Chapter 29 - Proposal that can’t be Rejected (2)
Derek’s residence was very luxurious compared to the other houses in Anail. The flowers and the trees in the garden were placed with great harmony. Fish freely swam in the pond. It had been created with a human’s touch, but it looked natural and beautiful.
In the center of all this scenery was Derek, who was sitting at a table, sipping tea. Crockta thought that it was a bizarre sight. The images of the leader of the underworld and a noble enjoying tea time just didn’t seem to fit together.
Derek smiled, as if he knew what Crockta was thinking.
"Young Man, what is your taste?”
"Yes, taste. Your own sense of beauty. Sit.”
Crockta sat down across from Derek.
Derek said, "I am sure about my taste. For example, I think there shouldn’t be anything else over there. It should just be all yellow tulips.”
Derek pointed towards where yellow tulips were planted among grass.
“There should be 13 fish in the pond. No more and no less.”
"I am thorough in these types of things. These tastes combine together to make Derek. And one of those tastes is that the agreed upon contract must be kept. I won’t forgive anyone who breaks it. Thanks to that, I was able to gain wealth and power.”
“What do you want to say?”
"My taste has fallen."
Derek laughed. Crockta couldn’t understand what he was talking about.
"There are problems that I can’t solve. I can’t change the sky, just because I don’t like the sun.”
"Then use a parasol.”
“That’s right. I can’t help using a parasol, so it must be part of my tastes. As I said earlier, I am very thorough about my tastes.”
Derek extended a piece of paper towards Crockta. "Let me understand this.”
It was a contract. Crockta looked through the information.
“You don't have to make that expression.”
Crockta asked, "What is this?”
"I am interested in getting a dog.”
It meant that Derek had followed and investigated Crockta. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been able to prepare the contents of this agreement in advance. Crockta’s lips twitched.
It was a contract to provide Crockta information on the Thawing Balhae, and those who were cursed by the stars. In exchange for Derek providing information on the Thawing Balhae Clan, Crockta would have to kill some of the people involved with Thawing Balhae.
The targets weren’t those who were cursed by the stars, but the NPCs.
"Don’t you want revenge?” Derek asked.
"I have decided to walk with you. I have planned a few investments on the premise that you are successful in your revenge. You don’t have to worry about it, since your targets are people that you would’ve killed for your revenge anyway.”
Crockta read more of the details.
The Thawing Balhae Clan was working with NPCs in several cities. These NPCs were rich and powerful in their respective regions. Derek was going to invest money into those who stood against that power. If the NPCs were destroyed by Crockta, Derek would share his profits with the new power that would emerge as a result.
It was a gamble that relied on Crockta’s success.
"Why are you doing this?” Crockta asked Derek.
Crockta was trying to get Derek’s help anyway. The scale might be bigger, but it was still what Crockta wanted.
"Would you be angry if I said I was bored?” Derek smiled as he sipped his tea. "Young Man. I am old and my life is complete. I don’t want anything right now. Everything is done to my liking, so there isn’t anything interesting left.”
"That is understandable."
Ian, who had become Crockta, might be playing Elder Lord for a similar reason.
“You are a little bit interesting.” Derek smiled.
"So I want to watch you. It is a desire to get involved in your journey. If your success becomes my success, then I will be more immersed in your story."
There were people like that in reality. They said something similar and bought a sports car. Some spent money while others expressed themselves on the keyboard. It was the same thing so he didn’t mind.
Crockta asked for a pen in order to sign the contract.
“Ah, before that.” Derek shook his head. "I have to see your skills.”
"Investing in you requires trust, so I want to verify that you have the minimum qualifications. You look stronger than before.”
Crockta looked at Derek. He was unchanged. He had wide shoulders and a disciplined build. The atmosphere around him was like a sharp blade. It wouldn’t be easy for Crockta to fight Derek. Crockta had a strong chance of losing against Derek.
Derek laughed at Crockta’s gaze.
“Not me. My stomach is full, so I have no desire to swing a sword.”
“Here.” Derek held out a piece of paper. “If you do this, then I will trust you and sign the contract.
Crockta’s eyes widened. He read the piece of paper and nodded.
The free city of Anail began with the fugitives of each species. Therefore, Anail’s back streets had strict laws of their own.
One of these laws was, ‘don’t kill innocent people.’
In the underworld of Anail, unexplained fights occasionally occurred, but they couldn’t kill. Even Derek, who ruled the underworld of Anail, didn’t bloody his hands unless it was for a contract. It was a common law dating back to the beginning of Anail. This was a city founded by fugitives who ran away from death, so they knew that death couldn’t be reversed.
But it was broken.
“Hah, hah. What did I tell you?”
A woman panted roughly. The two men nodded.
Underneath them was a man with a broken head. The woman stabbed his back with her short swords to verify that he was dead. The already dead man showed no response. Blood gushed out onto the ground.
"NPCs are no different.”
"We can also level up a lot.”
"Let’s do a little bit more.”
They were the user hunters who attacked Crockta before he became a warrior and were slain. They became notorious due to Youvidser Laney, and couldn’t hunt users like they used to. Therefore, they started attacking NPCs instead of users.
It wasn’t easy, but they had high abilities as user hunters. They moved around Anail in the darkness and attacked. The murders meant that they became the target of Anail’s underworld. And the ruler of Anail’s underworld was the cold-blooded Derek.
Derek had already sent an assassin. The hitman from Derek found them. It was the orc Crockta.
Crockta hid his body and confirmed their faces. He had read about them on Derek’s piece of paper. Ian couldn’t help smiling. Those guys still hadn’t fixed their habit.
He could understand why Derek gave this to him as a test. There was an unknown relationship between those who were cursed by the stars. Would he be willing to do it, regardless of the bond between users that NPCs couldn’t understand?
Crockta walked up to them. The users turned their heads at the sound of the footsteps. Their faces turned pale.
A single orc appeared from the darkness.
His face was familiar. He had tattoos, and his body was bigger, but both his bloodthirsty eyes and black bandana were unforgettable. They recoiled as they saw the handle of the greatsword poking out above the shoulders.
“That bastard, isn’t he that bastard?”
"It seems like it.”
They realized that there was no retreating. They had chosen a dead end to attack the NPCs. The choice of location to strike at the NPC had become a poison for them. The trio thought despairingly,
"We can’t run away.”
"Are we going to die again? Do we have to suffer like this?”
“There is no way.”
They looked at each other’s faces and sighed.
"Yes, that was when we weren’t vigilant.”
“We have to fight while protecting Brown.”
Jackson, Brown, and Eri. The trio of user hunters took their positions again. Jackson was the spearman who would keep the enemy in check, and Eri would distract with her movements. The magician Brown would bombard from behind. This was their winning tactic, their bread and butter.
Crockta pulled out his greatsword. In the darkness, a slim light flowed from the sword. The users realized that it wasn’t a regular sword. Greed filled the eyes of the user hunters.
"If we win...that will be ours.”
"There will be an equal distribution.”
Brown chanted a spell. Unlike last time, he was firmly behind Jackson and Eri. They intended to leave the role of main attacker to Brown.
Crockta moved forward. Jackson’s spear moved.
The spear and sword hit each other. Crockta deflected the spear to the side and rushed forward. At the same time, magic arrows flew in front while Eri’s swords struck from the side. Crockta ignored the magic arrows and swung the greatsword at Jackson, who stepped back to dodge.
The magic arrows hit Crockta’s body.
Crockta stopped due to the shock. There was damage. Then Eri’s short sword cut his side. Crockta had to back off without doing any damage. The opponents weren’t easy to deal with.
"Look, if we do it slowly, then we can win.”
The momentum of the user hunters increased.
Crockta nodded, like he had a plan to deal with the users. He took a charging posture. The user hunters were nervous. Crockta rushed in. It was a devastating assault. Jackson moved his spear in front and prepared for the impact. Brown’s chant in the rear came to an end.
It was at that moment. Crockta moved his body to the side. It ended up with Jackson being between Crockta and the magician. The magician tried to move his aim towards Crockta, but it didn’t work. Crockta used Jackson’s body as a shield.
"I can’t see him right now...!” Brown cried out.
Jackson stabbed his spear. Crockta avoided it and grabbed the spear with one hand. Eri tried to stop him, but she backed away as Crockta swung his greatsword. She fell down to the ground from the impact.
Brown, who was in a hurry, moved to the side and fired magic towards Crockta.
At that moment, Crockta pulled the spear with tremendous strength, positioning Jackson’s body so that it would make him into a meat shield. Brown’s magic hit Jackson’s back. Brown's mouth fell open.
At the same time, Crockta’s greatsword slammed against Jackson’s arm. Jackson’s arm flew away.
Crockta threw Jackson away and punched the defenseless Brown. The magician was stunned.
Eri, who was left alone, stepped back and pointed her sword. However, it was her alone against an orc. Crockta approached and looked down at her. The shadow of the burly orc covered her. Within a minute, Crockta’s fist had stunned her.
The fight was over. Crockta didn’t kill anyone. He captured them with the ropes and gags that Derek’s men had given him. Jackson was the only one to notice his intentions, but he fell unconscious after a punch.
Crockta dragged them along like they were luggage. Derek’s men were waiting for Crockta outside the alley.
"You truly have great skills.”
"What are you going to do with them now?”
"They will be locked up.”
Derek’s subordinate laughed. His name was Jeremy and he was the strongest among Derek’s subordinates, excluding Derek himself.
“These people who received the curse of the stars are annoying. They can revive after dying and can even suddenly disappear. We will use this concrete method on them so that all they can do is breathe.”
It was a well-known method to take care of users in Elder Lord.
The so called ‘concrete’ method. The original meaning of it was lost, but the users would know that they were completely defeated.
The users couldn’t die. After a few hours, they would revive in a safe place nearby. Therefore, the users were tied up and gagged to prevent death. Even after disconnecting and reconnecting, they would remain tied up. It was the worst method of not being able to play the game.
Due to this, ‘Fixers’ existed in the world of Elder Lord. They were the ones who were paid money to rescue the users, and get rid of the people capturing them. However, this time, their opponent was Derek. These user hunters wouldn’t be able to play Elder Lord anymore unless they reset.
For Lenox’s revenge, he would use the ‘concrete’ method. He would make the Thawing Balhae Clan quit the game as a group.
Glossary of Common Korean Terms.
Praise the Orc: Glossary Link.
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