Chapter 15. A Cave in Mt. Bima (2)
It was no longer an odd job to make money with paid videos. This was especially the case with gamers, who made money through gaming. In the past, they made most of their money by selling in-game items, but now paid videos of game play made much more money. There were countless number of game VJs who earned hundreds of millions of won a year.
The same went for Warlord. Even without live broadcast channels, Warlord-related videos ranked among the top of paid videos. Even Hollywood was threatened by Warlord!
It went without saying that everyone uploaded videos to make whatever amount they could. Even cows or dogs did. As a result, there were over ten million Warlord-related videos coming out every day. It wasn’t easy to stand out in this sea of videos. The only way was to spend big money to actively advertise the videos or to have a concept that stood out among the crowd.
This was how the Hahoe Mask Guild was formed.
An Jaehyun and Kim Dongsoo. They decided to form a guild the moment they joined hands, and they contemplated on what concept to use to make their guild known. It wasn’t easy. They even considered dirty concepts like wearing underwear only. What’s funny was that there were people who have done this already. There was even a guild where the members all danced in their underwear after a successful raid. Although it wasn’t a Top 30 Guild, it was fairly popular.
In any case, An Jaehyun was the one to suggest something.
“Why don’t we wear hahoe masks?”
“It’s a very Korean-esque, don’t you think?”
It wasn’t a bad idea. Thankfully, no other guild had used this concept before.
There was another reason.
“Also, we’re all comrades in arms. Let’s not do something like distinguishing our ranks through uniforms.”
Almost all famous guilds had a symbol, and they matched their uniforms around that symbol. The bigger the guild was, the more people it had. As such, they distinguished their ranks using uniforms – 1st corp, 2nd corp, 3rd corp, etc.
But An Jaehyun suggested that every guild members wear the same mask. His dream back then was for everyone to eat and live well. His suggestion was approved, and the Hahoe Mask Guild was born. The concept of wearing hahoe masks in battles worked quite well, and they garnered attention at a quick pace.
Because of this, Hyrkan couldn’t throw away the hahoe mask. It was his pride and joy, almost like a son. Plus, he couldn’t throw away a concept he knew would work. In fact, he had to do it before others did.
But he had forgotten about it.
With the blue werewolf corpse in front of him, Hyrkan shook his head while watching the video he just took through the hologram monitor.
‘The video came out well, but…’
The battle video was amazing. His battle style was something never before seen in Warlord. It could go viral if word got around, and Hyrkan’s name was naturally spread.
On the other hand, if he really wanted to make hahoe mask his concept, he couldn’t release a video with his real face.
It wasn’t that he feared his face becoming recognized. At this time, no one should know who he was anyways. His war against the Stormhunter Guild hadn’t yet happened.
‘Concepts only work when you take it and keep it.’
What was important was the concept.
Wearing a hahoe mask after showing his face already? The impact lessened greatly. Especially if the concept revolved around wearing masks, it was important always to have it on to add to the mysterious effect.
Most importantly, Hyrkan wasn’t handsome enough that he would benefit in any way by showing his face. In fact, he would be happy not to get penalized. Of course, if he used anti-face recognition mode, he could blur his face out. It was basic. In Warlord, players could prevent others from taking videos of them by using the anti-face recognition mode. Without this system, Warlord would become a voyeur heaven.
Of course, if he wanted to upload the video, it was possible. He just had to put in the hahoe mask with CG work.
But hiring a professional to do this was something he couldn’t do.
In the end, Hyrkan decided to give up on the video. Though wasteful, he could always make another one. Although blue werewolves were a popular search topic, it didn’t necessarily guarantee high viewer count.
‘I was dumb.’
Moreover, it was Hyrkan’s fault. He couldn’t blame anyone.
And this was who Hyrkan was. He was far from the word ‘perfect.’ Except in games, he was below average in everything. It was why he bet devoted his life to gaming. If he were good at anything else, he wouldn’t have bet his life on gaming, nor would he have been so shaken after being betrayed.
After calming himself, Hyrkan got up.
He didn’t have much time.
Plus, killing the blue werewolf was a big profit in itself.
He was given an opportunity.
‘Looks like I can finally use the Skeleton Fragment skill properly.’
In Warlord, completed items didn’t drop after killing monsters.
Except for items received as quest rewards, most were crafted. The crafting process was largely split into three stages.
The first was to obtain the materials. To obtain the materials, players had to disassemble the monsters. The moment the monsters’ HP became 0 they could be disassembled. It became much easier to skin the monster, like opening a well-packed box. If you did it randomly, the tape would get in the way, but by using a knife, it became much easier.
As soon as the leather, skin, or scales come off, the monsters begin melting. Players called it the ice-cream mode. During this process, it was possible to taste the monsters’ meat. They surprisingly had various tastes, like different flavors of ice-cream. They were also cold, like a dessert after players.
Finally, after the monsters finished melting, they left behind bones and jewels.
What was important to note was that skin and bones were something obtainable from all monsters, but not jewels. Jewels had a drop rate. Some dropped them; some didn’t. And these jewels were usually used to craft high-ranking items, starting from rare rank.
Furthermore, the skin and bones could be converted into coin form whenever the players wanted. If one converted the skin and bones of an apartment-sized monster, he could get enough coins to fit a 20-kilogram rice bag. It wasn’t light, but it was much better than carrying around the skin and bones. Besides, no players hated getting a rice bag worth of coins. In fact, they would say ‘this is all I get?’ Then again, common sense would ask why they didn’t just place them in the inventory.
These materials could be used to craft items with the Cube in Item Factories located in certain castles. Although the official name was Cube, players called it the slot machine. If one put it the basic materials needed to craft items and coins, a normal-rank item popped out. To get items rare or above, jewels had to be put in. After putting in the materials in the cube, one just had to shake it furiously; then an item popped out from inside.
There were times when a unique-rank item came out from the expected normal or rare rank items. There were cube addicts who bet on this small chance and continued buying materials for crafting. It was so bad that people were concerned whether there should be a law against it. Some players spent their whole time cubing like this. Of course, as it was cumbersome to constantly shake the cube, there were workshops for it as well. The workers logged in and shook the cube all day. After a month of this part-time job, you wouldn’t want to play Warlord even if you could for free.
In any case, the stat of these unique-rank items were at least 25 levels higher than normal-rank items of the same level. At a time where a level 70 player was the highest, a 25 level difference was huge.
As for the Skeleton Fragment skill, it used same materials as one would for cubing. It was a simple process. You just had to hold the coin tightly in hand and use the Skeleton Fragment skill.
[You created a Skeleton Fragment using blue werewolf bones.]
[Proficiency in Skeleton Fragment increase.]
A new Skeleton Fragment could be obtained.
Hyrkan opened his hand. Instead of a human skull, the skeleton fragment now took the form of a wolf head. Hyrkan immediately threw the skeleton fragment on the ground.
A new Skeleton Warrior appeared. With its wolf-skull, the Skeleton Warrior looked much more fearsome than before. It had two fangs invoked chills, and Hyrkan liked its burning, red eyes.
Hyrkan threw a surprise punch at the Skeleton Warrior, which it lightly avoided. While avoiding, it distanced itself far away from Hyrkan. Hyrkan, who had been planning on giving it a kick, smiled instead.
‘It’s definitely faster than before.’
The new Skeleton Warrior was undoubtedly faster than the basic one.
At the same time, he felt a bit of pressure.
‘A monster for one skeleton fragment. It’s no problem for small fries, but if I want to make one out of a boss monster… what a money eating skill.’
Skeleton Warriors stats changed depending on the monster used as its base. One made from a boss monster would naturally be stronger.
On the other hand, monster bones were the most frequently used crafting material.
It meant it would cost a lot.
Of course, there was no need to be stingy. What was important was making back the money spent.
Hyrkan took out his hahoe mask.
‘No more mistakes.’
Hyrkan also took out a hahoe mask to give his Skeleton Warrior. He was fully prepared to push his concept.
Once again, Hyrkan realized something.
‘It doesn’t fit because of its protruding mouth!’
That he really was a dumbass in anything other than gaming.
“Fuck, why am I so stupid?”
It was just another reason Hyrkan had to devote his life to gaming.