Deep Canyon Spring (3)
Gamers often dreamt, that in their sleep, their game characters would level up and obtain items on their own. To fulfill this dream, people created macros and other bots, but they weren’t enough to accomplish their dream.
It went without saying that Hyrkan dreamt of similar things. He drank coffee and ate glucose candy just for the sake of gaming. When he thought about waking up and doing the same thing again the next day, he really wished someone was there to do the job for him.
Now, however, a part of such dream had been fulfilled.
“One more bomb!”
In a 500 square meter space, Hyrkan threw a Bone Explosive amidst the Salamanda, Golem, and Skeleton Warriors.
With an explosive sound, the Salamanda’s body was torn into pieces. However, the torn parts of its body became little Salamandas, then slowly gathered together back into its original shape. Once it reformed its body, the Salamanda glared at Hyrkan and let out its fury with a strange roar.
A strong heat emitted out from the Salamanda’s body.
However, before the heat could reach Hyrkan, Hyrkan’s Golem blocked its path. With the Golem as shield, Hyrkan stood relaxed as he snapped his fingers twice. His Skeleton Warriors immediately made their move.
The heat was strong enough to melt their Bone Armors. However, the Skeleton Warriors didn’t know things such as fear. The Skeleton Warriors piercing through the heat, approached the Salamanda’s rear, and slashed down with their swords.
Along with the sound of air being cut, the Salamanda’s tail was cut off. The Salamanda turned around and let out another roar.
Hearing this roar, Hyrkan smiled and threw in another candy in his mouth. The rich chocolaty flavor melted in his mouth, and the smile on his face became even richer.
‘God, I love this.’
3 days had passed since he entered the dungeon, and Hyrkan spent his days the same. He explored the dungeon, killed any monsters that came out, logged out once he fulfilled his quota, rested in the real world, then logged back in. In this process, the only monsters he met were slimes and salamandas.
In a way, it was quite boring.
However, these were some of Hyrkan’s happiest days.
‘It’s just so relaxing.’
Although he killed many monsters during these 3 days, no monsters were strong enough to force Hyrkan to fight on the front lines. He simply ate candies, chewed on gums, and drank soda in the back. What was even more surprising was that even with how much he was spending, he wasn’t in the red. It was all thanks to the Salamanda’s Essence. Its expensive drop went for quite a lot in the market.
There was an even happier news.
[Skeleton Fragment skill rank rose to B.]
[Bone Armor skill rank rose to C.]
[Demon Curse skill rank rose to C.]
He successfully ranked up three of his skills.
Of course, it wasn’t just from this dungeon run. The skills had been accumulating EXP for quite some time. It was just that this dungeon run gave them the final push to cross over to the next rank.
For Hyrkan, however, they felt like more gifts from the dungeon.
‘I wish I could hunt like this forever.’
These were the happy days.
And the dungeon left him with one final gift.
Dungeons often required players to search for hidden areas, causing players to waste quite a bit of their time. In the worst case, a dungeon run may have been worse than normally hunting in the field.
As such, there were tips for finding hidden areas in dungeons. The most representative one was to use fire. If air flowed inside the dungeon, the flame would respond to the air’s movements.
Using this method, Hyrkan was able to find the hidden area right away.
‘No waste of time, I like it.’
Seeing the flame dance along the invisible air, Hyrkan couldn’t help but smile.
Things couldn’t get better than how they currently were. Hyrkan read the air’s movement right away and reached a dead-end. Then, he stabbed his Orc Hero’s Sword into the wall.
The wall made a rigid sound, and Hyrkan simply kicked down the wall as if it was the most normal thing to do. The wall crumbled and an iron door could be seen behind it. It was 3 meters high and 2 meters wide. Strange runic shapes were drawn on the door. Hyrkan carefully grabbed the door handle.
At that instant…
[Would you like to enter the stage?]
An alert popped up.
‘An instance dungeon.’
It was an alert for an instance dungeon. Without opening the door, Hyrkan took his hands off the door handle.
‘That would mean the dungeon’s boss is behind this door.’
One had to enter instance dungeons with a conviction.
‘I wonder what’s behind it.’
Currently, Hyrkan didn’t even know what type of monster was behind the door. He had used most of his consumable items as well. Although he still had a lot left, it wasn’t enough for Hyrkan to bet 48 hours of his time.
Hyrkan backed off.
‘Looks like… he’ll be the sacrifice to my level 70.’
Hyrkan then headed to the Sura Canyon Village to prepare himself.
Resting stops for players didn’t exist in all hunting grounds. As such, players often created one on their own when the game system didn’t provide one for them. Areas created in this way were called villages. When a player held enough authority to order NPCs, he or she could assign NPCs to villages and operate them in a more systematic way. However, this would not happen for some time to come.
Moreover, villages were created in flat lands where there were no trees. This was because even if one cleared the trees, they would come back during a field reset.
The Sura Canyon Village was located near the entrance of the Sura Canyon, which was more or less a wasteland. The players gathered here were mostly silent. The only times things would get rowdy were when a group of players running from monsters arrived without having lost them. In such cases, the players gathered at the village worked together to exterminate all the monsters. Other than such circumstances, players simply traded items and information, or gathered party or guild members.
Moreover, in villages, items were sold for higher or lower than the market price. It was as realistic as it came with the seller adjusting to the demand.
’25 percent higher than the market price… I think this every time I come here, but this would be my job if I didn’t have to level up.’
And as realistic as it was, foul language was often exchanged in the process.
It was the same for Hyrkan.
Checking out the price tag on the items, Hyrkan made a sour expression. On the other hand, the player selling the items made a big smile. To him, it seemed like Hyrkan would fill up his pocket for quite some time to come.
“Is there a discount if I buy in bulk?”
“Of course! It depends on how much you buy.”
“I want to buy some magic power recovery candy.”
“Then I can’t give that big of a discount. As you know, they’re quite high in demand.”
“I want to buy them in thousand-gold units, so how about a 10 percent discount?”
“Come on, I won’t be left with anything with a 10 percent discount. This is all I can do.”
With that, the merchant opened his palm, and Hyrkan’s expression turned sour. Currently, Hyrkan was more worried about wasting time negotiating than wasting money. However, even a rich person couldn’t buy something much higher than its market value.
‘Well, this is probably the best I’m going to get.’
Hyrkan knew what he was buying wasn’t ordinary consumables. They filled up a very small size, yet were very effective. It was hard to find them when they were low in supply, and he would have to go all the way to a castle to do so. And if he did, it would take a full day for the round trip.
“This and this.”
Hyrkan picked out more items to buy, and seeing the automatically calculated price, the merchant jumped in surprise.
“Wow, you’re buying a lot. I’ll cut the price a bit more.”
“Why not a lot while you’re at it?”
“Hold on. Let me calculate…”
While these two were making their trade…
“This village is doing better than I thought.”
“Chev, you sound like some king whenever you say that.”
“Do I? Sorry, I didn’t mean to.”
“No need to be sorry. It was a compliment.”
“Well, thanks for the compliment then.”
Two players in typical level 80 armor were strolling through the Sura Canyon Village.
It was the Red Bulls’ guild master, Matador Chev, and his secretary, Yel.
Although he was one of the most famous players in Warlord, no one was able to recognize him. He was wearing a helmet and Yel was also wearing a hoody. Although such looks would garner strange gazes in the real world, they were one of the most common fashions in Warlord.
As such, Chev was able to look around easily, checking out the players nearby. Realizing Chev’s actions, Yel asked a question.
“Are you looking for someone?”
“I was thinking maybe I’ll meet someone I know.”
“If there was someone famous enough for you to know, then we would have heard about it already.”
“That’s not entirely true.”
“There’s someone in your mind?”
“Hahoe Mask Hyrkan.”
Hahoe Mask Hyrkan. When his name was mentioned, Yel frowned, and replied in a chic manner.
“I don’t get why everyone thinks he’s all that. He was just lucky enough to be the first one to kill a boss monster.”
Chev corrected her.
“First, and by himself.”
Yel’s frown became even more noticeable at Chev’s reply.
“Chev, you can solo a monster like that on your own, right now.”
“But not if I was at Hahoe Mask Hyrkan’s level. Anyone can kill a monster lower level than them.”
“Hmph. Who knows, maybe he’s hiding his real level? It’s not like it’s unprecedented.”
“Well, you’re not wrong.”
At Yel’s continued retorts, Chev grinned lightly and stopped talking about Hahoe Mask Hyrkan. He didn’t see the need to argue with Yel.
However, what was on his mind was completely different.
‘Even if he did lie about his level, it can’t be that high. Moreover, his battle ability and battle sense, and his ability to appear on camera. Those have nothing to do with his level. He’s not just good at this game. He’s charmingly good.’
Hahoe Mask Hyrkan was someone all of the Top 30 Guilds were looking out for. That was how valuable he was. Someone like him was enough to have his own show on a broadcast channel. Putting aside his ability, he had something unique. That was the most important thing. He wasn’t just good at fighting, he possessed a unique charm that drew people to watch him.
When Chev first heard that Hahoe Mask Hyrkan had appeared at the Sura Canyon, he thought it was an opportunity. After all, the only place players could trade items were the Sura Canyon Village operated by the Red Bulls Guild. No matter how well he hid his tail, Chev thought it was only a matter of time before they tracked him down.
And when he was caught, Chev planned to make a deal.
‘Even if I can’t make him join Red Bulls, I’d like to at least form a partnership.’
In truth, Chev had little hopes of Hyrkan joining his guild. Considering how Hahoe Mask had been acting so far, he wasn’t the type to accept an offer to join a guild. No, most people were sure that he was already part of a guild or an organization. Otherwise, it was impossible to show the results he had so far.
Because of this, Chev wanted to form a friendship with him. He was sure that would be enough for him to benefit in some way. At the very least, it would be better than being his enemy. Most importantly, as Hahoe Mask continues to make a name for himself, the Top 30 Guilds would have no choice but to pay attention to him. It was entirely possible for them to clash with him at some point. Without previous communication, such things could happen quite easily in Warlord. At the same time, with previous communication, such things could be avoided.
Of course, Chev wasn’t here just to meet Hahoe Mask Hyrkan. His real objective was joining the level 150 boss raid that was happening secretively past the Sura Canyon.
‘He wasn’t that big. About as big as him, was it?’
Chev was simply making best use of his time.
This was when a conversation entered his ears.
“Just a bit more, eh?”
“Sorry, but this is the best I can do. If you want me to cut any more, you’ll have to go down to the Rito Castle.”
“Then I’ll give you 4,000 gold, so how about you add 10kg more of the recovery clay?”
“Recovery clays are 20 gold per kilo, think about it…”
“Think of it as a service. It’s not so easy to make 4,000 gold in a single deal, you know?”
“…fine. 4,000 gold for 10kg recovery clay and more.”
It was a negotiation one could find anywhere, but hearing the negotiated price, Chev stared at the two like a snake.
It wasn’t that he was particularly interested in their trade.
‘If it’s Hahoe Mask, he should use a lot of consumables when he hunts. If I narrow down my search by looking at people who buy in bulk…’
Chev felt like he stumbled on a clue, and he couldn’t help but smile.
Of course, Chev had no way to know. That the one who gave him the clue was the one he was looking for.
Past the Deep Canyon Spring and the winding tunnels, Hyrkan once again arrived in front of the iron door.
‘4,000 gold for what I can buy with 3,400 at the castle. That’s 600,000 won just out the window.’
Even if he was overflowing with money, he couldn’t help but laugh considering how poorly he was living in the real world. 600,000 won was enough to feed him for 3 full months, and he had just spent it to save some time. As a result, Hyrkan had a new goal in mind.
‘Once I become the best in Warlord… I’ll have yukhoe for breakfast, bulgogi for lunch, and steak for dinner.’
Meanwhile, Hyrkan’s hands moved proficiently. He stuffed recovery candy, gum, and clay in several hidden pockets of his armor.
It was so that he could take them out and consume them quickly in battle. Being able to hide consumables was a skill on its own right. If he stored all of his consumables in one pocket, he could simply lose the pocket and his life. In raid videos, there were always idiots who kept all their consumables in one pocket and died because of it.
As such, experienced players hid consumable items in multiple places of their body like a squirrel hid his acorns.
Finally, Hyrkan checked his item slots.
The Skeleton Snake set he was wearing was a level 50 set, but he had prepared another item set that greatly increased his fire resistance.
‘Good thing I got this right too.’
Since Salamandas had appeared in the dungeon, it was likely that the boss monster would be a fire attribute monster as well. Because of this, he bought the extra set at a higher price than normal.
Hyrkan then placed his hand on the door handle, and slowly pulled on it.
[Would you like to enter the stage?]
“I’m going to go hit level 70!”