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One Man Army Chapter 31. Shadowline and its Master (2)
Having unexpectedly received a bomb, Vaize’s eyes violently shook.
‘Whoa, this game is so detailed in every aspect.’
Sanghyuk waited for Vaize’s answer. If he was indeed related as Sanghyuk had expected, a reaction would definitely come.
Actually, the reason Vaize’s eyes were shaking was not that he was related to the Shadowline.
Thanks to an unforeseen variable, an overload was put on EL’s quest vast yet delicate quest logic. Thanks to that, Chaos, which managed all of EL’s systems, had to interfere directly to normalize it.
Vaize’s shaking came from this process.
Originally, a variable came from a completely unexpected source, but Chaos splendidly did its job this time again and made up a new quest line. Not only that, it didn’t even report to the operating team as it judged that this wasn’t a big problem.
In another game, this would have been impossible, but it was possible for EL. The transcendental artificial intelligence operator ‘Chaos’ managed the game perfectly to the point that it was ‘too’ perfect.
After a slight amount of time pa.s.sed, Vaize slowly opened his mouth.
“Master of the Shadowline, do you understand what kind of position that is?”
You have received the hidden chain quest ‘Secrets of the Shadowline.’
You may receive a penalty if you do not clear the quest. Will you accept the quest? Y/N
Sanghyuk was inwardly overjoyed when the quest message appeared in front of his eyes. The fact that there was a penalty for failing meant that the rewards for succeeding were just as large.
This was why some users liked quests with penalties more than regular quests. Sanghyuk also knew that he had to undertake some risks in order to receive a larger reward.
‘I’ll gamble even if I lose!’
Having come to a decision, Sanghyuk quickly pressed ‘Y’ and spoke.
“A shadow of the world that sees, hears and speaks through invisible eyes, ears, and mouth and moves by borrowing the arms and legs of the shadow…… it’s existence yet a non-existence. Isn’t that the master of the Shadowline?”
It sounded quite cheesy, but he had to do this right now. Naturally, this line was also something he had made up after interpreting the information he knew. He had prepared words that Vaize had to react to. Sanghyuk had prepared a lot for this objective.
Then how did Sanghyuk know about the Shadowline and its master, and could plan out this far?
The reason obviously lay in his previous life.
Sanghyuk heard something interesting while drinking with another coach he had as his junior while he was s director.
“……It’s not that that friend of mine knows everything correctly since he also slipped at an important moment, but he predicted that the secret organization known as the Shadowline is very likely to be an information guild made by NPCs. He’s the kind of guy who digs further and further once he’s into something, you know? And what he got into was to make a ring of fate with all existing NPCs of Falcon City. It might sound crazy, but he focused on doing that for the whole 3 years after the game started. Then, he acquired an important quest. And that quest was related to the Shadowline. ……(omitted)…… but that was his limit. Since he wasn’t someone who leveled up properly, he couldn’t help it. Anyway, he couldn’t become the master of the Shadowline, or so he says. Honestly, I don’t believe 100% of this story, but I can still remember it because he was so detailed about it. If there really is an NPC
information guild and a user could become its master, wouldn’t that be amazing?”
At the time, Sanghyuk had listened to his story for several hours while drinking. Like his junior, his story was so detailed, and that was what made him still remember it.
Actually, Sanghyuk had also investigated about the Shadowline himself, and surprisingly, he could find many traces of them.
From then on, Sanghyuk believed in the existence of the Shadowline, and perhaps due to that, the first kind of information he thought up of when he came back to the past was related to the Shadowline.
“…..How much do you know?”
“I know what I know. However, until when are you keep going to leave the master seat empty? Everything will go wrong at this rate.”
That vague last line was something he just tried out. Sanghyuk kept throwing vague lines like this to try out the other.
“It definitely isn’t a position that we can leave empty for long.”
Vaize was hooked by Sanghyuk’s words and gave him another int.
“That is why I need to prove myself.”
Sanghyuk kept hooking Vaize with vague words.
“Understood. I shall transmit your intentions to them.”
The hidden quest ‘Secrets of the Shadowline’ has been renewed to ‘Lord of the Footless Horse’.
In the end, Vaize took the bait. With this, it could be considered that Sanghyuk crossed the first and most difficult barrier. Actually, Sanghyuk thought that he was more likely to fail with this method.
However, he wouldn’t be able to get anything without a challenge, so he boldly challenged this matter and could acquire something beyond his expectations.
While Sanghyuk waited for Vaize’s message, he disposed of the remaining items in the commissioned sales store and bought what he needed to.
Thanks to sucking some juice from Wyvern’s Nest, he could earn a hefty sum. However, Sanghyuk didn’t satisfy himself there and invested again.
The category he invested into this time were skill books. Basic skills and not Soul skills could be learned through skill books, and currently, the users didn’t know exactly how these skill books worked.
The users only knew how to use the skill book itself. Using a skill book t.i.tled ‘A’ would get them the skill ‘A’.
However, there was another use for the skill books. It was unknown to anyone yet…… no, they had no way of finding it out. It was the skill book synthesis and enhancement.
Skill book synthesis and enhancement, right now, couldn’t even be attempted. This was because only NPCs or users with abilities related to ‘Synthesizer’ could do it, but there were no NPCs capable of doing this in the Land of Dusk, and as there were no NPCs related to it, no users could get a related Ancient Knowledge.
Synthesizers could be seen first at the first city beyond the Land of Dusk and in the h.e.l.lfire Desert, ‘Dantu’ Oasis. And from that moment onwards, the users would also be able to fuse and enhance skill books.
At the time, users complained to Raonsoft about why they placed such important NPCs beyond the Land of Dusk, resulting in them making a loss, but Raonsoft’s answer was simple.
‘There are many Ancient Knowledge that could only be acquired outside the Land of Dusk. Fusion master is just one of them.’
It was a really upsetting answer, but nothing would change no matter how users complained to them so they could only accept it. Basic skills could be erased unlike Ancient Knowledge with some karma, so the complaints didn’t last for long.
And skill book synthesis formulae were very simple. It was nothing like the card fusion formulae.
However, the definite thing was that synthesized skill books were definitely better than normal skill books. And adding enhancement on top of this…… no one glanced at basic skills later.
This was why Sanghyuk hadn’t learned any basic skills.
‘Even though basic skills are less important than Soul Skills, they can output great power if used well.’
A true master had to be able to use the basic skill slots that increased by 1 every 10 levels. Users who thought of basic skills as just free skills could never become rankers.
‘The piled skill books will completely disappear from the market once skill synthesis and enhancement system is found out. Especially in the case of enhancement, the failure rate will rapidly increase as the value increases so most of the skill books will disappear into that.’
Skill books could be enhanced to +10, and after +5, the success rate rapidly decreased.
Synthesizers didn’t only synthesize skill books or enhanced them but almost all other types of items, so the moment they appeared, the market prices of all items would meet a change.
‘No matter how much gold I have, I can’t h.o.a.rd all the items, so let’s h.o.a.rd the skill books that will become most popular and the ones I will use.’
Having come to a decision, Sanghyuk started gathering skill books. He was planning to h.o.a.rd them as slowly as possible this time as well to avoid the attention from quick-witted merchants.
Since skill books were going to pile up until the cataclysmic moment, he didn’t need to worry about stocks running out.
While Sanghyuk was repeatedly buying and selling in the commissioned sales store and the auction, Vaize transmitted Sanghyuk’s words to the NPC named the ‘Lord of the Footless Horse.’
And four days later…… Sanghyuk finally got a message that the Lord of the Footless Horse was willing to meet him.
He, no, ‘she’, was the representative and operator of the largest ‘pleasure’ business establishment in Six-Nine street, ‘Rainbow’.
Rainbow was a pleasure business establishment that represented Six-Nine street and was operated by NPCs alone, and the NPCs here were supreme beauties that were even hard to find in real life.
Due to law, they could not provide prost.i.tution service, so the most that could be enjoyed was the lowest-level pseudo-s.e.xual actions, but despite that, this place was always filled with male users. There were many users who waited hours upon hours to enter this place.
The reason Sanghyuk was meeting with the woman who operated such an amazing business establishment, was…… because she was the ‘Lord of the Footless Horse’.
Clothes that exposed a lot of skin, and an insane body figure, as well as a pretty face that would make any elves cry…… Sanghyuk was trying to keep his calm while looking at the NPC in front of him.
‘She’s just an NPC, a program.’
He felt like he would be ‘aroused’ if he didn’t keep hypnotizing himself. If he showed such a lowly figure in an important place like this, he might as well be kicked out, not to mention talking about the master of the Shadowline.
“I did hear it from Sir Vaize, but I still do not understand how you know about us.”
She, no, Ilya, spoke to Sanghyuk while looking at his eyes.
“There’s no perfect secret in this world.”
Sanghyuk replied with a leisurely tone without panicking. He knew that the conversation with her was also a part of the quest, so he kept his pace as calmly as possible.
“A perfect secret, you say…… Very well. Then I’ll just acknowledge that you know about us. However, the seat of the master is different. That is not a place that can be taken by just anyone.”
“Is there a name tag on the seat? I know that that seat isn’t that kind of a seat. Isn’t anyone capable of taking that place as long as they prove that they are fit to take that place?”
Sanghyuk threw a straight ball using his knowledge as much as possible. Actually, even he didn’t know the details. He just predicted that this was the case and prepared this line beforehand.
Tap, tap, tap, tap.
Ilya kept tapping on the armrest of her chair and stared holes at Sanghyuk. And Sanghyuk also looked directly back at her without avoiding her gaze.
“Phew, very well. Your proof of qualification…… I accept.”
She sighed and acknowledged Sanghyuk.
At that moment, the quest was renewed once again.
The hidden quest ‘Lord of the Footless Horse’, has been renewed to ‘Proving Qualifications to become the Master of the Shadowline’.
This was a victory from audacity, no, from knowing the future.