Near the end of the agreed period of time, Hyeonu reentered Edchan’s workshop. Edchan was still engrossed in his work. With an inspired appearance, he pulled out the thread-like busk and added it to the red gauntlets.
“Um...” Edchan’s constantly moving hand stopped abruptly.
He quietly looked at the work he had completed, turning it back and forth while examining it closely.
“Is it completed?” Hyeonu asked.
“Since when have you been standing there? I had no idea...”
“It hasn’t been long. By the way, not much has changed. I like it.” Hyeonu was pleased that, at a glance, it didn’t seem like the gauntlets had changed much. There was now a white pattern on a red background. The white pattern was so thin that it didn’t show much. Hyeonu couldn’t see any difference at all unless he looked closely or the gauntlets caught the light.
‘I just need the effects to remain.’
Only the two effects of Memories of Murder—to absorb health and physique by as much as 5% of the damage inflicted and Mindset of a Murderer, a skill that increased his stats by 15% when fighting creatures—definitely had to remain.
“Can I take a look?” Hyeonu asked.
Edchan silently handed the gauntlets to Hyeonu. After receiving the gauntlets, Hyeonu took out some blue leather from his inventory and handed it over. Edchan recognized the leather and asked with a startled expression, “Isn’t this drake leather? Why are you giving me this again?”
It hadn’t been that long ago since he touched the drake leather, so he had to recognize it.
“I heard that Tresha left with the remaining leather,” Hyeonu said.
“Where did you hear that? Did you meet him?”
“Tresha is in my territory. By the time I knew he was there, he had already made a smithy. He will probably spend some time there before coming back.”
“That silly guy...” Edchan put the drake leather down on a shelf and clicked his tongue. “Has he been well?”
“Probably. There might be restrictions on materials, but other than that, Tresha can do whatever he wants.”
“Then I’m glad.” Edchan looked at ease.
Hyeonu once again gave something to Edchan and asked, “Can you mend this?”
It was a piece of black cloth that was useless to everyone—Blood-stained Night.
“It’s very old. It is more like a straw mat than clothing. It hasn’t been managed properly,” Edchan commented while emitting a murderous air.
It was an accurate diagnosis.
“Can you do it?”
“Normally, it would be very difficult with no workable material and without the right skills. However, I am here, and I have this drake leather. It should be able to function properly after a few days although it won’t be able to recover its original form.”
“I would be grateful as long as I can wear it.” The moment Hyeonu finished speaking, he pulled out some bottles of alcohol. There were five bottles. It was far less than what he had given Lebron and the emperor, but Edchan wouldn’t know about that, so Hyeonu put on a show of kindness.
“I am asking you for a favor. I worked very hard to get these,” Hyeonu said.
Edchan was more surprised by the bottles of alcohol than the drake leather.
“Check that item first. In the meantime, I’ll think about how to fix this one.” Edchan quickly put away the bottles of alcohol. He did it so instantly that it was like he was afraid someone would see the alcohol.
Meanwhile, Hyeonu no longer paid attention to such an Edchan. His attention was now focused on the red gauntlets.
[Memories of Murder]
[Gauntlets used by murderers in the Age of Mythology. They are thin enough to be mistaken for gloves at first. The white gloves have been stained red with numerous types of blood. A very good dwarf craftsman has added a rare metal.
Restrictions: 1,000 strength, 800 agility, and 200 victories in PvP.
Attack Power: 3,200
Effect: Physique and magic power will recover by 7.5% of the damage dealt to monsters (includes players and NPCs). ‘Crazy Slaughter’ can be used.
Crazy Slaughter: All stats will rise by 25% when fighting living things. However, defense is reduced by 25%.]
Hyeonu quietly put on the red gauntlets that had a white pattern. He really liked them. Nothing was bad. Every aspect turned out nicely.
‘The defense is lowered a bit?’
Well, this much was fine.
Hyeonu wasn’t the type to fight a long battle while being beaten.
He had a vicious combat style in which he didn’t get hit but would just hit the enemies instead.
“I really like them. As expected of the Golden Hammer, the Golden Hammer. The gauntlets are great,” Hyeonu stated.
Edchan scratched the back of his head like he was embarrassed by Hyeonu’s praise.
“It isn’t to that extent. It is just that the things you brought were good. Tell me if you need anything later. If it is you, I will listen to any request,” Edchan said with a smile. “Anyway, come back and find me in three days. It will take that long for me to make the item.”
Arena’s community and various media were on fire with the same story. It had to be so. After Alley Leader, the first professional teams to acquire territories had appeared.
[(Emergency) New York Warriors has gotten a territory in the East Continent.]
[(Breaking News) Red Bull America has also obtained a territory in the East Continent.]
[Both teams have a close relationship with Alley Leader. Is this related to Alley Leader?]
Reina and Mascherano had received territories from the old emperor. The moment this was known to the media, Reina and Mascherano received a large number of calls from them. After consulting with the teams and Nike Management, Mascherano appeared on a show and conducted an interview about it.
“Didn’t I say it? The East Continent is a land of opportunity. I was scolded a lot after I said that. I know the articles written by some of the people here occupied a certain share of those.” Mascherano’s humorous words lightened the atmosphere of the studio.
“Then let's take some time to answer some of the questions we’ve agreed on in advance. Is that okay, Mascherano?” The host asked.
Mascherano smiled and pushed his hair back in an impressive manner while answering the host’s question: “John, you will do it even if I’m not okay with it. Don’t say anything you don’t mean. This is why you have many friends but no real soulmate, John.”
“Um... Let’s move onto the questions. I’ll ask in order starting from what people are most curious about. How did you get a territory?”
Playfulness appeared on Mascherano’s face. It was a face that showed he was going to make trouble.
“I have a good friend,” he said.
“A good friend?”
“That person who is known to everyone. It can be said that 99.9% of the reason why Reina and I gained our territories is due to his influence.”
Reporters were quick to take down Mascherano’s words, filling the studio with the sounds of fingers tapping on keyboards.
“Ask the next question quickly. Otherwise, these guys will end up taking a rest,” Mascherano urged the host. There would be a storm before the reporters finished writing their articles.
“Then let’s move onto the next question. Specifically, how do you earn imperial contributions?”
“It is really simple. You just need to receive quests from nobles in the West Continent and bring items from the East Continent. The higher the title, the closer you are to the royal family of the West Continent and the more contributions you’ll get, right?” Mascherano fully revealed how to get imperial contribution.
This wasn’t Mascherano’s arbitrary decision though. Rather, it was Hyeonu’s decision. It was to encourage the professional Arena teams to go to the East Continent.
‘I don’t know what he is thinking, but... he’ll take care of it.’
“So what is the next question?” Mascherano’s mouth didn’t rest for an hour.
-Why did you let Mascherano disclose such important information today?
Hyeonu listened to the man’s voice that came through his smartphone. He opened his mouth to speak only after the man finished talking. “Why does it matter, Kale?”
-Huh? Of course, because...
“It doesn’t matter at all anymore. The most important thing is to open up the East Continent.”
-Still... The fewer competitors, the better. By doing this, you are increasing your competitors...
Kale’s words were true. There was no need for Hyeonu to disclose information to increase the number of teams that could remain in the first division of the league. The more competitors there were, the larger the range of variables would be. Nevertheless, Hyeonu’s thoughts weren’t common ones.
“It can be called pride. Some will call it arrogance, but I call it confidence. It’s the result of cold analysis,” Hyeonu said and then paused for a moment. “I took shots of my status window, skills window, and items and sent them to you by email, so take a look. These are the source of my confidence.”
After speaking these words, Hyeonu hung up.
Kale was flustered by the suddenly dropped phone call and shouted, “Mister Gang? Mister Gang!!!”
However, the phone was already disconnected. He didn’t call back and instead focused his attention elsewhere.
‘I have to confirm the current specs sent by email...’
“Stop what you’re doing and gather in the conference room! We will check Alley Leader’s current state and then analyze and predict the next league,” Kale shouted.
All the staff in the planning room stopped whatever they were doing and headed to the conference room Kale mentioned.
“Let’s start with the skills window,” Kale spoke in a trembling voice as he opened one of the three files Hyeonu had sent.
It had been a long time since Kale last saw Hyeonu’s status window. He had seen it during the early days of the contract with Nike, but he hadn’t seen it recently. Hyeonu’s skills window wasn’t fancy, but there were many ridiculous skills.
“There are two defense penetration skills!”
“There are too many unique-rated skills!”
“Why is the skill proficiency so high? Pure Energy Manifestation is B+? Didn’t you say that the highest a pro gamer has right now is a C-proficiency?”
It was astonishing. This seemed to be a collection of various excellent rankers’ skill windows. In the meantime, some of the employees expressed doubts. There were too many immediate-type skills compared to what they had seen in Alley Leader’s videos.
“I don’t think he has that many immediate-type skills?”
“They aren’t immediate-type skills, they are of the continuous type. It is pure control...”
Once the questions were resolved, their surprise doubled. This was just the beginning. The planning office’s staff and Kale—all of their expressions became strange when they saw the items and status window.
“Four epic items?”
“All the rest are unique rated. There isn’t a single rare-rated item.”
“Seven different types of stats? 29 titles?”
It was terrible. After seeing the detailed specs, they finally understood Alley Leader’s strength. They also paid tribute to Alley Leader for having achieved all of this.
“Is a plan necessary?”
“The combination of his specs and control is a strategy in itself.”
“This is a living, breathing core of the team.”
Kale also agreed with their opinions and scolded his self from a few minutes ago.
‘There are no variables in front of Alley Leader.’
The important thing was what type of big picture Alley Leader wanted to draw. Be it an overwhelming performance or a dramatic impression, the results were already fixed.