Chapter 158 – Catch or Be Caught (1)
The forest didn't even have a road. It was filled with beautiful trees and house-sized stone pillars randomly located within the forest. It was incredible to see Hyrkan run through such obstacles. At times, he dodged the tree trunks like a snake, and he used unexpected boulders as launching pads. He was like a squirrel.
He was awesome at running away. However, no one in this world like or wanted to run away.
In such an uncertain situation, he held the Deposed Prince's Sword with his right hand as he stayed ready for a battle that might occur at any time. He had tucked the box with the scrolls containing the Ancient Power on his left side. He basically looked like a thief running away. Of course, he didn't have any time to relax.
Hyrkan was running full tilt as his expression expressed his restlessness, strain and urgency.
Something appeared suddenly in front of him.
An enormous wall of fire suddenly appeared in front of him. Hyrkan reflexively stopped in front of the fire.
‘I'm in a hurry. Which bastard did this?’
Of course, Hyrkan knew that the wall of fire had been created by a magician. This was why he had stopped running.
It was around 10 meter high, and it was 1 meter in width. It was too big to jump over it, but Hyrkan's superior Item Setting meant that the Fire Wall couldn't do much harm to him.
If he wanted to, he could just charge through it. However, this meant the magician, who had used the magical spell, knew this fact too. Basically, this fire wasn't meant to damage Hyrkan.
It was a diversion.
If he recklessly hurtled through the Fire Wall like an acrobat, a critical blow would come from the other side.
Hyrkan had suffered this scenario before, so he was well aware of this tactic. Moreover, even if there was nothing across the Fire Wall, he had no choice, but to stop.
Hyrkan turned to look behind him. Unlike the chaotic situation in front of him, it was very calm and quiet behind him. The only thing he could see was his own tracks.
However, Hyrkan could guarantee it.
‘If Anugas follows the attack pattern from before, it unerringly follows its opponent, and its pursuit can’t be shaken unless it locks onto another opponent. It is classified as an illusion type monster, so it wouldn’t be strange if it appeared suddenly.'
He had a pursuer except one couldn’t see this pursuer with one's eyes.
This was why Hyrkan considered the current development to be somewhat favorable for him.
Currently, a Wall of Fire had been placed in front of him, and this meant that there was at least one other User nearby.
He had no reason to waste his energy by striking up a conversation. Hyrkan tossed the box he had been carrying nearby. It held the Ancient Power. At this point in the game, it was worth a lot, but he couldn't fight, while carrying it by his side. He wouldn't risk his life for the sake of protecting the Ancient Power.
When Hyrkan's left hand was freed, he stole a handful of flame from the barrier in front of him.
The spark of fire took hold on Hyrkan's glove, and the spark didn't fizzle out. Instead, it started burning larger, and the flames surged forward. In the end, a giant made out of fire took shape.
The Fire Golem appeared!
When the Fire Golem appeared, it immediately absorbed the flame blocking its master's path. Hyrkan looked at the road in front of him. As expected, there was a trap that was meant to catch Hyrkan.
There were two enormous bears made out of fire like the Fire Golem on the road, and they started running toward Hyrkan.
However, Hyrkan didn't step forward. The Fire Golem had located its enemies first, and it moved to protect its master.
The three Fire Creatures, which had been formed beforehand, started to fight each other. It was a messy fight between large monsters, and while the battle was commencing, Hyrkan scattered two Skeleton Warriors.
The Mini Ogre Skeleton Warriors took shape!
Hyrkan had already confirmed that these Skeletons were genius trackers, so he gave the order.
After he flicked his fingers, Hyrkan turned to look towards his back again.
‘It feels as if I'm fighting with a bomb strapped to my neck.’
It was a desperately dangerous situation.
He had fallen into a danger that he hadn't been able to predict.
‘Yes. It's always like this for me. When things start to go my way, a bloody awful day is around the corner.’
On the other hand, he now felt as if he was playing Warlord.
When facing the Hahoe Mask, one had to avoid close combat at all cost. Even though Hyrkan was a Necromancer, he had higher Strength Stat than most Strikers. He had put all his Level Up bonus into Strength, and he had managed to equip himself with the best Item setting in Warlord. On top of all of that, he had numerous titles that boosted his Stats further.
Hyrkan's Items were too advantageous in a close combat.
Currently, there was no weapon in existence that could destroy weapons and defensive gears as well as the Crying Sword. In terms of destroying Items, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the Crying Sword was better than the Deposed Prince's Sword.
Depose Prince's Sword.
It was unequivocally the strongest Item in existence in Warlord right now.
The Dark Spot set was similarly a defensive gear that boasted the highest defense.
This resulted in Hyrkan being a monster in terms of close combat ability.
So what was Hyrkan's weakness?
It was the powerful AOE magic. Of course, Hyrkan had incredible defense against magic, and he had high resistance to elemental magic. It wasn't easy to give critical damage by using a powerful AOE magic.
However, magic was still considered to be Hyrkan's weakness even with a lot of things going against it. The reason being it was the surest way to keep his Skeletons underlings, which was Hyrkan's greatest power, in check. Hyrkan's Skeleton underlings were also equipped with incredible Items, but they couldn't be compared to Hyrkan.
Another deciding factor was the fact that Hyrkan's magical energy consumption increased as the number of Skeleton Warriors were increased.
It was true.
Magic was Hyrkan's achilles heel, and if one wanted to kill Hyrkan, one had to aim for this weakness.
“Keep using your magic! You have to put him on his heel! Use your magic, so he can't take out his Skeletons!”
Apollo was using that strategy.
Of course, he wasn't carrying out the plan. From the beginning, Apollo stood far away from the battlefield. He did as he wanted, and he continuously bombarded his subordinates with orders. His subordinates resented him. Apollo never contributed in a battle, yet he had the potential to be a detriment.
‘That son of a bitch. He should do it himself!’
‘Does he think using magic is easy? Everyone thinks Tankers are the only ones that suffer.’
Of course, the recipients of Apollo’s words didn't feel good hearing after hearing such words.
They were navigating through the battlefield as they chased after the Hahoe Mask. It was hard to use magic in such conditions, yet Apollo kept giving orders that sounded like threats. It was unspeakably humiliating.
However, their humiliation came to an end.
- We've been had!
Something terrible occurred not long after the battle had started. Hahoe Mask used the trajectory of the magical spells to track down and kill the magicians. A Striker and a Tanker was placed nearby a magician as protection. In truth, the only thing they could do was for the Strikers to runaway with the Magicians, while the Tankers stalled the Hahoe Mask. This was the only way.
If they failed to do that, they would let out the sad message like 'We've been had!' again.
In the end, two magicians from the group of 5 was cut down.
Apollo smiled when he received the report.
‘He finally bit the bait!’
With a single strike, he cut through the robe and body of the third magician. The Striker, who had been guarding the magician, executed a sword strike. It was a top to bottom swing. The Striker's sword fell vertically like lightning, and it was as if the Striker wanted to destroy Hyrkan's sword.
Of course, the sound of harsh steel exploded forth.
The two swords pushed against each other as a goosebump inducing screech was emitted.
Of course, Hyrkan immediately realized the User in front of him wasn't normal.
It wasn't something he had to realize, since it was obvious. How many Users could fight on even ground with a sword with Hyrkan without using any Skills? Hyrkan immediately eyed his opponent's Item Setting.
‘He has the Great Battle Hero's sword. Is that the Golden Centipede set?’
The Great Battle Hero's sword wasn't as good as the Deposed Prince's Sword, but it was good enough to be call a top tier weapon.
Moreover, the Golden Centipede set was famous. One could get this Unique set Item when one caught a level 180 Boss Monster called the Golden Centipede. It had low defense, but amongst the level 180 Items, it was best for maximizing attack. This was why it was categorized as an Extreme Attack Set.
Of course, it was expensive. Even if one had money, it was hard to acquire. The Golden Centipede was only found recently, and Users, who weren't interested in Items, didn't even know the existence of the Item.
It was at that moment....
[Blood Ogre's Dignity has come over your body.]
The System Announcement gave Hyrkan a warning.
Blood Ogre's Dignity.
It was an expression one would hear when one was exposed to the Option of the Blood Ogre set. Basically, it meant that someone wearing the Blood Ogre set was approaching Hyrkan!
Moreover, Hyrkan knew better than anyone as to the price of the Blood Ogre set.
“Shall we introduce our names?”
The blade of the two swords were interlocked as if they were kissing each other. The User asked a question over the sound.
Hyrkan ignored his opponent's question, and he gave an answer instead.
It was a drink that was popular in North America. It was similar to the likes of cola and cider. Of course, one never forgot it once one heard it.
“Are you part of the Clover unit?”
Even if RootBeer's name wasn't easy to remember, he would have remember this User.
“The Hahoe Mask remembered my name. It doesn't feel too bad.”
Of course, Hyrkan didn't remember all of them, but he remembered the skilled Users. RootBeer was skilled enough to be able to pull off being the centerpiece of the Clover unit.
‘This guy is no joke.’
His core role was similar to Hyrkan.
He was the Assault Captain. RootBeer stuck to a monster's body to deal damage and Armor Break. He was a Striker!
In Hyrkan's estimation, it was a wonder that such a skilled User had managed to remain anonymous. A User of this skill would itch to be able to make a name for himself. He wonder how RootBeer had kept that desire in check for so long.
‘He’s the bait.’
There was a reason why RootBeer was conversing with him. Of course, it was part of their plan.
Hyrkan looked out of the corner of his eyes, and he could see other Users encircling him. They were slowly tightening the net. Moreover, the User wearing the Blood Ogre set jumped out in his sight.
As if RootBeer didn’t appreciate Hyrkan looking away from him, he continued to speak.
“Of course, my mood would get better if I'm able to kill the Hahoe Mask.”
Hyrkan's lips twitched.
‘If only Anugas showed up here······.’
In the end, he wasn't in a good situation. Even Hyrkan couldn't take on the Clover unit here. Even if he chose to face them, he would only have a chance at victory if he was the one that seized the initiative.
‘Please come out, Anugas-nim······.’
It made Hyrkan wish for the main culprit, who had been the cause of his worry, to show up.
At that moment....
- Uh? My magic?
- What's going? Uh? What happened to my magical energy?
- Huh? You too? My magical energy also suddenly disappeared. What is this? Is it a bug?
- Did the Hahoe Mask use a Skill?
Suddenly, disorder started to spread in the Voice Talk.
The big fish named the Hahoe Mask was in front of RootBeer. Until a moment ago, he had a confident smile on his face, but the smile disappeared from RootBeer’s mouth.
He planned on ignoring the chaos, but the disturbance was too large to ignore it. Their voices were so loud that it distracted him.
Most fishermen, who was trying to reel in a big fish, became irritated when a strange sound was emitted from the surrounding.
RootBeer yelled with Hyrkan in front of him.
“We are still in a battle! Focus on the battle!”
He had yelled towards the Voice Talk, but the sound had reached Hyrkan too. Hyrkan smiled at his shout.
‘Our magical energy was erased. It seems Anugas has opened his eyes. This will probably be the only time I’ll be glad to see it.’
“Yes. You should focus hard on the battle. Be diligent.”
At that moment, a marvel appeared from behind Hyrkan's back.
The ground suddenly split open.
A massive four-armed Giant appeared from between the split ground.
The split ground had turned into a chasm, and the giant four-armed cyclops crawled out. Its eye were opening slowly. It large blue eye shone brighter than a gem, and it was glaring at them.
[Anugas opened its eyes. It has eaten every being’s magical energy.]
The giant that ate souls had appeared.
When Anugas opened its eyes, the Users within 500 meters lost all their magical energy. It was a special ability that was akin to being struck by lightning for the magicians and priests. However, the fact that the Strikers and Tankers had to fight Anugas was more chilling.
Magical energy was also important to Tankers and Strikers. Their Skills couldn't be used for free.
Moreover, the number and variety of Skills used in battle was unexpectedly large.
All these Skills were forcefully sealed. The aspect of the game they took for granted was stolen away. It was akin to fighting in a location without any air to breathe.
Did this mean Anugas’ Battle Specs were weak to balance out this special ability? Of course not. Anugas’ health and attack capability wasn't overwhelming, but it had enough Stats that was befitting its status as a mid-sized Boss Monster.
Moreover, it had four arms, so the battle method was very difficult for the Users.
In simplified terms, if Anugas’ two arms could grab both arms of the Users, the other two arms could do anything to the body of the User. The User that was caught couldn’t do anything about it.
If the User could use a Skill, one could probably escape its grasp. However, it wasn’t possible to use one’s Skill.
This was why if one didn’t have any plans or preparations for meeting Anugas, and if Anugas suddenly grabbed the arms of the User….
“Shit! Where did such a monster come from!”
It would be the end for the User.
The Clover Unit had been closing in on the Hahoe Mask, and now they were being killed by Anugas. The Users couldn’t even resist, and they dimly realized the danger they were in.
RootBeer watch the sight as he was still interlocked with Hyrkan. The inside of his head became complicated.
‘Was the Hahoe Mask running away from this monster?’
They could now understand why Hahoe Mask was running away so quickly. This monster didn’t make an sound, and it didn’t leave any trace.
RootBeer would have also run away from such a monster.
At that moment, the Hahoe Mask also didn’t make any sudden moves as he assessed the situation.
‘Did the Blood Ogre set’s Option draw Anugas’ aggro? Thank you for wearing that set. It was quite fortunate.’
In truth, Hyrkan wasn’t being magnanimous by not moving. Hyrkan didn’t want to move unnecessarily, since he didn’t want to become Anugas’ target again.
RootBeer couldn’t read Hyrkan’s mind, so he asked a question.
“Do you know anything about that monster?”
“I do now about it.”
Hyrkan gave a careful answer. Currently, a chill was running up Hyrkan’s spine. Anugas had appeared behind him, so of course, he wasn’t feeling comfortable.
In truth, it took massive effort to have this conversation. He was acting casual, but it felt as if he couldn’t breathe..
“You led the monster to us.”
“I led it to you guys? I was running away. You guys are the ones that got in my path. It isn't as if I attacked you guys first. So who is at more fault here?”
“······do you want to catch it with us?”
At that moment, RootBeer suddenly suggested an alliance to Hyrkan.
RootBeer was capable of judging the situation. It was really important to catch the Hahoe Mask, but an unknown monster capable of eating all magic had appeared. This was outside the scope of his mission.
Of course, he didn’t plan on really fighting the monster that had appeared in front of them. He had an ulterior motive.
‘At the very least, we have to avoid fighting the Hahoe Mask in this situation.’
RootBeer wanted to avoid facing the Hahoe Mask and Anugas at the same time.
That would be the worst case scenario.
“I don’t want to?”
Of course, Hyrkan knew the reason behind RootBeer’s proposal. Hyrkan poured oil on the fire within RootBeer’s heart.
“I don’t know if you saw the first video I uploaded. It was called the Golden Skeleton episode. When this concludes, you should watch it. You’ll have a new appreciation for what just happened. Leave me a reply in the comment section.”
For reference, RootBeer had seen Hahoe Mask’s Golden Skeleton episode. He had used the Golden Skeleton to fuck over the Users that had antagonized him. RootBeer had realized how smart and cheap the Hahoe Mask was through that video.
In a flash, RootBeer came to a decision.
‘I’ll take out the Hahoe Mask with me.’
Since he couldn't choose the best case scenario, he chose the lesser evil instead of the worst case scenario!
In a flash, RootBeer decided to take down the Hahoe Mask with him. He’ll damage the Hahoe Mask, and they’ll both die by the hands of Anugas.
After coming to a resolution, RootBeer broke the stalemate. He pushed Hyrkan’s sword away from its interlocked position. When he was given a brief moment to swing his sword freely, RootBeer immediately raised his sword high.
It was a large movement, so naturally, there was a big hole in his defense.
In exchanged for opening up his defense, RootBeer planned on striking Hyrkan with a powerful blow. He was aiming to damage Hyrkan.
He planned on giving his bone to take the other’s bone!
He planned on dragging this down into a dogfight. He planned on wounding Hyrkan.
When he was about to bring down his sword, Hyrkan wasn’t in RootBeer’s field of vision.
When RootBeer raised his sword, Hyrkan hadn’t show any signs of defending or counter-attacking the attack. When RootBeer pushed off with his sword, Hyrkan had fallen over backwards. It looked as if he was injuring himself by purpose.
He fell backwards like a log.
This was something one never saw in a battle. RootBeer had conducted countless battles in Warlord, yet he had never experienced this before.
Even if RootBeer was a skilled User, he wasn’t able to react to something he had never experienced before.
In the end, the sword that contained RootBeer’s full strength sliced through empty air before it struck the ground.
During all of this, Hyrkan had kept rolling away on his side.
He looked so skilled at the maneuver that it didn’t seem like he was wearing a bulky armor.
It wasn’t something he had done only once or twice.
After Hyrkan moved his body out of harm's way, he quickly got up. He immediately yelled out towards the battlefield.
“Catch that bastard!”
RootBeer yelled out as he looked at Hyrkan.
At that moment, one of Anugas' arm grabbed RootBeer's arm. RootBeer turned to look at Anugas. Hyrkan shook his head as he watched the sight, and he got the hell out of there.Previous Chapter Next Chapter