“It is hard to see your face recently. It seems you are very busy?” Kim Jinyeong, the leader of Arena’s operations team, said to Park Hyeonjun, the leader of the general planning team who looked like someone just before his death.
“Huh? Yes. Well, I guess so. When am I not busy these days? It is difficult to sleep even 20 hours a week.”
Kim Jinyeong frowned at Park Hyeonjun’s answer. He felt like he was looking into his future.
‘After the development team’s overtime, is it our turn next?’
“Isn’t that enough?”
“Don’t say it. There is a crazy unprecedented development in the undeveloped Demon World due to Alley Leader poking around. I don’t know when he’ll clear the quest, so we are being forced to make it... Additionally, we need to create an event field and NPCs because Arena’s subscribers will soon exceed one million... It is the first time that I feel like we’re lacking in manpower. Really.”
Kim Jinyeong’s face started to turn white. It wasn’t normal for Park Hyeonjun, an overtime veteran, to say this.
‘Damn, it will be hard to go home next week,’ Kim Jinyeong thought. Then he asked, “When will it break through one million players? I haven’t heard about it yet.”
“It has been stagnant, but there was a recent increase due to Masked Fighting King that Alley Leader created. The event will begin in three or four months at the latest. I just have to work hard this month... Team Leader Kim, I think you will have to work very hard to get the paperwork out soon. The pro league isn’t far away... Have strength.” As Park Hyeonjun continued to talk, he felt relieved when he mentioned the terrible torment waiting in Kim Jinyeong’s future.
Finally, it was Park Hyeonjun who patted Kim Jinyeong’s shoulder and moved back to the development room with an expression like he gained enlightenment.
Kim Jinyeong was left alone and started to talk in a low voice. “I want to leave...”
“The forest where nature breathes... Do you know where that is~?” Hyeonu was singing as he wielded his single-edged sword.
A golden bear was kneeling in front of Hyeonu.
It was Tang-E. “Master, please spare me just once. I didn’t mean it.”
Tang-E’s eyes were filled with fear. He had a sense of anxiety that this madman would swing the sword at his neck.
‘Master dude might really wield it.’
Hyeonu’s patience was already limited. It had been two days since Hyeonu returned to the Hejin Great Mountain Range. He had spent a long time in the Balder Mountains and two days in the Hejin Great Mountain Range. It was too long, and Hyeonu’s patience was tested.
For two days, Hyeonu wandered around the Hejin Great Mountain Range. As a result, he was able to fully sweep through a forest he visited for the first time. It was a field where minotaurs, the monsters with the head of a human, appeared. A minotaur was the size of a house and used an axe that was a few meters long as a weapon. He guessed that the minotaur’s level was around 240. The earned experience was good, and the prices of the dropped gold and material items were fine. However, they had no value to Hyeonu.
He couldn’t find the entrance to the important Bung Bung Island.
“Is this your last will? If you have anything else to say then I’ll listen.”
At Hyeonu’s ultimatum, Tang-E quickly got up and grabbed Hyeonu’s leg. “Let’s look a bit more. I won’t be dissatisfied even if the hunting lasts for a long time in the future. How about searching a bit more?”
Due to Tang-E’s mournful plea, Hyeonu decided to search for the entrance for a few more days.
“You should be more specific this time. Understood? Don’t be in a muddle.”
Hyeonu led Tang-E toward another forest.
Unlike the minotaur forest, the centaur forest they moved to had many players. The reason for this was the difference in monsters being hunted. The minotaur was a high-level monster with an estimated level of 240. Meanwhile, the centaurs were 15 levels lower than the minotaurs. It was the right field for the current levels of the rankers. As a result, most of the rankers came to know each other. It was natural as there were many people in a limited field. There was also a common denominator. They were people who spent more time in Arena than in reality.
Hyeonu was no different. Two days after Hyeonu came to the centaur forest, he greeted a considerable number of rankers.
“Hello, Alley Leader. We meet again?”
“Yes, hello. Have a fun hunt today.”
Some of them became close enough to have a small conversation with Hyeonu, just like these people.
“I don’t know how many times we’ve met today,” Hyeonu greeted the other party.
Hyeonu had already met this group several times today. At this point, it wasn’t a coincidence but one side chasing the other.
“Is it four times? We seem to see each other quite often?” The other side also seemed to feel it and approached with a smile. “Oh, Alley Leader, do you have some time today?”
“Time? I have lots of time. I can rest for around 10 to 20 minutes. Do you have something you want to say?”
The other person approached and whispered in Hyeonu’s ear, “We found a boss monster.”
Hyeonu stepped back and looked around. Then he carefully opened his mouth and said, “Why are you telling me...? You should hunt it if you found it.”
“I don’t think my party’s power is enough to hunt it. As you know, hunting is difficult. Just yesterday, we encountered a named monster, and I was on the brink of being logged out. I don’t dare dream about killing a boss monster.”
Hyeonu nodded at the man’s words. A boss monster was powerful in any game. They weren’t comparable to regular monsters of the same level. It was the same for Arena. Rather, the gap was greater in Arena.
‘They will probably be logged out in less than an hour if they charge in fearlessly.’
Even if rankers acted boldly, it was all done under thorough calculations. They would move after assessing everything.
“So what does it mean for me to help? You want me to kill the boss monster?”
“I’ll give you plenty of rewards. Can you help me just once?” The man asked anxiously.
‘Um... Should I help? It is a boss monster.’ Hyeonu felt greedy.
A boss monster—he would be able to get experience as well as possible amazing items if he killed it. Sometimes, there were also boss monsters that gave titles. The meal was all prepared. All that remained was whether Hyeonu wanted to get a spoonful or not. There was only one choice.
‘He is asking so anxiously that I can’t not listen.’
“Can I shoot a video?” Hyeonu asked.
His heart was already determined. It didn’t matter if they allowed him to shoot a video or not. If they allowed it, he would add the video to his channel However, Hyeonu’s worry was useless.
“Of course. You can shoot it twice or even three times,” the man replied with a smile.
“What about that? How is Shadow’s progress?” Cheong Chen asked after receiving a report from Rudd today.
“You mean Team Shadow? They got in touch with me this morning and said I would know by tomorrow.”
There was a slight smile on Cheong Chen’s face at Rudd’s words. “Then that means it will happen today? They are worth more than those incompetent Venom guys. Yes. Give them money if they are successful this time. Don’t hurt their feelings by saving some money. The more you give these guys, the better.”
Cheong Chen was very satisfied.
‘It is pretty quick.’
In comparison, those Venom guys were just full pigs. They lost all their drive from their early days and just acted moderately.
“By the way, did they say how they would kill him? PvP? Or is it some other novel way?”
“I heard that they will kill him in a manner that is as humiliating as possible. They said they killed beginners in such a way. Then they will record it and send us the original.”
“Once I get it, I’ll have to watch it every time I feel depressed. I don’t think there would be anything better to change my mood. The pointless death of Alley Leader… What would be funnier than that? Isn’t that right, Rudd?”
“This will damage his image, and his popularity will gradually decline. In the end, he will be just a common streamer.” Cheong Chen laughed at the thought of the video that he would receive tomorrow.
He was currently under a big misconception that once Alley Leader died and the video came out, Alley Leader would be ridiculed. However, the death of Alley Leader wouldn’t diminish his popularity. If the undefeated streamer died, then he was likely to feel more human.
Alley Leader’s strength was unreasonable, but he was a human streamer. He had such an image. As such, the blow wouldn’t be as large as Cheong Chen expected. Alley Leader would only lose one thing. The fact that he had never died. It was just this one thing.
Now Cheong Chen was under a big misconception.
“We are called Team Shadow. It is too small to be a guild, so we call ourselves a team.”
“Yes, Team Shadow... I’ve never heard of it, but it must be quite powerful since it consists of rankers. I’m Alley Leader, as you know. It is only for a while, but I look forward to working with you.”
Hyeonu and Team Shadow exchanged short introductions. After 10 minutes, Hyeonu felt the timing was right and started speaking. “The boss monster will naturally be a centaur. Shouldn’t we start by working together first?”
Hyeonu’s suggestion was perfectly reasonable. Companions he couldn’t cooperate with would just be a burden in a fierce battle.
“Everyone is a ranker, so I won’t test your ability to use skills. However, we should grasp each other’s skills through some battles and check the adjustment time for the aggro ping pong. Do you agree?”
The eight members of Team Shadow were affected by his overwhelming charisma and nodded. There were no logical errors in Hyeonu’s words, and he was more professional than Team Shadow. There was little to refute.
Tony, the leader of Team Shadow, barely managed to pull himself together to speak. “Yes, I think we should hunt centaurs three or four times.”
He felt that the atmosphere had become stiff due to Alley Leader’s charisma. Alley Leader had completely taken the initiative of the party.
‘I can’t do this...’
“Then I’ll get ready.”
Shortly after the conversation ended, Hyeonu summoned Tang-E. Tang-E appeared with a brilliant light and hid behind Hyeonu when he saw that there were strangers around him. “Master, there are strangers.”
“They will be hunting the boss monster with us. They are people you’ll only meet once, so just ignore them,” Hyeonu whispered to him. It was only then that Tang-E came out from behind Hyeonu.
“Hello, everyone. I am Tang-E, the great Marionette Bear. Worship me!”
Tang-E’s absurd introduction relieved the stiff atmosphere.