Chapter 199: A Secret Deal (1)
Editor: Hungry Panda
The east edge of the central continent.
At the most rear defensive line, which could be considered the final bastion of the Luspel Empire, there was a fierce battle that had already been going on for over a month.
The close match between the Allied Forces of the Kaimon Empire and the Allied Forces of the Luspel Empire was still going on.
To be honest, the reason why it was possible to maintain this battle for a month was because the top rankers affiliated with Kaimon were not participating in the battle.
Along with the announcement of the large-scale update, there were newly spread NPCs and quests all over the continent.
For rankers in the top ranks, it was a situation where they obviously wouldn't be able to help but have interest in that area, and the rankers of Kaimon, who were in a more relaxed situation in comparison to the rankers affiliated with Luspel, broke away from the full force battlefield attack.
"Well, even if we were to break away, there's no way that we would get pushed back by the Luspel Allied Forces or others, no?"
"No, even if we were pushed back, we can just reclaim it again later. Even if we're pushed back, it's clear that they won't even be able to come close to the central area."
"That's right. I feel like I should prepare for the new content for now."
As quite a lot of users left the battleground like that, the Luspel Empire Army was able to narrowly defend the last front line.
However, even if that was the case, it was also impossible to inversely fight through and move upwards.
That was because Kaimon had an overwhelmingly greater number of bases and domains that they possessed in the central continent.
Military power that was being produced from a ton of bases and domains were being continuously deployed into the battleground, and the Luspel camp, which had a little less than twenty domains altogether in contrast, couldn't help but be busy blocking off that.
The war barracks of the Luspel Allied Forces.
The Masters of the top-ranking guilds affiliated with Luspel were sighing deeply as they repeated their conference.
"Ha, there's not even a week left until the large-scale update now."
At Martin's words that had a mixture of complaint, Samuel Jin replied with a low voice.
"That's right. There's five days left to be exact."
As the two people, who were the most central members of the Allied Forces, began to speak, mouths began to open here and there.
"Martin, until how long must we just be continuously tied down to here?"
"My point exactly. Our fighting power is being pushed back completely by the Kaimon dudes as a matter of fact already, but if they preoccupy all of the new content as well, then at that point, we really do not have a chance."
"Ahem, still, if we keep filling the fighting power here and continuously block the Kaimon Army, we'll be able to consistently earn EXP, etc. as well as goods, so wouldn't our income and expenditure match up enough?"
"Of course, it's possible that we feel that way right now. Since the goods that we can obtain in the central continent aren't a small amount either. However, don't we not know what will come out in the new content? And in almost all cases, it's normal for new content to be added on as higher-rank content compared to the pre-existing content."
As if a dam had exploded, a variety of opinions poured out from here and there.
Samuel Jin, who just quietly heard them for a moment, silenced the whole assembly as he opened his mouth.
"Alright, everybody, please be quiet for now. Have we not gathered you all in order to devise a method for that right now?"
At Samuel Jin's words, the inside of the hall, which was noisy, became silent, as all gazes gathered towards him.
And he opened his mouth again.
"Martin and I have grappled over this for several days, and the result of that is that we discussed splitting up our fighting power into 3 groups."
At these words, small exclamations poured out from here and there.
"Indeed, if it's with a method like that…"
Samuel Jin, who exchanged looks once with Martin, opened his mouth again.
"Even just from hearing up to this point, I believe that most of you Guild Masters have an assumption as to what kind of method this will be."
Samuel Jin spread open the sheepskin that he had prepared beforehand and hung it on the wall.
And at the top, the names of the guilds and names of the users were organized to fill it up.
"Just as you are all thinking, we will divide our fighting power into 3 groups from now on. So, we are planning this so that each group will be able to breakaway from the central continent in order to proceed with the quests that are for the new contents for a week each."
Martin, who was sitting next to him, added on.
"So, while Group A and Group B are blocking off the Kaimon Empire Army, Group C will move for the new content, and when Group C returns, Group A will go. Again, when Group A returns, it means that we will proceed in a method where Group B will then move."
As it was a method where there wasn't really anything complicated, the Masters, who checked over the group table that Samuel Jin had assembled once each, immediately approved of it and nodded their heads.
"It's a good method. Even if just 2/3 remain, I certainly think there won't be any problems defending."
"That's right. It seems that because the main force rankers of the Kaimon guys have all fallen out, their Offensive Power has gotten much weaker lately."
Samuel Jin looked around the inside of the hall as he opened his mouth again.
"Please check which group that the guild you are affiliated with is in, and once you've checked, please sit back down in your seats."
And shortly after, the inside of the hall, which was noisy, was organized and all of the members sat down in their seats again before Samuel Jin's words continued.
"We are planning on proceeding with this system right away starting tomorrow, and we will start with Group A."
Martin opened his mouth.
"We'll manage this for the first week, and if we can comfortably defend ourselves with even 2/3 of the troops, we may even change into a 3-shift system instead."
In order to construct the defensive front line with the members that were newly assembled like that, the executive members of Luspel began their meeting again, and after taking quite a long time, in the end, the meeting was finished.
Like that, just when it was around the final stage of the meeting, one man asked Martin.
"But, Martin. Is the Valiant Guild taking a completely different route from us now?"
At that question, the expressions of Martin and Samuel Jin couldn't help but sharply become contorted.
The Valiant Guild had completely left the central continent ever since a couple weeks ago already.
Martin gave a bitter smile as he nodded his head.
"I think that is the case."
"No, from what I know, there are even a couple domains of the Valiant Guild in the rear area…"
Samuel Jin spoke.
"It seems they think of them as lost domains."
Samuel Jin was displeased at the Valiant Guild, who took on a different route, but he didn't think that this situation right now was that discouraging.
'Even if the large-scale update was just one or two more months late, forget the central continent, it's possible that even the mainland of Luspel would have been completely taken over.'
If that had been the case, it was certain for his guild, Oaklan, but he himself would have also received a scathing blow.
'With this large-scale update as the starting point, this situation has to be reversed again no matter what.'
Samuel Jin's mind began to race quickly.
The entryway of Zone 120 of the Devildom.
Two men sat on a large boulder that was in the corner as they shared a conversation.
One of the men was obviously Ian, and the other man was Chulwoo, a GM that came from the Kailan development team.
Ian opened his mouth towards Chulwoo with a curt voice.
"Ha, as I'm in a situation right now where every minute, every second is precious, I can't talk for long."
It had been a long time since he started to fall asleep.
Ian, who was enduring this with superhuman willpower, was displeased with Chulwoo, who was in front of him.
'Argh, just when I'm limited in time to even proceed with this quest right now…'
However, to just ignore Chulwoo and continue this quest, Chulwoo was too strong.
'No, even if they're a GM, still, isn't lv 500 a bit too much?'
As Chulwoo was not a devil, Ian's Resistance Magic stat wouldn't be activated against him, and Ian strongly felt that if Chulwoo hit him a couple times with his bare hands, he would have to face game over right on the spot.
"I will not take a lot of your time. Just give me a moment's worth."
Ian replied with an apathetic expression.
Chulwoo, who organized his thoughts for a moment at that, opened his mouth.
"Firstly, LB Corp. would like to state that we are incredibly apologetic to you, Ian. The fact that you had to proceed with such an abnormal game route due to our inadequate content management, we are truly sorry."
To be honest, it was a natural thing to do in the position of the development team, but at Chulwoo's form, where he was being respectful to the point it was burdensome, Ian flinched instead.
'If this is the case, I'll feel bad and it won't be easy for me to be thick-skinned.'
Ian was originally thinking of hurting his feelings and turn the atmosphere around so that they wouldn't be able to communicate at all.
However, Ian couldn't bring himself to open his mouth with Chulwoo, who spoke this politely, in front of him.
"Uh, uhm… So, you're saying you're sorry?"
Chulwoo nodded his head as he spoke.
"Yes, Ian. On behalf of LB Sports, I will apologize."
Ian blearily opened his two eyes as he stared at Chulwoo.
"Hmm… So, what do you plan on doing? There's no way that it would just end off with you stating that you're sorry, no?"
Chulwoo nodded his head.
"Of course. There's no way that would just be the case. We, LB Corp., acknowledge our negligence, and following that, we have agreed to give a proper reward to you, Ian, as you have received the loss."
Ian's eyes shone.
"Oh? Please continue on."
Chulwoo's words continued.
"In return for us resolving this with you and giving you a proper reward, Ian, we want to receive your cooperation."
"By cooperation, you mean…?"
Chulwoo, who met eyes with Ian, let out a short sigh as he replied.
"That's right. It's because we are facing an incredibly embarrassing situation right now."
"You probably also know that there are only a couple days left until the large-scale update."
Ian replied shortly.
Chulwoo truthfully stated the situation of LB Corp.
"Our development team needs to work on the final operation lastly in order to open up the new content, but because you have been inside the Devildom, it has turned into a situation where that operation hasn't been able to be finished."
Ian scratched the back of his head as he thought about this.
'Ha, if it was just up to my heart, I want to say couldn't they just push the update schedule, but…'
As Ian also had something similar to a tinge of conscience(?), he couldn't bring himself to say that.
"So, our manager is hoping that you log out immediately right now."
Ian instantly responded.
"Then what is the reward that comes back to me?"
Chulwoo, who paused to take a breath for a moment, opened his mouth.
"We will leave 5% Resistance Magic on your character. What do you think?"
At Chulwoo's proposal, for a moment, Ian almost failed at maintaining his expression.
'What the hell, they'll leave me with 5% Resistance Magic? This reward is better than what I expected.'
If he could take 5% Resistance Magic with him, it meant that he could absorb 5% of the damage received when he faced any species in the Devildom from now on.
Because the value itself wasn't that much, one could think that it wasn't much of a reward at a glance, but this was incredible.
'However, there is a need to be a little more careful.'
Ian opened his mouth again.
"This thing called Resistance Magic, isn't this a stat that can be raised from fighting devils anyways? Will there be much meaning with 5% Resistance Magic?"
At Ian's question, Chulwoo's expression slightly distorted for the first time.
This was because he felt like Ian was asking for the impossible when he was certain he was a user that understood what 5% Resistance Magic meant.
"Ahem, of course, just like you said, you can raise your Resistance Magic by battling devils, or even through quests. However, Resistance Magic is incredibly hard to raise by even 1%. 5% is not in the slightest bit a small value."
Even with Chulwoo's explanation, Ian stubbornly clung on.
"But just like with other resistance stats, it seems that there's a limit that one can have of Resistance Magic… Is that correct?"
"Yes. From what I know, the maximum for Resistance Magic is 30%."
As soon as Ian heard those words, he immediately opened his mouth.
"Then the Resistance Magic that will be granted to me, please change it so that my maximum value is increased. Then I will also cleanly log out."
At Ian's unexpected offer, Chulwoo's expression hardened for a moment.
And his mind began to race like crazy.
'If the maximum amount of his Resistance Magic was increased, then his maximum would become 35%… Since Resistance Magic is a stat that is difficult to even raise up to the max value anyways, should I just accept his offer?'
Chulwoo, who organized his thoughts for a moment, slowly nodded his head.
He was calculating that even if he increased the maximum amount, Ian wouldn't be able to raise his Resistance Magic up to that value.
"Sounds good. We will do that then, Ian."
And at the consent that came through much easier than expected, Ian slightly became leery.
'What the hell? I didn't know that he would consent this easily…'
However, what's fair is fair.
Ian nodded his head as he replied.
"Thank you, Chulwoo. Then I will know it as having been settled like this."
Chulwoo also bowed his head as he answered.
"Thank you for cooperating."
As the deal was accomplished, Ian asked Chulwoo about the things he was curious about.
"Then, Chulwoo, what happens to all of the goods that I obtained in the Devildom?"
At that, as if he had been waiting for it, Chulwoo began to explain politely.
"Firstly, all goods and items will disappear as soon as you log out. Because this place is a test zone, the item code will be erased from the system, so there's nothing we can do about it either."
He only emphasized the words that this couldn't be helped.
Ian was a little suspicious, but he opened his mouth again.
"Then, what happens to the items that have already been fortified by Magic Stones?"
Chulwoo's explanation continued.
"We will maintain the items you fortified already as is. And the quest that you were proceeding with will also most likely be maintained as well."
He spoke as if he was being incredibly generous.
Ian slowly nodded his head.
'Well, better than nothing. I can't even guess how much time it would take trying to gather all of the fortifying stones that I had been collecting since a couple days ago again through the normal route.'
Ian smiled as he held out his hand towards Chulwoo.
"Thank you for your concern, Chulwoo."
Chulwoo took Ian's hand as well as he nodded his head.
"No worries. Apologies for hindering your gaming experience."
However, despite having said goodbye, the two people hadn't moved since standing up from their spots.
Ian scratched the back of his head as he spoke towards Chulwoo.
"Please go on ahead. I have a couple of things that I need to organize… I will log out right away."
Chulwoo, who was planning on checking that Ian logged out before logging out himself, sighed deeply as he responded.
"Hmm… Understood. However, you must log out within 10 minutes."
Ian quickly nodded his head as he replied.
"Of course. Once you leave, Chulwoo, I will log out within 10, no, 5 minutes."
"I'm trusting you."
Like that, as soon as Chulwoo logged out, Ian hurriedly opened his inventory and hastily pulled out the Magic Stones that he had piled in there.
'I need to at least use up everything that I've saved up before logging off.'
And shortly after.
In the Devildom where Ian remained all by himself, world messages began to ring out.User 'Ian' has succeeded in fortifying to +5, and has obtained Transcendent-rank equipment. User 'Ian' has succeeded in fortifying to +5, and has obtained Transcendent-rank equipment. User 'Ian' has succeeded in fortifying to +5, and has obtained Transcendent-rank equipment.