Over a hundred gnolls had become as one and were terrorizing a small group of gnolls. It was an extremely rare scene, but I was laughing as I looked at it with satisfaction.
‘Powerless before numbers.’
I used close to 6,000 points to dominate exactly 127 gnolls, a feat impossible for the average Summoner or Tamer. There may possibly be no hard limit to the number of individuals that can be dominated using this ‘Dominator’ skill.
And before my eyes was the result of my doing. If I was alone, I would have had to back off from this pack of gnolls and sound things out, but now, ‘Lo and behold, the beautiful scene of crushing others with numbers!
[‘Gnoll 46’ has died.]
[‘Gnoll Group’ has successfully ended their battle.]
[The points obtained by ‘Gnoll Group’ is bound to their master.]
[130pt has been obtained.]
[The buff ‘From This Day Onward, We Are One(Str/Agi/Con +1)’ is now being applied to ‘Gnoll Group’.]
A group buff!
A buff that raised stats by an impressive total of 3 was being applied to the Gnoll Group. The effect didn’t extend to me regretfully, but the stats of over 100 gnolls rising all at once was an extraordinary occurrence. Although one did end up dying, the gain outweighed the loss.
I activated Mind’s Eye and inspected the gnolls.
Name: Gnoll 1(value-51)
Str 13(12+1) Agi 14(13+1) Con 11(10+1)
Int 5 Mag 6
Special Note: Currently bound to ‘Hansung Oh’. Currently under the effect of the buff ‘From This Day Onward, We Are One’.
The stats of most gnolls didn’t differ much from the one above. Gnolls grew stronger as they hunted, and they would at the least continue to develop until their potential was filled.
‘Being gnolls after all, their limits are clear to see.’
A mere limit of 110. The one with the highest potential among the 100 plus gnolls had 115. I suppose I had to bear in mind that they could grow until Lv2. But then again, gnolls were the lowest among lowest-grade monsters so some things couldn’t be helped. Humans had a much higher average as far as potential went.
‘The average potential of a human is about 250.’
The levels are structured so that every total of 50 stats would raise one level, so an average potential of 250…in other words, a mere Lv5 was the average for humans.
‘The number of humans naturally born with high potentials, starting from 300, gradually increase in rarity.’
Although this was purely limited to humans, there was indeed statistics regarding this.
Those born with above 300 potential were 1 in 10,000.
Above 350 were 1 in 100,000.
Above 400 were 1 in 1,000,000
Above 450 were 1 in 10,000,000
After 450, the scale for potential values is broken down from 50 to 10 with the improbability of possessing higher potentials rising exponentially. The current, total potential that I possess is 456. This was considered a miracle with a ‘1/20,000,000’ probability of happening.
If your potential was lower than expected, though, it wasn’t as if the possibility of seeing those numbers go higher didn’t exist, whether it be through skill effects, titles, jewels, or even a strange yet fated encounter with a miracle.
‘I can’t be spectating like this any longer.’
Watching the gnolls battle made me grow unnecessarily excited. I could grow stronger much faster if I carried out my battles together with the 100 plus gnolls.
I headed towards the west, hunting down every single gnoll I came across. When they were occasionally great in number, I slaughtered them in small numbers as I lured them out, and with the points gathered in this manner, I further increased the number of my gnolls. To the original reigning gnolls of this territory, it was an emergency.
I was an ecological disaster.
[‘Gnoll 161’ has joined ‘Gnoll Group’.]
[The level of ‘Gnoll Group’ has risen to 3.
There had been 120 gnolls at the start, but in just 7 days or so, the numbers rose to 150. The problem was that as my stats developed and my army increased in size, I could no longer earn much points from hunting gnolls.
‘I suppose gnoll hunting ends here.’
This was the reason why gathering points was hard. The stronger you become, the less points points you earned, while on the other hand, defeating a stronger opponent when you were weaker would net you so much more — but this hardly ever happened. I had now reached the limit of gaining points through hunting regular gnolls, and the speed at which my stats grew had noticeably slowed.
I drew a cross mark in midair.
[Updating User Information.]
Name: Hansung Oh
🌑 Merciless Gnoll Slaughterer(Lv3, Con +4)
Special Note: Potential has greatly increased due to the influence of an unknown power.
Skills: Mind’s Eye(Lv9), Dominator(Lv9), Transfer(???)
[Before and After Comparison]
Str 11 Agi 11 Con 10 Int 9 Mag 10 Potential(51/456)
Str 29 Agi 25 Con 28 Int 15 Mag 16 Potential(109+4/456)
If my growth was graphed, the curve would look like a sheer cliff. If I had been alone, then I wouldn’t have managed this kind of growth within the same time frame; it was only possible because I had fought alongside my gnolls. I even gained a title. No matter how many titles you had, it wasn’t enough because they were one of the few methods of breaking through your own potential. The conditions to earn them were that much stringent and difficult, but they were worth it even if one had to go through the pain of shitting bricks.
‘Now if I could take down the chief then the title’s level would rise however…’
I fell into contemplation. As far as I know, there were approximately three gnoll chieftains that ruled over this wilderness. But my strength was a little lacking for a confrontation with them. A gnoll chief was a Lv5 monster, and they stayed with a community of gnolls that numbered in the thousands. Going against them right now would spell annihilation.
‘The Ancient One’s power comes first.’
It was extremely important to decide on priority. I had to avoid overestimating myself, and besides, there was no need to gamble at this point.
Hunting regular gnolls would come to an end here. It was now time to seriously search for the altar. Fortunately, I could vaguely see some structures in the distance: temples, towers and altars, all in ruins. Heading towards west I barely managed to reach the location.
‘Soon, the moment of truth will arrive.’
My fortune would depend on whether or not I can safely get my hands on the Ancient One’s power.
I clenched my fist as I quickly walked onwards. Behind me were roughly 150 gnolls, all following after me.
There was an especially large number of half-ruined altars in this place. All the altars here would pass down a ‘trial’. Every trial was different in nature, and those who passed them would earn fitting rewards. On the other hand, those who couldn’t overcome the trial, would be headed straight for the river styx because the ones who fail the trial cannot not exit the altar ever again.
‘The number of altars here was 56.’
There sure were a lot. But even though there were 56 altars, each could be explored by one person only. That meant there were enough opportunities for a grand total of 56 people, but without any information, it was literally a gamble. The altars rose in difficulty the closer you went to the center. And the altar of the ‘Ancient One’ was right at the center.
‘Ancient One. The first dragon…’
I stood in front of it. It was much larger and magnificent than the other altars. An incomparably gargantuan image of a dragon was engraved at the top of the entrance, preserved in its appearance regardless of the passage of time.
The Ancient One. The first ever and most powerful dragon to exist. It had a familiar ring to it. It was quite like how I was at one time, the last ever hero to remain.
There were no proper accounts regarding the trial of this place. No one could re-enter and attempt an altar that was already completed once, and as such, there were no guidebooks floating around anywhere. Simply put, I had to explore it myself.
When I approached the semi-ruined entrance, a warning message popped up.
[This is the Ancient One’s altar.]
[Will you enter?]
The difficulty was measured according to the stats of the challenger. It only took stats into consideration, however, so external elements were excluded. It was deemed ‘impossible’ with my current stats, but I had Mind’s Eye and Dominator. What’s more, I had an abundance of experience like no other. If that guy who imploded to death could overcome this trial, there was no reason why I couldn’t.
Will I enter you ask?
I directly went through the entrance, and fortunately, the 150 gnolls seemed to have been determined as ‘my belongings’. When all the gnolls passed through, the entry closed with a resounding slam.
It was dismally dark inside, and the first thing that greeted me was an arrow.
[‘Gnoll 23’ has died.]
I become tense with the violent death of one gnoll as I studied my surroundings.
There was a passageway. A long passageway with no end in sight. Could it be that arrows will continuously shoot out until I traverse this passage?
I wouldn’t be able to dodge arrows flying at me from the front because of my low Agility, but I was still capable of reading the trajectory of an arrow in advance and evading it.
But as if mocking me for my thoughts, I could hear a deafening noise coming from behind.
Tung. Tung. Turururung!
This sound…it was the sound of something rolling.
I looked back.
And saw a giant iron hoop rolling straight towards me from the entrance.
I was already running before I opened my mouth to give the command.
[‘Gnoll 121’ has died.]
There was no time to read the message, and even less time to read the trajectory of arrows.
“God, damn it all!”
I used the gnolls as shields and ran like my feet was on fire.