The Sun shone brightly above in the spotless sky; not one puff of cloud obscured the view. But looking around, the cloud could be seen floating near the ground. The place Sungjin stood was a high elevation plateau.
[Welcome. This place is the Tahrakhan Plateau]
[The elevation is several thousand meters above sea level.]
[Please be warned, due to long term isolation, the life forms that inhabit this Plateau]
[Have evolved to survive in the harsh environment and have become particularly dangerous.]
Sungjin shivered involuntarily. He was wearing a warm shirt that Dalupin provided him with his clothes, but it still felt very cold. However, Sungjin kept a positive mindset.
‘It should warm up as I swing my sword around.’
One by one the Hunters appeared after the Operator’s announcement. Sungjin watched them materialize without thinking much about it.
‘I don’t think there’ll be any surprises…’
But his prediction was off.
‘Inquisitor’, ‘Pirate’, ‘Pugilist’, ‘Treasure Hunter’
Sungjin’s jaw dropped as he stared at the owner of the title. The man was an Arab holding daggers in each hand, sporting a long mustache. He was short and looked unremarkable, but his large eyes visibly sparkled.
‘Wow… The fact that he has Treasure Hunter title means… he managed to find a hidden element at some point in the past…’
It wasn’t too strange that he had received this title. It was already the 7th Raid. By now few of the others would have successfully found hidden elements along the way.
But what was surprising was that he had decided to set the title active.
First, he had to take 50% penalty on all other titles he didn’t pick. Second, even if he could find the boss, he still had to overcome the difficulty of defeating it.
Even Sungjin who had knowledge from the previous life waited six chapters until he felt safe enough to try switching Master Hunter to Treasure Hunter once.
There were two possibilities.
‘He’s either brave or stupid.’
Of course, he could be both as well. Sungjin suppressed his surprise and checked out the other teammates. The other three hunters looked fairly normal.
‘Inquisitor’ was a large built westerner. The ‘Pirate’ was a slightly tall Arabian and the ‘Pugilist’ was an Asian man. The Inquisitor took a look around and commented
“What a peculiar title we have this round.”
Sungjin agreed with him, thinking of the ‘Treasure Hunter’. But he then said
“Two in fact.”
Sungjin turned to face the Inquisitor. Their eyes met. He had been looking at Sungjin.
“Treasure Hunter and Adjudicator…”
The Pugilist said, cracking his neck by twisting it.
“Yeah, I’ve never heard of those titles before. Treasure Hunter… Do you get bonus rewards or something? And Adjudicator? What does that do?”
Sungjin stayed silent for a moment. Then the Pirate spoke up.
“One Westerner, two Middle Easterners, and two Asians? I hope to get along with the rest of you. Don’t go sticking a knife in people’s backs.”
Sungjin turned his gaze towards him.
‘Don’t go sticking a knife in people’s backs?’
The ones who say such things were most likely the very same ones who would do exactly what they promised not to do. Innocent people who don’t plan on doing such acts won’t even mention it, as it won’t even occur to them to think about it.
Sungjin had lived at the bottom of the society before the raids began, and he saw countless individuals do the same thing.
‘I will never scam you.’
He would likely aim to scam because scam is on his mind.
‘I won’t cheat on you.’
He is likely to cheat due to keeping himself aware of the possibility.
‘Don’t stab people in the back.’
He probably thought about it a lot, meaning he’s more likely to carry it out. And the fact that his title was ‘Pirate’ is suspicious. After all, Pirates are people who pillage from other people.
While Sungjin was thinking so, the Treasure Hunter finally opened his mouth.
“Listen carefully everyone. Let me tell you something amazing.”
Sungjin looked at him through the slit of his eyes.
Unfortunately, he was right.
“There are hidden elements in this raid. Not one, but two.”
The other three hunters were immediately interested. Happy that the others showed such interest in his words, he smiled as he continued.
“One is a secret location on the map or an item. The other is a hidden boss.”
Once the basic information was said, the others showed even greater interest. Of course with the exception of Sungjin who already knew all of this. The ‘Inquisitor’ spoke first.
“Hidden Item? Hidden boss? That’s the first time I’ve heard of such things.”
The ‘Treasure Hunter’ looked smug as if he was revealing the secret of the universe.
“Yes. Each chapter has those things. And I know where to find them. Thanks to my title of ‘Treasure Hunter’.”
The ‘Pirate’ asked
“If it is hidden items, is it worth a lot?”
Treasure Hunter nodded. He wasn’t hiding anything. Once he began giving out free information, there was little reason to stop.
Truth be told, just finding the place itself is a major advantage.
For example in the last raid, there wasn’t much benefit to other hunters from the killing of Besgoro, but being able to meet ‘Wandering Merchant Ruff Han’ proved to be very fruitful to everyone else.
“So if we kill the hidden boss, we can get additional items or coins?”
Treasure Hunter responded hesitantly.
“Yeess… it should…”
From his behavior, Sungjin knew
‘So he probably wasn’t able to actually kill any hidden boss yet.’
Finding versus killing the hidden bosses were two very different things; there was nothing to be gained if you can’t defeat the hidden boss after all.
Even if all five hunters were to cooperate perfectly, facing against bosses on the level of Soldamyr and Besgoro (Although both have now become his familiars) were no easy feat.
They would have to prepare to lose one or two members on average.
So Sungjin had been hesitant to tell anyone about the existence of hidden bosses. In most cases, accidentally discovering the boss meant death.
The point Sungjin was curious about was at what chapter did he obtain the title. The Treasure Hunter was still busy answering questions.
“So when can we find those things?”
“Hahaha, let’s clear the raid first. We shouldn’t have death hanging over our heads as we go searching for the extras, right?”
He seemed to love answering questions and to be the center of attention. Sungjin waited for the right moment to ask his question.
“So at what chapter did you get the ‘Treasure Hunter’ title?”
Although he was carelessly answering all the questions until now, he stopped at this point. Sungjin decided to manipulate him psychologically.
“I want to try and get that title too. You should let other people know how to get such an amazing title, don’t you think?”
At his words, the man began to grin sheepishly.
“Remember that desert?”
Hook Line and Sinker. He probably couldn’t have imagined that the person asking ‘how do I get the title’ already has it. Sungjin nodded.
“Once we defeated the Raid boss Basilisk, we wandered around the desert and ran into a Sphinx. That Sphinx issued us a Riddle.
The other Hunters focused in on his story. And elated by the amount of attention he received, he told a detailed recount of the solving of the riddle and how he came to arrive at the hidden Oasis.
At the very end, he arrived at the point in the story where his team discovered the ‘Lamp’. The Pugilist swallowed once before asking
He urged for the Treasure Hunter to continue. But the story ended there.
“Ah well… that Lamp… it was made of gold so… I sold it at the Black Market.”
Unlike how excitedly he had told the story until that point, he was now stuttering. The Pirate decided to ask
“So? How much did you get?”
“Ah um… 2000?”
The Inquisitor’s eyes grew wide, the Pirate licked his lips and the Pugilist commented
“Wow, that’s amazing!”
Sungjin stared at him as he thought
‘Lies. 100% he rubbed it.’
Soldamyr’s Lamp would have been discovered in a ‘Worn’ state. It was a normal tier item with only one ability ‘rub’.
Yes, it was made of gold, but with so much grime and wear, there was no way that lamp held value without cleaning. There is no way anyone decided to sell it without trying to rub it first.
Most likely story is that Soldamyr was summoned as a result, and he ran away while being attacked by a barrage of magic spells, losing few comrades in the process. Sungjin continued to stare at the Treasure Hunter as he thought
‘A liar, but not useless…’
Sungjin had to equip Adjudicator in order to test out ‘Trollseeker Marble’. If he could get the Treasure Hunter to use his skill to reveal both locations, it would help him greatly.
‘And of course, the reward is obviously mine.’
[Raid will begin in 3 minutes.]
At the Operator’s announcement, the Inquisitor snapped to attention.
“My, look where the time’s gone. Let’s put side story time for later and worry about our strategy for this round really quick.”
He wore a full plate mail and wielded a mace; a standard Tank.
The ‘Inquisitor’ title granted defense against magic attacks. The title itself could have been obtained after being hit by spells in Chapter 3 from the Lich, or Chapter 4 from “Cho’Roch’, or even Count Dimitri from the previous round.
Since it also gave a good boost to melee offensive power, it was a great choice for a tank who was confident in his defensive items.
“My name is Weiden Peller. As you can see, I am the tank.”
He must have been German. Blonde with green eyes and wide shoulders. Now that he thought of it, he even resembled ‘Hildebrandt’ from the final 10 members of his previous life. Although Hildebrandt was taller.
The Pirate spoke up.
“I am Jamar. I wield two scimitars.”
And just like he claimed, he wore two of them on his sides. Duel wielder. He didn’t reveal his nationality, but no one piped up. Next was the Asian Pugilist.
“I am Shigetoki. As you can see, I am a Karate practitioner.”
He was probably Japanese. And just as the name Karate would suggest (Karate 空手: Empty Fisted), he carried almost no items at all despite reaching chapter 7. Of course, in place of items, he had massive amounts of muscles.
Next was the ‘Treasure Hunter’.
“I am Mustafa, I use daggers.”
He shared the same name as the previous final 10 member, ‘Mustafa’. But his appearance and personality were completely different. In the previous life, Mustafa was a quiet and earnest man. Sungjin also gave his prepared response.
“Kei. As you can see, a Swordsman.”
No one was particularly interested in him. Even the Inquisitor who had asked him about the Adjudicator earlier was distracted by the ‘Treasure Hunter’ and gave no attention to him.
“Is anyone able to use magic here?”
While the four others gathered to try and discuss a strategy, Sungjin let out a long yawn and stretched.
In order to go to ‘Darker than Black’ at 4:30 every night, he had to get in the habit of going to bed earlier. Sungjin wiped away his tears as he thought
‘I can’t wait to quickly end the chapter and try out the Trollseeker Marble.’
He didn’t know which unlucky troll he would be summoned onto, but there was no way to escape him. He would be forced to give up two items and die. The Operator gave an announcement.
[The raid will begin in 1 minute.]