Chapter 86 – Deal with the Red Bulls (2)
The large forest was filled with trees, and 3 users had surrounded a small and scrappy goblin. There was traces of a fierce battle, and the users were the victors. However, if one looked at their expressions, one would have a hard time telling if they were really the victors.
One of the group members spat out his words as if he had had just lost.
“Ah. I can’t do this any more. Why is this game so hard?”
“From the vids, I saw a person solo several of these monsters. Do we perhaps need to get some Items? This is way too hard. At this rate, when am I going to level up? I want to go through my Advancement soon!”
“Stop spouting nonsense about Items. The price for Items is no joke now. Actually, the low level Items are more expensive. I’ve always spent a good amount of money during my gaming career, but I’ve never seen a game that was as expensive as this.”
The complaining 3 users were in a hunting ground that had been provided for users between level 10-20. It was the Tinkle Forest.
It was a place where one could most accurately feel the popularity of Warlord right now.
“We saw this monster first!”
“Didn’t we attack it first?”
“Hey! Let’s settle this through PK!”
“Kill that son of a bitch!”
The popularity of Warlord was sky-high, and the number of new users was increasing at an explosive rate. The endless wave of new users meant most of the monsters in the level 30 and below hunting grounds was almost extinct.
This was why the hunting ground that had been provided for the low level users was filled with disorder caused by the users instead of monsters.
In such an atmosphere, two users was using a fallen tree trunk as a bench.
At a glance, it didn’t look remarkable. Both users were wearing the supplies given by the Subjugation Association for the level 10 users. In terms of Warlord user’s standard, these items weren’t even fit to be used as rags. One was basically wasting one’s time by wearing such items.
One of the user was wearing a Hahoe Mask, yet it wasn’t enough attract the gazes of others. It was easier to find new users wearing the Hahoe Mask than finding a monster.
Of course, no one knew the truth.
“Hahoe Mask…… I really wanted to meet you, but I never expected to meet you here like this..”
The other user wasn’t wearing a Hahoe Mask. He was someone who represented Warlord as being one of the most skill users. It was Red Bull’s guild master Chev.
“Me too. I had no desire of meeting you and I never expected to meet you here like this.”
This user wearing the Hahoe Mask was the original one, the one who had started the fad of wearing it. None of the users who had laid eyes on him here was aware of this fact.
No, even if he revealed his identity through his own mouth, no one would take it as the truth.
It was the reason why they had chosen this place for the meeting. It sounded paradoxical, but this was a stage where one didn’t need to worry about other’s gazes.
So what was the reason behind this meeting?
“You didn’t want to meet us? Weren’t you the one who asked for this meeting?”
“I never expected my trade partner to be the Red Bulls.”
“Why did you request this meeting then?”
“The Quest route we are taking doesn’t overlap with your Quest route. We are competitors, but we are taking different roads. Therefore, I believe we could help each other out until we reach the goal line. I just never expected such a big fish to show up.”
This was being done because it would be mutually beneficial.
Red Bulls had been the first one to accept the proposal. The broker had sent a message saying, ‘The informant wants to have a direct meeting with you.’
Of course, the Red Bulls was torn about the decision. However, the part that put the exclamation point on the matter was the message saying, ‘The Hahoe Mask will come to the meeting as the other side’s representative.’
At that moment, Chev decided he would come to the meeting himself.
‘I never expected Chev to come here.’
‘This is a chance to meet with the Hahoe Mask and his benefactor. There’s no harm in elevating their status.’
This was how this meeting had come to be.
“Since we have similar motives, the deal should be easy.”
At Chev’s reply, Hyrkan took out a note instead of speaking. He handed it to Chev who was sitting next to him.
“Let’s finish the deal before we speak any further.”
Chev also took out a note and handed it to Hyrkan. After swapping each other’s notes, they immediately read the content of the note. There were two locations listed on Hyrkan’s note. Chev’s note held three locations.
No other explanation was needed.
They weren’t looking for a perfect answer. It was enough to have a direction pointing towards the answer. If one could narrow couple hundred destination to two destinations, it was already a big boon.
Afterwards, the two ripped the notes into pieces.
This was the end to this particular deal.
“Do you perhaps want to join our guild?”
Now another deal could be proposed.
“Our guild sponsors don’t have too much power, so it would be hard for us to guarantee that you will receive the front-end treatment. However, we can treat you well enough. You would be able to boast about it others in the gamer profession.”
Chev turned his head to look at Hyrkan. Hyrkan immediately gave an answer to his proposal.
“I’m sorry, but I have a contract.”
“Of course. You have a backer.”
Hyrkan shrugged his shoulders at Chev’s words.
“Doesn’t everybody know about that?”
“Sometimes it’s hard to be sure what is true in this world.”
“If I was unaffiliated, what would have been your proposal? I want to hear about it.”
“We would have give you 3 spots in our broadcast programs, and you would have received 20% of the ad money. As for your appearance fee, we would have given you something on par with the highest rate in the business.”
When he heard those words, Hyrkan unconsciously gulped.
‘Uh? Is he really prepared to give me all that?’
Chev’s proposal was incredible enough to tempt Hyrkan who had firmed his heart against such offers.
Normally, a Warlord-related broadcast had an average of 10 ads. Of course, one could add more than that. It may be obvious to say this, but the amount of money made by a popular broadcast was enormous.
Chev was willing to part with 20% of the profit gained from the ads. It was most definitely a special treatment. In normal cases, one would get less than 10%, and more often than not the guild wouldn’t give any ad money in the first place.
‘The price of my body has most definitely gone up.’
Hyrkan pressed down hard on the slight smile and the interest from forming.
“Too bad. If I knew about your offer first, it would have been better for me.”
As he held himself back, he spoke in a disinterested manner.
When Chev heard those words, he immediately got up from his seat.
‘If he isn’t coming over after being given such a significant proposal, it means he can’t. Basically, a normal offer from a guild won’t be able to pull him away.’
It was true that he coveted the Hahoe Mask. On the other hand, there was a limit to what Chev and the Red Bulls could offer to the Hahoe Mask. Anything more than what he had offered was beyond Chev’s authority.
When a task is impossible, one had to learn when to cut bait.
“I guess it’ll be too hard to recruit you, but it seems we’ll be able to help each other.”
This put an end to his recruitment efforts.
Hyrkan nodded at Chev’s words.
Since their Quest routes were different, there was no harm in cooperating with each other until they reach their respective goal line. Moreover, they didn’t have to make any additional negotiations.
“So how should I contact you next time?”
They just had to agree on a method of contact.
“Let’s do it like how we are doing it right now.”
“Through the broker?”
Hyrkan nodded his head. Chev thought about it for a brief moment. Truthfully, it was better to use a hotline instead of going through a broker. On the other hand, this particular broker had set up this meeting, so he would have to show some respect to the broker.
In the end, Chev didn’t have a good enough relationship with the Hahoe Mask to set up a hotline. Moreover, from Red Bull’s perspective, they didn’t have any evidence that backed up the Hahoe Mask’s credibility.
Chev, who was already standing up, started to turn away from Hyrkan.
“I’ll see you next…….”
At that moment…
‘This is it.’
Hyrkan spoke as if he had waited for this moment.
“Be careful of the Big Smile.”
Chev whipped his head around when he heard those words, but Hyrkan was already on the move. Chev caught sight of Hyrkan’s back.
‘Whew. That scared me stiff..’
Hyrkan was running at full speed and he used his hand to rub at a location below his chest.
‘Did I succeed?’
Hyrkan had prepared a lot for today. He yelled out his line, ‘Be careful of the Big Smile!’, about a hundred times in front of a mirror as he practiced his expression.
‘At the very least, this will prevent the Red Bulls from cooperating with the Big Smile.’
He was satisfied with result.
Hyrkan had insisted on meeting face to face with the Red Bulls because he wanted to give a warning about the Big Smile. On top of that, he hadn’t given any reasons to his warning.
He couldn’t, since it was baseless.
Truthfully, there wasn’t any clear reason why the Red Bulls should be careful of the Big Smile.
Since the words he had thrown out didn’t have any rhyme or reason, he had to exhibit an atmosphere where his words would have to be believed.
‘I’ve been thinking about this situation in too simple terms.’
He once again ruminated on the result he had created with his action, and Hyrkan nodded his head.
‘Like this, I have to form walls between the 30 Great Guilds.’
While he was planning out this meeting, Hyrkan formed a new goal.
The 30 Great Guilds were an opponent Hyrkan had to step on. Hyrkan didn’t have to worry about being targeted by a single guild. He could handle that much.
The problem would be if the 30 Great Guilds cooperated with each other to eradicate Hyrkan.
If he truly wanted to step on and leapfrog the 30 Great Guilds, he had to ruin the relationships between the guilds.
He had to play each sides against each other.
This was what Hyrkan needed to do.
‘Yes. I can’t repeat the same mistake again. I have to stop those bastards from getting friendly with each other.’
Hyrkan’s thoughts ended there.
It was time to change the picture inside his head.
There were two locations written on the note handed over to him by Chev. Moreover, the note also contained information on which location was more likely to be the place he was searching for.
‘It says there is a higher chance of the Corrupted Elf being at the Red Lake.’
The stage was called the Red Lake.
It was a hunting ground where level 120 and up monsters showed up. In the middle of a large forest, a small red lake was located there.
Unlike the normal hunting grounds, where the normal sized monsters appeared, this place was unique. The mid to large sized monsters appeared here. If a large monster appeared, numerous users would have to attack to take it down. It was a Raid type hunting ground.
This was why it was nicknamed the Raid Training Ground!
‘I really like this.’
Before Hyrkan had returned to the past, this was the training ground he had used to develop his method of dealing with large monsters.
Hyrkan’s expression brightened as he ran.
‘It feels like I’m going back home.’
– It is only a hunch, but I think it’s the Salt Mountain. The other two places doesn’t really fit the description. It is as if it was added after the fact to make it fit with the other location. It is highly likely that the place we are looking for is the Salt Mountain.
“If it is the Salt Mountain, we’ll focus all our attention there.”
– Of course.
After concluding the deal with the Hahoe Mask, Chev immediately contacted his most trusted subordinate to send him the information. Chev told the subordinate the 3 locations given to him by the Hahoe Mask. His subordinate immediately searched for data regarding those locations and gave his opinion.
Normally, the call would have ended there.
However, after a brief indecision, Chev asked a new question.
“Are the Big Smile guild dangerous?”
His underling gave an immediate answer to the question.
– The Big Smile? They are dangerous.
– Master might already know this, but the Big Smile fighting against the Triple Wing. They are on the losing side right now, and they aren’t showing any signs of rallying. Since the Big Smile is on shaky footing, the Underfoot guilds are riled up right now.
It was a term coined for the guilds with enough force and influence to be able to contend for the spot on the 30 Great Guild. However, they weren’t included in the 30 Great Guilds yet.
They were basically under the feet of the 30 Great Guilds, so the term stuck.
The Underfoot Guilds were gunning for the live channels. If they could acquire a live channel, they’ll basically be considered a part of the 30 Great Guilds.
From the perspective of the guild masters of the 30 Great Guilds, they were an opponent they had to be very vigilant against.
Chev’s eyes turned sharp.
“Give me a more thorough explanation..”
– Several Underfoot guilds are talking about merging to form a new Guild. They plan on usurping Big Smile guild’s live channel. That’s the rumor right now.
“So it’s only a rumor?”
– It isn’t just a rumor. Several Underfoot guilds are lobbying the Triple Wing for help.
Chev, who was listening to the story, let out a long sigh.
“It’s really complicated.”
His subordinate answered with laughter in his voice.
– The money being exchanged isn’t small. This is a game, yet it isn’t a game. This fight is only child’s play right now. At the very least, nothing big has happened in reality.
Chev let out a bitter laugh at his subordinate’s words.
“So why do you think the Big Smile is dangerous?”
– Once the live channel is stolen, Big Smile will be smashed. In reality, it isn’t just about the profit made from the broadcasts. They have a lot of investors, and they had spent their money without a care.If the live channel was taken from them… It is so horrible that I don’t want to imagine it.
“It really is too terrible to imagine.”
– If such a situation occurs, Big Smile will use any method possible to piss up a storm. You have to look at them as a ticking time bomb that’s about blow up. So why did you bring up the Big Smile?
His subordinate finally asked the question, and Chev gave a short answer.
“Someone told me to be careful of the Big Smile.”
His subordinate didn’t even need to ask who this person was.
The fact that Chev had asked this question in such a guarded manner meant the person, who gave this info was a noteworthy figure.
– ……I’ll tell them to be on guard. There is no downside to being careful.
Chev took his subordinate’s advice into consideration.
– It’ll be good to put a good amount of distance between the Big Smile and us.
“That might be for the best.”
The talk about Big Smile ended there. His subordinate switched the topic.
– So when are you going to come over here? We are finished preparing for the Raid. Guild master just has to show up.
That word had the effect of organizing the complicated thoughts inside Chev’s head. He was like the Pavlov’s Dog. Everything about Chev changed.
“After 6 hours, we’ll immediately charge into the Raid.”
He had to once again do remarkable feats as the hero of the battlefield.
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