Gourmet Gaming - Chapter 343: The Ruler of the Forest
박민규14-18 minutes 24.09.2022
The sound of something falling down rang loudly in the area.
It was the third monster, Caeris, a rodent that could be easily dealt with by novices around Level 25.
It usually had a small trident in its hands and quick feet.
However, with Minhyuk’s current stats, it was already very surprising that he was able to hunt them.
Even if he had the Sun God’s Sword and Phrakan’s Armor equipped, it was still not an easy task.
That’s really amazing,’ Arakhan thought, slight admiration evident on his face.
Then, Minhyuk heard the notifications.
[You hunted the third monster.]
[You have completely overwhelmed Caeris.]
[You have received the recognition of the Innocent Hero.]
[You gained 1 on all five of your basic stats.]
[Arakhan’s Sword Mastery Skill Level has increased by one.]
[You have gained 15,000,000 EXP.]
[You have leveled up.]
[With the recognition of the Innocent Hero, the hunt for the fourth monster will be skipped.]
[You have gained 20,000,000 EXP.]
[Arakhan’s Sword Mastery Skill Level has increased by one.]
Minhyuk smiled in satisfaction.
The Innocent Hero’s Trial was truly giving him a lot in terms of rewards.
First, it gave him additional 1 to all five of his basic stats.
Of course, it was because he had received the recognition of the Innocent Hero.
After all, this was a bonus that could only be obtained if the challenger cleared the trial with a very high score.
Since it was a bonus, the rewards were extremely great.
A 1 in all five basic stat was equivalent to the stat points that one could get once they leveled up.
On top of that, there was also an enormous amount of EXP, which allowed Minhyuk to increase his level quickly.
Finally, there was also Arakhan’s Sword Mastery.
(Arakhan’s Sword Mastery)
•There will be an 8% increase in both basic sword attack and speed.
•There will be an 8% increase in basic attack when slashing and stabbing an opponent.
•There will be a 4% increase in attack for skills related to swordsmanship.
In fact, ordinary players would be equipped with various passive mastery skills, like Sword Mastery or Bow Mastery.
However, Arakhan’s Sword Mastery was different from that.
Sword Mastery was divided into the novice grade, intermediate grade, advanced grade, and mastery grade.
Achieving the mastery grade of the Sword Mastery skill would increase the player’s basic attack and speed by 1.5%.
On the other hand, Arakhan’s sword mastery would increase the basic attack and speed by 2% for every increase in level.
Once the mastery grade of the Sword Mastery skill reached Level 9, the player would not be able to level up anymore.
Only the acquisition of special skills would give the player the possibility of leveling the skill further.
This limitation had made it impossible to further improve the effect of the Sword Mastery skill.
However, Arakhan’s Sword Mastery would increase in effect the higher the level.
The most surprising part about Arakhan’s Sword Mastery was the part where the % attack of the skills related to swordsmanship would also increase.
It was a special effect that was not even in mastery grade of the Sword Mastery skill.
“This trial is very generous.
The Sword Mastery has already increased by four.”
Arakhan vehemently denied the fact about the trial being generous, however, he never voiced it out.
He was very much aware that his Sword Mastery was brilliant and amazing, but this Hero’s Trial would only allow it to increase up to Level 5.
Once Minhyuk left this place, he would have to increase his proficiency on his own to increase the level of the skill.
But this was only the case for the ‘general’ score.
Minhyuk had always cleared the trial with an ‘overwhelming’ score, that was why he had already reached Level 4 for the Sword Mastery.
Then, additional notifications rang for Minhyuk.
[You have accomplished an outstanding feat in hunting monsters.]
[The Fifth Monster Hunt will be held in a different way.
You will have to hunt two monsters at the same time.]
[If you fail the Fifth Monster Hunt, you won’t be able to enter the Hero’s Trial once again.]
[You can move forward to the next trial without taking the challenge.]
Arakhan had also recognized Minhyuk’s strength.
Will this guy really become my and Conir’s successor’
Arakhan was shocked.
This was because anyone that could reach the final trial in this level could already be considered to be a part of the continent’s legendary figures.
The prime examples were both him and Conir.
However, the truth was neither he nor Conir expected anything from Minhyuk.
Becoming a Legend and gaining that name was not an easy task.
The Innocent Hero’s Trial had a total of 25 stages.
The truth was that Conir himself believed that the limit was at the 15th stage.
In fact, reaching the 15th stage would allow the person to already reach the Half-Pinnacle.
However, as long as Minhyuk did well, he might actually be able to reach the 25th stage.
If that was the case, then there was a high possibility that he would reach and acquire the true pinnacle skill of the person hailed as the Sword Saint.
Then, Arakhan thought, ‘He will definitely be stopped by the frustration in this trial.’
It was too bad.
Arakhan thought that it would have been better if Minhyuk did not score overwhelming scores during the previous trials.
In that way, he would not need to go through this special Fifth Monster Hunting Trial.
Truth be told, neither he nor Conir could break this trial.
The worst part was that failure in this trial meant total failure.
Of course, there were still trials where Minhyuk could try to challenge again upon failure, but that was not the case for the monster hunting trial.
Once this trial failed, Minhyuk would be immediately ejected from this place, never to return again.
That was why Arakhan selfishly wanted Minhyuk to skip this challenge.
However, Minhyuk said, “I will challenge it.”
Arakhan felt that it was a shame that a strong candidate for their successor would not be able to go any further than here.
However, Arakhan still had a duty.
So, he explained, “The Fifth Monster Hunt will take place in a forest.”
Arakhan waved his hand to present a hologram of a huge forest.
“You have to hunt the monsters in this forest.
You need to take advantage of the topography of this place to hunt these monsters since the difference in your levels is vast.
There’s also a variety of wildlife in this area, so a momentary lapse in attention might cause you to lose your life and become prey to these beasts and not the monsters… mumble, mumble…”
After listening to Arakhan’s explanation, Minhyuk bowed his head in thought before asking, “What kind of monster will appear inside”
“You have to check it out yourself.”
It was something that Arakhan could not disclose.
Then, Arakhan continued to say, “The Fifth Monster Hunt has a time limit.
You are only allowed to stay inside for half a day.
If you fail to hunt the monsters within that time frame, then the trial will be deemed as failure.
This is set to prevent you from hiding and not hunting the monsters.”
Minhyuk nodded as he got warped away and disappeared.
After appearing in the forest, Minhyuk looked around.
He could see that he was alone and was surrounded by thick and luscious trees.
Minhyuk froze, his senses going on full alert.
He made sure to maintain his calm as he looked at his surroundings.
He was trying to assess the topography of the forest and analyzing if he could use them.
Since he was given half a day to hunt, it meant that he could retreat once he failed an attack and try again.
Holding his breath to conceal his presence, Minhyuk finally spotted a monster after walking quite a distance.
Then, the monster turned around.
Minhyuk made eye contact with the monster bearing only one eye.
Minhyuk was very shocked to see that the monster that appeared was none other than a cyclops.
It was a monstrous giant that wielded a club!
[Weakened Cyclops, Level 45.]
Fortunately, the cyclops that appeared was not the normal cyclops.
However, even if its level was lower, it was still at Level 45.
‘What kind of trial is this…’
The operators' will to not give anyone the Pinnacle Skill was very evident in this trial.
However, it did not end there.
Thud, thud, thud, thud.
Loud thumping footsteps rang loudly from the other side of the forest.
Minhyuk turned to look to the other side, only to see a gigantic drake.
The drake was a monster that was of a lower hierarchy than a dragon.
However, it was still an existence that was originally at Level 600.
[Deteriorated Drake, Level 54.]
Minhyuk was speechless.
He could still consider the cyclops as a conventional monster to hunt.
However, adding the drake to the trial made the difficulty of this trial clear to him.
Drakes were aerial monsters that were quick on their feet even when they were on the ground.
Minhyuk quickly analyzed the situation that he was in.
He thought, ‘Both the cyclops and the drake have poor hearing and smell.
Only their eyesight is good.’
Despite these drawbacks, the two monsters were given an overly outstanding and keen vision.
Minhyuk quickly took a step back after analyzing the situation.
Then, the monsters roared and started to run after him.
So, Minhyuk began to run away.
Dash, dash, dash, dash, dash!
The best choice for him right now was to not stand out or show himself in front of these monsters.
Arakhan met with Conir after a very long time.
“It’s been hundreds of years.”
“I’m very happy to see you again.”
Conir smiled slightly at Arakhan’s words.
Arakhan had always been very kind to Conir.
Arakhan thought, ‘If it wasn’t for you, then I’d…’
He might not have realized things by himself.
However, Conir just smiled at him.
“An excellent person that can become our successor has appeared.”
Conir nodded and said, “I know, I have been watching.
He’s very amazing.
And, he also knows who I am.”
“Could it be that he knows your alter ego”
The alter ego that they were talking about was none other than the young boy, Conir.
Then, Conir said, “It might be my alter ego, but he is also me.
Although he might not be the complete version of myself yet.”
Arakhan nodded and said, “It’s a pity, I had hoped that he wouldn’t challenge this Monster Trial…”
Conir looked bitter after hearing Arakhan’s words.
After watching Minhyuk throughout the trials, he could tell that Minhyuk’s power was enough to successfully finish the trial, if only the cyclops had appeared.
Although the cyclops was at Level 45, the terrain and topography of the area was readily available for Minhyuk to take advantage of.
He could also use unconventional ways like letting a gigantic rock roll over the cyclops, or setting the forest on fire.
Of course, these were just strategies and tactics that Conir and Arakhan had come up with.
The problem was the drake.
‘Drakes have immense speed and resistance.’
Although the drake had deteriorated, its resistance was enough to survive a forest fire.
“I don’t think I will be able to think of ways to clear the trial if I was placed in the same position as he was.”
Conir agreed with Arakhan’s words.
After all, the trial was so ridiculous that a person could panic and not perform well.
However, they did not have any say on the matter. God Athenae had intervened himself during the creation of the Innocent Hero’s Trial.
He was the one that placed this additional trial himself.
Even though they wanted to deny it, this Monster Hunt would be Minhyuk’s failure.
Then, Conir’s body started to become translucent.
“How about going to the River of Eternal Life”
You’ve been here after death in your spirit form, and I’m in a state of being neither alive nor dead.”
Conir’s alter ego was still alive and well, that was why the original Conir was in a state of being neither alive nor dead.
All he could do was walk to the River of Eternal Life, close his eyes, and breathe.
Meanwhile, Arakhan sat in front of the River of Eternal Life.
The two of them closed their eyes and mouths and focused on maintaining their bodies.
After a bit of time, Conir opened his eyes.
Arakhan opened his eyes after the moment he sensed Conir coming out of the River of Eternal Life.
“I see, the trial is not over yet.”
“There’s only an hour left from the half-day time limit.”
The two chatted as they moved to check the crystal ball.
When they peered through the crystal ball, they saw that the cyclops and the drake were still very much alive.
What was more problematic was the fact that the two were together.
The howl of a wolf rang loudly through the crystal ball.
One of the reasons why this trial was very difficult was because of the wildlife living in the forest.
There were wolves and bears which made it all the more difficult for Minhyuk, whose level had been reduced.
The two of them did not pay much attention to the wolf’s howl.
However, they had no choice but to wonder what was happening after hearing continuous howls.
Not only the wolves, but even the bears and other wild beasts began to howl.
“Are the wild beasts vying for territory”
I wonder why they are howling at the same time”
The two were both puzzled.
Dash, dash, dash, dash—
Dozens of wolves suddenly dashed forward from behind the thickets as they rushed towards the cyclops and the drake.
[Graa, graa, graaaa!]
Dozens of wolves suddenly launched an attack! However, no matter how much they overwhelmed the cyclops and the drake with their numbers, the dozens of wolves were no match for them.
Still, more wolves appeared.
“W…what the hell is happening”
Then, another howl rang loudly through the crystal ball.
Conir and Arakhan both looked at each other after hearing the howl.
It was the howl of a wolf.
However, it was clearly the sound of a person imitating the howl of a wolf.
Then, hundreds of wolves, bears and other wild animals appeared on the top of the hill overlooking the cyclops and the drake.
Among them was a gigantic wolf carrying a man with his sword raised high up in the sky.
The man, Minhyuk, howled once again.
The wild beasts howled in answer to his call.
And when he lowered his sword…
Dash, dash, dash, dash—
…hundreds of wild beasts ran.
In the lead was Minhyuk.
The wolf that he was riding on was moving the fastest.
Then, he said…
The expressions on both Arakhan and Conir’s face were indescribable.
[Chicken, don’t fall behind!]
[Pizza, are you not going to run faster, huh!]
[Curry, don’t rush ahead of us!!]
[Grilled Pork Belly, run next to us!!!]
[Gomtang! Why are you lagging behind!]
[Gomguk, you! Why are you so slow!]
“It seemed like the names of the wolves were Bossam, Chicken, Pizza, Curry and Grilled Pork Belly.
While the bears are named Gomtang and Gomguk… It seemed like he named them with the food that he wanted to eat.”
The two legends watching the scene were both left speechless.
Both Gomtang and Gomguk refers to Beef Bone Soup, in this case, the monsters are named Gomtang and Gomguk because they are bears (gom) ☜