Chapter 62 – The Last Gatekeeper, Betty (2)
Crack- A strong shock split the land.
The rock Hyun was using as a stepping stone was crushed, and the lava split to both sides.
It was like the miracle that Moses had performed. For a little while, they could see the floor under the lava.
Being covered by lava had no effect on Betty.
“Ugh, the magma…!”
Suddenly, magma had splashed and reached where they were standing.
He had been approaching Betty just at that moment, so he received quite a lot of damage from the lava.
The lava scattered away by Betty reached Ainas well.
Ain reflexively turned her body around in the air.
The red drops passed right next to Ain, but thanks to her smooth movements, she dodged them all.
‘Damn, it’s coming again!’
Betty, who was circling around in the air, flinched.
Hyun looked around.
Who was the person furthest away from Betty?
It was Practice.
He was lingering at the edge of the map.
He couldn’t get quickly into formation because he was covered in lava.
At his teammate’s crisis, Hyun’s mind flashed.
‘I’m the only one that can deal with this!’
Paf-! Hyun «Disassimilated» and appeared in a certain place.
—Over the sea of lava.
That was the furthest away place that he could find from Betty.
Then, Betty’s tail smashed into the air.
There was a sound of air exploding.
Maybe the speed of Betty’s tail smash was faster than the speed of sound.
The good thing was that place was three meters away from the surface, so no one was affected by the lava splashing.
「Everyone, get into formation!」Hyun shouted through the party chat window.
Because they were all skillful, everyone reacted quickly.
Jini went to the front and faced Betty.
Practice and Ain positioned themselves diagonally.
Hyun was at the rear of the party.
It was the standard formation while fighting against Betty.
Every party member thought that if they didn’t lose concentration, they might be able to kill Betty.
“Good. Everyone, check your position! Don’t overdo yourselves!”
While following Hyun’s orders, the party kept slashing Betty’s HP.
Hyun lured it, then Jini and Practice locked it, and finally, Ain was in charge of dealing damage.
As time went on, the party members became expectant of victory rather than being scared.
“Kaaa! What a… Bothersome… I’ll send you all flying…!”
From time to time, Betty changed the attack pattern.
As Betty spread her wings, a huge whirlwind rose around her.
It was a hurricane that ravaged the underground city!
The wind scattered the wreckage from buildings and droplets of lava.
The whirlwind was so strong that it could easily blow away a human.
If they remained still, they’d be blown away and fall into the lava.
But Hyun was also expecting that attack pattern.
Jini used «Bind» on the entire party and locked them to the ground.
Even a strong wind wouldn’t be able to scatter away the party members that had been tied with each other.
Suddenly, Betty’s tail appeared sideways behind Hyun.
It was a surprise attack!
But even in the middle of that strong wind, Hyun had looked closely at Betty’s movements.
There were no weak points in a focused Hyun.
Crash! Crash! Crash!
Five pillars of the building fell like domino pieces.
Even while fighting, Hyun didn’t fail to notice the slowly tilting ceiling.
As Hyun shouted, Ain and Practice, who had been about to approach, flinched.
A chandelier made of heavy metal fell over Betty.
One of the pillars that sustained one side of the building had been destroyed, and with that, the ceiling had collapsed.
[You’ve used the terrain or a structure to deal 91,285 damage to the enemy!]
Perhaps it was thanks to Hyun’s warning, but no one was swept away by the collapse of the ceiling.
The floor was sinking into the lava because of the impact generated by the ceiling falling, so the party quickly fled the place.
Practice who was looking at where Betty was, spoke to Hyun in a low voice.
“Is it dead…?”
Rattle, Rattle- The giant rocks began moving, then, Betty suddenly rose from the lava.
They could see the HP bar on top of its head.
It had 30% of HP left.
Betty angrily cried and rushed toward them.
Its movements had gotten faster because it didn’t have that much HP left.
It began attacking the rear more, and the whirlwind also go stronger.
But that didn’t surprise the party.
If they followed Hyun’s strategy, the way of dealing with Betty wasn’t different, even if it had gotten faster.
While fighting, Practice even had time to think about something.
He couldn’t believe what was happening.
They weren’t even level 100; yet they were about to hunt down a named boss monster over level 200.
‘How is this even possible?’
He tried to analyze the current situation from a professional gamer’s point of view.
Why they were able to hunt Betty…
It was thanks to Hyun’s strategy and Ain’s unbelievable damage output.
‘Without those two, it would’ve been impossible.’
Maybe they could replace Ain’s damage dealing…
But there wasn’t any user that could replace Hyun.
The «Assimilation» skill was incredible, but what was even more amazing was how Hyun used it.
Even if someone else was given that skill, how many users could use it the way he did?
First, he was sure he wouldn’t be able to do it.
Maybe he could catch up in regards to reaction, but Hyun’s ability to analyze the situation and basic moves were on another level.
Those were things that he needed to work on.
“Good, everyone, keep focused until the end!”
The same battle format went on for a few minutes.
Translator – Daniel Shin
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
The good thing was that Betty wasn’t particularly smart, so it didn’t have many attack patterns.
Maybe it would work with a group of average users, but Hyun had gone there with the perfect strategy to counter all of its movements.
And that long battle was finally reaching the end.
‘This is the last!’
The moment the tail hit the air…!
Jini’s «Restraint», Practice’s stun, and Ain’s flames poured over her.
“We got it!”
As Ain shouted, Betty’s health bar reached 0.
* * *
One of Asrian’s developers, Robert, looked at Hyun’s gameplay.
Robert watched the screen with sweat on his hands.
He was amazed by the strategy Hyun was using to deal with the named boss.
While monitoring, something unexpected happened.
The developers could check all the progress of relationships inside the game at a glance.
Just before Hyun’s party was about to beat Betty, the system screen turned red.
That meant that a transcendent had gotten closer. It was something that only appeared on the developer’s screen.
‘Why so suddenly? What’s happening?’
Robert began analyzing the logs.
Shortly after that, he got a grasp of the situation.
Asrian, by itself, was like a separate independent world on its own.
The normal relationships were crumbling, and a new event had been born.
The incidents related to the Seed of Evil had completely changed.
‘Why so suddenly…?’
The reason seemed to be the involvement of a transcendent, but he couldn’t get a detailed explanation.
Mari, after seeing Robert tilting his head, asked.
“Is there a bug?”
Robert had been monitoring one user recently.
That user was the one with the ID ‘Hyun’.
He was the first user who was able to change the story’s flow, so it was normal for the developers to be interested in him.
Analyzing his movements made him realize something:
The Great Demon of Deception, Keidrial had a huge interest in him!
“A transcendent got involved.”
From the beginning, Keidrial was looking out for Hyun’s movements.
But that was the first time she’d gotten directly involved.
“Is it normal for a transcendent to be so interested in a particular user?”
At Robert’s question, Mari asked.
“What are you talking about?”
“It’s just like I’ve said. There’s a demon that has a great interest in the user Hyun.”
“Well, demons are also AIs with free will, so it isn’t impossible, I guess!”
“Mari, look at this.”
Robert put something on the screen.
It was data that analyzed Keidrial’s movements since the servers had opened.
Surprisingly, the traces of Hyun and Keidrial matched.
The graph traces showed not only the physical path of the characters, but also their interest in certain objects, areas, or even a person. It added thsy interest and showed it as a number.
“Wow, the interests of both are almost the same!”
“See? You can’t say that this is just a coincidence, right?”
“Of course! It’s almost as if she was a stalker!”
The graph only showed the result of the relationship. It didn’t show the details.
Even Robert, one of Asrian’s developers, didn’t know everything about what was happening.
Why was a Great Demon so interested in a particular user?
He felt he’d have to watch a little bit more closely to know the answer to that question.
After all, the quest hadn’t ended yet.
* * *
At the same time…
Something special happened to Mayday, the user placed 2nd in the Hall of Fame, a member of the Darkness Guild.
Mayday was surprised.
While walking through the plaza, the people surrounding her had suddenly disappeared.
The world turned red, and the sun had become black.
She was suddenly left alone in an unknown world.
‘I’m not dreaming…!’
She had become the second user in Asrian to enter the ‘Symmetrical World.’
At first, she thought it was a bug.
Mayday tried many things, such as the Guild’s chatting window, but everything was working just okay.
「Oh, Mayday? Are you okay?!」
「Mayday, why did you suddenly disappear while hunting?」
「I’m also not sure why…」
Mayday answered the Guild’s chat window while looking around.
She was on top of endless stairs rather than on the streets of a big city.
A road to the sky…
On the edge of it, there was an endless cliff.
‘Where am I…?’
Mayday thought she’d been teleported to somewhere.
…But she couldn’t guess where she was.
She felt as if she’d been sent to another world—it didn’t look like any place in Asrian she’d been to.
After a short while, she got a quest message.
[Hidden Quest: Devil’s Deal]
– The Great Demon of Deception wants to borrow your soul.
– To accept the quest, walk along the road.
Mayday took a deep breath.
She was surprised because of a word that appeared in the quest.
Wasn’t it the strongest transcendents?
Even though her heart was beating fast, she got immersed in deep thought.
She couldn’t understand why she’d gotten that quest.
「Mayday, are you okay?」
「So this means you can’t return?」
「It… Seems like I’ve received a huge quest. It says Great Demon’s Hidden Quest.」
「What? Great Demon?!」
What Mayday mumbled had a huge effect on the chat window.
Suddenly, the chat window went up a page.
She received many questions. Like how she managed to obtain the quest and the details about it.
Everyone knew what the word Great Demon meant.
Mayday read the quest’s details again while holding her breath.