Vulcan asked the man that just handed him the paper,
“Is he running a merchant business in Espo City?”
“That’s right? If you are interested, would you like to come and check out the place? Endurance and mana potions, antidote potion, holy water and even mysterious rocks that helps your luck… We have many useful items.”
The man was actively advertising the store. Looking at the man, Vulcan’s face turned to a strange look.
The man looked rather humbled considering that he must have been an ultra-elite in Act 1.
‘Maybe not. Maybe he is training under a pretty good master while throwing away a bit of his pride. Perhaps it is not bad. Now that I think about it, those that throw away their pride and seek teachings got stronger much faster.’
Vulcan thought about a certain middle-aged man from Murim that he met when he was just a newbie. The man used to be full of pride and said ‘I was the best in the lower dimension!’ His level was 152 back then.
Having thought this far, Vulcan’s opinion on the man in front of him, who was actively advertising the shop, changed a little. Vulcan now thought he was rather impressive.
“All right. Let’s go check it out first.”
“Yes, please follow me.”
While following the man, Vulcan thought about Fowaru.
According to Jake, Fowaru was very nit-picky and cold when it came to dealings, but he was most certainly a good man when it came to other things.
Jake was one of the people that Vulcan trusted the most in Act 1.
Although Vulcan had not even met Fowaru yet, Vulcan could not help but to have a good opinion about Fowaru.
Before he realized, they were already in front of a two-floor building made of wood.
The man courteously followed Vulcan around and explained items in the store.
As he proudly explained earlier, there were many useful items here.
Vulcan used the SYSTEM to check the potions here. Although they were not as good as the one made by Filder, the potions were fairly effective. Vulcan was even thinking that he should come here and purchase them when he runs out of the potions made by Filder.
However, Vulcan came here for a different reason today.
The man was about to explain to Vulcan about a special medicine, but Vulcan tossed a question at him.
“Yes, please go ahead.”
“Actually, I came here because I know who the owner of this shop is. I looked around the entire store on both floors, but I don’t see him anywhere.”
“Ah, do you know my master, Fowaru? But you are a newbie… Ah! You are from Beloong City.”
The man said as if he understood it. Vulcan nodded.
“Yes. I have heard about him from Act 1… So, I would like to meet him. That’s why I came here. Can I please see him?”
“Um… I’m sorry. He is in middle of doing something very important, so it would be hard.”
“Ah… Will it take a long time?”
“About two months…”
Vulcan was very disappointed to hear that.
Vulcan was curious about Fowaru, who is supposed to be Jake’s master. Also, this was going to delay Vulcan’s chance to establish a good relation with Fowaru.
‘It would be extremely helpful if I could get a support from a merchant like I had Jake’s support in Act 1.’
However, Vulcan couldn’t just wait here for two months.
It wasn’t like the equipment that Vulcan currently equipped were seriously lacking in quality. Also, Vulcan still had plenty of potions.
Moreover, Vulcan couldn’t stand the idea of letting his time go to waste when he still had the protective blessing.
“That’s too bad. I’ll definitely come by next time. Can you please tell him that someone who’s a friend of Jake came by?”
“Of course. I’ll definitely tell him. Also, about what I told you earlier… If you get good equipment, please come to the shop before going to the auction… Master Fowaru will give you a price that won’t disappoint you.”
Vulcan nodded and left Fowaru’s general store.
He then headed to the ‘Oracle.’
‘No matter how expensive information is, I probably won’t have to worry about not having enough money, right? Actually, should I worry about if they have information on Chimera or not?’
Vulcan thought about information guild that he saw in Rubel Continent.
Most of information dealers were low-life thugs who were like thieves or pick-pockets. Those organizations were all low quality groups.
That wasn’t all. There were a lot of ones that were not even trustworthy or skilled in information gathering. Vulcan already had a bad impression about so called ‘information organization.’
‘If they don’t give me something that’s worth the money, then revenge… is not an option at the moment with my strength. Anyway, I hope they have useful information.’
Vulcan, with eyes full of suspicion, checked out the Oracle’s building and then entered.
* * *
‘I think I should come here often.’
Vulcan left the building with a satisfied look on his face.
Vulcan had a paper that was neatly folded in his hand. The paper contained the information about the Chimera.
‘They gave me the information in just 10 minutes after I asked. How could they be so quick?’
As if the whole process was laughing at Vulcan’s concerns until now, Oracle’s employee gave Vulcan the information as soon as Vulcan asked, and then the man received the money for it. Vulcan was at a loss for words.
It felt like searching information in a computer would have taken longer than this.
It was actually creeping out Vulcan a little.
‘Well, it cost a lot of money though…’
Still, Vulcan could handle the cost.
Also, he was confident about making it rain money using the SYSTEM’s power anytime, so he was not concerned about the expenses.
Going past loud market area, Vulcan got to a quiet place and read the information about the Chimera.
He read it already before, but he went over it again.
‘They started to appear since about 200 years ago. Nobody knows who created them. The exact number of them is not known, but… their number are estimated to be around 100 or more. There has not been any confirmed sighting of them being in group of more than five. They mostly hunt and kidnap rare beings. It is speculated that this is in attempt to further advance the Chimeras. Also… the Chimeras are spread all over, so it is difficult to get away from their sight. If you are not confident about fighting it, hide in the city…’
Vulcan closed his eyes.
Like that, Vulcan tilted his head toward the sky, and took a deep, thick sigh.
‘I had been living so quietly, yet I always get tangled up with these X-like bastards.’
There was one thing that Vulcan thought of as the most important thing when he was making the guidebook for Act 2.
That was ‘not causing bad blood.’
Vulcan was confident about his abilities and potential, so he never thought he would lose his life in an intense battle against monsters.
One thing that he did worry was getting tangled up with someone or some organization before he even realized and suffering losses from it.
As long as he avoided such, he felt like he could achieve level 1000 and clear Act 2 in 50 years. Vulcan was confident about it.
Thinking about how it went in Act 1, Vulcan’s life was never in danger when he was hunting in Act 1.
If he didn’t get bad blood with Bellon or Ho-gyoung, Vulcan would have been able to clear Act 1 more safely.
‘That’s why… I was going to be really quiet in Act 2… and live while just doing level up…!’
It still went all wrong.
It has not even been 1 year since he came to Act 2, but he already became some piece of turd’s target for hunting.
Vulcan raised his hands, wrapped them around his head, and thought about it.
‘Just what did I ever do to deserve such bad luck?
There isn’t anything. I didn’t do anything wrong.’
It was the case.
No matter how hard he thought about, there wasn’t anything that he did wrong.
It was unfair. That was making Vulcan feel wronged.
‘If there is a fault… that would be the fact that I’m a Player. Fuck.’
According to the information, the Chimera’s standard for selecting the target was based on how rare the material was.
Rare and unique beings were worth more for research.
Using that standard, from the Chimera’s creator’s stand point, a Player that made it to Act 2 was a material what was as good as Demi-gods or Dragonians.
It was possible that this man must have thought that he got to catch Vulcan after seeing him finishing a hunt and picking up an item.
Even Vulcan thought a Player’s body was full of mysteries. He could only imagine how curious this man must be about Players.
‘Fuck, this son of bitch. Instead of trying to reach new heights while helping others like God-beasts or Demi-gods…’
Toward a faceless creator of the Chimeras, Vulcan poured out curses inside. It felt like Vulcan would explode from anger if he didn’t.
Of course, it didn’t make Vulcan feel any better.
The Chimera problem that Vulcan was now facing was too big for something like this to make him feel better.
Vulcan was in agony like that for a while. He then got a grip and quickly left Espo City.
It was because he thought that even the time spent agonizing over was a waste.
‘According to the information, even the strongest of the Chimeras identified so far is… about as strong as a Commander Tree.’
The one that Vulcan faced at the forest area had level of 762.
It seemed that one was the strongest unit.
It still turned out in Vulcan’s favor during the encounter. However, this whole ordeal was most certainly not good for him.
These Chimeras were powerful. Vulcan was not sure if he could beat them even in his tip-top condition.
Even just two of them would be enough to make Vulcan fall prey to them and get dragged to the creator’s laboratory.
‘I can never know. More might charge at me at once.’
If the creator thought highly of a Player’s worth, it was possible that he might bring more Chimeras.
Because of this, Vulcan had no intention of spending his time away so leisurely.
Vulcan only had nine years and six months of time left where he could focus on hunting and leveling up without having to worry about Chimera’s attacks.
‘I need to get to a height where I can handle at least three Chimeras at once. If I don’t even get there, I might lose before even having the chance to use the Enlightened-being summon.’
Vulcan was determined.
He already had a determined mind to begin with in order to save his family and the world. He had been hunting with that conviction. However, now the situation was direr.
It felt like a huge penalty was added to a game that didn’t have a time limit.
‘Thanks for whipping me so I won’t get lazy.’
Thinking about the creator who must be diligently spreading Chimera right now, Vulcan ground his teeth.
‘I’ll pay you back with interest.’
* * *
Using his volcano like fury as the fuel, Vulcan quickly moved to his next hunting ground.
His next hunting ground was ‘Graveyard of the Cursed Ones.’
It was a hunting ground with undead, similar to ‘Cursed Underground Graveyard.’ According to Beruneru, monsters with level estimated to be 700 appeared here.
Vulcan’s original plan was go to somewhere with 600 level monsters first and come here afterwards.
However, Vulcan was concerned, thinking that,
‘If I take it slow like that, I might really die right after the protective blessing ends!’
Because of this, Vulcan decided to take a bit of risk and come to this place.
Of course, Vulcan didn’t just pick this place without giving it any thought.
Thanks to the power of Demi-god, Vulcan obtained advantageous attributes against undead.
Using the SYSTEM, Vulcan read the information about Demi-god’s power.
[Exploit rank: Hero]
Lightning – Stun abnormality added. Additional damage to evil (Devil, Undead)
Flame – Damage over time added. Additional damage to evil (Devil, Undead)
Swordsmanship – Attack power increased. Additional damage to evil (Devil, Undead)
Demi-god’s power was holy. It denied all evil.
Vulcan thought that he could use this and handle several 700 level undead monsters coming at him at once.
However, there was something here that Vulcan didn’t think about at all.
“From here to there is our area!”
“Your area my ass. With your skill, do you think you can cover this whole area?”
“What? You runt…”
“Hum. Hum. If you are going to fight, please go outside of the graveyard and…”
“Just who are you!”
‘What in the world… What the…’
It was like a beach in middle of summer.
Vulcan could not tell if people came to the hunting ground or if monsters washed up into middle of people. It was a total chaos here. Vulcan opened his mouth wide.
“Why are there so many people here…”
With a devastated look on his face, Vulcan mumbled.