Evolution Theory of the Hunter (ETH)
Volume 1 Chapter 35
The green blood flowed freely when I twisted the bloodysword to widen the wound. As soon as I plucked out my weapon, Eum Hyunjoon cut off its head.
Luckily it was already dead before he had done that so the points still came through.
The lizardman I had pushed away earlier started screaming out as it ran in our direction.
“Can you do it alone?”
“Then I’ll leave you to it!”
Eum Hyunjoon said as he left me to tend to the lizard that was now recovering from the frenzy spell. All the mercenary members and 3 other teams followed suit.
What? He was taking his entire mercenary team? I get it that he trusted me…but I wouldn’t mind if he trust me a wee bit less and left a couple of his team to back me up.
The lizardman’s harpoon and my longsword clashed violently. The monster’s harpoon had bounced off even though I was wielding my sword with one hand and he with both hands. In that moment, I swooped in and sliced its neck with my bloodysword.
Blood gushed out. I took one step back and stabbed it with the longsword, but it parried my second attack with its harpoon.
I want to emphasize that the lizardman was much weaker in physical strength than myself.
As soon as I saw an opening in his upper body, I stabbed again into the wound I had made earlier.
It grabbed at its neck and fell to its knees.
Two down. Eum Hyunjoon’s team had also taken care of one lizard and was going up against the remaining two. I thought about going to help when I saw they could take care of themselves.
“How about our team rest for a bit?”
“Were you always like that?”
Cho Youngoo, who was probably just watching at the sidelines, asked in awe.
“I guess the equipment is pretty good.”
“It seems like I’m not of any use to you.”
“Just think of it as you’re racking up experience and knowledge right now. Even watching will prove to be valuable later on.”
“Ok. I’ll try to keep that in mind.”
Cho Youngoo said with a nod of his head.
My team and I went and sat down at a small spot to rest while we watched Eum Hyunjoon’s party finish the hunt.
Three close range attackers had surrounded one lizardman and was pushing it forcefully all around with their shields. The men standing behind them were stabbing at the lizardman from behind the shields.
The monster was trying to defend itself by striking out with its harpoon but it was woefully struck down by the shields with no effect. Slowly, its scales were coming off with each attack until it finally began to sustain damage.
“Wow. There’s that way of hunting too. I never knew.”
“It’s not a beginner play. This was something that was probably practiced a number of times – because something like that could only work with good coordination.”
Right before the lizardman looked about ready to faint, Eum Hyunjoon and the mercenaries backed up to allow the other teams to finish it off.
The three teams surrounded the lizard just as Eum Hyunjoon’s team had done and followed suit.
The lizardman ultimately succumbed to the attacks. The only monster left was the one still asleep.
“Long range attackers, please come forward!”
As soon as Eum Hyunjoon said this, glasses girl and Han Joonseok hurriedly ran to him. Shortly, we were able to learn what he wanted to do. The level 1 long range attacks began to rain onto the sleeping lizardman.
Arrows and spells showered over the monster. The monster yelled out and woke up, but he was unable to find the cause of the attacks and started to cough up blood before collapsing. But the arrows didn’t stop wreaking havoc on the monster’s body.
“Since we were able to prove that level 1 attacks can still sustain damage on level 2 monsters if done in the right way, I hope you take this opportunity to have a bit more confidence in yourselves. You all have the ability to kill these monsters with the right knowledge and experience.”
Everyone sat around talking to each other with excited faces as we waited for the monsters to evaporate. Everyone’s expression went from being full of fear and tension to being filled with confidence and enthusiasm. This was such a 180 from when we had first stepped into the dungeon. So this was the true effect of a good party head.
“Amazing, isn’t he?”
Manager Kim asked and I nodded in agreement. The more I got to know him, the more he amazed me. He was able to move everyone’s hearts with just a few simple words.
“Finally there is someone who can appreciate my skills. No, there is no other choice but to acknowledge my ability I guess. Honestly, if it wasn’t for me, this last fight could have become really dangerous.”
“…That was what you meant?”
“These people I mean. No matter how much they may be jealous of me, they should be able to at least compliment me now and again. Must I resort to complimenting myself?”
“Bravo. Bravo. You have really outdone yourself this time, Manager Kim.”
“I don’t need it anymore. I don’t want you to compliment me after I asked for it.”
“Manager Kim! You are the best!”
“Oh ho. I said I didn’t like that sort of this.”
When Jung Sooah started being silly and yelling out compliments, that was when Manager Kim finally started to smile a bit. Han Joonseok said.
“Who is that person?”
“I don’t know myself, really. I had only been in his party just one time. But he was pretty good that time too.”
“It’s not just a matter of pretty good. If he can coordinate people like that every time, then I’m sure he would be able to climb to group 1 in no time.”
“Are you jealous?”
“If I said I wasn’t, I’d be lying.”
“Well, as long as we work hard, we should improve a lot too.”
“But it would take us a couple years to get to the next level I bet.”
“Who cares if it takes us some years. Just being able to stay a hunter is great in my book.”
At Cho Youngoo’s response, Han Joonseok laughed and nodded in agreement. Glasses girl, who had remained quiet this whole, spoke up.
“Now that I think about it, all of my arrows hit their marks this time.”
“Don’t forget that that’s because of me!”
Jung Sooah yelled out.
“Speaking of that, how far do you think your buffer’s reach is?”
Her skill was to bring up her comrades’ skills and increase their effectiveness. If it had actually raised all of our abilities (over 30 of us), then that would be a hell of a skill.
“Unfortunately it seems five would be my limit. Not including me.”
“Do you think the reach will increase with time?”
“I think that it is quite possible for me to be able to increase the buff amount. But I also think the more people I include in your reach, the less potent it will be.”
“That makes sense. So if you can raise everyone’s ability by “X” percent, then the more people you lend your skill to…the smaller the percentage you will be able to raise each individual’s ability.”
“So I guess I should only use my buffer on our teammates for now then.”
“What’s your proficiency at right now?”
“It’s 2 now. I think that every time I go into a dungeon and use it, it goes up one point.”
Buffer type skills get stronger with increase in proficiency…but I was waiting for something more special to show up since it was a level 0 skill.
“It’s an item!”
Someone hollered loudly. I got up from my seat and looked toward the sound of the voice. Even though it was a level 2 dungeon, item drops were still a rarity.
“It looks like Aegis’ shield.”
“It’s a level 1 shield. It’s made out of leather so defense ability isn’t that great really.”
“Then it’s a dud?”
“No. It’s not terrible. That shield still has the ability to slow down an enemy. Last I checked, it was selling for about 200,000 dollars.”
“Then how much can each person get?”
“Since there’s about 31 of us, the price will depend on the distribution contribution but…I’d say about 6,000 per person at least.”
“What. Shit. Jaaackpot.”
“But there is one problem.”
“What is it?”
“Who the hell is going to buy level 1 equipment right now?”
Right now, all the level 1 dungeons had disappeared. Of course this didn’t mean it was a totally useless thing, but you could expect that the demand for it would have reduced considerably. If there isn’t anyone willing to buy it, we would be lucky to sell it for even half its regular price.
Nonetheless, this was still a considerable success. Not only did we get through the rest of the dungeon with some ease, we had minimal injuries and even lucked out on an item.
I had also gotten to rack up some reward points. And you know what, we even had another item drop later on.
“What the hell? Again?!”
Jung Sooah yelled out excitedly. I was probably equally excited and shocked. In all my years of portering, I had never heard of two items dropping in one raid. Something was afoot. Yep.