As Warlord’s popularity unceasingly skyrocketed, the popularity of the Top 30 Guilds that possessed the live channels skyrocketed as well.
At the same time, the competition between the Top 30 Guilds grew increasingly fierce. It arguably surpassed the level of fierce and was simply extreme and desperate. As competition grew, conflicts between the Top 30 Guilds increased. There was even a rumor that some of them faked conflicts to get more viewership from their guild battles.
With such competition, Warlord’s first main scenario quest, the Corrupt Count, was practically the Holy Grail.
“Is there anything new about the Corrupt Count?”
The Corrupt Count was a hot topic that pretty much guaranteed a TV special. The rumor was that the ad-revenue for the final battle with the Corrupt Count would rival the Super Bowl’s ad-revenue.
It went without saying that the Top 30 Guilds collected any and all information regarding the Corrupt Count. Some guilds even formed a monitoring division that collected Corrupt Count related information.
“There is this one video…”
As popular as the Corrupt Count was, the online world was overflowing with videos and information about it. Of course, most of them were no different than worthless trash.
“Does it have anything useful?”
But a jewel could be found even within a pile of trash.
“It’s a video of a level 15 player killing a Corrupted Werewolf.”
“Level 15? Then isn’t that the start of the Corrupt Count quest line? What use is that to us?”
“His fight was rather… amazing.”
Of course, the Monitoring Team didn’t just look for Corrupt Count-related information.
“It seems he obtained the Rising Star title as well.”
“The Rising Star title?”
At times, players with lots potential shine more than any treasure. The Monitoring Team was also in charge of any “Rising Stars.”
“Plus, he killed the Corrupted Werewolf alone.”
“Alone? Wait, werewolves are normally at least level 15… and with the Corrupted title… its strength should be somewhere between level 20 and 25. You’re saying a level 15 player killed that alone?”
“Yes, sir. Also, he’s a necromancer, but he fights on the front lines.”
“Show me that video.”
And at this moment, another treasure had been discovered.
An Jaehyun was currently looking at his tablet PC with a blank expression. The tablet PC was playing a video of his game character, Hyrkan, killing a werewolf.
It was undoubtedly an amazing video. The scene of the video’s lead narrowly dodging the Corrupted Werewolves attacks while being followed up by Skeleton Warrior counterattacks was truly a sight to behold. It was unique even amongst the countless number of Warlord videos online.
But An Jaehyun’s eyes didn’t meet the video at the moment.
‘What’s up with the view count? Didn’t I upload this yesterday?’
The numbers placed under the video.
‘It’s already over six thousand.’
The video An Jaehyun uploaded passed the 6,000 mark after just one day.
‘What’s this? Did someone link it on their site? Why are there so many views?’
Although Warlord videos received lots of views compared to other types of media, it wasn’t easy to get 6,000 in a matter of one day. If the view count was this high, it would appear on the most-viewed video list and receive even more attention.
‘I knew the bait was good, but I didn’t think it’d be this good.’
An Jaehyun had his expectation, but the result was clearly higher than what he had initially predicted.
An Jaehyun stared blankly at the screen, blissful from this unexpected surprise.
He soon snapped back after he took a few sips of his coffee.
‘The momentum is going my way.’
What was important now was to plan for the future.
‘Should I change my plans?’
An Jaehyun had originally planned to start making videos around the late 20s. It was the ideal time to make videos and attract viewers as it was when the difference between skilled and unskilled players started to show. The videos he would be taking before then would be like videos of a child growing up. It would show what type of gamer Hyrkan is.
But An Jaehyun didn’t expect he would gain traction so quickly.
‘Should I splurge a bit more?’
It was at times like these that he needed to show more of his feats. In this sea of competition, once one caught a wave, it was best to continue riding it.
It was the same in the past. Even after the Hahoe Mask Guild was founded and they began uploading videos, it wasn’t until half a year later that they began to attract viewers and fans. This was all because of one event that put them in the spotlight.
At that time, the Hahoe Mask Guild even borrowed money to all-in on that wave. With that money, they purchased better items for themselves.
That was the key.
Do you want to show off more? Then buying high-tier items was the only way to immediately spec-up.
The problem was money.
Although An Jaehyun didn’t make much money, he saved what little he did. After all, he had an important quest of collecting 10 million won within three months.
Of course, he already had his answer.
‘I should’ve borrowed 20 million… didn’t think I’d need more money this quickly.’
An Jaehyun did not have a shred of doubt on what he needed to do.
If he didn’t invest now, he wouldn’t have the chance to later. Now was the right time.
An Jaehyun stared at the coffee mug in front of him.
‘Looks like I’ll have to say goodbye to meat for a while.’
His wrist holding on to the mug felt thinner than usual, as An Jaehyun smiled bitterly.
‘I’m turning into a skeleton too.’
He was truly becoming more and more like a necromancer.
Upon returning to the Figur’s Castle, Hyrkan immediately headed for the Subjugation Association. At this place, he talked to an NPC he normally wouldn’t be able to meet.
“Are you the adventurer named Hyrkan who came back from Mt. Bima’s cave?”
It was an NPC named Hotan. Just from a glance, Hyrkan could tell he was quite high leveled.
‘It’s the next quest, I see.’
It was characteristic of scenario quests. Once you cleared one quest, you’d receive the next one.
The pro was that you knew exactly what quest to do once you cleared one, while the con was that you’d never be able to do the next one if you didn’t clear the previous quest.
“What you saw was most likely a monster exposed to the power of the Corrupted One.”
Hyrkan didn’t show any rudeness. It was essential for players to treat NPCs as if they were their fathers. They had nothing to gain by leaving a bad impression of themselves to NPCs. After all, NPCs were the traffic signs of Warlord. Although there wasn’t any elaborate affection system like in dating-sim games, Warlord still had its own affection system.
At the same time, Warlord NPCs were mostly guarded and conservative. It was up to the players to actively speak their thoughts.
“What do you mean by ‘Corrupted One.”?
“I don’t know. But it’s because of his power that monsters began to go berserk. As a result, the Subjugation Association placed a bounty on his head.”
“It seems we have to catch him no matter the cost. Although I am still inexperienced, if I may be of any help, I will do my best to capture that evil bastard.”
You had to be aggressive and forward to make an NPC respond.
If you just said okay and left, you would have lost the chance to hear an answer forever. Like how traffic signs didn’t come up to tourists to guide them, Warlord NPCs did not come up and give quests to players. Players had to go up and knock on the door themselves.
“Sadly, you are still too lacking to fight against the Corrupted One.”
“What must I do to have the chance?”
And for players that actively knocked on doors…
“For you… yes, considering the result you showed in Mt. Bima, you are indeed worthy of having that chance.”
The doors would open…
“East of Figur’s Castle is the Bangtz Castle. There is a person named Ahimbree there. I will write you a recommendation. He will tell you what to do.”
[The quest, ‘Ahimbree’s Teachings’, begins.]
And they would see the treasure hidden on the other side.
‘Ahimbree? Wait, THE Ahimbree? One of the seven disciples of the Grand Magus?’
The unthinkable treasure!
– Quest Rank: Unique
– Quest Level Range: None
– Quest Content: Find Ahimbree and show him Hotan’s recommendation letter.
– Quest Reward: Skillbook
Checking the contents of the quest, a frown appeared on Hyrkan’s face. It wasn’t because he was unhappy or dissatisfied. The frown was from the pain of holding in the happiness that was about to erupt.”
This showed how happy Hyrkan currently was. If he didn’t frown, he felt his face would hurt from smiling too much.
‘Ahimbree! I can’t believe it! It’s the Ahimbree’s Disciple quest!’
The laugh he was holding in finally burst out, twisting his frowning expression. Hyrkan quickly moved his hands to block his mouth. But his shoulders began to tremble. Nearby players that caught sight of Hyrkan clicked their tongues.
“The hell’s wrong with him? Is he mad?”
“Let it go. Probably watched a sad movie or something.”
For players that were at the Subjugation Association, Hyrkan was acting strangely without a doubt.
“Just look at his pants. No one in their right mind would wear something like that.”
“You’re right. No sane person would do something like that.”
Hyrkan’s tight leather pants attracted attention in various ways, but Hyrkan spared no thoughts for anyone around him. They weren’t on his radar at all.
‘I get it; the Rising Star title triggered the conditional quest.’
He was a superb magician, and one of the seven disciples of the Grand Magus Bokan.
The reason Hyrkan remembered him so well was that numerous skill books could be obtained through him. In fact, a considerable number of Unique-rank skill books were said to be distributed by the seven disciples of the Grand Magus. As such, it was the dream of all magicians to be able to obtain quests related to the seven disciples of the Grand Magus.
Now, Hyrkan had obtained a point of contact with Ahimbree.
‘The Rising Star title overlapping with the Corrupt Count main scenario quest triggered this chance.’
It was all thanks to the Rising Star title.
This title served as Hyrkan’s proof of potential and talent in the Warlord world. Because Hyrkan expressed his desire to fight the Corrupt Count, Hotan had given him the chance to get stronger.
‘This is great.’
Hyrkan welcomed the chance with open arms.
‘Though since my level is low; I won’t get any high-level skill book… but who cares?’
Hyrkan got up from his seat.
‘Alright, why don’t I go cube some items before I head over to Ahimbree. I’ll at least use up the crafting materials on me.’
His next destination was the Item Workshop, where the crafting cubes were located.