Chapter 227: Chapter 226: The Mercenary Lord Part II
I stepped off the Teleporter platform with my hat and sunglasses on. I had received a call from the Corps, asking me to hide my identity when I arrived. They wanted to catch La Griffe off guard, and I also thought that it was a good idea.
“Blink 2.” I didn’t head straight for the Corps’ headquarters. There were too many eyes on it right now, so we decided that I was to meet with a Warp Mage somewhere else. Through him, I finally arrived at the Corps’ headquarters.
Karaviki Mercenary Corps headquarters…
I had been to several guild headquarters by now, but this base was definitely the biggest out of all of them. It was like they were expressing their liberal lifestyle. On the other hand, there was not a single tall building in sight.
I followed my guide into a building at the center of the base, where I finally met the famous Madun Yatekin, the Mercenary Lord. I never dreamed this day would actually come.
“It’s an honor to finally meet you. I am Madun Yatekin, commander-in-chief of the Mercenary Corps.”
“The honor is mine, sir. My name is Lee Jiwon,” I said, shaking his hand.
“Thank you for agreeing to help us.”
“Please, it’s my pleasure. I hate these false mercenaries almost as much as you do. I also appreciate the effort you put into forming a valiant organization such as this.”
“Thank you for your compliment.”
The only two people I had any respect for now and during the past were Lagus Aman and Madun Yatekin. Both of them clearly acted for the greater good and did not act according to their own selfish needs. It was safe to say I was kind of a fan of Madun.
“Let’s head inside.”
“After you.” I followed Madun to a conference room and was seated next to him. I was here at Madun’s personal invitation. I liked that very much. A woman who was also seated there stood up and addressed me.
“It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Mr. Lee. My name is Taniya, and I’m the Karaviki’s head of Strategic Planning.”
“The pleasure is mine.”
“Well, since I’m sure you know who we’re up against, allow me to explain the what.” Soon, the projector was turned on and a video started playing. “This is where the Defense Quest takes place. If you look to the far right side, you’ll notice a tower. All we need to do is to protect that tower. It’s a simple Quest, really.”
The video showed a large, open space that had a linear path going straight through it. At the very end of the path stood a small tower, and down along the path in front of the tower were ten rectangular shapes spaced out in a zigzag pattern. Each rectangle looked like it could hold up to about thirty people.
“Along the path, you’ll see ten rectangular sites spaced out. That is where the Quest participants will have to position themselves. There is a limit of fifty-five participants. The first site will hold one person, the second will hold two, and the third will hold three and so on, until the tenth which holds ten participants. The participants will have to attack from these sites to prevent monsters from reaching the tower.”
As soon as I heard the explanation, I was reminded of a pretty famous game-type: tower defense!
“I see from that look on your face that you know what this is about and you’re right. It works just like a tower defense game. The first site begins to whittle down at the monsters’ HP, and the sites after that have to wipe out the monsters before they reach the tower. Once they do, the Quest ends and we receive the time it took. Oh, another thing to keep in mind; dying during this quest does not incur a death penalty.”
Taniya’s explanation was pretty easy to understand thanks to my familiarity with the game, and I had no questions so far.
“There are four difficulties: easy, medium, hard, and insane. We can decide which difficulty before the Quest starts. But obviously La Griffe wants to challenge us on the insane difficulty, and we’ve already accepted the challenge. We only have one chance at this,” Taniya finished and sat down.
“We want you to stand on the tenth site with nine others,” said Madun. It seemed to be a sound choice. The more devas worked together, the higher their potential. That was how most devas fought, with tanks on the front line and healers at the back. But that was for normal devas.
“I actually was thinking about another site.”
“Excuse me?” The other officers in the conference room looked at me in confusion, except for Taniya.
“I want to stand at the first site.”
It was the first site that would encounter the monsters, and alone at that. Normally, it would be impossible for a deva to last very long on the first site. It was a difficult position to place the strongest or weakest player, but that just made me want to stand there more.
“He who saves for tomorrow saves for the cat. Is that how the proverb goes? Anyway, I want the first site,” I said to everyone in the room with a small smile.
“Pft.” Someone broke through the awkward silence with a snort of laughter. It was Taniya. “Thank you, Mr. Lee!”
“You just made me a rich woman! Only I bet that you would volunteer to take the first site. And I agree with you. We should use our strongest weapon as much as we can to get the best result.
“Since you’re the one helping us, we’ll do as you say.”
That finalized our preparations. There were now four days left until it was our turn at the Defense Quest. I was actually asked to come four days before the Quest started to find the right teammates to stand with me on the tenth site, but now that there was no need to, I was allowed to take the rest of the time off.
I did want to take that time and hunt some more, but I didn’t want to show the Mercenaries my uneasy state and decided to try and take it easy. It actually helped me realize that ever since my meeting with Anton, I had been pretty antsy. I mean, it was to be expected since there was going to be a competition that would decide the fate of this world.
“But with my abilities, I shouldn’t have anything to worry about. I just need to make sure I don’t get too cocky.” I realized that worrying too much and not worrying enough would be an ever bigger problem for me, which helped me to really take a well-deserved break.
The day before the Defense quest…
I was invited to tea with Madun and a few of his officers. That morning, I had used the Token of Authority and became a temporary Mercenary captain with five hundred Karaviki mercenaries under my command.
“You know, I’m beginning to think that this was all thanks to divine intervention,” Madun joked.
“I was thinking the same thing, sir. I was a little disappointed Mr. Lee hadn’t used it during the Abu Dhabi battle or the war in Mexico, but now, I’m very relieved he hadn’t used it until now,” Devram added.
Madun then gestured to Taniya, who placed something on the table in front of us. “This is a token of our appreciation.”
The item oozed a red haze. Devram had told me when he first visited my home that they would properly reward me if I agreed to help them deal with La Griffe. I hadn’t really expected much, since just getting the chance to fight alongside the Mercenary Lord was more than enough for me, but I also wasn’t about to turn it down, especially since the item was red.
“Well, it looks like I definitely can’t slack off now,” I joked.
After some more small talk, I was left alone so that I could rest. The Quest was to start tomorrow.
==[The Reversal Prodigy (Rank 9)
These are the earrings that once belonged to Paolini, known as the Reversal Prodigy.
Paolini fought in countless battles and as a veteran commander, in many battles that seemed impossible for him to win. But Paolini only needed a 0.1% chance of survival. As long as he had that, Paolini was able to turn the tables around even when all seemed lost.
Increase all Stats by 200 points.
Increase WIL by 500 points.
Increase CRIT rate by 0.1%, increase CRIT damage by 200%
After a successful critical hit, there is a 30% chance the next attack is a critical hit. (Successful critical hits increase CRIT damage by 500%.)
Increase skill EXP gain by 10%.
DEF 850, MDEF 850]==
I couldn’t help but smile at it. Even though its CRIT rate was at 0.1%, my CRIT rate was high enough, even with the 10% decrease from the Avatar of Revenge. It also had a special effect that basically increased my CRIT rate by 30% as long as my attacks were critical hits as often as possible. That could make normal attacks better than any skill. That skill EXP boost was definitely a plus, too. I had been using Judge’s Gavel as much as I could to get its level up to 2.
Satisfied, I spent the rest of the day taking it easy while admiring my new earrings. It didn’t seem like my smile was going to go away any time soon.
A group of people were gathered around a large table.
“Tomorrow, we will finally be able to knock that Madun Yatekin down a couple of pegs.”
“Just thinking about how he’ll no longer be a mercenary lifts a weight off my shoulders.”
“Too right. It’s his own fault for doing something no one asked him to. He’s just a hypocritical bastard who filled his own belly and left not even scraps for the rest of us.”
They were part of the alliance of mercenaries who couldn’t receive the Shield of Aleppo from Madun Yatekin, La Griffe. Each person gathered here today all had insults directed at Madun to say.
Finally, Belngac, the chairman of La Griffe, turned to the red-headed man who was listening quietly. “I would like to thank you for joining us, Master Zulova.”
Zulova, also known as the Slayer, was one of the remaining three Monarchs. “Well, I’m just here because I was paid. I’m only here because you made it impossible for Lee Jiwon to come along tomorrow. He’s just getting too strong, you know? I’m too scared to try to fight him now. I’m afraid he could actually kill me like he did the Reaper and the Mad Butcher,” Zulova said with a laugh. “I swear, this world is fucked. Who could have known a deva could kill deities like they were rats.”
“…” The entire room fell silent, even though Zulova laughed. They could all hear the despair in his voice.
“Well, once we take care of Madun, we will leave the remnants of the Mercenary Corps so that you may form a new one to your liking.”
“Good. That’s the whole reason I agreed to this anyway.” La Griffe and Zulova were confident that they were going to win this competition. Even though they were limited to the people they had now, they were confident that Lee Jiwon was not able to interfere with this matter.
“But keep in mind that we haven’t won yet! We can celebrate after we’ve chased out Madun Yatekin!”
And so, La Griffe and Zulova marched out towards Ankara, without even bothering to conceal their movements. They thought they had already won.