Tokens. Artifacts. For a brief moment, Brend was tempted, but he quickly came to his senses and shook the idea out of his head. "Don’t you dare try to trick me."
"What do you mean ‘trick’? We’re doing this to survive."
"To survive? You want to survive by killing the people who saved our lives?”
Ethan was so frightened he jumped to his feet. "We’re not killing anyone! Who said we are? If we pick a fight with them, we’ll be lying dead on the ground soon enough."
"I’m talking about stealing."
Brend began to show interest, and a sly grin crept over Ethan’s face. "The monsters took all of our stuff and now we’ve got nothing. I mean, if we go out there, we’re just gonna die, aren’t we?”
Brend nodded without saying a word. Ethan had a point. The Lizardman King had taken away all the artifacts and Tokens he had collected on his way to Section E, and he didn’t even have a single thing to protect himself with. Although Kahn and Doyle could help him out of this place, they would leave sooner or later since the Tutorial was coming to its end. That meant he had no choice but to wander around the forest in this situation, and he’d have to hide and wait until the Tutorial was over or else he would fall prey to other monsters. There were no other choices.
"So, let's just steal enough to survive and then we’ll run away."
"What if we get caught? They’ll kill us."
"Death is a possibility whether we steal or not. But if we do it my way, the chances of survival are higher."
Brend was partially convinced. "What’s the plan? We can't just proceed without one.”
"Hehe. You didn’t think I came here without a plan, did you?" Ethan simpered for a moment and continued talking, "One of my friends has a trait called Quick Hands.”
"Quick Hands? Like nimble fingers?"
"Yes. It’s amazing what he can pull off with his hands.”
Brend had a rough understanding of Ethan’s plan. If someone had a trait involving nimble fingers, that meant he had specialized skills that formed the basis of his trait. "So, this friend of yours will steal what we need and we’re the distraction. Is this the plan?”
"You got the gist of it. So, what do you think?"
"Hmm." Brend fell into deep thought as he calculated the odds. He thought about the risks and the likelihood of success. The odds were low that they’d pull it off, but greed was already starting to set in. If they succeeded, they would make a killing. The memory of the humiliation he’d suffered at Kahn's and Yeon-woo’s hands appeared in his mind. He gnashed his teeth. It was enough to motivate him. "All right. Tell me what you’ve got." Brend's eyes began to glow viciously.
An evil grin appeared on Ethan’s face as he explained the plan he and his teammates had come up, his eyes shining with madness.
* * *
After a long time, Yeon-woo woke up from his meditation. ‘A stronger body does help relieve the aftereffects.' Yeon-woo’s body couldn’t fully cope with the overload yet, so it was better to avoid using multiple skills at once. But thanks to Reinforced Physique and Bathory’s Vampiric Sword, he could recover quickly from any damage he suffered. If Hargan hadn’t entered his second phase, he wouldn’t have overexerted himself. ‘But it was at least a great chance to test my limits.’
A clear understanding of his limits would allow him to make even better decisions when he took action. Also, his experience helped him understand what Reinforced Physique was capable of and the possible strategies he could rely on. After organizing his thoughts, Yeon-woo again entered Hargan's Lair along with Kahn and Doyle. It was time to claim the reward for completing the hidden quest.
[Rewards will be provided.]
[You have acquired Hargan's Crown, Blue Scale Scimitar, ownership of the lair.]
"Now that Cain is here, shall we settle things?” Kahn gently clapped his hands as he smacked his lips. Distributing the rewards after the ordeal of the quest was the most exciting part. "Doyle and I will take Hargan's Crown as we agreed, OK?” Kahn glanced at Yeon-woo as he reached for Hargan's Crown.
In fact, Yeon-woo had contributed the most during this raid. Even though they were the ones who had shared the information about this place with him, if Yeon-woo wanted to claim the crown as his reward, it would pose a big problem. But to his relief, Yeon-woo didn’t seem interested at all in Hargan's Crown and was nodding in assent. "You can have it."
Kahn's face visibly brightened. "Thanks, bro! Heheh, I knew you were a good guy from the get-go!”
"Stop joking around."
"Hehehe. I know you’re just shy."
Kahn's smirking face gave Yeon-woo the urge to give him a noogie, but he just chuckled. It was impossible to hate someone like Kahn. He was such a strange guy.
"Doyle, go ahead and take it."
“Got it." Doyle grabbed Hargan's Crown and held it tightly as a bright smile spread over his face. "The ownership of the lair and the Blue Scale Scimitar are all yours, Cain.” That was the deal they had made.
With a nod, Yeon-woo examined the scimitar they had taken from Hargan's carcass.
[Blue Scale Scimitar]
[Classification: Two-Handed Weapon]
[Description: Hargan’s (Lizardman King) favorite weapon. The weapon is imbued with the fire element. It boasts strong durability, destroying everything that it comes into contact with. However, due to its heavy weight, the sword will not budge without extreme muscle strength.]
[* Majesty of the Lizardman King
The mere possession of the weapon gives the user an imperious aura. Has a certain probability of inflicting ‘Panic’ on the target. Targets under the effect of Panic will receive damage in direct proportion to the duration of the effect.]
Maybe because it was used by a big monster like Hargan, the scimitar was almost as big as Yeon-woo. Just carrying it around seemed quite cumbersome to him. Its options made the scimitar seem as valuable as Hargan’s Crown, and it was obviously one of the best artifacts in the Tutorial. But Yeon-woo preferred using a short dagger as his main weapon, and the sword was just not something that fit his style. The ownership of the lair was also useless to him.
[Ownership of Hargan's Lair]
[Obtain rights to all objects and resources that exist within the lair.]
[* List of items in the lair
1. Red Orc's Helmet
2. Axe of Battle Cry
3. Hard Crystal x 31]
Yeon-woo scrutinized the items on the list. Although most of the items had been damaged by Hargan’s Heat Wave, there was still a considerable number of items left in the storage room, some of which were quite good. However, Kahn and Doyle had no qualms about handing them over to Yeon-woo. The list also included items that belonged to the captives in the human farm. From a moral standpoint, the correct thing to do would be to give the items back to their original owners. However, the three of them didn’t even consider it.
There was an unspoken rule in the Tower and the Tutorial. Regardless of who the true owner of an item might be, it was finders keepers. However, Yeon-woo didn't need these items either. ‘Some of these artifacts might come in handy, but there are plenty of them inside the Tower.’ However, he finally found one thing worth taking.
[Classification: One-Handed Weapon]
[Description: A dagger used by an unknown trainee throughout his life. Made with common materials, but the blade has hardened as it retains the passion of the trainee.
[* Will of Trainee
Weapon damage will increase along with the user’s weapon proficiency.]
Yeon-woo touched Carshina's Dagger and held it in his hand. The weight and size of the dagger were similar to the ones he’d been using, and it wasn’t hard to get used to it. There was a slight problem: ‘The blade is slightly bent.’ However, it was fine. ‘The daggers I brought have gotten really damaged; they are barely usable at this point. This will suffice for the remainder of the Tutorial.’ He also liked the extra option it had.
Yeon-woo hung Carshina's Dagger at his waist and examined the rest of the list. However, there was nothing useful, not even the resources. ‘I do need plenty of minerals to make artifacts, but if I can't store them somewhere, they will only make my backpack heavier. Besides, the materials gathered from monsters are more valuable.'
Yeon-woo had taken the Tokens that Hargan had collected already. Thanks to that, he had now over 200 Tokens. In the end, Yeon-woo had to close the message without much gain. 'Well, I wasn’t expecting much anyway.’ He wasn’t disappointed since he hadn’t really expected anything much. His brother mentioned in the diary that the risk and difficulty of the quest outweighed the rewards, and Yeon-woo had only accepted the quest to collect the karma and Tokens he lacked. He did have a thought. 'Even if they are scrap items, there are so many of them that I can still sell them at a high price.’
Doyle carefully asked Yeon-woo. "Is there anything wrong, Cain? Didn’t you find anything you needed?” He seemed worried that Yeon-woo would have to leave without making much profit.
Yeon-woo thought that Doyle needed to grow a thicker skin for times like this. He was too soft-hearted, and Yeon-woo wondered why he thought he could climb the Tower full of monsters with a heart like that. However, at the same time, he knew that this was part of Doyle's charm. Yeon-woo smiled and shook his head. “They are mostly useless. But don’t worry, it won’t be a total loss for me."
As Doyle looked at Yeon-woo with a puzzled expression, Yeon-woo focused his eyes to a spot in the empty air and said, “You’ll hurt your neck if you keep watching us like that.”
Doyle turned to the spot that Yeon-woo was talking to, and Kahn also looked with a serious face. In a moment, a portal opened in midair. "Well, well, did I get caught already? I wanted to surprise you." A man with a hood drawn over his face dropped down with a big smirk. It was the mysterious merchant.