Thursday, 31 October 2013

LMS: Volume 15 Chapter 5

The Pure-White Beauty

This chapter is brought to you by AnmesicCat, BeatJumper, Grisia, Haikai, Lastear, Lei, Masadeer, and ThunderHamster.

We hope everyone enjoys our Halloween edition look. Here's Japtem-style 'trick-or-treat'. Since we can't hand out virtual candies to our readers one by one, we decided to release this chapter 3 hours early. We really are in the festive mood!~ Happy Halloween everyone!

Kramado Dungeon.

Intermediate monsters called Kramanoims appeared on the 1st and 2nd floors.

That alone was enough to call it more than a beginner dungeon; a veteran’s hunting ground. However, dangerous traps and even monsters in the late 300s came out from the 3rd floor onwards.

They wouldn’t have met the Elfin Queen Spider if they’d taken a normal path, but it was still an asphyxiatingly dangerous dungeon.

If it was just up to Hegel and the others, they would choose the path that would take them back out!

“Huff huff.”
“Please slow down a little!”

However, they were now advancing even deeper into the dungeon.

Granted, the way in front of them was perfectly cleaned out by Weed. It was destruction that didn’t leave even 1 tiny baby spider alive. As for the monsters, they couldn’t even sightsee them, and the traps were completely destroyed.

That was because Weed had given Nide a separate task.

“Yes. Hyung!”

“As you go forward, dismantle the traps.”
“What about the fighting?”

“I’ll take care of it. Just keep moving on ahead and dismantle the traps. Leave all the monsters alone.”

“Yes, hyung. Please leave it to me.”

For Nide, a Thief who explored dungeons and labyrinths as a profession, something like dismantling a trap was child’s play!

He had also experienced a near-death crisis with the Elfin Spider Queen, however it was merely because Thieves had characteristically low attack power. If he had created an opportunity for an ambush after hiding his body behind pillars of obstacles to fight, he wouldn’t have been able to win, he wouldn’t have lost either. Even when the boulder was chasing them, if not for his teammates, he could have somehow squeezed himself into a small crack in the wall and escaped, though there would’ve been no reason for him to get caught in the trap in the first place.

The Thief, Nide, was entrusted with a task appropriate for his specialties, and worked to disable or destroy the traps as he passed by.

Weed was assigned to the remaining monsters.

- Weed-hyung, there are a considerable number of level 300 Morron Chasers ahead.

Nide also performed the task of scouting.

- How many are there?
- There are around 65 of them. With this many of them, it’s going to be immensely dangerous…

- 3 minutes.
- What?

- I’ll finish up within 3 minutes, so find me another monster mob.
- I understand.

Short and sweet!

When he was whispering someone, he made it short and straight to the point, however the time he was in battled was far more briefer than that.

Run up, fight, hunt and kill, collect the japtem!

There was nothing more frustrating than grilling and eating meat at a restaurant than having the meat suddenly stop coming in the middle of it. For Weed, the most stressful problem was running out of monsters while fighting.
[This refers to Korean BBQ places where you grill your own meat, there’s nothing more annoying than running out of meat.]

In other battlefields, monsters didn’t come out like they did in this dungeon. Since he didn’t have to fight sparingly, it was something to be welcomed!

A week hadn’t passed since the dungeon discovery, so double the item drop rate and experience were applied. The first discoverers got to obtain discovery fame and the very best items from the monsters, but as long as you came in within a week, the experience and item drop rate applied to everyone.

You could say that it was the gift the monsters that had grown with warm and full bellies inside the dungeon gave to outsiders.

“65 of them…”

Weed could take on that many Kramanoims easily. With that many it would take a significant amount of time to dispose of all of them.

“Summon Dirtman, Fiery Pebble!”

Weed summoned the Spirits he’d personally created.

Since he had max intimacy with them, as long as his Mana held out, there was no limit to what the Spirits could do. It was a privilege only the Spirits’ creator could have!

The Dirtmen were mostly low-class Spirits, and many of the Fiery Pebble Spirits came as intermediate Spirits.

A part of the ceiling collapsed and the dungeon became a sea of fire.


The Dirtmen rode on the Morron Chasers’ backs.

“Get off!”

Although the Morron Chasers swung their spears, the Dirtmen didn’t budge. That was because the Spirits of earth had nearly infinite Health. They squashed the Morron Chasers with their weight and slowed them.

The Fiery Pebbles went into the Morron Chasers’ mouths. Searing flames spewed out every time they opened their mouths!

Every time Weed ran in, only the flames were left behind. He cut down the flame-engulfed Morron Chasers without using any skills and just his basic swordplay. That was because he needed to pool his Mana and use it for calling Spirits in this large-scale battle.

Dwarves had faster regeneration than humans, so thanks to their quick regeneration he could fight with basic swordplay and occasionally use Sculpting Blade.

When he was finishing the Morron Chaser group, Hegel, Selsia, Rumi, Bella, and Twitter ran into the nearby vicinity. The distance between them and Weed had shortened although they ran without stopping.

Thanks to being in the same party as Weed, they also received experience.

    - Your level has risen. - For being together with the party member who slayed a Morron Chaser with one blow, your Fame has risen by 1. - Your level has risen. - Your level has risen. A low grade boss monster, Morron General, has been massacred by your group.

Their experience was rising so quickly that they were terrified to check their information windows.

With the exception of Hegel, the level 200ers were electrified and couldn’t believe whether it was a dream or reality.

By the time they’d caught up to him, Weed was already running off again.

Running as he wrapped bandages, with eyes closed for meditation, and using the defense skill Close Eyes Tightly, he managed to save a little Health even in the middle of battle!

As long as you weren’t blind, it was normal to always keep your eyes open if you weren’t sleeping. Since he was raising the efficiency of his fighting as he forcibly closed his eyes, it was absolutely ridiculous.

If you carefully examined Weed’s fighting method, it makes you wonder if it was made for humans to imitate!

“He doesn’t rest.”
“He’s probably not human.”
“He’s a Dwarf.”

Hegel became irritated listening to Rumi, Bella, and Twitter's admiration.

“What the hell.”

He really couldn’t wrap his head around how the situation had become like this.

Common sense!

Although he’d grown up since youth hearing often that he had no consideration, at the very least he had common sense.

Whenever he tried to use his common sense, his head just got muddled up.

“Though he said his profession was Sculptor…”

Hegel suddenly remembered something he’d said to the Black Lion guild members just 8 hours ago. It had been on the chat channel of the Black Lion Guild!


While they were resting after hunting Kramanoims on the 1st floor, Hegel had chatted with some people he knew.

Provence: Hegel, where are you now?

Hegel: Ah, yes. I spoke to you about this before. I have to explore a dungeon with friends from my school…

Provence: Oh, that was today?

Hegel: Yes. I’ve come to a dungeon in the Plains region of Dale Kingdom. Do not be surprised, hyung-nims, but I was the first to find an undiscovered dungeon.

Provence: Really?

Ject: That’s a bit surprising, Hegel.

Shen: Have you already grown this much?

As large as the Black Lion Guild was, there were many people who recognized Hegel.

Finding an undiscovered dungeon was a rare and glorious deed.

Shen: Approximately what level of dungeon is it?

Hegel: It’s a low-level dungeon. Although I had expectations, jeez. It’s about perfect for level 200s to come play. Whatever.

Hegel whispered quietly so his nearby group members couldn't hear him.

Ject: Don't disregard low-levelers. Even low-levelers get big quickly. You were also below level 200 not so long ago.

Hegel: I’m not disregarding them, I just mean it’s a dungeon for low-levels to play in.

Provence: You must be getting the appetite for exploring an undiscovered dungeon. You also get tense from not knowing what’ll come out...

Hegel: Ah, it’s fine. It’s a low-level dungeon anyways, so what would there be? I want to finish the dungeon exploration quickly and also return to the guild hunting ground.

When he was chatting like this, he heard a dignified tone through the chatting room.

Bindel: Are your friends strong?

It was the Dwarven Warrior Bindel, who ranked within the top 3 in the Black Lion Guild.

Hegel: No. They’re weak. There’s one Thief who has a higher level than me, but besides him they’re nothing special.

Bindel: Isn’t your level over 300 right now? A Thief that’s higher than level 300...that’s amazing.

Thieves were a tough job to raise.

If they joined a party, they could use close-combat, but they often died because of their weak defense. The risk of exploring alone could not be compared to hunting with a party.

Bindel: What kind of build of Thief is he? And what is his level?

Hegel: He’s just a little over 300. His build is probably just mainly party hunting.

Hegel cut his words short since he didn't want to flatter Nide.

The Swordsman who shone as the battle’s flower.

He had some contempt towards other professions, and although he himself knew Nide wasn’t normal, he didn’t want to acknowledge it.

Bindel: At least with a Thief it will be easy to explore the dungeon. Since you said something about not having a Priest.

Hegel: Well, it’s just meh. Since I’m almost entirely handling the battle. And there’s still 1 Dwarf who hasn’t arrived yet.

Bindel: Oho, a Dwarf.

Bindel seemed to be quite interested since it was a Dwarf.

Bindel: Is he a Soldier or a Warrior?

Hegel. No, he’s a Sculptor.

Bindel: Sculptor?

Hegel: Yes. He’s a hyung I know, but he happened to be a Sculptor, so… he probably won’t be much help in the dungeon exploration, but I squeezed him in for the sake of the school assignment. You know, I wish I could just breeze through and defeat just enough monster. After I’m just about done with my work here, I want to quickly go hunting with you, hyungs.

Bindel: Is that Sculptor’s level high?

Hegel: It's...I don't know. I never asked. Wasn't really interested. Why are you asking?

Bindel: Because I worked with an impressive Dwarven Sculptor some time ago.

Hegel: So he made an awesome sculpture?

Bindel: Though that’s true too… he was a Sculptor with an abnormal Charisma and ability to command troops. I also was following his orders mindlessly and before I knew it, we’d blasted through the dungeon in an instant. Not just me, but dozens of Dwarves were pulled in by his control.

Hegel: I’m surprised there’s a Sculptor like that.

Bindel: That wasn’t all. His cooking skills were also outstanding. If you just ate the food he made, the fighting became even more ridiculous. The miscellaneous ingredients that went through his hands became an invigorating meal that made you feel strength was surging into your body.

Hegel: For a Sculptor to have that level of cooking...

Bindel: It was really comfortable because he also repaired weapons and armors that were in bad shape. If that Dwarf repaired it for you, items that were damaged beyond its durability limits were also restored.

Hegel: What? Durability limits can be restored? What are you talking about… is there such a thing?

Hegel didn’t know that items past their durability limits could even be restored.

Provence: Bindel hyung-nim, does that mean durability limits can be restored?

Ject: So you can return completely ruined weapons or armors back to perfect condition?

The majority of the Black Lion guild members didn’t know this. Although the Black Lion Guild had a considerable number of high level users like a prestigious guild, they didn’t know much about repairing the durability limit.

In the first place, there were hardly any cases where the durability limit of weapons or armors lowered by a lot while hunting. On top of that, they had never met a Blacksmith who could repair durability limits.

In order to repair the durability limit, you had to raise the skill level to at least intermediate mastery. For a craftsman with that level of skill, they could earn a fairly large sum of money simply by making and selling weapons or armor. There had been no cases where someone was willing to repair the durability limit, which wasn't much help in making money and was just cumbersome.

Bindel: Anyways, there was such a Dwarven Sculptor.

Hegel: Surely not, hyungnim! Versailles Continent is wide, so there can only be one Dwarf like that. But the hyung I know probably isn't a Dwarf like that.

He had boasted to his guild members like this just 8 hours ago!

Hegel was devastated.

"This is far worse than than the case Bindel-hyung talked about!"

He was simply resentful that this kind of thing would happen to him, of all people.


They hunted a variety of monsters as they roamed about in the expansive third floor underground labyrinth. Once they entered the heart of the dungeon, there were dangerous traps, and boss-grade monsters were crouching in each place like that.

Weed and Nide deliberately fell into those traps and massacred the boss-grade monsters there.

It was a hunting method of complete monster annihilation.

If even 1 monster was left, it was somewhat galling, stifling. Like when you wash your face but don’t wash your forehead, you can’t feel refreshed.

Besides, there was a double experience bonus applied!

Weed was getting a large amount of experience and items from the boss monsters.

Thanks to Nide destroying the traps, they gained additional fame, skill, and experience as they safely cleaned out the dungeon.

Those who were following were also able to gain experience, fame, and the japtem that hadn’t been completely picked up.

In this fashion, the Thief Nide completed the dungeon 3rd floor map.

    - The Kramado Dungeon's third floor basement has been mapped for the first time. Fame has increased by 75. Mapping skill proficiency has improved. Experience has been increased.

That means they have gone through every single passage there was. They had completed the perfect occupation of the Kramado Dungeon.

“Huff huff.”

"Thi-this exploration is now finally over with!"

Hegel sank to the ground.

A dungeon exploration spanning five days!

Even considering the time difference that was four times faster than reality, almost a whole day had steadily passed since they’d come into the capsule room at noon. It was midday in reality, when the sun was hovering in the middle of the sky outside.

“It was a really long day.”

Everyone could sympathize with Nide’s words.

They had never felt that hunting was this scary and gruesome before. They had also formed belief and confidence in themselves. Instead of always hunting safely with their Health bars filled up, they had chased down monsters like their tails were on fire.

Although they did it with Weed taking the majority of the fighting, when the others had enough Mana and Stamina, they had also participated in the fight.

‘Hunting is fun.’
‘Will I be able to try this kind of hunting again.’

Even though it was scary, the thrilling pleasure could not be denied.

Hegel’s legs were knocking together.

“Good job everyone.”

Twitter smiled as her dimples showed.

“Yeah, you too. Since the dungeon exploration is over too, I think I’m going to go home and rest up.”

They planned on catching up on the sleep they’d lost. However, Weed raised his sword silently and was walking away somewhere.

“Oppa, where are you going?”
“I have to hunt.”

“Bu-but the dungeon exploration is over.”
“The double experience time hasn’t ended yet.”

“But it’s already noon.”
“There’s no school on Saturday.”

Bella butted into the peculiarly flowing atmosphere.

“But oppa, if you keep going like this, you’ll ruin your body.”


“Since we’ve stayed up the whole night, you got to go home and at least have a nap. You also have to eat.”

“I ate earlier. And slept too.”

“At dawn. I went home, made food for my little sister, slept for 2 hours, and came back.”

That meant when the group was taking a break and resting during the dungeon exploration, Weed had returned after eating and even sleeping!

In order to play Royal Road for a long time, body maintenance was essential.


“Come to the masquerade the Law Department is hosting! Freshmen can enter at a 30% discounted price.”

“There is Slavery Blind Dating in the Microbiology Department, which has lots of pretty older sisters. Only those younger than the older sisters can participate.”
[Slavery Blind Date is an event where one student ‘buys’ another and makes them do whatever they want as their ‘slave’, all in good fun.]

“The Social Physical Education Department is having a super strength show in the Recreation Club Crew.”

“Look here! An opportunity doesn’t come day in and day out! Bare-handed fish catching that you can do during the festival period!”

It was the day of the Korea University's festival.

This could not be a more unpleasant moment for Lee Hyun.

‘In the end, this day has come.’

After finishing school, he usually had free time right afterwards. He would play Royal Road as much as he wanted. With sleep adjustments, he invested about 12 hours a day into Royal Road. Since he couldn’t help but play for less time than other Dark Gamers, it was essential that he spend his time sparingly. He even raised his level to level 358.

But to think that he was helplessly forced to stay at school for the festival duration!

It felt like a prison to Lee Hyun.

“Examination hell is no big deal. If a man is indeed ceaselessly imprisoned, then does that mean he is an existence that cannot help but live?”

A question about existence!

Lee Hyun was having a philosophical thought for the first time in his life.

Other little kids raised their sensitivity as they played with the neighborhood puppies. When they saw the napping dogs, they were also dipped into speculation about the routines of animals.

However, Lee Hyun had not lived a life like that.

The law of the jungle!

If he saw a dog, and it was an easy target, the first thing he thought of was doenjang.
[Doenjang, fermented soybean paste, is a brown, thick paste. Depending on how it is prepared, it can be savory, sweet, or spicy.

Japtem does not endorse the eating of dogs.

Remember the cultural difference — although the majority of new-generation Koreans frown on eating dogs, there are still a significant number of older Koreans who do eat dog meat.]

Dog and doenjang. Like the relationship of ramen and egg, it was a naturally occurring process of association.

The ten year old Lee Hyun who gazed with pleasure at the dogs that approached with their tails wagging if you threw them a few bones!

‘That puppy looks like its meat broth will brew well.’

Although it was a festival everyone was enjoying, Lee Hyun just waited for it to end quickly.

“Dishwashing squad, mobilize!”

Lee Hyun was in charge of managing the bar.

His responsibility had grown because he was older than his teammates and had shown ability since the bar preparation.


Students used rubber gloves washed the cups and bowls. The bowls in the store were rented so they had to thoroughly wash them before use.

“When should we start receiving customers?”
“The girls will be ready in 10 minutes!”

Business would begin as soon as the female students, who were entrusted with serving, arrived. Even as they were making the appetizers, they heard music and the sound of firecrackers outside. Many people were coming and going past the outside of the tent bar. There were far more students from other schools and outsiders than students from their school.

Finally, the female students, who had changed in the dressing room and had put on light makeup, appeared.

The college girls appeared wearing a white veil and a wedding dress!

The college girls each walked toward their close friends.

“Don’t just stand there blankly. Take off my veil!”

For some reason, the male students felt their hearts thump as they took off the veils.

The female students had instructed them in advance.

“It doesn’t really mean anything. It’s just because the man is supposed to take it off to get that feeling.”

“I know!”

The male students threw back the veils.

“You look different when I look at you like this.”
“Well tomboy, you look elegant when I look at you like this.”
“Wanna die?”

The group members also exchanged jokes without reserve.

Since the female students’ wedding dresses had been personally handmade, they weren’t that pretty or the designs weren’t really impressive. Even so, they were similar imitations and gave off slight impressions of a young bride.

All the female students came out, and Seo Yoon, who had gone in last, hadn’t come out.


The conversations in the bar stopped. Even the students preparing appetizers in the kitchen and the students cleaning the tables with rags were speechless.

It was because very many eyes were drawn to the dressing room as they waited for something.


Seoyoon carefully opened the door to the dressing room and walked out.

In that moment, the men were captivated.

She was the woman of every man’s dream.

The beautiful skin that looked like it could only be maintained by drinking dewdrops that were purified by about 8 filters!

Seoyoon had light makeup on her face.

This was a common misconception men make; they think that makeup is plastic surgery.

Makeup adds expression and color to the face. The light makeup on Seo Yoon made her own beauty seem all the more beautiful.

The face that was extremely beautiful even in its normal, bare state, was now difficult to stare at for a long time.

Although her eyes, nose and lips were far too beautiful, they merged together and manifested in complete harmony. She was a beauty who made them wonder what the peak of natural radiance was. Their breathing stopped, and they felt like they wouldn’t have any regrets even if they died like this simply by looking at her face.

In addition, the thin fabric of the wedding dress evoked a stunning figure from the shape of her body.

It felt like a dream every time Seoyoon walked forward. Even if you knew that she was pretty even when she went plainly, after getting dressed up, her beauty was enough to make you lose your senses.

The men’s mouths went dry.

They were enormously moved, like a person who discovered water after not drinking for a decade, and not just water, but honey water!

The miracle of the century was here.

The line of the dress from the thin fabric that swept from the legs to the waist, chest, and collar bone was perfect.

With the enchanting beauty Seoyoon possessed, her forearms alone could considered sexy!

The most beautiful face wearing the veil was flushed pinkly with bashfulness.

Every time Seo Yoon walked forward, the dress made a swish, swish sound. She walked forward towards Lee Hyun with her head bowed.

“It’s a goddess.”
“She’s a goddess.”

Sounds of admiration came from around the room.

The female students murmured their envy.

“That dress, the works of a world-renowned designer Marie-Ange Chloe.”

“Ugh… It’s really too pretty a dress.”

The boys were deeply sympathetic.

“A world-renowned designer!”
“Impressive. Impressive!”

Then, just as enormous respect for the designer was forming!

Seoyoon went to Lee Hyun and raised her head a little. The clear light of her eyes were visible.

Anyone could see that it meant she was asking him to take off her veil.

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Saturday, 26 October 2013

ID: Volume 1 Chapter 2

This chapter is brought to you by AnmesicCat and Masadeer.

This chapter has been sitting in my Google Drive, untouched, for far too long. Therefore, as a surprise, here's chapter 2. If you noticed, we've combined 6 parts into one large chapter. Enjoy your read.

Chapter 2

"Now~ Since everyone has finished eating, please gather at a vacant lot."

"Ah~ Id I'd be happy if you let us off today. We have already memorized everything you have taught us so far."

"Exactly. Since you have already memorized it, you are going to apply it. Go to a vacant lot already."

Id brought everyone outside and found a large vacant lot right beside the inn.

"It's time for the final test. Please make use of what you’ve learned of Boh Buhb so far to move as fast and agile as you can."

After Id finished explaining what they needed to do for the final test, each person in the party performed everything they have learned and as fast as they could.

'Hmmm, not bad. They'll be alright with using it. Irlina, however, almost mastered the skill perfectly. She could easily dodge normal attacks without using Ki.'

Just like he said, Irlina certainly moved extremely faster. Though that was only the perspective of everyone in the party. She even created a slight after images when she moved.

'Maybe she’s fit for Heart/Mind (simbeop) method? There probably won't be anyone amongst them who could catch up to Irlina when she masters the skill. Although, there probably isn't anyone who can catch her even now.'

"Now~ This will be enough. Please go back to the room."

Although people didn’t know what Id was saying, they followed Id upstairs for now. The group gathered around in the room.

"It seems like everyone has gotten used to Boh Buhb. Now I will teach you how to use Ki, the mana, using Boh Buhb as an example. But to do that, first you need to learn how to manipulate mana."

"I'm guessing manipulating mana is different from magic?"

"Of course it is different. If Wizards also knew how to use it, , there would be no need for swordsmen."

"Then how do we do it?"

"You guys won't be able to understand it if I just explain it. So I thought of a way of using the skill Boh Buhb to help slowly you operate the mana inside your body. By then, you guys should remember the flow of mana and be able to operate it yourself"

It sounded like a good idea. However, Ilran misunderstood Id and though he was talking about using his own mana to manipulate another person's mana flow, so Id said.

“You don’t have to worry about that. There’s no way I would ask for the impossible. Also, something good might come out of this.”

"Huh? What good thing do you mean?"

"Grey, don't be too hasty. You will know once you've tried it. So, who would like to go first? Would you like to try first, Grey?"

Grey looked around at the rest of the party members and then nodded.

"Alright! Then come sit down in front of me. Remember to keep your posture relaxed and position your legs like this... Yes, and position your hands like this... Good. Now close your eyes and sit still. When you feel something moving inside your body, you have to remember the movement well."

After making Grey sit in a Zazen posture, Id laid his hands on Grey's back and performed the most secure method of Heart/Mind (simbeop) called Diamond Zen Method (Geumgangseon-do).

The reason why Id choose Diamond Zen Method was because simpeop has the least chances of causing internal body damage and it also cleanses both body and spirit, which increases Ki circulation (nae-gong).

Thirty minutes had passed since Id had laid his hands on Grey's back. Id then got up. However, Grey still remained in the same position.

"Grey has gone into the highest point. Now, who would like to go next?"

Id ask as quietly as possible.

Hael looked at Grey, who was currently in the nature of spiritual state of perfect selflessness, looked at Id and asked for an explanation.

"That's because inside Grey's mind, he is currently moving the flow the mana that he has inside his body. You don't have to worry about him."

When Id finished answering Hael, Ilran, and then Hael entered the nature of spiritual state of perfect selflessness. The only ones remaining where the non-humans: Randolph, the Dwarf, and Irlina, the Elf. Soon after, Randolph also entered the nature of spiritual state of perfect selflessness. Irlina was the only one left.

"Id, is it possible for non-humans such as Elves and Dwarves?"

"Of course. Randolph is doing it without any problems."

"Then how long are they going to be in that state? Grey has been sitting in that position for over an hour."

"It varies upon the person. Usually, an average person will have to sit in that position for about five hours. So you don't have to worry."

Finally, Irlina sat down. Irlina, just like Randolph, had acupuncture points slightly different compared to humans.

"Whew~ It's finally done. They are going to be staying in that position for a while. Should I go to bed and get some sleep?"


Dawn was fast approaching, yet not a single one of them woke up. Right after dawn had passed, Ilran was first to wake up.

The first thing Ilran saw after waking up was Id, who was sitting on a bed, eating soup while observing him.

“You woke up. Would you like something to eat?”

“No, I’m fine. By the way, what time is it now? No one else has woken up yet?”

"Yes. Ilran is the first to wake up, and is the first to finish meridian. And right now, it's around five o'clock."

“Five o’clock? Then this must mean I was sitting like this all night long? Unbelievable. It didn’t feel all that long... But why isn’t Grey awaking up?”

"It's because Grey has more Ki circulating his body than Ilran. Since you are a Magician, you don't need to discipline your body, whereas Grey is a Swordsman. That's why he has more Ki than you. In any case, he should be waking up soon."

Ilran started to get up while he was listening to Id, and felt as if the weight his body had gotten lighter. In addition, his mind felt clear and his body felt young again.

"What is going on Id? My body feels light and my mind is clear..."

"By reaching Meridian, your body has evenly distributed your mana throughout your entire body, making it feel lighter, and also cleared your mind. That was the positive thing I was talking about before."

As Id and Ilran were having this conversation, Grey and Hael both woke up.

They both woke up with exactly the same expression as Ilran, and asked the same question...

About an hour later, Randolph woke up, followed by Irlina a few seconds later. And again, they asked the same questions as Ilran. Id gave them the same answer for the third time.

"Now that we're all awake, let's go down and eat so we can go to the temple."

After eating breakfast, the group gathered in the yard again because it was too early for them to visit the temple.

"You guys all remember what we did last night, right? It's good idea to do it whenever you have the time. But you have to remember to do it in a quiet place, where no one will interrupt you. Because as you are circulating your mana, your body will receive heavy internal damage if you get injured. Especially you Grey, you should do this as often as possible, since it’ll shorten the length of your path to becoming a Swordmaster."

“WHAT?! It that really true?”

'He gets so happy whenever I mention ‘Swordmaster’.'

"Now, try performing Boh Buhb, just like last night. It will be a lot different from yesterday's so be careful. It’ll feel different, but you’re doing it correctly. Try not to hit anything..."


After hearing about Swordmasters, Grey went first. Id said to Grey, who was positioning himself in the center of the yard.

"Listen carefully Grey. From now on, the Ki from last night will automatically move on its own when you perform Boh Buhb, so don't be confused and don't panic when you move too fast, and stop."

After Id finished talking, Grey nodded his head as a response and performed Boh Buhb.

In the beginning, Grey had his doubts on how fast he could actually move, until he started seeing the sceneries and wind blowing past him, without feeling tired. Everyone except for Id was surprised at Grey fast movements.

After Id saw Grey's fast movements, he thought it to be acceptable and asked Grey to stop.

"Grey that's enough. Stop!"

Suddenly, Grey stopped in front of the rest of his party, with an excited expression.

Grey's face was filled with bliss. He had never dreamt he would meet such a great companion during his adventure, and learn amazing things. Even if this was all he learns in his journey, he had already gained a lot.

“Thanks a lot Id!”

"You don't have to thank me. Since we’ll be travelling together, teaching you is not much of a big deal, right?"

'I'm just trying to make it easy for myself later on. It gets really annoying when there's people hindering me.'

"Now, try it one by one."

As Id asked them to, they performed Boh Bubh, and were very pleased with the results.

Randolph especially, was extremely pleased, with tears running down from his eyes. Because he was a Dwarf, it was impossible for him to move quickly without using any magic.

However, there was one person who was ruining the moment...

"Hahahaha... Look at that... Fuuu... Kaa... T-the Dwarf is actually running..."

It was Ilran. He was laughing as he watched Randolph running. Although if others saw him, they would find it rather amazing. But because everyone in the party learned it, and because Ilran was Randolph's long-time friend, he laughed after seeing Randolph.

Because of that, Randolph took out his axe and starting swinging it.


"I think it's time for us to head off to the temple."

After Hael commented, the party realised what time it was, and left the inn.

Because the party were busy while they were in the inn, they walked leisurely while sightseeing around the streets.

"Whoa. It seems they are all prepared for the event. It will be one incredible festival. When does the festival start? Ilran?"

"The event will be starting today, Grey. Yesterday was the eve of the festival, and today will be the start of the festival. It will continue on for the next three days. There will be lots to see, including the highlight of the festival, the Academy of Magic's Magic tournament. The champion of the competition will instantly receive an increase of rank. There will also be prizes, which is the reason why Magicians from outside the city comes here to participate… I wonder, what do you think the prizes are for this year?"

"Really, Ilran? When does it start? When should go see it."

Grey asked earnestly.

"That? I think it will be starting today and ends tomorrow? But I'm not really sure of the exact time. We should go to the temple and come back quickly. Lets go see the battle."

'Hm~ I should go see the competition as well, since I haven't clearly witnessed magic ever since I came here. It's going to be fun.'


Soon, the party arrived at the entrance of one of the Holy Temples. It was the temple of the God of Water and Forest whom Hael serves; the Temple of Ilian.

Rather than blindly visiting a random temple, it was better to visit the Temple of the God whom Hael serves. Soon after, a young Priest came and welcomed the group.

"What is the purpose of your visit?"

Hael went ahead and answered the Priest's question.

"Nice to see you, Father. We would like to request a meeting with the High Priest. Oh, and we would also like to purchase some healing potions."

"Ah, there's a follower of God of Ilian here. Please wait a moment. I will send a notice to the High Priest."

After a while, the Priest returned with a word from the High Priest of his agreement of speaking to them, and led the party to a small hall inside the temple. Inside, there was an old man with a long beard adorned in blue clothing.

"May the gentle breeze from the mountains be with you. Hmm. So I heard there was something you need to see me for? Please come in and sit down."

The High Priest spoke formally despite of the fact he looked older. After the party had sat down, as expected, Hael spoke.

"I am Hael, a Priest from a temple in the town of Sillion. We came here because one of our party members needed to meet with the High Priest."

"Is that so? Which one of you needed to see me?"

"Please, you don't have to be formal with us. My name is Id. First, the question I'm about to ask might be rude and offend you, but can the High Priest hear the voice of God Ilian?"

"Hmm. It's a difficult question. To hear God Ilian's voice directly... I'm not sure how to respond. Unless He really needs to, He does not send any revelations. That's the reason why He hasn't said anything to anyone for nearly a hundred years. The situation is similar to other temples. So I haven't personally heard His voice. But if it's a question he might answer, you will receive an answer through Priest Hael's prayers."

'What? Since I can't cause any trouble here, I should just ask Hael. So I didn't even have to come here?'

"I see. Thank you for answering, High Priest."

"You're very welcome. But is that all the reason you came here for? Or did you have any other questions..."

"No. That was all the question we had. Thank you very much. I hope we didn't bother you."

At the end of Id’s remark, the High Priest smiled warmly.

After meeting with the High Priest, the party bought some healing potions and left the temple. The walked towards the city to watch the festival.


The entire city seemed to be in a festive mood as there were loud noises, with many people wandering around.

Since it was almost lunch time, the party decided to find a restaurant to eat. They also heard that the festival's highlight, the magic competition, starts at one in the afternoon.

Id and the rest of his party entered a restaurant named 'Afternoon with the Faeries'. And because of its popularity, all the tables were almost occupied. Thankfully, Id and the others were able to find a big enough table for them inside. They sat down and started ordering food.

"Then I'll get this, mixed vegetables and a glass of cold beer."
"I'd like this, that, a beer... and this too."

The party ordered food and drinks by pointing out things inside the menu. Among them, it was Grey and Randolph who ordered the most.

"Now~ Let's hurry up and eat so we can leave this place quickly." Said Grey.

'Grey seems like the type who plays way too much. He looks like he doesn't know a lot of things, just like me, who came to this city for the first time.'

The situation was exactly as Id had thought. Although Grey and Hael heard things and knew more about the festival than Id, however, just like Id, it was also their first time actually seeing it happen.

In fact, just like Id, it was the first time for Ilran, Irlina, as well as Randolph to visit this city.

"Grey, when will you ever stop showing off that you're from the countryside? Stop it!"

Hael prompted Grey with a yell after feeling embarrassed with his actions.

"Why Hael? It's your first time to visit this city too. Don't you also want to see it?"
"Yeah it is, so be quiet and start eating."

Grey had finally calmed down after Hael talked to him with sharp glares.

Id, who was watching Grey, gave him a sympathetic look.

'Grey... It seems like he's completely tamed by Hael... I guess it's the same for me too? ^^;;'

After the party had finished their meals, they leisurely drank their beers and wines.

"Since we still have 40 minutes before the start of the magic competition, why don't we go shopping? I still need to buy a dagger."

After the party agreed with Irlina's suggestion, they stood up and left the restaurant.

The streets around the marketplace seemed to be two or three times more busy than usual because of the festival.

Irlina entered the weapon store to buy a dagger. The weapon store they entered looked like an old store. Inside were various type of swords and armor lined up. And in one corner, there was a middle-aged man who seemed to be the owner of the store.

"Welcome. What might you guys be looking for?"

The owner said with an inviting smile.

"I am looking for a dagger I could use. Do you have any recommendations for me? I prefer light-weight ones."

"Hmm... A dagger for an Elf... Please wait here for a second."

After saying that, the owner went inside a room. He came out a few moments later carrying a box. Inside the box were many different kinds of daggers.

"The daggers that are currently on display are pretty heavy, but there are also light-weight ones, which are mostly used as a fashion. But these here, inside the box, are made and bought for their utility. Take a look and let me know if there's something that interests you."

As the owner was talking, he showed the box filled with daggers to Irlina.

Irlina, who was in need of a dagger, examined each of them carefully, while the others browsed through them as well. Id also examined the daggers since he didn't possess a dagger.

Before long, Id picked up a dagger with a white flower emblem embroidered on it.

The dagger he picked up was a little longer and thinner compared to the other daggers, although not by a large margin. The handle was covered with leather, which attracted Id's attention even more. He felt a 'cool' feeling as he picked it up.

Right then, Id heard a beautiful voice, which seemed to be resonating inside his heart.

[Id-nim, I found magic fluctuating inside the sword you're holding. But the magic seems to be be sealed.]

Id was bewildered for a brief moment as he heard the voice coming from deep inside him, but he soon thought of Lamia.

'I was surprised. But then again, it's probably because I haven't spoken to her since I left Greydrone's lair. Besides, who would think of talking to a sword? And it's a magic sword at that!'

'Lamia, can you find any other magic swords here in the store?'

[Yes, it's possible. I will try to find it now. Detect Magic Hard Blade.]

[Found them. There are two other swords. I will send the images to your eyes.]

'There are two other magic blades in the store? What kind of store has that much magical items? Then again, this store probably purchased a lot of things.'

Soon, Id saw two other blades glowing in blue hue, and immediately picked them up. One of the blades was a simple dagger, while the other was a dirk with one sharp edge. The dagger was light-weight, it was exactly the kind of dagger Irlina was looking for.

"Mister, I'll buy these three blades. Irlina, you can use this dagger. It's pretty light."

Without asking for his party members' opinion, Id bought the three blades. All the weapons Id bought was purchased from elsewhere. The totaled price of the three weapons was about 50 Silver.

(The monetary unit in this world is as follows: 1 Silver, 1 Gold, 1 Rune. 100 Silver is equal to 1 Gold, and 100 Gold is equal to 1 Rune. A typical family's monthly spendings was about 20 Silver. A Rune is mostly used by the Royal Family members and Nobles, and was almost never used by commoners.)

However, when Id exchanged a jewel in the last village, he received 10 Rune. So for him, 50 Silver was not a problem.

"Here's 50 Silver. Could I see other swords you have in store, and armor as well?

Since Id was able to find three magical weapons, he wondered if there were any other magical items inside the store. Although Id did not know the true value of the items, he had a general understanding it was pretty expensive.

However, Id did not know the total value of the three swords he bought was already close to 1 Rune.

After all, if people knew they were magical items, and because of their rarity, people will not sell them off readily.

Id only knew magical items were rare and very expensive, because he remembered Grey telling him about them.

"Of course you can take a look at the items in store. Not only the ones in display, but also the ones in the storehouse."

“Thank you, Sir.”

Id talked to Lamia while looking around the armor and swords in the store.

'Lamia, is there any more magical items here?'

[No. It seems like there isn't any more magical items in here.]

"It seems like what I'm looking for isn't here. Can I take a look at the items inside?"
"Of course. Please follow me."

While following the owner inside, Grey asked Id.

"What are you doing Id? We don't need any more swords. And armor? Are you going to wear it?"

'He sure talks a lot. Not to mention, it's going to benefit him as well.'

"Be quiet. We'll never know, we might get lucky today."

"What on earth are you talking about? You better answer properly and not get a Dwarf annoyed!"

"I will answer your questions once we are out of the store. So just wait until then!"

The place where the owner led Id and his party members, was a storehouse. Inside the storehouse, there were various swords, armor, and other types of weapons lying around.

"The place is a little disorganized, but I hope you can find whatever it is you're looking for."

"No, it's alright."

'Just how exactly is this 'a little' disorganized? Lamia, see if you can find them for me.'

[Detecting for more magic items... One magical item Id-nim is looking for has been detected. I will send the image of it to you now.]

Soon, Id saw a spot glowing in a blue hue.

Id walked to the spot and started digging. He then found a sword. It was a black Long-Sword. The scabbard of the sword had corroded, as if it has been there for a really long time.

'Is this the only magical item here? Well, I guess it's already an amazing feat to find four magical items in one single store. This sword is similar to the ones used in Middle Kingdom, so it shouldn't be too hard to use!'
T/N: Middle Kingdom is where Id was from.

This man still does not understand /in detailed}, the true powers of his sword, Lamia.

"How much is this sword?"

"That sword is pretty old... So just give me 20 Silver for that. Wait here, I think I have a scabbard for that sword."

'Scabbard... Wait a minute. Lamia, is the scabbard of the sword directly linked with magic?'

[There isn't any magic linked to the scabbard. Only the sword itself seems to be enchanted with magic.]

'Hmm... Then I guess there's no problem if I changed the scabbard. But what will I do with two swords?'

Id left the store after he received the new scabbard.

He then looked around and gave a command to Lamia.

'Lamia, take a look around and see if there are any magical items around here.'

Id hoped for another lucky encounter, but the answer was as he expected.

[There are no more magical items here.]

"I guess it's just because the store is old, that's why he had weapons such as these. In any case, today's a lucky day."

"What do you mean it's lucky day? You'll have to tell what this is all about."

Grey and the rest of his party members asked curiously.

"So here! Irlina, since it's you, you can probably tell what kind of dagger this is, right?"

Confused, Irlina received the dagger from Id. But soon became bewildered and stared at Id with surprise.

"Why Id, this is a magic sword!"
"What! A magic sword?!~"
"It that true?"

Ilran took a look at the dagger and start examining it. Then he said.

"Hmm... It's not a powerful magic, instead, it is enchanted with some kind of 'Wind Blade' magic. Still, it's quite amazing. But Id, if this is a magical item, then the others are also..."

"That's right. As you can see, all these weapons are magical items."

"You're amazing Id. But isn't this called profiteering*? Those magical items are rare and very expensive..."
T/N: * It means making money/revenue by unethical/fraudulent means.

"I don't think it really matters since the other party didn't know what this weapon really was. And this dirk is for you, Hael."

Again, Ilran examined the dirk and explained.

"This weapon is enchanted with shield protection magic."

Id, then showed another weapon to Ilran, and asked.

"Ilran, do you know what kind of magic is in this sword?"

"Let's see! I'm not sure for certain, but I think it has some sort of lightning magic such as 'Lightning Bolt' and protection magic."

'Should I also show him the other dagger? Nah, I'll just ask Lamia about it, and since it's sealed Ilran would probably not be able to tell.'

"Thanks Id, for giving me a magical weapon."

Irlina and Hael came up to Id and showed their gratitude towards him.

"It's nothing to worry about. Besides, I bought them for a cheap price, and I won't need to use all these weapons, plus they’re just carry-ons. It's about time we go and see the magic competition."

"Right. Ilran, where is the competition being held?"

Grey asked Ilran as he looked at the magical weapons with envy.

"Let's see... Ah, right. It's supposed to be held right in front of the Magic Academy, where they built an arena. Come on, let's go."

Ilran, who was familiar with the city, lead the party to the venue.

However, there was something bothering Id. He had Lamia, there was also a dagger on his waist, and then there was the longsword, which kept bothering him.

'Should I just give this to Grey? It seems like a waste even though I already have Lamia.'

While he was contemplating, Ilran led the group to the venue of the competition. It was close to the market, so it did not take long to get there. Although the competition has not started when the party arrived, the place was almost filled to the brim. The only place left vacant was close to the arena. People did not want to sit close up front because of the possible danger. However, to Id's party, it was not a big deal for them since they had a Magician in their party — Ilran.


Shortly after, a few people came and sat near them.

One of the people was an old man who looked like a Magician, while the others were a Knight, a Swordsman, and another young Knight.

They seemed to know each other and started having conversations amongst themselves.

"Hello everyone. I am the headmaster of Greensylt Magic Academy and Lasillin Magic Academy. We will now commence the pride and joy of both academy, the magic competition.

The winner will receive a one class advancement and a Silver Rod. The runner-up will also receive one class advancement. However, Magicians and Swordsmen who are not enrolled in the academy are also allowed to compete in this magic competition. Therefore, I must emphasize that there must not be any bloodshed or any serious injuries.

Finally, for the winners who are not enrolled in any of the academies, will receive a scroll for Magicians, and a magical sword for Swordsmen. This sword is made by our Academy. It is enchanted with protection magic. Now, let the competition begin, and best of luck to all participants."

As the headmaster finished his speech, fireworks blasted into the sky.

*Swish… Swish sss boom boom*
AnmesicCat: Yes, I know I suck at coming up with fireworks sounds...

"Now, please let me introduce to you the participants! The participants for the first round are students from the academy. Ruin and Crain! Let's get this show on the road!"

After the introduction, two young men came up to the stage and greeted each other. They were both wearing Magician Robes.

The young man with shoulder-length blonde hair, Ruin, was first to attack.

"Fire Storm!"

True to its name, it was exactly like a storm of fire. Although every 'raindrop' was small and weak, its range was wide, thus it was hard to dodge.

"Water Blaster!"

The student named Crain tried to use huge streams of water to prevent fire raindrops from coming towards him and attacked.

"Water Shield!"

Ruin used the skill called 'Water Shield' to block Crain's 'Water Blaster'. This attack showed minor differences in their magic abilities.

'It seems the guy named Ruin is better. Blocking water with water, making it seems like Crain's attack got sucked in.'

Id was observing the battle with keen interest.

A few moments later, as expected, the guy named Ruin won by pushing his opponent off with 'Wind Block'.

Unlike the first round, the next round was between two Swordsmen. They were both approximately 20 years of age, and they both stood shirtless on stage, with confident expressions on their faces.

'There's nothing special about them. Even toddlers back in Middle Kingdom have better skills than them.'

Just as Id had predicted, the fight was quite boring and ended quickly.

"What kind of match was that? Right Id? I can probably do better than that."

"Yeah, yeah. I know."

Soon, the third round started, right after a Magician and a Swordsman took the stage.

The Magician seemed to be a student of the academy, whereas the Swordsman looked like he has a mercenary in his mid-20s.

"Hmm... This match seems like it'll be boring as well."
"Id, what do you mean by it's going to be boring?"

"Hael, if you take a look at the Magician, he looks very anxious, while the Swordsman looks very calm, which can only mean he has a lot of fighting experience. It also means he has fought with several Magicians before, whereas that Magician has zero combat experience. So it's pretty easy to guess the outcome of the match."

"Oh? Surprisingly, the Lady knows her stuff"

Right when Id finished explaining, the young Knight, who was sitting next to them, starting talking to Id.

Although Id was mistakened as a girl, he did not get angry. He would have gotten angry if he was mistaken for a girl once or twice, but since it has happened hundreds of times, it was pointless to get angry.

"Ha~ It's not that much of a big deal. And I'd also like you to know I'm not a lady."

"Yeah? Ah... Yeah... I-is that so? My apologies."

After he had apologized, he turned his attention towards the stage, however, his friend decided to jump in.

"Hey, did you really believe that? By saying she's not a lady, she's trying to tell you she's not interested. Although, it's quite weird to reject someone that way. You should keep pushing for it."

"Hey, you better not do that..."

Although the middle-aged Swordsman was encouraging the young Knight, the middle-aged Knight tried to stop him. Judging from their conversation, they seemed to be close friends.

Although their conversation was not too loud, it was loud enough for Id and his party members to overhear.

They thought Id told the young Knight he was a man because he was not interested in him. Therefore they spoke loud enough for Id to hear their conversation, and attract his attention.

Overhearing their conversation, Id's party members focused their attention on him. They weren’t paying attention to the match, since the Magician, just as Id had predicted, did not perform well. They were more interested in Id because he looked like he might explode at any time.

"You've said too much for us to hear. Granting you're free to say whatever you want, you should never change another person's gender."

"No, No. The lady is only a bit upset. Don't act like that. Despite his looks, he's pretty skilled, you know. He's also the son of Earl Klein, so he's from a family with good background. So don't hate him too much."

He answered slyly and smirked at Id.

'I really hate shrewd people like him...'

"What evidence do you have that proves I'm a girl? Why can't you accept the fact when I tell you I'm a guy? Who do you think you are?"

"Ho~ The lady is excellent with her words. Look, you don't have to get that angry. Besides, who's going to believe you're a guy with a lovely face and beautiful hair like yours?"

"Look mister. What is wrong with believing I'm a guy? And I've also heard a male Elf looks a lot more beautiful than me, aren't they?"

"Only because he's an Elf while you're a human. So your argument doesn't make sense."

"I will slash you if you continue saying that."

Id suddenly stopped using formal language. However, the other guy was still smirking slyly.

"The lady seems to know how to use a sword. That's great. The Klein family is a military family, so it's good for a wife to know how to use a sword!"

"Hey, I think you should really stop saying that..."

Just when Earl Klein was stopping his friend, Id sent out a punch. However, Id and the Swordsman were still three meters apart, a distance which could not be reached by a mere fist.

After Id had punched at the Swordsman, the Swordsman suddenly grabbed his stomach in pain, and stepped back.

"What the..."
"How did he..."
"H-how... From so far away..."

"Will you listen to me now? Excessively making fun of people will not help you live longer."

It seems this guy's appearance had become small gossip...

However, no one was paying any attention to what Id had said. Everyone was busy watching Id and the fallen Swordsman. Soon, the Swordsman stood up and stared at Id, as if he forgot his stinging stomach.

"Lady... No, no... Just now, how did you do that? How can you punch and hit a person from that distance?"

'So that's what he wants to talk about? He should apologize first!'

"Why would I want to tell about about it? I don’t think I have any reason to do so."

"Um... That's..."

Id examined the Swordsman, who seemed to be embarrassed. The Swordsman knew he had no right to ask such questions after making fun of Id. However, the Knight next to him, Earl Klein, decided to interfere at that moment. He was also curious about how Id punched the Swordsman from a distance.

"Look young man, how about we stop this squabble and call it truce with this friend of mine. He didn't have any bad intent. It seems you guys are here to watch the match, how about I buy you drinks after the match is over?"

Id calmed down a little after hearing Earl Klein's suggestion. Since he wasn't very angry to begin with, and since it was an Earl, who was talking to him, it was hard for him to remain angry.

"Since you've said it in that way, I've got nothing else to say. I'm sorry for attacking him earlier, so we can call it truce now."

"Hahaha. That's good. Then, let's all sit back down."

After everyone had sat back down, Grey and Ilran confronted Id.

"Id, how can you speak like that in front of an Earl?"

"Id, you're lucky the Earl seems to be an easy-going guy. If it was some other Nobleman, they would have tried to kill you! So you better watch out from now on."

"I will. I didn't know what an Earl is. Well, now that I have some slight idea, I will try to be more careful. But I'm not a citizen of this country (or any other country in this world), so I don't care about those kinds of things all that much. So please understand when things like this happens again."

Right then, a hue of white light exploded on the stage, and there was a sound effect of someone falling down.

When Id looked at the stage, there stood one girl, who was surrounded by something, which emitted a bright white light. While of the other side of the stage, was a young man wearing a robe, laying flat on the ground. A few people ran towards the stage and transported the young man out of the stage. Meanwhile, the announcer reported that the girl had won the match.

"What? Ilran, what's that thing floating over there?"

"I think it's a spirit and that person looks like a Conjuring Magician."

'Conjuring magic?... Is that some sort of collecting the energy that makes up this world?'

The Knights who came to watch the Magician did a further explanation.

"That's the spirit of light, Laead. Although it belongs in the lower tier of spirits... I believe it has good destructive power. That person's name is Reinian Klein, Earl Klein's daughter, and this over here is Laint. She's his younger sister. We're actually here to see that girl participate in this competition."

The group all turned to look at the girl. Now that they examined her carefully, she does seem to look a little similar to Earl Klein.

With the end of the girl's match, the competition had ended for the day. She came down from the stage and greeted the Earl and the others.

"You did great Reina. Greet them as well. They are people we got to know while watching the competition."

The party hurried to introduce themselves first because they found it unacceptable to receive greetings from Nobility beforehand.

"Nice to meet you. My name is Ilran Howgun, a Magician. This Swordsman here is Grey Lanatus, a follower of Ilian, Priest Hael Ilsain, and this is my dear friend Randolph Torciano. This person where is named Irlina, and this here is a friend who uses a sword named Lamia."

Ilran introduced the party one by one. Only Irlina's and Id's full name was excluded because he didn't know what it was.

"Nice to meet you all. I'm Reinian Klein. You guys seem to like adventures."

"Yeah. I'm currently performing pilgrimage as a celebrant of Ilian, and travelling with them."

"Ha~ Now that we've all introduced ourselves, let's go eat."

Earl Klein led Id and his party to his home. The location of his home was quite near to the venue of the competition.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Ark: Volume 1 Chapter 7

This chapter is brought to you by AnmesicCat, Haikai, Hikaru, Lei, and Mathew1122. Special mentions to Lastear, Masadeer, and Midori.


Warning: This chapter might cause severe stomach and cheek muscle aches. Death might follow.

“Damn it.”

He subconsciously swore out loud.

In conclusion, the job change was a mistake.

Ark disliked hunting in a party. There wasn’t a single person he could trust, and their attitudes could change over a single valuable magic item, leading to an argument. He found these sorts of situations repulsive. Rather than suffering from such mess, he was far more comfortable hunting alone, even if it was a little more difficult.

This was the reason why Ark preferred a combat-relation profession.

Thieves who stabs their enemies’ weak point, or Magicians who boasts of having power to deal a one hit fatal blow weren’t bad either. However, these professions could only genuinely shine in parties.

On the other hand, although Warriors weren’t all that special, and didn’t particularly have any exceptional skill, they had high Stamina and Defense. That wasn’t all — they also received bonus bag space and in addition, they had resistance to all sorts of ailments. Thus, it wasn’t wrong to say they were professions perfect for soloing.

But the profession ‘Dark Walker’ was closer to a Thief than a Warrior.

Dark Walker, one who walks the night. He should have guessed when he heard the name.

It was a matter of fact that the profession's bonus stats focused on, Agility, Intelligence, and Luck. But even then, all the additional stats were evenly matched to a Thief's.

No, it’d be better to be a regular Thief. If you debate about it, a Thief is a combat-related profession. If you look at the Summoning skill, or the Intelligence stat bonuses, it seems like this profession included a Magician’s traits to some degree.

‘Agility is fine, since it influences critical hits, attack speed, and evasion rate, but Intelligence and Luck? In the end, it’s unclear whether it’s a Thief-related or Magician-related profession, or maybe even a Cleric.’

Hybrid-characters. They sound good and all, but in reality, it just means they were neither one, nor the other.

With the additional stats totalled to 60, he had gained a bonus amount doubled that of a standard job-change for a normal profession.

There was nothing problematic stat-wise. However, there were a lot of cases where stat bonuses added by a job change influenced the profession’s ability as a whole. This meant that whether he liked it or not, he would have to diligently raise those three stats…

‘And whose fault is it? The one who jumped the fence after hearing of a hidden profession was me. It was my mistake.’

He let out a stifled sigh.

But what could he do about the profession he had already chosen?

Similar to how he was mice hunting in Harun, if Ark focused on one thing, he had the propensity to obstinately dig his heels in. Be as it may, he was quick to give up if he thought he couldn’t do anything about the situation.

At this moment, the situation was exactly the same. In any case, he couldn’t turn back time even if he regretted it. So he thought he should make the best out of the current mishap to try and understand the Dark Walker profession and its special characteristics, and quickly adapt to it with the best of his abilities.

‘No, it’s still a hidden profession. It’s because I’ve been thinking about being Warrior too much. It’s probably not all that bad. If I nurture the profession’s advantages, I’m sure I’ll find more good points. Okay, calm down and examine it carefully. First of all, it seems fundamentally similar to a Thief. Summoning is definitely one of this profession’s unique point. In other words, the profession’s nature will be decided depending on how Summoning is used, right?’

Anyhow, he could summon up to three Demons that he could handle at will.

‘If I use these guys, won’t I be able to hunt solo?’

“Summon Demon.”

Ark welled with expectation and called out the Summon skill, spending the newly formed Spiritual Power points. However, as soon as he examined the Familiar he summoned, the speck of expectation in his heart crumbled to bits.

‘Wha-what is this. This is?’

The summoned Familiar appeared with a blinding flash was just a Skull.

The skull briefly checked its surroundings with eyes of hazy light. It discovered Ark and chattered its teeth together, making a clattering sound.

Ark hastily opened the information window.

Nameless Dead Man’s Skull

    The skull of a low-class dead man that had been wandering in the Netherworld. There is nothing special about it. However, it holds unwavering loyalty for the master who saved it from the Netherworld.






















In other words, apart from its loyalty, it was a bloke no different from a pebble on the roadside.

“Are you kidding me? If it doesn’t have an ability, it should at least have been pretty.”

He exploded in anger, but the Skull simply tumbled around. Ark grinded his teeth as he restored his Spiritual Power and called out the two remaining Familiars.

Hatred-Bearing Bat

    A low-class Bat ostracized in the Netherworld. Having suffered rejection for a long time, it bears frustration and hatred towards the world. Because of its hatred, it cannot be completely loyal to its master. To expect its loyalty, you must first gain its trust.






















‘Oh great, now it’s a loser bat?’

A Hatred-bearing Bat? He had to gain its trust? There really were all kinds of crap. However, compared to the familiar that appeared last, the first two were aristocracy.

Netherworld’s Egg

    A firm shelled egg all high-class Demonic beings of the Netherworld enjoyed eating.





















Upon seeing the egg appearing before him, he omitted all feelings of wanting to be angry.

‘An egg? What exactly could you use it for? So what if it’s as firm as a rock? Is it asking to be thrown?’

With these three Familiars in front of him, he couldn’t fathom what the hell they were used for. Ark was stunned.

Hidden professions usually had two types of natures.

One, they held the possibility of becoming a hero through their exceptional abilities. While the other was a profession made through an event for fun and games, which was no more than just a unique profession.

By the looks of it, it appeared the profession Ark had found was of the latter type.

He did think the three Familiars he summoned were interesting, but that was all there was to it.

They weren’t even Halloween decorations… What help would a Skull, Bat, and Egg be?

However, there wasn’t anything that could be done about it.

In New World, a one-time choice would determine one’s fate. In a way, it was more cold-hearted than reality. In a world such as this, having already made his choice, there was no way to turn back.


An absurd laugh escaped Ark’s lips.

Ark quickly gave up. But it wasn’t the ‘whatever happens, happens’ kind of surrender.

Someone once said ‘If you can’t avoid it, enjoy it’. It’s quite a famous saying.

Ark had lived with those words engraved in his heart. That’s why no matter what situation he was in, he had never pitied himself before. If he harbored even a morsel of self-pity, he wouldn’t have been able to endure until now.

“The penalty in Harun Village, and then changing my profession to an unwanted one. With so many failures, I can’t even get angry anymore. Alright, let’s give it a try. Bad luck? Don’t make me laugh. Without fail, I’m gonna try turning this ridiculous character into a Warrior.”

If the profession wasn’t satisfactory, he just had to raise his level more than others. If raising his level wasn’t enough, then he could also raise his skill like crazy.

New World was a game with high degrees of freedom.

Just because he’d selected his profession didn’t mean that it would decide everything. Even if it wasn’t a special technique, there were plenty of common skills he could learn. With a close choice from that boundless array, he could shape the way his character developed in all sorts of manners.

Although there were cases where a lot of penalties were applied because of the profession, there were more skills he could learn than skills he couldn’t learn.

A Warrior-type Magician. Thief-type Warrior, etc… that meant with effort, making a versatile Multi-Character wasn’t just impossible, but what he had to believe in now was just that endless freedom.

“If I’ve made my decision, there’s no time to sit around.”

Ark sprang up and headed to the hunting ground.

Level 20-30 monsters he could catch were scattered in the Jackson area. Currently, Ark’s level was 21.

It was good enough to set Jackson as his base and do his grinding.


From that day on, Ark immersed himself hunting in day and night.

The opponent Ark had chosen in the beginning was a mud monster called Harpoon. Its body was made of mud, so he couldn’t strike it with his sword very well, and it had a lot of health inconsistent with its level, 20. However, it wasn’t a difficult monster to fight because moved slowly.

When the fighting started, Ark won easily with a strategy of unleashing waves of attacks while circling the area around the Harpoon.

When the Harpoon collapsed, it dropped Iron Ore, an item that fetched a really nice price at the Smithy.

If his Health didn’t fall below half, Ark wouldn’t take a break. Only when his bag was filled bursting or his equipment’s durability had fallen to 5 or below did he return briefly to Jackson to address those matters.

Besides that, the rest of the time was solely devoted to bloody battles with monsters! Despite that, Ark didn’t feel fatigue. No matter how tough or tired he was, all his needs washed away with the cheerful sound of a level up.

After hanging on, frantically hunting like that for two days, his level went up by another 3, bringing him to 24. His combat-only skills, Sword Mastery and Hand-to-Hand Combat, went up considerably and were now at Intermediate as well. With that, the two skills combined and a new message information window popped up.

    Sword Mastery and Hand-to-Hand Combat have reached the maturity of an expert. Accordingly, the two techniques have combined to allow you to register Dual-Blade Combat as a legal skill. Note, if Dual-Blade Combat is registered as a legal skill, Sword Mastery and Hand-to-Hand Combat will be automatically deleted. Dual-Blade Combat (Beginner, Passive): The technique that experts of Sword Mastery and Hand-to-Hand Combat use. Although you cannot equip a shield along with it, it is an advanced combat technique that thoroughly combines deftness and keenness. It grants you additional attack power with all types of swords and knuckle-related weapons, and your evasion and critical hit rate will increase rapidly. General attack power is increased by 20%. Dual-Blade Combat’s effect dissolves shield equipping.


    A new stat has formed. Flexibility (+10): Your body becomes more flexible, allowing you to perform difficult movements skillfully. Your evasion is heightened and you receive extra points if your attack hits the mark. However, if you equip iron armor, a certain amount of the worn equipment's effect will drop. Stat distribution is impossible, and if you succeed in performing evasion movements of difficult techniques, it will increase automatically.

Ark’s eyes lit up.

Was there anything that made a user happier when it came down to a character’s growth?

With the level and skill growth, he could definitely feel himself getting stronger. Hand-to-Hand Combat was a skill especially well suited to Ark’s fighting style.

Ark’s tactic of leaving enough space, discharge attacks and delivering the finishing blow at the chance were all techniques he’d learned from Taekwondo. If he packed the sensation directly into his sword, he would undoubtedly scored a critical hit.

With the skill ‘Eyes of the Cat’ included, it made his critical hit rate even higher. And because of that, a frenzied battle with exploding critical hits wildly unfurled.

Defeating a monster took less than just 1 minute. Although he was bent on believing that he was a Warrior-type, his fighting style, which measured space and watched for gaps rather than blindly throwing himself in, was closer to a Thief’s.

“Alright, I think I can proceed deeper in now.”

Ark’s eyes looked towards the inner depths of the forest.

In order to ensure one’s safety when soloing, one was bound to hunt monsters at a lower level than oneself. Ark had done so until now, but this area’s monsters didn’t give him the proper amount of experience now. Ark moved forward to find stronger monsters.

However, moving his hunting ground without prior information was a mistake.

As soon as he stepped into the forest depths, he heard a menacing cry. As he raised his head reflexively, Ark’s face hardened.

In the dark, he saw five wolves prowling about with their gleaming scarlet eyes.

They had enormous bull-like bodies, black fur like the pitch-black darkness, and knife-like sharp canines. They were Dire Wolves.

‘5 Dire Wolves…!’

Dire Wolves were incomparably more powerful than normal Wolves. On top of that, it was now night time. The nocturnal Dire Wolf’s ability went up by 30 percent. They were such formidable opponents that it wasn’t certain if a level 24 would be able to handle two or three of them. Ark’s whole body stiffened rigidly with tension.

‘Damn, I was too careless. It’s too late to run away now.’

His Taekwondo-trained body judged the situation faster than his mind and moved.

The first move meant victory! It was a method used in kung fu, wrestling, and everywhere else.

Ark reduced the distance rapidly as he swung his sword landing a critical hit, with one Wolf falling back. However, the wolves were also beasts that were proficient at pack hunting. A Wolf ran in and avenged its companion with the same critical hit to his back, which he’d left neglected as he focused on attacking.

His consciousness reeled.

    - You have been critically hit! Damage 50. You have been inflicted with Bleed. Until the battle is over, you will receive 2 damage every 10 seconds.

‘So it’s insult to injury. Since I’m like this, I’ll die after I kill just one more!’

Ark faced the Wolf throng as he unleashed Dual-Blade Combat. He swung his sword wildly and clawed with his Cat Paws. He even rolled on the ground, sprang up, and whipped out kicks.

After 10 minutes of the bloody battle, three wolves collapsed. But Ark, who was inflicted with Bleed, also had to pay a price.

‘Huff huff huff, only 20 percent of my Health is left.’

“Eyes of the Cat.”

As he used the skill, Ark’s eyes turned into golden cat eyes. Their halved Healths appeared above the wolves’ heads.

‘If it goes well, I might even be able to win.’

Just when Ark had momentarily released his tension, a Wolf who had been watching for its chance didn’t miss the opportunity and rushed in.

As it flashed in front of his eyes, his Health plummeted. Ark’s body became awash in red. He’d fallen into the critical state. At the same time, message windows popped up continuously.

Undying Will and Indomitable Body, which shone more brightly in a crisis, were invoked. Attack power, critical hit and evasion rate skyrocketed!

‘It’s a chance!’

His eyes flashed as he thrusted his sword.

Clang, clang! As two critical hits landed in succession, the wolves collapsed.

Then, the remaining one lunged towards his side and charged in. Ark hastily turned his body as he swung his sword. However, fortune and misfortune were a just hair apart.

    - Your critical hit attack has missed!

If it was a normal attack, there wouldn’t have been any reason for it to miss. However, because of his skills triggering automatically when in a critical state, he was in a condition where his critical hit rate was abnormally high. That actually acted negatively. As much as a critical hit gave 2 times the damage, the miss rate was also that heightened.

“Ah, no! If I die now the stats…. SUMMON DEMON! This useless skull. Just do something!”

With his heart clutching at straws, Ark summoned the skull, grabbed it, and threw it.

The skull went flying and clamped onto the Wolf’s ankle. Although the damage was just 1, it succeeded in stopping the movements of the Wolf that had rushed in with its bared fangs. It was a chance he’d never even dreamed of.

Ark closed the space in one burst as he thrusted his sword, and a flash exploded out.

    - You have landed a critical hit. As a co-op bonus with the Skull, 30% of the damage has been added.


The Wolf howled its death throes as it collapsed.

It was a miracle-like victory. Ark, who realized that he’d narrowly won, checked and saw that his remaining health was a mere 3. If the battle had dragged on for just 20 more seconds, he would’ve collapsed from the Bleed. The Bleed had stopped with the end of the battle, but his heart was still thumping violently as it pumped hot blood through his veins.

Arc rushed to a safe place as soon as possible. After recovering his Stamina with a simple snack, he barely managed to calm down.

Ark stared at the Skull with surprised eyes.

Like a puppy begging for praise, the Skull was rolling over and over around him. It was the same Skull that he decided not to summon again because of its disappointing appearance.

It seemed like it wouldn’t be any help, and since it would even suck Mana from him during battle, there wasn’t really any reason to pull it out. However, his life was saved thanks to the Skull, and his opinion of it had changed.

‘At least it’s better than nothing.’

“Anyways, I survived thanks to you, Skull.”

*Clack clack clack.*

The Skull clattered its teeth as if it understood his words.

For the last few days, Ark had been engrossed in hunting. Besides the occasional times when returned to the castle, he was always alone. He hadn’t felt it until now because he’d been absorbed in hunting, but he realized yet again that that the forest felt unusually broad and desolate.

“You, I’m really pleased with you.”

For one thing, it seemed like he wasn’t going to be bored if he was with the Skull. Additionally, if it could be a help like the way he’d used it just now, it was perfectly satisfactory. It would consume Mana in battle, but as long as he doesn’t use Spirit of the Cat, he didn’t particularly needed the Mana either.

“Alright, since it’s a skill that I’ve learned, should I try using it properly?”

Ark went ahead and summoned the Bat too.

Once he actually decided to use them, the Familiars had many unexpected uses.

The Bat excelled in scouting the area. If he sent the Bat before he moved in, he could reduce the chances of him being suddenly hemmed in by Wolves. It was also useful for surveying the general terrain.

The Skull and Bat also played a part in battle.


As Ark extended his hand, the Skull and Bat flew towards the Yeti.

The Skull bit the Yeti’s ankle to slow its movement, and the Bat covered its eyes to impede its vision.

Ark leisurely studied the situation and flung his sword. Then, a critical hit burst out with a considerably high rate. On top of that, the co-op attack bonus with the Familiars was added!

Just like that, he would start fighting with the monsters and cut down their health by nearly 20 percent. After getting used to this method, it was now difficult to even imagine a fight without the Familiars.

“Wahahaha, this is as useful as expected!”

Although he still hadn’t been able to figure out the Egg’s purpose, with just the Skull and the Bat, Ark’s hunting speed accelerated. Of course, they weren’t that helpful when he was fighting a strong monster. In fact, they were crushed even before he went to the nearby area and even dealt [indirect] damage to Ark’s Health.

If the Familiar was destroyed, Ark’s Health was also decreased by up to 50% of its Health. But the Familiar’s Health was just 50, it wasn’t fatal damage, and a destroyed Familiar could also be called forth again any time he wanted after 24 hours.

“Dark Walker, this might even be an unexpectedly okay profession.”

Ark became more and more enamored with the Dark Walker’s charm like this.

A character that was neither this nor that could mean that it could do anything.

As he went deeper into the forest, Ark shouted valiantly, “Forward, forward! Let’s take down everything!”



The Zombie collapsed as it screamed a grotesque shriek.

A message popped up with a cheerful sound effect.

    - Your level has risen.


Character Name











Dark Walker


Cat Knight





Spiritual Power





104 (+17)











Special stat: Knowledge of Ancient Relics


Equipment Effects

Sharply Shining Sword: Attack speed +5
Cat Paws: Attack speed +10%, Agility +15, Critical Hit Rate +10%

*All abilities are increased by 20% in the dark.

*The ability to hide your body in the dark has formed (Duration time 10 minutes. Cancelled if you start fighting).

*Resistance to horror, darkness, blinding, and charm spells is increased by 50%.

*You can bring out the true abilities from all types of tools.

‘Phew, it’s harder than I thought.’

Ark’s face was full of sweat, but he was beaming with happiness.

You receive as much reward as your suffering. There wasn’t any reason for him to complain.

As hunting became faster, his mood surged to the peak. Coasting on that mood, Ark entered the deepest part of the forest, called the Shadow Forest.

Among the areas around Jackson, this was the forest with the highest difficulty.

Even from just its atmosphere, the Shadow Forest was different from other places. Within the darkness that made it difficult to distinguish the path in front of him, the sagging branches of the old oak were intertwined like a net, and there was a bizarre kind of plant blanketing the blackened, dead ground.

The monsters that emerged were also grotesque.

Rotting Wolves, Zombies, and Ghoul-like Undead monsters spawned. Even the weakest Rotting Wolf had a higher level than Ark. Even more so was the occasionally appearing level 50 medium boss monster, Reaper, which he wouldn’t even consider approaching.

However, even the Undeads couldn’t make the high-spirited Ark afraid.

No, Ark was able to truly really realize the meaning of the name Dark Walker only when he arrived at this rotting forest.

As he entered the dark forest, a message window popped up soon afterwards.

    Dark Walker special effect: All abilities increased by 20% in the dark.

Granted, the same effect applied at night as well. However, most of the monsters’ stats go up by 30 percent at night. Ultimately, the difference that Ark could actually feel was almost nonexistent. But right now, it was currently day time. Monster stats stayed the same, while Ark’s stats rose.

Although Ark’s level was 26, he actually had the abilities of a level 30!

Since all of his skills and stats were enhanced, the difference was enormous. Even late level 20s Rotting Wolves were no match for him.

It was to the point that he didn’t have a whole lot of difficulty fighting Zombies and Ghouls in their early level 30s.

On top of that, one of his profession techniques was ‘Hiding’. Although there wasn’t any effect when he was already discovered, but if he used it appropriately, he could leisurely rest in a place crawling with monsters.

A profession which demonstrated its true ability in the dark, that’s what Dark Walker profession was. Because of the Dark Walker’s special ability, he was able to hunt monsters that Ark couldn’t normally defeat at his level.

That wasn’t all. When a user defeats a monster 5 levels above theirs, additional experience is granted. With that, the experience that seemed to have stopped before he entered the forest was now surging up.

‘It also drops a lot of japtem, I’m really getting immerse in this hunt’

Ark was in high spirits.

The Undead monsters dropped quite a lot of items. Even so, for the most part they were lumps of rotted meat and the like, but occasionally it also dropped equipment like a dagger, gloves, or shoes.

The japtem were neatly piling up in his bag. Granted, they were lousy items that would be difficult to sell for even a few coppers if he tried.

However, Ark, who had eked out a living through part-time jobs, knew this. They say that many drops makes an ocean. If you gathered even a few coppers, it would eventually become silver and then gold.

Ark personally equipped a few of them.

Used Worn-out Shoes

Armor Type

Leather Shoes







Usage Restriction


    Shoes used by an Undead for his entire lifetime. The worn and faded leather emanates rotten smell. No matter how skilled a craftsman maybe, they will not be able to repair this pairs of shoes to be worth wearing.


Dirty Leather Hat

Armor Type

Leather Helmet







Usage Restriction


    A leather hat used Undead in his lifetime. It’s a hat that looks like it would struggle to block a raindrop, let alone a sword.

Stat or appearance, they were too wretched for words. With the tattered shoes and hat on, at a distance who would have been mistaken for a beggar. In addition, the material was made out of leather, so the rotting smell was so bad, it paralyzed the sense of smell.

Ark laughed exultantly nevertheless. Purchasing shoes and a hat that lacked defence from a shop would cost a wasteful 50 silvers, at the very least. It was better to hunt while smelling the rotten scent than to spend 50 silvers.

On top of that, they even had defence, so nothing was left to desire.

Ark was extremely pleased with the Shadow Forest.

He received stat bonus and his experience went up quickly. Useful items sometimes dropped as well. Would there be another place as delightful as this one while playing the game? If he could, he wanted to hunt in the Shadow Forest for several days.

However, a problem he hadn’t expected arose. What Ark had actually been worried about was the equipment’s durability.

He hadn’t learned the repair skill yet, because he hadn’t felt the need for it.

After finishing the quest in Jackson, if there was something Ark had earned, it was the right to utilize the Lord’s personal facilities. Among those was the Lord’s foremost Smithy. If he used that place, they repaired his equipment for half the price of normal Smithies.

Since he’d been hunting around Jackson, there wasn’t a need to pay out expensive fee to learn the skill. That’s why Ark found it troublesome if the durability was suddenly exhausted in a hunting ground far away from Jackson.

However, an even worse problem occurred in an element he’d truly never expected.

It was food.

Ark had prepared just 10 wheat breads when he left Jackson. Since he had Survival Cooking, he’d planned on acquiring ingredients here and there, making food, and eating. Although he was able to do that in the forest where he last hunted, the Shadow Forest was not an ordinary forest.

Of course he saw tons of food ingredients in the Shadow Forest, but the forest was a place where Undead roamed around in broad daylight. He couldn’t find any normal looking food ingredients.

The mushrooms or even the grass looked like eyeballs or intestines. Simply imagining how it would taste or feel to chew made him shudder. No, the taste was fine no matter how it was. The problem was that Ark wouldn’t know what kind of effect the cooking he learned would have, a characteristic of Survival Cooking.

‘That’s definitely dangerous. It has dangerous sign written on it.’

Perhaps it was because the grade of the ingredient was too high, he couldn’t figure out its information with his beginner Ingredient Identification skill.

But could he find out by just looking at the information?

They didn’t have a skull mark, but they were food ingredients that devoted every fiber of their being to claim they were dangerous.

Ark was able to hunt comfortably in the Shadow Forest thanks to his hiding ability. But if he made the wrong food, ate it, got catches a Confusion hex and ran amok, he’d become an Undead’s meal right there and then. If it wasn't a safe place, it was better not to make a new Survival Cooking meal.

'I'm gonna go crazy. The wheat bread is already gone, and even my recovery rate has dropped by 50 percent. Eventually, there will be some penalty... Do I have to go all the way back to the village even if it takes 1~2 hours? Or should I put my life on the line and try making and eating it?’

As Ark rummaged in his bag, an ingenious thought suddenly came to mind.

'Of course. Why didn't I think of that?'

"Summon Demon, Netherworld's Egg!"

At Ark's cry, the Egg Familiar appeared.

It was the Familiar Ark hadn't bothered with, because unlike the Skull and Bat, it was a good-for-nothing. Ark had thought there'd be no reason to summon it again, but the Familiar’s purpose had finally surfaced.

Ark swallowed his saliva as he gazed at the Netherworld's Egg.

'Even if it was a Summoned, in the end it was only slightly larger than a normal egg. There's no reason why it can't be used as a food ingredient. Since it was said the Demonic beings also ate it frequently, and an ingredient is an ingredient. An egg will be better than those disgusting ingredients in the forest. And even if a Summon disappears, I can call it again. If it goes well, it might even become an ingredient I can use limitlessly. I’m sure of it, the Egg’s purpose was probably this from the start.’

Ark grinned as he put the Netherworld’s Egg in the pot.

“Huhuhu, an egg is a wealth of protein. A meal of enormous effect might even be born.”

Then he added a little amount of normal food ingredients he had left and began to boil it.

So how was it? Light spewed from the cooking, which wafted a really reasonable aroma. The message that the cooking had succeeded showed up. Now, all that was left was to taste it.

“Ohhh, it succeeded. It succeeded — Boiled Egg!”

Just as Ark reached out to raise the Egg while humming a tune, all the food inside the pot suddenly vanished. Soon afterward, a message window he’d never seen before popped up along with the gloomy laughter as background music.

    - You have completed Survival Cooking. However, ‘Netherworld’s Egg’ has absorbed all of it. There is no effect on Netherworld’s Egg. You have not grasped what kind of effect the cooking has.

“Wha-what? Absorb?”

Ark stared at the Egg with a dumbfounded expression.

He needed a considerable amount of time before he was able to understand the situation.

‘The egg absorbed the cooking. Then, does that mean the Egg as a whole wasn’t used as a cooking ingredient? But absorbed? What the hell does that mean?’

Ark, who had his head tilted sideways, suddenly raised his head.

‘What, in the end it means the Egg went and ate the cooking! If so…?’

Ark’s line of vision shifted to the Skull.

Ultimately, it meant that Summons could also eat food! As soon as he realized that, yet another method flashed through his mind like lightning and surfaced. Ark quickly made a new meal.

There was no need to agonize, either. Food ingredients were everywhere around him. He roughly gather food ingredients around him and dumped them inside the pot. After several failures, he completed a soup radiating a peculiar smell.

Ark gestured to the Skull with tender eyes.

“Here, Skull. Try eating this.”

The Skull stared with sunken eyes and approached him with hesitation.

After dunking itself into the soup, it jumped right out and collapsed.

The Skull shot reproachful looks that said ‘why did you do something like this to me’ at him and slowly disappeared.

    - Nameless Dead Man’s Skull has received an intense shock. Damage 50! - Nameless Dead Man’s Skull has disappeared to the Netherworld. You can summon it again after 24 hours. - The food you made through Survival Cooking is ‘Soup of Horrifying Taste’. Just having a sip of it will deal an enormous shock with its incredibly repugnant taste. Wrap it up well and send it to a mean opponent as a present.

“It was as I expected!”

Ark nodded vigorously. Familiars could eat food after all. And after a Familiar of his had eaten the food he made, it was added to the Survival Cooking’s catalog. In other words, no matter who ate it, it was fine as long as Ark checked the cooking’s effect. There was no reason to test out its danger personally!

How anxious he’d been until now every time he made a new meal...

“Cooking has suddenly become enjoyable. After all, food has to be made for the sake of others.”

Ark made food again as he hummed a tune.

However, the Bat was not as loyal as the Skull. The Bat, which had witnessed the horrific scene of the Skull eating the food and falling over, was filled with fear and backed away furtively. Of course, Ark wasn’t one to let it off because of that.

After grabbing the Bat and shoving it into the salad-filled pot, another message window popped up.

    The food you have made through Survival Cooking is Suspicious Herb Salad. It appears extremely suspicious, but it actually has the effect of recovering Stamina quickly. Recovery rate +50%. Restores up to 150 Health over 30 seconds.

Ark immediately remade and ate food after confirming its effects.

The Shadow Forest’s ratio of poisonous and edible food ingredients were half and half. The problem was that the poisonous ones’ toxicity was extremely powerful. There were a lot of foods that could send Ark off after one bite if he ate them thoughtlessly. However, Ark didn’t worry at all.

He didn’t have to shoulder the danger.

Ark, who’d found a method to figure out the effects of the food safely, had no reservations. He gathered all the ingredients he could see and made food without resting, as if he were possessed by the spirit of a head chef.

“Ohohoho, should I also try putting rotted meat in there this time?”

The Skull and Bat were hugging each other tightly as they trembled from the ever-changing approaching horror.

Ark beamed as he said, “At least it’s better than your master, me, dying. Right?”

But they were slaves to their wicked master, and had no place to run. The Skull and Bat were helplessly wandering between life and death. After a few hours, the Skull, which had a loyalty of 200, had a different light to its eyes when it looked at Ark. The Bat that had a low loyalty to begin with even attempted to escape.

“Hmmm, even if you try to flee, you can’t hide. Cancel Summon. Resummon, Bat.”

The Bat who had fled a significant distance disappeared and appeared in front of Ark’s nose.

Ark glared at the squirming Bat as he scolded, “You cheeky rascal, this is your third time.”

Ark mercilessly shoved the Bat into the pot.

The firmly stuck and trembling Bat suddenly screamed.


In the meantime, a message window came up.

    - As an effect of the mysterious food, the stats of ‘Hatred-bearing Bat’ have increased.

Hatred-Bearing Bat







50 (+5)




5 (+1)


10 (+1)


10 (+1)


10 (+1)


10 (+2)



    * The ability to communicate with the Summoner through language has formed (Note, a food it has eaten once will not have an effect the second time. Only new foods stimulate a Familiar of the Netherworld and bring out its hidden power.)

“Ara, what’s this? A Familiar’s stats can also increase through food?”

Ark’s eyes widened.

He hadn’t even thought that Familiars could grow.

Granted, he could tell from reading the information window that it wasn't that easy to fulfill the conditions. He had to make and find the right food for the Familiar among hundreds of meals. Plus, he could raise its stats through the same food just one time. If he wanted to raise its stats again, he had to find a new food.

It was a dizzying task that used countless ingredients and an innumerable amount of labor. But even if it was impossible, the fact that a Familiar’s stats could be raised was the difference between heaven and earth.

It was possible. That meant it was worth trying. More so if it weren’t just stats that rose, but new abilities that formed as well.

“But for the first formed ability to be language capability… It wanted to communicate with me that much?"

If monsters were similar to users, then they would also first learn the skill they needed most.

Ark stared at the Bat with surprised eyes. The Bat was flapping as it gnashed its teeth.

"What nonsense, master! Are you spewing such crap because you don't know why I wanted to speak? Like master, we also feel taste and feel pain! I'd rather die than eat that horrible food!"

“Are you defying your master right now?”

“I-I’m not defying. I’m asserting my right!”

"Do you think that way too, Skull?"

As Ark turned his head a little, the Skull with a loyalty of 200 quickly shook its head.

The Bat leapt up.

“Thi-this traitor!”

"If you keep squealing, I'll expand your food intake by 2 times."


The Bat let loose a stifled cry and shut its mouth.

To be fair, how terrible was eating the food that it even developed a speaking ability? As wicked as Ark was, when he saw this kind of response from the Familiar, he also felt a little sorry.

"Alright, we'll do it less often in the future."

"But doesn't that mean we still have to eat?"

"As your master, why would I be doing it with bad intentions? This is all for your own good. Don't you also want to grow?"


“I can’t lie,” Ark said confidently.

'Huhuhu, do you think I'd give up on such a comfortable method? And since I've finally found a way to make you guys useful, too.'

Now he had a definite reason to feed the Familiars the unidentified food.

He didn’t need to bat an eyelash because of feelings such as guilt. But was that the end of it? Nope. He had also gained a perfect weapon to control his Familiars

"Ri-ridiculous! I don't need it!"

"You're noisy, if you keep whining I'll only feed you from now on!"

The Bat jumped in alarm and blocked its mouth.

"Listen well. When there's battles in the future, whoever doesn't do its job properly will have to eat the food. You understand?”

"I-I get it," the Bat replied with a quavering voice.

The Skull also rocked its head back and forth as it clacked its teeth.

Ark had complete domination over the Familiars. Of course, no matter how well they listened to his orders, he had thoughts to keep feeding them food. So no matter what, the result would be the same.

"Bat, go scout the area and come back. Meticulously. You know what'll happen if you mess up, right?”

Ark had a pleased smile on his face as he watched the Bat flying frantically off.

Dark Walker, an extremely worthwhile profession.

They may be just Familiars, but he couldn’t just keep swinging his whip at them all he wanted.
Sometimes the Bat and Skull both performed in his expectations, so he exempted them from punishment.

Of course the food was given to the Egg.

'If the Skull and Bat can grow, then it's possible for the Egg, too.'

Ark's prediction hit the mark. After making it absorb a certain amount of food, a change occurred in the Egg.

It wriggled, and small cracks also appeared on its surface. They were miniscule changes that couldn't be detected without careful inspection, but it was definite proof that it could grow with food.