Chapter 184. Materialized Demon Realm (1)


Spartan ended up staying with Boss.
…I, Kim Hajin, allowed it as his owner. I told him to liven her up as a good pet often would.

“Huu.”

Spartan had already followed her into her bedroom.
Currently, I was staring at items I’ve been too busy to deal with.
First was the special consolidation ticket I got from killing Jin Sahyuk.

===
[Special Consolidation Ticket]
—A consolidation ticket formed from a special Gift.
—By using this ticket, you can strengthen a Gift, piece of equipment, Physique, or Art.
===

This ‘ticket’ existed in my smartwatch rather than my inventory.
Next, I took out the three items I obtained today.

[Trait Recovery Coupon]
[Orb of Regeneration]
[Mystic Key]

Finally, I checked the amount of SP I currently had.

[Current SP: 4,483]

I had about 4,200SP this morning. I had earned almost 300SP in a single day, likely because I was making a name for myself on a huge stage.
In any case, I only needed a little more until I could create a good Gift.

“For now….”

I decided to use the special consolidation ticket.
The Gift I wanted to strengthen was obviously ‘Master Sharpshooter’.
There was no need to hesitate, but before I used the ticket, I opened my status window and checked its current level.

===
▷「Master Sharpshooter」 [Intermediate-rank] [Spirit attribute] [Evolving — Grade 4] [Proficiency EXP 95%]
◇「Master Sharpshooter」 [Intermediate-rank] [Spirit attribute] [Evolving — Grade 6] [Proficiency EXP 86%]
===

The first line was the real-world version, and the second line was the Tower version.
As you can see, the ‘restricted’ version was quickly catching up to the real one.
Inside the Tower of Wish, stats and proficiency EXP went up quicker. As a result, Players would regain their real abilities around the 9th floor.
But well, that was a story for another time.
I tapped on the special consolidation ticket in my smartwatch.

[You used the special consolidation ticket.]
[Gift ‘Master Sharpshooter’ increases in power.]
[Gift ‘Master Sharpshooter’ increases in potential.]

“…Hm.”

The ticket didn’t add anything special and only strengthened the Gift’s fundamental effects.
I decided to hold onto the other special consolidation ticket I had. I still wasn’t sure whether I should use it on the Desert Eagle or another Gift.
The important thing was this.

[Trait Recovery Coupon]

The biggest gain from today was the Trait Recovery Coupon, which would let me recover one of my three remaining Traits.

▷「Random Consolidation System」 [Low-intermediate rank] [Spirit attribute] [3-stage consolidation]
▷「Magic Dysfunction Physique」
▷「Medicinal Memory Physique」

Which one of these three should I choose?
I needed to think about this carefully. Recovering a Trait didn’t mean a simple boost in battle prowess. Just like how ‘Dexterity’ evolved to ‘Dwarf’s Dexterity’, another fortuitous event could happen.
I pondered.
Should I choose the Medicinal Memory Physique like I originally planned?

“No.”

If I were to choose the Medicinal Memory Physique, I would have chosen the Orb of Regeneration for nothing.

===
[Orb of Regeneration] [Magic Artifact]
—An orb with the power of regeneration.
○Evolving Item – EXP 「0/100」
○Lv.1 ???
===

A ping-pong ball-sized orb that glowed green.
It didn’t have a level, and the only effect is had was ‘○Lv.1 ???’. However, I could check the item’s description with my smartwatch.

○Lv.1 Recovery and Regeneration

Its sole effect looked wide-ranged even at first glance.
Like the saying went, simplicity was sometimes best. Not even I knew how wide-ranging ‘recovery and regeneration’ was.
If I brought this item out to the real world and let it grow, I could, in theory, become half-invincible.

“And this key….”

===
[Mystic key] [Magic Artifact]
—A mystical key.
○Evolving Item – EXP 「0/100」
○Lv.2 Unlocking
===

It had the same size as an ordinary key, but it looked a bit special.
It was hard to tell whether it was solid or liquid, and the way its surface gave off a blue glow made it look like a key from a fairytale.
This mystical key would also have an increasingly wide range of uses as it grew. Not only would it have an unlocking function, but it would also gain offensive and defensive uses.

“Alright.”

As such, I came to a decision.
Rather than the Medicinal Memory Physique, I decided to go with the Trait that would let me use the items I had more efficiently.

[Random Consolidation System]

In a way, the choice was obvious.

“Come.”

I murmured as I tore the ticket in half.

===
[Choose the Trait you wish to recover.]
○「Random Consolidation System」
○「Magic Dysfunction Physique」
○「Medicinal Memory Physique」
===

In an instant, system messages popped up in front of me.
Three Traits I had lived without for a long time. Of these three, I grabbed the ‘Random Consolidation System’.

[You recovered a Trait!]
「Random Consolidation System」 [Low-rank] [Spirit attribute]

For obvious reasons, its power was restricted. I could still scan up to five items, but the consolidation percentage dropped from [0~54%] to [-10%~30%].
However, I was more than satisfied with it.
30% was more than enough to make a significant difference.

[You acquired a new Trait.]

I smiled as I held up the Orb of Regeneration. Then, I murmured happily.

“Scan.”

The number engraved on the orb was… 24%.
My luck still seemed to be working well.
Piring—
While I was being content with myself, someone sent me a message.

CaptainBritain: 「Hajin-ssi, have you seen the Community? Something huge happened at the palace today.」

The sender was CaptainBritain, or in other words, Rachel.

“Oh right.”

I suddenly remembered something.
I vaguely recalled seeing Rachel among the 100 people in the palace. I didn’t get a good look at her because she was sitting among the Gold-ranks.
Thinking about it now, it wouldn’t make sense if she weren’t there since the English Royal Court guild should have made huge achievements as well.

I smiled as I wrote back.

「Something huge?」
CaptainBritain: 「Yes, take a look at the public forum. Ah, by the way, why weren’t you at the palace?」
「Oh, um… I didn’t make enough contributions. I went back to Earth and only came back recently, haha.」
CaptainBritain: 「Ah, I see. That’s okay, don’t worry about it too much. I can help you. I was rank 33 this time. :) 」

I took a look at the public forum like Rachel wanted.

===
「Public Forum」

[Holy jesus, Aileen and Rank 1 got into a fight in Medea’s palace.]
—I was there and saw it myself, hehe.
—For real??
ㄴ Yep, apparently they got super strong. In the end, it looks like your talent determines where you’ll end up in the Tower of Wish.
ㄴ Nah, it’s all skills. Better go grind the ones you have (if any, hehe).

[Anybody want to release the footage from the palace?]
—You can record videos here?
ㄴ Yeah, you just have to buy an item from the Player Shop. I think it was called the One-use Recorder.
—Someone’s selling the video. I already bought it and saw it.
ㄴ How much did you pay?
ㄴ 50TP. It was pretty intense. Rank 1 and Aileen were exchanging magic power. I would have fainted if I was caught between it.
ㄴ Damn, I want to see it too. Can you share it with me?

[Second wave of Essence of the Strait members, please leave your name here.]
—Essence of the Strait’s Yohei. I have arrived.
===

“….”

Over 300 posts were uploaded to the public forum every day, and over half of them were about me. Not to mention, it was quite a bit exaggerated.
But well, I didn’t have any complaints.
I stared at my smartwatch.

[You gain 1SP.]
[You gain 2SP.]
[You gain 1SP.]

So this was the reason that my SP was still going up…
If it was ever revealed that I was Rank 1, I would probably gain an astronomical amount of SP in exchange for having my life turned upside down.

“…I don’t even want to think about it.”

Tiring—
I received another message.

CaptainBritain: 「Also, the English Royal Court guild got close to Prestige’s Riry Shop. If there is a potion or an equipment you want, feel free to tell me…」

This was actually my doing. I’d told Henry and Kiri to make items cheaper for Rachel.

「How? I heard the owner there is strict.」

I replied, pretending to be oblivious.

CaptainBritain: 「Ah… well (≧∀≦) It’s a bit embarrassing to say this myself, but it looks like the English Royal Court is fairly influential with them. While other guilds were busy conquering the 4~5th floors, we were focusing on working in Prestige. ^.^」

Rachel has been especially lively lately.
Most likely, it was because she was genuinely enjoying the Tower of Wish. Here, she was free from the burden known as ‘England’ and the ever-present threat of Lancaster.

CaptainBritain: 「Oh right, we bought a plot of land too and crops started to grow on it. (๑>ᴗ<๑) You should come see it later.」

Reading her messages that had a completely different tone than the way she spoke, I couldn’t help but laugh.

CaptainBritain: 「…Ah, sorry, I got too excited and talked too long. I got too excited. :(」

「No, it’s fine with me.」

I could understand why she wanted to brag. On the outside, she probably had to keep her solemn image as a vice-leader.

「You can use our messenger as a diary if you want.」

CaptainBritain: 「Diary? ㅋㅋ It’s fine. Ah, we have a hunting session planned for tonight, so I have to go now. If you’re having trouble with something, let me know. I’ll help to the best of my ability! (>Д<)ゝ”」

That was it for my conversation with Rachel.
I hopped on my bed with a grin.
Then suddenly…

[Sudden Quest!]

A quest suddenly popped up.

[Special Quest – ‘What Medea Wants’.]
[Summary – Medea wishes to have your robe.]
[Rank – low]
[Reward – favorable impression from Medea among others.]

“…What?”

Was she thinking about my robe this entire time? If a quest popped up, she must have wanted it strongly…
I checked the robe’s item description once again.

===
[Lv.3 Masterpiece Robe Crafted by a Master Craftsman]
—Elegant yet not flamboyant, imposing yet not outlandish. A masterly designed robe.
○Lv.3 Magic Seal – Durability Increase
○Lv.4 Outward Appearance
○Lv.3 Scent
===

‘Magic Seal’ was an enchantment I made with Stigma’s magic power.

“She really must have liked it.”

Since I could make another one whenever I wanted, I decided to give it to her if the opportunity arose.
I turned off the system and laid on my back.
Although I was tired, there was one last thing I needed to do before going to sleep.

[Lv.3 Extraction and Permanent Materialization]

Extracting Stigma’s magic power with this skill.
It wouldn’t hurt today, right?
After all, I had the Orb of Regeneration…
I held the orb in my hand and used the skill on Stigma.

“…Uuk!”

Alright, it hurt.
Now that the skill was at level 3, the pain seemed to be stronger than ever before.
The intense pain swept through my body like a waterfall. After struggling while foaming at the mouth, I quietly closed my eyes like someone on his deathbed.

**


…I slowly opened my eyes.
The room was dark.
However, there was nothing to worry about.
Prestige was always like this. Without a single streetlight or a torchlight, the city was completely shrouded in darkness.

However, there was a figure looking down at me from the darkness.
The figure sat on the edge of my bed, looking at me with cold eyes.
The only light in the room came from the eyes of this human figure.
Was it an assassin?
Or was it a mysterious being living in Prestige?

“….”

I swallowed hard.
Although it was a sudden, there was no need to panic.
I could simply take the Desert Eagle out from my inventory, and…

“…Eh?”

From the window, bright moonlight shone through. The white light washed away the darkness shrouding the assassin and revealed the figure’s appearance.
She wasn’t an assassin.
The person sitting at the edge of the bed was a person I was all too familiar with.

“…You’re awake.”

Boss spoke, as expressionless as always.
How long had she been here?
I met her eyes.

“…Boss? What’s up?”

“Pasta wanted to come here.”

Boss shrugged. Pasta… was she talking about Spartan?
I glanced at my blanket. Spartan was indeed curled up next to me, sleeping.

So he still wanted to sleep by his owner. I grinned and stroked his back.
Zzz— zzzz— Spartan shook, matching the movement of my stroking.

“Then I’ll be leaving now.”

“Ah, wait, how was Spartan?”

“…He’s cute.”

Boss muttered quietly and got up from the bed.
Seeing that she was about to leave, I held her back.

“Boss, you didn’t forget that we’re going together to the 5th floor today, right?”

Her legs stopped.
She slowly looked back at me and nodded as she smiled bitterly.

“…Of course.”

“Okay.”

Boss left the room, and I stretched.
Koong, koong, koong.
I could hear Cheok Jungyeong’s footsteps.
It was time to train.

—Chirp, chirp.

Looking at my blanket once again, I saw that Spartan was up and stretching.
I waited for him to finish, then went downstairs together.

“You’re here.”

“Yes.”

I greeted Cheok Jungyeong and sat down on the floor.
Sitting cross-legged, I started with a breathing exercise for awakening spirit power. This breathing exercise normally tired me out after 30 minutes, but now that I had the Orb of Regeneration, I should be able to do it a bit longer.

Huu… huu…

I repeated the deep inhaling and exhaling 15 times.
By the time my back and waist began to spasm, I opened my eyes. I had yet to gain any of the insight or enlightenment talked about in martial art novels.

“Ah, so tiring….”

I looked around the hideout while I rested. Spartan had run off and was nowhere to be seen.

“…Where’d he go?”

“I cooked him. He’s in my stomach now.”

“….”

Ignoring Cheok Jungyeong’s dumb joke, I closed my eyes.
Spartan and I could share our thoughts and vision. Now was a good time to give it a try…
Soon, a blurry scene rose up before my eyes. It was what Spartan was seeing. There was steam rising up. Was he near boiling water?

‘Where is this? Is he really being cooked?’

I was watching in astonishment. Suddenly, Spartan jumped up.
I could finally get a better view.
Boss was lying down, enjoying a warm bath.
Spartan was in the bathroom.

—…What?!

Boss, who was deep in thought, splashed water at Spartan’s sudden appearance. Because of her sudden action…

“….”

I quickly cut off my visual connection with Spartan and opened my eyes.
Chak—!
I slapped my cheeks hard.

“What are you doing, Newbie?”

Cheok Jungyeong smirked.
I couldn’t say anything.
What I just saw… let’s wipe it from my memory.
Even if I didn’t mean to peek, if Boss found out…
Well, to be honest, I didn’t see much.
That is, I didn’t see any of the important parts.
Just seeing her skin shouldn’t be a crime… right?
Kuhum, this was all that bastard’s fault.
I stood up.

“Ah, hey, where are you going in the middle of training?”

Cheok Jungyeong asked.
I looked back at him.

“…To cook a certain bird.”

**


[5th floor, Materialized Demon Realm]

After properly scolding Spartan and checking up on ‘Riry Shop’, I went up to the 5th floor with the members of the Chameleon Troupe.
The starting area of the materialized demon realm was a harsh volcanic region, which was constantly spewing out lava and black smoke.

“Newbie, what’s your plan for the day? Jain and I are already registered to the third crystal stele.”

Cheok Jungyeong asked.
The 5th floor had a total of 15 crystal steles. They served as checkpoints. After all, it didn’t make sense to have to start over every time one went back.

“I….”

My plan was to look for NPCs like Henry and Kiri who were abandoned in the original story. I would clear hidden quests if there were any and find hidden items similar to dwarven steles.
Although it shouldn’t take too long, because the 5th floor had many strong enemies, it was a bit dangerous to go about it alone. Not to mention, there were also boss monsters that were impossible to kill alone.

“Let’s split into two teams and go explore.”

Jain and Cheok Jungyeong nodded.

“Alright, I’ll go with Cheok Jungyeong~ there was a quest we were doing before~”

“Sounds good.”

Jain and Cheok Jungyeong quickly came together.
They were surprisingly very close to each other.

“Then…”

I looked back. Boss was standing there, looking around the volcanic region. She seemed to find the demon realm interesting as her eyes were full of curiosity.

“Boss? Do you want to come with me?”

For some reason, I felt awkward around her.
Boss looked at me for a moment before nodding.

“Yeah.”

“O-Okay.”

I took out the Dwarven Supercar.

“H-Hop in.”

“Okay.”

Boss got on the Dwarven Supercar, then asked.

“Why do you keep stuttering?”

“…I, I wonder why. Maybe I’m having a withdrawal symptom from not smoking for a while.”

I could only give a poor excuse.

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