Chapter 1. Prologue
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Penalty Items were not common items. That is especially the case when items are already difficult to find in dungeons.
There were piles and piles of items here, but that’s because it’s a market. Even if he went to a small store or guild, they would have at best, two and that’s already a lot for them.
Therefore, it was quite surprising to see dozens of such items piled up for sale in one spot.
“What? Did a research lab start selling?”
If that was the case, then it was understandable.
Numerous studies have been conducted everywhere since the appearance of the World Tree. Amongst them, it was understandable to say that a laboratory where the penalty items were studied closed down for some reason and started selling them off.
“First of all, it’s registered as a personal brand.”
Evie spoke. It wasn’t very helpful information. Mostly because he couldn’t know anything with that alone.
“I’m currently accessing the seller. May I connect them with you?”
“Are you connecting?”
“Yes, the green light is on.”
Considering that all he had to do was just press the purchase button, there was absolutely no reason to meet them.
Although, there could be other items for sale other than what was posted here.
“If it’s registered as a brand, is there a brand page?”
“‘Yes, if the individual is a member of the brand. I’ll make a request to that side now.”
<Requesting entry to Mister Midas’ page. >
Evie, who was chatting, froze in mid-air. Her focus blurred as she stared into open space.
After a little while.
<Request has been accepted.>
“It’s accepted. Let’s move!”
When the portal opened in the yard, Evie shouted in a tone that seemed to appear in some sci-fi movie.
Do-joon walked through the portal.
As he went inside, a fairly large space unfolded. Compared to Do-joon’s space, which had only one house and a yard, there were several buildings surrounded by a fountain square.
The seller’s rating was Platinum, and as such, a large space was given.
“Hello, are you a potion maker?”
Soon a man came out of a building and greeted Do-joon. He seemed fairly young. However, even if he was acknowledged a lot, he only looked like a college student in his prime.
“Yes, I came to see some stuff.”
“You can come this way.”
Then, he was guided through what seemed to be the largest building there.
Weapons hung from the wall, and several mannequins decorated in armor could be seen on one side. It was like a weapon statues that could only be seen in cartoons and fantasy movies.
“So~, this is the first time I’ve ever had a guest here.”
“Is that so? Your grade is Platinum.”
“It’s just because I’ve been selling for so long and they don’t even sell well probably due to it being penalty items in the first place.….”
Midas immediately became gloomy by himself after explaining.
To which, Do-joon spoke.
“Then I’ll take a look.”
“Oh, yeah! Feel free to look around! If you have any questions, just ask me!”
In fact, that was his real purpose for being here. How did he get so many penalty items like this?
Do-joon checked the information window of the items one by one from the entrance.
【Gigagas Thorn Knife】
– Additional attack power 12~32
– Defense –21
– Bleeding when equipped
【Jade Magic Wand】
– Additional attack power 5~7
– Magic +5 Lv
– Destruction -5Lv
【Useful Leather Boots】
– Additional defense 13
– Agility -3Lv
He was in awe.
How did he even manage to collect so many useless things?
In terms of options alone, it wasn’t too bad, but there were horrible penalties attached to each one. If it wasn’t for Do-joon’s special ability, he would have probably left this store without a second glance.
Thanks to the penalty, the price went down by 1/3 or even as low as 1/5, but even at that price, anybody in their right mind wouldn’t buy it.
“I… … . There are some normal items. Over there… … .”
Midas looked at Do-joon and pointed to another side. When he turned there, he found ordinary items with no penalties on display.
However, such ordinary things were not the subject of Do-joon’s interest.
“Why are there so many penalty items? Do you gather them up separately?”
Do-joon asked. Midas blinked and pursed his lips.
“That’s… There’s a story that you can’t hear without tears.….”
“Then even if I ask for it, will you speak?”
Looking at the atmosphere alone, it didn’t seem to be a big secret.
He stretched his neck and eventually he opened his mouth.
“It happened in 1998 when I was just in middle school. In fact, from that time on, I held a hammer since I always dreamed of being a craftsman, but I just wasn’t an Awoken. Still, isn’t it normal for children to dream of being an awakener? When asked to write down their future dreams in elementary school, more than half of the class wrote that they wanted to be Awakened or a Hunter. However, I had a dream of knocking and crafting with a hammer. When I watched those Hunters videos on YouTube, I was filled with thoughts like, it would be awesome if such amazing hunters could one day use the equipment I made. And so when one day, spores stuck to me, I was so happy! And I ran to my father, he made it seem it wasn’t too much of a fuss… … .”
Feeling like something chilly.
Still, Do-joon listened as much as possible.
“But where’s the money for students? In particular, aren’t the materials from the dungeons too expensive? Eventually, I became dependent on my parents. … .”
“After spending half a year just like that, I was able to make my first item with my very own skills! The emotions of that time still appear vividly in my dreams…….”
“… … .”
“But the results were always not very good.I wasn’t old enough to give up once. Isn’t that a period of storm and rage? I oftenly begged my father to buy me more ingredients…….”
“… … Excuse me.”
Do-joon stroked his temple at the end. Do-joon with a tiresome stare told Midas, who was restrained and twitched his mouth.
“I’m sorry, but can you summarize?”
“Yes. As short as possible please..”
He couldn’t help but strain at the word “short” without even realizing it.
Midas shook his head with round eyes and answered really briefly.
“I’m talking about my skills are like a damn crazy luck gacha.”
* * *
Midas’ real name is Hwang Hyun-woo.
In short, his crafting skill was that the options that resulted were extremely random.
He wondered that there could be a plus as there was a minus, but that wasn’t the case. The best option was very selective because it was similar to other craftsmen.
Still, he has been steadily producing items as it was a dream since young, but his skills were at a level where if he produced ten, he would be penalized for nine.
Originally, he was a member of a popular and famous production guild, but it seems that he left due to his skills before setting up a personal brand.
However, now, his store was in the red.
This was because items with less negative options could be disposed of at low prices, but there were a number of items that could not be sold.
“So it’s hard to make ends meet with just this. I use such expensive ingredients, but the results are oftenly not good… … .”
Do-joon nodded at his explanation.
It was self-evident without having to think deeply. The deficit was natural if items continued to cost but could not be sold and pile up.
“That’s why I sometimes dig up ingredients myself. I also have a Hunter license because I also have combat skills.”
“I see. So when you join hunters, you’ll get paid…….”
“It’s true that I’m making money from that and burning it up perpetually on production.”
Hwang Hyun-woo gave a bitter smile. He appeared to have been through a stormy and bumpy ride not befitting his young age.
Typically, since young hunters earn several times more than other occupations, they become conceited and arrogant, but Hwang Hyun-woo did not seem so.
If he gave up production and only worked as a hunter, he would be able to earn enough money to not become envious of others.
‘Well, I’m sure he knows what’s best.’
Fortunately, Do-joon was not rash enough to say such a thing without thinking.
Anyway, by the way, leaving his main job and going into a dungeon to dig up materials. Isn’t that something he had done a lot before?
Feeling a strange sense of homogeneity, Do-joon looked around the store. Before noticing a stack of items tucked away in a corner.
‘That’s… … .’
Unlike other items that were properly displayed, they were messily piled up at random.
He could tell at once by looking at the information window. That these were items with zero product value from there being only negative options.
Do-joon pointed at it and asked.
“Aren’t you selling that?”
“What? Which one?”
Midas frowned when he noticed where Do-joon was pointing. He shook his head.
“Those are complete failures. Others have some good options that can be used, as such they can be sold, but who would buy something like that, they only have nothing but negatives.”
“Then can’t you throw it all away?”
“Yes. It cannot be recycled because it’s an item, but it can be used as ordinary iron or wood.”
Do-joon’s eyes shone. If so, wouldn’t it be possible to buy it at a very low price?
“Then sell it to me. I’ll pay you more than what you will get by just throwing it away.”
“That one? Why is that… … .”
“I know people who collect things like that.”
His reason was pretty sound.
Although, the reason he used seemed a little poor, but it was much better than saying that it was for his own use.
Contrary to the expectation that he would accept it immediately, Hwang Hyun-woo seemed a little hesitant.
Then he immediately declined, shaking his head.
“I’m sorry, but I can’t. It’s not something I’d say while making this kind of garbage, but… … I also dream of becoming a successful craftsman. I can’t sell stuff like that.”
Hwang Hyun-woo’s expression displayed his stubbornness when he said that.
It was a kind of stubbornness that made him continue to work every day as a craftsman even after making a loss each time.
There was no need to say anything more now.
“If you happen to change your mind, please contact me. I’ll be waiting.”
“Yes, I will.”
After that, Do-joon stepped back from his position for now. But just for today. If he kept purchasing penalty items, he would have another opportunity later.
The conversation was over. Do-joon bought some suitable items among the displayed items.
“Thank you. I’ll send you the items right away. Since we’re in the same region, it will arrive by the end of today.
“Yes, thanks a lot.”
After leaving a formal farewell, Do-joon returned to his page.
From then on, he purchased a couple of other seller’s penalty items and ended up meeting with them as well.
* * *
The very next day, Do-joon moved the defense options of the items that arrived into one piece of armor. To which, he copied to himself.
– Additional Defense: 207
In an instant, the amount of defense increased to as much as the armor set.
He touched his skin to see if there was any change, but there was nothing in particular. As soon as he tried to draw a knife on himself, a strange energy circulated and he felt a repulsive force on the knife.
If he puts pressure into it, it can be drawn, but on the contrary, if he doesn’t put force on the knife, it wouldn’t go in.
‘Hmm, Orc Labyrinth is on cooldown… … . Let’s go to Elemental island.’
It had been such a long time since Do-joon entered Tier 2 Labyrinth that he even began to miss it.
The still unchanging and chaotic scenery of the island greeted him. There was a desert, a lake, and a snowy mountain.
Do-joon first to the lake. Occasionally, he was attacked by snakes on the way, but they were no problem. Now, a monster of this magnitude could not even come close to being a threat.
Eventually, Do-joon arrived by the lakeside.
Climbing up to the tallest tree in the area, he took the Thunderbolt from his inventory.
Then, with a grin, he threw it into the lake with all his might.
The result was well, as expected.
The enormous lake was engulfed in a blinding white lightning with a deafening pound from the thunder that resulted.
A magnificent sight that seemed to instantly relieve stress. Seeing the dead water snakes float up to the surface made him excited.
‘So that’s why people look for magicians.’
The lightning spear was not magic, it was a piece of equipment, but from the effect alone, it was no different from magic.
A handful of mana drained away each time it’s thrown, but he had enough to endure it about 10 times.
‘The next time I go shopping, I’ll get something to increase my mana stat.’
There was no dramatic change to an extent since the mana stat was raised by so little, but if he raises it steadily, he would feel it’s effects.
While thinking about this and that, he collected the water snakes that floated to the surface of the lake.
After that, he wandered all over the desert and gray grasslands, slaughtering snakes. This time, he set a limit and kept going around.
Once he dealt with them all, he would return to the lake, catch the respawned ones, and go to another area to hunt again.
The result of touring the island and focusing only on hunting for three days and three nights.
– 75% Earth resistance
– 75% Water resistance
– 75% Fire resistance
– 75% Wind resistance
Finally, he was able to match the resistance of the four attributes to the maximum value.