“Well does that mean we dealt the Ezekiel Team a huge blow? I mean, we unblocked the road they were barricading, “got rid of” close to 40 of them….they must be mad.”
“And? There’s only so much they can do to us on this large land. There’s no reason to be scared of them.”
The Southern Marsh was a much larger territory than the other areas.
How are they going to find us? They don’t even know my face.
I mean, the only ones who would recognize me are the guys we tied up at the barricades. But it’s not as if they’re going to draw my face and pass it around for a reward.
If they did something like that, they would end up being investigated by the government.
“All we need to focus on is hunting and collecting items.”
My primary focus while at the West Sea was growing my power, my team’s power, and even Kelby’s power now.
This meant instead of wasting our time pondering over stupid things, we should just hunt monsters. Simple.
“Sunbeh Oppa! Big news!”
While I was resting after eating a simple dinner, Sooah screamed as she shoved her smartphone in my face.
As the latest model with a great big screen, it was a huge thing. But that wasn’t what was important here.
My picture was on the giant screen.
“What is this. When did you take a picture of me?”
“I didn’t take this one! All the ones I took are safely saved somewhere else. But look at this. This is a post from a blog that covers all things about the West Sea and someone put your picture up including what happened recently!”
“What are you talking about?”
I took the smartphone from her and started to look it over.
Not everything was recorded in the blog.
But at the very least, it described how team Delta and I had pushed past the barricades that Ezekiel had set up.
And the fight was recorded via video.
I guess this was to be expected. There were over 1000 hunters behind us at the time. Of course someone among them would have thought to record it.
“Wow..nice filming. Looks like you’re going to become famous huh?”
Manager Kim said.
“I did expect something like this to some extent, but now that it really happened it’s a bit embarrassing. But it’s lucky that it didn’t show up on the news…”
“Party head, you come up as a top search now.”
Han Joonseok started shaking his phone and laughing.
Oh. My. God.
“Luckily it was taken from far away though so people won’t be able to identify you easily.”
“But it’ll still spell trouble I mean they have his name and the team name too.”
We had given those Ezekiel guys a good beating and even took their items. They had enough to report us now.
“Who’s going to bear witness and testify though? I don’t think anyone would do it.”
“Who knows. Hunters follow the money no matter what.”
Now I was starting to get nervous. I expected to gain a bit of fame but this was a bit much.
“What do you think those Ezekiel guys will do now?”
Han Joonseok asked.
We were still unclear as to how strong the Ezekiel team was a whole. Raid teams are usually required to register and reveal their member count but, because that team is constantly adding to their number, it was hard to know.
I could only guess they were about 3-400 in number based on what a stranger had revealed.
If we were to just go off numbers alone, they were bigger than team Mercenary. But their ability was a mystery.
“They’ll probably be looking out for us. But as I said, the land is big enough that finding us will be difficult.”
“But won’t they just have to spread out and look for us since they have a lot of members?”
Sooah asked. Of course that’s a possibility. But seeing how they operated up until recently, I don’t see that happening. They liked to move in numbers.
“Team Ezekiel likes to move in big groups to accomplish tasks. They rely on this so much that they don’t even mind if a bunch of their hunters die during a fight. Think about what happened at the Baeksapyoung dungeon.”
“If they find it hard to look for us by moving in large groups, they will resort to other methods. Worst case scenario….hunting other hunters.”
“Didn’t you feel something was off that last fight?”
“Not reallyjust that they fight well? I think we would have been in trouble if Sunbeh Oppa and Kelby weren’t there.”
“The overall fighting levels on both sides were very similar. And we even had more men on our side. But we were losing the first half of the battle. What does that tell us?”
“It was something else. That they were familiar with fighting in such situations.”
Sooah gulped after a moment. I nodded.
“Since they’ve stepped foot into this new land, they haven’t just been hunting monsters…”
“Of course I’m not going to assume they were purposely putting themselves in such situationsyet. Because on the other hand, if that was their goal, they wouldn’t have blocked off the Southern Marshes to start with.”
“But I guess this changes things now…”
I nodded at Han Joonseok’s murmur.
“When you succeed on this kind of hunt, you can earn about 100,000 worth of items from one hunter. Of course it could be even more than that if there are hunters with level 2 items or higher. “
100,000 dollars. If you were lucky, you could do several times that from hunting another hunter.
Since they always work using their numerical advantage, hunting humans would not only be easier than hunting a monsterbut it would net more profit as well.
Any reservations they might have had in killing a fellow human being, probably flew away with the wind as soon as they smelled the money.
They might even console themselves by saying those hunters were bound to die soon anyway it was a dangerous career.
The bonfire crackled and the flames seemed to dance.
The reason for the bonfire was because monsters didn’t like them.
Of course there were a select few monsters who were actually attracted to light. And the team Ezekiel would probably be attracted to the fire as well.
But it was better for us to have the light so we can see our enemy.
We had hung a large LED lamp on the bumper of the car as well.
Everyone else had fallen asleep already.
Having drawn first shift for lookout, I searched the portal news on Sooah’s phone.
The main news was about the friction with China.
It seems the Chinese had sent out their own hunters into the West Sea as well.
There were increased tensions between the high level hunters from both sides, but it seemed Korea and China were being careful.
The two countries couldn’t afford a full out war. But that didn’t mean that either side was going to let the other take control of this new land either.
My plan was to keep going south. I didn’t want to hunt in the north and accidentally bump into a high level Chinese hunter.
I had no interest in any of the politics involved. The Southern Marshes weren’t the end of the new land. If you went even further, there was a dense forest I’m sure there are plenty of monsters to be hunted there.
I exited out of the portal and logged into the hunter market community.
People here were still on the topic of the barricades in the Southern Marshes.
- Southern Marshes now open. And under that, there were several hundred posts.
- Ha. It was blocked up completely before. So it’s really open now?
- I heard that there were a bunch of people that grouped together and it opened up.
- I don’t think those Ezekiel guys will let it slide.
- Well I heard that Team Delta led the entire group and forced it open.
- Oh. Looks like they’re blatantly challenging Ezekiel. But it’s the first time I’ve heard of Team Delta. Are they strong?
- I think they’re a newly established team. I think they don’t even have 10 people on their team.
- Crazy bastards. Don’t they know about those Ezekiel guysI guess we’ll see them in the hospital soon enough.
- No no. I can’t say any specifics. But those guys are strong. I don’t think we have anything to worry about.
- Really? They’re that strong?
- I think the people who should be careful is Team Ezekielnot Team Delta.
- Unless they have a level 10 hunter, I think Ezekiel can handle them.
- They’re not a level 10 or anythingbut I saw them get rid of a Level 4 hunter.
- Level 4….?
- Are you serious? Delta’s that strong? Who’s the leader?
- A guy named Jeon Sangmin.
- Never heard of him.
- Someone should have heard of him if he was strong enough to knock out a level 4 hunter in one hit.
And the rest of the posts were about me.
A hunter who had fought with us is probably the one revealing all of this.
“Knock out a level 4 hunter huh…”
This was something I couldn’t even dream of doing just a few months ago.
I had been saving up money so that I could become a hunter, but I didn’t expect to be one until 1-2 years down the line. In fact, I thought I would become a level 2 hunter after thirtyif I was lucky.
But I had the Level 4 smash sword in my possession.
This was a weapon that had the option of dealing 100% damage to a monster.
There was a limit to the weapon but I could still deal a lot of damage to monsters of the wolf, tiger, and bear variety.
And then there was the Level 4 Immortality Skill.
I wonder what level I was really at at this point?
If you measure me based on the usual standard, I would be a level 4 hunter.
But what if you counted my level 0 skill?
I don’t think I would lose if I fought against a level 5 hunter just with sheer power alone.
My physical ability alone was probably higher than a level 6..and if I got Sooah’s buff on top of that?
One word popped in my head.
I was outside the norm.
I heard a noise coming from behind me. When I looked back, I saw Bae Yeonkyoung coming this way with Kelby in tow.
Kelby was fast asleep. If I just looked at its sleeping face, it looked like any other dog. It was hard to believe that this sweet looking dog could kill a level 3 hunter.
“Why aren’t you sleeping?”
“I couldn’t fall asleep.”
“Because of what happened in the afternoon?”
She nodded quietly.
It wasn’t the first time she had shot an arrow towards a person, but a fight to the death with people was an entirely different matter.
Even if they were hunters, they were still people. Whether we liked them or not, killing them would bring a certain degree of trauma.
Even if everyone was pretending to be ok, I’m sure none of them were enjoying any sweet dreams tonight.
She just sat next to me as she silently pet Kelby. And then Kelby woke up, rubbing its eyes with its paws, and licked Yeonkyoung’s palm. She made a small smile.
“Are you ok, partyhead?”
“Am I? I’m not feeling particularly happy…”
Of course I wasn’t happy about killing anyone. I could still remember the face of the first person I had killed. He’s even appeared in my dreams a few times.
But I also knew that if I kept thinking about that, it would only needlessly hold me back from what I needed to do.
“I keep thinking about it. If I close my eyes, it feels like all the people who died are watching me from somewhere in the dark. As if someone is staring whole into my back.”
“Try not to think about it. Ghosts can’t do anything.”
The burning bonfire created shadows in the dark.
I stole a glance to look at Yeonkyoung, and her expression was still all gloom and doom.
She was not suited for a harsh life like this.
She was forced into this life by her circumstances.
But no one here would take it easy on her for that reason. Because the weak get eaten.
“We will keep running into these kinds of situations. You know that right? Knowing that, will you be alright?”
“I’m preparing myself. But I’m still afraid. I’m afraid that I’ll get used to killing people.”
“There is no reason for you to be afraid of something that hasn’t happened yet. If you’re really afraid of that happening, then put an effort into preventing it from happening.”
“Just get so strong that people won’t even try to fight against you.”
“What are you saying…”
“Do you think I can get that strong?”
“How much did you save up?”
She thought about it for a minute before answering.
“Oh, you saved up less than I expected.”
It was still a lot considering she’s only been saving for a few months, but I expected her to have saved more than that.
She should have had more than 300,000. What on earth did she use over 100,000 dollars on?
“I had some debts I had to take care of. They’re all paid off now though.”
“Well, once we’re done here, consider upgrading your equipment. There’s only so much you can grow relying only on dropped items.”
“What do you think I should get?”
She scooted closer to me and asked.
I kept looking at her breasts. I told myself to look away and answered.
“There was something I had in mind the Athena bow. But it’s 2 million dollars.”
“That’s too expensive.”
“There’s a way to get a hold of it for a cheaper price. All I need is an ore called the elnite.”
“I’ve never seen that ore before.”
“Because it only drops from a level 3 monster.”
“But there aren’t any level 3 monsters here.”
“I have a feeling they’ll appear soon enough.”
Bae Yeonkyoung gave me a puzzled look.
The monsters on this new land were the level 1 and level 2 monsters that had disappeared when the dungeons had disappeared.
If I raised my proficiency and got rid of the level 3 dungeons, I was sure that the level 3 monsters would appear.
But hunting lower level monsters was still better for us. Until we ran out of monsters to hunt, I had no intention of bringing the level 3 monsters to this new land.