Chapter 54 : Maoong’s Test (1)
[You have leveled up.]
Even with the level-up alert, Hyrkan did not stop. He weaved through the battles among his skeletons and Sword Monkeys, and slashed away at the monkey’s bodies.
Hyrkan’s longsword moved both elegantly and brutally as it left long slash marks and deep cuts. At times, he cut off the monkeys’ limbs almost effortlessly.
Every time Hyrkan’s longsword moved, a Sword Monkey cried out in pain. It was only after all 12 Sword Monkeys were dead that Hyrkan finally stopped and checked his level-up alert.
Hyrkan half-heartedly examined his stat window. In truth, he didn’t really have to. Considering he checked his stats quite often, there was no way he wouldn’t know his stats. Hyrkan only recognized the fact that he had finally reached level 60. Afterwards, he quickly skinned the monkeys that were lying on the ground. It seemed Hyrkan was more concerned about the items than leveling up.
After Hyrkan skinned the monkeys, they began to melt down. Soon, only their bones and skin remained, and Hyrkan carefully examined through them.
“GOD DAMN IT!”
At that moment, Hyrkan shouted out in anger, and kicked the skull of a nearby Sword Monkey.
The Sword Monkey’s skull then flew towards an unassuming Skeleton Warrior that had been on standby.
The Skeleton Warrior quickly dodged the flying skull. Then, it stared at Hyrkan as if to say ‘did I do well?’ After all, Hyrkan had always spent time teaching his Skeleton Warriors on how to dodge attacks.
However, Hyrkan didn’t have the peace of mind to praise the Skeleton Warrior.
In the end, he exploded.
“Why can’t you just give me one? I’ve killed over a thousand! WHY? What did I do wrong? Tell me Tobot Soft! What did I do wrong here!?”
To get to level 60 in the shortest amount of time, Hyrkan had given up on hunting Sword Monkeys. However, he could not get rid of his lingering attachment. In the end, he came back when he was level 59 with only about 20% EXP left to go until level 60.
Let’s try killing them until I get to level 60!
At this point, it would not have mattered even if a Sword Monkey Jewel dropped. He already had a weapon prepared for level 60. However, he did it anyways just to resolve the occasionally tickling he felt in his heart.
‘This is a bug for sure. This god damned game…’
The result wasn’t what he had hoped for.
The forest shook at the sound of Hyrkan gnashing his teeth. Although there were many times Hyrkan was frustrated or driven close to madness by Warlord, this was the first time he was completely toyed with.
Of course, there wasn’t much he could do in such a situation. He couldn’t go ask Tobot Soft why his item wasn’t dropping lest he get treated as a hacker of some sort.
He had no choice but to endure through it.
Hyrkan let out breaths of air to calm his anger.
What really made Hyrkan cool down was…
His Skeleton Warriors turning their heads around. At their reaction, Hyrkan put up his guard and turned around as well.
‘Is it an ambush?’
What Hyrkan caught sight of was a heavily armored player running towards Hyrkan without reserve. When the player saw Hyrkan, he stopped in his tracks.
At the same time that he stopped running, he shouted.
“Player! It’s a player, not a monster!”
His shout was directed at his comrades following behind him. After shouting at them, the player stared back at Hyrkan and lightly bowed.
“Sorry about that. I thought you were a monster.”
It seemed like he confused Hyrkan’s summoned skeletons as monsters. As for Hyrkan, it wasn’t a particularly special experience.
Hearing Hyrkan, the player nodded. Meanwhile, the player’s comrades had made their appearance. Two magicians, two priests, and another swordsman. It was a 6-man party, and they showed great interest as soon as they watched Hyrkan and his Skeleton Warriors.
“Could this be him?”
“Hahoe Mask Hyrkan? Sure looks like it.”
Among those 6, two knew who Hyrkan was.
“There was a rumor he was hunting in the Bulkas Mountain Range. Looks like it was real… his battle videos are absolutely amazing.”
“Who’s that? Is he that famous?”
Of course, there were some who didn’t know who he was.
“He’s pretty well known on YouTube. You should look him up. You’ll be blown away.”
“Really? How come I’ve never heard of him before?”
“What do you think? All you ever watch on YouTube are cam girls.”
It was like they were looking at a monkey in the zoo.
Hyrkan wasn’t particularly bothered by it. He was prepared for something like this considering that he was making money through YouTube. In fact, he was rather thankful that they didn’t seem to hold any hostile intentions. In Warlord, most attentions were hostile than friendly.
The swordsman player rounded up his noisy allies.
“Enough. Let’s get a move on!”
At the same time, the swordsman looked back at Hyrkan in good manners.
“Sorry for bothering you. I wish you lucky drops.”
Hyrkan barely stopped himself from losing his temper. Although the player said it without any ill intent, he couldn’t help but be angry. It seemed like the Sword Monkeys might have given him anger management issues.
However, he hadn’t lost all his rationality that he’d yell at a player he met for the first time.
Hyrkan opened his mouth and slowly let out some words.
“Yeah… good luck to you too.”
Once their goodbyes were made, both sides went on their ways without any trouble. There wasn’t any reason for one. Not many players were actively seeking to vent their frustration on other players. After all, Warlord didn’t have shortage of targets to do exactly that.
At the same time, Hyrkan could tell through his own skin that quite a long time had passed.
‘It’s been 27 days, so I guess it’s not that surprising that I’d run into other players.’
It took Hyrkan 27 days to get from level 50 to 60. Although he wasn’t sure, he believed it to be close to a new record. He knew it generally took at least 30 days to get from level 50 to 60. This was for the Rankers that were currently in the Top 100 Rankings. But Hyrkan had done so 27 days, at least 3 less than the Rankers. Hyrkan’s level-up speed wouldn’t lose out to the current number one player, the First One.
At the same time, it also meant a month had passed since Hyrkan first stepped into the Bulkas Mountain Range.
Although the Bulkas Mountain Range was a hunting ground nobody knew about one month ago, it was now known to a certain extent that Bulkas Mountain Range was full of sweet honey and dew. Not only average players, but quite well-known guilds were claiming their territories to begin serious hunting laps.
‘It’s not the time to vent my frustration at some Sword Monkeys.’
Once a bit more time passed, even more players would arrive. In other words, there would be more competitors.
‘I better hurry.’
Taking care of things when there was no competition was the basics of a quick game play.
‘Bulkas Ranger’s Friend, Bulkas Mountain Range’s Cleaner. I now have the minimum requirements to receive the quest.’
Moreover, what Hyrkan would be aiming for from here on was something that couldn’t help but have countless competitors.
‘This should be enough for me to get the Immoral Prince quest from Maoong, right?’
The Immoral Prince.
He was the Corrupt Count’s backer, and at the same time, a prince who was trying to usurp the throne with the Power of Corruption. He was the protagonist of Warlord’s second main scenario quest.
It was Bulkas Ranger’s Captain, Maoong, who knew his identity.
Hence, this was where the second main scenario began.
Currently, Maoong recognized the strange, recent changes in the Bulkas Mountain Range, and although he suspected the Immoral Prince, he didn’t tell anyone about it. Telling others of a prince trying to usurp the throne through Power of Corruption was simply too absurd a tale to tell anyone else.
Because of this, one had to complete several quests from the Bulkas Rangers and possess at least 2 titles related to the Bulkas Rangers to get this quest from Maoong.
As for Hyrkan, he had completed 22 Bulkas Ranger quests and received the Bulkas Ranger’s Friend, and killed over 1,000 monsters in the Bulkas Mountain Ranger and received the Bulkas Mountain Ranger’s Cleaner title.
Now, all he had to do was visit Maoong and he would be treated in a completely different way than before.
Then, to further test Hyrkan, Maoong would request Hyrkan to kill the Bear Warrior, who was recognized as the master of the Bulkas Mountain Range. The moment he passed this test, Hyrkan would officially enter the Immoral Prince main scenario quest.
‘Alright, after making my preparations, I’ll head out immediately.’
After resolving himself, Hyrkan turned his head.
Hyrkan once again kicked the skull of a Sword Monkey lying on the ground.
Although he had resolved himself, his anger had yet to die down.
[Your conversion request has been completed.]
After checking the content of the text message, An Jaehyun checked the gold count of his Warlord character, Hyrkan. The number 13,598 reflected onto An Jaehyun’s thick glasses.
‘I sure gathered a lot in just a month.’
It was quite a large sum. In real life currency, it would be worth 13,000,000 won. The money was the result of Hyrkan’s month-long hunting, quest rewards, and YouTube revenue. The money also included the price of items he sold after he had finished using them. It wasn’t that he really made over 10,000,000 won in one month.
Even so, it was something to be impressed with. Starting out from the bottom, even going as far as borrowing money from private loaners, he had come far enough to make 10,000,000 won through gaming. It was enough to make him proudly tell his family and relatives what he did for a living. There would be no problem with him telling them ‘I just stay in-doors 12 hours a day to play games.’ After all, who would criticize him with the money he makes?
However, even considering how well he was doing, An Jaehyun was still spending most of his days hungry.
‘Excluding the minimum living expenses, this is all I have, huh?’
He was currently saving up even a single 100 won coin if he could.
‘That means I have to cover what I lack with just this.’
Currently, An Jaehyun’s character, Hyrkan, had several holes that couldn’t entirely be covered no matter how much he invested into it.
The item setting was fine for now. The Pursuer of Corruption Necklace and Ring was phenomenal to the point he could use it when he was over level 100. His Skeleton Snake set and Orc Hero’s Sword was also something he could use when he was level 70.
The problem was with his skills.
‘The skills I need to buy are…’
His summoning tree was fine. He had gotten a free skill every 10 levels, and had even acquired the rare skills [Skeleton Science] and [Madness Helm].
However, looking at his curse skill tree and body modification skill tree as actual trees, they had yet to grow even a single branch.
All he had for curses were the Demon Curse and Slow Curse, and Skin Sewing was the only skill he had for the body modification tree. He didn’t learn any skills above that.
Of course, it wasn’t that he didn’t want to. He simply couldn’t.
Why? It was too expensive.
Thankfully, An Jaehyun knew what he needed the most currently.
‘I need to learn Corrosive Ghost for sure.’
Demon Curse’s higher-tier skill, [Corrosive Ghost]. He lowered the target’s defense by corroding its armor. It was one of the core skills of curse magicians. The current market price for the skillbook was 1,000 gold.
‘That means I also need Blind.’
Corrosive Ghost’s higher-tier skill, [Blind]. As one might expect, it turned the target’s vision into complete darkness. It was also a core skill for curse magicians, and one that was especially useful for PKs. Since he would have to fight many players from now on, it was a skill Hyrkan definitely needed. Its skillbook was also 1,000 gold.
‘There’s not much choice with body modification since I’ll have to learn Leg Strength Modification before I can learn anything else…’
Body modification’s introductory skill, [Leg Strength Modification]. It was a passive skill that raise movement speed and jump power. It provided mobility and survivability to magicians who were lacking in strength stat. Its skillbook cost 1,500 gold.
‘It’d be great if I can get the False Heart skill on top of it too.’
Rare-rank body modification skill, [False Heart]. It was a passive skill that raised stamina. It cost 1,500 as well.
The reason Leg Strength Modification and False Heart was expensive was because it greatly helped black magicians who lacked mobility and stamina. It was a skill all black magicians sought, not just necromancers. Although the demand was high, the supply was small. It was easy to tell why it cost what it did.
These were the skillbooks An Jaehyun wanted. The four of these cost 5,000 gold in total.
Thinking of that number, An Jaehyun made a blank expression.
‘I know Warlord is full of bubbles but 5,000,000 won to learn 4 skills is a bit…’
‘It sure is a crazy game. I mean, I should’ve known. People even put their houses up for collateral to get the money to play this game…’
An Jaehyun realized just how expensive a game he was playing.
Of course, he didn’t agonize over it for long. He knew what he had to do. For his growth and future, they were undoubtedly necessary. There was no reason to hesitate.
In fact, what really was on An Jaehyun’s mind was how to spend the rest of the gold.
‘I’ll have 8,000 gold after getting the skillbooks. After buying consumables, what should I do with the rest?’
The way to make the most out of his money. That was what filled An Jaehyun’s mind at the moment.
An Jaehyun’s stomach let out a growl, unable to hold in its hunger.
‘Is it time to eat already? Time sure flies.’
An Jaehyun got up from his seat.
‘Let’s see. Why don’t I make some steamed egg? If I put some hams… wait, no. Hams are too expensive. I guess I’ll just do without.’
Even though he spent millions of won on his game character, An Jaehyun was stingy when it came to his stomach.
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