The Player that Can’t Level Up - Chapter 38
You are reading The Player that Can’t Level Up Chapter 38 at NovelCake.
“Haa… Haa…” the players panted. It had been over an hour since the hunt for the 4th-floor guardian began. Thankfully, there were only a few casualties, but most players were exhausted by now.
These were all minor problems; the elephant in the room was something else.
“We can’t kill it,” a random player at the front line murmured in despair.
As things stood, there were no reserve forces available. The guardian had forced the spare forces to join the fray soon after the battle began. It battled the combined might of the main and the spare forces—it still came out unscathed. It even looked refreshed, as if it hadn’t been fighting the players for over an hour.
A player in the back whispered, “It’s a beast…”
Perhaps the term “beast” was an accurate term for this guardian. Even Kim Dong-Hae seemed weary of the orc’s stamina and tenacity.
One member from the Child Guild desperately shouted, “Captain! Shouldn’t we retreat at this point?” He was fighting even as he yelled.
“Not yet! Just a little while longer!” Kim Dong-Hae replied as his eyes landed somewhere. He was staring at the Morningstar Guild: It was obsessively focused on attacking the orc’s back. More specifically, Kim Dong-Hae observed one man among the many in the group. He pondered, ‘They still aren’t attacking the guardian actively for some reason.’
The Morningstar members were keeping their attacks tight and small. So far, Kim Dong-Hae hadn’t seen them make any big moves. For some reason, the captain had a feeling that Gi-Gyu, the mysterious player, was the key to victory. This was why he couldn’t order a retreat just yet.
Slicing the orc’s back with Lou, Gi-Gyu muttered in disgust, “This is a real beast for sure.”
The orc turned around at an incredible speed and slammed his glaive on the spot where Gi-Gyu was standing just a moment ago. With a loud explosion, dust and debris blew everywhere.
“Step back!” As soon as Gi-Gyu shouted, the Morningstar players took a step back as a unit. Thanks to Gi-Gyu’s strategy of keeping their attacks small and defensive, the Morningstar was the least tired guild in the hunting party.
With a small smile, Gi-Gyu murmured, “I’ve got a good sense of this beast now.”
Other players believed they’d wasted the last hour of their time, but Gi-Gyu disagreed. His necklace glowed as he heard the system announcement.
[Wound Aggravation has been enabled.]
At the same time, the gash Lou made on the orc’s back stopped healing. Gi-Gyu had used the last hour to understand the orc’s fighting pattern. The last hour gave him a good sense of the monster’s behavior.
‘Its regeneration power, stamina, and strength are incredible, but its attack pattern is about the same.’
Gi-Gyu discovered that the 4th-floor guardian had the same basic battle pattern as the other orcs. No one else noticed this, but Gi-Gyu did because he hunted orcs for five straight years. He also hunted countless orcs when he first obtained Lou. He was confident in his assessment, and he even suspected the other players would never figure this out independently. After all, the B-grade players had probably forgotten about fighting such weak monsters like the 4th-floor orcs.
‘So did this guardian evolve or something?’
Gi-Gyu couldn’t help wondering this because the guardian’s pattern was too similar to the orcs.
Turning toward the other Morningstar members, he announced, “Attention! Do you remember what I taught you when I was your guide?”
“Do you remember fighting the orcs individually to prepare for the 5th-floor test?” asked Gi-Gyu.
Sun-Pil replied confidently, “Of course we do! How could we ever forget that?!”
“This is exactly like that. Just think of this guardian as an orc.”
“Pardon?” Sun-Pil seemed confused by Gi-Gyu’s response, but before he could ask for a further explanation, Gi-Gyu was already gone.
Accelerate and Wound Aggravation were skills Gi-Gyu had access to thanks to the pseudo Egos he purchased from Old Man Hwang. Gradually, he felt his body becoming faster.
“Chweeek!” the guardian screamed in pain.
“What the!” one player who barely dodged the orc’s glaive shouted when he noticed the long wound on the monster’s hand. The player couldn’t understand where this injury came from.
Kim Dong-Hae smiled in understanding and murmured, “I can’t stay behind like this.” Without hesitation, he also sprinted toward the guardian.
“Captain Kim Dong-Hae!” one of the Child Guild players screamed, but Kim Dong-Hae didn’t slow down.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Unfortunately, the orc was also beginning to move faster; the casualties increased each time it swung its glaive. The healing skill only worked on alive players who could accept such help. Unsure of what to do and who to help, the players of the support category hovered hesitantly.
At that moment, they heard a familiar voice.
“Please focus your healing skills on Captain Kim Dong-Hae and me!”
Gi-Gyu screamed while slashing at the orc with Lou and El as if he was possessed. He swung Lou and El once after another in a carefully crafted attack pattern. And as a result, the guardian’s green blood spurted out with every slash.
“Water protection!” As if he was determined not to lose to Gi-Gyu, Kim Dong-Hae attacked the orc with his skills from the opposite side. To everyone’s shock, the orc, utterly unharmed even after facing an hour of constant offense, was now bleeding.
“W-we can do this!” many players cheered as they began their attacks again.
Just then, Gi-Gyu shouted, “Be careful!” He warned Kim Dong-Hae because he saw the orc’s glaive flying toward the captain. Unlike Gi-Gyu, who knew the orc’s pattern, Kim Dong-Hae had been fighting blindly.
It was a close call, as seconds later, the glaive struck the spot Kim Dong-Hae was standing a moment ago. Hearing the loud explosion, the captain stammered, “T-thank you.”
“If you still haven’t recognized the orc’s attack pattern, you should stay back, Captain!” Gi-Gyu replied as he used Lou and El in succession to block the glaive. By now, everyone had witnessed the orc’s incredible power and knew just how troublesome dealing with it was. Yet, Gi-Gyu alone fought the monster with ease and gave everyone well-thought-out instructions.
Kim Dong-Hae wondered in shock, ‘Just how strong is he?’ Sadly, he couldn’t show his admiration because Gi-Gyu vanished from his sights like lightning.
Only the Morningstar Guild members were actively attacking the guardian with much success now. They seemingly knew precisely where the orc would strike next because they easily dodged its attacks. The Morningstar players gradually injured the guardian and slowed it down.
“Chweek! Chweek! Chweeeeeeek!!!!!!!!!” the orc roared in pain.
At best, Kim Dong-Hae’s sight wasn’t on Gi-Gyu for a fleeting moment. But, in that moment, Gi-Gyu inflicted countless injuries on the monster’s body.
Gi-Gyu kicked the ground to leap.
“Chweeek!” It seemed that the orc had now caught onto Gi-Gyu’s attacks. Glaring at him in rage, the guardian snorted loudly. A vapor-like heat escaped the orc’s nostrils as it grabbed its glaive with both hands for the first time. Gi-Gyu stood like a statue and watched the guardian prepare to attack.
Thinking Gi-Gyu froze, Kim Dong-Hae shouted, “It’s dangerous!”
The Morningstar Guild members were backing away, realizing the situation had suddenly gotten much more dangerous. All the subjugation group players stood far away watching the battle between Gi-Gyu and the guardian orc. It seemed that only Gi-Gyu and the guardian existed in this world right now.
Now ready to attack, the orc slammed down on the ground with its glaive.
Another dust wind blew everywhere.
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Kim Dong-Hae couldn’t see the attack just now. He gulped audibly as many questions flooded his brain,
‘Did Gi-Gyu dodge it?’
‘Did he block the attack?’
‘Is he dead?’
He had many questions; before long, they were all answered.
“N-no,” Kim Dong-Hae shouted in desperation. As the dust settled, he saw the orc standing strong on the ground.
But then, one of the Morningstar players screamed, “Look behind you!”
It was Sun-Pil.
“Huh?” Kim Dong-Hae gasped, trying to understand what Sun-Pil was trying to say. At the same time, he noticed something strange: The orc was standing absolutely still.
With a loud noise, the orc fell forward to the ground.
The entire subjugation party attacked the orc without success during the first hour. But, just five minutes after Gi-Gyu actively fought, the orc was dead.
“Ha… ha…” Kim Dong-Hae, speechless at the scene in front of him, couldn’t help but laugh. Meanwhile, Gi-Gyu plunged Lou and El into the orc’s back.
[You have obtained experience points.]
Every survivor in the subjugation party heard the system announcement.
“It’s finally over…” one player murmured.
“Oh my god… We really did it,” another whispered.
“Uwahh!!!” several players exclaimed.
Maybe it was the disbelief or the excitement, but everyone was chatting loudly now. Kim Dong-Hae was having just as hard a time accepting what had happened. Countless B-grade guilds participated in the hunt; in the end, a C-grade guild shone like the sun during the fight. Even among the many Morningstar Guild players, one stood out the most—Gi-Gyu. It wouldn’t have been an exaggeration to say Gi-Gyu almost killed the orc alone.
Everyone was cheering and celebrating when Gi-Gyu heard the system announcement. Apart from him, no one else on the field heard it.
[Cannibalism has been activated.]
[The lowest level devil Perez has been eliminated.]
[Attempting to egofy Perez.]
[Perez’s egofication has failed.]
[Lou has absorbed a fragment of the unegofied Perez.]
“What do you think happened?” Sun-Pil asked. Although Gi-Gyu felt guilty for not being able to tell him the truth, he remained calm and replied, “Who knows? It was an unusual guardian, so maybe it makes sense that its death was unique too.”
Sun-Pil asked because the guardian’s corpse disappeared after its death. When a guardian died, it always dropped at least one item, which the players took as a prize. But this time, nothing was dropped by the fourth-floor guardian.
The subjugationgroup had completed taking care of their casualties; they were on their way home after a successful hunt. Although they suffered several casualties, it wasn’t as bad as everyone expected.
“Umm…” one of the Brother Guild’s members approached Gi-Gyu. It was the rude player Gi-Gyu fought earlier.
“Yes?” Gi-Gyu didn’t hold a grudge against him, but he kept his answer curt.
“I’m so sorry about what I did earlier! I didn’t realize what a powerful player you are. It was because you’re in a C-grade guild…” Gi-Gyu watched him in frustration as the man came up with a weak excuse.
“You know very well that a guild’s grade doesn’t always match its players’ grades. And it sounds like you’re saying you wouldn’t be apologizing if I wasn’t strong. Am I right?” Gi-Gyu asked bluntly.
“Just go away. You’re annoying me.”
“I apologize!” the Brother Guild player bowed and scurried away. It seemed Gi-Gyu’s recent battle had scared the Brother member straight. Watching the Brother Guild player return to his group, the other players showed even more interest in Gi-Gyu. Everyone had been hesitant to approach him, but now, they swarmed Gi-Gyu and bombarded him with questions and comments.
“Can we be friends?”
“You were so amazing back there!”
“You were incredible!”
Unaffected by the other players’ compliments, Gi-Gyu replied in a business-like tone, “Thank you.”
When Gi-Gyu continued to act cold and uninterested, the players awkwardly left him. Jae-Won, who was standing next to him, teased, “Wow! You’re so popular now, Hyung!”
Just then, Kim Dong-Hae walked up to Gi-Gyu. He politely asked, “If you wouldn’t mind, could we talk for a moment?”
“Hmm… Alright.” Gi-Gyu was also interested in the captain, so he accepted.
“Can we talk in private?” When Kim Dong-Hae suggested, Gi-Gyu turned toward Sun-Pil, who nodded. Everyone could guess what Kim Dong-Hae wanted to talk to Gi-Gyu about.
Gi-Gyu and the captain walked away from the group. Their captain’s absence didn’t lead the group in disarray. Even without Kim Dong-Hae, the group did a fine job getting organized and dealing with the aftermath.
Kim Dong-Hae asked, “Do you plan on staying in the Morningstar Guild? I’m not saying this because I think little of your guild. In fact, I’ve learned the Morningstar Guild isn’t a group to be ignored anymore. But someone like you, Player Kim Gi-Gyu, you should be able to join a bigger guil—”
“No, I don’t plan on staying with the Morningstar guild.” At Gi-Gyu’s reply, Kim Dong-Hae’s eyes brightened as he continued, “Then would you like to join the Child Guild? You will receive the best terms possible, and we will accept any conditions you request.”
It was clear Kim Dong-Hae was trying to scout Gi-Gyu, who had shown his incredible skills a moment ago. Since Sun-Pil and Gi-Gyu already had an agreement, Gi-Gyu knew he was free to join whichever guild he chose. But Gi-Gyu replied, “I don’t plan on joining any guild. This was just a one-time thing.”
“Ah, I see.” Kim Dong-Hae seemed disappointed as he added, “But I would still like to maintain a close relationship with you, Player Kim Gi-Gyu. If there is anything our guild, or I, can do for you, please come find me.”
When Kim Dong-Hae offered Gi-Gyu his business card, he accepted it with a nod and replied, “Thank you.”
Kim Dong-Hae bowed as well and left to join his group.
“Hmm…” Gi-Gyu was currently leaving the Tower with the rest of the subjugation group, but his focus was on something else.
‘Lou, any changes to you?’
Lou answered brusquely. The uninterested tone evoked a brief frown from Gi-Gyu before he decided to just check his Egos’status.