The monsters in Asgard do not reproduce. Just like beings inside a computer game, they only had the desire to fight against humans, and they each re-spawned after a certain amount of time had passed after death.
The monsters in each gate had a specific range of levels, level 200 and below at the east gate, level 300 and below at the west gate, level 400 and below at the south gate, and level 500 and below at the north gate. Monsters with a specific range of levels appeared on each hunting ground, and the monsters could only be summoned in the designated areas.
Because of this, there were always people fighting over suitable hunting grounds with sufficient number of monsters.
Especially in the west gate’s Orc Colony, there were a lot of Second-Rate martial artists and mages hunting in the area, and there were instances where some people died from quarrels over hunting grounds.
On the other hand, it was hard to see any people in areas where hardly any monsters appeared.
It was obvious why.
Nobody had a use for a hunting ground where hardly any monsters appeared. It was true for those from Powel or Murim who seek enlightenment from intense battle, and it was also true for players who seek experience points from unlimited hunting.
However, an exception always exists.
Occasionally, there were those that sought after such places.
The brown haired young man collapsed to his knees after feeling exhausted from having his mana taken from him by force. He was biting his lips as if he was trying to resist screaming in pain.
“Mana Absorption, Mana Absorption, Mana Absorption.”
The young man finally screamed in pain after repeated theft of his mana.
The skill caster glanced at the unconscious man and gave an order to his subordinate.
“Clean this up. When he wakes up, tell him good job, give him a potion and send him on his way. Tell him to come back a week later.”
“Yes, I understand.”
Said the mountain of man over seven feet tall as he bowed.
“How many seconds are left?”
“Until regeneration, 11, 10, 9 seconds.”
“That’s perfect. Alright.”
The man brushed over his blood-like red hair with his left hand. He started to direct the mana, which he mass accumulated through Mana Absorption, into an energy sphere.
The sphere was already looking unstable and shaking, but now it was starting to make unsettling noise.
It appeared as if the magic was going to run out of control if this continued any further.
In this critical moment, a goat-headed monster wielding a halberd was summoned to the field.
The energy sphere was shot toward the monster just before it was about to run out of control. The Hell Goat, who was just summoned and promptly attacked, tried to respond, but it was too late.
The energy sphere made a direct impact to the monster’s upper body.
The impact made a very small noise, like a silenced gunfire sound effect from a movie, and punched a hole through the monster’s heart. The monster’s body fell apart to pieces and collapsed.
The magic’s caster, Uruo, was smiling in satisfaction.
[Loner Hell Goat]
*Unlike other Hell Goats, which roams in a group of three, this one wonders around by itself. Appears on corner of northern hunting ground.
“I will be leveling up once I hunt one more.”
“We already prepared the next one for you. Hey you, over there!”
The giant yelled in a loud voice, and the man far left of the five people gathered on the side stood up.
“Yes, I’m here.”
“Try to hold on even though it is tough. You will be free after a week.”
“Yes, I understand.”
“Once you bring in five people, we will add you to the west gate party, so keep up the hard work.”
“Yes! I will continue to serve you with loyalty!”
“Don’t go losing your strength already. We need to wait an hour.”
Uruo looked behind himself and said,
“…… Looks like I will have to level up next time.”
Following Uruo, the giant also turned his head toward the same direction.
There was a man in dark colored martial artist cloth with a curved blade on his waist walking towards this direction.
The man said,
“Hey, so did you have some fun?”
“Yes, thank you for your care. We were able to hunt safely.”
The tone of Uruo’s voice was completely different from how he was toward his subordinates. Uruo asked politely to the man so he wouldn’t get on the man’s nerves.
“But…… Sir Lee JungYup, it is not time for your arrival yet. Did something happen?”
“Ah ah, it’s nothing. It’s just that training today isn’t working out well, and I suddenly felt craving for a beer. Looks like you guys just hunted something a moment ago, so why don’t we all go together to the pub? If you don’t want to, you guys can go back by yourself.”
“Oh you son of a bitch, you came early just for that reason.’
Of course, Uruo didn’t say that out loud. Instead he smiled and said,
“Oh of course not. How could we go all the way back to Beloong city by ourselves safely? It’s all thanks to you, Sir Lee JungYup.”
“That’s right. So today, let’s go back a little sooner.”
“Yes, thank you for always protecting us along the way.”
Uruo bowed. Lee JungYup whistled and took out his curved blade.
“All right then, let’s get going! Everyone, follow me~!”
The Uruo’s group followed behind Lee JungYup like baby ducks following the mother duck. The giant approached Uruo whom looked uncomfortable.
“This is disappointing, Sir.”
Uruo pointed to Lee JungYup with his glance. Realizing his mistake, the giant used a skill.
Lee JungYup laughed a little in response but didn’t care. Uruo and the giant carried on their private conversation.
- Sir, isn’t this too much? The promised schedule is three hours from now……
- Shut the hell up you rascal.
- Still…… it is not like we asked him for free. We are paying him.
- The payment means nothing to him. He is just doing this for fun, so don’t get on his nerve and make him change his mind, do you understand?
- …… Yes, I understand.
The leader of Players Alliance, Uruo.
The second in command, Berkman.
The two were the ones with highest levels among all players, each possessing level 327 and 289.
They were indeed high levels, but they were still not enough to hunt in north gate area where monsters with minimum level of 401 roamed.
If it wasn’t for Lee JungYup’s projection, they would not have made it all the way to the corner of the north gate area alive.
It was because of Lee JungYup that they were able to get to their destination safely, and they were hunting high-level monsters by having the skill ready prior to encountering the monster.
The overall process was absolutely impossible without Lee JungYup’s help. This was one of reasons why Uruo was being polite to him.
‘Besides, it is not like there is anything we can do about him……’
[Zenith Swordsman Lee JungYup]
In past three years, Lee JungYup was the practitioner with the fastest growth rate. From being a First-Rate, he reached the peak level of Zenith in a single breath. He was that powerful.
If Uruo picked a fight with Lee JungYup out of pride, that would have most likely only resulted in destruction of the Players Alliance.
- But Sir, I heard a strange rumor circling amongst players.
- They say there is a player who gained 60 levels in just one week.
- …… Continue.
- I heard he makes rounds on the Goblin dungeon at an incredible pace, and he is not even in a party. Instead he hunts by himself. It appears he knows something we do not. Perhaps he possesses a hidden skill.”
- A hidden skill……
A hidden skill.
Technically, there was no such thing in SYSTEM, but players referred special skills with incredible efficiency and destructive power as such. Uruo’s specialty, ‘Sphere of Massive Concentration,” counted amongst those called hidden skills.
Uruo licked the top of inside of his mouth. The news was quite interesting to him.
- So this guy, what’s his current level?
- I heard he is at about 180 now.
- Get some of the grunts to bring him to me. I will get the information out of him myself.
- Yes, I understand.
Uruo put on a creepy smile and looked at his skill list.
‘A hidden skill is a waste for lazy pigs.’
Uruo smiled thinking this will be delicious.
* * *
“Oh, finally, you are level 190!”
“Congratulations. I have never seen anyone like you who can level up so fast!”
“Haha, thank you.”
Vulcan, who was a mess with goblin blood, said with a smile.
Anderson washed Vulcan’s equipments with water magic and asked,
“So, you are going to skip the west gate and go straight to the south gate?”
“Yes, I think there will be too much fighting over hunting grounds in 200 level area…… Also, I checked out a little and think I can handle hunting in the south gate area.”
“Of course, after all, you were able to handle the Goblin dungeon by yourself when you were still below level 120……”
Anderson paused as he realized the stark difference between himself and Vulcan.
Vulcan was watching Anderson who was taking a moment to think, and then Vulcan opened his inventory to pour out items.
“These are my final gifts. Please use them well.”
“Oh no, so many of high level items……”
“I won’t be needing them after all.”
The seven middle-aged men were touched by Vulcan’s generosity.
Anderson abruptly reached out and shook Vulcan’s hand.
“Thank you, really, thank you so much.”
“……I’m giving you these in return for information, so you don’t need to thank me so much.”
Vulcan was getting embarrassed, so he awkwardly accepted Anderson’s gratitude.
When Vulcan was just about to turn and head back to Baloong city, Anderson said,
“You must remember what I told you.”
“You mean the Players Alliance? I don’t think I will be running into them.”
Vulcan responded nonchalantly.
Anderson beat on his chest as if he was hurting from a fire in his chest. Anderson continued,
“I know you are incredible. I also know you won’t have problem leveling up unlike us. However, those guys are real bastards, rotten to the core. When they hear about your ridiculous level up speed, they will try to approach you in any way they can. The leaders in that group……”
Anderson sighed big and continued,
“They are bastards who exploit low level players like blood-sucking vampires.”
“I don’t think I will need to be afraid of them even if I ran in to them……”
If Vulcan recalled correctly, the leader of the Players Alliance was a little over level 300. With that kind of level, they were not a threat to Vulcan.
This was a conclusion made after observing other players.
The Anderson bunch were just like video game characters. Their movements were rigid and lacking in flexibility. Their individual skills were fast and strong, but that was about it.
They were moving like characters controlled by a keyboard and mouse, repeating unnatural evasion and attack movements. Vulcan could tell numerous gaps in their defense.
‘No matter how the fight goes down, there is no reason I would lose.’
Vulcan expressed gratitude for Anderson’s concerns.
“Anyway, thanks for the advice. Also, please train for masteries too. Don’t just focus on getting experience points. If it is too hard, please go back to Mr. Filder and train. You should clear Act 1 and go back to your home-world.”
“Ugh, when it comes to that pub owner, no thanks. I still can’t look at him when I go there for a drink.”
“If you keep on only looking for easy ways, it will be hard getting to level 300.”
“Hahahaha! It’s all right! I only need to go over level 200. Once you get there, you can live in Beloong city without being treated like dirt!”
“…… Act 1, are you never going to beat it for the rest of your life?”
“Well, even if I go back now, my family is long dead…… The plan is to go back when I get sick of the life here. Hahaha.”
Watching Anderson laugh made Vulcan also laugh in disappointment.
‘Perhaps it is better for them to just give up now. It will ease their minds.’
Vulcan thought about how he would be doing if his talents were ordinary just like these people, but then he shook it off. It was a useless thought. Vulcan had no intent to just give up like them.
That was the most important thing.
Vulcan said his goodbye to Anderson and walked toward Beloong city.
* * *
Vulcan was leisurely walking back, but he saw three people approaching.
‘Looks like they are going to the Goblin dungeon.’
They were 170 to 180 levels, so it looked like they were going to make rounds in the dungeon as a group.
Vulcan was just about to mind his own business and walk past them, but the three blocked his way.
Their faces were all blank as if they were wearing face masks.
Vulcan figured out that the men must be from the Players Alliance.
“…… Are you from the alliance?”
“Sun God’s Hand.”
“Five Elements Chi Technique.”
The strangers each initiated skills without replying to Vulcan’s question. Energies surrounded the men as they each activated their special techniques.
Vulcan laughed in a low voice.
Vulcan had been getting along with everyone in town, Filder, Berenere, Logweed and even the Anderson bunch. It had been ages since Vulcan tasted another human being’s adversarial intent.
‘Looks like I forgot where I am.’
Vulcan was leading a rather peaceful life in Asgard in comparison to how things were in Rubel continent, and that made him forget that this is Asgard, the land of Gods.
It was a dimension full of danger with beings possessing god-like powers gathered into one place.
“Thunder God’s Might.”
Vulcan smiled violently as he felt the power of lightning filling up inside his body.
Vulcan could see the three men looking caught off guard as they faced unexpected power displayed by Vulcan.
“Looks like you were underestimating me because of my 190 level.”
Vulcan watched as the three stepped back in panic. Vulcan said in a violent voice as if he was chewing and spitting out the words,
“I will show you that level isn’t everything.”