I Gave Up Being Stronger-Chapter 228

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Chapter 228

“What did I do?” Cha Jin-Hyeok asked Kihael.

Kihael shifted his gaze to the fallen Swampland No.3. Upon closer look, he realized that Swampland No.3 was not breathing.

“You killed a member of the Swampland Crew,” the GM replied.

“He’s dead?” Jin-Hyeok tilted his head in confusion. “I thought I went easy this time.

‘This time? Did he plan to hit harder next time?’ Kihael wanted to ask him but chose to speak about the more important subject. “You do know that a System petition has been posted about this incident, right?”


“It has surpassed a million signatures. I am here to find out what really happened.”

“So, what’s the problem with people signing petitions?”

“Why do you think people petitioned? How did the petition amass over one million signatures so quickly?”

“Hm... I wouldn’t know,” Jin-Hyeok replied.

“Your fans are outraged because you are facing unjust persecution. You have been attacked by a Player Hunter, who violated the Streamer Protection Treaty.”

“And I retaliated and ended the situation.”

‘What exactly is the problem here? This guy always makes a big deal out of everything,’ Jin-Hyeok thought.

“But you obliterated him without a scratch on you,” Kihael explained.

“I did not know he would die in one hit.”

-Destruction... Ah, so great...

“You have given the Player Hunters a reason to kill you. They see you as someone who can effortlessly defeat a Player like Swampland No.3. They think treaties like the Streamer Protection Treaty are meaningless. This will make it easier for them to target you.” Kihael was desperate. He was taking a huge risk cooperating with Jin-Hyeok.

His plan was that if he got fired, he would join the MK Foundation and enjoy a balanced life. However, if anything happened to Kim Chul-Soo, Kihael would be in trouble too.

Jang Michelle, who was effectively running the MK Foundation, was doing so only because of Chul-Soo. Chul-Soo disappearing would mean the end of the MK Foundation and the shattering of Kihael’s happy future, just like the condition of the fallen Swampland No.3.

“You are in a lot of danger!” Kihael yelled.

‘This bastard... why is he smacking his lips?’ Kihael thought as he heard a voice for some reason.

-They’re targeting me? Sweet!

Kihael shook his head. He believed Chul-Soo was not that insane. No Player in the universe would be thrilled about being targeted by Player Hunters. Kihael had to believe that. However, he could not bring himself to ask Chul-Soo directly. He feared that Chul-Soo’s answer would be exactly what he had feared.

? ? ?

“Were you filming the whole situation?” Kihael asked.

“Of course.”

“Let’s not release the video for a while. And...” Kihael looked around. They were on a train traveling at about two hundred kilometers per hour. It seemed no other cameras had recorded Jin-Hyeok, but Kihael checked just to be sure. “... Did anyone else film you? Obviously not, but...”

“Yes, someone is filming me right now.”

“What? Where?”

“Below us.” Jin-Hyeok pointed downward.

“What are you talking about?”

Only a floor was down there.

“My Homepage Master is filming me from the compartment below.”

“But it’s blocked...”

“Everyone has a Skill that allows them to see through things.”

“What?” Kihael was momentarily lost for words.

‘Right. I forgot that was your standard,’ the GM thought.

He continued, almost giving up, “Right, seeing through things is something everyone does.”

Jin-Hyeok replied, “I’m sure he is filming me using that ability. His Level is not that high, so he can’t add any other effects or anything. Oh, and the quality of the video won’t be very good either. Well, he’s still low-Level, so it can’t be helped.”

“What kind of low-Level Player...”

Kihael wanted to shout, ‘What kind of low-Level Player has an ability to see through things?’ He wanted to give up on common sense when talking to Jin-Hyeok, but couldn’t. He also did not want to ask any more questions about this, as it would only tire him.

“Whatever! Enough about that. Here is the plan.” Kihael rolled the corpse of Swampland No.3 off the train. The Player Hunter fell like a thrown doll, rolling several times on the ground, and disappeared.

“You were fighting fiercely with Swampland No.3 when I appeared. I intervened to investigate the situation, and Swampland No.3 accidentally fell to his death here because he could not control his movement,” Kihael said.

“Why would I go with your plan?”

“Do you want to give the Player Hunters a reason to kill you?”


“Why aren’t you answering?!”

It seemed like Jin-Hyeok did want to give them a reason.

‘I feel like he is trying his best to stay as an ordinary Player,’ Kihael thought. He knew that if he asked more questions, Jin-Hyeok would answer, ‘Yes, I do want them to come at me.’

However, Jin-Hyeok, who was trying to be normal and was sure that he was indeed normal, raised a valid question. “What about the body? Won’t the cause of death be presented when it’s recovered by the police?”

“I will handle the body recovery. With over a million signatures on that petition, I am fully in charge of this situation. I will announce the cause of death.”

“Wow, you can do that? SSP isn’t some small company.”

“It’s possible. My higher-ups prefer using GMs rather than setting up an efficient modern system. It’s cheaper.”

Jin-Hyeok pondered the option for a moment. In his perspective, there was no need for him to hide the truth.

‘But... I still don’t know the true extent of my abilities!’ Jin-Hyeok thought.

Even just now, he had not intended to kill Swampland No.3. He was just testing to see how strong he was. However, the opponent had died from a single blow, so he could not properly assess his strength.

‘The basics of Play start with knowing oneself.’

Jin-Hyeok thought he would be able to accurately examine his power after entering the Haeundae Dungeon.

‘Maybe I should follow what Kihael suggested this time and just do whatever I want in the Dungeon. That seems like the right order.’

Feeling a flicker of unease, Jin-Hyeok unwittingly revealed his true intention. “But... what if the Player Hunters don’t come after me?”

? ? ?

Egan Paul and the Avengers Army’s attempt to clear the Haeundae Dungeon became a big topic of discussion.

[Wow, the Earth Server’s top alliance landing on the Korean Region is so majestic.]


└Did you see the teaser? They came in a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. It was awesome.

└At this rate, the Haeundae Dungeon will be cleared by them, no?

[What are you guys talking about? The top alliance on the Earth Server is the K-Force.]

└K-Force is not an official alliance. First off, Chul-Soo is an unofficial ranker. LOL

└Honestly, isn’t every Player in K-Force other than Chul-Soo overrated?

└Totally agree. Without Chul-Soo, they can’t even compare to the Avengers Army.

In the United States and Europe, the Avengers Army was rated higher than the K-Force. Many argued that apart from the overpowering presence of Chul-Soo, the K-Force was overhyped. Even Chul-Soo himself was often rumored to be a hero manufactured by the media.

The Korean Region Minor Gallery was an online community used by people from all over the universe, equipped with an automatic translation system.

[Honestly, they fuss over Chul-Soo in only Korea, sheesh! Egan even has more subscribers. He was the first on the Earth Server to get a gold button and reach two billion subscribers. LOL]

└Korean Region folks, please wake up!

└In subscriber numbers, total views, number of likes, and everything else, Egan is ahead of Chul-Soo.

└Koreans, keep your national pride in check. It’s embarrassing even to watch, lol.

[If the Avengers Army clears the Haeundae Dungeon this time, it will prove they are the world’s number one, right?]

└I think so, lol.

└Chul-Soo is too scared to even try.

Monitoring the Korean Region Minor Gallery, Wang Yu-Mi smiled.

The editor Kang Chul (ChulSooIsGod), who was learning a lot from her, asked, “Why are you smiling?”

“They are badmouthing our Chul-Soo a lot.”

“Is that... something to be happy about?”

“If someone has this many haters, it means they have even more fans. Fans and haters always coexist. It is like a fate superstars must bear. When there are many haters, fans actually unite more strongly. In the face of a common enemy, they form a powerful force.”

“But... wouldn’t it upset Chul-Soo?”

“Nope! I bet he is happy to be mentioned so much.”

“...I see!” Kang Chul felt like he learned a lot today as well. “Oh, Yu-Mi, have you seen this?”

“I am looking at it right now.” Yu-Mi also adjusted her round glasses and assessed the situation. The Avengers Army, which had entered the Haeundae Dungeon with great anticipation, barely escaped in a miserable state.

“Here. About two hours after they started the Dungeon expedition, the livestream was cut off. They said it would be replaced with recorded footage. It seems they barely escaped after another two hours.”

“They look terrible.”

Only four hours had appeared to have passed outside the Dungeon, but it seemed like the Avengers Army was inside the Dungeon for much longer. The Players looked emaciated and pale as if they had been starving for a long time.

“Egan collapsed as soon as he came out, and four members of the Avengers Army did not make it back.”

This expedition of the Avengers Army was a complete failure.

? ? ?

Jin-Hyeok was a bit surprised.

‘Egan is not usually this reckless. Why did he make such a rash move?’

Jin-Hyeok knew Egan to be more inclined toward safety. Egan’s tendencies seemed to have changed.

‘The grand background music playing as they rode in on a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was impressive.’

That teaser video had created quite a stir. It had already surpassed three hundred million views.

‘And that’s the Egan that I know of.’

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The Avengers Army lined up and dressed in splendid uniforms. Heroes landing in the Korean Region, receiving salutes from the American military, their demeanor solemn. The sea shimmering blue, the sun sparkling, with waves coming in and seagulls fluttering around.

In reality, these were trivial things, but Egan had a knack for packaging them impressively for his viewers. He conducted most of his Dungeon clears in a similar fashion.

‘He usually focuses on Dungeons that have already been explored... and excels at producing spectacular videos while clearing them.’

Egan maximized the visual appeal and deepened the characters’ relationships within the team. His videos felt like movies, and Jin-Hyeok genuinely liked them.

‘Trying to clear an Unexplored Dungeon does not make sense in terms of cost-effectiveness. It is hard to film properly in a completely unknown place. Too many variables make it difficult to maintain a good livestream.’

Jin-Hyeok could not understand why Egan had made such a choice. He knew Egan was not that foolish.

‘Who would be crazy enough to pursue content in an Unexplored Dungeon instead of taking the safe and certain route? I don’t get it.’

Cha Jin-Sol also seemed a bit odd lately. Han Sae-Rin, Seo-Hyo (the Golden Guardian Tree), and Miri (the Rule Breaker) seemed off too. Somehow, it felt like Jin-Hyeok was becoming the only normal one, while the rest were getting stranger.

After checking into the hotel, Jin-Hyeok went up to the room with Kang Eun-Woo.

“Okay. I will be on standby in the next room! So, please call me if you need to go anywhere!” Eun-Woo looked at him with bright, enthusiastic eyes. His passionate demeanor was quite gratifying.

When Jin-Hyeok thought about it, Eun-Woo seemed normal too.

“Oh, by the way... I really like this photo,” Eun-Woo continued. He showed Jin-Hyeok a photo stored on his camera. It seemed to capture the moment when Miri struck the temple of Swampland No.3.

‘Was I smiling this much?’ Jin-Hyeok thought. He looked like a madman, smiling at this moment. During the fight, he had not realized he was smiling so broadly.

“I am going to keep this private, but may I share it with Yu-Mi? I want to brag about the photo that I took. This one is just too beautiful.”


“I hope...” Eun-Woo smiled brightly with deer-like eyes.


“I hope you smash more heads, Chul-Soo. I think your expression is most beautiful when you are smashing your enemies’ heads.” Eun-Woo could not take his eyes off the photo. He seemed completely absorbed in his art.

Miri also chimed in.

-I agree... Master is most beautiful when using me...!

‘... Everyone is so strange.’

After a few hours, Egan came to Jin-Hyeok’s room, saying he had something important to tell Jin-Hyeok after failing to clear the Haeundae Dungeon.


Jin-Hyeok noticed something odd about Egan.

‘Did he lie about his Level?’

It was not just his Level. Other unexpected things came to light.

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