Max Talent Player
[Translator – Lei ]
[Proofreader – Ash ]
The monsters that appeared in the sky had lion bodies and eagle heads.
“It’s as Miss Ham Sohyun said.”
Monsters would descend from the sky, and they would be winged creatures with the bodies of a four-legged beast. That was exactly what was happening now. Of course, this “prophecy” was cobbled together by Kim Hyukjin based on his memory of the past.
“Yes. But let’s save the amazement for later. The Players are shaken up.”
There were roughly thirty Players here, most of them archers. Some knew Hyukjin, and some didn’t.
Most of the people who survived this would become top Rankers. And half would die… if the raid went as it had in Hyukjin’s past. Pietro took a step forward.
“The quest’s name is the War Between Sky and Earth.”
Monsters were descending from the sky, and the sculptures were moving on the ground. The eyes of the sculptures on the stone bridge glowed purple.
Pietro continued speaking. “We don’t know how to clear this quest. We lack an outstanding sovereign, and we don’t have an explorer, either.”
Of course, there were sovereigns here. One was Kim Hyukjin, and the other was Schultz, a dual-class Player from Germany whose main class was archer and subclass was sovereign.
“However, we have a prophecy from Taeguk Shield foreseeing this situation. Based on that information, we need to take the sculptures’ side in this war. I believe this information to be considerably reliable. I think it would be best to progress by hunting the monsters in the sky.”
This was coming from the information merchant Pietro. His words had sway. The archers peered up into the sky.
Gryphon LVL 36
Flying creatures were tricky foes, but the monsters weren't so strong that they couldn't be defeated. Pietro quickly continued.
“Because a new quest was triggered even before the gate opened, we didn’t have a chance to assign a party leader who will represent and lead us.”
There needed to be a party leader to take the reins anyway. Hyukjin knew who the original party leader was—the German Player, Schultz.
In the past, Pietro said this:
–Schultz was an outstanding Player. If he had survived that place, he may have developed into a Player who could stand shoulder to shoulder with Michelle and Salvatore.
Schultz was supposed to die here. He took responsibility for his decisions and bravely perished while silently helping the other Players escape. Everyone who survived the gate expressed their admiration for Schultz.
‘A person who takes responsibility for his decisions.’
That was what Hyukjin knew about Schultz.
“As the person with the most information, I will temporarily assume party lead,” said Pietro. “I think we should pick the party leader once this quest is over.”
There was no time to say more. The Gryphons circling in the sky were ready to plunge and were spewing bloodthirst towards the ‘earth’.
“According to my information, we belong to the ‘earth’. We need to fight the enemies that belong to the ‘sky’. At least in this field.”
The archers agreed with him. They believed Pietro was naturally the most informed person here and decided to follow his instructions.
Everyone took out their bows. The arms of the sculptures on the bridge moved. Stones made of mana formed on their palms, and then, they hurled the stones like they were catapults.
The stones hurtled into the sky. One of the Gryphons was struck by the barrage.
The Gryphon squawked with rage and plunged downwards.
The archers fired in unison. No one used flashy skills or powerful attacks—they all used basic attacks.
Hyukjin liked what he saw.
‘They’re definitely Ranker quality.’
They intentionally used compact and easy attacks so as to not interfere with each others’ trajectories. Even with just basic attacks, the Players would have no problem blocking a single assailant.
Normally, that is.
‘If that monster wasn’t a Gryphon.’
But Gryphons were monsters with a special barrier that blocked normal attacks. Only attacks imbued with mana could deal damage to them.
‘The Players will quickly realize that.’
If they couldn’t even figure that out, they weren’t Ranker material.
‘I know they’ll quickly catch on, but…’
Even so, Hyukjin intended on taking action here, with the goal of assuming party leadership for this raid. Schultz was an admirable Player, but in the end, the raid was defeated under his leadership, with nearly half of the Players killed.
‘That might not change… even if I lead.’
But he was still fairly confident. Hyukjin was armed with knowledge of the future and was stronger than the others. Half of the Players may have died in the past, but that also meant half had survived even without Hyukjin’s presence.
‘This time… a regressor is here.’
That alone meant they would be able to pull off a far better clear than in the past.
‘Most importantly, I have the [Angel Statue’s Wings].’
In his Inventory was the item he had gotten by clearing the Wind Temple with Hyun Junghwa, an item he was certain would play a key role in this gate.
‘I will save who I can save and get everything I can get.’
That was why he was here.
[Using the special skill Flash Step.]
Thanks to the Grudge Inmyeonjo, he already had experience facing a flying monster. It was a lot easier this time. Hyukjin rushed forward with Flash Step, landing on the Gryphon’s neck and plunging his sword directly in the Gryphon’s skull.
His transcendent sword went in like a hot knife through butter. The Gryphon crashed onto the ground, briefly thrashing before dying with a body full of arrows.
In this gathering of archers, Hyukjin purposely showed a shocking technique like Flash Step and killed a Gryphon using a sword.
‘I’m sure that got their attention.’
Hyukjin didn’t have any fame to his name. If he wanted these people to obey and follow him, his only choice was to prove his skill. So for starters, he drew their attention.
And then, he gave the signal.
“Junghwa. Mark.” Hyun Junghwa and Mark were standing behind him. “Cover me.”
* * *
Translator - Lei
Proofreader - Ash
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* * *
Now that Hyukjin had their eyes, he needed to begin the real work. He had to produce a scene impressive enough to garner the heartfelt acknowledgement of top Rankers in the archer class.
‘I’ve produced plenty of scenes for the Guardians.’
Producing scenes for Players was even easier. Hyukjin pulled out the Ink Bow.
Hyukjin knew Ahn Seohye’s altered incantation, the incantation uttered not to protect and revive, but to destroy and eliminate. They were the words Seohye had unconsciously manifested in the past.
The incantation uttered by a Barrier Magician resolved to martyr.
She subtly changed the ‘Incantation of Salvation’ conceived by Hyukjin, deploying her Nemesis Doom Barrier with all her soul and might in order to kill the Fire Giants.
‘It’s the perfect incantation for the current situation.’
Hyukjin kicked off his production—one made for Rankers and not for Guardians—with that incantation. His eyes turned crimson red.
On the other side of the world, at the DMC Riverview Xi, the Guardian Tower Ahn Seohye standing in the middle of the crosswalk was struck with a strange feeling. She suddenly recalled fighting the Fire Giants. All she could do was think or murmur to herself.
‘One who trusts even without seeing shall die even in life.’
Thinking back on it, it was different from the incantation Hyukjin had uttered. His incantation had ended with ‘live even in death’.
‘What came after that?’
She didn’t remember the exact lines that followed.
‘Why did I suddenly remember this?’
An elementary school kid crossing the road looked up at Ahn Seohye.
“Mom. Look over there.”
“Over there. The red eye is shaking a bunch!”
Seohye was deep in recollection and didn’t hear the kid.
‘I think it was lacerating something something after that.’
The incantation Seohye couldn’t remember reappeared in the world through Hyukjin’s lips.
“Thus shall I sublimate thy lacerating suffering into eternal peace.”
He uttered the final lines that Seohye had spoken with tears of blood running down her cheeks.
[You who has killing intent.]
[I command thee. Return to thy eternal slumber.]
With that, the complete opposite of the Incantation of Salvation was completed.
[You have partially succeeded in uttering the Will Incantation.]
At the same time, red mana began to ripple from Hyukjin’s body. Junghwa and Mark stood next to him and provided cover. He had told them in advance that this would happen.
Mark fired his bow into the sky while covering Kim Hyukjin.
‘What is he doing?’
He saw red mana rippling out of Hyukjin’s body, but he didn’t know what the man was preparing. The terrible bloodthirst he felt from that red mana made him shiver. Just standing next to Hyukjin made the hairs on his body stand on end.
‘But… that’s not all.’
Mark had the feeling that intense bloodthirst was fused with something else. This was just his gut feeling, a deduction born entirely out of a Player’s intangible intuition.
‘I think… this is fire energy.’
Mark wasn’t the only one who felt it. Junghwa felt the same thing. She felt the same kind of mana she sensed from fire attribute Players.
The person in question, Kim Hyukjin, felt it as well.
He had the feeling he had taken one step closer to the secret that had remained hidden in the Ink Bow all this time.
‘The Ink Bow is responding to a power I possess.’
The Ink Bow in Hyukjin’s hands began to change.
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