Chapter 109 – How much? (1)
– Warlord Subscribers broke through 4 million users!
– Tobot Soft is making a smooth run towards number 1 in market value!
– Warlord has become more than a game one personally enjoys playing. It is the start of a new era of gaming where playing and watching the game is integrated!
– There is a rush to invest speculative capital into Warlord. Is this company worth the investment or is it a bubble?
It had been two years since Warlord had started. Warlord was closing in on its 3rd year of service, and it was worthy of having the title of being the best virtual reality game. Tobot Soft became the most profitable company amongst the game developers. The amount of money made by Tobot Soft was beyond one’s imagination. The monthly fee to use the game was close to a thousand dollars, and the Users numbered in the millions. Just from the amount of money generated from the subscription fee would make anyone gasp.
On top of that, Tobot Soft’s success with the V Gear series made their market value almost rival the Peach corp. Of course, Warlord’s success had coincided with the increased sale of the V Gears. The two companies had a synergistic effect on each other.
Moreover, Warlord’s effect on the world wasn’t limited to just that. The people who enjoyed watching Warlord was several dozen to several hundred times larger than the Warlord’s user base. This created a commerce market with regards to the contents related to the game. This market might hold a much larger potential than the market for Warlord.
This was the start of a new era.
The world was surprised and taken aback at the appearance of this new era. However, they all had great expectations for it.
Of course, there was someone who was indifferent to the start of a new era.
‘The amount of money left after subtracting the V Gear’s monthly installment, Warlord’s monthly subscription fee, and the maintenance cost of the apartment…’
He was calm about the recent changes. To be precise, he was indifferent to it.
In truth, he didn’t care about how the Warlord was changing the world. The only things that was important to him was how his presence and importance in Warlord was changing. That was it.
Even now Ahn-jaehyun was thinking of ways to increase his presence and importance in Warlord.
‘I’ve gathered a lot of money…… However, it isn’t even a drop in the bucket if I want to buy a level 150 Unique Item set.’
The problem that always got in the way of Ahn-jaehyun was money!
It wasn’t as if he didn’t have money. The problem was the market for Items in regards to the highest level Users of Warlord was absurd.
There were a lot of investors that were sniffing around Warlord and the virtual reality game market.
This resulted in the the 30 great guilds and the Users ranking from 1 to a 100 on the front page receiving an obscene amount of money. It was an excessive amount of money compared to the skill and ability of some of the Rankers.
A bubble had formed.
Of course, if all the Users was swimming in money, the bubble wouldn’t have been a problem. The inflation only happened at the top. The market for the Users outside this select group was minimally impacted by the bubble.
There was a saying in Warlord that said the Users above Ranking 100 drove German cars, and the Users below 101 drove Chinese cars.
This was why the Users in the top 100 and the experts in the 30 great guilds were able to reinvest their money back into the game. This was also the reason why the highest level Items were traded at a ridiculous price. At the same time, it created a wall for any Users outside of these groups.
‘I have to climb over it no matter what.’
Ahn-jaehyun had gone through great tribulation, so he could eventually leap over this wall. When he was given the chance, he had to jump over it. He had to do it in a single attempt. He had to accelerate than jump over it!
He couldn’t incrementally close the distance, then climb over the wall gradually in secret. If he took that approach, he would basically be shitting out a bloody stool.
‘Let’s get to level 140 first.’
“In truth, I still don’t understand it.”
It was a unique guild where nine heads represented the guild. Amongst the Warlord Users, they were viewed as an elite think tank.
They used a variety of routes to gather information, and it was something a normal User couldn’t even attempt. When they gathered all the substantive datas, they used it to predict information that hadn’t been released to the public, and they acted on these predictions. It was safe to say they were an elite think tank within Warlord.
If one found out about the real identity of the nine heads, one’s mouth would fall open. Most graduated from named universities, and one member had already achieved great success in Silicon Valley. These individuals would never have to worry about money in their lifetime.
They were all very sharp, but not everyone here had a great academic background.
It was the second head Sohank.
He was someone that was very far from being described as an elite mind.
“Why do we have to work with those two? Didn’t they steal from us? Instead of working with them, shouldn’t we be finding ways to punish them?”
He was the body.
Sohank wasn’t there to use his head. His role was to be the body that they could use.
In the end, Warlord was a game where everything was settled with the fist. This was why they needed a powerful fist, and Sohank was that powerful fist. This was the reason why he had become the second head. In regards to Raids and battles, he had the authority to order the 9 heads into action.
This was obvious, but an organization would be a mess if all the upper management were strong, but dumb.
Natal was the eighth head. His role was to stick close Sohand. He had to explain and convince Sohank to go along with the plan.
“We can’t repeat the mistake made with the Corrupt Count.”
“No. Those bastards stole the Corrupt Count we were going to catch!”
“They didn’t steal from us.”
“What are you saying?”
“Our enemy is the secret information dealer that gave them the information.”
Sohank had a stubborn expression on his face at Natal’s explanation. It seemed he didn’t buy the explanation.
“Still, why do we have to team up with the crazy cow and the crazy bitch, who’s like lightning? This is this and that is that.”
Natal continued to speak.
“Our goal in this Main Scenario quest is to minimize the risk.”
“How are we decreasing the risk when he work with them? In the end, wouldn’t that secret information dealer interfere with us regardless?”
“It doesn’t matter. This Main Scenario Quest is large in scale.”
“What do you mean?”
“If it is as we predicted, Prince Dean tried to use the Power of Corruption to steal the throne. At the last chapter of this Main Scenario Quest, there will be a massive war.”
“That’s true. Prince Dean is the loser from the north.”
“When the massive war occurs, it’ll barely require any prerequisites to join. There is a high possibility that it’ll allow most of the Users to participate in the Quest.”
“What? Those who didn’t finish all the prior Quests will be allowed to participate?”
“This is how Warlord will make all the Users feel like they belong to the same community. Well, when that happens, the competition will become very fierce. If it is stated that the capture of Prince Dean is first come first serve, wouldn’t every dog and cow show up?”
“Before they could proceed, the dogs would fight with the cows. Both sides would eliminate each other.”
“Yes. This is why there will probably be a condition attached to fighting Prince Dean. It is more accurate to say we will be given tickets instead of a condition. The ticket will determine the order of the fight.”
As he spoke, Natal took off his glove. A gold ring appeared. Sohank discreetly twitch his finger. His finger was equipped with the same ring as Natal.
“There is a high probability that our rings are the tickets.”
Secret Society’s Ring.
These rings were so surprising good that the Users, who missed out on the rings, complained to the Tobot Soft. They asked the company to delete the cheat item that broke the balance of the game. This was how much magic this ring possessed.
According to the information gathered by the Hydra guild, the Red Bulls guild and the Stormhunters possessed these rings.
“I’m sure there will probably be other items that’ll be counted as tickets.”
“In the end, let’s say there are 100 people with the ticket. If our side has 60 people with the ticket, we won’t be at a disadvantage no matter what happens. There’s no chance we’ll be caught off guard.”
Sohank was finally able to accept the reasoning.
At that point, Natal decided to give an additional explanation.
“Moreover, if we make an alliance now, our relationship will continue into the future.”
“We have to continue our alliance with those bastards?”
“There are 30 teams in the major leagues. Everyone is making a lot of money, but the teams are divided into first, second and third class. No, it’s more like the Premier League than the major leagues. Even in the same league, the broadcasting fee for Real Madrid and Barcelona can’t be compared to the other clubs. This dividing line will come to exist between the 30 guild. If we could get into a friendly relationship with the two guilds….”
At that moment…
“Hey, wait a moment. I don’t know anything about baseball or soccer. Talk to me in terms of the NFL.”
Sohank stopped Natal from speaking further, and he made his request.
Natal’s expression slightly hardened at Sohank’s words. He shouldn’t have brought it up. As expected, Natal had to explain it for 30 minutes before Sohank got what he was trying to explain.
– Level : 140
– Title : 85
– Stats : Strength(1544)/Stamina(778)/Intelligence(915)/Magic Power(1161)
[Skeleton Fragment(A)], [Madness Helm(A)], [Bone Armor(A)], [Skeleton Magician(A)], [Skeleton Science(A)], [Golem Summon(A)], [Hardening(B)], [Bone Explosive(A)], [Armament(A)], [Clay Play(C)], [Skeleton Knight(B)]
[Demon Curse(A)], [Slow Curse(A)], [Corrosive Ghost(A)], [Blind(B)], [Curse Science(A)], [Lethargy(A)], [Voodoo Pictograph(C)]
– Body Strengthening
[Skin Sewing(A)], [Leg Strength Modification(A)], [Fake Heart(A)], [Boiling Blood(B)],
[Ocular Transplant (C)], Steel Bone(D)
After checking his level and Skill Tree, Hyrkan immediately opened a hologram window. He checked the content of his most recently acquired Quest.
[Find the Snake’s Tail]
– Quest Rank : Unique
– Quest Level Range : 140
– Quest Content : Maeung is asking for more information. While hiding your identity, find evidence in the location indicated on the map given by Maeung.
– Quest Reward : Dungeon Map.
He had taken the trigon emblem he found in the cemetery beneath the Cursed Castle. He was given a warning when he brought Prince Dean’s trigon emblem from the Catacombs.
– Tell no one about what you saw!
Hyrkan asked a question when he heard those words. He asked for the identity of the being behind this plot.
When asked the question, Maeung still didn’t reveal Prince Dean’s identity. Hyrkan was given a new Quest instead.
However, Hyrkan knew it when he received the Quest.
‘It’s just around the corner now.’
When Hyrkan completed ‘Find the Snake’s Tail’ Quest, the identity of Prince Dean will be revealed.
Afterwards, the Quest will progress at a breakneck speed. In truth, the only thing left was the great war against the Corrupted army led by Prince Dean.
Even if one wasn’t carrying out the Main Scenario Quest, most of the high level Users could guess that the Immoral Prince episode was about to head into the Epilogue.
The Warlord didn’t make the highest level Users from rank 1 to 100 visible to motivate the low level Users into leveling up. It was a barometer one could look at to see how far the game had progressed.
The Main Scenario Quest was divided by a difference of 100 levels. The Corrupt Count was from level 1 to 100. The Corrupted Count was from level 101 to 200. Of course, this was a rough estimate.
Currently, the number one Ranker was the Perfect One Sulwoo. He was level 188.
Of course, the Perfect One’s level wasn’t the norm. It was an anomaly. It was better to check the level of the Rank 100 User. He was around level 175.
If the situation was boiled down into simplistic terms,the Quest had progressed to around the 75% mark.
If one considered the level up pace of the Warlord Users, about 8 to 10 levels was increased per month…
‘So it’ll all come to a head in about 3 months?’
The Immoral Prince episode would end within 3 months.
‘That isn’t the end game. I have to aim for the important stuff.’
He had to gather strong momentum in the remaining time he had left, so he could get past the others.
‘There’s the Corrupt Judge, Hero of the Great War, and the Hiban Kingdom’s Hero.’
He was aiming for the three titles. These titles were seen as the flowers of this Main Scenario Quest.
The title of Corrupt Judge was given by the final boss.
In the great war against the Corrupted Army, 333 people with the highest merit was given the title of ‘Hero of the Great War.
Lastly, the Hiban Kingdom’s Hero was a title that can exclusive to this battle.
Each of the title gave 5% increase to one’s Stat. These were the pinnacle of titles.
‘Then there’s the Corrupted Judge’s Accessory, Great War Hero’s Weapon….’
Then there were the Items.
One had to participate and succeed in the Prince Dean Raid to be able to obtain the Items. Amongst the ones given the Corrupted Judge title, the Corrupted Judge’s Ring or Necklace was given out at random. These Items were Chronicle Unique Rank.
The Great War Hero’s Weapon was a reward given to the Hero of the Great War. An ingredient would be given to the User, and the ingredient could be used to make any weapon one wanted. This was also a Chronicle Unique Rank Item. Moreover, the created Item was bound, but the ingredients were tradeable.
‘Then there’s the Immoral Prince series.’
The Immoral Prince Items were given to the 10 people, who had the most merit in catching Prince Dean.
The metal was earned by melting Prince Dean’s armor and sword. If taken to the Blacksmith Olf, Olf personally crafts it into new Items called the Immoral Prince series. One could make a weapon or a defensive gear. The only caveat is that one can possess only one part of the series.
Moreover, the Rank of these Items was Chronicle Epic!
It was a level 200 Item, but it could be used until level 300 if one wanted to. It was that amazing.
‘I have to aim for those Items.’
Hyrkan had to aim for those Items.
He was well-qualified.
He had earned the Secret Society’s Ring and the Destroyer of Corruption title. He had the qualification to participate in the Prince Dean Raid.
However, the problem remained regarding Hyrkan’s level. He would only be able to participate in a support role. If he had a support role, there was no way he’ll be able to gain the Immoral Prince series.
He had to become one of the leading actors.
Instead of progressing in his Quests, he had to focus on improving his Spec.
‘I’ll be confident in doing the Prince Dean Raid if I reach level 170….’
The level up was possible. If he gave up entirely on the progress of the Quests, he could focus solely on leveling up. If he did this, his level up pace would be on par with the Perfect One.
The problem was the fact that the level up wouldn’t be enough.
‘The problem is my skills.’
Hyrkan’s weakness was his lack of skills.
The Curse Skill Tree of the Curse Monk was popular, so the information was widely known. The skill books were expensive, but it could be purchased.
In the case of the Summon Skill Tree, he had learned the knowledge he gained from watching Rich Lich. He knew that the Death Knight would be summoned at level 200, and he had fragmentary knowledge regarding other skills. However, this was Hyrkan’s main skills, so his Skill rank and diversity of skills wasn’t lacking.
The problem was the Body Modification Skill Tree.
Hyrkan’s knowledge about Body Modification Skill Tree ended at the Life Vessel Skill.
Hyrkan had no idea which low rank Skills he needed or what was the minimum Rank he needed to raise the Skills to reach the Life Vessel Skill. There was also no way he would know what skill came up next.
If he really wanted a true Spec Up, he had to fill in the parts that was lacking. This would allow him to be a leading actor in the Prince Dean Raid.
‘At my current level, Ahimbree is my only choice.’
In the end, Hyrkan had one place he could lean on. It was his teacher, who was the disciple of the Grand Magus. There was only Ahimbree!
Hyrkan started moving, so he could suck the marrow out of his teacher.
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