Chapter 1. Prologue
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When he returned to the store, Siewellin welcomed him as usual.
After responding to that greeting, Do-joon sat down moderately.
Then Siewellin came and sat next to him and asked.
「”How was it?”」
“How was it?”
「”That stem. Didn’t you go to see that?”」
“Well, there’s nothing special.”
He thought he might see something. Because he had the insight skill that others didn’t have.
But still, nothing was visible. The black pillar seemed to pierce the sky. That was it.
「“On TV, the event was very glamorous.”」
“You mean the hunters who went in?”
Siewellin nodded. The scene of the launching ceremony was being broadcast live, so she could also watch from the store.
The black pillars soared high and the hunters of the Guild Union that dared to enter the pillar.
‘There was no particular anxiousness.’
It was like that in Do-joon’s eyes. Although the alliance was hastily formed for this expedition, there seemed to be nothing creaking on the surface.
The relationship between the two most important leaders, Shin Yu-seong and Oh Tae-jin, didn’t seem too bad either.
Oh Tae-jin came to mind, Do-joon remembered what had happened earlier. When he met Oh Tae-jin.
― I’m Oh Tae-jin of Karma. I’ve heard a lot about you.
― I’m Kim Do-joon.
Oh Tae-jin, who approached him first and asked for a handshake. Do-joon looked at his hand for a moment and then grabbed his hand.
He wondered if he would do some trick by shaking hands, but he didn’t. Well, if that was the case, it would have made him like a third-class bully.
‘That was it.’
That’s all he had with him.
A brief handshake and eye contact. And we broke up as is.
However, as he was leaving, Do-joon caught him once. He was curious about one thing.
― Mr Oh Tae-jin.
Oh Tae-jin looks back at Do-joon’s call. And Do-joon asked him.
― I heard that you recommended me for this expedition. Why did you do that?
― There’s no big reason. As I said at the meeting, I just brought it up because I thought you, who had a history of killing elves, would be helpful for this incident.
He added after that.
― I want to successfully complete this expedition somehow. So I was a little disappointed to hear that you refused.
It was consistent with what he heard from the president of the association.
With this expedition as an opportunity, Oh Tae-jin may be promoted to S-class. That’s why he’s risking his life on this job.
‘At least that’s the truth.’
It would be true to say that he wanted to make the expedition a success and disappointed that Do-joon did not participate.
Of course, just because it was true, there was no guarantee that there wouldn’t be no “other truth”.
「”Oh, that’s right. A lot of parcels have arrived.”」
Do-joon stopped his recollection and came to his senses at Siwellin’s writing.
Looking inside the counter as she pointed, he could see several boxes piled up.
“It came just right on time.”
「”What did you buy? The one you always bought?”」
Just hearing that, Siewellin understood well. Things that Do-joon often bought.
These items are for copying purchased from the market.
“Then I’ll go in first. This labyrinth may take a while.”
「”Leave the house and So-eun to me!”」
Do-joon smiled shyly as if thanking her.
Siewellin was doing so much for him. Because she is there, he can enter the labyrinth with peace of mind.
She was given pocket money and other things, but he was so grateful that he thought that it was not enough.
「”I do it because I love it. When I see So-eun, I always think of Leila.」
Do-joon briefly recalled her memory.
The memory of Siewellin that he saw a long time ago. Leila is obviously…….
“You mean the kid who gave you a flower necklace.”
「”Huh? Did you see that too?”」
Siewellin replied, slightly blushing. It seemed shameful that Do-joon saw some of her memories.
In fact, it was only natural.
「”No. It couldn’t be helped.…. Anyway, Leila was such a cute child. When I see So-eun, it reminds me of her, so I feel happy, but sometimes I feel a little depressed too.….」
Siewellin smiled bitterly. Because among the tombs she made, there was also that child’s grave.
Do-joon couldn’t say anything. Saying something of regret too hastily would not be of any consolation to her.
All he could do was stay by her side.
Siewellin was building the tombs of the temple people alone. And Do-joon was the only one who shared at least part of her memories and feelings.
A moment of silence followed. It wasn’t awkward, but it wasn’t a pleasant silence either.
It was broken only when she suddenly jumped up.
“Why, all of a sudden?”
「”Now is the time for the broadcast of <I Used To Love You>!”」
“<I used to love you>?”
「”There’s a drama I’ve been watching lately!”」
Do-joon smiled at her looking for the remote control while making a fuss.
Siewellin turned the channel while pressing the button.
After taking a glimpse of her, Do-joon moved to the basement. With several boxes in his hand.
After arriving there, Do-joon took out Kalish and opened all the boxes.
What appeared in the box was a total of 7 pieces of a variety of items.
― What’s all that?
“I ordered it from the market. These are items with essential options for this labyrinth.”
Do-joon began to carefully collect the options of the items in one place.
Seven items were soon reduced to just one. It was a wand that looked like a branch.
― What’s the option?
Before long, the branch also turned into light and disappeared. It didn’t just disappear. It disappeared after giving Do-joon a proper option.
Do-joon closed his eyes. Now he can clearly feel the change that he would not have felt properly in the past.
The energy that runs through the body.
Since the figures were not large, there was no overwhelming change. It was also an expensive original option, and he didn’t have much extra money because he spent a lot of money moving.
Even so, the small change felt absolutely great. Because he now handles ‘it’ much more delicately than he did in the past.
The “it” is…
In this labyrinth where endurance seems to be important, it was the most necessary option he chose.
* * *
[You have entered “Sky Road”]
As soon as he entered, what he could see was the two stone statues from the other day.
Stone statues standing silently on both sides of the stairs going up. If it hadn’t been for insight, and if it was the first time he’d ever seen it, he would have been deceived by the fact that it was a real stone statue.
Either they didn’t know that this party already knew, or they forgot everything because their memory is as good as that of a goldfish. Those tough guys kept pretending to stand still while keeping down their weapons.
― Those are some cute guys.
― Isn’t it like a cat that deliberately pretends not to hear?
Do-joon shook his head at Kalish’s squeaky words.
Can’t believe they’re like a cat for such big guys and carrying such a hideous weapon. There’s nothing that overlaps other than pretending to be innocent, right?
‘If it’s like that, we can hit the first blow this time.’
How should he knock that big guy down? Do-joon looked around and began to estimate the timing.
Then Kalish asked.
― What do you think? Does the magical power you got earlier have any effect?
The mana stat that he copied just before he came in. He bought seven pieces of equipment each with one magic option and copied them. So the level of mana increased by 7.
Originally, it doesn’t feel too bad when the mana stat goes up from levelling up. But the Do-joon was different. This is because the way he learned from Kalish and dealt with mana itself was very different from other hunters.
“The amount of mana has increased a bit, and it seems cleaner.”
Both quantity and quality increased little by little, but if he had to choose between the two, he felt the increase in quality was greater.
Feeling a little more refined of the mana circulating in his body?
― Kyaa~ That’s a good skill. Isn’t it the same as eating equipment as an elixir?
“It’s too small to be called an elixir.”
Originally, the things called the elixir are far greater items.
The World Tree has appeared and the item called elixir has appeared a couple of times over the past several decades, but all of them have caused great attention.
There are reports that a hunter, who was an E-class loser, accidentally picked up an elixir and climbed up to S-class. And that an ordinary person ate it, and his chronic disease got cured and he lived happily until he was 120 years old.
Stories that seem to have been made up because they are so unrealistic.
However, since it was recorded, it could not be dismissed as a lie.
‘If I keep increasing the magic stat, will I ever get an effect like an elixir?’
He thought so, but he couldn’t guarantee it. Because no one has been able to do that so far.
Do-joon is the first and the only experimenter.
He began to put on mana. Mana, which came up from the core of his heart, split like a skein and began to seep into various parts of his body.
Did they sense the feeling of uneasiness?
The stone statue began to move first.
The two guys approached, holding their falchion high and slamming Do-joon down.
Crater formed on the floor and dust rose.
However, Do-joon in the middle did not get a single scratch.
Adamantine Form, defence option exceeding 200, and twenty branches of mana that strengthens bones and muscles of the whole body.
He kicked the ground and ran. The target was the stone statue on the right.
Do-joon immediately landed on his shoulder. Then his hands began to rush. A movement as if trying to shake off a bug.
From their point of view, he would look like a rather big bug.
Do-joon laughed and ran again.
The sound of an explosion of air between his feet and the statue’s shoulders was heard, and his body soared into the sky.
― It’s still a long way off, you punk.
The sound means that the technique has not been refined yet. Kalish kicked his tongue.
Do-joon smiled bitterly and took out a long chain from the inventory.
The chain swirled and got caught in the neck.
Do-joon landed on the floor. He tried to pull the chain that was tied as it was.
The tough guy’s body just flinched and it broke.
‘If that is the case…’
Do-joon grabbed Kalish while avoiding the attack from the other guy from the side.
Anyway, in this situation, he had already expected that the fit rate of this guy was 61%.
Do-joon, who held the spear, quickly gathered his mana in his arm.
He doesn’t need to be as diligent as when you killed Eldora. Right now, it’s time to gather quickly and shoot quickly!
In a blink of an eye, a cold vortex rose through the spear. Let’s throw it at his leg.
One of his legs was ripped off and lost his balance and collapsed.
Once he falls and gets out of his place, this would be the perfect time. But if there’s a problem.
‘Where do I have to hit to kill it?’
The point is that it is difficult to know its weaknesses because it was not a living creature.
“Tsk, it can’t be helped.”
That statue was struggling to get up.
The worries were short. Do-joon kicked his tongue and stabbed the spear in the head first.
His spear, surrounded by mana, spun around and penetrated his hard head like tofu.
However, the stone statue is still moved.
And the second stone statue is still wielding the falchion rushed towards Do-joon.
‘The attack pattern is monotonous.’
Fortunately, there seems to be no special movement or abilities that are commensurate with the high fit rate. Thanks to this, the attack was not difficult to dodge.
Of course, all of this was thanks to the spearmanship he learned from Kalish. If without it, Do-joon was an ordinary hunter, he would have even struggled considerably starting with putting a weapon into the enemy’s body.
‘If it’s a normal mob, it doesn’t matter if it’s over 60%.’
It is an incomparable growth compared to last year when he fell off a cliff because he couldn’t handle a single wild dog beast before acquiring the ability.
Feeling a sense of accomplishment, Do-joon stabbed into the belly of the first stone statue.
With the sound of something breaking, the light disappeared from his eyes.
‘Did I finish it?’
When he lifted the spear, he saw something inside his body.
It was the information window of an item.