Chapter 151 - Death Knight (1)

Chapter 151 - Death Knight (1)

1.

Everyone was waiting for this movie.  The release date hadn't been set, yet it was suddenly out on the market.  It was analogous to a person receiving a present from one's significant other at  one's surprise party.

This was the kinds of feeling evoked when the Hahoe Mask's paid film called 'The Frozen Kingdom' was released.

The film was unprecedented in many aspects.

The fact that it had a running time of 153 minutes was shocking in itself.

Moreover, it wasn't just footages of several monster fights, and the Boss Monster Raid.  There was a single overarching plotline from start to finish.  It was edited like a movie, and it attempted things that had never been tried before in the market of Warlord.  

It was unprecedented.

It was also priced at 9 dollars.  Normal paid videos sold for an average of 1.6 dollar.  It was an unprecedented price where it was almost 6 times the average price.

The most unprecedented part was the fact that the video had sold a million copies on the day of its release.

It was a string of unprecedented results, and eventually, it drew out a public response that was worthy of such unprecedented events.

- Wow!

- I can't believe footage from Warlord could be use to make such a video.

- This isn't a simple video.  It's a movie!   A movie!

- How much would a movie of this scale cost using CG in Hollywood?

- This movie could be shown at the theaters.

- It is better than most movies that are coming out right now.

The praise from the audiences had started in earnest.

[Frozen Kingdom.  It is a making of an art piece instead of a product.]

[Hahoe Mask.  His competition next year isn't the 30 great guilds.  Instead, it'll be against other Oscar nominees.]

[For those who dream about being in a movie in the future, this film is like a bible to follow.]

Of course, the press was also full of praise.

The world was sending praise towards the Hahoe Mask, and the interest didn't end just there.

A rush of love calls started.

[Various media companies has sent love calls to the Hahoe Mask of 'The Frozen Kingdom'!]

[It is quickly being considered for an Oscar.  Will this open the door to the era of Virtual Reality?]

Hahoe Mask's movie was submitted into famous movie festivals, and a community within the movie industry argued for the formation of a new category.  Some officials within the movie festivals argued for a VR movie award.  Then there were the movie production companies and distributing agencies in Hollywood, who boasted a long and storied heritage, that wanted to distribute Hahoe Mask's movie.  A variety of offers to sponsor and work with the Hahoe Mask was made.

Hahoe Mask's unprecedented movie had simply moved past the world called Warlord, and it was influencing various field of business in the real world.

Of course, the unprecedented move was a shock to some people.  The Hahoe Mask's biggest rivals were the 30 great guilds, and they were so shocked that it made everything in front of their eyes turn white.

‘This doesn't make any sense.’

Chev watched the 153 minute movie in a subdued manner.  He was agonizing over his thoughts instead of marveling at the movie.

‘No matter how I think about it, this doesn't make any sense.’

At first, he was in awe.  He hadn't been mesmerized by the Hahoe Mask's excellent battle skill.  There was a story here.  It wasn't just a hunt.  There was a reason behind why he caught the monsters, and the Hahoe Mask’s actions all foreshadowed the battle with the Frost Knight.  The storyline culminated like a flower blooming at the Frost Knight.

‘How did he think of such....  No, this isn't just about coming up with an idea to do this.  How was he able to attempt it in such a manner?  How did he know his Quest would progress like that?’

The Hahoe Mask was an adversary of the 30 great guilds.  He hadn’t hesitated in declaring a guild war on the Big Smile guild, but no one had taken it too seriously.  The Hahoe Mask never backed down against the 30 great guilds.

The Hahoe Mask boasted the ability to produce high quality paid videoes, and he was bringing in a significant amount of income.  However, the 30 great guilds had the live channels.  Basically, they were in a different market from what the Hahoe Mask did.

The Hahoe Mask always showed surprising result, but it had always been within expected standards.

However, this time the Hahoe Mask had exceeded the standard.  Chev had thought the 30 great guilds were running next to the Hahoe Mask as competitors.  Chev had thought the Hahoe Mask was just slightly in front of them in the race.  However, it seemed the Hahoe Mask had been running to launch himself into the air for flight.

‘Shit.’

The Hahoe Mask was an irregularity, and he always messed up the status quo.  Now the 30 great guilds would have to react to the new standard set by the Hahoe Mask.

‘Do we have to follow after the Hahoe Mask's footsteps?  Or should we battle him with some other exclusive contents?  Will we have to go out and scout movie professionals?  How much of our budget would we have to allocate in such a venture?  How long will it take for the project to deliver results?  In Warlord, it is critical to swiftly put out new contents.  Will we be able to make a movie in such a short amount of time?’

Chev was bombarded with worry upon worry.

Moreover, at the same time, all the officers of the 30 great guilds were going through a similar thought process as Chev.

Of course, the first one to come up with an answer was the Stormhunters guild.

“I don't care how much we spend.  There is a subsidiary company that received investment from us.  I want you to recruit movie professionals from that company.”

“Yes.”

“After gathering the individuals, I want them to immediately using the footages we have as the groundwork.  I want them to start producing short movies that lasts around 30 minutes.”

“Yes.”

“I want to you to make sure that we have a new movie ready to be broadcasted every Friday at 9 PM.  We have to have our first airing next Friday no matter what.”

“Yes.”

“If there is a problem in production, I don't want you to dick around.  I want you to contact me directly.”

“Yes.”

“Moreover, I want you to contact the Hahoe Mask through his Youtube page.  Tell him our side wants to be in charge of distributing his movie.  Tell him we will give him the full treatment.”

“What?  Wouldn't he just ignore it?”

“Just do it.”

“Yes…….”

Che-sulyun couldn't even finish the Hahoe Mask's video. She moved immediately after 10 minutes into the movie.

She spoke to the members of the Stormhunters guild.

“Every member that is above level 180 will cross the Urugal mountain range.”

- What?  If it is above level 180, we have around 300 members.  You want all of them to cross the Urugal great mountain range?

The current power structure was crumbling right now, and if they wanted to survive, it was important for them to be aggressive.  As a guild master of a 30 great guild, she knew this better than anyone.

“Is there a problem?”

- If I say there's a problem, what will happen to me?

“I'll can you.”

- After much thought, I have no problems with the plan.

She had the power to cause change in the Stormhunters with a single word.

Then there were those that didn't merely react to the unprecedented event.  There were those that insisted on resisting against it.

‘It is war now.’

When Sinclair saw the Hahoe Mask's video, he knew they couldn't coexist in Warlord.  This hunch became reality in an instant.

[We have to eliminate the Hahoe Mask.  He is our top priority.  If you find his tracks, use every method and scheme to eliminate him.]

A new era truly dawned on Warlord.

2.

Black Hound.

It was similar to the one that appeared at the entrance to the Urugual mountain range.  It was one of the most difficult mid-sized monster amongst similar level monsters.  It was especially problematic that it was programmed to attack the Priests first.  This was why it had the nickname of Priest Hunter, and it caused a lot of headache for the Users.

However, in an online game world, nothing was superior to level!

Kuh-hung, kuh-hung!

It was the same for the Black Hound.  It could only let out a pitiful cry in front of the level difference.  It was merely a pathetic dog.

Kuh-hung!

Its front right leg and left hind leg were severed.  Its entire body was covered in wounds, and a large amount of ice was forming on the wound.  The Black Hound was beyond looking pitiful.  It looked to be in a brutal state.

The more devastating fact was that the enemy that had put it in such a state was still in front of the Black Hound.

It was a Knight instead of a Skeleton Warrior.

Moreover, it wasn't just a simple Skeleton Knight.  It was equipped with the Great Battle Hero's Sword, which was one of the strongest weapons in Warlord.  It also wore a level 190 Unique defensive set called Blood Ogre set.  At its peak value, this set was sold for 20 thousand gold.  The Skeleton Knight was equipped with such strong Items.

Moreover, it was letting out a bluish cold energy thanks to the Ancient Power of Frost.  Then there was the passive ability of the Blood Ogre set that decreased the enemy's Stats by 15%.

The Skeleton Knight taking down the Black Hound was akin to killing a chicken with an electric saw.

No human in this world would use an electric saw to slaughter a chicken.

‘I made a very firm pledge that I'll hunt down every single of you bastards.’

It was retribution.

In the distant past, he had travelled the Urugal mountain range to visit the Blacksmith Olf.  He had been humiliated by the Black Hound during this trip.  At the time, his heart was filled with frustration and a desire for revenge.  Hyrkan was burning away this desire at that moment.

Of course, he wasn't at the Urugal mountain range just to fulfill his pledge.

Hyrkan raised his head to look at the summit that was veiled by fog.   

‘I can't believe it took me over two weeks to get here.’

A lot of things had happened as he was coming here.  It wasn't just the volume.  It was also the magnitude the events.

The production process of the Frozen Kingdom he released yesterday hadn't been easy.  He had to put it out as fast as possible.  When he tried to accelerate the production process, naturally the cost skyrocketed.  He invested almost twice the production cost he had initially estimated.  The cost was being discussed in terms of hundred thousand dollars.

Aside from his movie, Hyrkan had a lot of things to do.  He had to sell the Items he had earned in the Frozen Kingdom, and he also had to sell the Items that weren't needed by his Skeleton underlings.  

Then he had to purchase new Items.  All the Items he purchased weren't cheap, and a significant amount of money were exchanged in the deals.  He had to focus on the details of deal.

In the real world, he was busy meeting his lawyer, accountant and solicitors.  He had to take numerous consultations and measures in regards to his taxes.  He had been lax with his taxes, since he was busy with the game.  However, the amount of money he was earning and spending was too large now.

Then there was that one incident when he purchased the 6S Model V-Gear.  He paid an enormous amount of money to buy it, but there was a problem during the test phase.  There was a range of preexistent setting, but none of them was suitable for Hyrkan.  He was non-standard, so they had to program a new setting for him.

While this was all going on, he continued on the 2nd Advancement Quest.  The 2nd Advancement Quest wasn't easy.  It was annoying in the fact that he had to travel all over to meet the NPCs scattered all around the large continent.  The ingredients from the monsters were scattered too.  It was almost as if he was making pilgrimages to various locations in Warlord.

Of course, he had to focus on leveling up as he was doing all of this.  There were a lot of Users that picked a fight with him, and he had to deal with all of them.  He also got into a small war with a guild with a significant number of members.  He was targeted more than any other User in Warlord.  He was worth as much as a Boss Monster, so everyone in Warlord was his enemy now.

It was a mouthful to explain everything.  He had to digest his busy schedule, and the fact that he was here was a miracle in itself.

It had taken him a long time to come here.

On the other hand, the fact that it took him a long time meant that he was finished with his preparation.  He had organized everything around him, so he could focus on his game for awhile.

The Frozen Kingdom movie wasn't just something that had made a lot of money.  It was an iconic piece that had a huge effect on Warlord and the VR market.  Hyrkan had taken the nickname of Rich Lich from Subrata Duta.  Unlike the original Rich Lich, he didn't have 5 million dollars to wield as a weapon.  However, he was now able to buy most Item sets he wanted in a lump sum payment.

He had finished his 2nd Advancement.  His Class as Necromancer had advanced to Lich, and he had gained the new Skills he had been waiting for.

He also bought the expensive consumable Items.  Instead of looking at the price, he bought the most effective consumables.

Above all, he had finished solidifying his resolve.

Hyrkan no longer stared at the summit of the Urugal mountain range.  He looked beyond it.

‘Let's do this.’

It didn't matter what was across the Urugal mountain range.  From now on, the obstacles won't be things he already knew about.  New and surprising contents would unfold in front of him!

Hyrkan didn't plan on being taken aback by it.  He had no thoughts of hesitating or backing down from the new challenge.

Even if he was broken into pieces from encountering a wall, he planned on running into it with full force.

Currently, his opponent was the Urugal mountain range, and he was at the midway point.  He met the gatekeeper that guarded the waist of the mountain.  It was the Skull Collector.

3.

If the Hahoe Mask had opened the era of the Northland exploration, the Stormhunters guild opened the era of climbing the Urugal mountain range.

It was hard to open the door to both these locations.  If one hadn't made thorough preparation for these two places, these locations were ruthless in separating the users.  It quickly and ruthlessly sorted out the prepared and the unprepared.

If one wanted to reach the Frozen Kingdom from the Northland, one had to cross the frozen land.  This stretch of land judged the Users.  In the Urugal mountain range, the foggy mid-slope of the mountain held a single tunnel that all Users had to pass.  There was a judge dispatched at this location to sort out the Users.  It was the Skull Collector 'Voodook'.

Voodook was an expression used by the Elven race of Warlord.  The word signified a warrior that used the Vodoo arts.  At the end of the Voodook's tunnel, there was a middle boss monster named the Skull Collector.

It was level 200!

There were various skull of monsters hung around its neck, and it used the skulls to summon guardians that would defend the path.  Alongside the summons, it used Voodoo skill on its enemies.  It was a snake-headed giant that boasted enormous power.

Even if one gave this explanation, most Users wouldn't be able to understand the overwhelming presence of this monster.

The monster was very strong, and it was very troublesome to face.  Moreover, the guardians under the control of the Skull Collector was frightening.  In terms of its offensive capability, it was currently one of the top monsters in Warlord.  It was something that couldn't be described unless one had faced it.

This was why a simple explanation was devised to describe the Skull Collector.

“Hahoe Mask-like bastard.”

“How will we catch that Hahoe Mask-like bastard?”

“Ah.  That Hahoe Mask-like bastard is driving me nuts.”

Hahoe Mask-like Bastard.

Currently, this was the Skull Collector's nickname.  It had strong offensive capability like the Hahoe Mask, and it commanded summoned familiars like the Hahoe Mask.  Moreover, this monster was aggressive in participating in battle to show off its powerful offensive capability like the Hahoe Mask.  This was why this nickname was attributed to this monster.

On top of it all, there were other factors that made this monster troublesome.

It was a monster that appeared in an Instant Dungeon, and an Instant Dungeon only allowed 7 members to enter.  Moreover, once a party enters, one needed to wait 7 minutes before the next group can go in. It was a Dungeon that had a significant wait time.

It was an instant Dungeon, and there weren’t any towns or castles near the Urugal mountain range.  When one suffered a Game Over, one had to start over at a faraway location.  This was why many considered it to be annoying.

It was called the alleyway to meet the Skull Collector, and there were a lot of challengers lining in front of the Voodook’s tunnel.

He appeared at this location.

“The Mercy guild failed?  This isn't something to take lightly.  I don’t think any more clear methods will be released.”

“Hey,  Hey.”  

“How many days have we wasted here because of the Hahoe Mask-like bastard?  This is driving me nuts.”

“Hey!”

“What?”

“Be quiet.”

“What?”

“I said shut up.”

“What are you trying to say?”

“The Hahoe Mask is here!”

“That's right.  The Hahoe Mask-like bastard is.... Huhk!”

Hahoe Mask Hyrkan had appeared at the entrance of the Voodook’s tunnel.

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