Volume 5 / Chapter 137
The rankers inside the conference room stare at Nine Tails. Because she is pretty? In looks, Koharu, Kyoko, and Violet do not fall behind either. They are staring in wonderment.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Nine Tails, Eurasia! This is my partner, Alfonso Spen! He’s Swiss and his nickname is Light Shooter.”
“Why are you introducing me? You’re driving me nuts. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Alfonso.”
They bicker endlessly. They were always together in the virtual game, and have been together in reality as well. Rankers really have been in contact with each other.
[She’s a very unique woman.]
[She is unique…..]
Nine Tails is free. She is not free because she likes to do solo missions and plays. Her personality itself is liberal.
She is a very open woman. Excluding Violet’s aggressive nature, they have a lot of similarities. They can tell what kind of person she is just from the way she comes here without a battle suit as though she is taking a walk in her neighborhood park.
[He’s Light Shooter?]
[Yeah. He’s the only sniper of the 36 rankers. He’ll be a lot of help if you get on friendly terms with him.]
Everyone wants to become the best. Park Jin Hyuk is the same. If he wants to become the best sniper, he needs to beat Light Shooter in Life Mission.
“Strategist, you’re the only ranker in the world federation. Who is everyone else?”
Nine Tails smiles brightly and looks at Cha Jun Sung’s group and the new people. The way she looks at them is not rough.
“As you said, I’m the only person here who is in the world federation. This is a separate meeting for just the Lifers who are not in an organization.”
Strategist introduced each person in turn. It is right that each person introduce themselves, but it is better for him to do it so that they can move along quickly.
Nine Tails’ eyes brighten. Light Shooter looks on with interest as well. There are people they ran into in the virtual version, but they have a few relationships with others like Cha Jun Sung and do not know a lot of other rankers.
“Wow! Overload, I always wanted to meet you.”
Light Shooter spoke in a friendly manner. Most of the 36 rankers are equal, but Cha Jun Sung is the only person who succeeded in a level 9 raid.
It can be said that he has more experience than others in Life Mission. It is evident that people will jump through hoops to try to get into his party when he takes on the Evil Queen raid in the distant future.
“Lastly, this is Ms. Violet, who is called the Empress of Light.”
Violet was introduced last because her seat is the farthest.
Nine Tails had already guessed who Violet is because they were all showing their faces. She has not changed her appearance. Her face is the same in the virtual and in reality. There is no way she could not tell who she is.
“You’re the same.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment.”
They are familiar with each other because they were both active in Europe, but they do not have a friendly relationship. They never had a big fight, but they could be compared to water and oil.
They are strangely awkward. Nine Tails has the personality where she tries to get over things without much thought. Even today, she was late. She did apologize, but it was natural in passing.
“I’ll be short. I had all of you gather here so we could separate into teams.”
“The world federation rankers have grown accustomed to working together over time. It does not look like it, but there is a strong cohesion. If we mix them in with you in this mission, there may be things that don’t fit.”
Strategist will make adjustments in the middle, but close rankers will have each others’ backs.
“A force has 10 parties. We’ll have 100 people. There are 10 people gathered here now – it’s 1 party.”
The rankers reacted in understanding. Cooperation among forces? It is important.
If a party is lacking in collaboration, however, having a force spread wide does not matter. Even when constructing a building, the bricks are not laid first. A foundation is laid down and pillars are stood up.
“90 people are in the world federation, meaning they have already formed an alliance. Exactly 10 people are independent. You need to help each other.”
It is too difficult to try to mix in with the Lifers within a short period of time. Putting people who do not know each other together to get them on friendly terms is a time saver.
Strategist continued to talk. There are things that he already said and new things.
Most of what he had already said was regarding the description of Public Underground. Nine Tails and Light Shooter needed to get familiarized with it.
“So for the remaining month, what do you think of creating a party and going into missions to form teamwork?”
These 10 people would not be able to complete a 1 million point mission even if they combined their strengths, but the purpose of it is not to try out high levels of difficulty on their own.
Strategist’s intent is for them to become familiar with each other before going into Public Underground.
“It doesn’t matter for us.”
“That’s the same for us.”
Cha Jun Sung’s group and 3 rankers spoke up. They would have thought about it if it was a continuing party, but it is a temporary party for advancement. They are willing to sacrifice a bit in order to succeed.
Light Shooter takes a glance at Nine Tails. He is secretly agreeing as well. The problem is what Nine Tails will do.
“I’m against it. I have the kind of personality where I don’t get along with strangers.”
“But don’t you think it’s a good idea to try out working together since it’s something where our lives are on the line?”
Strategist interfered to convince her. He had thought that everyone would agree to it. He had not guessed that anyone would reject it.
“I’m sorry. Instead, I’ll follow whatever you tell me to do in the mission well. I’ll work for the group rather than for myself.”
Nine Tails looks at Cha Jun Sung. She noticed that everyone including the Strategist looks at Cha Jun Sung when they say something about the party. She is looking at him because she has realized that he is the tacit party leader.
“Thank you for understanding!”
Strategist retreated. Pressuring someone to do what they do not want to can cause averse reactions. Light Shooter’s expression shows that his thoughts are different from that of Nine Tails, but they will not separate as long as they are a team.
After this, they did not discuss much and spent the rest of the time creating amity. Lifers always begin to bristle when it is time for them to advance.
Advancing is a type of judgement. If they fail, they die – it is a judgement where their lives are on the line. 1 month is what you make of it, but it is not a short amount of time.
It is a fair amount of time where they can do whatever they put their minds to. But as said previously, it is what you make of it. Time flew by like a bullet as they were anxious about the advancement.
100 Lifers are waiting for the entry time as they check their equipment.
Their expressions show their anxiety. They are fully armed, and everyone has a battle suit. 19 rankers have come together to complete Public Underground.
Honestly, the boundary between regular Lifers and rankers is ambiguous until they remodel their battle suits.
This is because their gear is similar. Even if Cha Jun Sung uses his battle suit, he cannot take on 2. He desperately needs to upgrade. He must advance.
Lifers who have gone fairly high even if they are not rankers, have their own methods of modeling their battle suits. Remodeling is achieved by combinations. They apply various parts and abilities to the battle suit.
Up to 10 combinations are possible, and Cha Jun Sung’s battle suit has 10 while the other of the 36 rankers have 9. He will need to wait and see if he will be able to go through with all 3 in the reality version as well.
“Is everyone ready?”
Strategist yells from the center of the Lifers. Everyone responds with power. There is a slight tremor in their voices. It is not good to be too nervous, but appropriate anxiety gives people the strength to make it out of unexpected situations.
It means that they are ready for anything to come out at them at anytime from anywhere.
“Please stand with your parties. We will enter in 5 minutes.”
Strategist commands the force. There is a 10 person party of world federation rankers that the Strategist is in, and the party of Cha Jun Sung’s ground and the 5 additional rankers. These are the 2 ranker parties. The rest of the members like medics and snipers are occupation Lifers.
The Lifers move in coordination. Since they are the world federation, there is less individual behavior and they focused on the group. It is like watching well-trained soldiers.
“We will enter.”
Strategist applies for admission on behalf of everyone. They hear a notice and confirmation of group entry comes up on the Lifers’ PDAs. They press ‘yes’ and everything in front of them disappears.
“Let’s do well, party leader!”
“Let’s all come back safely.”
Nine Tails speaks affectionately as they enter. The rankers wished for safe returns before they entered. With that, the Lifers next to Cha Jun Sung also disappear into the mission.
Cha Jun Sung also accepted entry. The scenery he is looking at is Mechanic City. When he closes and opens his eyes again, it will be Public Underground where they will need to fight fiercely for their lives.