Chapter 150 - Mountain of Penance (4)

Oh, you’re already training your sixth sense? I was going to teach you when we had time. Never thought you’d do it on your own like this. When Yeon-woo felt hungry for the first time, he found his way to a small tunnel and pulled out food from Intrenian to eat. He thought he might as well summon Shanon and Hanryeong to get some confirmation and feedback that could help him with his training.

Shanon and Hanryeong had attained higher levels of sword mastery than Yeon-woo, and he wanted to double check with them to see if he was heading in the right direction.

‘Sixth sense?’ It wasn’t hard for him to converse with the two Death Knights since they communicated through thoughts anyway. 

Shanon smirked at Yeon-woo’s question. Have you forgotten already? It’s the sense I told you to develop so you can use focal points.

‘I remember. but I didn’t realize I was experiencing sixth sense. I just thought it was something related to Soul Control.’

Soul Control?」 Shanon cocked his head in confusion, and so Yeon-woo had to describe the wavelengths that had led him to learn about Soul Control and the feeling he got from it. As Yeon-woo spoke, Shanon began to tremble to the point that Yeon-woo could feel his thoughts shaking.  

What? Impossible! Shanon was completely shocked.

Yeon-woo cocked his head, not understanding Shanon’s reaction since the Death Knight wanted him to learn about sixth sense in the first place. He turned his consciousness to Hanryeong, who had grown even quieter. He seemed like he needed time to think something through, and even his dignified personality appeared shaken. Finally, he transmitted his thoughts.

Since the sixth sense is related to the subconscious and instinct, it’s a door to Soul Power. However…it seems like you did things backwards.

Shanon added, Does that make any sense at all? This is crazy!

Yeon-woo frowned. ‘Explain it to me so I can understand. What is Soul Power?’

Hanryeong replied calmly, If Soul Control is the weight of the soul, Soul Power is the power that comes from it. Usually, it affects the level of magic power as well because it’s responsible for taking mana from the mana stream. As it’s deep in your subconscious, it’s usually dormant. You can only open the sixth sense, which is the door to the subconscious, when you become more powerful. It’s the base of instinct that lies on the line between the conscious and the subconscious mind. Since the subconscious is about eighty percent of your mind, it’s necessary to proceed carefully so that you don’t make any mistakes and damage your brain.

Yeon-woo was beginning to understand. In order to use Soul Power, he had to enter his subconscious and from there, enter his soul. ‘But I didn’t even open the door to the subconscious. So is it possible that I opened the door from the inside using Soul Power?’

Shanon’s scream rang in his head. That’s not easy to do at all! This is…how do I explain this? Fine, what do you do if you want to enter a building?

‘What do you mean by that? I go through the door, and if something gets in my way, I get rid of it.’

Exactly. You enter through the front door or even a side door, right? But you, Master, you… Shanon’s hand on Sword Breaker shook. It’s like you jumped up to the roof then made your way down to the lobby to open the door there!

***

[Many gods and demons of the 98th floor are looking at you with incredulous eyes.]

[A few gods laughed futilely.]

[A few demons are having a serious conversation about you. Someone has brought up a fascinating idea.]

[Hermes is looking at you proudly.]

[Urd is looking at you with an anger-filled gaze.]

***

The mind of a human was separated into two sections: the conscious mind that produced active thoughts and the unconscious or subconscious mind that was the path to the base of the soul. It was like ocean water that you had to swim through to reach the bottom.

Players all wanted to be in control of their subconscious. It was the only way they could escape the prison of the physical body. With Soul Power in hand and their rank, they could finish their spiritual growth. It was like reaching Nirvana or Diable, surpassing oneself and reaching heaven.

‘What’s so amazing about it?’

You’ve got to be kidding me…! Shanon wanted to smash Yeon-woo’s head with the sword, feeling almost wronged that he couldn’t do anything.

‘But I can only feel Soul Control, I can’t even use Soul Power yet.’

If you could do that, you would be the boss of the entire Tower. You would’ve jumped straight up to the seventy-seventh floor! Shanon sighed like his world was falling apart, and Hanryeong contributed one more explanation. 

Even high rankers can’t use Soul Power freely. The Sword God and the Summer Queen can only use a part of it, and using Soul Power without any restriction means that you’re becoming complete, transcending all physical limits. It was the highest point a player could hope to reach. These people are usually called…

‘Gods or demons.’

Hanryeong nodded. That’s right. His serious voice filled Yeon-woo’s mind. It’s too soon for you to handle Soul Power. Your soul hasn’t fully developed yet, and if you make even a tiny mistake, it might shatter.

Unlike Magic Power that could always be replenished, Soul Power was the strength that came from your soul, and it couldn’t be renewed or opened until the soul was developed. Also, opening it was only possible with the mastery of Soul Control.

However, you’ve already managed to take the first step just by sensing Soul Control. Others can’t even do this easily. I suppose we don’t need to talk about training your sixth sense anymore. Shanon crossed his arms, his tone aloof. Think of how you felt Soul Control, then think of expanding your sixth sense to the outside.

Yeon-woo narrowed his eyes. He hadn’t thought of this method at all. ‘Expand the sixth sense?’

The sixth sense is just another sense. It’s not something that only stays in your subconscious. It can also be accessed consciously. Once you learn that, the path that allows your Soul Power to leave your body will be paved.

‘So it’s like making a Channel?’

Something like that.

Before Yeon-woo could release Soul Power, he had to make a path for it, which is what sixth sense was. The three of them felt a sense of exhilaration as they discussed this. With Soul Control, and eventually, Soul Power, Yeon-woo was beginning the process of becoming a true master.

Yeon-woo thought of the path he had taken so far. Although he’d worked hard, a lot of it had been from lucky coincidence, and his brother had also paved the way for him. Yeon-woo had something of his own to do now. The tiny steps he was starting to take would have a drastic effect on his growth, and he was proud of himself for setting that first step up properly. ‘What I do from now on is going to be extremely important.’ Yeon-woo chewed on some jerky as he organized his thoughts.

***

What’s it taste like?

‘Like I’m chewing rubber.’

Hahaha! I understand. My annoyance level was really at its peak on the fourth mountain. Shanon laughed as he followed Yeon-woo up the fourth mountain. The sense that was blocked this time was taste, and although it didn’t cause any physical discomfort, it made Yeon-woo feel miserable every time he put food in his mouth. Jerky tasted disgusting and rubbery, and each mouthful of water was like sewage. It wasn’t that his sense of taste had been completely blocked, but it had somehow become corrupted into awful flavors.

Yeon-woo grimaced at giving up his lunch, feeling slightly annoyed. The trial of the twentieth floor truly was truly one of penance. However, he had to force himself to eat, and so as he put jerky in his mouth, he tried something that he’d been practicing the day before: sixth sense release.

As it slowly revealed its presence, it sensed the wavelengths around Yeon-woo. It felt different from using his magic power to observe his surroundings. Using the wavelengths gave him the impression that he could feel the entire world around him. With Shanon’s and Hanryeong’s advice, he felt like he could master it.

[You have understood part of Soul Power.]

[You can feel Soul Control with more precision. You have understood a way of revealing your existence with Soul Control.]

[The level of your soul is rising.]

....

By the time he was on the fifth mountain, he could expand the territory of his sixth sense, and his cautious movements grew looser and more natural. He no longer hesitated when he walked, and a casual observer would find it hard to believe that he had lost his sense of sight.

All of Yeon-woo’s senses were blocked now, but it didn’t matter because he was experiencing a new world as though he had a third eye. As he found his direction, his growth increased rapidly.

[‘Sense Strengthening’ skill proficiency has dramatically increased. 82%, 83%...96%, 97%...100%.]

[Congratulations! You have reached the maximum level of ‘Sense Strengthening’ skill proficiency.]

[All stats related to your skill have increased.]

[Your strength has increased by 10 points.]

[Your dexterity increased by 12.]

....

[You have gained a new understanding of your skill. A superior skill is being opened.]

[The skill ‘Sixth Sense’ has been created.]

[‘Sixth Sense’ skill proficiency has reached the maximum level.]

....

[New skills are being sought in consideration of your stats.]

[The superior skill ‘Inspiration’ is being opened.]

....

[‘Inspiration’ skill proficiency has dramatically increased...]

....

After he mastered his Sense Strengthening skill, many superior skills were created, disappearing after they were mastered as the Tower’s system searched for a skill suitable for Yeon-woo’s achievements.

Although it was still sealed, his Dragon’s Sense was growing as well.

[The skill ‘Extrasensory Perception’ has been created.]

[Extrasensory Perception]
[Number 95]
[Proficiency: 0.0%]
[Description: It combines the five senses and the sixth sense into one, allowing the recognition of things that couldn’t be observed before.] 
[*Intuition
As your proficiency increases, the range of your sense increases. You will easily feel the base of items within your range. Sometimes, you will be able to activate a sense similar to Precognition, and you can peek into the Idea.]
[*Automatic Defense Mechanism
Your reaction speed in unexpected situations increases. Also, if your HP falls below 10%, all stats may increase by 200% once a day.]

‘Extrasensory Perception?’ Yeon-woo was surprised at the newly created skill. Mastering diverse skills to create a signature skill of your own was part of becoming a true ranker. However, it wasn’t easy to gain a superior skill and receiving one didn’t mean that it would be easy to manage. Also, raising the proficiency of a superior skill was trickier than raising the proficiency of a regular skill. 

He thought he would receive a skill that was only a few levels above the ones he already had, and this one was much more advanced than he’d been expecting. One of the top sensing numbered skills had landed in his lap without any warning.

[‘Extrasensory Perception’ skill proficiency is increasing. 2%, 3%...]

His proficiency was also increasing, to boot. In a way, he should’ve expected something like this. He’d trained his five senses with Sense Strengthening, used Precognition with magic power, and had a sixth sense that used Soul Control. There was also the Dragon’s Sense. Combining them all into one skill would naturally result in an outstanding skill.

He could feel the range of his sixth sense expanding rapidly. It wasn’t something he could explain, and Yeon-woo felt like his mind was going to explode. It was different from how his consciousness had grown after his Dragon Body had awakened. Back then, it felt like he’d managed to grow his vessel, and now it was as though he were filling the vessel to the brim. Yeon-woo could now see a flow in the information that entered his mind.

He could see and feel things that had been shut away from him before, and he realized what it was: mana stream. He could finally feel the mana in the atmosphere flowing like a large stream, and he could even see small objects inside it.

Yeon-woo was filled with a sense of wonder at how much his environment had expanded with Extrasensory Perception. It was as though all his senses had opened, but when he checked, just in case, they were still definitely closed off.

He shivered involuntarily. He could already sense so much with Extrasensory Perception. How much more intense would everything be after he finished the trial and his senses returned?

Master. Shanon, who had been observing Yeon-woo the entire time, spoke up in a sour voice.

Yeon-woo restrained the joy in his body and turned his consciousness to Shanon. ‘What?’

I think I get why that Phante sighs every time he looks at you.

‘Huh?’

You’re so infuriating.

Yeon-woo didn’t know how to reply to that, and so Shanon continued, thumping his chest with his fist, Sheesh! Does this make sense at all? Some have to work their entire lives to get something that just comes to you with no problem. Why? Huh? Shanon felt aggrieved. He’d worked his ass off to get to the fiftieth floor, and it wasn’t fair. The things he’d thought were so challenging and he’d strived so hard for were just pieces of cake to Yeon-woo. However, he sighed as though the sky had just fallen thinking of how much Yeon-woo had pushed himself.

Yeon-woo had sealed off all his senses and skills as he climbed the mountains, and a single mistake would send him plummeting to the ground. He faced dangerous situations head-on and continued to challenge himself after pushing past his limits. In a way, it was almost masochistic, and Shanon couldn’t really deny that Yeon-woo deserved what he achieved.

Yeon-woo wasn’t a genius; he’d achieved everything with tenacity, hard work, and clear judgment. Shanon couldn’t begrudge him for being satisfied with himself.

Huh?

Whose consciousness is this? Has this person been with us the entire time?

There’s no way I wouldn’t have noticed. Hey! Who are you?

Oh, looks like you were enlightened after coming here. Hey, you, youngest one! It’s the newbie you’ve been looking for. Go welcome him.

Hey, hey, hey! Who are you?

Voices suddenly began clamoring inside his head, making him dizzy. It was the Open Speaking method that the Sword God used. However, Yeon-woo instantly recognized who the voices belonged to: ‘Sadhu!’ 

Obviously, the trial of the fifth mountain is the most difficult one. Even though all my senses were blocked off, and I was isolated in darkness, I still had to figure out a way to climb the mountain. It was a difficult task even for skilled rankers—actually, maybe even more difficult. The more you possess, the more pressure you face on the fifth mountain.

This is the reason why players who encounter a wall return to the twentieth floor. They go because they’re already grasping at straws, not because they enjoy undergoing the trials.

With that said, there’s all kinds of perverts in the world, and some are masochists who enjoy torture and pain. They experience pleasure as they undergo the penances and talk about feeling a new freedom. They’re basically a bunch of crazy scumbags who call themselves climbers of the penances, Sadhu.   

The Sadhu were hermits who focused on their individual training by isolating themselves within the fifth mountain. Since they preferred to be on their own, they spread all over the mountain, hiding in tunnels, forests, and even inside the lake.

However, Yeon-woo could sense their presence with his Extrasensory Perception. Since they had managed to train their sixth sense from the time they spent in the mountain, they also scanned him.

There were five of them, and when Yeon-woo read their bases, he clenched his fist. ‘They’re all strong.’

Two of them were skilled enough to stand against Bahal or the Saber God. Whoosh! Yeon-woo felt something approach him rapidly, perching on top of a nearby tree like a bird. The Sadhu were probably curious about this expert who could sense them.

The player who had arrived to check out the newbie was extremely surprised when he scanned Yeon-woo. Huh? You’re…?

Yeon-woo turned his head, still not used to his Extrasensory Perception. However, he was taken aback as well when he sensed something familiar about the player who had just arrived. It was someone he’d met in the Tutorial and lost contact with. ‘Kahn?’

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