Chapter 175 – Red Desert (2)
– Quest Rank : Unique
– Quest Level Range : 200
– Quest Content : The Red Elf tribe ostracizes all beings that approaches them. If you want to be accepted by them, you have to find the Artifact left behind by the Elves. Please find the Artifact.
– Quest Reward : Grave Keeper’s Key.
When he looked at the newly gained Quest Content, his visage froze as it set in a heavy expression.
‘Does Warlord really hate me? Why does it keep giving me such Quests?’
The Quest Content looked easy at a glance. He just have to find and return an artifact.
However, if one was a User of Warlord, one knew how bottomless such a Quest could be. He clicked his tongue in dismay. Any Quests related to the Elves made him feel irritated from the start. If one wanted a relationship with the Elves, then one had to find the tribes. It wasn’t an easy task.
Moreover, it just said find the Elven Artifact.
It didn’t specify which Elven Artifact. There were no other clues.
‘I would rather kill Anugas….’
At that moment, he thought it would be easier to face a monster like Anugas. He would rather face a monster where he didn’t know the method to kill it.
Of course, this was also a special characteristic of the Main Scenario Quest. It was the same starting from the first Main Scenario Quest. In the Corrupted Cout Episode, it hadn’t been just about killing strong monsters.
The stages provided by Warlord had a variety of contents, and one had to finish Quests all across the board. It required the Users to go through a lot of these contents to progress in the game. This was to be expected.
However, up until now, the Main Scenario Quest was powered through by brute force. This was true of Hyrkan, Stormhunters guild, Red Bulls guild and more.
It was an unnatural and a not so clever method.
These Users didn’t take the time to enjoy the game.
From that perspective, he finally arrived at that point. A wall had appeared and it couldn’t be jumped over by power.
This was why Hyrkan gave up on attempting this Quest early on, and he had contacted Whistling.
‘I didn’t want to get him involved if possible…’
He didn’t have a favorable view on his current situation.
First, it made it seem like he contacted Whistling only when Hyrkan needed him. He didn’t like the optic of it. How rotten was it to look for a friend only when one needed something?
On the other hand, this was a privilege of being friends.
Even if one ignored such feelings, Whistling was now a member of the Hydra guild. It wouldn’t look good to others if Whistling met up with Hyrkan.
No one would welcome the meeting of Whistling and Hyrkan at the best of times. This meeting would be viewed very unfavorably if it became known.
No one would see it as a meeting between friends.
Hyrkan’s current location was the the evidence of his reticence.
“Here you are.”
Hyrkan was pleased when a face that resembled a hunting dog appeared from between the overgrown trees.
“Uh. You are here?”
Hyrkan looked like the awkward friend one meets in an uncomfortable location.
On the other hand, Whistling didn’t look out of sorts at all.
“Your accomplishments up until now has been tremendous.”
They were in a hunting ground. It was a very remote hunting ground where one would rarely come across a User. There were no monsters or Users here. It was a very nice place to meet someone.
However, Whistling wasn’t the only User, who had arrived at this place of meeting.
“Ooh-wahhhh…. It really is the Hahoe Mask.”
“H…Hahoe Mask. I am a fan.”
There were two additional Users.
The two Users had expressions filled with surprise. Hyrkan looked hard at the two.
‘Yojori and Joba.’
Whistling had given him a heads up. Whistling told Hyrkan that he had to move around with two others. If Hyrkan hadn’t like the idea of meeting the two, the meeting would have been called off.
Whistling also added that these two skilled Users were trustworthy.
Hyrkan trusted Pitbull’s words, so he invited the other two Users too.
Hyrkan somewhat knew of the User named Yojori.
She looked kinda like a slightly pudgy cat, and Yojori hadn’t become famous until the Ruined Kingdom episode. In the Ruined Kingdom episode, her fame skyrocketed.
As the Hydra guild progressed in the Ruined Kingdom episode, Yojori worked under a Quest taskforce, and the guild had made a program centered around her. Her program was a hit, so she was quite famous.
Of course, if one analyzed her a little deeper, Yojori was different from most Users. Moreover, her uniqueness was well received by the public.
‘She was a bit of a nut case.’
If one was nice about it, she lived in the 4th dimension. If one gave a rough description, she was a weirdo. If one wanted to disparage her, she was crazy.
A User like Yojori couldn’t be understood by others. In truth, her program was popular, but she herself was only moderately popular.
Hyrkan hadn’t been interested in her, so his memories were a bit fuzzy. However, he did remember the scene where she ranked every single NPC by their appearance.
‘I don’t know this guy.’
On the other hand, Hyrkan had no recollection of Joba.
However, Hyrkan just had to sift through Joba’s background information. Hyrkan could sufficiently guess at what made this User a bit unique.
‘He is a level 210 Magic Swordsman type… He’s a bit twisted.’
There were a lot of Magicians, who had finished their 2nd Advancement. However, there were only a handful of Magic Swordsman type in existence, and level 210 was fairly high.
On top of it all, Magic Swordsman types focused on Raids in Warlord. They were developed with the thought of helping out the guild in mind. Magic Swordsman were the best at managing aggros of monsters.
However, Joba was part of the Quest Exploration team instead of a Raid team. At the very least, he couldn’t be seen as a normal User.
These factors weren’t enough to soften Hyrkan’s expression.
Hyrkan wasn’t looking at the two with a friendly expression, and even though he was wearing a Hahoe Mask, his emotion was transmitted to the two.
Yojori and Joba flinched in surprise.
‘Why is he being liking this? Is there some kind of a problem?’
‘Did I wrong the Hahoe Mask in the past? Did he somehow found out about my weird comments beneath his youtube videos? I’m pretty sure I didn’t cuss at him.’
Every User in Warlord knew about the Hahoe Mask, but Yojori and Joba were self-proclaimed Hahoe Mask fans. They were very well informed about his tendencies, so they knew he was very temperamental. He was ruthless against anyone, who got on his nerves. Moreover, he had no compunction about using cheap and dirty methods from time to time. They knew he was the real deal. He was a veteran expert.
Of course, the two would be nervous standing in front of him.
After staring at the two, Hyrkan turned his gaze towards Whistling.
“Are they original members of the Hydra guild?”
“We can’t say we are one of the original members, but we’ve been in the Hydra guild long enough that we could be seen as original members.”
“Will you guys be ok?”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t mind receiving help from the Hydra guild, but wouldn’t it be a problem for you guys? It isn’t as if you guys received permission from the guild to come here.”
Hyrkan only needed Whistling’s help. However, there was a troublesome barrier between the two called the Hydra guild.
From Hyrkan’s perspective, he didn’t want the Hydra guild to get hold of information regarding the Main Scenario Quest. Of course, we wouldn’t mind a give and take relationship.
However, he needed something worthwhile to break through his reluctance.
On the contrary, Whistling was in a tough situation. If he helped the Hahoe Masked without informing the Hydra guild, Whistling and the two other Users here would be taking on a huge risk.
However, Whistling gave a clear answer regarding this perceived problem.
“I don’t need the guild’s permission. If they have a problem with me, I can just leave. Anyways, I’ve never received help from the Hydra guild. It is the same for these two. We just need to give the Hydra guild information about the Quests we are on, and nothing else.”
Whistling was very clear with his answer. It was easily given, because Whistling viewed Warlord as only a game, and nothing more.
“This is why the consent of these two is more important than getting permission from the guild. I share a common destiny with these two. Maybe it is more apt to say that we all share the same Quests. Moreover, I’ve received a lot of help from them.”
“No. We received much more help from you than we gave.”
“If it wasn’t for Whistling oppa, we wouldn’t have been able to get this far in the Elven Quests!”
They spoke at the same time in an embarrassed fashion, but the two glared at each other when their words overlapped.
While the two were glaring at each other, Whistling finished speaking.
“This is why if those two didn’t agree to it, I couldn’t have helped you on your Quest.”
Hyrkan was barely able to suppress his bitter laugh at the choice of word.
‘He is still the romantic.’
It was a phrase that was easy on the ears, but Hyrkan had heard those word only a few times in Warlord. It had always been a give and take. It had always been a deal.
In Hyrkan’s vocabulary, help meant that he would have to pay back this gesture down the line. He had expected Whistling to demand an arrangement with him.
“The final reason is the fact that your Quest and our Quest may be intertwined in some way. This is also why I cannot make this decision by myself. My Quest is our Quest.”
At that point, Hyrkan was about to indulge himself in his sentimental feelings. He pulled himself back from that hole of emotion.
He was thankful.
He was thankful for the offer of help, and he appreciated the offer of leaving the Hydra guild to help him.
Unfortunately, Hyrkan couldn’t view Warlord as just a game like Whistling.
“All right. Let’s draw a clear line here. I need to be able to get into the town of the Red Elves. Let us cooperate until that point.”
Hyrkan decided to make this into a deal.
For a brief moment, a bitter smile crossed Whistling mouth before it was erased.
“I guess I’ll give the formal introduction. Yojori and Joba. I think it’ll be enough to describe them as a Crusader and a Magic Swordsman. Joba has the highest level at 210. I’m at level 207, and Yojori is level 206. This is the Hahoe Mask. He is famous, so do I need to speak any further?”
At those words, the two Users opened their mouths as if they had been waiting for it.
“Of course not.”
“It is an honor to be meeting you. I know this might be out of bounds on a first meeting, but do you think I could get a selfie with you?”
“Ah! Please I would like one too. Of course, I decline being in the same picture as him.”
“I also don’t want to be in the same frame as her.”
“You should ignore him.”
“No, he should ignore you. Damn Crusader! Hahoe Mask-nim is an exalted Lich! You are the polar opposite of him, you perverted bitch!”
“Did I say to the contrary? Isn’t he a bit too noisy?”
Hyrkan took his eyes off the two to look at Whistling. Whistling’s eyebrows and shoulders shrugged.
There was no way his future would be quiet.
“The storyline for the Red Elves was present before anyone came to the Black Continent.”
When Hyrkan and Whistling’s Family decided to ally with each other, they conducted a briefing where they exchanged information regarding the Quests.
“I first came across it on a level 160 Quest called the Heir of the Barley Kingdom. It happened a long time ago in the Barley Kingdom…. If we put it in terms of the current outlook on the world, it is another ruined kingdom. Anyways, this was an Elven Kingdom, and all the Elves on this continent were once citizens of this Kingdom.”
“I’ll expand on my explanation a little bit. When I finished the Heir of the Barley Kingdom episode, I immediately gained maximum Intimacy Level with the Yoomoo tribe. As a benefit, I was able entered the protected Record Trees. The Record Trees are amazing. Once something was recorded within the tree, it eventually creates a seed. This seed could be planted elsewhere, and whatever that was recorded before would come out as leaves in the new tree. It was like a living library. When I saw it, I was moved.”
“The Black Dwarves will create the spears and shield that will be able to harm them. The Red Fae will hide these weapons. In the distant future, the humans equipped with these spears and shields will be able to pierce through the Curse. Their hearts will be pierced by the spear!”
“Huh? You memorized it?”
“I’m smarter than you.”
“You probably read it off of a picture you took before. You are being pretentious.”
In a flash, the briefing strayed from the main topic, so it was up to Whistling to tie the end.
“In summary, the Red Elf tribe had been tasked to store these weapons. They held this role before the Ruined Kingdom was ruined. This is where your Quest comes in. You received the Elven Artifact Quest, and it is talking about the Artifacts left behind by the Barley Kingdom.”
Hyrkan felt faint as he heard the briefing.
‘If I did this by myself, I wouldn’t have known about this hint.’
It was an Artifact of the Barley Kingdom?
Hyrkan didn’t know about this storyline.
“This is troublesome. That means I have to find the Quest that deals with the Barley Kingdom’s Artifacts, then progress through it…..”
He was fortunate to have been able to find a hint like this. If he hadn’t, it would have been like pressing the reset button during a game.
“Fortunately, we are progressing in the Quest to find the Barley Kingdom’s Artifacts. Moreover, we found a clue.”
Hyrkan became startled at Whistling’s words.
He never expected for his dilemma to be resolved like this.
“We have to go north.”
After speaking, Whistling turned to look at Yojori.
She took out an Item, and this Item was a Conch made out of gem.
The light in Hyrkan’s eyes changed.
‘The Gem Conch has already made its appearance?’
Conches were crucial Items needed for one to be guided through the Ruined Kingdom Episode.
Moreover, the worth of a Conch differed depending on what it was made out of. The most common one was the Wooden Conch. If one was progressing through Quests, it was common to see a User carrying around two to three Wooden Conches. In the extreme end, some Users carried around a dozen Wooden Conches. Then there were the Golden Conches, which were a tier above. The last type was the Gem Conches. There was no tier above the Gem conches.
‘This is driving me nuts.’
Hyrkan once again felt a weird sense of dissonance. He knew the game was progressing at a rapid pace, but the speed differed too much from his knowledge. It wasn’t just the speed that had changed. The distance one had to travel had shortened too.
Of course, Hyrkan didn’t question this truth for long.
‘The all mighty AI will do its job.’
The fact that he had those questions didn’t mean he’ll find the answers to it. Hyrkan was far from being a curious man.
The most important thing for him was to eat the preys that were right in front of him.
“The problem is the fact that we can’t go north. First, it isn’t Hydra guild’s territory. Moreover, everyone has pretty much given up exploring north past the Highwood Forest.”
Hyrkan nodded his head at Whistling’s words.
“I don’t know about the other things, but I can guarantee a comfortable passage through the Red Desert. You’ll ride a bus that normally you won’t be able to ride even with money.”
He finally established the give and take relationship at that moment.
Heh-bibin was watching a video.
Inside the video, the rare Boss Monster Black Tree was being lit up by explosions like a Christmas Tree.
This was the Hahoe Mask’s debut pay-per-view video called Christmas Tree’s Nightmare. It sold over 2 million videos, and it was considered to be one of the classic masterpieces by the fans of Warlord. An year’s time was forever in terms of online time.
Heh-bibin also remembered several things about this footage…
It was hard to call it a good memory, yet several harsh events were etched into his memory.
‘I’m sure of it. Pitbull is the one that shows up briefly within the footage.’
While this footage was being filmed, the Big Smiles guild had been gearing up for a war with the Fighters guild. They tried to hunt down Pitbull to provoke a war, and Apollo had been in charge of that mission. Moreover, Heh-bibin was one of the figures that had sponsored the mission.
‘After this video, we tried to hunt down Pitbull… We failed.
During the hunt, a problem occurred. There was a disrupter called the Hahoe Mask. No one expected him to show up.
‘If I think back on it, it is hard to see it as an random act of violence.’
At the time, he had thought the Hahoe Mask was trying to kick Big Smiles, while they were down. The Hahoe Mask, Apollo and Big Smiles didn’t have a good relationship. If one took their relationship in context, it wouldn’t be strange to see it as a random act of violence perpetrated towards the other party.
However, now he saw that the Hahoe Mask had no reason to save Pitbull’s life. Of course, this was assuming there was no connection between Pitbull and the Hahoe Mask.
When his thoughts arrived at that point, Heh-bibin earnestly did his research. He wanted to see if Pitbull and the Hahoe Mask had travelled together before. Unexpectedly, he found a lot of information in regards to their closeness.
‘The Hahoe Mask has no ties with the Hydra guild. These two guys’ relationship started during the Fighters guild’s days, where Whistling Pitbull was a token guild member. Moreover, the Hahoe Mask had no relationship to the Fighters guild either. If they did, they would have already risen to being one of the 30 great guilds.’
Heh-bibin went through various scenarios to come up with this conclusion.
They were personal acquaintances. The personal relationship was between the Hahoe Mask and the Pitbull.
‘If I poke Pitbull, the Hahoe Mask will come out.’
Of course, if the Big Smiles guild attacked Pitbull, he’ll monitor to see how the Hahoe Mask responded.
‘······that sounds too one-dimensional.’
However, Heh-bibin wasn’t aiming for that reaction.
‘If I poke Pitbull, the first to respond would be the Hydra guild.’
The Hydra guild would mobilize before the Hahoe Mask, because Pitbull was now a member of the Hydra guild.
‘This is great. ’
This was what he was aiming for.
Heh-bibin was a sub-guild master of the Big Smiles guild. It was a pretty high position. It was a higher position than the rank of officer in the previous iteration of the Big Smiles guild. However, the actual power he had was much lower than before. He didn’t even have the right to speak in regards to the state of affairs of the Big Smiles guild.
In truth, the Big Smiles guild was held by the hands of Sinclair and Brooks.
The sub-guild master Apollo was their sycophant.
The Big Smiles guild was geared towards appeasing Sinclair. Sinclair held more power than the Guild Master Brooks.
It was so bad that Apollo contacted Sinclair first rather than the Guild Master Brooks.
Moreover, Heh-bibin hadn’t been given the position of sub-guild master, because they favored him. In the reorganization of the Big Smiles guild, Brooks and Heh-bibin had been against each other. When Heh-bibin lost the power struggle, he was given a high position, so the guild wouldn’t implode. If Brooks had just excised him out of the guild, Heh-bibin would have nothing to lose. He would have come at them as if it was a matter of life or death.
Of course, now the three members had established their power base, and they were slowly eating away at Heh-bibin’s power.
Now the opinions of the Five Stars were more important than the Big Smiles guild. Decisions had to be agreed by the five guilds, and Heh-bibin was just an insignificant part of one of the guilds. He could do nothing.
‘I never expected such a good excuse to show up. This is the best.’
This was why he started making preparations.
Heh-bibin was going to reverse his fortune.
If he wanted to turn the tide, he needed to shake up the game board.
The current game board didn’t allow him to anything.
He had to create an imbalance, and he’ll able to flip the fractured parts.
‘I just have to use Apollo. We just have to kill Pitbull. I don’t care if it is the Hydra guild or the Hahoe Mask. They’ll fight us.’
The Hydra guild and the Hahoe Mask was sufficient enough of an adversary. Of course, in the process, the Big Smiles guild would suffer big damages. However, that didn’t matter to Heh-bibin. In the end, the responsibility will fall on the people above him, who held all the power.
The only thing he was certain was the fact that his situation couldn’t get any worse from doing this. Heh-bibin was already at rock bottom.
‘I’ll make you all pay for ignoring me.’
After finishing this thought, Heh-bibin contacted Apollo.
Please go to https://www.novelupdates.cc/Emperor-of-Solo-Play/
to read the latest chapters for free