Chapter 182 – Golden Conch (1)
This enormous typhoon couldn’t be compared to anything that came before it.
– The Hahoe Mask took down the Big Smiles guild!
It was too big. When the typhoon made its appearance, the first reaction that arose was to confirm the validity of this event.
– What are you talking about? The Hahoe Mask took down the Big Smiles guild?
– Are you talking about a guild war? Didn’t that happen at the Frozen Land?
– ㄴ However, didn’t the most recent clash occur at the Highwood Forest? Isn’t the situation within the Highwood Forest completely different from the one that occurred at the Frozen Land?
People were only discussing the validity of this particular news, and all other discussions were swept away by this typhoon.
The V&V guild’s Poker team had found a new ruin, and they had caught the Cerberus guarding the ruin. Tobo Soft’s next project after Warlord was leaked. The Red Bulls guild had headed west after crossing the Black Continent. There was a rumor saying the First One turned down an exclusive sponsor contract that would have paid him one million dollars.
However, all these news became past stories in front of the enormous typhoon created by the Hahoe Mask.
Then the truth started to trickle out.
– The Big Smiles formed a hunting team to kill the Hahoe Mask. These Users were all over level 220, and they were the elites of the Big Smiles guild.
– They tried to use the Hahoe Mask’s revenge play for the Pitbull against him. They used the Users, who hunted down the Pitbull, as bait.
– The Hahoe Mask bit the bait.
The shape, size and the power of the typhoon was immense!
– The Hahoe Mask won.
Three days had passed since the typhoon had occurred, and a single video was uploaded regarding this incident. The video was uploaded on the Hahoe Mask’s youtube page, and it was a free video.
The first scene of the video was the Hahoe Mask’s monologue.
– Before I explain my side of the story regarding the affair that had occurred recently, I would like to put out a statement. I forgive the Big Smiles guild. Let us end our feud here. I won’t attack or threaten the Big Smiles in regards to this incident.
After his monologue ended, Hahoe Mask’s ‘Giant Killing’ video started. It climbed over a million views after two days.
“This isn’t funny.”
“Are you watching it again?”
“I’m telling you. This isn’t funny.”
Hyrkan had a sullen expression at Whistling’s words. Of course, one couldn’t see his expression, because the Hahoe Mask was covering his face.
“If it isn’t funny, why do you keep watching it?”
Hyrkan finally expressed how he felt through his own mouth. Instead of answering, Whistling put on a pleased smile as an answer.
“Over there! He’s over there!”
“Wow. My heart is beating faster.”
“You heartbeat can’t beat faster inside this game.”
“I’m just saying.”
A man and a woman was running full tilt towards the two.
Yojori and Joba was like a freight train. They were charging forward as if they weren’t going to stop, but they stopped on a dime in front of Hyrkan.
When they came to a stop, they started shouting towards Hyrkan.
“I…I saw your video. Giant Killing! It was really incredible!”
“H…how was that possible? I’ve seen it over a hundred times, yet I’m having a hard time believing it.”
“Hundred? Stop lying. If you saw it hundred times, then I saw it 200 times.”
“What? How do you know if I lied or not! I really saw it a hundred times!”
They were making a big fuss.
However, Hyrkan was satisfied by their reaction.
Hyrkan had wanted to elicit the reaction he was seeing from the two of them.
Hyrkan turned to look at Whistling as the two continued their antic.
Hyrkan looked at Whistling as if to say, ‘This is the reaction you should be having instead of snorting!’
When Whistling read Hyrkan’s countenance and message, he shook his head from side to side before he looked away.
‘What an amazing guy.’
Whistling turned his gaze away, and he forced down his exclamation. He shoved it down his throat.
He held it in.
‘I never expected him to really win against the Big Smiles guild….’
The Hahoe Mask and the Big Smiles guild had collided. The public decided to copy the Hahoe Mask’s title for his video, and the incident was now called the Giant Killing. A week had passed since the incident. However, the people of Warlord was still having a trouble digesting the reality of the incident. This was how shocking this incident was.
Hahoe Mask always took on impossible challenges, and he brought the impossible into reality. This was why people were fanatical about him.
However, this incident was on a whole different dimension compared to anything the Hahoe Mask had pulled off before.
A tectonic shift had occurred.
Accompanying the tectonic shift in a land where the 30 great guilds existed, a 31st power had appeared.
Of course, in the past, the Hahoe Mask and the 30 great guilds….
Their relationship could only be described as an ill-fated relationship. However, Hyrkan had been able to declare a war against the Big Smiles guild, and he had won.
He had achieved victory when he had crossed the Terube castle wall to gain the rights to explore the Northland. He was also the first one to find the Frozen Kingdom.
However, all his previous victories were the result of a spontaneous battles. At the time, the Northland Exploration team of the Big Smiles weren’t part of the main force. Killer Sinclair was part of the main force, but he had been ambushed by the Hahoe Mask after fighting a fierce battle with the Second Head Sohank. So this event hadn’t been taken seriously.
What about the most recent event?
The Hahoe Mask had gone after the heart of the Big Smiles guild. The Big Smiles guild had gathered most of their elite Users, and they had even set up their own stage. They had used a bait to lure the Hahoe Mask, and they had had put their best foot forward in this attempt.
However, they hadn’t been able to catch the Hahoe Mask, and they had suffered a loss to more than half their forces in trying to catch a single User.
Of course, there was a portion of the population that had rejected this narrative.
The Hahoe Mask had run away, so wouldn’t the winner be the Big Smiles guild?
However, the answer to that question was quite simple.
If one wanted to know the result of the war, one just have to look at the status of the winner and the loser.
The winner would receive acclamation, and the loser had no words to say in excuse.
The Hahoe Mask’s acclamation came in the form of views. The Giant Killing video had already recorded 300 million views. On the other hand, the Big Smiles guild refused to respond or give an official statement regarding the issue. They kept their mouths shut.
It was ridiculous for a third party to discuss as to who was the winner and the loser.
The Hahoe Mask had done something incredible.
How was this possible?
Even after watching the video released by Hyrkan, people were having a hard time believing it.
Moreover, when they started accepting as truth, the next logical question was posed.
‘······so why did this occur?’
The Users slowly started to pose the question.
Why did the Hahoe Mask and the Big Smiles guild go to war?
The aftereffect created by the war with Hyrkan was now being felt by the Big Smiles guild and the other 30 great guilds.
None of the 30 great guilds were able to give an official statement regarding the event. In such an unheard of situation, the mighty 30 great guilds were dismayed.
Whistling didn’t think the feeling of dismay would work in Hyrkan’s favor. The 30 great guilds would now look at Hyrkan as a competitor.
He wasn’t just a loose nail one had to worry about stepping on. He would be viewed as a morningstar that could bludgeon them.
They would try to keep him in check instead of cooperating with him.
Of course, at the same time, the 30 great guilds couldn’t rashly attack the Hahoe Mask either.
He was now a peer of the 30 great guilds, and they would have to treat him accordingly.
‘What is he pursuing?’
Hyrkan didn’t have to travel this road. This road was very far from guaranteeing wealth and fame.
Whistling knew this better than anyone. The Hahoe Mask had been untroubled when they had parted before. The Hahoe Mask had already set his course. It meant everything up to now had been planned by him, and he had been pursuing this result.
So why did Hyrkan choose to walk on this particular path?
Whistling pushed down the mounting questions.
In the previous exchange, he had snorted towards Hyrkan as he pushed downed his exclamation.
Hyrkan was his friend.
Of course, he could ask questions about Hyrkan’s motivations, but it wasn’t the time to do so. This was a conversation that should happen over a beer.
For now, he just had to keep his mouth shut, and help his friend in any way he could.
Moreover, this was also the reason why this meeting was scheduled. He was here to help Hyrkan.
“Anyways, I heard you earned the Quest Reward for Elven Kingdom Relic Quest.”
“When we received the Seed of the Record Tree from the Den of the Rebels, we immediately exchanged it for the reward. We brought it back with us.”
However, their Quest didn’t match up with Hyrkan’s Quest.
Hyrkan would have to go to the Red Desert again to meet the Red Elf tribe. If he wanted to do so, he needed the Artifact. It was an Artifact from the Barley Kingdom.
Fortunately, Yojori and Joba had received the Artifact of the Barley Kingdom as a reward for their Quest.
This was why this meeting had been set up. They wanted to help Hyrkan progress in his Quest.
“So you are saying you will travel with me…. Will that be ok?”
At that point, Hyrkan gave up on asking the reason behind their actions.
Unless Hydra guild was dumb, they would have already figured out why Whistling was killed in the Highwood Forest by the Big Smiles guild.
They probably knew Whistling had met with the Hahoe Mask.
If Hyrkan was in the Hydra guild’s shoes, he would have given the order barring any contact with the Hahoe Mask.
He would have asked them to leave the guild if this order wasn’t followed.
Of course, Whistling, Yojori and Joba had similar personalities. They could easily choose to leave the guild, yet Hyrkan didn’t want them to suffer so much.
“I’m sorry, but we won’t be able to travel with you. We are under orders from our guild.”
It was as he guessed.
“You don’t have to be sorry.”
Hyrkan nodded his head as if this was the preferable course of action. Since he had gained a hint for his Quest, he had gained a lot in this venture. If needed, he could follow the line of Quests being progressed by the Whistling Family.
This would naturally allow him to received the Artifact of the Barley Kingdom as a reward.
“As for the Quest information….”
Hyrkan had planned on purchasing the Quest Information from them. He wanted this to be a clean transaction.
“This is why we had a discussion amongst ourselves. This Item is unbound. We’ll just give this to you.”
Hyrkan stopped speaking, and before Hyrkan could react in surprise, Joba brought out an Item from a pouch on his waist. It was a lump of gold. He took out a Gold Bar that was as big as his hand.
Hyrkan became surprised at the appearance of the Gold Bar, and he became much more surprised when he heard this Item would be given to him.
“This is the Artifact. If you activate the Item Info Window, it will identify itself as the Artifact of the Barley Kingdom.”
“No, wait a moment. You are just giving this to me?”
Hyrkan rephrased his words as he continued to speak.
“Are you sure you can just give this to me? What about your next Quest? I’m pretty sure you guys need this Item.”
This was a Quest Reward. This was needed to progress into the next Quest.
If they wanted to meet the Red Elf tribe, they would need this Item, yet they were just going to give it to him?
“Anyways, we don’t have the strength needed to go meet the Red Elf tribe.”
“We can go do another Quest. There are many more Elves out there.”
After looking at the two, Hyrkan turned to look at Whistling.
Whistling spoke to Hyrkan.
“Thank you for avenging me.”
Whistling’s words were short. Hyrkan struggled with his thoughts for a moment before he grabbed the Gold Bar.
“All right. If someone messes with you guys again, tell me about it. As I’ve said before, I’m really good at what I do.”
This wasn’t a trade. They had helped him.
Hyrkan accepted it.
After the incident, the Big Smiles guild didn’t talk about the incident.
Even the normal guild members of the Big Smiles guild didn’t know the details of what had occurred. However, stories started to spread through word of mouth. Moreover, the word of their defeated started to spread too.
“Did we really lose?”
“This makes no sense. There were over 50 Users with an average of level 220, and we even used a bait yet we lost…..”
“Moreover, this happened at the Highwood Forest. That region is ours! I can understand being defeated in the Red Desert, but how could we not kill the Hahoe Mask inside the Highwood Forest? Even if we had caught him immediately, wouldn’t we have come out at a loss?”
However, there was no clear evidence that they had lost. Even if the defeat was likely, the Big Smiles guild members started to push back on the idea that they had lost.
“That damn Hahoe Mask bitch ass.”
“How many times do we have to go through this because of that bastard?”
“I’m sure he used some ridiculous trick. That bastard is cheap and cowardly.”
The source of the push back was the hate and anger they felt towards the Hahoe Mask. A loss was a loss, but some decided to use the defeat as fertilizer for an even bigger revenge.
“Who cares if we lost? We should use this opportunity to designate the Hahoe Mask as an enemy, and the whole guild should hunt him down.”
“Yes, we should do this. Let us see who will come out on top. How long will that bastard last after picking a fight with the Big Smiles guild?”
“Even if we have to fight him ten times, we just have to win once. When he loses, his personal hell will start.”
A stumble could determine if one won or lost.
Some guild members clung to this old saying. They were determined to get their revenge.
However, all their will were crushed when the video was released.
The video was a period placed at the end of a sentence. The will for revenge and the anger they felt towards the Hahoe Mask came to a full stop.
There was no ambiguity to the story anymore.
The Hahoe Mask had won. However, it wasn’t as if the Hahoe Mask had asked for money or their territory for his victory. He had taken ownership of the situation. He didn’t even ask the Big Smiles for an apology. He had forgiven them.
In such a situation, how could the Big Smiles guild express their hostility towards the Hahoe Mask?
They could do it.
However, the public and even the fans of the Big Smiles guild wouldn’t support their vendetta against the Hahoe Mask.
“This is it.”
For the second time, the meeting of the officers occurred. When Sinclair heard about it, he couldn’t help, but sneer in disdain. He shook his head from side to side.
This time he was invited to participate in the meeting of the officers, but Sinclair had turned it down.
‘This has come to a complete end.’
They only looked for him when they needed him. There was no reason why he should move when they clapped. Sinclair just waited for the summary report that’ll come out after the meeting of the officers. Sinclair played the Hahoe Mask’s video again.
‘This war…. It feels as if the Hahoe Mask had been preparing for it for a long time. If not, how could he deal with the aftermath so cleanly…..’
The Hahoe Mask’s strategy in the battle was surprising, but the more surprising part was how he navigated through consequences of the battle.
The war had started out as a petty revenge plot, yet after becoming victorious, he brought everything to a full stop by forgiving his opponents. In reality, wars within games didn’t end so cleanly. It was a messy affair, so this was a rare occasion.
Revenge begets revenge. The war usually continued in a vicious cycle of violence.
Moreover, no one had ever gone up against the mighty power of the 30 great guilds like the Hahoe Mask. One couldn’t even find an analogous incident in other games. There were no reference cases. This was a first.
Even though this was a first, the Hahoe Mask was able to bring about this result.
‘I’m really curious about his identity.’
Sinclair received a call.
– What a fucking mess.
Horus was the one contacting him. Horus was Sinclair’s comrade, who had agreed with his plan to bring the Hands guild out from the shadow into the sun. Currently, Horus did not represent the Hands guild. He was operating under the Sweepers guild.
It wasn’t as prestigious as being in the Poker team, but Horus was achieving victory after victory. Sinclair didn’t feel too good about it.
“Did you call me to make fun of me?”
– No way. It was your plan for us to come out from the background. If you fail, then I fail. Why would I make fun of your failure? We are basically tied at the hips.
“Then are you planning on helping me out?”
– I’m sorry, but I don’t know how I’ll be able to help you. Just think of it as you unwittingly stepping on shit. Fortunately, you didn’t participate in this disaster, so the damage was somewhat blunted. At the very least, you saved your face.
He had saved his face.
Sinclair nodded his head at those words. The atmosphere around the Big Smiles guild was a mess, but in the end, the only positive news was the fact that Sinclair hadn’t participated in the Hahoe Mask hunt.
Some were saying that Sinclair had opposed to hunting down the Hahoe Mask. Some in the guild built upon this narrative, and they said Sinclair had wanted a fair fight with the Hahoe Mask. This was the rumor being spread.
‘I was right in not dipping my toe into this water.’
This was also the reason why he was the Big Smiles’ only hope. If the Killer was able to win against the Hahoe Mask in a 1 on 1 battle, all the humiliation and the losses they suffered could be settled.
If they didn’t have this sense of expectation, the Big Smiles guild would have suffered losses several magnitude larger.
– It is quite funny. You have basically taken over the Big Smiles guild through this. In truth, I’m not sure if I should be consoling your right now. In the end, this is your gain.
“You can look at it that way. Still, this doesn’t feel great.”
This sense of expectation was why Sinclair’s position was impregnable now. In the end, this incident had to be owned by the guild master and the sub-guild masters, who had signed off on it.
Even if he wasn’t in a top management position, his voice would be loudest within the guild.
“Still, what is the point of becoming an owner of a tiger with no teeth and claws?”
– Still, it is much better than taking care of the tiger from the shadow.
After speaking those words, Sinclair thought on it for a moment.
He compared the time he spent in the Hands guild as a Helper, and the period of time he operated as the Killer.
Which period of time did he prefer?
Was his current situation better for him?
Of course, he preferred the latter time period. The amount of money he was making wasn’t too different, yet his brand recognition had changed drastically. When he was a Helper, no one even knew his name was Sinclair. Now he was one of the skilled Users, who represented Warlord.
At that moment, Sinclair was torn. If was an obvious question with an obvious answer to it, yet he had to think about it.
It basically meant that the answer wasn’t obvious anymore.
“…yes. The current situation is preferable.”
– Let’s end the idle chatter here. In truth, our biggest problem isn’t the Hahoe Mask.
Horus changed the topic.
– The Stormhunters guild is progressing through the game too fast. They are moving faster than the Hahoe Mask.
Sinclair nodded his head. Hahoe Mask was very fast in progressing through the game, but the the fastest one was the Stormhunters guild. They had focused their entire guild’s resources in progressing through the Quest, and the Hahoe Mask had wasted several days fighting the Big Smiles guild. The Stormhunters guild had used that time to significantly progress in their goal to head towards the end of the game.
– Also… It is only a rumor, but I’ve heard that the Stormhunters guild and the Red Bulls guild might form an alliance.
Horus’ rumor made Sinclair tense. He shifted his position.
“Those two guilds?”
– Those two guilds also know a good deal about the Warlord’s System. If the game is coming to an end, they want to be the first and last conqueror of Warlord. This had always been their goal from the start.
“What about our upper management?”
-The Five Star Project will have to be implemented in earnest.
Five Star Project.
At those words, Sinclair gritted his teeth.
– If we aren’t careful….. It’ll be war. This won’t be like this small war between a User and a guild. This will be Guilds vs Guilds. It’ll be a Guild War.
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