Chapter 278 – Starting from zero (2)

◈ Episode 278. Starting from zero (2)

It’s player common sense.

System messages don’t lie.

Therefore, I couldn’t believe that Lee Hoyeol had recognized [Stealth].

[Stealth (Master): Hide yourself in the surrounding environment. The farther away you are from the other party, significantly less likely you are to be discovered.]

Mastery of the Stealth skill.

As if that weren’t enough, the description clearly states ‘significantly’?

Even if it’s a dragon that lives at the top of the Zero Mountains. Unless this one radiated its deadly force first, its presence would not have been noticed from a distance of more than a few hundred meters.

‘Because the aggro system is a different area.’

The goal was to gather information.

It wasn’t a surprise.

Of course, there was no hostility between the man and the special agent.

‘It should never be noticed……’

It didn’t make sense to me, especially after so many experiences.

Then a thought suddenly occurred to me.

Maybe it’s no wonder I can’t understand it……?

‘……Dark Dragon.’

Even dragons can’t figure it out.

Then what if it’s something greater than a dragon.

If it is Dark Dragon.

‘Perhaps it can sense stealth……!’

And there it was, right in front of him.

A moment of judgment.

He realized what he was doing.


Following Dark Dragon……!

This was an unplanned development.

Furthermore, it was also a judgment for the monarch.

If he were to face Hoyeol at this rate.

‘The arrow will return to my lord, not me.’


And so he signaled to the commandos.

For now, it was a tactical retreat. Ignoring Dark Dragon’s warnings for the sake of gaining information about the Great Alliance? Because the profit margin was not right.


The man swallowed a sigh of relief as he retreated.

Then he realized once again.

At this moment, he had been spared.

He owed his survival to the generosity of Dark Dragon.

‘If it weren’t for him.’

I might be in the same position as those I’ve lost touch with.

Thinking of them made me wonder.

‘There is a possibility that Lee Hoyeol is involved in the disappearance…….’

If it was Lee Hoyeol.

He would be able to subdue the experts of the Heavenly Unity in a short time and still be unharmed.

But the man quickly shook his head.

Neither would he.

Hadn’t his actions been broadcast to the world in real time?

Until just now.

‘He was surrounded by reporters and cameras.’

Even if he manifested a portal and traveled, it wouldn’t be in time.

Moreover, Lee Hoyeol had no reason to be in contact with the experts of the Heavenly Unity, as evidenced by the fact that he had shown them mercy.

‘He is not a person with ordinary courage.’

Not someone who would pull strings.

“……Then who the hell are you?”

I suspected the Great Alliance from the way they’ve been mustering troops.

It was understandable if the reason was because of Lee Hoyeol.

After all, it’s only natural for vassals to greet their monarchs in grand fashion.

Thanks to this, the thought circuit was left in limbo.

It was the vibration that woke him up.



They were back.

As if nothing had happened.

It was the news that they had returned to the rallying point.

“What the hell?”

I didn’t understand, more than I regretted the waste.

The lord was away in the Zero Mountains for the connectors.

He violated his orders and returned as if nothing had happened.

“This is unacceptable behavior for a Five Star.”

I will never be able to completely fill Lord Liu’s void.

However, even just a little bit on behalf of my lord.

They should be held accountable for violating regulations.

“Move quickly.”

The man and the task force headed for the rallying point.

There was the source of the trouble they had been searching for.

Unaware that the Shadow Mercenaries were on their trail.



A rat scurries away into the grass.

Because it brings back the original intention.

I didn’t need to go back to those days, even in my tone of voice.

I realize the ripple effect of my words through the reactions around me.

“It is truly an impressive expression to say that you will give them an eternal night.”

Don’t nod like you’re impressed, Hisagi.

Hey, who else is taking notes?!

Damn, I’m already starting to regret choosing this cave.

‘It would be enough to praise you for taking good notes, if you have the personality of Grandfell.’

There’s no way he’d say that.

Instead, I turn away.

I averted my gaze to the message that came to mind.

[Small Champion’s Sanctuary Under the Mountain]

[Appropriate Level: 850]

[Collapse Rate: 100%]

One might ask.

Why did I just bring up a proverb about rats?

The reason is simple and clear.

The little champion of messages is referring to a rat.

“Its structure is similar to a labyrinth.”

And where Hisagi pointed, there was a rat hole in the grass.

Not a metaphor, but a real rat hole.

I wondered how he had found it.

Hisagi’s snake eyes convinced me.

‘Well, snakes are the natural enemies of rats.’

Even though Hisagi is not a real snake.

Anyway, the body stopped, even if only for a moment.

Grandfell paused.

It wasn’t a common occurrence.

‘Of course it’s not because I’m scared.’

Level 850.

Although I was on a fairly high level, I was upright rather than intimidated in the face of even more rifts and monsters. In the end, there could only be one reason for Grandfell’s hesitation.

‘Anyway, his obsession with dressing.’

He’s worried that his clothes will be wrinkled when he enters the tiny rat hole.

He’s worried.

Yeah, it’s nice to feel a little humanized for a change…….

Even if my worries are different from everyone else’s, isn’t it too different?

Hisagi, who can’t possibly know what I’m thinking, speaks up.

“However, the cave has an unusual system. The moment you enter, the size of your body decreases. So much so that a small mouse appears to be a monster several meters tall.”

As with the Siren encounter in Sea of Lava, the caves of the Zero Mountains definitely have a tricky element to them. There’s something about each cave that can’t be tackled by leveling alone.

‘That’s why experience is so important.’

Wasn’t it me who realized that a level is only the size of a drawing board?

What you draw on it depends on your experience and what you draw on it.

In that case.

“It’s not a bad challenge for you.”

Zero Mountains.

The experience of the caves, in particular, will be a great nourishment to the players. Of course, that includes me, Lee Hoyeol. I quickly shake off my hesitation at Hisagi’s words.

‘When you’re smaller, you won’t have to squat in a rat hole.’

No longer afraid of wrinkling his clothes, Grandfell had nothing to fear.

Without hesitation, I headed for the rat hole.

I took a step toward the cave entrance.

Hisagi followed, speaking after me.

“Thank you for trusting me and choosing me.”

……No, if anyone heard me, they’d think I’d made an important choice.

The reason I chose Hisagi’s cave was simple.

It simply had the highest appropriate level.

But it was also because I was filled with an infectious sense of pride.

Giving great meaning to every action.

It’s like watching Grandfell, Hisagi…….

‘I would like to decline any more alter egos, sincerely.’

I swallowed my lament and took a step forward.

[Entering the ‘Small Champion’s Sanctuary Under the Mountains’].





A rat screeches, deafeningly loud.

I realize I’ve shrunk in size at the same time as the entry message.

‘By the way.’

They don’t call it a sanctuary for nothing. It’s a sanctuary built by rats, and while it’s somewhat sloppy, it’s definitely filled with a reverent atmosphere.

‘Muon, the holy place of the Goddess Church, must have been like this, right?

Comparing a rat sanctuary to a Goddess Church sanctuary.

If Talim could hear me, he might be disappointed.

But if that’s how it felt, so be it.


The sheer scale of it all overwhelms the sloppiness.

The actual size is probably nothing special.

In my narrowed field of vision, it looks much bigger.

Leaving me to my aesthetic appraisal.

Hisagi began to prepare for the attack.

Setting up a base camp, separating the leading and trailing roles.

This is a systematic strategy.

‘As expected, I still have a lot to improve.’

If I am going to stick to playing solo like before, this knowledge isn’t really necessary, but I ended up carrying the burden of not only the guild but also the allied holy war. As this experience accumulates, there will come a day when I can put it to use.

Finishing his preparations, Hisagi said.

“Let’s get down to business, then, and if you see any sloppiness, please don’t hesitate to scold me, Commander Lee Hoyeol.”

I’ll only scold if you deserve it.

As I said, I’m no expert on party or guild strategy. The reason I can’t benefit from Granfell’s excellent setup is because the player-style strategy is clearly different from Arcana’s tactics.

But as usual, Grandfell blurts it out.

“Then I will watch, Hisagi.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean I’ll just stand back.

There must be a backup plan.

To put it bluntly, if you don’t discriminate between true attacks and tricks, the appropriate level is around 850, and I can clear it by myself. However, what I need to look ahead is not the one inch ahead, but the near future.

‘Because there is no point in going forward alone.’

Experience points?

Well, I need it to put on my jacket properly.

But not necessarily in this cave.

I have plenty of other ways to earn experience.

‘Because I can enter the Arcana continent.’

So I would act when it was appropriate to act, and watch when it was appropriate to watch. It’s a bold statement, but like I said, there’s profit in watching.


It’s a underground place that’s not recommended for anyone.

Starting with the dragon at the top.

Not everything in the Zero Mountains can be judged by its level.

Neither can the Hundred Thousand Caves.


Loud cries from all directions.

And then.

The giant rats appear.

“Hisagi-san, our preparation seems meaningless!”

Of course it would be meaningless.

Rats the size of houses are coming from all directions.

There is no tactical advantage in distinguishing between front and back.

Hisagi raised his spear and shouted.

“All-out assault!”

It was common sense.

Defend or fight in a space that’s open on all sides?

It would be suicidal.

But no matter how you look at it, it’s off-balance.


An aura emanates from the sanctuary.

It’s probably the power of the cave’s boss mob, the Little Champion.

The sanctuary seems to have boosted the morale of the giant rats.

‘Is this a home team buff?’

What’s the situation on the other side?

Hisagi is currently in the mid-level 500s.

That’s a whopping 300 levels behind the proper level for the cave.

As a ranked player, Hisagi is in this situation, but not everyone else.

I know that.

‘Neither Hisagi nor the other two were able to enter.’

In short, I trusted my power.

The Great Alliance had begun its assault on the cave.

If that’s the case, then it’s only right that I put my all into it.

It’s only natural that I would also give it my all.

Of course, it’s not just about beating up monsters, right?

As I said, it’s a matter of moderation.

My role is as a coach.

The goal is to raise the morale of the away team to the point where they are comparable to the home team.

So, first.

‘How do I get rid of those annoying buffs?’

There are two options

You can throw cold water on the home team by smashing the Sanctuary.

Or you can give a buff to the Great Alliance that is comparable to the Sanctuary buff.

Which option is best.

I didn’t have to think long.

What players desperately need.

It’s not about catching fish.

It’s how to catch them.

Did it say little champion?

He seems to rule like a god here.

There is a small but great being here too.



Now is the time.

The battlefield is ripe for Hiel, who specializes in supportive abilities.

Soon, Hiel, who had answered my call, appeared out of thin air.

But, wait…….

What’s so big, Hiel?!

A thought that suddenly comes to mind.

No way, not to the player but to {unique spirit} Hiel.

The moment you enter, you become smaller.

Is the cave’s system not working?


Hiel’s gorgeous and flamboyant appearance made her seem even more noble and great. A murmur could be heard among the players.


“Now, wait a minute……. What is that?”

“The halo is too strong to see her face.”

“But, is there such a thing in Arcana…….”

“No, no way……. Isn’t that a goddess……?!”

What the hell?!

No way you’re referring to Hiel…….

Arcana continent, largest religion.

Are you mistaking her for a Goddess of the Goddess Church, now?

‘Even if you can’t see her face, she’s a goddess.’

By the way, why are you just listening, hiel……?

Even if she is Grandfell’s alter ego.

There is no need to be overly shameless.

No, what is that goddess-like gentle smile?!