Chapter 148 – The Swamp of Kh’rot (4)

Sungjin was about to ask the Pyromancer some more questions, but then the Pyromancer’s voice could be heard saying,

‘Just who is this guy? Why is he asking these kinds of questions after appearing out of nowhere?’

Sungjin purposefully stopped the questions and gave the Pyromancer the time to think to himself. The Pyromancer looked between Sungjin and Baltren.

‘Chosen One’… I heard them say something about interviews… That ‘Chosen One’s’ stats are definitely incredible. It might be a really good buff… Is this person the one who chooses? Then I should try to look good.’

Having listened up to there, Sungjin asked him,

“Amongst what has occurred in the raids so far, what do you regret the most?”

In response to Sungjin’s question, the Pyromancer’s real answer could be heard first.

‘Accidentally wasting 2000 Black Coins in the Auction House.’

However, his eyes darted before he answered,

“Ah… Well… Previously, I couldn’t protect my teammates.”

He could suddenly hear the man quickly think.

‘I should try to impress him. Though I don’t know what being ‘Chosen’ really means, it seems like a good thing.’

Sungjin grinned as he asked,

“You couldn’t protect them? How?”

“Ah… In the past… In that Ice Witch’s Frozen Palace, my teammates were being frozen by the witch’s attacks…”

Sungjin was listening to his story without saying a word.

‘If I exaggerate a bit here…’

His surface thoughts could be heard first.

“Since I didn’t use my spells properly… They froze to death. I didn’t do it purposefully, but it was because of me that my teammates died… Of the things that happened in the raids, that’s what I regret most.”

“Ah… Is that so. I understand…”

Sungjin turned back from there. Starting from the Pyromancer, the other hunters’ eyes began to focus on Sungjin. Baltren approached Sungjin and whispered in a small voice.

“What do you think of him?”

Sungjin had already made a decision in his mind, but nonetheless, he asked Baltren for his opinion.

“Baltren, in your mind, what do you think of him?”

“I think his abilities are decent, but… Back then, when he was replying, it felt like he was lying about something. His attitude also changed a bit from what it was at first…”

Perhaps it was because Baltren had originally been a police officer, but as expected it seemed that his senses were not bad. Sungjin didn’t talk about ‘Trite’, but instead said,

“I thought something similar.”

“Then…”

Sungjin conclusively said,

“He’s rejected. That guy.”

It didn’t seem like the Pyromancer was someone who was that bad or on the level of someone who would troll, but Sungjin could not bring in someone who lied for his own profit.

“I see.”

Sungjin patted Baltren’s shoulder as he said,

“Good luck for the rest of the raid. If something happens, call me.”

“Yes, I understand.”

Sungjin took a glimpse backwards. The Pyromancer was observing him from the corner of his eyes. Sungjin said to Baltren,

“Well, actually don’t tell him that he failed. Since that might make him nurture a grudge.”

“Of course. Then what would be good to say?”

“Just tell him that if he passes, I’ll come find him after the raid is done. Also, please keep silent on the information regarding the ‘Chosen Ones’.”

“Understood.”

Baltren returned to his original position after listening to Sungjin’s words. As Sungjin watched the back of Baltren’s figure, he once more hid the traces of himself.

“Invisibility.”

Baltren returned to the hunters and said,

“Well, since it seems like you’ve rested enough, let’s go find the hidden piece.”

When Baltren returned, some of the hunters approached him. Likely, they were asking,

‘Who is that person?’

Questions about Sungjin’s identity. As Sungjin watched them, he thought,

‘Well… Baltren will know what to say.’

He moved towards the edge of the swamp, where it was unlikely for the hunters to come.

‘As expected… It’s hard, trying to find someone good with an upstanding character among perfect strangers’

Sungjin briefly considered,

‘Instead of skill… Should I just look at their character?’

However, that could also lead to some problems. The hunters that he had ‘Chosen’, Serin Han, Nada, Franz, Mahadas, and Baltren, were all people who had incredible skill even without the ‘Chosen One’ title.

Considering that the raids were something that 5 or 10 hunters cooperated together in, if one person’s ability fell behind considerably, then he would stand out considerably.

It could create a sense of inferiority for that hunter and could become a burden for the other hunters. Sungjin shook his head a couple of times.

‘There are still a lot of chances. Since there are still several ten thousand hunters remaining.’

Sungjin held the Trollseeker Marble, when all of a sudden, a thought came to mind.

‘Now that I think of it…’

The cooldown for the Trollseeker Marble was 10 minutes. Also, the cooldown for Trite, the mind-reading earring, was also 10 minutes.

‘If I find and kill the troll within 10 minutes, and search for people using inspection within 10 minutes…’

He should have just about enough time. In any case, there were about 2 hours left. Sungjin used the Trollseeker Marble.

“Pursuit of Justice.”

This time, a troll was found.

[Request for Dimensional transfer has been granted.]

Sungjin left to go hunting trolls.

*

“Shit! Why?! Just why are you doing this?!”

The troll spat out curses towards Sungjin as he ran as if his feet were on fire. However, a phantom horse suddenly appeared out of nowhere in front of him and blocked his path.

“Heeheeheeeheeeeeng!”

“What… What’s this?!”

The troll was surprised by the figure of the half-transparent phantom horse, and unbeknownst to himself, his tirelessly running feet stopped. At that moment,

‘Shlick’

Two swords pierced through his heart. Sungjin pulled out his swords from the troll. He placed the items that had fallen nearby into his cube and asked the Operator for the time.

“Operator, how long did I spend in this dimension?”

[9 minutes and 21 seconds.]

Besgoro spoke up.

‘This took way too long.’

“There’s nothing we can do about it. The boss in this map doesn’t have a designated location and can appear anywhere his subordinates are killed… Furthermore, who knew that the troll would be hiding in the wyvern’s nest.”

‘Hrmph. If I was in my prime, I could have found him in 5 minutes with Shadowrun.’

At Besgoro’s words,

“Heeheeheeheeng~”

The phantom horse, Shadowrun, who was standing next to Sungjin gave out a short cry as if he had understood them. Sungjin simply dismissed his claim.

“Yeah~ Yeah~”

He had to wait 10 minutes to use Inspection anyways.

“Inspection”

Sungjin once more peeked at the figures of the hunters in action.

‘Let’s see… Who seems ok…’

This time, the crossbowman in Franz’s party seemed decent. While Franz’s party was fighting the wyverns, he was turning the wyverns’ necks and heads into a mass of bolts from the rear.

Though he hadn’t particularly stood out when they were previously fighting the lizardmen, it seemed that his skill began to show when they met flying enemies. Sungjin went over to that dimension. There he again used,

“Invisibility”

And watched over them from a place where he couldn’t be seen. Of course, the ace was Franz, who was wielding his two-handed sword without rest and cutting through the necks and tails of the wyverns, but the contribution of the man, ‘Slayer’, was not inferior at all in comparison. While he was expertly shooting his crossbow, he even cast spells.

“Force of nature! Restrain the enemy! Entangling Roots!”

Soon, roots welled out of the ground and tied up a wyvern that had briefly descended. The wyvern flapped its wings in surprise, but the tough roots grabbed tightly onto its ankles. At that moment, Franz ran in like lightning and cut out the wyvern’s throat.

‘His teamwork is good.’

Sungjin watched them from close by until they had killed all of the wyverns. After the fighting was over, he showed himself.

“Huh?”

“Who?”

Of course, everyone except for Franz was surprised to see Sungjin this time as well. Sungjin approached the Slayer and held out his hand.

“Hello. Nice to meet you.”

*

Sungjin found a dry area nearby and sat down heavily. Far away, Franz and his party were walking in the direction of the temple where the Hydra was located. As he watched them,

“Haah… Tch”

He smacked his lips once. The ‘Slayer’ that Sungjin had interviewed was located at the rear of the party.

‘Why are you disappointed?’

Sungjin shook his head at Besgoro’s words.

“No, it’s just…”

When Sungjin spoke up, Besgoro strongly interjected.

‘There’s no reason to be dissatisfied. In fact, this is for the better. It’s better to filter out people like that from the beginning. Sticking around those people is just asking for trouble later.’

“I guess you’re right.”

‘Of course. Trust me. I’m someone who lived on the battlefield for dozens of years. Though most of the throats that I cut were those of my opponents, quite a few of them were the throats of my allies.’

“Really?”

‘Of course. You can find all sorts of people in a war. People who steal rations, people who pillage without approval, and even people who flee right before a fight saying they want to live. That kind of person… Is the third case. Someone who considers only his own life when it becomes even remotely dangerous.’

Sungjin nodded his head as he listened to those words.

“You’re probably right.”

The interview with the Slayer hadn’t taken particularly long. Sungjin’s questions and the Slayer’s surface thoughts were as follows.

‘Have you trolled before?’

‘I have not. I don’t feel like accepting the penalty to try it.’

Having been slightly off from the first question, he completely failed during the second question.

‘Have you ever purposefully driven another hunter towards its death?’

‘When I ran away from the Hidden Boss in the Dark Elven City?’

The Hidden Boss of the Dark Elven City. That was none other than the original owner of Artemio, Swordmaster Calian. The Dark Elven Swordsman who even Sungjin had barely won against after fighting with his all.

‘Since our tank was pushed back too much after fighting for just 1 second… I fled first. But none of my teammates were following behind me. I regretted it.’

Sungjin was able to properly confirm his personality thanks to the Slayer making excuses for himself in his mind. Besgoro added,

‘Who doesn’t hold their own lives as important? However, once you start fighting, you should live together or die together with your allies. What should your allies do if you run away by yourself at the crucial moment? There’s no retreat on the battlefield, I’m telling you.’

He was right. In any case, when they reached the latter half, there was no place to run to even if you did run away. If you were to fight, you could only fight together and win, or fight together and die. Sungjin said to Besgoro,

“I think what you’re saying is right, Mister Besgoro. No matter how good their skill is, if they’re like that then they can’t become our allies.”

At being complimented after such a long time, Besgoro said in a barely audible voice,

‘I’m telling you it’s Sir.’

After that, Sungjin spent the rest of the time alternating between hunting trolls and inspecting items. While obtaining items by hunting trolls was easy, obtaining allies was quite the opposite. In the end, Sungjin had to finish the raid after being unable to recruit any allies in this chapter.

[Teleporting to the Black Market in 10 seconds.]
[10, 9]

Sungjin crossed his arms as he listened to the Operator’s countdown. He had walked around busily as he teleported to ten different dimensions, but there were no hunters that caught his eye after his difficult inspection.

‘Well… There should be someone in the next raid.’

The next raid was a 10 man raid. This meant that the sample size was twice as large. It was possible that he might meet someone with outstanding talent and a good personality, or an old teammate whom he already knew well.

‘But that place… truly was hell…’

While Sungjin briefly thought about the past, he was teleported to the Black Market.

 


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19 thoughts on “Chapter 148 – The Swamp of Kh’rot (4)”

  1. not accepting a teammate cause they preserved there own life instead of dieing to a optional boss is a REALLY poor reason to not accept a teammate. he even truly regretted it.

    The whole point is to save the human race dieing pointlessly wont help, i really think hes being over the top nit picky.

    1. That wasn’t the only reason. It was just one of them. Like the author said, the dude’s answer was off from the very first one. When he was asked if he ever trolled before, in his mind, the only reason he didn’t do it was because he didn’t want to face the penalty.

      That means he would be okay with trolling if the penalty was lighter or didn’t exist. He isn’t a good dude or reliable, he is opportunistic.

      1. well that’s what you would call human nature…heck i’m not even believing his allies’ characters…it would be prejudice for me to say but i don’t believe that somebody has not even a little bit of evil (and i wouldn’t even call this evil more like selfishness)…he would do good hunting for dolls than hunting people irl…it would nicer to hear if he’s recruiting courageous and team player guys than good people…

        1. That is the problem. He already tried courageous and strong guys. That was the first attempt, and they lost.

          Now he has the ability to make people stronger, read their minds and search for people without having to wait for them to be in the same group as him. He has all the tools he needs to make his group the way he wants to, so why wouldn’t he?

          He wants good natured people. There is a difference between “a little bit of selfishness” and “the only reason I won’t do something bad is because I am afraid of the consequences”.

          The dude just wasn’t a good dude. His thoughts showed that if the payout was good enough, he would be a troll.

          1. The first attempt failed because there wasn’t an absolute leader. I’ve read plenty of novel where not perfect individuals fought together as one because of a good leader. The previous 10 were all around the same level, so there was no admiration or pillar of support for the members.

    2. Accepting a teammate who’s going to run on you to preserve his ass when things START to go bad is not going to do wonders to the rest of your team’s survivability.

      It’s a perfectly sensible reason when you have a bunch of other candidates that you haven’t even checked through yet.

        1. Nah that guy bailed in one second by himself. His entire team was there he bailed on all of them. Sure the tank had trouble but it’s not just the tank that was left behind. Maybe if he had stayed they could have lived but now we’ll never know.

    3. yes, he need to be a picky u know, this is not an easy task, he must gather 10 teammates that got good synchrony, and i believe the MC will always go hunt the optional for 100% complete raid. thats why if his friend got character like that, that will be hard. and as he know his character it will be hard to trust if they are on disadvantage situation.
      and speaking of chosen one he got 4 slot left, that i believe one for his pupil, 1-2 for his past team, 1-2 random encounter. in his team now, 3 new encounter – archer girl, franz, balder, 2 past encounter/team – monk, mage girl.

  2. So far the only old acquaintance (aside from the rest of the previous last ten) is that hiro samurai from the graveyard chapter, he plus the 2 (from the previous last 10 that he trust) leaves only 1 empty slot for the new last 10 and I have the felling that it’s going to be the spellmaster Edward

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