Chapter 100 - One-horned Tribe (10)

A quest window appeared in front of Yeon-woo’s eyes. 'Eight Extremes Fist? Yin Sword?'

Although he didn’t know what those two rewards were, the fact that he would be able to study Mugong under the Martial King already made the quest very appealing. But equal to its appeal was its difficulty. It was almost outrageous. ‘Create a Mugong in four days? How the hell...?’

Although he had already considered teaching himself Mugong as a fallback plan, it was impossible to accomplish in just a few days. But despite this, Yeon-woo clenched his fists. 'Well, I’m going to have to make the impossible possible.’

Anyone in the Tower would kill for a quest like this, and Yeon-woo could tell that this quest was the Martial King’s way of showing his favor. He couldn’t just ignore it. Yeon-woo accepted the quest with a nod.

Edora looked at him with concern, but Yeon-woo's determined eyes burned brighter than ever. "Now, where do I go?"

*   *   *

"This is the Skill Archive." Edora guided Yeon-woo to a group of buildings standing in a row located at the far end of the village. The Skill Archive had the largest structures in the village, and its entrance was guarded by powerful warriors. Even though he was accompanied by Edora, Yeon-woo still had to go through a thorough inspection before being allowed to enter the archive.

"We’re standing in front of the iron-tier Skill Archive. The one behind it is the bronze-tier archive. You may read any book inside these two, but whatever you do, do not enter the other two archives." Edora added that even members of the royal family could be executed for entering the prohibited areas.

Yeon-woo kept her warning in mind as he walked through the entrance of the archive. As soon as he stepped in, he couldn’t help exclaiming in surprise. "Whoa!"

He saw several long aisles filled with bookshelves that seemed to stretch out endlessly. There were at least four more floors connected by a spiral staircase in an area that was laid out like the main hall. Yeon-woo was overwhelmed by the incredible number of books, evidence of the long history of the One-horned tribe in the Tower.

"According to our history, the Skill Archive was built when Shaohao Jintian, the founder of the One-horned tribe, brought our ancestors to the world of the Tower. There are all sorts of documents ranging from the skill tomes of all the Mugong that our kind has created, to some magic scrolls, alchemy manuals, and many other ancient books.” As she introduced the Skill Archive, Edora's voice was filled with pride.

Although Yeon-woo was nodding along as she explained, he couldn’t help feeling daunted. ‘How many books are in here?' He could roughly guess that there were millions of books. Obviously, some of them were worth reading, but most of them had to be unrelated or useless.

Even if he somehow managed to filter out all the worthless books, he would still have to waste a great deal of time selecting books that would help him create his Mugong. To top it all off, there was another archive to visit.

Noticing Yeon-woo’s agitation, Edora spoke in a worried tone. "Oraboni, I'm...”

"Don't be sorry. I know you can't help me. I’m already grateful for what you’ve done for me. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be able to even enter this archive.” Yeon-woo rolled up his sleeves. Time was ticking by quickly, and he had to get started as soon as possible. 'For now.'

Yeon-woo cast two skills before sweeping through the books.

[Combat Will]

[Draconic Eyes]

Time around him started to slow, and the world was soon filled with imperfections. 'I won’t be able to go through all these books in just four days. It would take a lifetime just to look through every single book.’ Thankfully, Yeon-woo had a method he could use to speed things up. 'The important books must have been read by lots of people.'

Objects that had been through several hands accumulated lingering will. ‘That means the important books have lots of imperfections.’ Just as he expected, a few of the books on the shelves appeared to have much larger amounts of imperfections compared to others.

Yeon-woo swiftly picked the best books out of the lot. Most of them very old and thumbed through, while some of them were surprisingly new or had been well-preserved. Even though he’d only wandered around one section of the archive, Yeon-woo already managed to choose over 3,000 books. Yeon-woo placed them on the floor and skimmed through the titles, picking the ones he needed.  

‘I need Inner Cultivation manuals, so I can skip the ones about Weapons Mastery and Footwork.’ After discarding those, the pile was reduced to around a hundred books. Yeon-woo plopped down onto the floor and began reading the books in earnest. The first one he picked was the one that had the most number of imperfections. Unfortunately, Yeon-woo couldn’t understand a single thing. ‘Naegong? Hyul? And what are these Gimaek and Danjeon about?' He had never heard of these terms before. The isolated society of the One-horned tribe meant that they utilized terms different from those commonly used in the Tower.

'If I can’t understand it, I’ll just have to memorize it.' Yeon-woo decided to shift his focus and memorize the whole book. Although he couldn't comprehend some of the words and concepts in it, he still had several books left to read and if the same terms popped up again, at some point, he’d be able to guess their meanings. Fortunately, Yeon-woo’s ability to memorize things had been greatly enhanced due to Combat Will.

Realizing that Yeon-woo was completely focused on reading, Edora slowly moved to Yeon-woo’s side to see which books he’d selected. When she saw the titles, she was so surprised that she almost gasped. ‘How did he know to pick out those things? They were all books that taught children how to establish a foundation for Mugong. She was even more surprised by the title of the book Yeon-woo was reading.

‘Is that the Tendon Transformation Scripture? Has that book always been here? How did he even know to choose it? Did he have knowledge of Mugong already?’ Questions popped into Edora’s head. Yeon-woo’s choice of books was just unbelievable.

The Tendon Transformation Scripture was the most basic Mugong that served as the foundation for all Mugong including Inner Cultivation, Weapon Mastery, and Footwork. After learning this Mugong, one could train both body and mind. It first transformed one’s body by expelling the body’s impurities, strengthening its muscles, and hardening bones and joints. It also opened up the channels for mana to flow, bringing about a natural harmony between the body and mind.

If one mastered the Tendon Transformation Scripture, one would have a solid foundation in learning all types of Mugong. However, Edora thought that its comprehensiveness was also a drawback because it took too much time to master. This was why many young warriors were reluctant to learn this Mugong and preferred to read other skill tomes that were easy to learn and would make them stronger in a short period.

Since most Mugong were created based on the Tendon Transformation Scripture, its basics were also included in other, more efficient and powerful Mugong. As a result, the Tendon Transformation Scripture was considered a relic of a bygone era.

However, Edora knew something that others didn’t. Even though it would take a lot of time to establish a foundation, a body honed with the Tendon Transformation Scripture could take in other Mugong very quickly and naturally. 'The problem is that he’s too short on time. It could become an obstacle for him right now. But then again, he’s only using it as reference to create his own Mugong, so it might not be that much of a problem.’ Edora watched Yeon-woo with concerned eyes.

*   *   *

After Yeon-woo finished reading the Tendon Transformation Scripture, he quickly picked up another skill tome while organizing the Mugong he’d just learned inside his head. The words that he didn’t understand kept hovering in his thoughts, but he still only had a rough comprehension of them.

'Having more content is not necessarily better. Creating a large and robust vessel is a must before one can fill it. In my case, the content is mana, and the vessel is my Magic Circuit.’ The teachings of the Tendon Transformation Scripture were eye-opening to someone like Yeon-woo, who had only been concerned with gaining a lot of mana. ‘It makes sense. I only tried to increase how much mana I had, and I never thought of enlarging my Magic Circuit. I’ve only been relying on my Dragon Body, which I believed would be completed soon.'  Yeon-woo gripped a skill tome tightly. ‘But now that its progress has stopped, I need to focus on strengthening my Magic Circuit first.'

[You have acquired new knowledge regarding your Magic Circuit. You will now be able to control mana more easily.]

[Magic Power has increased by 2 points.]

[Magic Power has increased by 1 point.]

···

[‘Magic Circuit’ skill proficiency skill has increased. 19.3%]

‘Let's focus on Magic Circuit for now. The rest will follow naturally.' Of course, there wasn’t anything he could do about it at the moment. The Magic Circuit was a special power originally granted only to Draconic species. No one had ever strengthened such power throughout the Tower’s history. From here on, Yeon-woo would be walking on an untrodden path.

With that thought in mind, Yeon-woo continued reading the books, putting one down as soon as he finished it and grabbing the next one right away. He didn’t stop reading at all. At first, reading the books took up a lot of time, but the more books he finished reading, the faster his reading speed grew. He was even beginning to understand the meanings of the words. ‘Danjeon is the Dantian, Naegong is mana, Gimaek is mana channel, and Won’gi is mana stream.’

...

‘Inner Cultivation focuses on using ones’ breath to draw mana from Won’gi, the stream of mana flowing in the atmosphere, and store it inside one’s body.'

'There are various channels spread throughout the body through which mana can move, and the way that mana flows can differ based on the Inner Cultivation method that one utilizes.'

‘The parts that control the flow of mana are called Hyul, acupoints. They are located at different points of the mana channels, and they can open and close the channels like a dam.' Yeon-woo began to apply the knowledge he had acquired to his Magic Circuit.

‘In a Magic Circuit, there is no such thing as an acupoint. Mana just flows like a river. It should have been obvious since the Draconic species can wield mana at will, but I'm different. I need something like acupoints in my Magic Circuit. Let’s call them Cores. If I can create these Cores at several points in my mana channels and control them at will...’ Yeon-woo's eyes glowed with hope. He seemed to have found a new path to create his own Mugong. ‘I will also be able to control mana at will!’

[You have established a new concept of Magic Circuit. You have pioneered a new field that the Draconic species had yet to explore.]

[You have made an achievement that is not easily accomplished. Additional karma will be provided.]

[You have acquired 15,000 karma.]

[You have acquired 10,000 additional karma.]

···

[You have acquired a new trait 'Mana-friendly'.]

[Magic Power has increased by 10 points.]

[Magic Power has increased by 15 points.]

···

[You have acquired a new title 'Pioneer’.]

[Strength has increased by 10 points]

[Dexterity has increased by 15 points.]

[You have acquired a new title 'Blessed by Mana’.]

···

[A new skill 'Mana Control' has been created.]

···

Several waves of messages filled Yeon-woo’s view, but only one grabbed his attention.

[The gods and demons of the ninety-eighth floor have started to look at you with curiosity.]

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