Chapter 59 – Tahrakhan Plateau (4)

“Chain Lightning!”

Lightning gathered at the tip of Sungjin’s sword and blasted its way towards his enemies. Several harpies were fried, falling out of the air after a seizure. Sungjin tried to count them again.

‘One two three four’

He had killed so many, but there were still four remaining. There were more than 10 to start with. The warning about reinforcement was no joke. Sungjin began reciting the incantation. Suddenly

“Murderous…”

Besgoro began to shout out the spell before he could. ‘Substitute chanting’ must have come off of cooldown. Sungjin timed himself and also chanted the incantation alongside Besgoro.

“Thunder, Jump from foe to foe! Chain Lightning!”

“Murderous thunder, Jump from foe to foe! Chain Lightning!”

Two spells went off simultaneously, and the chain lightning burst forth from both hands.

The first shot landed on a group of harpies and hit multiple targets, but his second shot fired from the left hand hit a loner without any splash damage.

“Hmm…”

Sungjin checked his left hand. The feeling was very similar to dual wielding with swords; it required quick and complex calculations.

‘’He’* was really good at chain casting one spell after another… I should try to test how spells synergize when cast together when I have time in the ‘Ninety Nine Nights’.

As he made plans for the night, he returned the swords to the scabbards. Before him lay dozens of sizzling corpses of Harpies. Sungjin checked the cube.

No message about the ‘Harpy Queen’ was announced.

‘I guess it wasn’t enough…’

In some ways, this was better. Based on what happened with ‘Oryx” or ‘Basilisk’, Sungjin guessed that ‘Summoned’ boss mobs will most likely appear where the most hunters are gathered. It was a guess made with a very small data set.

Sungjin thought about the other four hunters.

‘I wonder how they are doing… they probably hate my guts by now…’

It would be strange if they didn’t. They were forced to try and do the raid while being a man short; despite having the opportunity to earn more contribution points without him present (although in actuality they will not), they would be having far more difficulties without the fifth member being there.

But Sungjin couldn’t help it. Besides, if they weren’t skilled or powerful enough to be able to kill the boss as a group of four, they weren’t good enough to go very far anyway. If they were weak enough to be killed here, they would die without question sometime in the near future.

It was ruthless, but in order to survive the very late game, there was no choice other than to prove their own worth through power.

Once Kutan Desert Raid finished, the Operator had congratulated the 600,000 hunters for reaching ‘top 0.01% rank’, but the real deal begins with the final 6000 hunters, the ‘top 0.0001% ranks’.

Of course, once the raid had progressed to that point, Sungjin would already have begun a fight against enemies of a fundamentally different level. While he was lost in thought

“Hmm?”

He saw one harpy flying away in the distance. He must have just barely survived due to the skill hitting too many targets before reaching him.

‘Should I let him bring more reinforcements?’

Sungjin considered his options, but he quickly made up his mind. If he killed too many harpies here, he would accidentally unleash the Queen on the unsuspecting hunters.

Sungjin watched the Harpy fly for a moment before reciting an incantation.

“Discard your fangs and become a tame sheep! Polymorph!”

The Harpy who just flew past the edge of the Plateau suddenly turned into a sheep. The enemy, who suddenly lost his wings

“Baaa~”

Disappeared over the edge of the cliff.

[Low Mana]

The Operator finally warned Sungjin of his mana level. Sungjin pointed towards the mountain of Harpy corpses and said

“Lich’s beckon”

The Lich’s finger uncurled itself and beckoned for souls to come. Sungjin felt himself refill with mana. After watching the process for a moment, Sungjin turned to look around.

He felt that it was almost time for ‘Harpy Queen’ to show itself around the other Hunters. Sungjin said

“Swift Paw”

Wolf’s claws emerged from his boots, and he sprinted towards the direction he came from.

‘I need to start intervene in other Raids… I’ll leave as many trash mobs undisturbed as possible so that the other hunters can have a chance to scrape together some contribution points.

In the situation where there were limited amount of contribution points to go around, this was the most he could do for them.

*

“Moooo~”

The buffalo let out a deafening sound as it fell over on its side. It was a buffalo in appearance only; it was a monster as large as an elephant. The Hunters just barely fought off the enemy and gasped for air.

“Ha… Haa…”

Everyone was out of breath; Killing just one of this monster took them more than 5 minutes.

“Ugh…”

Some of them were groaning in pain due to injury sustained by spear-like tusks. Once the fight to the death was over, the hunters took a moment to look at each other.

Each and every battle was close, and the hunters were just barely overcoming their enemies. Instinctively, they came to an understanding

‘We cannot kill the queen by ourselves.’

The four hunters wordlessly drank potions. No one spoke, no one moved. They couldn’t hunt anymore. If they accidentally went over the threshold and summoned the queen, they were almost guaranteed to be annihilated.

Even if they were able to just barely defeat the queen, it was obvious it would be at the sacrifice of at least half of the members. They had watched several teammates die over the course of 6 Raids.

Thinking that it was going to happen to them in the near future, terror gripped their hearts. While the four men stood in mutual silence, it was the weakest ‘Treasure Hunter’ who first broke the silence.

“I can’t see us beating the boss with just the four of us…What should we do?”

It was a problem they had no control over. The Pirate replied

“Beating the boss? Yeah, it’s going to be hard. Because of you.”

He mercilessly blamed the Treasure Hunter. He must have piled up frustration and complaints until now.

“What?!”

Whether it was intended or not, the Treasure Hunter held up his dagger threateningly. The Inquisitor intervened and broke up the fight.

“Stop. Even if you two fight, our situation won’t get any better.”

The Pugilist, who was the main instigator of the previous infighting, said

“What about… looking for that Adjudicator? I don’t know where he’s gone but…”

The Treasure Hunter agreed with him.

“I think that would work. Having all five present would help immensely, wouldn’t it?”

The Pirate was more pessimistic.

“The monsters are incredibly difficult to kill with the cooperation of us four. How could he have survived alone until now? He must have become Harpy food by now. That idiot… must have been driven insane by fear…”

It was at this timing

“Yo friends, what are you guys up to?”

The ‘Adjudicator’ Kei suddenly appeared out of nowhere and stood in the center of the hunters. Not a single scratch or smudge dirtied him anywhere. He was neither ‘Harpy food’ nor ‘driven insane by fear’ as the Pirate had suggested.

Kei turned around to look at the buffalo corpse and commented

“Looks like you guys were doing well.”

At the same time, the Cube suddenly gave out a warning.

[Warning! Boss Monster]
[Harpy Queen Laliha has appeared!]

At her words, the hunters including Kei stared at the cube.

“Hmm?”

The hunters frowned, finding the situation unfair.

“We didn’t hunt enough harpies though!”

Kei replied to them

“Ah… There was that one Harpy that was chasing me earlier… That must have been the trigger.”

“Ahoo~”

A strange song could be heard in the distance as a flock of harpies flew towards the Hunters. With just a glance, the hunters could tell that there were at least a dozen in the flock. The four hunters fell deep into despair.

They had been just barely overcoming one or two enemies at a time, but now they had to fight at least a dozen simultaneously. Only Kei remained calm. He looked around to the others and advised

“Stand apart. Harpy Queen uses a sound-based attack which causes disorientation. Being hit as a group is dangerous.”

Harpies were fast gaining on them. Kei quickly said

“The one hit by confusion attack should crouch and stay still while the others protect him. And then try to slap the disoriented person awake. That’s all.”

The hunters stood some distance apart for now. Even if he didn’t tell them this, it was part of the information written in the ‘Information Sheet’. But then Kei added

“Ah, just so you know, don’t hit me while I’m sleeping. I have someone else to wake me up.”

He fumbled around in his pocket while speaking and threw something in the air. A Wolf appeared out of nowhere.

“Grrr”

It was an intimidating wolf. Kei whispered something in his ears. Then glancing over the flock he muttered

“…If I wanted to do it solo…”

He took out a lamp from his coat and rubbed it. A blue genie appeared from the lamp.

“How may I serve you, master?”

Everyone stared at it in shock. Especially ‘Treasure Hunter’ who leapt back.

It was the same blue genie that killed his teammates back in Kutan Desert.

The only reason why he survived the encounter with the Genie was that he stood at the very back when the Genie fired a spell at the team.

He had turned into a sheep and had left the Oasis with everything he had. It was only two chapters ago when he barely escaped with his life. To others, he had boasted

‘Sold it for 2000 gold’

But in reality, he was inches from death. So when he jumped back in fear, the ‘Adjudicator’ Kei turned around to look at him and grinned; as if he already knew everything from the beginning.

“Ahoo~”

The Harpies’ song became louder and louder. At the center flew a particularly colorful Harpy.

It was not much bigger than other harpies, but anyone could tell she was the “Harpy Queen”. Kei bent over and whispered

“Cain, fight far away from me, and come bite my foot if I fall asleep.”

“Woof!”

“Bite within reason…”

“Woof woof”

He turned to look at the Genie.

“Soldamyr, stay close to that Treasure Hunter and protect him. Don’t worry about me.”

“Understood.”

“Also, if Cain and I both fall asleep, wake us up with magic. If possible, with weak power…” The Genie bowed as he answered

“Understood. I will obey.”

Afterwards, he took his spot behind the “Treasure Hunter”.

“E…eeek!”

The Treasure Hunter couldn’t help but cry out in fear and stepped away, but the Genie kept on approaching him faster and faster.

Kei pulled out his two swords and gave an instruction to the Genie.

“Hey Soldamyr, let’s bring them closer to the ground first.”

At his command, the terrifying genie said

“Yes, Master.”

He answered politely and began to recite an incantation.

“All-freezing winds! Razor sharp ice! Blizzard Storm!”

Blue lights left his hands and transformed the clear blue sky into a whirlwind of ice and powerful gusts of ice-cold winds.

“Kyaa!”
Many harpies fell out of the sky, struck by hail, or by frozen wings.

But the Queen was surrounded by a large number of Harpies and were flying gracefully. Suddenly she

“Ahoooooooouuhh~”

Let out a low frequency sound wave.


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