Chapter 150 - Ancient Power (3)
Across the Terube Castle Wall...
Originally, the Battlefield was a minor content that only the Users, who knew about it, enjoyed. Now it was a major stage where everyone, who enjoyed Warlord, knew about it.
It was the stage where Killer Sinclair, who represented the Big Smiles guild, had earned his frightening yet memorable nickname. It was also where the Hydra guild had stumbled as they were pushing forward without a hitch. However, it was most known as the place where the Hahoe Mask had declared his war against the 30 great guilds.
Several historic moments in Warlord had occurred consecutively on this stage.
This stage held a sense of magic, adventure, and romance. It stoked one’s desire to explore.
Naturally, the Northland became a hot spot.
The Users that met the requisite level and even the Users that hadn't reached the requisite level were crossing the Terube castle wall. They were all headed towards the Northland.
However, the Northland was far from the paradise dreamt up by the Users. Their imagination had been tinted by romanticism.
The world thought the Northland was now owned by the Hahoe Mask. This was why no guild could insist on management rights, ownership rights or autonomous rights. Moreover, the Hahoe Mask didn't plan on managing his territory.
On top of it all, the Northland didn't have a castle or a town to use as a reset point. The Users gathered in places, but these were very laughable locations. It couldn't be considered to be waypoints. Everyone returned to the Terube castle wall when they died.
This was why all kinds of behaviors that were considered to be bad manners were being carried out here. No one in the near vicinity would stop these acts from being carried out. No one was here to manage these lands. It was a type of location where PK could be carried out if there was a problem with another User. This was a legit method to buy significant amount of time against other Users.
At some point, the Northland turned into a lawless paradise.
Of course, those that were still surviving and playing in this lawless paradise of the Northland weren't normal Users.
“How many were we able to get?”
“If we count those we caught a moment ago, we have a total of 17.”
“We are earning a good income. All the people here have pretty good Items. If we stay here, we could probably gain enough money to play this game for a whole year.”
These Users were like fighting dogs with their collars taken off. The Users that took up PK as a job promoted this lawlessness in this lawless lands.
There were some that enjoyed this aspect of the game. Warlord's system didn't stop PKs. There were no penalties given. Warlord actually had contents that accounted for Users that enjoyed PK.
Currently, three Users were counting the number of wristwatches obtained through PK. Moreover, they did something that added to the fun.
“It is as I predicted. This will end all our problems if we wear this! It'll end it! I told you guys we should have used it earlier! Even if I tell you good advice, you guys can't even comprehend it.”
“All right. Good for you. You are smart. Why didn’t you use that smart head of yours in college?”
“Are you trying to pick a fight with me?”
“Hey! Stop it! It is very distracting to see people wearing the same masks fight each other.”
The group consisted of a swordsman, a magician and a priest.
They all held different Classes, but they were all borrowing the face of someone that was more famous than Ironman and Batman in Warlord.
“Still, I can't believe the Hahoe Mask is working so well. Everyone becomes afraid from just seeing this.”
This was the identity of the masks they were wearing.
Of course, they didn't have any relations to the actual Hahoe Mask. They weren't even acquaintances. If one had to put a label on the relationship, it was something like a connection between a star and his fans. Currently, it was closer to victim and the identity thieves.
In truth, they weren't the only ones doing this. It wasn't too hard to find Users wearing the Hahoe Mask in various towns and castles. Moreover, there were a fair number of them that were using it to take advantage of the Hahoe Mask's reputation.
It was clear that the presence of the Hahoe Mask was the strongest across the Terube castle wall in the Northlands.
“This place is the Hahoe Mask's domain. Of course, it is a matter of course.”
“Still, I become occasionally startled when I catch sight of one of us.”
The fact that the Hahoe Mask's reputationi was strong meant that this method was powerful and effective.
Most Users, who caught sight of the Hahoe Mask, in a hunting ground would find their hearts were trembling. For the Hahoe Mask's fan, there was a possibility of coming across the real one. The anticipation made their hearts tremble. For those that crossed the Hahoe Mask before, it made their heart flutter from fear.
If one used their trembling heart against these Users, one would be able to have a good time. These three Users were using it to their advantage.
The sound rang in their ears.
‘It's a Hammer Head!’
They recognized the owner of this distinctive roar. As if it had been rehearsed, the three Users stopped their conversation, and they turned their head towards where the sound had emanated. Afterwards, they smiled as they looked at each other.
“Shall we go gather up more wristwatches?”
They aimed to attack the Users, who were in a desperate situation. It was a very cheap thing to do, but the three of them didn't feel any compunction at carrying out this act.
“Let's assess what he are working against, then let's get to work.”
“I hope we meet a juicy prey.”
“I might get addicted to this.”
They quickly moved towards the ruckus to meet the new sacrificial lamb that was to their taste.
The User, who was wearing a Hahoe Mask and a magician's robe, swore. He was in a rough shape. It was as if he was wearing a layer of ice over his clothes. Large chunks of ice were infused into the User's clothes.
It wasn't a good feeling. The chunks of Ice were cumbersome weights that restricted movement.
[The Frost's power has invaded into your bones. All Stats and movement speed will be decreased.]
They were in a jungle filled with overgrown vegetation. It was muggy enough to be uncomfortable yet he was feeling a chill. He was in an unpleasant and disagreeable state, but there was something that was more baffling than the cold.
What truly made the magician User be disconcerted was the Skeleton Warrior letting out a cold breath in front of his eyes.
The magician was like a parrot repeating his words. Resist was a vocabulary that wasn't even present in Cervid’s mind right now. His actions were unbecoming of the mask he was wearing. In Warlord, the Hahoe Mask signified a hero that possessed an indomitable will, power and excellence.
However, if his plight was explained to others, everyone would understand why he was acting this way.
Cervid had come face-to-face with the Skeleton Warriors. Moreover, he saw a User that fit the Hahoe Mask the most standing behind these Skeletons.
It was the real deal.
It was Hyrkan, who had ushered in this Third Age!
He was here.
Moreover, there wasn’t anything special that had lead Cervid to face the real Hahoe Mask as an enemy. When their group saw a single User face off against the large monster Hammer Head, they didn't hesitate. The three of them conducted a pre-emptive attack against this User. Afterwards, Cervid's two companions suffered the consequence of their pre-emptive attack.
Once Cervid face the consequence of his actions, this would all be forgotten.
“I...I'm sorry. I'll give you all the watches. Just spare me.”
At that moment, Cervid finally came up with a sincere apology. In reality, the apology was his only chance at getting out of this situation. The only way he would be able to walk around the Terube castle wall alive would be through the Hahoe Mask's mercy and generosity.
Of course, this didn't mean his two wrists would come out of this unharmed in any case.
Moreover, this Hahoe Mask wasn't the Hahoe Mask he had seen through countless videos.
The expensive armors were infused with Frost, and unlike the fiery eyes one could see through the helmets, the Skeleton Warrior's eyes were like sculpted ice that shone like gems. There was a continuous white breath emitted from within the helmet, and the sound of its breathing was cold as ice.
Moreover, it wasn't just the outer appearance. They were emitting a cold that was frightening.
“Please! I'll never do this again!”
In front of this cold air, Cervid once again asked for forgiveness in a desperate voice.
However, Hyrkan didn't answer Cervid's yell. He flicked his finger twice as an answer.
The Skeleton Warriors on standby moved as if they had been waiting for this. They attack all at once.
“Shit! You son of a bitch!”
In the end, Cervid revealed his true feelings towards Hyrkan. Before Cervid could curse any more with his words, the Skeleton Warriors chopped Cervid's body into pieces.
Hyrkan approached Cervid once the Hammerhead was taken care by his two Skeleton Knights.
When all the variables that could threaten him was dispatched, Hyrkan moved towards Cervid's corpse.
He looked at the three that was wearing his symbol on their faces. He honestly felt good about it.
There was no reason why he should feel bad about it. In the first place, the Hahoe Mask hadn't been created by Hyrkan. It was something anyone could wear, and it wasn't hard to make.
Moreover, Hyrkan didn't care if other people chose to wear it.
‘I guess I've been living too much on the straight and narrow these days. These bastards dare to put on the Hahoe Mask.’
Hyrkan didn't want to make the Hahoe Mask a symbol of justice. Hyrkan wanted the image of the Hahoe Mask to frighten even the skilled Users of the 30 great guilds, and this would in turn allow the skilled Users to vent their anger on those that tried to copy the Hahoe Mask.
‘Well, I made some money thanks to them.’
On top of it all, the Users that put on the Hahoe Mask were like monsters. There was no consequences in attacking them.
After taking all the watches, Hyrkan turned to look at the Skeleton Warriors and Skeleton Knights. A smile finally formed when he looked at them.
This was a smile that came out when he felt satisfaction at the effect of the Ancient Power of Frost.
‘It’s beyond expectation.’
After leaving the Frozen Kingdom, he continued to hunt and level up as he headed towards the Terube castle wall. At the same time, he started checking and analyzing the power of Frost.
The result of this power was the best. The smile on his face was an understatement.
After seeing the abilities displayed by his Skeleton Underlings, it wasn't enough to give them a perfect score.
When the power of Frost was imbued into them, his Skeleton Underlings’ All Stats and mobility was increased by 20%. Moreover, the Chill was very useful in effecting nearby enemies. As one became exposed to it longer, the Chill effect changed into the Frostbite effect.
The Frost Golem was also the best. When it appeared, it immediately made all enemies feel the Chill. It couldn't be compared to the Earth Golem, which could only use the Hardening skill.
Then there was the Frost Bone Armor. It froze anyone that came in contact with the Frost Bone Armor. It was useful in hunts and PK battles.
The one that exceeded expectation the most was the Bone Explosives. When the Bone Explosives reinforced by the power of Frost was detonated, the explosion gave much more damage than before, and it froze anything in the radius of the explosion. It could quickly give the Frostbite effect to the enemies, and it was also great at interfering with the mobility of the target.
Of course, it wasn't as if there weren't any downsides.
‘The magical energy is consumed much faster than I had expected....’
When the Ancient Power of Frost was activated, any Skills that benefited from the power of Frost consumed 2.2 times more magical energy. It also meant that it took him 2.2 times more magical energy to maintain his summons. In recent days, he hadn't thought his Magic Power stat was lacking, but now he wasn't unable to summon all his Skeletons with the power of Frost activated.
The only thing he found lacking was the fact that the power of Frost was only applied to the Summon Skill Tree. However, he had already been aware of this fact.
Still, the power of Frost was incredible. If everything had worked out as planned, he would have still been drunk on this power.
‘That bitch Shir probably has something comparable.’
However, at that moment, Hyrkan wasn't the only one that possessed this surprising power. This fact made him worry more.
Hyrkan turned his gaze away from the Skeleton Warriors.
‘How long will I have to fight that bitch? That's the question I'm curious about now.’
The rumors regarding famous people usually spread like wildfire.
Hahoe Mask and the Storm Queen.
Of course, the rumors regarding the two most famous Users in Warlord spread much faster than a wildfire.
In the case of the Storm Queen, it wasn't really rumors. She had started advertising herself.
She didn't show any hesitation in showing off the Ancient Power of Flame to the people that were interested in the Stormhunters guild through footage. The Storm Queen was using powerful yet diverse set of Skills that was infused with the power of the Flame. The presence of the Storm Queen surprised the Users, and her competitors felt at a loss.
- Isn't this too much of a cheat?
- The other Users can't measure up to them.
- Will all the Ancient Power be able to do that? Or is this unique to her Skills?
- Shit. If I was born with a gold spoon in my mouth, I would have been able gain that too!
- ㄴ It isn't just about the golden spoon. Even if you had founded Tobo Soft, you wouldn't be able to gain that power.
- ㄴ I agree.
In the case of the Hahoe Mask, everything was a rumor. The Hahoe Mask hadn't revealed what he had earned in his ventures. Instead, the rare footages that were taken by Users was the origin of the rumors.
These weren't the usual Skeleton unit used by the Hahoe Mask. This Skeleton army left behind traces of Frost. It was clear evidence that the Hahoe Mask had gained a new power.
It was the emergence of the Frost Skeletons!
It was as if these Skeletons were tailor made for the Hahoe Mask, so of course, the Users were interested in it.
- He's the Lich King.
- Yes, he's the Lich King.
- Lich King sounds a bit tacky. Since the Hahoe Mask is incredible wealthy, how about we call him Rich Lich?
- ㄴ That's pretty good.
- ㄴ I agree with Rich Lich! Let's make this happen!
Of course, there were other issues that dominated the news.
There was the release of the Second Advancement Skills, and the battle footages displayed by the upgraded Users were much more fancy. Moreover, more information about the Ancient Power content was slowly trickling out, and it was enough to put a firm grip on the interest of the Users. It was that appealing.
The new contents were fun even for the lower ranking guilds that were below the 30 great guilds.
Moreover, the market was now overflowing with contents from Warlord Users. There was the live broadcasts, youtube live stream, paid videoes, pay-per-view tickets and the marketing market. The market was reaching its peak. It was hard to fathom before, but people were able to gain fame and money through playing a game well.
The Renaissance was in full swing!
Accompanying the start of the Renaissance era, the Hahoe Mask’s Frozen Kingdom footage was revealed to the world.
“You did well! You did really well!”
After Romani ended his conversation, he threw the headset on his head backwards towards his bed.
He clenched his fist as he sat on the chair.
‘We finally did it.’
Recently, Romani hadn’t had a proper night of sleep. He couldn't remember when he had a proper night of sleep. That was how hard the recent days were.
However, at that moment, Romani felt pleased instead of being tired. It was almost enough to make him develop insomnia.
‘I would have never expected to work on a same project with such great people. I never would have expected to produce such an amazing product!’
Romani raised his clenched fist above his head.
Everything had started with the Hahoe Mask. Hahoe Mask had sent a massive amount of footage. The footage of the Frozen Kingdom wasn't measure in minutes. It was a 20 days worth of footages.
The Hahoe Mask didn't make an order. The Hahoe Mask asked a question that was closer to being a request.
He wanted to make a long piece that lasted 2 to 3 hours. He wanted to know if Romani would be able to make it like a movie.
When he received the question, he flat out refused to do it.
There was a massive difference between editing footage to make a short film and making a movie. Romani's ultimate goal was to produce movies, but Romani knew better than anyone that he still had a long way to go. He wasn't confident in his current capabilities.
'I apologize. It is impossible to do this by myself....'
When he gave his answer, the Hahoe Mask asked another question.
He didn't mind bringing in others to collaborate on the project. The Hahoe Mask was willing to foot the bill, and he wanted Romani to, at the very least, attempt it.
At that point, Romani started to inquire through his contacts. He got a hold of people that worked around the movie industry.
As if people had been waiting for this day, incredibly famous people in the industry started contacting him to work on the project. There were even skilled veterans within Hollywood that were pushing for this opportunity. Even one of the top line directors, who produced a movie with a budget of several hundred millions, were giving him enthusiastic advices.
The people on the project received salaries that were pennies on the dollars compared to their reputation, yet they were all participating in this project with a fervor.
‘Yes. Everyone had been thirsty.’
Of course, the passion exhibited by these individuals weren't based on money.
Currently, the world called Virtual Reality was changing this era. Moreover, they were able to acquire the best ingredients that could be acquired in the world right now. The Warlord's best player, the Hahoe Mask, had provided the ingredients, and they wanted to make a proper film!
This was a product that had been created by like-minded individuals, and it was way above Romani's expectation.
This was why Romani could guarantee it.
‘This film about Warlord.... No, this might be a historical turning point in the VR movie industry.’
In the future, when movies staged in a VR were discussed by the movie executives, Romani and his associates would always be included in the discussion. His work would be discussed with the previous greats he had grown up watching. His work would be mentioned with the works of Quentin Tarantino, Spielberg and James Cameron.
‘It is unfortunate that the Academy Awards doesn't have a Virtual Reality category. If it did, I'll be able to attend the Oscars.’
Romany felt a laugh come on when he thought about attending the Academy Awards in a suit.
It was a happy thought, but at the same time, it was ridiculous.
At that moment...
Romani looked at his wrist. The smart watch vibrated, and it informed him, who was calling him. It had caller ID.
When Romani saw who was calling him, he immediately waved the left hand that was equipped with the watch.
A phone shaped hologram started circling around Romani like a satellite.
“Yes. Please speak.”
- Mr. Romani. Do you think I'll be able to have a private conversation with you?
A grave voice was heard from the nearby speaker.
This was a call from a collaborator, who had worked on the Hahoe Mask's film from the start to finish. Until recently, he hadn’t even known the name of this man, but he was a partner that was qualified to have a personal conversation with him.
- I want to meet the Hahoe Mask. Do you think you'll able to act as a bridge?
On the other hand, Romani wasn't close enough to this man that he would agree to such a request.
Romani had a sour expression on his face.
“I'll have to ask the Hahoe Mask through e-mail first.”
Romani wasn't Hahoe Mask's manager. The Hahoe Mask didn't need to work him Romani. He was Romani's most important client, and the sudden request for an introduction was a complete non-starter.
- If you can give me his e-m.....
“I'll ask him about that too.”
After Romani cut him off with his curt words, he clenched his fist around the phone that was hovering around him. The call was ended, and Romani had a ill-humored expression on his face.
Hahoe Mask always had felt like his exclusive actor, but now that was about to change. This was what put him in a disagreeable mood.
However, the displeasure turned into bitterness.
‘Once this film is released, all the major film companies will line up wanting to work with the Hahoe Mask.’Previous Chapter Next Chapter