Chapter 102 - Guerrillas (2)

Chapter 102 - Guerrillas (2)

A temporary town was erected near the Cursed Domain with Sarabo at its center.  Most of the Users that had gathered in the town was over level 140.

Of course, most of the Users gathered here had played Warlord since it opened.  They were the the inhabitants of Warlord, and they had spent five to six hours a day since the opening day...  A good number of the Users experienced fingers being pointed at them in worry by their parents and friends. They would say things like 'Tsk tsk!  Does the game feed you?  Will it feed you?', yet these players continued to play for an inordinate amount of time.

This is why everyone here was well aware of how Warlord worked.

This was why everyone here was guarded rather than being awestruck by Hyrkan.  He was someone that had to be kept in check.

‘In the end, the Hahoe Mask got the 1st place.’

‘This makes no sense.  To my knowledge, the Hahoe Mask is level 130.  There is a 10 level gap between me and him.  Moreover, the Hahoe Mask is hunting by himself.  How is he able to catch more monster than a 4 man party?’

‘Is the rumor of him being some incredible rich kid true? Did he really spend a million dollar on this game?  At the very least, his Items are Unique Rank, and even his Skeletons are equipped with Unique Items.....  That fucking rich bastard.  If he wants to flaunt his money, he should do it somewhere else!’

Hyrkan was well aware of how others looked at him.

‘I've arrived.’

The attention he got from his surrounding was worrying, but at the same time, it was something long-awaited.

‘I've finally caught up to them.’

He had received these kinds of gazes before he had returned to the past. At the time, he needed two years to receive it.  Moreover, he wasn't by himself at the time. He had to attack in droves to barely get the frontrunners to be wary of his party.

His current pace was the only evidence he needed.  He had made the right choice.

Everything Hyrkan possessed was invested into this world called Warlord.  There was an evidence he wanted to see above all else.  He wanted proof that he hadn't been wrong.  This was the only thing that could console Hyrkan, when his heart wavered.

‘I was unexpectedly lucky.’

Truthfully, provocation came alongside these gazes. Aside from the provocation, Hyrkan had experienced a widescale attack before.  Hyrkan thought there was a good possibility something bad would happen in the near future. He had hardened his heart.

However, no groups decided to provoke him.  They looked at him with dissatisfaction and wariness, but they did nothing.

Hyrkan didn't know the exact reason, but he had his suspicions as to why  no one was attacking him.

‘I never expected to benefit, because of the Red Bulls.’

In recent days, Red Bull's guild master Chev had referenced the Hahoe Mask in an official interview.

During the interview, Chev mentioned that the Hahoe Mask's Waltz was the most memorable footage he had seen related to Warlord in recent days.  The reporter immediately asked if Chev was acquainted with the Hahoe Mask.  As if he had been waiting for the question, Chev gave an answer.

“I don't know him officially.  I'll leave it at that.”

When he gave his answer, the discussion online got a little bit more heated.

- The Hahoe Mask is acquainted with the Red Bulls?

- Maybe the Hahoe Mask is Red Bull's hidden ace card?

- Wow.  If the Hahoe Mask enters the Red Bulls, wouldn't that trump everything?  If the Hahoe Mask enters the frontline Raid team of the Red Bulls, they'll become the strongest in Warlord!

- This is a rumor, but there is a rumor saying they are lovers.

- Aren't they both men?

- This is why it's such a big news.

- There are a lot of crazy people on the top.

Of course, there are cases where weird rumors heated up.  Still, the interview was the reason why no one was messing with the Hahoe Mask.  They didn't want to offend the Red Bulls.

‘He must have really taken a liking to me. Or maybe his Quest progress is going really well, because of the hint I gave him.’

Of course, Chev didn't speak about him for no reason.  Chev knew the influence his words possessed.

It had been a form of signal.  It was a signal say he wanted a closer relationship with the Hahoe Mask.

From Hyrkan's perspective, this was all very sudden, but he didn't have any reasons reject it.

‘I was right in wearing the Mask.’

Hahoe Mask.

In the end, the Hahoe Mask had given him an identity.  It gave him a chance to build up his non-existent background.

As a result, there was nothing holding him back now.  He was able to finish first in the Vodoo Chimera hunt, and he was able to proudly stand in front of Sarabo as the Point Ranking leader.

“Good job.”

These were the Users, who had been operating out of the temporary town.  These were the groups ranked 1st to 4th in the Point Ranking.  Sarabo gathered the four groups, and he gave each of them a gem.  The red gems were generating light on their own.

“With your help, I was finally able to come up with a method to block the Evil Eye's Curse. The gems I gave you all will block the spread of the Curse.”

At that moment, everyone realized what was going on.

‘So this is how the story will progress.’

‘It'll give a ticket up to the 4th place?  This is turning out to be quite interesting.’

‘Basically, the ones with the tickets can receive the quest.’

There had been a lot of talk about the reward given depending on the Point Rankings.  There were talks about Sarabo giving a Unique Item or a Skill Book.  There were also talks about a reward of over 100,000 gold....

However, those rumors were incorrect.

This gem could block the curse of the Evil Eye!  This was the reward.  It basically meant a select group of Users could Raid the Evil Eye.

‘Everything up until now was the preliminary rounds.’

‘We are the only ones that can participate in the main round.’

It was a pretty valuable reward.  Currently, the Evil Eyes were roaming around the Cursed Domain, and they weren't allowed to be targeted.  When one saw an Evil Eye, the curse activated, and all of one's Stats suffered a 50% reduction.  Moreover, one's movement speed was decreased by 80%.  It was a frightening curse.  

If it was a level 200 User, one might be able to overcome it.  However, it was impossible for level 150 Users to catch the Evil Eye.

Of course, there was an additional reward for the 1st place User.

“You contribution was the largest. I'm giving this reward only to you.”

It was the reward.

“What?”

“Use it well.”

“What?”

It was a single coin.

The coin had 1,000 stamped on it.

“T...this is it?”

Hyrkan was genuinely taken aback as he asked the question.  Sarabo patted Hyrkan on his shoulder.

“You did well.”

Hyrkan shook when he heard those words.

‘No!  Give me an Item instead!  Item!’

He never expected the 1st place reward to be a mere 1,000 gold.  Of course, 1,000 gold wasn't a small figure.  It was very rare to get more than 1,000 gold as a reward.  This was a pretty large reward.

However, Hyrkan had used his Bone Explosives and other resources liberally to get the 1st place in this Quest.  He was dumbfounded.

‘Really?  Fuck!’

Unbidden cuss words were close to pouring out.

Sarabo lightly brushed off Hyrkan, and it spoke towards the rest of the group.

“The only thing let is to catch the Evil Eye then you have to enter the Cursed Castle.  The first one to catch the Evil Eye and arrive at the Castle will be given this sword.”

Took took!  

As it was speaking, Sarabo patted the sheath of the sword he wore on his left hip.

“I'll give this sword as a reward.”

[Quest 'Evil Eye Hunter' has started.]

[This is a Conditional Quest.]

The real Quest had just started.

The rumor was spread immediately.

Those ranked 1st to 4th in the Point Ranking could catch the Evil Eyes.  The rumor was they had to form a team to hunt down the Evil Eye.

Moreover, the Quest Reward was one of Sarabo's sword!

The Users that had lost in the points competition hadn’t left.  They planned on staying at the Cursed Domain to hunt.  Of course, they would be interested in such a Raid, and at the same time, they finished calculating their moves.

‘It's the Hahoe Mask.’

‘It'll be most advantageous to be able to team up with the Hahoe Mask.’

Everyone gathered here were experts.  They were all very skilled.  However, they all had the same obvious weak point.  They excelled at regular hunting, but no one here had many experience in fighting the Boss Monster Raids.  

Evil Eye wasn't a Boss Monster, but the difficulty was so high that it could be considered to be a Boss Monster.

They needed a User with a lot of Boss Monster Raid experiences.  From that perspective, the Hahoe Mask was the best amongst the pieces here.

It was the same for Hyrkan.

‘I can't do this by myself.’

Evil Eye.

If he wanted to kill the monster, he could do it.  Currently, there weren't any monsters here that he couldn't catch on his own.

However, he wouldn't be able to catch it faster than his competitors.

‘Shit.  I never expected it to be a qualifier.  If I knew about it, I would have just aimed for the 4th place!’

It couldn't be helped.  

Hyrkan's weakness was quite apparent right now.

It was impossible for him to cause massive damage in a short amount of time.

‘I have to get this reward.  I've spent a lot of money, so I have to get Sarabo's Sword.’

Armor Breaking.

When one is trying to destroy the target's defensive gear, the User's skill was more important than one's Class Skills.  One had to stick to the monster's body, while using a variety of Skills.  It wasn't easy. The existence of Skill Cool down was another hindrance.  This basically meant there wasn't much difference between Hyrkan and a Sword Class User when it came to Armor Breaking.

However, it was a different when he had to fulfill the role as a damage dealer.  For example, let’s say there's a level 140 Swordsman, who had advanced to the Fighter class. If this User received a full Buff from a Priest, Hyrkan couldn't come close to the sudden damage the Swordsman could cause using a combination of his three Skills.  It didn't matter what methods Hyrkan used.

On the other hand, Hyrkan had the Skeleton Warriors, Skeleton Knight, Skeleton Magicians and the Golem.  He was able to deal a constant amount of damage.  If one considered the total damage, Hyrkan was almost on par with a normal Swordsman Class.

‘I have to catch the Evil Eye, and I have to be the first one to reach the castle.’

Anyways, it was important to be able to deal critical damage in a speed run.  In a speed run, it wasn't about lessening the HP.  It was basically more advantageous to just demolish the monster.  For example, if one was fighting a User, it would be better to just cut their throat for an instant Game Over rather than apply constant damage to decrease the HP to 0.  

‘There are a total of 5 parties including me.’

Moreover, if one wanted to catch the Evil Eye, one needed a party of around twenty people.

If the 5 parties combined, they would reach close to that number.

Of course, if they did that, it would become a problem as to who would receive the Sarabo's Sword as a reward.

If Hyrkan wanted to keep the Sarabo's Sword, he would have to give the rest of his party members something of equal value.

On the other hand, someone might insist on taking the Sarabo's Sword by paying the requisite price.

‘It isn't too late to think about this afterwards.’

Of course, the most important thing to do right now was to catch the Evil Eye, and reach the Cursed Domain's Castle.

‘Let's catch it first!’

Hyrkan was fired up more so than any time he could remember.

“The armor is off!”

“He succeeded in Armor Break before it moved onto the next Phase!  What a crazy son of a bitch!”

Evil Eye.

It was 5 meters tall with armor covering its body.  It had the head of a snake, but it had only one enormous eye. Its true appearance was finally revealed to the world.

It had a lower body of an enormous goat, and the upper body of an ogre. Its skin were like rags, and there were signs of the skin being sewn together. On top of all of that, it had an enormous snake's head, and the single eye was letting out a red light.  Its name was well-matched.

Hyrkan quickly came down to the floor after he took off the monster's armor by himself.  The Evil Eye glanced at Hyrkan with its single eye. However, it didn't chase after him.  Three tankers had gotten into a triangular formation, and the Evil Eye's movement had been restricted.

It looked funny seeing 2 meter tall Users blocking the progress of a 5 meter tall monster.  However, they had enough power to be able to fend off the Evil Eye.

“The Magicians are ready!”

“Just ignore the phases.  Let's just focus on the damage dealing.!”

“Focus on the damage instead of the HP. Let's go for destruction of its body!”

Hyrkan exited the stage, and he caught his breath.  A Priest came up to him.

“Do you need a heal?”

Hyrkan shook his hand. The Priest looked over Hyrkan's body.  Hyrkan's clothes were dirty, but there were no rips.  It was evidence that Hyrkan hadn't been hit, while Armor Breaking.

It is said the wounds are a badge of honor on a battlefield, but wounds weren't a badge in Warlord.

It was the opposite.  It was a badge of honor to be unhurt like Hyrkan.

“You are incredible.  I've never seen anyone, who is better at taking off a monster's armor.”

Hyrkan flicked his finger instead of replying to the statement.

Ddul-goo-ruhk ddul-goo-ruhk!

When he did so, the Skeleton Magicians on standby started to raise their arms up high.  There were 5 Skeleton Magicians wearing red colored robes with gold trims.  They held staffs with a black gem mounted on them.  Instead of looking cool, they looked expensive.

The Priest let out a bitter laugh as he observed Hyrkan.  The Priest realized what was going on.

‘He is almost making me speechless right now.’

The owner did the complicated task of Armor Breaking.  The Golem and Skeletons were used to deal damage.  Depending on the situation, they were also used as Tankers to divert the attention of the monster.

‘However, there is hard cap to his ability.’

Hyrkan was incredible.

However, at the same time, the Priest could see an obvious weakness.

‘He is over-pacing himself.’

Rest was very important in a Boss Raid.

Boss monster raids were a marathon.  It wasn’t a short-distance sprint.  One could also characterize it as a relay race.  People ran with all their might, but when the baton was handed off, they got to rest.  This would allow them to sprint with all their might when their turn came once again.

However, Hyrkan wasn't like that.

If Hyrkan ran the whole course at this pace, we would be able to achieve an unimaginable record.  However, Warlord wasn't a marathon.  There wasn't a goal line.  It was a world where numerous people fought for their Rankings.

‘This isn't my problem.’

Of course, the Priest didn't need to worry about Hyrkan's circumstances right now.

“Then get ready for the next attack.”

The Priest decided to root for Hyrkan to fall over in exhaustion.

After hearing the Priest's words, Hyrkan half-heartedly waved his hand instead of answering him.  The Priest left, and Hyrkan regulated his breathing.

After the Hahoe Mask's team caught the Evil Eye, they raced towards the Cursed Castle.

“Do you think we'll get the first place?”

“There is no way someone could have caught it faster than us. Of course, I'm assuming the raid teams of the 30 great guild isn't present.”

“Wow! The Evil Eye Hunter title raised the class-specific stat by 20 points! It's a jackpot.”

“Really?”

The Users, who were running, felt their chests start to fill with happiness.  When they reached the castle as the 1st place team, they would receive Sarabo's Sword.  Everyone would be able to gain a lot of money.

Everyone's steps were light, because they were happy.

They arrived at near the very run down castle wall of the Cursed Castle.  In a flash, they jumped over the moat, and they climbed over the wall.  They used the plentiful cracks to climb up the castle wall.  For Warlord Users, this was a easy as running across a flat ground assuming one had a certain amount of Strength.

It happened when they crossed the castle wall.

[You've acquired the Title 'Visitor of the Cursed Castle.']

Everyone acquired the Title at once.

[You've completed the 'Cursed Domain' Quest.]

‘Ok.’

Hyrkan had just completed another Main Scenario Quest.

[You've failed in completing the 'Evil Eye Hunter' Quest.]

In conclusion, everyone received an announcement saying they had all failed at completing the Evil Eye Hunter Quest.

“Huh?”

“What the hell?”

They were like actors in an opera.  Everyone's expression crumpled at the same time.

They frowned, because they discovered there were other guests inside the castle.

‘Someone did it faster than us?’

They would have understood it if they had made a mistake in the Evil Eye hunt. However, the Hahoe Mask's team couldn't picture a more perfect run. This was especially true since Hyrkan and the Strikers had cut off the Evil Eye's head when it was about to enter into the 2nd phase.  This had decisively reduced their raid time.

However, there had been a party that was faster than them?

Hyrkan also couldn't help, but be taken aback. He was already pissed off at the 1 thousand gold reward yet he had also lost out on Sarabo's sword?  His insides would hurt for at least a week.

‘Who the hell are those bastards?’

Hyrkan looked on with a poisonous expression.  He looked over the group that had caught the Evil Eye before him.

‘The Noopy Family?’

It was the Noopy Family.

It was a group, who had received the Evil Eye's curse blocking gem alongside Hyrkan.

‘These guys are skilled, but they shouldn’t have been able to do it faster than me.’

Even Hyrkan admitted their skills were exceptional.  However, this party didn't have enough firepower to catch the Evil Eye faster than him.

Hyrkan continued to look at the other members of the group.

Hyrkan's eyes eventually landed on a User wearing a silver armor, which was surrounded by a green light. He wore a cylindrical Great Helm, and he was talking to the Users around him.  He didn't seem to be a comrade of the other Users.  The other Users treated him like a superior.

‘Huk! Is that the Greenstone Imoogi set? Is this for real?’

Greenstone Imoogi.

It was a level 150 Boss monster, and it was very strong.  Currently, it was one of the three most difficult level 150 Boss monster Raids that had been successfully completed.

Moreover, the only Guild that had been able to successfully finish the Raid was the V&V Guid.  They were a member of the 30 great guilds.

There was a great amount of worth to this Boss Monster.  The ingredients from the Greenstone Imoogi could be used to make a 5 part Unique Item set.  When the set option activates, it gave an incredible effect.

‘My god. Why is that thing here?’

When one delivers a critical hit to an enemy, the 'Imoogi's Curse' was cast.  The 'Imoogi's Curse' decreased the opponent's defense by 25%. Moreover, the Imoogi's Curse can be stacked with other curses.

As the monster's level increased, the effect of the Imoogi's Cursed decreased.  However, it wasn't an exaggeration to say this was the best defensive set one could get when going up against monsters below level 150.

On top of all of that, V&V guild was currently monopolizing the Oksan's Hourglass, where the Imoogi appeared. Any Items related to the Greenstone Imoogi was being monopolized by the V&V guild.  The guild had a strict policy of never selling it to anyone outside of the 30 great guilds.  The big donors of the V&V guild, and the close allies within the 30 great guilds were the only ones able to wear the set.  It was something one couldn't acquire even if one had the money.

In fact, the Greenstone Immogi's Set options had never been released to the public.  He knew it only because he was Hyrkan.

How could such a set be in front of his eyes?

Hyrkan was nervous, and at the same time, he had a hunch.

‘This isn't someone, who should be here. Is he a member of the V&V guild?’

A whale lived in the ocean instead of a lake.  That was the point.  This bastard should be playing in bigger waters than the Cursed Domain, yet he was here.  In other words, there was a reason why he had come to the small lake.  He didn't come here by mistake.

‘What the hell?’

It happened at that moment.

‘Uh?’

The unknown User wearing the Greenstone Imoogi met face to face with Hyrkan.  They didn't see each other eye to eye.  The User wearing the Greenstone Imoogi set had a Great Helm on his head, and it covered his entire face.  Hyrkan had his Hahoe Mask and a hood had been thrown over his head.  It wasn't possible for them to see eye to eye.

‘He's giving me a cold feeling.’

At that moment, Hyrkan thought about the event before he returned to the past....

‘It's very cold.’

He had glory right in front of his eyes, yet he had fallen due to a nonsensical reason.  Those memories flitted through his mind.

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