[3, 2, 1, 0 Raid commencing]
Along with the signal, the hunters began moving into the desert cautiously. Sungjin decided to stick with them for the time being. Although, he had no intentions to participate in hunting as a group with the rest.
The difference in ability was absolute. It made more sense to hunt alone and clear the raid quickly before beginning the search for Hidden Pieces.
It was just that, he was curious about the skill level of his teammates. Especially the ‘Gladiator’ Igor.
‘I’ll just watch for few minutes before heading off to kill the boss.’
As one would expect, the ‘High Level Guardian’ Bukitai took the vanguard position. Next was the ‘Gladiator’ Igor, followed by ‘Zealot’ Ralph and ‘Master Hunter’ Sungjin.
‘High Level Scout’ Munir stood at the back with his crossbow. The formation of the hunters was predetermined by the characteristics of the weapons they wielded.
Sungjin strolled along, moving together with the other Hunters, when a Giant Scorpion emerged from the far side of the sand dunes.
It was about 5 meters in length, sporting two gigantic claws and the iconic poisonous stinger poised two meters above its body.
“Ssh ssh sssh”
Three or four bolts were fired in quick succession from Munir’s crossbow. The Giant Scorpion, however, sensed that something was flying its way and raised its claws in defense.
Munir’s bolts could not penetrate the claw’s thick plating and bounced off harmlessly.
The Scorpion moved its many legs and slid down the dunes, rapidly charging towards the Hunters at an alarming rate. Bukitai at the vanguard nervously readied his shield.
However, before the Scorpion reached the hunters, Munir put down his crossbow and raised one hand.
“Binding frost! Frostbite!”
Sungjin stared at him. To be fair, it wasn’t too unusual. ‘Frostbite’ was a 2nd circle Magic obtainable from the Lich. With a little investment of stats, the magic was possible to cast.
The problem was its effectiveness; his stats were probably geared towards the use of his crossbow, meaning the spell effect would probably be weak. Lo and behold, the affected area of the spell was smaller than Sungjin’s own attempt from back in the fourth chapter.
His spell only managed to slightly slow down the speed of the monster. But it was still better than nothing.
Thanks to his spell, Bukitai was able to get the courage to pick up his shield and charge ahead. The Giant Scorpion wildly flailed its claws.
Bukitai used his giant shield skillfully to block the blows from the claws. Meanwhile,
Munir yelled from the back. While Bukitai was distracted with the claws, the Scorpion had poised its tail for a strike.
Too late. Bukitai saw the tail and attempted to raise his shield to protect himself. But before he managed to,
‘Gladiator Igor blocked the tail with his shield. Not only that, he moved at incredible speed to swing his sword and severed the tail.
Sungjin puckered his lips and nodded.
With that much speed attack power, never mind his equipment, he had considerably high stats; he must have maintained an overwhelming contribution level until now.
With the tail already gone, the claws were cut off by the combined attack of both Bukitai and the ‘Zealot’ Ralph.
“Sh sh ssh”
Munir’s triple crossbow shot landed on some of the more thinly armoured parts of the Scorpion’s body. The four hunters managed to kill their first enemy without much problem.
Munir puckered his lips and whistled. Ralph turned around to the other three men.
“I think we’ll be okay like this.”
Something was wrong. There was only ‘three others’, one was missing.
“Where’s the Chinese guy?”
Igor looked around searching for him. Only Bukitai, who grew up in the wide open plains, was able to get a glimpse of Sungjin in the distance; But only for a moment.
Sungjin disappeared from sight utilizing ‘Swift Paw’.
Bukitai squinted his already narrow eye to see, but Sungjin’s form was lost between the shaky waves of heat.
Sungjin paused for a moment after covering a large distance to pour water over his head with his magic waterskin.
He didn’t run with an objective in mind. Like Ahenna, the Basilisk will appear by itself once enough enemies are slain.
Sungjin just did not wish to share contribution points with others.
‘All four of them looked strong, so they shouldn’t face anything that can kill them.’
Sungjin began hunting solo in the desert. He saw a large Desert Lizard in the distance. Just the body was already 4 meters long, and with the tail, the Lizard was about 6 meters in length (6.5 yards, 19.6 ft).
It lay as still as a corpse in the distance. This was a characteristic of the Lizard; It was silent and still, but once it decided to move, it moved with amazing nimbleness.
Sungjin took out ‘Moon Specter’ and approached the Lizard. The Lizard continued to lay still.
Sungjin thought of just running in and slashing it with his sword, but,
He recalled Munir’s spell and changed his mind. He transferred ‘Moon Specter’ to his right hand, and holding up his left hand he said
“Binding frost! Frostbite!”
The effects were amazing. Despite the desert heat, the immediate surrounding of the Lizard froze solid. The affected area was much larger than the last time he had tried. He definitely saw the benefit of having higher magic power.
Once the feet were frozen stiff, the Lizard stopped pretending to be inanimate and began trying to break free. It was no easy feat breaking free. Sungjin quickly ran up to the lizard
The Lizard’s hide was extremely tough, but it could not stand up to Sungjin’s absolute stat superiority. Sungjin lifted up his sword and thought
‘It’s still one shot one kill’
A large tail came swinging towards his face. Sungjin quickly swung ‘Moon Specter’ and cut off the tail.
When he checked his surroundings, he saw the headless Lizard thrashing about mindlessly.
‘Ah… I forgot.’
Even if the head is cut off, the body will still stay alive for a little bit. Of course, it couldn’t launch any intentional attacks without a head, but being careful around it after beheading it was probably a good idea.
Calming his heart, he took a deep breath when two giant Scorpions came charging at him. Looking carefully, he saw a third behind the first two.
A total of three monsters. Not bad at all. It was not like normal mobs were capable of hurting even a single hair on his body.
‘Quick, come come.’
Sungjin charged towards the Scorpions. He cut through the claws of the first one, cut the side and the tail off the second, dodged an incoming claw attack, cut, evaded, cut, cut… The enemies quickly died. Sungjin thought,
‘Easy… Too easy.’
He nimbly moved his body and killed the first two Scorpions before the third arrived. It was time for one on one.
Two Scorpions were no match for him; one had no chance. Sungjin fixed his grip and waited for the last one to arrive. However, his field of view lowered as the sand started to sink rapidly.
A hole appeared between his legs, and the sand rapidly drained into it.
Sungjin climbed up the sand and jumped out of the sinkhole. In the place he stood moments before, a grotesque vortex-like jaws of a Sandworm appeared from below.
Only the teeth were visible, yet the diameter of the mouth was easily six to seven meters wide. The Sandworm chomped the air twice where Sungjin stood before and disappeared back underground.
If Sungjin had stood in place, he would have been eaten feet first.
Sungjin didn’t have time to sigh in relief; the Scorpion was upon him.
Sungjin prepared himself to fight, but his feet sank into the sand again. Without hesitating, Sungjin immediately jumped away from the spot.
A hole indicated where the sand would soon be sucked in, followed by the rapid sinking of the sand.
Sungjin just barely got out of the area again. Ignoring the cascading sand, the Scorpion ran along the slope of the sand and continued to charge towards him.
In Sungjin’s case, he preferred this; it gave him the opportunity to take care of the Scorpion first. Once he cut off the claws and the tails, he climbed on top of the Scorpion.
The Scorpion was completely disarmed and was helpless; it couldn’t put up any resistance to Sungjin who rode it. Soon, the sand beneath the Scorpion began to sink.
‘It has come.’
Sungjin stabbed ‘Moon Specter’ deep into the Scorpion’s body.
The sword easily passed through the Scorpion and ended its life. When the Scorpion’s death throes stopped, the sand rapidly got sucked into a vortex and rows of jagged teeth appeared from the sand.
Sungjin jumped straight up from the Scorpion’s back. The Sandworm rose out of the sand and bit into the Scorpion instead.
It utterly crushed the shell of the Scorpion, devouring it in a few bites. The Sandworm showed signs of wanting to retreat into the sand, but before it had the chance, Sungjin aimed his hands towards the giant Sandworm and chanted
“Incinerate everything in your path! Fireball!”
A gigantic fireball flew into the Sandworm’s mouth. Moments later,
An explosion went off inside the Sandworm’s body, and flames violently billowed out of the ground. Fireball was a destructive spell; After the explosion, it also covered the area in flames.
And this very spell exploded from within the monster’s body. It most likely couldn’t have survived such an attack. Seeing the inferno raging on the sand due to the aftereffect of the attack, Sungjin finally took a sigh of relief.
“Whew… I forgot all about him…”
Sungjin had been moving through the raids based on his memories of the past, so enemies and elements of the raid he had forgotten about would occasionally surprise him.
‘If I had just read Dalupin’s information sheet, I wouldn’t have been caught off guard like that… I’ll start reading it from now on.’
Sungjin reflected over his actions as he moved his feet. Due to his overwhelmingly superior stats, normal mobs couldn’t hope to face him alone. The only problem he faced in the raid was his arrogance.
Each of the four hunters stood a distance away from each other, watching each other nervously. They were all sweating.
“Uh… Oh? Me…its on me!”
Bukitai’s feet began to sink. He tried to climb out of the hole, but his feet sank faster than he could climb out.
Munir threw his turban as a makeshift rope for Bukitai to grab. Bukitai put the shield on his back and grabbed onto the cloth.
Bukitai barely climbed out of the hole with Munir’s assistance. Shortly after, rows of jagged teeth appeared within the vortex, and a sandworm finally showed itself.
Munir yelled as he fired his crossbows.
‘Pi Pi Pit’
The bolts embedded themselves deep into the sandworm’s skin.
‘Zealot’ Ralph jumped high up and brought down his axe upon the worm. Meanwhile, ‘Gladiator’ Igor mercilessly slashed and stabbed away at the sandworm’s body.
The Sandworm let out a strange cry of agony as it began thrashing about twisting its body. The sandworm came out of the ground and swept around in a large circular area.
Munir was already far enough away, so he was able to get out of the way in time, but Bukitai and Ralph were hit straight on by the sweeping body of the thrashing sandworm and were flung away. The only one who was able to counter attack was Igor.
He found an indent in the ground and jumped into the depression. Laying in the sand, he held his sword up in the air.
The Sandworm, thrashing about wildly in pain, ran into the waiting blade; half of its body was cut away by the sword.
The Sandworm fell into a heap and died. It had attacked five or six times before the hunters managed to take it down. Munir wiped the sweat off his brows.
“Whew… Scorpion and Lizards are hard enough, but this…”
And finally, he yelled after the two men who were flung away by the Sandworm’s attack.
“Hey, all of you, are you alright?”
The hunters raised their hands to show they were fine. Although they took damage, it wasn’t anything lethal.
While the two hunters drank recovery potions, Igor scanned their surroundings, wary of any enemies that might be approaching.
In the distance, he saw dunes shifting rapidly despite no winds blowing. Igor called out to Bukitai.
“Hey, Mongolian, what’s that over there?”
Bukitai gazed into the distance by squinting his eyes. And before he was about to report what he saw, the Operator beat him to the punch.
[Boss ‘Basilisk’ has appeared!]
Everyone was alarmed by the Operator’s announcement. Ralph replied first.
“Hmm? Didn’t the information sheet say that the boss only appears after 75% of the monsters were killed?”
Munir opened his eyes wide in surprise upon realization.
“We’ve already killed 75% of the mobs? It’s only been 20 minutes…”