ACT 8 Stabbing Ark to Death
Rain poured from the dark skies. With an abrupt roaring, thunder and lightning flashed among the dark clouds. While following a shadow, lightning ripped through the darkness. Black and white shadows were seen flying through the sky.
Four stingrays were flying through the heavy rain.
“Sheesh, this weather is insane. Guran!”
Ark shouted as he clenched the stingray’s reins tightly.
“It the thunder hits then a serious incident will occur. Let’s fly lower between the valley.”
“I understand. Hiyah!”
Guran twisted the reins forcefully and the stingray folded its wings and shot downwards. The rest of the stingrays followed closely through the valley. Ark could hear Buksil and Sapjil screaming from behind him.
“Hieee, we’re falling!”
“Hold on tight! I-I-I-If they miss then it’s the end!”
“Kikikiki, look at those faces crumple. It’s just like looking at a balloon deflating.”
Dedric cackled and laughed. Yes, Ark and his companions were flying through the air on stingrays……..let’s try to explain how this happened. If we revert to the moment Draken stole the carriage away, Ark sent Dedric chasing after it. But after a while, Dedric returned with a tired face.
“I made a mistake, Master. It is impossible to catch up with it.”
“This good for nothing fellow!”
While Ark was berating Dedric, Guran interrupted him.
“I know where the Draken is going.”
“Yes, the crest of the Nakujuk clan was stamped on the Draken’s neck. Obviously the Nakujuk had been breeding the Draken. Then he must be going to the Hill of Despair. The Nakujuk have a base there.”
“Do you know the location of that place?”
Guran nodded and added.
“But no matter how fast you are, it’ll take two full days on horseback to reach the Hill of Despair. Furthermore, there is a steep mountain that blocks the path and it is too dangerous to cross it. The Nakujuk clan aren’t afraid of threats because of that mountain.”
“I have a way. But I have to return to the village in the valley.”
So Ark returned to the valley with Guran. Beseutyu also heard that his grandson Bona had been captured by the Nakujuk.
“Aaaaah, I knew it! I knew it would be like this! I shouldn’t have let him go…….now it’s all over. Ah, Bona!”
Beseutyu was plucking his hair and crying when Guran said.
“Please relax Teacher. It’s not the time for this.”
“How can I calm down now? Huh? This is all because of you. You couldn’t defend Bona……..”
“I’ll receive any punishment you want. But before that, don’t I need to rescue Bona-nim?”
“You idiot! You think you can rescue Bona from the clutches of the Nakujuk?”
“It is possible with that person.”
Guran looked at Ark with eyes overflowing in trust.
“I saw his skills with my own eyes. A normal Myutal can’t compare to that person’s unusual martial arts ability. He’ll definitely be able to rescue Bona-nim from the Hill of Despair.”
After Guran’s description, Beseutyu wept and grabbed Ark’s hands.
“Oh, yes. I can only believe in you now. Please rescue my grandson.”
“Don’t panic. I’ll bring him back no matter what.”
Ark nodded and the quest information window updated.
|Quest has been updated.
Beseutyu’s Worries= Rescue Bona!
Although you have found Bona in Hagel Forest, he has been kidnapped by the Draken of the Nakujuk clan. Beseutyu is on the verge of insanity worrying about his grandson Bona. He might really go crazy. If you want to obtain information from him, you should chase after Draken and rescue Bona. But this mission won’t be easy. Since the Hill of Despair is the base of the Nakujuk clan, there is no guarantee that you or your colleagues will live.
<Difficulty level: B>
It connected to a B ranked difficulty quest. It was the first time he saw a B ranked quest. But Ark had no choice. He had to complete it if he wanted to receive the desired reward from Beseutyu.
‘I can’t believe I met Lariette-nim here.’
His mind was very confused. She was a special existence for Ark.
Love at first sight……the expression was a little bit exaggerated, but from the first moment he felt something strange that was difficult to put into words. In that situation, the simple hand that she stretched out meant a lot more to him. But his feelings was closer to admiration or idolizing than love. But he had given up when he saw her with Alan. However fate was truly weird. After all that had happened, to meet in a place like this……..
‘Anyway, I can’t just pretend I didn’t see her.’
He had to complete the quest and rescue Lariette.
‘Since it requires the same actions, I don’t have to choose between the two goals.’
“Now you have to hurry. Come over here.”
Beseutyu lead them outside the village to a place close by in the valley. He belatedly realised that there were a lot of Myutal trainers. Their job was to capture wild animals and tame them. That was the reason why there were many monster NPCs in the Valley Village. It was in order to use the tamed skyrays flying through the sky. Ark had often witnessed skyrays flying above him in the wilderness.
“I’ll guide you until the Hill of Despair.”
Guran said as the skyray rose towards the sky. So the desperate Ark and his party rode the skyrays towards the hills. They quickly passed through the wilderness, the stone forest and the river of light. After 1 hour the storm erupted and they reached the final hurdle, the steep mountain.
“When you pass through this valley, you will see the Nakujuk’s home.”
Guran shouted as they flew through the storm. The skyrays quickly passed through the valley where sharp rocks rising out of the ground. And just as they were leaving the valley, a loud shriek was heard above them.
Guran reflexively lifted his head and paled.
“The attack is coming. Move!”
Two Drakens shot towards their party. Ark quickly pulled the reins and stopped the skyray. Then the claws of the Draken passed right by him. Guran also sharply turned and avoided the Draken’s attack.
“Damn, I never thought I would be attacked in this situation.”
Ark glanced around him. In order to avoid the lightning, they had flown downwards towards the valley with sharp rocks. Now there was no space to land on the ground. In other words, he had to fight against the Draken in the air! But it wasn’t easy to ride the skyray, let alone swing is sword properly.
“I have no choice but to try. Dedric, while I deal with this guy, go and distract the other one so that it doesn’t attack Guran and the pigs!”
“Isn’t that obvious? Just hold on until I’m done!”
Ark yelled and flew towards the Draken.
Ark wrapped the reins around his body and swung Gwisal’s blade. However, this was the sky and it wasn’t difficult for the Draken to avoid his attacks. This aerial combat would be more difficult than he thought. Unlike the ground, it could suddenly narrow the distance at a tremendous speed before increasing the distance again. Attacking when the gap was only 1 metre was more difficult than he thought. And while he had been riding Radun, his ‘Riding’ skill was still only beginner level. It was hard to control the skyray and catch the timing to attack. On the other hand, the Draken could freely attack Ark while flying through the sky.
The D=rakan’s claw scratched his shoulder and he immediately lost some health. But the problem wasn’t his health. Draken now knew Ark’s weak point. It was the skyray! Draken quickly turned around and attacked the skyray. After a few minutes, the wings of the skyray was severely ravaged and torn.
‘Ugh………..I won’t be able to survive in this situation!”
The wounded skyray struggled to stay in the sky. One of its wings was almost torn off and its altitude gradually decreased. After two more attacks, the skyray screamed and started falling. Ark completely lost control of it and the Draken immediately rushed towards Ark.
‘Oh my God!’
Ark felt dizzy looking at the fangs rapidly approaching. If he fell into the valley where the sharp rocks emerged like needles, it would be the end. At that moment, Ark instinctively took out the saw blade. Then he swung the whip towards Draken. The whip wrapped around the Draken’s fangs and Ark kicked the skyray’s head and flew into the sky.
The skyray was crushed in the Draken’s mouth. Meanwhile, Ark used the whip like a rope to climb onto the Draken’s back.
‘This bastard, it thinks it can fly around freely?’
Ark squeezed the Draken’s neck with his legs and changed weapons to Gwisal’s sword.
“Take this, Demonic Opening. Dark Blade!”
After Ark used Dark Blade, Gwisal’s sword was buried between the sensitive ears! The Draken yelled and rampaged like crazy, trying to throw him off. After a few seconds, gravity grabbed hold of his body and he started to slip. However, Ark was already crazy. He bent his neck backwards while trying to grab on and stabbed the head. The continuous backstab steadily drained the Draken’s health. After it fell into a critical condition…….he used Gwisal’s sword to slit its throat. A tremendous amount of blood poured out like a waterfall. The Draken reflexively flapped its wings and struggled to stay in the sky like a headless chicken.
|-Your level has risen.|
In the midst of it, he also gained one level.
“Aaargh, M-Master! I’m dying! Ack!”
On the one hand, Dedric had lured the remaining Draken and was currently dying. Although Guran was steering the skyray and trying to help him, the situation was still dire. Dedric was in a critical condition, while the wings of the skyrays that Guran and the baby pigs were tattered and barely hanging on.
“Aaaaah, help me!”
Even in this situation, Buksil showed his professionalism and turned the magic projector on. However………Ark was also falling down with the Draken. It was truly a desperate situation!
“Radun, pick up Draken’s items.”
In these circumstances, Ark still didn’t’ forget about the items. Radun flicked its tongue and collected the items on Draken’s body.
“Dedric, fly towards me!”
“U-understood! Ack, it is coming!”
Dedric approached Ark with the Draken chasing close behind him. At that moment, Ark flew towards Dedric and the approaching Draken.
“Eh? M-Master…….stepping on my back…….that’s impossible…….ugh!”
Ark used Dedric’s head like a stepping stone and landed on the back of the chasing Draken. The situation that unfolded was similar to before. He grabbed onto the Draken’s neck using his legs and used Dark Blade like crazy! The health of the Draken quickly became low. But this guy was braver (?) than the first Draken. When it fell into a critical condition, it immediately shot towards the needle valley. Instead of having its throat slit by Ark, it chose being impaled by rocks as its method of death.
Guran screamed and flew towards him. However, the Draken was already about to hit the ground!
“I’m not going to die together with a guy like you!”
Ark grabbed the Draken’s head and turned it. The Draken instinctively opened its mouth and bit Ark’s hand. No, it actually bit Ark’s sparkling sword.
“You stupid lizard, Riposte!”
He used counter attack against the fangs! Then his chain skill Riposte was activated. It pushed the enemy back 10 metres. But when Ark unwound his legs from the neck, he was pushed back and thrown into the air. On the other hand, the Draken accelerated and crashed into the ground at an even greater speed.
The needle like rocks skewered the Draken.
Guran finally reached him and shouted as he stretched out his hand. Ark grabbed the hand and Guran looked at him with admiration and respect.
Ark just gave a sigh of relief and climbed onto the skyray. The skyray had its wings torn by the Draken so it was difficult for the stingray to carry 2 people. No, even without Ark, Guran and the pig’s skyrays were gradually flying lower.
“Please just hold on a little bit more. Once we leave the valley then it’ll be the Nakujuk’s home!”
Ark used ‘Nursing’ to help the skyrays regain some strength. And it spread its wings to glide for a little bit…….and they finally escaped the sharp valley. Then he saw a huge building with some demonic statues.
“We did it! It’s the home of the Nakujuk clan!”
The place that Guran pointed to was a building with a strange architecture. It looked like a tower built underground…….. A hole was drilled into the hill like a huge crater. And the buildings were arranged around the edge and spiralled underground. Looking from the sky, he could see an altar deep underground.
‘This is the destination?’
That was what Ark thought. The skyray suddenly fell out of the sky and crashed into the ground. Fortunately, the skyray used the last of its power thanks to Ark’s nursing and managed to avoid giving them any fall damage. When Ark got off the skyray, a message window appeared in front of him.
|Abyss of Despair
After passing through the sharp valley, you have arrived at the Nakujuk’s home. This placed is called the Abyss of Despair and it used to be the Holy City before the Nakujuk came. But the Nakujuk caused bloodshed and carnage. The tragic history of the Holy City is evidenced by the bloody smell that permeates this place. Even those armed with sword and shield cannot be assured in the Land of the Dead. To enter here, tenacity is needed more than courage.
<Explorer’s Knowledge: New dungeon discovered bonus (Skill points: 10)>
“Phew…….this seems to be the destination.”
Ark ignored the threatening demon statues and took out his pot. After releasing Deimos’ transformation, Ark cooked a variety of dishes to restore the health and mana of Ark and his pets, as well as increase their stats in preparation for the dungeon. There was no time. He couldn’t afford to hesitate.
“Let’s go, now it is time for the real threat.”
Once again the magic projector was busily filming behind Ark.
A ray of light shot through a group of Nakujuk warriors. 10 Nakujuk instantly had their health decreased. Not only did the Nakujuk lose some health, they also became ‘Frozen’ and had their movements slowed. It was the ‘Flash’ and ‘Elemental Sword’ combo attack.
“Now, Dedric, Deimos. Gather all of them in one place!”
“Okay! Over here stupid!”
Clack clack clack clack!
Dedric and Deimos gathered the Nakujuk into a corner. Deimos’ shield was quite effective in cornering an opponent.
When Deimos hit them with the shield, the Nakujuk wobbled and retreated. In fact, normally Deimos’ focus in a battle was more defensive than offensive. His offense wasn’t high and he needed to block any attacks when Ark plunged into a group. While protecting Ark’s back, he normally prevented any enemies from escaping. But using a shield to block also needed its own tricks. He had to effectively use the shield in order to cut off an enemy’s retreat. And after repeating those sorts of battles, Deimos finally realized the trick of using a shield.
|You pet ‘Deimos’ has manifested the ability of a Skeleton Knight.
Shield Stroke (Beginner, Passive): Deimos has inherited Skeleton Knight Warwick’s abilities. After accumulating more experience, he will have the opportunity to learn Warwick’s diverse skills. One of the most basic techniques is using the shield to strike an enemy.
<Damage to enemies when using Shield Stroke +20%. When pushing an enemy, +10% chance to trigger stiffness>
While Dedric awakened his vampire ability after fighting Dunphil, Deimos awakened the power of a Skeleton Knight. Perhaps if he awakened more skills then Ark would be able to utilize him more in a battle. Therefore, Deimos became more aggressive in a fight after he evolved. Since Ark insisted on him defending, ‘Shield Stroke’ was the first offensive skill Deimos learned. However, Ark didn’t care even when he learnt the skill. Honestly, Ark felt like the skill he had learnt after much difficulty was quite trivial. He didn’t need to push an enemy with the shield skills. When Deimos used the skill, his damage only increased by a little bit and there was a 10% chance of causing stiffness. It was also a basic skill for anyone with the warrior profession.
‘Still, any attack skill would be helpful at the moment.’
Deimos went around hitting the Nakujuk with his shield. Normally their speed would be too fast to follow, but after ‘Frozen’ stacked up many times, their movement speed was at the lowest possible.
“That’s it. Radun, sword! Blade Storm!”
The sword in Ark’s hands exploded. The sharp sword fragments wrapped around the Nakujuk, causing a whirlwind. The Nakujuk were struck and collapsed one after the other. Only 4 Nakujuk barely survived.
A piercing wail emerged as Demonic Opening was used. Thanks to the enormous damage, the Nakujuk couldn’t hold out and eventually died. It was an amazing skills parade! The scene was repeated dozens of times. The Abyss of Despair was home to a large number of Nakujuk. He came across as little as 10 and as much as 30 troops at one time. In addition, the distance between troops was small so he other ran into other troops while fighting.
‘I have to lure a suitable number and take care of them with a lightning fast battle.’
He urgently moved forward. Whenever he thought of Lariette, Ark became more urgent and proceeded quicker into the dungeon.
‘I should avoid fighting too many enemies.’
Therefore Ark used ‘Stealth’ to wander around. The structure of the dungeon twisted like a pretzel and led downwards. It was a simple structure but the inside was complicated like a maze. Since he couldn’t see around the corner, there might be a unit of Nakujuk warriors waiting there. In order to figure out the terrain, he hid using ‘Stealth’ and checked every corner to see if there was a unit. Once he figured out the terrain and enemy placement, he used Dedric. Dedric was excellent at provoking using his ‘Taunt’ skill! If two units were too close to each other than Dedric would lure one away. Then Ark and Deimos would block their escape.
“Guran, Buksil, Sapjil, stay in the corner!”
The three of them immediately went to the corner and Flash was used. Ark used Flash three or four times. It wasn’t just Flash. It was the combo of Elemental Sword with the ice attribute and Flash! Using that combo, the group instantly lost 40~50% health. Then he followed up with the incredible damage of Blade Storm or Demonic Opening. A truly powerful combination! Of course, using so many skills immediately made his mana drop to the bottom after each battle. But he had a surplus of food so it was no problem. In addition, didn’t he have Umma’s Sap to restore health in an emergency? Thanks to that, Ark had no obstacles. It was possible to do down to the 20th floor of the basement in only 1 hour.
‘There’s only 3 more floors to go down.’
Ark was able to confirm this thanks to a balcony in the middle of the floor. While flying on the skyray, he knew that the altar was on the bottom floor. And there were iron doors on either side of the square. Bona and Lariette were probably trapped somewhere behind the doors. And because of the difficulty of the quest, there was likely to be a boss.
‘It doesn’t matter if I just jump off here, but I have to take care of the Nakujuk or else they might attack me from behind.’
“Okay, you can put away the corpses.”
Guran and the little pigs began to clean up. Since it was an enemy’s stronghold, sometimes Ark would randomly come across people patrolling. If they saw bodies then the enemy troops would attack from behind. Therefore he needed to hide the bodies at an appropriate place. In the meantime, Ark checked his equipment and used maintenance where needed.
‘I got quite a bit of experience and items from handling those troops.’
Since he killed an average of twenty people at once, his experience shot up like crazy. In addition, he used Drastic Measures approximately 50% of the time and got an extra 1.4 experience. Thanks to that, he raised his level several times in a few hours.
|Fame||9,075 (+ 500)||Level||242|
|Title||Cat Knight, Caretaker of the Battlefield, Jackson’s Hero, Great Adventurer|
|Health||3,795 (+ 150)||Mana||3,985|
|Spiritual Power||200||Strength||460 (+28)|
|Agility||620 (+55)||Stamina||710 (+20)|
|Art of Communication||46||Affection||131 (+10)|
|Special stat: Knowledge of Ancient Relics||138|
|* Equipment item effects|
|Guardian Armour of the Merpeople: Water Attribute Resistance +100%, Penalty based on water is nullified.
Cat Paws (Gloves): Attack Speed +10%, Agility +15, Critical Hit +10%
Raccoons Pith (Helmet): Agility + 10, Wisdom + 10
*<King> Set effect: Strength + 10, Agility + 10, Stamina +10, Defense +20
Warrior’s Transcripts (Shoulder Blades): Strength + 3
Wind Spirit’s Boots (Shoes): Agility + 30, Movement Speed +30%, Attack Speed +10%, ‘Slide’ available
Galgashi’s Fur (Mantle): Cold resistance +100%, Agility +20, When health is less than 50%, ‘Magic Protection’ automatically activates.
Adelaine’s Necklace (Necklace): Defense + 40, Affection +10, ‘Blessing of the Sea’ available
Resurrecting Spirit (Ring): Strength + 5, Mana recovery + 5%
Mind’s Eye (Ring): ‘Mind’s Eye’ enabled
Amulet of Vitality (Bracelet): Health + 50, Health recovers by 5 every 20 seconds
Gladiator’s Honour (Bracelet): Strength, Agility, Stamina +10, Fame +500, Sword-based Skill Growth +5%
|* 40% increase all skills in the dark.
* You have the ability to hide in the darkness (20 minutes duration. Cancelled when you get into combat)
* Resistance to Fear, Darkness, Blind, and Seduction spells is increased by 50%.
* You can bring out the true abilities from all types of tools.
* Shock absorption is increased by 20%.
* Poison resistance has increased by 50%.
* Skill points: 10
Ark was level 242! When he applied the dark attribute bonus, he was level 338 which was a lot higher than the Nakujuk warriors. And 60% of his bag was already filled with japtem.
‘I’ll have to send one of those guys back soon.’
Ark glanced at Buksil who was turning on the magic projector. He had to protect them until then. Ark was also acting cautiously because of them. If he was alone then Ark would be able to escape, but it was impossible with Guran and the baby pigs.
“Well, wait here please. I’ll go and scout the area.”
Ark completed his maintenance and scouted around using ‘Stealth.’
‘That path leads down the 3 floors……..it should take 10 minutes to reach the bottom.’
Dong, dong, dong, dong!
Then, there was the loud ringing of a drum. Ark felt his heart suddenly fall.
‘What, what the?’ Has a patrol found the corpses?’
The problem he was worried about occurred. If they found the dead bodies then the entire dungeon will enter emergency mode. The monsters would become more alert and the battles more difficult. In some cases, all the monsters in the dungeon would gather where the bodies were discovered.
‘Damn, how many times have I told them to put it away carefully……..’
Ark was torn about what to do.
“Oooh, it is time for the ceremony.”
“Tamura-nim has called us.”
“Gather all the soldiers around the altar.”
The Nakujuk clan rushed down the stairs.
‘Ceremony? What is going on?’
Anyway, the situation he was concerned about hadn’t happened. But clearly something else was occurring. Ark immediately looked down at the altar from a balcony.
“We finally caught up.”
Jewel muttered as she stood in front of the demonic statues.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, there’s no doubt. He’s in this dungeon.”
Jewel checked the radar of Mana Perfume and nodded. The red dot in the middle of the screen blinked and a grid was drawn as a scale. Because Mana Perfume was applied to the Wind Spirit’s Boots, the red dot indicated Ark’s location. After entering the Netherworld, they moved in a straight line according to the radar and caught up with Ark.
“He descended the mountain and is at the bottom of this dungeon.”
“There is only one exit as well.”
“Now we’ve caught him.”
Jewel, Duke and the Hermes members smirked as they looked at the entrance. They had only been in the Netherworld for a few days. Because they were using the radar to chase Ark, it was possible to move in a straight line and no wander. That didn’t mean they had no trouble. Although it wasn’t as much as Ark and the Three Pig Brothers, they also suffered in the Netherworld over the last few days. Because of that, they completely looked like beggars.
“Still, we were quite lucky.”
“That stupid old man in the village. He just handed over the mounts once we said we were friends of Ark.”
“Thanks to that, we’ve managed to catch up while he’s still in the dungeon.”
That’s right. The reason they were able to catch up with Ark so fast was because of Beseutyu. When they looked for rumours about Ark in the village, Beseutyu came running. And when they said they wanted to help Ark, he immediately lent them some skyrays. Then Duke spoke in a slightly uncomfortable voice.
“But isn’t it a little weird?”
“We encountered quite a lot of monsters coming here.”
“So weren’t most of the monsters level 300? Moreover, isn’t this the lair of the Nakujuk? Then how could Ark get past all those monsters and enter the dungeon?”
“That old man said that he only lent 3 skyrays to Ark. His previous colleagues weren’t there. They must be people he helped in this dimension. No, that is obvious.”
Duke’s mouth twisted at the answer.
“He has two users with him. If we include the NPC then it is 3 people. Meanwhile we have 10 people. It shouldn’t be a problem. Since they’re colleagues of Ark, we can’t leave them alone.”
“It is like you said.”
Duke nodded. Apart from Jewel and Duke, there were 8 other members of the Hermes guild. Since their party had a combination of classes, they easily dealt with the groups of Nakujuk.
“That guy cleaned out most of the monsters in this dungeon. We just have to smash any of the remaining people.”
“I hope he hasn’t killed the boss yet.”
“I don’t care. As long as we catch Ark.”
Jewel laughed and took out a bunch of scrolls. They first thing they did when leaving Silvana was obtain some scrolls. [Robbery], [Seize], [Peek], [Unlucky]………all the scrolls were designed to steal items. Now all they had to do was kill him.
“Come on, let’s go. It is time to pay him back.”
So the group intent on stabbing Ark to death entered the Abyss of Despair.
‘Phew………………..How did this happen?’
Lariette sighed and looked around. She was trapped in a carriage with dozens of the dead stared at the sky. Lariette stared at one of the deceased.
‘This must be him.’
She knew the identity of this deceased person. The reason she came to the Netherworld was because of the boy ghost. Thanks to Alan, she had to go to the Netherworld to rescue the soul of the Holy Knight……..at the gravestone, the boy ghost said that he would guide her to where the Holy Knight was. So she saw the deceased in front of her as soon as she entered the Netherworld. She could recognize the ghost of the Holy Knight with one look. Unlike the other deceased, he had a beautiful silver necklace hanging from his neck. But he remained silent no matter how much she used ‘Sensitive Soul.’ He just wandered around while drooling. Eventually, Lariette had no choice but to follow him. She didn’t know what would happened if he died because of monsters. So it was the first time she fought to protect others in the game. Therefore there were many things she had to learn that she was unaware of. But luckily, there were only wild animals in the forest that the dead were wandering around. Of course, some of them were strong monsters so she had to run away but she also learned new skills and raised her level. Then the Nakujuk clan came hunting the dead and caught her.
Then, she heard some helpless cries from the side. After she was caught, a little boy was also captured.
“I’m afraid. I miss my grandfather.”
“It’s okay, it’ll be okay.”
Lariette soothed the boy as she hugged him.
“But my grandfather called the Nakujuk the most brutal of the Myutal clans. We’ll be eaten.”
“No it won’t. Didn’t you see? There are people trying to rescue us. That person won’t leave us like this. He’s probably already close by. No, I have no doubt that he is near.”
“Yes, that person…….he is really strong.”
Lariette smiled brightly as she said that. Then, there was the sound of drums and the iron doors opened.
‘What on earth? This seems bad…….’
In the meantime, Ark had been looking down at the altar from the balcony. There were 200 members of the Nakujuk clan congregating around the altar. Then like a cult, the Nakujuk all bowed on the ground and chanted.
“The absolute Myutal!”
At that time, the iron doors on one side of the altar opened and someone emerged. It was a 10 metre giant. The giant wearing a robe crossed to the altar and shook a stick made of bone. Then he lifted back his hood, revealing red eyes and raised his stick.
“Finally the time has come!”
A red warning message floated in front of Ark.
|-The boss monster, Master Necromancer ‘Tamura’ has appeared!|
Just like he expected, there was a boss monster in the Abyss of Despair. Level 500. It would be a tough battle. Anyway, Tamura brandished his cane and made a grand speech.
“We have been living in the darkness for a long time. But now, our period of suffering and perseverance has ended. Today the power of the great darkness will be awakened! Using this power, the Nakujuk will once again rule the Netherworld.”
“In order to obtain the power to rule the Netherworld, we must grasp it using the Festival of Blood and Flesh! Then no one will be able to stop us! Behold, this is the crystal that contains the true darkness! The form of the God that we serve!”
Tamura forcefully struck the floor with his cane. Then a small area of the square disappeared. A form emerged from the endless darkness……..the dark shape moaned and began to squish together. An incredibly ominous aura swirled in the square. Tamura raised his head and looked at the sky through the open ceiling.
“Today is the first day of complete darkness to occur in 10 years! Even the celestial gods are swallowed by the darkness. This is the perfect opportunity to resurrect the darkness! Now, prepare the sacrifices!”
‘Huk, that is………!’
Ark abruptly flinched. The doors on the other side opened and the Nakujuk came in dragging 30 carriages. The deceased were trapped inside the carriage. And somewhere in the midst, the carriage that the Draken kidnapped contained Lariette and Bona.
At Tamura’s command, one of the carriages fell into a hole. After a moment, the black spirit bubbled up and swallowed them. With a violent sound, the dead people melted down and were absorbed in the darkness. At the same time, the aura became even more sinister.
‘What, what the? How am I going to do this?’
Ark became baffled. If he left Bona and Lariette trapped then they would soon fall inside the pit. Ideally he wanted to save Lariette but Bona was the more urgent problem. Although Lariette could resurrect, Bona was a NPC. It he died then the quest would fail. But he couldn’t just blindly jump into the square. There were 200 Nakujuk and the boss. No matter how strong he was, it wasn’t possible for Ark alone.
‘Dammit, why did he appear before I killed all the Nakujuk?’
After looking at the situation, it was obvious that Tamura appeared after certain conditions. This condition was probably midnight on New Year’s Eve. If he had killed all the Nakujuk before Tamura appeared then it might be possible to fight him. But now he had to deal with 200 Nakujuk and the boss monster.
‘Now I know why this is a B ranked quest. It is a party quest!’
Ark became gloomy. Did he have to give up on the quest and Lariette even though he came all the way here? It was at that time. Suddenly he stumbled and a warning message appeared.
-‘Stealth’ has been released thanks to a Ranger’s ‘Sixth Sense.’
-You have received a critical hit from ‘Precise Shot.’ Damage 400! <Under the ‘Bleeding’ status, you will receive 30 damage every 10 seconds for 3 minutes>
‘Huk, what, what the?’
Ark panicked and turned his head.
“As I expected, ‘Sixth Sense’ turned it off.”
“Ark……….No, isn’t it Dark Wolf?”
“Since you’re alone, have all your colleagues died? How disgraceful, peeping while hiding your form……..”
Ark became even more confused.
“Y-you……..what are you guys doing here?”
“Did you think you would never see us again?”
Amazingly, it was Duke, Jewel and some of the Hermes guild lined up behind Ark. Of course, Ark realized that those guys would track him down someday. But he could just move to another kingdom to get away. He never imagined that he would see them so soon. Jewel didn’t give him time to think as she said.
“You’re finished now!”
“I’ll teach you the price of messing around with Hermes! Target Ark!”
Jewel activated all the scrolls at once.
|-The [Unlucky] scroll has been applied.|
|-The [Robbery] scroll has been applied…….|
10 warning messages appeared.
‘Oh my god! A scroll combination……..!’
Ark felt a chill go down his spine. Ark understood the power of the scroll combination more than anyone else. He had almost become a beggar when Andel used it on him. If he got caught then the quest would be unrecoverable. And no matter how strong he was, he stood no chance against Jewel, Duke and 8 of the Hermes members.
‘I’m not the same as before. If there were 5 Hermes members then I might be able to handle it. But I can’t deal with the 10 of them including Jewel and Duke. I have to run away!’
As soon as the idea appeared, his body automatically moved. Ark was standing on the balcony. If he made one wrong move then he would be surrounded by 200 Nakujuk and the boss. The only way out was the corridor Jewel was blocking!
Ark immediately used the skill and plunged between the gaps. Although the speed of Flash was overwhelmingly faster, Dark Dance was better for defense.
“Not a chance!”
Duke lowered his stance and used ‘Rapid Fire.’
“Damn, son of a bitch!”
Ark used ‘Slide’ to avoid the arrows. Duke’s face contorted angrily. While Ark was avoiding the attacks, Jewel boosted her magic ‘Mana Explosion’ and shot a fireball.
Ark wrapped his mantle around him and headed straight for the fireball.
Kwa kwa kwa kwang!
Jewel had calculated the gap and used a fireball. She used fire magic because the damage was reliable. But when Ark rushed forward using ‘Flash,’ the fireball exploded in front of Jewel. The narrow corridor was swallowed with flames and Jewel and her allies received the full brunt of the damage. Even with Ark’s 75% fire resistance, he still received 400 damage. Those guys didn’t have fire resistance and received double the damage. Thanks to the damage also inflicted by Ark’s continuous use of Flash, they quickly lost 30% of their health. However, someone used recovery magic and they recovered 10% instantly.
‘Damn, they have a magician, ranger, warrior and clerics. Their party is prepared.’
“Ugh, how impertinent……..kill him!”
Jewel ordered and they rushed forward in formation. However, Ark blindly used his skills and stopped their approach. He managed to penetrate their encirclement and make an escape route. Ark took out some Nadingka’s fruits from his pocket and threw them. When they touched the bodies, vines sprouted around Jewel and her party.
“Eh? What is this?”
At the same time, Ark started to run away on the other side and never looked back.
“Damn, Freedom from Chains!”
A shaman shook off the vines using recovery magic. However, Ark used Sprint and had already disappeared from their sight. Fortunately, Ark had already handled most of the monsters and the remaining Nakujuk were surrounding the altar so there was no one to block him. But it only lasted for a few moments. Although he used Sprint and knew the dungeon, he couldn’t outrun their pursuit. No matter how complicated the path, Jewel always managed to catch up.
‘I’m using the map created by my ‘Cartography’ skill……….so how do they know the way? In addition, they’re accurately chasing in the right direction. No, how did they manage to track me through the Netherworld to this dungeon?’
Even though they shadowed him, the Three Pig Brothers had managed to lose Ark for a while in the Netherworld. So how had they found Ark so quickly? Even if they came to the Netherworld before Ark, it didn’t explain how they found him.
‘They’re clearly using a method I don’t know about. Something to find out my location…….what is it? The [Track] scroll doesn’t detect outside a certain distance……no, they have something that works well on me……wait, perhaps?’
Ark briefly stopped and took off the boots.
‘It has to be something to do with these shoes!’
He used Discerning Eye to look at the information window.
|-Wind Spirit’s Boots has been cursed with Mana Perfume.
<Items cursed with Mana Perfume radiate a unique wavelength. This wavelength allows the user to track items cursed with Mana Perfume>
If something difficult to understand was encountered in New World, it was most likely because of a skill.
‘Not just unidentified items. I should also check items taken from other people. Damn, I never thought there was this skill. But I can cleanse the curse using Purification Restoration.’
Ark was already cornered. Getting rid of the curse wouldn’t help him escape the crisis. Still, it would be better than broadcasting his location while running away. But just as he was about to use Purification Restoration, an idea popped into his head.
‘Wait, they can find my location using the boots. Then………..this might be a chance. Okay, with my low mana I wouldn’t be able to evade them with Sprint anyway. This is the only way to escape the crisis.’
Ark used Sprint to return to the room where Guran was hiding.
“Ark-nim, you’re safe.”
“We were worried when we heard the strange pounding drums!”
“I don’t have time to explain in more detail. Sapjil, please write a contract!”
Ark hastily handed over his items when he received the contract. Then he looked carefully at the surroundings and said.
“There’s no time. Run to the place I told you to!”
“Yes, but what’s going on……..”
“There is no time to explain. You’ll know later so just run!”
When Ark raised his voice, Sapjil became surprised and immediately ran. When Ark confirmed that he was running, Ark gave a wicked smile and handed Dedric the boots.
“Dedric, follow Sapjil while carrying this.”
Jewel looked at the radar and ran.
“Damn, he’s pretty fast. That bastard!”
“But he won’t be able to keep up that speed forever.”
“And he still hasn’t noticed my magic. What a foolish guy, he must be hiding somewhere. Since earlier, his dot hasn’t moved. Does he think we can’t find him if he’s hiding?”
Jewel murmured and smirked. Ark had stopped for a while but now he started moving again. However the speed wasn’t as fast as before.
“He’s finally run out of mana. It’s not far so we can catch up!”
Jewel and her party chased after the red dot. And how long did they run for? After turning a corner, they heard the sound of footsteps running away. The Nakujuk were gathered so the only ones left were Ark and Jewel’s group. Jewel tracked the red dot closely and saw that it went back to the balcony where they first met.
“Hah, trying to hide in the dark? But it won’t be enough to fool me. Ark!”
Ark who was hiding at the end of the balcony turned around and panicked. No, the person with a frightened face wasn’t Ark. It was the dwarf merchant, Sapjil.
“What, what the? Who are you?”
“It makes no sense……the radar clearly shows…….”
Then, Jewel’s eyes saw the bat flapping behind Sapjil. The bat was firmly holding the boots…….the Wind Spirit’s Boots with Mana Perfume on it.
“Oh my god, did he notice? So where is Ark………?”
“Here I am you damn bastards!”
Ark’s voice was heard behind them. Jewel and Duke flinched and turned around.
“You guys can go through some trouble on my behalf. Radun, go!”
Ssak ssak ssak!
“What, what the! This lizard is?
Radun turned into Radunma and rushed towards Jewel’s group. Jewel and her companions were gathered in groups of 2~3 and completely filled the narrow corridor. Thanks to the blockage, they were literally pushed towards one direction. The warriors tried to swing their swords…….but it was a stupid idea.
Ark used Riposte to counterattack. The group was shoved towards Sapjil at the end of the balcony and they all fell overboard. Since it was only 3 levels, the fall damage wasn’t that high. However…….they fell with a large crash and the eyes of the 200 Nakujuk and Tamura concentrated on them.
“Who are they?”
Tamura’s face hardened.
“How dare you interfere with the sacred rituals……kill them! Tear them down and offer them as sacrifices!”
“Ooh oh oh oh!”
The Nakujuk clan stood up and rushed forwards.
“Huk, run away!”
“We’re already surrounded. There’s no way to run!”
“Hang in there! We can’t die without killing Ark!”
Jewel and her group used magic and skills to attack the Nakujuk. So the battle between the 10 Hermes members and the Nakujuk took place. And Sapjil who also fell was killed by the Nakujuk at the beginning of the fight.
Buksil turned on the magic projector and recorded the noble (?) end.
‘Now there’s only 1 left of the Three Pig Brothers.’
His sacrifice was necessary to deceive Jewel.
“Master, take it.”
Then Dedric flew closer holding the boots.
“Huhuhu, such crude methods suits someone like you.”
Ark cleansed the boots using Purification Restoration. The skill ended up being in his favour. If they chased after Ark using the [Track] skill then he wouldn’t be able to use such a wonderful trick. Thanks to those guys, the fight against the 200 Nakujuk wasn’t so hopeless anymore.
“Fortunately Bona and Lariette are still safe. Guran, Buksil, come along.”
Ark led his group and descended towards the altar.