ESP: Chapter 125 - Power of Wealth (3)
- Breaking News! The Hahoe Mask is participating in the great battle at the Shezga castle!
Of course, the reaction to start of any rumor was weak.
- What about it?
- Even that weird bastard is lurking there. So what do you want us to do about it?
- What does the Hahoe Mask participating in the great battle at the Shezga castle have to with us?
Most weak rumors went away before it could gain steam. However, there were times when the weak rumor evolved into something bigger.
- The Hahoe Mask is doing a Hard Carry in the great battle!
This was the latter case.
- Hahoe Mask?
- Great battle?
- Hard Carry!
The combination of these three words captivated the fans of Warlord. Their attention was kidnapped towards the Shezga castle.
In that moment, the fertilizer needed for the news to prosper was laid.
[Your Level has Increased.]
He had heard the Level Up announcement more than 160 times, so it failed to make his heart flutter. Hyrkan focused his gaze on the pandemonium in front of him.
Currently, groups were dispatched to various sectors to block the Corrupted army. A fierce battle was going on, but the defenders of Shezga castle was being pushed back.
Overall, the Corrupted army held the upper hand in the battle. It was like two fighters from different weight classes fighting against each other. Still, the defenders of the Shezga castle didn't fall immediately. They were still holding out. Naturally, the advance of the Corrupted army came to a crawl.
Hyrkan licked his lips at the sight.
The licking of the lips was a representation of how he felt after he finished his Eat the Tail method.
The pieces were already in place, so everything happened as he expected.
He was able to do the Eat the Tail method only until the Corrupted army's advance came to a halt. If one tried the Eat the Tail method when the Corrupted army was stalled, the risk would be smaller than fighting from the front. Still, the Eat the Tail method would become riskier than the Gnawing method.
At that moment, Hyrkan once again chewed on his lips. His lips were already wet, but we once again worried over his lips. The meaning behind this action was clear.
Currently, Hyrkan was anxious.
‘I've already showed you this much. Just bite the bait.’
His goal wasn't to gain EXP. He had another goal.
‘You bastards call yourself gamers. Do you really want to run away like a dog with its tail between its legs?’
Why did people play games? It wasn't a complicated question. There wasn't some philosophical meaning behind why these people chose to play this game. They played it, because they wanted to. They played this game to be better than others, and they wanted to play it in style.
Hyrkan targeted this mentality.
Look at me! If you are with me, you'll get likes, follows or whatever admiration you want! You'll be able to be cool for a day as you play this game today!
In truth, it wasn't hard for Hyrkan to win over the Centurions. It wasn’t as if the Centurions were given salaries for taking the position. These Users insisted on doing the dirty work, since they would be able gain some profit through their position as Centurion. The Centurions would willingly work with Hyrkan if their interests were aligned.
On the other hand, the Centurions didn't have as much control over the groups as they would like to think. The Users gathered under them weren't their underlings. If the Users were unwilling to do something, they left the stage. If the Users left, the Centurions were useless.
This was why Hyrkan had tried to win over the normal User to his side from the beginning.
All his actions up until now was to put hot air into the hearts of the normal Users.
‘The rumors should be spreading right now.’
Of course, the normal Users were in the midst of a battle, so they couldn't check up on Hyrkan's exploit with their own two eyes. They didn't have the time to spare, and even if they had the time, they wouldn't have done it. Still, this didn't mean all the Users in battle were solely focused on the battle at hand.
Even if an important tests was around the corner, most students in school didn't stay focused throughout the whole class. Most students got sidetracked at any given moment. Just because this was a battle it didn't mean the Users didn't get sidetracked. Tankers were in a different position where they had to stay focused at all time. However, it was easy for the priests and magicians to become sidetracked.
This inevitably led to one of them witnessing the Hahoe Mask's exploite from somewhere. What happens after someone witnesses Hahoe Mask's exploits? It was like passing notes in class. The information would spread to the surrounding Users. Since they had the Voice Talk program, they didn't need to pass around a note. They just had to move their mouth couple of times.
After a certain amount of time passed, they reached a point where the atmosphere became disarrayed.
When that moment came…….
In the end, the ones in charge would have to straighten out the distraction. To do this, they would have to come find the source of the distraction.
A light smile appeared on the lips he had tortured.
- Team 5, 6, 11 and 12 will move out of the battle region. Team 1 and Team 2 is on standby. The remaining team's Tanker line and Priest line will remain. All magicians will climb the castle wall!
Big K started to command his troops.
If it was normal times, this kinds of commands wouldn't take root. If a User, who had come to a hunting ground to catch monsters were given an order completely unrelated to the task at hand, most of the Users would leave the party and logout.
It wasn't as if this wasn't happening amongst the Users here.
“Why is he suddenly acting this way? We were in the midst of a good hunt.”
“Crazy. Is he really going to attempt it? How come they are making such a unilateral decision!”
“This is driving me nuts. Why am I obligated to do this? Those bastards aren't my responsibility. Ah. Whatever. I'm out.”
However, this was a relatively few number of Users.
A significant number of complaints were cut down from the value placed on the name of the Hahoe Mask.
“I heard the Hahoe Mask isn't playing around in the rear.”
“I think he caught several hundred by himself.”
“Several hundred? No way. Even if he could catch one monster every minute, it would take him 5 hours to catch 300 monsters.”
“It's the Hahoe Mask. If he summoned 100 Skeletons, he could easily take down 300.”
“Stop speaking such nonsense.”
“Well, let's at least try it out once. It isn't as if an opportunity to hunt with the Hahoe Mask will present itself again. Moreover, the Hahoe Mask must have some kind of a plan in mind. Truthfully, if we stop the Corrupted Army here, wouldn't it be a big deal?”
“The Hahoe Mask said he'll allow us to take screenshots with him afterwards no matter what. It doesn't matter if we win or lose. Let's do this.”
“Ah, wait a moment. Let me update what is happening on Facebook.”
The rumor related to the Hahoe Mask had already gotten out of control. The truths became stretched, and it was spread amongst the defenders of the Shezga castle.
Some of the rumors said the Hahoe Mask had summoned 100 Skeletons, a Death Knight had appeared, a Fire Golem had appeared to turn the battle field in a sea of flame, the Hahoe Mask was able to contract space using magic...
Any rational person that heard the rumors knew it was absurd, but the truth wasn't that important to the Users gathered in the Shezga castle.
First, this sounded fun. If they were really able to succeed in defending the castle, it would look incredibly cool!
These reasons allowed the users to be able to work in perfect order.
As Big K had commanded, the Tanker line alongside the Priests bought time as the Magicians quickly climbed to the top of the castle wall.
When the magicians started to arrive at the top of the castle wall, a new order was given.
- The Tanker line should narrow itself as you perform a slow retreat. You don't have to block every monster! If you don't think you can do it, just let them pass! We are going to let the monsters bang against the castle wall!
Give up the castle wall!
There was another debate going on in regards to this order, but from the perspective of the Tankers, this would give them time to recuperate. In truth, they were happy with the order, so they followed order without any complaint. The Tankers started to retreat from the battlefield as the priests took care of the Tankers. Of course, the Tankers and Priests that had retreated was put on standby.
- Ready your magic, magicians!
It was time for the magicians to shine. The magicians immediately rained down their magic against the monsters.
- Don't use your strong AOE magic. Use the single shot target magic!
Unlike before, they were going to use the meat and potato spells.
- Don't think of it as killing them with magic. You should think of it as destroying the defensive gears worn by the Corrupted army with magic!
The magicians became skeptical when they heard their orders.
‘Destroy their armors?’
‘Wouldn't that mean we won't be damaging them?’
Usually, the magic spells of the magicians were mainly used to deal damage. It wasn't used to destroy the armor. However, it wasn't as if it wasn't possible to do so.They could throw the low-grade magic at the monsters, but it would be an inefficient use of their magic considering their level.
Of course, they needed an explanation.
- After we destroy their gears, we'll have the deciding match inside the castle!
This explanation wasn't enough.
- This is the Hahoe Mask-style hunting method!
However, his following words erased the need for the magicians to get a full explanation.
‘If the Hahoe Mask want us to peel it, we'll peel them like cloves of garlic.’
The magicians readied their magic. They weren't using the powerful magic they learned after their 1st Advancement. They were using magic spells they used a long time ago.
“It's been a long time since I've used the Fireball.”
“It's been so long since I've use any ball type magic.”
“I never used ball or bolt type magic before, so my proficiency is very low. Will that be ok?”
“How should I know? Ask an intellectual about it.”
Not everyone followed the orders given. There were magicians, who decided to ready their big spells. In this world, there were always those who did the opposite of a given order.
However, there weren't many Users like this, so it wouldn't greatly change the balance of battle. They didn't need everyone to follow orders. They just needed most of them to follow directions.
“Start the bombardment!”
Magicians started to throw magic. Moreover, the magical spells were thrown without any rest.
The ball and bolt type magic neither had a long cool time nor a long casting time.
One person couldn't throw it endlessly, but several hundred magicians could endlessly cover the battlefield with magic if they matched their pace.
The magic was starting to create cracks in the armors worn by the monsters.
This was the moment when the battle entered into a new phase.
“The magicians on top of the castle wall will break the armors worn by the monsters. Then congestion would start to occur at locations where the gate or the walls fall. The elite Tanker line will block as the big magic spells will be deployed.”
“The Users dispatched outside will Gnaw at the monsters that are too busy entering the castle gate.”
“Wouldn't the Gnawing method take too long? In the end, wouldn't there be a large number of monsters entering into the castle?”
“It will be a piece of cake to kill unarmored Corrupted monster in the street battle.”
“What should the command structure be like during the street battles? We won't be able to control every small battle that breaks out.”
“Command structure doesn't matter in this. It'll be the same as hunting in the field. Each party will decide on a structure, and they can catch whatever monster they want.”
“If we do this through the street battles, the damage to the castle....”
“Do you have some kind of real estate investment in the Shezga castle?”
Big K didn't have a retort to Hyrkan's words. Big K just closed his mouth, and he smiled.
Hyrkan's strategy wasn't overly complicated. Actually, it was very simple. Since it was simple, he was able to quickly run the scenario inside his mind. For such a simple tactic, the result that was being drawn in his mind was surprising. Hyrkan's strategy wouldn't guarantee them a 100% win, but it put them in a shouting distance of actually being able to win this battle.
If the defenders in the Shezga castle numbered over 2,000, Hyrkan's method would guarantee a win. Of course, this was assuming a very competent commander like Hyrkan was present to direct the progress of the battle.
‘If the 30 great guilds use this strategy... We'll win every time.’
This was why Big K was truly surprised, so he asked Hyrkan the question.
“How did you come up with this plan?”
Hyrkan wasn't able immediately give an answer to this question. Big K thought the snort was directed at him. It was as if he was saying, 'Do I really have to explain single detail?' Big K thought that was what Hyrkan's snort meant. In a way, it could be seen as an arrogant gesture. However, Big K thought it wasn't arrogant. He saw it as Hyrkan's self-confidence.
‘He isn't just good at fighting. Does this mean he is also good at coming up with tactics? Is that how it is? He really has everything.’
At that moment, Big K understood why Chev thought so highly of Hyrkan.
Of course, there was a reason why Hyrkan hadn't answered the question. No, he couldn't answer it. The reason was simple.
‘Your guild created this tactic.’
The tactic that he proposed was something taken out of the Red Bull's manual.
When the Corrupted army went into Siege mode, one used Eat the Tail and Gnawing method to chip away at the Corrupted army. Then the magicians used a large amount of magic to disarm the Corrupted Monsters, and the number of monsters were significantly reduced when the congestion occured. Afterwards, the street battles were used to finish off the Corrupted army. If they took this a step further, the remaining monsters in the castle could be herded outside of the castle, and they could be taken out with a bombardment of AOE magic. This last method was called the 'Hangover' method.
If one wanted to defend the castle, one had to minimize the damage to the castle. However, this was only true in real life. Warlord Users didn't have to care a whit about damaging the castle. This was also the impetus that led to the creation of this method.
This method was put out by the Red Bulls, and this method became the standard tactic in the great battle. The entirety of the 30 great guilds followed the Red Bull's method, and the great battle quickly came to an end with the Users coming out on top. In the process of all of this, the Red Bull's stock rose considerably.
Now that stock increase would happen to Hyrkan. Hyrkan was slightly sorry about doing this, but his heart quickly swallowed up that feeling.
‘Well, who cares. I'm doing this to fatten up the 30 great guilds.’
In the end, wasn't he doing something that would benefit the 30 great guilds? This thought made Hyrkan's stomach ache.
‘No. If I'm being honest, I'm doing so much for the 30 great guilds right now. It wouldn't be enough even if they paid me money.’
It happened at that moment.
Big K listened to his Voice Talk program, and he suddenly asked Hyrkan a question.
“Hahoe Mask. There is an interview request...”
Big K was about to speak, but he closed his mouth. He remembered that Hahoe Mask rarely gave an interview to the media. He realized he had made a big faux pas by asking for an interview. This was evidence that Big K's thoughts were all jumbled. He had let those words slip, since this was an urgent situation. Of course, Big K was ready for Hyrkan to refuse the offer.
“Interview? With the Red Bulls?”
Instead of turning him down, Hyrkan replied with a question. One of Big K's eyebrows lifted slightly.
“No. It's the Fruit Post.”
“How are you acquainted with the reporter?”
“I have personal connections…….”
“You have quite a strong network of contacts. You are able to get in touch with a reporter from the Fruit Post.”
When the Peach Saga V-Gear Series was released, the first order of business was creating a media company that dealt with the improving virtual reality contents. It was called the Peach company, and at the time, the company purchased a struggling traditional media company that was unable to adapt to the age of smartphones. This was how a new media company called Fruit Post came to be.
Currently, they covered a wide variety of contents regarding the virtual reality. Moreover, they were most popular for their work regarding Warlord. In terms of dealing with the weekly Warlord contents, their influence and impact was in the top 3 in regards to media companies.
Big K was close with several reporters from the Fruit Post, who dealt exclusively with Warlord. One of them had caught wind of the situation, and the reporter was trying to get an interview through Big K.
From the perspective of the reporter, it was akin to poking at a persimmons that was out of reach.
“All right. I'll do the interview.”
However, Hyrkan agreed to do it.
The persimmons had just fallen into the open mouth of a reporter.
Big K was surprised, but he immediately reigned in his surprise. He swallowed his spit couple times before he asked a question.
“When do you want to schedule it?”
“I'll do it now.”
“I have time until the street battle starts. I have nothing to do until then. I'll do the interview here. Just connect them to me.”
- The Hahoe Mask's interview is up!
- Is it a live interview? Give me the Fruit's coordinate!
- ㄴ 37° 22′ 12″ N, 122° 2′ 24″ W
- ㄴ Crazy son of a bitch. You gave me the coordinate to the Silicon Valley.
- ㄴ Fruit Post's head office is in Silicon Valley.
Fruit Post did a live interview with Hyrkan, and this became a hot issue. The Warlord fans, who were captivated by the Hahoe Mask, naturally turned their gaze towards this interview.
While everyone's attention was focused on him, Hahoe Mask revealed a strategy that would bring certain victory in the great battle. Moreover, he revealed every helpful strategy in the interview.
Of course, Warlord fans weren't the only ones paying attention. The Warlord Users were watching the content of Hahoe Mask's interview in real time..
‘He's still wearing the armor I gave him. As expected, I did good in making that. It looks good on him.’
The guild master of Stormhunters was watching.
‘I should have bribed him earlier. I never expected him to move so fast. How unfortunate.’
The guild master of the Red Bulls was also watching.
“Thank you for agreeing with our request for an interview. The street battles are about to start. Do you have any last words for our viewers? For reference, over 20 million people are watching this live interview."
“I can say anything? Even though this is a live broadcast?”
“Well, if there's a problem, we just have to write up a report. Please keep the swearing to a minimum.”
“Truthfully, there is no reason why I should have to step up in this great battle. I'll be a little bit more truthful with my words. I don't gain anything from this venture, yet I am carrying out this work. The reason is quite simple.”
The Hands guild wasn't really known in the world. This guild's guild master was also watching the interview.
“Currently, the Users that aren't participating in the great battle are suffering. The high level Users that aren't participating in the great battle are camping out at the Subjugation Associations frequented by the low level Users. This gets in the way of low level Users completing their Quests, since the restless high level Users are exterminating all the nearby monsters. On the other hand, the low level users are having a hard time finding a hunting ground, because of the great battle.”
“Yes. The complaints are steadily getting louder.”
“No matter how I see it, the Users aren't enjoying the great battle.”
“I won't say anything further. I just think that the situation needs a change. I'll end the interview there.”
That was how the interview came to an end.
“Hahoe Mask. Put his name on the same rank as the First Head, the Storm Queen and the Matador.”
“Yes. I'll contact you once I put the classification on him.”
A lot of things changed at that moment.Previous Chapter Next Chapter