Player with Maxed-out Talent chapter 75

# Talent-Level Max Player, Episode 75

“What kind of nonsense are you doing alone! Why are you moving on your own without orders, you trash!!!”

It’s all nonsense.

That’s the conclusion I came to. What Kim Taecheon is doing is hard to describe as ‘leading’; it’s purely nonsense. Right now, Kim Taecheon is in a favorable situation, simply striking a static object with a slow but powerful weapon to show off his strength.

Moreover, he keeps delivering attacks with grandiose and flamboyant motions that would never be practical in real combat, aiming to look impressive rather than be effective.

‘In fact, Ma Sanghyun did more damage.’

However, Ma Sanghyun is using his fists and moving with more efficient and simplified motions, so it’s not as noticeable.

What he’s doing now can only be described as a ‘spotlight-seeker’ enjoying the attention. What command is he waiting for before making a move?

“Shut your mouth, friend.”

Ma Sanghyun approached Kim Taecheon and threw a punch without warning.

‘Wow.’

Even I was a bit shocked.

‘I heard Ma Sanghyun can be incredibly tough at times.’

Usually, he’s quite easy-going and nice. But in certain situations, he shows decisive action and speed unlike anyone else. It looks like this is one of those times.

Thump! Thump! Thump!

Kim Taecheon couldn’t show off his bravery in the face of Ma Sanghyun’s relentless fists.

“You, you, you son of a bitch!”

Kim Taecheon swung his axe heavily.

Whoosh!

The axe had powerful destructive force, but its attack speed was too slow.

“What are you doing?”

Just by lightly, ever so lightly, stepping back, Ma Sanghyun easily neutralized Kim Taecheon’s axe attack.

‘I can see it again this time.’

I could see Ma Sanghyun’s back heel tightens up. His movements as seen through ‘Observer’s Eyes’ looked quite different from what you’d see with the naked eye.

‘He’ll definitely go in here.’

How he would approach, how he would attack, it was all visible to me.

‘He’s aiming for the abdomen.’

Ma Sanghyun stretched out his right fist. It was just like my ‘Observer’s Eyes’ had captured. He attacked the precise spot I was observing. Right below the solar plexus.

‘And right after, he’ll grab the back of the neck.’

I could predict Ma Sanghyun’s movements.

‘He’ll likely go for a knee strike.’

It seemed like Ma Sanghyun was preparing to use his skill ‘Basic Knee Kick’. I could see the mana flowing like this when he uses it. It seemed to me a cue to the movement.

Crack!

A loud crackling sound, like breaking bones, erupted.

Kim Taecheon lost consciousness on the spot after getting hit in the jaw with the Basic Knee Kick. Kim Taecheon, who had been boasting about his immense bravado, was now powerless before Ma Sanghyun.

The players who had been destroying the pillar stopped for a moment, stunned.

“What, what’s this?”

“What’s happening all of a sudden?”

No one could stop Ma Sanghyun, they could only watch the one-sided battering.

“Why, why is he being beaten?”

“But he’s just being hammered…”

“Is this, by chance, a quest?”

If it wasn’t for a quest, then why would Ma Sanghyun be beating up Kim Taecheon so mercilessly, even knocking him unconscious? Ma Sanghyun scratched his head and returned with his kind, cow-eyed look.

“I didn’t expect him to go unconscious.”

Ma Sanghyun rejoined the others at the pillar with a friendly smile.

“Let’s leave that guy alone and continue with our own work.”

Even I was somewhat baffled. I thought Shin Yeonseo had a ‘two-faced’ personality, but it seems to be Ma Sanghyun who has ‘two faces’. The expressions of the players hardened; none dared to object to Ma Sanghyun.

I learned something here.

‘Logic and reason, followed by rational persuasion.’

What if Ma Sanghyun had attempted that?

‘It would have been a massive waste of time. And in the meantime, there would surely have been someone trying to interfere with Kwak Taewoon.’

Kim Taecheon wielded significant influence, attempting to pull down Kwak Taewoon for no reason, swaying some players. Under such circumstances, Ma Sanghyun’s actions were very efficient.

‘Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to beat them first…’

I didn’t intend to, but before I knew it, the corners of my mouth had lifted slightly.

‘Sometimes, it’s not a bad choice?’

Of course, rational persuasion is the best option, but there are surely unavoidable situations. In such cases, enforcing with violence and power seems not a bad option at all. I learned something more. Before Ma Sanghyun’s overwhelming force, all the players had turned as tame and nice as sheep.

‘Koo Seongmin is still busy.’

Koo Seongmin is busy stealing coins. Stealing coins even in such a situation.

‘Well, that’s his style of playing.’

Like combat-oriented players killing monsters through battle, he’s simply playing in his own way. That’s how I judged the situation.

‘Then I should play my part too.’

Thanks to Koo Seongmin, my scenario has become much more complete. I need a lot of coins for today. I glanced at Darongi.

[!]

Darongi didn’t move. I quickly guessed the reason.

“Ah. Not enough coins?”

It seems Koo Seongmin’s inventory doesn’t have many coins. He seems to be planning to steal them when there are more. Judging by Darongi’s expression,

“Why? Is he not doing well?”

Darongi nodded. To the eyes of a theft genius, the moves of a theft novice looked embarrassingly awkward.

“But you’ll move later, right?”

I need coins. Especially for the next scenario as I’ve spent too many on enhancements. Thankfully, Darongi is with me.

The eleventh pillar was destroyed.

[↘↘↘↘↘↘↘↘↘↘↘]

A powerful wind gushed again. I lay down and looked upwards. Kwak Taewoon. Is he doing well?

‘He’s doing fine.’

He moves with a faint flow of mana. Focusing on Kwak Taewoon’s movements, I could see them even more clearly.

‘Now. The timing is now.’

The timing I saw and the timing Kwak Taewoon saw was the same. He jumped high using the special ability of the ‘Wind Shoes’: ‘Pseudo Push-off.’ Despite the tremendous wind below, Kwak Taewoon wasn’t affected due to the mana from the central pillar.

Now his figure was obscured by clouds.

‘He should be at the top soon.’

The wind calmed down a bit. When the eleventh pillar was broken, no one died. Everyone lay flat to dodge the wind.

The players seemed to be getting quite familiar with ‘Ghost’ and ‘Wraith.’ They are different from when they first came here. If someone got hit by a ‘Ghost,’ the others would force them to lie down while someone else dealt with the ‘Ghost.’

‘It’s… working quite organically.’

The initial disappointment I felt had somewhat lifted. Time passed. I could see Kwak Taewoon descending from afar. He was carrying something on his back, like a backpack.

‘The tribute box.’

The linchpin of clearance. A key item among the key items. The tribute box was descending.

‘Now onto the twelfth pillar.’

It’s about to break. Now is the perfect time for clearance. If too many pillars are destroyed, the field difficulty becomes too high, and if too few, climbing the central pillar becomes too difficult.

“Kang Sanggu.”

“Hmm. What is it?”

“How much can you do with ranged attacks?”

“About 50 meters max? But I’ve got plenty of accuracy. Just that the power is a bit lacking.”

That’s enough for our purposes.

“There’s a high chance that monsters will spawn around the central pillar.”

“Monsters?”

Kang Sanggu frowned. Dealing with just ‘Wraith’ and ‘Ghost’ is troublesome enough, let alone new monsters appearing. That seems to be what his expression is saying.

“What kind of monster?”

“Well, if someone placed this gate here deliberately for their amusement.”

It’s highly likely. However, no one explicitly mentioned that ‘Guardians’ created it.

“I’d probably deploy flying monsters right about now.”

Kang Sanggu’s mouth gaped open. He pointed at the sky with his finger.

“Are you… for real? That’s nuts.”

In the sky, there was a flying monster. It took the form of a bird, with a face that somewhat resembled a human’s, as if made from roughly sculpted clay.

‘A bird with a human face (人面鳥).’

It was a lower-grade humanoid bird. The higher the grade of humanoid birds, the more human-like their faces become.

“If I had designed this gate, I’d certainly try to interrupt Kwak Taewoon’s progress right about now.”

“Then should I provide cover?”

“Right.”

“Damn, you have impressive insight.”

From a distance, Ma Sanghyun also spotted the humanoid bird. It seemed he guessed from my conversation with Kang Sanggu. He took the initiative and called out.

“Hey! If there’s anyone who can cover the player coming down with the tribute box, please provide support!”

However, I knew it. Not many would follow Ma Sanghyun’s lead.

‘They will be afraid to attract aggro.’

──────────

Humanoid Bird LV 29

──────────

By no means a low level. Considering the current top ranker, Ma Sanghyun, is level 32, most players would see red figures or ‘?’ for the monster level. It’s natural to feel frightened.

Kang Sanggu moved quickly towards the central pillar. I also headed that direction.

‘Just to be prepared for any unforeseen incidents.’

While it’s ideal to maintain the observer position for the time being, there may come a time when I need to act despite my intentions.

Kang Sanggu used his skill.

‘It’s probably… Fiery Arrow.’

It didn’t seem like he was too concerned about possibly drawing aggro to himself. Suddenly, Kim Seonhwa joined Kang Sanggu’s side. Without me saying anything, they found their roles and moved into action accordingly.

An arrow, made of fire, struck the humanoid bird’s wing accurately. Two humanoid birds were revealed.

Kang Sanggu said to me,

“We’re not aiming to kill these things, right? Just to provide cover?”

“Right.”

Our current goal is to cover Kwak Taewoon, not to hunt these creatures.

“If I draw aggro, Seonhwa, you’ll help me, okay?”

Kang Sanggu used ‘Fiery Arrow’ again. Despite the humanoid birds that appeared, Kwak Taewoon wasn’t greatly disturbed and continued to descend reliably along the mana of the central pillar.

‘He’ll land soon…’

But just then, I spotted something. Something was climbing up from the bottom of the central pillar. A lizard-sized monster about 2 meters long.

──────────

Big-Mouthed Lizard LV 22

──────────

Its mouth was enormously large. It was climbing up the central pillar very quickly, as if to devour Kwak Taewoon. It opened its mouth wide.

‘That creature isn’t the problem.’

But what if Kwak Taewoon is forced out of the mana flow because of it?

‘Kwak Taewoon will die.’

I couldn’t let that happen.

[Using special skill, Form Switch (移形換位).]

I closed in. The central pillar. I climbed it. Even if I couldn’t reach a high point, I was confident I could catch up to the creature.

With both legs, I squeezed its thin body tightly. I drew a knife. I stabbed it in the top of the head.

[Using skill, Masterful Strike.]

The lizard-shaped monster. Fortuitously, its skin was very thin, and it wasn’t a high-defense monster.

Thunk! Thunk! Thunk!

I stabbed it in the head repeatedly. Meanwhile, green blood spattered.

Hiss!

The creature’s acidic blood stuck to me, but I didn’t mind. I was wearing the mid-level ‘Orc Warrior’ armor, which is often used in this range of levels.

During this time, Kwak Taewoon passed me while descending. He also seemed to know what he should be doing. Finally, Kwak Taewoon’s feet reached the ground.

[You have hunted the Big-Mouthed Lizard.]

[Experience points are reduced.]

[No items have been dropped.]

That’s alright. A reduction of experience points is something I can afford right now. I suffered some damage, but it was acceptable.

Then, an alert came.

[‘Lady of the Scales’ admires you.]

[‘Lady of the Scales’ contributes 300 coins.]

[‘The Anonymous Observer’ continues to observe.]

And another alert followed.

[‘Blue Barrier’ wishes to aid you.]

[‘Blue Barrier’ expresses a strong will to support you.]

‘What’s this?’

If they help, they help; if they support, they support. Expressing a will to support? So they’re just saying they wish to help verbally.

[‘Blue Barrier’ promises significant support.]

I don’t know what they will support. For now, I decided to focus on the immediate tasks and clear this place.

‘Then now… the influence of the tribute box begins.’

Sure enough.

[The holy artifact ‘Tribute Box’ begins to exercise its influence.]



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