“What does that mean? Min Sung asked with a confused look on his face.
Arin flapped its wings and stuck out its index finger.
“For example, when the 100th ranker faces off against the 120th ranker, the 120th ranker could win.”
“Because of reputation. Depending on how favorable their actions were or high their evil reputations are, their ranker ranks differ, so the ranks within the inner continent aren’t entirely dependent on a player’s abilities.”
“If you have an evil reputation, does that mean you can’t be a 1st ranker?”
“Not necessarily. There are other ways.”
Min Sung nodded.
“Ugh! I hate it when you pressure me!”
“Yeah, yeah. Go on and tell me.”
“Ugh, anyway! There’s a way and that way… Huh?!”
Arin looked in a certain direction and showed its surprise.
The fairy was looking at a large worm-like monster crawling underneath the sand.
He didn’t understand why it was so fascinated by the large monster when there was nothing that interesting about it.
But Min Sung soon found out the reason.
The monster called ‘Sand Snake’ was headed in the direction of a human being.
“That’s ranker, Lownie!”
Arin shouted with sparkling eyes.
He couldn’t see clearly, but he must’ve been a player that Arin knew of.
“Lownie Ederk! He’s a great warrior. Very strong and a goodhearted man.”
Min Sung knitted his brows at Arin.
“Continue what you were explaining before.”
Arin remembered and laughed.
“If you surpass a certain evil reputation level, you’re qualified to challenge other players. Your rank will go up at a slower pace, but you’ll have an opportunity to fight higher rankers with higher reputation.”
“What if you fight before you’ve given that right?”
“You’ll end up losing all of your experience points, and it’s just pointless! After all, you can’t obtain the 1st ranker position. Those who break the rules can’t be rewarded.”
It was a vague and complicated rule.
It would have been simpler if the strongest took all, but the gambling board of the gods of Beatrice wasn’t like that.
The rules were complicated because of the disputes between the Dionysus gods and the angels.
Min Sung glanced at Lownie, who was fighting off the sand snake and checked his own status window.
In front of his reputation read ‘neutral’.
If this name happened to cause disorder, their evil reputation would go up, and if they became law-abiding, their reputation in that category would go up.
“The law-abiding players become the targets of the disorderly players, and the disorderly players also become a target of law-abiding players in return. They end up keeping each other in check.”
“Are you able to know each other’s reputations?”
“Yes, you can. Since you’re neutral, it doesn’t show, but if you become law-abiding or disorderly, you’ll be able to see it.”
“It shows up in the player’s eyes. That’s one of the rules of the inner continent.”
“Are you saying this rule only applies in the inner continent?”
“Then it must be the most useful to maintain your neutral position.” Ho Sung Lee popped out of his shadow form and spoke.
Arin looked at Ho Sung Lee and giggled.
“But if you stay in the neutral state, you’re less able to increase your rank.”
Min Sung clicked his tongue.
“It’s not even that important.”
“It is. And the reason why I showed up at this time was to warn you.”
“Warn me of what?”
Min Sung stopped right before he was about to take off and looked back at Arin.
“Be careful. There are many warriors within the inner continent.”
“Is that it?”
“Is that all you have to say?”
Min Sung then turned around and began to move.
And not long afterward.
Along with a loud explosive noise, a part of the monster, as well as blood, blew over with the sand storm.
Min Sung blocked it all out with his clear shield, and he looked in the direction it came from.
There, he saw the ranker player, Lownie, who was well built and had tattoos all over his right arm.
Min Sung and Lownie met eyes, and meanwhile, Arin disappeared.
Followed by a moment of silence, Lownie approached Min Sung.
Min Sung looked at Ho Sung Lee.
Ho Sung Lee stared at Lownie with his jaw dropped.
“Look at his huge sword.”
Min Sung looked back at Lownie.
Like Ho Sung Lee said, his sword was bigger than his own body, and he was walking over with the sword lightly propped up against his shoulder.
“He’s coming this way,” said Ho Sung Lee while glancing at Min Sung.
With only the sound of the sand storm in Pierra Desert, he saw Lownie approaching while stepping into the sand.
Arin knew him.
‘Is he strong?’
Min Sung made sure he was ready to fight at any moment.
But he just passed Min Sung and Ho Sung Lee without even looking at them.
“He’s just leaving…?” Ho Sung Lee asked Lownie.
“What did you expect?” Min Sung asked.
“That’s true, haha. This place is weird. Since we fought every single time until now, it feels weird not fighting,” replied Ho Sung Lee as he looked at Lownie.
“Let’s keep moving.”
Min Sung took the lead.
Ho Sung Lee, who was watching Lownie walk off in the distance, saw Min Sung running at high speed again, causing him to sigh and start the sprint all over again.
Lownie stopped in his tracks and looked back.
At first, he thought it was an unfamiliar face.
But the image of his face continued to linger inside his head, making him wonder what the reason behind it was.
He stopped. He looked back and thought about it.
Lownie then sighed and continued moving.
As soon as the image of that man disappeared, he remembered the faces of his subordinates.
Just a few hours earlier, they were joking and laughing together.
But now, they were all dead.
Lownie looked to the ground with his dark eyes and continued walking.
While he walked endlessly, a system message woke him up from his thoughts.
When he lifted his head, he saw a dimension door.
A door surrounded by a white light border.
Lownie approached the door and reached out his hand.
His hand passed through the magic door, and a moment later, his hand grabbed at something.
Inside Lownie’s hand was a contract made of dragon skin.
On the piece of leather, the size of an A4 paper were letters and a stamp.
After taking a look at the contract, Lownie put it inside his item window and continued walking.
As Lownie grew more distant, the mysterious door slowly faded before disappearing into thin air.
They began to see the city.
The first city they saw after passing through Pierre Desert was a city called ‘Chopin’.
Even from a distance, he was able to see that the city was the complete opposite of the slum cities they passed through in the past.
Ho Sung Lee felt both excited and worried as he approached the entrance to the city with Min Sung.
The guard standing outside the city simply scanned Min Sung and his party and didn’t bother them with any kind of inspection.
As a result, Min Sung and his party were able to enter Chopin easily.
Once they entered the city, they realized Chopin was even more different than they imagined.
First of all, all of the buildings in Chopin were low-rises with 3 floors at the most.
On top of that, the roofs were all orange, and it was a city that showed off beautiful scenery when looked at from the mountains.
Within the city were workers such as farmers and blacksmiths, and he saw people smiling and some adults scolding their children.
It looked like a place worth living in.
He didn’t understand why there was such a difference between the outer continent and the inner continent, but that was Beatrice for you.
Min Sung erased his curiosity and headed toward the castle.
He figured he had to go inside the castle in order to get proper information regarding the city of Chopin.
But Ho Sung Lee stuck by Min Sung’s side with an anxious look on his face.
“Sir, this is the inner continent, and as Arin said, there are lots of powerful fighters. Why don’t we find a dorm and figure out what to do there before we try anything.”
On their way to Chopin, Arin gave them all sorts of additional information.
Lownie, whom they met in Pierre Desert, had quite a high reputation, and he had a law-abiding tendency, making him a hero that many citizens of Chopin loved.
As high as his reputation was, so was his ranking.
Arin also warned them that the players of the inner continent were at a whole different level from those in the outer continent.
And if possible, Arin recommended that he join a guild containing law-abiding players like Lownie.
The disorderly players always betrayed and shoved other players into the corner.
In any case, the fairy told them all sorts of things in long explanations.
Min Sung ignored what Ho Sung Lee said and continued to walk toward the entrance of the castle as directed by the system map.
Ho Sung Lee followed him after giving up, and Bowl came out of Min Sung’s pocket and walked beside him.
The Beatrice citizens residing in Chopin watched Min Sung and his party with curiosity and their guards up.
A while after walking, Min Sung’s party was able to see the entrance of the castle.
Unlike at the main entrance, there were 4 guards standing at the entrance, and behind the door were 2 additional guards with bows and arrows.