Second Life Ranker

Chapter 17 - Black Route (6)

Chapter 17. Black Route (6)

Yeon-woo looked down at his left palm.

*Clank* *Clank*

The saw-toothed blade was clattering as if clamoring for food. Neither did it talk to him, nor expressed in any way, but Yeon-woo could still ‘feel’ its desire.

‘So this is the vampiric sword.’

Yeon-woo smiled coldly as he gazed into the dark abyss that lied beyond its teeth.

‘Now that I have this….’

Although it was definitely an excellent skill, Yeon-woo didn’t feel any particular change in him. He felt like it was just another skill added to the skill list.

But Yeon-woo was confident.

He strengthened the grip of his left hand that was holding the vampiric sword. The teeth closed up and returned to their original form, but Yeon-woo could feel that it was still ‘thirsty’.

‘Then, shall we go fill you up?’

*   *   *

*Kung Kung Kung*

The ants were still banging at the gate.

Yeon-woo grabbed the handles and opened wide the gate.

At that moment.


An ant let out a shriek and stepped one foot inside.

Yeon-woo jumped forward, as he activated both Sense Strengthening and Combat Will at the same time.

He had five minutes anew.


With a swing of his dagger, the ant’s legs snapped as if it was made of foam. Yeon-woo jumped up, stepped on the ant and leaped high into the air.



Underneath his foot, more than two hundred ants were screeching at him. They were enraged, wanting to slaughter the criminal who had destroyed their den. Amongst them, Yeon-woo easily spotted the Ant Queen.

The Ant Queen also noticed Yeon-woo’s presence, she spread her broken wings and inflated her body as much as possible. Both her eyes were damaged, it seemed she had captured his movements through other sensory organs.

With her remaining three legs, she charged at Yeon-woo with fierce speed.[1] However this time Yeon-woo didn’t avoid her. Rather, he landed directly on top of the Ant Queen’s head.

His movements had gotten much quicker and swifter.

The Ant Queen clattered her mandibles as if ordering him to come down and started to swinging her head around.

Yeon-woo spread his left palm wide and placed it over the queen’s head.

And he incanted the command word.


At that moment, the dark energy solidified under his left hand and revealed its fangs.


And he sank the sword’s teeth deep into the Ant Queen’s head.

The sword sucked in her bodily fluids at a frightening speed.[2]

[You have absorbed vitality and energy]

[‘Bathory’s Vampiric Sword’ skill proficiency has increased. 1.1%]


The Ant Queen cried in soul-tearing pain.

Even when she had been engulfed in flames, her eyes had been injured or got her legs cut off, her cries had never been this loud.

Yeon-woo clung to her head like a bullfighter riding a bull. What’s more, he sank his left hand deeper and deeper, with the intention of sucking everything out from the Ant Queen.

Whenever the saw-toothed blade clattered, huge amounts of blood and body fluid were sucked into his left arm. He also felt a different ‘substance’ being sucked into his arm. It was the source of all Magic Power, mana.

‘The message said I was extracting its vitality and energy. Was it talking about this?’

At the same time, Yeon-woo felt something accumulating somewhere in his body.

[You have absorbed vitality and energy]

[Your Strength has increased by 1 point.]

[Your Health has increased by 2 points.]


As the messages pile up at a rapid pace, the Ant Queen began to wither away. Her body dried out, causing her exoskeleton to crumble like a sand castle, and her flesh lost its color due to the blood loss. Her struggle also grew weaker and weaker, and soon it died away.

Once the skill stopped,


The Ant Queen’s body that was now as dry as a mummy sank to the floor.

It was the death of the Ant Queen.


[You have slain the boss monster, Blue Army Ant Queen. Additional Karma will be provided.]

[You have acquired 300 Karma.]

[The Blue Army Ants have been demoralized. The ant tunnel will soon collapse.]



The Army Ants that witnessed the death of their queen screamed in disbelief, and began to back away from Yeon-woo.

They lost their chief who had protected them and the one who they were tasked to protect. The one now standing in her place was the ‘predator’ who could easily feed on them.

Yeon-woo slowly stood up and turned towards the Army Ants. His eyes were emitting a red glow.

[You have obtained a piece of ‘Flame Heart and Frost Crest’.]

[Current progress: 35.9%]

The progress percentage had abruptly doubled.

Bathory’s Vampiric Sword extorted everything the opponent had. That was the reason why it could absorb all the attributes of the Ant Queen as a whole without having to eat the White Moss.

No, it was actually much more efficient. Using this method he didn’t have to bother with consuming the heart, since he could directly drain the energy from the monsters.

Yeon-woo lifted the corners of his mouth.

There were still a lot of monsters around with the pieces he needed. Each and every one of them was an appetizing prey.


Holding his dagger in a reverse grip, he flung himself at the rest of the monsters.

[You have obtained a piece.]

[You have obtained a piece.]


[You have slain 311 additional Blue Army Ants.]

[You have completely destroyed the ant tunnel.]

[Additional Karma will be provided.]


*   *   *

The tutorial serves as a gateway to select new challengers that would enter The Tower.

Naturally, various clans, rankers, and Guardians paid a lot of attention to what happened inside it, and a lot of work took place under the table in order to snatch outstanding individuals for themselves.

Moreover, out of all rounds this round was particularly fascinating. That was because a large number of notable newcomers, often called ‘rookies’, were participating in this round.

The One-horned Tribe, one of the martial tribes, known as the strongest combat species. Two sons of the Martial King, who ruled over the whole tribe were currently participating in this tutorial.

There was also a swordsman of Marcusian descent, whose land is surrounded by a barren desert hence famous for their exceptional mercenaries.

And then there were two people, popularly known as ’the dumbass duo’, who had barely taken any part in the tutorial but kept saying they were aiming to become the top rankers.

Contrary to what seemed like false bravado, not only were they the children of the top rankers, but they had also proven their excellence in the tutorial, demonstrating they didn’t need to ride on their parents’ coattails.

Kahn and Doyle.

Players had already given the two nicknames and called them:

Blood Sword and Foxy Tail.[3]

*   *   *

“Hmm? Was there a place like this before? I never noticed it was here. At the very least he’s good enough to finding a place like this. So, you sure he’s in here?”

“Ughaam. That’s what I’ve been saying. If you don’t believe me, why don’t you just head back?”

“Aw, who said I don’t? Why are you so salty?”

Doyle answered Kahn’s question, the young man with disheveled hair, question with a yawn and cast his eyes over to the other side.

Then Kahn grinned and put his arm around Doyle’s shoulder.

Doyle made an annoyed look, but he still followed Kahn through the passage down the dungeon.

They had been chasing after Yeon-woo after they decided to follow him in the waiting room of Section B.

Kahn lightly clicked his tongue as he moved around the dungeon.

“Seems like someone has been hunting a heck of a lot of monsters.”

All the way from the entrance up to this point, Kahn and Doyle had only encountered monsters’ carcasses. Thanks to them, the dungeon was infested with a putrid stench.

The monsters appeared to be highly strong, even for them who were fairly confident in the skills, making justice to the name of Black Route, as well as being a hidden piece dungeon.

They noticed that the player the two of them were chasing after seemed to have struggled at first. There were hints of a fierce battle scattered around.

They were wondering how could he still move with his, what should be, completely tattered body. But as time went by, as they walked deeper into the dungeon,

“This is amazing. How can he grow so strong so quickly?”

The results of the fierce battles were slowly becoming more and more lopsided. The player was definitely taking the upper hand. He was ferociously pushing ahead and was overwhelmingly hunting them down.

“Monsters here don’t look any weaker.”

“Yeah. It’s funny to say this, but just by looking at the traces, the ones deeper in this dungeon are never weaker, if not stronger.”

Kahn and Doyle, who originally followed Yeon-woo for fun, were slowly becoming serious. In particular, Kahn’s usually playful atmosphere was now very calm and composed.

Doyle felt odd when he noticed the change in his brother’s attitude, as Kahn doesn’t show his serious look very often. It was the look he showed only when he met someone he ‘acknowledged’, the look he had when encountering a rival.

This meant that Yeon-woo was growing so rapidly that they could not think any less of him.

At some point, they found signs of fleeing monsters.

In an attempt to run away from the player, the monsters had even left their base and invaded other monsters’ territories. Therefore, there had been territorial fights between monsters.

A player who even terrorized monsters.

Kahn and Doyle realized they could no longer take the situation as a joke, especially after coming across a dead body that seemed to have been sucked dry.

Doyle turned around and looked at Kahn.


“Yeah, I know. This in no joke anymore.”

Kahn clamped his lips tight and nodded gravely.

“Where on earth did he find this? When we conducted our search, there was not a sign of this.”

Kahn muttered in a low voice.

“Energy Drain.”

It is the generic term for a skill that takes away the opponent’s health or mana. It was extremely rare for among the numerous artifacts and skills in The Tower to be imbued with an energy drain ability. They would have never imagined that someone who was still in Section B of the tutorial would have such a unique ability.

“Was there a hidden piece in a place like this?”

Kahn’s eyes sparkled throughout his contemplation as he stroked his chin.

He was a player who had not only cleared Section A solo, but had also acquired a rare artifact or skill from a hidden piece.

Kahn was itching to team up with this guy.

A player with this much skill was never readily available. Sooner or later, word of him would get out around the tutorial. Then all the other clans would avidly seek him.

He had to take measures before that happened.

Doyle looked into Kahn’s eye and nodded as if he had read his mind.

As they prepared to set foot to look for another trace,


Beyond the corner of the passage, they heard monsters scurrying away.

Kahn and Doyle moved quickly towards the origin of the noise.

*   *   *

Yeon-woo wielded his dagger to pierce the forehead of a brown salamander, and at the same time he laid his left hand on its jaws.



With his left palm wide open, he thrusted the teeth into the monster’s head. Then, the sword began to suck in bodily fluids and vitality at a rapid pace.

Had he done this so many times, he was now used to this feeling.

Thanks to the increased proficiency, the extraction speed had been boosted compared to when he had hunted the Ant Queen.

At last, the moment Yeon-woo had been eagerly waiting for had come.

[You have slain the Brown-scaled Salamander.]

[Number of monsters hunted: 1000]

[The maximum requirements for your quest have been fulfilled.]

[You have obtained a piece of ‘Flame Heart and Frost Crest’.]

[Current progress: 102.1%]

[All of the pieces have been collected.]

It didn’t take long for him to sweep through the ant tunnel and wipe out all of the remaining monsters.

He had built up his attributes while he hunted the Army Ants, and he had become more efficient at gathering the pieces due to the Vampiric Sword.

In the end, Yeon-woo managed to collect everything he needed in this dungeon.

*Crunch* *Crackle*

[The completed ‘Flame Heart and Frost Crest’ has began to take place in your body. Your body is experiencing changes.]

Yeon-woo sensed a big change in his body. It was a change unparalleled to what he had experienced so far from gathering small pieces.

As his muscles teared apart, his body began to eliminate waste matter through his pores. His skin that was full of wounds crumbled apart and peeled off. His joints softened up and something else squeezed in between his bones.

He was in a lot of pain, but adrenaline spread across his body like wildfire, offering him an indescribable pleasure. And at the same time, something began to swirl quickly, clearly, and intensely along the entire body.

It was mana.

[1] 2+2+3=6 if you guys didn’t know.

[2] ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

[3] May change after the character is better explained.

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