Published at 18th of November 2020 07:24:57 PM
Mk2 – An abbreviation of Mark II or Mark 2 . It often refers to the second version of a product, which is frequently used on military hardware .
A Rare Monster, as its name implied, was a rare monster with a low frequency of appearance .
‘Among those Rare Monsters are what is called the Named Monsters . ’
The Named Monster was a special entity that was even rarer than the already rare Rare Monster, and thus, having a name separately classified it from the other monsters .
Moreover, Named Monsters weren’t just rare .
Most Named Monsters were much stronger than normal monsters or possessed special abilities, though there were some cases where they were just like normal monsters .
‘In short, they’re difficult and tricky to fight against . ’
However, it was extremely rare for users of the Legend of Heroes series to dislike encounters with the Named Monsters .
Even ordinary users welcomed encounters with the Named Monsters, and it was all the more so for the rotten waters like Jude and Cordelia .
Why was it like that?
Why did users long for an encounter with a difficult-to-fight Named Monster?
Let me say this in advance, it wasn’t that the Legend of Heroes users were weirdos who enjoyed pain and suffering .
“What? Wasn’t it like that?”
“No, it’s not? No, wait . Surely?”
“No way, it’s not, really! Of course I’m the exception . I enjoy the thrill of highly difficult games . You and other rotten waters are weirdos who enjoy suffering . ”
At Cordelia’s shameless assertion, Jude nodded and said as he pretended to write in the air .
“Cordelia is a weirdo who enjoys pain and suffering…memo . ”
Jude, who began to be slapped on the back by Cordelia, was thinking as he stared at the White Grizzly whom they had just defeated .
‘High risk, high return . ’
It was difficult to fight against, but in return, the rewards were plentiful .
The experience gained was much higher than that of a regular mob, and the quantity and quality of the items that were dropped when they are defeated were also incomparable with the regular mobs .
‘But this not a game . This is reality . ’
In the game, if they defeated the White Grizzly, they would get this and that item, but this was reality .
The giant White Grizzly was supposed to carry items that were used by humans who were much smaller than itself .
‘But even if that is so…’
“Argh! Why is your pain tolerance so high! Let’s strengthen it!”
“Hey! It hurts! It really hurts! Why are you using magic to hit me!”
“Here it goes! Here you go!”
“Ah! Ah! It really hurts! It really hurts! I think you hit me in the bone!”
“Nice! Additional damage!”
Jude barely calmed down the happy Cordelia who had clenched her fist, before he looked back at the White Grizzly .
‘It’s not just the equipment we could get . ’
There was the mana stone embedded in the forehead of the named White Grizzly, and since it was a bear, there was its gallbladder and its claws that were harder than steel .
T/N: The dried gall bladder of a bear is used as an ingredient for herbal medicine .
There were plenty of parts that they could take .
“Wow! Look at this! There’s also an item!”
Cordelia had rushed towards the side of the sprawled White Grizzly and took out a small dagger from its hairy fur .
“What…why does it have an item?”
“I don’t know, maybe it used this as a toothpick . Oh, it’s better than I thought? It’s a dagger with a Freezing curse . If you get stabbed by this, you’ll get frostbite . ”
It was a fact that he often forget, but Cordelia was definitely a wizard .
She had grasped the magic of the dagger at once, and afterwards, she began to scour the fur some more with a satisfied face .
“Eh, there’s nothing more . ”
“No, it’s already strange that an item came out . ”
Perhaps this was also the Kaplan effect .
Anyway, since they had already defeated the White Grizzly and they couldn’t stay here forever, they had to directly harvest the mana stone, gallbladder, and so on now .
During the Bicorn, the knights did it for them, but that was not possible this time .
Cordelia frowned and was troubled, but Jude smiled and stepped forward .
“Don’t worry . Leave it to me, step back, and take care of Kaplan . ”
“Can you do it?”
“I can do it . ”
“Wow, you’re so awesome . ”
“Don’t fall in love . ”
“Yes, I won’t fall in love . ”
Cordelia nodded right away and then passed by Jude as she headed for Kaplan, and Jude bitterly smiled before he took out his dagger .
And around a minute or so passed .
Cordelia shouted as she approached Kaplan who had collapsed at a distance .
“Jude! Kaplan seems to have fainted!”
“He’s timid and weak . He’s a little different from the Kaplan we know . ”
“Well…we’re still in the early stages . Isn’t it because he had been through so much of this that he became the intrepid man of bad luck?”
“Hmm, that may be true . ”
The convinced Cordelia examined Kaplan’s condition some more before she turned to Jude .
Jude was skillfully collecting all the necessary parts .
“Jude, shall we wake Kaplan up again?”
“No, just leave him fainted . I think it’ll be more comfortable for him that way . ”
“Well, we’ve still got a long way to go, so if he kept fainting, it would be bad for Kaplan . ”
“Yes, so he doesn’t need to stay awake . ”
“Yes, yes, that’s right . ”
The two had agreed yesterday to create the wooden board Mk2 by attaching the Wind’s Wing Arrow to the wooden board they had prepared in advance and using magic to make it fly .
“All right, let’s keep going . ”
“Let’s be fishermen who hooks monsters . ”
Jude and Cordelia looked at each other and warmly smiled before they set off with the wooden board carrying Kaplan .
The distance between the wooden board and the two were about 30 meters .
“Wow, it’s coming already . ”
“His aggro’s really freaking awesome . ”
It had only been 30 minutes since they defeated the White Grizzly .
The two joyfully laughed as they stepped forward .
Naturally, they caught a big fish again this time .
Indiana Kaplan was both an archeology expert and an adventurer .
Having served as a professor at the institutional academy, a prestigious school within the Argon Empire, he had already been an extraordinary figure since he was a graduate student and before becoming a professor .
The discovery of the tomb of Ironclad, the ancient dwarf king .
The unearthing of the tombstones of Luplan, an old kingdom .
The excavation of the crystal ball of Tatania, proving the existence of Tatania and the land of witches, which had only been considered a legend .
The imperial family recognized his achievements and abilities in making discoveries of the century that were rarely made once in a lifetime, and granted him knighthood along with a life-long teaching position at the institutional academy, and Indiana Kaplan was able to enjoy the honor of being the youngest professor in the history of the Argon Empire .
But if there was light, there was darkness .
In terms of his accomplishments, he was supposed to be a star of the archeological world and the treasure of the institutional academy, but he was always shunned and hated .
‘Envy . ’
He would have felt better if it had been just that .
He could have endured it, thinking that it was the envy of the losers towards those who achieved remarkable success .
‘Kaplan was the only one who came back safe this time?’
‘There is no such thing as a god of disaster . But how come every time he excavates, an accident happens?’
‘Isn’t it on purpose?’
‘You mean on purpose? Do you mean that Kaplan intentionally causes an accident?’
‘It’s possible . ’
‘Because he wants to take the credit alone?’
It was an outrageous slander .
It was nothing more than a conspiracy theory without any evidence .
How could he kill or injure researchers who went on an investigation together with him and disguise it as accidents just so that he could take the credit alone?
‘It could be so . ’
‘How does an accident happen like that every time?’
‘In the meantime, he’s the only one who’s fine . ’
It was as people said .
Despite the many accidents, Kaplan was always alive and well .
There were many injuries, but there weren’t really any serious injuries or deaths .
‘It’s okay, all of it are groundless rumors . How could they blame you for the accidents that happened? You have been hurt many times too . ’
Those were the words of Bartol, who had volunteered for the assistant position that everyone avoided .
How much had he been saved by those words?
However, even Bartol did not last long .
‘…I’ll quit . ’
During his first excavation with Bartol, an accident occurred without fail, and Bartol was fortunately saved, but was seriously injured that he had to lie in a hospital bed for five months .
Bartol didn’t say anything to blame Kaplan .
But he didn’t say that it wasn’t Kaplan’s fault like before, nor say that it was his own fault .
It was from then on .
Kaplan began to go alone .
He didn’t work with others when he was conducting research or excavations .
Anytime, anywhere .
Just alone .
Kaplan suddenly opened his eyes, let out a gasp, and raised his upper body .
In the midst of his confusion, several images suddenly filled his mind .
A giant monster .
White Grizzly .
The one who ferociously roared as if it would eat him at any moment .
He was alive .
He did not die .
He seemed to have escaped from the monster again .
“Haa…haa…what a relief…”
That was it .
While breathing hard, Kaplan raised his head .
Because he had crazy thoughts that it was his fault that he hadn’t seen his group for a while .
‘What about Jude?! What about Miss Cordelia?!’
They were definitely strong people . Because they were the ones who saved him from the White Giant Bear . They were safe even though they fell from the cliff .
So he had accepted their request to accompany him .
It had been a long time since he had done an investigation with someone else .
He heard a voice .
It was a clear, pure, and beautiful, as if it came from heaven .
Kaplan turned his head reflexively and then swallowed his breath .
The girl who was looking at him with the sunlight on her back was so beautiful that he unconsciously said .
“I’m not an angel, I’m Cordelia . You remember me, right? Are you awake?”
Kaplan nodded, and only then could he fully wake up .
“What about the White, White Grizzly Bear?”
“Me and Jude defeated it . So rest assured . It’s safe here . ”
Cordelia said with a smile .
As if it was nothing .
‘Because we caught a big fish seven times . ’
Jude and Cordelia had already received information from the Wild Fairy Queen about the monsters that appeared in Raptor Canyon .
There were no monsters among those that the two couldn’t defeat .
“Aaah…ah…thank you . Thank you very much . You were in danger because of me…”
“Eh, what are you talking about? Rather, I benefited from Sir Kaplan . Thank you very much for being with me . ”
Cordelia was sincere .
It wasn’t only Jude, as Cordelia had a conscience too .
It bothered her that they had used him as bait to attract the Named Monsters .
But it sounded completely different to Kaplan, who was unaware of the situation .
‘Ah…is she really an angel…’
She received help from him .
Thank you for being with me .
How long had it been since he had heard those words?
No, it wasn’t that long . When he thought about it, he had heard of it when he first became a professor .
‘How, how can a person be this kindhearted?’
Despite being in danger because of Kaplan himself, she was worried about him .
Cordelia’s warm words were like salvation to Kaplan, who had already thought of himself as a man who brought disasters like what everyone else thought .
“Angel…Miss Cordelia must be an angel . Huuk-”
Kaplan began to shed tears of emotion . Because all his past sorrows burst out at once .
“Thank you very much . ”
When Kaplan sobbed as he clasped Cordelia’s hand, Cordelia was flustered and broke into cold sweat .
‘Why is he doing this?’
Did he notice that they used him as bait and was now trying to counterattack?
While Cordelia’s delusional circuits was weirdly turning because of her embarrassment, Jude was looking around them .
‘The entrance of the Endymion capital . ’
Jude entered the interior of a structure that looked like a gateway, and he recalled one by one the monsters that they had encountered on their way here .
‘None of them were related to the demons . ’
The Wild Fairy Queen’s information was accurate .
None of the monsters who lived in Raptor Canyon were directly related to the demons .
‘Lacto . ’
It was the lowest-ranking demon in contrast to the Tomb Guardian .
It had appeared relatively recently .
Not by the standards of the wild fairies who had a twisted sense of time, but by human standards .
Then, where did it come from?
Who summoned it?
Could there be a connection between Lena’s death and the summoning of demons?
‘The place where Lacto appeared was the underground of Endymion . ’
Jude began to look around to search for a way to go underground . But it was then .
“We found it! Sir Kaplan found a way to the underground!”
Jude followed her voice as he went outside and saw Cordelia jumping and the amazed Kaplan making a satisfied smile .
‘It’s surely Kaplan . ’
He was a man who picks up artifacts even if he falls down on the road .
If Kaplan had found it, it would certainly be not an ordinary underground path .
“This way . I came across it by accident while tying my shoelaces . ”
“As expected of Sir Kaplan . ”
With a broad smile, Jude peered down the stairs that were going underground, which was next to an altar .
It was tightly sealed, and Cordelia had magically opened it .
“It’s not on the map that we got from the wild fairies . ”
“It must be worth investigating . ”
Jude immediately responded to Cordelia’s whisper, before he turned to Kaplan again .
“Sir Kaplan, we’re thinking of going down right away . Would that be all right?”
“Yes, that’s fine . ”
“Then let’s start right away . ”
Jude was like Cordelia .
Far from resenting Kaplan, he even suggested to continue together .
To Kaplan, they were a such a kindhearted and good-natured man and woman .
“I will take the lead . ”
“Yes, be careful . ”
Jude readily took the lead with Kaplan before he glanced at Cordelia .
‘What happened? He seems to be highly excited . ’
‘I don’t know . ’
Cordelia shook her head and shrugged her shoulders, and Jude tilted his head .
‘Is it because we’re in the early stages?’
The Kaplan in Legend of Heroes 2 was truly a man of steel .
He always had a smile on his face, but it wasn’t a sincere smile .
It was a smile for building walls, not a smile for communication .
He was a man with an impregnable fortress who didn’t let anyone pass within a certain line .
But the current Kaplan was very different .
His attitude towards Jude and Cordelia were warm and tender .
‘Perhaps because it’s in the early stages . ’
Kaplan had appeared in the middle stages of the game .
“Let’s go in quickly too . ”
“Oh, yes . ”
Jude was somewhat convinced and at Cordelia’s urging, he followed and moved downwards .
A dozen minutes passed like that .
The stairs which seemed to continue endlessly, finally came to an end .
Having descended almost a hundred meters down, they arrived at a huge underground temple .
Cordelia exclaimed as she greatly increased the light of a magic orb, which she had used as a torch substitute .
It was so dark that they couldn’t identify everything around them, but the things that caught their eyes at that moment were amazing .
The ceiling height was around 30 meters high .
Large columns were erected all over the place, and magnificent sculptures were embossed on the pillars .
The sculptures were probably the ancient elven gods that the inhabitants of Magellan, the magic kingdom, believed in .
“The Endymion capital…”
Kaplan approached the pillars in admiration .
And it was at that moment .
Jude and Cordelia almost simultaneously looked at their back .
Jude sensed someone’s presence .
Cordelia felt her hair stand on end .
A gaze that was hiding in the dark and looking their way .
It wasn’t a person .
Neither was it a monster of this world .
A pair of red eyes flashed .
It silently took a step in the dark .
No, a monster from hell .
Jude held his breath .
He inferred the height and shape of the monster from the size and height of the glowing eyes .
It was around 4 meters tall .
Judging from the size of the glowing eyes, it was a humanoid .
Another silent step .
No, it wasn’t a step in the first place .
Its lower body was like that of a snake’s .
“Nazarus . ”
A monster from hell with the upper body of a human and a lower body of a snake .
It was a higher species than Lacto . Moreover, it wasn’t a monster that could be defeated by using tricks like how they defeated Lacto on the bridge .
“It’s okay, we can fight against Nazarus . ”
Both Jude and Cordelia had grown a lot stronger .
If the two were together, it was possible to fight it head-on .
“As long as it’s not rare . No, as long as it’s not Named . ”
Just as a snake’s head was only one, the common Nazarus only had one human upper body .
But among the Nazarus were those with two upper bodies .
Cordelia nodded at Jude’s words, but only for a moment .
“As long as it’s not rare?”
“Yes, if it’s not rare…”
That was it .
As he thought of the same thing as Cordelia, Jude turned his head and gazed at the pillar, and the Nazarus in the dark couldn’t wait any longer .
“Human! Tear it to death!”
“Human! Kill and eat!”
Two voices rang at the same time .
It wasn’t an ordinary Rare Monster either .
There was a horn in the middle of the forehead, proving that it was a Named Monster .
“Kaplan . ”
The Kaplan effect .
As if responding to Jude’s babble, the Nazarus that was named Caracola raised its voice .
It charged towards Jude and Cordelia .