Chapter 88 – Corrupted Elf (2)
Hyrkan looked at the Red Lake in front of his eyes.
If he calculated the size of the lake, it would be around 30 pyeong.
It wasn’t small, but one couldn’t call it large either. Instead of a lake, it was closer to a collection of ponds.
The water that filled the lake to the brim was red like its name indicated. However, this red color didn’t give off an ominous feeling. The water gave off a feeling as if it would taste like a sour fruit if one drank it.
Hyrkan squatted in front of the lake. He cupped his hands, and he gathered the water into his mouth. It tasted like an unripe fruit. A slight tanginess and a fresh bitterness swirled around inside his mouth.
‘It’s been awhile since I’ve tasted this.’
Of course, it wasn’t tasty.
No one would search this place out to come taste this water.
It tasted like soju to Hyrkan. It wasn’t tasty. However, when he drank it, the taste reminded him of something.
For a brief moment, Hyrkan soaked in his memories.
‘This is the place where I refined my basic skills. I was able to confirm my potential here and it allowed me to have a dream.’
In the initial phase of forming the Hahoe Mask guild, they were extremely poor. Everyone didn’t have money, so they equipped lower level items or even the normal Rank items. Since their item specs were lacking, it had been really hard to hunt.
There were times when they located monster corpses that were thrown away because users were lazy to butcher the corpses or they were left behind for some other reason. Sometimes, that would be the only time they felt pleasure.
They ignored the Quests; they didn’t even dream about getting titles. They focused on hunting to level up as fast as they could.
The Hahoe Mask Guild had gone through considerable amount of difficulties, but they were able to reach level 100. After going through their Advancement, they were ready to begin Raiding in earnest. With that in mind, they had come to the Red Lake to train.
This was where he had seen the possibilities.
Hyrkan had shown his potential and the confidence that he could do this was gained here! He wouldn’t be the best, but he was confident he could get the job done. Hyrkan’s presence gave confidence to the Hahoe Mask guild. It also bolstered his own confidence. He was able to see his own potential.
Now it was all just bitter memories.
Hyrkan shook the remaining lake water off his hands. Hyrkan stood up and raised his gaze.
Hyrkan’s eyes already picked up something moving underwater towards him from the distance.
‘It’s already here.’
Hyrkan was standing next to the lake. This was where monsters came to sate their thirst.
All the monsters living at the Red Lake had the habit of drinking from this lake.
This was why they made the lake their territory. The Red Lake had several dozen pond sized lakes like the one in front of him. If a user wanted to hunt here, each of these lakes were a stage set up for the users.
Currently, the one coming towards him were Hyrkan’s monster.
Of course, Hyrkan got ready to greet to it. Hyrkan picked an underling that will greet it.
‘Of course, it has to be this one.’
He had already picked out an underling that will greet this monster.
Hyrkan took out a Skeleton Fragment. This wasn’t the regular Bone Fragment he carried around.
The Skeleton Fragment was made by carving a Gem ingredient. The appearance of the Skeleton Fragment looked similar to a Skeleton Warrior with its Bone Armor on.
However, there were differences. The design of the Bone Armor was slightly different compared to the one Hyrkan summoned. Moreover, the Skeleton Warriors only wore pieces of an armor. This one was completely encased in armor, and the biggest difference was that this Skeleton Warrior held a shield.
This was a Skeleton Fragment of a Skeleton Knight.
Hyrkan threw the Skeleton Knight Fragment on the floor. The thrown gem quickly morphed into the Skeleton Knight.
The corner of his mouth lifted as he looked at the Skeleton Knight.
‘It is cool no matter when I see it.’
It was well over 2 meters tall and it had a heavy build. The Skeleton Knight’s aura and strength couldn’t be compared to the Skeleton Warriors. However, the difference wasn’t only in its size. It didn’t have the aura of fragility that a normal Skeleton Warrior possessed. There was a pure and elegant light twinkling between its skull. As it let out its breathe, a dark smoke came out from between its mouth and it subsided. This process repeated itself.
[Special ability ‘Chivalry’ was activated.]
[Special ability ‘Leader’ was activated.]
On top of all that, the Skeleton Knight made its presence known as the System Announcement range out.
These were the Skeleton Knight’s special abilities. Chivalry and Leader was active.
Chivalry was an option that proportionally increased the Stat of a Skeleton Knight as the number of Skeleton Warriors increased. Every time a single Skeleton Warrior was added, the Skeleton Knight’s Stats was increased by 5 percent. Currently, the Stat could be increased up to 25%.
The Leader was a special ability that increased the Stat of the Skeleton Warriors, who fought close to the Skeleton Knight. Currently, it increased their Stat by 10%. Moreover, the Leader skill stack with the Skeleton Science and Madness Helm. When a Skeleton Knight was nearby, the Skeleton Warrior and Magician’s attack capability became quite scary.
Moreover, the Skeleton Knight had a passive option. Even at Rank F, it allowed him to summon 3 additional Skeletons.
Hyrkan didn’t stop there.
Hyrkan spread his Skeleton Fragments. Eight Skeleton Warriors and two Skeleton Magicians appeared. Hyrkan once again spread another batch of Skeleton Fragments. Nine Fragments were thrown.
Seven Skeleton Warriors and two Skeleton Magicians appeared.
He had a total of nineteen!
If he included the Skeleton Knight, he had twenty!
This was the maximum amount of force Hyrkan could currently summon. Hyrkan smiled as he saw the group of Skeletons.
‘It isn’t on Rich Lich’s level, but I feel a bit more like a Necromancer now.’
In front of Hyrkan….
The group of Skeletons looked towards the Red Lake. An enormous 20 meter long lizard appeared with its guards up. There were 5 spear-like thorns growing out of its back. The striking Thorn Lizard flicked its tongue.
This was for his video’s view count. His supporting actor had appeared.
The large Thorn Lizard charged directly into the Skeleton Knight’s shield.
The Skeleton Knight was being pushed back but it wasn’t bowled over. It stayed upright as it resisted.
The Thorn Lizard ket ramming the shield as it tried to topple the Skeleton Knight.
The Skeleton Warriors flew at the Thorn Lizard like arrows. A couple climbed atop the Thorn Lizard’s body and several moved around its body, swinging their swords.
The tough leather of the Thorn Lizard didn’t allow the Skeleton Warriors to make deep wounds. However, the Skeleton Warriors were equipped with expensive weapons so they were most definitely hurting the monster.
The Thorn Lizard let out a cry when it was wounded. It started to turn away from the Skeleton Knight as it let out a cry. It planned on sweeping all of its enemy with its large body, turning like the hand of a clock.
The large monster was 20 meters long and it was spinning with all its might. Several Skeleton Warriors were sent flying by its movement.
However, the Skeleton Knight wasn’t sent flying. It jumped over the flying tail to avoid it and brought its sword down as it landed.
The Skeleton Knight’s sword made a long and deep wound on the body of the Thorn Lizard.
The Thorn Lizard stopped its movement, glaring at the Skeleton Knight.
During all of this, 4 large fireballs headed towards the body of the Thorn Lizard in an arc. On the other side of the Skeleton Knight, the Skeleton Magicians were using the Golem as a castle wall. They had thrown their magic spells.
The fireballs fell on the spine of the Thorn Lizard, after which the flames began to spread instantly.
The flames looked like a mane.
After the Skeleton Magician threw their magic, they started to cast their second magic spell. Their two bony hands were raised in front of each other, and a small fireball started to form in between their palms. The Skeleton Magicians started moving their hands around as if they were playing with it, and the fireballs started to increase in size.
The Thorn Lizard immediately threw its body towards the Skeleton Magicians.
However, the Golem wouldn’t allow it to harm the Skeleton Magicians. The Golem used its body to block the Thorn Lizard’s charge. As expected, the Golem was pushed back, but it didn’t fall down.
The Thorn Lizard couldn’t hold back its anger, so it let out a roar.
At that moment, 4 Skeleton Warriors on its horn started to move. The Skeleton Warriors didn’t show any signs of fear as they threw their body towards the incomparably large Lizard.
The only spectator of this sight was Hyrkan. He took out a candy from his pocket and put it in his mouth.
He immediately chewed on the candy.
Then he immediately took out a small bottle, downing the content in a single gulp.
He finished it off with a gum. Hyrkan chewed furiously, trying to extract the sweetness from the gum as soon as possible.
Hyrkan continuously eating all of these items, and his expression didn’t look too great.
‘I don’t have any magical energy left.’
Twenty Skeletons and a Golem was battling the Lizard. It was the best stage for a Necromancer to showcase his abilities. However, the magic power he needed for this stage was beyond Hyrkan’s capabilities.
The result was predictable. Hyrkan hadn’t focused his entire Stat on Magic Powers, so it strained his resources to control this many troops at once. Beside the fact that he was overextending himself, it was also a waste of resources.
Of course, Hyrkan knew this truth.
Still, there was a reason why he chose to do it this way.
‘Yes. The footage will come out great.’
He had to catch two rabbits here.
First, he had turned level 100 and needed a full-scale footage of how a Necromancer fights. It was the same for all the Classes, but the Classes became much different once one goes through the Advancement.
Moreover, the footage of a Necromancer over level 100 was rare. The footage he would produce this time was basically a lottery ticket that was guaranteed to win.
Moreover, he had to let his presence be known. He had to make them realize the Hahoe Mask wasn’t some unique Necromancer. He had to make people realize that Necromancer Class was strong in itself.
This would deter scrubs from picking a fight with Hyrkan.
‘My proficiency is rising too.’
The second reason was the Proficiency of his Skills. If he wanted to raise his Skill Rank, he had to use it a lot in battle. It would be in his interest to use his skills in various types of battle. It was especially helpful in increasing in rank when one fought against medium to large monsters.
The problem was it was very hard to hunt a mid-sized monster on the normal fields. Most of the mid-sized monsters were Boss monsters. If one wanted to Rank up the lacking Skills, it was best to overuse it at the most suitable stage. If one had the funds, this was the most wise course of action.
This was why Hyrkan had bound his hands behind his back, and he started eating numerous recovery items.
‘Still, I’ll be broke when the hunting ends here… For a while, I’ll have to eat the cheap ramen.’
Of course, his inside hurt.
His one week worth of grocery fee was being drained away as if he was drinking water. There was no way he would feel comfortable inside.
‘Still, they fought very well.’
His hurting insides were soothed by the fact that his Skeleton Warriors were fighting well even without his instructions.
A message suddenly arrived during all of this.
Every user at the Red Lake joined a community when they came here, and someone had sent a note to the entire community.
Hyrkan opened the note and took a glance at it.
[The Corrupted Gray Cockatrice is moving north.]
Hyrkan frowned when he saw the warning message.
‘They still haven’t caught it.’
Corrupted Gray Cockatrice.
The estimated level of the monster was between 130 and 140. The level wasn’t low not by a long shot. Moreover, this one had the title of Corrupted. This wasn’t a regular monster. One would have to consider it a Boss monster.
‘Of course, they can’t catch it.’
Currently, if one wanted to take down a level 140 Boss monster, the 30 Great Guild’s 1st string Raid teams would have to take care of this.
However, the Raid team’s schedule was tight. The schedule was planned out a week in advance. They couldn’t suddenly change their schedule because a monster had suddenly appeared at the Red Lake. It wasn’t an easy task to make such a change.
‘Moreover, it’s probably burdensome to come here.’
At the same time, the Red Lake was a stage where someone couldn’t claim it. It was a precious location. It had the nickname of being the Raid Training Facility. Various guilds and unaffiliated users treasured this place. If someone claimed this location for themselves, there would be a quick revolt.
A problem appeared at an ownerless house. Who would want to solve such a problem in earnest?
‘Nobody would volunteer themselves to catch this monster.’
The most crucial problem was the fact that the users here were worth a lot.
Hyrkan was the only level 100 user here. Most of the users here were over level 120, and there were a good number of level 130 users here.
Their levels would put them in the top 1% of Warlord. It was hard to reach this point just through pure skills. These users started playing Warlord from the beginning, and they had spent an incredible amount of money in this game. These users didn’t think of Warlord as a game. They thought of it as a way of life.
These users were quick at calculating and forming judgements. Of course, they would be able to calculate the risks.
‘Did he say his name was Pelato?’
He spoke opposite of what everyone wanted to do.
He had stepped forward saying he wanted to catch the Corrupted Gray Cockatrice. This basically meant Pelato probably had an ulterior motive.
There was only one announcement posted up in the community board. It was an announcement trying to gather members for an attack force for the Corrupted Gray Cockatrice.
Pelato was affiliated with the Golden Brothers. However, he was publicly gathering volunteers to hunt down the Corrupted monster.
‘There must be some merit to doing this if he willing to take this risk.’
He couldn’t pinpoint what Pelato was aiming for. However, Hyrkan knew Pelato wasn’t doing this, because he loved the Red Lake.
Hyrkan put on a bloody smile when he thought about Pelato’s appearance.
‘I’ll wait and bide my time.’
Truthfully, Hyrkan was in a hurry. He had to kill the monster to gain a hint regarding the Corrupted Elf. If the 30 Great guilds got involved, Hyrkan’s option of intervening would disappear.
Still, it was also true that Hyrkan won’t be able to catch this monster by himself. It would be wise to cooperate with Pelato.
However, he didn’t feel the need to extend his hand out first.
He’ll wait. Pelato will come to him with an attractive offer at a later time.
That will especially be true if he sees the footage Hyrkan would be uploading soon. Pelato would have to bet large to win over Hyrkan.
Hyrkan let out a smile.
‘Luck is running my way.’
He was affiliated with the Underfoot guild named Golden Brothers. He had a background where most Warlord users would be envious of him.
He was level 134. He was comfortably in the top level range, and his item setting wasn’t inferior to anyone.
However, there was a reason why he was at the Red Lake. His standing within the Golden Brothers wasn’t that great, and the fact that he was here was the greatest proof.
‘I’ll catch this monster. I’ll prove my ability and I’ll enter the first string team.’
If he was really skilled, he wouldn’t be here. He would be one of the members carrying out the Raids for the Golden Brothers.
His skill was lacking. He was sent to the Red Lake so he could become more skilled.
Basically, he was a 2nd string member.
This was Pelato’s current circumstances.
Of course, Pelato didn’t like his current situation. Moreover, he didn’t think his skills were lacking compared to the 1st string members. He speculated the reason why he couldn’t become 1st string member was because there weren’t any spots open on the 1st team.
‘I have to…….’
He had waited patiently until now.
However, the recent round of rumors was making him desperate.
‘I have to become a 1st string member before there is a guild merge.’
The Big Smile Guild was on shaky grounds, so several Underfoot guilds including Golden Brothers were thinking about merging. There was a well-known rumor that the merged Underfoot Guilds were going to gun for Big Smile guild’s position.
It was only a rumor, but there was a good chance that it might happen. If the rumor turned out to be true, Pelato would gain a lot more competition. This was why he had to solidify himself as a 1st string member before such events came to pass.
This was the reason why he was aiming for the Corrupted Gray Cockatrice.
This monster was basically a Boss monster. If he had a crucial role in taking it down, he would be re-evaluated by his guild. He won’t be immediately put into the 1 string team, but it would put his career back on track in becoming a member of the Raid team.
The problem right now was that there weren’t enough volunteers.
‘I have to catch the monster at all cost. I’ve formed three parties by gathering the volunteers, but there are only 16 of us…. At the very least, I need to gather 30 members.’
Most of the users that came to Red Lake had left after determining they had to spare their own lives. Many users determined it would be better to hunt at a different hunting ground.
In this kind of situation, there was one way to increase the volunteers.
One had to provide a merit that’ll allow them to overcome the risks.
However, Pelato didn’t have enough power to provide such merits. There was no way his guild would help him.
‘What should I do?’
His worries were soon solved.
“Huh? It’s been awhile.”
– Yes. How have you been?
“Same as always.”
– Anyways, I heard you are publicly gathering members for Raiding the Corrupted Gray Cockatrice?
“The rumor has spread that far?”
– I don’t need rumors to know about such things. I just need a single search to know about it. Anyways, there is someone who wants to speak with you. What do you want to do? Do you want to speak to this person?
“Who is it?”
– It’s a person from the Apollo Guild. They are a guild with a significant amount of capital behind them. They want to speak with you.
It was the Apollo Guild.
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