ESP: Chapter 112 – Black Tree (2)

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Chapter 112 – Black Tree (2)

 

5.

Whistling.

His story started right after he parted ways with Hyrkan.

– I did what I said I would do.  I stayed behind the Baheim tribe’s town, and I did every Quest available to me.

The Baheim tribe had a significant number of Elven NPCs, so Whistling had been very busy doing the Quests.

At first, Whistling had done much lower level Quests compared to his current level.  It didn’t move the needle in increasing his level or profit. However, he reached a point where he was receiving Quests that was great help to his Level Up.

At the same time, he was able to gain numerous Titles. This was the reward for digging a deep well.  He had received a good amount of rewards.

– I was somehow able to earn the Title ‘Baheim Tribe’s Tree’.  When I earned the Title, the other Elven tribes also asked for my help.

Whistling had obtained one of the ultimate Titles that increases All Stats by 3%..  

When he received the Baheim Tribe’s Tree Title, Whistling started being treated like a very competent problem solver.  He provided solutions to the Elven Tribe’s problems. This resulted in other Elven Tribes asking Whistling for help.  This was the fantasy adventure he had pined for, so he didn’t turn down any requests sent his way.

– That is when I received a request from the Tehkee Tribe. I earned the Curse of the Black Tree Quest.  

Currently, the Tehkee Tribe had come to Whistling, they wanted him to take care of the Black Tree’s Curse.  However, he was unable to carry it out.

The Quest itself wasn’t some insanely hard puzzle.  It didn’t require endless grind either.

– I’ve already found out what the Black Tree’s Curse is, and I’ve also found out the location of the Black Tree.  It hadn’t been too hard to find it.

On the other hand, the Quest had come to a full stop at carrying out the last part of the Quest.

– The problem is I can’t catch the Black Tree by myself.  I tried it just in case, but I couldn’t come up with an answer.

If he wanted to  put a period to the Quest, he needed help.  Moreover, he needed someone who could carry out a Boss Monster Raid.

– Currently, I’m at Puree Forest where the Tehkee Tribe is located at.

When he heard those words, Hyrkan was able to accurately assess the situation in his mind.

“The Puree Forest is in the Big Smile guild’s territory.  So that’s why you contacted me.”

The Puree Forest was a level 130 hunting ground, and it had been discovered first by the Big Smiles guild.  Moreover, the Big Smiles guild built a village at the entrance of the Puree Forest.  Naturally, everyone came to accept that the Puree Forest was under the territory of the Big Smiles guild.

Of course, it was Big Smiles’ territory, but it wasn’t as if they acted like tyrants.  The Puree Forest wasn’t worth that much to act that way there. Whistling had been soloing inside the Puree Forest, but no one from the Big Smiles bothered him.

Soloing was ok, but it would be a problem if a different guild operated within the forest.

In addition, the only place Whistling could ask for immediate help was the Fighters guild.  However, they were an Underfoot guild, and they were rumored to be gunning for Big Smile’s position in the 30 great guilds. Big Smiles wouldn’t welcome it if the Fighters Guild appeared in their territory.  On the other hand, the Fighters guild had no reason why they should take that the risk to help Whistling.  Whistling was a regular guild member only in name.  Moreover, his fame had diminished recently, so they didn’t show much interest or love towards Whistling.

– My personal connections doesn’t reach that far, so you are the only one I could request for help.

This was the reason why Whistling had contacted Hyrkan.

‘It couldn’t have been easy for him.’

After hearing the whole story, Hyrkan started thinking hard on it.

There were two reasons that put him in a bad mood.  The first reason was the Big Smiles guild.

‘I don’t know what those bastards are thinking.’

He definitely had to resolve his unknown issue with the Big Smiles. He wasn’t too happy about boldly going into their territory by himself.

‘Moreover, Black Tree isn’t easy to catch.’

The second reason was the difficulty level of the Black Tree.  Black Tree was a really valuable monster. It was very difficult to catch it.

‘The Black Sap is too troublesome.’

Black Tree looked like a normal tree on the outside.  It wasn’t black at all in its appearance.  However, it was named the Black Tree, because it let out a Black Sap when it was injured.

When one touched the Black Sap, it ate away at one’s HP.  However, the Black Sap was neither a poison nor a magic.  He would have preferred it if it had been a poison.  In that case, he could have used an antidote magic or he could have easily taken care of the situation by wearing an Item Setting that was highly resistant against poison.  However, the Black Sap ignored any physical barrier and magic as it gave damage.

It wasn’t as if the damage was weak.  One had to have Stamina akin to a Tanker or one’s HP would drop in an instant like a bad stock.

On top of all of that, the Black Tree’s Bark boasted a very high defense against physical and magical attacks.

The raid method was to attack the knotholes.  The knothole had a very low defense, so one had to focus on taking off the Bark covering the knothole.  Then all of one’s attack had to be directed towards that single location.

This was obvious, but the Black Sap appeared the moment one stabbed the knothole.  One had to widen the hole while the sap was expelled.  It was a very tricky job.     

If a Tanker wasn’t familiar with Armor Breaking than a Striker had to take a big risk in attempting the Armor Break.  It was a very troublesome job.

Of course, Warlord was a game, and there were multiple ways to Raid a Boss monster.

‘If I had the Circlet of Purification, this won’t even be considered work.’

Circlet of Purification!

The Item was the master key to the Black Tree raid.  The Circlet of Purification had the Option of ‘Immunity from all Negative Effect’.  The Black Sap would be acknowledged as something that would cause a negative effect.

Of course, the Circlet of Purification wasn’t easily obtainable.  It was almost impossible.

‘Shit. I went through so much hardship that time.  Shouldn’t it have at least given the Item to me as a courtesy?’

After Hyrkan had finished the Corrupted Elf Quest, it was required of him to return the Circlet of Purification. He had held out hope for the Item, but the Chieftain of the Baheim Tribe didn’t give the Circlet of Purification nor a useful Skill Book to him.

On a side note, the Ingredient Coins and Gems from the Black Tree could be used to make Rare Rank Items.  When one wore the 5 parts Black Tree set, the Option of ‘Black Sap’ was activated. When the defensive gear was damaged, the armor would let out the Black Sap.  It would eat away at the opponent’s HP if the Black Sap makes direct contact. .

It wasn’t as good as the Greestone Imoogi set, but it was still a great Option.

On top of that, the Black Tree was a large monster.  A lot of Ingredient coins was given when the Black Tree was caught, and there was a large probability of receiving the Ingredient gems.

A single Black Tree allowed one to be able to form 3 to 4 parts to the whole set.  If one hits the jackpot, one would be able to create more than that.

“Let me ask you one thing”

– You can ask as many as you like.

“What if I do catch the monster called the Black Tree?  What’s my cut?”

– If you can catch it, you can have everything. I won’t be able to catch it anyways without your help, Hahoe Mask.

‘His words is making this decision much harder.’

The risk was large, but the return was large too.  Of course, he was conflicted.

It was as if Whistling had read Hyrkan’s heart.

– If you want it, I can give you this Quest’s reward.

Whistling landed a solid blow on Hyrkan’s shaking heart.  Hyrkan fired back with a question.

“What’s the reward?”

– It says it’ll give me a pouch.

“Pouch? What kind of pouch?”

– I have no idea.  However, Chieftain Drah did say that it will help me dispel the Black Tree’s Curse.  If you can dispel the Black Tree’s Curse, you can have this pouch.

Hyrkan’s brain brain started to spin quickly.

“Drah? Do you mean the Chieftain of the Baheim tribe?”

– That’s correct.

“Do you perhaps know what the pouch looks like?”

– It is a very plain pouch. There isn’t anything special characteristics I can describe to you.

“What’s in it?”

– There’s some unknown silver liquid in there.  I don’t know how to use it, so I’m just keeping it in there.

As Hyrkan’s brain spun quickly, he gave a very quick answer.

“You stay right there! I’ll immediately ride my Golem over there, and I’ll blast the Black Tree’s head away!”

 

6.

A small village had been built at the entrance of the Puree Forest. There weren’t even buildings built within the wooden barricade.  Users were the only ones within the enclosement.  It was so shabby that it was hard to call it a village.

Amongst the run down place, the Big Smiles’ guild members were present.

They were basically guards dispatched to look out for potential trouble.  They were the lookouts.

Since they were actual Users being chosen to be a look out in a game, they felt crappy.  They were basically wasting their time here.  Time was EXP and EXP was Level.  There was nothing that felt worse in Warlord than wasting one’s time.

“Did you see the newest video?  It’s the Red Bulls Raid video.”

“I saw it. It was awesome.”

“What is up with our guild in comparison to that guild? I should have gone for Red Bulls instead of Big Smiles.”

Of course, these were the words that came out of the dissatisfied guard.

“Hey.  Watch your mouth.”

“Who cares? No one here will tattle on us, and it isn’t as if I’m saying anything wrong.”

“Still, you should be careful.”

“You worry too much.  Anyways, do you really think the Hahoe Mask is Red Bulls’ hidden ace?”

Even a king’s pumpkin seed was peeled when no one was looking.  However, at his comrade’s warning, he discreetly changed the subject. His partner immediately took up the thread of the conversation.

“If it’s true, it’s big news.  If the Hahoe Mask was added to the Red Bulls’ 1st Raid team, they’ll be able to take down all the monsters that’s been discovered.  That’s the truth.”

“The Hahoe Mask is really awesome.  He’s doing everything by himself. He doesn’t even need to enter into a guild.”

“It’s possible for him to do that, because he has money.  I heard a rumor that said his family is incredibly rich.  He is hiding his face, because he is the son of a mega millionaire.  People will probably recognize his appearance.”

“As expected, money is everything. If I was the son of a wealthy person, I would put pressure on the Big Smiles with money to gain an officer’s seat in the guild.  Then I would be able to do whatever I want to do inside the game.”

“I’m jealous.  The Hahoe Mask could buy anything he wants to eat, and he purchases whatever he wants inside the game.”

It happened at that moment…

“Excuse me.”

The User spoke to notify the two of his presence. The two guards, who had been carrying on their conversation, tensed up a little bit.  They looked at the approaching User in a guarded manner.  It wouldn’t be good for them if someone heard the content of their conversation.  It was a justified response.

However, their wariness was squashed when they saw the other User’s face.

‘What the hell? He looks like a pushover.’

‘He has a really soft face.’

The User that appeared possessed a face that was very relaxed and soft.

“What is it?”

The Big Smiles’ guild members immediately relaxed, and they spoke as if they were talking to someone inferior to them.  There was no indication of suspicion in their manners.

“I’m planning on hunting inside the Puree Forest.  Do I have to make a reservation or wait for my turn?”

There was nothing suspicious to his questions. Even a large hunting ground had prime spots, and these prime spots were popular.

“The normal hunting region has a designated hunting time.  It isn’t crowded enough where you would have to wait in line.”

The guard gave an immediate answer.

“Are the Big Smiles guild perhaps getting ready for a large scale hunt?”

This question was a bit more sensitive in nature.

“Why do you want to know that?”

In truth, the Big Smiles guild weren’t occupying the Puree Forest for the profit it generated. This place was kept for leveling up. The guild members of the Big Smiles would come here for a smooth hunt.

“Of course, I’m trying to avoid getting in the way of the Big Smiles guild’s business.”

From a normal User’s perspective, it would be best if one’s activities didn’t intersect with the Big Smiles guild.  This was why one had to plan with the traffic in mind.

However, guild members of the Big Smiles wasn’t obligated to tell everyone of their schedule.

“We are having a group hunt in 3 hours.  You should plan accordingly to get out of our way.”

If the User didn’t have such a disarming face, the guard would have never answered that question.

“In three hours…… Thank you.”

The User gave his farewell, and he disappeared.  The two guards continued their conversation immediately.

“Why’d you tell him about what we are going to do?”

“Does it matter in the end?  At a glance, he looks like someone afraid of unwittingly offending our guild.  We have to help the less fortunate.”

“He looked and acted like a pushover. I’ll be really frustrated if a party member like him is in my group.”

“He looks like a burden.”

They laughed as they spoke.  It didn’t take long for them to forget about the User.

 

7.

“It’s been awhile.”

Whistling Pitbull greeted Hyrkan, who appeared with his Hahoe Mask on.  However, Hyrkan didn’t return the greeting.

“Let’s cut the long chatter.  We are moving immediately.  The members of the Big Smiles are doing a large scale hunt in three hours.”

Hyrkan wanted an all-out attack at once.

Whistling asked in surprise at Hyrkan’s words.

“Three hours? How did you find out about it?”

“I asked the question to the Big Smiles’ guild members residing in the village.  They told me pretty readily.”

“That’s fascinating.  I tried to ask them a question, but they became guarded at just my greeting.  They looked as if they were going to fight me.”

Whistling tilted his head in puzzlement, since he didn’t know why they had responded that way to him.  Hyrkan didn’t know whether he should laugh or cry. Hyrkan knew better than anyone else why the members of the Big Smiles guild had told them about their planned activities.

This was why he decided to bury that particular topic.

“That’s enough talking.  Three hours isn’t a lot of time.  Is the Black Tree located far from here?”

“With our speed, it should take us a little bit over an hour.”

If possible, Hyrkan wanted to wrap up the hunt in 3 hours then leave the Puree Forest.  Nothing positive would come from meeting the Big Smiles guild.

“It’ll be very close.”

Whistling’s eyes narrowed when he heard Hyrkan mumbling to himself.

“Do you have some enmity with the Big Smiles guild?”

“Huh?”

Hyrkan showed a slightly surprised reaction.

“No. Not really.”

Then he immediately changed his expression as he spoke his denial.

“What made you think that?”

Whistling shook his head slightly at Hyrkan’s response.

“It’s nothing.  It seems I spoke something unnecessary.  Anyways, is the Item within this pouch really that amazing?”

Whistling wanted to change the mood, so he took out the pouch he received from Chieftain Drah.  As intended, Hyrkan’s expression changed immediately when Whistling pulled out the pouch.  When Whistling handed him the pouch, Hyrkan’s expression turned covetous for a brief moment to an absurd degree.  Fortunately, the Hahoe Mask hid his expression.

However, his covetous expression turned into anger.

‘I’m not part of the Baheim tribe, but I toiled to bring peace to this continent.  However, they didn’t give the reward to me.  Instead, they gave the Circlet of Purification to someone, who just carried out some Quests for the Tribe? That damn Baheim Tribe.’

His stomach ached from just thinking about it.  He had worked as much as anyone else, yet someone else got the golden prize for reward.  He was just given more work to do.  Of course, it wouldn’t feel great for him.

This was why Hykran confirmed it once again with Whistling.

“You said all the Coins and Quest reward from the Black Tree hunt is all mine?  Are you sure?”

At those words, Whistling vigorously nodded his head.  Whistling treated this as a given, and this made Hyrkan frown.  He asked another question.

“It is a bit awkward for me to say this, but are you sure this is fine?  You won’t get anything.”

Was he worried about someone else?  

These kinds of words was the hardest for Hyrkan to push past his mouth.

However, Whistling spoke in a very composed manner at Hyrkan’s words.

“The Black Tree’s Curse Quest has a time limit.  If I don’t catch the Black Tree within the time limit, the Tehkee tribe will be wiped out from this world.  I want to stop that from happening.  I don’t care about the reward.”

Hyrkan didn’t say anything when he heard those words.  He didn’t laugh bitterly or awkwardly.  He didn’t even furrow his eyebrows.  He tried hard to suppress any expression from forming on his face.  If he didn’t, Hyrkan would somehow feel as if he himself was very lame.
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20 thoughts on “ESP: Chapter 112 – Black Tree (2)” - NO SPOILERS and NO CURSING

    1. nah he doesnt seem like a guy that cares about that shit, hes made uneven trades with him in the past. He plays the game to enjoy it, he just happens to be very skilled as well. His goal isnt to be the best or strongest but to just have fun and do what he wants so he might go “o shit” when he finds out but it will just he like a fleeting moment.

  1. I find the difference between how people treat Hyrkan without his mask and how they treat him with his Hahoe mask amusing.
    On one hand we have: “Waah, this guy’s face just screams pushover.”
    And on the other we have: “Oh god, not him. Anything but him. I’d prefer facing a raid boss on my own over this.”

    1. it would probably take a while. 1 hunt would yield 3-4 pieces out of a 5 piece set, you might get all the pieces if you’re lucky enough, but then it would take a minimum of i think 24 hours for the boss to respawn. so for a single set yeah no problem, but a full set for 20-30 skeletons at two days each while not impossible (since he has been shown to do that much grinding already) don’t forget this is enemy territory and spending that much time in an area controlled by someone else is bound to draw attention even if its not hostile i doubt he would be able to do so in peace.

  2. Even if Hyrkan is somewhat shameless, it’s not like he’ll lose out cultivating a good relationship with a user soon to be much stronger than him. So his benevolence works out.

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