‘This happened around this time?’
Even Sanghyuk could not be aware of all the events exactly. He may be able to remember specific moments, but his accuracy on ‘when’ that event happened would be much lower.
Reading down, Sanghyuk read on to see where the skirmish was at.
‘If I remember correctly, it started from a worker in Gold Rush coincidentally discovering the elites of the Skies Above Skies guild moving in secrecy…….’
Gold Rush had numerous workers. There were two types of workers – young children being exploited for their talent in Korea and low-wage workers in China who were being extorted of their labor.
Honestly, the talented children of Korea were at least treated like people. Since they were very talented, a carrot had to be given on top of the whip.
However, workshops in China just utilized the fact that labor wages were extremely cheap and made the workers do menial labor. Thanks to that, the number of workers was exceedingly higher on the Chinese side.
The one that discovered the elites of Skies Above Skies guild was a worker from the Chinese workshop.
‘First, Skies Above Skies should have discovered a secret path that leads to the underground hunting field of the Red Pyramid…… while Gold Rush should have realized that there is a secret path. They’re probably probing each other at this point, right? And there were skirmishes here and there…… since both of the guilds are so large, the clash itself seems to have become a hot topic.’
Reading the articles, Sanghyuk could realize what the situation was like right now.
‘At this stage, no one ever knew that it wasn’t just Skies Above Skies versus Gold Rush, but would become an all-out battle between Sky Line and Golden Line.’
Actually, this all began from ordinary clashes for hunting fields as it happened everywhere in EL.
Of course, this was on a much larger scale, but this didn’t make it any different.
‘It was fueled even more since the observers became excited…… and when the fuel was about to die out…… Gold Rush started putting fuel in again by finding the secret path.’
The reason why this became so big when it could have ended with a small skirmish was not that things that happened inside the game, but outside.
The ones that belonged to neither Skies Above Skies nor Gold Rush but like to gossip kept fueling the fight, and thanks to that neither Skies Above Skies nor Gold Rush could finish the fight quickly. Since there was the ‘image’ of the guild, they could only wait for the other to strike, and that delayed the time.
Of course, external sources of fuel didn’t last that long. The external sources of fuel would all die down in 3 to 4 days anyway. However, just as the external supply of fuel became low, a new variable would occur under the Red Pyramid.
Gold Rush entered the hunting field.
Thanks to that, Skies Above Skies and Gold Rush would clash even more intensely. The underground hunting field was the Red Pyramid was what was stereotypically known as a ‘juicy’ hunting field, so the situation turned for the worse.
The battle of wits between Skies Above Skies who tried to monopolize the hunting field versus Gold Rush who tried to get in.
‘This battle of wits lasted for around two weeks more? In any case, that incident would happen in around three weeks and the scale became suddenly large. After that, the war between two guilds leads to the worst outcome, the war between lines.’
Sanghyuk was also swept up in that war and fought like mad. In his previous life, he became famous to the point that he was nicknamed the ‘Berserker’, and that was because the number of elites of Skies Above Skies that Sanghyuk had killed reached three digits.
‘Gold Rush…… Gold Rush…….’
Sanghyuk closed the forum and started organizing his thoughts.
‘This is not an opportunity I should pass by.’
This was definitely an opportunity, but as for how to use it, it required more thought.
Sanghyuk continued his thoughts even after logging into the game.
‘Let’s leave aside giving a big hit to Gold Rush and make the playground a little bigger.’
Sanghyuk wasn’t just thinking of mere personal revenge but about how to use this opportunity as a whole.
‘The guild war between Gold Rush and Skies Above Skies…… This would eventually become an alliance war between Gold Line and Sky Line and would later be known as one of the four great wars of EL, the Sky-Gold war. Then the things I need to do now are…….’
Sanghyuk knew too well what would be necessary once the war started.
There were some items which would explosively increase in demand, leading to prices skyrocketing. To pick a few, there would be ‘Fragment of Life’ and ‘Holy water’ which were ingredients to making potions; mana stones of various grade since they were used from recalling, marking and other things; and finally enhancement stones which would strengthen users in a short period of time.
‘So there’s around three weeks until the war actually begins? I have plenty of time.’
Organizing his thoughts, Sanghyuk came to a decision on what move to make.
‘War merchant! Let’s make another identity through this war.’
The figure Sanghyuk was thinking of was a war merchant. A merchant that bought and sold during wartime…… or to be precise, merchants that acquired immense profit through wars, and in his previous life, this kind of war merchants actually did exist.
However, they only went into proper actions 5 years into the game. There was no way they would appear now when it hadn’t even been a year since the launch of the game.
‘Then should I make the avatar for the war merchant?’
Sanghyuk equipped the ‘Shadow Duke of Falcon City’ title on his postfix title and opened a new slot.
There were two slots opened until now, and they were respectively ‘Ordinary-looking guy’ and ‘Gale’.
‘As for the name… let’s just go with Large Golden Mountain.’
Sanghyuk wrote the name ‘Large Golden Mountain’ on the new slot and started customizing the avatar.
He made the figure short in stature and chubbier. When he did, he got a stereotypical greedy-looking guy.
‘If I give some goat beard…….’
It was the icing on the cake(?) Just with that goat beard, a perfectly miser-looking guy appeared.
Sanghyuk immediately registered the setting on Large Golden Mountain.
A war merchant and the owner of the Golden Mountain – this was Sanghyuk’s third identity.
The fourth if he included his actual self, but in any case, he liked both the avatar and the name.
Having created the perfect avatar for a war merchant, Sanghyuk started hoarding items. He had plenty of funds right now anyway.
He had almost sold out on skill books, but the income from maps was steadily increasing. The price of the map was way too overpriced compared to the skill book, so Sanghyuk was actually earning money doing nothing.
‘For two weeks from now, I’ll hoard the items below a specific price, and after those two weeks, I’ll buy every single thing without considering the price!”
Sanghyuk set on a standard for the hoarding and entered that on two merchant NPCs.
In fact, he hired four more C-rank merchant NPCs and dispatched them to four large cities that weren’t Falcon City and Tune.
Of course, he had set them up the same way.
With that, a total of six merchant NPCs would start hoarding, and with this, it was likely that normal users wouldn’t even be able to see the items they want at the auction.
Systematically, merchant NPCs had higher search speeds than users, and there were 6 of them doing it concurrently, so there was no way the users could catch up.
While the map was still selling, Sanghyuk’s funds were basically unlimited, so he had the confidence to hoard everything no matter how many there were.
‘War without these items is impossible. That means…… that this war cannot be won without me.’
There were no war merchants that were in complete control of the war even in his previous life. They only influenced the war a little.
The war merchant Sanghyuk was thinking of was a completely different existence altogether.
‘If I control everything in this war…… now that’s what I call a true war merchant.’
He made a suspicious smile and nodded.
He was realizing what others couldn’t even possibly dare imagine.
Even while hoarding the items, Sanghyuk continued his marking bus business. He even increased his scale and did it twice a day, for a total of 12 people per day and lead them to the entrance of the 4th floor of the Cave of Giants, and the reactions of the people were explosive.
The bus fee averaged around 30 thousand gold. In other words, Sanghyuk would earn 180 thousand gold per run.
Doing that twice a day, that would mean 360 thousand gold.
The price of gold was increasing by the day, and it was very hard to find people selling gold, but in any case, Sanghyuk was earning around 17.5 million won (17,500 USD) per day.
Of course, he had no plans on turning this into cash. In fact, he was using all this money to hoard war goods.
The marking bus kept running so BJ Gale’s streams also continued to occur every day from 7 pm to 11 pm.
When people watched Sanghyuk’s stream, they gave quite a lot of ‘star candy’. Of course, Sanghyuk didn’t communicate with the spectators at all, but the viewers still gave him those anyway.
The number of star candy in his inventory was also piling, but Sanghyuk just left them be. He had better things to care about and had no room to take care of those.
When Sanghyuk wasn’t streaming, he was hunting black orcs in one of the top three most difficult hunting fields of Hellfire Desert, ‘Blacksand Desert’.
The levels of black orcs averaged around 55, quite a high number right now.
The user known to have the highest level right now was level 49. Although One Soul users started being left behind and Double Soul users were rising, but the highest level was still taken by a One Soul user.
Of course, that was the ‘official’ highest level, and no one knew who the actual highest level player was.
Even Sanghyuk had leveled up to 50 already. With that, the second hell zone that started at level 40 was now over.
The next hell zone would start from level 55. However, just because he wasn’t in a hell zone, it wasn’t that leveling from 50 to 55 was easy.
Although it was incomparable to the third hell zone, it was still quite comparable to the second one. He still needed around 70% of the karma he needed to level up while he was in his second hell zone. Meaning, leveling up was still pretty hard.
Of course, this was all meaningless in front of the third hell zone. Some people even went to ‘sage mode’, due to the huge amount of despair given to them by leveling.
However, Sanghyuk didn’t think about that and just focused on doing as much as possible day by day.
Black orcs too were usually monsters that were hunted in groups of three people in their late 40s to early 50s. However, Sanghyuk had soloed them like he always did.
Honestly, black orcs weren’t monsters that gave a lot of karma or dropped expensive items. However, the reason Sanghyuk was hunting these black orcs was that it was the perfect monster to raise his skill proficiency in.
This was commonly known as proficiency grinding, and through this process, Sanghyuk was currently increasing the proficiency of his basic skills and Soul skills.
Proficiency, like levels, would also slow down when it was higher, so grinding at times like these was a good choice.
Another black orc collapsed on the floor with its neck half severed and turned into a spec of light.
Your proficiency in Mid-rank Sword Mastery has become 250. Requirements to advance has been fulfilled and it has changed into High-rank Sword Mastery.
Your proficiency in ‘Elementalism [Low-rank]’ has become 250. Requirements to advance has been fulfilled and it has changed into ‘Elementalism [Mid-rank]’.
Two Soul skills reached 250 proficiency at the same time and became advanced versions.
‘Phew, I finally got Elementalism to mid rank. I can finally try out proper Elemental Detonation.’
Elemental Detonation showed their true might starting from mid-rank elementals.
As a result of grinding, Sanghyuk could raise proficiency in not just elementalism but other skills as well.
‘Anyway, it’s about time it turns to the worst…….’
Both sides tried to end the skirmish with negotiations. However, as the negotiations dragged out, the situation turned strange. Especially after Gold Rush found out what kind of hunting field the underground hunting field of Red Pyramid was. Their skirmish then turned into a war.
“Since it’s almost time…… it looks like it’s about time Large Golden Mountain came on stage.”
The appearance of the war merchant Large Golden Mountain. This was the start of the war.