The Troll waved his club wildly as he ran towards Sungjin. Sungjin watched the club carefully and dodged
He evaded the club and cut the back of the Troll’s knee like in the case of the Orc.
The Troll fell on his knees. Sungjin tried to cut off the Troll’s head as he did with the Orc, but
The Troll swung his club towards Sungjin again. Sungjin was forced to stop as he dodged the club and backed away creating a distance between them. The Troll stood up right away, and charged towards Sungjin.
The cut on his leg had regenerated by the time it finished screaming. If he had used ‘Salamander’s ash’, the fight would have already been over, but Sungjin wished to preserve every bit of Black Coin he could manage.
‘I guess the same trick won’t work on a Troll.’
A Troll’s physical strength was massive, and with an extraordinary regenerative ability, it was impossible for a human to face off against it using purely physical attacks.
But the reason why humans could overcome the Trolls is that the Trolls lacked the ability to learn.
The Troll picked up his club and charged towards Sungjin once more. Sungjin dodged the club and
Sungjin cut the Troll’s shin and spun around, striking and severing the wrist with which the Troll held the club.
While screaming in pain of losing his right hand, the Troll swung his fist towards Sungjin with his left hand.
Sungjin jumped back to avoid that strike. The tip of the Troll’s fingers sported nails as sharp as spears.
‘I can’t give him a chance to regenerate.’
Once Sungjin landed on the ground, he dashed forward to re-engage the Troll. The Troll swiped his left hand once more towards Sungjin, but Sungjin swiftly dodged and closed in on the Troll.
And all he had to do was to draw out his katana and hold it in the trajectory of the slash. The Troll’s massive strike met the blade, and the momentum of the Troll’s own attack severed his wrist effortlessly.
Sungjin got to work cutting and slashing ruthlessly at the Troll without mercy. It was a gruesome task, but Sungjin could not let up the pressure since the Troll could regenerate all of it in a matter of moments.
With both hands gone, the Troll could not retaliate against Sungjin’s attacks and finally leaned forward to protect his body. The moment the Troll leaned over, Sungjin beheaded the Troll.
And without a pause, the Operator announced his victory.
[All Monsters Eliminated. Closing the Chapter.]
Finally, Sungjin let out a sigh.
“Fighting Troll without fire… how annoying.”
The fallen Troll had already regrown his right arm, along with the spear-like nails. It was an unbelievable display of regenerative ability.
But despite it all, it was a success. He had saved 6 Black Coins. The Operator announced the reward.
Completion Reward: Stat Point 10
Kill Reward: Black Coin 10
The reward for the Troll was double that of the Orc, which made sense. Actually, considering the difference in the level of difficulty between the two monsters, the difference in the reward amount was perhaps not high enough; in real combat, the Troll was more than twice as difficult as compared to the Orc.
If the Orc was an opponent a grown man has a good chance of defeating, then the Troll was something only a combat veteran could overcome; assuming he used the Black Coins in both cases.
‘I think an unimaginable amount of people will be eliminated at this stage.’
Sungjin’s guess was spot on as many had succumbed to their deaths on this phase and were sent to the purgatory. That may be, but there was no need to mourn the loss of those hunters. In this “hunt”, only the strong were allowed to survive.
In fact, the earlier the weak got eliminated, the better. Especially before the next round. The next round was not an individual round; it was a ‘Raid’ conducted as a team. The Operator announced this fact as well.
[Dear Hunter, you have completed this phase faster than the others.]
[In the next phase, you will be put into teams with other hunters and carry out a “Raid”.]
[Please stand by until other hunters complete their tutorials.]
Since Sungjin suddenly had down time, he checked his Status for the first time since the restart.
“Operator, show me my Stats.”
HP: 100 MP: 170
Concentration (AKA Mind): 17
Unallocated Stat points: 10
Seeing the Status window made Sungjin pause.
‘The Stat is the same as last time.’
From the start, Sungjin’s Stat was on the high side. Before he restarted from beginning, he had asked others for their starting States and found that most people had averaged just around 10. Meaning Sungjin was originally much stronger than an average person.
His strength and dexterity were 2~3 points higher than average. And although it was unclear how it was decided, he also had higher than average starting Magic power and Mind Power (mana). Only his endurance was at an average level.
Sungjin carefully thought about his Stat.
‘I began raising Dexterity which directly improved my speed, but…’
He lifted up his katana and asked the Operator a question.
“Operator, show me the specs of the sword.”
Katana – Beginning the Hunt
Normal Katana – Strength C Dexterity D
Basic weapon issued by the Operator without any significant merits or demerits.
If wielded by a master, it can perform extraordinarily well.
‘Strength C Dexterity D…’
In this “hunt”, every weapon had a rating for how it affects Strength and Dexterity. Until the restart, Sungjin had used weapons rated at at least an A. He asked Operator another question.
“Operator, how do ranks affect bonus stats?”
[Rank affects stats as follows.]
[Rank E – x0.1 | Rank D – x0.2 | Rank C – x0.5]
[Rank B – x1.0 | Rank A – x1.5 | Rank S – x2.0]
[Rank SS – x3.0 | Rank SSS – x4.0]
Generally speaking, blunts and axes are more influenced by Strength and less from Dexterity. Swords, like the katana wielded by Sungjin, were well balanced between Strength and Dexterity.
If he raises his strength, the damage will increase by a large amount (in this case, by an additional x0.5), and raising the dexterity will increase damage by a smaller (x0.2) amount. He would be trading damage for attack and dodging speed in combat.
Raising both stats had merits, but Sungjin decided to build on dexterity first. Increasing his speed improved his ability to dodge. Instead of investing in Endurance, he opted for combat stats.
Not raising his endurance at all was a dangerous gamble. No matter how fast he was, he could still die from one or two stray hits without investing points in endurance.
But he paid no heed to the danger and decided to all-in on his gamble.
“Add all points to Dexterity.”
[Dexterity rose by 10 points.]
Starting with the next phase, which was a raid, points were awarded based on his merit and participation.
‘If I don’t excel from the start, I will die in the latter half.’
Sungjin’s immediate goal wasn’t merely survival, but to prepare for end game. So ignoring Endurance, for now, he invested solely in Dexterity. And he decided to save every Black Coin he could manage.
The average hunter would have difficulty surviving from chapter to chapter without items. But Sungjin decided that he was not going to waste any coins on consumables if at all possible.
[Synchronization will begin in 1 minute.]
The Operator fell silent after that last message. It appeared that there was still some time before other hunters completed their phases. Sungjin crossed his arms and thought about the next raid.
‘Killing as many monsters as possible within the time limit is a no-brainer…’
It was the most basic rule, common to all raids.
‘And if at all possible, find the hidden boss and eliminate it.’
Hidden boss refers to boss mobs concealed in every map. As chapters progressed, hunters realized that hidden boss mobs and items existed in every map. And those secret bosses dropped ‘special items.’
‘Problem is, I do not know where it is located.’
Sungjin knew the location of a few hidden bosses in later chapters, thanks to hunters sharing the secret locations via word of mouth.
But for the first raid, ‘Greenskin Wildlands’, nobody knew the secret location, because everyone was still new to the hunt.
‘In that case, I need to complete the raid as fast as possible and search the map.’
Running through the plan in his head, Sungjin pursed his lips and nodded. Finally, the Operator announced the next stage.
[All hunts have been completed.]
The background blurred for a moment, and four people appeared in the vicinity. Including Sungjin, there were five hunters now.
The other hunters were briefly shocked upon seeing each other, but
[Starting from phase 5, the hunt will be carried out as a ‘raid’ in cooperation between 5 hunters.]
The moment the Operator’s voice was heard, the other hunters immediately stopped speaking. They had realized that listening to the Operator was essential to their survival.
Phase 5 – Greenskin Wildlands Raid
Target – Hunt the Orc Chief Kamul
Time limit: 20 minutes
[Complete your objective within the time limit.]
[If you cannot, you will die.]
The others listened carefully to the Operator’s announcement. Meanwhile, Sungjin took the chance to inspect his teammates.
They were all males. Black, White, Asian, Arabic, they were all from different races, and not one of them Sungjin recognized. The teammates were different than in his previous life.
‘I kind of predicted this back when I saw the Orc…’
Sungjin had briefly hoped that he would find the same members in his team from last time, but he knew better than to expect it. The Operator was explaining about the rewards of this raid.
[You will be given freedom to act as you please upon completion of the raid objective.]
[Hunt as many enemies as you can within the time limit.]
[The more you hunt, higher the reward will be.]
[Loot will be distributed based on contribution.]
Goblin – Contribution 1
HobGoblin – Contribution 3
Orc – Contribution 5
Troll – Contribution 10
Orc Chief ‘Cunning Kamul’ – Contribution 50
As expected, there was no information at all about the hidden boss. The Operator only went on to explain the importance of cooperation.
[In order to complete the raid objective, Cooperation between hunters is essential.]
[Please discuss with your teammates, distribute your Stat points, and purchase items as you deem necessary.]
[Raid begins in 1 minute. I wish you all best of luck.]
With that last sentence, the Operator concluded her explanation. The only thing left now were the five hunters. Since this was the first meeting amongst them, it was a little awkward. But finally, someone broke the ice.
“Well, since we should cooperate with each other, let’s introduce ourselves.”
First to speak out was the muscular Black man.
“As you saw from the previous round, we need fire to beat those Trolls. How many Black Coins do you all have remaining with you? I have 7 left.”
The black man wore a vest with “Police” written on it, with a large badge. At his words, others began to speak out. This time, the tall white man.
Then the short and skinny Asian.
“I have 6.”
And finally, the Arabic man wearing a turban.
“I also have 6.”
As expected, they all had spent some coins until now. Potions to heal from the damage taken from fighting and the Salamander’s ash which was needed to defeat the Troll.
But if they continued to burn through coins purchasing consumable items like this, they wouldn’t last until the end game. Everybody had announced their number of Black Coins.
Everybody except one. They looked towards Sungjin. Finally opening his mouth, he decided to speak.
“…Please listen carefully.”