Chapter 60 - The Tower (2)

Henova rolled his eyes at the unexpected reply and his face contorted in anger. “You’re a lunatic!" 

However, Yeon-woo only chuckled. “I haven't heard that in a long time.” His commander used to say that to him every day. 

"Get the hell out of my shop if you’re going to—” 

"I was joking. Wasn’t it obvious?" 

Because of Yeon-woo’s deadpan voice, Henova still couldn’t tell if he was joking or not, but upon realizing that Yeon-woo was truly kidding, his face twisted even more. Once again, Henova tried to shout at Yeon-woo, but as soon as he opened his mouth, Yeon-woo put down his backpack. 

Henova paused for a moment and narrowed his eyes. "Wait, is that what I think it is? The Dark Elves’ hunting bag?" 

‘As I thought, he recognized it right away.’ Yeon-woo nodded, thinking things were proceeding as he hoped. "Yes." 

"Well, I guess you're not as bad as I thought you were." Henova looked at Yeon-woo with a slightly different attitude, although he still appeared haughty. Dark Elves only handed their possessions to those they acknowledged. Since Yeon-woo owned this item, it meant that he had the skills to back it up. From his appearance, Henova could tell that Yeon-woo had just finished the Tutorial, and there was only one Dark Elf in the Tutorial. "Did you get that from Galliard?" 

"Yes." 

"Hmph! That scrawny idiot has a horrible temper, but he does have a keen eye for players." 

Galliard the Dark Elf and Henova the dwarf are always fighting like cats and dogs. I don’t know if it has to do with their races or their personalities, but they seem like a couple of really close friends to me, the kind who just casually say harsh things to each other. 

But of course, if I said this in front of them, they’d beat me to death.  

His brother also added that the two respected each other's skills more than anyone else even though they constantly snarled at each other. 

"All right, then. It looks like you’re trying to trade the things you got from the Tutorial for my item. Go ahead and take them out. By the way, my weapons are very expensive. The price is beyond what you can imagine." Henova arrogantly raised his chin with his arms folded. Items collected in the Tutorial were usually worthless scrap that no one in the Tower would even glance at, and he was planning to make Yeon-woo take them all out and turn him away. 

Yeon-woo opened his bag and began to take out the items he had packed inside—Goblin teeth and jawbones, Lizardmen eyeballs, Orc ribs, Troll blood and brains. Henova snorted at each one. They were all useless items, just as he’d expected. Only weak players would pick them up to make a living off them. 

Although each item Yeon-woo took out was a relatively expensive part of a monster, they were just trash to a master blacksmith like Henova. He wouldn’t take them even if there were thousands of them. Henova was starting to feel annoyed and humiliated by Yeon-woo’s attempt to buy his weapon with trash, but he kept silent and waited to see what else was in the bag. However, at some point, the look in Henova’s eyes suddenly changed. 'You dirty little bastard.' 

He realized that Yeon-woo hadn’t been taking out random trash. They were worthless separately, but grouped together, they were the basic materials for a certain artifact—a very highly rated one. It was also an artifact that a player who’d just cleared the Tutorial couldn’t possibly know about. 'Speaking of which…’ Henova looked Yeon-woo over again and rubbed his chin quietly. 'He’s got quite good artifacts for a novice.” 

Actually, his artifacts weren't just quite good, they were extremely good, in fact. He only refused to admit it out of pride. Although he didn’t assess the black bracelet Yeon-woo had on his right wrist thoroughly, it was clearly a great artifact. So was the sword on Yeon-woo’s back. It was a smidge too short to be a regular longsword, but a subtle holy and demonic energy flowed out of it. These were two energies that weren’t supposed to coexist, and he only knew of one case where they did. 

'A demonic sword that used to be a divine sword but ended up cursed for some reason. It must be a weapon from the distant past, but where the hell did he find it?' Henova’s impression of Yeon-woo, who he’d believed was a crook, rose higher. However, there wasn’t much of a difference between a crook and a novice to him. 

In the end, Henova had to readjust his assessment of Yeon-woo once more when he saw the two items Yeon-woo took out at the end. They were treasures beyond compare: the Beast Lord’s Lion Mane Helm and Iblis’ Embryo. A grim expression appeared on Henova’s face. "Is this a joke?" 

"What makes you think that?" 

"You're not joking? Do you even know what you’ve just taken out?" 

"I know what they are. An artifact left by the Beast Lord and the egg of a hell beast." 

[Beast Lord’s Lion Mane Helm]  
[Classification: Headgear]
[Rank: A-] [
Description: An armet used by the Beast Lord, who disappeared for unknown reasons in the past. It is made from the hide of a mythical creature, the White Lion. The helm possesses the vigor and courage of the While Lion and the power of the Beast Lord.] 

[* Fang of the White Lion]
[Increases attack power for 10 seconds by 1% for every monster killed up to 35%. Also, through the vigor of the White Lion, it reduces the duration of enemy crowd control effects by 5%.] 

[* Roar of the Beast Lord]
[Unleashes the aura of the Beast Lord, inflicting surrounding enemies with the status ‘Fear’ for 8 to 10 seconds.] 

[Iblis’ Embryo]  
[Rank: B+]
[Description: An egg laid by a Hell Beast, Iblis. It can only be hatched through a special method. Once hatched, it will imprint on the first person it sees.]

The Beast Lord’s artifact was rated so highly because he was one of the most famous Lords in the Tower and had once ruled the Tower with the Vampire Lord. It was the first A-rated artifact Yeon-woo had received since entering this world. Even though its value was less than Bathory’s Vampiric Sword, it didn’t mean it was worthless. If he wanted to sell it, people would buy it for whatever price he named.

Above all, the Tower provided players with the items that best fit the player's combat style, and the Beast Lord’s Lion Mane Helm also suited Yeon-woo. 

Iblis' Embryo was also just as valuable. Iblis was a hell beast that dwelled in the deepest jungle of Gehenna. It was a bird of prey five meters in size, with a monstrous beak and claws that could shred any animal with ease. It was tricky to hatch its egg, but it was worth the effort considering the advantages of taking such a beast as a companion. 

Both items could make their owner stronger than any normal player in the Tower. Even if Henova had great pride in his ability as a blacksmith, he knew his items were not worth any more than those two items together, much less just one of them. That's why Henova thought Yeon-woo was playing a joke on him. Actually, it had gone past a joke, and Henova believed that Yeon-woo was now just making a fool out of him. 

After Arthia disbanded, Henova had been persecuted by several clans, and he was mortified to think that he had fallen so low that even a novice looked down on him. His face burned with shame, but he didn’t shout at Yeon-woo because he didn’t want to give up his last bit of pride. Instead, he clenched his teeth and glared at Yeon-woo, trying to contain his anger. 

But as though he hadn’t noticed Henova’s anger at all, Yeon-woo looked into Henova’s eyes and asked in an impassive tone, "If you think these materials and the two items are worth more than the dagger, then may I ask you to make an artifact for me as well?" 

In that instant, Henova felt his anger drain out as he realized what Yeon-woo was trying to do. "You’re asking me to make Gyges’ Eyes, aren’t you?" 

Yeon-woo nodded. "Yes." 

"Hmm." Gyges was a giant who was supposed to have hundreds of arms and thousands of eyes. The artifact named after this monster was definitely worth the two items Yeon-woo had received. There were only five master blacksmiths in the Tower who could craft such an artifact, and Henova was one of them.   

Henova glowered at Yeon-woo and narrowed his eyes. "You little bastard. You've been after this since the beginning." 

"I apologize if I have offended you. I heard that you have stopped making artifacts, so I had to resort to such a tasteless measure." Yeon-woo apologized as he bowed politely. 

Once again, Henova grumbled in agony, staring at the materials and two artifacts for a long time, full of mixed emotions. He looked at Yeon-woo and asked, "Are you sure you want to do this? Do you know what it means to place a commission with me?" 

"Just as I said earlier, I can take care of other clans. What I need you to do is to focus on crafting Gyges' Eyes. Don’t worry about anything else. Can you do that?" Yeon-woo was calm but Henova could sense his determination. He liked that attitude and was about to say yes when Yeon-woo suddenly blurted, “Of course, if you're still afraid of the other clans, I can’t help you." 

The sudden remark made Henova's brows crease. Yeon-woo’s deadpan jokes were starting to annoy him, and he screamed as his patience ran out. "OK! I get it! I’ll do it!" 

*   *   * 

[Appraisal failed.] 

[Appraisal failed.] 

···

[Appraisal succeeded] 

[‘Draconic Eyes’ skill proficiency has increased. 15.5%] 

[Henova’s Magic Bayonet]
[Classification. One-handed weapon]
[Rank: B-]
[Description: A bayonet which Henova, a dwarven blacksmith, used his blood to craft for three years. It was originally made for someone dear to him, but with its owner gone, the bayonet grew to possess Henova’s rancor and wrath. Because of this, the dagger is sharp enough to easily split a rock.] 

[* A Dwarf’s Wish]
[The Magic Bayonet feeds off the owner’s emotion. The stronger the emotion, the sharper the edge will become.] 

[* Blade of Rancor]  
[The bayonet aggravates the opponent’s wound, eating away their vitality. If the target’s vitality is lower than 20%, there’s a fixed possibility that the target will be inflicted with the status ‘Ice Poison’.] 

[*This is a growth artifact. The artifact can grow along with its owner, and the speed of its growth depends on the owner’s familiarity and proficiency with it.]   

'It's much better than I thought.' On his way out of Henova's smithy, Yeon-woo smiled as he read the description of the Magic Bayonet. It was unquestionably a high-end artifact, and he assumed that all of the weapons Henova had provided to Arthia were of such the same quality. 

The part he liked the most was that the dagger was a growth artifact. It meant it could grow more powerful as he continued using it. “Surprisingly, it fits perfectly in my hand.” 

All along, Yeon-woo had been planning to ask Henova to make Gyges’ Eyes as soon as he entered the Tower. Kahn and Doyle had asked him if he knew any blacksmiths, and Yeon-woo replied that he did. He was referring to Henova then. 'If he can make a weapon like this, it will be a piece of cake to make Gyges’ Eyes.’ 

Henova said it would take at least a month. Even though the basic materials were sufficient, he still needed to get other supplementary materials, and the crafting process itself took a long time. 

‘It seems like he didn’t put down his hammer even when the other clans threatened him. It couldn’t have been easy. I can see he's certainly a great man since he didn't submit.' Yeon-woo decided to keep an eye on Henova for the next month, using Gyges’ Eyes as an excuse to observe his circumstances. 'It should be enough time to figure out who he is.' And he could then decide whether or not to trust him. 

Yeon-woo handled his new bayonet with a serious expression. Gong! The Magic Bayonet resonated as though it were happy to have a master. Yeon-woo had a strange feeling that the Magical Bayonet fit him too well, as though he’d found a long-lost item that he’d once grown used to handling. 

Suddenly, the phrase “someone dear to him” from its description appeared in his mind once more. ‘Someone dear to Henova?’ Who could it be?

 

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