Max shouted loudly.
Atman was on the ground after being run through by the Buffalo. After just one hit, he was almost unconscious; But he was not dead yet. Max shouted to request help from his other teammates.
“Hey! Grab their attention real quick!”
He had not realized that the two behind him were intentionally pulling more monsters and interfering with the fight to sabotage him.
Adrian and Mason glanced at each other and nodded; Trolling was a more delicate process than others realized.
They needed the help of the monsters without putting themselves at risk of being accidentally killed alongside their allies.
As arranged earlier between the two, they ran forward to assist Max who was fighting two large enemies at once.
“Ah so sorry… I totally missed there.”
‘You think you can just wave it all off with a sorry?’
Max wanted to scream at him, but he held himself. He knew saying something like that was not going to help the situation. The other two cooperated in taking down the Harpy and the Dire Buffalo. Meanwhile,
Mason’s bow sniped the Harpy out of the air. Only the Buffalo remained. But even the buffalo became worn down by Max’s blade and Adrian’s spear, that it steadily lost health until
It cried and fell over. Once the hunt was over, Max immediately ran to Atman’s side.
“Atman! Are you alright?”
Atman was barely able to groan.
It wasn’t too late. He had taken a fatal blow, but he was not dead yet. It was then
Max heard Mason’s bow let loose an arrow and he turned to look. Mason had aimed for the helpless Atman. Max turned his body to protect Atman quickly.
The arrow embedded itself on his back.
Even Max understood that these two had been intentionally luring more enemies than they could handle, but it was too late to change anything.
Adrian was already upon him brandishing his spear.
His spear came flying towards Max. Max just barely deflected the shot. The moment his spear made contact, Adrian’s Cube gave a message.
[You have attacked your fellow Hunter. Entering ‘Troll’ state.]
[Hunters in ‘Troll’ state receive 10% penalty to Raid Rewards.]
[And in the event that the Troll is killed by other hunters,]
[It will not inflict the ‘Troll’ state on the attacker.]
Adrian heard the message but didn’t bat an eye as he continued to swing his spear. While blocking the incoming attacks, Max understood
‘Ah, this isn’t his first time!’
Mason let loose another shot. The spear came from the front and arrow from the side. He blocked the spear with his shield and tried to deflect the arrow with his sword. But the arrow had not been fired towards him.
Max tried to stop the arrow, but he missed. Mason’s arrow found its mark on Atman’s forehead and punched through.
Max was filled with fury and angrily swung his swords, but Adrian nimbly jumped back and shouted an incantation.
“My path shall be consumed by inferno. Blazing Step!”
Each step he took caused fires to erupt. Max wanted to chase after Adrian, but couldn’t due to the flames.
As he was swearing, Adrian fired a spell his way.
“Incinerate everything in your path! Fireball!”
They were insidious. Max lifted up his shield to block. From the other side,
Mason’s Active skill came flying at him. Max first blocked the Fireball with his Shield.
There was a large knockback from the impact, but thanks to the expensive and high quality shield, it reduced the damage to almost nothing. Max then tried to deflect the flying cobra with his sword. Max had seen this skill before.
It was a skill that sent a live cobra flying in the place of an arrow which bit the enemy upon arrival, dealing damage and inflicting poison. The problem was that he had only seen how it was used against the Harpies.
The moment his sword nearly reached the snake, the cobra followed up the length of the sword towards Max
And as he was shouting out, the cobra bit him on the wrist.
He nearly let go of the sword in excruciating pain. But
Adrian’s Spear pierced through his left thigh.
Max screamed out loud and swung his sword wildly. Adrian predicted the counter attack and jumped out of the way before Max could reach him.
No matter how much he swore and insulted them, it was useless. Mason fired a shot from afar, and Adrian recited spells. Max backed off as he tried to cope with the two men’s ranged attacks.
He wanted to run away, but his injury to the thigh prevented him from being able to walk normally. Hopping and staggering, he tried to turn and run.
Another arrow flew and lodged itself in his left shoulder.
Max screamed in pain as he tried to drag himself away, but there was no way he could outrun the uninjured Adrian. He ran up and stabbed Max’s right leg as well.
He cried out loud.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
He could hear mockery in Adrian’s voice. Max fell to his knees and collapsed. He couldn’t use his legs anymore. He saw it; the premonition of his impending death.
The goal of the two traitors were the contribution points, and they had initiated an attack against him intentionally. There was now only one possible conclusion. As Adrian and Mason approached him, Max tried to drag himself away using his arms.
Then he ran into someone. It was Atman’s corpse from before. Anger bubbled up inside Max.
“How could you… just minutes ago we were comrades…”
But Adrian and Mason began to grin listening to his words.
Max wished he had something like a Grenade to take them down with him, but he had nothing at his disposal to pull it off. He had no power to do anything.
And so in the last moments, he closed his eyes and made a prayer.
“Hear me, God; I fear no death. But I pray that those two sons of bitches die a miserable end.”
Once he was done, he shouted to his assailants
“Do your worst, scum!”
But Mason and Adrian were looking slightly above Max into the distance. They must have seen something. Adrian was the first to speak.
“What is that?”
Max turned to see what they were looking at. Behind him, he saw an ‘Adjudicator’ wearing a flaming skull over his face while holding a sword in each hand.
The ‘Adjudicator’, in his terrifying form, looked in turn at the corpse of Atman, the still bleeding Max, and the traitors Adrian and Mason.
It seemed that he was reconstructing what was going on. Adrian and Mason were also trying to figure out the situation.
Although the person before him wore a flaming skull over his head, it had the overall shape of a human with the title of a hunter. He even had his own Cube following him around. There was no doubt that he was a hunter.
It was a hunter they had never seen before. That was their main point of confusion.
‘He wasn’t there at the beginning… was he?’
Until this point, seeing ‘someone else’ aside from ‘the original five members of the raid’ was unheard of. Adrian raised his spear and asked
“Who… Who are you?”
The ‘Adjudicator’ turned to face him. They could see a human’s eye deep inside the skull. The eyes looked sharp. And locking his eyes with Adrian’s, he walked closer.
He didn’t know much about this man, but he was definitely hostile. Adrian demanded
But despite asking the other to stop, he tried stabbing with his spear. He thrust the spear straight towards the guy’s throat. It was the fastest and the most lethal strike he could have done.
But even before the spear reached close to the man’s body, he tilted his head slightly and moved out of the way, dodging the strike. With just this interaction, Adrian could guess just how powerful his enemy was.
‘This guy is trouble!’
He was even stronger than Atman who had been hunting Buffaloes and Goats almost singlehandedly. Adrian turned to run as he recited
He began to retreat while leaving a burning path behind him. Adrian looked behind to check and gasped; The skull clad Adjudicator paid no attention to the flames and chased him through the burning path. Adrian quickly called Mason.
Mason did not need to be told what to do; he was already pulling on the string, readying another shot. It was obvious that the man would come after him after dealing with Adrian.
Mason aimed for his heart and let go of the Arrow.
The arrow rose high in the air. It was flying straight and true towards the Adjudicator’s heart but
He knocked it out of the air as if he knew exactly where it would land without letting up his chase against Adrian.
The Adjudicator paused for just a second, but continued to otherwise chase Adrian. Mason changed his target; he aimed lower towards the moving legs.
It would be more difficult to deflect the arrow with his swords. He nocked an arrow on the bow and took an aim. But, the skull recited a spell on its own.
“Become a tame sheep”
It was an older sounding voice.
Was what Mason wanted to say, but the sound that escaped his lips was
The sound of a sheep crying. And while he was stuck making sheep noises, the ‘Adjudicator’ swung his swords cutting off Adrian’s legs.
Adrian fell to the ground. He had tried to turn and swing his spear to keep distance but
With a simple swing of the Adjudicator’s sword, Adrian’s spear was effortlessly cut into three pieces.
Adrian wanted to say something, but the Adjudicator showed no mercy; He unhesitatingly cut off Adrian’s head. Mason saw the scene and thought
Now that he noticed, he was back to his human form again.
When he realized this, the Adjudicator was already heading towards him. Mason quickly nocked the arrow on the bow and pulled. But the Adjudicator recited an incantation.
“What is real is fake and what is fake is real! Illusion.”
He split into five. Mason fell into a panic.
‘Which one is real?’
But he had no chance to try and think this through. Five terrifying figures of a man wearing a burning skull was approaching him. He aimed towards the nearest skull-man and fired a shot.
The arrow flew straight and true, landing on the forehead of his target. But once it came in contact with the skull-man, the figure disappeared with the slight warping of the space. The arrow continued through and landed on the ground in the distance.
It was a fake. He quickly reloaded another shot, but the quiver which should have been standing upright was standing at a 45 degree angle.
Mason was puzzled by his quiver’s strange position, but then he saw his hand fall; severed from the wrist. Pain quickly followed.
Mason grabbed his stump of a hand as he screamed. The man with the flaming skull walked ever closer.