Chapter 0004—Hare King

It really is the golden rat!

Drako Yau’s mind freshened up as he was now sure that this game was a copy of his own.

This golden rat seemed like it was nothing special, but in fact it was rather useful. It had something to do with a system Drako Yau had created—the Encounter system.

‘Special incidents will occur randomly, and solving these sudden quests will grant you mysterious rewards.’

There were over a thousand special incidents in the ‘Encounter’ system, at least that was his original design. Encounter quests had unknown triggers and occurred randomly. Even if a player knew the triggers of an encounter quest and went to the specified location, it was still possible for the quest to not show up.

‘A limitless world with unlimited possibilities.’ It was something he had told the game designers back in Jubilant Games.

The golden rat; it was one of the encounters that could occur in the starter village.

***

Drako Yau took out and placed the golden rat on the ground, though its item name had already changed to ‘Golden Rat Bait’. He then hid somewhere close by and carefully observed the location where the bait was.

He was somewhat far away from the starter village, so he wasn’t concerned about other players spotting him. Most newbies would quickly solve their starter quests near the starter village to save time. By doing so, they could finish their quests as quickly as possible and head to their first actual city.

Hearing a boom, Drako Yau heightened his senses. ‘It’s here!’

A dark shadow emerged from the forest and leapt its way over to the bait he had set up. It looked around its surroundings, twitching its nose as it sniffed the air.

The name tag above the shadow revealed its identity: Hare King. Without triggering the Golden Rat Encounter and using the Golden Rat Bait, trying to find the king would be futile.

The hare king widened its carnivorous jaws and munched on the golden rat, blood squirting from the dead rat as it did, though Drako Yau didn’t think too much about it. More importantly, he knew that the hare king would disappear again once it finished devouring the golden rat.

He quickly ran over and slammed his wooden stick onto the hare king. A number popped above the monster, which also notified it of his presence.

‘Grrrr….’

The hare king dropped its meal and looked at Drako Yau, its eyes so menacing that they surprised him.

This is… killing intent? How could a game feel so realistic?

As its eyes continue to radiate an intimidating glow, the hare king that was as tall as him lunged in.

‘Woah!’

Drako Yau barely managed to sidestep from its attack, but the hare king was extremely agile as well. The moment it noticed that he had evaded its attack, it swung its right claw at him.

Time seemed to have stopped along with the tearing sounds of cloth. The hare king’s razor-sharp claws cut Drako Yau’s right arm, resulting in several bloody wounds and a splatter of blood.

Pain. The searing pain felt like it had torn through his heart.

How could it hurt so bad? If the pain is so intense, why do people even play the game? 

Even now, Drako Yau couldn’t help but think from a game designer’s perspective. At the same time, the right arm of the little humanoid figure located at the top right corner in his vision turned red. Drako Yau then knew his starter gauntlet had been destroyed.

Successfully landing its first attack, the hare king didn’t press on but instead hissed at him, as if it was mocking his incompetence.

‘Fuah… Fuah…’

Drako Yau looked at the torn flesh on his right arm. The intense pain was quickly summoning the memories that had gone dormant for years from the depths of his mind.

‘It’s been seven years… Ever since the old geezer disappeared, I’ve never gotten injured again…’ He murmured while tightening his grip on his sole weapon, the thick wooden stick.

From this moment onwards, he no longer looked at this world from a game designer’s perspective. It was now all about survival instinct, the kind that sprouted when even the most ordinary of people was forced into a corner. Such instinct, however, had transformed him into a warrior.

Sensing the abrupt change in the puny human’s aura, the hare king anxiously dug the soil with its claws. Drako Yau flashed his glare at the beast before dashing towards it like a shadow. The way he moved, it was almost like he had become a completely different person.

The hare king roared in rage and sent both its claws at him, drawing two argent arcs in the air.

‘Fuh…’

Drako Yau switched up his steps and abruptly changed his path with a forward leap, successfully sliding between the two silvery traces, after which he speared his stick at the hare king’s lower jaw.

‘Krrr!!!’

Heavily struck on the mandible, the hare king made a peculiar cry and stumbled a few steps backwards. Drako Yau’s keen eyesight did not miss the large number that popped up from the monster; the strike dealt almost double the damage compared to his first attack.

Although this was something he had yet to implement in his game, it was still a system he was familiar with, namely the ‘Weakness Exploit’ system. Simply put, attacking the enemy’s weak points would deal a lot more damage.

Drako Yau had completely entered his combat mode and no longer thought about things like a game designer. Right now, he was like a horse that had run wild. The human-sized rabbit swung its sharp claws over and over again, but the dark shadow casually dodged the flurry of devastating attacks. He was dancing with death itself.

If someone saw the fight, their jaws would surely drop to the ground.

Drako Yau delivered the final blow with his wooden stick, signalled by a loud bang. The hare king howled one last time, as though it was unwilling to admit defeat, then collapsed to the ground, sending a ripple through the grassy field.

In the corner of his eyes, a notification popped up: ‘Encounter quest completed—Defeat the Hare King. Announce it publicly?’

He clicked cancel without a moment of hesitation. Just like that, the starter village encounter quest was secretly cleared.

The hare king’s massive corpse then disappeared into thin air. Apart from the drops lying on the ground, an item also showed up in his item bag.

‘Hare King’s Skull: Leader of the hares that devastate the plains, defeating it is a symbol of the brave.’

***

Drako Yau entered the village chief’s home, a place where players would never visit because the old man would only mumble on and on about the history of the starter village. Who would bother listening to such things?

The moment he met the village chief, the old man immediately said in a surprised tone, ‘Oh brave warrior! Is that… the Hare King’s Skull you’re carrying!’

Drako Yau nodded as he took out the skull from his item bag and handed it over to the village chief.

The chief exclaimed, ‘Thank you, young warrior! Your brave acts will greatly alleviate the hare problems we’re having! Don’t hold back, please accept my gift.’

Four options floated above his head: longsword, longbow, staff, and dagger.

The options provided were within his expectations.

Swords were meant for warrior classes and some holy classes. Bows and daggers, on the other hand, were used by hunter classes. Lastly, mage and other holy classes would use staves as their main weapon. As such, the weapon of choice for most classes was available among the four weapons.


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