I opened my eyes and looked at the far side of the cave. The familiar voice belonged to someone I knew well.
With a bobbed haircut and the Red Crystal Spear in her hands, she was biting her lips as she often did when she was nervous.
The person wandering around the cave entrance was… Chae Nayun.
I looked at her from a place where she couldn’t look back.
From the deepest corner of my heart, a bitter feeling arose. Was it sorrow? Or was it guilt? An emotion that was hard to describe with words resounded.
—Hey, hey, come out.
Chae Nayun waved her spear around, suspicious of any traps. The way she moved her hand was also somewhat strange.
—Is it empty…?
She stepped into the cave.
But I couldn’t let that happen. As such, I took out the [Lv.6 Demon’s Cunning Speech] book I just acquired and infused Stigma’s magic power into it.
The effect I wanted to activate was Deceitful Quest.
[Assign a quest to the Player 478m away.]
—Warning! This cave is full of traps and monsters that are at least Lv.4. It is recommended that you enter this cave with at least 8 people. Detailed quest information will only be revealed once there are at least 8 people.
Startled, Chae Nayun widened her eyes.
She stared into the air blankly then shouted as she shuddered.
—Yes! It’s a quest! I found a quest!!
Then, she quickly cusped her hands over her mouth and looked around the cave.
After checking that nobody overheard her excited holler, she slowly backed off.
Her next action was strange. She gathered large leaves and branches and began to cover up the cave entrance. She was clearly trying to conceal the cave.
I smiled bitterly. It seemed she got at least a little smarter.
While Chae Nayun was running around, I also collected the item drops scattered in the cave. Thanks to my high luck, there were many item drops, but only a few were useful.
[Lv.1 Skill Consolidation Scroll]
[Inventory Expansion Coupon]
[Basic Skill Acquisition Book – Lv.0 Summon Skeleton]
[Lv.3 Skeleton Warrior’s Bone Armor]
The skill consolidation scroll could be used to upgrade [Lv.1 Synthesis], and the rest could be sold.
From the distance, a voice echoed out.
The cave entrance was now completely blocked, and Chae Nayun nodded in satisfaction before walking back.
Now that Chae Nayun was gone, I went back to doing what I needed to do.
I looked at the countless corpses sprawled around the ground.
They were all sacrifices to increase my skill proficiency, but there was just one problem….
“…How am I going to get through all these?”
Lv.0 Skeleton Crystal x123
Lv1. Zombie’s Vengeful Spirit x121
Lv.1 Ghoul’s Evil Heart x108
For two hours, I used Extraction and Permanent Materialization on all the undead souls in the cave. Of the 400 corpses, 352 were successfully converted.
With my luck, Extraction and Permanent Materialization had a success rate of almost 90%.
[Basic Skills (3/3)]
[Lv.3 Extraction and Permanent Materialization (2 slots)
[Lv.2 Synthesis (1 slot)]
Thanks to my two-hour grind, Extraction and Permanent Materialization became Lv.3. But there was a better harvest.
[By repeatedly using skills, you acquire the special stat ‘spirit power’.]
[On top of vitality and magic power, your status window will now also show ‘spirit power’. Spirit power will be consumed when using skills.]
[From now on, you can train spirit power.]
Spirit power. It was the power needed to use skills, as skills were considered ‘the power of souls’ in this world.
Before acquiring spirit power, Players needed to use their vitality to use skills, which was why I had to consume 13 health potions in the last two hours.
[TIP! Players can fuse magic power and spirit power together.]
[In this case, the fused spirit power will be stored in your heart.]
[This is recommended to allow for easier activation of skills.]
“No, that’s okay.”
Like the system suggested, most Players would opt to do this. To them, spirit power was something they weren’t used to, and fusing it with magic power made it much easier to wield.
Spirit power could only be obtained from the Tower. As Master Sharpshooter and Aether were my only weapons, I need to make spirit power into my new weapon.
But if I were to fuse spirit power and magic power together, I would be unable to use skills outside the Tower.
[You chose to not fuse spirit power with magic power. Spirit power scatters in your bloodstream. To use it, you require training to manipulate it more elaborately.]
[With the skills you currently have as basis, an attribute has been assigned to your spirit power.]
[Your spirit power acquires the matter interference attribute.]
[Skills of this attribute will rank up, but skills of other attributes will have their efficiency lowered.]
Like magic power, spirit power also had attributes. There were the obvious ones like water, wind, earth, and fire, and then there were the more unique ones like ‘eternal resistance’, which Kim Suho would gain, and ‘reality manipulation’, which Jin Sahyuk would gain.
Mine sounded like an inferior version of reality manipulation.
I wasn’t sure whether it was good or bad, but I felt it was fitting.
In any case, I left the cave, leaving behind a Lv.3 longsword I got from a Random Dice for Chae Nayun.
“…Ah, I’m so tired.”
The sunless Prestige was always dark.
I walked through the darkness and returned to the city.
“Everyone! Look at this!”
However, the city was a bit louder than usual. A group of thin people were holding onto pickets and shouting as though they were protesting.
“We have to join hands!”
I looked at the pickets they held.
[Looking for Players of ordinary background to join our alliance!]
[Us ordinary Players must join hands against the tyranny and information control of guilds!]
[The Ordinary Player Alliance is waiting for you!]
“…I guess it’s about time.”
The Ordinary Player Alliance.
An annoying group was starting to form.
The Ordinary Player Alliance was no different than a cult that practiced pyramid schemes.
On paper, their purpose was to bring together Players who weren’t Heroes or Djinns, since guilds and Pandemonium Djinns formed cartels of their own.
That was admirable in and of itself. The problem was that they were incredibly corrupt and violent internally.
For now, I ignored them and walked to my shop.
Soon, the shiny sign I made was in full view.
There was a long line of Players waiting in front of the shop. Among them were also members of the Ordinary Player Alliance.
“Everyone, us ordinary Players need to unite! Guilds are refusing to provide us with information. They look down on us and ignore us….!”
One particularly passionate man caught my attention. He was screaming his lungs out, trying to convince those around him.
“I, Zurahan, will help you! I will help carry your burden!”
His name was Zurahan.
He gave off a kind first-impression, but he was the main villain of this floor.
Should I just kill him now?
Or should I watch his foolish conduct a bit more?
For now, I decided to leave him alone. Since he would revive, killing him here wouldn’t be too meaningful, and a sudden attack would only give his followers greater faith in him.
I passed by the long line and entered the shop through the back door.
There were many Players inside the shop. Among them, the most eye-catching one was Rachel.
She was looking at something with a serious face.
She was looking at the Lv.3 wrist protector. For a swordsman, a wrist protector was one of the most important pieces of equipment.
Her face showed that she wanted to buy it, but she soon shook her head and turned to the potions.
“Berserker potion… external injury healing potion… mana recovery potion….”
She was murmuring seriously, thinking about what to buy.
“Vice-leader, you’ve been doing the same thing for the past 30 minutes.”
When a member of her guild finally called her out on it, the shop’s door opened and two people Rachel was familiar with walked in.
“Ei~ Aileen-ssi, don’t be so depressed. It happens. At least we don’t have to worry about food. We can even sell some of it.”
Aileen looked as though she was about to cry, and Yi Yongha was consoling her.
“Now, let’s take a look. You wanted to see the Magic Amplification Staff, right?”
“…I don’t have any money, so I can’t buy it.”
Aileen muttered with a tearful voice. Yi Yongha scratched his head.
“…Who knows, maybe it’s cheap.”
“It’s says it’s 2200TP right there….”
[Lv.3 Magic Amplification Staff – 2200TP]
Aileen pointed at a staff inside a display case. Then, she took a deep breath and turned around. She was clearly trying to hold back her tears.
At the same time, Rachel’s voice rang out.
“Owner, I’ll take five of these.”
She had finally decided to buy potions.
“I’m buying in bulk, so do you think you could knock off 100TP?”
Rachel carefully haggled, but…
Kiri was firm in her rejection.
After the shop closed for the day, I stood in front of Kiri and Henry. They were cheery and clearly itching to tell me how much profit they made.
“How much did we make?”
They immediately opened the safe and showed me… 7000TP.
Players were generally hesitant to use their money in early stages of the Tower, but it seemed they didn’t hesitate to buy potions as they could save their lives. The Player Shop not having any potions for sale was benefiting me greatly.
Now, I had to use this money to buy land. I already thought of a long-term solution for redistributing the TP I made from Players to NPCs.
To do this properly…
“Here, take this.”
Henry and Kiri needed to grow.
I gave them a total of four books. Two taught them how to read and write, one taught them about business management, and the other was a skillbook called ‘Law of Thinking’.
“What are these?”
“They’re books you need to study. For one… no, two… no, whenever you’re free, study them.”
They quickly snatched the books and turned around. Their reaction honestly surprised me. I thought they’d hate studying.
Stomp, stomp— They ran up to the 2nd floor, as though they were afraid I would take their books back.
I watched the two children with a proud smile.
“…Study hard, okay?”
I murmured to myself and left the shop.
Now, it was time to buy the land I’ve been eyeing.
I walked to an empty plot of land, which was devoid of even a single stock of grass.
“Um, I’d like to buy the land from here to way over there.”
[Would you like to purchase the following plot of land with 6000TP?]
Although this plot of land looked desolate now, that would change after 33 demons die. It would become the only fertile land outside the inner city and would produce a crazy amount of food with the magic power infused in the land.
I planned to turn this place into a farm, selling cultivated crops to Players and distributing them to NPCs. With this, I planned to make Prestige a habitable place.
Once that happens, Kim Suho would surely change his mind about this place. That this place wasn’t a pit of despair where the administrator and Players treated NPCs like second-class citizens.
That was the important part.
No matter how much effort I put in, the real ‘hero’ who would climb to the peak of this Tower will be Kim Suho.
On the other hand, in the Creator’s Sacred Grace guild building outside the Tower, Yun Seung-Ah called Kim Suho to her office. With only a week left until the second opening of the Tower of Wish, there was something she needed to give him.
“Yes, Guild Leader.”
Yun Seung-Ah spoke with a smile, and Kim Suho sat down in front of her. First, Yun Seung-Ah placed a ticket on the table. Kim Suho’s eyes widened when he saw it.
“You know what this is, right? It’s a black ticket.”
Kim Suho stared at the ticket in a daze then turned his gaze back to Yun Seung-Ah.
“H-How did you get this?”
“Huhu~ I have connections.”
Yun Seung-Ah crossed her arms proudly.
In truth, she had practically begged her old master Yoo Sihyuk, saying that it was her final wish. In front of her tears, Yoo Sihyuk had no choice but to make a request to his best friend, the famous ‘Vast Expanse’.
Vast Expanse offered it for the cheap, discounted price of 3 billion won. In this sense, it was more or less Kim Hajin who bought this ticket for her. It was only because he made a single payment of 20 billion won to buy her apartment that she had the financial leisure to buy this ticket.
“Anyways, I got you the best ticket. I have high expectations of you.”
Kim Suho scratched his neck.
“What? Do you need something else?”
“No, it’s not that…. You see, I found one too.”
Kim Suho smiled bashfully and took out a green ticket.
Yun Seung-Ah stared at it fixedly then smiled.
“Green ticket… it’s not bad. You can bring someone with you then.”
Kim Suho stared at Yun Seung-Ah.
“…Except the guild leader and vice-guild leader. We’re too busy.”
“Oh, I see. I understand.”
“Like I said before, you don’t have to be so formal with me… Oh, also.”
Yun Seung-Ah took out a huge box from underneath her desk. Inside was a leather armor Kim Hajin made for Kim Suho.
“I was surprised too when I got this.”
Wanting to know how Kim Hajin made this armor, Yun Seung-Ah had given it to a professional seven times for analysis.
“It’s an armor rivaling an intermediate-rank artifact.”
“Whoa, intermediate-rank artifact?”
Kim Suho's expression brightened.
Yun Seung-Ah made a small smile. Kim Suho was unexpectedly a big fan of equipment.
“Yep, it’s made with the leather of a high-intermediate rank grade-1 Mountain Tyrant…”
She opened the box as she gave him an explanation.
When Kim Suho laid his eyes on the armor, he became lovestruck.
“Amazing design, isn’t it?”
“…Y-Yes, it’s fantastic.”
He nodded with his mouth open.
The analyst Yun Seung-Ah asked to appraise the armor said the same thing. Although it was on the lower end of intermediate-rank artifacts, he said he wanted to rate it a high-intermediate rank because of its design.
“Take this. It’s effect manual is written by the manufacturer.”
“Manufacturer? Who’s that?”
Kim Suho slightly flinched.
“Yep, apparently he got something from the Tower that helps him craft items. Who knew he could make something so amazing?”
Kim Suho read the effects of the armor, then looked at the armor once again.
“You don’t look very happy.”
“…No, I am. It’s just that…”
Kim Suho pouted.
“I’d rather that he came to see me.”
Yun Seung-Ah found his complaint adorable.
“He’s busy too. Be understanding.”
“But Vice-leader, didn’t you meet him?”
“…That’s because we’re neighbors.”
Although Kim Hajin’s status had elevated to being a great benefactor, she was too embarrassed to explain it to Kim Suho. For the record, her apartment now belonged to Evandel.
“…If you see him again, tell him I said thanks.”
“Okay. Oh, he left another gift too.”
This time, Yun Seung-Ah took out a small notebook.
“Memorize it before you go. Hajin left this behind for you.”
The cover of the notebook had the following words.
[Tutorial Guide Book]
“He said he’ll be waiting for you.”
“Ah… I see.”
Hearing this, Kim Suho laughed silently. Then, he slowly opened the notebook.
The first page of the guide book was densely packed.
—Hey. Has it been 3 years now? Well, writing a greeting is too awkward, so I’ll skip it. I’m sure we don’t need it.
—This notebook is a guide book for the tutorial. I’m sure you can plow through any obstacles on your own, but I prepared it just in case you needed it.
—Don’t show this to anyone else. Don’t even tell anyone about it.
—I won’t be able to clear this Tower, but it should be possible for you. I trust you. I made you an armor too, so don’t disappoint me.
“…What a long introduction.”
Kim Suho grinned and began to read the rest of the guide book.
At times he was expressionless, and at others he was snickering. Watching this, Yun Seung-Ah couldn’t help but be curious.
“W-What’s so funny?”
Yun Seung-Ah stealthily reached out to it, but Kim Suho turned his body and rejected her advance. Even though Yun Seung-Ah pouted and narrowed her eyes at him, he didn’t change his mind.
Another two weeks passed by in Prestige.
The new tutorial began 10 days ago, and several factions appeared in Prestige.
However, during these two weeks, Medea’s quest had not progressed in any way. If any one group tried to challenge a Demon Spire, I hindered them. When I wasn’t enough, I borrowed Cheok Jungyeong or Boss’ power.
Although there was an ill rumor floating around the Community because of it, I couldn’t care less. The first place was mine, and I had no intention of letting anyone else have it.
“…By the way, are you sure those things will work?”
Today, I finally left Prestige to destroy the control towers.
“They’re more than enough.”
I reaffirmed Cheok Jungyeong and took out a grenade from my inventory.
[Lv.5 Cluster of Hundreds of Vengeful Spirits]
A cluster of vengeful spirits made by synthesizing hundreds of undead crystals together. After imbuing an ‘ignition’ attribute with Stigma’s magic power, simply hitting a Demon Spire should send it crumbling down.
“Just that tiny thing is enough?”
Cheok Jungyeong asked again in doubt.
“Yep. We’re going to destroy one Tower every day for the next three days.”
Jain turned to Boss and asked. Boss, who was fiddling with the mosquito bite on her finger, quickly shoved her hand in her pocket.
“We have to inscribe that.”
“You know, Hajin’s signature.”
She was most likely talking about the ‘black lotus’ symbol.
Boss nodded and unleashed her magic power, which became a black lotus that inscribed itself on the ground.
“Is it okay to do this? Won’t people know that it was us?”
“It doesn’t matter.”
Boss was firm.
Well, now was around the time that the name and strength of ‘Chameleon Troupe’ was starting to spread, so it was surely intended.
“Oh right, once we’re done knocking down the three towers, I’m going back to Earth for a bit.”
I didn’t have anything else to worry about, and soon ‘she’ would arrive as well.
“And when I come back, I’m going back down to the 2nd floor.”
“2nd floor? Why?”
Boss asked curtly, but I explained with a smile.
“There’s something I need to do. It won’t take long. I’ll bring back food too.”
“…Always a secret.”
Boss stuck out her lips and grumbled but didn’t dig any further.
“Anyways, I’m throwing it now.”
I raised my hand holding the grenade.
“…Is that really enough~? That tower looks real hard~”
“Wouldn’t it be faster to just barge in and destroy everything?”
Jain, Cheok Jungyeong, and even Boss looked at me with doubt.
I didn’t say anything in response.
A vengeful spirit grenade made from repeatedly using [Lv.2 Synthesis].
I threw this little ball in a perfect baseball pitcher form.
Whiiiish— The baseball-sized grenade shot through the air and hurled towards the Demon Spire.
As a Master Sharpshooter, my aim and form were perfect.
The grenade landed.
At first, there was no change.
“Hey, kid, nothing’s hap—”
When Cheok Jungyeong furrowed his brows…
The grenade exploded.
First, a ring-shaped shockwave pulsed out.
Then, a heaven-shaking explosion followed.
Cheok Jungyeong’s eyebrows jumped in surprise.
It only took 3 seconds for a single grenade to destroy the tower. Fragments of the building rained down from the sky, and a cloud of dust rose up.
Just like that, the grenade toppled the Demon Spire.
Furthermore, I still had two grenades left.
Here's the final chapter for a month! Wanted to release another one to end on a big cliff, but I'm traveling back to my uni (rip Thanksgiving break), so I have a train to catch and don't have the time to translate another.
I will see all of you readers next month (hopefully)!!!