Chapter 12 - User Hunters (1)
Stella questioned Ian, "What the hell was that? How did you do that?”
“Let’s see... I just became an orc vegetable seller.”
“This is nonsense...”
It was like a scene from a short-story. If she took a video and posted it on the Internet, it would be a wonderful video that would instantly become a phenomenon. Ian pondered before speaking, "I didn't think about becoming an orc with my head.”
"I asked myself: What if I weren’t the human Jung Ian, but actually an orc vegetable seller? What would I do in this situation if I were an honest orc vegetable seller?”
He wasn’t from Earth, but a living orc in the world of Elder Lord.
“Then I just acted accordingly.”
"Like a role player...?”
"I just became my character.”
Stella started thinking.
These things were common sense to the rankers of Elder Lord, who had the ambition to climb up. They played Elder Lord sincerely! The system followed the user’s assimilation rate. Everything changed according to how immersed they were, and their subsequent actions. Even if the people speaking had the same confidence and gestures, the world of Elder Lord responded differently depending on their mindset and assimilation rate.
The man called Ian had a strange feeling about him; this person really enjoyed Elder Lord.
Stella nodded. “I see, I just realized something. By the way, is your real name Jung Ian? Are you Korean?”
"I thought you were a foreigner after hearing the name, ‘Ian’.”
In Elder Lord, one could meet users from all over the world. Thanks to the sophisticated state-of-the-art interpretation system, all of the users spoke a universal language in Elder Lord, regardless of their nationality. Ian forgot this fact since the communication was so natural. In fact, both Grom and Stella could be foreigners.
Stella smiled at Ian and said, "I'm a Korean."
"Aha, I see."
"Register me as a friend, I’ll contact you often in the future.”
Ian only had Grom registered as a friend at the moment. Ian accepted Stella’s friend request and now they could send and receive messages to each other.
Stella asked, “How long have you been playing Elder Lord?”
"Around two weeks in reality...?”
Stella’s eyes widened as she nodded.
“I see. In the future, Ian will become big in Elder Lord.”
"Me? It's nothing. This is just a hobby.”
He was just doing this because of his little sister. But now it seemed like he was enjoying Elder Lord more and more.
"Well, that’s is good. Isn’t your assimilation rate pretty high?”
"In the status window."
"Wait a minute."
It had been a while since he looked at his status window. Ian checked his status window.
‘Friend of Farmers’ Ian, Orc Apprentice Warrior
Achievement Points: 80
Orc’s Strength (Common)
Orc’s Recovery (Common)
Orc’s Greatsword Technique (Uncommon)
Warrior's Fighting Spirit (Uncommon)
His assimilation rate was slightly higher than before. It started at 50% and was now at 56%.
"I have 56%.”
"Is that high?”
"It’s pretty high. It’s a great assimilation rate, especially since you just started. Mine is between 30~40%.”
"Rather, the higher the assimilation is, the more painful and realistic the game becomes. Therefore, there are a lot of people who deliberately lower the limit.”
That’s why it was painful when he fought. Ian nodded.
He hadn’t cared so far, but there was a details option in his status window. With this, he could put a limit on the assimilation rate or modify his title. He could also determine the approximate proficiency level of his skills. Orc’s Strength and Orc’s Recovery were close to reaching the Uncommon grade.
The rate of assimilation was left with no limit and his title was ‘Friend of Farmers’.
After talking more with Stella, he discovered that her level was much higher than his. In Elder Lord, the level didn’t necessarily mean strength because it depended on achievement points and skills. This allowed players of various occupations to enjoy Elder Lord, rather than just fighting.
Stella mentioned her trump skill, ‘Negotiating Eloquence’, which was at the Special grade.
“Please tell me if you have anything you want to buy next time. This skill is very strong when it comes to bargaining prices.”
"You couldn’t sell a few vegetables.”
“That...uh...I can’t say anything but... Ian is strange.”
She checked the time. "Oh, I made a promise to someone, so I need to disconnect. Today was nice. Thanks for everything, you really surprised me today. See you again.”
“Yes. Then let’s meet another time.”
“Ah right, please receive this.”
She handed a bandana to Ian. It seemed to be a worker’s bandana with the mark of the Blacksmith Company in the corner.
"It isn’t good to be a user in Anail, especially as an orc.”
“The mark can only be seen by users.”
"That’s the problem.”
Stella shrugged. "Users are scarier than NPCs.”
"Oh, I am late. I really am going now. Then bye!”
She went into the store and disconnected in order to avoid attention. Today, he met a new friend in Elder Lord. This was why people played Elder Lord. Ian smiled happily. Then he suddenly realized.
"Wait. The quest reward...?”
He had forgotten about the reward as he was talking to her. Was this the influence of her Negotiation Eloquence skill? Next time they met, he would have to ask for it.
He wore the bandana. He quite liked it, he looked like a trendy orc with a fashion sense.
Ian headed towards Thompson’s house, where Hoyt was currently at, with a spring in his step. However, there were shadows peeking at Ian.
“That orc...he’s a user right?”
"That's right, there’s a star on the forehead.”
"Huhu, isn’t he one crazy bastard?”
"That crazy bastard is perfect for us.”
“It is great. Shall we hunt an orc today...?”
Whispering in the alley, a white star like Ian’s shone on their foreheads.
It was dark. The night sky of Elder Lord was also beautiful. The stars from reality shone brightly in his virtual world. The galaxy, a group of stars that became a heavenly river in the sky.
Ian hummed as he looked up into the night sky. If the stars were like little children with shining eyes, the moon that shone calmly upon the world was their mother. The clean air cleared the atmosphere around him.
Ian wasn’t surprised when three humans appeared from an alley, as he had heard them approaching. However, he hadn’t lowered his head due to the beautiful stars.
The weapons in their hands were dully shining in the moonlight. The first thing that popped into Ian’s mind was a name.
They looked at each other and shrugged.
"I have no idea who that is, but just die quietly.”
They didn’t seem to be Derek’s followers. Ian looked around, they were in a place with no people. This was the best place to attack someone.
"Orcs are a great source of achievement points.”
"He is easy to catch because he is a user, and it also raises proficiency.”
The three of them surrounded Ian, who stepped back and calmly analyzed them. It was an unexpected incident, but Ian’s head quickly entered combat mode. It was as natural as breathing for him.
He quickly figured out the enemy’s information.
The tall, slim man wielding a spear was the ranged type to keep Ian in check. The other man, who was in the back holding a staff, was a support magician in the rear. The light-bodied woman who held two short swords was a close combat fighter that would disturb his field of view with dizzying movements.
"What are you looking at?”
Ian didn’t respond to their words. He focused on predicting the flow of the battle and figuring out how to take the initiative. This moment would decide the outcome of the battle.
The man with the spear would stop Ian while the woman would distract him. While Ian dealt with the other two assailants, the magician in the rear would bombard him with spells. It was a familiar attack formation based on raid tactics. He needed to disrupt their rhythm.
Ian’s first priority was to catch the defenseless magician. Ian purposely acted frightened.
"Excuse me...what will you do...?”
The woman burst out laughing.
"Look, he’s so cute when he is frightened.”
"You used to act like this when you were attacked by knights...”
As they laughed among themselves, Ian immediately struck. They weren’t in an attack posture and hurriedly raised their weapon towards Ian.
There was a short gap in their combat power in the short moment that they weren’t ready for battle. Ian rushed like crazy and thrust his greatsword at the spear and swords. They stepped back to take an attack stance.
However, Ian ignored them and kept rushing. The magician was temporarily left unprotected and exposed to the orc warrior, his eyes clouding over in dismay.
Ian laughed. Ian’s sword slashed his neck before the magician could even lift his staff. His head flew through the air.
The woman screamed at the sight of blood. Ian kicked the body of the magician who had lost his head. He had died before even using magic once.
[Congratulations! You have made the man who attacked you pay the price in blood.]
[Your level has risen.]
[An explosive power was momentarily displayed. The skill, Orc’s Strength (Common), has evolved.]
[Orc’s Strength (Common) has been upgraded to Orc’s Superhuman Strength (Uncommon).]
“No, that, he was clearly a user...”
"What user? This...”
The man and woman stepped back. This wasn’t what they expected.
Users were weak. Apart from their combat power, their mental strength was also weak. They were modern people. They couldn’t become immersed in realistic battle, where blood and guts oozed out. Therefore, most of them were passive in combat, making it possible for user hunters like these people to exist.
However, Ian was different. He was a man who lived in a reality that was as cruel as Elder Lord. A dead body wasn’t able to stop him. No, it only made him more brutal.
Ian smiled as he recalled Hoyt’s teachings. That’s right. The fear of the enemy was his own strength.
As the bloody orc smiled, the two people backed away in horror.
"Hey, hey, we, we were wrong. That isn’t a user. It doesn’t seem like it.”
"I saw it!”
"Ah, I don’t know. He’s wearing a bandana. I was mistaken, what kind of user is that?”
They fell into confusion. Ian was still a beginner. He had felt it when he hit both of their weapons when they weren’t ready. Ian wouldn’t have an advantage in the fight against them.
However, they were already gripped by fear. Ian approached as they fell back while raising their weapons.
"Ah, I don’t know. Fight! Kill him first!”
The man thrust his spear. Ian moved his body and avoided it. He tried to dig into the gap, but the woman came up to Ian with her short swords. Two wounds occurred on both sides of Ian’s body.
“We can deal with him.”
"We’ve killed a lot of users. We can do it!”
Formidable. Their movements were practiced. How many users had they killed to move in sync like this? Ian’s face distorted.
Ian remembered one of his skills. Orc’s Recovery. It was an orc passive skill that healed the injuries after a considerable amount of time.
Okay. He didn’t want to see the enemy’s face filled with confidence anymore. He would erase it.
Ian avoided the spear while focusing on the woman’s movements. He revealed a gap around his abdomen, as if it was a mistake. The woman responded immediately. She came in deep and aimed her swords with a shout. At that moment, Ian struck back with the greatsword instead of defending his body.
Their attacks crossed. Ian had a dagger stuck in his belly, while the woman’s torso was split in half.
Glossary of Common Korean Terms.
Praise the Orc: Glossary Link.
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