Deep Canyon Spring (1)
A large, five-meter tall Golem was standing between two trees, fully blocking anyone from passing between. Glaring at it, was a goat whose eyes sparkled with a deep red color.
Its appearance was completely different from that of an ordinary goat. It was easily 2 meters in length, was as large as a bull, and its devilish horn was protruding out like a spear. But what was most surprising was its leg power, which easily put ordinary mountain goat to shame.
It was just as aggressive as it sounded. It never hesitated to attack others, even when they had done nothing to offend it.
Racing along like a horse and making a sound more terrifying than a buffalo, the Devil Goat charged towards the Golem with its horn in front. The not-so-long distance was closed in an instant.
The Golem did not dodge its attack, but blocked it with his body.
An explosive sound roared out, and the Golem staggered. If it had lost a bit more of its balance, it would have fallen backwards without doubt. Regardless, the Devil Goat’s horn had pierced deeply into its body.
That was the Devil Goat’s fatal mistake.
A shout could be heard from a distance, after which the Golem’s body began to grow hard.
Surprised by the feeling from its horn, the Devil Goat struggled to pull out its horn, but in vain.
The sound of the Golem’s body breaking could be hard. The goat had immense strength, but it wasn’t able to pull out its horn easily.
Three Black Orc Skeleton Warriors that had been waiting behind the Golem leaped up into the air, slashing down as it landed towards the Devil Goat.
With the sound of the wind getting cut, the Skeleton Warriors made several deep cuts onto the goat’s body. The Devil Goat fumed, and its eyes turned even redder. It would burst into rage at any moment.
However, a fourth Skeleton Warrior made from a Blood Goblin poured cold water over the Devil Goat’s rage. When the small Skeleton Warrior landed its sword on the Devil Goat’s body, three curses fell on it. The Devil Goat’s speed and stats decreased, and the Skeleton Warriors didn’t miss the chance to continuously hack away at the Devil Goat. The small Skeleton Warrior didn’t stop either, as it continued to attack the Devil Goat.
In the end, unable to even struggle, the Devil Goat let out a strange cry as its eyes began to grow dim. Hyrkan who was watching everything from afar put away the Bone Explosive he was holding, in his pocket.
When the Devil Goat finally died…
[You have leveled up.]
Hyrkan heard a message he was expecting.
‘Finally level 69.’
Hyrkan quickly checked his stats.
– Stats: Strength (559) / Stamina (181) / Intelligence (319) / Magic Power (429)
Hyrkan did not express any joy. He simply put all of his level-up points into strength., then closed the stat window. If anyone looked, it would seem that Hyrkan was pressed in terms of time.
In response to Hyrkan’s urgency, the sound of fire roared out, and Hyrkan turned towards the origin of the sound.
Hyrkan shut his mouth tightly as he heard the continued explosions.
‘The party I saw a while ago must be here.’
The thundering sound of magic was quite appropriate for the high-level hunting ground Hyrkan was currently in.
Hyrkan let out a sigh and dismantled the Devil Goat he had just caught. He unskinned the goat with impeccable skill, only taking about 20 or so seconds. Even after that, Hyrkan continued to dismantle its body before the goat’s body fully melted away.
After checking if a jewel had dropped, Hyrkan converted the bones and skin into crafting coins. He then turned the Golem back into mud and quickly departed. His four Skeleton Warriors quickly followed along, like baby ducks and their mother.
Not too long after that…
“Hm? There’s still an ice-cream here.”
One player discovered traces of Hyrkan. The player wearing deep green armor waved his hands, and his allies quickly gathered around him.
A total of 7 players.
“Looks like someone was just here.”
They looked at the melting body of a dead monster and the nearby traces of battle.
“What’s that pile of mud over there?”
They had keen observation skills. Having played Warlord for over a year, they were at a much higher level than other players that had started playing at the same time. In Warlord, you needed skills to survive, and keen observation skill was one of them. Being able to analyze a battlefield from traces of battle was one of the few ways to develop skills to deal with sudden, unforeseen situations.
“It doesn’t look like magic. Golem Summon maybe?”
It did not take long for them to piece together what had happened.
“Is there a Golem summoning necromancer nearby?”
They went a bit further in their speculations.
“Hahoe Mask Hyrkan?”
Like talking about a Hollywood celebrity, they mentioned his name with casualty.
“Shoot. We would’ve seen him if we had come just a bit earlier.”
“So Hahoe Mask Hyrkan really is hunting in the Sura Canyon. I’ve only heard the rumors, and never seen him in person.”
“I wanted to see him fight, what a shame.”
“I’m a huge fan. I hope we can run into him again.”
One of them then made a square with his fingers and pointed towards the pile of mud used for Hyrkan’s Golem Summoning.
He even took a picture.
“Hey, take one with me in it!”
Another player then squatted down next to the pile of mud and posed.
At the same time, different place, while picture of Hyrkan’s pile of mud was being uploaded to a SNS, Hyrkan changed his clothes, disguising himself as a typical swordsman class player. He also turned his Skeleton Warriors back into Skeleton Fragments.
Then, he clicked his tongue.
‘I never thought I’d run into trouble because I got too popular.’
As he continued to run, the past few dream-like days flashed by Hyrkan’s eyes.
An Jaehyun noticed the signs first when he saw a familiar picture on the front page of a Warlord-related website he frequented.
The one in the picture was none other than Hyrkan. An Jaehyun then clicked on the picture, and what first caught his attention was the headline.
[Bulkas Mountain Range’s New Boss Monster, Bear Warrior Raid Solo Play!]
Under the title was a single video, and below that was an analyses of the battle as long as an entire research paper.
Of course, An Jaehyun’s mind was spinning. He spent the next three minutes staring blankly at the screen. When he barely snapped out of his daze, he checked the view count of the video he uploaded.
Seeing the view count skyrocket, An Jaehyun felt a chill rather than happiness.
Furthermore, the countless number of emails that had been sent to his YouTube account turned the chills on his spine into icicles.
There was one thing he was certain of.
That his video had blown up.
Of course, he had already expected a high view count when he received the video from Romany. The video this time was amazing even for Hyrkan who had played and watched Warlord for a long time. The quality of the video was high for something that took only a week to make, and more importantly, the content was different than usual.
Everything was unique. The first raid of Warlord’s new boss monster. A soloing necromancer! Everything that made up the video was new. An Jaehyun had originally expected a million views at the very least, and quite possibly more.
But the current success was beyond his prediction.
‘This blew up… but didn’t it blow up too much?’
There was a balance between good and bad in all things. If the result went beyond expectation, there would be an equally great adverse effect. An Jaehyun knew this better than anyone else, and things had worked out just like he expected.
The video he uploaded started receiving an excessive amount of attention. The view count skyrocketed, and his video was on the front page of many well-established Warlord fan sites. It was even discussed in the Top 30 Guilds’ broadcasts.
He received an unbelievable amount of free advertising. The amount of love calls he received increased equally as well. He received scouting offers from over 20 guilds from the Top 30 Guilds, and he was asked to make an appearance on their shows. He received many sponsorship offers as well, many of which came from well-known corporations and came with huge sums of money.
However, An Jaehyun couldn’t just be happy. Although he smiled watching money pile in his bank account, he frowned whenever he turned away from it.
Because it was a result outside of his expectation.
‘It’s good… but it might get a bit dangerous. No, it definitely will.’
One of his goals was to gain fame, but it was too early.
‘All the crazies are going to come for sure.’
When one became famous, he became a target. The best way to gain fame was to kill a famous player. People bothered him for no reason, and these encounters ended up online for everyone to see. Even people who came with good intentions were annoying. After all, he couldn’t just curse at them to go away.
‘Ugh, just thinking about it gives me a headache.’
What An Jaehyun wanted was to become famous once he hit level 100. Because at that level, most people he would see in his hunting grounds would be players nearing Ranker-class. Even if he were to run into them, he could handle it appropriately. If they wanted to fight, he would fight them. If they wanted to negotiate, he would do so as well. At the very least, Hyrkan would have something to gain from encounters with near Ranker-class players.
Of course, Hyrkan couldn’t do much about the current situation even if he complained.
‘It’s not that easy to blow up like this… why do I have to go through such a trouble.’
Hyrkan was now too lucky for his own good.
However, An Jaehyun didn’t know at this time, that what was in his mind currently, was nothing as compared to the hardships and suffering he would face.
‘… it really was a time of hardships and suffering.’
Thinking about the days he spent hunting in the Sura Canyon, Hyrkan sighed. He was more afraid of players than monsters, and avoided players if he could. Of course, he couldn’t avoid all of them either. At times, it ended nicely, with him just having to take a picture with them. At other times, they PKed each other until only one remained.
PKs were more common of the two. After all, Hyrkan was an easy mark. His level was definitely low for someone who was so famous, his items weren’t full Unique, and most importantly, he didn’t have a guild to back him up. To players thirsty for attention, Hyrkan was more valuable than any monster. Some even came to Sura Canyon to hunt him down.
Hyrkan went through all sorts of hardship in running away or fighting them. He even had to abandon Sura Canyon for a while, hunt elsewhere, then come back.
It was the hardest level-up period he had. It even reminded him of the times he ran away from the Stormhunter Guild in the past.
The fact that Hyrkan was reminiscing now meant his hardships were over.
‘I can finally breathe again.’
The reason he set his goal to level 69 and not level 70 was because he already had a place in mind to achieve level 70.
‘No need to be on the lookout in a dungeon.’
He was planning on achieving level 70 in the dungeon from Maoong’s map. Moreover, once he hit level 70, he had planned to leave Sura Canyon for another hunting ground.
‘Once I hit level 70…’
Thinking about the hardships and suffering once again, Hyrkan smiled.
The level 70 set items he had purchased with the money from his last video. Just thinking about them made him smile.
At the same time…
“All you fuckers trying to hunt me. You’re all dead.”
A spark of rage burned inside Hyrkan.