Chapter 38 : Golden Skeleton (1)
‘2 minutes and 30 seconds.’
Looking at the result of the Climbing Test he just took, An Jaehyun shook his head.
‘It’s still not as good as it was when I was at my prime.’
Recently, An Jaehyun performed another Climbing Test. It was the first time since he visited Peach Store to buy a V-Gear. The time he got this time was 2 minutes 41 seconds, even longer than his last score at the Peach Store.
Even so, An Jaehyun wasn’t surprised. He was only bitter. Why? Because he had expected it.
It was only obvious. It has been a long time since An Jaehyun fought on the front lines with his life at risk. After the Hahoe Mask Guild’s betrayal, he was forced to quit Warlord.
Then, there was a long period of rest.
Even after he returned to the past, An Jaehyun’s battle style put safety first and foremost. Although he took risks when necessary, he avoided them otherwise.
Growth only came about through pushing past one’s limit. To run a 100 meter in 9 seconds, one had to do so in 10 seconds countless number of times.
In any case, after this experience, An Jaehyun pushed himself more often in Warlord. He worked himself more diligently, more harshly, and more fiercely. He took the Climbing Test every day to measure his transformation. As a result, it didn’t take long until he reduced his time to 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
‘I still need to lose another 10 seconds from here. I must have been crazy back then. How did I do it?’
He was still far from his prime. It was only now, that An Jaehyun realized how much of a monster he truly was.
‘I’m the best alright.’
At the same time, he understood that no matter how strong his summons became, they would never be as strong as An Jaehyun himself. It wasn’t an unjustified confidence. It was the truth, one that no one could argue about.
However, he had totally forgotten about it until recently. He had focused solely on making his skeletons stronger without minding to his own abilities.
Until recently, he had even forgotten about his plan to use his strong personal capabilities.
Summoning, Curses, and Body Modification!
These three must be what An Jaehyun aimed for. Without them, it would be impossible to achieve his goals. Even without just one of them, there would be no point to An Jaehyun’s efforts. Even so, An Jaehyun couldn’t even get started on Body Modification.
‘Damn money problems.’
The reason was, of course, money.
‘I have 3,000,000 won to spare.’
For someone who constantly complained about not having money, he had amassed a fair amount. At the moment, he could cash about 3,000,000 won, which could not be considered a small sum. If he were to liquidate all the items in his possession, he would have even more money. Considering the enormous amount of money it would take for other players to get as strong as Hyrkan, the amount Hyrkan had spent so far was impressive. Not to mention, he had started from nothing. If he were to make an autobiography, it would surely be a best seller.
‘I can buy Slow Curse and Skin Sewing with the money I have now but…’
If An Jaehyun really wanted to, he could buy Slow Curse, which was a higher tier skill than Demon Curse, and Skin Sewing, which was the start of Body Modification. The problem was the price of the two!
‘No matter how I look at it, spending over a thousand gold to buy them would be like wiping my ass with money.’
Slow Curse cost 1,000 gold on the market and Skin Sewing took 800 gold. The price of the two combined would be 1,800,000 won.
For a low level skill, they were expensive. Of course, there was a reason for it. Slow Curse and Demon Curse were skills that curse magicians used forever. Even if one wasn’t a curse magician, a black magician would always learn these two skills.
In the case of Skin Sewing, the reason was a bit different. It was because Skin Sewing was the beginning skill of Body Modification. Beginning skills were always expensive, regardless of the class. Thankfully, skillbooks after it weren’t so expensive.
Even so, it was a hefty sum to pay. Because of recent advertisements and events leading up to Warlord’s 1-year anniversary, more people had begun to play Warlord. As such, the price of low level skill’s skillbooks had skyrocketed.
‘I’d rather buy it if I can, but… well, I’ll sleep on it I guess.’
With that, An Jaehyun threw himself on his bed. It was time to sleep.
‘Aaah, if only Romany’s film would go viral. If I can get a million views, I wouldn’t even need to worry about this. I would immediately buy the skillbooks, and maybe even change this goddamn fashion…’
An Jaehyun even made a small wish as he stared into the ceiling.
An Jaehyun laughed at this dumb wish. No matter how much he thought, it was a ridiculous wish.
With that, An Jaehyun fell asleep.
Once An Jaehyun started a game, he would put his all into finishing what he had planned to do. He knew that once he went off schedule, it would be hard to get back on it. If he got sick or something during that time, it would be even harder to get back on track. One week. If he threw away just one week, the distance between him and the front-runners would widen up again. It was the same for Rankers. Because of this, there was a saying that the enemies of Rankers weren’t their competitors, but cold.
An Jaehyun had logged out, even though he hadn’t fulfilled his quota. Having taken off his helmet, he was wearing a surprised expression. As An Jaehyun was someone who wouldn’t flinch while watching his house burn down, it was indeed a strange thing.
That explained how surprised An Jaehyun really was.
An Jaehyun checked his donation account once again, unable to believe his eyes.
‘1,000 dollars? Not 1,000 won but 1,000 dollars?’
There were three major ways of getting money through YouTube.
The first was through paid videos. It was the most representative way of profit.
The second was through ads. Even free videos pulled in quite a lot of money with high view count. If a video was sponsored, the profit became even bigger.
The third was through donations. Donations were sent in by the fans, and they couldn’t be called insignificant. Popular YouTubers received millions or tens of millions of won just through donations.
Donations could be checked 24/7 even in Warlord. Watching donations pour in was quite fun in its own way. 1,000 won, 1 dollar, 100 yen, 1 euro… watching money flow in from various countries was undoubtedly exciting for many people. When one received a big amount like 10 or 50 dollars, he would hunt for the rest of the day feeling happy.
But today was different.
The donations had exploded. In fact, the average amount donated had increased as well. One of them was a 1,000-dollar donation. An Jaehyun couldn’t sit by and continue gaming.
It was only now that An Jaehyun figured out what was happening.
Before he had logged in, Skull Clown only had about 5,000 views. Now, in just 4 hours, it had reached 40,000. It was growing exponentially!
“Yes! It finally blew up!”
An Jaehyun was sure that someone from a famous Warlord fan-site had recommended the video with an introduction.
Otherwise, such an exponential growth would be hard to account for.
In truth, An Jaehyun had partially expected it. When he watched the film Romany sent him, An Jaehyun couldn’t help but be impressed. At the very least, he thought he would receive 100,000 views in a couple weeks.
However, at the pace it is now, it seemed Skull Clown would pass 100,000 in less than a week.
‘100,000… that’s enough to pass the cut-line.’
There was something called a cut-line.
Past a certain point, there was a big difference in view count. Once a video passed the cut-line, it would become a “viral” video and its view count would go up steadily. IF a video couldn’t pass that cut-line, it would die down just as quick.
‘Can it hit a million?’
As it is now, An Jaehyun’s Skull Clown video had enough power to pass that cut-line.
Its high view count and increased number of donations was proof of it.
Plus, if Skull Clown could hit one million views, An Jaehyun would be able to get close to 10,000,000 won.
Warlord videos earned 3 won for 1 view. One million views would mean 3,000,000 won, excluding the amount one would gain from donations. Furthermore, once a video got one million views, sponsors were sure to involve themselves. This was something An Jaehyun knew by heart.
A player with 5 one-million-view videos on their belt was worth about 10,000,000 won per month. In most cases, the player wouldn’t take all that money for himself. As Warlord players were part of guilds or raid-parties, at least 5 or more people took a cut of the money.
But it was different for An Jaehyun.
Just like he always wanted, everything was his to have.
’10,000,000 won for a million views.’
The light in An Jaehyun’s eyes changed.
“Let’s do it.”
[Skin Sewing] -Proficiency: Rank F
– You can put monster skin over your own to make your skin stronger.
[Slow Curse] -Proficiency: Rank F
– Cast a curse that slows the enemy’s speed. This curse requires more magic power and lasts for shorter time as the target’s size, speed, and strength increases.
Hyrkan stared at the explanations of his two new skills. Though they were skills he had been dying to get, he didn’t seem happy. In fact, he seemed quite bitter.
‘Damn it. I can’t believe these two skills cost 1,900 gold… I know there is more demand than supply, but come on, it’s too damn expensive! Are they messing with the price?’
Without Skull Clown seemingly about to go viral, Hyrkan would never have purchased the skills.
On the other hand, if Skull Clown really did not go viral, his investment would have huge tolls on his food. For one, meat would be nothing but a dream. He might even have to steal coffee from a nearby office.
In any case, these two skills were quite useful for the current Hyrkan.
‘It’s not that bad I guess.’
First, Skin Sewing passively increased his defense. It was the same as Skin Armor that swordsmen learned. There was one difference, however. Skin Armor strengthened the user’s skin itself, but Skin Sewing was different. The amount of defense its user would get changed depending on the skins or scales of monsters used. This was generally a good thing, as Skin Sewing provided more defense than Skin Armor. The downside, however, was that its user would have to pay for the monsters’ skins or scales. When the user received damage, Skin Sewing would have to be renewed. It was one of the reason why necromancers were called money-eating hippos.
Slow Curse didn’t need much explanation. It was a core curse skill that all curse magicians used. It slowed its target’s movement speed, and its effectiveness was universally recognized in Warlord.
Hyrkan now had these precious skills on hand.
It was now time to put them to use.
‘I’ll make something awesome with these, and go for a Synergy Effect.’
Skull Clown was even better than Hyrkan expected. It was only obvious to release another video at this point. With two videos working in synergy, his profit would be doubled as well.
‘If I get a second million-view, I can say goodbye to my debts.’
If Hyrkan’s could get a million-view video like he wanted, he could stop worrying about the money he owed. In fact, he could stop worrying about the V-Gear cost as well.
‘I can get some proper clothes too.’
He could say goodbye to his pitiable fashion.
This fueled Hyrkan’s will even more.
“Fuck! What’s wrong with you?”
In this eerie, sinister place, a player shouted in anger at two other.
“None of your business. Blame you and your party for entering this area.”
“You bastards… do you really think you can get away with suddenly attacking us? I have everything on video!”
At that, the two players sneered.
“Whatever. You can’t see our faces anyways.”
At the same time, one of the two players made a spear of ice and threw it at the player in front of him.
After confirming his death, the two players stared at each other.
“Damn it. If we didn’t miss that Golden Skeleton, we wouldn’t have to do this. So Annoying!”
“Did I let it go? Why are you yelling at me? Besides, Golden Skeleton has one fucked up behavioral design.”
“Tell me about it. What kind of a monster requires you to kill it from the beginning if you can’t kill it within a time limit… because of that, we’ve only been hunting players for two days.”
“We have to kill it soon. We can’t continue killing players to prevent the information from spreading. Tomorrow or the day after at the latest… that’s all the time we have.”
With that, the two went silent. Having received an order from a voice-messaging program, the two quickly turned back and ran.
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