Chapter 149 - Ancient Power (2)
In truth, the mattress he was lying on was unable to perform its original purpose, but Ahn-jaehyun was draped over it like a corpse. A blanket that was about to decay made the worn out mattress look shabbier. When both of his eyes opened, he kicked hard at the blanket.
“Ora ora ora!”
He let out a energetic shout as he got up. It was hard to believe that Ahn-jaehyun had been lying on the mattress like a lifeless corpse a moment ago. He was showing a frightening level of energy as he walked towards the restroom.
He immediately put a big dollop of toothpaste on his toothbrush, then he looked at himself through the small mirror inside his restroom. He was quite skinny. He was in a sorry state where eating meat for a month straight might not be able to fix him. However, he thought he looked better than ever as he looked at his own reflection in the mirror.
If he was to exaggerate it a little bit, he looked like Leonardo DiCaprio in his prime when he failed to win his second Oscar. That was how great he thought he looked.
‘It is done!’
This was how much Ahn-jaehyun's mind was set on what he’ll do.
‘Wait for me. I'll kill any bastard that blocks my way. If anyone bothers the Hahoe Mask, I'll fuck them over.’
Moreover, he was now qualified to think this way.
He couldn't help, but laugh even as he brushed his teeth. He was so happy that it was as if he was losing his mind.
Of course, the reason for his happiness was the game.
‘Frost! I got the Frost! Ooh-ha-ha-ha!’
He had caught the Frost Knight 8 hours ago.
He immediately logged out after finishing the Frost Knight Raid. When he came back to reality, he went straight to sleep.
It wasn't as if he didn't have work to do. Actually, he had too many things on his agenda to do. He had to organize the footages he recorded, then he had to check what was going on in Warlord. He also had to calculate his bottom line.
However, he just went straight to sleep. It was true that he was tired from the Frost Knight Raid, but that wasn't the deciding factor. There was another reason.
His head was too crowded with miscellaneous thoughts. The inside of his head was a jumbled mess, and he couldn't organize his thoughts in his tired state. This was the reason why he had slept.
Then 8 hours had passed....
This was the longest sleep he had in the past year, so his head felt clearer than ever. Ahn-jaehyun could easily process the various types of joy he felt.
This was why Ahn-jaehyun was able to savor his own overflowing happiness.
‘Well, let's see the effect of the Frost… It can pretty much be used on anything.’
The most joyous part was the fast that he had gained the Ancient Power of Frost.
Basically, the Ancient Power could only be used on Rank A Skills. He couldn't use it on the Skills he had gained recently. On the other hand, it could be used on the Skills that he used as his main power.
‘I guess the the Skeletons would change first. I wonder what kind of effect it would have on them?’
He had no idea what effect would be applied to them. He just knew it'll be powerful. He was filled with happiness just from thinking about it.
However, this wasn't the end to his good news.
‘If I do well on this Frozen Kingdom episode, I can get over 3 million purchases on my paid video.’
In truth, the part he was anticipating the most in the Frozen Kingdom episode was the profit from selling his paid video.
Before Ahn-jaehyun returned to the past, the Stormhunters guild didn't broadcast the Frozen Kingdom episode live. The entire episode was filmed, and edited. Then they put the film on their live channel.
At the time, live broadcasts were considered to be the best way to deliver a content. However, the Stormhunters decided to try a new method. Since it was new, it was risky. However, this attempt lead them to striking gold.
Of course, they didn't succeed just because they attempted something new. The Frozen Kingdom episode was played over a 15 day period, yet they edited it down to 3 hours of footage. Moreover, the video wasn't just done as if it was footage from a game. They planned out the scenario and plot. They produced it like a real movie. In this process, the Stormhunters had hired a famous Hollywood director. They basically created a movie using the Warlord as stage.
‘At the time, they had sold an incredible 3.9 million tickets to the paid broadcast.’
It had been a huge success!
The Frozen Kingdom episode film put out by the Stormhunters didn't get nominated in the Academy awards or Cannes film festival, but it did gain entrance in some famous film festivals. It received favorable review. This wasn’t something one just forgot about after seeing it once. It was accepted as a piece of art.
Of course, no one had attempted this yet. If one wanted to attempt this, one needed a Main Scenario Quest type story to pull it off. However, no guild had monopolized the Corrupt Count or the Immoral Prince episode. The Hydra guild had attempted to monopolize the Corrupt Count episode, but in the end, they weren't able to kill the most important figure, the Corrupt Count. This pretty much nullified their attempt at a monopoly of a content.
It would be possible to make one with the Immoral Prince episode, but any deal needed the Hahoe Mask's approval.
This was why Ahn-jaehyun's attempt at this would be awesome and fresh to the audiences.
Of course, he was looking forward to this.
‘I wonder if the Romani Films would be able to digest this.’
On the other hand, this was a full-length film. This would require a lot more professional editing than a regular movie. It was possible that the Romani film might become overwhelmed by this task.
Of course, the production cost would skyrocket. He had to expect the cost to be in the range of being able to buy one or two mid-sized sedans.
However, Ahn-jaehyun had enough money to pay it off in a lump sum.
‘It's been advertised properly. I'll have to do this even if I have to empty my bank account.’
The Main Scenario Quest's content had suddenly changed, but on the other hand, Warlord had given out an incredible free advertisement for Hyrkan. Everyone would be anticipating the new footage from the Hahoe Mask. They'll be curious as to how the Hahoe Mask had opened a new era.
If he got past this part, he wouldn't have to spend money on Items.
‘There aren't that many level 200 Items available, and I wouldn't immediately have to spend money in purchasing those Items.’
In the past, he had to change his Item setting every time he leveled up. Moreover, it wasn't just about upgrading the Hahoe Mask. He also had to take care of each of his Skeletons too, and he had to figuratively sell his spine to equip them.
However, this wasn't the case any more.
The Ruined Kingdom episode had just started, and the Items above level 200 would start to come out in earnest. These would be Items for the Users that went through the 2nd Advancement. In other words, Ahn-jaehyun didn't have to purchase any more new Items.
If he needed to find a place where he needed to spend his money, it would be to equip the Death Knight he'll be able to summon soon. This would be after he went through the 2nd Advancement to become a Lich. However, it shouldn’t cost too much.
‘I'll have to give either the Crying Sword or the Dethrone King's Sword to the Death Knight.’
The Death Knight was like a Lich's clone. Basically, any permanent Items that were bound to the summoner could be equipped by the Death Knight. If he wanted to, he could even put a Hahoe Mask on it. Of course, the Death Knight wouldn't complain about being handed down used Items.
In the end, that was the most joyous part of all of this. The Hahoe Mask will show the fastest progress starting now from the Ruined Kingdom episode. The difference between the Hahoe Mask and the 30 great guilds would widen further.
As he brushed his teeth, Ahn-jaehyun saw a rosy future in front of his eyes.
‘Should I move to a new place?’
Should he move to an incredible penthouse? It would look over the Han River. Maybe he'll get the high-rise apartment where he'll be able to play the game with his V-Gear in front of the view of the Han River.
‘……No. I have no problem playing this game here. The internet speed is quite fast here. Ah! Maybe I should buy a car?’
He could fill the parking lot with expensive sports car, and he could take a different car out each day. He thought about diligently playing a game with cool cars in a house with a garage.
‘……however, there is no point in buying an expensive car right now. I don't have anywhere I want to go, and I don't have the time. Moreover, the insurance price would be high. On top of that, the value of a car halves the moment I buy it. So what should I do? There must be a luxury item that I can splurge on right now. What kind of luxury item do I want?’
In truth, he wasn't easily able to imagine this incredibly rosy future.
‘Yes. I'll use this opportunity to buy the level 6 V-Gear! I wonder what kind of expression the Peach Store employees will have when I buy the level 6 V-Gear with a single payment.’
Ahn-jaehyun could now properly imagine his rosy future. He spat out the liquid through his smile.
After he washed his face, Ahn-jaehyun put his glasses back on. He was in a good mood as he turned on his Tablet PC.
‘I bet it'll be plastered with stories about me.’
It was at that moment he saw it.
“Huh? What? The Stormhunters?”
He had missed an incredible development during the 8 hours he was asleep.
It was a monster with a half-translucent body, and it had a red light that was surrounding its body.
The bastard could spit out endless amount of flame, and it was hot enough to melt anything in its path. When the monster was at a disadvantage, it ascended to the top of the Urugal mountain, which was barren. It was able to avoid any disadvantage by turning the summit into a lake of flame. It also had the unreasonable ability to completely recover from large wounds.
It also had the most health of any monster that had appeared up until now. When it was angry, no one could take more than three attack from it. It was that strong.
Blaze Slime Dragon!
It protected the summit of the Urugal mountain range, and it was a monster amongst monsters with various unreasonable settings.
The only logical part about this monster was the fact that the Tankers and Strikers could draw its Aggro. Then the Magicians could do the damage dealing... The only way to take it down was using this simple plan. This simple plan that was needed to clear it was the only part that gave comfort to the participants.
Of course, a marathon was a race where one ran for 42.195km. In concept, it was a very simple sport, but the answer in how to finish it was tough to come up with.
There was no easy answer to defeating this monster.
This was why the strongest Users of Warlords, who had played Warlord for a number of years, gave up on this monster. These Users had defeated countless monsters that had been called the strongest, yet they openly abandoned this raid.
However, this monster had fallen in front of her.
[You've gained the Title 'One who Conquered the Urugal Mountain Range.']
[You've gained the Title 'Dragon Slayer.']
[You've gained the Title 'Owner of the Urugal Mountain Range.']
Stormhunter Queen Shir.
Most of her silver armor had melted away from the effect of the Slime Dragon's Slime Breaths. Even the skin underneath her armor was darkened. Of course, her hair and face was burnt too. She looked unsightly, and one couldn't even tell, who she was. However, she was alive.
She was alive as she looked at the Slime Dragon's end.
There were only two of them left. Hatch was with her.
“We really caught it! Ooh-wah!”
In other words, they were the only two survivors.
Thirty Users had participated in the Blaze Dragon Raid, but their number quickly diminished as time passed. There would be no reattempt after this. The Slime Dragon's Breath targeted the Priests before they could do anything. Even the Tankers couldn't survive against its attack.
“Queen! We did it!”
Of course, the dead didn't just stay silent.
- Hey! Hatch! Hatch! What happened?
- Has it ended?
- Did we really catch it?
The dead Users were still using the Voice Talk from outside the game to speak to those still in the game.
Hatch answered them.
“We caught it!”
At those words, cheer and silence started mixing with each other. The Voice Talk turned into a bedlam. Hatch had to hear all these sounds at once, and it was hellish to experience it.
However, Hatch enjoyed the situation.
‘This is crazy! We did it!’
They had experienced failing this Raid once, and they also viewed the Raid footage from the other 30 great guilds. With these information, they had come up with a battle strategy, but still it hadn't been easy.
No, this was the most difficult Boss Monster that the Stormhunters guild had come across.
The worst part was the new phase that no other team had reached before. In an instant, the Blaze Slime Dragon had activated a self-destruct attack. It used the Slime Buster.
As it self-destructed, its body had become a huge bomb, and the fragments flew everywhere.
The unexpected attack had done an incredible amount of damage. This single attack had instantly killed 11 Users. When they all suffered Game Over, Hatch wondered what dramas we would watch in the next 48 hours. He thought nothing good would come out of this run.
However, Shir didn't give up in such a situation. There would be no second chance for her. She immediately drew the aggro of the Slime Dragon, and Hatch became in tune with her movements as he used his magic.
It felt as if they were throwing eggs at a boulder. They were fighting for the sake of fighting, since they hadn't died.
However, the egg had eventually broken the boulder.
Her appearance was unsightly, but at that moment, Shir really looked like the Queen.
Shir replied when she saw Hatch.
When Shir called his name, Hatch had a deep smile on his face as he opened both his arms. In such a scene, didn't the surviving members suppose to hug each other?
However, Shir's hug wasn't what came towards Hatch.
“Do you know what this Ancient Power is?”
“What? Ancient…… What did you just say?”
“The Ancient Power of Flame…… A weird reward was added on. Do you know anything about it?”
“Do you know about it or not?”
At Shir's question, Hatch felt a need to come up with some answer.
“That is…… The only Go-dae I know is the university near the Ahn-ahm station.” 1
At those words, Shir glared at Hatch for a brief moment. Then she started talking to the others through the Voice Talk.
[Stormhunters. They succeeded in conquering the summit of the Urugal mountain range!]
[Storm Queen. She completely washed away her humiliation from the Immoral Prince Raid!]
[Ancient Power! It is the emergence of Warlord’s Skill Enhancement Content!]
Around half a day ago, Warlord was filled with stories about the Hahoe Mask and the arrival of the 3rd Main Scenario Quest. Now it was filled with news about the Stormhunters.
Of course, the inside of Hyrkan's head was filled with stories about the Stormhunters guild.
‘She got the Flame.’
Even after he entered the game, he was unable to do anything. He just looked at the Hologram window as he looked over the online articles. He was deep within his thoughts.
‘This doesn't make any sense. The Blaze Slime Dragon was suppose to give an Ancient Rank. Yet she got the Flame?’
The Stormhunters guild had succeeded in conquering the summit of the Urugal mountain range.
This fact was surprising in itself. Hyrkan was well aware of how difficult it was to catch the Blaze Slime Dragon. It being difficult was an understatement. First, it was impossible to do anything near it. It didn't register any parts of its body being severed. It could just turn the surrounding into a lakeof fire to nullify any damage it took from attacks. It was an unreasonable Boss Monster to face.
The cherry on top was the 3rd phase. If the Users didn't know about the Slime Buster, everyone in the party was pretty much killed. It was an AOE attack, and it was incredibly powerful. It was an AOE attack on the same tier as the Frost Fog he suffered at the end of his battle with the Frost Knight. It wasn't something one could avoid. It was an AOE attack where the only solution was to endure it.
Fortunately, Hyrkan had prior knowledge about these types of attacks, so he was able to plan for it. However, the Stormhunters guild had gone in blind, and they had succeeded.
Of course, this wasn't their first attempt. They had pretty much perfected the method to clear the early and mid portion of the Raid, but it was still an incredible accomplishment.
‘What is going on?’
However, the more surprising part about this was the fact the Storm Queen obtained a Mythos Rank Ancient Power. She had the biggest impact on the Blaze Slime Dragon Raid, so she had gained the Flame.
If events followed like Hyrkan's memories, the Ruined Kingdom episode started when one conquered the summit of the Urugal mountain. Afterwards, the Ancient Power content had appeared. However, the Mythos Rank Ancient Power appeared two months after the Blaze Slime Dragon was taken down.
The Mythos Rank Ancient Power had appeared as a reward for clearing the Frost Knight and the Blaze Slime Dragon.
Of course, this wasn't too strange of an occurrence.
‘Did they change the difficulty of the Quests?’
According to Tobot Soft, the AI selected the difficulty based on how fast the game was progressing. Moreover, this determination process was so complex that developers wouldn't be able to change the difficulty on their own. If they changed it, it would cause a System Error.
Basically, this was the cumulative result of the recent events. This was the answer given by Warlord to match the swift progress shown by the Users.
In other words, the information he knew wasn’t the answer any more. It can only be used as reference material.
Hyrkan closed both his eyes.
Until a moment ago, he had been so happy in many ways that he couldn’t get a handle on his thoughts. However, his head was surprisingly cool right now.
‘I have about 43% left before I reach level 200. I don’t have the Ifrit’s Tears, but if I hunt as I travel towards the Terube castle wall….. I’ll be able to reach level 200 in one or two days.’
His cool head had to face up to the reality.
He wasn’t behind, but that didn’t mean he was far ahead either.
He wouldn’t be running the race by himself.
In the end, he had only one thing he could do.
‘Yes, let’s do this. Let’s see who gets trampled.’
He had to sprint with all his might to shake off his competitors. This was what Hyrkan had to do.
- Go-dae means ancient, but it is also a shorthand way to refer to Goryeo university in Seoul. Goryeo=>Go. University=>Dae-hahk-gyo=>Dae