This chapter is brought to you by AnmesicCat, Hikaru, Lei, and Mathew1122.
“What is this place?”
Ark took a look at his surroundings.
Darkness so thick, couldn’t see an inch of the area surround him.
“If it was a Warp, it shouldn’t be that far away…”
The distance you could move with a Warp was just 200 meters. Furthermore, it was a spell that couldn’t designate a coordinate. It just randomly moved you anywhere in the vicinity. Nevertheless, the reason why it belonged under the category of Advanced Spells was because if a Magician used Warp, they demonstrated enormous power.
There were many cases where a Magician with weak defense was attacked by an approaching fighter before he could utter a spell. He would then use Warp, which had a short cast time. The distance wasn’t much, and the coordinates couldn’t be designated either, but it was the most useful spell for getting behind a disconcerted fighter.
There was an immense difference in the survival rates of Magicians who didn’t learn Warp and Magicians who did.
‘Anyway, seems like I’ve survived thanks to it.’
As Ark wandered around, he soon discovered Haverstein, who had collapsed in the area.
“Viscount, please come to your senses!”
The weakly trembling Haverstein opened his eyes.
“It’s Ark… You survived. What a relief.”
Haverstein mumbled with a dull voice.
“Please come to your senses. You can’t become weak. Don’t you have to carry out your father’s revenge?”
“You’re wrong. Even if I listen to your words… strength… doesn’t come out… The soldiers have suffered too… Even my father’s revenge… I couldn’t even protect my son… Pathetic… Cough!”
Haverstein jerkily vomited blood. Soon afterward, he grabbed his silver necklace, ripped it away, and pulled it out for Ark.
“Ark, my son is strong… Without a doubt, he will grow up strong… Tell this to that child… ‘I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you… And be sure to protect your son…’ Tell him… Can you promise me… that you will live and tell him…?”
|– You have acquired Viscount Haverstein’s Blood-stained Silver Necklace.|
The weakly trembling Haverstein’s arm fell limply. Then his body slowly became transparent.
Ark softly clenched his teeth. The body was disappearing. Though it was nothing new, with this scene, he was once again reminded of the fact that NPCs are not human. Nevertheless, his heart was sorrowful.
Although he was an NPC, he was someone Ark had cared for in his own way. Ark had sincerely nursed him. Seeing someone like that disappear before his eyes flooded him with an indescribable mixture of emotions.
Then the sound of rolling drums rang in his ear.
‘Ah, that’s right. Damn, if Haverstein dies then the quest is a failure, right?’
For it to end in failure after suffering so much… But exploding in anger would be futile.
A dead person doesn’t disappear. The NPCs were also the same. The one and only point that differed from reality, was that when NPCs died a person who could perform their role in their place would soon appear. No, was reality like that too?
While Ark was having those thoughts, the quest window opened.
Ark’s eyes widened.
|The quest has been updated.
Secret of the Slate III –> Deliver the Keepsake to Viscount Haverstein’s Son
Viscount Haverstein’s death was predetermined; though it’s regrettable, you can only accept it. However, he has left his will that you, who he trusted, deliver the keepsake to his son. As his will prescribed, you must escape the ruin and deliver it to his son in the castle.
Note, if you die starting from the time you receive this quest, the keepsake will disappear and you will automatically fail the quest as well. In the case of failure, you can suffer penalties from the item related to this quest, so be careful.
Surprisingly, the quest was still not over.
‘Wait, after all the quest didn’t say that I absolutely had to kill Debra.’
New World was a game with a high level of freedom.
The quest was the same as well.
It was the same as going into the ruin by badgering Haverstein. The objective of the quest could fluidly change following the user’s choice. If Debra had been defeated, then Ark would’ve received a reward and it would end like that. Even in the case that it couldn’t be defeated, there was room left for another choice.
‘That’s right. Since the goal was to find the secret of the ruin, rooting through the entire ruin and meeting Debra was already enough to complete this quest. Then this quest is yet another branch.’
Because this was a quest that could only be received with a certain amount of accumulated intimacy with Haverstein.
“Anyway, it’s a relief, but what do I do ‘bout this? Since they’ve hammered the nail on not letting me use tricks…”
Ark muttered with an annoyed voice.
In any case, it was difficult to leave the ruin again by himself. So as Ark read the explanation, he had considered whether he should kill himself.
When a user dies, he would awaken at the registered supply base.
The last place he had registered was Jackson Castle. Although his stats would be cut, he was now used to restoring stats.
If all he had to do was restore the stats and turn in the quest, he’d be able to complete in a +E rank quest.
Now he thought about just giving up on the quest. However, he shook his head.
It was a quest that had come linked several times. Who knew how large the reward would be? Also, his feelings weighed into his decision.
If possible, he wanted to fulfill Haverstein’s last request.
‘He was an NPC who wasn’t fond of many people anyways, so I should try to do as much as possible. Getting the item penalties worries me too…’
Because he hadn’t properly understood one simple message in Harun Village, there had been a time when he had suffered horribly.
If something seemed suspicious, it was good to be on the cautious side.
‘Then, where do I have to go now anyways? Seeing as he gave me the quest, there seems to be a way out… well, there’s nothin’ I can do but try moving for now.’
Ark pressed his hand to the wall with one hand and walked in the dark.
It was the simplest way to escape from the labyrinth.
There was a small passage on one side of a round, circular space. When he followed that passage to the end, a wide space appeared yet again.
It was when he had encountered that kind of space three times. He suddenly heard the sound of something moving quickly in the dark. As Ark stopped walking, a red light abruptly flashed in front of his eyes.
|– You have been attacked. -5 Health.|
‘It’s an enemy!’
Ark rapidly drew his sword. Simultaneously, he heard a slithering sound in the entire cave. It was not the sound of one or two people. In the next few moments, was suddenly pounced at. Although he didn’t take any heavy damage, he his Health was being steadily sucked.
If this enemy could cut his Health that fast with 5 damage, then there were probably about a hundred of them at the very least. With that many piled up, even if his opponents were Mice, it was a dangerous situation. When his Health was about a half, Ark jerked his head up.
“Spirit of the Cat!”
The sharp cry swept through the cave. In that moment, the stream of mindless attacks just ended.
‘Are they caught in paralysis?’
Ark quickly raised his sword to finish them. Unexpectedly, hundreds of pairs of yellow eyes bobbed up in front of him. They were eyes glinting with bloodthirst. The cave became chilly.
‘Damn, they weren’t paralyzed. Did it fail?’
The Intermediate Spirit of the Cat paralyzed mice with a 100 percent chance. But when used against small monsters, there was a 50 percent chance of failure. In the end, that meant it was 50/50 chance, but it had unfortunately gone and tripped on that chance.
On top of that, the mana consumption of the Intermediate Spirit of the Cat was 100. If he used it once, he couldn’t use it for 10 minutes until his mana was completely restored.
While Ark was writhing in distress, the eyes slowly came closer.
All of sudden, he heard a sharp voice.
“Stop. He’s not an enemy.”
At the same time, the danger disappeared as if he were dreaming. Even until then, he had only seen the yellow eyes of his opponents. Ark had thought that was because of the dark. But the area where the eyes were became hazy, and a form he could distinguish, even in the dark appeared.
What was surrounding Ark was a swarm of about a hundred cats. Cats of every variety that could be found in the encyclopedia of life, even cats he’d never heard of were mixed in.
“Hm, how is it that you used a skill of the Meow?”
Then he suddenly heard a voice right in front of his nose. When he turned his head, a girl was ramming her nose into Ark and sniffing. Ark stumbled back in astonishment.
‘A girl? But what’s with those ears and tail?’
As Ark examined the target, his eyes widened.
The appearance of the person who was prodding him with her nose was undoubtedly a girl. Her face was pretty and the body shape pressing above the tightly clinging leather clothes was splendid as well. But there were pointed ears hanging atop her head, and around the back of her buttocks, there was a long, gently swaying tail.
She was like a woman in a cat costume that occasionally appeared in mature content magazines.
As the girl stared at him with round eyes, she abruptly opened her mouth.
“I’m Jana. You?”
“Uh? I-I’m Ark.”
“I’m just askin’ just in case, but you’re a human, right?”
When Ark nodded with a dazed expression, Jana spun around.
“I didn’t know a human would really come… anyway, follow me.”
Ark didn’t know how to respond and was vacantly apathetic.
‘Well, since there doesn’t seem to be any hostility.”
In the end, Ark put away his sword and followed that woman’s pendulous tail.
Cats followed closely all around him. The sight of the cats holding their heads high and marching, as if they were escorting a prisoner, made the tension in his body crumble away all at once, and laughter bubbled out.
After walking about 30 minutes, a space diffused with hazy light appeared.
About fifteen people who looked like Jana were gathered in the center of a space teeming with a hundred cats, and an elder of enormously large stature was sitting in the middle.
Her being large was one thing, though that didn’t mean she was packed full of muscles. It meant she had a tight figure, like an ad balloon.
Of course, there were cat ears and a tail attached to her too.
‘The hell, what is this? Cosplay land? Is that what this is?’
In New World, Beast was also a race that users could choose. However, normally a Beast was made based on a wolf. He had never heard of a cat race.
In that time, Jana approached the elder and whispered something.
The elder asked with a slightly surprised expression, “Come quickly, stranger. I am the elder of the Meow; they call me Hassan. Is it true that you used a skill of the Meow?”
“Skill of the Meow?”
“The heroic cat’s strength that completely dominates mice.”
‘So she was talking about the Spirit of the Cat.’
“Yes, is there some kind of a problem?”
Ark’s voice was slightly unfriendly.
He’d suffered from Debra, Haverstein had died, and he had been beaten here after struggling in a cave in the middle of nowhere. Though this wasn’t as bad as reality, he was beginning to feel slight pain even within the game. So even for Ark, there was no reason for good words to come out.
However, Hassan opened his mouth again as if that didn’t matter.
“Where did you learn that skill?”
“I learned it when I received the title.”
“It is a title called Mouse Master.”
Hassan’s eyes widened. His ears and tail also sprang up. He was exactly the picture of a fat cat in shock.
That wasn’t all. The people and cats that had gathered in their surroundings also stared at Ark with wide eyes.
“Since ancient times, the title of Mouse Master was only bestowed onto a valiant one who killed a Black Bear Mouse. But the Black Bear Mouse is already a race that has become extinct. What’s left is Debra’s henchman. Even so, if you received the Mouse Master title… are you saying that you killed Debra’s henchman?”
“Debra’s henchman? I’m not sure, but it’s true that I killed Black Bear Mouse.”
“Are you telling the truth? Th-then didn’t you see the slate there, by any chance?”
“Are you talking about this?”
Ark pulled out the slate without much consideration.
It was an item that had already served its purpose of opening the door to Debra’s chamber. But Hassan ogled the slate with deeply moved eyes, rushed to embrace Ark, and rubbed him with his balloon-like body.
“You came, you finally came! I knew you would come! Truthseeker!”
“What are you saying? What’s wrong? What’s a Truthseeker again?”
There wasn’t a man out there who would be happy with this elder attacking him with his whole body.
As Ark grimaced and pushed her away, Hassan scratched his head with a slightly sheepish expression.
“Ah, I was a little excited and made a fool of myself. Okay, that’s right. You probably don’t know the situation properly yet. Of course you don’t know. But don’t worry. Because I’ll slowly explain it to you.”
Hassan returned to sit in his chair again and began speaking.
“As you can see, we are Maban, Beast. Even among them, we are the honorable Meow who serve the Cat Sage. The ruin above us was originally our temple. However, Debra suddenly appeared dragging along monsters, and it was snatched away from us. Then, fearing our strength, the bastard imprisoned the rest of us in a place like this.”
“Imprisoned? You were imprisoned here?” Ark asked with a dumb expression. Then did that mean this place was a prison? The place he had flown to riding the opportune Warp to was a prison?
Then didn’t that also mean there wasn’t a way out?
In any case, Hassan continued. “To be safe, Debra, fearing we might escape the prison, entrusted the key to his henchman and went and sealed it in a faraway wilderness.”
At that moment, Ark was shocked into attention.
“Key? Then this slate…”
“Yes, that slate is the one and only key that can open all the doors in the temple. And the Black Bear Mouse you defeated was definitely the henchman who ran away with the key.”
Ark’s face brightened. If that was the case, now it wasn’t even a problem to find the way out. He could afford to be relieved.
“I clearly grasp the situation. However, I can’t understand.”
“What do you mean?”
“I have already fought with Debra once. It was close to invincible, an absurdly powerful bastard. But for that kind of guy to fear your strength and imprison you, and even seal the key far away is something that I can’t understand?”
At Ark’s words, Hassan’s face filled with pride.
“That’s because we are descendants of Hero Maban.”
“Oh, you don’t know?”
A disappointed look flashed over Hassan’s face.
“Hero Maban was one among the 7 heroes who saved the past continent from crisis. In other words, shall we say he was one of the strongest warriors in the continent? And we are the tribe who has served that Hero Maban since long ago. Well, that’s not the only reason why Debra fears us…”
Hassan, who darkened at the mere thought of Debra, bared his teeth slightly.
“Since long ago, warriors have revered that Hero Maban and have followed his footsteps. The Meow call those people Truth-Seekers and are entrusted with the role of guiding them to the right path. But in order to become a Truthseeker, there is a stage that one must pass first.”
“A stage one must pass?”
“Yes, Hero Maban is the hero the Meow worship. To see whether one is qualified to follow his footsteps, one must first receive the Meow’s test. Its first stage can be passed by killing at least ten thousand of what can be called the Meow’s natural enemy, Mice. Only when that is possible can one be said to have begun the first step as a Truthseeker.”
‘Ten thousand Mice!’
That was the task he had finished as a quest he’d received from Harun Village. But he had never dreamed that it might be the path to becoming a Truthseeker.
“But that’s not all. To receive recognition as a true Truthseeker, one must topple what the Meow can call their greatest enemy, the Black Bear Mouse. With that, as friends of the Meow whose hearts are filled with hatred and anger towards mice, you were able to receive the qualification to step into the path of the Truthseeker. That’s why you were able to learn a skill of the Meow.”
Hassan spoke out with a serious expression.
At first, the Meow and the cats had shown interest in him with sparkling eyes. But they must have become bored quickly, because they were stretched out and yawning as they pleased. Seeing this, it seemed that cats understood the phrase “however they pleased.” Anyways, Ark roughly understood the situation up until now.
“That’s why I knew that a Truthseeker like you would appear in front of us one day. Since the Black Bear Mouse left in the outside world is none other than Debra’s henchman.”
When Hassan’s words ended, the information window popped up.
|– You have untangled all the complicated secrets of the ancient relic Mysterious Slate.
Intelligence has increased by 10, Fame has increased by 100.
You have acquired a new stat.
Knowledge of Ancient Relics (+10): New knowledge of researching ancient relics has come into your hands.
New World is a continent that guards many legends and secrets that haven’t been uncovered yet. By collecting an ancient relic, it has become possible for you to discover this world’s hidden secrets, one by one.
This kind of knowledge will provide yet another branching quest for requests that have been entrusted to you, and depending on the situation, it will help you receive a greater reward. Stat distribution is impossible, and if you acquire an ancient relic or discover a hidden truth, the stat will increase.
‘Oh, what’s this? There’s this kind of bonus too?’
Ark’s jaw dropped. Because he had already inwardly set his heart on a combat-related profession, it was a shame the bonus stat was the unnecessary Intelligence, but wasn’t it free anyway? On top of that, since he had gotten fame as well, he felt like he could fly, he was so happy. But the messages didn’t end there.
|You have obtained information about the ancestor of the Meow, Hero Maban.
With this, you have taken the first step as a Truthseeker to following the footsteps of the legendary warrior, Hero Maban. It is possible to job change to Dark Walker, the unique profession of a Truthseeker.
If you change your profession, it will become possible to learn the inherent skills of a Dark Walker. In addition, as a profession characteristic, there are also cases where you cannot learn some common skills.
Would you like to change profession?
‘So there is even a related job change with the Secret of the Slate quest!’
Ark’s heart thumped wildly.
This was one of the hidden professions he’d only heard about!
Although he had played many online games up ‘til now, this was the first time he had personally found one.
Hidden professions typically received higher additional stat bonuses than common professions. Given the extreme difficulty of finding one, this reward was a matter of course. Also, there were unique skills only obtainable in a hidden profession, and with their use, one could demonstrate incredible strength.
That was the reason why users didn’t upload information about hidden professions.
Although there was the greed of wanting to monopolize hard-found information, more than that, the reason for hiding a distinctive skill only obtainable in a hidden profession was even greater. When users get into a fight amongst each other, if the opponent didn’t know the other side’s skill, then even that would be a huge help.
‘This is an incredible opportunity!’
His excitement was great after all. But Ark hesitated for a moment.
If he thought about it carefully, it wasn’t only a good thing.
So to speak, a hidden profession was partly a specialized profession, so there were many cases where the abilities leaned to one side. If a person who wanted to become a Magician happened to find a magic-specialized hidden profession, then they would be able to enjoy an enormous additional effect.
But if a warrior style user found the same magic hidden profession, it wouldn’t simply be an extremely upsetting situation. In the end, becoming a character that wasn’t one or the other wasn’t a small possibility. Since users didn’t share information, it wasn’t possible to check that point before job changing.
‘The risk is pretty high. Argh.’
If he made a risky mistake with his one and only character, it would be the end.
However, it was too much of a shame to reject a hidden profession he had found after all of this.
He had come this far struggling with an absolutely impossible quest at level 15, when it was usually possible to change professions. That meant it was a profession that required at least that much ability. Then the extra ability and skill were probably not that extraordinary…
‘Although I can’t know what type of profession it is from just the name… since she said Hero Maban was a legendary warrior, won’t it be combat-related? Alright, let’s believe that!’
In the end, Ark finished hesitating and shouted, “Yes!”
Around him, Ark was embraced with an aura of splendid light.
“Hm, that’s a good light in your eyes. It’s a light that has received the strength of the Meow and has resolved to live on as a Truth-Seeker. I like it. Truth-Seekers have been the Meow’s friends since long ago. Now you are our friend. To you, the one who defeated the Black Bear Mouse and brought us the slate, we dub thee an honorable knight and will call you ‘Cat Knight.’”
Hassan smiled contentedly as she wagged her tail.
|You have received the title of Cat Knight from Hassan, elder of the Meow.
As a knight of the Meow, you can harbor friendships with all the Meow.When fighting Mice, 75% additional Attack Power is applied, chance of successfully landing a fatal blow increased to 50%, damage taken reduced by 50%. (50% applies to small monsters as well.)
*As a bonus from the title, all stats are increased by 2 each.
*Fame has increased by 150.
*You have gained the attribute of the Meow. (All abilities +30% when fighting small monsters.)
*It has become possible to communicate in language with all the cats of the Continent.
*Damage from falling can be reduced by 50%.
|The Cat Knight’s specialized skill, Spirit of the Cat, has been increased to Advanced.
Spirit of the Cat (Advanced): The cat’s roar and sharp eyes can make all small monsters tremble in terror.1 minute paralysis, Attack Power and Defense, Morale drop 30% (In the case of small monsters, even if they are boss monsters, 50% of the effect still applies.)
Mana consumption: 120
|You have learned a new skill.
Eyes of the Cat(Beginner, Active): You can penetrate and see through the darkness with a cat’s eyes. In addition, you can see an opponent’s Health, Mana, and weakness.3 minute duration +Night vision. +Life detection. +Weakness perception. Mana consumption: 50
Ark’s eyes widened.
His stats hadn’t changed at despite having already changed profession. The Mana that had gone up by 50 was just from solving the Secret of the Slate, along with the 10 increased Intelligence. At most all he had gained was learning Eyes of the Cat, and raising Spirit of the Cat to Advanced.
‘No, no way!’
Ark let loose a scream inside. Although common professions were also a little different, with a job change, you received a stat bonus of at least 30.
The specialized skills were also the same. Even as a warrior, who had fewer skills than a Magician, an extra 4~5 of them formed. But what the hell was this?
Then, without knowing Ark’s feelings, Hassan put on a delighted expression.
“Oh ho ho, by your expression, it seems you’re shocked by the might of Hero Maban.”
‘This wretch… I was deceived by this bastard’s talk of Hero Maban or whatever…!’
Ark complained as his rage surged up.
“What is this? Although I’ve decided to live on as a Truthseeker, not much has changed!”
“Ah, do you need that after all?”
Hassan spoke as if he had thought of it for the first time.
“Actually, this temple is guarding a treasure that Hero Maban left for the Truth-Seekers. From that treasure, the Truthseekers gained the strength to find Hero Maban’s footsteps.”
‘So that heritage has to come into my hands to complete the job change?’
The new information made his ears perk up.
Ark asked with an urgent tone, “Where is that heritage?”
“Debra was after that treasure since long ago. Even the reason why the bastard stole the temple…”
“That’s fine, so where is it!”
“Since the bastard took the temple, of course Debra has it.”
Ark’s face went pale.
He had already plentifully experienced how powerful Debra was. It was an opponent that the Sylphid Knights, which were that strong, couldn’t win against even when they all charged at it. No, it was something invincible. How in the world was he to topple Debra and regain the heritage?
However, Hassan replied with a confident expression.
“Don’t worry. Since you found the key, Debra and the like aren’t even a problem. Like I said, the bastard locked us up because it feared us. That’s not purely because we are descendants of Maban. It’s because there’s a slightly more fundamental problem.”
“Wha-what is that?”
“We are the bastard’s natural enemy.”
Hassan bared his teeth and grinned wickedly.
|You have met the Meow, who repulsed the Dream Weaver Debra and were locked up by it. You must defeat Debra with them and regain Hero Maban’s treasure.Difficulty: +EQuest requirement: Only a user with the Cat Knight title may receive it.|
* * *
“The key! Where is the key!” Debra screamed as it rooted through the corpses of the Knights.
Right then, a stone gate situated in a corner of the hall opened and Ark walked in.
“You’re looking for the key?”
The place the Meow were locked in was right underneath the hall.
Debra recoiled at the sight of Ark.
“How, how did you…?”
“The key is right here.”
As Ark raised the slate from his bag, Debra’s eyes became bleary with madness.
Incredible terror blazed in its eyes as it charged toward Ark. Ark simply watching Debra with a very strained expression. Then, when Debra was up in front of his nose, he shouted with all his strength.
“Spirit of the Cat!”
A black cat form appeared over his head along with a piercing cry.
After becoming a Cat Knight, the skill went up to Advanced, and the black cat had become 5 times bigger than it was when it was Intermediate.
As the nearly lion-sized black cat glared with golden eyes, the glowering Debra’s movements suddenly stopped. And as it convulsed with shivers, it stared at Ark with disbelieving eyes.
“Ku-kuhhuk! You’re a hu-human, how did you…!”
‘Hassan’s words were the truth after all!’
“The time is now! Attack the bastard!”
Nya, nya, nya, nya, nya, nyang!
As Ark shouted, the Meow and hundreds of cats poured out from behind the stone gate. The cats that traversed the hollow at an extreme speed covered Debra and scratched him with their fangs and claws. Debra shook his whole body and burst out in shrieks. Then, at that moment, its mantle suddenly swayed and the black object abruptly dropped to the ground.
His entire body was covered with a furry mass of cats.
‘The body has finally been revealed!’
Hassan’s confidence had no doubt stemmed from knowing about Debra’s body.
Debra’s body was a Gremlin that had received strength from an Illusion spell.[T/N: Gremlins are small and often extremely ugly in appearance. They are known for their propensity for mischievous acts.]
That’s why it had brought along disease and famine to the Jackson territory, and could not help but instinctively fear the natural enemies of small monsters, cats and the Meow.
Debra feared of having his body’s true form revealed.
That it had sealed the temple’s key far away and had hidden the physical body it had made with illusions were also due to the same reason.
Unaware of this, the Sylphid Knights had fought the illusion the bastard had created. Of course its health hadn’t dropped and it had appeared immortal. The aura of horror he had thought had plunged the Knights in confusion was also actually an illusion. No wonder it had been impossible to clear it with magic.
‘But the truth is just this kind of small monster…’
Debra staggered to its feet and stared at Ark.
“You, you bastard… how can a human use skill of the Meow…?”
“You cowardly mouse shit, you still haven’t figured it out? He’s a Truth-Seeker.”
Hassan smiled sweetly as he tore away at the illusion of Debra.
The illusion of Debra was not even able to move properly because it was covered with the cat swarm.
“Wha-what? Then surely not…?”
“It means he’s the natural owner of that power you had so anxiously desired.”
“S-shut up! That strength is mine! I won’t give it to anyone!”
Debra screamed violently and rushed towards Ark.
With the Advanced Spirit of the Cat, at the most 50% of the effect was applied, even on bosses like the Gremlin. Although it couldn’t completely paralyze its movement, Debra continued to be in a slowed state.
“Ark, the bastard can no longer use the strength of the Dream while we’re holding on. We’ll block the apparition, so quickly finish the bastard off. Everyone attack all-out!”
Nya, nya, nya, nya, nya, nyang!
The cats and Meow let loose yowls devoid of fear and concentrated their attack on the illusion of Debra.
There wasn’t a free quest in the world after all. He had thought he’d be able to reap it in after Debra’s real body had been revealed because the cats and Meow were helping, but in the end Debra was Ark’s responsibility.
Ark delivered a hard kick to the charging Debra and violently swung his sword.
With the feeling of the sword lodging itself, Debra stumbled.
When Ark fought with the bastard’s henchman, Black Bear Mouse, his sword hadn’t really penetrated. But Debra had suffered a great number of blows. Moreover, with the Spirit of the Cat applied, its movement was slowed. When it was blanketed in the illusion, it had given off the feeling of being invincible, but now that the illusion was stripped away, it was weaker than its subordinate.
‘If it’s just this much, I should be able to fight it no matter what!’
Ark directed flashing eyes toward Debra.
“Eyes of the Cat!”
As soon as the skill was activated, Ark’s eyes were colored with golden light.
Health appeared atop Debra’s head, and red points formed on places here and there on its body.
They were Debra’s weaknesses that he had detected with Eyes of the Cat. If he focused his attacks on the red points, additional attack power would be applied, as well as a high probability of critical hits.
It was a skill perfectly suited for Ark’s fighting style!
Ark spun around Debra and consecutively thrust in his sword.
Every time he did so, Debra shook its body like crazy as it swung its cane, but it only struck at the tough ground. Soon 1 minute had passed and the Spirit of the Cat effect should have released, but the bastard’s attacks still couldn’t hit Ark.
‘But why is something they call a boss this weak? Is it ‘cus because the illusion wore off?’
In fact, it was to the point that Ark became more bewildered. But that was thanks to the ability, which he hadn’t realized. The attribute of the Meow he had acquired through the profession change. His abilities increased by 30% when he fought all small monsters. That meant it applied to level, attack power, defense, and of course all skills and equipment effects.
Although Ark’s level was 16, he was enjoying the effect of actually being level 25. In addition, Dream Weaver Debra’s attribute was a Magician. Since a Magician was only able to block spells, it was no different from an ordinary Gremlin boss. As a boss, even if it were a Gremlin with enhanced abilities, Ark could definitely fight it by himself.
Ark’s excitement grew anyways.
His body was as light as a feather and it wasn’t that bothersome to swing the sword.
Even then, Ark continued and pressed against Debra. Every time he struck a red point, its life dropped bit by bit. After 10 minutes had passed, Debra’s body turned red.
It had fallen into critical condition!
Of course, no matter how highly skilled he was, Ark couldn’t avoid all the attacks. He would occasionally suffer an attack, and his Health would be cut down to half. The mana that had reached rock bottom was completely restored again with his skill use.
Ark’s eyes flashed.
“Spirit of the Cat!”
The sharp yowl pierced right through Debra’s body.
Once again, its movements was slowed as it convulsed. Ark bent his body low to avoid the flying front paw and struck its leg. The leg broke without resistance, and Debra toppled to one side.
Ark thrust his sword downwards towards Debra’s completely exposed throat.
“This is your end, Debra!”
|– You have struck a fatal blow!|
As the sword pierced the throat, Debra, who received extreme damage, quivered violently. Its tongue stuck and lolled out. Debra and the illusion Debra had made gradually faded and completely disappeared.
‘I defeated it!’
Although the true body’s skill level was no different than the Demon Mouse, Debra was an extremely high level boss monster.
Actually, this ruin was already a place open to the public. However, no one had been able to take down Debra. First of all, the reason was that it was impossible to break Debra’s illusion without the slate.
That was why the quest had specified that only a Cat Knight could do it.
Anyways, his level went up by 3 in a single burst with Debra’s defeat.
And as a message that he had completed the ‘Defeat Dream Weaver Debra’ quest popped up, he gained yet another level, bringing him up to level 20.
“We finally had our revenge against Debra. You are now our hero! This is a small token of our sincerity.”
Hassan approached him and extended gloves covered with shaggy fur that went up to the elbow.
The Meow and the cats shouted as they pranced about.
Within this scene that lacked any tension, Ark smiled wryly and examined his booty.
A mantle from which dark red light flowed was lying where the illusion had disappeared, and there was a jewel-encrusted hand mirror and an orb of five colors lying in the place where Debra had been.
|Five-Colored Orb: An orb filled with a part of Hero Maban’s strength.|
|Jewel Hand Mirror: Starting item for a level 40 quest.|
‘I’ve hit jackpot!’
It appeared that defeating Debra had been a quest where it was possible to obtain a profession exclusive item. Even so, that he had gotten the Mantle was an enormous harvest.
That he had obtained a rare item in the New World when it had only started its service for two months was like picking a star from the sky. Unfortunately, there was the bad point of the cut stats, considering the special option, it seemed like it would have enormous value.
He had finally received the reward of rewards.
‘On top of that, now the quest where I just have to report in is left.’
The quest he’d gotten from Haverstein would be completed if he just left the ruin now.
‘Before that, there’s something I’ve gotta do first.’
Ark quickly grasped the Five-colored Orb and raised it to close to his forehead. In the next moment, light of five colors surged out from the Orb and enveloped Ark.
|You have learned a new Profession skill.
Dark Blade (Beginner, Active): Assimilate your sword with the darkness and deal your opponent a delightful blow. A sword assimilated with the darkness ignores all physical defenses.Critical hit chance, critical hit attack power 150%. Ignores defense.
Mana consumption: 100 (There is a 1% chance of an instant kill if you use Dark Blade on an enemy in critical condition affected by Eyes of the Cat.)
|You have learned a new Profession skill.
Summon Demon (Beginner, Active): You can summon up to three minor demons that wander the world between Middle Earth and Hell. The summoned creatures are currently each at level 1, and consumes the player’s Mana. If a Familiar dies and is forcibly deported back to its world, you will suffer a blow equal to 50% of the Familiar’s max Health and cannot resummon for 24 hours.
Spiritual Consumption: 100
* * *
The boy clutched the Blood-stained Silver Necklace tightly.
Ark watched the sight with sad eyes.
After overthrowing Debra, Ark gathered the survivors of the Sylphid Knights, who had been scattered in the ruin, and returned to Jackson Castle. Then, he pulled out the silver necklace for the fifteen year old son of Haverstein.
The boy that was to become lord after Haverstein did not show any tears. He only gazed at the necklace with bloodshot eyes and his throat just quivered a few times.
He was a strong boy.
“Ark, did Father pass away honorably?”
“Yes, he was more courageous than anyone, and was also a person who truly loved his son.”
“… Thank you.”
The young Lord nodded his head and looked at Ark.
“Ark, you nursed Father throughout the exploration of the ruin, watched over Father’s death, and relayed the silver necklace to me in order to honor your promise with Father. Also, with surprising bravery you defeated Debra and saved my life. This accomplishment cannot be expressed in words and cannot be repaid with any amount of reward.”
‘That’s right. He knows it well.’
Ark put on a pleased smile and nodded.
The young Lord fiercely shook his head.
“But I will not give you any reward!”
‘What? This, this little! What nonsense did he spout just now?’
“That Father entrusted you with the Blood-stained Silver Necklace means that he thought of you as a true friend! I dare not dirty that relationship with a material reward. I believe he would have definitely thought of you this way.”
Ark shook his head as if he’d gone mad. But even though it was Ark, he couldn’t just say ‘That’s not true. I like a material reward’ to a young Lord to whom Ark had delivered news of his father’s death. Ark tried his hardest to put on an awkward smile.
“Yes… well… even so…”
“Ark, a friend of my Father is also a friend of mine. Although there is nothing I can give, I give this vow to you here and now. If there is ever a time when you need my strength, I will rush over even to the end of the continent without hesitation!”
“Ah, yes… thank you.”
‘He’s saying he won’t give me anything in the end! He’s just making up for it with his mouth!’
Ark nodded with an expression that looked like he was about to cry.
The difficulty was a whopping +E. Of course, though he had solved it on the side with the profession-changing quest! He’d even received experience and his level had gone up by 1! Even so! He couldn’t receive even a whit of reward for a quest of that difficulty even though he’d completed it. What kind of crappy nonsense was this!
He felt as if he’d been scammed.
However, he couldn’t just go into a rage when the young Lord had declared his speech that passionately.
‘Unbelievable, you call it friendship? Whether it’s father or son, they’re too rigid…’ Ark grumbled as he trudged out of the castle.
In the end, he hadn’t fished out even 1 copper. Still, he wasn’t in a bad enough mood to spew his anger.
Rather, should he call it a cleansing feeling?
As he passed the area of the door, he heard a booming command. Ark raised his head in alarm to find scores of soldiers even decked out in their uniforms lined up on the castle gate.
As Ark wondered what the hell was going on, the General of Defense Cross yelled out a command as he nodded slightly.
The soldiers pulled out their swords and raised them to the sky.
Ark stood there with a momentarily perplexed expression before he suddenly felt a gaze directed at him and raised his eyes to the castle rampart.
In the window, the young Lord was watching him with a glowing face and a gentle smile. His eyes said a lot. Ark watched the young Lord for a moment and shook his head from side to side.
“I knew it, this game’s NPCs are all too rigid.”
A wry smile appeared on Ark’s face as he passed through the soldiers.
The sunlight shining on the rim of his ears was warm, and the gentle wind refreshed him.
Truly… it wasn’t a bad feeling.
Users gathered from the valley to sightsee this rare event.