Desire (Mogma) - Chapter 26
“Yes, I know. 4th rank?”
“Oh it seems, you know huh. Looks like you are constantly checking your ranking. The first users to enter the Silent Forest are Luke’s parties. They consist of Luke, Asela. Moore, Sylves.”
Luke and Asela are what, I know that Luke is Level 28 and Asela is at Level 26. But Moore and Sylves are new to his ears.
“Who are Moore and Sylves?”
“Didn’t you see the video of them hunting? Moore is a wizard at Level 26. They don’t have a healer. Sylves is at Level 27 and Asela’s level 26….”
There is a hunting video. He hasn’t looked for it. Ajin then decided to log out later and search on the website.
“Anyway, they were the first party to enter Silent Forest, arrived at the port city, preoccupied the surrounding hunting grounds, and released the information. Most of the players have gone out of the Silent Forest.”
Daisy chewed her lips.
“There’s a lot of players already that have gone, so we’ll have a hard time sucking up the sweet water even if we’re delayed. In that case, we’d rather go in a different direction. We’re thinking of going to the Indigo cliff.”
The Indigo cliff. Beyond the forest is the cliff. Beyond that, there is the blue volcano, and the Sea of Symphonies, according to Heuk Seolhyang.
“There are quite a few players on that side, too but it’s rare for players to be able to reach the Blue Volcano that is over the Indigo cliff. We’re going there.”
“To be exact, it’s a monopoly. Isn’t that more fun?”
Daisy grinned as she made eye contact with Ajin. She seemed to like him with what he said. Well, it’s more interesting and fun to aim for an unoccupied area rather than an area that is already trampled and emptied by other players, and it’s better if they succeed and will produce money when they sell the information to other players.
“Then I’ll try to join your party.”
Ajin said and nodded after he weighed the gains and losses. For a moment, he thought that it is better to join Daisy’s party. He can throw them away when they are useless. Even if their opponent is NP, he has not thought of antagonizing the players yet. This is an online game after all.
‘Of course, those bastards are different.’
Ajin had a smirk on his face. He intended to avenge himself from Luke and Asela regardless of their hostility. Wasn’t it Asela’s side who started the fight first? That scoundrel couldn’t tell where she was going to be, but she interrupted his attempts and attacked him first. Not only that but also killed him. He is not a self-deprecating person who will stab at the back and laugh, nor is he Jesus that is willing to get slapped in both cheeks.
And Moore and Sylves they say? I don’t have a direct grudge against those bastards but what they, uh, prevent him from killing Luke and Asela? It doesn’t matter. He can kill them both.
“Really? Really? We have to reach level 25 first then. That would make a level difference with us, but that doesn’t matter right?”
If it doesn’t work, he can hunt alone when they log out and raise his level. He rarely does his daily life except playing games anyway. In order not to starve to death, he runs and has a cycle of eating, playing, and sleeping every day.
“Yes, let’s hunt until 11 o’clock today in-game time. Do you want to do it tomorrow instead of around this time?”
Ajin answered and the others just nodded. Daisy smiled and checked the time.
“It’s a little past seven o’clock, so— let’s hunt until midnight. Let’s take a break for 20 minutes every 2 hours, that would be alright right?”
And the hunt resumed. Hunting is not much different from the first one. Haguro drives the wolf and Ajin and Daisy catch the wolf. With the demands of Haguro and the appropriate communication, Lina doesn’t bite around the bush. Except for Ajin, the three of them have already played together as a party from the very beginning, so their hands and feet are in sync. On the other hand, Ajin is more comfortable. All they need is a spoon on the table that the three of them make up for.
During the break, Ajin logged out for a bit and drank water, and went to the bathroom. The duration of his rest is the same as everyone. It’s because it’s just a game and regardless of what happens, they’re all human.
“We’ll see you in front of the fountain tomorrow.”
They arrived at the village at midnight, the group signed out after bidding goodbyes to each other. Ajin remained until he turned back and headed to the forest. He doesn’t know exactly, but besides being a player, the life outside is always important. They probably have school and separate jobs.
But it’s different to Ajin. For him, virtual reality is his work and life. Three or fours of sleep a day is enough for him. He has been taking in simple meals and taking medicines including vitamins to prevent malnutrition. Leisure time is luxurious except for the time he spends on it. No, the time he invests in virtual reality itself is the best leisure time for Ajin.
‘ The best job that one can do is a job that one can enjoy the most.’
So one can enjoy and concentrate. Ajin had a smile while heading to the silver wolf’s territory. Now that he has taken advantage of party play, it’s time for him to solo play. He may belong to Daisy’s party, but he had to get used to party play afterward and had to prepare in going to the cliff that they have not yet headed off. His strength works so well in the wild forest as of now, but there is no guarantee that he will be able to play solo even on the cliff or at the blue volcano beyond it. Daisy’s party is like insurance for the meantime.
After five hours of party play, Ajin was able to reach level 18. He frequently used Heavenly Demon Thousand Star Bombardment that had reached the second level with a lot of EXP. Thanks to his steady use of energy drain, the amount of his skill range had also increased.
Now the next one. Since Heavenly Demon Thousand Star Bombardment has escalated to 2 stars, that might be able to grow to another technique that branches out from Heavenly Demon Arts. Blood Stream Attack that he had continued to use at the battle had also reached the second level. Except for Heavenly Demon Arts: Blood Corruption, all of the Heavenly Demon Arts Techniques had reached 2 stars, and the bloodstream method. And now, Ajin aimed to hit bigger.
Ajin moved quickly and had already reached the area of the silver wolf. He had already experienced hunting silver wolf through party hunting, but he is the first soloist to do so. Silver wolves swarm and fight, they are monsters that are hard to deal with if one does solo play. But with that in mind, when he succeeds in hunting, he can monopolize a large amount of EXP, which is a big advantage for solo players.
‘I’m gonna have to save some money.’
The money that he had from the hunt earlier was 2,600 gold. Each wolf has two fangs that can be obtained are divided into four. A wolf’s fangs are 50 gold each. Roughly speaking, he caught 104 wolves. In five hours he had 2,600 gold. Since cash transactions have not yet been activated, he doesn’t know how the gold’s market price will be set and most importantly, its beta services. No matter how much money he saves, it will only be reset. However, it is better to have money without thinking about cash transactions. For now, he doesn’t want to wear beginner’s clothes forever and needs to buy a potion.
Then he faced a group of seven wolves. Even before the wolf caught him, Ajin used the Heavenly Demon Thousand Miles Footwork Technique and attacked the wolf. He planned to actively use the Heavenly Demon Technique to raise his EXP. In fast hunting, he also had less control over his power. Instead of using Heavenly Demon Arts: Thousand Star Bombardment, he used Heavenly Demon Arts: Heaven and Earth Splitting and hit the wolf’s head.
Clash! The beaten wolf rolled on the ground. The blow didn’t kill him, but the damage went far enough. If he pours too much energy, the energy drain will not be enough to cover the consumption. He is determined to control his internal strength in moderation and used the Heavenly Demon Thousand Miles Footwork Technique. Smack! The wolf that was behind fell on the ground that had drawn his attention.
Through the Mara Chenle technique, Ajin’s body became dramatically stronger. The best thing is that the consumption of internal strength has been reduced. It is possible to achieve the optimal effect by using the minimum amount of strength for fast and explosive moves. Besides, his senses became more sensitive and he felt a presence at the back.
‘Free movement of internal organs.’
Every strand of hair looked like it had guts on its own. It gave him a maddening pleasure. He continued to move without hiding his laughter. His body used the Heavenly Demon Thousand Miles Footwork Technique and struck the wolf as it made its end. The Heavenly Demon Arts: Heaven and Earth Splitting. The air surrounded a large number of wolves. Crash! The wolf’s body rolled on the ground and exploded. The attack is not the only thing he had done. He didn’t let go of the tension and kept moving, dodged the wolf’s attack, he struck back and attacked the wolf.
‘It’s slower than a party hunting and I get tired fast and have to stay alert.’
It consumes a lot of mental strength and a lot of internal strength. Ajin looked down at the body of the wolf as he picked up his breath. He clenched his tongue and began to pull out its fangs as he opened the mouth of the dead wolf.
“Surely Acacia got a good hand.”
People were watching Ajin. There was a woman wrapped in black clothes that had enveloped the dark red complexion that stood there and had her hand folded around her. She had covetous red hair that looked like fiery red and thin green eyes that twinkled like emeralds.
“It’s because of that filthy woman who used a cowardly trick!”
Primrose. Her face was smeared with a sullen expression. She spat out on the little girl that has blonde hair and turned her over by hand.
“My toys are much better than those little ones.”
“Oh, well. Your playful thing…Was it Laquis? I’m sure that one is in the second of the list, right?”
The woman grinned and glanced at Primrose. Primrose nodded with a proud face.
“Their level may fall behind Chrysanthemum’s toys, but levels are not important in this game anyway. How about you, Carole? Are your toys good?”
“You mean Harves? Well, it’s meeting some expectations. But…”
Carole slightly dilated her eyes and licked her lips when he was checking Ajin who is hunting wolves using Heavenly Demon Arts.
“I couldn’t use Hidden Piece. The only player who’s ever reached the Hidden Piece is Acacia’s toys.”
“Well… Heavenly Demon Arts. I guess it’s activated with Heuk Seolhyang.”
Primrose murmured. Heuk Seolhyang. The leader of the Magic Sect is also called Bloody Witch. She is a hidden piece that was dispatched by Gladiolus, the “Great One” including Primrose, Carole, Chrysanthemum, Hyacinth, and Acacia. A hidden piece like her now exists around the world. It’s purely up to the player to find it, and the player who reaches the Hidden Piece has the power to overwhelm other competitors.
“I’m going to do some backup work here, too.”
Carole murmured as she loosened her arms. With that, Primrose looked back at Carole in surprise.
“What–? Are you trying to intervene? Gladiolus said–.”
“He’s not moving.”
Carole affirmed. She puts her arms around Primrose’s shoulder and had a meaningful smile.
“And what’s limited to us is direct intervention. Did I tell you right? It’s a backstabbing.”
“—Gladiolus might get angry.”
Primrose murmured as she shook her shoulders. The terrified little girl shook Carole slightly.
“I’m sure they’re all getting involved anyway. Chrysanthemum’s toys also found a way to reach the Hidden Piece. I don’t know if she was lucky, or she did that, but—.”
Carole’s eyes narrowed.
“If Ms. Chrysanthemum intervened, she wouldn’t have let us know. Does that even matter? As long as we don’t get caught.”
“Gladiolus doesn’t come forward to execute us himself. To execute us, we need to have some suggestions and consent from someone but the executioner. It doesn’t matter if Acacia, Chrysanthemum, and Hyacinth don’t know about it.”
Carleya put her lips close to Primrose’s ear. Her whisper, hot breath struck Primrose’s ear.
“Or, you are going to betray me? Are you going to pass on my denial to Mr. Gladiolus?”
“T…hat’s not it.”
Primrose bowed her head and had a blush on her face. In response, Carole groaned and licked Primrose’s ear.
That’s good then. I don’t mean to accuse you, either. And…you want to win, right? So am I. I want to win. No, even if I don’t win, I think the winner should be either you or me.”
Primrose chewed his lips. I wanted to win. Purely, Primrose wanted it. She recalled her rivals except herself. Evil Chrysanthemum, Dirty Acacia—Unenthusiastic Hyacinth. We can’t make those three the winners. She is the only one who should be Gladiolus or else—. She then glanced at Carole.
“Harves had mastered magic. I’m thinking of linking him to one of the Archmage.”
As Primrose had come to her side so Carole had a thin smile on her face and loosened her arms around her shoulders.
“Laquis has superpowers, wasn’t he? Then we can connect him to one of the Esper. You’re going to right? You don’t want to make Acacia do that right?”
Primrose nodded slightly. Carole smiled contentedly at the answer.
“That’s enough, there’s a lot of ways–.”
Carole looked down at Ajin.
“You can’t let that man win over Acacia.”