The monstrous Manticore was approaching from afar. Sungjin opened the book wide, and as always, the book depicted tales of ancient heroes. Sungjin carefully read aloud the contents.
“Guan Yu took precaution when he heard the pulling of the bowstrings. But no arrows came flying, so Guan Yu then chased him until the drawbridge without worry. But this time, an arrow did come flying and cut the straps holding his helmet.”
Today’s passage was a little longer than usual.
“It was at that moment that Guan Yu realized that the man had the skill to hit a falling leaf of a willow tree from 100 steps away and that he had been spared.”
While Sungjin was reading from the book, the Manticore reached the top of the hill near the cave entrance and let out a roar.
But the book was already shutting itself.
[Seance of Huang Zhong Hansheng activated!]
[Passive Onslaught(IV), Haste(II) applied]
The cube was giving an announcement when the Manticore jumped off the top of the hill to begin an attack on Sungjin. Sungjin tumbled to the side to dodge the enemy’s attack.
[Active Skill – ShinGoong’s Bow* (I) available for instant cast.
While Sungjin was trying to understand the name of the new skill, the Manticore swung his paws towards Sungjin.
The four-legged animals’ signature attack was a clawed swipe. But Manticore’s attack was several times faster than even Ahenna’s. Even with ‘Haste(II)’ activated, Sungjin couldn’t dodge and had to block with his swords.
Each of its claws had the length of Sungjin’s swords. Even a graze would cause considerable damage. The Manticore quickly followed up with a left-handed swipe.
It suddenly turned its back on Sungjin.
While Sungjin was wondering what was going on, suddenly the tail came flying towards him. There were long spike-like needles protruding from the tail; it wasn’t something that he could block with his sword.
Sungjin hastily tumbled backwards. Behind him was a steep cliff, so he intentionally rolled back a few more times. Meanwhile, he thought of the ‘ShinGoong’s Bow”. He didn’t know what it did, but he guessed that it must be some sort of a ranged attack skill. The Manticore gave Sungjin no time to recover.
It jumped high up in the sky and flapped its wings. The beast that looked like a lion with wings came flying towards him; a terrible might carried by limitless mobility. It flew at him at great speed.
Along with the Manticore’s blazing fast speed, it came striking down with its deadly claws; The Manticore swiped with both paws simultaneously. It would be challenging to block both at the same time. Sungjin leaned one way and shouted
From the front, the sound of Sungjin’s blade clashing against the beast let out a loud noise as
The solidified mantle creaked against the claws that wrapped around Sungjin; it sounded precarious. Sungjin exchanged glares with the Manticore as they stared into each others’ eyes.
The Manticore looked surprised. As if it was thinking
‘There is a Human capable of blocking this attack?’
The Manticore jumped high up into the air and spun around swinging its tail. Countless needles from its tail came flying towards Sungjin.
It was similar to the ‘Ice Orb’ used by the Lich in the 3rd chapter. But this time, there was no Cain to take the hits on his behalf. The ‘Solidify’ was already on cooldown.
Sungjin had no choice other than to lower his profile, and try to block using Besgoro and Freeark.
‘Pi pi pi pit’
The Needles landed all around him. One of the needles got past his defense and pierced through his right arm.
It was a long time since he had last taken damage, and it hurt a lot. The right arm became suddenly unresponsive.
It was unacceptable to have his hands paralyzed in a fight. Sungjin stood up and immediately took away the status effect.
Sungjin’s Chains glowed for a moment, and the Paralysis ended. Meanwhile, the Manticore landed.
It stood on top of the hill and grinned at him.
‘How is it? Does it hurt?’
It seemed to be gloating at him. It began to anger Sungjin, and the Operator began a countdown.
[Seance effects ending in 10, 9]
Sungjin sheathed his weapon. He was initially planning on using it against ‘someone’ in another dimension, but
The Manticore came flying at him while flapping its wings. Sungjin held the Blood Vengeance with his left hand as he unsheathed the Moon Specter. He then said
An impossibly loud screech reverberated in the air, much louder than any harpy. The Manticore’s face turned into shock, and then it turned to fly away. It looked disgraceful as it tried to run away.
‘And he calls himself a King…’
Sungjin wanted to keep watching the Manticore’s embarrassing retreat but
[5, 4, 3]
He didn’t have much time left on the Seance. He couldn’t just let it end without trying the skill even once. Sungjin faced the fleeing Manticore and said
In response to his vocal command, three arrows materialized and flew off into the distance.
Sungjin tilted his head. He didn’t have many chances to try shooting a bow, but the trajectory of the arrows seemed odd. The Arrows were flying slightly to the left of the Manticore’s escape path. If things were to continue as is, the arrows would miss entirely.
If he couldn’t hit the Manticore with these shots, the fight would devolve into a drawn out test of endurance. Sungjin picked him his swords and began to chase after the Manticore. But Besgoro suddenly said
The Manticore, who was escaping in a zigzag suddenly turned to the left. Besgoro continued
‘All three shots.’
Shortly after, one of the arrows pierced the tail, and the other two landed on each of the wings.
The tail was cut off, and the Manticore could not fly properly anymore.
“Baptism of Blood.”
The Blood Vengeance began to glow bright red, and he continued his chase while also reciting an incantation.
“Binding” Besgoro began to recite the incantation before Sungjin even opened his mouth. Sungjin quickly followed suit and recited the incantation along with him.
“Binding Frost! Frostbite!”
The two incantations were completed in short successions, and the two sources of the binding spell were applied simultaneously. The Manticore found itself frozen stiff to the ground.
It turned to look back at Sungjin. Its face, which was gloating earlier, was now twisted in terror. Whether or not it was due to the effect of Ghastly Wail or due to its circumstance, Sungjin could not tell.
It tried to move its feet to face Sungjin, but it was too late. Sungjin finally found his chance, and his swords knew no mercy.
Sungjin coated the hill thick with the monster’s blood. The monster who terrorized other monsters and held the title of ‘King of the Plateau’, died while trembling in fear of Sungjin.
[Hidden Boss Manticore Cleared!]
The Operator announced happily. Sungjin let out a sigh.
No matter how much stronger he grew, the Hidden bosses were no easy foe. Sungjin swung his blades hard to remove the blood from his swords. Besgoro watched the blood fly through the air and commented
‘Good! Excellent! This is it! My blood is boiling! Let us hunt more enemies!”
Besgoro was blood-frenzied, but Sungjin calmly resheathed his swords and asked the Operator
“Operator, how much time do we have left?”
[You will return to the Black Market in 41 minutes and 57 seconds.]
‘Yes, We have plenty of time. Let us give chase to those Harpies who escaped from our fight earlier… There should be more of them! Waste no time!’
Besgoro was thrilled. But Sungjin said
“Wait, Mr. Besgoro. We are going to go somewhere else.”
“Well… it is going to be this Plateau still… but in another dimension.”
‘Are there lots of Enemies there?’
“There will be enemies. Human enemies.”
At his words, Besgoro became elated.
‘Huuumans?! Perfect! Even better!’
It appeared as though Besgoro lived on the battlefield for over forty years for reasons other than Count Dimitri’s orders. Sungjin responded
“Before we go, I want to do some preparations first. We won’t know who we run into until we get there.”
‘Why do you need to prepare at all? Kei you are strong! Stronger than anybody else!’
“Of course they will be weaker than me… but there might be two, three, even four enemies when I get there. Isn’t it better to be prepared for anything than being caught off guard?”
Besgoro sounded annoyed, but he didn’t argue back. He was fully aware that Sungjin could simply ‘take him off’ if he wanted. Sungjin first checked his HP and MP.
“Operator, how much HP did I lose?”
[You have 46912/49620 HP.]
Sungjin tilted his head. He had used ‘Baptism of Blood’. It drained 1000 HP per second of use. But he had only lost about 3000.
‘I think I used it for at least 5 seconds of the effect…’
Sungjin asked in reflex
The Operator answered diligently to Sungjin’s question.
[HP Event Log]
[Loss: Manticore’s Poison Sting. Blood Vengeance: Baptism of Blood’s active side effect.]
[Gain: Blood Sucker – Lifesteal(II)’s Effect]
Sungjin raised his hands to look at the ring with the large blood colored Ruby.
‘Now that I think of it… this item synergizes really well with Blood Vengeance…’
He could use the effects of Lifesteal to counteract the side effects of Baptism of Blood. He wasn’t sure yet, but if he were to fight without taking a hit, he could probably continuously keep the Baptism of Blood active without losing any significant amount of health.
“What about MP?”
[25641/44050 MP remaining.]
He had used quite a bit of MP. But as expected, he had used less MP than he had thought. It was due to ‘Soul Absorption’ effect of ‘Moon Specter’. Thanks to Moon Specter, he could passively replenish mana through combat without actively trying to refill his mana pool.
Sungjin addressed Besgoro.
“I’ll climb down the hill and hunt any monster I run into. It’ll take too long to wait for item cooldowns to come back… so I’ll go troll hunting as soon as HP and MP are back to full.”
“Troll Hunting? You said you’re going to fight humans?”
Besgoro was showing his age.
“Ah well… fine… Human.”
Sungjin held his sword with both hands and cut the back of the Mountain Goat.
The Goat was quickly cut down by Sungjin’s swordplay. He fought with a single sword for the first time in a long while for the sole purpose of refilling his HP and MP in one go. Sungjin asked the Operator,
“Operator, what’s my MP?”
All preparations were finished. Sungjin mentally prepared himself as he took the ‘Trollseeker Marble’ out of his pocket and held it up. It was the second time he held it in this round, but this was the first time he would intervene with another raid.
Sungjin swallowed back his spit and said
“Pursuit of Justice”
A beam of light fell from the heavens and surrounded Sungjin. The Operator spoke to him.
[Dimensional transfer has been requested.]
[Before Dimensional transfer can be completed, Raid Reward Distribution must take place.]
[Beginning distribution of rewards.]
Editor’s note: That cliff. Do read the note below on Romance of the Three Kingdoms reference 🙂
* – ShinGoong’s Bow directly translates to “God of Archery’s Bow”
Original KR is 신궁. This could actually refer to a human who has god-like ability (not western idea of one omnipotent God, but polytheistic Korean traditional image of lesser god [like 산신 Sanshin]) with a bow. The name Shingoong literally means “God” “Archery”. But that’s misleading because you don’t get the subtext and the cultural reference.
Note on Romance of the Three Kingdoms Quote:
Huang Zhong is one of my favorite heroes from Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Mostly because the stories of his deeds with archery are so ridiculously exaggerated. And his character stats, in Chinese historical simulations where he makes appearances, is EXTREMELY high.
By the time he becomes a relevant character in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, he is already at an advanced age and is already considered a hero of the city he defends, ChangSha. The history departs from Romance of the Three Kingdoms here. History says that he simply urges his Governor to surrender, and the surrender is accepted. But in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, he is sent to duel against Guan Yu (2nd sworn brother of Liu Bei). In the first round, he is easily knocked off his horse by Guan Yu’s attack. However, Guan Yu does not believe in trickery and foul play in duels, so he pauses the duel and assists Huang Zhong back onto his horse so that they can have a fair fight.
Between the 1st and 2nd round, Huang Zhong receives an order from the Governor to use his world famous archery skills to kill Guan Yu during the Duel. Guan Yu charges at him, but Huang Zhong runs. He does not wish to kill the man who has proven to be virtuous. But Guan Yu does not wish to stop. So he fires a shot to warn Guan Yu not to follow him, accurately and precisely cutting only the strap of Guan Yu’s Helmet. Guan Yu realizes that it was HE who was being spared.
This part, where Huang Zhong fires a warning shot, is the passage described in the quote.
When Huang Zhong returns, he is charged with treason for refusing to obey a direct order from the Governor and is sentenced to execution. But Wei Yan intervenes, inciting the peasants to rebel to protect the hero of the city, saying that ordering the death of the city’s hero is nothing short of betrayal against the people and deserves to be punished. Huang Zhong is spared, and the Governor is killed. The city surrenders to Liu Bei’s forces.
In order to fulfill his loyalty to his ex-governor, he feigns illness and refuses to join Liu Bei, but once Liu Bei personally visits him, he is convinced of Liu Bei’s virtuous and saintly personage and is convinced to join his faction.
Later on during the war against Wei (Cao Cao’s country), Huang Zhong overhears Liu Bei whisper ‘what can an old man do anyway…’ and is enraged. He storms out with his men, and charges against an impossibly fortified enemy position. He duels against several enemy heroes, pushing deeper and deeper into the enemy territory despite various allied heroes trying to dissuade him until finally he is shot in the shoulder by Ma Zhong. Liu Bei laments that this occurred due to him carelessly saying something offensive, and Huang Zhong dies while Liu Bei watches on.
Editor’s note: I bet we will cover a good part of Romance of the Three Kingdoms by the time Master Hunter K ends. Also we are recruiting translators and editors. If you are interested then do check our recruitment page for more info 🙂