Chapter 76 Battlefield (3).
Chapter 76 - Battlefield (3)
When one went across the castle walls, the first thing one saw was the bones of unknown remains. One could see some human bones, but it was mostly littered with large monster bones. It was basically a wasteland with all kinds of bones decorating the land.
It was basically a field of bones. Across the plains, there was a forest with large trees. The horizon was visible above the large forest, and the forest was more terrifying than the field of bones. The forest shook intermittently, and at times...
A roar rang out.
The forest itself was a monster's nest. Those who invaded the body of the forest could feel it with their five senses.
“So this is what a Battlefield is like.”
“It looks harder than I thought it would be.”
This was the first time the Tinkerbell Party was running the Battlefield. The stage that opened up beyond the castle was much more than they expected.
Of course, they had a hard time immediately adjusting to the stage. When the castle door opened, they were the last one to reach the forest. Even after reaching the forest, they were filled with nervousness. The nervousness filling them ate away at their composure.
They had started to walk into the forest when, all of a sudden, they were immediately thrown into battle.
“Ah! You guys?”
The people they had faced only a couple dozen minutes ago showed up as enemies.
“What do you mean what? This is a hazing ritual for you rookies.”
It wasn't just one party. Five parties appeared, surrounding the Tinkerbell Party. They didn't even hold a conversation. There wasn't time to exchange curses and excuses. The battle ended before it started.
‘Look at what these bastards are doing.’
Hyrkan had his hood on, and he was doing his best to crouch on top of the tree branch. He saw the sight of the Tinkerbell Party perishing from start to finish.
‘When they became surprised when I stormed out of the door, I knew something was amiss... The 5 parties are working together?’
It was a common sight to see a party like the Tinkerbell party suffer in the Battlefield. Normally, the parties fought with each other, but the bloodshed were clustered in the beginning or the latter half of the Battlefield. It was very important to eliminate the competition either before the main monster hunt or before one takes on the Event Monster. The middle part is mostly focused on hunting monsters, so there was an implicit understanding to not attack each other. In the end, one of the reasons why users come to the Battlefield was the overabundance monsters. They were here to level up at a much faster rate.
This time it was clear why the Tinkerbell Party was targeted. At a glance, one could tell they were new to the Battlefield. The experienced users didn't pause to see the Battlefield stage in surprise. They immediately moved into the Battlefield, and they looked for a place to hide in the surrounding. Basically, anyone who stayed in the entrance was asking to be targeted in the beginning. The Tinkerbell Party didn't just paint a target on themselves. They were basically begging others to kill them!
However, Hyrkan never expected 5 parties with over 30 members to rush forward.
‘Five…… If my memory is correct, the 5 parties have a total member of 20, 28... Is it 38 people?’
The 5 parties were working together.
He knew why they joined hands with each other.
‘They are really determined to catch me.’
Their target was himself. It was Hyrkan.
The quality of users participating in the Battlefield was about the same. The level limit made it so. If there weren't any level limit, the high level users would come here to wreak havoc. Many felt an irrational feeling of unfairness when Hyrkan appeared on this stage.
The 5 parties didn't hesitate to make an alliance.
‘Also, didn't those bastards act all friendly when they wanted to take photos with me? Assholes.’
From Hyrkan's perspective, nothing about this situation made him happy.
‘Still, this is a bit weird.’
At the same time, he harbored a suspicion.
‘No matter how I see it, they are going all-in on catching me. Wasn't this a little bit excessive even for a Unique Skill?’
He somewhat understood what was going on, but he did feel that their actions were a bit excessive.
Hyrkan narrowed his eyes.
‘Did I steal a watch from one of them in the past?’
Of course, there was practical or economical reasons. However, there could also be personal reasons mixed in there.
It was a very emotional and unproductive reason, but it was also a motivation that made people move.
If he was being truthful, Hyrkan's gaming history wasn't squeaky clean. He had ruthlessly killed anyone who bothered him. The fault was with his opponent, but they weren't the kind of people who would admit to that in the first place. They wouldn't have fought if that was the case in the first place. If this was about revenge, this outcome wasn't too strange.
‘Is it perhaps those bitches I screwed over before? Was one of their white knights in that group? Probably not. Did those guys somehow find out I'm the Hahoe Mask? Is it the friend of that guy I screwed over when I caught the Golden Skeleton?’
Anyways, there were a lot of people dying to catch Hyrkan. There were too many that Hyrkan couldn't pinpoint the source.
Of course, Hyrkan didn't have to think long on it.
‘Well, whatever. The 5 parties of 38 people is my target.’
Hyrkan watched as he saw the 5 parties take the Tinkerbell party members' watches. He stopped his trivial thoughts, and he started making his plans in earnest.
‘If I follow my heart, I would want to record footage for the entire 144 hours. I want them to feel as if they were the supporting characters of a live Saw movie. However, that'll waste my hunting time, so I'll finish them within 24 hours.’
He made his plan in a flash.
This was all routine for Hyrkan.
“What a really fucked up situation.”
It hadn't even been two hours since the Terube castle wall's gate had opened. Before they could even properly start their monster hunt, the Mongmart Party was surrounded by other users.
Mongmart Party's Tanker Board was angry when he saw the several dozen users surrounding them. He yelled with an incredulous expression on his face.
“Even if this is the Battlefield, aren't you guys taking this too far? What's the meaning of coming at us with an alliance of 5 parties?”
His shout was filled with anger. As if they agreed with Board’s anger, the two priests, 3 magicians, and swordsman of the Mongmart Party also had expressions filled with anger.
On the other hand, the 30+ people didn't have any expressions on their face. They were calm and it seemed they weren't going to respond to the Mongmart Party.
“You've run the Battlefield numerous times. You should have known you might run into a situation like this.”
“Let's end this quickly.”
These were users who were used to such tactics. This was why they participated in the Battlefield. This didn't happen all the time in the Battlefield, but it was something that could break out at any time. If one felt embarrassment, shame, sorriness, or guilt then they didn't belong on the stage called the Battlefield.
“Even if there is no rules in the Battlefield, isn't this too much?!”
Since they were the ones holding the short end of the stick, they could only curse. They could probably swear for 24hrs straight in this situation.
With a proper battle about to happen, Cho-oohroong looked on in silence as the parties exchanged words. Then he discreetly gripped his sword.
‘There is no need to drag this out.’
The Mongmart Party wasn't their main target.
‘If Hahoe Mask notices something is amiss, he might go into hiding. That would put me in a tough spot.’
The main target was the Hahoe mask. He had to take care of this situation before the Hahoe Mask realizes what was going on.
If Hyrkan realizes the groups had allied with each other to catch him, he would act according to the situation.
He wouldn't fight upfront. He'll most definitely be on the run, and he'll try to take advantage of opportunistic moments. It wasn’t easy to chase after a single fleeing user in the Battlefield.
Moreover, there was an additional reason why he had to catch the Hahoe Mask.
‘I have to catch that bastard..’
Once he catches the Hahoe Mask, he'll immediately receive a reward of a million Yuan. This was the bonus pot put on the line for the Hahoe Mask hunt by Apollo.
For killing one user, he would easily earn more than $100,000 here. Cho-oohroong was already planning out what he would do with that money.
Anyways, if he wanted to quickly settle this situation, he had to do the dirty work.
Even if over 30 users surrounded them, their opponents were veterans of the Battlefield. Their levels and Item Settings were similar all similar.
The result was obvious if one considered the numerical advantage. However, the situation could always change. Basically, there was a high chance that some casualties would occur if the Monmark Party struggled against them in their death. No one wanted to become the casualty.
This was why someone had to take the bullet. Someone had to lead this battle if one wanted a quick resolution.
This was why Cho-oohroong moved. When he moved, the users of the Swordsman Class moved slowly as they took on the role of Tankers and Strikers.
The magicians started to cast magic from behind them. The priests readied themselves in the backline, and they focused on the upcoming battle.
It happened when everyone's attention was focused on a single location.
The perimeter was tightening when someone breathing their last breath was heard.
‘What is it?’
Cho-oohroong was looking at his targets when he heard a sound from beyond the Mongmart party.
Cho-oohroong's gaze moved quickly.
Cho-oohroong's eyes picked up the Skeleton Warriors. There were 3 of them. The three Skeleton Warriors ran towards a priest and stabbed him. The Skeleton Warriors withdrew their sword, then stabbed once again.
The priest let out a yell, alerting the others of his emergency situation. However, by that time, the three Skeleton Warriors had already stabbed the priest's body a dozen times.
The priest's defensive gear wasn't that great. The defensive gear was dependent on one's level, so the priest's body was basically pudding. Moreover, the attack power of the Skeleton Warriors was on a frightening level.
Before the priest could cast his healing spells, he was turned into a mess.
“Shit. What's going on over there?”
One of the priest's companion saw him go down, so he turned to run towards the Skeleton Warriors. He ignored the Mongmart Party. At that moment, everyone was filled with thoughts of saving the priest!
‘We'll be in a dangerous situation if the priest goes down.’
Cho-oohroong thought along the same line. A priest was of great importance to a party. Priests were more important in the Battlefield than the mages. If one didn't have a priest, it was better to logout and wait for the door to open.
As befitting the status of Heh-bibin's rising star, he started thinking about what would be coming next.
‘Wait a moment.’
The Skeleton Warriors wouldn't just show up by themselves.
Cho-oohroong turned his head.
Four Skeleton Warriors suddenly appeared from a different direction. Everyone watched in surprise as the group of Skeleton Warriors jumped another priest.
Cho-oohroong's thoughts naturally moved onto the next thought.
‘Where's the Hahoe Mask?’
Since the Skeleton Warriors were here, there was no way the Hahoe Mask was not here.
As Cho-oohroong expected, the Hahoe Mask appeared.
From behind Cho-oohrong, he stabbed a priest affiliated with Cho-oohroong's party. Hyrkan immediately withdrew his sword and struck the priest's neck. Afterwards, he sawed at the priest's neck. In a flash, the priest's neck was half-severed.
Hyrkan appeared in this fashion, making sure the priest was dead.
When Hyrkan appeared, the Mongmart party moved as if they had been waiting for this.
No, he was sure they had been waiting for Hyrkan. The Mongmart party moved towards the opposite direction from where Hyrkan had appeared.
They were splitting up their troops.
If one wanted to catch two rabbits, they would inevitably have to divide their group into two.
The problem was the group surrounding the Mongmart party. There wasn’t a normal power structure between these parties. One needed to go through the process of suggestion and negotiation when dealing with them.
One had to consider the situation, assess what method one had to use, and suggest the method. Then, the group had to agree with said method. It was a frustrating process, and it wasn't something that could be done in a desperate situation where a second could mean the difference between life or death.
Even Cho-oohroong was taken aback as Hyrkan used his blade on his party's priest. The way Hyrkan killed the priest was close to torture, and Cho-oohroong could only look on.
After killing a priest in a flash, Hyrkan's eyes met Cho-oohroong's gaze.
It lasted only for a brief moment.
Hyrkan immediately turned his head around and started running towards a different user.
He was also a Priest.
The Priest was about to yell out for help, but Hyrkan stabbed his sword between his eyes. Hyrkan didn't stop running as he carried off the Priest on his shoulder.
He was running away.
“It's the Hahoe Mask!”
At that moment, a group of users followed after Hyrkan. How could they do nothing when the target was running away?
At that sight, Cho-oohroong swallowed his saliva. Cho-oohroong was at a loss for words.
‘H...he got us.’
Cho-oohroong was struck dumb; he was at a loss for words.
With the priest on his shoulder, Hyrkan ran as he repeatedly skewered the body of the priest like a shish kabob. Until a moment ago, the priest had shouted all kinds of curses at him, but now his body was slumped over like a corpse. Hyrkan laughed when he saw this.
‘He forcefully logged out.’
The user had been slung across Hyrkan's shoulder like a luggage, and he stabbed as he retreated. It seemed it wasn't fun to experience it live.
Finally, Hyrkan turned to look for the first time at the 3 people chasing him.
‘They are following me like dogs.’
The three of them had successfully chased after Hyrkan. This meant these users had Stat that was comparable to Hyrkan.
They were Strikers.
They were users of the Swordsman Class who mainly focused on their Strength Stat.
Hyrkan had slowed down just enough so they had an easier time following him. Then, he allowed them to incrementally close the distance.
In the end, he had stopped.
‘Is it here?’
After stopping, he discreetly turned his head to look around his surrounding then he dropped the priest from his shoulder.
He wasn't dead yet, but the user had given up on this character. The priest's body was basically a corpse.
Hyrkan planted his sword into the priest's spine. He placed two hands on the sword, and he looked at the three Strikers.
The sight of Hyrkan was intimidating and frightening.
Even the veteran users couldn't attack Hyrkan immediately. The imposing feeling coming off of Hyrkan had caused them to come to a stop.
The three, intimidated users who had stopped came to their senses and ordered their thoughts.
‘We're the only ones here…….’
Their battle capability was most definitely outstanding. They were of the Swordsman Class, and they had focused on raising their Strength Stat. No one would choose to grow this Class if it was weak.
However, the opponent was the Hahoe Mask.
‘Can the three of us take down the Hahoe Mask?’
‘He doesn't have his Skeletons?’
He controlled 10 powerful Skeleton Warriors. He was strong enough to solo Boss Monsters with them. He was someone who possessed a ridiculous amount of skill. Will three Swordsman be enough to take him down?
It was possible.
However, it wouldn't be easy.
‘Should we just run away?’
‘We don't have priests any more. What should we do?’
Everyone was filled with nervousness as they raised their weapons. Those with shields raised it in front on them.
Hyrkan wordlessly looked back at them.
He took out the sword stuck in the priest's back, and he kept repeatedly stabbing the body. It seemed he wanted to be sure that the priest was dead.
‘Crazy son of a bitch!’
The sight was so frightening that the three of them couldn't even come up with a way to buy time or try something else.
It was at that moment.
Accompanying a terrifying roar, four monsters ran towards them. They were horned Trolls with gray skin. The three Strikers could only look at the four Trolls with a dumbfounded expression on their face. Hyrkan put a big smile.
‘That Golem is slow, but its timing is pretty killer.’
Hyrkan had unsummoned his Golem and the monsters came to kill the Golem's master. Hyrkan had readied a monster bomb.
“How many of you are left?”
They had started out with 38 users, but the number had been reduced to 30.
In a flash, 8 users suffered a Game Over.
Of course, it wasn't as if they hadn't gained anything. As the Mongmart Party was running away, they were able to eliminate 3 of their users.
However, their current situation was embarrassingly bad even if one added in their gains.
The biggest problem was...
‘We lost 4 Priests…….’
Eight users had suffered Game Over, and half that number was priests. Amongst the 5 parties, there had been a total of 8 priests, and now four of them were gone.
‘We've been perfectly undone.’
It was a frightening situation.
Even though this was only a game, Cho-oohroong felt a chill run down his back.
Currently, the community was formed with 5 parties, yet they had lost 4 priests. If the community dissolves, one party would be without a priest. Basically, it was a death sentence.
‘I never expected the Mongmart to join hands with the Hahoe Mask.’
They were in a critical situation only because Mongmart Party had joined hands with the Hahoe Mask. That was the only reason.
When they surrounded the Mongmart Party, they pulled the priests to the back to protect them. It was par for the course. The Strikers and Tankers were sent towards the front line to start the engagement. Since they had surrounded their enemies, this was the most logical and suitable tactic.
However, no one expected the Hahoe Mask to appear then and there.
To make it worse, the Hahoe Mask divided his Skeleton Troops into two groups, killing two priests in a single strike. Afterwards, Hyrkan quickly killed one priest himself, then he ran away with another priest on his shoulder.
‘The Hahoe Mask has never run the Battlefield before, so how is he able to come up with these tactics?’
It was a very smart play. Instead of killing the priest on the spot, he carried the priest, who had no battle ability. He killed the priest as he carried him around. He was crafty. Hyrkan had a craftiness that could only beasts could come up with.
This was how Hyrkan killed four priests by himself. The 5 parties had combined forces, yet he was skilled enough to pick off the 4 priests. His skill gave Cho-oohroong goosebumps. Furthermore, he had intentionally baited the Strikers, and he used the monsters to turn the Strikers into road kills. Even though he was on the losing end of it, he almost let out a sound of admiration.
This clarified something. Hyrkan had perfectly read the intent of Cho-oohroong and the others.
This basically meant….
‘This isn't the end.’
It basically meant this was the beginning.
Cho-oohroong and the other parties were the first ones to proceed with no rules governing their actions. If their opponents didn't follow the rules, they didn't have the grounds to complain.
One had to be ready to battle with monster at any time especially in the Battlefield. The Battlefield had so many monsters that the monsters came looking for the users. On such a stage, it was impossible for 4 priests to cover over 20 users.
The worst part was the rest time. It was impossible to game for the whole day. In several hours, everyone was going to logout to rest. Several people were saying they weren't going to log back until the 144 hours was up. Instead of being blindly hit with Game Over, some thought it would be better to take a 144 hours break. They would avoid the Game Over, while they take a week worth of break.
This meant their numbers would shrink once again.
Eventually, they wouldn't have a numerical advantage.
‘I can't let that happen.’
Cho-oohroong felt the need to organize this situation. He gathered the leaders of the other parties.
“We have to continue to work together. If we go our separate ways, we'll just become targets.”
“You want us to hunt together in this state?”
“If we stay together, at the very least, the enemies won't attack us directly. We still have a decisive numerical advantage. Don't we need to put our survival as our highest priority?”
There wasn't any pushback.
However, when Cho-oohroong looked at their expression, he could sense they weren't happy with him.
‘They are trying to put the blame on me.’
In the end, Cho-oohroong was the first one to suggest the attack on the Hahoe Mask. It was human nature to blame someone else when things don't go your way.
“Well, let's do that then.”
They gave their assent, but they weren't explicit with their answers.
Cho-oohroong realized something was amiss.
Hyrkan appeared in front of them once again about 5 hours after the castle gates had opened. Everyone was getting ready to logout, so they were looking for a safe zone when it happened.
“Who's the mastermind behind all of this?”