Chapter 175 – The Other Side of the Case (2)
「Okay. We don’t need to worry about controlling the area anymore. Everyone, come inside.」
At that moment, everyone heard the guild leader’s voice.
Since Steel Rock’s contribution rate had surpassed a hundred thousand, it wasn’t likely that another user would be able to kick him out of the top 10.
“I have important information.”
When everyone was gathered, a woman archer spoke.
“Mayday is here.”
They checked the Hall of Fame rankings all the time, so there was no way they wouldn’t know about her.
But didn’t all the other users die when Shakron appeared?
The archer displayed the footage she’d seen from the top of the mountain.
Everything looked crystal clear from the companion hawk’s view.
The archer couldn’t see well because of the thick fog, so she carefully looked around the entire place.
When she looked into the canyon, she saw a long-haired Magician everyone knew about.
“Oh, it really is Mayday.”
“How is she alive?”
Although everyone could think of possible reasons, they couldn’t easily come up with an answer.
She probably logged out like them before Shakron appeared.
There was a time between when the Knights left the town and the Returner’s Guild members did, so Mayday probably logged in first and left the place before them.
“But it really doesn’t matter, right? Mayday is of the Abyss. She isn’t going to compete with us.”
“Even if we fight, it also doesn’t matter.”
“Yes, she’s a Magician, so she’s weak alone. Even Steel Rock could probably win against her in a one-on-one.”
“That isn’t the point!”
The archer pointed out the important thing.
“There might be more users besides Mayday who entered that place before us!”
The possibility of more users that had moved faster than them…
“There’s no guarantee that we missed only one!”
“Well, it still wouldn’t matter, right? It isn’t like the quest reward ranking is going to change if we miss a few guys.”
“What if we missed Hyun or Ain?”
After hearing their names, the guild members became silent.
One of them laughed and replied.
“There’s no way that’s true. Ain is of the Heavens. If she entered before us, there’s no way the contribution rate would be like this.”
Everyone that participated in the quest could see their ranking.
All ten members of the Returner’s Guild were in the top 10 positions.
“Hyun probably belongs to the same force as Ain, but does that mean that they’re ranked below ten? If that’s the case, that’s more of a reason to not be worried about them.”
Everyone nodded since it sounded quite reasonable.
—Except for three people. Steel Rock was among them.
‘I wonder if that’s the case…’
Steel Rock fell into thought.
While thinking about Hyun during Asra Online… He always received quests before everyone else and made the story develop alone while sometimes accompanied by Ain.
‘The scale is too big.’
Since it wasn’t a quest that existed in Asra, the guild members thought there was no way it was that huge of a quest.
But the more Steel Rock thought about it, the more he couldn’t help but think that it was too abnormal.
He used to be quite interested in Asra’s history.
There was no way the Holy Kingdom would be generous to users for no apparent reason. It also didn’t make sense that they would make the Knights move if it was a small quest.
‘I don’t think that the Black Town is an important place… Is the main event happening in another place…?’
What if Hyun or Ain were doing a huge quest? If it were huge enough to make the Black Town’s quest seem small, then deciding to not take part in that quest would make more sense.
Steel Rock was thinking that when everyone felt the earth move.
“What’s going on?!”
Once the ceremony began, the heart started to rise toward the surface.
The guild members felt abnormal energy coming from the horizon.
“Se-ryeong, use «Clairvoyance»!”
“Wait a moment, please…!”
Everyone soon saw the black figure on top of the pyramid full of magic circles.
What’s that? Is it Demonic Energy?
While everyone was mumbling, the guild leader fell into thought and rubbed his chin.
“There’s a chance there’s at least one of the two…”
He opened his mouth after a while.
“No, there is someone for sure.”
“Hyun or Ain?”
Instead of replying, the guild leader nodded.
“Then we’ll have to go there, too.”
“Are we going to fight them?”
“We’re going to kill them.”
Everyone gulped at the guild leader’s words.
Everyone within the guild had suffered because of them.
After all, they’d created the Returner’s Guild to get their revenge.
The guild leader thought it was a good opportunity to overcome the trauma.
“Everyone has seen Ain on Iluna, right?”
They’d seen her fighting Lattice. Ain died immediately after that while fighting devils.
Taking that into consideration as the base and calculating the growth rate, they could more or less guess her specs.
She should be at level 200 at best.
“Just two of us should be able to give her a good fight. If there are three of us, we have the advantage. Ah… Leaving Steel Rock aside.”
The guild leader looked around and spoke.
“Anyway, we have no reason to cower anymore. If we see her, we’re going to get her!”
If such a big story was going on, one of the two was definitely involved in it.
They weren’t sure what quest they were doing, but if they managed to clear it, there was a chance the distance between them would grow.
They had to stop them at all costs if they wanted to leave Asra’s nightmare behind.
A blue skeleton wearing a luxurious robe waited.
Hyun moved the skeleton’s fingers.
After obtaining «Assimilation», he’d tested the skill with a golem.
Since then, it was the first time he’d «Assimilated» into a body that wasn’t human.
「If you go against Darkness’s will… I’ll cancel the contract with you…」
After saying that, the lich became silent. It just answered the questions he asked from time to time.
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According to the status window, the guy was a level 325 elite devil.
But because it was a magician, it didn’t have many useful skills for hand-to-hand combat.
Hyun thought that, if he lowered its defense with «Powerless Wave», Ain could probably win against it.
‘Well, it’s not the individual strength that is important.’
The king of all undead…
The lich had the ability to control undead as it wished.
Thanks to «Assimilation», Hyun could feel its soul connected to numerous others. A countless amount of undead… A surprisingly big army answered to that one lich.
「How many underlings do you have?」
「About 2500… 30% of the undead are under my control…」
「Does that mean there are two more commanding-level liches?」
There was no way he’d be able to control more than a thousand undead, so Hyun thought of another strategy, and he put 10 normal liches in charge of them.
In other words, he would control over a thousand devils through the liches, and each would be in charge of about a hundred.
‘I can see them!’
The lich could see what was happening through the eyes of its underlings.
Hyun quickly learned how to do it, so he became able to see two places simultaneously.
The surface started to rise again. The fog accumulated on the floor started to drip down.
Hyun saw a group of Holy Knights charging toward them from above.
They didn’t seem to be elites like the ones Shakron led—they were mostly average Knights and soldiers.
A group of soldiers that seemed to be about a thousand strong was quickly charging toward them.
‘Since they sent only one Knight Squadron, I figured there was a restriction on NPCs entering the Symmetrical World.’
Hyun’s guess wasn’t wrong.
The beings with strong Divine Power couldn’t easily enter the Underground.
Lots of soldiers could enter because they didn’t have Divine Power. Not only that, but their average level was 200.
He saw a familiar face.
‘How is she still alive?’
Mayday, who’d been left alone, was walking along the road.
‘Didn’t she die in the town…?’ A Psychokinesis Sorcerer didn’t have an immortality skill, so she should’ve been killed by Shakron unless she was able to log out.
‘Ah, she survived thanks to me!’
Hyun remembered that he’d given her some advice.
He told her to be careful. Just with that, Mayday was able to survive, so she was indeed impressive.
Yes, a Psychokinesis Sorcerer should be useful in a war.
She should have an easy time getting the contribution rate, so she was probably ranked 1st.
Hyun suddenly realized something important.
‘Couldn’t I get the quest shared from her?’
Mayday was an Abyss user like him.
Hyun remembered hearing from Salon that the Abyss also got a quest.
“What happened…? The war… Is about to start.”
“I have a place I need to visit first.”
After «Disassimilating», Hyun ran in Mayday’s direction.
A quest’s contribution rate was calculated based on your achieved results.
He’d been able to protect Louise, hunt Shakron, and make the ceremony start, and he’d done most of the things by himself.
‘I wonder what rank I would be in terms of contribution…’
Hyun fell into thought.
To Mayday, he was probably only an unknown user.
What did he have to do to get a quest shared from someone he’d never seen before?
‘I need to get it no matter what. First, I’m going to try with money… If that isn’t possible, should I try to threaten her?’
Hyun was running while thinking about numerous possibilities when something unexpected happened.
“Huh? Aren’t you… Hyun…?”
Hyun’s eyes widened after Mayday suddenly called his name.
‘How does she know my name? But more than that… she knew my face?!’
“Ah, yes. You are! As expected, you were with Ain before!”
“Thanks for the warning. If it weren’t for you, I would have turned into dust along with the town.”
Hyun never imagined that someone would have discovered his identity at the Asrian festival.
His appearance in the game was the same as in real life, so Mayday immediately recognized that Hyun was the vampire.
“You… know me?”
“Oh, yeah. Now that you say it, this is the first time we’ve seen each other, right?”
Many words came out of Mayday’s mouth.
After the guild’s policy was decided, Mayday had already thought of what she would say when she met Hyun.
…About Ain, how she discovered «Assimilation», and that she’d seen him at the festival.
Although Mayday’s story was long, Hyun understood the situation.
“Aah, at the festival… So that’s what happened.”
“Don’t worry. I know you want to hide your identity. Although, there are about five people who already know… those people can’t ignore what I say, so they’ll probably be quiet about this.”
Mayday said what Hyun was probably worried about.
Her priority was, at the moment, improving their relationship, so she wanted to avoid things that could cause problems in the future.
“It really doesn’t matter. I think that it will soon be revealed.”
“Revealed? Are you going to start making public appearances?”
“Haha, it’s nothing as grandiose as that.”
Hyun thought about the footage they’d filmed recently.
In about three or four months, everyone would probably find out about his identity, but more than that…
“I don’t think I have a reason to hide anymore.”
He’d remained hidden until then for the future first fight against Asra users—to obtain an advantage by using skills they’d never seen before.
But that would only work if they hadn’t figured out his skills.
Once they fought, there was no point in remaining hidden, so from then on, he’d try to take over the game without hiding.
Mayday remained silent. It seemed like she more or less understood what Hyun wanted to say.
“It seems like something big will happen in the near future…”
After they finished the introductions, Hyun decided to bring up the main topic.
—Why he’d approached Mayday.
“You came here for the contribution rate, right?”
“I know a way to obtain contribution rate and experience quickly…”
Hyun pointed toward somewhere and smiled.
“Protect the road that goes up to that hill… It’s a place blocked by fog and devils. It’s a good place for bottlenecks, and a Psychokinesis Sorcerer should be able to obtain lots of experience and contribution rate.”
“R-really…?! But why would you give such information…”
“Haha, I’m not sure about the future, but for the moment, we’re part of the same team, so it’s just helping each other.”
After saying that, Hyun observed Mayday’s expression. He wanted to see if his generosity had been well received.
The moment he thought the atmosphere was okay, Hyun said what he’d prepared beforehand while trying to make it sound as natural as possible.
“Okay. Then… could you share the quest with me?”