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Ranker's Return Chapter 20

Chapters 1 50 Chapter 20


Thoughts of relaxation immediately disappeared from Hyeonu’s mind. The time had come to run like crazy again. There wasn’t a Black Skull Guild to grab onto his ankle anymore. Very few people knew the information about the fourth main scenario quest. If he could get the benefits from the fourth main scenario, then the fifth main scenario was for Hyeonu to monopolize.

He had to make it happen unconditionally. It would take him one step closer to revenge. ‘Then revenge won’t be a dream.’

“I have to do it alone.”

Hyeonu decided to proceed with the quest by himself, unlike his original plan. It was almost impossible to find a priest who was trustworthy now.

“Master dude, let’s go.” The foolish bear sitting on his shoulder was the only one he trusted to clear the quest with.

‘Well, it is better than doing it by myself.’

Hyeonu had done his own research. Brigs had two hunting grounds where the undead appeared—the southern cemetery and the dark caves to the east. Both were hunting grounds for players between level 70 and 80. If there was a difference, it would be that the Dark Cave was a popular hunting ground because it had fast spawn rates and the skeletons gave a lot of experience despite the low difficulty. Meanwhile, the cemetery’s ghouls were difficult to see because of their fast movements and they also had a unique venom.

Hyeonu believed in his instincts and decided to look around the cemetery first. He asked Taeng, “Aren't you coming down now?”

“Master dude doesn’t know how comfortable it is up here. I’ll stay here.”

“Yes, yes. Then...”

Sigh. A sigh naturally emerged from Hyeonu. To think he actually had a unique pet like this bear...

***

“Younger brother, why do you keep going to level alone? Let’s go together.” The man with a tone that didn’t match his wild and ferocious impression grabbed Hyeonu by the shoulder. His name was Kim Seokjung. He was a warrior player Hyeonu had met as soon as he exited Brig’s south gate to go to the cemetery. In his own words, he was of Korean/Chinese descent.

From the very first meeting, Hyeonu didn’t place much confidence in the warrior’s words. So, Hyeonu gave strength to his shoulder to shake off Kim Seokjung’s hand. No, he tried to do so.

‘What is with this strength?’

How high was Kim Seokjung’s strength stat that he didn’t even budge despite Hyeonu’s strength being over 200 points?

“Younger brother, did you want to throw me away just now?”

Just by looking at his actions and outfit, Kim Seokjung must be a strange person. If he wanted to PK Hyeonu, clearing the quest might have to be postponed until a later time.

Hyeonu made a helpless expression. “Me? No way. Where are you going? I’m on my way to hunt in the cemetery.”

“Really? Then you’re going to burn the ghouls as well?”

“Yes, that’s right. I’m going to hunt the ghouls. It is easy to hunt because there are fewer people there.”

Kim Seokjung’s expression became strange when he heard Hyeonu’s words. Then he whispered in a subtle tone, “Aren’t you looking for black magicians?”

“!!!”

It was surprising. Kim Seokjung’s words struck Hyeonu like a heavy blow. ‘What...?’

“Are you wondering how I know?”

Hyeonu subconsciously nodded.

“It is a secret, a secret. It’s the place where I was going toward. I was on my way to pick up those brats.”

“Brats?”

“I have many family members.”

‘Family? Ah! Guild!’ Hyeonu looked at Kim Seokjung in a different manner. He thought this person had nothing to do, but he was actually the leader of a guild. It was unbelievable.

“Still, the first time I saw you, I thought that we could hunt a black magician without those brats. Do you want to go with me?”

Hyeonu’s eyes shook. It was an attractive proposal. Kim Seokjung had proposed to go and catch the black magicians. Nevertheless, Hyeonu was suspicious. It was natural. The first person he saw asked to take part in the main scenario quest. It would be stranger for Hyeonu not to feel suspicious.

‘The first time he saw me? Why?’

However, this person could just easily do something here if he wanted to act against Hyeonu. It had been a long time since they were out of sight of any players. Hyeonu thought about it before accepting Kim Seokjung’s offer, “Yes, let’s go. Brother."

It was a proposal where he had nothing to lose. If Kim Seokjung wanted to hurt Hyeonu, he would’ve done it a long time ago.

“Trust me, little brother,” Kim Seokjung said to trust him. Unlike his words, he didn’t seem trustworthy at all.

‘He seems to have a second class. If he does something, I’ll discard this and run away.’ Hyeonu was already planning an escape.

***

Kim Seokjung took Hyeonu to a small tomb on one side of the cemetery. This cemetery wasn’t different from any other cemeteries, and the small tomb was just an ordinary tomb.

“Are there really black magicians here?” Hyeonu was underwhelmed by the sight of the tomb.

Kim Seokjung replied with a brazen face, “Of course, it isn’t this place. The warlocks are inside the tomb.”

Kim Seokjung stretched out a fist toward the tomb. The gauntlet on his hand looked cool when worn.

‘This...?’ Hyeonu was stunned to see the gauntlets Kim Seokjung wore. As far as Hyeonu knew, these gauntlets weren’t something that could be bought with money. Having these gauntlets guaranteed Kim Seokjung had more than a certain amount of skill.

“A Liru Monk?”

“You must have pretty good eyes? Considering you actually discovered it.”

It was one of the most well-known of the monk’s second classes. The most demanding of them all was to become a monk of the Sun Temple—a Liru Monk. It was an absurd class change quest where they had to be acknowledged by a monk before completing, even if they cleared 20 class change quests. These gauntlets were given to players who exceeded those requirements.

‘He definitely isn’t a normal player.’

Then how was he unknown? Hyeonu was certain Kim Seokjung was not a normal player, so why didn’t he know about him? Hyeonu’s questions didn’t last long though. It was because there was a path. A small passage had appeared where the grave had disappeared.

Kim Seokjung entered the path that had just appeared. “Little brother, let’s go.”

At Kim Seokjung’s call, Hyeonu also ran down the passage. “I’m coming, on my way.”

***

The ghouls in Arena were quite tricky. They had an agility that was peculiar for an undead and were numb to pain. These were the biggest factors which made players reluctant to hunt ghouls. Yet the ghouls that had such a reputation were now being turned into rags. The moment that Kim Seokjung stretched out his fists, the ghoul’s body burst.

‘He is a Liru Monk after all. Amazing.’ Hyeonu marveled at Kim Seokjung’s skill.

His entire body had the chills when he thought if he were the ghoul instead. This was proof enough. Kim Seokjung’s attacks were neat and powerful.

‘Now isn’t the time to marvel in awe.’

Hyeonu also wielded his longsword and cut through the wind. Then a ghoul split apart. Hyeonu didn’t stop there. The longsword in his hands kept moving. Every one of Hyeonu’s movements was spectacular. It was truly a storm.

‘Indeed, it is worthy of wiping out those guys.’

Kim Seokjung watched Hyeonu fight and acknowledged it. This guy deserved it. He deserved to trample on the Black Skull Guild.

‘I have to contact Junggu.’

[A novice black magician has been killed.]

[Experience has been acquired.]

‘Ohh. It’s a good amount of experience.’

“Very good.” Hyeonu was satisfied with the fast-paced experience gain despite hunting in a party. At this speed, it wouldn’t even take a week to reach level 50.

‘I can use Magic Power Control at level 50.’

Magic Power Control was an essential skill for those who played in Arena. It was a skill that needed to be acquired and was in high demand. The skill seemed expensive, very much so. For swordsmen, it sparked a romantic fantasy about sword energy. For magicians, it reduced magic power consumption and significantly increased magic power.

‘How much was it? I thought it was sold for 3,000 gold the other day.’

“I’m going to get it this month.”

“Little brother, you seem to fight very well?” Kim Seokjung approached Hyeonu and put his arm around him. “Your swordsmanship is an art. I don’t know where such a master came from.”

Then Hyeonu decided to ask something he had been curious about since the first time he met this person. It was because Kim Seokjung’s tone was somewhat awkward. There were too many strange things to call it a local dialect.

“By the way, why is Brother’s way of speaking like that?”

“What’s wrong with the way I speak?”

“You use a mix of dialects.”

There seemed to be at least eight dialects.

Kim Seokjung scratched his head at Hyeonu’s words. “I moved frequently as a child. My tone isn’t really fixed. If you are uncomfortable, I’ll use the Seoul dialect from now on.”

“No. Anything you’re comfortable with is fine.” It was Hyeonu who asked the question uselessly. “There is another ghoul. I’ll wipe it out this time.”

***

“So vexing...” The black magician died while leaving these words.

[A novice black magician has been killed.]

[Experience has been acquired.]

[You have leveled up.]

[All health and magic power are restored.]

[-Black magicians killed 1/?]

“Thanks for the hard work, Brother.”

“Little brother, good job as well.” Kim Seokjung marveled at Hyeonu’s fighting skills again. The more he looked, the better this person fought. Obviously, this person wasn’t even level 50. That was for certain. Yet he ended the battle with the level 80 black magicians without being hit once with magic. In particular, his thunderous strikes were superb.

‘It makes me want him even more. Hmm... If he doesn’t have a guild...'

Kim Seokjung was thinking about how to recruit Hyeonu while Hyeonu had his own thoughts.

‘I caught a black magician. How can I leave? It will be a pain to be hit in the back of the head.’

He was troubled. Kim Seokjung’s ability meant it was possible for him to become a top ranker. In that case, it would be best to maintain a good relationship. For that reason, how Hyeonu acted from now on was important. He had to break up the party with a good impression.

Kim Seokjung turned toward Hyeonu who was trying to come up with a proper method. ‘Huh? What is with that expression?’

However, Hyeonu’s expression was strange. It was like...

“Little brother, do you have something to say? Why do you look like you’re eating dog shit? Do you have an appointment? I guess you’re a busy person.”

Kim Seokjung’s words scratched at Hyeonu’s sensitive spot. Hyeonu replied like Kim Seokjung was right, “In fact, I promised to hunt with my friend, but I’m a bit late. I’m afraid I have to leave first.”

Kim Seokjung sent Hyeonu away coolly. He thought that showing a good form would help with scouting Hyeonu later. “Then you should go. Friends are important, right?”

It was the same for Hyeonu. Kim Seokjung might just be a good monk now, but Hyeonu wanted to plant a good image of himself in Kim Seokjung, who was sure to become a name in the future.

“Then I’ll be going. I’ll see you next time.”

***

Hyeonu left to explore the Dark Cave in the east. Kim Seokjung was left alone and started to whisper to someone, “Junggu? Yes. Stop doing that.”

The other person was Gang Junggu, the acting leader of the New World Guild. What was Kim Seokjung’s identity, such that he could talk to Gang Junggu like this?

“Stop the investigation. If I tell you to stop, then stop. Why is this jerk talking so much?! Am I your bastard child? You bastard!!!” Kim Seokjung kept shouting at Gang Junggu. He seemed to have forgotten to whisper. “Junggu, are you saying that to me? Who is Kim Seokjung of the New World?!!!”

Steel First Jin Sijong, the guild leader of New World which was a prominent guild in Arena—this was Kim Seokjung’s true identity.

“Do we have no money, no reputation? Junggu,” Kim Seokjung asked this and stopped whispering. Then he pulled out a cigarette from his inventory. Cigarettes existed in Arena. There were even those with the function of potions. It was just that the price was expensive compared to the performance, so not many people looked for them or used them. “Little brother, I’ll concede this time. After this, there will be no more.”

Sigh.

Blue smoke was blown out of Kim Seokjung’s mouth.

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