Chapter 137 - If You Set It on Fire, Blessings Will Come Your Way (1)
- Huh? It ended? Did we catch them all? Huh? Maeung? What the hell?
The footage ended after 3 seconds. The footage faded out as if it was a mirage. Then two Users appeared afterwards.
It was Amohng and Ken. These two characters were known to have the most popular Warlord-related Ranking show, and their lips were twitching. It was as if they were trying to suppress their laughter.
“……if we have to pick the best scene of the year, I'll pick this scene without hesitation.”
As Ahmong was speaking, Ken couldn't help, but let out a laugh. Ahmong followed his example. He started to laugh too.
“Don't be like this, Ken. I'm barely holding it back.”
“I'm sorry. Ah. It really is funny. I'm not saying the scene itself is funny. The situation itself was so ridiculous that I couldn't help, but laugh.”
“It happens sometimes. An event is so absurd that it is funny. Did you watch it live, Ken?”
“Of course, I saw it live. I was frozen for a brief moment when I saw this scene.”
They exchanged some words, and they were able to regain their cool. After they let out an appropriate amount of laughter, they continued their conversation.
“In many ways, it was a very memorable scene. There are some, who think the scene was staged as an attempt to put his name in the headlines. What do you think, Ken?”
“If this scene was really done on purpose, the Hahoe Mask should immediately take off his Hahoe Mask, and he should go straight to Hollywood. If so, maybe we'll see him in the Oscars next year. Even Al Pacino couldn't pull off this kind of acting.”
“Well, we'll immediately start our Ranking Show. First, let us check who came in 1st in the Paid Video Sales category. The owner of the first place is....”
- Huh? It ended? Did we catch them all? Huh? Maeung? What the hell?
In a flash, the 3 second video was replayed again.
Ken once again let out a laugh. Ahmohng kept poking at Ken's side. Afterwards, Ken was barely able to read his lines.
“Yes. The hero who earned 1st place by recording a sales of 101 million is the Hahoe Mask in the Immoral Prince Raid.”
At that moment, Ahn-jaehyun was watching Ahmong and Ken's Ranking show, and he was massaging his eyes with his two hands. He wasn't massaging his eyes from being tired.
‘This is driving me nuts.’
This shameful clip was something he wanted to forget, but it was being replayed in front of millions of people. The hands over his eyes were also a method to avoid looking at the replay. Of course, it was a preposterous way to avoid looking at it.
‘Shit. Of all the things....’
At that moment, Ahn-jaehyun once again reminisced on what had happened.
Maeung’s appearance had been foretold. Although, it was a bit of a surprise that Maeung chose to end the Immoral Prince. It was a scenario where he had expected Maeung to show up when the Immoral Prince was close to death. He had expected Maeung to give a clue about the ruined kingdom.
However, he never expected Maeung to search out the Hahoe Mask after it finished its business.
No, he didn't have the mental capacity to worry about such a thing. The Immoral Prince Raid had been very hard, but Ahn-jaehyun had been close to his limit even before the Raid. To face the Immoral Prince, he had to reach level 180 as fast as possible.
Moreover, he had wanted to work in secret behind the Red Bulls, so he had stopped receiving help from the Red Bulls' level up support team. Afterwards, he hadn't had time to rest. When he reached level 180, he had to recover the Items he had put in Item Storage. His personal attention was also needed for coming up with the Item Setting he would enter the Immoral Prince Raid with. He also had to check each of the Item Setting of his Skeleton subordinates.
The Hahoe Mask's goofy response was an appropriate reaction. It was a great feat in itself that he hadn't logged out by falling asleep.
However, no one was aware of his situation. The world thought the Hahoe Mask was talking in a half-asleep state at the most important moment in the Raid. Still, people focused on it, and they really enjoyed that scene.
Ahn-jaehyun's gibberish from his lack of sleep had already hit the Warlord related fan sites, and it was being circulated as an animated gif. Moreover, the footage appeared in any article, interview or video related to the Immoral Prince raid.
There were even some Users in Warlord that used the word 'Huh Maeung' instead of saying a greeting or thanks. If things turned out unfavorably, Ahn-jaehyun's shameful past had a chance of becoming a part of the lexicon of Warlord.
‘The image I built up until now was destroyed, because of a short 3 seconds clip.’
He was stronger than anyone else. It didn't matter what trouble he was in, the Hahoe Mask solved the problem with his own strength. He was an extraordinary hero, yet he had become the butt of a joke in the span of a single day.
Ahn-jaehyun let out a moan. He was letting out a moan, but at the same time, it indicated that Ahn-jaehyun was full right now.
He had gained everything he wanted.
Ahn-jaehyun had earned everything he was able to earn in the Immoral Prince episode.
He had gained a level 200 Chronicle Epic Item. It was currently the strongest Item in existence. Moreover, there were merely 10 of these Items in circulation. It was the ultimate Item, and it wasn’t something that could be bought with money.
He had also gained numerous Titles. Ahn-jaehyun had gained the two Titles he had coveted forever. He gained the 'Havan Kindom's Hero' and 'Arbiter of Corruption' Titles. These were precious Titles that couldn't be earned any more. On top of it all, he had gained the 'Hero of the Great Battle' and 'Defeater of Argardo' Titles....
He had earned a lot.
However, the biggest jackpot for him was the profit he received from the Paid Video Sales. The Immoral Prince Raid was seen live by over 5 million people. However, there were a large portion of the viewers that hadn't been satisfied with the live broadcasts.
It was to be expected. Usually, a normal live Raid broadcast needed a lot of preparation and planning. When preparing for a raid, one had to be mindful of where to place the cameras, and one had to know which shots looked good. There was a separate group of people that had to get ready for the Raid.
However, this Immoral Prince Raid had developed too suddenly, and everything had been rushed.
The appearance of the Hahoe Mask was especially a surprise. In such a situation, they weren't able to properly broadcast the Hahoe Mask's exploits. This was why a lot of people were disappointed. However, the Hahoe Mask had his own footage, and a video was made using his contents. Their disappointment turned into anticipation as they waited for the Hahoe Mask's version of the Raid. Ahn-jaehyun hadn’t move with that much forethought, but the anticipation felt by the people was immediately proven through the number of sales.
In just a week, the sales of his video moved past a million!
In terms of Personal Paid Video Sales, the only one who had been able to sell over a million in one week was the First One. The Hahoe Mask was the first to achieve this feat since the First One. His revenues were incredible. The price for his Paid Videos was $4.99. Of course, the Hahoe Mask's share of the money was in the hundred thousands of dollars.
Ahn-jaehyun had just gained the crowning achievement one could reach in the game of Warlord. Currently, Ahn-jaehyun was in a far better place than the time before he returned to the past. He was shining brighter than the time before he had gone to war with the Stormhunters.
This was why he couldn't complain about this embarrassing event.
Ahn-jaehyun was cognizant of his situation.
He peeled his two hands off of his face. Then he put on his glasses over his slightly more relaxed eyes.
He looked at this Tablet PC.
- We will be announcing the guild ranking for the 30 great guilds. This topic always sparks a fierce debate, so we are qualifying it beforehand. Ahmong and Ken's Ranking show uses 15 criteria to determine the ranking of the 30 great guilds. This ranking isn't an official ranking, and we aren't a credible source for such information.
He focused on Amohng and Ken's Ranking Show, but the light in Ahn-jaehyun's eyes was a little bit different from before.
The end to the second Main Scenario Quest affected a lot of people. The people, who were interested in Warlord, became new resident of the game. On the other hand, there were those that had lost interest, and they left the stage called Warlord. Then a vital change happened regarding the 30 great guilds.
A crucial decision had been made.
This truth was acknowledged by regular Users and Warlord fans, who weren't part of the 30 guilds.
- Let's be real about it. Even if they are all called the 30 great guilds, isn't there too much internal differences amongst the guilds?
- I feel the same way. I think they should make a large scale changes to the live channel rights. In truth, some of the 30 great guilds don't deserve the live channel rights. Some of them are even worse than the Fighters guild.
- If you look at Amohng and Ken's RanKing show, the Fighters guild moved past the bottom of the 30 great guilds. They moved past the Big Smiles guild in terms of quality in their Guild Ranking.
- ㄴ For real. In truth, does the Big Smiles guild have anyone that can fight better than Pitbull?
- ㄴ Don't look down on the Big Smiles. They are still one of the top guilds in the 30 great guilds in terms of views.
- ㄴ Their view count is inflated since China has a lot of people. Is that really something to be proud about? How many people purchase their pay-per-view videos? Can they even sell 500,000 live tickets any more?
During the Corrupt Count episode, a good number of guilds participated in the Main Scenario Quest. The evidence of this fact was shown when the Corrupt Count's identity was revealed in the Corrupt Count Raid. A large portion of the 30 great guilds was present in the Corrupt Count Raid. However, only three guilds had made an imprint on the Immoral Prince episode. Aside from these three guilds, the other 27 guilds pretty much took on the role of sidekicks.
If so, what will happen in the 3rd Main Scenario Quest? The guilds had started to distinguish themselves from each other in the Immoral Prince episode.
Currently, there was the three guilds that was considered to be the Big 3. What did the other remaining guilds have to do now?
First, they couldn't avoid doing the Main Scenario Quest. In the Main Scenario Quest, one needed a good understanding of the game, a good information network, and monster hunting ability. It was the surest measuring sticking that allowed a guild to show their capability.
If a guild avoided doing the Main Scenario quest, one needed a sure content that'll allow a guild to be self-sufficient in its survival. In reality, only the Sweepers guild and the Geicoff guild was able to do this.
In such an environment, the V&V guild was the first one to attempt a change.
Before he connected to Warlord, Ahn-jaehyun always searched for articles related to Warlord. Of course, Ahn-jaehyun's attention was focused on the reorganization plan announced by the V&V guild.
‘What the hell is this?’
Ahn-jaehyun knew there were going to be changes. He had expected it. If they didn't change, they would inevitably be culled. Ahn-jaehyun insisted on watching Amohng and Ken's Ranking Show to gather information about the public trends.
In fact, this had also happened before Ahn-jaehyun returned to the past. When the Immoral Prince episode ended, all the guilds went through an overhaul. It didn't matter if it was a big guild or a small guild. The outstanding Users were scouted, and the trading of Users between guilds, which had been considered a taboo, started to occur.
‘The team name is…… Poker? Is it in reference to the card game?’
With that in mind, the V&V guild had started to consolidate the disorderly organizations under their banner. The guild's core power were being gathered into one team.
However, Ahn-jaehyun didn't doubt the reasons behind their actions.
Instead, he was impressed by their bold initiative. Guilds were most definitely a for profit organization. If one joined and worked for a guild, one would expect personal gain in the process. If not, no one would stay in a guild.
Each of the 30 great guilds easily had over a thousand guild members. If the guild wanted to guarantee some profit for everyone, the guild had no choice, but to diversify their activities.
However, V&V had just gave up on that. They had decided to focus their efforts on a single purpose. This would surely mean that the profit gained by the regular guild members would decrease. It also meant that a good number of guild members would leave the V&V guild. They wouldn't be able to avoid internal strife. If this was a company, it would basically be a restructure. They were willing to go through a grinding pain, and it deserved respect. They were willing to go through the pain in pursuit of some unknown purpose.
‘Their naming sense is shitty... However, the content of their plan isn't bad. No. I'm surprised the V&V guild went through with this decision. I'm pretty sure they weren't like this before.’
From Ahn-jaehyun's perspective, the V&V guild was making the right decision.
Red Bulls, Stormhunters, and Hydra.
These three guilds had become the Big 3, and these three possessed the most powerful tools. If one didn't have a tools that was as strong as theirs, one couldn't covet what the Big 3 owned.
Moreover, the Team Poker that was being formed by the V&V guild was structured different from the primary Raid teams of the other guilds.
It was as the named indicated. The Poker would branch into 4 classification. It'll be the Spade, Heart, Clover and Diamond. The members will be labeled starting with Ace and it would end with King. There would be a total of 52 Users, and three Jokers would be added in. The final tally was a total of 55 people. A normal primary Raid team had between 20 to 30 members. The Poker were much numerous in number.
On the other hand, they weren't only going to do Raids. They would be like a swiss army knife in terms of their use in the game.
Ahn-jaehyun couldn't find any fault up to this point.
‘Why is there so many bastards here that I don't know?’
The problem was the new members that were added to the newly unveiled Poker Team of the V&V guild. There were faces that people from the outside didn't recognize. They didn't recognize the two Users that occupied the seat of the Aces.
Of course, Ahn-jaehyun couldn't remember all the faces he had seen in this world. Moreover, his memory was on the poor side. If he was to spell it out more bluntly, he probably didn't know the faces of the Rankers more so than knowing them. However, this time not all the faces was unfamiliar to him.
- V&V guild made an incredibly resolute decision. Still there are a lot of faces I've never seen before.
- I don't think they were with the guild before. I checked their career data, and it says they worked as normal users.
Aside from Ahn-jaehyun, many people were interested in V&V Guild's reorganization. They became suspicious when they saw faces they didn't recognize.
- They are normal Users? What are their level?
- Huhk? Level 200? What the hell? Their levels are on par with the Rankers.
The bigger problem was that the V&V guild had tried to minimize the backlash for their actions. This was why they posted the Specs of the new faces, and their Specs were much better than an average User. They were all over level 200, and the state of their main Item Setting and the Titles they possessed wasn't just above average. It was world class.
The part that bothered Ahn-jaehyun the most was the number of Titles they possessed. It was an incredibly high number.
The least of them had 150 Titles and the ones with the most had exceeded 200 Titles.
When leveling up quickly, it was hard to earn the necessary Titles. On the other hand, if one focused only on gaining Titles, the time one needed to invest in leveling up decreased. If one wanted to gain both at the same time, one had to be like Ahn-jaehyun. One had to map out how one will get the Titles, and the most effective Level Up route had to be planned.
Of course, this was possible for those in the 30 great guilds. They had the intelligence network, and there were those who helped to gather title for guild members.
If this was the case, the explanation given by the V&V guild clashed with the conventional wisdom. They couldn't be normal Users.
‘They have that many Titles yet they are normal Users? Bullshit.’
There was no way they were just normal Users. The number of Titles they have are impossible to achieve unless they received help from an organization that was on par with the 30 great guilds.
‘That bastard showed up last time. It seems these bastards appear every time there is a lull. Are they part of some professional guild that nurtures Users?’
Anyways, it seemed an unknown organization had appeared, and they were Ahn-jaehyun's new enemy.
Ahn-jaehyun's face hardened.
Stormhunters, Hydra, Red Bulls and others....
He never thought any of them were easy enemies. However, they were enemies that he could see.
However, at that moment, an enemy that he hadn't seen before had appeared in front of Ahn-jaehyun's eyes. This enemy wasn’t in his memory.
Of course, he felt anxious.
The fact that he had accomplished a lot made his anxiety higher. Ahn-jaehyun had too much things to lose now.
‘……if I become lax, they'll take it all away from me.’
On the other hand, this anxiety allowed Ahn-jaehyun to come to a decision.
‘So my immediate path to a Spec Up.... The Skill Books are the only way.’Previous Chapter Next Chapter