Chapter 85: Empire Quest (3)
Editor: Hungry Panda
Celias’ drive was amazing.
As soon as the decision to dispatch the royal knights to Sky Highlands was made, an expedition with Hellaim as the head was packed up.
Ian began to move along with the party.
‘What the hell, we’re already heading out faster than the blink of an eye.’
Ian, who thought the expedition would start a day later at the least, was astonished.
‘Is it because it’s a game? It’s nice that it’s straightforward and the progress is fast, but…’
He was a little worried as it felt like he was moving along with the party without any preparations.
The place that they were headed for was a hunting ground with the highest level range amongst the ones known, to the point that it had never been attacked before, so it would have rather been strange if he wasn’t worried.
No matter if he was with the royal knights of the imperial family, he had no idea what kind of dangers lied ahead.
‘But the number of people is much smaller than expected.’
The size of the expedition wasn’t that big.
However, while Ian looked at the information of the members, he broke out into a cold sweat.
‘For the lowest level royal guard to be lv 150…’
Among the higher-level knights, Ian could see a couple monsters that were over lv 170.
‘Then what level is Hellaim exactly?’
Ian was suddenly curious of Hellaim’s information, which was put as private.
‘Is he over lv 200?’
While Ian was thinking of this and that, the expedition continued to move and it didn’t take them too long to arrive at the outskirts of the Wasteland.
The location of the Wasteland was on the border of Luspel Empire and Kaimon Empire.
It was a location that was quite far from the capital Myuran, but because they were able to immediately teleport to the Empire’s outskirt field by borrowing the strength of the imperial family’s magicians, the time it took for the expedition to reach the Wasteland took less than an hour.
“So this is the Wasteland.”
At Ian’s words, Hellaim nodded his head and responded.
“That’s right. It’s time for monsters to slowly start appearing now, so prepare yourself.”
Hellaim’s attitude towards Ian had slightly changed in a friendlier way.
Ian thought that was a relief.
‘If that wasn’t the case, I might have died of suffocation before we arrived at Sky Highlands…’
Ian summoned his Familiars one by one and prepared for combat.
Since Ian now was at a three-figure level, even though they were monsters that were over lv 130, he thought that he could be at least a bit of help in the battle.
And there was a part that he was aiming for.
‘They said that NPCs that are fighting during the quest will be considered party members…’
The EXP that he would gain while hunting the highest-level monsters of the Wasteland with the powerful knights of the imperial family’s royal guards in order to reach Sky Highlands would be quite savoury.
Ian looked at Halli, who followed behind him.
‘Just in time, this one’s Potential is at 100 as well.’
While he was questing in the Forest of Love, he couldn’t hunt, but he had used the Training skill diligently and thanks to that, Halli’s Potential was also at 100.
‘Are all of my Familiar’s Potential at 100 now?’
Ian checked his Familiar’s information thoroughly one by one.
And just like Ian remembered, all of them were at 100 Potential.
‘It’s been a while since I’ve used Skill Grant as well, so it’s about time I use it now.’
As the Familiar’s he had gained up until now all had decent Inherent Skills, he couldn’t find the need to use Skill Grant on them.
This was because it would be a failure if he used Skill Grant on a Familiar that had a good skill and gained a useless skill instead.
However, to not use Skill Grant when all of their Potentials were at 100 would also be a waste.
‘Who should I use the Skill Grant on?’
Ian, who thought about it for a moment, eventually decided to use Skill Grant on Ly.
‘Ddukdae’s Abyss Hole and Lake’s Breath of Lava are skills that are necessary right now, and since Bbookbbook’s Shell Expansion is doing its part satisfactorily…’
But to use Skill Grant on Halli was a little awkward.
It was unknown how many levels Halli would gain in an instant once a monster in the Wasteland, which would soon appear, was killed, and he couldn’t cut down the Potential he had brought up to 100.
Ian called Ly over.
“Ly, come here.”
As Ly approached him, Ian put his hand on top of Ly’s head.
He was still a little indecisive until the end, but using Skill Grant on Ly now seemed like the most appropriate.
‘The Berserk skill is also good, but I should hope for a better one to come out.’
Ian, who had organized his thoughts, invoked the skill without hesitating anymore.
And a white light sunk into Ly’s body.
- You have used ‘Familiar Skill Grant’ on ‘Ly’.
- 20 of Ly’s Potential has been consumed.
- The ‘Berserk’ skill that Familiar ‘Ly’ had will be deleted.
- Familiar ‘Ly’ has obtained skill ‘Dance of Frenzy’.
Along with that, the information of the skill that Ly obtained popped up.
- Dance of Frenzy
Classification – Active Skill
Skill Rank – Rare
Cooldown Time – 30 minutes
For 10 minutes, Offensive Power and Agility will increase by 50%, and Defensive Power will be reduced by half.
Ian, who checked the skill, was slightly disappointed.
‘Euh, this is a standard that isn’t any better than Berserk…’
It was a buff skill that had similar abilities to the Berserk skill, but the stat’s width of increase and decrease rose together.
The cooldown time drastically decreased, but as the additional option where Ly’s Offensive Power would increase with critical damage disappeared, it was hard to say it was better than Berserk.
Ian, who momentarily thought about it, decided to use the Skill Grant once more.
‘That’s right, since we’re doing it anyways, let’s get a proper skill.’
If the gained skill wasn’t much different after even consuming Potential, he somehow felt it was a loss on his part.
Ian used Skill Grant on Ly again.
This time, a Common-rank skill had appeared.
Ian’s hands shook.
‘Have I touched it in vain?’
However, Ly still had 60 Potential left.
He didn’t want to just leave him with a useless Common-rank skill like this.
Could you say that this was a mentality that was a similar feeling to, rather than gambling 1 million Won and losing all 1 million Won, gambling 2 million Won and gaining at least 900 thousand Won?
Ian invoked the skill again.
‘This time, please…!’
And a system message rang out.
- Familiar ‘Ly’ has obtained skill ‘Thirst for Blood’.
Ian hurriedly checked the skill’s information.
- Thirst for Blood
Classification – Active Skill
Skill Rank – Heroic
Cooldown Time – 15 minutes
For 3 minutes, Offensive Power and Agility will increase by 30%, and all movement speed will increase by 40%.
While in ‘Thirst for Blood’ state, all damage dealt to opponents whose Vitality has dropped below 30% will be applied once more, and whenever an opponent is killed, 20% of the max. Vitality will be recovered.
(However, the attack of the Familiar in Thirst for Blood state must be the final attack that decides death for the opponent in order for it to be invoked.)
Ian barely held back the cheer that almost came out from his mouth.
‘Alright! 60 Potential wasn’t a waste for something like this.’
It was a buff skill that matched its whopping Heroic-rank well enough.
Ian was incredibly pleased.
‘Since Ly’s role was a single damage-dealer that finished off the opponents that were in a dying state after getting hit by the AoE attacks, this is a skill that’s perfect for Ly.’
It seemed that Ly was pleased as well, as he rubbed his head against Ian’s hip.
‘Now I need to make sure I don’t change this skill for a while.’
Ian let out a sigh of relief, and he petted Ly’s head.
And while staring ahead, he mumbled.
“I really want to use the new skill quickly…”
However, just then, the head of the party sent out a signal that an opponent appeared.
The sound of the horn rang out, and all royal guards and knights got into a combat stance.
Hellaim approached Ian.
“Ian, do you think you’ll be able to fight as well?”
At Hellaim’s question, Ian checked the opponents first.
‘Thunder Hawk… It’s around lv 132. Have around ten appeared?’
If he was alone, it was a fighting power that he would have had to run away from without even a glance backwards, but if it was with the imperial family’s knights, Ian felt he could take care of his own body.
“Yes, leader. I’ll be alright.”
Hellaim nodded while wearing a slightly worried expression.
“I will trust you. However, don’t overdo yourself too much. Us knights might get caught up instead because of you.”
They were words that could hurt his pride, but from Hellaim’s perspective, it was an obvious worry, and his words were correct enough.
Ian agreed while responding.
Finally, the battle began.
Ian let out a command to Ddukdae like how he always did.
“Ddukdae, try and tie down as many as you can with Abyss Hole.”
Ddukdae, who received Ian’s command, approached the Thunder Hawks and casted Abyss Hole.
The range of Abyss Hole was quite large, but the Thunder Hawks, which were high-level monsters specializing in Agility, didn’t enter the range of Abyss Hole so easily.
The fact that Ddukdae’s Agility was substantially lower than the opponents played a part as well.
The number of Thunder Hawks that could be tied down by Abyss Hole were just two before it died down.
However, even that was quite a big help.
Lake’s Breath raked through the tied Thunder Hawks, and after that, the royal guards of the punitive force jumped in.
Ian quickly let out a command to Ly.
“Ly, Thirst for Blood!”
Ly’s body, which was already red in colour, started to shine a bright red even more.
And with an incredible speed, Ly’s body leaped through the air.
Ly ran towards the Thunder Hawk, whose name began to blink from being attacked by the royal guards before they knew it.
And he bared his white teeth.
- Familiar ‘Ly’ has dealt critical damage to ‘Thunder Hawk’!
- ‘Thunder Hawk’s Vitality has been reduced by 7,250.
- Through the effect of ‘Thirst for Blood’, an additional 7,250 damage has been dealt.
While watching Ly, who applied the skill perfectly at a surprising level, Ian wore a pleased expression.
‘He dealt damage that was close to 15,000 in an instant. Considering Lake’s Breath damage is about 20,000, it’s a level that’s satisfying enough.’
Lake’s Breath was an AoE attack, and because its cooldown time was also long, it was hard to compare with Ly.
However, it could be an indicator to a certain extent.
And as Ly’s attack succeeded, the Thunder Hawk’s neck was pierced by the continuous lance attacks of the royal knights.
The level of the Thunder Hawk was high, but since the royal knight’s level was at a situation where it was close to a whopping 170, the Thunder Hawk’s remaining Vitality had all disappeared in one hit.
And while looking at the system message that popped up, the corners of Ian’s mouth hung from his ears.
- You have killed the Thunder Hawk. You have obtained 10,500 EXP.
‘Keuhh, even though it’s EXP that’s distributed, for it to be a situation where it’s over 10 thousand.’
It seemed that as they were NPCs, the amount of EXP that was distributed was lower than he imagined, so EXP that was higher than what he expected came in.
It was a situation where the EXP he gained was higher than the amount he gained while hunting alone in the ancient Arnovil Ruins.
On top of that, he was certain that the hunting speed was incomparably faster than then.
Ian wanted to give a deep bow to Hellaim.
‘Thank you for the bus.’
 1 million Won = ~887.91 USD
 900 thousand Won = ~799.12 USD
 2 million Won = ~1775.82 USD
 bus = carrying