Chapter 6. Synchronization (3)


In the middle of the night, I got out of my room. The handgun in my pocket rattled uncomfortably, but I couldn’t do anything about it without a holster.
My destination was the shooting range.
Located east of dorm 1, the shooting range was a dome shaped building consisting of 20 training rooms. The targets were oddly distributed around where the sharpshooter would stand. This was because unlike bullets, magic arrows could easily change their trajectory.

[Rank 934, Kim Hajin, confirmed.]

When held my smartwatch against the shooting range’s entrance, an unfamiliar robotic voice called my name. Indeed, my name had changed from Kim Chundong to Kim Hajin. Feeling a bit odd, I walked inside.
Past the wide circular lobby, there were ten doors evenly separated from each other. I held up my smartwatch against one of them.

[Rank 934, Kim Hajin, confirmed.]

The door opened.
The shooting range looked simple. At the center of the 130-square-meter circular space was a scaffolding for the shooter. I walked towards the center. When I placed my feet on the low scaffolding, a courteous robotic voice rang out from the ceiling.

[Initializing targets. Choose the number of targets you want.]
[You must choose at least 2 and can choose at most 20.]

“Ten.”

My voice rang through, and insect-like blue objects popped up from the ground.
I looked at the targets surrounding me. A monster that was barely considered a monster, mole cricket. They were similar to mole crickets everyone knew, the only difference being that they were much bigger.

[Choose your training difficulty.]
[You can choose from stage 1 to stage 9.]

Higher level naturally meant targets moved quicker. At stage 9, the targets even attacked. Although the attacks should only sting at best, they were extremely dangerous to me.

“Stage 4.”

First, I set the difficulty to stage 4 and loaded my magic bullets. If I was skilled in handling magic power, I should be able to compress magic power into bullets without having to get physical bullets, but the current me didn’t have such talents. And even if I could do such a thing, using a bow was much more destructive and efficient.

“Start.”

First, I notified the system to start and aimed my gun at the leftmost target.
The slowly moving mole cricket seemed to have noticed my hostility as it began to speed up. It scuttled around without a set movement pattern, but I could see its trajectory. It was like I was seeing an afterimage, but of its future path.

Predicting its movement by a step, I pulled the trigger.

A blue flare shot up from the barrel. There was no loud noise like the guns from Earth. Leaving the barrel silently, the bullet should pierce the mole cricket.
I didn’t bother to check the result with my eyes. The moment the bullet went out, I moved on to the next target and fired. My hand moved on its own.
One, two, three, four… ten.
The trigger was pulled ten times, and the mole crickets that were struck scattered into particles of mana.
Only two targets survived.

“Oho.”

I was quite impressed.
Just by writing a Gift, I managed to hit all the mole crickets other than the farthest two.

[Your training ended. Elapsed time: 1.37 seconds. Sharpshooting score: 80/100]

In just 1.37 seconds.

“… This is pretty fun.”

An eternal truth. The better you are at something, the more fun it is. It was fun because you were good at it.
Feeling like I was at an arcade, I shouted ‘start’ once more.

*

An eternal truth. No matter how fun something is, doing it twenty times makes it boring.
At about 3 A.M., I stopped my shooting practice. After getting out of the shooting room, I was relaxing my sore finger when I heard a noise next door.

—whoosh whoosh whoosh

The faint sound of shockwaves. It was the sound of arrows cutting through the air. The source was the room next door. Curious, I snuck a peek. I shouldn’t have been able to see anything because of the closed door, but I could see through it.
The door turned faint and the interior revealed itself.
The scene beyond the door was showing why bows were superior to guns.

“It’s Chae Nayun.”

Chae Nayun was target practicing with a serious face. Four arrows were sitting on her bow. They were magic arrows weaved with magic power. Because her magic power technique was currently lacking, she couldn’t perform ‘split shot’, which multiplied a single arrow into multidirectional shots.

—Whoosh!

Chae Nayun let go of the bowstring. Her arrows left behind a blue trace of magic power as they hurled towards the 20 targets. As though they were alive, her arrows obliterated the targets.

“… Amazing.”

I exclaimed in shock.
Still, Chae Nayun’s real aptitude wasn’t for bows. There was a weapon that suited her much more. But if she was already that amazing with a bow, just what kind of a setting did I make?
At that moment, Chae Nayun suddenly turned around. Her eyes met mine. Though there was no way she could see me through the wall, something still seemed odd.
I quickly escaped.

*

[Sharpshooting training increases your Gift’s proficiency by 3%].
[Repeated sharpshooting training increases your Gift’s proficiency by 2.9%]
[‘Luck’ applies! Your perception and speed increase by 0.1!]
[Repeated sharpshooting training increases your Gift’s proficiency by 2.8%]

The above messages were written on the laptop. Master Sharpshooter’s proficiency shot up, and the stats I gained with luck were an added bonus.
Thanks to the Gift’s grade being low, I had already gained 50% in proficiency EXP. Achieving grade 9 didn’t seem to difficult.

===
▷「Master Sharpshooter」
[Low-intermediate rank] [Spirit attribute] [Evolving — Grade 10] [Proficiency EXP 50%]
—Master Sharpshooter’s Training
*Familiarity with all long ranged weapons
—Thousand-Mile Eyes
*Can see far away and somewhat predict target’s movement path.
—Bullet Time
*In combat only and once every 24 hours, you can spend 3 seconds in 'Bullet Time'.
===

The more I thought about it, the better this Gift seemed, especially in how it applied to 'all long ranged weapons'. Currently, it was easier to raise proficiency with a gun than a bow, but since a bow was stronger, I would have to switch to it eventually.

“But what’s up with the SP?”

[You obtained 0.2 SP!]
[You obtained 0.2 SP!]
[An auspicious gift! You obtained 1 bonus SP.]
[You obtained 0.2 SP]

After practicing for twenty rounds, I only obtained 5 SP. Choosing a gun as my main weapon gave me 64 SP, meaning showing off and standing out gave more SP than quietly training.

“Tsk.”

Although I only received a tiny bit of SP, I still had a use for it.
The dreaded combat training was tomorrow. To obtain even the tiniest amount of points, I needed to make up for my lacking physical abilities.
The biggest problem was stamina. Because I threw all my points into luck, I was weaker than an ordinary person.

===
[Training Sneakers]
—Specially crafted sneakers.
*Adds 0.3 points into stamina and speed.
===

“Maybe with this…”

The easiest way to fix my problem was with equipment.
I began to tap on the keyboard.

===
[Mystical Training Sneakers]
—Specially crafted sneakers. Contains a mystical power.
*Adds 0.3 points into stamina and speed.
*Enhances energy and stamina recovery.
===

[You do not have enough SP.]

But this time, the modification I made was canceled without being adjusted.
I wasn’t too surprised. After all, I only had 5 SP.
But it was still too early to give up.

===
[Mystical Training Sneakers]
—Specially crafted sneakers. Contains a mystical power.
*Adds 0.3 points into stamina and speed.
*When the wearer desires, energy and stamina recovery is enhanced for 1 hour. After use, this effect cannot be used again for 24 hours. This ‘effect’ disappears after one month.
===

To save SP, I put a total of three restrictions. A 24 hour cooldown time, one-hour effect duration, and effect dissipation after one month.

[You used 5 SP. Would you like to save?]

“Oh! It worked!”

I hit the Enter key ecstatically.
Immediately, a blue light flashed from the laptop. The dancing light melted into the sneakers, and a streak of color was branded onto the white sneakers.

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FudgeNouget's Thoughts

Bonus chapter since we're just getting started with the series!