Chapter 85 Toward the Depths of the Abyss (2)
Hyun quickly brushed off the nonsensical thoughts.
Whether Berard used his real-life appearance or had changed it wasn’t important.
Now that he thought about it, compared to the shock he’d felt when he met Ain, it was nothing.
He’d said he was a ranker, so it was probable that the Berard in front of him was the one he knew.
“Hmm? Do you know me…?”
“No, I just thought that if you’re a ranker, you’re probably an amazing person.”
“Fufu, I ranked 2nd in the third tournament. I still have a long way to go.”
Berard went straight to the point.
That’s how much he wanted to scout the user in front of him.
“I approached you because I wanted to ask you to join our guild. Although it’s closer to a gathering than a guild at the moment…”
Berard cut the conversation at that point for a moment.
After looking TarrTarr’s reaction, he kept talking.
“It’s a guild created by ex-Asra Online users.”
Hyun shrugged his shoulders. It was the first time he’d heard that.
He was expecting ex-Asra players to move to Asrian, but he wasn’t expecting them to create a guild.
Berard smiled after seeing the other person’s surprise.
He thought that if it were that type of reaction, he’d have an easy time convincing him.
“As expected, you know about Asra Online. All the information other guilds treat as confidential is nothing to us.”
“If you join us, we’ll tell you all the information we know.”
Of course, Berard had no intention of telling him everything.
But it wasn’t a lie that he’d do his best to help TarrTarr.
Giving him huge benefits and preventing them from leaving was one of the recruitment techniques.
To be able to face those two who were probably somewhere growing constantly, they had to incorporate as many people as possible. They had to do it as soon as possible since the game was still in its infancy.
“If you join us, we’d probably become invincible!”
“Wait, don’t you think you need to listen to our offer, too?”
Everyone turned their head around after hearing a familiar woman’s voice. After seeing who it was, they couldn’t hide their surprise.
TarrTarr and Berard were both surprised, but the one who was surprised the most was Hyun.
He didn’t know what to call it. Was this fate? Or an ill-fated one? It wasn’t an unfamiliar face.
‘Mayday? Why is she here?’
Because she was wearing a hat, no one noticed her presence.
Mayday had ended up 2nd after Lattice in the first tournament.
That meant that, just like Berard, she had fulfilled the pre-requisite to obtaining an invitation.
“So you’re Berard… Your best ranking was 5th.”
“What, how do you know that?!”
“Did you think we wouldn’t now? That’s not everything we know…”
The Darkness guild had recently succeeded in incorporating an Asra ranker.
Thanks to that, the guild’s database had grown a lot.
That was why Mayday knew about Berard even though his name wasn’t in the hall of fame.
“See? We don’t lack in terms of information, so there’s no need to listen to that person.”
“But still, we…”
“No. Not only that, but we have a ranker who was better positioned than you.”
Mayday once again interrupted Berard.
What she said next was a surprise to everyone.
“According to him, his ‘average’ ranking was 4th… Berard, your ‘best’ ranking was 5th, right? You know who I’m talking about, right?”
Berard was horrified.
He wasn’t sure if she was telling the truth or not, but seeing how she knew about his past, she didn’t seem to be lying.
Mayday once again looked at TarrTarr and said something that turned Berard’s proposal into nothing.
“And there’s more! We’ll give you a sign-off bonus of a million dollars for a contract of six months. How about that?”
‘What, a million?!’
Hyun’s chin almost dropped after hearing the proposal.
TarrTarr’s reaction wasn’t that different from his.
Just a few words were enough for Mayday to swing things over to her side.
“Fufu, this much is nothing. Our guild’s sponsor is an impressive company! After six months, you’ll want to stay in Darkness.”
“Fu, you want to do something with only that much money?” Said Berard, who had been listening on the sides.
“He’s someone who can earn millions in six months. Trying to convince him with just that? Nonsense.”
Berard’s answer just created lots of question marks inside Hyun’s head.
‘What is this guy talking about? How am I going to earn millions?’
Hyun and TarrTarr hadn’t logged out from the game even once that day.
So they didn’t know about what was happening outside.
They didn’t know that there were articles about how TarrTarr had beaten Lattice’s record in the Virtual Historical Battle.
—And how the YouTube views had exploded with that!
Because they didn’t understand the situation, it made sense that what Berard was saying sounded like nonsense.
“That’s why I’ve said that a million is what we’re going to pay him after joining Darkness. There’re obviously other bonuses! For example, we won’t restrict personal profits, whether through broadcasting or other things.”
While Hyun was listening to Mayday’s words, dumbfounded, he heard TarrTarr’s voice, who seemed in a hurry.
「Check this out! The video’s views… Have surpassed seven million!」
「I don’t know what happened, but suddenly, the number of comments has increased a lot, too!」
It seemed like TarrTarr had checked out the YouTube channel through the capsule’s search window.
Because Hyun’s capsule wasn’t the newest model, he could only use the internet if he logged out or was in rest mode, so he couldn’t immediately check it out.
「S-seven thousand dollars?!」
「No, the views have surpassed seven million.」
「That’s that! Wait… I’ll be back.」
「’Hyun’ has changed his status to rest mode.」
Translator – Daniel Shin
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
As soon as SeoHyun exited the capsule, he began typing on the keyboard.
As he logged in to TarrTarr’s channel, he saw a number so big that it was hard to read at first sight.
‘Seven million views in 10 hours? Is this possible?’
He couldn’t believe what his eyes were seeing.
Every time he refreshed the page, the views increased.
As he took a closer look at the other videos on TarrTarr’s channel, all the other four videos had also surpassed a million views.
The total amount of views was about 15 million.
It took SeoHyun a while to understand what was going on.
He understood what was going on only after reading a post on a community board that he’d often used to enter.
The commotion, which began in a foreign community board, had spread worldwide in less than 10 hours.
Although it was in just one area, users were shocked that a level 70 player had been able to surpass Lattice, who was the overwhelming 1st place in the rankings.
‘Can something like this happen?’
Hyun was surprised by people’s reactions because he didn’t think that Lattice was particularly amazing.
He also didn’t think that breaking the record in the Virtual Historical Battle was a big deal.
He thought of it just like establishing a new high score inside one of the many mini-games in the tournament venue.
There was a big difference in perception because Hyun’s standards differed from those of an average user.
After looking at the community boards closely, Hyun once again discovered something.
—The users who were at the top of the rankings were admired as if they were some kind of gods.
The ones who were at the top of the rankings like Lattice and Mayday, and Ain and a few other users who had been the center of attention…
And just that day, TarrTarr’s name had joined that group.
‘I see… This is what he meant by earning millions!’
Hyun finally understood Berard’s words.
The amount of money top rankers earned was mind-blowing.
SeoHyun looked at the number of views.
If he could earn $7,000 USD in 10 hours, in 24 hours, he would be able to earn at least 10 thousand dollars… If he added all five videos that had recently been uploaded, the amount of money would probably increase to 20 ~ 30 thousand dollars.
What would his old self say if he heard that this was the amount of money he could earn in just a day?
‘This is crazy…!’
「User ‘Hyun’ is online.」
「TarrTarr! Are you here?」
When Hyun logged in, TarrTarr was struggling because of Berard and Mayday’s proposal.
「What should I do about these people?」
「What? Are these guys still here? Just ask them to leave.」
As Hyun got the control priority, the shy boy’s eyes suddenly changed.
Mayday and Berard flinched after noticing the sudden change in the aura. While trying to back off, they heard Hyun’s firm refusal.
“I’m going to refuse to negotiate furthermore. I’m not interested, so please return to your respective places.”
“Why? Why so suddenly…?” Mayday shouted.
“Is it the money? Okay, we’ll pay you two million plus the same conditions! This is the most money I can prepare!”
Hyun’s heart was about to change, but he could refuse the temptation because he’d seen the bigger picture.
‘I can’t send TarrTarr to somewhere else.’
—Especially because he couldn’t allow him to join another guild.
TarrTarr knew all his information. And on top of that, he was one of the few users who knew about the «Assimilation» skill.
He wanted to avoid information about him leaking as much as possible.
Not only that, but TarrTarr had to edit videos for him so he could earn money.
“No, it’s not about the money.”
“Then why’s that? Tell me if there’s anything we can do for you…”
“I don’t have intentions of joining any guild. I’m more comfortable playing solo.”
“What are you…?!”
Mayday wanted to refute Hyun, but he was quicker.
While Berard and Mayday looked at TarrTarr’s back, dumbfounded, Hyun quickly left the banquet hall.
He walked around near the waiting room.
Even as time flowed, he couldn’t calm down.
The number of views roamed around his head as an image of a bag full of money.
‘If I can earn 30 thousand per day… If it goes like this, could I really earn at least 900 thousand per month?’
After thinking about that unrealistic number, he felt something.
He hadn’t yet felt how big Asrian was, even though he’d seen analytics about it on the news and many community boards.
As that approached him as money, he understood what kind of game it was.
‘This isn’t just a popular game… This is like a world on its own!’
He’d already felt it once when he’d received 50 thousand from Jini, but as the number passed to the hundred thousands, the feeling changed.
Becoming number one in the rankings of such a game… wasn’t it comparable to becoming an emperor for real?
Hyun became immersed in his own thoughts for a while while remembering his time in Asra.
* * *
The leader of Darkness, XL, couldn’t believe Mayday’s report.
「I never expected he was going to refuse with such conditions.」
「That’s not it. That person didn’t even listen to me until the end. He just left the room. He said something about enjoying playing solo…?!」
After listening to a more detailed explanation from Mayday, XL didn’t know what to say.
Bear Shield, who was with him, began laughing.
“It seems like he’s still a kid… I’m not sure if it’s because he thinks it’s cooler this way or he’s clever.”
“Even if he’s little, there’s no way he didn’t understand the value of that contract.”
“Then is it possible that he refused because he’s waiting for us to improve it?”
The executive staff members fell deep into thought.
It was hard to understand the user TarrTarr’s intentions.