Stage lights and cameras shined upon the studio.
'It's been a while.' Jae Woo, wearing his helmet, took a look around. He saw Snow Flower, Strong Punch, and Marco. 'Yo, long time, no see!'
"Hello, viewers! My name is Jeon Seong Gook," Seong Gook said enthusiastically, starting the show.
"Our hunters did it again. They defeated the Beast of the Black Forest, Swift Diak, which is considered the fastest monster in Arth! Who accomplished this feat? It was none other than... Mr. Kang Oh!" Seong Gook pointed at Kang Oh, and everyone began clapping. They'll probably add sound effects when they edit it.
Clap, clap, clap!
Jae Woo softly waved his hand. This was already his third time cashing in. Galmoss, the Tower of Trials, and now Diak. He was quite used to it by now.
"We'll be awarding you your prize of 300 million won ($300,000 USD)."
As always, the bodyguards were present, and Jin Cheol brought him a bag of cash.
Jae Woo smiled at the heaviness of the bag. He had split his winnings with Marco last time, but he took everything for himself this time.
"Mr. Kang Oh, this is already your third time winning. Isn't that a bit much?" Seong Gook asked impishly, beginning the interview.
"I'm going to win the last one too," Jae Woo said unashamedly.
"Aah, the title, Predator, really suits you. You really are greedy."
"That's a compliment, right?"
"Of course. Greed is a strong motivator." Seong Gook grinned.
"That's true." Kang Oh's lips curled upwards. 'You're right indeed!'
"Now then, let's move on to the main questions. How did it feel to fight Swift Diak?"
"Eh, it was pretty tough."
"It was fast."
"Hmm, you're stating the obvious again."
Kang Oh always answered like this. Seong Gook was used to it by now. After that, he asked various other questions, but the answers definitely weren't informative.
"Yes, thank you for your answers. Then let's move on to our next segment. It's time to reveal the last monster. This will truly be their most difficult challenge! Everyone, please take a look at the screen."
The video began playing, accompanied by solemn music.
A huge, roaring monkey was beating its chest! Its body was covered in white fur, and it was over 20 meters tall. There was also an ornate, golden crown sitting on top of its head.
The Monkey King, Wukong! It was an 'invincible' monster that completely crushed the 5 great guilds!
Jae Woo had quite the history with that monkey. After all, he was the first one to discover it.
Wukong pulled out a giant tree and mercilessly swung it around.
Players that went to the Great Forest were between level 200 and 300, but they were nothing more than ants before Wukong.
Then, the screen switched to the 5 great guilds' attempts at defeating it. Several distinguished, famous players were involved. In spite of that, they were defeated so easily. They were no match for Wukong's might!
After that, the video showed other, minor raid teams attempting the raid, but they were defeated just the same.
For the time being, no one attempted to defeat Wukong, so it was slaughtering the inhabitants of the Great Forest day after day. If a player encountered Wukong, they'd curse their luck and they'd die.
"Wukong! A mythological beast that annihilated the 5 great guilds' raid teams! The Emperor of the Great Forest! Some even call him the God of Destruction! Wukong is First Hunter's final monster!" Seong Gook declared loudly.
None of the contestants looked surprised. They had somewhat expected this.
Roaming Galmoss, Spider Queen, Benolov, and Swift Diak; there weren't a lot of monsters harder than these three. As the killer of countless players, Wukong was truly the most fitting end to First Hunter.
"How much is Wukong's bounty worth? Let's show them!"
Ding! Ding! Ding!
The number on the screen rose precipitously. In an instant, it passed 100 million won, and went up to 200 million.
It stopped at… 400 million won ($400,000 USD)!
"Wukong's bounty is worth 400 million won. However, you can make even more than this. If you go first, you can make up to 500 million won! The second challenger can make 450 million won. And the third and fourth challengers will have a shot at the normal 400 million won. As you know, it's a bonus for those who go first. Plus, we'll give the first challenger an additional advantage."
Seong Gook paused. 'You want to know what the advantage is, don't you?'
"Whoever goes first needs to complete the hunt within a week. It's not enough time to gather a team that can defeat Wukong. However, the network can't give you any more time. Thus, our production crew can provide the first challenger with a raid team if they so desire," Seong Gook said.
Marco raised his hand. "What kind of raid team?"
"You must've heard of them before. Ares' Warriors."
They were a renowned raid team. Ares' Warriors had defeated the Monster Bull, Caul, the Lava Giant, Kano, the Sand Canyon's Serapion, etc. All of them were raid bosses.
"Since we hired Ares' Warriors, all of the loot will be yours." Seong Gook grinned. 'Isn't it worth going first now?'
"Can second place use them too?" Strong Punch asked.
"No, only the first challenger can use them."
"Then let's decide the order. As always, please raise your hand if you want to volunteer. If there's a tie, then we'll decide using the luck of the draw."
The contestants nodded their heads.
"Who wants to go first?" Seong Gook stared at Kang Oh and said. 'You always go first!'
However, Jae Woo crossed his arms and turned his head to the side, avoiding his gaze.
Seong Gook looked at the other contestants. Strong Punch's eyes were closed, and Marco was whistling. Snow Flower slightly shook her head.
"Huh? No one? You can use Ares' Warriors for free."
'Isn't it worth a shot?,' Seong Gook thought.
However, Seong Gook only thought that way because he wasn't a top player.
'If Ares' Warriors could beat Wukong, then the 5 great guilds would've beaten him already.'
Even if he were offered a raid team from one of the 5 great guilds, Kang Oh wouldn't volunteer to go first. The rest of the contestants probably thought the same.
"Hmm, then who would like to go second?"
Again, no one responded.
'No one for first or second place.'
"Wukong must truly be amazing for all of you to remain so passive."
"Of course," Snow Flower said. She had been a part of the Breaker Guild's raid team. Thus, she knew firsthand how powerful Wukong was.
'If I want to beat him, then I'll need Guildmaster Raon on my team and the support of the entire guild.'
Black Lion, Raon! He was ranked 3rd among the playerbase, and was the only one within striking distance of Dukeram!
"I'm excited to see how you'll all fare against Wukong. Anyone want to go third?"
No one raised their hand.
"Oh, no one wants to go third either..." Strong Punch raised his hand, interrupting him.
"If no one else wants to go third, then I will."
"Anyone else want to go third?"
Jae Woo, Snow Flower, and Marco just stood still. They were all gunning for last place.
"Then Mr. Strong Punch will go third. Let's determine who will go last. Please bring out the box."
The staff brought out a box filled with balls.
"There are two white balls inside, and one red one. Whoever picks the red one will go last. Since you're the only lady here, you can go first, Ms. Snow Flower."
Snow Flower walked over to the box, and carefully placed her hand inside.
Pick the red ball!
Jae Woo and Marco anxiously watched, but their thoughts went in reverse.
Don't pick the red ball!
Then, she pulled out a ball.
"Aah, it's white! Unfortunately, you won't be going last, Ms. Snow Flower."
"I'll go next." Jae Woo quickly stood up.
His chances were 50/50.
He put his hand into the box and touched both balls. There was no way of knowing which one was red.
Kang Oh hesitated between the two, and eventually pulled one out. Yaahp!
"Yeah!" Marco exclaimed.
Unfortunately, Jae Woo had pulled out a white ball.
"Mr. Marco will be going last. Ms. Snow Flower and Mr. Kang Oh will have to assume the first two vacant positions."
"I want to go second no matter what." Snow Flower raised her voice.
"Me too," Jae Woo quickly said. 'I can't be first!'
"Then let's pick lots again." Seong Gook placed one red and one white ball into the box. "If you pick the red ball, then you go second. Please put your hands in at the same time and pull a ball out."
As instructed, Jae Woo and Snow Flower stood across from each other.
"Please place your hands into the box and pick a ball."
Jae Woo and Snow Flower simultaneously placed their hands inside.
"I've got mine."
"Then, on three, pull out your ball. One, two..."
Jae Woo and Snow Flower stared at each other. 'You go first!'
The tension was so thick it could be cut by a knife. Both of them didn't want to go first.
Jae Woo and Snow Flower pulled out their hands.
A groan and an exclamation resounded throughout the studio.
Like light and darkness, Snow Flower smiled brightly, while Kang Oh's face darkened with despair and disappointment.
"Haha, Mr. Kang Oh picked the white ball, so he goes first!" Seong Gook said, sporting a mischievous expression.
"This is funny to you?" Jae Woo scowled.
"It isn't to you? You're our first place specialist. You could've avoided this if you'd just volunteered to go first. Tch, tch," Seong Gook said mockingly.
'Who would've thought that this would happen?' Jae Woo pouted.
However, Strong Punch and Marco were kind of worried when they heard that Kang Oh was going first.
Predator Kang Oh!
Unlike them, he would volunteer to go first, and had always succeeded on the first try! Thus, they couldn't help but think 'Will he do it this time too?'.
Snow Flower, who'd fought Wukong firsthand, thought differently. 'Even he can't do it. No way!'
"Mr. Kang Oh, you have to hunt Wukong within a week. Since there are others after you, we can't give you a time extension."
"Looks like you want me to fail." Jae Woo stared at Seong Gook.
"No way. I'm always on your side."
He was obviously lying. That shameless, sly face of his was clear proof of this.
"Now that it's come to this, I guess I'll have to kill Wukong and get that 500 million."
It was already spilt milk. All he could do now was give it his best shot.
"Do you want Ares' Warriors' help?"
"Of course. Why wouldn't I? I can use them for free."
"Understood. Then after the shoot, we'll give you their leader, Mr. Isher's contact information."
"Then let's put it all together. Mr. Kang Oh is first, Ms. Snow Flower is second, Mr. Strong Punch is third, and Mr. Marco is fourth. I hope you prepare accordingly and do well. Viewers, please look forward to our hunters' bout with Wukong. You never know. You might see Mr. Kang Oh getting smashed for the first time, so please tune in!" Seong Gook's closing statement was akin to a curse.
"Haa." Jae Woo sighed deeply. "This is bad."
'Wukong, Wukong. He's a big problem!'Previous Chapter Next Chapter