ecleus received an email from Isha, Vylans secretary about a special raid requested by the guild leader himself.

”So, I have no choice but to participate, or else they will revoke my hunters permit card. Hmm, I won improve anymore if that happens. Sometimes, I have to give in to their wishes, even if Im being coerced and I don like it one bit. ”

Monster outbreaks have been rampant lately. The cause of such a problematic event is still unknown to the Hunters Organization with plenty of peoples lives lost at a recent outbreak, and total structural damage of 13,985 Plata. Plata is the currency in Esecleus country.

[Another monster outbreak had occurred again, but this time it was on the small island of Pinlodge, which is populated for about almost 10,000 individuals peacefully living on the island. Reporters said that rescue still hasn arrived because of the aerial monsters hovering around the island. Hunters Organization saw this monster outbreak as an A-rank threat, and needed to immediately be dealt with.]

”Monsters from the other worlds are becoming more and more fierce. Its like they are evolving into a much more adaptive and stronger version of themselves. They are improving in such a terrifying state. ”

And this news did not give any sort of ill feelings to Esecleus. In fact, nothing can beat the excitement and elation he was feeling at the moment. Just thinking about these monsters evolving and further evolving into the best version of themselves sends him thrilling bolts of exhilaration.

”Vylan said there will be a surprise he wants to show me tomorrow. Kuku, I can wait! ”

***

Men and women in their battle armor had formed a raid party. Vylan and most of the people that have ill feelings towards Esecleus gathered together in front of the A-rank threshold. They were not there to clear the threshold of the threat supposedly lurking inside but to put an end to Esecleus rising career and fame.

When peoples pride and image get stomped by someone they know—a person who they always thought to be just a nobody—they tend to either have a positive treatment towards the said individual, or they are most likely to show despise.

[Co-Leader: Zaul]

”Is this really necessary? I mean, almost every member of Lions Mane is here except for those two siblings. ”

Zaul fixed his eyeglasses. It was sort of a mannerism every time he finished an entire sentence. Something he picked up from a friend of his.

All of them were waiting outside of the threshold. A threshold became the name of the wooden gates surrounded with magic particles and etched with characters unknown to mankind. Only a few can decipher the language used on the thresholds and most of the time it takes days to fully understand everything written on it.

The first one to arrive in Sodonia City was Vylan and his secretary, Isha. They went there early in the morning to further investigate the sword stuck in the middle of the dungeon.

”Have you forgotten the recent feats Esecleus had accomplished? The bastard surprisingly got stronger all of a sudden when he was just a rug two months ago. ”

Every guild member received the email with the same content about the ploy to get rid of Esecleus, except for the man himself. He received an entirely different email, containing fake information garnered by Isha.

”But weren there rumors from other hunters that Esecleus is just cunning? He waited for his party members to wear themselves, and then finished off the thresholds boss, thus raking all the glory. ”

Vylan hushed Zaul down. ”Lower your voice. Esecleus must have arrived already and is just listening to our conversation. ”

They only heard about his feats and achievements, but no one really has seen Esecleus fight after his sudden change.

At first, when Esecleus decided to join their guild, he accompanied himself with a small golem. It was about the size of Vylans hand. Yes, Esecleus is a geomancer, so Vylan and the rest of the guild thought he would be a great asset for them. However, for five years, barely surviving each threshold raid, Esecleus was the black sheep.

Even though he was such an inauspicious person, Vylan just could not get rid of him because Esecleus still has some use for him. But then two months ago, Esecleus just snapped out and started doing whatever he wanted. It was like he flipped a switch, which changed his entire personality.

”Sir Vylan, hes here. ”

Isha whispered softly into Vylans ears, giving him the seductive look and a wink.

”How many are we again? ” He asked, feeling gay after receiving small gestures from Isha.

”About twenty-five, Vylan, ” Zaul replied, then looked in Esecleus direction who had just arrived with that condescending look on his face. ”Smile all you want, sucker. Youll be dying by my hands tonight. ”

Twenty-five hunters, Esecleus and the two of them included are about to enter the threshold with Hunters Organization personnel that will be waiting for them.

Moreover, paramedics and healers from the organization are on standby, if hunters came out injured after the raid. As a precautionary measure to such a disaster, the Hunters Organization implemented a rule that all hunters must abide by.

”Why are you always late? ”

Vylan did not hide his animosity towards Esecleus because he knew that Esecleus was already used to how they were treating him.

”Hmm, why, you asked? Its simple, guild leader. Because thats what the main character always does. ”

”As if you
e the main character here. And can you **ing erase that annoying condescending look on your face?! ”

”No can do. Kukuku. ”

Zaul had to suppress his anger, containing all that aggression he was feeling inside him.

He saw Vylan shaking his head, reading his lips, and understanding what his leader was saying.

”Everyone! ” Exclaimed Vylan, catching all of the present guild members attention. ”We
e good to go! ”

”Yes, finally! ”

Esecleus heard the uproar of his fellow guild members, which was filled with malice and despise. He just smiled it off and followed everyones lead inside the threshold.

Upon setting foot inside the threshold that serves as a pathway for other worlds to reach Earth, all of them were greeted by a chilling breeze coming from the furthest point of the dungeon.

”A dungeon, huh? ”

”Its not unusual. But I was kind of hoping well be on a tropical island where there are lots of edible fruits we can bring home. ”

Scribbles on the walls lit up, and so were the torches with blue flames blazing wilder as they got near to the spacious area where the sword was stuck.

A slightly narrow passage leading inside had strange characters carved on the pathway, which glowed on their way.

”Ehhh… I wonder why there are no monsters nearby. ”

”This is certainly strange. ”

”Stay on guard, everyone! We don know when they will attack. ”

Casually, Esecleus, with both of his hands on the back of his head while whistling, noticed that they were near the supposedly boss area.

”Its empty. ”

As if they were in shock, the Lions Mane guild looked around all over the boss area, and when they found nothing, even though they already knew the dungeon was empty, they took turns trying to pull out the sword. But they just could not succeed in doing so.

”Fuck this sword! Someone must have glued it, and does not want others to pull it out! ”

Both Vylan and Zaul were signaling each other, giving signs that they should initiate the plan.

As they were starting to plot something behind Esecleus back, the latter also made his move, bringing out the monsters blood he bought from Sodonia City. He began to pour the blood on the carvings on the ground, tainting each character red.

”Had he gone crazy? Does he think pouring blood all over the ground will spare his life? ”

”Let him be, Zaul. See this as his last wish before he dies. ”

All eyes turned malicious. Their bloodlust arises, directed altogether to Esecleus alone who was busy smilingly pouring the blood.

”But what if hes trying to pull something behind our backs? You know how cunning he can be! ”

Zaul was so eager to punish and torture Esecleus. He was about to explode with anger, and so were his fellow members who harbored the same resentment towards Esecleus.

”It looks like he is done. ”

All of a sudden, the scribbles carved on the ground gleamed red, lines connected to the sword shone and before they knew it, they were inside a large magic circle.

”The sword just slightly moved just now! ”

Esecleus looked at Vylan who was near the sword, then turned his head to the sword sticking on the ground.

”Is he aiming to pull this out? ”

Vylan quickly held the handle of the sword, then compellingly tried to pull it out, which became a success.

On the other hand, Esecleus kicked off the ground and battled it out with Vylan but he was shoved into the ground.

”I guess youve seen the words floating in the air. It says ”sacrifices are made solely for success, ” which is kind of true, yeah? ”

The guild leader scanned the one-handed long sword. It was plain, yet sharp and had no strains on its blade.

Without hesitation, whilst looking down on Esecleus whose smile still hasn faded, Vylan stabbed Esecleus in the chest, causing the latter to spat blood out of his mouth.

”Sacrifices are indeed needed! ”

As if nothing happened, as if he was not stabbed by a sword in his chest, Esecleus grabbed the blade and gradually pushed it out of his body.

”Thank you, Vylan. Youve been a great help to me. Now, I can achieve much greater feats. I will be invincible. ”

~

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