ESP: Chapter 156 – Heard Fortress (1)

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Chapter 156 – Heard Fortress (1)

 

1.

Treasure Hunt.

If Hyrkan wanted to give the shortest summary of the Ruined Kingdom episode, Hyrkan wouldn’t hesitate to call it a treasure hunt.

All the tasks the Users had to do in the Ruined Kingdom episode fell into the purview of finding treasures.

There were treasures hidden.  The Users had to find the clues to find these treasure.  When one found the clues, one had to go to where the treasures were located at.  Moreover, as one heads towards the location, monsters crowded the roads to interfere with the treasure hunt.

In this episode, Warlord used a method that a lot of games used.  Warlord had added a setting that made this episode more like a traditional game.

The Ruined Kingdom was located in the Black Continent, and the User would gain a Quest in this land.  When the User starts heading towards the destination, the game was set to increase the number of monsters on the road!  It increased the overall number, and it also increased the regen speed.  This in turn increased the number of monsters regenerating.

‘They didn’t change this setting at all.’

Hyrkan was able to confirm his suspicion when he saw the 3 Voodoo Lizardmen block his path.  They had summoned thirty Zombie monsters.

‘It is exactly 1.5 times more.’

After he entered the Black Continent, he had faced numerous Voodoo Lizardmen in succession.  During that period of time, most of the Voodoo Lizardmen operated on their own.  At most, they worked as a duo.  Moreover, each Voodoo Lizardmen were able to summon up to 7 Zombies.

However, three Voodoo Lizardmen had appeared right now, and each of them had summoned 10 Zombies each.

‘This game is so shitty sometimes.’

The content of the Ruined Kingdom was entirely different from the past, but the setting of the game was identical to the past.  He let out a bitter laugh, and the sound of him grinding his teeth could be heard between his laugh.

However, he was able put aside his feelings for the battle.  Hyrkan was able to unhesitatingly immerse himself in battle.  He did it in a very natural, proficient, and calm manner.

Ddahk ddahk!

Hyrkan had already summoned two Skeleton Knights, and he gave the order for battle. The Skeleton Knights were facing overwhelming number of foes, but they didn’t hesitate.  They threw their bodies towards the 30 Zombies.

Shweeeek!

The Skeleton Knights swung their swords.   A sharp sound emanated as each sword stroke severed various parts of the Zombies.

Chul-puh-duhk!

The severed parts sloughed off like mud.  Moreover, the stumps were quickly regenerating the missing part.

Ooh-uh-uh!

The Zombies shuffled forward as they let out a cry.  It was hard to discern if they were crying or screaming.

The Voodoo Lizardmen kept shaking their staffs as they danced.  It was as if they were cheering on the Zombies.

Ggi-ee! Ggi-ee!

Sometimes they even let out a weird cry as they looked at the sky.

Hyrkan threw Skeleton Fragments towards them.

Too-toohk!

The Skeleton Fragment fell near the feet of the Voodoo Lizardmen, and it quickly gained its form.  He hadn’t planned this out, but the Skeleton Warrior ironically had the shape of a Lizardman.  

It was made from a level 180 Fanged Lizardman’s bones as ingredients.  These monsters were famous for their sharp canines.

The Fanged Lizardman had a unique battle style where it bit its enemy with its sharp canines.

When it took form, it immediately bit the Voodoo Lizardman in front of it.

Kieehhhk!

When the Voodoo Lizardman let out a scream in fright, the Zombies turned towards their owner.

Naturally, the Skeleton Knights were shown the backs of the Zombies.

‘Would you look at this?’

The Zombies had ignored the Skeleton Knights, and the Skeleton Knights started chopping off their heads as penalty for their action.

Puh-uhk!

The Skeleton Knights and Hyrkan were like walking guillotines.  They unhesitatingly unleashed violence.

The most striking part was that Hyrkan’s sword strike didn’t make any sounds.

Poo-hwaht!

The Skeleton Knights let out a sound that could be easily discerned as a sound a sword makes.

Soo-oohk!

Hyrkan’s sword sounded like a shaving blade cutting facial hair.

There was no cry.  

This meant the sword wasn’t the Crying Sword.

So what was identity of the sword in his hands?

It was the Deposed Prince’s Sword!

Hyrkan was using the sword that he had previously equipped on the Death Knight.

It’s effectiveness was a given.

Hyrkan moved forward as he severed the necks of the Zombies.  When the Zombie’s head fell to the ground, he crushed it as if he was stepping on rotten tomatoes.

Of course, the Zombies didn’t just die from such an attack.

They were called Zombies, because they were Undead.

Hyrkan was just buying time.

He was buying time, so his Skeleton Warriors could take down the Voodoo Lizardmen without being harassed by the Zombies.

Ggieh!  Ggieehhh!

While the owner of the Skeletons and the Skeleton Knights displayed their prowess, the Skeleton Warriors loyally performed their duty..  The sudden cry and scream from the Voodoo Lizardmen was like a live update on how the Skeleton Warriors were faring against them.

The Skeleton Warriors finished their battle around the 3 minute mark.  They answered their owner’s trust with a huge gift.

[You level has increased.]

Level Up!

Hyrkan was now level 207.  However, at that moment, he wasn’t feeling happy about his Level Up.  Regret was the first emotion he felt.  He should have used up all his magical energy by summoning a Skeleton Warrior or the Golem before he leveled up.

‘I’m overflowing with money, but I’m not able to spend it anywhere right now.  Jeez.’

Currently, his account was overflowing with money, but he still had a lot of consumable in his possession.  If he went out and bought more, it would be a waste of money.   He was a little bit irritated that he still lived on a fiscally conservative budget.  He couldn’t bring himself to waste his Items on luxury items.

‘In the past, I saw Rich Lich’s interview.  He said even if he had a lot of money, there wasn’t much he wanted to spend it on.  I wanted to punch him in the face when he said it.  However, now I am in his position.’

Hyrkan was definitely feeling the pressure being felt by the numerous Users, who had stepped onto the Black Continent.

Currently, the biggest problem tormenting the User on the Black Continent was the consumable Items.  It was too hard to obtain them.

‘The 30 great guilds are always the problem.  This is especially true for Big Smiles and V&V…  If I catch them, I’ll….’

In the past, there had been several Users, who had taken advantage of the high market price.  They acted as mules as they moved consumable Items through the Voodook’s tunnel.  This was why Users had been able to trade Items near the summit of the Urugal mountain.  It had been expensive, but at the very least, they had the option to purchase these Items.

However, five guilds were trying to push through the Voodook’s Tunnel right now, and they were causing an enormous amount of traffic.  The possibility of trading with these enterprising Users were gone now.

He had been fully ready when he came here, but he never expected such a development.  This was why hate was burning inside him towards the source of the traffic.

His loss didn’t just end there.

Hyrkan let out a sigh as he dismantled the corpses of the Voodoo Lizardmen, which had been defeated by the Skeleton Warriors.

He dismantled the scaled corpse, and he found a Gem Ingredient from one of the melting body.  He carefully put the Item into the pouch where he stored the recovery Items.

The Gem Ingredient that came out of the Voodoo Lizardman could be used to produce an Item.  Basically, there were two types of Gem.  One could be used to repair Items, and the other could  be used to make recovery Items.  If one chewed on an Ingredient that was used to make a recovery Item, one could still receive some recovery effect.

Of course, no User would use it in such a manner.  It was like finding truffles in the mountain.  It was akin to eating these truffles, because one was hungry.

‘I can’t belive I have to eat this.’

The Voodoo Lizardman’s Gem Ingredients were used to make level 200 Rare Rank defesnive Items.  Currently, a level 200 Rare Item with decent Option were trade for around 1000 gold.

He had to feed on such Item Ingredients to recover his magical energy.

‘·····I have to quickly find the Heard Fortress.  I have to progress in the Quest to make that region into a foothold.’

This hurt him as much as losing to a monster.

‘If not, I might die from an upset stomach.  Eventhough I have a lot of money, I can’t keep doing this with a sound mind.

Of course, this hardship wasn’t indefinite.

He wasn’t sure about it, but in his memories, he remembered the Fortress turned in a foothold when one finished the Quest.  When the Heard Fortress becomes a foothold, the NPC would return.  There would be cubicles where he’ll be able to make Items.

It was similar to what had happened at the Cursed Castle.

This would also be the most important part of the Ruined Kingdom episode.

The first one to forge the road would have a hard time, but the benefit given to the person, who paved the first road was significant.  It would be equal to the amount of hardship one faced.

In other words, he had to avoid being in 2nd place.  The 2nd place User wouldn’t get anything.  The only thing waiting for the 2nd place User was a heartburn.

Hyrkan raised his head, and he put the Wooden Conch, which he had found in the Ruin, to his ear.

– To the east.  To the east….

Hyrkan turned his head towards the east when he heard the announcement from the Wooden Conch.

Koo-uh-uh-uh!

From beyond his eyesight, an unknown monster roared as it called out towards Hyrkan.

‘If I get a windfall of Items, I’ll spend my money in a crazy way.’

 

2.

They didn’t run into each other by luck.  It was fate.

“It’s the Hahoe Mask!”

When the Big Smiles guild received the Heard Fortress Quest, they decided to proceed with the Quest in a safe manner.  They created an exploration party, and Apollo was made the leader of this party.

Of course, Apollo wanted to look out for his own safety.  So he picked out an advance group from within the exploration group, and he sent them ahead.

He picked 7 Users for the advance group.  There were 4 Strikers, 2 Priest and a Magician in the party.  They started investigating the direction pointed out by the Wooden Conch they found at a Ruin.

When they heard the sound of battle between a User and a monster, they naturally headed towards the sound.  Both the monsters and Users had to be investigated.

Currently, there weren’t that many groups heading towards the Heard Fortress.  The fact that they met Hyrkan was intended by god.

“Run!”

When the advance group discovered the Hahoe Mask, they immediately ran away.  Hyrkan saw the group of people run away as soon as they saw him.  When he felt their eyes on him, Hyrkan immediately gave up on the monster he had been fighting.  He immediately became a pursuer.

‘Where are they from?’

Hyrkan didn’t immediately know the identity of these Users.

However, they had run away as soon as they saw Hyrkan.  He was sure they didn’t hold any good intentions towards him.

Moreover, if they were able to get here, they weren’t mediocre Users.  If he let them go, they might aim their swords at him next time they met.  They were potential enemies.

‘The only way I’ll live is to kill all these bastards.’

At that moment, Hyrkan came to a conclusion that he had to move in a desperate manner.

Currently, the 5 guilds including the V&V guild and Big Smiles guild were making an enormous mess at the Voodook’s Tunnel.  He was well aware of the fact that they were sending a massive amount of Users to the other side of the Urugal mountain range.  This was a main topic of discussion on websites that catered to contents from Warlord.

He could guess what these 5 guilds were aiming for.  They weren’t sacrificing guild members, so the Users that came later would have an easier time.

They planned on showing the tyranny that could be conducted by the large guilds.  It was a level of tyranny that was unimaginable to a normal User!

However, Hyrkan had faced the tyranny from the large guilds before.  He received the punishment from facing up to such tyranny.  He knew well the despair and dirty feeling that came with it.

His preparations were all done for this day.

‘I’m glad I invested a lot of money in this.’

This was something he had prepared for Users, who would run away from Hyrkan.  It was his secret weapon.  It was meant to be used to whittle away his enemies.  

Hyrkan took out Skeleton Fragments from the Skeleton Fragment Pouch hanging off of his waist.

The four Skeleton Warriors that showed up were small in stature.  It was the Mini Ogre Skeleton Warriors.

These weren’t the normal ones.  These 4 were wearing level 170 Unique Rank defensive set.  They wore the Forest Pursuer set.

The set Item could only be made by catching the Chameleon Jackal, and this monster was only accessible through Quests related to the Elven tribes.  Currently, there were only a few amount of these sets in circulation.  The Movement Speed option was greater than any other Unique rank set Items.

At one point, a single set was traded for 30 thousand gold.  In recent days, if one wanted to obtain the set in a swift manner, one had to give up 10 thousand gold for it.

On top of it all, Mini Ogres were geniuses at pursuing foes.  Their small bodies contained an explosive power, and even a seasoned Striker couldn’t shake off their pursuit. No Users attempted a pursuit battle against the Mini Ogres.

The finishing touch was the Madness Helm.

These expensive pursuers were created solely for chasing down targets.  The horned Mini Ogre Skeleton Warriors were able to close the significant gap between its preys in an instant.

In the end, it was inevitable that the slow footed Priest became the sacrificial lamb.  

The attack of Mini Ogre Skeleton Warrior wasn’t aimed at the chest.  It was inevitably aimed towards the knees and thighs.  The Priest fell to the ground from a single blow.

“Ooh-ah-ah!”

The Priest’s world spun round and round.  He reflexively let out a scream.  The scream ended only after the priest fell face down on the ground.  The priest raised his head from the ground.

‘Aigo. My head….’

It seemed the Mini Ogre Skeleton Warriors had already moved past him.  He couldn’t see any of them in his surrounding.

‘Huh?  I don’t see those shorties.  Did they go somewhere else?’

The Priest looked around his surrounding, and he tried to get off from the ground.

Poo-oohk!

However, when he was trying to get up, a sword pierced through his back to come out of the his chest.  He didn’t even need to turn around at look.  He let out a shout of frustration when he saw the tip of the sword.

“Shit!”

The Priest’s shout didn’t last long.  Hyrkan, who was the owner of the sword, tripped the Pirest.  The Priest face once again planted itself on the ground.  Hyrkan put a foot into the back of the Pirest, and he pulled out his sword.

Then he stabbed with his sword again.

“Huhk!”

A surprised filled word came out of the Priest’s mouth.

Of course, this sound wasn’t emitted, because he was in pain.  There was no pain in this game.  Basically, it felt as if someone was poking him in the back with a finger.  The level of pain he was experiencing shouldn’t have made him afraid.   If he would have surprised from being stabbed, he would have been surprised long before this.

So why was he surprised?

The reason….

“Isn’t the damage it causes fantastic?”

The words came out of Hyrkan’s mouth, and instead of answering, the Priest’s body shook.

It had been a single light stab, yet the amount of HP he lost was beyond imagination.  This was the reason why the Priest was terrified.

Dethroned Prince’s Sword.

His reaction was befitting the strongest weapon in Warlord right now.

Poohk poohk!

Hyrkan asked a question as he kept stabbing the Priest with his weapon.

“Which guild are you affiliated with?”

The Priest didn’t answer him.  Instead of answering his question, the Priest was mumbling to himself.

“We encountered the Hahoe Mask, and I was caugh…….”

Hyrkan stepped on the Priest’s head.  His mouth was pushed into the ground, so he couldn’t speak.

Hyrkan didn’t have any more business with this User, so he kept stabbing at the Priest’s body.  One of the Mini Ogre Skeleton Warriors, who had wandered a bit away came back to help Hyrkan stab at the Priest’s body.

While he was taking care of the Priest, he felt the consumption of his magical energy.

‘They are worth their expensive price.  They’ve already caught up.’

It was proof that the Mini Ogre Skeleton Warriors had started their battle with other Users.

After he made sure the Priest was dead, Hyrkan flipped over the body.  The Priest was wearing a white priest robe, but it was soiled by the dirt now.  When he looked at the left corner of the Priest’s chest, Hyrkan saw a symbol.

It was a circle, and there were two dots and a line within it.

The fresh smile was the symbol of the Big Smiles guild!

‘Big Smiles.’

When Hyrkan confirmed the Priest’s guild affiliation, he turned his head away.  He didn’t even bother taking his opponent’s watch.

Hyrkan only thought about how he’ll get rid of his enemies.

 

3.

– We encountered the Hahoe Mask, and I was caugh······.

– We are fighting with the Hahoe Mask right now, and it seems we are going to die….

– I’m sorry.  We were taken down by the Hahoe Mask.

When he received the report from this advance party, Apollo unconsciously let out a shout.

“It’s the Hahoe Mask again?”

Apollo unconsciously spat out those words, and the surprised Users around him turned to look at him at the same time.  Apollo frowned when he felt their gazes.  In many ways, he wasn’t in a good mood.

‘Why is this bastard keep blocking my way?’

Apollo shut his mouth tight.  He was irritated.

That was it.  Apollo only got irritated.  Unlike that time at the Frozen Land….   He didn’t become drunk on his anger.

‘Shit.’

He didn’t go rogue this time.  He didn’t give any orders. His temperament hadn’t changed, but he was intelligent enough not to repeat a mistake.

“That fucking bastard.”

“What should we do?  If we want to catch the Hahoe Mask…”

“Catch him?  Do you think we can catch him just because we want to?”

Apollo shouted at his subordinate.   He planned on immediately contacting Brooks.  At this point, he needed the judgement and permission from the highest man in power.  He couldn’t do this on his own.

At that moment…

‘No.’

Apollo suddenly had a thought.

He knew who held the highest authority and true power in the Big Smiles guild.  

Apollo changed the person he was going to contact when he had this thought.

‘It’ll be faster if I contact Sinclair.’

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13 thoughts on “ESP: Chapter 156 – Heard Fortress (1)” - NO SPOILERS and NO CURSING

    1. I think that is what he is counting on. He knows that if he told Brooks about it then he would have to pull out. However, if he told Sinclair about it knowing about his grudge then they can pursue. That way if things go to shit then all the blame would be placed on Sinclair instead of him.

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