Chapter 72: Chapter 71: Gorgons Part III
A meeting was underway at one of the Hitman Guild’s safe houses, located in Namsan, Seoul.
“Where did this guy disappear to?” The guild master of the Hitman Guild, Oh Taeshik, asked while reading through the information packet he received from Song Haechang.
“Song Haechang told us that he was asleep for four years; he’s not the type to lie about such things.” Oh Taeshik was still brooding over the failed kidnapping that happened about two weeks ago.
“That guy was unbelievably strong. His AGI was as high as mine. His STR had to be as high as his AGI, as well. By my judgement, he wasn’t taking the fight with me seriously. It was completely my loss. If you ask me to go up against him again… I’m afraid to say that I can’t and won’t do that,” said the specialist.
“My magic didn’t affect him at all. Actually, it was more like he ignored everything I did and focused on the specialist,” Kim Jihan added. No one else was there to see how he had begged for his life, and he kept that to himself. He just made sure to tell his guild master about how they did everything they could to bring Lee Jiwon in.
-Besides the fact that he had high magic resistance, he also resisted Frostbite…he can’t have the Unrivaled skill, can he? No…there’s no way. That skill is so hard to learn. If he did, then the guild master had to have warned us about it. He’s just higher leveled with high MDEF.- Kim Jihan had witnessed Lee Jiwon’s strength firsthand. Lee Jiwon was the strongest deva he had ever seen. But no matter what he thought, Kim Jihan stayed in the corner and stayed quiet. He only spoke out when he needed to and nothing more. He had to avoid saying anything that would get him into even more trouble. He was going to take the fact that he was about to sell out his own guild to save his own hide to the grave.
“So, if we go off of what you and the specialist just told me…he’s actually someone very powerful.” Lee Jiwon was too strong for the specialist he sent to kidnap. At first, Oh Taeshik exploded in rage when he learned that his right-hand man failed, but if the specialist was this afraid…he would lose again. 100%.
“He’s supposed to be only level 32 after sleeping for four years?” After Kim Jihan and the specialist respawned, they reported to their guild master and told him about how they died. Enraged, Oh Taeshik then called Song Haechang. This was beyond bad intel. Song Haechang might as well have told Oh Taeshik to go fuck himself.
“Mr. Song, please. Did you really think that you could screw me over like this after everything I’ve done…?” Oh Taeshik said to Song Haechang in a cold, hard voice.
“What reason would I have to do anything of the sort? I warned you about the search-and-destroy operation six months ago. Had I had any reason to kick you to the curb, I would have done so then.”
“…” Oh Taeshik didn’t reply. He knew Song Haechang was right. Had Song Haechang wanted to wipe out the Hitman Guild, he wouldn’t have done so in this manner.
“Are you sure you had the right guy?”
“It was the man that was in the report. Even he confirmed it himself.”
“That doesn’t make sense at all! He’s only level 32. All he did was sleep; I know that for a fact.”
“…” Oh Taeshik’s anger cooled and thought about their current situation with a clearer mind. Song Haechang could not and would not give him false information.
“This…is getting interesting.”
“If anyone is shocked by this is, it’s me. At first I thought you were saying some very stupid things after failing your mission but I know that’s not you.”
“I understand. Then, I suppose it’s you who had the bad intel on Lee Jiwon from the start.”
“…” This time, it was Song Haechang to stay silent. Oh Taeshik had never failed any of his requests until now. He paid five times the normal rate for this mission as well. Just as there was no reason for Song Haechang to provide bad intel, there was no reason for Oh Taeshik to deliberately fail this mission.
-Is there really something I’m missing? Could there have been an actual reason for the guild master and Song Haein to pay that much attention to him? But I know Lee Jiwon fell asleep not long after the Earth changed. I watched him with my own eyes.- Song Haechang racked his brains, but couldn’t find an answer.
“Well, what’s done is done. I just need you to pay up for providing bad intel.”
“Don’t make me laugh. You failed. The five was only if you succeeded.” Song Haechang wasn’t about to be pushed around by some gangster.
“But we failed because you provided us with bad information.”
“That information was solid. Everything was to the best of the Sunbin Guild’s knowledge.”
“Mr. Song, don’t make this difficult. What do you think would happen should the kidnap request of Lee Jiwon reach the ears of Master Song Daechul?”
“I’ll probably hear a few words. At the most, I’ll have to spend a few months digging pig shit at a pig farm. But what would happen to the Hitman Guild? Do you think you can survive outside of Seoul for long?”
“Hehehe. You’ve become quite shrewd, Mr. Song.”
“Did you think you’re the only one?”
“Very well, then. Do you still want Lee Jiwon kidnapped and imprisoned?”
“Can you still do it?”
“I want thirty!”
“Aren’t you curious as to how he got that strong even though he slept for four years straight? Don’t you think he has to be hiding something?”
“Fine. We’ll do thirty. But, only if you succeed.”
After hanging up, Oh Taeshik thought about the conversation he just had with Song Haechang. He then looked over to his subordinates who have been listening in on the call.
“About that call…”
“Was he telling the truth?”
“Based his reaction, tone and word speed, I’d say there is a 99% chance that he was telling the truth.”
“Just as I thought. Song Haechang is still a greenhorn. He’s a greenhorn whose pride has been wounded so he’s bound to act immature,” Oh Taeshik said as he read over intel on Lee Jiwon once more.
“Do we still not know where he is?”
“We were able to find out that after killing Kim Jihan and the specialist, he headed to Store 72 before heading to Namyangju by taxi. We lost him when he left Namyangju and haven’t been able to pick up his trail again.”
“It’s already been two weeks.”
“I’m very sorry. We’re pooling all of the guild’s resources to try and find him but… we haven’t found a single trace of him.” The Hitman Guild was the only gangster guild in Seoul, but didn’t have much power as one might think because of the Sunbin Guild. However, it is also because of the Sunbin Guild that other gangster guilds couldn’t do business in Seoul.
Without any other competition, the Hitman Guild didn’t need to be greedy over anything. They always had enough to work with.
Seoul was safe as long as it was home to the Sunbin Guild. It was the perfect environment for wealthy mortals and devas with mortals in their families. The Hitman Guild made its profit by ‘helping’ out these people out while setting up a few shops and real estate agencies as fronts, making more money than any other minor guilds out there.
However, the Hitman Guild doesn’t blindly spend its profits and try to expand too much. It would become too difficult to maintain a large guild and would soon attract unwanted attention from the Sunbin Guild. That was why Oh Taeshik didn’t get mad that it was taking the guild this long to find Lee Jiwon. He knew that there was a limit to how fast his guild could work.
“Start from the beginning. Start at Seoul.”
“Yes sir. Understood.” He watched his underlings leave the room to get to work right away.
“Do I need to put in a request to the Gnosis Guild?” he asked himself. “They hide too much and it’s always a pain to deal with them, though.” Oh Taeshik fell into deep thought once more.
Fourteen days had passed since I started hunting Gorgons.
“Petrifying Glare!” The remaining Gorgon frantically unleashed its skill.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever you say.”
[You have been attacked by Petrifying Glare. You are now afflicted by Petrification.]
[Petrification prevented by status immunity effect.]
I shot a wink at the Gorgon’s red eyes before raising my sword and bringing it down on its head. The blade nearly sliced the head in half. I kicked at the Gorgon’s chest to finish it off.
[You have gained an additional 9% EXP points.]
I had lost count of how many Gorgons I’ve killed. Every morning I woke up, I have breakfast at the nearby restaurant, and I come up to hunt Gorgons. I hunt without rest until ten at night and return to Pocheon. I eat, shower, and sleep before going out again the next morning.
I repeated this for two whole weeks. I could tell that the motel’s owner and the gate guards were sick and tired of seeing me every day, but the hunt was still fun. Every time I saw the message alerts that told me I had leveled up, I found the strength to keep going. I didn’t have time to be tired if I was going to consistently rewarded for my hard work like this.
“Why wasn’t hunting this much fun in the past?” I tried very hard during the early years as a fire mage. However, it was all out of sense of duty, like I had no choice in the matter. Hunting and training was like working at the factory again, like I was doing it just to get through the day.
I set out with parties more than I set out alone. I hunted in fields with other beginners or hung around a dungeon entrance all day and got to join up with a party to hunt in the dungeon. The more I partied up, the more I focused on attacking rather than defending. I had others defend for me.
I needed as much attack power as possible. I even stopped putting stat points on VIT and more on INT. Some could say I became specialized in party play, while others would say that party play was all I knew. Of course, I could still take out monsters with low MDEF and monsters of similar level easily. I could burn them all away before they could get close to me.
“It was fun when I hunted with the Han Hyun Party. I didn’t have to regret putting all of my Stat points into INT. It made everything so much easier. I wonder… are they doing alright now?” I had once joined up with a hunting party in the past. However, after mutual consensus, we all ended up going our separate ways.
“Anyway, it’s good enough that hunting right now is fun! I wish I could sleep less to hunt more.” I picked up every single Gorgon Eye, Gorgon Hair, and golden rings dropped by the Gorgons I killed. I also managed to find a useful item this past week.
[Medusa’s Cursed Earrings (Rank 5)
Medusa’s soul is imprisoned in these earrings. Unable to ever escape from the earrings, Medusa’s soul burns itself inside, cursing the earrings themselves.
Increase chance to cursed by Gorgon’s Petrify by 28%
Increase rate of Gorgon’s Petrify by 35%
Gain additional 9% EXP from killing Gorgons
Increase chance of success of all Petrify related skills by 4.1%
Increase INT by 50
Increase WIL by 150
Increase MDEF by 200]
This was probably the worst item to have equipped when it came to hunting Gorgons. It increased the chance to be Petrified and increased the rate of Petrification.
But that wasn’t the case of me. I liked it because it gave me an extra 9% EXP when killing Gorgons. While I didn’t really need them, I got some extra INT and WIL from the earrings. They also came with a Petrification skill boost as well. These would sell quick if I put them up for sale at the auction house.
“Damn, it’s already eleven.” It was already eleven in the morning again. I always looked forward to this hour every day.
[Day twenty. Shaman Ko’s Stupid Selfish Prick Roulette Wheel will now appear.]
It was already the twentieth day. I placed my hand over the wheel.
[Shaman Ko’s Stupid Selfish Prick Roulette wheel will now turn.]
[Day Twenty. You will receive Shaman Ko’s Roulette gift.
You have received three Stat points.
Total points: 60
The next roulette wheel will appear in 24 hours.]
Not one day passed that I didn’t land on a 3. Now, it would be weird to me if the wheel didn’t land on a 3 again.
“Now that that’s done, it’s time to start once more.” I tightened my grip on my sword and sprinted towards a pit of Gorgons. It was a dance I’d danced before for two weeks. I stared back at the Gorgons’ eyes that turn red as they used their Petrify skills, and then I chopped at their heads. If they summon snakes, I stomp on those snakes. I stomp on them more if I have to. If they summon giant snakes, I cut them in half with my sword.
I took all of their Lightning skills straight on. What else could I do? I lost about 10,000 HP from each spell and about 40,000 every time I was hit with a critical. However, I had more than a million HP now. I only lost 4% of my HP from critical hits.
I charged in through their Lightning spells and sliced them up in two slashes to kill them. I start from Pocheon and went all the way to Sanjeong Lake, slicing and dicing Gorgons along the way.
I hunted like a machine with the hours flying by each day.
“I guess… I need to look for another place now,” I muttered to myself as I picked up the items the last Gorgon dropped.
I wasn’t leveling as quickly now. After reaching level 189 yesterday, I had only leveled up six more times today.
Leveling up six levels from level 189 in one day was extremely fast. I could never do that in the past. I had been forced to hunt with a party and use the same methods I saw that party use a couple weeks ago. Now, I could kill as many as I wanted to and take all the EXP for myself.
On average, most devas reached level 500 in four years. They would use more efficient hunting methods, had more advanced skill trees, and found better equipment to make their progress faster. Some with demon-like focus could shorten that time to two years. Most of them belonged to large guilds or large clans.
Those guys would take over a dungeon and clear that dungeon multiple times without rest. It was something no other devas could do.
I could only sigh at how late and slow my growth was in the past.
It had been exactly four years and four months since the Earth changed. The average deva right now was probably lower than 500 and closer to 400. The first devas four years ago didn’t know about dungeons and monsters and items and EXP. They needed time to adapt and it only made sense for them to start late.
It was difficult to not regret becoming a deva after dying a few times and struggling to level up. Still, sooner or later, they would learn from their mistakes and from other devas, and steadily become stronger.
“I should really forget about the past. I have to reach level 500 within the year.” I had to become more of a demon and level up faster than the others. I had no help from others; I had to do everything on my own!
“Open Stats Menu!”
[Name: Lee Jiwon
Level: 195 Death Count: 0
Title: Earth’s First Deva
HP: 1,080,000 /1,080,000 MP: 142,700/142,700
Strength: 4,219+9 Agility: 4,200 Vitality: 2,100
Willpower: 1,367 Intelligence: 1,297
Unassigned Stat Points: 2180+51
Special Effects: Luck Boost (X+ 1), immune to all status effects, Dungeon Seeker 6 points
Physical Attack: 13,134 Physical Defense: 2,745
Magical Attack: 3,891 Magical Defense: 1,882]
I gained 100 levels in the span of two weeks. I had no idea how many Gorgons I had killed to get this far. But now, it was going to be tough to gain more than five levels, even after hunting all day. I probably wouldn’t gain more than five tomorrow. Soon, it would be tough to gain one level in one day. I had to figure something out to avoid that.
“I really need to go to a dungeon if I want to power level.” It was definitely better to hunt in dungeons than find higher levelfield monsters.
“There’s nothing I could do about it anyway…I’ll set my STR to 6,000 first. I have more than enough AGI. I’ll put the rest into VIT.”
[Strength: 6,000+9 Agility: 4,200 Vitality: 2,499
Willpower: 1,367 Intelligence: 1,297]
“Damn, that’s a lot…” I got so many bonus Stat points from here and there. A thousand each from the Unrivaled skill, 27 each from being the first to find several dungeons, and 4488 from sleeping four years. I also had the extra 10 points from leveling up thanks to the Unrivaled skill. Other devas got that from learning the skill at level 500, but I started at level 0. I still had 305 more levels to go!
In other words, by the time I was around the same level as other devas, I would already be 3050 stat points ahead!
“Man, I really want to reach level 500 already.” Once I took care of my Stats, I wanted to quickly level up more.
“I’ll get to level 200 by tomorrow for now. I’ll go back to Anton’s Store to buy a few skills and see if that item is on auction by now.” When I checked the auction house before going to the Seorak dungeon, that item wasn’t there. I wasn’t over level 100 then, making it hard to go look for it myself, but I was strong enough now. The item was that valuable to me!