Chapter 141 - Across the Terube Castle Wall (2)
- How's the battle going?
“It’s been very rough.”
- How's the Quest progress?
“We haven’t had the luxury to assess the Quest progress.”
- I guess the difficulty is higher than expected?
- Did you gain anything?
Natal, who had been having a conversation with the First Head, turned his head. The corpses of the monsters came into view.
They hadn't butchered it yet, so the corpses hadn't melted like ice cream. They still maintained their original form. There were a lot of variety of monster corpses. At a glance, he could see 7 types of monsters. It was hard to find any common characteristics between them. They were all distinct.
The most eye-catching one was the giant that was almost 5 meters tall. It had a single eye, and its skull was shaped like the head of a hammer. It looked bizarre.
The next monster that caught his eye was a 2 meter tall monkey that had a paper thin body. Its body looked so skinny that it was reminiscent of a wooden branch. Moreover, if one touched its skin, one wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the texture of its skin and a tree.
Then there was a beautiful looking monster that was a stark contrast to previous bizarre looking monsters.
It gave off a brilliant feeling like a crystal. Its claws were crescent-shaped, and it was 2 meters long with white fur. It didn't look like a monster. Instead, it looked like a animal that appeared in myths and legends.
Natal looked over the corpses, and he opened his mouth.
Of course, these different types of monsters hadn't attack them all at the same time. The monsters each attacked on their own, and they had just gathered the corpses to one side.
The reason behind this was obvious. It was for research.
- Should I expect anything?
It was the basic of basics to research about a new monster. A proper video showing how to defeat these monsters had immediately monetary value. It could be exploited. This was especially true for the Hydra guild, since they used information as a weapon. Their ability to gather data was peerless.
This was why Natal was careful in answering the First Head's question.
“You should both anticipate and worry about the result.”
- That's an interesting answer.
Interesting…… It basically meant he wanted an additional explanation.
At that moment, Natal re-winded his memory a little further back. He thought about the time when he decided to investigate the Northland.
It was the end of the Immoral Prince, and the interest of the Users naturally shifted to the third Main Scenario Quest.
Where was the starting point of the third Main Scenario Quest?
North, South, East and West.
It'll be located in one of those directions.
Hyrdra guild decided to focus on two directions. They went North and East.
However, the North held more significance since the Northland was located there. It had been the territory ruled by Prince Dean. If Prince Dean gained power away from the eyes of others, there was a very high possibility that he gained it in Northland where he had been in charge.
This was why the Hyrdra guild put more meaning and gravity to the North expedition. This was why the Hyrdra guild's best fighting asset was included within the expedition group. Aside from Sohank, there were 33 other Users included in the Northland expedition team. Their basic battle capability was high, and they were excellent in many other aspects too.
Their Raiding ability was lacking in comparison to the primary Raid team, but in terms of exploring and regular battles, this force was better than the primary Raid team.
However, after a single week into the expedition, they felt as if the stage they stepped onto was too much for them. The monsters here were strong.
These were different types of monsters compared to the ones they had faced before. There were a lot of differences on many fronts.
These corpses, which was about to be turned into ice cream, were a prime examples.
This Hammerhead Giant used its hammerhead to use a Head-butt attack. It was a bizarre form of attack. The Deadwood Monkey's camouflage ability was so good that it was chilling. Moreover, it possessed a poisonous stinger. For an opponent, it was the worst possible combination of skills to face.
New methods would have to be devised to defeat them.. Still, in another light, this could might drive up the anticipation and fun they would have in fighting them.
The problem was the white furred fox named Crystal Crescent Fox.
“We caught the white furred fox in the forest.”
- Did you kill only one?
“They don't travel in a pack, but we caught three of them.
- So it isn't a rare monster.
“We shouldn't have found it in a forest. They shouldn't be living here.”
Even in reality, beasts were tailored to the region they live in. However, the monsters in Warlord didn't always suit their environment perfectly.
However, most of their characteristics were optimized for their habitat.
The Deadwood Monkey exemplified this concept. It was dressed to function most optimally in forests. It wasn't a rare monster, and he had seen several of them nearby.
The fox basically pointed to a single answer.
- Snowfield…… It is worth being concerned about it.
A monster that should be at a different stage was in this environment through some special circumstances.
What kind of stage goes well with the white fur? A white environment goes well with it.
“Yes. I'm pretty sure a snowfield will appear soon.”
There wasn't some incredible meaning behind those words. It was a snowfield. It was a sight one could see easily in real life.
However, up until now, no serious amount of monsters had appeared in a snowfield or a desert field. Tobo Soft hadn't officially explained why, but most Users had an idea on the reason behind it.
- You'll be working hard.
“If it's just working hard, I’ll count it as a blessing.”
The level of difficulty would be unprecedented.
Let’s say there was a person that could run a 100 meters in 9 seconds. If this person ran on a snowfield or a sand pit, how much time would be added to the overall time? It was the same concept for the battles. Unless one is able to fight from midair, the snow or sand would sharply increase the difficulty of a battle.
Of course, the high difficulty wasn't a problem in itself. This would actually increase the fun one would have on this new content. However, if the initial barrier was too high from the beginning, the Users wouldn't even dare to attempt it. This was a problem since the difficulty of Warlord was already high.
Such a content would arrive some day in the future.
Moreover, there was a high probability that they had already reached that point in time.
This was why Natal had said one would feel anticipation and worry at the same time. A new stage had appeared, and only the ones that could adapt the fastest would survive.
- Then that means you are going to have to work hard.
The First Head was already aware of this truth, so he was brief with his words. He swallowed the words he had been about to say. He had been about to tell Natal about the immense difficulty being faced by the team climbing the Urugal mountain range. Natal already had a lot to worry about, so he didn't want to put extra burdens on him.
After the call ended, Natal once again looked at the corpses of the monsters. Then he scrolled down his Title list, and he looked at the 'Noble Walk' Title.
‘The starting point is the same for everyone. However, I've already left the starting line earlier than anyone else.’
He wasn't checking it to see if he still had it. He was looking at it to assure himself.
‘There is no reason why we'll come out behind.’
They had started out before everyone else, so there was no way they could get overtaken. This was the message behind his self-assurance.
‘I have nothing to worry about. I have nothing to worry....’
Natal used this self-assurance to calm his restless heart.
These were three meter long spears being raised from between the trees. There were 10 in total, and the bearers of these spears were in a formation. They were spread apart forming a parabola. At the opening of the parabola, there were goblins wearing bone armors. It was the Bone Armor Goblins.
Rough sounds were emitted when bone impacted on bone.
Afterward, the Bone Armor Goblins let out a cry of anger.
The Bone Spears hadn't caused much damage. The Bone Armors was made using the bones from other dead goblins. The Bone Armors boasted a high defense.
However, these were made from their treasured fellow goblins, so it was important to them. They didn’t want their Bone Armors to get damaged. It was a special characteristic of the Bone Armor Goblins. Their attack power went up as the Bone Armors deteriorated.
Hyrkan was very well-acquainted with this fact. In the past, he had studied all the videos released by the Stormhunters. The memory on how to defeat the Bone Armor Goblins were still present inside his mind.
‘After you rile these bastards up, they'll go crazy if they see a sandbag.’
At that moment, an enormous turtle charged towards the Bone Armor Goblins at a decent pace. The group of 25 Bone Armor Goblins were so incensed that they had a tunnel vision. They had set their hearts on the Turtle Golem, so they charged towards it.
The result of their actions was revealed immediately.
The weapon in the Bone Armor Goblin's hand were made by sharpening the leg bones of their dead comrades. The Bone Knives were stabbed into the Turtle's shell as if it was slicing into a rotten daikon. In a flash, the Turtle Golem resembled a hedgehog. However, the Bone Armor Goblins weren't satisfied with stabbing it only once. They stuck to the Turtle's Shell, and they started swinging their Bone Knives as if they had gone mad.
At such a devastating sight, Hyrkan didn't show any signs of loss. Instead, he yelled out with a little bit of an excitement in his voice.
The Turtle Golem immediately turned into stone.
In the process of Hardening, several Bone Knives of the Bone Armor Goblins became stuck in the Turtle Golem's body.
The ones with their Bone Knife stuck let out a keening cry as they tried to dislodge it.
Even the ones that didn't have their Bone Knives stuck were letting out the cry, and they continued to swing their Bone Knives at the Turtle Golem.
One could hear the Bone Knives chipping away at the stone.
‘They are in a frenzy.’
Every one of them were interested only in the sandbag that had turned into stone. This was when Hyrkan, his Skeleton Knights and Skeleton Warriors moved in.
Hyrkan and his Skeleton subordinates showed them the cost of being distracted.
Shweek, kwah-jeeek, poohk.....
The weapons started causing wounds, and it sounded like a symphony played by an orchestra.
The outcome had already been decided.
All the Bone Armor Goblins received a critical strike. When they tried to change their targets, Hyrkan and his Skeleton underlings ramped up their attacks. He had gained an advantage, so he kept pushing to increase this advantage.
The sound of weapons clashing with each other were heard. However, at some point, the weapons started to impact on living beings. It changed into sounds of flesh parting, and bones breaking.
It took him about 10 minutes to take down 25 Bone Armor Goblins.
[Your level has increased.]
After he ended the short battle, the Level Up Announcement was heard.
‘My level up pace is good.’
This was the 183rd such announcement he had heard.
With the sound of the Announcement as background, Hyrkan smiled as he looked at the corpses of the Bone Armored Goblins.
‘My condition is better.’
He had crossed the Terube castle wall and the nameless lake. He was immediately confronted with monsters over level 180.
Whether it was a large or small monsters that appeared in the past, there had been some common characteristics amongst all of them. However, new monsters were starting to appear with more frequency now. The previous strategies wouldn’t work with them, and new strategies would have to be developed.
However, Hyrkan didn't need to worry about that. Hyrkan didn't need an adjustment time period.
Moreover, at that moment, Hyrkan was feeling something he had never felt before when playing a game.
‘This feels exhilarating!’
After the Immoral Prince episode had ended, Hyrkan hadn't participated in a full-scale battle. He only took down monsters he met as he moved from location to location.
This was the first earnest battle he had participated in a while. When he crossed the nameless lake, he had to use his combat powers at full effort.
Hyrkan was surprised at his own combat efficacy in this battle.
‘I never believed this day would come for me.’
Hyrkan had never thought he was weak. He was a monster if compared to the regular Users. However, every time Hyrkan went into battle he always had to worry about the risk of a Game Over. He always had to weigh the risk of a Game Over to any actions he took. He unconsciously avoided tasks that was risky enough to cause his death.
‘I have no confidence as to whether I can actually die now.’
Currently, he couldn't come up with a risk that would drive him towards a Game Over.
He had the Earth Golem and Fire Golem. Then there was the 2 Skeleton Knights, and almost 40 Skeleton subordinates that could be summoned!
He had the Magic Power Stat to maintain this ridiculous army, and he could just use expensive consumables to supplement any deficiencies!
Lastly, he was equipped with the Chronicle Epic Items that he would have never dreamed of owning before! He just had to look at his own Specs!
These factors minimized the risk he felt in the front line. The word ‘Risk’ had always been present in his mind, but now he could erase it from his mind.
These were battles without any risk of death. Of course, he would be in a good condition in such battles.
This was like an addicting drug for him.
‘I can step on the accelerator, yet there is no way I'll crash. I don't have to drive safely anymore.’
Hyrkan unhesitatingly put a magic recovery Item, which was worth 150 golds, into his mouth.
He ate it in one bite instead of economizing it.
He didn't need to be thrifty. At this moment, he just wanted to continue this feeling he was having. That was the only thing in his mind.
After he finished his recovery of his magical energy, Hyrkan let out a yell.
Hyrkan was the first unaccounted variable for the Hydra guild, who was still far ahead.
At a glance, one could tell they were equipped with expensive Items, and one could see a Smiling icon somewhere on their body, which identified them.
Big Smiles guild.
They were treated as the weakest in the 30 great guilds, but on the other hand, they still possessed the most guild members. They were still heads above the normal guilds, and they were beings that were high above in the sky for the normal Users.
The guild members affiliated to such a guild had appeared in front of the Terube castle wall.
Thirty Big Smiles guild members were gathered in front of the high castle wall, but none of them were intimidated by the sight.
They had seen this castle wall countless times before. Moreover, there was the hidden rookie, Cho-oohroong, who had conducted countless battles across the castle wall.
Including himself, Cho-oohroong was leading a group of 30.
“We've received the Exploration Quest from Captain Bagel. We are allowed to go past the castle wall now.”
Apollo nodded his head at Cho-oohroong's words."
“Get ready everyone.”
At Apollo’s words, the 28 Users tilted their bodies to look at a certain User for a signal. The User receiving all their gazes nodded his head lightly. It seemed Apollo was oblivious to all of this. He continued to speak.
“As I've said before, if you lack in skills and you lag behind, we will leave you behind. I want you guys to harden your heart. This is the biggest prey we’ve hunted up to this point. It’s the Hydra guild.”
There was a bloody smile on Apollo’s lips. By the look of him, it seemed he would have taken down Hyrdra guild if he could do it on his own. Everyone sneered at his attitude.
Apollo’s words made everyone mock him, and it wasn’t a strange reaction.
‘Our guild is in a bad state. Some weird bastard became an officer, and now we have to listen to his commands.’
‘What a pig. I best he has a lot of money. How much did he spend to buy that officer's seat?’
However, their mocking smiles disappeared every time they looked at a certain User.
‘Yes. He can only put our trust in him.’
This User’s identity….
‘We just have to believe in Sinclair-nim.’
‘We just have to set up the stage. Then Sinclair-nim will take down the Second Head.’
It was Sinclair.
The second unaccounted variable by the Hydra guild had shown up.Previous Chapter Next Chapter