A Monster Who Levels Up
Chapter 95 part2
(TL: It seems that there is confusion regarding the "part 2" bit in the title. As some readres have correctly pointed out that, yes, the exact same chapter title has been used in the past. Thus, "part 2".)
It was an afternoon.
Just like any other day, Sae-Jin in the Hero Orc Form welcomed Kim Yu-Rin, only to be met with quite an unexpected proposal.
The changes in the Orc's facial expression was probably the most honest he had shown in ages. And that displayed how absurd her proposal was.
"…Yes. It is a very powerful Monster. If Mister Orc can fight with us, then there's a chance that the number of victims might decrease…"
Kim Yu-Rin was seriously trying to convince one Monster to help her slay another Monster.
The Orc carefully studied her appearance while feeling his mouth become numb. But he couldn't spot a single sign that she was joking at all.
"Also, you are the perfect natural enemy of this Monster bird. With that powerful shock wave you create…"
"You, want me to fight alongside humans?"
Even the 'human' Kim Sae-Jin found this notion ridiculous.
Of course, if he did choose to step up, then he'd become a powerful ally. But a cooperative hunting - a raid - needed a perfect teamwork as the lives of each and every participants were on the line. But she wanted a Monster to butt in there? Not just the Knights but even the regular civilians would intervene and say no.
Was she under the delusion of thinking that he was a 'human' since he could speak? Or was she still just too naïve? The Orc gazed down at her with slightly criticising eyes.
"I am well aware of Mister Orc's worries. However…"
"Forget it. You want to talk nonsense, then go away."
Even before Kim Yu-Rin could finish, the Orc coldly cut her off.
Originally, Orcs loved to fight, plus the Hero Orc helped humans out before not to mention that he was on friendly terms with her. That was why she came here to speak to him but now, she was getting flustered by his cold refusal.
"I play with you a few times, and now you've gone mad. I said, go away, now."
She tried to say something in reply, but the Orc just shook his head to show there was nothing more left to say and vacated his seat. All she could do was to blankly stare at his back.
Seeing such a cold and decisive attitude, she almost thought that she saw a hologram containing the words 'favourable impression with the target has fallen' rising before her eyes, just like how someone with a particular Trait had described it to her.
The world's attention was naturally drawn towards the Boss level Monster that had appeared in South Korea in ages. The date the Raven Knights Order set for the subjugation was 25th of July, which meant there were still some time left until then. So, many TV stations busily moved around, getting ready for this massive, massive event.
First thing they did was to interview the ten participants of the raiding team - starting off with Yi Hye-Rin, then Song Min-Yu, Joo Hah-Yeoung, Kim Yu-Rin as well as other High Tier and Highest Tier Knights, and even….
"Yes. It's true that our Guild has decided to supply the potions." (Sae-Jin)
…Even including Kim Sae-Jin.
Although his expression clearly displayed his confusion at why he was being interviewed, as he and the PD conducting this interview had a good history that went back a long way, Sae-Jin didn't say much and agreed to do it.
"But we heard that it's more than just potions, however? Aren't you letting Miss Yi Hye-Rin borrow something quite special as well?" (Interviewer)
"Oh, that. Yes, as a fellow Guild member has requested for it, I'm lending a Griffin out to her." (Sae-Jin)
Three days ago, the Raven Knights Order asked to borrow a Griffin for the Boss raid. At first,
Sae-Jin was curious as to why they needed one, but after receiving a call from Yi Hye-Rin, he understood their reason.
She loved being around and taking care of Griffins so much so that whenever she didn't have anything lined up in her schedule, she kept riding on Griffins until to the point of taking away the title of the "Griffin Rider" off Joo Ji-Hyuk. So, she and a Griffin together definitely presented a great tactical advantage in this raid.
As an aside, the Griffin in this case was not Muffin, but Muffin's male offspring.
Around six months ago, Muffin got married (?) to a Griffin that was a little bit - in other words, by a lot - younger than her and the number of cubs she produced was now sitting at 13 so far.
Well, the husband (?) in this case was drying up like a mummified husk thanks to Muffin's voracious sexual appetite, but whatever.
Kim Sae-Jin selected the male Griffin out of the 13 'kids' that was the closest to Yi Hye-Rin for this Boss raid.
"That is so amazing. By the way, there seems to be a strange atmosphere brewing between the Raven and the Dawn currently. What are your thoughts regarding this development?" (Interviewer)
"…A strange atmosphere?" (Sae-Jin)
"Yes, sir. Isn't it true that you, the Guild Master, are quite close to the Dawn? Well, there are suspicions that you're switching your allegiances to the Raven, after showing a great deal of support in this group hunt, the so-called Boss raid."
The PD was mindful of the Guild's influence so he chose his words carefully.
In all honesty, the PD asking such questions was the sign of how powerful 'The Monster' had grown. Now normally, it would be the Societies that would be mindful of the Knights Orders and Wizard Towers, but with The Monster, it was the other way around - both the Orders and Towers were trying to make sure to get on the Guild's good side instead.
"Well, that… Wouldn't it be great if they combine their strength together? I quite like both Orders, you see." (Sae-Jin)
Since he was somewhat aware of this fact already, Sae-Jin decided to answer as vaguely as possible.
"In that case…"
"Should we end the interview here? I have prior engagements, you see."
Sae-Jin cut the next question from the PD right there.
Today was the 14th of July, the date of a very important promise he needed to keep.
"Oh, yes. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview."
Although there were still countless questions they wanted to ask, the filming crew and the PD quickly got ready to leave and requested for a hand shake from Sae-Jin. Their attitudes had changed quite a bit compared to before, which only made Sae-Jin feel more satisfied as he began shaking hands.
And now, it was the day of the fierce battle - the Boss raid; a one-time event that had gripped the world's attention, enough to even surpass over 30% in the overall viewing figure.
The ten Knights and four Wizards hired for this raid entered a limo while receiving words of encouragements and well wishes from the waiting crowd, and hurriedly made their way towards the Boss Monster's nesting ground.
After arriving at the entrance to the city of Youngju, they exited the vehicle and made the rest of the way on foot, carefully threading through the devastated cityscape.
"There it is!!"
Yi Hye-Rin shouted out aloud.
Only after slaughtering masses of Monsters and walking for a long while, they could finally locate the sight of the black rooster at a far off distance.
"…Hey, isn't that much bigger than we thought?" (Unnamed Knight)
However, they felt something was wrong as they stared at it. The Monster seemed far bigger, compared to when they were discussing about it in the mission briefing…
"Looks like it has grown. And also, Hye-Rin, do remember that you're in a battlefield." (Song Min-Yu)
"…But I'm doing the best that I can?" (Yi Hye-Rin)
"Yes, the best that you can play with a Griffin." (Song Min-Yu)
"Stop it, both of you. First of all, Wizards. Both of the Boss Monster's maximum attack range and aggro distance is suspected to be quite considerable." (Kim Yu-Rin)
Kim Yu-Rin quickly subdued the two bickering high-ranked Knights, Song Min-Yu and Yi Hye-Rin, and started the new mission briefing.
"So please, get to as far a safe distance as possible, hide yourselves well and then use your magic spells." (Kim Yu-Rin)
The Wizards nodded their heads.
"And to the Knights present, we will fight exactly according to how we practiced for this battle."
All the Knights replied back with gusto, with the exception of one Yi Hye-Rin who was still too absorbed in brushing the fur of her Griffin.
"Ah, yes! Yes?!"
"…Can you do this? Your target is its eyes."
The reason for escorting (?) a Griffin while sacrificing a part of the reward payment was to attack the Monster bird's weak point. Since the creature was as tall as two Ogres stacked together, it would be incredibly difficult to hit the weak points located on the creature's head with their sword auras or magic attacks, after all.
"But of course~. Leave it to me."
Yi Hye-Rin vigorously replied, and as if to agree with her, the Griffin next to her powerfully flapped its wings once.
"…Well, then. Everyone, please drink your potions now."
Kim Yu-Rin pulled out the potion 'A Goblin's Courage' while telling the others to do the same.
This scarlet-coloured liquid was rated first among the body fortification potions on sale. It was also seen as the next best item made by the Goblin Alchemist after his famed healing potions. It was in such a demand that it was difficult to buy one as it was so rarely circulated on the market.
"Don't hesitate because it's rare, just drink it all. Well, any remaining potions will be confiscated." (Kim Yu-Rin)
At her declaration, one or two ended up drinking the whole vial of the potions all the while still feeling great regret at the same time. The obvious exception was, of course, Yi Hye-Rin, who was sharing her potion with the Griffin.
The effects of the potion was as advertised. All the Knights who had drunk the potion could feel their vitality increasing exponentially.
"I'm going up ahead!" (Yi Hye-Rin)
As they had practiced before, the Griffin took Yi Hye-Rin on its back and flew into the sky while roaring out loudly. And when the Monster bird's focus was drawn towards this sudden intrusion, the Knights on the ground quickly made their way towards their target.
Sensing something was amiss, the Monster bird extended out its tentacles from its body, but the combination of Yi Hye-Rin and the Griffin easily avoided those while she wielded her sharp sword.
There was no real need to get too close, since there was the attribute 'Bending' imbued within her sword, which allowed her to freely manipulate the attacking distance at will.
*SFX for a blade slashing through air*
The sword light from Yi Hye-Rin's attack drew a blue-coloured trajectory as it snaked its way towards the Monster's eyes. And soon afterwards, the pained roar reverberated throughout the land.
30 seconds after the battle had begun. After achieving her goal, Yi Hye-Rin let out a loud shout. And the Knights rushed forward towards the Monster bird while the assured smile of victory formed on their faces.
Someone once said that one should wait until the end before celebrating.
Although the raid team successfully robbed the Monster of its eyesight less than one minute into the battle, the situation afterwards then steadily became worse and worse for them.
The issue was the Monster's massive size. They already knew that the number of tentacles would be high because of its huge body, but still, they weren't prepared just how ridiculously high it would be in reality.
No, this wasn't simply the problem of the high number of tentacles. The information clearly stated that the Japanese Boss raid only required three Highest Tier Knights back then. However, this team contained four Highest Tiers, six High Tier Knights, as well as four Wizards ranked B, yet…
Unfortunately, in this kind of situation, holding doubts of the Monster's true strength was a luxury none of the Knights could afford.
The tentacles rushed in like a hailstorm, not even giving them time to take a breather. It was a mistake to believe that its eyes were the weak point, as the Monster bird accurately intercepted the Knights even after losing its eyesight.
'How can this be…?' (Kim Yu-Rin)
The total number of tentacles sliced off already exceeded ten thousand. However, no matter how many they cut, the number didn't seem to decrease at all.
There was no opening in the tentacles pouring down like raindrops from the sky, and conversely, there was no chance for a counterattack as well. On top of this, these damn things steadily ate away their Mana barriers surrounding the Knights' bodies, which even made a rash charge forward an impossibility, too.
'No one said these things can eat away our Mana barriers!!'
Kim Yu-Rin gritted her teeth as she cut down yet more tentacles.
She had initially underestimated this Monster - since the tentacles were the part of the creature, with the activation of her Trait, she believed it would not take very long to bring this damn bird down at all.
But thinking like that was clearly a mistake.
Those tentacles were not the part of the Monster bird but a separate entity altogether. The proof was the fact that the huge Monster still remained standing even after she imbued the purpose of "faint even for a little bit of time" in her sword before attacking it.
It was most likely that these tentacles were either parasites or symbiotes that lived off the main body.
Her roughly-swung sword strike drew a crescent shaped arc and sliced through countless tentacles, yet more replaced them.
Kim Yu-Rin shouted out. Her voice managed to travel to the others through the gaps of the attacking tentacles, but too bad, none of them possessed any leeway to make their getaway. It simply took their all just to defend themselves from all these tentacles, after all.
And so, it proved that even Yu-Rin herself couldn't make any follow-up orders in the end as well.
*SFX for the crow of a rooster*
That was because her consciousness shook into disarray for a short moment as soon as the loud crow shattered the surroundings.
Seizing this opening, a tentacle bit into her body. But Yu-Rin simply wrapped the bleeding shoulder with Mana and continued to wield her sword.
She hadn't given up, but still, the situation was easy to figure out.
The flow of the battle was disadvantageous, and they couldn't even safely retreat anymore - the worst of all worst situations.
As the despair crept into the minds of all the Knights present here and their defeat becoming ever so a certainty…
From somewhere, a loud and powerful roar assaulted them. A familiar roar, it sure sounded like the call of salvation to Kim Yu-Rin's ears.
Along with the roar, a massive shock wave traveled from the direction of North East and smashed apart all the tentacles while continuously expanding towards the Monster bird's main body.
It struck the creature. The Monster bird issued a short cry and retracted all of its tentacles, and that in turn gave all the Knights here valuable time.
The Knights quickly turned to look towards the direction of the mountainside where the shock wave had come from, while trying to rein in their rough breaths. At that moment, no one had a clue what to say.
Not one, not two, but dozens and dozens of Orcs were busy rushing over here while raising a cloud of dust.
And Yu-Rin inadvertently let out a gasp after seeing the sight of the Hero Orc among the rushing Orcs, overflowing with a remarkably heroic aura.
It was such a cool appearance.
< 28. Changes in the Daily Life, part 2 (2) > Fin.
(TL: Okay, so, uh, I made a slight mistake with last chapter's sponsored amount bit. Instead of $35, it should've been $15. Oops. Oh well, mistakes happen. I'm only a measly human, after all.)
(TL: The ironic thing is, though - well, the amount left for the second sponsored chapter for the week is $35 out of $50. Yeah, I know. Weird, right?)