Chapter 72 – Dark Elven City (5)

Sungjin returned to the darkness. Soldamyr didn’t have much time left, but he was still curious about the earring he had obtained as a hidden piece.

Taking it out, he held it up and read through the information screen.


Trite – Eye of Jeremiah
Heroic Earring

Passive Skill
Legilimency(I) – Read the surface level thoughts of the person you are conversing with.
Activated by touching the earring. 10 seconds duration once the conversation begins. Cooldown 10 minutes.

Fate is determined by the mind.
Change the mind to alter the fate.


‘Legilimency? Mind reading?’

It was a skill he wanted to have from time to time. But it wasn’t necessarily helpful during combat.

‘It might be useful in sniffing out a potential troll but…’

He wasn’t quite sure where it would come in handy. He would have to try it out once or twice. Sungjin went ahead and equipped it for now.

“Equip”

“Master, I have 1 minute remaining until summon ends.”

Soldamyr let him know the time.

“Got it”

Sungjin resumed running from shadow to shadow as he made his way through the city towards the city limit; Towards the hidden boss’s tent. Once he was exactly on the other side of the raid’s starting point in the middle of a residential area, Soldamyr said

“It is time Master.”

“Ok, thanks for your hard work.”

Soldamyr returned to the lamp after time over. The magic was undone, and both Sungjin and Cain reemerged from invisibility. Sungjin did a quick mental calculation.

‘Since I summoned Soldamyr at the same time as the Raid start, it has taken me only 15 minutes for the Raid boss and the hidden piece… Even if it takes me 10 minutes to kill the Hidden boss… I have plenty of time remaining.’

The most typical timing a for a troll to appear is after the main raid boss is defeated. A talented group of Hunters would take minimum 30 minutes to beat the Raid boss.

‘Starting with the next raid… I might be able to make use of one or two additional Marbles on top of what I’ve got.’

It wasn’t over yet, but more than half of his plan was already completed.

‘Even if that’s the case… I should still see how fast I can finish everything. Since I still have to get a feel for how long troll hunting will take in the other chapters.’

Once Sungjin was done making plans, he snuck his way towards the ‘black tent’ where the hidden boss was hiding.

He tried to keep to the dark and sneak by the elves without the help of magic. And he successfully passed a few.

It reminded him of playing hide and seek as a child, avoiding the line of sight of the elves, dodging in and out of the shade.

But when he was almost upon the ‘black tent’ towards the edge of the residential area, his eyes met with that of a patrol.

“Human!”

The patrol yelled immediately.

‘Haa… oh my…’

Infiltration without the help of magic was difficult. And this was his first time trying to be discreet.

Sungjin drew his blades as he watched the elves come charging towards him with swords, daggers, and spears.

*

Behind him, countless Elven corpses littered the ground. Sungjin grumbled as he put away his swords.

“If you just ignored me, it would have been better for everyone.”

It took additional three minutes to kill the normal Dark Elves. He intentionally didn’t use any magic.

Sungjin felt that using Magic might attract even more mobs, and he didn’t want to make the effort of managing his mana. Although it took more time, foregoing spells had a positive side effect.

The cooldown for ‘Ghastly Wail’ was almost over. Sungjin asked the Operator.

“Operator, is Ghastly Wail available to use now?”

[Cooldown will be over in 12 seconds.]

It was as good as ready for use. Sungjin glanced at the Black Tent. The Hidden boss awaited.

Initially, there used to be two Elves standing guard at the entrance, but they were gone now.

He didn’t remember killing them, but they must have gotten involved in the fight earlier and died.

Sungjin took a deep breath before going in to fight the boss.

Sungjin opened up the black cloth and stepped inside. On the inside of the tent was a small entrance to a cave. Sungjin recalled the memory of the first time he had stepped into the cave.

*

The last time he was here, he had succeeded in hunting the ‘Priestess Kerenis’ with the cooperation of four other hunters, and the group left the Temple of the Snake together. The consensus of the group was

“There is still time left, so let’s go hunt the remaining monsters.”

So the hunters left to search for mobs. Then and now, the importance of coins was indisputable. Sungjin at the time had no idea that Hidden bosses existed.

Thanks to the abnormal amount of luck Sungjin had been able to collect higher than average contribution from chapter to chapter. And when someone pointed out the black tent and said

“That black tent looks suspicious. Do you think it’s hiding a hidden boss?”

He was surprised.

“Hidden boss? There are hidden bosses too?”

Someone else replied

“What? You haven’t heard of them yet?”

Of the five hunters, three were aware of the Hidden boss’s existence. And among them, one or two had even fought and won against one. Emboldened by their previous success, one of the hunters had suggested

“Should we go get the hidden boss this round?”

All five hunters were of high skill. They sustained no significant damage against the main boss and exhibited great teamwork.

So they slowly made their way towards the black tent while killing the Dark Elves. And once they killed the final two guards at the entrance, they entered the tent.

Behind the tent was a round cave. Sungjin and his teammates entered within. Soon, the cave led to a place where the light was intense.

At the end of the cave, they saw bright sunlight and green leaves. The tent was actually the exit of the cavern. On suddenly coming out into the sun, their eyes were blinded.

While they were adjusting to the light, they discovered that a single Dark Elf was standing alone to the east. When they hastily prepared for battle, the Dark Elf began a conversation with them.

“… Did you guys come to run away too?”

One of the hunters replied.

“What are you? Are you the Hidden Boss?”

“Hidden boss? I don’t know what that is… but if you wish to challenge me, I will gladly accept.”

The hunters sheepishly glanced at each other. They had massacred countless dark elves until now. Having one Dark Elf ‘accept their challenge’ was amusing.

One of the hunters responded.

“Sure, we challenge you. Except, we will fight as a group of five since that’s how we have always fought.”

The Dark Elf drew two blades from his side and said

“That’s fine. It won’t even be a fight without at least five of you anyway.

At the same time, the Operator gave a warning.

[Warning! Hidden Boss]
[Exiled Dark Elf Calian has appeared.]

And of the five hunters who ‘challenged’ him, two were killed and the other three barely managed to escape back into the cavern.

*

Sungjin couldn’t help but grin remembering the past.

‘At the time, I didn’t realize that hidden bosses would be so much stronger than regular bosses…’

Once he left the cavern, the sunlight greeted him once more. Thanks to the ‘Ghost Vision’, it didn’t overwhelm him like last time.

Instead of squinting in the sun, Sungjin took out ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ from his vest and prepared it. The Dark Elf was waiting outside like before.

Once Sungjin approached him, the Elf began the conversation the same as last time.

“… Did you come to run away too?”

Sungjin wanted to read the ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms and land a preemptive strike since the opponent was no pushover. But when he opened the ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’, every page was blank.

Sungjin was shocked.

‘Is it because it’s before a fight?’

The ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ was a magical book that picked the passage best suited for the situation. It appeared as though if there was nothing to fight it would show an empty page.

‘But if I don’t use this before the fight it’s difficult to find the timing to do so…’

After using it a few times, Sungjin felt that the time required to read a full passage was a major disadvantage. Being able to read it from start to finish gave him a great advantage, but it was not easy to do so.

In the past, he had watched the owners quickly read the book while the other hunters bought time for them to do so. The same would not be possible for Sungjin who was alone.

‘I should go ask in ‘Darker than Black’… how I can reduce the time necessary to read the book.’

Sungjin closed it for now.

‘I’m not sure if I will be able to manage reading this book during this fight…’

But there was not much else he could do. Having only the desire to read alone was not enough for him to be able to read the book after all.

He closed the book, and instead decided to use magic to launch a preemptive strike.

“Burn everything in your path!”

But

[Warning! Attacking a non-hostile lifeform]
[will result in penalty for raid rewards]

The Operator let out a warning.

Sungjin stopped in the middle of the incantation.

‘What is this?’

The Dark Elf asked

“What are you doing? Are you trying to challenge me?”

It appeared that he must say ‘I challenge you’ in order to turn the Elf into a ‘hostile lifeform’.

‘How strict.’

Sungjin grumbled as he replied.

“Yeah challenge.”

“… Alone?”

Sungjin nodded.

“Yeah.”

“Understood, o warrior. Let us clash blades.”

The Dark Elf pulled out his two blades from his hips. Dual Wield versus Dual Wield. Once his sword was out, the Operator finally gave a warning.

[Warning! Hidden Boss]
[Exiled Dark Elf Calian has appeared.]

The combat had begun. Sungjin once again opened ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’. This time, large fonts had appeared on the page.

“Dong Zhuo attempted to enter the castle, but the Horse refused to move forward. Finding the horse’s behavior strange…”

But there was no time to read anymore, as the Dark Elf came charging towards him.

Sungjin threw aside the book and met his attack by unsheathing his own two swords. Soon

“Cl Clang!”

A deafening sound of clashing steel rang out. The two of them struggled in a contest of strength using the four swords. But neither was able to overpower the other. Besgoro spoke.

‘This guy… he’s really strong’

And as soon as Besgoro was done, the two combatants pushed each other away, momentarily putting some distance between the two before the fight resumed when they both charged against each other.

Sungjin used one hand to strike from top to bottom while using his left hand to strike diagonally up from below. A strike without pattern, an attack that was impossible to pull off without ‘Kamram’; a perfect dual wield style of fighting.

But Calian responded in kind, blocking both attacks as if he himself also wore ‘Kamram’. An extended exchange of blows began in earnest.

Slashing, blocking, counter attacking, parrying, in a span of few seconds, dozens of strikes were exchanged. Sungjin forcefully pushed the man away. Besgoro commented

‘You guys are neck to neck’

There was a good reason why five hunters lost against him; The ‘Exiled Dark Elf’ Calian was just that strong.

He didn’t want to admit it, but it would be difficult to defeat him with only his swordsmanship. Sungjin returned the Moon Specter to the sheath and said

“Baptism of Blood”

Small blades emerged from Sungjin’s sword and bit into his hands, drawing blood.

Sungjin’s blood drenched the Blood Vengeance, and becoming thrilled at the sight of his opponent’s blade glowing red, Calian shouted excitedly

“Come, Challenger!”


Cliffhanger? Nah…2 chaps released today. So click next and read on:)

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