Chapter 171 - Sungjin's Dream (3)
An immense hairy yeti charged at the past Sungjin who swung his sword in retaliation. Sungjin watched over his new past self with his arms crossed. The way this Sungjin wielded his blade or reacted to enemy attacks was not particularly different from his past self or the current him.
However, the weapon was different. He was wielding a sword that gave off a silver aura instead of the scarlet Blood Vengeance, or the blue-tinged glow of Moon Specter.
'Is it... made of silver?'
Seeing that a few swings of the sword had effortlessly cut the yeti's arm into slices, which were as thick as logs, it was easy to guess that the sword was at minimum a legendary tier weapon. In the midst of battle, one of the team members shouted,
"Shit! There's Ice Trolls behind us."
Just as his past self turned around, a pack of trolls holding massive clubs appeared.
"There's too many..."
The hunters were surrounded by the trolls. Sungjin's past self looked around the area, then held up his sheath as he shouted,
"Divine Protection of the Tiger Chieftain."
The pair of tigers engraved on the sheath came out as spirits and paced around Sungjin. Finally, the fight began. The past Sungjin was the focus of the troll pack's attacks, but each time, the tiger spirits would swing their paws and protect him.
The dreaming Sungjin thought,
'That skill... I've never even seen anyone else use that before...'
Though it seemed as if Sungjin's party had fallen into a critical situation, the fight was easier than expected.
"Ring of Fire"
This discrepancy between the expected outcome and reality was due to the efficiency of his past self and Edward's magic. After the fight was over, his past self swung his sword downwards through the air to remove the blood before sheathing it, like he had always done. When the dreaming Sungjin saw this, he thought,
'... Even the habits are the same... It's definitely me, but... Just how did this happen?'
Sungjin thought to himself that he wanted to see his second meeting with Edward. The moment he finished the thought, the scene changed.
"Ohh, Sungjin, you're still alive."
"Edward, you too... It's nice to see you again."
The dreaming Sungjin looked around the area. The area seemed to be the Great Plains of Barrastan.
'Again... It's different.'
According to his memories, the place that he had met Edward was not here, but at a later chapter. Edward asked his past self,
"So, how have you been? From when we met until now?"
"Well... The monsters were more or less do-able... But I nearly died the last chapter to a troll."
His past self shook his head as he said,
"Just what's up with these retarded rules? To make us have to divide contribution amongst the comrades that we had fought together with. It's not just a few hunters that are dying because of these trolls."
"Indeed... But we can't do anything about it. Since it's like this, we can only do our best."
The past Sungjin was still wearing the sword engraved with tigers. It was here that Sungjin came to a conclusion.
'This... It's definitely a past that I don't remember... Then this means...'
Sungjin then thought to himself that he wanted to see Edward's death. Soon, the scene changed. Edward was standing in a dark and gloomy prison. The moment Sungjin saw this, he thought,
'This is... Chapter 18... Ser'corist Prison...'
According to what Sungjin remembered, Edward did not die here. He then looked around the area. There were five people, but one of them had a bluish body. When Sungjin saw this, he muttered,
A ghost was a type of substitute that appeared when there was an empty spot when dividing the hunters into teams of five. For example, if there were 24 hunters remaining, four of the parties would be fine, but there would be one party that had only four people.
It was then that a 'ghost' with a human appearance would appear and fill up that empty spot. Sungjin did not know if it was because his own luck was good, but he had never been in a party with one. However, according to others who had partied with a 'ghost', it was impossible to communicate with one and its abilities were slightly below that of the hunters.
According to their words, the 'ghost' was a hunter from the past that the Operator had 'summoned', but even they did not know exactly what that meant.
In any case, for there to be a 'ghost' in this party meant that Edward's death was completely different from the death that Sungjin remembered. The man at the very front turned his head as he said,
"Is everyone mentally prepared?"
However, he was someone familiar. The man was Illich from the final ten hunters.
In response to his words, a black man holding a spear hesitated before saying,
'Hey, do we really have to do this? We're the final four people. If we fail, then all of humanity will suffer. Let's leave alone the Hidden Boss and finish the raid."
It was the first time that Sungjin had ever seen this man's face yet it was he who had identified himself as one of 'the final 4'. Sungjin thought,
'Then that means... As I thought... This raid... Is an event that occurred after my death.'
Edward said in response,
"Actually, that's the reason why we have to kill the Hidden Boss. The reason that we could only make it this far is because we weren't strong enough."
Illich also spoke up.
"Yeah. What he said is right. In any case, if we can't even clear this, then we can't clear the next chapter. Let's give it a try."
The last remaining individual was an Asian man who was dual wielding two swords like himself. However, the man was bald and instead had a beard. This was also someone that Sungjin saw for the first time. The man stroked his beard as he said,
"Yeah, whether we die this way or the other... Let's at least give it a try."
The man holding the spear was still afraid, but the other three had made up their minds to give it a try. The 'ghost' had no say in this matter. Finally, Illich pulled down the lever.
Soon, along with the clatter of chains, the iron door in front of them began to open.
After a while, the sound of the chains stopped, and a groan filled with both fury and agony could be heard from the inside.
The four hunters nervously searched their surroundings as they entered the prison. The moment they entered, the door shut noisily.
And simultaneously the Operator's voice could be heard.
[Warning! Hidden Boss]
['100 man murderer' Aizen has appeared!]
There was an immense giant inside the prison. Sungjin shivered as he looked at the Hidden Boss.
'Aizen... It was incredibly tough for me as well. I don't know about now, though...'
Aizen was a giant prisoner whose height reached 2.5 meters. Both of his hands were tied to a bastard sword that was as tall as he was by an iron chain. It made you wonder how he could possibly eat. Illich held up his shield and went to the front as he said,
"Lets first get a feel for..."
However, even before he finished speaking, the prisoner yelled loudly and swung his sword.
Illich blocked the oncoming bastard sword with his shield, but his shield was crumpled and Illich was flung far away by that one strike.
'That's not something you can block. You have to avoid it...'
Sungjin noisily gave advice, but then he stopped. What he had requested was the scene of Edward's death. The dream would show it to him.
Sure enough, the four hunters could only last a few seconds against the 100-man murderer Aizen and ultimately faced annihilation. Aizen attacked the hunters by spinning around like a windmill as he held his bastard sword.
Sometimes swinging high, sometimes swinging low. Inside the narrow prison, that flying bastard sword became terror itself. The swordsman and the spearman, as well as Illich, the tanker himself, could not deal with the bastard sword and could only retreat backwards. Edward, who was far away from it all, could chant short spells, but he could not use his specialty attack spells because he was too busy saving the retreating hunters.
In the end, the party could not do much and the hunters began to be picked off one by one. Starting with the archer ghost that disappeared after being hit by the sword, the spearman and the swordsman soon followed as they were both sent flying at the same time by the bastard sword. While Edward was debating on who to save, Illich charged towards Aizen in despair.
Unfortunately, Illich was turned into a pile of flesh by the chains that held up the bastard sword. Now, the only one remaining was just Edward. Aizen swung his bastard sword towards Edward, who shone for a moment.
He was able to escape from that position, but his luck wasn't so good; the location where he appeared just happened to be where Aizen's bastard sword was finishing its swing. Without any further ado, Edward was split in half.
Edward could not even let out a cry of pain. He swung his arm a few times towards the ceiling and then died just like that. Soon, he could hear the Operator's voice.
[You have died.]
[You were humanity's very last remaining Player.]
[Benefit awarded to the last player to die is "Restart"]
At the same time, a single line of text appeared before his eyes.
Restart - Redo the hunt from the very beginning, but with current memory.
Edward then looked around his surroundings with wide eyes. A white square room. It was a familiar place for him. He screamed,
However, without even the time for him to say more, the Operator said,
[A hunt will soon begin. Prepare for combat.]
As he saw this, the dreaming Sungjin thought,
'As expected... Edward really did regress once.'
At that moment, the Operator's voice could suddenly be heard,
[The Chosen One has requested your teleportation.]
Sungjin woke up to the jarring voice of the Operator.
[Will you accept the request for teleportation?]
Together with the Operator's question, came Serin's voice,
"Oppa, what about today's breakfast? Are we not eating together?"
Sungjin turned his head. Serin's face could be seen above the Cube.
"Wait, Oppa, did you sleep in?"
"Yeah... What time is it right now?"
"What do you mean what time. It's time for the morning briefing."
"Ahh... I see. Just wait a moment. I'll summon everyone soon."
Sungjin got up from his bed and hurriedly washed his face and changed his clothes, before walking down to the first floor of Ninety Nine Nights. He then took out the Sceptre of the Warlord and summoned the other hunters.
The hunters greeted each other. Franz said with an energetic voice,
"What should I eat today... Does anyone have a recommendation? Something that Dalupin is good at making."
To which Baltren responded,
"Have you tried his cereal? This guy's cereal is strangely delicious."
"Ahh, then should I try that?"
Nada also joined the discussion.
"Should I try it as well?"
As the rowdy conversation went back and forth, Sungjin thought about the dream that he had been dreaming until just a moment ago.
'Edward was someone who had restarted even before I did. Then I... Why did he...'
Important Announcement please read:
Hello readers of MHK. It is Christmas Eve (or day) and we would like to thank you for all your love and interest in the project thus far.
This is going to come as a surprise, and hopefully a good one.
MHK is going on hiatus!
But wait, why? Aren't there more chapters remaining in the project?
Well, Gamja didn't like the ending, so he asked for an alternative ending. The author had been so pleased with our work and quality that he agreed to write OTL exclusive (English exclusive) version of the ending, with more chapters.
So the version we will get is exclusive and the conclusive version of MHK. Not even readers in Korea will have read it. (Gamja will be the first person to see).
So please be patient with us as we wait for the new and improved (and longer) ending! (The author said it'll take about a month or so)
We will resume as soon as the author sends us the new manuscript.
Gamja is doing a Christmas stream in 30 min from now (8 pm PST) will be playing league and conduct Q&A with viewers so if you have anything you would like to ask you can head there and do so.
Your Oppa team