– Proficiency: Rank F
– Summonable Parts: Breastplate
– Use: Register a personal sign. Execute the sign to activate the spell.
– Proficiency: Rank F
– Summonable Helm Count: 1
– Use: Draw a seal on the target’s head. Chant to activate the spell.
Sitting on the staircase leading up to the Subjugation Association Branch building and checking the skills he just received, Hyrkan looked incredibly shabby. It was as if he had just been kicked out of his house.
However, unlike his shabby appearance, Hyrkan’s eyes were shining with excitement stronger than ever before.
‘Madness Helm, this skill…’
As he had known about Bone Armor beforehand, there was nothing to be surprised about. What made Hyrkan so excited was none other than the skill given by Ahimbree, Madness Helm.
‘At just F-rank, it has a 1.2 times stat increase?’
Hyrkan had never heard of the skill before, even before returning to the past. It was part of the necromancer summon skill-tree, meaning it was non-mainstream. Plus, it could only be obtained through Ahimbree, and the skill book became bounded to the owner, unable to be traded. It wasn’t too surprising that it was unrecognizable.
‘Some of Rich Lich’s summons were wearing odd helmets… is this that?’
Of course, Hyrkan had probably taken a glimpse of the skill before in videos. It was just that he would not have been able to recognize it.
In any case, its effect was amazing.
Any summons equipped with Madness Helm would have its stats increased by 1.2 times. Not many buff skills had such high increase at just F-rank proficiency.
‘I wonder how high it will be at A-rank.’
Necromancer’s summons could not receive beneficiary skills from priests. As such, necromancers had to rely on their buff skills and debuff skills to fight. Moreover, buff skills were much more valuable than items.
‘The problem will be in actual battles.’
It was a good skill.
The only concern was that Skeleton Warriors equipped with Madness Helm would go mad as the skill name implied, and fight as they wanted. If that were the case, Hyrkan would have a hard time making a decision on whether to use it or not. That said, it did not change the fact that it was a good skill.
Hyrkan turned off the skill window. Then, he immediately checked his new quest using his watch.
– Quest Rank: Unique
– Quest Level Range: None
– Quest Content: Find an egg in a nest.
– Quest Reward: None
It was an extremely bland quest. In fact, it was too bland that Hyrkan didn’t know where to start. Hyrkan’s held out his lips like a bird’s beak as his expression turned sullen.
‘Warlord really knows no limits.’
Warlord’s quests were often like this. As quest rewards and quest importance increased, quest content went past the level of being unkind to the level of making players go insane.
In a way, it was to balance out the game. Warlord had an enormous player base. With players shared information online, their information power was just too strong. If this information were carefully controlled, even the most difficult quest became easy. Only when the quest content seemed as impossible as this one, did players truly call a quest ‘hard.’
Hyrkan clicked his tongue twice and ended his dissatisfaction with the quest there. It was not the first time he had done a quest like this. There was no need to complain at this point.
Moreover, the problem Hyrkan had to face now was not the Madness Helm skill nor the Nested Egg quest.
‘The problem now are those tigers waiting outside.’
Ahimbree was one of Warlord’s core NPCs.
He even played a vital role in the Corrupt Count scenario quest, which was a hot issue for even the Top 30 Guilds and Warlord veterans.
It was not rare for guilds to station observers around important NPCs like Ahimbree.
It wasn’t something that happened in most games, but in Warlord, a game where an enormous amount of money was involved, it was different. Most importantly, spying, stalking, and blackmailing were not crimes in Warlord. There was no risk involved in doing such things.
‘I can’t run away either since there’s only one exit.’
After thinking about it for a little, Hyrkan stood up as if he had come to a decision and brushed the dust off his butt.
‘It’s not like I’m going to get an answer just by sitting here. Plus, they won’t know I met with Ahimbree.’
Hyrkan climbed down the staircase.
The moment Hyrkan came down to the crowded 1st floor, a few players that had been monitoring the stairs stood up. They were the hyenas that had tried to follow Hyrkan in before.
Hyrkan also noticed their presence.
‘Hmph, a bunch of idiots looking for a free lunch.’
Hyrkan had no intention of giving them any information for free. Most importantly, PK was banned within the Subjugation Association. The moment a fight broke out, Subjugation Association NPCs would make their move. Only a few players in the entirety of Warlord could be their match at this point.
The real problem would be when he stepped outside the town. Even so, any mediocre experts would only be a sacrifice for Hyrkan.
At Hyrkan’s current state of level 20, his current PK battle ability was peerless. It wouldn’t be strange for him to want others to provoke him once he stepped outside the castle.
At that moment, a lion made his appearance through the pack of hyenas.
It was a rough entrance, as the man grabbed the shoulder of the player following Hyrkan and jerked him backward.
The one on the receiving end couldn’t feel happy about it. Of course, if he were wise, he would understand the difference in strength stat by noticing how easily he was pulled backward.
However, such a wise and skillful player wouldn’t be left to stand watch at the Subjugation Association, wasting his valuable time and scheming to eat others’ leftovers.
The player who was pulled back scowled, glaring at the player who pulled him by his shoulder.
Their eyes met.
An uninterested sound came out.
The speaker was a man with a small stature, only about 160cm in height. However, his armor was a different story. It was an armor seemingly made of white snake scales. From the helmet all the way down to the boots, the man was adorned with a full set of armor made from the same material. What stood out the most were the decorations on the shoulders. The decorations were snake heads, making the armor’s wearer look like his shoulders were coming out of the snakes’ mouths.
It was an undoubtedly impressive design. With just a glimpse, one would be unable to forget it easily.
Because of this, the few players who had seen the armor before easily recognized the identity of the items.
‘White Mamba set!’
It was a level 80 boss monster that had been killed just 4 weeks ago. To kill this 40-meter-long snake with huge, white scales, three guilds had cooperated with each other. The live raid sold over 300,000 tickets. Although the ticket cost was on the cheaper side, it was still a fine amount.
Also, as expected from a large-sized boss monster, the White Mamba dropped large amounts of crafting coins. Afterward, one of Warlord’s famous item designers personally designed 22 full armor sets.
One entire armor set was 50 million won! Moreover, it had a level requirement of at least 70.
It wasn’t something made to be sold to ordinary players.
It was a luxury item meant to be owned by a small minority. It was equivalent to a tiger’s stripes or a lion’s mane in wildlife. Hyenas could only waggle their tails the moment they saw it.
“Ah, I’m sorry.”
The hyena who had wanted to pick a fight immediately lowered its tail, and the surrounding gaze concentrated on the man.
“Isn’t that a White Mamba set?”
“A level 70+ player? Whoa!”
There was no way a high-level player, especially one comparable to a Ranker, wouldn’t draw the attention of everyone nearby. In such situation, the man in the White Mamba set approached Hyrkan.
“Let me borrow a bit of your time.”
It was a request Hyrkan couldn’t refuse.
Their conversation was short.
“In what floor did you receive your quest?”
“The 3rd floor. Why?”
“What kind of quest did you receive?”
“Why would I hand over my valuable quest information to you for free?”
“Are you part of a guild?”
“Do I have an obligation to tell you? Why should I tell you that? What if you’re from a different guild?”
Hyrkan had already prepared for such a situation. Although he didn’t expect a level 70+ player to come, it wasn’t enough to cause him to panic.
Hyrkan knew what he had to do.
‘From this moment on, I have never met or seen Ahimbree. I’m just a regular player who coincidentally obtained a quest here.’
Hyrkan had two choices.
First was to pretend he was part of a guild, while the other was to pretend he knew absolutely nothing. At first, he planned to use the former. The hyenas easily went away once they heard guild names they recognized.
However, once a level 70+ player appeared, Hyrkan had no choice but to go with the other plan. After all, if he sold a guild’s name and he had some relationship to that guild, he would have been in trouble.
In any case, what was important was that Hyrkan could not let anyone find out he contacted Ahimbree.
‘Ahimbree is currently playing a vital role in the Corrupt Count scenario. If anyone found out I was related to him, they would resort to any means to grab onto my tail.’
Ahimbree was important enough for guild executives to go so far as to mess with a single player. Thus, once people began doubting Hyrkan, things would become incomparably more annoying.
‘Anyways, who’s this?’
On the other hand, Hyrkan couldn’t help but wonder who he was talking to. The face behind the helmet wasn’t one Hyrkan recognized. The White Mamba set required a certain level of money and connection to obtain. A level 70+ user with such set should be a Ranker class, but Hyrkan had no recollection of the man’s face.
Suddenly, the man put out his hand.
“Sorry for taking your time. Excuse me.”
The hand he offered for a shake was none other than his left hand, which Hyrkan grabbed with a face full of irritation.
“You did all this just to shake my hand? What, does being high-leveled give you some sort of authority? Next time you do this, I’m going to take a video and upload it. I’ll let you go this time.”
After shaking his hand for a bit, Hyrkan let go.
“Then I’m leaving. That’s it, right?”
The man only stared silently.
The moment Hyrkan left the scene, another player approached the man in the White Mamba set.
It was a female player giving off a masculine aura. Wearing a magician’s robe, the woman stared where Hyrkan had left.
“Looks like he’s unrelated to Ahimbree.”
“At the very least, he hasn’t played Warlord for long. If he did, he wouldn’t have accepted my left-hand shake so easily.”
With that, the man brushed off his left hand as if he had touched something dirty.
“What a waste of time. I came all the way out here thinking I was called for something important.”
“Does it even matter anymore? The Corrupt Count quest is going to end soon. Plus, someone with the Rising Star title who passed Ahimbree’s test hasn’t appeared in 3 months. There won’t be any more. Even if one did come out, it’s too late at this point. It won’t… have any effect on the flow of things. There’s no need to recruit anyone new.”
“Alright then. I’ll fill out the report, so let’s go back to our usual spot.”
“See you later then.”
After finishing up their conversation, the two of them immediately left the scene. Far off in the distance, someone had been watching the two attentively.
‘There was another one?’
It was Hyrkan who had been hiding in secret. After pretending to leave, he immediately headed to a spot where he could observe the man. There, he saw one become two, and two become zero.
‘Seeing as how he baited me with his left hand, those fuckers are something.’
The moment the man in the White Mamba set offered a handshake with his left hand, Hyrkan knew.
He wasn’t normal.
Long time Warlord players didn’t shake hands with their left. They felt an instinctive repulsion at the thought of someone nearing their watch. Even if they did, they hesitated. They would first observe the other party to figure out their intentions. Left hand handshakes weren’t normal in the first place. Handshakes were usually done with the right. Not unless the person was a Jimmy Hendrix fan.
‘Who are they?’
In any case, Hyrkan offered him his left hand to understand his intentions and to show his inexperience. Only someone who had played the game for an extremely long time like Hyrkan could make such a split second decision.
However, this was only the beginning of Hyrkan’s concern.
‘If I were to continue Ahimbree’s quest, I might run into them again…’
Although he had passed by the situation, if he were to run into them in the future, he wouldn’t be so lucky.
Then should he abandon Ahimbree’s test?
Of course not.
‘Whatever. I’m going to have deal with those fuckers just now or the other fuckers later anyways.’
If he were to run away after being intimidated, he wouldn’t have chosen to walk the path of solo play.
Moreover, Ahimbree’s test was something he had to pass. The merit was just too big to give up.
‘I can only go for it. Even if I fail, I’ll try at the very least.’