The Max Level Hero Has Returned! - Chapter 465
[About the New Field]
Information about the newly discovered map in Vladivostok, Russia, has come to light. I won't disclose the ID, but I stumbled upon a concealed fragment and received an invitation to the new area, Tionis. As everyone is aware, this item is non-tradable, so there's no use in becoming overly greedy about it.
At first glance, Tionis exudes a strong fantasy ambiance, truly teeming with high-level concealed fragments. Each NPC quest yields generous experience points, and numerous drops offer decent gear.
By now, most people are probably acquainted with these facts. Nevertheless, I have some fresh information to share. Do you recall the neutral mob from the previous battle royale event? The one that would promptly assail and eliminate any approaching entities? I encountered that character in Tionis. It's unclear whether it's an NPC or a player, but you can view the video below for more details.
For the record, I believe it's an NPC. While there have been instances where players enhance their reputation rankings, never has it occurred at such an accelerated pace.
- Wow, just by looking at the mob's size, it appears stronger than the current end-game raid content.
- It has numerous minions. That's the Big Armored King Kong, a level 120+ monster, and its damage output is insane.
- 120+? Isn't that like the level of top-ranked players? This is crazy.
- If you're going to use Korean, stick to Korean. If you're going to use English, stick to English. You traitor.
- Sorry, I come from abroad. My mom is foreign, and so is my dad. But I live in Korea and earn a living as a streamer here.
- Oh, a foreigner? My bad.
- Isn't it an NPC? It seems to be accompanied by high-ranking NPCs.
- I disagree. It's a player. There are three reasons: First, according to research from U.S. Stamp University, Alph Online NPCs may appear capable of using any language, but they follow a specific algorithm.
- Who even conducts research on a game... Well, considering it's a virtual reality, it's not too surprising. And the second reason?
- Second, the way it spoke felt foreign to that world. Third, I once submitted a 1:1 inquiry, and the response implied it wasn't an NPC. The answer was vague, but that's my current assumption.
- The algorithm in Tionis just feels like chatting with real people, so that doesn't matter, but the other two reasons are surprising. So it's an actual player?
- This game is mind-boggling.
- We're from the pro league team Heroes of the Cyclone. Anyone with information about this player will receive a reward. Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
- By the way, where's the Queen?
- Now that I think about it, I've heard that Tionis is filled with gorgeous female NPCs. There are two imperial princesses that stand out.
- I've heard that if you woo an NPC, you can have some fun, but only for users who've verified they're 19 or older. I was genuinely stunned by the Lindis imperial princess. Oh, my goddess, I'd do anything for you.
- Pervert, get lost.
- Honestly, the graphics are nearly indistinguishable from real life, and who wouldn't be drawn to the beautiful characters?
* * *
No matter how significant the buffs were or how flawless the strategy appeared, casualties were an inevitable outcome of any clash. However, if the enemy's core was shattered during the initial assault, the war could conclude with minimal casualties.
Kain, who referred to the beautiful blonde girl as Illyna De Pallan, his "mother," gulped as he beheld the unfolding spectacle. The green-skinned monster was formidable, despite reported weakening. Yet, the one Kain witnessed seemed like a ferocious beast holding back its full might. Nonetheless, the creature was swiftly vanquished.
"How do we approach such a creature?"
[Handling this is more intricate than you imagine. Exercise patience and showcase your magnificence when the opportune moment arrives. The creature will then acknowledge your greatness and plead for mercy.]
"Hmm..." Deep in thought, Kain frowned before ultimately nodding.
"Hey kid, what are you up to there?"
A servant approached Kain, who was engaged in conversation with his reflection in a mirror. Since nothing was known about Kain, and his attire resembled that of an ordinary child, the servant appeared oblivious to his noble lineage.
"Well, uh... It's nothing!" Kain hastily concealed the mirror and promptly made his exit from the scene.
* * *
The subjugation of Braga concluded in a rather anticlimactic manner. With Braga's demise, who possessed the ability to command monsters to an extent that could be termed an army, the remaining creatures began to disperse like a disorganized mob. Bereft of proper leadership, these entities were readily subdued by the forces dispatched to suppress them. Among them were potent monsters. While the lesser creatures could be handled by regular soldiers or knights, higher-tier entities like the Armored King Kong succumbed to the combined efforts of Reina and Illyna's disruptions and the magicians' bombardments.
What remained was the suspected mastermind behind this chaos: a witch. Crown Prince Greid Malon Briouk promptly led his troops to apprehend her within the magical realm. Just as they were departing the castle, to the astonishment of all, the witch Verdandi appeared before them. None had conceived that she was one of the six renowned beauties. Her striking appearance remained unchanged, leaving those encountering her for the first time awestruck by her beauty.
"Attempting to capture me? I was the one who summoned that green monster and launched the attack against you. Now, try to apprehend me," she declared, offering herself without resistance.
Prince Greid, with a stern countenance, cautiously apprehended her, confining her arms with a mana restraint and imprisoning her in the dungeon below. The task force, unprepared for the witch's voluntary surrender, was taken aback by the rapid sequence of events, from the battle with Braga to the witch's capture. Once incarcerated, she admitted to the massacre of the citizens of the Briouk Kingdom a decade prior and her orchestration of Braga's recent assault, culminating in her being sentenced to execution.
Bound in chains and left in the dungeon, she maintained silence. The atmosphere grew tense within the dark chamber, where only a few guards stood vigilant.
"Remain vigilant. Despite the mana restraint, she remains a witch. You can never predict when she might strike," cautioned one guard.
Another guard responded, a perplexed expression on their face, "To think such a beautiful girl could harbor such fearsome power... It's unnerving."
"Appearances can be deceiving! Even with that visage, darkness might lurk within," a senior knight jested, eliciting a concerned glance from a junior counterpart.
'Davey, planning to kill the Abyss Princess here?'
"Now is our opportunity. I'm uncertain why she's willingly embracing execution, but should she manage to evade capture, locating her anew would prove exceedingly challenging. Even if it necessitates sacrificing a portion of the kingdom..."
They deliberated on executing her immediately. Should that prove unviable, their plan was to transport her to the western continent, to the sanctuary of the Divine Tree. Relying on the essence of the Divine Tree's power, they believed they could contend with the Abyss Princess, even if the nation had yet to fully recover its strength. They remained uncertain whether Verdandi's might rivaled that of Sleesia. Davey then shifted his gaze toward the guards stationed outside the dungeon and commenced moving slowly.
Suddenly, smoke shrouded Davey's form, a technique he had acquired from Hermesia, rendering him invisible. Despite the dungeon's vigilant guards, infiltrating the premises was a trivial task.
"Why do you suppose he's here?" inquired a junior knight.
"I've heard whispers that he's ensnared by the witch's charms. It's said this is why the Crown Prince harbors such intense resentment toward her," the senior knight responded.
Upon hearing this, Davey halted his advance. He proceeded cautiously, venturing deeper into the dungeon. Navigating through the guards' watchful gaze, he descended to the dungeon's lowest tier, where he beheld a girl bound in chains and a man positioned before the cell.
'The King of Briouk,' Davey thought.
Silently, he pressed his back against a wall, preparing to unleash his most powerful Hellfire at a moment's notice.
'Watch closely, Perserque. All Abyss beings are the same.'
The Abyss Princess, Verdandi, failed to sense Davey's presence, indicating that she was less perceptive than Urd or Sleesia.
"Why... Why did you lie?"
"Why construct such a falsehood? Mother."
"Mind your words."
"I'm aware," the voice persisted. "I know who you truly are."
The witch, Verdandi, maintained silence for a moment. However, she eventually shifted her arm slightly and spoke.
"I attempted to exterminate you humans as a witch. That truth is irrefutable."
"You're mistaken. You..."
"What do you understand about me to make such a claim?" The king fell into silence.
"Execution... indeed, a fitting punishment."
"Do not address me as mother. I've never had a son like you."
"But you are still my mother."
"Your birth mother departed this realm long ago. She met her end by my hand." She recounted the tale with an air of detachment. "It must have amused you, didn't it? How she begged, crawling like an insect, imploring for her life. Despite the kingdom viewing her as virtuous, the pleasure of ending a life like hers is profound."
Those acquainted with the queen, the king's mother, would have been incensed by the insult. Nevertheless, the King of Briouk offered no response. A brief silence ensued.
"Leave. Do you deem me in need of your pity?"
"I chose this path in fulfillment of my role as a witch."
"Lies... Cease your lies. Mother."
"You..." A cold voice emanated, belonging to a young girl.
"I already know you were not the cause of this situation. A soldier witnessed it. Regrettably, I witnessed it as well. Who thwarted the appearance of the monster Braga during the assault?" The girl remained silent in response to his words. "Who covertly rescued those in danger and then departed?"
"I fail to grasp your intent."
"The prince accused you of being the culprit merely because of your presence. Yet, I know." His voice quivered slightly as he continued. "You did not appear there for that purpose."
"Then, why do you think I did?"
"Why did you materialized in the capital…?" He paused briefly.
"You remain unchanged."
The king's response was silence.
"Always a crybaby."
Then, an unusual sound reached their ears. Someone was sobbing.
"Sob... sob... Mother, please... speak the truth now. This was not your doing..."
"Heh, what a jest. I am responsible."
While the middle-aged man wept like a child, the girl remained unmoved.
"By altering your blood, you chose to slumber, ignorant of your future self. To rouse you, I committed a forbidden act. And the creature, lured by that energy, arrived here. Yes, I am a demon, unworthy of the title of king."
"Tsk tsk. One should not casually violate taboos, be it in your realm or the witch's domain. Does that imply I did nothing?"
She offered no denial, even until the end.
"You concealed everything on my behalf, enabling me to ascend the throne. This predicament should have concluded with my dethronement and execution. Instead, you, who sought to safeguard the populace and myself, should have been hailed as a hero."
She chuckled in response to his words. "I have no interest in hearing it. Hero? What a farce. Grid, pay heed. Humans inhabit their world, and witches inhabit theirs."
"Is this... about your homeland? The place you consistently claimed to have forsaken?"
"...There is nothing more to discuss. Witnessing a former slave, now a king, weeping is pitiable. Depart. Once, I commanded you like a slave, but this is a new low."
"If this persists, your fate will be execution. At the hands of your own son and grandson! I implore you... just this once, relinquish your stubbornness."
"I am not inclined to falsely implicate slaves for crimes and then put them to death."
"Do you not feel wronged? Admit it, at the very least! The situation arose due to the forbidden experiment I conducted! A decade ago, you shed blood on my behalf, shielding me from those who sought my demise!" He cried out with desperation. "The citizens view me as a virtuous king who would not spill a drop of blood! Those fools remain oblivious to how I ascended to the throne!"
For the first time, she displayed a genuine smile. "If a former slave could govern as a virtuous king for more than a decade, then the experiment was a triumph. Manipulating humans is remarkably effortless, isn't it? I prioritize the theory I've established over my own existence."
"Sob... sob... If only I could... return to the past and advise my former self to never assume the throne. Though as a king, one wields immense authority, there are constraints that come with leading and being scrutinized by all. The king's sorrows, trials, and anguish are incomprehensible to others. Whether just or tyrannical, this remains an unchanging verity.”
Greid Malon Brieouk, the King of Briouk, departed the scene. Perserque fell into silence. Leaning against the wall and blocking out the sounds entirely, Davey shut his eyes. Following a brief pause, he slowly harnessed the faint mana gathered in his palm. His resolve was unwavering.