ETH – Ch 70

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Additionally, they had used a generic vehicle was was commonly used in our country. They most likely planned it that way to keep from being caught.

-[Then I’m at a loss. Even if you had proof, I don’t have the type of authority to mobilize the police force to pursue such a lead.]

Though she was a Lieutenant and an elite in the police force, she still had her limits.

Lacking experience as a mid twenties female officer, you could say that she only had the bare minimum in power that her status afforded her.

But I also hoped this highly unusual situation would warrant use of power that would normally be out of reach.

“Then are you saying you just want to wait and see what happens before making a move?”

[Well, I’ll take it up to my superiors. But I can’t say what they will decide to do. For that reason, it is better if we had proof.]

“Proof you say…”

[Proof that will force my superiors to make a move. Isn’t it for this very reason that we sent out hunters to the new land in the first place? To secure claim on the land?]

“That’s a nice way of saying we were looking for reasons to kill the Chinese hunters so that we can keep the new land to ourselves.”

[That isn’t what I was saying but if it comes to that then…]

She gave a small shrug. Hunters are expendable. It’s not as if they were any special. If you just had the money, being a Hunter was possible for anybody. It didn’t matter much if several hundred hunters died or not.

As soon as I hung up, Sooah spoke.

“What happened?”

“I don’t think the police will do anything without solid proof.”

“Then does that mean we have to turn back?”

Manager Kim scrunched up his face in annoyance.

“No. We don’t know how many enemies are posted there. Going in blind is suicide. We were lucky once before. Let’s not press our luck again.”

They were most likely hunters picked out by the Chinese government. It would be great if there were only low level hunters, but if they had even one or two level 5 hunters mixed in somewhereit would be tough.

That didn’t mean we were going to give in and back down. If we just let them be, the Chinese would end up monopolizing all of the monsters and items in the forest.

Just that would be a huge loss, but the real problem was what would come after that.

After hunting all the monsters in that land, the hunters would only grow stronger. And after they leveled up and wiped out the monsters in the forest? They would probably decide to move north.

“Should I post something on the hunter market board?”

Sooah asked.

“Hm?”

“If we posted something onto the information bulletin, wouldn’t it do something? I’m sure no one would ignore it.”

“Hmthat’s not a bad idea.”

“Yay! I got a compliment!”

We decided to do just as she said and post up a note on the board.

As soon as we posted it up, comments began to flood in.

 

-There are Chinese hunters in the forested area? Is that true?

-Is China crazy? Going there means they really want to fight it out with us isn’t it? Are they started shit? Weren’t we going to split the land and keep the peace?

-Seeing the username of the person who posted thisit looks like they’re a new hunter….? How can we trust them?

-I searched the username and saw that they made a few posts about recruiting some party members. And it looks like they haven’t even been a hunter for that long. Yeah right I’ll trust them.

-Wait, I feel like I’ve heard that name before.

-Isn’t Jeon Sangmin part of Team Delta? You know. The one that came out in that crazy fighting video

-What video?

-You know. The hunter who beat the shit out of Ezekiel. Remember? That’s how everyone was able to break through the barricade and get into the South Marshlands.

-That’s him? Well shit, then I don’t think they’re lying.

-So does that mean the Chinese are really in the forested area…? Isn’t that kind of scary?

-Aren’t there more people who went down there? Anybody?

-Now that I think about it, there’s no information on any hunters talking about the forested area.

-You’re right. Even if it’s super far, there’s no way no one attempting hunting all the way out there.

-Surely, they didn’t all end up getting killed by the Chinese hunters there.

-Sounds like a modern day scary story….the possibility of it being true is giving me chills.

 

Hm. It seems that having sort of a famous name comes in handy in times like this.

“I think that this should be enough to cause an issue.”

Sooah said. The bulletin boards at the hunter market are used the most by all of the hunter community.

If things became an issue there, something would happen.

 

-Let’s post it on the best/popular posts. Everyone upvote it. Shouldn’t alot of people know something like this?

-Yeah. We need to confirm if it’s real or fake anyway. Let’s post it.

-If it goes up on the best/popular posts list, I’m sure someone will decide to go fact check.

 

Out of all the millions of posts in the community, the posts that are upvoted as a best/popular post become even more viewed.

If it really becomes upvoted as a best/popular post, our mission is complete.

Even if I didn’t do anything, there were plenty of curious hunters out there searching for the truth. If the police didn’t want to move, there should be other people determined enough to do something about it. And they would probably be able to get the proof that we couldn’t get.

“I kind of feel bad about shifting the responsibility of getting such an important thing like this to someone else.”

Cho Youngoo whispered.

“But it’s not as if we could go in and do everything ourselves especially when we don’t know what kind of force we’re dealing with. It might seem a bit underhanded, but my priority is keeping my party members safe.”

“Cheers to that.”

Manager Kim said as he nodded his head up and down. That made me a bit curious. Curious as to why a man who was so set on safety was still in our party. He should have earned enough money by now where he wouldn’t have to be a hunter anymore….

“Manager Kim, how long do you intend on staying a hunter?”

“Why do you ask? Do you want to fire me too? I’ve been working hard on my own time to be a better hunter you know?”

I might have hit a nerve because he yelled out pompously as his face turned a bright red.

“No, that’s not why I asked. I just thought you didn’t even like being a hunter. And you must have earned quite a bit. I was just wondering why you were still with us.”

“If I just follow you, money keeps on flowing in. You think I’m crazy to leave such a goldmine of an opportunity? I guess you still don’t know your worth huh?”

“My worth?”

Yes. Your worth. Should I say that you are something like a walking golden goose? You know? The ones in the stories where you can rip open the stomach of a goose and you get a bunch of gold out of it. Ah. I don’t know. I’m not saying we’re going to cut you open or anything. I mean. Uhh what I mean is”

“Your explanation is a bit off but I get the gist of it.”

He was probably trying to say a golden goose that lays golden eggs but ended up vomiting some nonsense instead in his excitement.

“Now what do we do? Should we hunt somewhere nearby or something?”

Cho Youngoo yelled out while holding onto the steering wheel.

“No, let’s go back to the West Sea City.”

“What? You mean to turn back even though we haven’t been out more than a day?”

“My storage is full right now.”

“Ah…”

The issue at hand was critical. The Chinese hunters had infiltrated the large forested areas while it would still take some time for the police force to take action.

We had resorted to posting something on the hunter market bulletin but until someone can find some real proof to substantiate our claim, we couldn’t be sure that anything will come of it.

But aside from all that, we had still come up with a great many items from just one simple battle.

My item storage was completely full. My manual allowed me to store 100 different types of items.

This meant that if they were the same item, I could store an infinite amount of them.

My manual, not including my equipment, currently had 120 items stored in it.

This included the 35 equipment from the enemy van, 7 items that were dropped from the dead bodies of the Chinese hunters, and the equipment they had on them totaling 78 items.

I couldn’t even calculate how much all of this would amount to. I never would have imagined we would have come upon so many items in such a short amount of time.

“How many do we have in all?”

“120.”

“Wow….then how much is all of it going to be….?”

Sooah said with a bit of drool spilling out the side of her open mouth.

On top of the sheer volume of items we now had to see, the price of each item far exceeded what we had before too. The reason was because compared to the items dropped by monsters, the level of items the hunters had carried were higher.

There were over 10 items that were level 3s and we even had 3 level 4 items.

I tried to calculate the numbers in my head for a minute before it got to crazy and I gave up. At the very minimum we should take away 20,000,000.

And this would be earnings for a day’s hunter….battle…

I still couldn’t believe it.

“With this, I think it’s now time for us to register as a regular team. We’ll come across the issue of paying taxes too now so…”

Han Joonseok said as he looked at me.

Hunters have to pay taxes too. If you hunt as a solo hunter as we have been doing, technically by legal standards, since we are considered a private company, we pay a lot in taxes.

For this reason, if a hunter moves up and starts generating considerable revenue, it makes sense to apply as a regular raid team if only for the tax breaks.

We would become an official raid team.

Hunters toss the word “pro” around for these types of teams.

“Wow. To think we’re already pros. Insane.”

“Don’t let it get to your head. Even if we apply to be a regular raid team, there’s still only 8 of us.”

“But it’s still sufficient. Who knows? Maybe we’ll even be big enough to catch up to even Ezekiel soon.”

“They have at least 300 people in their team. And it’s not as if we earned all this through any real hunting.”

“That is true.”

“But I have a feeling that these recent events will be a stepping stone to something big. I don’t know how you guys will take this, but I feel like hunting Chinese hunters will end up being much more lucrative than hunting monsters.”

The item drop probability in the new land is slightly higher than in the dungeons.

But the haul from hunting the enemy hunters who crossed into territory that should have been ourswas 100% as long as you didn’t die.

I mean, the ones who had invaded the land furthest from their own land was them and the ones who had attacked first was them as well.

If anyone were to fight them anyway, why shouldn’t it be us?

But the risk factor was still too high. There was too much of the unknown. Until we find out some more information about the enemy, there was no reason to put ourselves into unnecessary danger.

***

After travelling all night, we finally reached the West Sea City at dawn.

While we were still in the vehicle, I decided on what I should do with all the items.

Including the Level 4 items, I decided it would be best to sell them all and pay out as contribution distributions.

This was because there were just too many items to properly be able to split them up fairly.

The only items I decided to keep were the items that dropped from the dead hunters.

Why? Because they were items that would not be recognized at the market and I had a feeling that they would be useful.

The new items were as follows:

-Escape 5 sheets

-Light Healing Potion 5 bottles

-Ventilation Potion 1 bottle

 

The Escape Scrolls and Light Healing Potions came as one set. Including what we already had we now had a total of 27 Escape scrolls, 13 light healing potions, and 2 Ventilation Potions.

Since the Escape scrolls weren’t something we had any immediate need for, we just kept accumulating them.

 

The following were the equipment items:

-Antique explorer’s hat (1): Increases item drop probability by 10%

-Red speed enhancing shoes (2): Increases speed by 2x for 5 minutes. After use, decreases speed by double for 10 minutes.

-Miner’s mittens (1): Increases ore drop probability by 30%

-Blunt sword (0): A sword. Has the ability to upgrade.

 

The thing that stood out most to me was that an upgrade was possible.

Just like the manual, I was able to upgrade the sword by investing some ores.

Checking how many ores were needed to perform an upgrade, it didn’t seem to be too many compared to how much I needed to upgrade my manual.

Since we had 20 ore drops recently, I just invested them all into upgrading that sword. I had also earned 7,000 in rewards points on our last “hunt” as well.

“Manager Kim can wear the Antique Explorer Hat. I think it’ll suit you.”

“Hm. I don’t really care for the design too much.”

At Sooah’s comment, Manager Kim lightly put on the hat.

The hat in question was a fedora.

“Wow. You look like the spitting image of Indiana Jones!”

“HmmI guess I am a bit dashing aren’t I.”

Manager Kim said as he began chuckling with a deeper than usual pitch. It seemed he still didn’t realize we were trying to pawn the hat off to him since it was something that was too difficult to wear while fighting or hunting.

“I think you should also wear the Miner’s mitten as well.”

I said.

This type of glove was used to protect miners’ hands from working all day with a pickaxe.

Its design made it chiefly to protect than to allow the wearers flexibility. This meant fighting with such a glove on was almost impossible.

“I already wear a glove. Are you asking me to wear another one?”

He raised his hand. He was wearing the Selfish Hunter’s Glove which increased item drop probability by 10%.

“Can’t you just wear this glove on top of the one you’re wearing now? Or we can just have Sooah wear the Selfish Hunter’s Glove instead.”

“No, I’ll wear them both. I can just put them on when we’re fighting, right?”

“Yep.”

This was true. Since the only job he had during a fight was to raise his canes once at the beginning.

After that, his role was to hide somewhere and wait for the fight to be over so there was no need for him to need his hands during battle.

It was best for his to gather a number of different items that increased our buffs or helped the team in this way where our drop probabilities increase.

It seemed Manager Kim at least sensed a bit that he needed to help the team in this way to keep up with everyone else increasing their levels.

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