Tahrakhan Plateau Raid
Objective – Hunt the Harpy Queen ‘Laliha’
Time limit – 1 hour
The Operator’s information page opened up, and the hunters gathered around to discuss.
“I guess there’s no ranged attacker this round.”
“I guess so.”
“Don’t we need some magic power?”
“I can use a few.”
“I tried to learn some myself… but the magic power was too low to be useful. It wasn’t worth it.”
“I know. I tried to learn one or two, but sold the rest after I tried them out.”
While the hunters were chatting away, Sungjin was considering how he could coexist with the ‘Treasure Hunter’ in the party.
‘I don’t like the idea that he might be able to find the hidden element before I do and take away the reward…’
Sungjin tried to come up with ideas in his head about how to deal with him.
‘I’ll just use my Treasure Hunter active from the start. And once I complete the hidden piece, I will stick around that guy until he uses the hint, and then just end the Raid and collect the last hidden element.’
Once he was done planning his next move, Sungjin restlessly waited for the Raid to begin.
[5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0]
The moment the Raid began he turned to the others and announced
“I have business to take care of so I’ll be right back, friends. Go around hunting Harpies or something.”
Everyone turned to stare at Sungjin in shock. The ‘Inquisitor’ was first to reply
“What the… “
But Sungjin didn’t have time to explain. There was always fundamental differences in priorities between game show participants and the man who aimed to become the director of the show.
“Try to hunt as many harpies as you can before I come back. That’ll be the only way you will be able to get yourselves some contribution points.”
Once Sungjin was done speaking, he flicked a coin into the air. Momentarily
A horse appeared out of thin air and whined; ‘Shadowrun’ had arrived. Sungjin climbed on top of the horse and grasped the reins before galloping off into the distance. For a brief moment, he thought of the hunters he was leaving behind but
‘If they aren’t able to kill even normal mobs with four people…they’re all going to die sooner or later anyway.’
Sungjin ended his worry. The weak dies. That was the nature of this game.
In the first time around, Sungjin did not consider this and tried to keep everyone alive to the best of his ability, but after having to restart, he had become coldly calculative.
‘Those with poor ability or nature will not be allowed to continue.’
It was true that the more ‘people left to participate in raids’ the better, but in the end, only the best would be able to remain anyway.
If any one of the four hunters in this round had the talent to reach the end game, it would become self-evident by the time he came back.
‘To be honest, none of them looked good enough to be ‘chosen’…’
Even if it weren’t from this particular raid, Sungjin would intervene in various raid teams to ‘select’ his final members. And with the ‘Chosen Ones’ he would beat the final Raid together.
Becoming ‘The one who overcame the boundary of the game’s rule’ could never be done if he simply acted and participated normally like all the others.
Sungjin became more and more aware that he has become more than just another participant. Galloping away on Shadowrun, he called for the Operator.
“Operator, use the Treasure Hunter active. Please tell me where I can find hidden treasure or boss.
[This is the hint about the hidden Treasure.]
Sungjin concentrated on the content of the hint.
[At the edge of Cliffs]
[Abandoned by Parents and left alone]
[The precious one survived and grew]
[This is the way of the True Nobles]
[Only those who break out of their shell and return alive]
[May then lay claim to the throne]
He heard it once, but he didn’t quite get it.
“Operator, Tell me again.”
The Cube repeated itself. Sungjin stopped the horse while listening to the hint.
He stopped Shadowrun and checked his surroundings. It was difficult to see due to the thick layer of clouds drifting by. Even if he had ‘Ghostvision’, he could not see through objects.
Luckily the clouds were constantly moving. Watching for moments when they thinned out, Sungjin was able to get a glimpse of the ground. It was possible to see very far on the Plateau.
While looking around alone, Sungjin recalled
‘What you can see I can see.’
He remembered about Besgoro and called upon him.
He heard an annoyed voice respond.
‘I told you to call me Sir!’
“I don’t feel like it. You should be thankful that I’m even talking to a 52 year old man.”
“Ah that’s right, you’re not even a Mister. Just an old Bachelor.”
‘Bachelor! My god, the only reason why I didn’t marry until this age was because I was too busy fighting on the battlefield!’
“Ok fine… Anyway, Mister Besgoro, I mean Sir, do you see the edge of the Plateau?”
‘No, I can’t see it.’
“Right? I’ll ride on with Shadowrun so please let me know if you see the edge of the cliff appear.”
Sungjin urged Shadowrun forward. Although oxygen was thin this high up, it didn’t matter to a ghost stallion.
He galloped away without tiring out and ran across the Plateau.
Once ‘Kei’ suddenly left, the other four hunters quickly went to work on hunting Harpies like ‘Kei’ had suggested.
They didn’t like the fact that Kei decided to act alone and took off, but they didn’t have any other choice.
In the distance, a large male Goat was spotted. But its appearance was anything but ordinary. To begin with, the Horns were gigantic.
The horns curled around into a spiral until it came to a point facing forward. But this point was as long and sharp as a spear point.
It glared at the hunters quite unlike a herbivore would; it was intimidating. The Inquisitor held up his spear and muttered to himself.
“It looks like it would munch on skin instead of grass.”
As soon as he said something the Goat charged.
The mountain goat charged at an alarming speed. The Inquisitor who took its momentum head on was flung away by the impact, but he still shouted
After the momentum was killed, the Goat was defenseless against the ‘Pugilist’, ‘Pirate’ and the ‘Treasure Hunter’.
The Mountain Goat tried to fight back swinging its massive horns around to threaten the Hunters, but it was quickly killed by the focused attack of the three hunters, and the Inquisitor who quickly came back to join in.
Once the first enemy was slain, the Inquisitor let out a sigh.
“Whew… what kind of goat… is stronger than a bear…”
“Well, the appearance don’t matter, right? I thought the enemies steadily rise in difficulty as we progress through the Chapters.”
Everyone nodded to the Treasure Hunter’s words.
The average stats of the survivors had to continuously rise faster and faster. Taking this into consideration, the Goat they were facing now was incomparably stronger than the Bear that appeared in Chapter 2.
This world was indifferent to the common sense of Earth. The ‘Pugilist’ seemed to be enjoying the situation, however.
“It’s no fun if there’s no challenge!”
It was at that moment
The Inquisitor was raised into the air. The others looked up to see; He was caught by a Harpy and were being carried off somewhere as he struggled
The Treasure Hunter quickly recited an incantation.
“Incinerate everything in your path!”
But the Fireball which left his hands missed the Harpy. What saved the Inquisitor was the Pirate’s spell.
“Steel-cutting Blades of Wind! Wind Cutter!”
One of the formless blades that left his hands landed on the wing.
The Harpy cried out in pain as she fell out of the air, along with the Inquisitor. It was a chance. All of the hunters rushed to the Harpy to kill it before it could escape.
The Harpy tried to put up a fight with its sharp-clawed feet, but it was soon killed off by the hunters. The ‘Treasure Hunter’ checked the Inquisitor.
“Hey, are you alright?”
His leg was bent the wrong way. He must have injured himself when he landed. Despite the pain, he managed to shout out in anger.
“I was stuck in the air! Why did you attack so recklessly?”
The Pirate was at a loss for words.
“Wow, even though I just saved you…”
Arguments between teammates were bad news. The raids were difficult enough as it is even with full cooperation between all the members. If a fight were to breaks out between team members, it could only lead to annihilation. The hunters knew this through experience by now and acted quickly to resolve the tension before it could escalate.
“Don’t be like that…”
But the Pugilist added
“Why are you whining because of a small injury? You can just drink one potion and it goes away, right?”
But his words only fanned the flames.
“What?! You think potions solve everything? How about you stand in the front next time, let’s see how well you do?!”
“What are you talking about? You’re a tank, act like one. I’ll do my job safely from the back. It’s fair, right?”
In the open space of the Plateau, the rising volume of the hunters’ argument echoed far and wide.
Sungjin continued to push his horse forward. He could see monstrous goats in the distance, but they didn’t chase after him while he rode the ghost Stallion.
Sungjin recalled his old memories.
‘Those guys were really tough back then…’
In the past, the tank had been gravely injured when he was caught off guard and impaled by the horn of a goat.
‘…That hurts even now.’
Sungjin looked left and right to search for a cliff wall. But he couldn’t see the edge anywhere. Sungjin called upon Besgoro.
He was acting quite unlike himself and responding with short replies. He must be angry at being called ‘Old Bachelor’ earlier.
‘This 52 year old grandpa sure acts immature… Well, I guess I already knew this side of him when he said that he proposed to a 20 year old lady…’
Sungjin doubted that Besgoro had a healthy, mature mentality. And due to existing for a long time as a ghost, he seemed a bit off as well.
‘I’ll just ignore this crazy old man and… hmm, let’s see…’
Sungjin turned the horse towards a hill overlooking the area. However, even from this vantage point, he could not see the edge of the Plateau through the clouds below.
Sungjin tried to go over the hint again.
‘At the edge of Cliffs’
‘Maybe it’s an allusion?’
If that were the case, it would be a headache to try and solve it.
‘What if it isn’t literally the cliff wall? What could it be…?’
While he was thinking that, Shadowrun stopped in his tracks.
“What’s wrong Shadowrun?”
While Sungjin was verbalizing his question, he noticed why. Before him was a sheer cliff face.
‘So it wasn’t an allusion.’
Sungjin dismounted from Shadowrun. Next, he carefully approached the wall and looked over the edge. He could not see the bottom.
Sungjin looked around. The cliff continued endlessly.
“Wait… is this…”
Besgoro verbalized Sungjin’s thoughts.
‘The entire Plateau must be surrounded by sheer cliff.’
In that case, it was time to change mounts. Sungjin addressed Shadowrun.
“Thank you for your hard work Shadowrun. Go rest in the stable… Unsummon.”
Once Shadowrun vanished, Sungjin took out the Magic Carpet from the Cube.
Sungjin rode the carpet and flew alongside the cliff face. As he checked the walls, he thought to himself,
‘Claim the throne… claim the…’
Note: In Korea old bachelor is considered extremely bad; a major insult.