’s confidential about it? You’re just bullshitting me. All my stats are 100.”
At that, Jong-won burst out laughing. “Sure, sure. You’re at 100. You’re such a cute kid. I’m going to sleep first, buddy.”
“Grow up from the ground. The bed’s mine.”
Without hesitation, Hyun-seok shoved Jong-won off the bed as he tried to climb on it, and lay down lost in thought.
“’48 power is officially the highest record…then what am I?”
He felt not happiness, but a strange sense of disappointment. All of his stats had reached 100. When he first reached 100 strength, he gained the title of “Merchant” and received +3 bonus stats, which he invested evenly in intelligence, stamina, and agility. As a result, he achieved the first 100 points and earned four titles: “Merchant,” “Sage,” “Penny-pincher,” and “Swiftman,” as well as 12 bonus stats, which he still had left as stat points.
In other words, his current ability scores were all at 100, with 9 stat points remaining. However, he was currently suffering a penalty for not being able to keep up with his stamina.
His thoughts grew deeper.
“Surely there must be someone else who has thought of the same method as me.”
If so, there must be someone who has achieved 100 before entering Easy Mode.
“Wait a minute… What if the tutorial progress methods are all different?”
It’s a hypothesis with some merit. Those who have raised their stats as required by the tutorial are likely to be the norm. After all, when you don’t know anything, it’s easiest to just do what you’re told. But if the tutorial progress method is different for everyone, the story changes. What if the progress method is different for everyone, and Hyun-seok was just lucky enough to achieve a stat of 100?
“Come to think of it… my titles are given to the first person who reaches 100 points.”
“If there are no errors in the system notification, I think I was the first to reach 100 points,” Hyun-seok spoke up.
“Hey, Jong-won. Are you sleeping?”
“How did you enter easy mode from tutorial mode?”
“It was a quest, of course. I caught some mosquito monsters, 500 fox monsters, 10 bear monsters, and… what else was there? Anyway, I caught those things. The real jackpot was that eagle monster, and I even did target practice to catch it. It was so fast that I barely could catch it… Hey, are you listening to me?”
He was listening. His expectations were right. Everyone is different. In Hyun-seok’s case, he was given Stat 1 every time he defeated 100 monsters. It was a quest that could be considered fraudulent. If he had used it like Hyun-seok, he could have had a tremendous amount of stat points.
Jong-won boasted, “Anyway… I got 20 stats as a reward. So my ability is no joke.”
He fell back into thought.
“What is my ability?”
He thought he should observe the situation more closely. According to Jong-won, a stat of 100 was an enormous value. However, he didn’t need to reveal himself rashly. He wasn’t in need of money. His life was stable enough. So it was best to step back and observe the situation.
The Slayer with a stat of 100. It’s uncertain how much power it holds. but it’s certain that his power is not perfect like a god’s. Even protruding stones can get caught in the current. Hyun-seok learned this lesson the hard way during his elementary school years.”
“For now… I’ll watch from behind a little longer.”
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