Chapter 111 - Black Tree (1)
“I've heard the news. I heard you have granted a big boon to the Magician's Tower. I heard you are helping us out in a major way.”
“Let's just go.”
It was a very dark hallway. There weren't any light source around, so one had to rely on the candle in one's hand to traverse the hallway. If the stairway heading towards the lower floor wasn't distinct, it would have been strange to see someone roll several dozen times down the stairs. Not too far ahead, one could see a spiral staircase, and the path downwards gave off an eerie atmosphere.
Two men were heading downwards.
“You are really amazing. In truth, countless people benefit from the Tower, but not even half of half of those people return the favor. You have made decision that is counter to what innumerable people chose to do. I respect you.”
“……let's just go in silence.”
One person was speaking in an excited manner. The other person was very severe in his countenance.
“I can't believe you are donating 100 thousand gold. It is an amount of money that I wouldn't even be able to gain even if I saved up for my entire lifetime. I just can't help, but admire your ability to donate. The sight of you giving the donation so willingly is admirable.”
This was obvious, but there was no upside in walking with this character. Moreover, the small hallway made it stressful to even walk here, so the NPC’s excited voice grated on his nerves.
“It's 100 thousand gold. I can't believe...”
In the end, he exploded.
“Let's just hurry up and go.”
He growled out his words like a wild animal. It was hard to even call it words.
NPC Peun of the Magician's Tower tilted his head in confusion instead of being surprised. This User had voluntarily given up an enormous amount of gold to the Magician's Tower, so Peun didn't know why Hyrkan was angry at him.
It was a reaction that stoked Hyrkan anger. Eventually, Hyrkan spoke one more time.
“I'm in a very foul mood, so shut the hell up.”
Peun finally comprehended Hyrkan's feelings, so it shut its mouth. After the NPC shut its mouth, its expression worsened considerably. Peun's affinity toward Hyrkan had been very high, but this conversation had pretty much bottomed out that affinity.
Hyrkan was well aware of this fact.
However, Hyrkan didn't care about Peun's affinity towards him.
‘Why did a bastard like this have to stick to me... I'm already going nuts from the stomach ache caused by this.’
It hadn't been easy to gather 100 thousand gold for the donation.
Of course, if Hyrkan sold all the Items he had on, he could easily get over 100 thousand gold. Even now the Skeleton were equipped with gears that was each worth an expensive bike.
In the real world, it was hard to find a rich person sitting on a huge amount of cash. Similarly, it was hard for Hyrkan to immediately gather 100 thousand gold. The selling of his Items would be a last resort. However, even if he did decide to sell his Items, it wasn't as if he would be able to get fair market price on all of them.
It was also difficult to purchase the gold through cash. He couldn't purchase 100 thousand gold in one sitting. When he saw the additional fees that was deducted at each transaction, Hyrkan truly felt frustrated.
Anyways, he cleaned out everything he could give up to reach the 100 thousand gold. He even emptied the money he had set aside for his payment and maintenance fee for the V Gear. He also emptied next month's subscription fee. Of course, he emptied his food money too. He stocked up on a lot of delicious ramen, cheap coffee and grape candies.
There was no way Hyrkan would be in a good mood. Hyrkan wouldn't have reached this point if such things didn't bother him.
He followed after the quiet Peun. Hyrkan sharpened the knife before his inside could rot away.
‘If he really was lying, I'll hit him an amount equal to his likes on his video. Every time he gets an additional like, I'll beat him to death again.’
The sound of Hyrkan grinding his teeth filled the silent hallway.
“Which Tree Map do you want?”
After descending the numerous steps, they reached a space where not a single iota of light reached. It was an underground cell. It felt as if he was being sent to an underground prison for donating 100 thousand gold.
Moreover, unlike before Peun spoke with a very cold voice.
‘Patience. Be patient.’
His temper was worsening considerably. He pushed down his anger as he replied with his choice.
“Black Magic Body Modification. Please wait a moment.”
After several minutes, Peun opened the door once again, and it gave Hyrkan a scroll. The scroll was large enough that the sides of the scrolls were protruding even as Preun carried it with both hands.
“I'll return in 30 minutes. Please come to a decision before then.”
Peun handed over the scroll then it immediately left the room.
Ddoo-roo-roo, kwahng, kwahng!
The sound of several locks turning roughly assaulted Hyrkan's ears. Hyrkan smirked.
‘It feels like I'm paying them to treat me like an inmate.’
He wiped the smirk off his face, and a long sigh immediately escaped his mouth. Several emotions were mixed in with the sigh.
He was sighing because he had paid 100 thousand gold to see this old scroll. He was also sighing in relief, since it seemed Woody hadn't lied.
Then there was the final feeling...
‘Shit. If I see something I like, I bet I'll once again empty out my account to buy it.’
Seeing is wanting.
There might be some amazing skill he hadn't known about in the Body Modification Skill Tree. Eventually, he knew he'll be tempted to buy it, and he would inevitably have to fork over a massive amount of money. He was worried about the future, so he let out a sigh of worry.
As the sound of his sigh made up the background noise, Hyrkan opened the scroll. He kept unfurling the scroll, but it abruptly came to an end. It was like unfurling a toilet roll, and the scroll ended at the level 190 Skills. It looked like the one half of a scroll.
It basically meant it won't be able to show him the Skills one receives after the 2nd Advancement.
'I paid 100 thousand gold. Couldn't they have shown me the 2nd Advancement skills too? Are they perhaps going to ask me for another 100 thousand golds later to see it?’
Hyrkan spoke in a brusque manner.
Of course, the light in Hyrkan's eyes was more serious than ever. He quickly looked through the Skill Tree.
He had been given 30 minutes. He had to identify all the Skills he didn't know about in the Body Modification Skill Tree. On top of that, he had to choose a skill he needed.
First, Hyrkan checked the level 190 Skills.
‘There are two level 190 Skills.’
There was a level 190 Normal Rank Skill and a Unique Rank Skill. There were a total of two Skills.
These two Skills were the pinnacle of the Skill Map he could see. These two fruits had numerous roots branching out towards the bottom.
There was the normal Rank Skill [Golden Tattoo]. It was the skill above Skin Sewing. The location where the Golden Tattoo was placed increased the defense of that region. One had to use a gold type Item coin, and the ingredient would be destroyed once the new tattoo was placed. It was a consumption type skill.
‘Why do all these skills require spending of money?’
There was a Unique Rank Skill called the [Piercing Pocket]. One could create holes in one's body, and consumable items like Skeleton Fragment and Bone Explosives could be stored inside these holes. Basically, it would make one's body into something akin to a drawer.
‘That's not too bad.’
The Skill was unexpectedly decent. If he could store it inside his body, there was a very low chance he could lose his Items. This was a problem for Hyrkan, who had to carry so many things into battle.
Moreover, it was a Skill that reeked of being specifically made for a Necromancer. He could use his body as a chest of drawers? This wasn't something that couldn’t be done in reality, but Warlord allowed for such customizability.
‘Won't it be cool to open up my forearm, and take out a lot of Bone Explosives?’
For a brief time, he forgot about the fact that he had to give a payment of 100 thousand gold for this opportunity. The desire to purchase these Skills overrode his previous emotions. Currently, the Body Modification Skill Tree Map was like a home-shopping commercial for him.
A Rare Rank level 160 Skill called the [Black Heart] drew Hyrkan's attention the most.
Hyrkan touched his Skill Window to read a detailed description of the Skill. The hologram window floated on top of the old scroll. Hyrkan's gaze planted itself squarely on the Skill's effect.
- Magical Energy is consumed to increase Strength.
‘Even the Black Magician Class has a Magic Swordsman type skill.’
The Skill allowed one to consume magical energy to strengthen the User's physical ability. It wasn't a unique skill. In the White Magician's Body Research Skill Tree, there existed a level 100 Skill called the [Body Revolution]. It allowed for a very similar effect.
The [Body Revolution] Skill allowed one to swap Intelligence Stat with Strength Stat and vice versa. This skill was the reason why White Magician's were the best at surviving, and as a magician, they had developed a unique style of Magic Swordsman.
The Magic Swordsman Style used Body Research and Transcendence Magic. It was a style that utilized these two Skill Trees as their main power. The Body Research was akin to the Body Modification. The Transcendence Magic were Buff type magic.
The Magic Swordsman style was unexpectedly very popular. Most of Warlord's monsters targeted the magician when hit with magic. This style used this fact against the monster. A talented Magic Swordsman was very good at Aggro Control.
There was no Class that could rival the Magic Swordsman at the job of luring monsters. They weren't great at one thing, but they were able to carry out various roles. In a Raid where there were multiple opponents, a skilled Magic Swordsman was valuable.
This didn't hold true for the Black Magicians as they didn't have a Sword Magician type. Black magic had a debuff magic of Curse rather than the Buff Magic of Transcendence.
‘It is less effective, but…….’
Of course, the [Black Heart] allowed one to burn magical energy to increase one's Stat, so the effect wasn't that great. Moreover, wasn't magical energy the lifeline of the Necromancer class? It wouldn't be much help to Hyrkan.
However, the important part for him was the fact that there was a branch heading upwards.
There was a higher level Skill that was better than the [Black Heart] skill.
He didn't know what it was, but he was well aware of the implications. At the very least, he thought about the possibility.
‘I hope I'm not going to have to spend all my money on buying the skill books in the future. Shit. It isn't as if I can resell Skills like Items....’
Of course, there were other implications too.
- Proficiency : Rank F
- Skill Effect : When the skill is activated, Stamina is increased by 500 points. However, when the Life Vessel is activated, any type of Stamina recovery skill will not work on the User.
After reading the description for the Life Vessel skill, Hyrkan had an expression as if he had just eaten a rotten egg.
‘It was a skill I had been pining for, but I never expected to gain it by giving away 100 thousand gold.’
Life Vessel Skill recovered a portion of one’s Stamina in a flash. It was one of the best skill for him. He had wanted it no matter the cost. However, he never expected that price to be 100 thousand gold.
If Rich Lich was given the choice of purchasing Life Vessel for 100 thousand gold, even he would have probably balked at the price.
Hyrkan shook his head from side to side as he closed the Skill Window.
‘Yes. I'll just think of it as an investment for the future. Isn't this is better than investing in some weird company?’
He tried hard to derail his thoughts away from the cost. Hyrkan once again went through his immediate goals.
His Level Up was important. At the very least, he had to be level 160 to participate in earnest at the Immoral Prince Raid. If he wanted to be on the safe side, he had to reach level 170.
If he wanted to achieve this, he had to choose the right hunting ground. Hyrkan knew many hunting grounds that was good for leveling up. However, he had to worry about how many people used the hunting ground, and how much money he would be able to gain from filming in that location.
‘Where would be a good spot?’
There weren't that many likely spots that fulfilled those requirements.
However, a past relation solved Hyrkan's problem for him.
[Your Level has increased.]
After he finished leveling up, Hyrkan immediately checked the caller ID.
'Who the hell just called me?'
There was nothing worse than getting a call during a hunt. Hyrkan had a thunderous expression on his face as he checked his caller ID. If this was about something trivial, he planned on blocking this number from ever calling him.
However, Hyrkan's expression quickly changed when he saw the owner of the number. Hyrkan immediately dialed the number.
- Were you in the middle of a hunt? If you had been in a hunt, I'm sorry for the distraction.
“What is it? I never expected you to contact me again.”
It had be awhile since he had heard the voice of the Whistling Pitbull.
‘What is really going on?’
Hyrkan had been surprised when he suddenly received a call from Whistling. He had given his number to the Whistling Pitbull, but the Pitbull had never contacted him until now. Of course, there hadn't been any reason to contact each other. Whistling and Hyrkan walked roads that was too different from each other. Both of them understood this truth.
This was why Hyrkan contacted him immediately even if he had just leveled up. A User usually checked one's Stats first when one leveled up.
If the caller had been someone unimportant, he wouldn't have even called back to spite the User for interfering with his hunt. Hyrkan was someone who would absolutely do such a thing.
- May you help me?
Whistling words were something he would have never expected. Hyrkan struggled with his thoughts for a brief moment.
‘He is asking for my help?’
Whistling was part of the Fighters guild. Since he was asking for Hyrkan's help, this meant he was asking for a personal favor.
“Is it related to the Elves?”
Since this was Whistling's personal matter, there was a high possibility that this was related to the Elves.
- You picked up on it immediately.
It was as Hyrkan predicted. Hyrkan's continued to hypothesize as he spoke.
“If you require my help, then this must be something really hard. I'll hear you out first. I'll determine if this is worth me helping you.”
In truth, Hyrkan planned on turning down Whistling. Whistling's words wouldn't change his mind.
‘I don't have time to help out on an Elf related Quest.’
He felt apologetic towards Whistling, but he had suspended even the Main Scenario Quest for his Level Up. He couldn’t waste his time on someone else's Quest.
At that moment, Whistling asked Hyrkan a Question.
- Do you perhaps know about the Black Tree?
Hyrkan's reaction was weird.
“Could you repeat what you just said? It's loud where I'm at. What did you say again?”
- Do you know about the Black Tree??
“Black Tree? Is it a monster's name? Or is it a landmark?”
Hyrkan answered as if this was the the first time he had heard the word. However, Hyrkan's expression indicated otherwise. He was excited, surprised and taken aback. Hyrkan was trying hard to hide his reaction.
‘The level 160 Rare Boss Monster Black Tree's name had just come out of Whistling's mouth. He is really like the namesake of Pitbull. He had bitten into something really big. Maybe I should have named my nickname after a dog too.’
Hyrkan had the opportunity to capitalize on a reward for his past good deeds.Previous Chapter Next Chapter