Chapter 65- Becoming a Ranker (3)
-This is [Elder Lord Weekly], where we bring you the weekly news on Elder Lord!
She wasn't playing Elder Lord anymore, but her friends were different. Everyone’s gaze went back to the screen at once.
“I'm just going to grab a drink."
Yiyu picked up her glass of beer but nobody responded. Yiyu pouted.
They had come to this place to celebrate the end of the semester. Yiyu and her friends Park Jungtae, Yoon Bora, Kim Ari, and Ban Taehoon were gathered at the pub. All of them had recently finished their final exams and were currently on vacation.
"Look," Yoon Bora said, pointing at the screen.
-The first news this week is on the rehabilitation service emerging in Maillard, also known as the 'Rehabilitation Brotherhood'.
“They really are famous these days."
Yiyu poured her beer sullenly and drank alone. Then some faces appeared on the screen. It was the three people who made Yiyu quit Elder Lord. They were the three people who PKed Yiyu. She didn't care if they were rehabilitated now.
Yiyu poured beer into her empty glass again, but Park Jungtae gave an excuse to drink it instead.
-These people specialize in rehabilitating users.
The screen showed a recorded video. Users attacking a novice user were immediately suppressed, bound, and were dragged somewhere.
The screen changed again and they seemed to be directing the users to do something.
-Use means other than violence.
On the screen, the vicious users started to do volunteer work. They helped out physically challenged NPCs, NPCs who were having a tough time, troubled users, and anyone who needed help. Once again, the screen changed and showed people constructing houses for Maillard's poor. The sweat of the users working on the construction site could be seen on the screen.
The reporter interviewed the three men who were the backbone of the Rehabilitation Brotherhood. They were currently in the middle of construction, so they were all sweaty.
-Why did you start doing this?
The man in the middle spoke,
-In fact, we were originally malicious users. We were very bad guys.
-Ahh…then what happened?
-We changed after meeting a single orc.
-Yes. We met him and decided to think of Elder Lord as another world, instead of just a game. The orc might've been an NPC, but he was a teacher who treated us genuinely and changed our minds, more than anyone we met in the real world. The detailed story can be found on the Rehabilitation Brotherhood's homepage.
The URL of the Rehabilitation Brotherhood website flashed on the screen as subtitles.
The reporter and the Rehabilitation Brotherhood continued the conversation on their activities and how they kept in touch with the users after the rehabilitation. The Rehabilitation Brotherhood said that they planned to gradually increase the number of branches and that those who have been rehabilitated were already active in other cities.
-We would like to take this opportunity to ask forgiveness for the evils that we have done in the past.
-We sincerely apologize to everyone we hurt.
The three men bowed towards the screen. The reporter tried to make them stop, but they didn't move their heads for a while.
Yiyu shrugged her shoulders.
The reporter conducting the interview changed the topic.
-It is really incredible. It isn't easy to reflect on the past and be born again. Who is the orc who rehabilitated you? What is his name?
They looked at each other. The one person grinned and replied,
-I'm sure it's a name that everyone has heard these days. He is the orc named Crockta.
Yiyu's friend, Ban Taehoon, looked at the screen and asked, “It is that Crockta? From Arnin?'
“The orc at Chesswood?"
“That orc, right? The orc of justice? Is he really an event NPC?"
"There is such a thing in Elder Lord. It is a game with realism, so there will be those who interfere."
Yoon Bora chewed on a snack and said, “I joined the Crockta fan club yesterday."
“What, Bora is worshipping an NPC now?"
"He's so cool. There's nobody like that these days. Although he is an orc, I can't help but praise him. Do you know what the fan club name is?"
"What is it?"
“He's an Orc, yet still Praiseworthy!"
"That is really childish. Did someone with no naming sense decide that name?"
"Do you want to go back?"
Yoon Bora hit Ban Taehoon's head. A great blow! It deserved praise.
[Elder Lord Weekly] finished the interview with the Rehabilitation Brotherhood's last words.
-Then, I will finish this interview with the Rehabilitation Brotherhood's slogan.
After the reporter spoke, the three men pointed to the screen and smiled.
-Whatever bad thing you've done!
-You are actually not a bad person!
Dudong! Some sound effects played before the screen returned to the studio.
Now [Elder Lord Weekly] started to analyze the topic of Crockta. His name started to be known in the community due to the Arnin rescue activities.
He reported the wrongdoings of Arnin's mayor, saved Chesswood from the big clans, and recently did something great in Quantes. In the community, Crockta was treated as a hero who implemented justice everywhere he went.
The man and woman who were the hosts started talking.
-Crockta is the hottest person at the moment. His nickname is the Orc of Justice! What do you think?
-It is amazing. He is different from the users. For NPCs, Elder Lord is a reality, so they hold onto their beliefs more desperately. That is why it is so great. They bet with their lives on the line.
-What about the rumors that say Crockta is a user? He is wearing a headband around his forehead.
-Hahaha, then he would come out. As Crockta's achievements became known, many rumors have started circulating. However, I don't think they are realistic. Orc warriors often have tattoos as decorations. Either way, there is an increasing number of orc users, thanks to Crockta.
A map of Elder Lord flashed on the screen. There was a line linking Arnin, Chesswood, Maillard, and Quantes. This was Crockta's breadcrumb trail. It was obvious that he was heading towards the north.
-It seems like he is going to the north, so he can't be a user, can he?
-Indeed. The North… maybe we will never see Crockta again.
They shook their heads like they were sad.
There were no user starting points in the north, so they had to go beyond the Forest of Creatures in order to get there. However, no user had ever come out of that place alive.
The game publishers stated that the north clearly existed in the world of Elder Lord, but it was currently left alone by users. The northern part of the continent was treated as unknown content that the users could enjoy in the future once their levels rose and their characters developed.
-Looking back, I really think that he is an event NPC made by Elder Saga Corporation. I hope that Crockta comes back safely from the north.
-That's right. I want to see the great Orc of Justice again.
The hosts shrugged and changed topics.
-Then, what is next?
-The rankers have changed. A new user has appeared like a comet between long established rankers. Furthermore, this person is a rare type of ranker who has kept their information private. They've hopped up to rank 482.
-The non-disclosure stimulates my curiosity.
-Haha, I wanted to interview the person, but I don't know who they are. Instead, we will have an interview with the former number 500 ranker, the dwarf user Camas, who fell off the rankings, due to the appearance of a new ranker.
-Camas-ssi must be really disappointed.
-I am burning with the will to become a ranker again.
"Rankers are good. Don't they make a ton of money?"
“The profits are more than I can imagine."
Yiyu's friends lost interest in [Elder Lord Weekly] and started focusing on drinking. As university students, they were becoming increasingly worried about finding employment.
“Yiyu is good."
"What is it?"
“You can just work in your brother's café if you want."
“That’s right. Is the name Café Reason? Why did he name it Reason, instead of Yiyu?" (Yiyu is also the word used for 'Reason' in Korean).
“He is a brother who takes care of his little sister."
Yiyu shrugged. There wasn't much time left until her graduation. Ban Taehoon asked, “Should I become a full-time Elder Lord player?"
"Cut it out."
“Oh, I hate working. A while ago, Taesung hyung returned from an embarrassing interview. Kukuku, it was funny when I heard about it. He actually fought with the interviewer."
“Truly Park Taesung.”
They kept drinking as they talked.
The first one to tap out was Yiyu. Yiyu was a weak drinker, so her face was red and her head gradually sunk towards the table, despite only drinking beer. Yoon Bora poked Yiyu's cheek but she didn't move. Bora shook her head.
"What do we do about her?"
“Ah, truly Jung Yiyu. She can't drink alcohol."
"We should've started giving her Coke when we were talking earlier."
The rest of them were fine. Park Jungtae opened his phone. “I have a way."
"What is it?"
“I have Yiyu's brother's number."
“You can just call him whenever you want?"
“He asked me to contact him if anything like this happened."
Park Jungtae sent a message to Ian, who replied straight away.
“He is coming."
“Have you ever seen Yiyu's brother?"
“I was the first one to see him."
“He is completely handsome."
"As much as me?" Ban Taehoon asked.
Of those gathered, Ban Taehoon was the only one who hadn't met Ian. The rest had already encountered him before. They left Yiyu alone and talked about their vacation plans. They all had individual goals, such as part-time work, volunteer work, studying, etc…
Then a familiar voice interrupted them, "Hello."
It was Jung Yunji. Kim Ari was close to her, so she welcomed Yunji warmly.
"Ah! Yunji. Wow, how did you come here? Amazing. Did you come with other people?"
“We came to celebrate our exams. You as well?"
Jung Yunji had also come here with close friends to celebrate the end of the semester. Jung Yunji discovered Yiyu lying on the table and laughed. “Yiyu is out."
"Yes, that's why we called her brother."
Jung Yunji looked at the front door of the bar. At that moment, she recalled Yiyu's brother. Their eyes had met for a moment. Was it a coincidence? She didn't know his name yet, but she wanted to know more.
“Are you doing well in Elder Lord?" Yunji was asked.
"Yes. I have a promising career in the Blacksmith Company."
“You are truly amazing."
The table was split up into separate small conversations. The bar was loud enough that each conversation was buried in the hubbub of the area.
Yoon Bora looked at the sleeping Yiyu and said, “When she is like this, I don't think Yiyu resembles her brother."
“Yiyu is nice, but she is indifferent until she gets close to someone."
"Yes, she was like that to me at first. It was completely impersonal."
“She has a nasty temper and won't hesitate to hit someone, but her brother is so gentle."
"Really? I'm curious," Ban Taehoon said.
“Ban Taehoon, you can't even compare to him, so don't feel expectant."
Suddenly, Park Jungtae raised his hand. He was looking at someone. A man was at the entrance. It was Ian. Ian smiled as he found Park Jungtae and approached. The dim bar lighting lit up Ian's face.
Yiyu's friends greeted him in unison. Ian lightly bowed before sighing as he looked down at Yiyu on the table. He nudged Yiyu to wake her up. She just grumbled and buried her face even more deeply into her arms.
“Everybody is having fun. I'm sorry about Yiyu."
"No. We are to blame for Yiyu getting so drunk, Hyung-nim. I'm sorry." These were the first words that Ban Taehoon spoke to Ian. Ian laughed.
"It's nothing. I will be taking Yiyu now. Have fun, you guys."
Ian lifted Yiyu up, who blinked and flinched as she discovered Ian. She laughed awkwardly at Ian's expression and leaned against her brother as they left the bar together.
“I have a bad relationship with my brother. I wish I had an older brother like that. I'm envious."
“If I had a little sister like you…"
“You always tell me to shut up. Are you my father in law?"
“What a brat."
Suddenly, a large set of skewers were placed before them. The group's eyes widened.
“We didn't order this…."
The part time worker replied, “That man went and paid for everything. This was added on top of that."
Their expressions changed as they looked down at the glistening meat skewers shining from the orange lights of the bar. It was definitely oversized. It was the most expensive dish in this place. It was a dish that they found hard to afford on a student's living expense.
“That Hyung-nim is great…"
Jung Yunji watched Ian quietly come and go and asked, “Did Yiyu's brother come for her?"
“Uh, Yunji. Yes. You know him?"
“Do you perhaps know what her brother's name is?"
"Oh~ Yunji is interested." Yoon Bora laughed.
Park Jungtae replied as he grabbed a skewer, "Jung Ian."
Jung Ian. It suited him somehow.
Somehow the name was familiar. Jung Yunji was confused. Where had she heard that name before? Jung Yunji thanked Park Jungtae and thought as she returned to her seat. Where did she hear it?
The voices of the hosts were still flowing from the TV.
-I hope that the new ranker will disclose their information one day. I'm curious as to what type of adventurer they are in Elder Lord.
“Come on, Crockta!"
Tiyo shouted as he carried a large backpack. It was now the start of their journey to the north. Crockta was also carrying a big backpack for the journey. The garrison members saluted Crockta and Tiyo who were leaving the gates.
“Please protect Quantes when I'm not here dot!'
"Yes! Captain Tiyo!"
"Come back safely!"
Tiyo seemed to be respected by his men.
Crockta swallowed the clean air of Elder Lord. It was back to adventuring. The energy of the new beginning filled his body. Their goal was the north, a fearful and unknown land that no one had invaded.
The orc and gnome started to walk towards the north. At that moment…
[Stella: Excuse me…Ian?]
Ian flinched and missed a step.
“What is it, Crockta? Are you already tired?"
Tiyo hit Crockta's waist. Crockta waited for Stella's next message.
Praise the Orc:
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