Chapter 26 – A Suspicious Old Man’s Commission (2)
‘Should I try to beat this quest alone?’
Salon had teammates who had been with him for quite some time.
It was a party with a good balance. It had all four jobs: Warrior, Magician, Thief, and Priest.
If he completed the quest with his party, the reward would be 250 gold and 5000 experience… But what if he did it alone?
It seemed like no one had noticed the existence of that quest yet.
The moment he accepted the quest, it would be automatically deleted from the bulletin board, and no one would get to know about its existence.
Should he do it by himself?
‘No, I can’t do that.’
For a moment, greed took control over him, but after a while, he shook his head.
The bond between the party members, with whom he’d been together with since they were rookies, was strong.
He felt relieved after deciding not to betray his allies.
Salon accepted the quest without telling anyone.
The quest was erased from the bulletin board when he accepted it.
Since members of the same party could share quests with each other later, it was standard to accept important quests in advance.
‘Haha, I wonder how they will react after seeing this quest. What if they began following me?’
Salon’s steps lightened while imagining that.
* * *
—A few hours later.
Salon’s party was going up the Calafer mountain.
That place was the destination of the quest Salon had shared.
The moment he had shared the quest details with the party members, they were all very surprised.
They had never seen a quest that offered such generous rewards.
“I can’t believe that a simple request for research offers such rewards!”
The Priest, Merica, still looked puzzled.
The Calafer mountain was a hunting ground that users had already widely investigated.
One couldn’t help but think that offering gold and experience for investigating a map that was already public was probably an error.
But if it wasn’t an error, it meant that Salon had discovered an incredible quest.
“I honestly think that Salon deserves a bigger cut,” said ‘Extreme Tanker,’ the leader of the party.
“Since the experience is auto awarded by the system, we can’t do anything about it, but that’s not the case with the gold. I think Salon deserves at least 500 gold.”
“No, I’ve already told you I don’t mind sharing it evenly!”
“I also think the same. Mr. Salon deserves a bigger cut. If it were me, I’d have done it by myself without telling anyone.”
“Hahaha, I would’ve done the same.”
The other two party members, Merica and Dalph, said so while laughing.
“Take more. I’m okay with 150 gold. But to tell you the truth, I don’t think I even deserve this.”
“I’m also okay with 150 gold.”
“Hehe, me too. Mr. Salon, please take the rest.”
Salon was so moved that he was about to cry.
When the other party members saw him tear up, they began bothering him with that.
Because Asrian Online could replicate human emotions so well, it was hard to hide one’s feelings.
As the hours passed, night came to the world of Asrian.
According to the contents of the quest, the ‘suspicious light’ appeared around midnight.
The moment it became midnight, Salon’s party saw a pillar of light rising as if it were a volcano exploding.
—Their worries about the light being weak and having trouble finding it turned out to be pointless.
“If we move while hunting monsters, we’ll get there in about 20 minutes!”
“Hehe, this is getting interesting.”
The party began moving to investigate the light.
According to the content of the quest, they had to reach the middle of the mountain before the light disappeared.
Since the level of the monsters of the Calafer mountain was around 30~40, there probably wouldn’t be any difficulties in completing the quest.
“Since it’s bright, we don’t have to be afraid of getting lost. Isn’t this too easy?”
“Yes. We don’t even need to use light magic to illuminate the path.”
The night in Asrian was a lot brighter than in the real world.
That was because ‘Gluna’ was a lot brighter than Earth’s Moon.
Despite that, most parties, including Salon’s, used light magic to illuminate the area while fighting during the night.
But thanks to the giant pillar of light, they would be able to save Mana that day.
“Just what is that bright thing?”
“Well, discovering that is the goal of our quest.”
“A phenomenon that’s as eye-catching as that looks a little bit dangerous indeed.”
“Since our job is to investigate, we don’t need to face the danger. Right?”
The party advanced smoothly while defeating monsters.
As they walked through a narrow canyon, old ruins appeared.
The light seemed to come from somewhere inside the ruins.
And someone stood in front of the ruins.
There was a shadow blocking the way of the users.
They couldn’t see its face since it was wearing a black robe.
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Also, because of the giant light pillar that was behind it, the figure looked darker.
“Everyone, stop. Is that a monster?”
“No, it seems to be a person.”
Extreme Tanker took the lead.
He slowly approached the unknown person without letting his guard down.
An enemy? An ally?
Even if it is an enemy, there may be room for negotiation if it was a humanoid NPC.
They would be able to ask the figure to move away.
But all those expectations soon crumbled.
“You cannot pass.”
Extreme Tanker realized that the voice owner was a woman after hearing a husky but young voice.
“If I ask you to go back… Will you do it?”
The girl asked while pointing to the path that was behind the party.
Before Extreme Tanker could answer her, she replied to her own question.
“That won’t happen, right?”
Had he imagined the joy in her voice?
It seemed as if she was waiting for them to come.
Such appreciation was brief. The party was forced to come to its senses.
The girl, whose hands were covered in fire, was charging toward them.
“Everyone, be careful! Prepare for battle!”
Extreme Tanker took out his shield while shouting to his allies.
He stood in front of the party and applied all his defensive skills to himself.
At first, one might think that applying so many buffs in preparation for an unknown attack was too much, but it wasn’t.
Translator – Daniel Shin
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
[You’ve received 1102 damage!]
[You’ve received damage that’s more than 33% of your HP at once!]
[Because of severe burn, your left arm has become paralyzed!]
Extreme Tanker couldn’t understand what had just happened.
The girl had stretched out her arms, changed the attack’s trajectory, and managed to touch the other side of the shield.
The amount of damage dealt by that simple attack was absurd.
‘More than a thousand of damage…?!’
As the party’s main tanker, he had spent most of his stat points in vitality. He was also wearing full-body plate armor, even though that made him lose mobility.
He had also learned a skill that reduced the damage received by a certain %.
All his efforts had made him the best possible main tanker.
The incident when he didn’t die even while fighting against 20 wolves was very famous. They frequently talked about it when they were hanging out.
The situation didn’t feel real because of how prideful Extreme Tanker was.
‘I can’t move my arms…!’
He couldn’t control the arm that was holding the shield.
“Save the leader!”
The rest of the party began moving to save their friend who was in danger.
Salon had successfully managed to reach the girl’s back using the Thief’s skill.
He used the poisoned dagger to stab her back.
—Or that’s what he thought.
The girl twisted her body a little bit. The dagger ended up stabbing the air, and the attack resulted in a fail.
‘She dodged it…?!’
She had managed to dodge a surprise attack aimed at the rear.
Salon was sure that he had aimed at the correct place, but the girl in front of him had dodged his attack very easily.
No, maybe he had aimed at the wrong place from the beginning.
Those were his last thoughts.
The claws that had cut Salon’s neck melted the entire body.
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“Salon-!” Shouted Extreme Tanker while watching his friend die.
Salon had sacrificed his own personal gain for the benefit of the party, and then he had died while trying to save him.
They were in the worst situation possible!
One had died, and another one was in a moribund state!
As for the Priest, who hadn’t been able to change jobs, the only thing that she could do was to fill Extreme Tanker’s HP. She couldn’t release him from his abnormal status.
“Ugh… Don’t worry about me; protect Dalph!”
The party still had one last hope.
Even as everyone was becoming incapable of fighting, the only Magician in the group was about to finish the long spell he had been casting.
But Dalph was starting to feel restless.
‘There’s no way, right? No, it can’t be…’
—Fire covering both hands.
Dalph remembered watching a YouTube video of someone very similar to her that gave him goosebumps.
Somehow, he felt like the movements of the girl in front of him overlapped with the ones of the girl that appeared in that video.
‘Calm down… There’s no way she’d be in this place. Right?’
As a result of calming down and finishing casting, he was able to use the strongest magic he knew.
Bang Bang Bang-!
Five golden arrows came out from Dalph’s wand.
The fact that, despite having a long casting time, it was a single target attack rather than an AOE meant that the amount of damage it dealt was that much higher!
The five magic bullets flew across the air and straked toward the girl’s body.
At that moment, the girl’s hand shone and stirred with Mana.
“H… How did she do that?!”
What just happened was enough to take out the breath of the party members.
The girl had just brushed off the magic bullets that were so fast that they couldn’t be seen.
Seeing how easily she dealt with Dalph’s skill, the party fell into silence.
Dalph suddenly came back to his senses.
He was convinced.
‘That person! We can’t win against her…!’
He wasn’t wrong.
After brushing off all Ralph’s attacks, she got in front of him with just one leap; then, with both hands covered in fire, she smashed him.
Once Dalph was also forcibly logged out, Extreme Tanker began to panic. There were only two people left: Himself and Merica, the Priest.
No, in just an instant, she had gotten rid of Extreme Tanker, so only Merica was still alive.
Merica still couldn’t believe that the figure had completely destroyed her party.
She soon began to panic.
Because she was having trouble maintaining balance, she looked down. Her legs were shaking in fear.
It was a game, so she couldn’t understand why she was feeling such a realistic fear.
The reason was actually very simple: the game, through the capsule, sent brain waves according to the situation the user was going through. But at that moment, Merica couldn’t think so deeply.
The girl had just murdered three users and was walking toward her in order to finish the job.
After looking closely at the face behind the robe, she saw a devilish smile.
That girl was smiling while killing people.
The girl was definitely a psychopath.
From the first moment Merica saw her, she began wondering about something.
Was the opponent an NPC or a user…? Common sense would say that she was clearly an NPC, but Merica hadn’t been sure up until then.
But then, she was sure.
—There was no way she was a user!
A normal person that lives in a modern society wouldn’t make such a creepy smile while killing people!
After a few seconds, Merica ended up following her friends.
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* * *
That day’s quest had also ended.
After the time was over, the light disappeared. Hyun left Ain’s body.
“You… Seemed happy after doing some PvP for the first time in quite some time.”
Hyun looked at Ain, who couldn’t hide her smile as if she were a kid with a confused look on thier face.
It seemed like she still enjoyed dueling against users more than hunting.
Back then, he remembered being troubled by her constant challenges to duel.
“Those guys were weak. What’s so fun about defeating people like that?”
“Then can you be my duel partner?” Ain asked why turning around.
Hyun opened his mouth before something happened.
“Hmm… That wasn’t a bad party at all. The moment the tanker was in danger, the rest of the party moved fast… Also, their character control was decent enough.”
The Tanker had resisted quite well.
In that short amount of time, the Thief had managed to mix some feints into the surprise attack. The Magician also seemed to have good skills overall.
Hyun tried to inflate their strong points as much as possible and elevate the level of the party.
“But everything you’ve mentioned is stuff they should do either way.”
“Th… That’s true, but…”
“Well, if Hyun says so, let’s leave it like that.”
Ain seemed in a good mood. She just kept smiling.
It seemed like she wouldn’t get angry at him no matter what he did.
Being alone with Ain in an old ruin illuminated by the moonlight made Hyun feel something.
It was as if they were on a date.
After thinking nonsensical things like that, Hyun began to move.