[You have defeated the Leader of the Hetaro Bandits, Hetaro.]
“Hoo, I’m finally done.”
Soo Hyuk looked at the notification as he collected the drops, then opened his quest window.
[Bandits on the Kerin Plains]
On the Kerin Plains, where many merchants crossed, bandits had appeared. Currently, the bandits are causing the merchants considerable damage. Go to the Kerin Plains and eliminate the bandits.
[Hetaro Bandits: 20 / 20]
[Hetaro: 1 / 1]
[Quest Reward: 500 Gold]
Looking at the completed quest, a satisfied smile crept upon his face.
[Warping to the Archmage’s Subspace.]
The moment he arrived in the chamber, he headed straight for the magic circle and teleported to Hadrac. As he walked out of the warp gate, Soo Hyuk checked the time.
‘He should’ve arrived there by now.’
The time now was just past 2 o’clock. By now, Romian should’ve made his way to his hideout in Hadrac.
‘Let’s visit him first.’
Soo Hyuk opened his inventory as he started walking towards the suburb regions, which was located in the northern section of Hadrac. He then took out the map.
Soo Hyuk couldn’t help but frown when he opened the map. It was way too complicated.
‘Well, that’s probably why he chose that place.’
Romian’s hideout looked difficult to get to even with the map. At the same time, it was an ideal location for a hideout. And so, Soo Hyuk managed to arrive at the suburban area with the map and started making his way to the hideout slowly.
‘Is it here?’
Soo Hyuk, who had been walking for a while, stopped in place. He checked the red dot on the map, then the buildings in front of and around him.
‘I think it’s here.’
He had probably arrived at his destination.
Soo Hyuk knocked after storing the map back in his inventory. However, there was no answer as time passed by.
No reaction at all.
“Is he still not here yet?”
It was at that moment.
The door opened, then Soo Hyuk could see Romian, who was wearing a worried expression.
“Soo Hyuk-nim? You’re already here…”
Romian greeted Soo Hyuk with the same worried expression.
“Ah, please come in first.”
With a sudden thought, Romian hurriedly guided Soo Hyuk into his hideout.
“Henkins had something to do, so he’s gone out for a bit. But why are you here… Did something happen?”
Romian asked as he sat down. At Romian’s question, Soo Hyuk opened his inventory and replied to his question.
“I have the key.”
Soo Hyuk said as he held out the key.
Romain stared at the key in his palm as he exclaimed disbelievingly. However, he cocked his head in confusion and stare back at Soo Hyuk.
Soo Hyuk hurriedly continued at Romian’s confused gaze.
“This is the key that came out of the red marble. This should be the real key.”
Now that he thought about it, Romian only knew about the red marble and not the true form of the key. No, he would think that the red marble itself was the key.
At Soo Hyuk’s explanation, Romian looked back at the key as he exclaimed in realization this time. He then looked up at Soo Hyuk with a doubtful face.
[You have completed the quest ‘The Secret Cave’.]
The quest notification appeared at that moment.
But, Soo Hyuk couldn’t help but be confused even though he had completed the quest. The reason was because of Romian’s suspicion in his expression. Why was he wearing that face even though he had brought him the key?
“… This is truly difficult.”
Romian opened his mouth, seemingly noticing Soo Hyuk’s confusion. Meanwhile, Soo Hyuk got a bad feeling from the first word he spoke.
“First, I have to apologize.”
Romian apologized with a slight bow.
“I have underestimated Soo Hyuk-nim’s ability. I didn’t expect that you would be able to bring the key this fast.”
Truthfully, Romian hadn’t expected that Soo Hyuk would be able to bring the key this soon.
“As I mentioned before, Celta’s cave contains many traps.”
Phantom Thief Celta’s Secret Cave had countless traps, and this fact didn’t change even if one possessed the key.
“The problem is that my leg hasn’t healed properly yet…”
Romian wasn’t capable of walking normally yet, and to head to the secret cave while injured was equivalent to suicide.
“And I also have other things to prepare.”
Soo Hyuk stared at Romian as his voice faded away. At Soo Hyuk’s gaze, Romian quickly continued,
“So our departure will take some time. One week at least…”
Romian hadn’t expected that you would bring back the key so quickly. He thought that you would’ve taken at least one week. Also, Romian himself needs one week, as his body is still injured and he needs to prepare for the exploration. Find Romian again after one week!
[Key to Phantom Thief Celta’s Secret Cave: 1 / 1]
[Time Left: 7 days]
[Quest Reward: Quest – Cave Exploration]
As Romian’s voice trailed away and disappeared, a quest appeared in front of Soo Hyuk. Looking at the quest, Soo Hyuk wore a regretful expression.
Soo Hyuk replied as he stored the key in his inventory.
“Then I’ll come again after one week.”
He then stood up from his seat.
“No, it’s fine.”
With a goodbye, Soo Hyuk left Romian’s hideout. Then with a deep sigh, he retraced his steps back to the Mercenary Agency. The reason he was going back to the agency was, he had to complete his ‘Bandits on the Kerin Plains.’
‘When will the promotion appear again?’
After achieving C-rank, he had completed many missions, but the promotion notifications hadn’t appeared once. Exactly how much more missions did he have to do to be promoted?
‘I wish that this quest is the last one.’
While thinking about his promotion to B-rank, Soo Hyuk was able to arrive at the Mercenary Agency after 20 minutes of walking.
Soo Hyuk climbed to the 2nd floor and handed his token to the NPC on the counter. As the NPC received his token, a notification appeared in his eyes.
[You have completed the quest ‘Bandits on the Kerin Plains’.]
[You now have the qualifications to be promoted.]
[You can now attempt a promotion quest.]
Soo Hyuk’s widened to their limit as he read the notification.
He could now be promoted.
Who would think his fantasies would come true?
“Here is your token.”
While Soo Hyuk was staring absentmindedly at the notice, the NPC had brought back his token with the rewards for the mission.
Snapping out of his thoughts, Soo Hyuk hastily grabbed his token and rewards, then raced down the stairs to line up at a line on the 1st floor.
His turn came a few minutes later, and as Soo Hyuk sat down in front of the counter, the NPC asked,
“What can I do for you?”
“I want to see the promotion missions.”
Soo Hyuk replied as he held out his Mercenary Token.
The NPC let out a flustered sound as he received the token. Noticing the NPC’s reaction, Soo Hyuk stared curiously at the NPC.
‘What’s going on?’
Why was the NPC so agitated?
“H-here it is…”
Noticing Soo Hyuk’s gaze, the NPC held out the mission list while still exuding agitation. Soo Hyuk looked at the NPC suspiciously, before looking down to check the list.
‘A linked quest that isn’t tedious.’
For B-rank promotion missions, they were always 100% guaranteed to be linked quests. Right now, Soo Hyuk wanted a quest that wasn’t tedious and didn’t take long, even at the cost of higher difficulty.
A few moments later, Soo Hyuk discovered a decent mission on the list.
-Unusual Ogres Conditions – Ogres: 30, Twin Head Ogres: 2
‘There’s a hunting quest?’
The previous pages he had looked through were dominated by item and request missions, but the ‘Unusual Orcs’ mission required only hunting.
‘That was lucky.’
Through the posts on the official Pangea homepage, Soo Hyuk had found out that pure hunting promotions quests were almost non existent on the lists. In other words, he had been really lucky this time.
‘Let’s go with this.’
Soo Hyuk also knew one more piece of information. That a linked pure hunting quest was always followed by another hunting quest. It wasn’t false. Not one or two, but tens of lucky people had posted about this. Having made his decision, Soo Hyuk said to the NPC while handing back the mission catalog.
“I will do this mission.”
[You have selected the ‘Unusual Ogres’ quest.]
* * *
Lactone hurriedly moved his feet, one by one.
‘I have to report quickly.’
He had to report to his superiors.
‘The Drak Faction could snatch him first.’
Arriving at his destination, Lactone banged on the door while shouting breathlessly.
When the voice inside called out, Lactone immediately opened the door and walked inside. Then Lactone could see the room’s owner, Jackal, rising from his bed.
“What is it?”
Jackal asked Lactone with a yawn.
“I have something to report.”
“Report? Yes, there’s a mercenary about to be a B-rank. He doesn’t have a guild.”
Jackal frowned heavily at Lactone’s words.
“Did you just wake me from my sleep just because of that?”
Maybe for S-rank, but making such a ruckus because of a future B-rank? Even if that person wasn’t in a guild; Jackal still couldn’t understand.
“Well, it’s been 3 days.”
But expecting Jackal’s reaction, Lactone continued with his report.
Jackal couldn’t help but ask back.
“What 3 days?”
“It’s only been 3 days since he registered as a mercenary.”
Jackal widened his eyes at Lactone’s report.
“What? 3 days? 3 days today? Since he registered?”
Jackal continuously fired question mark after question mark at Lactone with widened eyes.
“But B-rank today?”
Lactone replied with a nod at Jackal’s question.
Jackal fell in thought. Of course, his state didn’t last long.
“Is it real?”
Jackal asked Lactone, snapping out of his thoughts. B-rank in three days? No guild? He couldn’t believe it.
“Yes, I personally gave him the mission list.”
Lactone replied confidently in response. If others had told him, he wouldn’t have believed it either, but he had personally given him the mission list.
“Are you sure he has no guild?”
“Yes, I’m sure.”
At Lactone’s reply, Jackal climbed down from his bed, then asked Lactone again.
“Prepare. I will see the master.”
Jackal exited the room together with Lactone. Then Lactone walked down the right passage while Jackal took the right,
‘B-rank in 3 days…’
‘A fine ware. It’s been a while.’