Jeong In-Gyu next to him must have thought the same thing as he nervously glanced behind him where Park Yu-Min sat—but it was pretty obvious from Park Yu-Min's monitor that he hadn't used any hacks or cheats.

But using hacks or whatever wasn't important right now as the events depicted on the monitor became chaotic to the point of being almost indecipherable.
The images on the damned screen were changing and shifting seemingly every second or so.

“U-urgh…” Jeong In-Gyu felt motion sickness after staring at that fast-moving monitor for a few seconds and had to shake his head slowly.
And he was beginning to think that his team was in big trouble now.

Meanwhile, Kang Jin-Ho's hands were trembling nonstop.
“B-but, how?!”

The combined forces of Kang Jin-Ho, Jeong In-Gyu, and Song Yeong-Wuk were being slaughtered without mercy by one man.


While they were all going, “Huh, huh?!” in front of their screens, Park Yu-Min directed his forces to attack Kang Jin-Ho's base and made quick work of conquering it.
Kang Jin-Ho's comrades met the same fate not too long afterward, although their defeat was even swifter.

Kang Jin-Ho and his stupefied eyes shifted over to Park Yu-Min sitting on the other side.
The latter smiled sheepishly without saying anything.

'What the…
What is the meaning of that smile?!’

'Wait, is he being bashful right now?’

'I can still vividly picture your units flooding my screen like vicious demons, yet why do you make a face of someone who had won through sheer luck?!'

Kang Jin-Ho's figure began trembling in rage.
Today was supposed to be the day he would settle his grudge, so why?!

“One more match!”


The second match happened pretty quickly.

Kang Jin-Ho's hands moved twice as fast as before.
In the previous match, he was taking it easy for the sake of not making the match 'too difficult' for his friends, but now that he learned what Park Yu-Min was capable of… There was definitely no time to relax! If he wasn't careful, he might end up suffering yet another humiliating defeat!

'I will not allow that to happen!'

The proverbial flames began shooting out from Kang Jin-Ho's eyes.

Defeat was not permissible.
Whether it was playing games or waging war, starting one meant he must win no matter what—that was Kang Jin-Ho's philosophy and his way of life.

He produced his units as quickly as possible and rushed to Park Yu-Min's base right away.
Since his opponent showed up with such a huge number of units toward the latter half of the last match, Kang Jin-Ho figured that he needed to destroy Park Yu-Min’s base as soon as possible to ensure his victory this time.

Unfortunately, the end result wasn't all that different from the last match.
Kang Jin-Ho's forces trying to invade the enemy base were steadily chipped away by Park Yu-Min's eye-popping control and were eventually slaughtered without too much damage.


And, as expected, the ensuing counter-rush easily made mincemeat out of Kang Jin-Ho's base.
All he could do was just sit there with twitching cheeks and glare at his monitor.


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Those large red letters floating up on the screen ruthlessly stabbed and ripped into Kang Jin-Ho's far-too delicate heart.
He snapped his head over to Park Yu-Min and growled quietly, “Hey, Park Yu-Min.”


“Didn't you say you only play a little bit of this game?”

“O-oh. Yeah, I just play casually every now and then, so, like…”

“Oho? In that case, what does that make us, then?” Kang Jin-Ho's figure began trembling from the rage he could barely contain.
“Are we a bunch of trash?”

“N-no, of course not…
It's, uh, it's just that I got lucky.” Park Yu-Min replied sheepishly. The way he tried to be considerate only worsened Kang Jin-Ho's sorrow, though.

Jeong In-Gyu and the others began crowding near Park Yu-Min, not realizing that Kang Jin-Ho was in severe pain.

“Holy cow, Yu-Min! You were really great!”

“E-eh? Well, uh…
I was just…”

“I thought Jin-Ho was good at this game, but now that I saw you in action, he's just a public lobby noob, isn't he?”

Kang Jin-Ho's heart ached even more.
And to make it worse…

“Hey, Yu-Min? Do you think you can win against Jin-Ho using only the mouse?”

Kang Jin-Ho sorrowfully glared at the ceiling.
Just what was the point of all the time he spent wrestling against the computer if his revenge would end just like this?!

His so-called friends continued to praise Park Yu-Min.
“With your skill level, Yu-Min, I think you can make it as a pro gamer.”

Kang Jin-Ho wordlessly walked over to Park Yu-Min's seat, snatched the latter's mouse away, and clicked on Park Yu-Min's profile icon.
The rating was…

Kang Jin-Ho's eyes nearly popped out at that.
“T-two thousand…?”

Even Jeong In-Gyu cried out in shock.
“What the hell?! 2,100?! H-hey, that really is on the level of a pro!”

“Holy sh*t, Yu-Min! You were this good?!”

Kang Jin-Ho's hand gripping the mouse trembled hard.
Two weeks of intense practice with this game had gotten him a rating of 1,700.
Considering that the rating would get progressively harder to improve the higher it was, the difference between Park Yu-Min and Kang Jin-Ho was quite literally like the difference between heaven and earth.

Kang Jin-Ho began stuttering, “Y-y-you are…
pretty good at this game.”

Jeong In-Gyu watching this spectacle quietly whispered into Lee Tae-Ho's ear, “I think Jin-Ho's really pissed off?”

He might collapse from shock if we're not careful.”

The stiff-faced Kang Jin-Ho grabbed Park Yu-Min's shoulder and spoke in a resolute tone of voice, “Let's have another match.”

“Huh? Another one?”

“Just the two of us this time.”

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“One on one? Okay, sure.
Got it.” Park Yu-Min nodded and opened another lobby.
“What about the map?”

“Choose whatever you want.” Kang Jin-Ho returned to his seat and grabbed his mouse.
His teeth were clenched hard right now.
Even if their ratings differed so much, one still couldn't predict the outcome of a match.

Kang Jin-Ho simply didn't have enough time to raise his rating, that was all. Yes! Something like a measly rating would naturally climb higher the longer one played this dumb game, would it not?!

“Huh? Are you two seriously gonna have a rematch?” Lee Tae-Ho asked.

“That's right.”

“Urgh. We have to go first, though.
We can't stay here for long, you see.”

“Okay, fine.
I'll see you tomorrow, then,” Kang Jin-Ho replied without looking away from his screen.

“Well, uh, you gotta give it up first, though.”

Only then did Kang Jin-Ho tear his eyes away from the screen.
“Give what up?”

Lee Tae-Ho smiled awkwardly.
“Money, of course.”


“The PC Room fees, ice cream, the soda, and ramens, too… Hah… How much are they in total, anyway?”

Kang Jin-Ho's trembling hand slowly took out his wallet.
The money his parents sweated blood and sacrificed sleep to earn…
was leaking out like this.
This money was no mere 'money,’ yet now…!

After handing over the money to Lee Tae-Ho, Kang Jin-Ho shot an incendiary glare at Park Yu-Min.
This was all that punk's fault!

“N-ng?!” Park Yu-Min flinched, confused.

Kang Jin-Ho roared, “Let's begin!”


“If I think you're going easy on me, I'm going to murder you.”

“You don't have to worry about that.”

Kang Jin-Ho settled down on his seat again and grabbed his mouse.

Just one match!

He needed to win just one, and that was it!

Kang Jin-Ho knew that the gap in their skills was too big.
But his wrecked pride demanded at least one victory for it to stand back up again.
That was why he gritted his teeth and madly moved his hands.

Jeong In-Gyu looked on at his friend's struggle with pity.

“…Don't give up, my friend.”

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