A Monster Who Levels Up
As soon as Sae-Jin left the Alchemy House, Hazeline grabbed her phone and called a certain someone.
“Hello, Sir Knight?”
“Hello, Miss Manager. I’d like to apologise for my earlier behaviour. I just happened to see the poor little Miss lying in the hospital bed before the call, so I just ended up losing my cool for a moment…”
His voice wasn’t all that apologetic, but never minding that, Hazeline spoke in a rather leisurely fashion.
“Oh, no. It’s fine. You see, the product came in just now.”
Right away there was a loud yell. She could already imagine the sight of Park Hyun-Oh shooting up from his seat, his eyes bulging and yelling at the top of his lungs on the other side of the line. A slight sneer formed on Hazeline’s lips.
“Fuhut. Yes. However, as I’ve mentioned just now, the product has only arrived here recently, so even though I’m planning to give it the highest grade myself, the Central Association must test it too in order to issue the sales permit for us.”
“Ah, there’s no need!! What kind of a fool would question Miss Hazeline’s discerning eyes? In any case, I shall be there shortly. Please wait for me!”
“…Fuht. Alright. Please be careful on your way.”
Disconnecting the call, Hazeline let out a breath of satisfaction and leaned her body against the back of the chair.
For her, it’s been 3 years already since she took a step back from the world of alchemy after feeling intense dislike at the effing corporations and the foolish men and women of the Knights Orders.
Of course, even though she was no longer on the frontlines, the overconfident bastards still continued to harass her, but right in this moment, she felt good enough to soar high up in the sky. A brief moment when the dynamic between the monied “haves” and those who serve gets turned on its head, like when perfectly concocting a potion, or a well-made potion coming in through her doors.
‘…Since he said shortly so maybe he’ll take 5 minutes tops.’
The high ranked Knights of the Saebyuk Order could utilise private jets that burned Mana Stones as fuel source. It was indeed a clear waste of resources to fly a supersonic jet to come to Gangwon Province from the capital city of Seoul since this wasn’t an emergency situation, but taking into account the identity of the patient, he probably couldn’t delay the matter any longer.
To greet the incoming guest, Hazeline put on the previously-discarded robe and pulled up her hood.
‘But I won’t hand it over that easily.’
The idiots weren’t aware of the fact that the alchemist had already left his jijang on their sales request letter. If that’s the case, then… she’d wring them out for all their worth, and make their innards boil with anxiety until they had melted into nothingness.
This was the kind of a light revenge only she could do, but when seen from the perspectives of those on the receiving end, it was probably the cruellest, evilest form of “habit” there was.
“Ah! That’s right!”
She nearly forgot to do something else before all that. Hazeline hurriedly grabbed her mobile phone and called another person.
“Hello there, reporter Yun Hui-Jeong. It’s been a while. Oh, it’s nothing special. It’s just that a noteworthy potion is finally available here after a really long while. Hmm? Oh, we’ve got a quite a stock. 4 bottles. It’s amazing, yes? Even for me, handling 4 bottles of a potion this incredible is a first. Yep. Oh my, thank you so much. I shall send over someone with all the necessary info. I’m expecting to receive the sales permit in 3 days, so when the time comes, please write up a nice piece for me.”
[The very first output of a genius that appeared like a meteor, the High grade potion, “A Goblin’s Kindness” hits the market.]
⸢From Gaebyuk Daily, written by Yun Hui-Jeong, a staff reporter.⸥
8 o’clock this morning. A potion with a unique name called A Goblin’s Kindness, brewed by a certain alchemist, was issued with the sales permit from the Central Alchemist Association.
The very first thing that grabs the attention is, of course, that name. It is said that the reason for the alchemist who brewed this potion borrowing the Goblin moniker, which could be seen as a minus, was because of a simple, yet hard to imagine hypothetical case of what would happen if Goblins showed kindness towards humans and used their potion making skills.
And to surprise us even more, his potion was deemed to possess perfect healing and regenerative properties by the Association and was assigned the High grade as if to imply that the alchemist must have had perfectly replicated the craftsmanship of a real Goblin. What’s more, this potion, A Goblin’s Kindness, just happens to be this alchemist’s very first creation.
This potion will go on auction which is scheduled to commence at 12 o’clock 8 days from now, on the premise of “Yoseon” Alchemy House located in the city of Wonju, Gangwon Province. With this potion, A Goblin’s Kindness, appearing like a sweet relieving rain in the times of seemingly unending drought, this reporter hopes that this event can perhaps inject some sense of life, even if it’s small, to the market that has fallen into doldrums of late.
The mood in the headquarters of the Raven Knights Order located in the suburbs of Jongro, Seoul, was in somewhat heightened state with the appearance of a High grade potion after more than a half a year of shortage.
The Raven Knights Order that set its sights beyond the borders of Korea and competed for the top spot in the global stage, regularly battled the rare Monsters ranked upper Mid Tier or above, or those bastards that suddenly appeared and started attacking without a warning. The thing was, these upper Mid Tier Monsters each possessed unique special powers, making them true walking disasters and when confronting these creatures, the Knights’ abilities proved to be rather inadequate most of the time.
In all honesty, rather than calling it inadequate, it’d be far more correct to say fear had crippled them.
After the unchecked, uncontrolled development of the Earth’s environment, the Healing magic had currently all “died away”, leaving the treatment of injuries caused by the Monsters to potions and the modern medicine. However, even though the modern medicine could reconnect severed limbs, it was not possible to regenerate what was lost, so the Knights ended up trusting and depending on potions over that of the modern medical technology.
But for the past half year, the supply of upper Mid grade potions that allowed the Knights to battle higher Tier Monsters without hesitation had dried up. Not only the potions with healing, regenerative capabilities, but also elixirs that boosted the physical strength for a brief period of time had vanished, too. So, when the news of the appearance of a higher Tier Monster spread around, the situation had devolved into a point where Knights couldn’t relaxedly choose to go out and hunt them anymore.
“Did you hear the rumours?”
“Yeah. Got a weird name, though. But, uh, can our Order secure it?”
“Come on, why not. And I hear it’s 40 ml per bottle, too. On top of that, 2 bottles for sale in one go.”
“40ml should be enough for 6 people… With that, maybe, we can now finally hunt down that newly hatched Basilisk, right?”
The interest shown by the Knights of the Raven Order towards this High grade potion that had appeared out of nowhere was rather understandable.
In the front lobby of the Knights Order, Kim Yu-Rin was sighing out while reading the information sheet delivered from the Alchemy House for the new potion’s effects and the expected prices. Even though there should be a lot of competition to secure this potion brought on by the long absence of one, she knew that if it was the Raven Order, there would be no problem acquiring the product at the end of the day.
‘2 bottles… That means another 2 was sold through private commissions already.’
Kim Yu-Rin was crumpling her face in dissatisfaction. The Alchemy Houses gave out information first to those entities holding a favourable relationship with them in this kind of private sales commissions. In other words, the Raven Order that hadn’t received the heads-up wasn’t enjoying a cordial relationship with this particular House.
‘If it’s Yoseon Alchemy House, then it must be Hazeline’s doing.’
Kim Yu-Rin slowly massaged her aching temples as the mug of Hazeline floated up in her mind.
Hazeline and Kim Yu-Rin. These two shared a bond that was thicker than blood of siblings, stretching back for almost 20 years.
However, that powerful friendship became twisted real fast thanks to a certain single incident. Which happened to be a stupidly, unbelievably simple misunderstanding. But more misunderstandings continued to pile up on top of another, turning the situation far worse, and once the relationship began to break down, the downward momentum couldn’t be stopped any more.
Their fast deteriorating relationship finally came to a head 3 years ago that resulted in a very serious event.
Hazeline had poisoned Kim Yu-Rin’s potion, and when Yu-Rin managed to survive after fighting desperately for her life, she cut Hazeline’s arm clean off.
This ugly event remained a secret until now, only known to these two after they silently made an agreement, which led to either one not laying blames on each other nor telling anyone else regarding this matter.
And now, a few years had passed since both of them stopped caring about each other and lived their own separate lives. During that time, Kim Yu-Rin had fought hard and successfully claimed the prestigious title of the youngest-ever Highest Tier Knight, and Hazeline had created an elixir called “A Fairy’s Liquor” to regenerate her lost arm and in the process had climbed up to the position of the Alchemy House Manager.
Like this, they both had firmly grasped the futures that were far brighter than their past but in the end, could only become the worst of the worst enemies possible. And now, the sporadically-recalled good memories they once shared together had lost their luster a long time ago.
Only allowed on Creativenovels.com
“Miss Highest Tier Knight Kim Yu-Rin!!” (TL: OMG. Sounds so wrong. Should I start using Korean honorifics instead? Please comment below.)
While she was swimming in the recollections of the past, someone had walked up closer and started chatting her up. When she turned her head to see who it was, she saw quite a number of Knights gathered there.
“Uh… What seems to be the problem?”
When she replied in her usual deadpan expression, the group of Knights consisting of 5 men and 3 women smiled brightly and presented a simple square box to her.
“It’s a congratulatory gift for you, Miss Yu-Rin!! Congratulations on your ascension to the Highest Tier!!”
Acting as the representative of the group, a male Knight with a cute enough face spoke. He was Kim Soo-Gyeom, a junior Knight that served as a direct apprentice working under Yu-Rin for 2 years while she was still a Mid Tier Knight.
“Oh, right. Thank you, everyone.”
Yu-Rin lightly patted the head of the male Knight that was as tall as her and received the gift. Kim Soo-Gyeom acted shyly at her touch and swallowed his saliva.
“Please open it!!”
Their strangely flushed expressions seemed to indicate that the present inside this box must have been a very nice stuff indeed. Seeing their excitement, Yu-Rin’s own expectations rose as well as she opened the lid of the box. She already knew it was useless to expect much, though.
Yu-Rin confirmed the contents of the box and observed the faces of the knights in front of her with the corner of her eyes. Theirs were full of expectations. She didn’t want to disappoint them.
“Oh, oh….. This, I really needed this. Thank you so much, everyone.”
Befitting her reputation, she didn’t jump up and down in joy but instead, just made an expression that displayed her gratitude. Thanks to her prior experiences, her acting skills were rather exceptional. No, in reality, it shouldn’t even be called acting. She would’ve been happy with just the sincere words of the fellow Knights congratulating her.
“I’m really sorry about this. If it’s a product of Zenobis, then it must have been really expensive…”
She spoke apologetically as she picked up the pair of gauntlets painted jet black. They were light but incredibly sturdy pair of armoured gloves, with the brand Zenobis stylishly carved on the sides. Since Zenobis was a exclusive workshop that only dealt with rare, high grade metals as the bare minimum requirement, the price of these gauntlets must have easily exceeded hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“No, no, not at all. We’re just sorry that we couldn’t get something better to show how grateful we’re regarding everything you’ve done for us until now.”
“I haven’t done much, though. Ah, right. By the way…”
Yu-Rin carefully observed the reactions of the knights before asking them in a cautious manner.
“Did they only have the colour black?”
“Eh? Ah… No, no way. They had only the bright colours for the ladies’ use. So we specially requested for a custom paintjob and had gauntlets painted in black. The colour definitely won’t fade, so you don’t have to worry.”
Yu-Rin thought that the bright colours would’ve been better. But she couldn’t make a retort at the smiling face of Soo-Gyeom and instead, ended up weakly smiling as well.
Kim Yu-Rin, in her 27 years of life. Every single gift she had ever received in her life was all battle equipment, exactly like this.
Around the same time, Sae-Jin came to the Monster Store to unload the materials but was now staring at the TV projection with a deeply satisfied expression.
– It’s been half a year but finally, a high grade potion is available for purchase in the market. Named A Goblin’s Kindness and coming in 40 ml bottles, the price for this potion has been set to around the $350,000 which is on the upper side of the range, but regardless, the influx of request for purchase has been coming not only from the local Korean organizations but from international entities as well. And ever since the Yoseon Alchemy House registered the brand trademark “Goblin”, people have been eagerly waiting to see if there would be other potions with different medical effects than ‘A Goblin’s Kindness’ that appeared in the market.
“Excuse me? Excuse me? I said, excuse me!!”
The government worker became fed up with Sae-Jin who was concentrating only on the TV and ended up raising his voice at him.
“Oh, sorry. My bad.”
“Here, please take this. Mister Kim Sae-Jin has successfully increased his rank from a Low Tier to a mid Low Tier, after accumulating over 60 days worth of hunting experience….”
Sae-Jin couldn’t focus on the procedure for long and his entire attention returned back to the sound coming from the TV.
– And when it became known that this was the alchemist’s first product, a huge amount of attention from the Korean and international community chatrooms has been solely focused on him, going as so far as to nickname the mystery alchemist as the “Goblin Alchemist” or even “The Genius of Alchemy”. But the Alchemy House responsible for the circulation of the potion, Yoseon, has strongly suggested to curb the excessive attention focused on the mystery alchemist as they worry this sudden unwarranted scrutiny placed on the person in question might negatively affect him…
< 04. A Genius of Alchemy (2) > Fin.
(TL note: When trying to TL the term “네모 반듯하다” used to describe the box Kim Yu-Rin received, I referred to Google Translate just in case and it said… “Nemo is straight.” I loled so hard, I thought I was going to die… It actually meant perfectly/nicely in a straight line or something like that.)
(Also, thinking about changing Raven Knights Order back to its original Korean name – Chilheuk.)