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When Sungjin parroted Franz and tilted his head, Franz replied,
“Well… after the Raid, the cooldowns get refreshed, even the ones with 1 day cooldowns. I think that there is a change of date between before and after the Raid.”
“Oh… Really? I did have my suspicions too”
The Duration of the Raid did not match the time difference between when the Hunters were teleported away from the Black Market to when they came back. And whenever he came back, Cain and Rajenta were noticeably larger than before. Sungjin had suspected in the past
‘Did several days… no, months pass?’
He had wondered from time to time, but it appeared to have been true all along. This means that it would be possible to hold a meeting before and after each raid.
“Hmm… Then I should be able to gather everyone up today as well.”
“Yes, I suspect it should be possible.”
“That’s good. I have lots of things to say. Then I guess I’ll call everyone before dinner time? We can all eat together around the table.”
Meeting at the morning was productive, but it would be good if everyone could meet again for dinner. He still had to introduce Baltren to everyone. Franz gave a refreshing reply.
“That sounds good.”
“Then I’ll call you in a bit.”
Franz bowed deeply.
“Yes Sir, Mr Kei.”
Finishing up the conversation, Sungjin headed towards Kargos’s Smithy before heading to the Inn. It was because he wanted to inquire about the mysterious ‘Star of Winter’.
‘Star of Winter…’
He didn’t have a clue as to what the item was for. Sungjin entered the Smithy, holding the star in his hands. Luckily, Kargos recognized it in a single glance.
“Hmm, this is a Gem… A star that shines alone in the night. A gem symbolizing loneliness.”
“Symbolizing loneliness… what does that mean?”
To Sungjin’s question, Kargos raised two of his gloved fingers and responded.
“Listen carefully. There are two ways to use this gem.”
“First is simple. Go to Meridian and sell it.”
“Then you can receive few thousand coins since it’s an expensive gem.”
Few thousand coins for a crafting material was not all that attractive an option for Sunjin. He unhesitatingly asked,
“And the other method?”
“Craft it into an item.”
“What happens when you craft it?”
“Didn’t I tell you, the gem symbolizes loneliness.”
“What does that mean…”
When Sungjin trailed off his sentence, Kargos finally revealed the crucial piece of information.
“It becomes an item that allows you to enter the Raid alone.”
Shocked upon hearing the smithy’s words Sungjin exclaimed out of surprise
Kargos raised the Star of Winter and said,
“If you use this before the Raid starts, you will enter the Raid alone without teammates. Of course, that means you will get 100% of everything you kill, but you need to have the confidence of solo clearing a Raid.”
He was more than confident in soloing the raids. Sungjin was even prepared to solo clear a 10 man raid. With this Item, he could wipe out the mobs without worrying.
“Then what will you choose? Will you go to Meridian and…”
Before Kargos can finish, Sungjin already gave his reply.
“2nd. Please craft it.”
Kargos grinned at Sungjin.
“Ok. I knew you would make that choice. Then go ahead and come by tomorrow morning as always. Crafting fee is a thousand coins.”
It wasn’t even expensive to make either.
“Understood. See you tomorrow then.”
Sungjin bowed his head to say goodbye and returned to Ninety Nine Nights.
Once at the table, Sungjin retrieved the Sceptre of the Warlord. He lifted it into the air and declared,
The faces of the ‘Chosen Ones’ began to appear above the Cube. First was Franz.
“Franz, it’s time.”
He must have been waiting for Sungjin.
“Understood. I was getting ready.”
Next was Serin.
“Hey Serin, come over. Let’s have dinner together.”
“With everyone? Or alone?”
“Ah… Ok Oppa.”
“Nada, I’m planning on hosting a dinner with everyone here, so come. I want to speak about the Raid as well.”
The three of them arrived at Sungjin’s Inn first. Sungjin first addressed Serin.
“So did you find the Hidden Piece?”
“Yes, Oppa. Once we began to search for it, it was in such an obvious location that it made me speechless.”
Sungjin decided to speak to Nada as well.
“You seem fine. I guess it went well with the Hidden Boss?”
“Yeah. I did as you said and it was quite easy. Well, a lot of my zombies were taken down, but well, there were plenty of corpses around.”
“I thought as much. Have more confidence, Nada.”
Finally, Baltren’s face showed up on the Cube.
“Ah, Master Hunter Kei. What’s going on?”
“I am gathering everyone. Please accept the summon request.”
Baltren was the last to cross over to where Sungjin was waiting. It was always difficult for a student who transferred in during the middle of the school year to adjust. The first order of business for Sungjin was to introduce Baltren to everyone.
“Here is Baltren. An American and a Police Officer.”
Baltren who was taller than everyone by about a head bowed slightly to introduce himself.
“Name is Gerald Baltren. Nice to meet you all.”
Serin, Nada, and Franz welcomed him warmly.
“Nice to meet you.”
Sungjin grasped his shoulder and said,
“We met in Chapter 1 and somehow ran into each other again.”
Serin’s eyes grew wide in surprise.
Nada nodded in agreement.
“What an interesting fate.”
Sungjin clapped once.
“Then let’s be done with this stiff introduction and get down to dinner and sharing stories. Dalupin, order please.”
Dalupin came forward and bowed.
“What shall I prepare for you, dear Hunters?”
“Let’s not order separately and have a large feast. How about it?”
“What country’s cuisine should we pick? Chinese? Italian? French? Or Korean?”
“This is Cowtail Boeuf Bourguignon”
The Chosen Ones partook in French cuisine as they exchanged small talk.
“I was driving around in my patrol car when I was suddenly summoned. It was really surprising.”
“I was running by the Han river when my vision suddenly turned fuzzy, and I found myself somewhere else.”
“I was taking a class in college, and by the time I blinked, the Professor had changed places with a mannequin and the Operator’s Cube.”
They discussed how they first arrived into this place.
“Ey, but Count Dimitri wasn’t all that bad. Wasn’t Harpy Queen so much worse?”
“I vote Count Dimitri.”
They shared their feelings about previous Raids.
“So Mr Kei appeared just like that, and bam! He threw his sword and the Axe-wielding man…”
They shared stories about how they were saved by Sungjin. The mood in the group was very pleasant.
In the past before the Regression, whether it was due to having met so late in the raids or whether they were under a lot of pressure or fear, the final members only ever discussed about the next Raid. But this group of people quickly got along with each other. Perhaps this was due to their innate personality.
They tended to rely on him, but that was a good thing. Being able to converse like this could only improve the sense of camaraderie and encourage cooperation. Sungjin who was also enjoying the conversation and laughing along noticed the setting sun and addressed the group.
Everyone stopped speaking once Sungjin spoke
“Let’s end it here and, hmm. I have a few official statements to make.”
“What is it?”
“First, if you feel even the slightest bit of danger to your life, ignore everything and call me. Don’t feel embarrassed whether it is a troll or a monster, just call me. If the situation seems dire, I’ll drop everything and go. You are all important people to me. I cannot let any of you die.”
Franz lowered his head at Sungjin’s words while the others nodded. He must be reflecting over his actions today.
“Second, prepare for Chapter 14. 12, 13 well… they are just normal 5 man raids so they should pose no difficulty. But Chapter 14 is different. It’s a 10 man raid, and an incredibly powerful boss will appear. It might be difficult for everyone here, despite my bonus stats. Even more so since 10 man raids are largely dependent on the quality of the teammates you end up with. So work hard to get as strong as you can until then.”
Baltren raised his hands.
“How did Mr Kei know that the Chapter 14 will be a 10 man raid?”
Sungjin stared at him for a moment. He was brand new, so he was not aware of the unspoken rule; nobody is allowed to ask ‘how did you know’ to Master Hunter K. Sungjin cleared his throat and said
Baltren’s eyes grew larger. Serin also opened her eyes wide in surprise. But
Baltren checked the others. Everyone else avoided his gaze, and Baltren finally understood the situation.
“Third, trade items amongst each other. Operator.”
Sungjin called the Cube and took out the items he prepared. He held the Bow and Illich’s Shield.
“These are items I obtained this round… Serin, do you want the bow?”
Serin’s eyes were already round.
“I got one this round already and was planning on using it.”
“Then did you know if you take three more identical items to the smithy you can raise its rarity?”
“Of course. I even bought that sword for Oppa in the past, remember?”
Sungjin scratched the back of his neck.
“Well. Like so, if you get an item you don’t need, speak amongst yourselves and try to trade items to help each other out. Especially for Legendary class, try to trade before you sell it off.”
This system was actually meant to benefit Sungjin since he was able to obtain over a dozen items per chapter. He would trade these with the Chosen Ones, and they would pay him in coins, and then he would buy and drink elixirs. It was mutually beneficial, and then the Chosen Ones would even get additional bonus stat points as a result of this.
Sungjin paused speaking to gesture Dalupin over. Dalupin handed each of the Hunters a piece of paper. On it was descriptions of several hunters’ appearances, their preferred weapons, and their suspected titles.
Edward Blonde Caucasian White Staff Spell Master
Ryu Shin Black haired Brown Skinned Spear God of Spear
The list was none other than the descriptions of the previous final 10 members with the exception of Nada, Illich and himself. Sungjin said to the group
“If you see any of these people, call me immediately without delay. Understood?”
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