Sungjin walked up to the Treasure Hunter and tapped him on the shoulder.
“Hey. Use your Treasure Hunter active now.”
He stared blankly back.
He who was showing off about being the Treasure Hunter all this time seemed to be clueless on what Sungjin meant.
“Treasure Hunter active skill. The one you were bragging about at the beginning.”
He finally understood and nodded.
It was clear that he’s never used it before. Since he earned it at the end of Kutan Desert, the only place he had a chance to try it out was at the Count Dimitri’s Castle Ruins.
But since he didn’t recognize Besgoro’s skull that Sungjin wore around his head, he had probably only been to ‘Wandering Merchant Ruff Han’ at most.
If he had found Ruff Han, he would have been able to obtain something great. But as Sungjin watched on, he stuttered as he tried to ask the Operator to activate the skill.
“O…Operator, I’ll use the Treasure Hunter Active. If there is something hidden in the Plateau, please give me a hint.”
Once he finished, the Operator gave the verses.
[King of the Plateau]
[Sitting on a throne high above the clouds]
[Uncontested and out of reach]
[His only enemy was procrastination]
[Offer a gift to defeat his enemy]
[And the King will come]
Another strange verse. Sungjin snapped his hands like usual and said
But the cube did not respond. Sungjin looked towards the Treasure Hunter and said to him
The Treasure Hunter was inexperienced with the usage of the Treasure Hunter active.
“I said, let me hear it again.”
Once Sungjin explained again, he finally spoke to the cube.
“Ah… Let me hear it again. What you just said.”
[King of the Plateau]
[Sitting on a throne high above the clouds]
The cube repeated herself, and Sungjin fell into thought.
‘Throne above the clouds…’
Sungjin looked around. The entire Plateau was above the clouds already. The only place taller than their current location was a round hill at the center of the plateau.
Even before Sungjin thought of the answer, Besgoro commented
‘It must be there, at the place above the clouds.’
When he was running around searching for the edge of the plateau, he had been on top of that hill to survey the area. Although the rest of the plateau had a thin layer of cloud covering the ground like a low lying fog, but that area was completely clear of clouds. It was undoubtedly sitting above the clouds.
‘Well, at least we know the location…’
Sungjin pondered the latter parts of the verse.
“The only enemy is procrastination… and he wants a gift to defeat it.”
He wasn’t sure there was enough hint in the verses as to figure out what was needed to be done. Sungjin decided to ask the Treasure Hunter.
“Do you have any idea what this could mean?”
The Treasure Hunter opened his eyes wide and shook his head. Sungjin let out a sigh and added
“Forget about being a Treasure Hunter and focus on getting stronger first. You’re not even remotely useful in any way.”
Sungjin turned around without waiting for a reply. The other remaining hunters looked completely lost. It appeared that they were still shocked by the Operator’s hint function.
Sungjin asked Besgoro
“Besgoro, what do you think? Can you figure out what gift it wants to receive?”
‘Well, I am not sure but…’
It was ironic that the hidden boss of the previous round was working hard to try and figure out the method of revealing this chapter’s hidden boss.
‘I guess the main question is what was he procrastinating?’
“Well, then let’s check out the throne first.”
Sungjin told Besgoro.
To the people around him, it would have looked like Sungjin was talking to himself. After finishing his conversation with Besgoro, he turned to face the other hunters and said,
“I won’t touch the normal mobs. If you all have time and ability, try to kill as many as you can. And for the hidden boss…”
As he was speaking, he noticed that the others weren’t paying attention as they were too busy being on guard against each other; they were filled to the brim with hatred and distrust for one another.
‘They look more like sworn enemies than teammates. They’re going to have a hard time with combat.’
“Forget about the hidden boss. Got it?”
Sungjin shrugged and walked away from the four hunters, leaving them behind. He headed towards the hill at the center of the Plateau. Besgoro commented on the hunters.
‘What do you say you step in and provide leadership to those men? A real man should be capable of rallying other men and give directions. And if you need my advice on anything, just say the word.’
It was a word befitting of a former Knight. Once Sungjin had walked far enough to be out of earshot of the others, he replied
“No, it’s not the right time yet. Further down the line, there’ll be lots of opportunities for me to step in and take control, but it is too early for now.”
‘Is that so?’
“Yes, the timing… I think when only 100 or so hunters remain, I will have to take leadership and actively participate. And when the time comes, I want you to help me, Sir Knight.”
After being respected as a Knight and as a general, Besgoro laughed for the first time in a long while.
‘I look forward to it. Ka ha ha ha~!”
Sungjin diligently climbed the hill. Ghost Stallion, Magic Carpet, even Swift Paw were all on cooldown. So he had no choice but to go on his feet. Occasionally
A giant Mountain Goat came attacking to delay Sungjin while climbing the mountain,
Cain called towards Sungjin.
“Hmm? What’s up, Cain? Did you find something?”
But Cain spun around once on the spot and sat down.
“What does that…?”
Sungjin wanted to ask, but he was interrupted when Cain returned to the form of a wooden figurine.
He must have wanted to tell Sungjin that his time was over.
‘Okay okay, I’ll understand you next time.’
Sungjin thought as he put the wooden figurine away into the cube. He called the Operator.
“Operator, how much time do I have left?”
[You will return to the Black Market in 48 minutes and 12 seconds.]
Sungjin decided to ask another thing of the Operator.
“Operator, give me the Trollseeker Marble.”
A perfectly spherical marble emerged from within. There was a strange array of light contained within the marble. Sungjin held it up
Tribyre – Trollseeker Marble
Pursuit of Justice (I) – Teleport to the realm a troll is residing in. 1 charge stored.
Wrath is one of the strongest motivator available to man.
And then he placed it in his pocket. There was still plenty of time since all the dimensions proceeded at the same rate.
If this dimension had 48 minutes remaining, then all the other dimensions should still have 48 minutes remaining on the clock. It should be nearly impossible for another party to have beaten the Harpy Queen by this time anyway.
And as long as the Harpy Queen was still alive, the chances that a Troll had appeared by now was extremely slim.
After confirming his remaining time, Sungjin leisurely strolled up the rest of the way up the hill.
The ‘Tahrakhan Plateau’ had a better view than any other chapter so far. If there were no monsters, Sungjin would have loved to be able to stay a few days for vacation.
While having these thoughts, Sungjin continued to climb until he finally reached the apex.
‘This must be the King’s Throne.’
Besgoro commented before Sungjin could. Right under the top of the hill, there was a cave opening.
Sungjin jumped and took ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ out of his chest and cautiously entered the cave. The cave was dark, but he could see well enough with the ‘Ghost Vision’. But
‘I see that.’
Sungjin walked deeper into the cave. The cave was smaller than he had thought. It was about the size of an average apartment unit. It was large for a human standard, but lacking in terms of a throne befitting that of a king.
‘Procrastinate… what is he procrastinating?’
Sungjin snooped around the cave. Within this ‘Throne Room’ there was nothing but skeletons strewn about. Sungjin picked one up.
It was the only clue. Besgoro said
‘Do you think he’s procrastinating obtaining food?’
Sungjin examined the bone closely. There were many small bones, but a few were quite large.
“Could it be…”
Sungjin dug through the bone pile and discovered a crucial evidence; It was a large skull with short horns growing out of it.
“This bone… it’s neither a Harpy’s nor a Mountain Goat’s.”
‘What is it then?’
“It’s a Giant Buffalo’s skull”
Sungjin checked around for other bones as well. There were no bones the size of Human skulls that could belong to a Harpy, nor a skull with a comparably large and spiraled horn.
The only skull he could find were two additional Giant Buffalo’s skull.
“I think… I figured out what the gift is.”
Sungjin emerged from the cave and slowly climbed back down the mountain.
“Besgoro, please let me know if you see any Giant Buffalos anywhere.
At his request, Besgoro immediately responded.
‘Over there to the right.’
Sungjin turned his head slightly to the right. In the distance was a buffalo of an enormous size. It looked tough and difficult to kill, even if the person killing it was a king.
Sungjin was about to cast magic when he changed his mind.
‘What if I accidentally fry it too much and the King wants nothing to do with it?’
Sungjin pulled out his blade and said
“Ah yes. The offering will be thinly sliced steak.”
Once the Buffalo became aware of Sungjin, it bellowed
It bellowed mightily as it charged towards Sungjin. Sungjin nimbly dodged to the left and slashed his sword against the right side of its neck, like a Spanish matador. However, a monster was a monster.
Despite a cut that sunk a third of the way through, the Buffalo turned around unfazed and came charging again. Sungjin dodged to the other side and cut at the neck again.
Once the Buffalo’s neck was cut twice, he began to fall; no one could take two of Sungjin’s attack to the neck, no matter how tough the creature was. It ran ahead a bit more until it collapsed. Sungjin returned the sword to the sheath and walked up to the Buffalo.
The Buffalo was unbelievably large.
‘A large cow weighs about a ton, right?’
And as he thought as much, he picked up the Buffalo straight up with his bare hands. It was a deadlift that was utterly impossible without status increases done by the Operator.
Sungjin carried the Buffalo over his shoulder and walked back up to the Throne of the King. It wasn’t too far from where he had killed the buffalo.
Sungjin laid the corpse down in front of the cave entrance. Now that he was done, he suddenly had doubts.
“Do you think… this is the answer?”
‘You don’t really have other clues, do you?’
“IF there’s no response after a little while…”
But the Operator gave an announcement.
[Warning! Hidden Boss]
[Manticore has appeared!]
Sungjin scanned his immediate surroundings. Then Besgoro said,
Sungjin looked up into the sky. From the distance, he could see an old man’s head on top of a Lion’s body, and the tail of a scorpion. It was flying through the air with its wings. Sungjin prepared his ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms.’