Chapter 56 : Maoong’s Test (3).
Maoong’s Test (3)
Hyrkan’s body became covered in black liquid as he charged out. It seemed the black liquid was unable to withstand Hyrkan’s speed, as it fell off of his body. When the black liquid completely disappeared, Hyrkan’s Skeleton Armor could be seen.
Hyrkan took something out and threw it on the ground. Then, he pulled out his sword from the sheath hung by his left hip.
With a strong, metallic sound, Hyrkan’s longsword made its appearance. Hyrkan held this seemingly inexpensive sword with both hands.
Already in position to attack, the one Hyrkan was aiming for was the left most player among the three.
His name was Wang Jiang.
Of course, it wasn’t a name Hyrkan would remember. What was important to Hyrkan were the gaps in his armor and helmet. Hyrkan swung his sword horizontally at these gaps like a baseball player.
His sword cut through the air.
It penetrated the gap and made a rough sound. Hyrkan’s ability to stab the small gaps in armor was more of an art than technique. It was clean and beautiful.
Of course, for the one on the receiving end, it was like a fierce, unavoidable natural disaster.
After suddenly being struck on the neck, he couldn’t even let out a breath of air.
Hyrkan didn’t stop there. He continued on like a bulldozer.
The two remaining players watched their ally suddenly disappear. They were unable to respond in the slightest, and stared at Hyrkan knock down their ally.
While they were staring dumbfounded…
The four Skeleton Fragment Hyrkan threw while charging forward quickly sprouted forth four imposing figures.
2-meter-tall, black Skeleton Warriors with large shoulder bones. Fangs shooting up from their lower mouth clearly showed that they were made using Black Orcs as material.
The Skeleton Warriors didn’t hesitate in the slightest as they made their move. In an instant, they charged at the two players staring at Hyrkan.
By the time they noticed the eerie sound coming from behind them, it was too late. The sight of four Skeleton Warriors charging at them caught them completely off guard, and they were unable to react properly.
A head for one.
The stomach for the other.
They shook as they were hit on their head and stomach respectively.
More attacks poured forth as they were shaking.
Although they tried to counterattack by pulling out and swinging their sword, as they were completely off balance, their attacks were nothing more than pointless flailing. The Skeleton Warriors were too good to be hit by such attacks. The Skeleton Warriors dodged the attacks with ease and counterattacked.
With a short and rough cry, one of the two players fell. His fate was gruesome to say the least, as the Skeleton Warriors hacked away at him as if they were cutting firewood.
“Are you okay?”
Although the one remaining player shouted towards his ally, he wasn’t in any better positon.
Meanwhile, Hyrkan summoned his Golem.
The Golem rose from the ground and became a wall that split the battle in half.
At the same time, the one who Hyrkan had sent flying to begin the fight finally got up as he cursed. However, what greeted his line of sight was Hyrkan’s sword tip.
Hyrkan’s sword penetrated the gap in his helmet with precision, and instantly took away his vision.
For the one on the receiving end, it felt like the light had suddenly gone off. Hyrkan simply put Wang Jiang back down on the ground with a kick.
Hyrkan pushed down on his chest with his foot, pulled out the sword still stuck in his face, then stabbed it again.
An indescribable bone-chilling sound rang out.
Although Wang Jiang struggled, because Hyrkan’s strength stat was higher than his, Wang Jiang was unable throw off Hyrkan’s foot.
“Fuck! Do you know who we are? You won’t get away with this!”
In the end, all he could do was talk. Hyrkan seemed unfazed by his childish threat as he continued to stab his eyes with his sword.
Wang Jiang cried out.
It was something he could say only because he couldn’t see what was happening to him. If he could, he would undoubtedly piss his pants.
As they said, ignorance is bliss.
“I’m from the Apollo Guild!”
At his continued childish threat, Hyrkan stopped his sword for the first time.
“Yeah, that’s right! You’re fucked! We’ll kill you over and over again until you quit the game for good!”
At this, Hyrkan couldn’t help but smirk. Then, he continued his sword work.
“You fucker, I said stop!”
Wang Jiang shouted out once again. However, his cries didn’t enter Hyrkan’s ears.
Hyrkan began to reminisce.
‘What do they call this there? Karma?’
The image of a chubby, squinty-eyed man popped up in Hyrkan’s head.
‘I didn’t think I’d be tangled up with him again.’
The man he was thinking of was none other than the Apollo Guild’s guild master, Apollo.
He was the son of a rich Chinese tycoon, and lived luxuriously his whole life because of it. Unsurprisingly, he poured huge amounts of money into Warlord to enjoy the same luxurious life, and he formed the Apollo Guild to leech off the guild members.
Although the Apollo Guild wasn’t as powerful or influential as the Top 30 Guilds, it still had better management and stronger influence than most other guilds. Their play style was dirty to say the least, as they pressured low level players with their numbers, items, and levels. Although they didn’t regularly PK or monster steal, they didn’t hesitate to do so if they thought they could get away with it. They were the type who pressured the weak and were servile to the strong.
‘He was quite a funny guy.’
The Apollo Guild and Hyrkan met before a certain boss raid.
Hyrkan and the Hahoe Mask Guild had waited a long time for their turn in a boss raid. But when their turn had come, the Apollo Guild interjected, saying that it was their turn. The whole situation was absurd for the Hahoe Mask Guild, but Apollo Guild’s guild master said they should decide who gets to go through a fight between representatives from each guild. His plan was to crush the Hahoe Mask’s representative and claim the boss raid.
Of course, Hyrkan had easily crushed their hopes.
In their fight, Hyrkan instantly cut off Apollo’s wrist, but it didn’t just end there. The Apollo Guild couldn’t accept their loss and began to fight with the Hahoe Mask Guild. 30 vs 18. Although the Hahoe Mask Guild was outnumbered, the Hahoe Mask Guild had an overwhelming victory with Hyrkan killing 10 of Apollo Guild’s members. The Apollo Guild didn’t give up afterwards. They hired mercenaries and tried to get revenge. Of course, Hyrkan easily crushed them too. Then, one day, while Hyrkan was going somewhere alone, he was suddenly attacked by Apollo and his men. Hyrkan was able to win that fight as well, and in the end, the Hahoe Mask Guild released a statement on Apollo Guild’s behavior, and they were reimbursed along with an official apology.
‘I remember Kim Dongsoo and I ate a 200,000 won dinner with a Rothschild wine. That foie gras was so good…’
Hyrkan had thought that was the end of his relationship with the Apollo Guild. One day, however, Hyrkan ran into Apollo Guild members sexually harassing weaker players and took care of them. This incident spread, and the Apollo Guild became ___ overnight. That was the last time Hyrkan had heard of the Apollo Guild. After that, the Hahoe Mask Guild grew immensely, and became a guild the Apollo Guild couldn’t mess with.
‘Come to think of it, the amount of items I stole from Apollo was… whew.’
In any case, the profit the Hahoe Mask Guild made from the Apollo Guild greatly helped them grow as a guild. Apollo was the type to have his entire item slots filled with expensive items, and every time Hyrkan killed him, he made at least 10,000 gold from his watch. Hyrkan made good use of Apollo’s items and later sold them off.
To Hyrkan, Apollo looked like an angel. Maybe even an arch-angel.
That was the end of Hyrkan’s reminiscence.
“We are going to chase you to the ends of the earth. You’re going to regret ever playing this game.”
Wang Jiang was still pouring curses after curses. Watching this, Hyrkan was a little bit impressed.
‘You still haven’t logged out? How tenacious.’
Most people chose to log out in such a situation. No one wanted to wait around to get logged out forcefully, especially since they had to watch themselves being killed powerlessly.
Wang Jiang, however, flapped his mouth endlessly.
‘He’s going to die with just a couple more stabs.’
Hyrkan knew Wang Jiang had very little HP left, probably about 10% or so. He would die sooner or later.
Hyrkan stopped his attacks.
“You said you were from the Apollo Guild, right?”
“Heh, you messed with the wrong guy.”
“Your guild master is Apollo right?”
“As long as you’re not part of the Top 30 Guilds, you better make a new character.”
Hearing this, Hyrkan grinned and took his foot off Wang Jiang’s chest. Free to move once again, Wang Jiang twitched his body. Meanwhile, Hyrkan moved his sword near Wang Jiang’s lower body.
Wang Jiang, who was preparing to get up and put up a final struggle, instantly froze in place.
“You, what do you think you’re…”
Hyrkan slashed at Wang Jiang’s private area. The armor protecting the area was fine. Although there was a little dent, Wang Jiang couldn’t have received any damage.
However, it was the most terrifying, powerful attack Wang Jiang had ever received.
When Hyrkan turned around after finishing off Wang Jiang, four lined-up Skeleton Warriors greeted him. Watching them, Hyrkan smiled.
‘My cute babies.’
Hyrkan was more than satisfied by their performance.
‘These guys are even weaker than I thought. They’re probably somewhere around mid-level 60s.’
Of course, the current outcome wasn’t just a result of Skeleton Warriors’ performance. The three guys from the Apollo Guild were just too weak. Their items were mostly normal rank, with only their weapon and top being rare rank.
On the other hand, Hyrkan had an incredible weapon to use against players.
The Orc Hero’s Sword.
In Warlord, players were also counted as animal-type. Its power in PvP was also why the Orc Hero’s Sword was so popular. Since the Orc Hero’s Sword’s option also applied to Skeleton Warriors, the outcome was only expected. Not to mention, there were no magicians or priests, and they had no time to self-buff either. If they had at least one priest, they wouldn’t have been crushed so easily.
In other words…
‘Considering their items, levels, or skill, there’s no way they made it up here by themselves. The rest of them must be here as well, and they were probably the scouts. The Bulkas Mountain Range should be a good hunting ground for the Apollo Guild.’
The Apollo Guild was likely in the Bulkas Mountain Range. Since the Bulkas Mountain Range was a good hunting ground, it wouldn’t be strange if an entire guild had moved to group hunt.
‘Well, I’ll be done once I kill the Bear Warrior, so it probably won’t be a problem. It never hurts to be careful though. It’s going to be troublesome if I run into them now.’
Although he wasn’t afraid of the Apollo Guild, Hyrkan wasn’t so bold as to fight them head on.
Not to mention, they weren’t what he should be focusing on. Hyrkan turned around. It was time to get back to his original goal. Hyrkan collected the Skeleton Warriors and the Golem, then started walking towards his original destination.
“Ah right, the watches!”
Hyrkan quickly turned back and grabbed the watches. His steps were lighter than usual like someone who stopped at a rest stop to get something to eat.
There was a bar located at the Bulkas Ranger Village famous for its delicious meat and drink. It was a must-visit place for anyone visiting the Bulkas Ranger Village. As one might expect, it was currently filled with people, especially due to Bulkas Mountain Range’s rise in popularity.
What was surprising was that there was a group filling up the entire bar as if they had paid to borrow the whole thing. Even more surprising was that there was only one person sitting even though there were plenty of chairs and tables around.
“So you’re saying he went after you even after knowing that you were from the Apollo Guild?”
The only man seated was wearing a memorable item. An armor made of reddish black scales. It was the Crimson Crocodile set, rumored to be one of the most expensive sets in Warlord. In fact, it wasn’t something one could get his hands on with just money, as one needed connections with the designer and the material provider.
However, the Crimson Crocodile set was currently looking rather… silly. It changed to fit the body of its user, and thus looked as if it would rip apart at any time. That was how fat the man wearing it was. He looked like the mascot of Michelin Automotive Tires.
“Yes, sir. Even though Wang Jiang warned him many times, he apparently did not stop.”
Around the fat man stood five players wearing stern expressions.
They were the executives of the Apollo Guild, which had over 100 members averaging level 60.
“What about his face?”
“They took a video, but it is unclear because of the anti-facial recognition program.”
The Apollo Guild had entered the Bulkas Mountain Range just one day ago, and they had sent Wang Jiang and the others on a scouting mission.
But before they could properly do their job, they ran into trouble. Not only did this trouble get in the way of the Apollo Guild, but it went so far as to attack its members.
After hearing this, Apollo had gathered the guild’s executives to plan how to get back at him.
“They’ve seen them though, right?”
“Well… they said everything happened too quickly.”
“What was he wearing?”
“They said they caught a glimpse of a skeleton armor, but they’re unable to describe it clearly.”
“Three guys got taken out by just one person. How can they not remember his face or clothes?”
“It happened so quick, so…”
Of course, it didn’t seem like things would be that easy.
Listening to the executive’s explanation, Apollo frowned, making him even uglier.
“Whatever, just get him. Kill anyone that gets in the way. We’ll make an example out of him to show what happens to someone who touches the Apollo Guild.”
At Apollo’s words, the executives bowed as they sighed on the inside.
Other players watching this scene clicked their tongue.
‘Film a movie, would you?’
‘Haa. Look at their fatass pig trying to look cool.’
The sight of the Apollo talking like some mafia boss didn’t sit well with players watching him. Not to mention, his appearance was just as infuriating.
On the other hand, there were some players who didn’t even glance at the sight of Apollo making a ruckus.
A grey-robed player drinking a cup of melon beer was one such example.
‘Why do I have to come all the way here to scout a newbie I don’t even know about?’
His name was Hatch.
As the number one magician in the Stormhunter Guild, his precision and accuracy with long-range magic earned him the name Ballista. His fame easily outshined everyone else in the bar combined.
Recently, he had received an order from the guild master.
‘Hahoe Mask Hyrkan… what does she need him for?’
Hahoe Mask Hyrkan. Those that knew him, knew him well, but to those that didn’t, he was just another rookie. The order Hatch had received was to find him and offer him a position in the guild.
‘I know this isn’t the only reason why I’m here, but it’s still too much.’
Of course, he wasn’t here just for that alone. His primary goal was to meet the Bulkas Ranger captain, Maoong. It was for the second main scenario quest line, and finding Hyrkan was something the guild master added after hearing Hyrkan was in the Bulkas Mountain Range.
Even so, Hatch found it a waste of his time to spend even a single second on meeting a rookie.
‘The Queen sure is eccentric. There are plenty of others desperate to enter our guild…’
Had the order came from anyone else, Hatch would have ignored it. However, the order was from the guild master. Storm Queen Shir. Remembering her face, Hatch shook his head.
It was then that Hatch received a sudden voicetalk contact.
“Yes, I’m at the Bulkas Mountain Range. Yes.”
A bit into the call, Hatch’s expression turned worse and worse.
“Yes, I understand.”
After finishing the call, Hatch chugged the rest of the melon beer.
‘Now I have to take care of the Princess too. Dear Lord, save me.’
The Bulkas Ranger Village was slowly filling up with more and more bombs.
A roar of a bear rang out from a distance, shaking the entire forest.
When the roar reached Hyrkan’s body, Hyrkan felt an electrifying sensation from his head to the bottom of his feet.
Under such terrifying air, Hyrkan fixed the hahoe mask onto his face.
‘This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for.’
Although he had already fought with a few boss monsters, they were nothing more than lucky encounters. They were chance encounters, rather than real hunts. As such, this would be Hyrkan’s first boss raid where he had prepared every step of the battle.
It was nostalgic as well. Ever since the war with the Stormhunter Guild, Hyrkan had never participated in a proper boss raid.
It had been several years.
It would be a lie to say those years had no effect on his skills. The Bear Warrior raid would be a battle that would not forgive even a single mistake. Increased risk also meant increased worries and concerns. What if his body wasn’t as sharp as in the past? Just the thought of it gave Hyrkan a headache.
But now that the battle was just a few steps away, rather than being nervous, his heart was beating in excitement.
This is it.
Currently, Hyrkan felt his reason for existence more so than any other time. As useless as he was in real life, he was a hero in Warlord.
‘An Jaehyun, this is where it all begins.’
At the same time, this was a test.
‘If you can’t kill this thing alone, then you’ll never be anything greater. If you fail… give up on solo play.’
It was a test that determined whether the path he had taken was right or wrong.
Hyrkan let out a spirited shout.
It was the start of a legend.