Chapter 8 - Offense is the best defense?
In an unknown mansion somewhere in Outer Bank X...
"Sir, we noticed an abnormality in one of the dungeons today." (Butler)
"Oh? And what happened?"
The butler observed the disinterested look on the man in front of him and continued. "The E rank dungeon, [Frozen Wasteland], has suddenly gone from a risky assessment of moderate to low"
"Oh, so someone is doing my job for me while I’m busy with the C rank dungeon?"
"Yes sir...but the problem is, this change occurred in the span of 2 hours"
As soon as the butler finished these words, the eyes of the man he was talking to flashed. "Who was it? A team or a Ranker that just appeared?"
"We don’t know Sir, we’re currently checking." Butler
"Good, let me know as soon as you find out. Are the girls ready?" The man’s attention quickly moved to the floor above him where he could feel some movements.
"All newly awakened?"
"Good, don’t bother me for the next hour."
The butler in a clad black suit watched as the man climbed the stairs. His major worry right now was the fact that a dungeon had moved from a moderate risk level to low in a period of two hours. This required a dungeon to be cleared by a team of highly skilled hunters, or one very skilled Ranker, multiple times in those 2 hours
There was currently only one hunter in Outer Bank X who would be able to bring a specialized team to clear a dungeon at such high speeds, and he was looking at him now heading to perform some...activities
The butler bowed towards his benefactor and then turned around to find out just which new hunters had appeared in their city.
I was back in the central Awakened Center of Outer Bank X, currently selling the items I didn’t need along with the [Core]s I didn’t absorb. Before coming down here I made sure to absorb the E rank cores until I hit 70 attribute points for [Vitality] and [Strength]. I slowly adapted to the newfound power my body felt as I moved around, exhilarated at my fast progress
The remaining cores, items, and skill books were all sold and I soon had an extra $674,000 deposited in my account. This was something unbelievable unless you were a high ranking Hunter
The receptionist handling my order was shocked as the number of things I was bringing in did not match the rank on my license in any way. I had the plan to be tested and increase my rank today anyways. A jump from F to D wouldn’t be too out of this world, right?
This was something I was hesitating on as it had only been 2 days since I was registered as an F rank hunter. Heads will definitely be turned my way if I jump ranks this quickly. I still didn’t feel comfortable enough to parade myself as someone strong when my highest skills currently were rank D and I was just about get a rank C skill. Increasing my rank can wait for now, there’s no rush
I was heading towards the [Skill Book] Shop to buy a skill I had already seen yesterday, but I couldn’t buy. Rank C skill, [Arcanist’s Sphere of Protection: Arcane energies protect the caster from all harm, but at a great cost]
There were very few rank C skills for sale, as the highest C rank dungeon was regularly being cleared by the only B rank hunter in Outer Bank X with his own team. Over the last few months, many of the C rank skills came from them
[Arcanist’s Sphere of Protection] provided absolute defense to any attacks of the same rank thrown your way along with a high defense against skills of a higher rank, did not have any movement effect like [Safeguard], but required a large amount of energy to be kept active
My heart was about to leap out of my chest as I bought this killer skill. I’ve heard the proverb that offense is the best defense, but right now looking at this skill, defense was definitely the best defense. There were other spectacular C rank offensive skills on display that I wanted to buy, but they would have to wait after I dive into dungeons a few more times and raise my funds once more
The offensive skills would definitely decimate everything on sight if I were to spam them, but they won’t guarantee my life. So defense first, offense later.
On Top of the defensive rank C skill, I also bought rank D [Danger Sense], which quite literally let you sense anything that might take your life a few seconds before it happened. It was an invaluable skill that also had high energy usage to be kept active all the time.
[Arcanist’s Sphere of Protection] cost me $550,000, with [Danger Sense] taking away another $100 k. I gave a look at the rank C offensive skills that I couldn’t yet buy and left the Awakened Center to head towards my apartment this time. I was planning on spending the night there and grab my laptop along with other essentials
After giving directions to the driver, I relaxed in the back of the car and learned [Arcanist’s Sphere of Protection] and [Danger Sense]. I immediately activated [Danger Sense], but nothing felt any different. I’m assuming I would feel something if my life was ever in danger
We arrived at the dilapidated apartment complex in half an hour. I gave the place a glance before heading towards the room I’ve been living in for the past months
Opening the door, I was shocked to find out there was someone in my apartment. The moment that person turned, A loud ringing sound went off in my head. This...was dangerous
The man was decked in clothes that let off a blue light, which means they were all [Item]s. He spoke as soon as his eyes landed on my face
"Noah Osmont. Parents deceased, living alone, has been a registered hunter for about 2 days" The man was flipping through some papers while speaking. I had recognized his face, he was a celebrity in Outer Bank X
My face quickly became stern and I activated [Arcanist’s Sphere of Protection]
He looked up and gave a surprised look before continuing. "Dungeon diving history includes [Ape’s Paradise] and [Frozen Wasteland]. Has been observed to enter both dungeons alone and clear them with some of the fastest clear speeds. Now, why would a man like you be hiding your power?" He wrapped up the papers and gave me a piercing look
My entire body felt like it was on pins and needles. I took a quick breath and calmed myself down while remembering I had a C rank defensive skill activated right now and said. "I didn’t want any trouble the first few days after awakening."
"Trouble huh? Well, it always manages to find us" He stared around my apartment before continuing. "I won’t be here long, I’m a very busy man. I came to offer an olive branch"
He walked around my apartment and continued talking in that arrogant tone "The highest dungeon in this beautiful city of ours requires me and a team of others to regularly clear so that a dungeon break does not occur. Looking at your past 2 days history, and the fact that you can comfortably keep that defensive skill active after all this time...means your power should be upper-Rank C, even possibly nearing B"
He gave a smile as he said that last part. This man was the top ranker in Outer Bank X. B rank hunter, Cohen Anderson.
"We need more talents like you to keep the safety of this city and its...citizens. We have casualties every now and then and are in need of another powerful hunter in the team. The next dungeon dive is 3 days from now. We gather at [Solael’s Castle] at 10 am, be sure not to miss it."
He finished the last few words, looked around some more, and walked out the door without giving me another look.
I felt anger quickly boiling up inside me before I squashed it down. How the hell did they find me so fast?!
I closed the door of the apartment and went towards a chair with a horrible expression on my face. Cohen Anderson. The most powerful hunter in this city, and the one at the forefront of the defense against the C rank dungeon, [Solael’s Castle]
The dungeon monolith always showed a deep orange hue, showing that it could shine red at any moment and cause a dungeon break. Cohen forms a party to clear this dungeon twice a week. The hunters that form this party always change though, as there are casualties in almost every dive
That was how hard a C rank dungeon was. Even with a B rank hunter leading the team, there were still casualties. This information was commonplace in the local hunter platforms. New hunters were regularly recruited to help in the defense of the city, but there would be a Memoriam at least once a week for a fallen Rank C hunter on the team
I wanted to increase my strength slowly before doing what I can to help without the risk of death, but I guess that’s out of the window.
My anger was kept in check as I recalled his tone that felt more like a command. Arrogance, that was all that I felt from him.
Sigh. This was what power could do to you. Cohen was widely known to be arrogant, but he was the strongest hunter in the city and could be relied on to prevent a dungeon break from [Solael’s Castle]
It looks like I will be visiting a C rank dungeon faster than I thought, but there was one thing he was wrong about. My power was definitely not upper-rank C or nearing B. As soon as I learned the appropriate skill book, with my endless casts nothing will stand in my way. A ferocious expression rose in my face as old plans were thrown out and new ones formed.
[Focus: - ]
[Skill(s): (F-Fireball-96)(F-Heal-10)(E-Arctic Armor- 79)(D-Flames of Torment-31)(D-Safeguard-8)(D-Danger Sense-5)(C-Arcanist’s Sphere of Protection-2)]
[Equipment: (E-Swift Boots)]