Hot Second Life Ranker Chapter 98
Chapter 98. One-horned tribe (8)
The beating of drums echoed around the town square. The tribesmen rose from their seats and danced around the bonfire along with the beat as they raised their glasses full of liquor high up in the air.
After Yeon-woo’s battle with Jang finished, the One-horned tribe decided to hold a ‘small’ welcome ceremony in honor of their new guest.
But seeing them enjoying the ceremony more than himself, it seemed like they wanted to enjoy the last bit of peace before the war, rather than to actually welcome Yeon-woo.
Even the Martial King told them to forget about the war and just enjoy the ceremony today.
‘It seems like everyone here is always so full of smiles.’
Yeon-woo thought as he watched people’s cheerful expressions.
‘This kind of atmosphere doesn’t agree with me.’
Yeon-woo couldn’t wait to leave the ceremony. But knowing that the ceremony was held for him, he couldn’t be absent from it. The only thing he could do was to sit in his place and wish for time to go by quickly as he watched the people enjoying the festivity.
As Yeon-woo looked around the town square, he noticed different groups of villagers, each of them enjoying different activities.
Not only people were dancing around the campfire, but there were also some holding drinking competitions, some selling food and so on.
But he wasn’t interested in any of that, save for one thing.
In one corner of the square not far from Yeon-woo, there was a group of people engaging in a fighting competition. What caught his attention was that they weren’t fighting with any weapon or armor and instead were competing with only their bodies.
A lot of people got injured and some even had their nose or arm broken, but the most interesting thing was that people were still laughing throughout the whole competition.
‘Wrestling, was it?’
The wrestling of the One-horned tribe was very similar to the one in the Earth, except for the fact that the participants here possessed inhuman strength.
It was indeed the culture of a race that loved and honored fighting.
But it wasn’t their culture that amazed Yeon-woo the most, but instead, their way of fighting.
‘Their every motion is swift and concise, and their usage of mana is very efficient.’
Yeon-woo started to watch them using his Draconic Eyes.
The flow of each motion, their utilization of mana, the differences in their thoughts and decisions, and every other element that involved combat which he couldn’t see when fighting with Jang came into his head.
Interestingly enough, the mana in each person’s bodies flowed in different ways, and the effects also varied based on the shape of such flow.
‘So this is what Mugong is.’
Yeon-woo felt a strong thirst. A thirst for knowledge of the Mugong.
Even though Yeon-woo had obtained a copious amount of mana through the consumption of various Elixirs, the problem was that he didn’t know how to use it efficiently.
‘If I could make any of their Mugong my own, I’d be able to increase the output of my Magic Circuit at least several times fold.’
As Yeon-woo watched the wrestling competition with eager eyes,
“So it’s you, the new guy who just arrived today.”
Someone came to a stand in front of Yeon-woo, blocking his view.
Yeon-woo raised his head with a frown.
The person standing in front of him was a human male with a large frame and a shaggy beard which made him look like some kind of bandit.
Though it was his first time meeting a human in this village, Yeon-woo kept glaring at the man without showing any interest.
The man’s face distorted with fury from Yeon-woo’s reaction.
“Haven’t you heard that there are others staying in this village? How can you make a senior come to find a subordinate?”
Only then did Yeon-woo realize the man’s identity.
‘He must be one of the guests staying in the village.’
Yeon-woo heard that there were nine other players staying as guests in the village.
The only thing he hadn’t heard was that there would be someone who would come to bother him with stuff about seniors and subordinates.
It was funny how a guest like him could talk about hierarchy and try to discipline another guest for being a ‘senior’.
Yeon-woo couldn’t help but let out a sneer at his ridiculousness.
“Did you just laugh?”
“Move it. I can’t see anything because of you.”
The moment the man was about to spat out cuss words at Yeon-woo,
“Is there any problem?”
He was stopped by Edora’s voice coming from behind him.
The man turned his head with a slightly strained look and ran into Edora’s cold eyes.
“No, there’s no problem… I just came to say hello to the new….”
“I’m sorry but I will be guiding him around, so I don’t think he will be needing your help. And I believe you can exchange greetings afterward. Now, would you mind leaving us, please?”
Which basically meant ‘Get out’.
The man watched the two with one end of his lips twitching and soon walked away as he threw a furious glare.
“You didn’t have to do that.”
Yeon-woo said to Edora who seated herself next to him, without giving a single look towards the man.
Edora sighed in response.
“I know, but I didn’t want to cause a scene and ruin your welcome ceremony.”
Edora said as she handed over a glass of wine to Yeon-woo.
Yeon-woo reluctantly, but at the same time gladly, accepted the glass she offered.
The glass was filled with wine brewed by the One-horned tribe. A kind of sweet smell lingered in his nose for a while.
“His name is Brock, and his nickname is ‘Black Bull’. He’s from the 30th floor, just like Jang, which also means that he was hired by Jang.”
Yeon-woo answered flatly.
He could understand why he was so eager to discipline him, but he couldn’t care less about what he thought of him.
Noticing Yeon-woo’s discomfort, Edora quickly changed the subject.
“Oh, by the way, we had your egg transported safely to where the elders are.”
“Thank you for your help.”
“No, please, don’t thank us. We’re the ones who should be grateful to you. You probably don’t know how their eyes shined when they heard the news.”
Before the ceremony started, Yeon-woo was called by the council of elders to the boardroom.
There, the elders asked him if he was okay with leaving his egg with the elders while he was participating in the war.
Though, it was closer to begging than asking.
It had been a long time since they witnessed something that stimulated their curiosity. Something such as an egg that could possibly hatch a Legendary Beast like a Void Dragon.
For the elders who had only been sitting in the boardroom killing time, his egg came like a sweet rain amid a drought.
So, the elders asked him if they could do some research on his egg while it was with them. Of course, without harming the egg or anything of the sort.
“They’ve already gone and checked the quantity of several herbs and medicinal plants in our storage room. It looks like they want to try and apply all sorts of Elixirs on your egg. Can you imagine what kind of great beast will come out of your egg?”
“You think so?”
And for a long time, Edora spent her time with Yeon-woo talking about things they missed after their sudden farewell.
Yeon-woo was told some of the underlying reasons for the One-horned tribe’s participation in the war, and Edora got to know what Yeon-woo went through on the 11th floor.
The fact that she was having this kind of chat with Yeon-woo and to think that such a cold-hearted person like him stood up for her and Phante made her happy. It made her feel reassured to know how much Yeon-woo cared for them.
But then, when she recalled the moment when Yeon-woo proudly announced himself as their ‘big brother’, she couldn’t stop her face from blushing.
‘Will I ever see him stand up for us like that again?
As she tried to calm down her beating heart, Edora slowly turned her head towards Yeon-woo and took a peek at his face.
His indifferent eyes were fixed onto the bonfire in front of him.
‘I wish I could see him without his mask.’
Seeing Yeon-woo’s mask, Edora was curious to know how he would look without his mask. However, she decided not to ask, because she could tell there was a story behind that mask. If so, it was only correct to wait until he trusted her enough to open his heart to her.
“By the way, where’s Phante?”
But sometimes, this kind of insensitive side of him made her a little sad too.
“He’ll be busy for a while. It’s been decided that he will be taking the leading position for this Kuram siege. He is probably sweating over the massive amount of studying he has to do for that.”
Surely, Phante wasn’t cut out for doing brain-intensive work.
A faint smile flickered around Yeon-woo’s lips as he imagined Phante trying to study something with his giant body seated in front of a table.
“Hmm… I don’t remember you having this chain before.”
Edora then asked about the chain wound around Yeon-woo’s arm as she began to examine it with glittering eyes.
Only then did Yeon-woo remember the favor he wanted to ask her. He had completely forgotten about it because of the flurry of events that happened nonstop.
“Actually, there’s something I need you to do about this chain and bracelet.”
“What is it?”
“Could you take a look at this item with your Insight?”
“Oh? What kind of information do you want to know?”
“Just tell me anything you can find from this item. There seem to be some secrets hidden inside this artifact, but I couldn’t figure them out in my capacity.”
Edora then inspected his bracelet with narrowed eyes.
A metal chain with a smooth black surface reflecting light like obsidian.
Even with just a rough inspection, she could see it was an extraordinary artifact.
‘I hope she can find out something new.’
In fact, Yeon-woo didn’t want to show his new artifacts to Edora. To be exact, he didn’t want to show them to other players.
The artifacts alluding to gods’ names were rare artifacts that even rankers couldn’t easily get their hands on.
And if other players found out that such a great artifact was in the hands of a player on the 11th floor, it was obvious that he would be targeted by lots and lots of players and clans.
What Yeon-woo wanted to attract was their attention, not their swords.
Therefore, he wrapped up Aegis in scraps of leather to make it look like a normal shield.
But for the Black Bracelet, which wouldn’t come off his arm, there was nothing he could do about it.
‘That’s why I need to know what this is. It helps in controlling the Spirit Familiars, but I need to know if there’s a way to take it off.’
Besides, if he could know more about the artifact, he should be able to figure out more ways to utilize it.
‘The more I see it, the more it looks like a handcuff.’
The Black Bracelet reminded him of a torture instrument that people of the past used to tie down prisoners.
Even in the information window, it said it was a ‘chain’ that bound the Black King in the abyss’.
Edora opened her mouth after a long time of inspection.
“This is a handcuff, also a very old one.”
‘So it was a handcuff.’
“It’s a reward you got after clearing the 10th floor, isn’t it?”
He did not bother explaining about the Olympus’ Treasury. It wasn’t exactly a lie either since the bracelet did change after clearing the 10th floor’s trial.
Edora continued as she touched the chain a couple of times.
“About the material… it looks like it’s made out of Divine Iron.”
“But can it be…? I heard there’s only a tiny amount of that material left in The Tower. There’s no way there’s an artifact entirely made out of it…”
Edora muttered to herself and shook her head.
“Okay, I’ll first tell you what I know for sure. This artifact is a handcuff, and yes, it was an item used to bind down prisoners a very long time ago. It seems like the ones bound by these handcuffs were very vicious criminals who required this kind of restraints to keep them under control. And in regards to the material, I think I need to do more research to know exactly what it is.”
Then Edora began to ask Yeon-woo a few questions.
“Can you use it?”
“Yes, but only a part of the options are available. There are more sealed options though.”
“It’s probably because it’s incomplete.”
“Yes, I’m not sure, but I don’t think that the handcuff is the only part of that artifact.”
Yeon-woo recalled the description of the Black Bracelet. It said that ‘the Black King’s resentment had corrupted the three ???s’. It seemed like Edora was on the right track.
“Judging by the shape of the joints, there must be at least two more parts to this artifact. I think the remaining options will be revealed when you find the missing parts.”
Yeon-woo clenched his fist.
Edora’s explanation continued.
“As far as I know, there are three kinds of instruments that were used to bind a prisoner. The first is a handcuff like the one you are wearing right now.”
Edora first pointed at his wrist.
“The second is a fetter.”
Then she pointed at his ankle.
“And the last one is a pillory.”
And lastly, she pointed at his neck.
“I believe those are the three parts of the artifact.”
Yeon-woo nodded gravely.
Although he couldn’t find out everything about the Black Bracelet, this alone was a great help for Yeon-woo. He thought it had been a good idea to ask Edora’s opinion on it.
There were two remaining parts, also two sealed optioned waiting to be unlocked.
Looking at the two numbers that matched, he became confident that he was on the right path.
Yeon-woo couldn’t wait to see what kind of amazing skill the artifact would grant him once it regained its original form.
‘The question is, where do I find the other parts?’
Yeon-woo once again asked Edora, in hopes that someone as learned as she might know the answer.
“Have you heard about someone named the Black King?”
Edora asked back tilting her head.
“Hmm? The Black King? Is that name associated with this artifact?”
“Yes. The name of the artifact itself is Despair of the Black King.”
“I’m sorry I haven’t heard that name before. There’s the word ‘king’ in his name, so I suppose he was one of the Lord from the past… Besides, if he was someone who could create this kind of artifact, then he definitely was not an ordinary person.”
However, Instead of looking disappointed, Edora said with a determined look.
“Don’t worry. We have a lot of old data stored in our library, so I’ll ask the elders for permission to access them. I’m sure they will gladly grant you permission.”
“But by any chance…”
Yeon-woo tried to say something, but Edora broke into a smile as if she knew what Yeon-woo was about to say.
“I know what you’re trying to ask. You don’t want this information to get into other people’s ears, right? You don’t have to worry about that either. You know what they say, a wise man knows how to hold his tongue.”
Yeon-woo couldn’t help but laugh at how quick-witted she was.
“Yes, that too, but I have one more favor to ask of you.”
Yeon-woo paused for a second and shifted his gaze towards where the wrestling competition was taking place.
“I want to learn how to use your tribe’s Mugong. Do you think that’s possible?”