Chapter 271 - The Hoarder (11)

“Keek! Keek!” The Cannibal Monster Human elders trembled now that their king had fallen. They had no hope of fighting back. However, despite their trembling, they didn’t let go of their spears because of the women and children behind them. Even with the king dead, they wanted to save their descendants. 

Yeon-woo snorted. He didn’t feel bad for them. It was survival of the fittest. These same creatures had just been eating players, and he wouldn’t forgive them just because they’d swapped roles. However, he wasn’t planning on killing them. Since they were powerless, he was going to make them build the boat and use them for small tasks.

Yeon-woo stretched his hand out, and the reward that he earned after killing the Cannibal Monster King glowed. 

[Cannibal Monster King’s Token]
[Category: Holy item]
[Rank: A- (*limited to the 27th floor)]
[Conditions for use: Death of the Cannibal Monster King and all warriors of the tribe. The fear level of the Cannibal Monster Human tribe has to be at least 30.]
[Description: The token left behind by the Cannibal Monster King. With the tribe’s skill ‘Blood Connection’, you can use the Guai with it. However, the tribe must first pledge themselves to you.] 

The token was a glowing purple bead that contained the skill of the tribe. ‘Jeong-woo also made the boat using this technique. He got it by coincidence, but it was useful and the boat was sturdy.’ When he’d seen the Cannibal Monster Humans, he had wondered if they could build boats. ‘And bingo.’

The Cannibal Human Monsters had more intelligence than other monsters, but most players didn’t know this. His brother was one of the exceptions. The Cannibal Monster Humans’ diet wasn’t composed solely of humans. Instead, humans were a delicacy to them, and they fished in the river for their usual food. This meant that they could build boats. Technically, this wasn’t a hidden piece, but it was something you needed to think through.

The token of the Cannibal Monster King glowed, but the elderly Cannibal Monster Humans shook their heads as if in rejection, their hands trembling.

“If you don’t accept it, the ones behind you die.”

The elderly Cannibal Monster Humans trembled, knowing it wasn’t an empty threat. One of the more intelligent-looking ones stepped forward with heavy steps. “I-if you promise to spare the women and the children, we agree to be bound to you!”

“No.” Yeon-woo rejected his offer. “There’s no room for negotiation. Everyone accepts the token or else every one of you will die.”

The elders looked at the Guai. The women shook their heads in fear. Survival was more important even if it meant slavery. The elderly Cannibal Monster Human eventually nodded. “Understood.”

Ding.

[You have secured the tribe’s obedience. Additional karma is being provided.]

[You earned the title ‘Guide of Cannibal Monster Humans’.]

[You have succeeded in claiming the 2311st Cannibal Monster Human island as your territory. You may use it as a base after declaring it as your domain.]

The island of the Cannibal Monster Humans was another hidden piece. He could use its inhabitants as slaves and use the land as his territory. 

I don’t know who created the twenty-seventh floor, but they’re definitely twisted to allow possession of a territory on a stage that has to be escaped in forty-nine days. It was hard to tell if they wanted us to keep it or not. However, it was pretty useful as a secret storage area.

After completing the stage, some players ended up using their islands as private bases.

There were an endless number of islands along the River of Souls, and those who couldn’t clear the trial sometimes stayed to create gangs who stole from other players or distracted them. They were just like the scavengers in the Tutorial, although they were called “pirates” here.

‘Isn’t one of Bayluk’s manufacturing facilities located here?’

Bayluk is especially interested in the River of Souls and the lifeforms in it. 

Since Bayluk was interested in poison, the twenty-seventh floor was like a home to him, and Jeong-woo had given the coordinates of the island to him. From that point on, Bayluk no longer talked about the island, and whenever Jeong-woo asked about it, he would only say that everything was going well. Yeon-woo believed that he was using the area to this day, and he wanted to find Bayluk’s island and break it apart. ‘But it’s pointless if I don’t know the coordinates.’

Bayluk had changed the coordinates of the island after a long time. Yeon-woo couldn’t spend all forty-nine days investigating all the islands. And even if he lucked into finding it, he’d have to deal with the defenses that Bayluk likely set up. ‘I’ll find it next time. I might even be able to use these guys to help me.” Yeon-woo turned away with regret. The Cannibal Monster Humans bowed to him like subjects meeting their king. He could feel them connected through the token like his Guai.

Yeon-woo opened Intrenian as he looked at them. They needed to get started building the boat as soon as possible.

* * *

The Cannibal Monster Humans began building the boat after Yeon-woo ordered them to. The token of the Cannibal Monster King could determine whether they lived or died, and they did everything they could to save their children.

Although the older ones grew tired and struggled to carry the pieces of the Specter Trees, Yeon-woo didn’t even blink. Their suffering was their responsibility, and he had no reason to pity them. However, he ordered his Guai to help them with the things that required a lot of strength since he couldn’t afford to allow his laborers to be injured.

He also found players locked up in the island

“Th-thank you.”

“Thank you so much.”

The players cried as they thanked Yeon-woo. Yeon-woo nodded silently and gave them the canoes that the Cannibal Monster Humans used to get back to the main island. A few players seemed to hope that Yeon-woo would help them even more, but Yeon-woo didn’t say a word to them. ‘I might be burdened by them.’

He had done enough by saving them, and so he put them out of his mind. He headed towards the boat. The Cannibal Monster Humans said they would need five days to complete it, and he was planning to make them hurry. Meanwhile, the rescued players arrived at the main island floating on the River of Souls, their faces filled with exhaustion.

“What do we do now?”

Their happiness at being rescued didn’t last long because they didn’t know what they ought to do next. All of their possessions were gone, and because they’d been locked up for a long time, time was almost up. They only had one option left: for someone to carry them to the next floor.

They glanced at each other without speaking. They knew that they had to get on Yeon-woo’s good side, but no one dared be the first to step up. They were too terrified of the Hoarder. When they reached the shore, they didn’t even notice that most of the forest had been destroyed.

Swoosh! They felt a presence and heard the sound of grass rustling. They all turned to look. “Is there someone there?” 

Heidi was leading a group of people, and she was just as surprised to see them.

* * *

“So you’re saying the Hoarder got rid of all the Cannibal Monster Humans?”

“Y-yes.”

Heidi gasped. She didn’t really think he could do it, but he pulled it off. ‘Then the shadow monster must have been one of the Hoarder’s.’ Although she didn’t have any proof, all the clues were pointing to that conclusion. It was truly surprising. The shadow monsters that had effortlessly killed the Cannibal Demonic Creature were already shocking in their power, it made sense that Yeon-woo would have the ability to take on the Cannibal Monster King on his own.

It was obvious that Yeon-woo was more skilled than he let on. After the deaths of Orant and Ibrahimovic, Heidi had searched for survivors in the forest with the rest of Team Trinity. She wasn’t sure if there would be any, but she felt that it was her responsibility to help. She didn’t want to be like the Ninety-Second Squad, and her comrades, Dylan and Jun, agreed with her. 

An Elf’s specialty was love, and despite the cruelty in the Tower, Heidi wanted to keep to her principles. Fortunately, they had found many survivors since the Cannibal Demonic Humans hadn’t paid any attention to injured players and only chased the others down for the pleasure of the hunt. At this point, Team Trinity had grown to sixty players, which was a good size.

Although the twenty-sixth floor had been a more difficult challenge, everyone was extremely tired now. They’d endured so much danger that the sudden calm made them feel exhausted all of a sudden.

‘Also, the air isn’t good. It’s making our bodies heavy and our minds weak.’ Heidi thought that they were going to be in real danger soon. Dylan and Jun looked tired as well, but they could still move, and she could also feel their strong determination to get through the stage. 

Heidi planned on crossing the River of Souls through any means possible. Thankfully, they had the materials of the Ninety-Second Squad, so it would be easy to ask Charon to help them build a boat. The problem they faced now were the other survivors. Although they could leave them behind since they were a burden, Heidi didn’t plan on doing that.

‘I don’t want to be like Father.’ Heidi bit her lips at an old memory. The people who followed her were her people now. She couldn’t reject them just because they made things harder for her. There was only one to save everyone and get to the thirtieth floor: ‘We need the Hoarder’s help. But how can we convince him?’

The Hoarder wasn’t the kind of person who would offer his help. With his cold personality, he would easily push people away if he thought they were a nuisance. However, through her Fairy Eyes, she’d discovered that Yeon-woo wasn’t an evil person despite his coldness.  

It would be easier to convince someone like that, and she just had to prove to him that it would be beneficial to him, too. It all came down to one thing: the price.

‘We have to make a deal. We can show that we won’t be a nuisance and give the Hoarder something that he’ll be satisfied with. But what do we have? What can we give?’ Yeon-woo had everything. Strength, charisma, and hidden pieces. On the other hand, they only had their bodies, and their strength was nothing compared to Yeon-woo’s subordinates. ‘Wait, our bodies?’ Heidi opened her eyes wide. Then, she looked around. 

Before she contacted Yeon-woo, she had to convince the others so they wouldn’t contradict her. She was confident that Yeon-woo wouldn’t reject the deal she was about to offer.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter