“Esca! Where are the materials I ask before? I need it to craft!”
“I-I’m sorry, I was preoccupied talking with him. Here’s the material.”
“Hmph! Next time please send it to me before you chat with your friend!”
The merchant just took away all the material from the girl and without thanking her, he went to his wagon before he continued to craft something. As the girl was about to continue to talk, another person was shouting in her direction. This time it was someone wearing a soldier attire.
“Esca! Where is the food you promised to give us? We need it so our platoon can fight more effectively.”
“I-I’m sorry, here you go, the food for fifteenth soldiers. The the food will raised stamina and strength when eaten but the effect only last for twenty minutes and the after effect…..”
“Thank you, GUYS! WE HAVE OUR FOOD!!”
Although this time the girl was thanked, Chrono questioned the soldier sincerity since the soldier simply took the food immediately after. As the soldiers went away, one voices after another emerge calling for the girl.
“Esca! I told you I need your help!”
“S-Sorry, I’m coming.”
“Esca! The potion!”
“Esca, I need you to take care of my store when I logout.”
“(Esca? Don’t tell me she is that scroll shop owner daughter? And what with the ‘Miss Yes’ attitude? She just do everything people asked her and now it seems everyone bullying her.I guess I know why that shop owner want me to help his daughter. But she’s not in trouble, this is her attitude problem, I will just ignore this.)”
Chrono have decided he should keep his promise and help Gotika’s daughter as he can’t return the purple scroll anymore. But he found it annoying to scold every person that was asking Esca to do a ‘favor’.
Right now the only thing that was on Chrono’s mind was devising a plan to assassinate the merchant that had scammed him.
It was easy to do something out of place here as the merchants and soldiers had loosened their guard. But assassinating someone was not an easy task either because he may raised everyone suspicion and he can’t predict how Jason and James would react.
As Chrono was in deep thought, Jason and James approached him from behind. Jason pat on Chrono’s shoulder to gain his attention. As Chrono noticed the duo, Jason started to speak in a low tone.
“We have observed the surrounding area, like you expected, there were a few suspicious people doing suspicious things.”
“Ah, the raid….”
“N-No, Yes, like I thought, there are spy among us. When the time come, they will make it so checkpoint gates can be easily be opened.”
“I guess we need to apprehend them and report it to….”
“No, we had no proof and the raid may be call off. I need the raid to happen today, so I can carry on my plan…”
As Chrono slipped the suspicious word, the high instincted James suddenly started suspecting him..
“Plan? What plan? Isn’t it better if they call off the raid?”
“N-No, if they call it off now, they will try again later. It’s better to annihilate the threat now.”
“Hmm….true, but there is something fishy here…”
“What?! Please trust me on this one, I have nothing to gain and I need this quest to work.”
Looking straight at Chrono’s eyes, James approached Chrono nearer as he begun to speak.
“Listen here kid, every criminal will repeat their crimes as they know they will get away. You may not serial murder in the real world, but you always end up with a twisted method every time things are not going in your way. It’s easy to kill and rob, but there are always other proper way to do things, UNDERSTAND?”
“Y-Yes, I understand.”
“(Damn those two!)”
As the expected time for the raid came closer, Chrono planned to kill the merchant that scammed him by blaming the bandit spies. But with Jason and James following him around closely, he can’t move a finger.
He tried various thing to loose the duo from kept on following him but it end up as failure. As Chrono ran around the checkpoint trying to shake off Jason and James, he overheard two merchants talking to each other.
“Isn’t it dangerous asking her to collect woods at this time?”
“But she said she will do it, and this area only occupied by newbie monsters. Besides, she has her own guards”
“(Those two…..it was the merchant that bullying Esca! Don’t tell me….Pfft!)”
Chrono quickly approached one of the merchant. Without any words, he grab the merchant shirt while he looked at the merchant with his eyes slit.
“The one you asked to collect the woods, was that Esca?!”
Bewildered by Chrono sudden behavior, the merchant cannot answered Chrono’s questioned on time. Without waiting the merchant to regain his composure, Chrono asked the merchant again, this time with a louder voices.
“The one you asked to collect the wood, WAS THAT ESCA?!”
He never shows his scary sides without his mask, but this time it was an exception. The expected time for the raid have come near, wandering outsides of the checkpoint was not a good idea.
Chrono would not bothered if it was anyone else, but he has made his promise and his instincts told him Esca would be useful to him later.
With Esca, he could learn the books market price and he could figure out on how the purple skill scroll worked. Not to mention the thousand skill she learned may come in handy.
“Jason, James! Stay in the checkpoint and prevent the spies from opening the checkpoint gates. I need to go to the woods first.”
As Chrono finished speaking, he ran towards his wagon with haste.
“Don’t worry! I’m not doing anything illegal .”
As he arrived at his wagon, he quickly pulled away Thorin from the wagon before he cried towards the training goblin Kai.
“Kai, Let’s go!”
Without any question, Kai rode on Thorin with his master out of the checkpoint. Based on the nearest checkpoint door from Esca wagon, Chrono deducted Esca went to the south of the checkpoint where the monsters were weak.
Using his sense, Chrono tried to focus on finding a humanoid figure within his sense range. Consecutively, he shout her name just in case Esca could hear it.
While searching, there were monsters but they were obliterated by goblin Kai. Chrono would surely found Esca, the only question was ‘when’, since he has a limited amount of time because of the raid.
Not so far away from Chrono, there were a girl cutting woods while two users with mercenary attire watching her from behind.
“Ma’am, is it necessary to do those guys favor?”
“It can’t be help, that guy needed the wood badly”
“You are too nice, they don’t even thank you properly when you do them favors.”
“I’m just happy I can be of help, hehehe…And...Hmm… Could you guys do me a favor?”
“.....We will help you carrying the woods.”
As Esca chatting with her two escort while doing woodcutting, humanoid shadows lurking nearby stalking them. As they came near, the two escorts finally noticed them but it was too late.
“Yes, it seems we have company. With one hell of a number at that.”
When the two escort looked around them, they could only see at least ten pair of red eyes. They could understand one or two chaotic player suddenly ambushing them and they were prepared for that.
The escorts completely didn’t expect ten chaotic users would attack them at once in desert woods with low level monsters in it.
“Edward, do you have any idea on why they are here?”
“I had no idea Jayce, maybe they have clan wars or maybe...they knew about our caravan.”
Having a record of two hundred successful mission, Edward was a rank B swordsman in mercenary guild. With an appearance of a prince, he wear expensive gear and artifact level sword.
He did have few failure in his early rookie day,he learned from those failure by only picking mission that he believed he could handle and a careful preparation.
Like Edward, Jayce was a rank B swordsman in mercenary guild except he has a more intimidating look with a beard and a scar on his face. From a single look, one would thought he was a war veteran.
“Hmm? What’s wrong?”
As Jayce and Edward drawing their swords, Esca who did not invest in the sense status just realized the situation. The ten years she spent in the city doing trades and grinding skill for scroll creation made her think that the sense status was only used to sense the surroundings wasn’t necessary.
When she finally realized how grim the situation was, both of her hands on her mouth, speechless to the situation. As she finally regained her composure, she finally spoke.
“I-I could help.”
“No, just don’t move. That way we can protect you easier.”
“Yes, we will try getting out of this situation.”
The shadow figure around them approaching and finally three of the red eyes fully visible to Esca’s party as they get nearer and the moonlight enlightened their body figure.
“Hehehe…..We were right, logging in earlier was a good decision.”
“They are coming….Esca, stay behind us.”
Jayce and Edwards was forced to take defensive stance because taking the initiative would leave Esca in danger.
If they were by themselves, they would have more options. With Esca to protect, Jayce and Edward had no choice other than taking defensive measure. Even without the contract, they were too honorable to leave Esca by herself.
“Here they come!”
Jayce and Edward worked hard fighting the chaotic users while protecting Esca. Killing the chaotics turned to be the second priority as they were too busy protecting Esca from getting hurt.
While her Escorts were fighting, Esca was troubled whether to follow her father's advice or just help her escorts. She could take her time while making a decision during the ten years when she was living inside the safe city walls.
The dire situation needed her to quickly make a decision but as Esca was about to reach her decision, the skillful Jayce and Edward were already on the brink of death and about to received the killing blow.
“I guess, this is it.”
“Hahaha, Later then, sucker!”
As one of the chaotic user about to deal the killing blow, a spear came out of nowhere plunging into his body as his body was knocked back ten meters away.
Puzzled with the situations, the chaotic users stop their movement while looking to the dark thick forest where the spear coming from.
The spears kept coming from the darkness plunging the chaotic users while knocking their bodies ten meters away. Confused, the chaotic users have a cold sweats as the unknown entities behind the darkness was about to show itself.
From afar, they could only saw a blood red pair of eyes. As it approached, the chaotic users, Jayce, Edward and Esca tremble, the cold sweat running through their bodies as they felt fear. They realized if it was not a boss monsters, the fear came from a tremendous amount of infamy status from a prominent player.
The unknown entities approaching closer and this time they saw the eyes of a fearsome beast under the blood red eyed figure.
While riding Thorin, Chrono finally revealed himself under the moonlight of the night sky. As everyone realized the one in front of them was the infamous ‘Skull Mask’ they could not help but felt despair and this including Esca’s party because they didn’t know Chrono was on their sides.
“Shit, why him?!”
“Wait, we had our numbers, like before, we should just team up and….”
Without letting the chaotic users to organize themselves again, Chrono continued to attack. Without any mercy, Chrono dashed while riding on Thorin and finished off the chaotic users with his beloved Grave.
The sight of carnage in front of them only strikes further fear to the surrounding people.
Chrono’s next remark made the chaotic players feel they could only run for their lives as they felt they were no match for the infamous guardian slayer.
“Shit, this just got out of hand!”
As if he forgot his current objectives, Chrono chased the chaotic users with Thorin at a unbelievable speed. The spears he threw earlier delayed the speed of his victims making it easier for him to chase.
“Arrgh, spare me!”
Using the heavy spear, Chrono pinned down his victim before he finished them off with Grave. Because the bunch was too afraid to fight, the carnage continued without Chrono receiving any damages.
“(Hmm...Some of them got away…)”
Chrono decided to stop chasing before he got too far away from Esca’s party. Chrono steered Thorin to turn back to where Esca’s was.
As Chrono reemerged, Jayce and Edward standing up while drawing his sword pointing to Chrono. Although their feet trembling, their courage was admirable to Chrono.
“Don’t worry, I’m on your side.”
Without answering Chrono, Edward and Jayce just gritted their teeth while looking at Chrono with disbelieved eyes.
“(Hmm.. The fear status from my massive infamy making it hard for me to convince them)”
Chrono took out the ‘One ring’ and wear it again. By hiding his infamy status, Esca’s party were relieved from the fear status indirectly. And for the first time, Chrono unequipped the masked and showed his true face.
“Esca, it’s me.”
With his earlier fighting skill it takes awhile before Esca could finally grasp that the man in front of her was Chrono the merchant.
“M-Mister book scam?”
“W-What? No, god! I forgot to tell you my name.”
“Esca, did you know him?”
“Y-Yes, he is one of the merchant in the caravan that just got scammed.”
“A merchant? The infamous skull mask is a merchant? Ridiculous!”
“Wait, I think he used various artifacts to pretend to be ‘skull mask’, look his eyes isn’t blood red anymore.”
“Then how did you explain his combat prowess?”
“Hmm….hey, look! There is a goblin behind him, maybe the one throwing spears and killing those chaotics was this goblin!”
“Hmm...That was possible...Wow, you are smart, Jayce!”
“(Whatever I don’t care about these two fools, we need to get back to the checkpoint.)”
As Chrono about to speak, his wide range ‘Fear Death’ skill sense humanoid figures approaching. He was sure that were chaotic users that logging in before the scheduled time.
“Hey, we need to hurry, I sense another wave of chaotic users approaching.”
“I will lead the way, I can sense them miles away, so I know which direction is safer.”
With the raid hours approaching and Chrono getting nervous as he sensed more and more chaotic users around him.
“(Dammit, we need to take a long detour to avoid this mass of Chaotic users!)”
Even with the long detour, if they could avoid every chaotic users, they would arrive at the checkpoint just before the raid. Chrono’s calculated move was not perfect but it had a high chance of success.
“(Unless someone pulling the plug from the cube, they are as good as safe!)”
Chrono’s high confidence was not baseless, as he used to succeed many time. But he forgot something, he forgot he used to failed three times when he do business. He forgot he was someone that had 150,000 $ debt. He forgot he used to get in trouble many, many times. And everything was mainly because of
His cursed LUCK.
|Power supplied cut off, switching to the emergency cube batteries. Your avatar will logout in one minute|
As Chrono received the unexpected system messaged, his body was fading as the game prepared him to logout.
“Mister book scam? Are you logging out?”
“What the hell? why now? Real life issue?”
“(And I don’t believe I still didn’t tell her my name properly)”
|thirty second before the logout|
Having no time for detailed instruction, Chrono could only thought of one thing. It was a great gamble but it was the only way. He could only imagined Esca’s party getting slaughtered as they ran to the chaotic users group.The only thing Chrono could do was changing the plan.
“Three hundred meter south of here is the ‘Safe Spot’. Wait there until I relog. Kai, Thorin, protect them with everything you have!”
“Listen, defend until I relog, I had………”
Before Chrono could finish his speech, his body completely disappeared.
Daniel slammed the cube door opened as he was enraged by the unexpected turn of event.
“(Don’t tell me mice were biting the power cord.)”
As Daniel got out from the cube, he noticed his whole house was in darkness. He could not comprehend on what happened at first, then he realized something.
“(My outstanding bill payment, what a perfect timing!)”
Reaching his purse, Daniel rushed outside of his home without changing his clothes. Daniel ran as if his life on the line towards the nearest cyber cafe.
*huf* *huf* *huf*
“One Emperor’s Saga cube for three hours, Fast!”
As Chrono was about to go to one of the cube, the cashier suddenly called him back.
“I have no time for idle talk, just hurry.”
“Yes, but I just want to let you know that this much money only worth for one hour of playtime.”