“Have no fear, everyone! That guy may seem intimidating, but his level is similar to ours!” Someone spoke up, attempting to quell their concerns.
“That’s right! He hasn’t even changed jobs yet!” Another chimed in, rallying their spirits.
“Let’s swiftly eliminate him and overthrow the district representative!”
“We can overpower him with our numbers!”
Though some were roused by their loud voices, no one stepped forward willingly. The fear of being the first to face death halted their progress.
“Damn them all,” Jo Joong-sik scoffed, gripping his dagger tightly. “They underestimate me completely.”
With his weapon drawn, Jo Joong-sik eyed the approaching individuals, his resolve unwavering.
“Come on! Come on, you bastards!” Jo Joong-sik taunted, his voice filled with defiance.
His provocation seemed to waver the crowd’s resolve.
“Heh, it seems they won’t come so easily. No one wants to be the first to die.”
Even if his opponent was stronger, Jo Joong-sik knew that with just one usage of authority, he could easily overpower them.
Except for those unaffected by the power of authority, like the Black Scythe.
“Damn it, I wish I ran into the forest like the Black Scythe and hunt down some monsters.”
If only he had leveled up and changed jobs, he would have received sub-quest rewards and been free from the limitations of the authority.
“Damn it, becoming the district representative has made me a target. What a pain!”
Had he known about the consequences, he wouldn’t have forced people to vote for him.
Jo Joong-sik’s gaze shifted to Black Scythe, standing alone in the distance.
He envied the Black Scythe, the sole person in the district who had already changed jobs.
Lost in his thoughts, Ryu Min ignored his gazes, he couldn’t help but think about the third round.
“The third round quest is nothing special. It’s just about stopping the five waves of monsters.”
Protecting the relic while stopping the monsters.
It seemed like a straightforward quest, but there was one crucial aspect to consider.
The monsters would grow stronger with each wave.
“But that’s not a problem. We can earn more experience points and gold this way,” Ryu Min mused.
For Ryu Min, who needed to amass a substantial amount of gold in this round, stronger monsters would actually be beneficial.
The true challenge lay in the activation of the hidden sub-quest.
“To unveil the sub-quest, I need to use Jo Joong-sik.”
To be precise, Ryu Min required Jo Joong-sik’s authority.
While it would be easy to obtain that authority by killing Jo Joong-sik and becoming the district representative…
“But I must not become the district representative this round. There are severe penalties lurking behind that position.”
He needed to use the authority without becoming the district representative.
For that, he needed Jo Joong-sik’s cooperation.
Ryu Min surveyed his surroundings.
The majority of gazes were fixed on Jo Joong-sik, filled with caution, but a few exhibited determination.
“They seem to be in a tough spot, just as I expected.”
Ryu Min smirked.
As planned, the time had come for Ryu Min to step forward.
Step by step…
Jo Joong-sik was taken aback as Ryu Min approached, wielding a massive scythe.
“What? Why are you here? Don’t come any closer!”
But Ryu Min had a reason. He was the only former occupant in the area.
Unaffected by the Authority.
Moreover, his level was a formidable 16, far surpassing Jo Joong-sik’s level 6.
Naturally, tension seeped in, leaving Jo Joong-sik on edge.
“Don’t be scared. I’m just here to talk.”
“Scared? Who said I was scared?”
Though he denied it, beads of sweat formed on Jo Joong-sik’s forehead.
Being the main target of everyone around, he had to be cautious when someone approached his territory, especially when it was someone like the Black Scythe.
“Is he planning to lull me into a false sense of security and then attack suddenly?”
It was only natural for Jo Joong-sik to harbor suspicions.
A quick glance here and there revealed the watchful eyes around him, ready to pounce on his vulnerability.
But contrary to his concerns, Ryu Min lowered his scythe, showing no intention to strike.
Maintaining a safe distance, he eased Jo Joong-sik’s guard.
“I just came to talk. No need to worry.”
“W-What do you want to talk about?”
Jo Joong-sik looked at Ryu Min, his eyes filled with suspicion.
“I believe you’re in a difficult situation right now, aren’t you?”
“Who’s in a difficult situation?”
“I’ll protect you.”
Jo Joong-sik’s eyes widened in astonishment at the unexpected offer.
“I’ll guard you from other players. I’ll take personal responsibility and be your one-on-one protector.”
Jo Joong-sik was left speechless, lost in thought.
“The Black Scythe will protect me?”
With his high level and special job, having the Black Scythe as his guardian…
“…I can then hunt monsters without worrying about the others coming after my neck.”
He could freely engage in monster hunting, achieving remarkable records without being on constant alert.
And who better to be his protector than the top-ranked player of all districts?
It was only natural.
Glancing around, Ryu Min noticed the hesitant expressions on people’s faces.
“The Black Scythe protecting his life…?”
“Does that mean we have to confront the Black Scythe too?”
“Well, that’s obvious…”
Although Jo Joong-sik, a non-job player, might be underestimated, the Black Scythe was by no means an easy opponent.
Even if a horde charged at him, a single swing of his massive scythe could send their lives into oblivion.
Some, intimidated by the infamous name alone, took a step back.
To Jo Joong-sik, it was a sight both remarkable and surprising.
“So, the reputation of the Black Scythe precedes me this much…”
Indeed, he had silently secured second place in the rankings.
“Despite the blow to my pride when I think back to that time…”
Observing the disgruntled crowd, Jo Joong-sik felt a sense of satisfaction.
But proposals always came at a cost.
“What do you want in exchange for protecting me?”
Jo Joong-sik asked, maintaining composure.
“It’s nothing significant. Just obey my instructions without question. That’s the only condition.”
Confusion clouded Jo Joong-sik’s face.
“Just blindly follow my orders.”
“But isn’t that the same as becoming your subordinate?”
Jo Joong-sik’s expression shifted, and he asked earnestly, “Why are you making this proposal to me?”
“I can’t reveal the reason.”
“If all that you’re going to do is order me around, why don’t you tell me now what you need?
“I can’t reveal that either. When the time comes, just obey my commands without question; that’s all you have to do.”
Being told to follow orders without knowing their nature, Jo Joong-sik couldn’t help but feel dissatisfied.
After all, he had his pride as a leader, guiding his subordinates.
Jo Joong-sik was about to raise his middle finger as usual and curse, but he quickly reconsidered.
“Wait, what will happen if I refuse this proposal? I have no idea how this guy will react.”
Would he immediately swing his scythe and sever his neck?
Fearing such consequences, Jo Joong-sik retracted his almost raised finger.
“Make your decision. Everyone around you is waiting for your answer.”
After much contemplation, Jo Joong-sik finally spoke in a low voice.
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