Chapter 149 - Mountain of Penance (3)

The moment his hearing closed up, Yeon-woo felt like he had been locked up somewhere. After the eyes, people used their ears to receive the most external information. Now that he’d also shut off his Magic Circuit, he couldn’t shake the feeling that his subconscious had been locked away.

Yeon-woo hesitated for a second. Taking a step without any support right now was dangerous. He’d been determining the distances and locations of objects through the sound of the wind, but without his hearing, he had to rely solely on his nose to move around. Even though he still had his sense of touch and taste, they were useless without actual contact.  

His experience in Section A of the Tutorial had helped improve his sense of sight and hearing the most, so he couldn’t help feeling a bit of anxiety. At the same time, he had to admit that it was kind of fun. Yeon-woo began slowly moving his feet. He’d have to think about the Yin Sword later, once he’d gotten used to his new circumstances.

***

As he expected, climbing the mountain relying only on your sense of smell was really dangerous. It was almost impossible to use your nose to determine the location and shape of things. Scents rose and fell with the wind, and he couldn’t even smell anything in vast areas.

Yeon-woo crouched as much as possible to prepare for any obstacles. He risked falling several times until his nose grew sensitive enough to determine where things were from the scents carried by the wind. His sense of touch learned to use the wind to find more clues, and he had to analyze all of the information he received quickly. However, thanks to his improved thinking abilities, he advanced quickly.

Whenever he made a mistake, he rolled around until he found his balance again. However, the process was extremely difficult, and Yeon-woo struggled for the first time in a long while.

***

He entered the third mountain, and his nose grew numb. The last sense that helped him orient himself vanished, and his movements grew very careful. The only way he could find the way was to sense the wind on his skin. However, in addition to that, he began to sense something faint. ‘It’s the wavelength.’ He could feel something else in the wind. At first, they were so miniscule that he couldn’t tell the different sensations apart, and he thought it was just pollen floating around.

But as time passed and he used his mental abilities, he realized that these little particles were spreading in waves. Some moved up and down, and others moved side to side. As he compared them, he realized that each particle had a different wavelength. If he didn’t focus on them, he would miss the differences between them.

Yeon-woo focused with his Combat Will and felt time flow in his consciousness. He could no longer tell how much time was passing, and focusing on his consciousness separated him from his surroundings.

[‘Combat Will’ skill proficiency is dramatically increasing. 31%, 32%...45%, 46%...]

[You have been using the skill for some time now. Extended use can damage your brain. There is a danger of falling in the space between your consciousness and your body. Rest is advised.]

[You have used the skill for some time now. You might overuse your consciousness.]

....

[Danger. Your thinking abilities have automatically contacted the Dragon’s Knowledge to dramatically increase.]

....

[‘Combat Will’ skill proficiency has dramatically increased. 62.2%]

Had a day or two passed? Or perhaps it had even been a month. It felt to Yeon-woo that he’d spent a terribly long time climbing the mountain depending on the wavelength of particles alone. It was a strange experience, and he realized how much he’d relied on his five senses to make snap decisions. Using magic power had also helped him find the locations of things, and now he only allowed it to run to help him use his skills.

However, Yeon-woo could now sense the wavelengths that he hadn’t been able to notice with his five senses or magic power. Because the wavelengths were so tiny, he struggled to tell them apart but he was sure that they were distinct from each other. Eventually he discovered that some were heavy, others light. Some were fast, and others were slow. There were even differences in strength. A tree that soared over everything had a weak wavelength while a small, dense rock had a strong one. 

At first, Yeon-woo wondered why they were so different, then he realized what it was. ‘Existence.’ Yeon-woo began to flesh out the concept. ‘People and items all have existences.’ In other words, it was aura. ‘Even with aura, your opponent can feel depressed. You can also pull someone else along with your strength. On the other hand, people with weak existences end up being eaten.’

All living things instinctively knew this. They could feel a pressure from the existence emanated by a strong opponent, and it was the best way to determine the difference between an opponent and yourself. ‘Normal auras are mixed with other things, and they’re usually impure. But there’s a deeper base for this.’

[Through continued training, you have been able to sense a part of your soul. You have achieved Soul Control.]

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

[You have acquired 3,000 karma.]

[You have acquired 2,000 karma.]

....

[More training is advised in order to advance. Your level will only be assigned after further achievements in Soul Control.]

‘Is this what Soul Control is?’ Yeon-woo had heard about Soul Control as well. The stronger the soul, the larger the wavelength, and as one’s level increased, the wavelength grew heavier.

In essence, Soul Control was the weight of the soul and a crucial strength for players. Understanding the opponent’s Soul Control was the first step in battling a high ranker. Yeon-woo had noticed the strong auras of some players, and the auras of the Martial King and the Summer Queen sent shivers up his spine.

However, he couldn’t read those who were weaker, and he needed to learn so that he could understand others’ foundations. It seemed like he’d managed to find a way now. Yeon-woo could tell an item’s condition from its wavelength, and although he hadn’t yet tried this on humans, he felt like it would be possible. He believed he would be able to read people even without his Draconic Eyes or the information windows.

As he read the wavelengths, something squirmed inside Yeon-woo. It was a strange sensation he hadn’t experienced before and completely separate from the five senses. Soul Control made it possible for him to deal with dangerous things, and if he could train and control it, another perspective would open up to him.

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