Madorugi, the owner of the Oracle, mumbled.
His mouth was slightly open as if he was having a hard time believing it.
He focused mana in secret and closely examined the subject he had been monitoring.
However, he was not mistaken.
This was completely unexpected. Madorugi bit his lower lips.
‘He is just about to take off the newbie sticker… Yet he is at the Lava Field?’
Also, he wasn’t just there.
He was demonstrating powerful moves like true warriors who had sharpened themselves in Act 2.
The Hell Flame Lazards were something most people didn’t even dare to fight. However, Vulcan was handling them with ease. Madorugi could not help but to be impressed.
Madorugi vacantly glared at the battle for a moment. He then suddenly came to his senses.
After that, he retrieved his mana and terminated the surveillance mode.
‘Vulcan… How could he have become so strong so quickly? No… Was he always this strong?’
Madorugi had the surveillance magic cast on Vulcan a long time ago, but this was the first time for him to actually confirm where Vulcan was and check what Vulcan was up to.
Vulcan was still just a newbie.
Madorugi was thinking it was obvious that there were only a few things a newbie could do and a few places to go to in just ten years. Because of this, Madorugi was thinking there was no need for him to check up on what Vulcan was up to.
Madorugi had many other things to take care of, so he had forgotten about Vulcan for a long while. He only checked up on Vulcan because it was almost time for Vulcan’s protective blessing to expire.
However, Vulcan was far exceeding Madorugi’s expectations. This was making his head complicated.
‘Um… I was going to sell the information to practically anyone, even some wishy-washy nobodies…’
Madorugi was thinking about the ones that barely managed to overcome the wall of Act 1, the bottom feeders that would try anything and grab on to straws out of desperation, the kind that easily risked their lives to achieve greater heights. Madorugi thought that releasing information on such people would lead to more entertaining consequences. However…
‘If Vulcan is at the Lava Field, those runts would not dare to go near.’
Madorugi was disappointed, but this could not be helped.
However, even if those ones were excluded now, there were plenty of others that were extremely interested in the Player’s body.
Madorugi started to sell information about Vulcan in secret. He sold them to ones who were powerful enough to neutralize Vulcan and were not hesitant to try anything to achieve greater heights.
After he roughly finished the work on Vulcan’s case, he sipped on the tea and smiled.
‘I think I’ll get a fun hobby after half a year.’
There were so many hunters. It was not certain who would get the prey.
Madorugi was excited in anticipation.
* * *
It was an organism that exuded flame as if it was just breathing. The flame was hotter than the flame from Hell.
Including its tail, its body span was over 33 ft in length. It was a giant.
Its entire body was red like flame. A giant lizard opened its mouth toward Vulcan.
[Flame Lizard of the Fallen Hell]
Extremely hot flame was coming out of its mouth. It made Vulcan wonder if the dragon’s breath was like this.
Becoming of its large mouth, the flame was spread to a pretty large range.
However, Vulcan transformed to the lightning spirit, used the lightning dragon step and dodged it at an incredible speed. He got out of the flame’s range.
After that, when the Hell Flame Lizard was firing its breath at the wrong direction, Vulcan swung the Heavenly Lightning Blade.
The lizard lost one of its rear legs.
Due to the pain, it was infuriated. The lizard shot fire breath in all direction, but it was not quick enough to catch up to Vulcan’s rapid movement.
Now, even a part of its neck was cut by the Thunder God Blade.
The wound was deep enough that the fire breath, which was pouring out of the lizard with exhilarating intensity, was leaking through the wound.
Due to being infuriated, the Flame Lizard lost about half of its calm.
However, it new that it would die if this continued.
It had been attacking using the fire breath alone. Now, the runt changed its offensive strategy.
It pursed its mouth as if it was collecting its saliva. It spat something out.
The attack flew toward Vulcan at a significantly faster speed.
It was a lump of lava.
It was not as powerful as the fire breath. However, if it hit, it was going to be enough to instantly melt that fly like runt.
That’s what the lizard was thinking. The Hell Flame Lizard continued to shoot lava lumps at Vulcan.
However, the situation was flowing in the direction that was completely different from what the lizard was thinking.
Magic power was raised.
Vulcan’s left fist was swung with great force, and it made a powerful impact against the lava that was shot toward Vulcan. Vulcan invested quite a large amount of mana into the Ifrit’s Fist, and it was now compressed and coating his left fist.
It was a head on collision of two very powerful flame techniques. The area shook wildly as if several thousand dynamites exploded.
The flames splashed all over the place like how water would when a water balloon was popped in midair by punching it.
Most of the splash of flames didn’t hit Vulcan. However, some of the debris were coming toward Vulcan’s body.
Still, they could not deal any damage to Vulcan.
The little leftovers of the flames barely scratched Vulcan’s surface and then fell down powerlessly.
‘My fire mastery would be a waste if I got wounded from mere debris from flame magic attack.’
Vulcan’s various flame magic’s damage increased as his understanding of the flame magic increased. Just like that, his resistance to flame magic was also increased by a large margin.
Unless he was hit directly by the fire breath from earlier, it could be said that there was no way for Vulcan to get seriously injured from flame magic.
‘Of course… That runt is also highly resistant to flame magic.’
Vulcan actually panicked time to time when he came to the Lava Field for the first time.
With ordinary flame magic, let alone keeping the monsters in check, even just drawing their attention was not possible with such magic.
However, Vulcan’s specialty was not limited to just flame magic.
Vulcan calmly destroyed all of the Lava Lumps launched at him.
At an instant, Vulcan’s body became blurry, and he instantly moved to just below the lizard’s chin.
It was a quick movement that he could demonstrate only after using the Thunder God’s Might, lightning spirit form, and the lightning dragon step to the maximum.
Vulcan disengaged the spirit form. From his blade, the power of the Thunder God Blade was pouring out.
[Your experience points went up.]
[You defeated an opponent that is stronger than you!]
[You achieved an exploit.]
[Your exploit rank went up.]
Vulcan was not able to cut off its head last time. He now managed to cut off its head clean.
Vulcan used his sleeve to wipe off the sweat from his forehead. Vulcan then quietly mumbled,
“Phew. Instead of using flame magic to keep on guard, I think I should just use blade techniques.”
He was praising himself. However, he was more confident than before, so he was not thinking he was being too boastful.
Instead, he thought such confident behavior was more becoming of lightning and flame type. Nowadays, as if it was a requirement for his pride, Vulcan had been saying things like that often lately.
“Let’s see… My level is now… 736. Phew… It sure is rising slowly.”
He had been hunting for over seven years, yet he only raised 86 levels. Comparing to his days in Act 1 or the forest area in Act 2, this was painfully slow. It was making Vulcan sigh.
However, he knew this was going to happen.
To let out his frustration, he kicked a rock that was rolling around on the ground. He was about to go to a safe place so he could examine his internals.
However, there were a few gazes following along with Vulcan’s movements.
Vulcan had an uncomfortable look on his face. He then looked at the ones who were staring at him before leaving the scene with even greater speed.
Soon, Vulcan arrived at a place that had nobody around.
Vulcan’s head was filled with the people who were watching his battle just now.
‘Somehow… they are making me feel uncomfortable.’
Ever since Vulcan started hunting at the Lava Field, there were occasionally people who watched him fight.
It was because there were only a handful of people with newbie stickers who came to Lava Field to train.
Moreover, one of the spectators once asked Vulcan if he was a Demi-god who was keeping the identity secret. So, it was not strange that there were people who were taking interest in him.
‘Their gazes didn’t look like they were merely curious…’
Vulcan was feeling leery. He thought about the look on their eyes.
They did look impressed, however, in the midst of that, there were strange sensation mixed within that Vulcan could not quite figure out.
That was constantly bothering Vulcan.
“Ugh! I don’t know! Let’s just focus for now!”
Vulcan decided to forget about it for now.
Examining his internal was important, enough to set aside everything for now.
It was not something that could be done easily by thinking about something else. Also, it was not a trivial matter that Vulcan should do it while being distracted with something else.
‘Also… I think I really can see the finish line this time.’
It was still at the S rank. It was making Vulcan feel anxious.
However, Vulcan instinctively could tell that it was not long before he was going to break through that wall.
He could not explain it logically. However, Vulcan strongly felt that he would be able to overcome this wall before the protective blessing expired.
‘That’s why I need to focus. It is so that my sense of certainty becomes the reality.’
It did not take long before Vulcan could get rid of distractions from weirdos and focus.
Before long, Vulcan entered deep into the world of his own.
* * *
“Fuck, does that make sense to you?”
“… It does not make any sense. No, it does make sense.”
“How does it make sense?”
“If he is a Demi-god who inherited thick blood of a powerful god rivaling the power of Powell, then he could be strong even as a newbie, enough to slap around most of Act 2 residents.”
Having heard the explanation, the horse-faced man had a look of disbelief.
After that, he shouted out of extreme frustration,
“What a load of bullcrap! You said that runt is a Player!”
“I just entertained some ideas for fun. My apologies.”
“This fucker. This is not the time to joke around.”
“Instead of being infuriated, won’t it be better to relax and joke around?”
Having heard what the one-eyed man said, the horse-faced man shook his head hard.
Of the ones in Bae Su Jin’s group, over half of them had gone insane from the experiments. However, this one was one of the ones that had the mind intact.
It seemed the magic experiment that he conducted on himself had a negative side effect and damaged him mentally. [TL: Bae Su Jin is a Korean term that describes the military tactic of setting up the formation with the river or lake behind your own allies, making it impossible for the allies to fall back should there be an enemy attack. Because it is impossible to run away by turning back, the soldiers have no choice to fight the enemies. It is mentioned to describe a situation where people will definitely not back down because they are so determined, even if it means losing their lives.]
‘Actually, the fact that he entered Bae Su Jin means he is not normal. Neither of us are normal.’
The horse-faced man sighed and continued.
“… Anyway, I don’t think our initial plan will work. To swipe off the flies that may get involved, we need at least ten people to guaranty safety.”
“I really think it would be hard to catch him alive with just the five of us. I understand.”
The one-eyed man quietly listened to the horse-faced man. The horse-faced man quietly closed his eyes.
They were members of Bae Su Jin, an organization of human mages.
The people who were at the brink of going insane, from being stranded at where they were due to the limitation of their species and talent, knocked on this organization’s door as a last resort.
These were the people who were not confident about raising their heights using proper methods, so the organization have done countless extreme, bizarre and unethical experiments. It was a shady and immoral organization.
The only thing different about them from the Chimera maker was their experiment methods. Their behaviors were similar. They were bad people just like Chimera maker.
They came to the Lava Field because of the information about a Player that they obtained from the Oracle.
‘A Player? Those runts who get treasures just from slaying monsters and grow stronger automatically without training? I thought there weren’t any in Act 2?’
‘What? There is one? On top of that, this one is a mutant? Get him! You need to get him no matter what the cost!’
The leader of the Bae Su Jin was very excited.
Also, the members of the group were even more excited.
The sense of excitement and joy swept through them just like how the Chimera maker reacted when he first discovered Vulcan. They immediately made the plan to capture this Player alive.
Like that, the horse-faced man and the one-eyed man came to Lava Field a day ago.
It was to learn more about their target in detail and capture him alive perfectly.
Actually, they did not think Vulcan was actually hunting while being here.
‘At most, I thought he was here to just provide support. I figured he would be doing chores for other powerful warriors he met in Act 2…’
They had no way to think otherwise.
The Lava Field was among the high difficulty hunting grounds, even in this place where the best and the greatest of each dimensions were gathered.
It was definitely not a place where a newbie could train alone.
However, having observed Vulcan’s battle for a day, they learned one thing. It was the fact that Vulcan could not be assessed in common sense terms. They learned that Vulcan was an extremely powerful mage swordsman.
He had incredibly high level flame magic and swordsmanship.
Also, Vulcan possessed lightning magic that far exceeded even themselves.
‘He is definitely… not below us… No. He is stronger than me!’
The horse-faced man was thinking about the power of the Thunder God Blade that Vulcan just demonstrated. The horse-face man gulped.
The task just got a lot more complicated than they imagined.