◈ Episode 89. Blooming in the Swamp (6)

[Predator Swamp].

Ahead of the rift in the peninsula of Scandinavia.

The strongest guild in Europe was more confident than anyone else.

It was Bohemian.

“We’ve just been unlucky so far.”

“Yeah! Not enough mages, and the damn rift was only spawning on the Asian side. Looks like things are finally starting to balance out.”

“Asia or Russia, to be precise? I shudder to think of the cold in Moscow or Hokkaido. I thought I was going to freeze to death in the shower, I swear.”

They had the full support of the European Union, the EU.

And with that support.

Things didn’t start off too badly.

Guyver, the number one ranked paladin and guild master.

He smiled for the first time in a long time.

“When the Rift is over, everything will be back to normal.”

One of those things was the guild rankings.

Following Shining and Heaven’s Unification, the Bohemian Guild had been ranked third for many years.

The gap between them and those ahead of them was huge, but Guyver was confident that he would never be overtaken.

A late comer, if you will.

They were like Inazuma in Japan and Gaon in Korea.

Imagine how much better players from that small country would be.

Even if they had national support, they wouldn’t have the EU behind them.

But something was off.

Third place.

The Bohemians had lost their spot.

Fourth place, not Inazuma, but fifth place, to Gaon.

“No luck in the Colosseum.”

Yes, Gaon was just lucky.

At least, that’s what Guyver believed.

So when the predator zone appeared through the rift.

His confidence was overwhelming.

“Not just for Gaon, but for the whole world……!”

Like the Bohemians, the guilds, large and small, were supported by the EU. It was a rift in their home territory, Europe. Guyver played every hand with precision.

“Master. My magic is limited!”

Support players in the rear.

Guyver used them like cogs in a machine.

He sent players out of the rift.

“Team 2. Going straight in.”

A united front of practically dozens of guilds.

Even there, the high-level players had been filtered out.

The replacements weren’t far behind in level.

They were good enough to support from the rear.

[Leveled up].

With that full support.

Members of the Guild of Guyver and Bohemians focused solely on monster hunting.

It had been a long time since they had seen such a steep increase in experience.

“It’s been a while, hasn’t it, Guyver?”

Guyver nodded wordlessly.

Yes, it was okay to be cocky in this rift.

The Shining were no match for them.

They didn’t have the overwhelming hunting speed that they had. Yes, at this rate. I’ll make sure Gaon never surpasses the rankings again…….

“…… Lee Ho-yeol entered the rift?”

Wait, who entered?

Lee Ho-yeol!


At the sound of that name, blood sprouted on Guyver’s brow.

It was a name that struck a nerve just by hearing it.

“Because of him, Gaon took third place.”

All kinds of good fortune had befallen Gaon.

The greatest of them all was Lee Ho-Yeol.

In the Kingdom of Yusra, in the Frost War.

Gaon had benefited from his alliance with Lee Ho Yeol.

“The same goes for the Berserkers.”

A guild ranked in the top ten.

They weren’t even worthy of being considered a competitor yet.

Berserker was also an EU-backed guild.

“England, Second Sun is no longer part of the European Union.”

In the EU, it was also the guild that occupied the position of the second person after Bohemian. So, Guyver had no choice but to be sensitive to Lee Ho-yeol’s appearance.

‘What’s wrong with him that he would enter a rift like this?’

Even if it was a predator zone.

This rift would be too easy for him.

Surely, there must be another purpose.

‘……What could it be?

Maybe Gaon or Berserker.

If not, what about the other guilds?


For a moment, beads of sweat formed on Guyver’s forehead.

‘I must take responsibility for my words.

He had received a great deal of support.

I have to live up to it.

Impatience began to brew in Guyver’s chest.

“I’ll pick up the pace. Team 1 re-enter!”

“Team 1 still hasn’t finished recovering their magic, has it?”

“Doesn’t matter. It’s all about speed from here on out.”

Then a message popped up.

[Someone has made a contract with a spirit].


It’s Lee Ho-yeol.

A contract with the spirits was the goal.

For a moment, I was relieved.

“……Did he even know the spirits were here?”

You’re amazing, Lee Ho-yeol.

But it’s not like he’s anything new.

So Guyver focused on the next message.

An experience and drop rate buff.

Guyver’s face lit up.

“I was right to pick up the pace.”

Faster progression than any other guild.

It allowed him to reach the center of the swamp.

And he saw it.

“A blessing in disguise.”

A chance to win the jackpot!

At the center of the rift, monsters were battling each other.

I heard the voice of the analytics team in my ear.

-Apparently a raggedy giant, and possibly a black dragon.

Information from the next update.

[Ragged Giant: Lv.600]

[Black Stygian : Lv.600]

A whopping 600 level named monsters.

The two monsters were fighting to the death.

A battle as fierce as those of the same level.

Both of them seemed to have taken some damage.

Guyver cleared his throat.

“The enemy of my enemy is my ally.”

Yes, this was a chance to hunt two named monsters.

Under normal circumstances, it would have been difficult to take on one, but they were focused on each other. If we can take advantage of that, we’ll get the kill.

“But not before it’s taken away.”

With the experience and drop rate buffs active.

Other guilds will follow suit.

I couldn’t let this opportunity slip through my fingers.

First place in the Paladin rankings.

Skill obtained as a reward from a class quest.

Activate [Crusader’s Favor].


Golden light began to emanate from Guyver.

Guyver shouted.

“Gather around me. Charge!”

Attack and defense buffs to all nearby allies.

A skill that deals damage over time to enemies.

The reward for a class quest, and the effect is nothing short of spectacular.

“Oooh! This is Mr. Guyver’s skill!”

“It’s quite effective.”

“‘He’s not a ranked player for nothing.”

The morale-boosting effect was a bonus.

Shush, shush, shush!

Under Mr. Guyver’s command.

A rain of arrows and offensive skills.

Players charging with Guyver in the lead.

“Let’s deal with the raggedy giant first!”

Taking advantage of the gap in the rag giant’s bite, I aim for the back.



But the plan is thwarted by the flapping of its wings.

As it soared into the air, it changed direction.

He aimed for the supporters behind him.

Guyver’s mind went white.

“What the hell?”

Just a moment ago, they were fighting like they were going to kill each other.

Now, in an instant, they were joining forces and attacking them.


Guyver shouted urgently.

“All units fall back! Protect the rear!”

They fell back.

There was no momentum in the charge.

Damn, there was no humiliation like this.

Guyver gritted his teeth.

“I admit, I was impatient.”

But my judgment was not wrong.

This pattern is too much, isn’t it?

It was a trap.

An insidious trap that anyone could fall into… ……!!!

* https://ko-fi.com/pindangscans

……, and they fight like crazy.

So it’s true what they say about monsters battling each other in the predator zone, even when there are no players around. They really do fight like they’re going to kill each other, don’t they?

A fixed gaze.

The nymph watched, then spoke up.

“I don’t know what to do, Mr. Ho Yeol.”

Spirits don’t normally like to fight.

However, this is not the case with contract spirits.

Regardless of the terms of the contract, spirits are influenced by the contractor’s temper. In other words, the nymph’s quick thinking was influenced by me.

Let’s see.

On a lotus leaf floating through the swamp.

I watched the battle unfold.

“We’re about to enter the center of the swamp.

The nymph said.

He said there was more fighting in the center.

The center was where the loot was.

‘And as proof, they’ve started beating the crap out of each other from here.

Players took a backseat.

Monsters fighting amongst themselves.

“In my mind, actually.

I wanted to join that battle.

Both of them were exhausted.

Both wanted to hunt, both wanted experience and loot.

He wanted to eat them raw.

“It’s not raw, it’s just common sense.”

Honestly, who could turn down an opportunity like this?

But as battle-crazed as I am.

Wasn’t I crazy in a different way?

I said to the nymph.

“It’s a battle of pride.”

Yes, I’m crazy about pride……!

To prove my strength, to claim the loot.

The monsters swarmed into the predator zone.

I suppose you’d call that behavior worthy of Grandfell’s pride.


“It would be dishonorable to enter the fight.”

To enter the middle of the fight and stab them in the back?

Unless there’s a good reason for it.

I can never eat raw.

The nymph bows gracefully.

“Indeed, that is what you meant, and I will keep it in mind.”

You don’t look so enlightened.

For a moment, a plea echoes in my chest.

I let it go.

“I honestly don’t have the stomach for hunting.”

In fact, I don’t even have the energy to chop it up to eat it raw.

Most of all, I’m burdened by the amount of energy drained from my contract with the Nymph.

The contract meant that the nymphs would be active in battle, but how much help they would be was unknown.

“I’ve never seen a spirit before.”

Of the spirits I’ve seen, the Nymph has only one ability.

A blessing that favored the growth of mistletoe.

For that alone, the contract with the Nymph was a great achievement.

Why, I got the idea for the Cultivation of Elixir Herbs from there.

But I wasn’t going to be satisfied with that.

At that moment, I witnessed something.

A [skill], completely different from magic.

The {Nature} ability……!

It had been described in the books on Elementalism.

‘Not to other mages, but to me.’

What it meant was simple.

It meant more anomalies at my disposal.

I’d seen the possibilities in the last rift.

“A rift that couldn’t be pierced by magic alone.”

What kind of magic was that?

It was Vanguard’s pure magic, one of the most destructive in the Magic Tower.

I found a rift that even Vanguard’s magic couldn’t pierce.

I was able to pierce it with a [{Anomaly}] that combined [Aesthetics] and [Magic].

“You can be a [{Anomaly}], or you can be a [{Anomaly}].”

In other words.

You mean that {Nature} has also become a hole to live in, a well to dig.

A well that doesn’t run dry!

“It’s like the eye of the storm.”

So much for my ramblings.

I nodded at the nymph’s words.

I’m a wanderer, to say the least.

Closer to the center, closer to the loot.

I often saw monsters fighting amongst themselves. They were too busy fighting each other to bother with low-level players like me.

I was thankful for that.

‘Loot is as important as level.’

I needed to check it out.

The predator zone.

A predator.

What kind of loot would attract a named monster?

It’s like they’re possessed by something.

Yeah, like they’re possessed.

The loot that makes them fight each other.

“It’s not unlikely that it’s a demonic item.”


If there’s even the slightest possibility of demons being involved.

I suppose the pride of the Grandfell is that you can’t let that happen.

‘It’s a tiring way to live.’

Soon, we reached the center of the swamp.

I could see the players in the distance.

Players who seemed to have touched the wrong thing.

“Didn’t we just get into trouble?”

A zombie giant and an Eagle as big as a giant.

I saw players being chased by two monsters.

That’s what you think, right there.

‘It looks like I put into practice what I only thought of?’

As a result, I felt like I was getting screwed.

“I could have ended up like that.”

Those players have teammates.

I was alone.

“I don’t even get to enjoy the experience and drop rate buffs…….

I couldn’t put up much of a fight.

It must have been nirvana.

I could have literally died doing something good.

I patted my chest in relief, but it wasn’t enough.

I blurted out.

“There is a high price to pay for taking pride lightly.”

The nymph nodded.

“You’re right.”

Then she looked off into the distance.

“That huge rock is the prize that those gathered here covet. To be precise, something in that rock must be pulling everyone in.”

I understood as soon as I saw it.

Why hadn’t anyone been able to claim the loot before?

It was a predator zone with constant fighting.

Everyone at each other.

No one had a chance to smash that rock and claim the loot.


“That’s not a rock.”

That premise is flawed.

Because like I said, it wasn’t a rock.

“It’s a seed.”

Yes, knowledge.

Or more accurately, knowledge acquired through [the pentagram of pure knowledge].

It was telling me.

That’s not a rock, that’s a plant seed.


Even though it was a lower spirit, it was a forest spirit.

A seed of an existence that even a forest spirit didn’t know about?