Chapter 5 – First Teammate (1)
Asrian Online’s official page.
Hyun, who had logged out to eat ramen, was looking at the ranking list.
As he clicked on either local, country-wide, or global rankings, he could see the ids of current top players.
The list was hard to read because there were languages from all over the world. But thanks to the auto-translate option, it became easier to read.
1. Lattice – Lv.13
2. II – Lv.10
3. Strongest Berserker – Lv.10
4. Shao Shao – Lv.10
5. Cleo – Lv.10
6. Viper – Lv.9
7. Nihonjin desu – Lv.9
8. Mayday – Lv.9
9. Blank – Lv.9
Are numbers 3 and 7 Korean?
If that username was written in real Japanese, it would probably say something like ‘I’m Japanese.’
‘That guy is definitely Korean.’
SeoHyun took a glimpse at the top 50 players.
“There isn’t anyone remarkable yet.”
It was understandable that there wasn’t someone he should be careful about yet. After all, Asrian Online had been open for one day.
Once a week passes, most of the names there would probably change.
The only player he should probably follow closely was the one using the ID ‘Lattice.’
There were many levels of difference between him and the other users.
But the interesting stuff ended there.
“Still, he’s not that great.”
After hunting ghosts, Hyun’s level had reached 27. That meant he had more than 13 levels of advantage over the current number 1 player.
Despite that, he didn’t appear on the rankings. The reason was that he hadn’t registered his character in the Hall of Fame.
Users that registered on the Hall of Fame, depending on their rankings, gained fame.
But it wasn’t that they became celebrities. It was an important part of the game. Your fame was reflected on the NPCs. That meant you received more quests, met important characters, and obtained useful qualifications, among other helpful things. Your fame influenced the in-game experience.
“I’m probably better off not registering on the rankings yet.”
The reason why he wasn’t interested in the Hall of Fame was simple.
The moment he registered in the Hall of Fame, everyone would get to know his ID and level.
It wasn’t like private information like stats, skills, and jobs were leaked, but the ranker tag would probably place a lot of eyes on him, and that would end up limiting his actions.
‘Maybe I could even get some stalkers…’
He didn’t want to attract unnecessary eyes to him.
‘There are also some quests you can only do if you have low fame.’
Some secretive quests required you to have low fame.
If he registered in the Hall of Fame, quests like that would become forever out of his reach.
He had considered many factors before deciding not to register his ID.
‘Even if I increase my fame, later on, it won’t be late.’
* * *
[Strength: 2] [Agility: 2] [Vitality: 5] [Magical Power: 11] [Empathy: 27]
Skills – <+Open List>
[※ You have 52 unused experience points!]
[※ You have 26 unused skill points!]
After logging in to the game, he looked at his status window.
It was to understand the Support job better.
“Empathy is definitely the main stat.”
The Warrior focused on Strength and Health, Magicians and Priests focused on Magical Power, and the Thief focused on Agility.
Focusing on those stats made it easier to develop each class’s potential.
But for a Support, it was hard to tell which stats were important.
Next to most of the Support’s skills, you could see an Empathy requirement.
Should he focus on increasing Empathy? The answer to this question was harder than it seemed.
“It’s hard to decide since this is a new class, and there’s no information about it…”
The skills were even more complicated.
Skill Points had two use cases: one was to make current skills stronger, and the other one was to unlock new ones.
[ «One Second Immortality» (Lv.0 -> Lv.1) ]
– You can increase all defensive stats by 3 extra points.
(Skill Points required 1)
[ «Shield» (Lv.0 -> Lv.1) ]
– The opponents that lose consciousness receive 20% of your Empathy as extra damage.
(Skill Points required 1)
‘Should I increase this or not…?’
He was confused.
The amount of defense given by «One Second Immortality» didn’t increase much after leveling up. Not only that, but the duration time remained the same.
Would the duration time increase if he leveled up the skill even further?
The only way to discover the answer to that question was by trial and error. But there was one problem with that… He couldn’t re-assign skill points. So if he made a mistake, that character would become useless.
‘Should I just learn a new skill?’
After reaching level 20, he hadn’t reviewed the new available skills.
The skills listed below were some of the ones he had seen before.
[ «Addictive Counter» ]
– Decrease the attack speed of an ally by 20%.
– If a counterattack activates while fighting an enemy, they receive 200% more damage.
(Points required: 5)
[ «Sophisticated Weapon Mastery» ]
– Increase the attack range of an ally by 10 cm.
– While attacking an opponent, if the target is within the increased attack range, the damage they receive increases by 1.5 times.
(Points required: 3)
[ «Sophisticated Magic» ]
– Increase the magical attack range of an ally by 1 meter.
– While attacking an opponent, if the target is within the increased attack range, the damage they receive increases by 1.5 times.
(Points required: 4)
[ «Weapon Enhance» ]
– Increase the damage dealt by an ally by 50 points.
(Points required: 10)
He looked at the skills with doubtful eyes.
‘Are these good or bad skills?’
Hyun tried to use his eight years of Asra Online experience to try and see how these skills synergized with others.
The «Weapon Enhance» skill seemed to be the most useful since it was intuitive and easy to understand.
The other skills seemed to be useful under certain circumstances.
“Depending on how I use them, they could become cheat skills.”
Hyun was finally starting to understand the ‘Support’ job.
It didn’t have a direct attack skill.
More than attacking himself, the role of the Support was more like a playmaker.
Under certain circumstances, the synergy that the skills could have was amazing.
Skills like «One Second Immortality» and «Shield», which seemed useless at first glance, had proven useful if played correctly.
The rest of the skills were the same.
The pre-requisites of activating the Support’s skills were quite difficult. But if you managed to satisfy them, you would be able to see their true potential.
—High risk and high return.
It was a class that required a lot of skill and dexterity.
The most important thing was creating the correct situations to make the class shine.
“The problem is that the Support has very clear limits.”
The Support wasn’t a job that allowed solo playing as Hyun had wanted.
Since its conception, a Support couldn’t achieve greatness alone.
“I can’t keep using strategies that rely on NPCs.”
Hyun felt the need to change his playing style.
Translator – Daniel Shin
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
He had many fond memories related to Asra Online.
There was a user with the ID ‘Smiling Angel.’
According to her profile, she was a 20-year-old girl. Her job was an evolved one from the Priest that was very similar to a Support.
People from the guild often referred to her as ‘Angel.’
「Smiling Angel, is there any new item you need?」
「Hey Angel, do you want to go together to the Dragon’s Dungeon? I originally planned to do solo play, but I can carry you if you wish, lol.」
「Smiling Angel, do you want to do a raid? We’re in need of a priest. We don’t care about things like specs, don’t worry.」
The moment she logged in, she was flooded with messages.
She usually answered right away.
「First of all, I’ll gladly receive the free item. Then, I will let you carry me through the dungeon and join the raid. So everyone, please wait for a little bit. ^^」
In Asra Online, she was something like a princess.
She had at least five loyal underlings who would cry tears of joy just from her calling them by their names.
Her royal highness sometimes rewarded her loyal underlings with a generous gift.
「Does anyone need a buff? Oh, I’m low on mana. I’m only going to be able to buff three people. I’m sowy ㅠㅠ」
The moment she spoke, tons of people who wanted to become her underlings suddenly appeared.
Those incredibly moving scenes were recorded deep in Hyun’s mind.
What was even more surprising was that, later on, it was discovered that Smiling Angel was actually a 31-year-old man. But Hyun really didn’t care about what had happened.
Now, unintentionally, he had become a support.
Smiling Angel. Maybe there was something he could learn from her(?).
“I need to get a damage dealer underling.”
Getting hard-working underlings seemed the best answer.
If he added his supporting skills on top of that, maybe he’d be able to build a decent team.
There was one problem with that: he wasn’t sure if he had something like Smiling Angel, who could easily obtain the loyalty of several people.
His ideal underling should have decent control and game sense.
At the same time, it should be someone that listened and followed his orders.
“Is there anyone like that…?”
Hyun started to recall everything he could from Asra Online. Then, he remembered a certain face.
“There is someone!”
That guy would be perfect to have as an underling.
SeoHyun immediately took action.
He logged into Asra Online for the first time in a while.
Most people had quit after the sequel came out. But that guy, who was also a top player, maybe was still around this place.
“There he is!”
Hyun shouted in happiness after checking out his friend list. He was also online.
That person was one of the few users Hyun had on his friend list.
Hyun was about to send him a whisper when he was surprised by a sudden message.
[‘Ain’ has challenged you to a 1 vs. 1 duel. Will you accept?]
He wasn’t expecting Ain to contact him first.
It hadn’t been 10 seconds since he logged in. Also, a duel request?
Maybe… was he waiting for him to log in again?
“I guess I’ll know the answer once I meet him.”
After accepting the request, he moved towards the duel room.
In that place, a big wolf was waiting for him.
It was a ‘Werewolf’, a part of the humanoid race.
The ID ‘Ain’ was well suited for someone as wild as him.
Thanks to Ain’s cool personality, they got along well. That’s why they frequently played together.
Ain’s playstyle was just like his personality, cool and cruel.
Watching him scratch and rip apart an opponent was quite refreshing.
He always looked like a wolf in the middle of a flock.
Ain had very good control and a deep understanding of the game.
In a 1 vs. 1 duel, using normal items, he wasn’t sure he could beat him.
The first time they met each other in the duel fiend, he had wondered if Ain wasn’t a real pro gamer.
「Long time no see, Hyun!」
「Not really, it’s been only one week since the last time I logged in.」
「If you’re not here, I don’t have anyone else with whom I can have a duel. The only ones that are still around this place are the weaklings.」
Just like he always did, Ain approached him first.
In Asra Online, there wasn’t a voice recognition module, so to talk, Hyun had to type on the keyboard in the capsule.
「Since you’re here, let’s have a duel.」
「I don’t want to.」
「Why, are you afraid? You’re finally admitting that you can’t beat me, right?」
And just like always, he started talking about PVP.
Ain was one of those players who enjoyed PVP more than hunting.
「I guess it’s understandable. If our specs were similar, my win ratio would be higher!」
「We’ll never know that without trying it first.」
Hyun answered like that. But what Ain said wasn’t something unrealistic.
In Asra Online, Ain was the only user that could fight him on equal terms.
Both were good at controlling their respective characters, but he had the advantage in terms of specs.
Despite that, their win ratio against each other was similar. The reason behind this was that Ain was very good at mind games.
Even Hyun couldn’t match Ain’s ability for getting to know the opponent’s intentions.
It’d been a week since they last talked to each other, so they took this opportunity to get an update on the other person.
There wasn’t any deep or special content in what they talked about. It was the usual chit-chat.
It was Ain who suddenly changed the topic of the conversation.
「So are you planning to quit Asra?」
「I’m not sure… But I won’t be login in regularly as I did before.」
「Really? Well, I guess everyone eventually gets tired of a game. Even Asra.」
「Are you going to keep playing Asra?」
「I’m not sure. But if you quit, I’m also going to leave eventually.」
Ain’s words were printed out as a text, but Hyun knew he was sad about it.
Hyun had known this guy inside the game for many years, so he could somewhat understand Ain’s feelings.
Ain wanted to retain Hyun, but his pride made it hard for him to say something like that.
That meant this was the perfect opportunity to talk about the main topic.
「Don’t you want to play Asrian with me?」
Ain remained silent for a while.
It seemed like he knew that a sequel of Asra Online had come out.
「That game has very high requirements, right? The capsule I have at home is quite old, so I’m not sure it will be able to run it.」
「Is that so…?」
「Oh, wait. I’ll just buy a new one.」
「Then let’s play together! After all, we’re the strongest duo of Asra. Let’s show everyone what we can do in Asrian Online.」
Ain’s doubt seemed to be deepening. Hyun was afraid of losing this opportunity, so he tried his best to lure him to Asrian.
「If you create an ID, Hyung will help you level up. After all, my character is a support, so I have a lot of ways in which I can help you.」
「You? Hyung? Are you kidding me? But hey, you’re a support? What happened that you’d chosen a job like that?」
Hyun was smirking while typing using his two fingers.
Ain had fallen into his trap. Convincing him would just be a matter of time.
Hyun, as the master, and Ain, as his underling. He smiled just by thinking about the picture-perfect formation.
To make Ain the perfect underling, he started to sweet talk.
「If you’re going to start Asrian Online, choose the Magician job.」
「Magician? Why? I don’t really like it.」
He could easily tell that Ain didn’t like the Magician job. After all, he was a werewolf that enjoyed close combat.
Ain’s current character was the definition of manliness.
For someone like him, who enjoyed using macho-like characters and jobs, a Magician was probably just a weakling who launched attacks from a distance.
‘But still, it would be great if he could choose Magician as a job.’
The job that had the best synergy with the Support was a Magician.
Among the skills, there was one called «Weapon Enhance».
This skill gave the target 50 extra damage.
Since the Wizard’s attack had a wide range, the effective damage dealt was lower than other jobs, but once you added «Weapon Enhance» on top of it, the Magician’s wide-range attack could become as dangerous as a nuclear bomb.
In no way was he going to pass on such an explosive combination.
That’s why he talked as highly about the Magician job as possible.
「You like jobs that require skills, right? In Asrian Online, the Magician is that type of character.」
「Yes! Casting a spell isn’t automatic. You have to use your head. Hand signs need to be memorized, too, since you have to do it manually. What’s clear is that it isn’t an easy class to use.」
Hyun told him things he had seen on the community boards.
「Even though it has a learning curve, a Magician can become one of the strongest if you learn to use it properly. It’s OP at practically everything, including hunting, raids, PVP… Of course, it’s hard to use it correctly. I’m not sure if you’ll be able to do it.」
「Hmm… Now that you say it, Magician sounds interesting.」
Hyun became even more excited.
If Ain selected Magician as a job, the picture became even more perfect.
His skills were on par with professional gamers. But more than that, he was someone trustworthy.
「There’s something I’ve forgotten to tell you.」
Hyun even explained to him how to get a hidden job while praying that Ain wouldn’t make the same mistakes as him.
「When you’re about to select a job, you’ll meet an angel. If you call her by the name of ‘Keidrial,’ she’ll become a demon. After that, you’ll be able to see a previously hidden place. If that happens, you’ll be able to choose top-tier or even hidden jobs. But there’s something you need to remember. You shouldn’t select the item she’s trying to hide, no matter what happens. That isn’t something she’s trying to hide; it’s an item that she’s trying to lure you into selecting.」
Ain had trouble understanding what he had just said, so Hyun spent another thirty minutes trying to get him to understand everything regarding job selection.