Chapter 166 Trace of Bokan (2)

Chapter 166 – Trace of Bokan (2)

5.

[Quest ‘Trace of Bokan’ has started.]

When he read the entirety of the letter sent by Ahimbree, Hyrkan heard the System Announcement in his ears.  A new Quest was added to his Quest List.  Hyrkan immediately checked the content of the Quest.

[Trace of Bokan]

- Quest Rank : Unique

- Quest Level Range : 200

- Quest Content : The Archmage Bokan's trace has been discovered.  Currently, the evidence is being kept by NPC Diung at the current Heard Fortress Ruin town.  Please go find and investigate the trace of Bokan.

- Quest Reward : Skill Book.

‘Bokan....’

The letter from Ahimbree was very long-winded.

Blah blah.

There were so many words that it almost made him feel annoyed.

However, the content behind the words were very simple.

Archmage Bokan was Ahimbree's teacher, and his trace was discovered in the Black Continent.  Ahimbree wanted Hyrkan to find clues regarding Archmage Bokan on his behalf.

The reward was a Skill Book.

At this point in the game, obtaining a Skill Book containing a level 200 and above Skill was like a pipe dream.  It was something one couldn't acquire even if one had money.  Of course, his eyes spun from the implications.  If it hadn't been for Bokan's name, he would have committed to this Quest as if his life was depended on it.

Basically, the name Bokan made him mull over his decision.

‘······what was his role again?’

Archmage Bokan.

This NPC had seven disciples including Ahimbree.  When one progressed in the Main Scenario Quest, one could hear his name mentioned occasionally.

If one put together all the information regarding Bokan, one could deduce that Bokan was someone, who had predicted the grave danger being faced by the world of Warlord right now.  One could also surmise that he was someone, who had actively fought against this threat.

This theory was confirmed when his name appeared in the Immoral Prince storyline.

If one looked at the background lore, Archmage Bokan was the one, who had named the Immoral Prince.  Bokan had hoped the prince would drive out the coming nightmares with the faithfuls, so Bokan had named him Dean.

An information of this level wasn't a secret.  It basically put a big importance on Bokan's existence.

Hyrkan was well aware of this fact.

‘Did Bokan ever appear in the Ruined Kingdom episode?’

To his knowledge, Archmage Bokan had never appeared in the Ruined Kingdom episode.

Before he returned to the past, Hyrkan hadn't been able to influence how the Main Scenario Quest developed.  He only had enough potential and power to carry out an already developed Main Scenario Quest.  The trajectory of the Main Scenario Quest had been set, yet he had led the Hahoe Mask guild into attempting a fair amount of Main Scenario Quests.

This was also why he had been more attentive regarding the current Main Scenario Quest than the previous two Episodes.  He had read all the Quest related guides.  It was so well researched that these text were basically like dissertation papers.  He memorized the important words, terminologies and english terms related to this episode.  He also watched the Main Scenario Quest related videos broadcasted by the 30 great guilds.  He had watched it as if was watching lectures over the internet.

However, there had been no mention of the Archmage Bokan within Hyrkan's memories.  This character hadn't been present in the Ruined Kingdom episode.

‘There were several Quests given by Ahimbree, which was linked to the Ruined Kingdom episode.  Those Quests also gave Skill Books, but I don't remember a Quest that directly dealt with Bokan.’

Of course, the Quest Routes had already changed.  Events that should have happened in the Ruined Kingdom episode occurred prior to the start of the episode.  The Mythos Rank Ancient Powers and Anugas had already appeared.

Simply, the Quest timeline had been accelerated.  The Rewards that should be appearing later in the game was coming out now.

The problem was the fact that Archmage Bokan hadn't appeared even at the end of the Ruined Kingdom episode.  This meant that this content was from much further down in the story line.

‘It can't be.  Will the Dragons come out at this point in the game?’

Hyrkan's expression hardened a little bit more as he stared at the Quest Window.

6.

“Thank you very much.”

“Yes.”

“You were awesome.”

“Yes.  Yes.”

“It was my privilege to have met you!”

“Yes.  Yes.  Yes.”

A party exited the Voodook's Tunnel exit, and there was a restless atmosphere around them.

At this point in the game, it was a given the Users would be coming out of the Voodook's Tunnel.  It was a boring and common occurrence.  This was why the Users resting nearby or the Users waiting for their party members barely paid attention to who came out of the tunnel.  They would glance sideways at the exit, but that was the extent to their interest.

However, this party was different.  There was an excited atmosphere being permeated by the group, and their restless nature drew the eyes of the surrounding Users.

The interested Users quickly saw the reason behind the hubbub.

“Hahoe Mask?”

“Is that the Hahoe Mask?”

It was the Hahoe Mask.

If one made a list ranking the Users, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say the Hahoe Mask was the strongest and the best User in Warlord.

The party's atmosphere started to infect the atmosphere as the Users in the surrounding became excited.

When the Users, who travelled across the Voodook's Tunnel with Hyrkan, asked for a favor, he agreed to it.

“Excuse me.  Do you think I can take a screenshot with you?”

“I would like to ask you for one too.”

“All right.  Just don't put your hands on my shoulders.”

“What?”

“I'm playing with you. Shall I give you a kimchi or a cheese?”

“Please say cheese.”

“I hope you won't cuss me out or say I don't have any manners after uploading the picture.”

“I would never do that.”

“I heard your manners are excellent!”

At Hyrkan's assent, the six Users squeezed in together, and each of them took a screenshot.  In the process, Hyrkan rewarded them by making the peace sign.

Several Users thought it was ridiculous, but the others looked on with jealousy.

Hyrkan had to cross the Urugal great mountain range as soon as possible, so he chose to become a third wheel.  He inserted himself into a party that was getting ready to go into the Voodook's Tunnel.

It hadn't been hard.  It would have been impossible if he had been some other User.

However, wasn't he THE Hahoe Mask?

The EXP the party would get would be the same, and they would gain a memory they would be able to look back on.  Moreover, they were getting the sweet side of the deal, so no party would turn down an opportunity to add the Hahoe Mask to their party.

After his follow-up service, Hyrkan immediately headed towards the top of the Urugal mountain range.

There were a good number of Users on the road he was on, and when they discovered Hyrkan, an unsettled atmosphere developed.  There looked to be enemies amongst the Users, but no one acted against him.

Hyrkan was satisfied with the situation.

‘This is no downside in being popular.’

There were people, who hated being famous.  He wasn’t like that.  Hyrkan was the opposite.  If he hated being popular, he wouldn't be playing this game for a living.

Hyrkan liked being famous.  

He also enjoyed the benefit of being a popular public figure.

Hyrkan had a refreshing smile on his face as he crossed the Urugal mountain range.

He once again came face to face with the Black Continent.  When he saw the endless stretch of land, his smile was erased from his face.

While Hyrkan traveled to the Class Tower to earn his Skills, the situation on the Black Continent continued to move in a fluid manner.

This was especially true after the Heard Fortress town was formed.  The Users were less cautious in their actions.  The results created by Users, who were willing to put themselves at risk, was terrifying.  It would give game developers nightmares.

At times, these kinds of Users were able to create unimaginable progress.

It was like that right now.

With the Urugal mountain as the starting point, the Users were expanding to the east, north and south.

The traces of the Ruined Kingdom was found, and the Users were combing through the Ruins.  The secret behind the fall of the Ruined Kingdom was revealed, and the Users dreamed about becoming strong by finding the power left behind the Ruined Kingdom.

‘The Stormhunters are going east.’

Amongst all of them, the ones with the most eye popping results was the Stormhunters guild.

East Rush!

The Stormhunters guild had gathered all their resources, and they were on an endless rush to the east.

He had characterized it as a rush, but in reality, the more apt description was a runaway train.

‘I was right.  Che-sulyun is a crazy bitch.’

Even amongst the Stormhunters guild, there was a hint of madness in Che-sulyun's exploits.  Che-sulyun had perfected the use of the power of fire.  

Would she be able to continue using the nickname Storm Queen?  It made people ponder over the subject.

Moreover, the Stormhunters guild were the most reckless with their lives amongst the Users in the Black Continent.  Every live broadcast had two to three Users dying.  

They died, but at the same time, they achieved results that were well worth their lost lives.  After finding the Balos ruins inside the Olbrid Forest, the Stormhunters guild had already found 2 additional Ruins.  They were the first ones to find three Ruins.  

When one found a normal Ruin for the first time, one could gain around three to five Transcendent Ancient Power.  At the very least, one Mythos Rank power should have appeared.

The Mythos rank Ancient Power was suddenly unleashed, because of Hyrkan.  However, even the Legendary Rank Ancient Power was incredibly useful.  

Basically, if they were able to be the first ones to find the Ruins, they would be able rapidly increase the power of the entire guild.  This was the most surefire way.

‘The Five Star bastards are going north and south.’

The Five Stars weren't also playing around.

Their reputation had bottomed out when they got punched by the Hahoe Mask and the Stormhunters guild.  However, they had the ability to recover from such damage.  In the end, the fact that they were the biggest force within the Black Continent hadn’t changed.

The Five star were using their forces to expand their territories to the north and south.  Their moves were validated when they eventually found four ruins.

‘The Poker teams are extraordinary.’

Of course, their activities centered around the Poker teams.  The Poker teams were exposed as being very powerful when they faced down powerful monsters without much problem.

‘No matter where I go I'll be treated like an uninvited guest.’

From now on, Hyrkan had to commit himself to a direction.

If he learned the evidence about Archmage Bokan at the Heard Fortress ruin, he'll probably be sent to one of three directions.

‘All right.’

For a moment, Hyrkan's expression relaxed a little bit.  He relaxed it by force.  The ones that would weep would be the ones that would have to face him.  He tried to make his thoughts into reality.

7.

When the Users saw the Hahoe Mask, they had two types of reaction.

“Uh?  It's the Hahoe Mask!”

The first reaction was surprise.

“Is it really the Hahoe Mask?”

The other reaction was suspicion.

However, this was the Heard Fortress.  The Users, who reached the neutral zone inside the Black Continent, felt surprise more so than suspicion.

These Users had finished their 2nd Advancement.  There was no reason why they would feel the need to pull pranks by wearing a Hahoe Mask in the Black Continent.

This was the reasoning behind their reactions.

“Wow.  The mood is quite serious.”

“Are they going to fight”

“What reason do they have to fight?”

“Still, you never know.  It isn't as if the Hahoe Mask has officially allied himself with the 30 great guilds.”

When Hyrkan appeared at the Heard Fortress Ruin town, the Users assumed he was the real deal.

This was why they were looking forward to the meeting in front of them.

‘I never expected the Hydra guild to be here.’

Hydra guild members had surprised the Users by arriving at the Heard Fortress Ruin town.  They had arrived a little bit earlier than the Hahoe Mask.  

The Users in the surrounding wanted to see what kind of chemical reaction would occur when the two sides met!

Of course, Hyrkan didn't really want to meet the Hydra guild.  He had maintained a neutral relationship with the Hydra guild after the Immoral Prince episode, but it wasn't as if they had a cordial relationship.  Moreover, Hyrkan considered the relationship to be closer to being bad after what happened at the Frozen land.

On the other hand, the Hydra guild had sought Hyrkan out.

“This is our first meeting since we met at the Frozen land.”

It was Sohank and Natal.  The two of them had taken off their helmets, and they had approached the Hahoe Mask.  There was only one additional User alongside these two.  The rest of the Hydra guild members were out of sight.

It was a silent gesture, which indicated that they didn't want to fight with the Hahoe Mask.

“What do you want with me?”

Hyrkan didn't show any signs of being happy at their appearance.

‘Huh?’

His eyes narrowed behind the Hahoe Mask.  It was the familiar faces of Natal and Sohank. Moreover, the User between them also looked familiar.

Hyrkan eventually figured it out.

“Kiyote?”

“Wow.  You remembered me.”

Kiyote reacted as if he had been waiting to hear those words.  Kiyote stepped forward.  He left behind Natal and Sohank to stand in front of Hyrkan.

“Yes.  I'm Kiyote.”

“You are affiliated with the Hydra guild now?”

“Yes.  That isn't important.  Do you remember that I still possess the right to challenge you once more?”

Instead of answering him, Hyrkan smirked.  Of course, he remembered it.  At the time, he had received the really expensive Orc Hero's Sword from him.

That sword had been a great deal of help to him.

“So you want to use your challenge rights right now?”

“No.  There is an opponent I have to beat before I can fight you.  Ah.  I wanted to say I'm making great use of the tactic I learned from you.”

As he spoke, Kiyote moved his arms.  He made a gesture as if he was throwing something grasped in his hand.

Sand Toss.

Recently, he hadn’t felt the need to use such tactics.  In the past, it was a tactic he used to great effect in PKs and PVPs.

If one fell for such a trick, it usually became a stuff of nightmare.  It was rare for someone to bite that very same move for one's own use.

Hyrkan thought Kiyote was refreshing in many ways.

Sohank had a merry smile as he looked at Kiyote.  Kiyote was acting as he liked.  His courage and single mindedness was something that couldn't be learned over time by working on it.

On the other hand, Natal's face was distorted by anger. The Hahoe Mask had to be treated with special care.  One had to be very careful when speaking to him, yet Kiyote talked about challenging him?  

What nonsense.

It would be the end of them if the Hahoe Mask used the challenge as a pretext to declare a war on their guild.

In the end, Natal pulled at Kiyote's shoulder.

“Mr. Kiyote.  I want you to keep to the promise you made.”

“Ah!”

Kiyote finally backed off.

“I'm sorry.  I really never expected the Hahoe Mask to remember my name.”

Originally, Kiyote hadn’t been scheduled to come with them.  It had been decided that only Natal and Sohank would go to speak with the Hahoe Mask.  However, Kiyote had decided to butt in.  Kiyote said that he had met the Hahoe Mask before, and he had an abnormal relationship with the Hahoe Mask.  

Kiyote had said that he suffered a loss to the Hahoe Mask, and he would be able to challenge the Hahoe Mask once.

This was why Natal had made Kiyote make a promise with him.  If the Hahoe Mask didn’t recognize him, he had to shut his mouth.  Even if he was recognized, he was instructed to speak briefly.  Natal had told him to keep the conversation to a short greeting.

Kiyote retreated, and Natal stood in front of the Hahoe Mask.  

Hyrkan spoke to Natal first.

“I know we didn't have any direct confrontations on Frozen land.  Still, if you harbor ill will towards me, shall we resolve our grievances right now?”

“Let us make a gentleman's agreement.”

Natal spoke immediately after Hyrkan's words ended.

“I have no plans on allying myself with you.”

“We feel the same way.  However, there is no reason why we should maul each other.  That will only make our competitors happy.”

Instead of answering, Hyrkan looked at Sohank.  Sohank didn't look away from Hyrkan's gaze.

Come at me if you dare!

‘It is as the rumor said.  He must have earned the Ancient Power of Darkness.’

Sohank's confidence was not rooted in his Items or Level.  He was also much inferior in terms of skills.

This meant he possessed some other power.

‘The game is really pouring out all the Mythos Rank Ancient Power.  Originally, it was a power given, so one could fight against the Dragon's army.  However, every tom, dick and harry has it now...’

Hyrkan made invidious remarks inside, and he quickly weighed the possibilities.

A gentleman's agreement was something he had wanted.  Hyrkan also didn't want to make enemy of a User with a Mythos Rank Ancient Power.

However, he couldn't show any weakness here.  If he did, he would be entering into a losing proposition.

“All right.  We don't have to get into unnecessary dog fights.  So which way are you going?  Are you going north, east or south?”

Natal steadily looked at Hyrkan when Natal heard his words.

‘If our paths coincide, is he saying he'll ignore the gentleman's agreement?  Is that what he is trying to say?’

Natal considered Hyrkan's words to be a warning.  It was a warning that said the Hyrdra guild would have to pay the cost if they really wanted this deal.

If one considered the Hydra guild's reputation, those terms were a nonstarter.

“Which way are you going?”

“I'll know after I get my Quest.  If you don't want to tell me, you don't have to.”

Chul-kuhk!

He said it was fine with his words, but Hyrkan touched the sword sheathe on his waist.  Of course, it was a threat.  The threat implied that they'll hear the sound of his sword if they refused to give him an answer.

Normally, such tactics were Useless against the Hydra guild, but it was an entirely different story with the Hahoe Mask.

‘Shit.  He is domineering.  If I could do such feats by myself...  I would also act like that.’

Natal became troubled.

“He is in a difficult spot.  He cannot tell you our secrets.”

Sohank, who hadn't spoke until now,  resolved Natal’s dilemma.

“Please be understanding.  You should consider what the Hydra guild specializes in.  We have no choice.”

“If you don't want to tell me, then you don't have to.  Someone might think I had threatened you judging by your words.”

When Sohank stepped forward, the Hahoe Mask shrugged his shoulders, and he turned his back towards them.  There was no reason to continue this conversation.

When the Hahoe Mask left, Natal spoke to Sohank.

“Thanks to you I was able to gain some breathing room.”

“That is my role.  Anyways, we were able to confirm something.  The Hahoe Mask has no allies in the Black Continent.”

Natal nodded his head.

There were two reasons why they had sought out the Hahoe Mask. The first reason was straightforward.  They wanted a gentleman's agreement where they'll be able to avoid unnecessary fights.  The other reason was to assess Hahoe Mask's current condition.

There was a hidden benefactor behind the Hahoe Mask.  If the Hahoe Mask's benefactor had the means to actively help the Hahoe Mask through troops, the Hahoe Mask wouldn't have backed off right now.

However, in the recent days, he had been helped by the Stormhunters guild when facing the Five Stars.  If one looked at his recent activities, it seemed he wanted to solve his own problems instead of waiting for some other power to come in and help him.

Of course, the brief conversation today didn't make them 100 percent confident in their theory.  However, one needed a suspicion before one could come up with a hypothesis.  Afterwards, evidence had to be gathered to prove the hypothesis.  Then one would be able to prove that the suspicion was right.

After hearing the conversation between the two, Kiyote spoke up.

“What will happen if I challenge and win against the Hahoe Mask?  What would be my rank? Will I be able to become the 10th Head?”

Sohank and Natal had been having a serious conversation, but the cat got their tongue when they heard Kiyote's words.

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