Chapter 132 - On the Eve (3)

Chapter 132 - On the Eve (3)

6.

[You level has increased.]

When he succeeded in leveling up, Hyrkan reached into the small pouch hanging from his waist.  He took out 5 Skeleton Fragments, and he threw it over his back.  The Skeleton Fragments rolled across the floor like acorns, and they immediately changed into Skeleton Magicians wearing gray robes.

After the Skeleton Magicians formed, they gathered their hands.  An emaciated flame started to form between their hands.  The Skeleton Magicians moved their hands as if they were caressing it. As if to reward their attention, the fireballs started to expand.  The fireballs, which had been the size of a child's fist, was suddenly the size of a man's head.  At that moment, the Skeleton Magicians immediately threw their fireballs.

Hwah-roo-rooh!

The five fireballs flew in an arc.  At the end of the arc, there was a battle going on.

Ggah-ahng, kah-ahng!

The sound of steel striking was endless.  It was very easy to differentiate between the two groups that was fighting.  The contrast was stark.

One side was composed of Skeleton Warriors with horns on their head.  They were wearing an armor that was made out of black colored barks.  On the other side, one could see adequately armored humanoid lizards that had black feathers coming off their hides.  They were the Black Grooming Lizard Warriors

The battle between the Skeleton Warriors and the Grooming Lizards were fierce and closely contested.  The two groups were so close to each other that a mumble could be heard by the other side.

Five enormous fireball fell into the battlefield.  Of course, the fireballs didn't differentiate between enemies and allies.

Puh-uhng, puh-uhng.

The five consecutive sound of explosions swept across the battlefield.  The black feathers of the Grooming Lizards started to burn, and the Skeleton Warriors started to let out black colored blood.

[Black Grooming Lizard Warriors were affected by the Black Sap.]

The Black Tree set's effect had been activated.

At the same time, the Skeleton Warriors immediately regained their original form. They regained their original imposing form, and one couldn't see any trace of magical damage on them.

On the other hand, the Grooming Lizard Warriors looked unseemly from the effects of the magical attack.  Their feathers were burning, and the Black Sap clinging to them were quickly diminishing their HP.

Sha-ah! Shah-ah!

The bloody cry came out out of the Grooming Lizards' mouth.  It wasn't a threatening cry.  It was most definitely a cry filled with pain.  Even this didn't last long.  A Skeleton Knight appeared with the Black Cobalt King's sword in front of it, and its presence shut the mouths of the Grooming Lizards.  The Grooming Lizards were so tense that they didn't even attempt to quench the flame sticking to their hide.

The Skeleton Knight didn't let out any sound.  It just opened its mouth wide, and it pointed its sword towards the Grooming Lizard Warriors once.  It let out a silent roar as it charged.

The explosions caused by the magic had created a state of lull on the battlefield, but the Skeleton Knight once again turned the stage into a pandemonium.

At that moment, Hyrkan wasn't looking at this sight.  Hyrkan's gaze was to the left.  In the distance, there was a User observing at Hyrkan.

“Where's the next location?”  

The User immediately answered Hyrkan's question.

“We've already prepared it!”

This was the Black Grooming Lizard's nest.  This was the exclusive hunting ground of the Red Bulls guild.

Warlord had level up support teams.

It was a very absurd concept.  However, the 30 great guilds, the Underfoot guilds and any large guilds possessed level up support teams.  Even some individuals possessed a personal level up team.  The First One Sulwoo, who was ranked number 1 in Warlord's Level Ranking, was a prime example.

Of course, the role of a level up support team was to help a User increase their level.

The basic procedure was for the team to give material support.  In truth, most decent sized guilds participated in doing this.  They designated a fixed region as their main hunting ground, and the guild provided Items to guild members as needed as they hunted.  By extension, there were also Buff teams that casted only Buff and Healing magic.  Then there were the Gathering teams that rounded up the monsters.

“I knew he was a monster, but I never knew what kind of a monster he was.”

Bower was the team leader of the Red Bulls guild’s level up support team. He was basically the hidden trainer of the Red Bulls guild, and he was very experienced.  At the same time, he was very close to Chev in real life.

He was a User affiliated with the Red Bulls, but he had realized he had no talent for this game early on.  This was why he had helped out the Red Bulls with extrinsic matters, and this was how he was able to rise to his current position.

Currently, he was assisting  the Hahoe Mask in leveling up.

- His hunting speed is amazing.  It would take 5 minutes for a 3 man party to clear it, yet he is doing it in 3 minutes by himself.  If we just talk in terms of efficiency, his hunting speed is about 5 times faster.

Of course, Bower wasn't the only one helping the Hahoe Mask.

The owner of the voice that had responded to Bower was named Ricky.  He was a young 20 year old, who liked Warlord.  It had only been two month, since they started to work together, so he was a beginner to all of this.  

“He isn't really 5 times faster, but his speed seems to on par with the First One.”

Ricky was a younger cousin of one of the Red Bulls guild’s officers. His work on the Support team was a temporary job he was doing to make some money on the side.  He was also a big fan of the First One.

- Is he really comparable to the First One?

“In my opinion, he is faster than the First One.”

- What?  No way.

This happened from time to time.  Ricky had parachuted into the level up support team through his background, so he didn't hesitate to disagree with his superior.

- The First One powered through level 220 yesterday.  He now has a 15 level difference between the top 100!  In truth, if you compare him to the Hahoe Mask, it is an insult to the First One.

Bower couldn't help, but let out a bitter laugh at Ricky's response.

‘If someone saw this, one would think he is my superior.’  

Of course, he didn't like Ricky's reaction.

On the other hand, he understood Ricky's reaction. If one looked at Ricky's word from a normal User’s perspective, he wasn't wrong.

First One was a speed demon at leveling up.  No, he was something more than that.  The proof was in his ranking.

Every Ranker within the top 100 tried to level up as if it was a life and death task.  A single level difference was like a difference of 1 second in a 100 meter sprint. It was a very big difference.

Yet the First One was steadily creating a distance between the level 100 Ranked User and him.

Of course, Bower knew about this.

Bower had led the Red Bulls' level up support team from an early point in time.  One of his duties was to find faster ways to level up, so he had researched the know hows of the Rankers.  This was why Bower was much more knowledgeable about the First One than Ricky.

“All right.  I spoke in error.”

Of course, he wasn't going to argue with Ricky right now.  He'll just secretly talk to Chev.  He'll just tell Chev that Ricky is an asshole.  Then Chev will handle the situation.

- The First One is the best.

Ricky had no idea about his fate, so he stubbornly restated his opinion.  However, his tantrum didn't enter Bower's ears.  Bower once again looked at the Hahoe Mask's battle footage.

In truth, he didn't need to assist the Hahoe Mask in leveling up.  Bower wasn't just some simple trainer.  He was like the the Daddy Long Legs of the primary raid team members in the Red Bulls guild.  He had been supporting them since they were around level 20~30.  Bower was like a big brother to all the experienced Users of the Red Bulls.

Even with such a status, he was given this task, because he was assigned to steal all of the Hahoe Mask's know how.  He was tasked in stealing the Hahoe Mask's ridiculous hunting method, battle method and any other information that made him special.

‘He's faster than the First One.’

This was why he was confident in his answer.  The Hahoe Mask's hunting speed was faster than the First One when the First One was at the same level as the Hahoe Mask.

‘However, the fights are too tight.  He doesn't let up.’

At the same time, he could see the weakness of the Hahoe Mask. The Hahoe Mask fought urgently once he entered into a battle.  He had to stay focused throughout in order to finish the battle as fast as possible.  This was a clear difference from the First One.

The First One varied the pace of a battle even during a battle.  If he wanted to work fast, he could catch it in 5 minutes.  However, he didn't overwork himself to catch it in 5 minutes.  Instead, he hunted slowly to catch it in 10 minutes. It was a method used to delay the fatigue and loss of concentration that developed in battles.  The First One used this method to notch an unprecedented amount of play time.  He held the record.

His philosophy was the one who runs the longest beats the sprinter.  He was the proof of this philosophy.

Basically, the Hahoe Mask was a mutation.

‘He's dangerous.’

This was why it was dangerous.  The Hahoe Mask had gone against the traditional method. He was using his method to narrow the distance between the First One and the high level Rankers.

It didn't matter if it was a small change or a big change.  If the Hahoe Mask was able to rise into the level ranking, there would be a change in how things work. The Red Bulls was currently on the top of this existing order, so this change might work against them.

Bower was deep in his thought, and his face continued to harden.

- The Hahoe Mask requested for the Last Spot.  He wants to know the region with the most monsters.

When Bower heard the voice of a manager helping out next to the Hahoe Mask, he relaxed his hardened expression.

7.

[Hyrkan]

- Level : 179

- Class : Necromancer

- Title : 144

- Stats : Strength(2192)/Stamina(1132)/Intelligence(1327)/Magic Power(1601)

Ahn-jaehyun was checking the Hahoe Mask's Character.  There was a half empty pouch of a jelly drink hanging from his mouth.  It was a drink with a difficult name.  It was called the Smart Pouch.

Slurp!

Ahn-jaehyun quickly sucked the jelly out again, and the pouch shriveled up.  He sucked on it until not a single drop of liquid was coming out.  Ahn-jaehyun furrowed his brows.

‘I only sucked on it couple times, yet it's all gone?’

Ahn-jaehyun took the pouch out of his mouth, and he haphazardly tossed it on top of the table. There were three emaciated packs on the table.  If one looked a little to the side, there was a black bag with countless emaciated pouches placed in it.

It was a meal replacement jelly made for patients, who were having a hard time digesting food.  This was Ahn-jaehyun's main meal.

‘It is really expensive, tasteless and small in quantity.... Shit.  What the hell am I doing?’

After the Argardo Raid, Ahn-jaehyun's insides hadn't calmed down, and he was still in a bad state.

He had went to the hospital, and a gastroscopy was done. The doctor told him there wasn't any big problems with him, but he may be suffering from a digestive problem.  As a precaution, he was told to refrain from foods that may act as triggers.  He was told to lessen his stress, and he was  ordered to do physical activities on a regular schedule.

Of course, the only advice Ahn-jaehyun followed was to avoid eating food that triggered his condition.  That was the only one.

Instead, Ahn-jaehyun played on a more tighter schedule than usual.  He had no choice.

‘I just need to jump one more level to reach level 180.’

He had negotiated with the Red Bulls.  To be precise, he blackmailed them.

He sent a one-sided message saying he won't participate in the Immoral Prince Raid until he reached level 180.  The Red Bulls had used the Hahoe Mask's name to sell commercial spots in the live broadcast, so they couldn't just overlook his message.  

In the end, Red Bulls had to reveal a spot that wasn't even revealed to the masses yet.  They allowed Ahn-jaehyun to use the Black Grooming Lizard's nest as his hunting ground.  They even attached a level up support team to him.  This was why everything else other than the actual act of hunting was all provided for by the Red Bulls.  They didn't hesitate to provide him with consumable Items.

This was a chance that might never come again.  His insides were hurting, but he couldn't pass by this opportunity.

‘After I finish my level up, I'll be going into the Immoral Prince Raid immediately.  I have to raise my conditioning as much as possible before that occurs.’

Since he was given this opportunity, Ahn-jaehyun had to be at the top of his game in the Immoral Prince Raid after he reaches level 180.  It was probably too much to expect his insides to get better when he considered the various stress he was under.

‘Still, the events are coming along quite well.’

Fortunately, there hadn't been much chaos created by the Immoral Prince Raid yet.  It wasn't as if no one had tried to defeat it.  The normal users possessing the Battle Tokens allied with each other.  They put together the hints given on the Battle Tokens to find the secret location where the Immoral Prince was hiding.  Two attempts had been made on the Raid.

The result of these two attempts were very bleak.

[The Immoral Prince is unassailable!  If the group doesn't achieve victory, the group is wiped out!]

[The strongest boss monster in history has appeared.  What can be done to clear it?]

Wiped out!

If one was able to earn a Battle Token, one was a pretty skilled User in Warlord.  However, these Users weren't able to have an active role against the Immoral Prince.  None of them were even able to have a decent fight with the Immoral Prince.

This was how strong the Immoral Prince was.  The footages of the battle with Immoral Prince was released.  Even the Hydra, Stormhunters and Red Bulls guild didn't dare to attempt the Immoral Prince Raid rashly.  

What more explanation was needed?

This was also the reason why the Red Bulls was helping the Hahoe Mask level up without any complaints.  The participation of the Hahoe Mask in the Immoral Prince wasn't optional anymore.  It was a necessity.

This didn't mean Ahn-jaehyun was thrilled with the situation.

‘This won't be easy.’

Before he returned to the past, he never experienced fighting the Immoral Prince.  He hadn't dared to fight it.  This was the first time he was contemplating a potential fight with the Immoral Prince after seeing the video.  The fact that this would be his first experience made a chill run up his spine.

In truth, the clear method was very simple.

The Immoral Prince was strong because of the Power of Corruption.  It was an ancient power that had been left behind by the Fallen Kingdom.  Moreover, relics emitting this ancient power were hidden around the Immoral Prince.  Of course, the Immoral Prince would lose significant amount of power every time one of these relics were destroyed.

In the end, the Immoral Prince Raid was about blocking the Immoral Prince, so it couldn't interfere with the Relic Destruction Team.

The content was simple. However, it was hard to carry it out the plan.

‘It is much faster than expected.’

The biggest problem was its speed.

Up until now in Warlord, speed had been a User's weapon.  However, the speed showcased by the Immoral Prince was faster than any User.

Moreover, the type of skills used by the Immoral Prince was troublesome.  His trigonal symbol represented Wisdom, Might and Mission.  As someone that represented a symbol with these 3 meanings behind it, the Immoral Prince was able to use skills that was similar to the main skills of the Swordsman class and the Magician class.

In fact, the Immoral Prince's skills were significantly more powerful than the skills used by the Users.

‘The Skills were strengthen using the Fallen Kingdom's power.  Of course, normal skills can't hold a candle to it.’

The Skills used by the Immoral Prince was part of the new contents the Users would face once they reached the third part of the Main Scenario Quest.  It was the Fallen Kingdom episode.

Anyways,, the Immoral Prince was a monster that possessed every advantage that a User had.  This shouldn’t be seen as facing a Raid opponent.  One had to think of it as a PVP battle. This was why the Immoral Prince Raid needed multiple skilled Users.  One needed experts that could last at least one minute with the Immoral Prince.

‘In the end, we have to use our numeric superiority.’

There was the Hydra guild's Sohank, Red Bull's Chev, Stormhunter's Shir and the Hahoe Mask Hyrkan.

These 4 people would decide whether the Raid would be a success or a bust.

“Hoo-ooh.”

An automatic sigh came out of Ahn-jaehyun's mouth when he thought about it.  Including himself, there were four people who he knew were skilled enough.  On the other hand, would the four Users, who were overflowing with personalities, be able to work together?

‘I hope the crazy bitch doesn't fight the crazy bastards.’

Even the thought of it made his insides hurt.  Ahn-jaehyun picked up a jelly pouch to calm his stomach. He clamped his mouth over it.

‘Huh?’

At that moment, Ahn-jaehyun saw an icon indicating the arrival of an email on his Tablet PC.  Ahn-jaehyun lightly touched it with his finger.

It was sent by Chev.

‘What can this be?’

The content was....

‘In the end, that crazy bitch did something reckless!’

The Stormhunters guild had gone rogue.

8.

‘No matter how I see it, this is crazy. ’

Hatch was putting the consumable items into the pockets that was present all over his body.  He stopped his movements for a brief moment, and he shook his head from side to side.

‘She wants to do the Immoral Prince Raid by ourselves....’

When the Immoral Prince Raid was failed twice, the Immoral Prince moved to a different location.

Clues that notified one of the location of the Immoral Prince was given through the Battle Tokens.  The Stormhunters guild used their information network, and they were able to find the location immediately.  Everything up until that point was business as usual.

However, when the location was discerned, a special order came down mobilizing the Raid teams on standby for the Immoral Prince Raid.

She wanted to attempt the Immoral Prince Raid with only the Stormhunters!

‘The Queen has completely lost her mind.’

This decision couldn't have come from a rational and logical mind.

If other words, this was evidence that Shir was idescribably angry.

‘Well, she had been treated like a complete third wheel up until now.  If one considered the Queen's personality, it is a miracle that she had lasted until now.’

Shir had always received the best spotlights.  She had always been in the top spot, yet no one was paying attention to her recently.  This lack of interest was a humiliation that was hard for her to endure.

Moreover, the Hahoe Mask's fame was piercing through the sky, and without her realizing it, the Red Bulls were being considered the best of the 30 great guilds.  This was a definite problem, and she wouldn't stand for it.

If one messed with Shir, it was basically pushing a button that made a bomb explode.

‘This isn't the right move.’

At that moment, Hatch mustered up his courage.

The Stormhunters was Hatch's place of employment.  Warlord was a part of his life now.  The cost of a failed raid would be enormous. He was well aware of this fact.  If this was inevitable, he had to blunt the damage.  When a leader decides to do something reckless, the subordinate had to stop the bleeding.

‘In the end, the Queen won't listen to me if I speak...  I have no choice, but to inform the Hydra and Red Bulls.’

Hatch was determined to see this through.

‘Uh-whew.  I have to quickly get out of this guild.  If I stay here, I don't think I'll live a full life.  The hospital said they saw some bleeding from my GI tract.  I was told to avoid eating trigger foods, and to avoid stress.....’

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