Vulcan thought about countless people that he had met in Act 1 and their levels.
Certainly, levels were not definite indicators of their strength.
For Zenith-Rate warriors who had same 400 levels, some were stronger than he thought, and some were weaker than he thought.
This was a conclusion that Vulcan arrived to after having observed many cases.
Also, there was one other conclusion that he arrived to.
‘There never was anyone with the similar level as me who was stronger than me!’
It was not a matter of arrogance. It was something Vulcan was certain of after having spent five years in Act 1. Even when facing an opponent who was at the level that truly matched Vulcan’s actual abilities, he was still certain of a tie or better outcomes.
This was the reason why he was thinking about fighting Lee Jung-yup when Vulcan was only at level 190.
Vulcan believed that he was actually around level 700 in practical strength. Meanwhile, Elcane’s level was 699.
Based on his past experience, Vulcan thought that Elcane shouldn’t be stronger.
That’s how it should be, however,
‘He can detect presence of monsters… that I didn’t notice.’
Vulcan was shocked.
Of course, it wasn’t like Vulcan was really at level 700 in all aspects.
His stats were lacking by 200 levels.
Also, dark elves could have highly developed senses. Vulcan thought perhaps he shouldn’t be surprised.
‘Still… I never felt like this before.’
It felt like Elcane would be stronger than Vulcan even if Vulcan was really at level 700. Of course, he figured that the difference would be small, but the thought was still shocking.
To calm his mind, which was in chaos, Vulcan closed his eyes.
A bit of time passed, and Vulcan came to an unpleasant conclusion.
‘Just like differences between Murim warriors and Players, is there a difference between humans and other beings?’
Players relied only on skills, and ordinary warriors overwhelmed Players with their talent.
However, these other beings, with their superior innate abilities, saw these human warriors as beneath their feet.
‘As if difference in talent is not enough, now it is difference in species.’
Vulcan lightly bit his lower lips.
- Haha. Don’t be so hard on yourself because you didn’t notice the monsters. It has not been long since you got here. If that was possible, even dogs or cows would have become gods.
- Also, elves are born with superior senses, so don’t compare yourself on that kind of things.
Having said this far, Phantaero stretched and moved to a different place.
He was being considerate to Vulcan because he thought Vulcan might be feeling inferior.
Vulcan also knew what Phantaero was trying to do, so he appreciated it.
However, Vulcan also had negative feeling about it.
Now, the fact was, Phantaero was kind to Vulcan because he believed Vulcan was the weaker one.
Vulcan was not treated as a talented rookie. Instead, he was treated as just another human being.
Although it was just a little bit, it was frustrating.
‘Of course… I have no intention of letting it be like this forever.’
Vulcan thought about the early days when arrived at the Beloong City.
Filder and Beruneru made Vulcan do grunt works while they taught his big brother Dokgo Hoo enlightenment.
In comparison to how things were back then, this was a better treatment.
‘In the end, I just need to prove myself to them.’
Vulcan got himself fired up for his rivalry against unknown number of warriors in Act 2.
Although it was for a brief moment, his emotion was strong enough to forget about the destruction of Earth or the wish.
* * *
Elcane had his eyes closed while leaning against the airship’s ledge.
He suddenly opened his eyes wide, looked up the sky, and diligently pulled the bow.
Phantaero, who was cleaning his sword, seemed like he also felt something. He cringed and also looked at the direction that Elcane was staring toward.
Vulcan also put on a serious face. He asked,
“Seems like something is coming.”
“That’s right. I can’t tell very well yet, but… Looks like he can see roughly how many are coming. The look on his face is not looking very good.”
It was as Phantaero said.
However, it wasn’t that Elcane had a serious face. He looked rather annoyed instead, so Vulcan was not concerned at all.
“Are there a lot of monsters attacking airships usually?”
“No. We use the airship because it is safer than sailing through the sea. I heard that, with a rotten luck, it can run into a swarm of monsters. It looks like we have a rotten luck this time.”
Having said this much, Phantaero smiled toward Vulcan.
“Still, you don’t have to worry. It is annoying, but it is not dangerous.”
“I wasn’t worrying either.”
“I see. Still… You should be prepared thoroughly. These monsters are different from Act 1.”
Worried, Phantaero said to Vulcan.
Vulcan told him he understood.
It was understandable that they were not going to count on Vulcan, who just came to Act 2. Vulcan understood this.
‘Still, if there is going to be a chance, I should do my part.’
Vulcan had no intention of leaving everything to just Elcane and Phantaero.
Instead of watching the battle like a scared little child, Vulcan figured that he would be better off just dozing off like the demi-god over there if he was going to just watch.
While Vulcan was thinking about that, Elcane was shooting arrows at an incredible pace.
His movements were rougher than before, but his shots were still almost silent.
It was as like watching a video with the sound muted. It was creeping out Vulcan a little.
‘It would be hell to meet him as the opponent at night.’
Still, it was too much to leave everything for Elcane to handle.
It seemed Elcane was like a sniper with one shot, one kill type of attacks. He didn’t appear to have a useful area effective attack.
Before long, the monsters got closer to the airship.
Elcane said as he looked at Phantaero,
“I reduced their numbers quite a bit, so you take care of ones coming inside.”
With a stern look on his face, Phantaero raised his sword.
Vulcan also took out his blade. However, Elcane didn’t even glance at Vulcan. He just went back to shooting arrows.
Vulcan finished getting ready for battle and checked the monsters.
[Harpy Queen Happy Harpy]
[Legendary Griffon Calioru]
[Legendary Giant Wyvern Arudo]
[Cursed Elder Gargoyle Kuruchief]
Each and every one of them were powerful monsters, rivaling Ho-gyeong or Bellon.
Vulcan could understand why Elcane was annoyed and Phantaero was concerned for Vulcan’s safety.
There were almost hundreds of monsters that appeared to be as strong as a newbie that just came to Act 2. An ordinary newbie would have been shriveling from the frightening sight.
‘A hundred Ho-gyeong, huh. No. Still, they are not as much work as him.’
Vulcan judged that he could handle them on his own.
It was going to be difficult because he was on an airship. He couldn’t use hit and retreat tactic. Use of Superheated Inferno was going to be limited as well. It was going to be a difficult fight.
However, there was a big difference between his power and monsters. Also, Vulcan was confident about mass slaughtering monsters, so he was not worried.
Vulcan activated the Thunder god’s might.
Vulcan’s entire body was surrounded by golden sparks. Vulcan was about to have several hundreds of lightning magic ready, but Phantaero stopped Vulcan.
“Hey. If you want to survive in Act 2 for a long time, learn to be patient.”
Looking at Phantaero’s red cape waving in the wind, Vulcan put up a quizzical face.
Phantaero was being considerate, so that was not a bad thing. However, the fact that he looked down on Vulcan was making Vulcan definitely feel patronized.
However, only Vulcan knew his true strength. Phantaero, who had no idea about how strong Vulcan really was, couldn’t let Vulcan step in to the battle. To Phantaero, Vulcan was just a newbie that just got to Act 2. Letting him join the battle was like letting Vulcan throw his life away.
‘Well, do whatever you want.’
Vulcan lost interest because of Phantaero’s constant worries for Vulcan’s safety. Vulcan took a stance that showed he was not going to care at all about the battle.
Vulcan was a little disappointed about not being able to get the experience points, but he figured that he will be getting it fast as soon as he found the hunting ground he wanted.
‘Now that it came to this, I might as well watch what a 750 level brave hero can do.’
Vulcan walked away from the platform as he thought this.
Before long, monsters swarmed around the airship.
Overwhelmed by the aura exuded by the warriors inside the airship, the monsters were not able to make a move, but it seemed like they were going to strike at the first chance they get.
Elcane already had put away his bow and was wielding an arming sword from his waist.
He asked Elcane,
“You are not planning on letting them enter inside of the ship, are you?”
“Of course, I won’t let that happen. They are not quite inside the range yet… Sit tight and wait for a bit longer.”
Phantaero was wielding a two-handed sword with a red jewel.
It seemed he was detecting the monsters by their energies. He had his eyes closed.
Phantaero remained quiet despite violent sounds of monsters roaring and their wings tearing through the air.
Phantaero suddenly opened his eyes.
Explosive muscular strength and tidal wave-like energy…
His sword was swung in a large circular motion. Without mercy, the energy exploding out from the sword exploded all monsters surrounding the airship.
BOOM BOOM BABOOM BOOM BOOM
It was incredible. It was like several thousand missiles were launched in all directions.
Powerful monsters with minimum level of 500 were all exterminated. Not even given chance to scream in pain, they became bloody rain and poured down.
It was an unbelievable scene, the kind that was difficult to find even in legends.
However, there was another thing that Vulcan was surprised by.
It was a move that could be called a special move.
It definitely looked like a move that would strain one’s body. However, Phantaero was standing tall and mighty like it didn’t strain him at all.
Also, there was a mysterious orange aura that seemed to be making it all possible.
It felt warm like the gentle gaze of parents looking at their new-born child. It felt full of warmth and hope, and the aura was exuding from Phantaero’s entire body.
It was as if several million people’s love, blessing, and hope were contained within the flame, and the energy was gently holding him.
With a blank stare, Vulcan asked Phantaero,
“Right now… This energy is…”
“Ah, this? It is the source of power that allows me to withstand this god forsaken world.”
Feeling awkward, he brushed across under his nose with his finger and said,
“It is energy for me, who is lacking in power. The energy contains the hopes and desires of the people in Hegatus, the lower dimension, who are praying.”
Having finished explaining, Phantaero slowly avoided Vulcan’s gaze.
The look on his face seemed like he was sorry about something.
Vulcan didn’t know what it was. He was just amazed by Phantaero’s ability to recover so quickly.
“Hopes and desires of the people in the lower dimension… It is incredible. You are not getting tired because you are able to borrow a little bit of strength from each of those people?”
“Um? Well… It’s something like that.”
Phantaero scratched the back of his head and responded awkwardly.
Actually, the aura that Phantaero just showed was something that all brave heroes who protect a dimension possessed. It was like a basic attribute of a brave hero.
However, because Vulcan was not a brave hero, Vulcan didn’t possess this power despite being burdened with even heavier mission than brave heroes. Phantaero was sorry about this fact.
So, to change the subject, he thought about a joke that wasn’t becoming of the situation.
However, he didn’t get the chance to tell it.
Elcane said to Phantaero in a stern voice,
“We have a rotten luck. Another wave is coming.”
“Um… This time… there are more.”
Phantaero crumpled his face.
The possibility of running into the monsters they just ran into was low as it was. Now, there was another wave that was even larger in numbers.
“It seems like someone with almost god-like strength must be hunting a giant monster in the ocean.”
“That’s a possibility. It seems like these monsters are running into us because they are trying to avoid that battle.”
Before anyone noticed, Elcane already had put away his sword and was launching arrows. He said,
“I’ll reduced it to about half, so you handle about 150 of them.”
Phantaero answered promptly.
He took a stance to be ready for the monsters that were approaching, but someone tapped his shoulder.
“Vulcan? What is it… Um.”
Phantaero narrowed his eyes.
It was quite impressive. The pressure exuded by Vulcan was something even Phantaero, someone who have experienced all sorts of things in Act 2, could not deny.
Behind Vulcan, who had sparks violently surrounding him, there were all sorts of lightning magic spells readied for launch.
“I have been in your debt until now. I’ll clean up this wave.”
Vulcan’s words had a bit of excitement mixed in. Having heard his words, Phantaero vacantly looked at Vulcan’s face.
Vulcan was a newbie who had not been in Act 2 for more than a month.
From common sense stand point, Phantaero was supposed to stop Vulcan even if it meant giving him a beating. However, Phantero didn’t stop Vulcan.
Actually, he did not think Vulcan would be in danger. The thought did not occur to him at all.
‘It is not like he is stronger than me, but… How could he possess such strength!’
It felt like looking at a high class veteran magic specialist who had grunted away for over a hundred years in Act 2 just like Phantaero had for over a hundred years.
That was Phantaero’s assessment of Vulcan who used his lightning magic to the fullest