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Ranker's Return Chapter 18

Chapters 1 50 Chapter 18


“meleegod... I haven’t heard that name in a long time.” Hyeonu had an ambiguous expression.

If he had known it would be like this, he would never have deleted it.

“The conditions that Nike wants are the same. We aren’t asking for anything else—only the logo. You just need to engrave the Nike logo on the item. Ah! There is also a fashion expert on our side. You should get advice from them at least once a month.”

Nike’s terms weren’t much different from their subsidiary’s. After the specific discussion, Kale signed the contract first.

“Then I’ll sign it.” Hyeonu signed it coolly.

There was no place that would offer him better conditions. Kale received the signed contract and asked Hyeonu, “Can I ask for your specific action plan?”

“I am going to start streaming by the end of next week at the latest. You can look forward to it. I’m preparing something amazing.”

Kale felt his heart pounding at Hyeonu’s words. meleegod—he always had expectations for this man’s videos. What would he show this time?

“I understand. I am looking forward to it.”

***

Hyeonu returned home and quickly tried to access Arena. However, he was grabbed by the fussy Yeongchan and forced to sit on the couch.

“The video came up.”

'Video?'

Hyeonu thought about it. Video...

“Ah!” Now he remembered the Black Skull Guild. His contract with Nike had erased them from his mind. “Well?”

Instead of answering, Yeongchan turned on the TV. On the big screen, people with a black skull on their chests emerged.

-Our Black Skull Guild was wronged. To prove it, we will duel with the man called Alley Leader who posted the video earlier.

Hyeonu raised the remote control and turned off the TV. “Hey, why waste time looking at this? It is better to use that time to go hunting. Tell me when and where?”

“Two days later, Monday evening at 8 p.m. in the arena.”

“Monday... It is good enough.”

It was long enough for Hyeonu.

‘I have to level up as much as I can.’

***

Hyeonu was troubled. “Should I go to the swamp or go to Brigs to catch the undead?”

The advantage of the swamp was that there were few people. Fewer people at the hunting ground meant hunting there would be more pleasant. If he had the ability, he could hunt constantly. The advantage of Brigs was that, if he were lucky enough to clear the quest quickly, he would be able to level up explosively in a moment.

His worries didn’t last long. This time, he decided to choose realistically rather than make a gamble.

“I will go to the swamp.”

***

The swamp was divided into the eastern swamp where swamp lizardmen usually appeared and the western swamp where mud golems appeared. The Eastern Swamp was a hunting ground for players between level 60 and 70. This meant the swamp lizardmen’s levels would be between 60 and 70.

Hyeonu was slicing at these lizardmen lightly. However, Hyeonu’s expression wasn’t good.

‘Isn’t this too easy?’

It was insignificant. A feeling of regret started to rise in Hyeonu’s head. He had gone to the swamp because he thought he would gain unique items and increase skill proficiency. Yet he seemed to have underestimated himself. Hyeonu had to admit it. He was different from when he faced Dakan and when he did his best against Lebron.

Master of Combat—Hyeonu had to take advantage of it. The synergy between him and the skill was beyond imagination. Master of Combat made Hyeonu strong. It became possible for him to do faster and more powerful movements. The ‘lizardmen’ didn’t even allow him to warm up.

‘This is just grinding.’

Yeongchan had told him that the average level of the Black Skull Guild’s executives was level 70. Guild Leader Cheron was level 85. The average pro gamers’ estimated level was 130, so this level wasn’t very high.

“I’m already in the best physical condition. I don’t have to be sharper.”

Hyeonu was convinced. He was confident that he would win even if he fought against them now. Of course, he wouldn't be able to win in one piece. It was because there were many of them while he was alone. His stamina would run out.

“I have to be overwhelming.”

Overwhelming...

They were destined to become offerings. Hyeonu would announce his contract and make them into offerings for his streaming debut.

“All that is left is hunting.”

***

Amazing messages entered his ears the moment Hyeonu defeated the boss monster, the swamp’s giant lizardman.

[The Giant Swamp Lizardman has been killed.]

[Experience has been acquired.]

[You have leveled up.]

[All health and magic power have been restored.]

[Your fighting energy stat has increased by 2.]

[The skill proficiency of Weapons Mastery has increased to E-.]

[The skill proficiency of Bash has increased to E-.]

[The skill proficiency of Heavy Blow has increased to E-.]

[The skill proficiency of You and I in One Shot! has increased to F+.]

[The skill proficiency of Magic Power Compression has increased to F+.]

[The skill proficiency of Master of Combat has increased to F+.]

“Wah!!! It’s over!!!”

The long hunt ended. There might’ve been a short break in the middle, but he had been hunting for more than 30 hours. The last challenge was the giant lizardman, ruler of the Western Swamp. The challenge was a success. The fruit was sweet. He leveled up, and all his skills had ranked up.

‘I will sleep after allocating my stats.’

Hyeonu’s mind was blank as he had spent more than 30 hours hunting. He logged out to eat in the middle, but that was it. His spirit lacked proper rest and complained of extreme fatigue.

“Status Window.”

[Status Window]

[Character Name: Gang Hyeonu

Level: 40

Class: Warrior

Title: Warrior Acknowledged by Khan, New Star Acknowledged by Lebron

Stats: Strength: 70 (+153) Agility: 90 (+43) Physique: 50 (+100) Magic Power: 50 Fighting Energy: 4 (+50)

Remaining stat points: 5]

“Level 40...”

The effort was worthwhile. In three days, he had succeeded in achieving seven levels.

“Now I just have to fight.”

Hyeonu already thought of his duel with the Black Skull Guild as a celebration party. It was in celebration of his contract with Nike Management. Additionally, it was a springboard for a more robust path in the future.

“Sleepy.”

***

Hyeonu rubbed his bloodshot eyes. It felt like his fatigue still hadn’t gone away. He had slept for eight hours, but he still felt blank.

“I can’t do this.” Hyeonu vowed that no matter what happened, he would never do something this ignorant again.

Yeongchan was worried about Hyeonu. He wondered if Hyeonu had hunted day and night because there was a possibility of losing.

“Are you confident?” Yeongchan asked Hyeonu with excessive solicitude.

“Confident? Who am I? I won’t lose to guys like that. You will surely see something amazing today. You can look forward to it.”

Hyeonu entered the cube, leaving only these words behind. It was two hours before the promised appointment time.

***

The Colosseum of Yusma was packed with people. It was originally crowded, but today was even worse. There were usually small events happening all the time. But a duel with the Black Skull Guild’s executives and the rising star Alley Leader was scheduled to take place today.

“Who is going to win?’

“If the rule is a team battle, won’t the guild win?”

“I guess so?”

“I hope that Alley Leader guy will win.”

All the players’ reactions were similar. Alley Leader wouldn’t win. He could only win two or three times. In the end, it would be the guild’s victory.

A man, Hyeonu, muttered, “I’ll lose? That is ridiculous.”

Hyeonu clenched his fists tightly. He intended to change the gazes of all the people who looked at him pitifully. Later, those eyes would be filled with envy, jealousy, and admiration.

“All of them!”

***

Finally, the Black Skull Guild’s executives and Hyeonu met at the Colosseum. Hyeonu was wearing a mask to invoke curiosity. Hyeonu, who had started recording the video, greeted Cheron lightly. “The 13 of you have come? I was worried that you would run away out of fear.”

“Run away? I was worried that you would be the one running away. You managed to come out.”

Hyeonu’s taunt had struck Cheron. Cheron didn’t like Hyeonu’s look. The eyes that were visible from behind the mask...

The eyes that seemed to be looking down on him were really annoying.

“Those eyes, I want to dig them out. Be careful,” Cheron whispered in a small voice.

“Pfft.” Hyeonu snorted at Cheron’s words. It was ridiculous. This was like a delusion. “Aren’t you the one who should be careful?”

Hyeonu moved to the center of the Colosseum, leaving only those words behind.

“First, I would like to thank the many players who came here today.” Hyeonu bowed his head to the players in the surroundings.

“The duel is going to start now. The rules are exactly as stated in the video.”

Hyeonu reached out his right hand and raised three fingers.

“Winner-takes-all and character deletion. I hope you'll enjoy the duel between my character and their characters."

Wah!!!! The shouts that rang out at Hyeonu’s words were frightening. In fact, the majority of players didn’t care who won. It was just a fun event and a festival for the third parties. All they had to do was prepare some popcorn and Coke.

“Then the Black Skull Guild’s master should come out here. I have to apply for the duel.”

Cheron stepped forward at Hyeonu’s words and headed to the center where Hyeonu was.

Wah!!!!!

Get lost!!

The roars of angry players echoed when Cheron came out to the center. The only difference was that some profanity was mixed in occasionally.

“Then I’ll apply for the duel.”

[Player ‘Gang Hyeonu’ has applied for a duel.]

[Would you like to accept?]

Cheron wanted to see Hyeonu’s character deleted quickly. “I didn’t like you from the beginning.”

[Yes.]

“Shouldn’t I be the one saying that? I didn’t like your guild from the beginning.” Hyeonu moved his hands to set the rules. Everyone here would probably be amazed. They would know why he spent more than 30 hours hunting.

[Player ‘Gang Hyeonu’ has set the rules.]

[The rules set are ‘winner-takes-all’, ‘delete character’, and ‘team battle’.]

[Would you like to accept?]

“A team battle?”

There was silence in the Colosseum. Then screams from the audience started to ring out straight away.

Wah!!!!!

Team battle!!!

[Yes.]

Cheron might’ve agreed to Hyeonu’s proposal, but it was still incomprehensible for him. This person had no chance of winning in a team battle. Yet to choose a team battle...

“What are you up to? This guy.” Cheron struggled to figure out Hyeonu’s intentions. No matter how much he thought about it, he couldn’t obtain a clue. At this moment, Hyeonu moved his hands diligently.

[Please determine who will participate in the duel.]

“All of you are here. In my personal opinion, I want all of you to join in. Wouldn’t it be boring after three or four people are beaten in an instant?”

Cheron thought of a number of things in a short amount of time.

‘It won’t be too late to respond after everything comes out.’

It was the best case scenario. Of course, the result wasn’t known yet. Still, it was clear that this was the best thing for Cheron.

[The number of participants who will participate in the duel have been determined.]

[Player ‘Gang Hyeonu’ VS Player ‘Cheron’s team of 13’.]

[The duel will start shortly.]

[5... 4... 3... 2... 1.]

As the number floating in the air decreased, the noise inside the Colosseum reduced. Everyone was shocked. All eyes were focused on the 13 members of the Black Skull Guild and Hyeonu who opposed them.

[The duel has started.]

Finally, the duel began and Hyeonu shot forward.

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