Chapter 161 – Catch it or Be Caught (4)
A report came in.
“What did you just say?”
- There is an ongoing battle at the Heard Fortress. It seems someone disturbed Anugas.
When he received the report, Sinclair didn't ask for the identity of the person or group fighting Anugas.
There were only two types of Users that would willingly step into the ruins of the Heard Fortress to face the predator amongst predators. Either one was an idiot or it was a warrior trying to catch this predator.
If the Users were idiots, they wouldn't have been able to reach this far in the game.
This meant a warrior had shown up, and there were only two candidates.
Stormhunter guild and the Hahoe Mask!
He didn't ask for the identity of the combatants, since it didn't matter. It could be either one of them. He'll be satisfied either way.
‘Since they went into the cage of the beast without our urging, we have to give them the treatment they deserve!’
He had prepared for such a scenario. He had put a group on standby that'll allow him to send a powerful magical bombardment against his enemies.
If he gave the signal, he would be able to mobilize the 500 magicians under the 5 guilds called the Five Stars. The 500 magicians and their guards would head towards the Heard Fortress.
Then they would stay at a distance where Anugas' special ability couldn’t reach. Each magician would only have to use their magic once. They would be able to neatly take care of the Users inside the Heard Fortress.
Of course, they wouldn't be able to catch Anugas. However, they'll surely be able to kill the Users that went to fight Anugas.
Sinclair immediately changed the channel on his Voice Talk.
- This is the Hands guild. Speak.
“It seems someone is attempting the Anugas Raids.”
- They really decided to move first. Crazy bastards.
- No. The fact that they are crazy is the reason why they were able to get this far. If the Hahoe Mask and the Stormhunters were normal, it wouldn't have gotten this far out of hand.
- You have a point. If they were normal, they wouldn't dare to attempt this Raid. All right. Let's get ready.
- We'll get ready on our side.
“We'll get ready on our side too.”
Sinclair immediately got up from his seat.
Hyrkan walked with his armors equipped. However, he wasn't wearing his usual Dark Spot set.
He was wearing his leather armor. It was like a superhero suit one could see in a movie. The leather armor fit quite snugly around his body. The leather armor changed color to fit the surrounding like a chameleon.
It was the Forest Pursuer set.
If one wanted to be the fastest User in Warlord, one had to have this defensive gear. Hyrkan appeared wearing this set, and the Crying Sword in his hand cried out.
Hyrkan stopped moving his feet when he came upon a large stone grave that had clear signs of being disturbed. It had been awhile, since Hyrkan had disturbed the stone grave, yet it had stayed disturbed.
This region had not been reset. This meant this place was a symbolic location.
‘As expected, it is here.’
This was why Hyrkan was able to reaffirm his answer.
As if to answer his confidence in his answer, the ground behind Hyrkan started to split open as it let out a loud sound.
It was the same as before.
A four armed giant popped out from between the split ground.
When the four armed giant appeared, it opened its eye.
[Anugas opened its eyes. It has eaten every being’s magical energy.]
Anugas made its presence know by using its most powerful Skill.
Instead of being surprised by Anugas' presence, Hyrkan raised his sword.
The Crying Sword was closest to Anugas, and it let out a cry. Hyrkan leisurely spoke towards the Crying Sword.
He had spoken to the sword, but in reality, he was giving himself a mental note. He knew he was the one, who had to follow those words.
‘Ahn-jaehyun. You are the one, who wanted it this way, so never whine about it.’
The pursuer he could never shake had appeared in front of him. There was no turning back now.
He could have taken the easy road by fighting with the Stormhunters guild, but he had turned down that option.
In the end, the situation was the product of his own actions. Even if the result of this battle turned out to be disastrous, Hyrkan didn't have the qualification to whine about it.
Of course, Hyrkan didn't plan on letting this turn into a nightmare.
Hyrkan held his breath, and he charged towards Anugas. Anugas charged towards Hyrkan.
Anugas' steps sounded heavy.
Hyrkan's steps sounded swift.
The two types of sound converged, and the two sounds intersected.
Anugas' arms tried to grab Hyrkan's head, but empty air greeted its hands.
Hyrkan sliced Anugas' thigh.
Koong koong. Pah-bah-baht!
After exchanging blows, the two of them basically backtracked the path each other took. Hyrkan stopped his footsteps as he turned his body. Anugas' enormous body also came to a stop, and it turned its head. Anugas and Hyrkan glared at each other. Hyrkan looked at the wound he made on Anugas' thigh.
‘It is as I had predicted.’
Hyrkan once again got into the same stance as before. He got ready to run towards Anugas.
‘It has 3 Phases. The estimated Raid completion time is 44 minutes 33 seconds. I'll be doing the same thing over and over again. A thousand strikes should be enough.’
After he finished his preparation, Hyrkan ran towards Anugas again.
He started a battle that wouldn't allow a single mistake.
The Black Continent allowed the Users to enjoy a bountiful harvest of monsters. The number of Users crossing over into the Black Continent was steadily increasing. The Game System adjusted the amount of monsters spawned to match the number of Users. However, these Users weren't killing the monsters that were being produced. Now there was an excessive supply of monsters.
While this was going on, the Heard Fortress Quest was activated, and it inevitably meant that the roads heading towards the Heard Fortress would have a higher number of monsters there. Moreover, the monster regen time would be significantly decreased.
It didn't end there. The Five Stars had placed many Users near the Heard Fortress to keep a constant watch, but the Warlord's System thought they were there to hunt. The System acted accordingly.
They were at the precipice of being flooded. The surface tension of the water was keeping the water from overflowing.
Of course, it wasn't wise to put in 1,000 Users into such a stage.
This was a totally different situation from the great battle. In the great battle, the monsters were in Siege mode, and they had exposed many of their weak spots. If the monsters hadn't opened themselves for attack, the difficulty of the great battle would have been unimaginably harder. Moreover, the monsters in the Black Continent wasn't weak like the ones in the great battle. The monsters here were all over level 200, and there were a new breed of monster amongst them. The Illusion type monsters were present.
This was the reason why the Five Stars were moving their forces slowly as they planned on positioning themselves to be able to bombard the Heard Fortress.
They methodically killed the monsters as they moved with their safety in mind. The Strikers went forward in advance to find and lure out the monsters. Then the Tankers controlled the aggro as the Magicians and Strikers took down the monsters.
- This is like trying to find mines.
The Poker team's Diamond Unit was in charge of bombarding the ruins of the Heard Fortress. The commander of the Diamond Unit gave a short summary of what they were doing.
- Exactly right.
- There is no downside in being careful.
At his words, people started to speak in the Voice Talk channel, which was labeled as the Hand's guild.
- The most dangerous situation will be when the Hahoe Mask runs away with Anugas in tow like before. At that point, we have to retreat no matter what.
- Right. Everyone has to take those words to heart. We have to avoid any losses.
- Still, we have to catch him this time. We can't always let the Hahoe Mask have it his way. Even the people above us are making a fuss about catching that bastard.
- Those kinds of thoughts are dangerous.
- Anyways, I feel more motivated to play the game recently. Everyone recognizes my face no matter where I go.
- We'll be on a program soon.
They warned each other, and they shared honest advices. Then there were the occasional snippets regarding their personal lives.
However, it took only a moment for their conversation to turn into nervousness.
- The monsters are coming!
Hatch saw the Users, who easily dispatched several dozen monsters. The monsters were easily over level 200.
Tsk tsk tsk tsk!
Hatch clicked his tongue as if he was playing playing an instrument.
‘In the end, we got the short end of the deal.’
Shir had accepted the Hahoe Mask's proposal. For the price of accepting the proposal, the Stormhunters had to block the advance of the Five Stars, who were planning on interfering with Hyrkan from carrying out the Anugas Raid.
From Hatch's perspective, this was a bad deal.
‘Why can't she direct some of her affections towards me instead of the Hahoe Mask? Even a little affection would shave my contract period to 2045. If not, they should just date each other. They aren't even dating, yet why do we have to get the short end of the stick in regards to a deal with the Hahoe Mask?’
However, Hatch didn't express his complaints in front of Shir.
Moreover, he didn't plan on doing shoddy work, because he thought this was a loser of a deal.
‘In the end, doesn't the people low on the totem pole have to make up for the difference?’
Hatch raised his clenched fist into the air, and an enormous Ice Spear appeared above his fist.
Hatch aimed his Ice Spear towards the chaotic battlefield.
He was known as the most accurate Magician in Warlord. He closed one eye as he became a sniper. He aimed his magic towards the cluster of Magicians. After he weighed the distance, Hatch stopped breathing, and he threw the magic as he exhaled.
The Ice Spear flew in a big arc.
While it was flying through the air, it fragmented into several hundred ice shards. The ice shards were about the size of an arrow, and it fell on the clustered Magicians like hail.
Blizzard Shooting Star!
It was a level 190 Unique Rank magic, and it was currently the strongest Ice type magical spell in Warlord. It was terrifying and awesome. The magicians, who admired this magic, were pierced ruthlessly by it. Their body was frozen in an instant.
Hatch clicked his tongue as he watched his handiwork.
‘If only my contract period would end, I could.....’
The monsters were attacking the Heard Fortress' Bombardment team. The ace team moved forward to quell the disturbance. There were only 10 Users in the ace team, and it was hard for them to face the monsters on the move. The monsters were powerful and difficult to face.
“The rest of you retreat!”
“Leave this to the Diamond unit!”
The Diamond unit was in charge of carrying out the most difficult task.
Their involvement was an inevitability.
Before Anugas made its appearance on the Black Continent, the hardest monster one had to kill was the Black Blood Troll. Of course, the Diamond unit was needed to take take down these monsters.
- It's a magical attack!
- The Magician unit suffered a magical attack!
“Shit. It is as I suspected. Someone is herding the monsters toward us!”
- Be careful. We don't have the luxury to....
While they were battling the Black Blood Troll, the Stormhunters guild showed up to flip the script by becoming the hunters. Of course, the appearance of the special unit of the Stormhunters guild was inevitable.
Moreover, it was inevitable for this special unit to include the Storm Queen Shir, who could use the Ancient Power of Flame. She faced the Diamond unit.
“Poker team. Recently, your fame has soared into the sky. I want to find out if your reputation is deserved or not.”
“We are affiliated with the V&V guild! A guild war right now······.”
The member of the Diamond unit brought up the subject of guild war to stall the Storm Queen.
Of course, it was a inevitable when Storm Princess Hahui's morning star was planted on the head of the speaker.
“Queen! Let's just crush them!”
This was how the battle that would change the future of Warlord started.
If one considered the Users in the upper tier of fighting capability, they could maintain their full concentration for about 15 minutes. Afterwards, it didn't matter how, but one's power of concentration flagged.
This was why it was important for one's concentration to drop in a gradual manner. This allowed the User to be able to adjust to the speed of the decreasing power of concentration. It was a matter of how well the User was able to fight as this adjustment continued.
With that in mind, Hyrkan's effort was worthy of an applause. He had been in this battle for 39 minutes, which required his full concentration, and he hadn't allowed Anugas to get in a direct hit against him.
It felt as if his head was about to burst open. His breathing was rough. If this was a World Title matchup in Las Vegas, the crowd would be on their feet clapping even though the match hadn't ended yet.
Unfortunately, Hyrkan didn't have an audience that would clap and cheer him on. Hyrkan's eyes could only see the one-eyed, four-armed giant with wounds all over its body.
‘As expected of the Stormhunters, they are very skilled.’
Hyrkan was very satisfied by this fact.
Not a single person had bothered him. This meant the Stormhunters did a really awesome job at blocking the disrupters.
Of course, at that moment, Hyrkan didn't feel thankful towards the Stormhunters guild.
Instead, he was filled with hatred for the Stormhunters guild, which had allowed him to reach this point. His hatred allowed him to maintain his sharp concentration.
‘There is no way I'll give this to them.’
If Hyrkan died by Anugas' hands, Anugas would be gobbled up by the Stormhunters guild.
Hyrkan was on the verge of catching this fish. Hyrkan wouldn't allow himself to give away this fish to the Stormhunters guild. It was unacceptable.
He didn't care if he was being selfish, stupid and petty.
Hyrkan hadn't reached this point in this game by being rational and reasonable.
‘I'll never give this up.’
His hatred and his aversion to giving this monster away to the Stormhunters guild allowed Hyrkan to move.
Hyrkan had made his resolve, and he didn't shy away from looking into Anugas' eye, which had turned red.
Anugas didn't spare his wrath as it directed it towards Hyrkan.
Its enormous muscular body was filled with wounds. It was as if it wore clothes made out of wounds.
The wounds weren't shallow. They were very deep. If the wounds were slightly deeper, it might be possible to sever parts of its body.
It was like the process of making a stalactite as the attacks accumulated one by one. Hyrkan was like Don Quixote of La Mancha charging against a windmill. He kept running at the monster at full force. It was an act that others would consider to be crazy. He repeated it several hundred times to create these wounds.
At the same time, the wounds were a count of how many time Hyrkan had knocked on a indomitable steel door.
‘Shouldn’t it be time for it to change? It should be about the time when the 3rd Phase should start.’
Anugas had a total of 3 Phases. The Phases could be identified by the color of its gem-like eye.
In the beginning, it glowed blue. After receiving significant damage, the eye turned red. In the last phase, all color drained out, and the eye looked like a diamond.
One had to go through these 3 Phases, and when all three signs appeared, Anugas' real body was revealed.
It'll be in a state where it could be killed.
This setting was put in place so Anugas couldn't be killed by Users through magical bombardment from afar. This meant the magical bombardment could cause damage that exceeded the HP needed to get past the 2nd Phase, yet the setting wouldn't allow it to move onto the next Phase. It was a very troublesome setting.
For a User like Hyrkan, who used unconventional methods that the Warlord System couldn't predict, the change of color in Anugas' eye was merely akin to a traffic light.
[Anugas is taking form.]
[Anugas' eye is shining.]
[Anugas' influence has expanded.]
When the traffic light called Anugas’ eye changed color, Hyrkan flicked his fingers as if he had been waiting for this exact moment.
After couple seconds, 50 Skeleton Warriors and 3 Skeleton Knights came charging towards the horrible battlefield as they were led by the Death Knight. Hyrkan caught sight of them.
Hyrkan gritted his teeth.
‘I have to go all in.’
This was the last gambit prepared by Hyrkan.
He had summoned the Skeleton army before the battle started. Of course, he had emptied his magical energy, and he had used expensive magical recovery Items to activate the Power of Frost. He had summoned Bone Armor on all of them, and he even put several curses on each of their weapons.
It took him 30 minutes to accomplish all of this. When he finished his work, he had switched the Skeleton army into defensive mode.
They were prepared for this moment!
‘If I can't end it here, I'm dead.’
The Skeleton Army appeared as they let out white misty breaths. They charged towards Anugas.
Anugas used its four arms to stave off the Skeleton army. One arm was used to fling Skeletons away, and the second arm was used to punch. The remaining two arms grabbed a Skeleton by each hand, and the Skeletons were rammed against each other.
The sound of steel deforming was heard as the armors rammed against each other. In a flash, the bones of Skeleton Warriors were crushed. The battlefield turned into a pandemonium in short order.
Moreover, the Skeleton Warriors weren't able to recover for their injuries. Hyrkan didn't have any magical energy. He had a Death Knight, but the Undying skill couldn't be activated without Hyrkan's magical energy.
This was why the Skeleton Warriors were fighting with injuries. If a shoulder was blown off, the Skeleton fought with one arm. If its legs were damaged, the Skeleton crawled across the ground to harass Anugas.
There had been a dignity that came with the Skeleton army from the fact that one couldn't kill them even if one tried. However, that was missing now.
On the other hand, the battle being fought at that moment by the Skeleton army was intense and brilliant compared to any other battles they had participated in. The Skeleton army was showing desperation in this fight.
Kill or be killed.
This was a sight that could only be seen if there were only two choices the Skeletons could make.
Above all else, the most desperate combatant on the battlefield was Hyrkan.
‘I have to finish this within 5 minutes.’
He was going all in.
The Skeleton Warriors couldn't be healed, so they were basically one-off combatants.
Moreover, he couldn't use his Bone Explosive in a pinch. He couldn't stylishly turn the tide of battle with it.
Everything Hyrkan could put forward was out right now.
If everything here fell, Hyrkan would fall alongside them.
This was why he was desperate, and his desperation made him look bold.
It was always like this.
Hyrkan didn't back away in despair when faced with danger. Instead, he rammed forward straight into the danger and despair.
The Skeleton Warriors were occupying Anugas. The four arms were all engaged in fighting the Skeleton Warriors, so Hyrkan was able to climb Anugas' back.
As if to respond to their master, the Skeleton Knights and Death Knight moved urgently towards Anugas.
Of course, the Death Knight was able to accomplish the most in this battle. Even without its master's magical energy, the Death Knight didn't budge an inch against Anugas.
It was wearing the Dark Spot set, and it attacked with the Deposed Prince's Sword. At times, it actually made Anguas take steps backwards.
The Skeleton Knights also performed remarkably. While the Death Knight pushed Anugas, they came in from both sides. They stabbed into the wounds that had been made by Hyrkan's constant attack. The three Skeleton Knights moved like a saw-toothed wheel against Anugas.
The Skeleton Warriors basically threw their bodies against Anugas. Their role was to make sure no one else would be caught by Anugas' hands. Then there were the Skeleton Warriors, who had crawled towards Anugas. They stabbed at Anugas' ankle, and it slowly ate away at Anugas' health. In certain instances, the Skeleton Warriors shone more than the Death Knight, since they didn't spare themselves in their attack.
However, the most important part was the fact that white Frost was forming on Anugas from their constant attack.
Power of Frost!
Then there was the fact that all the weapons of the Skeleton army was cursed.
Lethargy, Corrosion, Slow... Hyrkan's Curse Skills were very high in rank. It couldn't affect Anugas for a long period of time, but that didn't matter. If one ended, the second Curse took hold. If the second Curse ended, a third was applied. The Curses bedeviled Anugas.
Anugas was letting out a continuous bellow now. It was a sound that was only filled with rage.
This was when Hyrkan started climbing Anugas' back.
Its body was like a cliff. Hyrkan used the open wounds as handholds to climb to its shoulder.
‘Let's end this.’
This action would be considered to be crazy by all. If Anugas used one of its arm to peel off Hyrkan, he was dead.
Even with this risk present, Hyrkan chose to get closer to Anugas. He was basically clinging onto Anugas.
However, before the Skeleton army's sacrifices could come to an end, he had to produce a clear result. He couldn't just stand back. He wasn't dumb enough to think that his Skeleton army could finish this on their own.
In short order, Hyrkan had climbed near the shoulder of Anugas.
At that moment...
Anugas, who was in a heated fight with the Death Knight, turned to looked at its shoulder where Hyrkan was perched.
Anugas let out a roar of anger, and for the first time, Hyrkan let out a bright smile.
Accompanying the smile, Hyrkan stabbed his sword towards the clear diamond-like eye.
This brief sound adorned this single scene!
This was the scene Hyrkan had always wished for.Previous Chapter Next Chapter