Vulcan thought it didn’t make any sense for there to be this many people here.
Of course, it was not like the hunting ground was useless to everyone.
There were priests who were traditionally strong against undead by default.
By destroying evil undead, devils and others, the priests gained strength. It made sense for priests to be here in the graveyard of the cursed ones.
However, there were hardly any priests here. Vulcan could count them with fingers because there were so few of them.
There were people of all sorts of professions.
There was a muscular fighter who probably had been fighting for several hundred years. There was a grand mage who was indiscriminately shooting magic with a stern face. There was a swordsman in Murim style getup who was demonstrating flashy sword techniques.
There were, quite literally, all sorts of people camping in the graveyard.
‘This looks like… one of those special event days for experience points on online games that happens once in a while…’
Confused, Vulcan brought out the guidebook from his inventory and opened it.
‘Did I confuse this place with somewhere else and come to the wrong hunting ground?’
This was the reason.
However, even the guidebook said this hunting ground should be mostly free of people.
[Hunting Ground – Graveyard of the Cursed Ones]
It’s a hunting ground with undead monsters estimated to be around level 700. Unlike the other undead hunting ground, the ‘Graveyard of the Knights,’ strengthened ghouls appear here. There are a lot of people going to the Graveyard of the Knights to get the weapons and armors of the death knights, so that place is popular. However, the Graveyard of the Cursed Ones hardly have anyone coming, so it is a good hunting ground to consider.
‘This is the right place. Ugh. Did something change in the past 700 years?’
Vulcan looked at the hunting ground again.
It was a pretty wide area, but the place was packed with people showing off their skills that the area didn’t look so wide anymore.
Also, it seemed slaying monsters was not their only goal.
It looked like they were looking for something.
‘751… 773… 741… 804… They are all high levelers. What in the world are they doing here?’
Vulcan wasn't going to be able to hunt here now, but Vulcan was more curious about what was happening here. He started to look around to find someone he could ask.
While Vulcan was at it, fortunately, he found someone he knew.
‘I know less than 10 people in Act 2, yet what a coincidence.’
Vulcan walked quickly to approach the man and called his name.
“Uh, uh? Vulcan! By any chance, you are also here to…”
Phantaero was looking at Vulcan as if he was trying to say if Vulcan was here because he heard something about the place. Vulcan shook his head.
“I’m here just to level up. What’s going on here? Is there this many people here usually?”
“Ah, it looks like you are not here because of the rumor. Huh, geez. I thought you were here out of greed. Haha."
Phantaero laughed in relief.
Vulcan hushed Phantaero with his gaze. Phantaero, after looking back at the hunting ground once, said as if he was not liking the situation.
“It’s because of the Holy Sword.”
“There was a rumor that said the clue about the Holy Sword is here. I don’t know where the information leaked from, but… It seemed like everyone who are interested in it knows. God damn it.”
Confused, Vulcan asked again.
“Isn’t a Holy Sword useful only to a brave warrior? I think not all of those people are brave warriors.”
“That’s what I’m saying! Those thugs… Ugh.”
Phantaero continued after sighing big.
“Of course, it takes a brave hero to bring about the full potential of the Holy Sword. However, even if others used it, it would still be a great treasure, it would be like the master sword of all master swords. Most people don’t try to get it because they understand the situation for brave heroes, but… It looks like all of those gathered here are rotten bunches. Tsk.”
Having heard what Phantaero said, even Vulcan’s mood was spoiled.
Ofcouse, a great treasure like the Holy Sword was definitely something anyone would be interested in having.
To someone who was not able to achieve a new height due to facing a wall, a sword with the power of god could provide a breakthrough.
The people here could be seeking the power of the Holy Sword after several hundreds or over a thousand years of hardships.
However, according to The Six, the Holy Sword was made for brave warriors. It was like a gift bestowed from the greatest of all gods so brave warriors could save their worlds.
Instead of lending their strength to brave warriors on finding the sword, just to fill their own desires, they were getting in front of the brave warriors who were struggling with all of their strengths to protect billions of lives.
No matter how Vulcan thought about it, this was hard to accept.
Vulcan was also carrying a burden like a brave warrior.
Naturally, Vulcan could understand Phantaero’s frustration, and Vulcan looked at the people on the graveyard with unkind eyes.
“They are really rotten bunches. This is a matter where billions of lives are at stakes.”
“Ugh, I’m sure they all have reasons that are making them desperate, but I cannot help but to get angry as a brave warrior.”
Phantaero shook his head left and right.
Looking at him, Vulcan carefully asked.
“Still… You cannot give up, right?”
“Of course not. I don’t stand a good chance, but… I have to try everything in middle of all those people. I’ve heard that a Holy Sword eventually falls in the hand of the brave warrior. It means it will be in my hands eventually, right? Haha.”
‘I’ve never heard of such before.’
Still, Vulcan didn’t say it out loud.
Vulcan genuinely hoped Phantaero would find the Holy Sword and save his world. So, to cheer him up, Vulcan went along with it.
“That’s right. In the end, it will go and find its owner. When you draw a Holy Sword later, please show it to me before you go back to the lower dimension.”
“Um? Hahahaha! Yes, yes. I definitely will. If I cannot find where you are, I’ll find you even if I have to ask the Oracle.”
“It’s a promise.”
Vulcan smiled as he faced Phantaero.
However, Vulcan sighed soon and complained.
“Ugh. Anyway, it looks like I won’t be able to level up here.”
“Ah, you said you are here to level up. You are incredible. You decided to come here when you still have the mark of a newbie…”
Phantaero was praising Vulcan. It was like he was painting Vulcan’s face with gold. However, it didn’t make Vulcan feel better.
It didn’t change the fact that this ended up being a waste for Vulcan.
Vulcan was fired up and rushed here. However, in an instant, Vulcan was struck by bucket of cold water and the flame was extinguished. That’s how it felt.
Vulcan regretted that he didn’t think things through. He regretted about not getting information about the hunting grounds while he was at the Oracle. The thought was filling his head.
‘I have a ton of money. Why didn’t I think of that? The information I have are 700 years old. They could have changed. Ugh. It cannot be helped. Should I go back to the city and update the information on hunting grounds?’
Vulcan carefully thought about what to do.
Piercing through Vulcan’s thoughts, Phantaero’s voice could be heard.
“If you don’t want anything else and you are purely interested in just hunting monsters, there is another place that’s pretty good.”
“… Where is that? On the map that I have, there isn’t any other place nearby…”
“What are you talking about? Is the map about 500 years old?”
“Um… It’s about 700 years old.”
Phantaero found it to be ridiculous. He said,
“I was joking, but since you said that, I’m sorry I asked.”
Vulcan smiled awkwardly.
Facing him, Phantaero laughed with him and then said,
“Anyway, if you run straight in that direction, there is another hunting ground. The monster levels are not as high as here, but… The place is practically devoid of people, so you can probably level up there without getting bothered by anyone. What do you think? Are you interested?”
Vulcan was interested.
Vulcan thought he should consider the place’s characteristics, but he liked the fact that there were hardly any people there.
“Please tell me about the place in detail.”
“I will. After hearing it, if you think it is not a bad place to check out, try going there.”
Phantaero started to layout the description about the place in detail.
* * *
‘The place is better than I thought.’
This was Vulcan’s rating about the place that Phantaero recommended after hunting here for a week.
The place was called ‘Poison Crater Field.’ It was said to have been created about 200 years ago.
The monsters here were at about 630 levels, so they were not significantly different from the forest area. However, the monsters poured out in far greater numbers here, so Vulcan was able to level up faster.
Moreover, there was nothing to be gained from slaying monsters here. Because of that, Vulcan was not competing with anyone over monsters.
The hunting ground was like a custom made place for Vulcan.
From over hundred craters, poisonous monsters popped out endlessly.
Mixed with excrements and poison, their semi-transparent body looked hideous. Although they looked slimy and slow, they were very quick.
They compressed their bodies like springs and jumped like springs to approach Vulcan, so their movements were hard to deal with.
However, there was not a single monster that managed to get close to Vulcan.
Vulcan was casting several dozens of lightning field per second.
Lighting field was a mid level magic. Compared to the Firefield, it was lacking in damage. Also, because it was not a continuous-damage type, the magic was not efficient.
However, with the boost from the Demi-god’s power, there was not any other lightning attack that could top this one.
Because of endless lightning magic filling the ground, poisonous monsters that were made mostly of water were constantly being stunned.
Also, Vulcan poured Hell’s Flame Lightning and Firefield above them while they were stunned.
[Experience points went up.]
[Experience points went up.]
[Experience points went up.]
Listening to the dying monsters and SYSTEM’s notification, Vulcan smiled in joy.
As if they didn’t like Vulcan being like that, the poisonous monsters spewed out poisonous gas in their death. However, it didn’t work against Vulcan.
As soon as the poisonous gas reached Vulcan’s body, it got neutralized by the blue light. Watching this, Vulcan thought,
‘The Blue Dragon’s Breath… It’s far more useful than I thought.’
It was a majestic and mysterious energy bestowed on Vulcan by the Blue Dragon.
Vulcan thought it only boosted his stats. However, from this experience, he realized it also significantly boosted the resistance against various abnormal status.
‘If it wasn’t for this boost… I would have either gone to look for another hunting ground or pay a lot of money to buy expensive antidote potions.’
Vulcan was feeling very fortunate that he was able to establish a good working relation with the Blue Dragon.
Vulcan took a peek at the inventory and checked the vitality marbles.
There were a lot more of them now, and that made Vulcan feel confident.
“For Players, in the end, it is all about hunting. Just hunting.”
Vulcan mumbled as if he was reciting spells. Toward him, poisonous monsters started to swarm at him from the surroundings.
With joy, Vulcan started casting magic.
“Gather up quickly. It’s hard for me to wait.”
Like a farmer cutting the rice plants, Vulcan endlessly harvested the monsters.
[Experience points went up.]
Pleasant notification sounds echoed on Vulcan’s ears.
* * *
[Experience points went up.]
“Phew… I think it is about time I left this place.”
With a tight schedule, Vulcan had been hunting here for a year. Through it, Vulcan achieved level 600.
To Vulcan’s surprise, not a single resident visited the Poison Crater Field.
Because of this, Vulcan was able to level up efficiently without being bothered by anyone. However, it was time for him to leave this place.
‘I’ve exploited this place a lot… It is time I really went to a 700 level hunting ground.’
Vulcan had been visiting resident camps nearby to rest occasionally and check. He heard that the popularity of the Graveyard of the Cursed Ones died out.
Vulcan was thinking he should level up to 650 there and go back to Espo City.
‘But… There is something I should check before that.’
Vulcan was excited with hunting all this time, so he didn’t notice. He noticed this only a week ago.
He realized that no monsters were coming out of one of the craters.
If someone observed the craters carefully from the start, it would have taken only an hour to notice this. However, Vulcan was in middle of several hundred monsters swarming at him to kill him, so he realized this only recently.
Vulcan, with his face full of anticipations, looked at the broken crater.
It was still not generating any monsters.
‘This… has a high likelihood of being the place of a hidden quest. No, I am certain!’
Vulcan was making a conjecture, but he was almost certain. He put his body into the poisonous crater.
He had no hesitation.
If the place was a hidden quest, its entrance was obviously going to be a safe place. Also, if there was a monster suddenly jumping out, Vulcan was confident about handling it.
Hoping that the place would be a hidden quest area, Vulcan slowly went further into the crater.
The inside was deeper than he thought.
It was like a cave. The long corridor continued like an entrance to a dungeon. Walking along the path, Vulcan was becoming more sure of it.
And… Finally, there were new existences that greeted Vulcan.
Vulcan cringed bigtime and mumbled,
“… What the hell.”