Chapter 30. Lizard Swamp (2)
It wasn’t uncommon to run into other players when hunting in an area that isn’t an instance dungeon.
It was the same in Warlord. Because Warlord’s land was huge and because its hunting grounds were usually mountains or other wide spaces, it was slightly harder to run into other players. Even so, one could expect to run into others at least three, four times even in the most unpopular hunting grounds.
When players met each other in the field, most felt joy before wariness. After tense, exhausting situations caused by continuous battles, players felt a sense of kinship when they met. Depending on the situation, some even chose to join parties and work together.
In a hunting ground known to be unpopular, Hyrkan now ran into a group of players.
To be exact, he was the one that was approached.
Hyrkan had recently killed a Lizardman and was currently waiting for it to melt down. Hearing the voice, Hyrkan turned to greet a female player, who he was sure he had never met before. The female player was quite a beauty. The long, straight black hair beauty was the type to easily make men turn their eyes. Hyrkan glanced at her from top to bottom.
She wore a shiny, silver armor on top of a dress. Along with her straight black hair and well-designed longsword, it was easy to tell she set her items for design rather than defense. Her fashion was designed to attract other players’ attentions rather than monsters’.
Hyrkan moved his gaze behind her.
Behind the beautiful swordswoman was a short and cute priestess, and a tall, short-haired magician with foxlike eyes. He could tell that these two also focused their items on fashion. On top of this, it seemed that they went through quite a lot of trouble, as the dirtiness of their clothes caught Hyrkan’s attention.
Finishing his observation, Hyrkan came to a conclusion.
‘The hell is this?’
As Hyrkan slowly moved his sight back…
“Have you been hunting here alone?”
The female player carefully threw a question.
In any case, three beauties had approached Hyrkan with interest. It was a rare occurrence. No, the current situation went past the level of rare as such a thing had never happened to him in real life. Of course, there was a time when a girl was interested in him. Except, it wasn’t the good kind of interest.
‘I am suddenly remembering Choi Sulyeon that bitch.’
It was the first time a girl had been interested in him, and that interest had screwed over his life. Because of this, to Hyrkan, the interest of a beauty was… something he’d rather decline.
‘What does she want?’
Doubt was the first thing on his mind.
First of all, something like the girl blushing and asking for his number was impossible. If she were interested in him as a man, that would be even more dangerous. It wasn’t just because of his appearance. Although he wasn’t handsome, his appearance had nothing to do with it. After all, he was currently wearing his hahoe mask. The problem was his fashion. If she were interested even after seeing his grotesque, avant-garde fashion, it would be best if he never got involved with her.
As such, Hyrkan didn’t answer. He only stared at the woman through his hahoe mask. Their eyes met, and when it did, the woman’s mouth bloomed into a flowery smile.
“I watched you kill that Lizardman. It was amazing.”
Hyrkan still did not answer, as the woman continued her praise.
“Even a Ranker would be jealous of your skills. I almost fell for you…”
“What do you want?”
Hyrkan spoke for the first time with a question that couldn’t be more indifferent.
“Ah, my name is Ilya.”
At the question, the woman first introduced herself.
At her response, Hyrkan cut his answer short. It was a form of intimidation. He would talk less and less if she dragged on. Of course, it wasn’t possible to talk any less than he currently did. Thus, if Ilya kept talking, Hyrkan would ignore her.
“Sorry to ask you on our first meeting…”
In the end, she cut straight to her point.
“But please help us complete our quest.”
The moment Ilya finished her sentence, the short priestess behind her opened her mouth as if to put in a chorus. Also, they showed puppy eyes and sorrowful expression that would easily make men do their bidding.
As a man, Hyrkan’s heart also throbbed. However, it wasn’t the throb of interest against the opposite sex.
‘Are these bitches for real? They’re just asking me if they can leech off me.’
It was something one would run into at least one time in online games. The kind that asked for free rides just because they were pretty girls. To Hyrkan, the whole thing was simply absurd. If one wanted to play with girls in the VR world, it was much better to play dating sims or other adult content.
‘Is this what the saying, ‘all good things come to an end,’ means? What is this bullshit trying to get on my nerves?’
In any case, Hyrkan didn’t have an inkling of mind to listen to their request. On top of it being an absurd request, he wasn’t in a good mood.
Starting from when he ran into that Ranker-class player at Bangtz Castle to being unable to upload his current hunting videos to YouTube, he was annoyed by many things. When he finally got around to hunting some monsters on a good day, the current situation threw a bucket of cold water on him.
Thus, Hyrkan replied from the bottom of his heart.
Hyrkan had no interest in romance, and he was certainly not a gentleman.
At Hyrkan’s response, Ilya joined her hands as if to pray and lightly bowed.
“Please, just help us out for this quest. We will reward you for sure.”
Hyrkan simply turned away. He could tell she was the kind in which words didn’t work. In a case like this, it was best just to ignore. He had never heard of someone like this changing.
Ilya grabbed onto Hyrkan’s shoulder. At that moment, Hyrkan stopped his feet and turned around. Watching Hyrkan with a face full of misery…
“Just 10… I beg you. We’ll compensate you for sure. Please help us.”
Ilya once again beseeched him.
If it was possible to cry in-game, bead-like tear drops must have fallen on her cheeks.
Staring at her silently for just a moment, Hyrkan opened his tightly shut mouth.
“… I just have to help you kill ten?”
Hearing this, Ilya finally made a full smile.
“Then I’ll kill exactly ten.”
Hyrkan vowed to himself.
That in this lifetime, he would never trust anyone ever again, and that he would never be with anyone ever again.
This vow wasn’t just a bluff to ease his bitter heart. With the knowledge he had, if he sold his pride just a little and decided to enjoy his new life, wealth and honor would have been his. Throwing such a life away, he had made the vow, prepared to walk a path of hardship.
Would he throw away such a vow for a few beauties? It wasn’t impossible, but at the very least, now wasn’t the time.
Then why did Hyrkan accept their request?
‘They’re swans on the outside, but hyenas on the inside.’
He changed his mind the moment his shoulder was grabbed. When Ilya grabbed his shoulder, Hyrkan felt he couldn’t shake off her hand.
It meant her strength was higher than Hyrkan’s.
Of course, it was expected for Hyrkan’s strength to be lower than a swordsman of his level. Given, the swordsman of the same level wasn’t a tank-type, but a type that went all into strength.
In other words, Ilya wasn’t a tank. There was no way Hyrkan didn’t catch what this implied.
In a 3-man party, the role of a tank was vital. But a party came to a high-difficulty hunting ground like the Lizard Swamp without a tank?
Their biggest mistake was asking for help on a quest important enough to give compensation. If the quest were that important, they would simply ask for help online, and skilled players would come to their aid. That, of course, was given they had the money… no, considering they appealed their beauty, money might have no meaning. There were plenty of people that would jump to help a group of beauties.
Even so, they asked Hyrkan for help? It was a clear lie that they needed his help to complete a quest.
‘Are they aiming for my left?’
They were clearly aiming for Hyrkan. Otherwise, there was no reason to act in such a way.
That said, they wouldn’t actively try to PK him. If that was their plan, there was no need to approach him the way they did. They would have simply attacked him when he was off guard.
Considering the way they approached him, it was likely that they would intentionally create a dangerous situation and make monsters kill him.
‘These bitches are even worse than those shitheads from before…’
It was a common trick. One just had to use the fact that players felt happy to meet others in the field. If a problem occurred during battle, it would be an accident, not a PK. It was a truly dirty method. After all, one would have to go through an immense amount of effort to fuck over a single person.
In any case, Hyrkan wasn’t the type to let off a bunch of schemers.
He wasn’t in the mood.
‘If you get caught lying, your hand’s got to go.’
He planned to rob them clean.
“Let’s go over the situation. Do you have any experience fighting a Lizardman?”
“We’ve killed some before.”
“Um… two. After that, we fell into the swamp. We ended up this way while running away.”
“You have a priestess and a magician. What was the problem?”
“The thing is… I can’t act as a tank, so there was never a good window to use magic and the priestess’s magic power just kept going down. In the end, we couldn’t do anything.”
‘Yeah, that’s because you set your items to hunt people, not monsters. You’re here because it’s the easiest place for this scenario of yours, and once you came here, there weren’t any idiots to take your bait. That’s probably when I caught your attention. There’s not a single truth coming out of your mouth.’
Hyrkan barely managed to keep his raging heart in check.
“Then do you know how to lure Lizardmen?”
“Yes! We can at least do that.”
“Alright then, lure them to designated points one by one, and I’ll get them. Don’t needlessly interfere when I fight. The magician should only provide back up when I call for it. By the way, if the priestess buffs my skeletons, this party’s finished. Got it?”
Ilya nodded her head as she said added some words.
“Thank you for accepting our selfish request… thank you so much.”
“Thank you, Oppa*!”
[T/N: younger girl to an older male, like onii-san. It’s also considered a sign of affection. I’m sure you guys know it from Gangnam Style.]
One of the other two quickly voiced her thanks, attempting to win Hyrkan over by calling him ‘oppa.’ The remaining one also slightly lowered her head. Being thanked by three beauties, any guy would grin.
Hyrkan grinned as well.
Except, he did it on purpose.
‘I see these bitches grew accustomed to this. Well, I guess it can be addicting. They’ll end up having to pay for it in the end, though.’
As Hyrkan had ideas about their real intention, he could only feel a chill at their acting skills. Once one got the taste of something like this, it was hard to stop. It was like gambling. Even though they knew it was bad, it was fun and stimulating. Because they were in a VR game, they wouldn’t be punished under the law either.
‘With their looks, don’t they have anything better to do? Why do something like this in Warlord…’
At that point, Hyrkan stopped his thinking.
‘Come to think of it; there’s only a handful of sane beauties in Warlord.’
Thinking back, of the beauties he had met in Warlord, only a handful was normal. Choi Sulyeon who Hyrkan considered to be the greatest beauty he ever met was even more so…
Having remembered Choi Sulyeon, Hyrkan’s mood took a dive. He remembered an unpleasant face. Because of just how beautiful she was, he couldn’t easily erase her from his mind either. She was truly what he would call an enemy of a lifetime.
“Then we’ll lure one over here. Hold on just one moment.”
Hyrkan didn’t bother to listen to what Ilya was saying. He simply waved his hand back and forth.
Like so, the girls headed to the swamp area.
Thus started their secret plan.
“Unni, are you just going to leech or rob him clean?”
At her little sister*’s question, Ilya immediately answered.
[T/N: not an actual little sister.]
“Of course, we’re robbing him clean.”
“I don’t think he has much. Wouldn’t it be better just to let him kill 10 lizards? If we coax him a little more, we could probably hunt all day for free.”
At this moment, the magician added her thoughts.
“Necromancer isn’t a class you can do without money. You saw his fight just now, right? For his Skeleton Warriors to be so strong, he must have at least three or four Unique items.”
At this, Ilya added her own explanation.
“You saw his necklace right? Have you seen one with a jewel that big?”
The short priestess began to ponder. Although she had seen a countless number of necklaces with jewels, she rarely saw them in Warlord.
“Now that I think of it, I haven’t seen one with a jewel like that.”
“Just look at his fashion. His items must be on a different level. Our profit from robbing him won’t be small.”
“Any potential backlash? If he’s so rich, there must be someone behind him.”
“If that were the case, he wouldn’t be here alone. Plus, it’s not like we’re openly PKing him.”
Ilya smiled deeply.
“It’s just going to be a little accident. The kind that comes from accidentally luring too many monsters.”
Watching her smile, the other two smiled as well.
“I always think this, but Unni must be Warlord’s prettiest bitch.”
“You’re not bad yourself, you know?”
At that moment, the three burst out into laughter. The laughter was short. A Lizardman had found them first and was slowly walking towards them.