There’s a place called the Ancient Castle of Ghosts. It was the ruins of an ancient castle quite far away from Falcon City. Actually, it was closer to Minox, the next city after Falcon City where users would flock to, so it wasn’t a well-known hunting zone yet.
The users were currently grading the many hunting fields in EL, and currently, the Ancient Castle of Ghosts was graded D.
The popular hunting fields like the Valley of the Dead was graded A and so-so hunting zones were graded B or C. Grade D and below were practically a place no one went to. To be exact, the Ancient Castle of Ghosts was the least popular hunting fields of the ones that the users have discovered thus far.
EL was a game with many hunting zones that were wide, so less popular hunting fields became even less popular as time went.
At least this kind of bad cycle continued until one important fact was revealed.
‘Karma accumulation system. When was this known to the public again? It was so gradual that I don’t remember the exact time.’
Karma accumulation system. This was a system that only applied to fields (and not dungeons), and thanks to this system, there was no longer an ‘abandoned’ hunting field in EL. Even after the number of users decreased in low-level zones, there were no hunting fields that were completely abandoned.
‘Has it been around 3 weeks since Ancient Castle of Ghosts was discovered? This much should be enough for the accumulated karma to generate a karma singularity.’
What Sanghyuk aimed for was the ‘karma singularity’ that transformed the monsters and the field itself.
If the users did not periodically exterminate the respawning monsters, karma would accumulate in that region and would trigger a phenomenon known as the ‘karma singularity’ after some time.
There were many stages to karma singularity, and right now was about the time between the first stage, ‘bonus field generation’ and the second stage, ‘field boss appearance’.
If he waited any more time, his juicy jar of honey might be taken by other people so this was the perfect time to open the juicy jar of honey.
This Ancient Castle of Ghosts had a structure that went down underground in levels so even if a bonus field appeared, it would appear in the 7th or 8th floor below ground.
Sanghyuk knew about the karma singularity, but did not know who discovered the karma singularity that appeared in the Ancient Castle of Ghosts.
Even though he was someone who came to the past from the future, he couldn’t know everything, so he had to take care of the things that he was unsure about.
(T/N: Anyone else thinks he’s paranoid?)(E/N: He is paranoid in my opinion, too.)
“Being recording. Perspective, tower!”
Sanghyuk was planning to record videos of his gameplay whenever possible so he set the video recording on before he entered the castle.
Having set the video recording on, Sanghyuk unsheathed his Traveller’s Treasure Sword and slowly walked inside the Ancient Castle of Ghosts.
The monsters in the Ancient Castle of Ghosts were the skeleton series – skeleton soldier, archer, knight, and mage; and stronger skeletons would appear as he delved deeper.
The skeleton series appeared very frequently in various places of the planet of Treenark, so Sanghyuk also had a lot of experience in battling the skeleton series.
He even had numerous experience fighting the final boss of the skeleton series, the spartoi. Of course, the spartoi didn’t appear in the Ancient Castle of Ghosts, but the skeleton series had similar battle patterns overall.
A single sword struck down with power. The sword, swung by a skeleton soldier with all its power, was pretty powerful.
However, Sanghyuk tilted his Traveller’s Treasure Sword slightly to parry it. This kind of techniques were treated as basics later for any pro gamers, no, just average EL players in general.
However, that would only happen after 2 or 3 years.
No one, at the current point in time, knew that this was possible.
Having parried the skeleton soldier’s sword lightly, Sanghyuk pushed the skeleton soldier with his body.
The skeleton series fundamentally had low endurance so the skeleton soldier was pushed back from Sanghyuk’s slam.
Having gained some distance with the slam, Sanghyuk quickly slashed out with his Traveller’s Treasure Sword three times.
*Pa-pa-pah* – Triple Slash activated naturally. However, the angle of the blade was quite peculiar. Triple ‘Slash’ would usually slash with the blade, but Sanghyuk had twisted his grip on the sword to slash, no, smack, with the side of the blade.
Blunt weapons were much more effective to the skeleton series than the sharp weapons. He had to use a blunt weapon rather than a sword to fight them for real, but the Traveller’s Treasure Sword had a high basic attack power, so it was much better to use that than some random blunt weapon.
Instead, Sanghyuk used his sword like a blunt weapon. Actually, it might sound easy, but it was definitely not easy to do for real. Especially changing a skill that has the word ‘slash’ in it to beat something up was normally considered impossible.
‘Beat! And they shall fall!’
Sanghyuk beat the skeleton soldiers with the basic mindset against the skeleton series and the skeleton soldier eventually fell with a shattered skull.
The moment the skeleton soldier fell down, Sanghyuk jumped to the side.
At that moment an arrow from a skeleton archer brushed past him and embedded itself on the wall.
He didn’t dodge it after seeing it, but with pure instinct. He did see that a skeleton archer was rising just before he smashed the head of the skeleton soldier, but he couldn’t exactly time when an arrow would come.
So he could only dodge intuitively.
Having dodged an arrow with intuition, Sanghyuk rolled on the ground once and drew throwing motion to the skeleton archer with his hand.
Card Fusion skill ‘Flame stone’!
The fusion card he had prepared beforehand activated and a flaming pebble shot into the head of the skeleton archer.
Sanghyuk had created 50 Flame stone cards before he came here. Of course, 50 wasn’t that many so he had to save up for later as well.
Since there were only 50 blackstone powder in the commissioned sales store, he could only create 50 flame stone cards, but blackstone powder wasn’t a scarce material so he would be able to acquire them later as well.
Flame stones were practically nightmares against the skeleton series so the skeleton archer immediately collapsed with its head shattered. This was also the reason Sanghyuk had prepared the Flame stones first.
He easily dealt with a skeleton soldier and instantly sniped a skeleton archer with a Flame stone. Both skeleton soldiers and skeleton archers had a relatively high level so other users would usually team up in at least two or more to hunt here.
However, Sanghyuk was hunting alone in the belief of his ability.
‘Ah, the respawn speed of bonus fields is frightening.’
Currently, Sanghyuk was 7 floors below ground level in the Ancient Castle of Ghosts. The Ancient Castle of Ghosts had a total of 8 underground floors, and the bonus field has currently appeared on the 7th floor thanks to the karma singularity.
Once a bonus field appeared, the karma from defeating monsters would increase by 20~30%, and the monsters dropped better quality items at a higher rate.
Bonus fields were maintained until a certain amount of monsters were defeated, so Sanghyuk was planning to hunt here until the bonus field completely disappear.
Actually, just considering the stats of the monsters, skeleton knights and skeleton mages were twice as difficult to kill than skeleton soldiers and skeleton archers. But in practice, there was not that much difference in difficulty.
The reason was simple. Skeleton soldiers and skeleton archers usually appeared in groups of 3~5, while skeleton knights and skeleton mages only appeared by themselves or at most 2.
So, in Sanghyuk’s shoes, both of them felt relatively equal in difficulty.
Actually, Sanghyuk’s method of battle was very simple. He would use his sword to melee the skeleton soldiers and skeleton knights and close in on the skeleton archers and skeleton mages if possible or just use a flame stone to obliterate them.
If someone saw Sanghyuk fighting, they may see it as a repetition of a simple pattern. However, a user with a considerable understanding of EL may be shocked.
There was not a single wasted movement and every movement was precise.
That was how Sanghyuk was hunting right now. It was just that absolutely no wasted movements made him look dull. Extreme efficiency resulted in simplicity after all.
Sanghyuk struck his Traveller’s Treasure Sword into the ribs of a skeleton mage and kicked the sword upwards with his right foot.
At that moment, the skeleton mage’s ribs all shattered and its body swayed a lot. Having blasted all of its ribs out, Sanghyuk pulled out his sword and smashed it into the skull of the skeleton mage.
The skeleton mage couldn’t endure this strike after a big strike from the first. It tried to use some kind of magic to attack Sanghyuk the moment Sanghyuk closed in, but the problem was that Sanghyuk’s follow up attack was much faster than the mage’s reaction.
With this skeleton mage, Sanghyuk had cleanly exterminated a batch of skeletons once more.
“Two skeleton knights and one skeleton mage does make it a lot more tricky.”
“Although he was saying it was tricky, he had killed the three skeletons in a brief moment with precise judgements and movements as though he had done this hundreds of times already.
Actually, Sanghyuk shouldn’t be currently hunting in this place.
A normal user at Sanghyuk’s level would normally be limited to the field above the Ancient Castle of Ghosts or hunt skeleton soldiers that appeared by themselves on the first floor.
However, Sanghyuk lightly ignored those limitations and was hunting batches of skeletons in floor 7.
His practical experience from slaving away like a machine in the workshop for 5 years was synergizing with his theory that he had created in his directing days.
At first, the theory and the experience didn’t properly combine together and he had some difficulties. However, with an endless amount of effort, Sanghyuk was currently reproducing 90% of the movements that he wanted.
“The blue light dimmed quite a lot.”
Picking up a few miscellaneous items (T/N: aka ‘japtem’) that the skeleton mage dropped, Sanghyuk felt that the blue light from the surroundings had dimmed quite a little bit.
Looks like the bonus field effect would disappear in 30 minutes. Then…… I guess it’s about time I go down now.’
If floor 7 was the bonus field of the karma singularity, floor 8 was the field boss of the karma singularity.
‘If the field boss is really the same as what I think it is…… I might be landing on a jackpot…… but that won’t happen right?’
Field boss appearance was purely random, so Sanghyuk didn’t know what kind of boss was waiting for him.
It was just that he had one that he wished for it to come out among the skeleton-type filled boss monsters. There were 7 skeleton-type field boss monsters to his knowledge. So, the probability that he would get what he wanted was 1 in 7.
He had to strike the iron while it was hot, so he immediately went to floor 8. Of course, he inwardly wished that the field boss monster he wanted to appear would appear.