The old man, who was vacantly staring at the screen for a moment, opened his mouth.
“What the? How?”
He was sure that this man was a fish in a barrel.
As if he didn’t anticipate the Chimera’s attack at all, the man exposed his legs so easily.
However, the end result was something completely unexpected.
The man got up without a scratch and faced the Chimera. It was ridiculous.
“How could this be… He must have used all of his strength in his last battle. So how? Did he have a protective spell cast?”
It didn’t appear to be the case.
The man in the screen looked too surprised for that to be the case.
The old man cringed.
‘For now, let’s attack him again.’
The old man gave the order to the Chimera again through telepathy. The Chimera violently charged at the young man again.
Again, the situation was flowing as the old man expected.
The man was desperately using his blade and magic to parry the Chimera’s attacks. However, gradually, as if he was getting exhausted, the man’s defense became slower.
The situation was flowing smoothly toward the Chimera’s victory.
In an instant, the Chimera’s four arms were striking down toward the man, and he was not able to block one of the arms. Watching this, the old man cheered.
“That’s right! It’s over…!”
Again, the Chimera’s arm was bounced off.
The old man got up from the seat like a spring. He roared in frustration.
“Kuuuaaaak! Just what’s the problem! Fuck! It’s not like he is a newbie! Did this guy get protective spells from twenty different Demi-gods?”
It was a ridiculous idea to even think about. However, the situation at hand was unthinkable. It was beyond common sense.
It was making the old man’s inside boil.
He was breathing in anger. It looked as if steam could come out of his nose and ears.
From doing all sorts of strange experiments, the old man’s personality was in shambles. His personality was far more violent and rough than that of ordinary people.
The old man thought it was a done deal, but the runt survived unscathed for no apparent reason. Watching it was making the old man’s blood flow the wrong way. He was about to throw things out of anger, but he realized it was an expensive magic equipment, so he didn’t. Instead, he tossed himself to the sofa near the wall.
‘There has to be a reason. That man must have done something, or there is something wrong with the Chimera that I made.’
Forcing himself to suppress the anger that was rising up, the old man adjusted the picture on the screen. The location was very far away, so doing so cost him quite a bit of mana. However, even if it was to observe the scene a little more in detail, this was necessary.
Soon, the old man was able to determine the reason why the young man was completely fine.
There was a rainbow colored dot on his forehead.
It was a protective blessing from the Rumitus, one of the managers of Act 2.
The old man fell to silence again.
‘This is… Fuck. It really was a protective blessing for a newbie?’
Everything was a wasted effort for the old man. He was actually getting embarrassed for being so angry.
The old man raised his right hand and covered his forehead.
However, there was one thing that he couldn’t understand.
‘If that guy is a newbie, and it has not even been 10 years since he arrived at Act 2, then what about that Commander Tree? How come it died in fire? Let alone a Commander Tree, even a regular War Tree would have won against a newbie.’
Big, the Commander Tree, was the forest area’s boss monster. It was a pretty tough one. The old man was not absolutely sure if his Chimera, which he carefully built, could win against Big.
‘A newbie mage swordsman that just came to Act 2 killed Big in one-on-one battle?’
This was ludicrous.
All of the old man’s thoughts were coming to a dead-end instead of a plausible explanation. Frustrated, the old man ground his teeth.
‘However, it is not completely impossible.’
A Demi-god with thick blood of the god flowing within could show that much power from the start. Also, if that man was a Demi-god with great potential, it meant that the old man would be better off if he just disposed the Chimera to prevent the man from finding his way to him.
‘All Demi-gods are well connected by powerful beings… Oh no. While I was thinking about this, they were still fighting!’
The old man realized the young man was now completely neglecting defense and pouring attacks at the Chimera. The old man quickly retreated the Chimera.
Having Chimera attack a newbie was considered attacking a resident, so it was defended against by the protective blessing. However, the Chimera was not protected by the blessing, so it was getting beat up on a one-sided fight.
The old man had no choice but to make the Chimera retreat.
‘Fuck. This is infuriating.’
The Chimera was on the run for a while.
Fortunately, there was no sign of pursuit.
Sighing in relief, the old man hid the Chimera in a shadowy place. The old man thought about what just happened.
‘Is he a Demi-god? Is he a human with ridiculous talent?’
The answer was not coming to him easily.
The common sense said the man must be a Demi-god. However, the man’s getup was completely different from Demi-gods.
He had all sorts of equipment attached all over.
He was completely different from Demi-gods who went around almost naked.
‘Was there anything unique about the man? Perhaps I could figure this out from that. Looking at the combat stance is too ordinary… Um?’
The old man suddenly clapped.
The look on his face seemed like he just realized something.
He said it in a loud voice, enough to make the entire basement echo with the sound.
He was certain. None of this made sense if the young man was not a Player.
The Big’s corpse disappeared all of sudden after the battle. Also, the man picked up something that was produced afterwards.
These were the characteristics unique to the Players in Act 1 that he saw a long time ago.
Disappointed, the old man said,
“Ah… This is too bad. A Player would make the best material…”
He had long forgotten questions such as how he could have gotten so strong when he was just a newbie.
To the old man, the more important factor that was coming to his mind was the fact that the prey that he just lost was a ‘Player’ an extremely rare and the best material.
‘It certainly is. It is rarer than Demi-gods, and it is more special than them…’
Players had bodies that grew stronger just from hunting monsters.
They didn’t need to gather materials and build equipment. They obtained equipment and items from hunting as well. The Players had mysterious abilities.
The old man thought there couldn’t be any other research subject that would be more interesting than Players.
Also, unlike dealing with Demi-gods, he didn’t have to worry about the aftermath.
If he was a newbie and a Player, it was highly unlikely that he was well connected or had factions.
The old man’s brain was spinning fast.
‘I need to catch him no matter what it takes. He is the best material that’s extremely hard to come by… There is no worry for the aftermath too… He seems pretty strong, but having just ten Chimeras would be enough to catch him alive. The problem is the protective blessing. I don’t know how long it will last.’
The old man had been staying in the laboratory all this time and focused on research like there was no tomorrow. This was something that he had no way of knowing.
The old man cringed.
‘Looks like I’ll have to ask the oracle. It will cost me some money, but… it cannot be helped.’
Money was not important right now.
If he obtained successful result from studying a Player who was strong enough to come to Act 2, he could expect reaching a new height that was never possible from having a human’s body.
‘Before bastards from other research organization snatches him up… I’m going to catch him. Kuhuhu… After that failure at Act 1, I thought I’ll never get to have another chance, but I’m getting a blessing from the heavens.’
The old man thought about having the Player’s body neatly lying on the laboratory.
Just thinking about it was making the old man excited.
* * *
Vulcan was breathing hard.
He wanted to chase after the unidentified beast that was running away to the distance. However, he didn’t have the strength left.
He was just thankful that he was able to survive the danger that snuck up on him.
When Chimera completely disappeared from Vulcan’s sight, he plummeted on the ground.
‘I didn’t even have a chance to do the Enlightened Being Summon…’
Vulcan didn’t know why it ran off, but regardless, he survived.
Vulcan constantly grabbed a hold of himself from relaxing. In high alert, he looked around the surrounding.
Afterwards, he injected mana into Kina Kina so he could summon at any time.
In order to use the return scroll, he had to be in the non-combat condition.
Because he was just in a battle, Vulcan needed time.
In the meantime, another monster could attack him.
‘Even one War Tree could be dangerous.’
Vulcan spent the time anxiously like that.
Finally, the combat condition was dismissed. Vulcan tore the return scroll that he had on his hand beforehand and moved to the last location.
Along with the light, Vulcan was teleported to Espo City, but he panicked a little.
Vulcan thought he would be returned to the airship port. However, what he saw was countless people in the main plaza.
‘Does the description ‘last location’ mean just the city? This means that I’ll be returning to the city no matter where I was.’
Vulcan was thinking this was actually better.
Espo City was directly protected by Act 2 Managers.
There was no danger for Vulcan even if he decided to just lie down and sleep right this instant.
Vulcan looked around.
Vulcan was covered in injuries, so it would not have been strange for people to stare at him. However, nobody in the main plaza was looking at him.
It was because it was a very common sight to see here.
Vulcan also liked this lack of interest.
‘In Beloong city, this always garnered attention. Looks like there is one thing good about being a newbie again.’
Vulcan found a suitable bench, lied down on it, and closed his eyes.
He had a lot to think about, but recovery came first.
Vulcan pushed aside all of this questions and slowly fell asleep.
* * *
“Why are you asking about that here?”
“It’s because I don’t know anyone in particular.”
Vulcan answered with an uninterested face.
Kiba, looking at Vulcan’s face, shook his head.
“It have never seen a human like you. You insisted on riding on the airship to go to the west islands. Now, you are asking for information. Why not just go to a pub?”
“Haha. I think there is a limit to the information I could get from pubs, so…”
Vulcan was a sleep without a care.
The first thing he did after recovery was going to the pub.
It was to gather information about the unidentified beast that attacked him.
However, Vulcan didn’t learn anything from going to the pub.
Most of the stories there were about famous Demi-god, Dragonian or gods.
‘Even those were hard to hear properly.’
It could not be helped because Vulcan didn’t know anyone.
In the end, Vulcan gave up on getting information from the pub. While wondering around aimlessly, he ran into a familiar building. That got Vulcan to think about Kiba, someone he knew a little. This was the reason why he was asking Kiba for information.
Not sure about what to do, Kiba looked at Vulcan.
Vulcan faced Kiba with an awkward look as he thought about the Chimera that attacked him.
‘Is it really a monster? I never heard about a monster like that. Even The Six didn’t tell me about such… Also, I heard that there isn’t any other monsters besides War Trees and the Commander Tree in the forest area…’
There was one other thing that Vulcan was even more curious about.
‘How come it couldn’t harm me?’
This was the thing that Vulcan was most curious about.
‘Could it be… Someone’s summoned beast was targeting me?’
If that was the case, it made sense why he was all right.
Residents of the Act 2 could not harm a newbie.
However, Vulcan could not make sense of it no matter how hard he tried.
So far, after coming to the Act 2, Vulcan only did the following. He rode on the airship, met the Blue Dragon and went to the forest area to go on a hunting spree.
He had no reason to be attacked by anyone.
Having thought this far, he decided to quit making conjectures.
In the end, what he needed was information.
Vulcan thought that he will be able to prepare for the danger if he had the information.
Vulcan asked Kiba again.
“Actually, I was going to go ask someone named Karil the fortune teller to get some information, but I couldn’t find him for some reason.”
He was the information merchant from 700 years ago that Haywood told Vulcan about.
However, perhaps something had happened to the man. Vulcan searched the entire city, but he could not find Karil.
Having heard what Vulcan said, Kiba said right away,
“Of course. That man died over a hundred years ago.”
“Why did he die?”
“He said he was sick of living. I’ve heard he lived for over 10,000 years.”
Vulcan was not sure why, but he could accept that as the reason. He asked back,
“In that case, is there anyone else in Espo City that deals information?”
“There is one… called ‘Oracle.’ It’s a new guild established about 300 years ago, but that place is a little…”
Kiba was blurring the end of the sentence. Kiba looked at Vulcan’s appearance.
“You don’t have any money, do you? To get information from them, you will need a lot of money.”
Kiba was patronizing Vulcan as a newbie.
Vulcan said after thinking carefully.
“I don’t have money, but I do have equipment that will be worth a lot of money…”