Sungjin appeared in the Black Market with the sound. As always, he sat in the cafe drinking coffee as he calculated the prices of the items. However, while he was doing this,
[The Chosen One requested your teleportation.]
[Will you accept the request?]
Nada appeared above Sungjin’s cube. For her to be calling now after the raid was over, it meant that she had something she wanted to ask for herself.
“Nada? Do you need something?”
She went straight to her point.
“By chance, did you get an armor from this raid? A Legendary tier leather armor.”
“Ah… I did.”
Sungjin found ‘Mar’baht – Armor of Nobility’ from amidst the pile of items in front of him.
“You’re talking about this, right?”
“Yeah, that. I want that to upgrade it. Don’t put it up on the Auction House and sell it to me.”
Nada brought her hand to her lips and let out a ‘chu’ sound, after which she sent it to Sungjin.
“Thanks. Then, see you at dinner.”
Having suddenly received a kiss, Sungjin raised both his eyebrows. Afterwards, he examined his notes. ‘Leather armor – Starting bid 8,000 Black Coins, Buyout price 10,000 Black Coins’ was written. Sungjin drew a line through it as he said to himself,
‘Since I even received a kiss, I should sell it a bit cheaply. About six to seven thousand…’
After a while,
[The Chosen One requested your teleportation.]
[Will you accept the request?]
Someone else also contacted him. This time, it was Franz.
“Ah, Mister Kei. There’s this helmet I received during this raid. I was wondering if you needed it.”
“Really? Which one?”
Franz took out a golden helmet from his cube. It was the golden helmet that the boss of the previous chapter, Kh’rot, had been wearing.
“This is the Legendary tier helmet that I received this time. Take a look.”
Franz had the Operator show Sungjin the helmet’s specs.
Arakadon – Kh’rot’s Helm
Legendary Helmet – Defense 44%
Magic Defense(III) – Receive 30% reduced damage from all magic spells.
King’s Campaign (V) – Summon 10 heavily armed lizardmen. They will protect their master until death.
Hide your fangs and tail below the water.
– King Kh’rot –
It had good specs, as befitting a Legendary tier helmet.
“Ohh… It’s not bad?”
As soon as those words were said, Besgoro instantly replied, saying,
‘Not bad? What’s even good about it? Kei, are you…?’
Franz, unable to hear those words, continued to speak.
“The helmet you’re wearing right now… The appearance is also a bit… So don’t you think this would be better?”
Besgoro shouted furiously, but of course, it couldn’t be heard by Franz. Sungjin barely held in his laughter as he said,
“Ah… That’s true, but I’ve gotten used to wearing this helmet. Just use it yourself… Or sell it to someone else.”
“Ah, I see. Then, see you soon.”
After Franz disappeared, Sungjin let out the laughter that he had been holding back.
Perhaps Besgoro was angry, but he did not say anything. Sungjin consoled him,
“Don’t get too angry, Besgoro. Maybe wearing around a skull didn’t look too good or something.”
Besgoro let out a short snort.
Sungjin rose up from his seat when he finished going through the items. However, this time, Serin Han’s face showed up above the cube.
‘Jararan~ Janjan jarararan~’
Elegant classical music could be heard inside the building. This was the high-class restaurant ‘Brazier’s Flame’ located at the center of the Black Market. There was a circular table and six chairs at the center of the completely empty restaurant. Soon, one, two ‘Chosen Ones’ appeared next to Sungjin with a burst of sound.
The first to appear was Franz. He looked around at the surroundings once.
“Woah… Was there a place like this?”
He only knew that he was still in the Black Market when he looked out the window.
“Ah, here. I only looked at this place from afar, but I had no idea that it was like this from the inside.”
Nada was the next to appear. It seemed that she had visited this place before.
“Oh, you chose here? You have good taste, Kei.”
Afterwards, Mahadas and Baltren, the two men in their 30’s, arrived. It seemed that they did not particularly care about the eating place. Baltren sat in his seat after he glanced at the showy decorations once, while Mahadas didn’t even do that and simply sat in his seat while keeping his hands clasped in a prayer. The last to appear was Serin Han. She looked at her surroundings and beamed.
‘It’d be great if we had dinner there tonight.’
It had been her suggestion for them to gather here today. She smiled as Sungjin had listened to her request. Once all of the ‘Chosen Ones’ were gathered, Sungjin placed both of his elbows on the table and asked them,
“Everyone, how was the raid?”
“It was hard, but we finished it properly.”
“So did I.”
Sungjin raised his hand and then asked,
“Is there anyone who didn’t achieve 100% completion?”
No one at the table raised their hand in response. In other words, everyone had successfully fought against the hidden boss and achieved 100% completion.
The Chosen Ones had now reached the level where they could take the other hunters and carry them, just as Sungjin had done himself previously throughout Chapter 1~10. He then clapped his hands as he said,
“Good. Then let’s order and eat together.”
The Hunters each held up the menus that were in front of them and ordered.
“I’ll have the Beef Tenderloin, rare.”
“Rosé Pasta with Crab Meat.”
“Fire-grilled Steak Quesadilla.”
The lion-man that had been waiting a step behind them politely wrote down their orders and went into the kitchen. All of the items that had been ordered could also be made by Dalupin, but the ingredients and cooking methods used in each restaurant were slightly different, so it was possible to enjoy different tastes. This was the reason why Serin Han had requested that they meet here.
Soon, the lion-man brought out their dishes all at once and placed it in front of them.
“Please enjoy your meal.”
Each person held up a knife and fork, or spoon and chopsticks. After they had eaten for a while, Nada spoke up.
“By the way, there wasn’t a new person today?”
Franz also spoke up.
“Indeed. Of the people you interviewed, were there any that you liked?”
Sungjin crossed his arms and said,
“There weren’t any. Unfortunately.”
At Sungjin’s words, Serin Han interjected,
“There will be more chances. Also, since the next raid is a 10 man raid, shouldn’t there be more opportunities to observe even more hunters?
Sungjin brought his hands together and responded by saying,
“That’s correct, but… In truth, this upcoming 10 man raid is a difficult place, where even I can’t guarantee clearing with 100% completion. I’m not sure if there will be time to spare.”
Everyone was slightly surprised by Sungjin’s words. This was because it was the first time that Sungjin had spoken of a raid like that.
“You should receive the information sheet soon, but… The next raid… Is at the Great Plains of Barrastan. What’s special about this place is that… It takes place on a battlefield.”
Sungjin touched his forehead as he said,
“Yeah. A battlefield where the human and demon armies are engaged in combat. The hunters join the human side, and the objective is to defeat the enemy commander. But this isn’t that easy. Not only there are a lot of enemies, but the commander is also surrounded by his subordinate officers… These guys are all difficult to deal with.
Sungjin turned towards the hunters and said,
“I’ll help as much as I can, but… I don’t know if that will be possible every time. As such, you should mentally prepare yourselves tonight. I’ll try to give you a more detailed briefing tomorrow morning.”
The somewhat nervous hunters nodded their heads to Sungjin’s words.
Four thirty in the morning. Like always, Sungjin went to Darker than Black.
“Welcome, Master Hunter Kei. You look healthy.”
In response to the Merchant’s greeting, Sungjin merely placed the used Trollseeker Marbles on the table and said in a dry voice,
“Charge the marbles. Operator, pay him.”
It seemed that the Merchant was a bit offended by Sungjin’s attitude.
“What. If you’re going to be like this, then I won’t sell, either.”
Sungjin stared at him briefly. Soon, the Merchant grinned and said,
“Ahh. It’s a joke.”
The Merchant held the marbles and then placed them back on the table. When he did so, the marbles had regained their color.
“Here, take them.”
Sungjin took the marbles, and then said to the Merchant,
“Also, about what I asked you last time. That thing.”
The Merchant briefly changed into Edward’s appearance. Sungjin disliked it but purposefully did not reveal it since it was likely that the Merchant would enjoy it even more if he did.
“Yes. That person. Did he come here?”
At Sungjin’s words, the Merchant nodded his head once and said,
“That will be ten thousand Black Coins.”
Sungjin said without hesitation,
This time around, Sungjin had earned the most profit that was possible from the auctions through the Auction House. He could use ten thousand Black Coins in order to be able to know about that person. After his cube touched the Merchant’s cube, the Merchant said,
“If you want to know that, then an extra fee…”
Sungjin wrinkled his brow. Then, the Merchant continued,
“Is normally required… But since you’re a frequent customer here, I’ll give you a special service. The first time he came here… Was after the end of Chapter 10, and the most recent time he came was today at dawn.”
“Today at dawn?”
The Merchant replied,
“Yes. Right now, he’s still with me. Sitting in the exact chair that you’re sitting on right now.”
Sungjin got up from where he was sitting and looked at the chair that he had been sitting on. To think that Edward was also sitting in this place.
“What does he buy?”
The Merchant closed his mouth at Sungjin’s question.
“That will always be a secret. Even if you gave me a million Black Coins, I wouldn’t tell you.”
Sungjin didn’t ask anything else. This was enough for him to deduce some facts. First, if came here after the end of Chapter 10, then it meant that he passed Ariane’s test. And then, if he’s here now, then it meant that he was still alive.
Sungjin briefly stood up and thought about Edward. When he saw the Merchant grinning as he looked at him, he said to the Merchant,
“Just give me some elixirs. For the rest of my coins.”
The hunters that were gathered in Sungjin’s dimension at breakfast time had somewhat grim expressions. Even the food they ordered, toast and cereal, was a bit modest. It seemed that this was because Sungjin had said,
‘You should mentally prepare yourselves.’
With a grim expression last night. Sungjin thought,
‘… Did I speak too harshly last night?’
But decided to keep this atmosphere. The two who hadn’t been in the party of ‘Chosen Ones’ for too long, Mahadas and Baltren, seemed to feel somewhat less apprehensive, while Serin Han, Franz, and Nada, who had received the buff 5 to 6 chapters ago, seemed to have become somewhat nervous.
Sungjin decided to help them as much as he could until the last moment and stimulated them a bit.
“I said it yesterday, but this chapter is very difficult. There’s no information on the location of the Hidden Piece or the Hidden Boss. So do your best everyone.”
Sungjin told them every piece of information that he knew. After they had left, he, of course, began to prepare himself mentally. This was because he was proceeding in this 10 man raid by himself.
If he worked with other hunters, then the difficulty would decrease, and there would likely be more chances to search for allies, but problems could arise when distributing the rewards. He did not want to unwittingly commit troll-like actions. Sungjin held up ‘Lathion – Star of Solitude’ and said,
[You will proceed alone for the next raid. Difficulty will not be adjusted.]
Shortly after, Sungjin was summoned alone to the Great Plains of Barrastan.
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