Chapter 20 – Love and Hate (1)

◈ Episode 20. Love and Hate (1)

High kill contribution.

I checked the loot I had automatically earned.

But the first thing that caught my eye was a necklace.

A demonic item.

The necklace that had been chosen as the sacrifice for the demonic ritual.

I thought it would have evaporated by now, but…….

[Necklace of Sublime Promise]

[Rank: Rare]

[Limit: Lv.300]

[Effect : When hit, has a low chance to trigger the skill ‘Intermediate Protection’].

[Description : A necklace for lovers who go to battle, imbued with magic in the hope that the other party will be safe, it has an excellent effect].

There it was.

With the curse lifted.

‘The Kuma Ritual has replaced the purification?

I can’t believe I have to sacrifice my first rare item.

The setting of Grandfell is not conducive to wealth films.

I couldn’t say it out loud, but I was really upset!

But this is different, this is different.

Moreover, if you get hit, it will trigger Intermediate Protection.

It’s not a jackpot, but it’s a good one.

[Vampire Count’s Orb]

[Rank: Unique]

[Limit: Lv.400]

[Effect: Sealed]

[Description: Sealed with a demonic curse, its effects are sealed, and it must be purified before it can have its full effect.]

That was a good enough achievement, but a unique item.

Let’s face it.

This was a surprise.

But I remained unmoved.

I shifted my unwavering gaze.

The orb.

It was a crimson orb.

It was pulsating as if it was filled with red blood.

This is also a demonic item.

Its effects were sealed, so he wasn’t sure what kind of item it was yet.

However, what was certain was that it was ranked [Unique].

A unique item with a level limit of 400.

…… Won’t this sell for a lot of money?

I couldn’t help but think so.

I remembered the articles I had seen in the past.

Hundreds of millions, maybe billions, for a single item?

But the thought didn’t last long.

Giving something that belongs to someone else?

Just to make money?

Grand Prix pride would not allow it.

But I didn’t feel sorry for him.

Level 400.

For some reason.

A number that should have been a distant memory.

Because it felt so attainable.

Was it simple confidence, a childhood stroke?

No, this was a grounded conviction.

I opened the status window.

[Name: Grampel Claudi Arpheus Romeo]

[Class: Demon Hunter]

[Level: 134]


Strength: 27 / Dexterity: 33 / Magic: 51 / Luck: 2

[Points held: 34]

Experience gained from hunting Count Ascura.

You gained a whopping 34 levels, even though you shared the experience with Gokal Hat.

A 34-level increase in Arcana’s experience system in one fell swoop.

…… is a new record.

In addition to the level increase.

Hunt a Vampire. (Ongoing)

Announce that the hunt has begun (Success)

Make them feel the fear of being hunted. (Success)

Hunt a vampire. (Success)

Even class quests.

I have my reasons.

I could stand as tall as I do now.

Even in front of my loot.

“Wow! What is this?”

Even in front of that tin foil hat, which was beyond my current capabilities.

By the way…….

I shifted my gaze and looked at the tin foil hat.

So what, that one.


She touched the ashes of Count Ascura with her staff.

It was barely a handful of ashes, I thought.

But there was a steady stream of smoke rising from the remains.

“I don’t smell anything!”

My brow crumpled.

Maybe it was the effect of the Grand Prix, where dignity dies hard.

My feelings are no different.

No, I didn’t have to put my nose to the grindstone to smell it…….

But it was definitely weird.

It was too clear to be just smoke.

Like you could see it from a mile away.

That’s when I thought to myself.


The quest window flashed.

[Class Quest: The Beginning].

The prelude has begun, and the flame has risen.

You are the last demon hunter.

Illuminate the world of evil.

─Train your weakened body. (Repeat)

From ‘Prelude to a Counterattack’ to ‘Beginnings’.

There was progress in the class quest.

I read the quest window that popped up and realised.

That smoke wasn’t going up for nothing.

There was no immediate goal other than physical training.

The quest would come to me when the time was right, as it always did.

Until then, consider it personal maintenance time.

As much as I felt the gap, I also needed some time to sweat it out.


That’s when I heard the popular shout.

Jesse, the name of the tin foil hat.

I was sure I’d heard that name before.

Anyway, it was Jesse’s lightning bolt.

Players rushed in, one after another.

And then, astonishment.

“Where’s Count Ascura? I don’t see him.”

“Wait. Jesse, that thing you’re touching with your staff. What is that?”

“……What, what, Jesse, are you kidding me?!”

I snapped.

Jessie looked at me without answering.

This drew everyone’s attention to me.

It was Jesse who opened his mouth cautiously.

“Courtesy……. I don’t know, but I’ll do my best!”

He then introduced himself.

“My name is Jesse Heinness, if you don’t mind me asking!”

I looked around at the question.

It certainly wasn’t like the Battle of the Square.

I blurted out …….

Everyone was holding their breath and focusing on me.

Just like Jesse.

They’re all players who’ve reached incredible levels.

All these greats waiting for my words to fall.

……Obviously, it’s a pressure situation.

I was actually rather pleased with their demeanour.

There was a sense of dignity in their restrained silence.

It’s a stance that would have been unthinkable to me not so long ago.

But make no mistake.

This change is also my black history.

I know it’s me.

So it wasn’t hard to answer.

“I am Lee Ho-yeol.”

*Lee Ho-yeol

Lee Ho-Yeol.

The mysterious player who hunted Count Ascura with Jesse Hynes.

It was only natural that his name would spread around the world.

It’s a performance that’s hard to put into words.

“Count Ascura’s level was a whopping 430. Most predicted that he was even stronger than that, but to hunt him down alone!”

“Really, it must be a surprise to the world beyond Korea. What do you think?”

“Actually, the response from overseas has been very enthusiastic.”

VBC’s signature programme, Today Arcana.

A brief pause for the expert panel to rant.


PD Hyun Yong-seok signs, and the screen pops up.

Hyun Yong-seok takes off his headset and sighs.

“I really don’t know what to do with you.”

Next to him was camera director Yoon Jong-jin.

Yoon Jong-jin scratched his head.

“No, senior. I really didn’t have time to think about it. Put yourself in my shoes. I’m just chasing after the Gaon Guild, and all of a sudden, the castle collapses, and as if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s a thunderclap!”

I roll my eyes.

Hyun Yong-seok signals for us to continue.

Then comes the excuse that is not an excuse.

“I thought, ‘Wow, I’m going to die like this, or I’m going to die like this because I lost the scoop to my brother. I wanted to, so I ran anyway. I ran and……. And there it is, Jesse Hynes, but what the hell. You have that silver hair again?”


“I thought my heart was going to fall out of my chest, like, how much did you break my heart? I missed out on Berserker, and then the Battle of the Square. This is an opportunity I can’t pass up. I’m going to do whatever it takes to get an interview this time. So…….”


So that’s all you got?

[I’m Lee Ho-yeol].

Hyun Yong-seok felt a thousand dollars inside.

It was an opportunity that didn’t come easily.

But who could blame him?

“…… Yeah, I guess I didn’t have the presence of mind to ask.”

Who would have thought he’d tell me his real name in the first place?

You go to the official Arcana website.

No matter how many times I searched the ranking page, there were no results.

Not even a player named Lee “Ho-yeol” Lee.

Of course, there was.

But he was just using the same nickname.

It wasn’t the real Lee Ho-yeol.

“…… What the fuck is he doing?”

How many incidents in the new rift involved Lee Ho-yeol?

From the Berserker Guild’s first clear of the New Rift.

The joint front with Gaon and Inazuma.

To the Count Ascura raid with Jesse Heinness.

Any one of them would have been a massive boost to their stock.

From unknown to ranked.

No, more than that.

He could have raised his own ransom.

And all he had left to say was…….

[Get out of the way. My patience is wearing thin.]

[There is nothing formal about this.]

[Therefore, I will not take questions].

[I am Lee Ho-yeol].

That was it!

Even the name he gave was not an arcana or a nickname, but a real name or a pseudonym.

I’ve seen all kinds of celebrities and players on the show.

“I’ve never seen it either, and I’m going to stop blaming you. Now.”

Yes, Hyun Yong-seok wasn’t the only one.

The players were no different.

*Hyun Yong-seok

“Hyung, I think it’s a good thing.”

“……Lucky for what?”

Ho-yeol’s stock price had skyrocketed.

I realised that it was impossible for Gaon to have such a fondness for him.

Nam Chul-min slumped on the sofa in a state of loss.

Tae-min shrugged at his brother.

“People’s eyes. That’s the one thing that keeps you alive, right?”

“What do you mean? I didn’t expect that either.”

“No, it’s not your fault because it’s beyond common sense.”

But Ho-yeol’s recruitment battle wasn’t over yet.

Nam Tae-min pulled out his phone.

“Even if the odds are stacked against us, we still have the best chance. We have Ho-yeol’s number, and we have a very formal way to approach him.”

“…… Gunduck?”

“Why, the loot from the battle in the square.”

Count Ascura’s knights that he defeated in the square.

Gaon had taken the loot from them.

He and Inazuma had shared half of it.

Still, the quantity and quality were considerable.

“If it weren’t for Ho-yeol’s efforts, we wouldn’t have been able to get that loot. Isn’t it only polite and proper to share it with him?”

Nam Chul-min thought about it.

Judging by his behaviour.

Ho Yeol wasn’t just a man driven by money.

It was clear from his actions so far.

But he had a good reason.

Soon, Nam Chul-min’s eyes lit up with motivation.

“……Tae-min, you’ll be my brother from now on.”

The Shining Guild.

Camilla ran a hand through her red curls.

“Jessie. You really don’t know anything about this~?”


“Really, are you going to play dumb like that?”

Camilla knew Jessie’s powers better than anyone.

The chosen mage.

She had seen Jesse’s firepower up close.

And yet, this raid on Count Ascura seemed impossible.

“I don’t know. Don’t ask me.”

A persistent question.

Jessie never told anyone what she saw.

It was the ‘courtesy’ of the favourites.

Camilla sighed and held up her hands.

“I give up. I won’t ask anymore. Don’t be so cold~”

What was she looking at so intently earlier, anyway?

Jessie was staring at her tablet PC.

A glance.

A wide-eyed archer’s view.

After checking the screen, Camilla said in disbelief.

“Korean greeting? Hands on navel? Why are you looking at that again?”

The world was talking about Lee Ho-yeol.

Not to mention his home country of South Korea.

So it was only a matter of time before he found out.



Protruding cheeks.

Hair in a double braid.

A cute little finger pointed at the TV screen.

She looked away.

Then, with a flushed face, he looks anxiously for his mum.

“Mum. It’s Uncle Ho!”





I looked at my vibrating smartphone and thought.

It’s finally here.

I check the sender and it’s my sister, No. 3.

But I know.

The moment I pick up this phone.

I know that the moment I pick up the phone, the voices of 1, 2, and 3 will come out at the same time.

It’s funny when you think about it.

When we were younger, we used to fight with each other.

Maybe it’s because they’re older.

Now they can’t live without each other.

In other words.

I’m the one who’s dying.

I pressed the call button.

As expected, I heard the cold voice of No. 1.

-Hey, Lee Ho-yeol. Do you have anything to tell us?

I have a lot to say.

“Calm down. My sisters.”

……Starting with the way he says it.